Friday, March 30, 2012

Food and the Anti-Christ Pt 3

This is part 3 of 4 on the study of  Food and the Anti-Christ.
If you missed parts one  and two they can be found here... Link to part 1   and here.... Link to part 2

Again, I want to clarify that this his how I see the scriptures making sense to me.
Read it, pray about it, and if God leads you, take it to heart. If not, keep calm and carry on.

Alright. Most people know Paul.  Paul was a super zealous murder who killed followers of Jesus because he saw them as blasphemers. After he repented and spent the following 3 years learning how his doctrine wasn't lining up with the truth, Paul started writing letters to everyone.

Paul wrote a lot of letters.

Now most people have a major heart for the writings of Paul. They consider him super righteous. Extra godly. Paul is righteous and Godly. I dunno how much more or less than anyone else in scripture ( except Jesus, he wins, and Maybe John the baptist, because Jesus said he came in number 2. Or possibly elijah.... you know what it doesn't matter)

In this post I am going to be drawing some parallels for context, building off of the last two posts in this series. In this post The main bodies that I am going to be drawing off are Romans 14 and passages of Danial that I believe shed light on Paul's words for clarifications.

Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.  One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.
One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.  He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.

- Romans. 14

This is a passage that many believers take  to the interpretation that Paul is saying that we, as believers are now free to eat whatever we want, and that nobody is to hold us to any standard in regards to any specific day or about eating.

I'm going to break down what I believe Paul to be saying here in a second but I want to shed some light on something. In scripture, there is a passage that defines the characteristics of the Anti-Christ.This is Danial chapter 7 and speaking of the Anti Christ, and not to alarm anyone it says this:

He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26 But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.

The Most High is God. The highest one, to my understanding is Jesus.  So, the one who is in opposition to the Most high and Jesus is speaking out against them, and trying to change God's law and the appointed times that God set forth.

Paul make a reference to this passage
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
(2 Thessalonians 2:3 )

God didn't speak out against himself and change his word. Jesus didn't speak out and change Gods word.

And when I read this passage in Romans, I really don't believe that Paul was saying to don't worry about eating the things that God said not to eat.  God gave his Law for the benefit of man, to live like Jesus. Jesus saved us through his grace and he calls us to repentance, and repentance is to turn from sin. Now what is sin you ask?

1 John 3:4 
Everyone who practices sin, practices Lawlessness. Sin is Lawlessness.

 Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
(2 Thessalonians 2:3 )

I don't believe that Paul is the Anti-christ. I do not believe that he is teaching the practice of the Anti-christ. I don't beleive that Paul was speaking out contrary to God's word. So it beckons the question, What do I think Paul is really saying in Romans 14?

IN the highlighted context Paul talks about the weak in the faith eating only veggies, and the rest eating whatever ( I think whatever was in the guidelines of what God has said is food)

Consider the following passage from Daniel chapter 1

8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.” 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.”

 14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.
 17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of  visions and dreams.

18 Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s personal service. 20 As for every matter of  wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.

You got Danny boy here and he says that he wants to go vegan. He doesn't want the kings food, He wants to go healthy choice. Because of his heart and desire to be set apart, God gives him and his crew a blessing of wisdom and knowledge. God made them smarter.  Now, this wasn't because they were eating veggies, this is because they wanted to be set apart from all the others unto God.

Paul writes about a believer who is weak in the faith eating only vegetables. Now this is speculation on my part, but maybe they were looking at this passage and seeing some special benefit, some sort of Godly edge, being holier based on what you eat.
I can see how those people would be called weaker in the faith because they are looking at the word of God with a man's perspective, thinking that there is some sort of formula that based on their own works and choices they can obtain special wisdom and intellect or see visions.Paul says to accept this guy, but don't pass judgement on him. Perhaps their is something to be said for wanting the things of God.

But to everyone else, chowing down on cheese burgers, which God's word has no problem with... There isn't a conflict. It doesn't make you less holy. You are eating and giving thanks for his provision, and in obedience eating the things that he said were acceptable.
Paul says in the passage, who are you judge the servant of another?
That really sounds like he is talking about the passage in Danial, where you had two kinds of servants.

" One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind."

One day above another for what???

I have heard that people think that this passage is talking about things like keeping the Sabbath or something.  Some have said I keep it Monday, instead of Saturday. I can write an entire post on the sabbath ( or 70) but I just wanted to touch on it briefly in this context.

God's word states that the sabbath is an appointed time. God's appointed time. It is the fourth commandment and it is the longest one for some reason. God put it in place as a time for him and His People. He tells us that we should set it apart as holy.

Now, If we read what Paul is saying, " One person regards one day, and another regards every day alike" How does that fit into what God commanded when he stated that the Sabbath was to be Set apart? God tells us how to care for it, and how delightful it is. How we cease from our control and going our own way. We relinquish our authority.How are you setting aside the sabbath as holy and set apart if you are treating every day the same?

I've gotta ask how we can do all that, while changing the appointed time of God?

Think about it.

Building on the precepts outlined in the last two posts, Paul states that we are saved by faith and that faith results in keeping Gods commands.

 Romans 3:28-31
 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
 31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

 We are still saying that man is justified by faith, Jew and Gentile alike, not the law. Both Jew and Gentile are justified by faith.  Because we are justified by faith, does that mean we stop keeping the commands of God? May it never be. No, Because we are saved by faith in Jesus, We establish the commands of God.  We live them

If we are establishing the Law of God as a response to faith, doesn't that mean that we are keeping what God has said in regards to what isn't food, and keeping the 4th commandment?

In the next post I will touch on Colossians 2. and wrap up this behemoth of a post.

1 comment:

  1. These posts are so good. You really know your stuff!