Does Romans 14 give Christians license to ignore the biblical dietary laws?

This may be what your pastor and church tell you, but it’s not what the Word of Elohim says!

Romans 14:14, Nothing is unclean in itself. In this verse, is the Apostle Paul declaring that there is no longer a distinction between clean and unclean foods, therefore making void the biblical dietary laws? Let’s analyze the contextual and linguistic aspects of this passage to see what Paul is really saying here.

The word unclean (koinos) in this verse can also mean “common,” and in three places in the Apostolic Scriptures the two words “common” and “unclean” are used side by side; q.v. Acts 10: 14, 28 and 11:8, which says, “But I said, Not so, Master: for nothing common [koinos] or unclean [akathartos] has at any time entered into my mouth. “From this example, we see that unclean in Romans 14 can also mean “common” as we find in Acts 11. The word for unclean in Acts 11:8 is an entirely different word; therefore, akathartos is a reference to unclean meat, as proscribed by the Torah. Koinos, on the other hand, cannot mean unclean meat in Romans 14, or else Acts 11:8 would be a superfluous and unexplainably redundant in using two words that mean exactly the same thing. The word koinos is used elsewhere in the Apostolic Scriptures not to mean “unclean,” as in “unclean meat,” but “unclean” as in unwashed hands (Matt. 7:2), or “common,” as in something that is shared commonly among people (Acts 2:44; 4:32; Tit 1:4; Jude 3). Of the seven places this word is used in the Apostolic Scriptures it never means unclean meat.

In David Stern’s Jewish New Testament Commentary, on Romans 14 he states that Paul is not abrogating the biblical dietary laws. On verse 14, Stern says that Paul is referring to ritual purity, not whether something is unclean (nonkosher) meat or not. What is ritual purity? It is a reference to either how something was slaughtered, and whether it was bled properly, or whether the meat had previously been sacrificed to idols before being sold in the public meat markets—a common practice in that day in pagan cities.

Furthermore, Paul could not have been advocating eating swine, and other unclean meats, without making himself into a total hypocrite and liar, since in several places in the book of Acts he strongly states (toward the end of his life) that he was a Torah-observant Jew and walked orderly and kept the Torah (Acts 21:20), and that he had not broken any of the Torah laws (Acts 25:16), which would have included the dietary laws contained in the Torah. 

Let’s also keep an important point in mind when speaking of YHVH’s biblical dietary commands: When some­one gets born again or regenerated spiritually neither does their digestive system change nor Elohim’s standards of holiness and righteous living. Eating unclean or biblically unkosher meat is, from a purely medical standpoint, deleterious to one’s health regardless whether one is a believer in Yeshua or not, and Scripture still refers to eating unclean meat as an unholy, sinful act and an abomination, and the Word of Elohim does not change yesterday, today or forever!

 

Surviving the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Plague

Both a physical and spiritual response is required to survive the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 plague that is sweeping the earth. I discuss both of these needed responses in the video below.

In the video, I also briefly discuss Psalm 91. In this post, I go into more detail on this vital biblical passage. This should encourage anyone who is experiencing fear and anxiety over the current viral epidemic.

In the video, I also discuss the physical precautions that I’m taking to protect myself from this lethal virus. Other than following government recommendations, I am also taking nutritional supplements to strengthen my immune system. (This is what I’m doing and I’m not recommending this for anyone else. Do your own research and check with your health care provider on what to do for you.) The supplement that I am taking include the following:

  • Four to six thousand mg of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) spread out through the day.
  • Several thousand mg of vitamin D per day.
  • Potassium iodide each day.
  • Glutathione each day.

Psalm 91:1 (and the rest of Psalm 91) Is the Biblical 9-1-1 to Call in Our Time of Trouble

Psalm 91:1, Secret. Heb. cether means “covering, shelter, hiding place, secrecy,” and is from the root word meaning “to hide, conceal.” When troubles comes our way like a tidal wave, the natural human reaction is either to stand and fight or to flee in fear. In psychology this is known as “the fight or flight response.” The Bible teaches us that there is both a time to fight and a time to flee (Eccl 3:1; Matt 24:16; 12:14 cp. Eph 6:14; Luke 19:13). Spiritual discernment and being led by the Spirit of Elohim will direct us what to do and when. Regardless, at all times we need to be “hiding” in the secret place or under the shadow of YHVH’s “wings” with regard to our spiritual relationship with our Almighty Father in heaven as this verse states. When we are in that place of covering and under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty, which alludes to his throne room, we will not be cowering in fear from our enemies, but we will find the courage, will and stamina to stand firm in faith, and, if necessary, to come out and to fight the enemy not in our own strength, but in Elohim’s strength as led and guided by his Spirit. 

Abide. This is the Hebrew word luwn meaning “to lodge, stop over, pass the night or abide.” A lodge is a place where one temporarily spends the night. When dark times come our way, we need to stop and spend the night or run to and abide in the throne room of the Almighty! This speaks of prayer, worship, praise and studying his Word.

Psalm 91:1, Cover. This Hebrew word literally means “to fence around or protect.” 

