“Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 MKJV).
Satan, the prince of this world, not only gains entry by the soul to defeat those he hates, but also by the body. Look around you and see the people of America perishing because of what they are consuming, both in quality and quantity. Satan kills them by providing all the poison and de-nutritioned food they can eat.
Isn’t gluttony a spiritual, as well as a physical, sin? If quantity of food can be abused spiritually, why can’t quality be? It is assumed by many professing faith in Christ that it doesn’t matter what they eat. Their argument is based on a few Scriptures we have already discussed in Christian Physical Diet, one of those being:
“Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man” (Matthew 15:11 MKJV).
We quote a part of that document:
“Just what was Jesus meaning or talking about when He said that it is not what goes into the mouth, but what comes out, that defiles a man? He was addressing those persons who depended on outward cleanliness for salvation and favor with God, those who depended on ordinances:
‘(Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men…which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh’ (Colossians 2:21-23 KJV).
The Pharisees washed their hands and cups and kept hundreds of meticulous carnal laws necessary for salvation, in their view. Jesus was not addressing ACT so much as MOTIVE. I am not speaking of the keeping of laws for spiritual salvation, but of the keeping of laws because needful, useful, and sensible. God has put us in a physical world and has given us minds to be exercised in this world according to laws of which He is the Author, not laws that men create for their own glory and selfish purposes.” (Read the rest of Christian Physical Diet.)
For now, we will deal more specifically with the matter of eating fast foods or dining out at almost any restaurants. The occasion arose to discuss this topic, and we took it from there:
More lessons coming up, though they must be received as the Lord enables you to handle them. We cannot expect you to know, much less change, all these things in your life and that of your family at once. We know we couldn’t do it – these things took years for us. Yet if God gives you the grace in the last hour of laboring in the vineyard to receive it all, then you have nothing to fear and much to rejoice over.
Let’s first consider just how important food is to God and to us. Almost everything in the Bible is about eating, including the Passover Lamb Himself, of Whom the whole Bible is all about, and Whose flesh we must eat and Whose blood we must drink if we are to have life:
“Then Jesus says to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Whoever partakes of My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:53-55 MKJV).
The first offense of man was to eat that which was forbidden (Genesis 3).
When heavenly guests (the Lord included) came to Abraham, he immediately set out to feed them the best of what he had (Genesis 18).
At weddings, welcome home parties (Luke 15:11-32), and weaning celebrations (Genesis 21:8), food was a central part of the occasion.
Jacob gained Esau’s birthright by selling him a bowl of vegetables (Genesis 25:29-34). He then gained Esau’s blessing when he fed his father Isaac that which Isaac thought he savored (Genesis 27). Just think about the enormous influence and importance of physical food!
When God prepared Jacob and his sons and families to come to Egypt, how did He do it? He did it by sending a drought, which is what? A lack of food. They were forced to go into Egypt for the food (Genesis 41, 42), which food Joseph was sent to Egypt many years earlier to prepare for them, for Egypt, and for the surrounding nations (Genesis 37). Without food, we perish.
While I say the obvious, think about it. We miss the forest for the trees. We are spiritual creatures with physical bodies dwelling in this world. Just as we need wholesome spiritual food, being spiritual, so we need wholesome physical food, being physical.
The last act of obedience by the Israelites before coming out of Egypt was to eat. They ate the Passover lamb with bitter herbs and took their unleavened bread with them, even in haste, which bread they always ate in subsequent Passover and Unleavened Bread Feasts.
Every solemn Feast primarily involved food, as with the lamb at Passover. All the sacrifices were to be eaten. And the Feasts were timed, and fully intertwined, with the seasonal harvests – the provision of food.
Whenever sacrifices were offered unto God, whether by an individual or nation, they were invariably food.
Armies would besiege cities and countries and cut off food and water supplies. When Jerusalem was besieged, the people died of hunger and thirst. In judgment, God is known to cut off the food supply to the body. When the children of Israel sinned spiritually, rejecting their spiritual bread and water, their consequent deprivation of physical bread and water spelled their end.
But in blessing, God has prepared a banqueting table, for both body and soul, at which we can feast, eating every good thing:
“As the apple among the trees of the wood, so is my Beloved among the sons. I sat down under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love. Feed me with raisin cakes, comfort me with apples, for I am sick with love” (Song of Solomon 2:3-5 MKJV).
When Jesus was tempted, He was tempted with food. And His reply to the tempter was that man shall not live by bread alone. But just the same (think of it) – man must live by bread, too.
One of the last things Jesus did with the disciples before He departed from this world was to have their supper, at which Jesus again spoke of the bread and wine as His flesh and blood. The significance was all-important, but there was also the physical food.
