The term clean and unclean refers to the purity of God and to the purity of the human person as the adopted children
of God. As God is Pure and Holy, we are to be Pure and Holy. We find in the Sacrificial System that all sacrifices
are shadows of the work of Christ on behalf of His people. All sacrificial creatures are types of Jesus Christ and all
are listed in a specific category called clean as listed in Lev 11 and Deu 14. The beasts of the earth are often mentioned
symbolically as types of men Acts 10, 2 Pet 2:9-12. Those creatures which have been separated into a clean category
are symbolic of Christ. We are commanded to eat only those animals that are listed as clean, for they represent Christ
and eating them. pictures taking into our bodies the things of Christ and the purity of Christ. Eating the unclean thing,
pictures polluting the Temple of God, which Temple we are if we are His 1 Cor 3:16-17.
In the list of clean
animals, the sacrificial animals are the goat, sheep, bovine and dove. There are other clean animals that are NOT sacrificial
animals, like various fishes and birds as well as deer and antelope. Yet all these creatures were created from the beginning
with certain attributes that set them apart from all other creatures.
The concept of clean and unclean came
into effect, long before the Mosaic Covenant, for we read that Abel's sacrifice was accepted while Cain's was not
Gen 4:4-5. Clearly God had instructed the first family in the law of sacrifice, when of necessity that law came into
effect because of the sins of men. Only clean creatures could be sacrificed for they were symbolic of the Creator God
who became Jesus Christ.
To sacrifice any unclean thing, was and is an ABOMINATION to God. For us to eat
any unclean thing is to pollute our body, the Temple of God, with things that are an ABOMINATION to Him. Noah was also
told to bring into the Ark the clean animals by sevens, but the unclean by twos Gen 7:2, God thus showing us again that he
had made a distinction between the clean and the unclean, long before Moses.
The apostle Paul tells us not
to ask questions regarding meat bought in the shambles (markets) 1 Cor 10:25-28 for conscience sake. The context here
is about things sacrificed to idols, NOT about clean and unclean food. It was customary for animals sacrificed to idols
to be sold by their temples in the markets to raise cash. Paul was saying that an idol is really nothing, but if we
deliberately partake of those things offered to idols, we may become partakers of that idolatrous worship, therefore for the
sake of a clear conscience, it would be better not to know the source of the meat. He also said that while we know that
the idol is nothing, we must be careful to set a proper example for others, for if an idol worshipper saw you eat of his sacrifice,
he may conclude that you also worship his idol. Even so, a converted brother might come to the same conclusion and be offended
in you. In Acts 10:28 Peter openly declared that the vision given to him by God had nothing to do with clean and unclean
foods and everything to do with calling men unclean, simply because of their race Acts 10:34-35.
us, speaking about the vegetarian practice of certain Greek philosophies of his day that we should receive all creatures with
thanksgiving that have been sanctified by the Word of God and prayer 1 Tim 4:3-5. The list of those things that have
been sanctified by God may be found in Lev 11 and Deu 14.
Some might say that this issue is only physical.
Actually God has not required this for nothing. First it is to develope in us the HABIT of OBEDIENCE. Second,
it is to teach us that there is a difference between the Holy and the Profane. Third, to teach us to actively seek the
purity and Holiness of God and to actively avoid the pollution of sin. Fourth, it is a TEST to determine if we will
OBEY GOD OR NOT. The same test was given to Adam and Eve in the garden. Would they obey God if they were forbidden
to take something that they desired, or would they disobey.
When an apple is put into a barrel of rotten ones,
what happens? Does the good one make the others turn good or does the good one turn bad also? If only one rotten
apple is put into a barrel of good ones, what happens? Does the whole barrel of good ones, make the bad become good
or does the one bad apple make the good ones go bad? This is the lesson that we are to learn from the law of Clean and
Unclean. That we are to AVOID ALL SIN, FOR SIN MAKES US UNCLEAN AND WILL ULTIMATELY CORRUPT AND DESTROY US. Physically
we must learn to avoid uncleaness and seek the purity of Christ so that we may develop the habit of SPIRITUAL PURITY and FREEDOM
FROM ALL SIN.
