DOES ISAIAH 22:12-14 TEACH THAT EATING MEAT IS A SIN?
This is the result of a Bible study I did when I was told that Isaiah 22:12-14 teaches that eating meat is a sin:
"Thank you so much for explaining to me a little more about SDARM (Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement). I appreciate it greatly as you can never quite get an accurate view of an organization by asking someone who opposes it. (e.g. you would not get a clear understanding of Adventist teaching if you asked an ex-Adventist, you would not get a clear understanding of JW teaching if you asked an ex-JW.) The best way to get a clear understanding of what a church teaches is by asking those that believe it.
Anyway, I'll stick to one point and that's the one about eating meat being a sin. I cannot accept that doctrine and these are the reasons:
'And in that day the Lord GOD of hosts
Called for weeping and for mourning,
For baldness and for girding with sackcloth.
But instead, joy and gladness,
Slaying oxen and killing sheep,
Eating meat and drinking wine:
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
Then it was revealed in my hearing by the LORD of hosts,
“Surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you,
Even to your death,” says the Lord GOD of hosts."'
This passage does not declare that eating meat is a sin. God said these people had committed iniquity...but the question is how?
The passage tells us of 6 things these people did: 1) were joyful, 2) had gladness, 3) slayed oxen, 4) killed sheep, 5) ate meat, and 6) drank wine.
If we conclude that it was their actions alone that were the iniquity, we must then believe it a sin to be joyful, have gladness, slay oxen, kill sheep, eat meat and drink wine.
We know that it is not a sin to be joyful, we know that is is not a sin to be glad...for the Bible tells us to be these things. "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalm 118:24 (and 1 Thes 5:16, etc)
We know that slaying oxen and killing sheep is not a sin...for God commanded such things. "When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the LORD." Lev. 22:27, etc.
Since the Bible is clear that it was not their specific actions that were the iniquity...what was it?
The answer is found in the very first words of the passage...the very first verse... "And in that day the Lord GOD of hosts Called for weeping and for mourning, For baldness and for girding with sackcloth." - Isaiah 22:12
God had told the people that it was a time for repentance and sorrow...He "called" for it, and yet the people did not obey His voice.
In spite of what He had called for, they turned their backs and said, "Hey, since He is going to destroy us anyway, we might as well live it up and have fun while we still can!" And they did not repent.
"And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: 'Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die.'" - Isaiah 22:13
If we look at what the Bible tells us...we see that these people turned their back on God, refusing to repent of their sins and choosing instead to indulge and party as long as they could until their punishment came. And this is why God then said...
"And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts." - Isaiah 22:14
They would not turn away from their sinfulness, would not repent and seek God, even 'til their death.
That is only a deeper look at the passage of Isaiah 22:12-14...but here is the true reason we cannot accept that eating meat is a sin:
If God declared in the days of Isaiah that eating meat is a sin...we must then conclude that Jesus Christ sinned by eating fish, and caused others to sin by giving them fish to eat.
"But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence." - Luke 24:41-43
"And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. So they all ate and were filled." - Mark 6:41, 42
It is the little twists on Bible truths, even to teach a good thing like vegetarianism, that may seem harmless but have terrible consequences when brought to their logical conclusion. We have to be ever so careful when believing a "Bible doctrine" that it is truly what the Bible teaches, plain the clear, without any man's thoughts applied to the texts.
When we say that "The Bible teaches..." we are treading on holy ground, for the Bible is the word of God Himself and we dare not put words in God's mouth or declare that He teaches something that He truly does not.
Again, I want to thank you so much for what you've shared with me about SDARM doctrines...it has helped a great deal, and I have more studying to do on some of these things, in particular the Battle of Armageddon. God bless you!