THE PIG... IS UNCLEAN TO YOU: "Nowadays, in modern
hygienic farms, pigs can be reared without the historically important diseases
such as the pork tape worm and the round worm Trichinella spiralis. But in the
wilderness setting, as in any uncontrolled environment, the habit of pigs of
eating waste and carrion means that they are a considerable risk as food
animals. Another disease, trichinosis, is common in parts of the world, and the
major culprit is undercooked pork or wild boar. This disease can be fatal" (SP,
Tes 71:205). Cp Deu 14:8.
Thus is the wisdom of the Law of Moses seen, in this as in
many other particulars -- a wisdom far beyond what might be expected for its
day, from any scientific viewpoint. The only real explanation for such
"enlightened" laws in ancient times is that they came -- not from man -- but
from God Himself.
We are "washed by the water of the word", and are unclean
until the "evening" of Gentile times!
Vv 31-40: "In these passages there is a clear recognition that
the carcasses of diseased animals can transmit 'uncleanness' to anything which
they come into contact with, and that these secondarily contaminated objects can
also transmit 'uncleanness' " (SP, Tes 71:205). Cp Num 19:11-16.
GROUND... BELLY: Among the animals forbidden for food
were "any creature that moves about on the ground, whether it moves on its belly
or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is detestable." Since "nothing is
unclean of itself" (1Ti 4:4; Rom 14:14,20; Mar 7:15), it may reasonably be
concluded that -- when God designated certain creatures as "unclean" under the
Law of Moses -- He intended so to teach moral lessons. But what lesson is being
taught by Lev 11:42?
This verse is an obvious allusion back to the curse upon the
serpent in the Garden: "You will crawl on your belly" (Gen 3:14). The serpent
indirectly brought sin into the world, though without question the moral offence
of Eve and Adam was greater than his -- they being "under law". The sin of our
first parents was crystallized in a change of nature, and of relationship to the
Father and the angels. Thereafter, it appears that their minds would be inclined
toward the sin which they had willingly embraced.
This mind of the flesh, or "serpent" mind, has been inherited
by all their descendants. It is a frame of mind characterized by thinking
according to the natural desires, rather than the spiritual guidelines of God's
word. This is an "abomination"; any man who lets the flesh take over his mind is
"going upon his belly"! He is letting the grosser, more materialistic impulses
-- his "belly" -- crowd out and choke the Spirit-mind that a concentration upon
Scripture could cultivate. Such a state of mind, if persisted in, will at last
bring the curse of Eden upon its holders -- death without remedy!
In similar language, Paul speaks of such "natural" men -- and
he describes the moral equivalent of this Mosaic "abomination": "The first man
was of the dust of the earth" (1Co 15:47). Adam was created from the dust, and
when he submitted to sin and its consequences, he was in a sense returning to
that dust -- going upon his "belly" and "feeding" upon the dust (Gen 3:14).
Likewise, Paul says, "For, as I have often told you before and now say again
even with tears, many live [or 'walk': AV] as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach [or 'belly': AV], and
their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things" (Phi 3:18,19).
These men were nominally brethren of Christ -- that's the implication of Paul's
"live" or "walk". But their lifestyles had made them "enemies" of the cross!
The cross was the means by which Christ had conclusively put
to death the lusts of the flesh, and it is the invitation and challenge to us to
do the same: to crucify "the world" (Gal 6:14) within ourselves. Any who aspire
to put on the name of Christ, yet make no meaningful attempt to live as he did,
are really his "enemies" and not his friends. They profess friendship, but their
actions make them liars. Their God is not Yahweh -- it is their "belly"; their
mind is not on heavenly, spiritual things -- but on earthly, sensual things.
They see all the enticements of the world. Like Eve did with the fruit of the
tree, they desire, they take, and they "enjoy" -- like the serpent, "their
destiny is destruction".
BE HOLY, BECAUSE I AM HOLY: "If we are to attain to the
Kingdom of God, and to a condition of eternal usefulness to God, we must in this
life lift our minds to an entirely new plane of consciousness and thinking: to
the plane of holiness -- far above the natural, animal desires and interests of
the flesh. Holiness is Beauty: the Beauty of Holiness: all else is ugliness.
Holiness is Separateness and Purity: a Separate Purity: a Pure Separateness. The
mental food that creates the transformation of our minds from natural
repulsiveness to spiritual attractiveness is the Spirit-Word, continuously and
liberally indulged in. 'Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.' Naturally,
we are the very opposite of holy. To become so, more and more, is life's
purpose: its ONLY purpose. Any time spent that does not contribute to this is
precious divine time wasted: unfaithful stewardship. 'Perfecting holiness in the
fear of the Lord' is a large enough command, and a high enough ambition, to
completely fill any lifetime. With God's bountiful and loving help, lift your
mind above all natural childishness and foolishness, all interest in worldly
things, all unclean fleshly habits and thoughts, all of the ugliness of the
flesh, as anger, impatience, harshness, unkindness, selfishness, lack of
sympathy and compassion and healing, forgiving love. 'Be ye holy, even as God is
holy.' What a joy! What a revelation! What a beautiful, noble company! 'Worship
the Lord in the beauty of holiness!' " (GVG).