What is extremely important to understand is that the same conditions for salvation apply to both Jews and those of any other nation.
And the deity, which knows the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the sacred ruach, even as he did unto us; AND PUT NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US AND THEM, purifying their hearts by trust. Now therefore why do you tempt the deity, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, WHICH NEITHER OUR FATHERS NOR WE WERE ABLE TO BEAR? But we trust that through the grace of the sovereign Yahushua messiah WE SHALL BE SAVED, EVEN AS THEY. (Acts 15: 8-11)
For THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE between the Jew and the Greek: for the same sovereign over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (Rom. 10:12)
THERE IS NEITHER JEW NOR GREEK, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: FOR YOU ARE ALL ONE IN MESSIAH YAHUSHUA. (Gal. 3:28)
Where there is NEITHER GREEK NOR JEW, CIRCUMCISION NOR UNCIRCUMCISION, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but messiah is all, and in all. (Col. 3:11)
If we now return to the statutes that “require” clean foods for salvation, then we must also demand fleshly circumcision and all the rest, for if you break one point of the Torah of Moses (the Law, Old Covenant) you have broken it all (James 2:10). And if we do that, then will you not again bring yourself under the Torah of Moses?, and no man is justified by his deeds under the Torah of Moses (Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:20, 28; Gal. 2:16, 3:11, 24).
If you believe that we are saved by being justified under the Torah of Moses, “then the messiah died for nothing” (Gal. 2:21). Those who believe that we are justified by the Torah of Moses have “fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:6). We must walk as “uncircumcised” Abraham walked (Rom. 4:9-17; Gal. 3:5-9), not as the “circumcised” Jews under the Torah of Moses.
Scriptures are pointing out that the conditions for salvation are the same for everyone. A person‘s salvation is not dependent on food issues, which are works of the flesh, whether the issues are those of clean or unclean meat, being a vegetarian or not, or whether one eats with unwashed hands, etc.
Therefore, the only works from the written Torah of Moses concerning food that are still valid after the messiah‘s death are those part of the four dogmasin or public decrees announced at the Council of Jerusalem (49 C.E.) which were contained in the Abrahamic Covenants of Promise (Torah of Trust).
All relevant laws incorporated in the Torah of Trust and predate the Torah of Moses remain in force and all other dogmasin or works of the flesh found in the Torah of Moses that are adverse to us have been nailed to the stake (Col. 2:11-16).
The only command considered ”necessary“ in reference to the consumption of meat/food was that we are to abstain from eating anything offered to idols, from the eating blood or the eating of anything strangled. Notice that there is no instruction to abstain from any other types of food whether that food be clean or unclean. If such were ”necessary“ for salvation surely it would have been stated. The Scriptures are quite explicit in this regard.
Another argument brought forward as evidence to support the idea that one’s salvation is dependent on their diet is the passage of Isaiah 65: 1-7.
• First, to place things in context, the evidence presented in Parts 1 and 2 dismisses the notion that men were required to eat clean meat prior to the flood or even on Noah’s ark. The fact that animals were subdivided into clean and unclean in the pre-Flood world proves nothing, since vegetarianism was the standard.
Neither can one argue that mankind was restricted to clean meat after the Flood. Gen. 9:3 clearly states that Yahweh gave permission for mankind to eat all types of animals, an understanding which was even confirmed by the diet conscious Hasidic Jews like Josephus and the author of Jubilees.
There is no scriptural statement whatsoever that would prove that after the flood and prior to the time of the Torah of Moses mankind was restricted to eating clean meats.
Animals are clean and unclean by their nature and, no doubt, Yahweh used these traits when he required the priestly nation of Israel to only eat and offer sacrifices and burnt offerings of clean animals.
• Second, the instructions by Saul and the edict made by the Council of Jerusalem clearly prove that we are not under the covenant of the Torah of Moses but under the covenant of grace (Acts 15:1-16:5; Col. 2:8-23; Eph. 2:11-22; Rom. 6:14-15; Gal. 3:10, 23-25, 5:18).
Only four of the dogmasin (decrees) found in the Torah of Moses are still applicable, and none of these included a restriction against unclean meat (Acts 15:20-21, 23-29). To the contrary, all other dogmasin, which would include the dietary rules, have been dismissed.
Likewise, the messiah and his apostles taught that it was not food that defiles a man but the thoughts of his innermost self. These facts clearly support the idea that those under grace are not required to eat only clean food, no matter how healthy it is, in order to obtain salvation. Neither does it command that they eat unclean food.
However, it should also be noted that, according to Scriptures, only clean offerings and sacrifices are to be presented to Yahweh therefore it would not be acceptable to provide unclean meat/food on a Sabbath or Festival Day because of the meaning it entails which is the partaking of clean knowledge.
The four dogmasin only allow the followers of Yahweh to enjoy whatever food their appetites desire as long as it is blessed to Yahweh and does not offend those eating with them.
