Many years after the resurrection and ascension of Christ, Peter, while praying in Joppa, had a vision of a great sheet that was tied together at the four corners. That sheet, full of all kinds of unclean animals, was being let down from heaven to Earth, and we are told that Peter heard a voice telling him to kill and eat. In Peter’s mind, he was being told to do something that he knew was in absolute violation of the dietary laws set forth in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Three times he refused to do so, stating: Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. He knew that God does not change His mind; and that there was something that he did not understand about the vision.
What Peter found out later was that the vision had nothing to do with eating unclean animals but rather with preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, people of other nations, who, up until that time, were considered common and unclean to the extent that it was unlawful for a Jew to keep company with them. Peter was shown that God is no respecter of persons and that every nation that fears Him and seeks righteousness is accepted with Him.
The Bible is specific in regard to swine’s flesh. It is not to be eaten. The carcasses of those animals are not even to be touched: Leviticus 11:7-8. For those of the Muslim faith, the teachings of the Quran are no less specific. Muslims and Jews agree with Saint Peter; however, based on Peter’s vision, many Christians now believe that unclean animals can be eaten without consequence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many diseases are known to be contracted from contact with pigs, including the infamous swine influenza viral infection.
History records that around the year 167 B.C. Antiochus IV Epiphanes attempted to Hellenize the Jews and put an end to Judaism by sacrificing a pig on the altar in Jerusalem. Not only was the sacrifice of a pig the most defiling thing imaginable to the Jews, but it was also a demonstration of Antiochus’ devotion to the pagan gods by way of the sacrifice of votive pigs.
It is interesting to note that Antiochus’ original name was Mithradates, a name directly associated with the worship of Mithra, the chief rival of Christianity in the Roman Empire during the first centuries A.D. (See “Time is the Ally of Deceit,” Part 3.)
In the book of Ezekiel we find reference to the abominable practice of women weeping for Tammuz. According to some mythological accounts, Tammuz or Adonis, was killed by a wild boar, and many scholars believe that the eating of pork at the time of Easter and Christmas can be traced directly to that pagan tradition. (See “Time is the Ally of Deceit,” Part 2.)
Another reference to the eating of swine’s flesh is found in Isaiah 66. In reference to future events, the prophet tells us:
[T]he LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
Speaking in parables, Jesus warned: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. He later cast unclean spirits into a herd of swine that ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
Clean and unclean
The first biblical mention of animals that are clean, and those that are not, is found in the book of Genesis, the very first book of the Bible. Noah was told to bring seven pairs of clean animals aboard the Ark and only two pairs of those that were not clean. Today, many Christians have been led to believe that the instructions regarding unclean animals were intended “just for the Jews,” but here we find that Noah knew all about clean and unclean animals at a time thousands of years before the Kingdom of Judah was established.
Muslims and Jews may disagree with many aspects of Peter’s faith, but when it comes to clean and unclean animals they are in total agreement. Kill and eat? – Not so! The Bible clearly warns of contact with unclean animals, yet the majority of mankind has chosen to disregard that warning.
Today, swine flu is making headlines around the world. After a great deal of scientific research, it has been determined that contact with pigs may result in human disease, a fact that was recorded in scripture thousands of years ago. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine. … 2 Timothy 3:16