Acts 15:20 and 29, Gentile Christians can eat unclean things but not blood or…

Deuteronomy/D’varim 5:29 – Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!

Much controversy surrounds Acts 15:20 and 29 and Acts 21:25. If CHRIST stood in front of you and said for you to not eat meat unless it had been slaughtered to have the blood drained from it or not to eat meat offered to idols/false gods, would you obey? What many do not understand from Acts 15 is that the Gentile believers in CHRIST were having a hard time following all of the ways the Jewish believers were following which included circumcision, not eating unclean things [pork, shellfish, fish without scales, turtles, snails, frogs, etc. – see Leviticus/Wayikra 11 and Deuteronomy/D’varim 14], not committing fornication [see links below under “root words of porneia”], not eating blood or strangled things [either not slaughtering to get the blood out or outright eating/drinking blood], not eating food offered to idols [either slaughtered to other gods or part of a celebration or altar to another god] and probably other things as well. The ways of the Gentiles was not set-apart/qadosh/holy like the Hebrews who had been given the Way of YHWH [the LORD].

The Gentile believers were wanting things less hard for themselves. The HOLY [SET-APART] SPIRIT was in agreement with Peter and James, and the rest of the apostles and elders in Jerusalem/Yerushalayim. Acts 15:28, “For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you NO GREATER BURDEN THAN THESE.”. What some do not realize is that this gave the Gentile believers permission not only to abstain from circumcision but also permission to eat unclean things! But, the unclean things with blood would need to be slaughtered to get the blood out and they could not be strangled! This means that all animals or birds hunted should be dropped alive and then slaughtered to get the blood out! This link: is to a detailed study concerning the not eating blood issue in Acts. This link: is to a detailed study on not eating food offered to idols.

On the unclean list are many scavengers, carrion eaters, and predators who eat dead and decaying and many weak and diseased creatures. Water bottom dwellers eat what is decayed and even sewage. All these creatures clean things up so do we really want to eat them? The wisdom behind the command of ELOHIM’S [Hebrew word for GOD and who I believe is FATHER/SON/HOLY SPIRIT] is revealed by science. Science has shown that while there are nutrients in these creatures, there is also evidence of them causing inflammation to our bodies. Inflammation is a precursor to cancer! They also harbor parasites, bacteria, viruses, and plagues [swine flu]! ELOHIM wants us to be disciplined enough to make good, healthy choices and HE has much wisdom to live by in Scripture including HIS commands! We need to overcome our flesh and choose HIS Way over ours!

I thank our FATHER/ABBA in Heaven for opening my eyes concerning not eating meat with blood in it and not eating meat slaughtered to another god when I was in Israel. I do not believe the meat needs to be blessed by a rabbi but it does need to be slaughtered the proper way to get blood out which some Christian slaughter houses do as well. This is a more peaceful and healthier death for the animal, too. There were many times I wanted to eat at Arab restaurants when in Israel because the meat smelled so good but I never got to. I know now that ABBA was protecting me. I confessed and repented and asked for CHRIST’S blood to wash me clean after the knowledge of the truth was revealed to me. I try my best to not eat anything containing meat or meat broth unless I know it is slaughtered to get blood out and I know it is not slaughtered to another god. I ask questions about dishes before I eat them and ELOHIM has protected me too, thank and praise and bless HIS NAME!!! It is a little more work and sometimes my choices are very limited but I choose to obey. Lard or animal fat should not be eaten either or organs unless slaughtered correctly.

A big problem in regards to some of the correct understanding of the above lies in discerning the truth in Scripture about Paul and what he said. Paul and Barnabas went up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders concerning the matter of circumcision, Acts 15:2. This means that Paul was not in authority to make these decisions! In Acts 15:22-23, the apostles and elders along with the whole church, chose leaders Judah/Barsabas and Silas to accompany Paul and Barnabas and to bring a letter of the decision to the Gentile believers. Again, this shows who is in authority and who is subject to authority! There are some who believe that Paul had no one in authority over him and they cite verses of Paul’s that seem to contradict Acts 15:20, 29 and 21:25, such as Romans 14. Acts 15:2, 22-23 show conclusively who had authority and who did not!

Galatians 2 is sad comparing the words used to those in Acts 15. Galatians 2:4-5 belittles the Jewish believers mentioned in Acts 15:1-2. Galatians 2:6-9 comes across as a put down of the elders and apostles in Jerusalem talked about in Acts 15. Galatians 2:7-8 contradicts Acts 15:7 and Galatians 2:11-21 makes me want to have testimony from Peter to corroborate. Peter was adamant in Acts 10:14 about never having eaten anything unclean which the verses in Galatians insinuates. The verses in Galatians 2: 11-21 also seem to mock the decision made in Acts 15:20 and 29. In 1 Corinthians 10:33 and Galatians 1:10, Paul contradicts himself. I have heard from others concerning various beliefs about Paul which would need to be addressed in another study. I believe Paul was a good person and obviously did much and went through much but he erred as others in Scripture did.

Below are key verses from Acts 15, but please read the whole chapter.

Acts 15:1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers,  “Unless you are circumcised [peritemno – see below] according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 7 And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 19 Therefore my judgment [this is James talking after Peter spoke] is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles [this is referring to the Gentile believers not the believers who were Jewish/Hebrews] who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted [contaminated/condemned] by idols [eidolon – see below], and from sexual immorality/fornication [porneia – see below], and from what has been strangled [pniktos – see below], and from blood [haima – see below]. 22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers, 23 with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these. requirements [these words are the key]: 29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

Strong’s G4059 – peritemnō

  1. to cut around

  2. to circumcise

    1. cut off one’s prepuce (used of that well known rite by which not only the male children of the Israelites, on the eighth day after birth, but subsequently also “proselytes of righteousness” were consecrated to Jehovah and introduced into the number of his people)

    2. to get one’s self circumcised, present one’s self to be circumcised, receive circumcision

    3. since by the rite of circumcision a man was separated from the unclean world and dedicated to God, the word is transferred to denote the “extinguishing of lusts and the removal of sins”. [this last part is interesting]

Strong’s G1497 – eidōlon

  1. an image, likeness

    1. i.e. whatever represents the form of an object, either real or imaginary

    2. used of the shades of the departed, apparitions, spectres, phantoms of the mind, etc.

  2. the image of an heathen god

  3. a false god

Strong’s G4202 – porneia

  1. illicit sexual intercourse

    1. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.

    2. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18

    3. sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12

  2. metaph. the worship of idols

    1. of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

Below are the root words behind, porneia:

Strong’s G4156 – pniktos

  1. suffocate, strangled

    1. what is strangled, i.e. an animal deprived of life without the shedding of blood

    2. of cooking: our “smothered” as a culinary term

Strong’s G129 – haima

  1. blood

    1. of man or animals

    2. refers to the seat of life

    3. of those things that resemble blood, grape juice

  2. blood shed, to be shed by violence, slay, murder

All believers have free will. Gentile believers still have a choice. We all can choose to what levels we obey ELOHIM. Instead of trying to find a way out of doing something HE commands, decide that HE must be doing it for our good because HE is GOOD or dig into it and discover what the good reason is! Ask HIM for help in overcoming any obstacle to obeying! Remember that ELOHIM knows HIS whole creation inside and out and HE knows HIS enemy. We might like to believe we know enough but we are not ELOHIM. If HE said not to do something HE has a big reason for it!