Now let us consider the passage in Isaiah 65. The opening verse of this prophecy reads:
I (Yahweh) have been sought for by those not asking; I have been acquired by those who were not searching. I said, “Behold, it is I, Behold, it is I,” to a nation not calling upon my name. I have spread out my hands all day to a rebellious people who walk on a road that is not good, following their own thoughts. (Isa. 65:1-2)
The context of this passage is defined by Saul, who (quoting from the LXX version) states:
For Isaiah says, sovereign, who trusted our report? (Isa. 53:1). So trust is out of report, but the report through the word of Yahweh. But I say, Did they (Israel) not hear (the report)? Yes, rather, into all the earth went out their (the prophets’) voice, and to the ends of the habitable world their words. But I say, Did not Israel know? First, Moses says, “I will provoke you (Israel) to jealousy through those not a nation, through a nation without understanding I will anger you” (Deut. 32:21). But Isaiah is very bold and says, “I was found by those not seeking me; manifested I became to those not enquiring after me” (Isa. 65:1). But to Israel he says, “I stretched out my hands the whole day to a people disobeying and contradicting” (Isa. 65:2). I say then, Did Yahweh thrust away his people? May it not be! For I am an Israelite, out of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. Yahweh did not thrust away his people, whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scriptures say about Elijah?, how he pleads with Yahweh against Israel, saying, “Yahweh, they have killed your prophets and they have torn down your altars; and I alone am left, and they seek my life” (1 Kings 19:10). But what divine answer did he speak to him? “I have left 7,000 men for myself who have not bowed a knee to Baal” (1 Kings 19:18). Thus then also in the present time there has been a remnant according to the ELECT OF GRACE. But if by grace, no longer out of works; else grace no longer becomes grace. BUT IF IT IS OF GRACE THEN IT IS NO LONGER OF WORKS. What then? What Israel seeks for, this it did not obtain; but the elect will obtain it, and the rest (of Israel) were hardened, according as it has been written, “Yahweh gave them a ruach of slumber, eyes so as not to see, and ears so as to to hear, UNTIL THIS DAY” (Isa. 29:10). (Rom. 10:16-11:8)
The context, therefore, is that Yahweh had spread out his hands to Israel, but the Israelites were a rebellious people and, though they heard the report, they closed their eyes and ears to it. As a result, the message was sent to another people, those not making inquiry, that is, a people formed out of the nations (note the parable in Matt. 22:1-14).
Saul is in fact using this very prophecy from Isaiah to confirm his own mission to go to the nations. On more than one occasion, Saul rejected the Jews because they refused to hear the message about the messiah and went to the nations instead (e.g., Acts 13:44-51, 18:4-7). Nevertheless, Yahweh has not rejected all of Israel, for there remains those of Israel who do trust—these are the elect of grace.
The key in Saul’s explanation of this passage from Isaiah is that the elect of Israel come by means of grace, and “NO LONGER OUT OF WORKS.” With this very point made, let us now examine the remaining verses in the passage from Isaiah. Speaking of the Israelites (not those of Israel called “the elect of grace,” who are not charged with sin, but those who sinned while “under the works of the Torah” and continually rebelled), Yahweh continues:
A people who continually provoke me upon my face, sacrificing in gardens and burning incense upon the bricks, who sit among graves and sleep in the watch towers eating the flesh of swine and a broth of unclean things in their pots; who say, “Draw near to yourself, do not come near to me, for I am more sacred than you.” These (people) are a smoke in my nose, a burning fire all the day. Behold! It is written before me, I will not be silent, except I will repay; and I will repay to their bosom, your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together, says Yahweh, who burn incense on the mountains and upon the hills have blasphemed me. And I will measure out their former work upon their bosom. (Isa. 65:2-7)
What was their crime? To begin with, they say, “Draw near to yourself, do not come near to me, for I am more sacred than you.” Therefore, they are a prideful and arrogant lot.
Along with this, Yahweh tells them that they “continually provoke me upon my face, sacrificing in gardens and burning incense upon the bricks.” These are acts of idolatry and pagan worship. Yahweh, therefore, was angry because they were a rebellious people breaking the ten commandments.
Added to these statements comes the reference to swine’s flesh: Those sacrificing and burning incense to pagan idols where also those “who sit among graves and they sleep in the watch towers eating the flesh of swine and a broth of unclean things in their pots.”
These actions were also the acts of the pagan religions. Because of such customs among the nations, the symbolism of unclean food was later used by Yahushua the messiah to describe the nations to Keph.
The point here is not that the Israelites were just eating swine’s flesh but that they were sacrificing and eating swine as part of a pagan cult!
They were practicing this form of demon worship against their agreement with Yahweh not to bow down or serve other eloahim and while they themselves were under the Torah of Moses and its works which forbade eating swine’s flesh!
Sacrificing pigs and then feasting upon their flesh was a custom of pagan Baal worship. In fact, the Israelites were heavily chastised for following the Baal religion while claiming to be following Yahweh (e.g., Judg. 2:11, 13, 3:7, 8:33, 10:10; 1 Sam. 12:10; 1 Kings 16:31-32, 18:18; Jer. 11:13, 17, 12:16, 23:1-40; etc.).