How often does one see Jesus and the disciples giving thanks in the Gospels? Not often. Consider that Jesus gave thanks when feeding the multitudes and when He had His last supper with His disciples. Here we have the importance of physical food, what it represents, and the Father’s provision of it.
After the resurrection, Jesus was on the beach with fish on a fire, waiting for the disciples to come ashore, and in His resurrection body, He ate with them.
Fellowship is accompanied with food, be it worldly fellowship or that among believers. The food is not the most important thing in fellowship with believers, but it is a factor, is it not? If you were to come visit us from Hawaii, Terri, would we not want to put out the best of hospitality, including food, for you and Peter, our guests? Of course, we would!
When the prodigal son returned, what did the overjoyed father have his servants prepare in his honor? A fatted calf. The whole Bible is about food!
Let’s look at the world we live in now.
The huge restaurant industry, following Satan, not only serves up poisoned and de-nutritioned food, impoverishing those addicted to eating out, but also provides the philosophy of having strangers do the preparation of food, separating it generally from family life and fellowship with chosen, desired participants. It has become a matter of convenience, saving time and effort, of pride, of pleasing the flesh, of disregard for more important matters – all this for the love of mammon.
Over the years, the Lord has made it clear enough that unless circumstances dictate, or unless He indicates otherwise, we are to refrain, for the most part, from restaurants. To start, many things happen there that you don’t want to know about, particularly in terms of hygiene, additives, and “subtractives,” and food service personnel attitudes (did you know that the spirit of those preparing the food affects the food itself?).
And you pay for it handsomely, while encouraging the industry to continue Satan’s onslaught on humanity.
Ask yourself: Aside from the precious few restaurants whose conviction and commitment are to provide organic food at a fair price, do restaurateurs prepare food of the kind you should eat, out of concern for their clientele? Do they know what you need or care about your health? Isn’t their profit the bottom line for them?
The consumer is faced with moral and philosophical issues when eating in restaurants, like supporting an industry that, for the most part, trains people to think a certain way. We perceive that eating out can be, and often is, a form of slow motion societal, financial, physical, and mental, if not spiritual, suicide.
I can tell you story after story of how God has dealt with me about eating out, and how slow I was in getting the message, partially because I wanted to eat out and partially because those around me wanted to eat out. Not only did they not support me, I received strong opposition, which I must confess, helped deter me, not that I can blame them. The leader is required to lead and, when called to do so, has no excuse for following or even stalling.
The following anecdotes and lessons about eating out are drawn from materials we look forward to publishing in my Theo-autobiography (the story of what God has done in my life), so good it has been to learn and share these things.
The Beals [acquaintances of ours] did not believe in eating pork, as it was Biblically classified as unclean. We had not yet come to that conviction, though it was clearly set forth in the Scriptures. Nevertheless, we paid some attention, partially because I had contracted a condition not long before as a result of eating pork. Well, the Lord was going to pull out yet another stop to teach us about food and where we shouldn’t be eating it….
Marilyn and I went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered baby shrimp. While eating, I thought, “These shrimp are not at all crunchy. They are very soft.” Two weeks later, we red in the Winnipeg Free Press that the restaurant had been shut down for serving breaded baby mice as shrimp.
The thought of eating mice will certainly tend to make one gag. I felt betrayed and defiled. However, the Beals pointed out that shrimp and pork are no different from mouse, dog, cat, or skunk, according to the Scriptures. God classified them all as unclean. I also remembered once having been told by someone working in a processing plant about a large percentage of pig carcasses being rejected because of parasites.
One day we dropped in on a pizza place, hungry. I like my pizza half-baked and expressly ordered it that way. It came out so well done, it was black on the edges. I had also ordered two other toppings, both of which were merely sprinkled on, but for which we paid perhaps a third again of what the pizza was worth.
When I brought the overdone part to their attention, they would do nothing about it. The owner did the waiting and was openly dismissive. We ate it, paid, and left. It was just another of several, continuous, bad experiences in restaurants.
On another occasion, Carroll and Yvonne Vance took us out for dinner, and I found pieces of glass in my food. Calling the headwaiter over, he laughed about it and did nothing. Being with the Vances, I did not press the matter. What could I do? Besides, I was far more interested in what Carroll, one gifted in prophecy from God, had to say and did not wish to be distracted from, or to disturb, him.
On yet another occasion, we were served pizza burned black, which was very unpleasant. The waiters did nothing about it, perhaps because they were very busy, seeing the church crowds were out for lunch. Besides, I think others were paying for the pizza, and I didn’t feel right about being aggressive.
Marilyn and I once took a woman, Sharon Utech, out for dinner at a pizza and pasta restaurant in Winnipeg that we had heard was popular for its food. The place was drenched in smoke. I asked for a non-smoking area, but in those days, many eating establishments would only look upon such a request like you were from another solar system. We ate, hastily left for some fresh air, and soon went home to shower. I thought, “This is not good; why should I subject myself to this?”