Psalm 91:1, 4, 16, Under the shadow of the Almighty…under his wings. (See notes at Ps 61:4.) According to the ancient Jewish sages, Moses composed this psalm for the tribe of Levi who, while ministering in the tabernacle, dwelt under the shadow of the wings of cherubim that stood over the ark of the covenant in the Tabernacle of Moses—an earthly representation of YHVH’s throne room in heaven. The sages go on to explain that the psalmist describes the devout man of faith lives with Elohim in his heart, and never leaves Elohim’s shadow. Such a man is a true biblical hero of faith to whom Elohim pledges (v. 16) to satisfy with long life and to show him his salvation or deliverance from evil (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Tehillim/Psalms Commentary on Ps 91). This psalm ends with the promise of the blessing of long life to those who love and serve YHVH, and beyond that, salvation, which is the Hebrew word Yeshua—the very name of the coming Messiah, who would offer his people deliverance from the ultimate enemy, namely sin and its death penalty. The result of this deliverance is the glorious divine gift of eternal life through faith in Yeshua the Messiah—the supreme gift and blessing of all! This psalm is literally a prophecy pointing to the Messiah.

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The Dynamics of Sin, Sickness and Healing Explained

Exodus 15:26, I am YHVH that heals you. This is the first place in the Scriptures where YHVH promises to heal his people of sickness. Here is a list of other biblical verses containing similar promises: Deut 7:12 and 15; Pss 30:2–4; 34:18–19; 41:1;91 (entire chapter); 103 (entire chapter); Isa 40:28–31; 53:4–5; Jer 17:13–14; Mal 4:2; Mark 11:23–24; Luke 10:19; John 14:13; 15:7; 15:16; 16:23–24; Rom 8:31; 8:37; Phil 4:13; Jas 5:14–16; 1 Pet 2:24. Notice the stipulations that YHVH makes for his promise of healing to be fulfilled upon his people. His people must “diligently heed [Heb. shema meaning “to hear and to do”] the voice of YHVH by doing what is upright [Heb. yashar meaning “right, righteous, correct, straight] in his sight by obeying his Torah.


Is There a Connection Between Sin and Sickness?

What if any is the connection between the sins we commit and the sicknesses and diseases that come upon us? Much, as the Bible teaches.

First, let’s establish some basic truths.

  • Everyone will eventually die, so not all sickness is a result of sin (Heb 9:27).
  • Some sickness isn’t due to sin, but so that YHVH might be glorified when the person is miraculously healed (John 9:2–3). 
  • The purpose of some sickness is for spiritual refinement to bring us to a higher level spiritually as was the case with Job.

In a general sense, pain, suffering and death came upon all men because of Adam and Eve’s initial rebellion against YHVH Elohim in the Garden of Eden. As a result of the “fall of man,” all men have come under this curse and suffer as a result.

Unto the woman [Elohim] said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Gen 3:16–19)

Some sickness is a direct result of disobeying YHVH’s commandments; it’s YHVH’s judgment against that sin. In Exodus 15:26, YHVH speaks about not putting the diseases of Egypt upon his people if they will follow his commandments.

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NathanTalks #1—My Miraculous Healing: Crippled to Walking & Praising Elohim

In 1987, Nathan fell about 30 feet out of a tree and shattered his ankle bones. After two bone grafts, he was still crippled with a broken ankle three years later. In 1990, his surgeon scheduled a third bone graft. Nathan refused and walked out of the doctor’s office, putting his faith in Yeshua to heal him. Three months later was standing on top of Mount Saint Helens. Divine healing is real. If Nathan was healed miraculously, you can be too! Listen to this talk and be inspired.

 

Unexplained Miracles Explained

Luke 13:12, Woman…spirit of infirmity. Sometimes Yeshua healed people who neither asked for it, nor evidenced faith to be healed simply that the glory of YHVH might be manifested. From time to time, we hear of miraculous healings and divine interventions that saved people’s lives occurring for no apparent reason. It seems that occasionally YHVH likes to stir the spiritual pot of human affairs just to draw men’s attention to him. He pulls back the curtain between heaven and earth a bit to reveal himself to humans. This not only brings glory to his name, but serves to raise men’s hopes a bit by pointing them to the fact that there is an Elohim who is sovereignly and who is orchestrating things behind the scenes and who cares about humans.

Psalm 107:20, He he sent his word and healed them. The Word of Elohim heals and delivers. The Word includes both the Written and the Living Word of Elohim. Yeshua the Messiah is that Word. As Elohim’s spokesman, he spoke the Torah to Moses and the Israelites and then became the Word of Elohim incarnate. Can the mind of man wrap its intellect around this truth? No. We just have to believe what the Bible says on this. So how do we know that it’s true? Because it works! The reality of the healing and the delivering power of both the Written Torah-Word and Yeshua the Living Torah-Word is evident to those who have placed their trust in it/him.

 

Your healing is promised…but when?

Conceptual image with the word Heal on wooden blocks or cubes protected by the hands of a man sheltering them from above.