It is not a coincidence that the religious leaders of Judaea in the time of the messiah and apostles, who were claiming to follow Yahweh, were described as vipers, hypocrites, and the children of Satan. One of Yahushua’s proverbs ridiculed such men by telling the followers of the messiah, “Do not cast your pearls before the swine (Matt. 7:6).”
The metaphor used in this above verse from Isaiah is connected with the scriptural use of clean and unclean foods to represent clean and unclean knowledge.
Further, Saul clarifies the entire passage by separating the Israelites who come under grace (the remnant elect) from those who were under the Torah of Moses. It was those under the Torah of Moses to whom Yahweh states, “I will repay to their bosom, your iniquities and the iniquities of your father together.”
It must be remembered, all those under the Torah of Moses are under a curse (Gal. 3:10-13). It was the very people who claimed to be following Yahweh while under the works of the Torah of Moses that rebelled and fell into pagan practices.
But the people who shall obey Yahweh are the elect of the Israelites and the elect of the nations under grace (the latter having not originally sought after Yahweh but to whom Yahweh made himself known).
Those who failed under the works of the Torah of Moses are not the elect of Yahweh; but those under grace, both of Israel and the nations, are the true Yahwehists.
The symbolism of those “who sit among graves and sleep in the watch towers” (Moffatt has “pass the night in vaults”; the New Jerusalem Bible has “spending the night in dark corners”; and the Amplified Bible has “lodge among the secret places [or caves where familiar spirits were thought to dwell]”) “eating the flesh of swine and a broth of unclean things in their pots” is a reference to pagan idol and demon worship.
The key to understanding the passage in Isaiah is to consider the swine eating incident in context: These Israelites were not just eating swine’s flesh, they were doing so while stationed in graveyards or concealed quarters in order to worship demons.
This statement is not a condemnation against those under grace, who sanctify their meat to Yahweh, for as Saul writes, “because every creature of Yahweh is good, and nothing is to be rejected after being received with thanksgiving; for it is made sacred by Yahweh’s word and conversation with him” (1 Tim., 4:1-5).
The passage condemns Baal worship and rebellion against Yahweh by following after pagan religions and following other eloahim. Worse, the Israelites were doing so while under a covenant, the Torah of Moses, that forbade them to eat swine’s flesh!
Is it actually possible that Scriptures teach that people who are not under the works of the Torah of Moses will lose their salvation because of the food they eat?
Would a person be condemned to lose his salvation if his family was lost in the wilderness and starving and the only thing he could find for a meal to keep everyone alive was a rabbit?
One must carefully consider judgment on the matter and not be swayed by those who wish to bring one back under the Torah of Moses and its works, for no man is justified under the works of the Torah.
Those who hold to this view only wish to make others their followers and compel these burdens for their own glory (Gal. 6:13).
Yet, as Scriptures prove, this burden was even too heavy for the ancient Israelites to bear and they all failed.
Let us conclude with a few comments. You cannot pick and choose which statutes are applicable for salvation. Only Yahweh can do that. Neither can we condemn what Yahweh does not condemn.
The dietary rules found in Scriptures, as well as fleshly circumcision and other cleanliness statutes, are excellent to practice, possessing great health benefits.
Their symbolism for taking in clean knowledge is also beneficial as a teaching tool. As Scriptures states, if a man does these things “he will live” and it will be well with him (Ezek. 20:1-25).
It is important to recognize, as stated earlier, that only clean offerings are to be brought before Yahweh therefore unclean meats/food should not be presented on a Sabbath or Feast Day.
But, conversely, one cannot condemn or judge others because they eat unclean meat when Yahweh will not support this attitude. We must be careful of judging others in this regard, for by our own judgments we will be judged.
When all of the relevant passages from Scriptures are examined, they all point to the fact that the dietary regulations (just as with fleshly circumcision) were not part of the Abrahamic Covenants of Promise (Torah of Trust) and were not necessary for either Abraham’s or our salvation.
What really is important for everyone today is the keeping of the Torah of Trust which encompasses works of the ruach (good works) which Abraham kept by trust (i.e., eternal commandments, laws and statutes) and not the works of the flesh as listed in the written Torah of Moses (the Law, Old Covenant) excepting of course for the four dogmasin not adverse to us.
It is recognized that those parts of the written Torah of Moses, not included in the Abrahamic Covenants of Promise (Torah of Trust) and not actually required for salvation, can be useful for guiding us to a more healthy physical well-being.
The Torah of Moses is meant to teach us. Additionally, and more specifically, it informs us of what sin is. It is just a matter of being able to recognize and distinguish between those parts of the written Torah of Moses that were ”nailed to the stake“ and those which are still valid for salvation of which are contained in the Torah of Trust.
Indeed, why place burdens on the followers of Yahweh that the ancient Israelites were unable to bear?
Regarding the epistles of Saul which deal with this issue in-depth, Keph says:
There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. (2 Pet. 3:15-16).
It is not surprising, therefore, that Saul has been so misunderstood by so many in his effort to communicate the dynamics of the Abrahamic Covenants of Promise (Torah of Trust), the inheritance, and the written Torah of Moses (the Law, Old Covenant).
Saul’s job was not an easy task in the first century and the scriptural concepts are still not easy to explain today.
Yahweh be with you.