Once in Calgary I was served up chopped ham instead of corned beef I had expressly asked for in a Denver sandwich. It was an insult to someone who, by conviction, did not want to eat pork and had specified otherwise.
It did not occur to me that by sending the sandwich back and kindly asking for corned beef, I could be offending the chef, thus inviting unwanted unmentionables concealed in my sandwich. Paranoid? Perhaps, but we heard stories and saw documentaries of hidden cameras in restaurant kitchens; chef snot in your hamburger can’t be good.
In this exceptional case, we had invited Constable Ivor McCorkindale of the Calgary City Police to sit with us in our booth on his coffee break. Because we were bearing witness to Ivor of the Lord, I did not wish to press the issue in his presence when the sandwich returned with the ham remaining, though the waiter swore it was now corned beef. I could both see and taste the difference, which was not difficult; Ivor agreed that it was not corned beef. At that point, the Lord said to me, “Eat it; it won’t kill you.”
Seeing I was given to speak of the Lord, and seeing He told me to eat it and never mind, I have to conclude we were to be there. Therefore, this instance cannot count as one in which we were wayward by eating in restaurants, though eating in it was not pleasant.
Truly, I have had a bad attitude in these and many other things. Paul and Silas were singing and rejoicing in the Lord after being beaten, whereby the Lord wrought salvation with the jailer and his household. And I complain when I have to eat a sandwich with some pork in it? Nevertheless, it was another event of many in eating out. I see it as a “double-edged sword” experience, wherein we were to be there for the time, but a lesson for the future was also being learned.
I also did not appreciate waiters flattering and drooling over me for anticipated tips. Nor did I appreciate it when they glared at me because they thought the tips were not enough, especially when I didn’t think their service was worth anything. If they expect to be rewarded, waiting staff ought to be available and see to it that the food is satisfactory soon after being served, that the water jug and breadbasket are replenished, that we can order things overlooked during the meal, and that things aren’t burned or raw or missing. It became rather frustrating when waiters seemed to expect a tip whether they rendered satisfactory service or not, busy or not.
Often, I was the one who would find hair, glass, or something else unacceptable in my food. I always chalked it up to a poor attitude attracting trouble, like a magnet nails, and I often felt condemned. Why were these things happening to me? It took me a long time to catch on that God was not blessing us in eating out, something He had discouraged for some time.
It occurred to me that whenever I needed to eat out, having little choice except to go hungry for days, there was seldom if ever a problem. Eating out when there was no need for it, however, was invariably a recipe for frustration.
I have concluded that God does not favor restaurants, at least not for us. In thinking about it, there are many good reasons for not eating out:
One, it is not sanitary. Restaurant employees do not always wash their hands. Cooks and waiters can have colds or other pathogens. And why should strangers care about my food? They have fed me mice, pork, charcoal (made from my food), glass, hair, stale and rancid food, and leftovers, as well as careless service and contempt. Are they going to handle your food with care? I don’t think so.
Two, becoming dependent on eating out, people lose their cooking skills, which is a basic all households should have and enjoy.
Three, it is costly eating out. If people were to add up their bills for eating out and consider what they get for it, or what they could do with the money, I think many would be surprised, if not shocked. We are to be responsible stewards of what God has given us.
Many who eat out just don’t have a lot of money. Do you owe money? Are you behind in payments? Could you be paying off your debts more effectively? Stop living irresponsibly; it will never do.
“Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves another has fulfilled the Law” (Romans 13:8 MKJV).
Four, restaurants, especially fast-food joints, are notorious for lack of nutrition and unhealthy chemical inputs. Morgan Spurlock’s documentary, Super Size Me, tells it all.
Five, this is speculative, but I believe a day will come when hospitals, restaurants, and other social, public places will be directly or indirectly serving up super bugs that will cut a deadly swath through populations exposed to lack of hygiene, ignorance, and irresponsibility. It is no secret now that many are dying in hospitals because of lack of hygiene on the part of doctors and nurses.
Are restaurant employees more conscientious about your health than hospital staff? I think that getting into the habit of taking responsibility for one’s own health and food (eliminating unnecessary eating out being only one of many measures) can save one’s life. I am sure it has already done so for many.
If you have to travel, take food with you or buy organic once at your destination and eat it in your room, the lobby, a park, or wherever. I know I have learned these lessons for the good of everyone.
Do these lessons mean you can never eat out? No, but as with all things, you need to be led of the Spirit, always looking to Him for direction. Learn, it is important; you may not realize how important.
For more on the subject of eating: The Perfect Diet.