Psalm 103:3, Heals all your diseases. The Word of YHVH Elohim including the promises made therein is true regardless of our lack of understanding thereof with regard it applies to our specific life circumstances. In the case of YHVH’s promise to heal us of all our diseases, the one missing element in this promise is the time factor. 

The fact is that Elohim doesn’t tell us when he will heal us, just that he will. We may be healed instantly the moment we ask for it, or our healing occur sometime during this physical life, or we may obtain our physical healing when we receive our glorified bodies at the resurrection of the righteous dead. Either way, the Word of Elohim including the promises therein will have been true whenever we receive our healing. 

Regardless of the timing of our healing, the righteous saint will have trust in Elohim no matter what that the Creator knows the best timing to bless us with our healing, and our attitude must be that of Job, “Though he slay me, I know that my Redeemer lives.” 

More important than our physical healing, YHVH wants to form within us the character of Yeshua the Messiah—“to conform [us] to the image of his Son” (Rom 8:29), which is why we must believe with total faith that indeed “all things work together for good to those who love Elohim to those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). This is also why we must be thankful to him in all things (1 Thess 5:18).

 

Yeshua on Divine Healing

Luke 5:17, The power [Gr. dumanis] of YHVH was present. Sometimes the power of YHVH is present to heal people, sometimes it is not. There are many factors that determine if and when a person is healed divinely. These include such things as the sovereign will of Elohim for that person’s life, the faith of the individuals performing or receiving the healing, repentance of sin or the lack thereof, divine judgment, trials Elohim may be allowing in one’s life for character refinement (think righteous Job and Paul’s thorn in the flesh), and whether one is a saint or not and many more factors about which we may or may not be aware due to our limited human understanding of the spiritual dimension where Elohim operates.

Let’s now explore the healing activities of Yeshua to see what we can learn about the spiritual mechanics of divine healing.The Greek word dunamis in the phrase, “the power [dumanis] of YHVH was present” means “strength, power, ability” or, as often used in the Testimony of Yeshua, it can mean “miraculous power.” This statement by Luke is interesting when it comes to understanding the dynamics of Yeshua’s healing activities. Did Yeshua heal all people all the time, or only when the power of Elohim was present for him to do so? This verse, at least in this case, would indicate the latter. Elsewhere, we read that Yeshua “healed many that were sick” (Mark 1:34), but not all that were sick. On other occasions, the Gospels record indicates that Yeshua did in fact heal all the sick who were brought to him (Matt 4:23–25; 9:35; Luke 6:19). 

The Gospels also reveal some other interesting facts about Yeshua’s healing activities that we often pass over. On at least one occasions, Yeshua prayed to heal someone and they were only partially healed. Only after he prayed for them the second time, were they completely healed (Mark 8:22–25). Why was this? Couldn’t Yeshua have healed them the first time? Of course, but perhaps their faith wasn’t yet strong enough for them to be healed. Or maybe Yeshua was teaching us that sometimes we have to demonstrate persistent faith and keep seeking healing until the healing occurs. On other occasions, Yeshua healed people after he was “moved with compassion [love and pity]” for someone who was sick (Matt 14:14; Mark 1:41; Luke 7:13–15). The Greek word for compassion, literally means “to be moved in one’s bowels,” or in the deepest areas of one’s emotions. At other times, people simply touched Yeshua’s clothing as he was walking by, and the miraculous power (Gr. dunamis) of Elohim flowed from him and healed them (Matt 9:20; Mark 6:56; Luke 8:44 cp. Luke 6:19). They had the faith to be healed, and the received their miracle.

Elsewhere, it appears that Yeshua’s healing activities were hampered by the presence of those who ridiculed him and exhibited doubt and unbelief, which is why, on one occasion, he put the doubters out of the room and closed the door behind them, when he raised the little girl from the dead (Mark 5:40–42). Similarly, in his hometown of Nazareth, Yeshua “could do no mighty works there” except for healing a few sick people, “because of their [the townspeople’s] unbelief” (Mark 6:5–6; also Matt 13:58). Matthew’s account adds that the people of Nazareth were offended (literally, scandalized) by Yeshua, or that they stumbled over (or judged unfavorably, distrusted) Yeshua. Because of their low esteem for him, they lacked the faith to receive healing, which is why he healed so few people in that town.

When it comes to praying for divine healing, when in doubt, always look for an opportunity to pray for a sick person. Before praying, one must discern the situation. Does the person have faith to be healed? Is the anointing or Presence of YHVH there to heal the person? How is the Spirit of Elohim directing one to pray? Sometimes we sense the need to pray more authoritative prayers, other times, more pleading or intercessory prayers, and still other times prayers of agreement while asking heaven for the healing.

What’s more, prospective converts and new believers tend to have their prayers for healing answered more quickly, since this is a demonstration of the signs Yeshua promised that would follow the preaching of the gospel. Yeshua declared that divine healing as a result of the laying on of hands was to be a result of the preaching of the gospel to the unsaved (Mark 16:15–18).True, the saint can be healed, but often this will occur after having their faith stretched and refined. Therefore, the healing sometimes takes longer to receive.