by Shawn Brasseaux
Opponents of dispensational Bible study (right division) contend, “God never changes therefore His dealings with man never change.” They use Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 for Scriptural “support.” “For I am the LORD, I change not” and “Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” Of course God never changes. God’s essence and nature never changes, but God does change His dealings with man from time to time.
In the Bible God gave various instructions to different people at various time periods. On four separate occasions, God gave different dieting instructions to various people. The following study will prove dispensational Bible study is the ONLY answer to understanding and explaining these so-called “contradictory” portions of the Holy Scriptures.
While the Bible may seem contradictory, notice these directions were not given to the same group of people! Each set of directions was given during a different dispensation (time period). God’s Word never contradicts itself as long as you apply the principle of right division: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).
As long as we leave the directions in the proper dispensation during which God gave them, and understand that God’s directions to us come from the Apostle Paul’s letters of Romans through Philemon like Romans 11:13 says, then all of the confusion disappears!
ADAM AND EVE, BEFORE SIN
“29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:29-30 KJV).
In Genesis 1, God told Adam and Eve to eat things that grew naturally—nuts, fruit, seeds, vegetables, and so on. They were vegans, not even partaking of animal products (like eggs). Before the curse of sin and death, every animal and human strictly ate vegetation. Once man fell into sin, this changed.
NOAH, AFTER THE FLOOD
About 1600 years after Adam, we see Noah and his family getting off the ark. Once the global flood waters have receded, God gives the following instructions to Noah:
“1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” (Genesis 9:1-4 KJV).
Once the curse and the global flood came, God directed Noah and his family to now eat any animal they could trap or catch, provided they did not consume its blood. From time of Noah until Moses, mankind was free to eat vegetation and animal meat.
NATION ISRAEL, UNDER THE MOSAIC LAW
When we come to Moses, about 800 years after Noah, the nation Israel is receiving the Mosaic Law from the LORD. In passages such as Leviticus 11:1-31 and Deuteronomy 14:1-21, God gives Israel some very specific instructions: they can only eat “clean beasts,” not just anything like Noah had been instructed centuries earlier. To the Jews, creatures like bats, owls, camels, vultures, lizards, and swine were “unclean,” and were not to be eaten. “Clean” beasts were animals such as sheep, locusts, oxen, goat, and fallow deer: these could be eaten. The kosher food laws of Judaism remained in effect for the next 1500 years.
APOSTLE PAUL, IN THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE
When we come to the Apostle Paul, about a year after the cross, the Dispensation of Grace has begun, and a new group of believers exists, separate and distinct from the nation Israel—the Church the Body of Christ. Look at what Paul writes:
“3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:3-5 KJV)
Now, ALL creatures can be eaten, as long as we give God thanks. We can even eat the animals that God forbade Israel to eat in time past! In this the Dispensation of Grace, regardless of what some religious authority may tell you, there are NO DIETING LAWS. Our apostle, Paul, says to eat what you want, and give God thanks!