The Law of Clean and Unclean is to help us to develope HABITS that will last forever.
To develope the habit of avoiding impurity and seeking the perfection of Christ. To learn to TRUST and OBEY God.
To do what God says is right, instead of what we think is right.
Brethren, God said, do not eat the blood
or fat Lev 3:17, Lev 17:10-14, Acts 15:20 or the unclean thing and to not even TOUCH the dead body of any unclean thing Lev
11. That is Almighty God's clearly expressed will. If we do this, we are defying the Will of God and breaking
We are NOT to eat these things and we are not to wear or possess the skins or furs of unclean
animals. For one of us to wear a pigskin coat or gloves or to wear an unclean fur is to make the Temple of God,
our body, unclean and is no different than Antiochus sacrificing swine in the Temple of God! IT IS AN ABOMINATION!
We are warned that we shall become a cursed thing if we even bring these abominations into our houses. This is in direct
reference to religious images and false gods but also applies to ANYTHING that pollutes, or is an abomination to God Deu 7:26.
If we tolerate those things that God detests, we ourselves become detestable to God.
The shed hair of these
animals is not unclean. You could, for instance have a coat of sheared camel hair or alpaca. It is the DEAD BODY
that is unclean, sheared hair or wool is taken from a living body, there is no thought of death involved. A skin removed
from a dead body is a part of that dead body and is unclean. If we must touch such a dead body, for instance removing
a creature that had died, we are commanded to wash ourselves and remain in an unclean state until sun set Lev 11:31-32.
WHY? This is to teach us that the person who is exposed to sin has become spiritually unclean and needs to be cleansed
and washed clean by the sacrifice of Christ! This is the lesson of the Unclean thing, that even exposure to sin pollutes
us. As the physically detestable thing defiles, the spiritually detestable thing defiles us even more. Even a
little leaven, leavens the whole lump 1 Cor 5:6, we must learn to avoid even exposing ourselves to the leaven of sin and to
ALWAYS seek the purity of Christ in BOTH physical and spiritual matters. FOR THE PHYSICAL EXISTS TO TEACH US ABOUT SPIRITUAL
The dead body of the unclean thing is detestable to God for it is reminiscent of the death of the
unrepentant sinner, defiled by his sin and condemned to a final death and destruction. Eating the unclean thing pictures
TAKING INTO OURSELVES A REBELLOUS AND SINFUL NATURE engendering to DEATH. Eating the unclean thing is exactly
the same sin that got Adam and Eve thrust out of the Paradise of God. As they ate the forbidden fruit, we might eat of the
forbidden meat. The action is precisely the same, it is the act of deciding for ourselves what is good and what is not, it
is the refusal to BELIEVE or to OBEY GOD. To eat the forbidden thing is a direct act of willful disobedience against
God. If doing so got Adam ejected from the garden, then our doing so will keep us out of the Family of God.
Eating the clean creature, pictures the clean purity of Christ and His sacrifice for us. It pictures us TAKING CHRIST
INTO OURSELVES, changing our very nature into His and engendering to ETERNAL LIFE. What we eat is not necessarily about
physical health, IT IS ABOUT SPIRITUAL HEALTH, it is about learning the HABIT OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD! And symbolicly it
pictures us BECOMING LIKE CHRIST! Jesus Christ NEVER ate any unclean thing, IF we are His, we will follow His example
and we will be doing what He did! 1 Joh 2:6
In today's world nearly everything is defiled in one
way or another. We must strive for purity to the best of our ability and trust God to take care of those things that
we cannot. Even in this there is a lesson. The lesson that we cannot achieve perfection on our own. We NEED
Christ and His sacrifice to atone for our sins and cover our shortcomings! But we must do our part, we must try to the
very best of our abilities and we must not neglect the weightier matters of the law; judgement, mercy and faith