When I mention to people that the food laws instituted by God long before Moses are for our health many people refer me to Peter's vision saying that all that is changed now. This commonly held concept makes God's laws arbitrary. We sometimes joke that somehow Christ's death on the cross changed the function and design of certain animals. Hopefully you will see below that God did not show Peter that any animal was now not unclean. God made all the animals for a purpose and that purpose continues still today.
"But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common."
What did God cleanse that should no longer be called common? Also note that common does not mean the same as unclean. God does not in these verses say that He is changing something from unlcean to clean.
"Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean,"
It was not obviously apparent to Peter at this point concerning the answer to the vision. Peter knew God's Law and that it did not change! What he saw stood for something and over the next few days he would get the answer.
"While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them."
Three men arrive and Peter is told not to doubt because they have been sent. (Still nothing mentioned about having a ham sandwich.)
Let's skip on down...
"And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Judaean to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean."
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)"
There is your answer. Although this was not really new as even under the old covenant anyone could proselytize themselves to God. (Still nothing mentioned about having a ham sandwich.)
If it were the unclean animals that were changed it would have been listed in the scripture somewhere or at least when Peter explained himself in the next chapter. However it is not found and there is never any discussion anywhere in any of the rest of the Bible about unclean non-food becoming food and clean. There is discussion concerning common things. Food that was offered to idols was what was discussed. Remember that those who wrote the new had their teaching and training in the old. The definition for the word food is found in the old just like the definitions for murder and adultery are found in the old, not in the new.
1 Timothy 4:3
"forbidding to marry, saying to abstain from foods which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who 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."
Yes nothing should be refused if it has been sanctified by the word of God and prayer. The key is to understand what has been sanctified or set apart by the word of God. The word of God tells us what has been sanctified in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. The use of the word sactified tells us that there is something holy and something that is not holy. If everything and anything is now holy then the word is meaningless. However Paul used that word here and we can not ignore that. I would encourage you to learn the difference between common and unclean in scripture. Romans 14:14 is the only instance where the word koinos was translated as unclean, but should have been translated as common. Do you touch what is unclean?
In Mark 7 the word defile in verses 18 and 20 is from koinoo which means profane and is typically translated as common, not unclean. The key in Mark 7 is once again to realize that the word food (meat in KJV) has it's definition in the Old Testament. Mark 7 does not change something that was not food into food, but teaches that the eating of scriptural food, even with unwashed hands, can not defile a man. Nothing considered unclean was being discussed in Mark 7.
In Collossians 2:16 Paul mentions food which is properly understood in view of the scriptural definition. Ever notice that verse also talks about the new month celebration, a festival and the Sabbath. Paul mentions those four things as a current concern among Christians.
2 Corinthians 6:17
Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."
18 "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says YHVH Almighty."
In 2 Corinthians 12:21 Paul list several things that the Corinthians were doing without repentance. The first item was uncleaness. What was uncleaness? If we let the scripture define the word then we know they were eating unclean things. Recently we took a look at Isaiah 65 where the text says:
Isa 65:4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.
That verse can give one plenty to talk about, but lets look specifically at the word abominable. If you look in the dictionary for the word pig it says that it is of unknown source. Well perhaps this is from whence it came? Here is the Hebrew for the word abominable from Strong's.
From an unused root meaning to stink; properly fetid, that is, (figuratively) unclean (ceremonially).
I may be reading something into this, but pig-gool is rather appropriate! This may have further implications at times with the word abominable in the New Testament?
Here is Romans 14:14 correctly translated based on the Greek text.
Romans 14:14(Common should be understood as profane or contaminated.)
"I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing common of itself; but to him who considers anything to be common, to him it is common."
This article did not attempt to cover the biological reasons that fully support the avoidance of unclean things that people eat. There are approximately fifty diseases that are currently destroying the people of God. Those fifty diseases are all caused by eating that which God never considered food.
Have you ever noticed where the 1 Peter 1:16 quote at the top of the page has it's origin? It comes from Leviticus 11 and here is the full quote.
Lev 11:44 For I am Yahweh your God, and you shall sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy, for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any kind of swarming thing that swarms on the earth.
Lev 11:45 For I am Yahweh who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Lev 11:46 This is the law of the animals, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that swarms on the earth,
Lev 11:47 to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the creature that may be eaten and the creature that may not be eaten.
Based only on the scripture I would suggest that there is a definite link between being holy and not eating things that are not food. The definition for the word food in the new testament is found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy!