The Bible Reason for Vegetarianism

By John Thiel

Isaiah 22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: 13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die. 14 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. 

The Bible says we are to refuse nothing that by way of God has created for us to enjoy:

1 Timothy 3:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 

We are clearly told what is the food God has created as nourishment for his human creatures:

Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed: to you it shall be for meat (food).  

The word meats g1033 in Strongs concorndance is βρωμάτων βρῶμα brōma in Greek. (neuter, plural, genitive) means “of, from foods” (1 Timothy 4:3).

After sin entered:

Genesis 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 

At his creation, food for humans was fruits, grains & nuts.  Herbs were created for animals.

Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat (food): and it was so.

Notice how God said it shall be for meat which means food.  Strictly speaking only these were created for food. Although God permitted eating of flesh after the flood:

Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat (food) for you; even as the green herb [vegetable] have I given you all things.  4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 

This was by no means the purpose of creating living creatures – it was clearly a circumstantial provision due to the chaos created by sin and the flood. When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt to the land flowing with milk and honey he was tentatively educating them for a vegetarian life there in the wilderness travels.  He started with Manna and Quails.

Exodus 16:12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread: and ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God. 13 And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the camp. 14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness a small round thing, small as the hoar-frost on the ground. 15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, What is it? For they knew not what it was. And Moses said unto them, It is the bread which Jehovah hath given you to eat. 16 This is the thing which Jehovah hath commanded, Gather ye of it every man according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, shall ye take it, every man for them that are in his tent.

Then they continued with Manna only. After a while they complained –

Numbers 11:4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? 5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: 6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

Note Gods way of dealing with it.

Numbers 11:18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. 19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;
20 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt? 

Number 11:31 And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague. 34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. 

Why was He so wrathful on them?

Psalm 78:22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: 23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, 24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. 25 Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full. 26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. 27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: 28 And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations. 29 So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire; 30 They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, 31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. 32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. 

Meat eating was only originally a circumstantial stop gap measure – but it became a desirable indulgence which when it is removed, people lust after, and that makes God angry.

1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

Food was made for our nourishment – not lustful indulgence.

Psalm 104:27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.  28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. 

The counsel.

Ecclesiastes 10:17 Blessed are thou, O land, when they king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength and not for drunkeness!  

When God supplies us with ample food which He has created as food – then eating meat is an unnecessary indulgence.  Much more at a time when he calls for restraint as in spiritual self-examination and affliction, meat eating is a definite exclusion.

Daniel Gives the Example

Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. 2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Isaiah is inspired by God to reveal this principle.

Isaiah 22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: 13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die. 14 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. 

The quotation of Isaiah 22 is a prophetic foresight to a specific time (‘in that day’) – this is further continued in verses 20 – 22.

Isaiah 22:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah. 21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. 22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. 

When is that? Compare verse 22 with Revelation 3:7,8.

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 

The church period of Philadelphia was from 1833 to 1844 – the announcement time of Jesus entering into His final work of mediation in the Sanctuary in heaven – moving from the Holy place into the Most Holy Place: Symbolised by the day of atonement in the Hebrew Sanctuary.  This day of atonement was a day of fasting and deep heart searching.  This is what God means in Isaiah 22:20-22 & 12-14.  In that day when Jesus leaves the holy place and enters into the Most Holy Place – all Gods people are to eat only for nourishment and not for drunkenness.  If they ignore this day of judgement and indulge in lustful joy and gladness eating, to satisfy appetite only, their judgement is expressed – That sin shall not be purged.

All true believers who are aware of the truth of Jesus’ meditation in the heavenly sanctuary, have the Bible reason for vegetarianism clear and do not eat flesh or any nature of alcohol/strong drink.

In these closing chapters of earth’s history, God is calling a people to build up his original institutions ordained in Eden.  The original diet is one of these which even after sin entered, is still the best diet for mankind.

Isaiah 58:12 They that shall be of the shall build up the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

Vegetarianism – A Test of Fellowship

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Posted on 20/08/2009, in Health Studies, Vegetarianism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. thank you for these sermons.i need to know if non vegetarians will go to heaven or not.Is eating flesh a sin?aven or not.Is eating flesh a sin?

    • Isaiah 22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:
      22:13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.
      22:14 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.

  2. Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that [there is] nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him [it is] unclean.

    This is talking about everything God has said we can eat. What he CREATED for food in Eden. This is talking about people who are picky with food, don’t argue with them.

    1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:


    we are to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. the faith of the Adventist pioneers who support this. Read Stephen Haskells books as speaks about Isaiah 22 and eating clean meats in the antitypical day of atonement as a sin that will not be purged.

  3. You realize that what you are saying is that Jesus followed God’s permissive not perfect will.

  4. So why did Jesus feed the multitude with loaves and FISHES?

    • Renee Bushor

      Jesus Ate Fish Explanation


      Yes, it is true that Jesus probably ate fish when He was here upon earth…..however, would He do the same today? Fish are contaminated with mercury, aluminum & toxic waste from industrial/chemical/sewage pollution of our waters. Eating meat was not a sin…as long as the fat and the blood are removed. However, the eating of it and the eggs and dairy products as well is just not a healthy choice….especially with all the disease in the animal kingdom, like mad cow, and then there’s the growth hormones, antibiotics they shoot in them, etc.

      Also, it is clear that God is trying to lead His people back to the original diet that He gave them at Creation as stated in Gen. 1:29. I refer you to Isaiah 65 and 66 where it mentions God’s condemnation of those that eat swine’s flesh and other unclean things. (Isaiah 65:1-5) and also that those who eat swine’s flesh and other unclean things will be destroyed by Him at His second coming (Isaiah 66:15-17). Then, in Isaiah 65:17-25 a description of the new heavens and the new earth is given…..and it says in Isaiah 65:25 that the animals will not hurt or destroy one another anymore…it denotes also a change in their diet. Well, if there is change in their diet how much more in ours. Read what God says in Ezekiel 47:12 and Rev. 22:2. That is a description of what our food will be in heaven and the new earth. We will be eating from the tree of life (fruit)….there will be no flesh eating!

      The only reason God allowed the eating of meat in the first place was because of the flood…all the vegetation had been destroyed and it took some time for the earth to be replenished. The eating of flesh foods was given as a temporary measure until the vegetation could grow back again. God never meant for man to subsist on a flesh diet indefinitely, but God’s people got hooked on it….probably because many were possibly disobeying and eating the blood & fat as well!! And, even though God allowed the eating of meat til the vegetation grew back, He still gave restrictions… fat, no blood, and no unclean animals to be eaten. See Lev. 3:17 because it mentions both the fat and the blood in the same text. Also Lev. 7:23-24 (no fat) and Lev. 17:10-14 & Act 15:20 (no blood); then a list of all the unclean beasts, fish, fowl, reptiles, creeping things, etc. that are not to be eaten are given in Lev. 11 and Deut. 14. God calls these creatures an “abomination” unto us. And, then there is the scripture in 1 Cor. 3:16, 17.

      Also what about the wilderness experience of the Israelites….where they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years before entering Canaan, the Promised Land. God rained down manna for them to eat every day (and a double portion on Friday, as they were not permitted to gather it on Sabbath). If flesh food was the best food, don’t you think that is what God would have provided for them? But, He didn’t. And, then they murmured and complained & were not satisfied with what God had provided. They had gotten used to the “flesh pots” of Egypt and were hollering for their meat!! So, God gave them what they were hollering for….he rained down quail for them to eat. In fact, it says that God told them He wasn’t going to give it to them for just one day, two days or five days…..but He would give it to them for a whole month “until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you.” And, the scriptures also say that God’s wrath was kindled against them (for their murmuring & discontent) and He smote them with a very great plague!! The scripture states that they died with that stuff between their teeth!!! Read the entire chapters of Exodus 16 and Numbers 11 and you will get the picture very clearly. See also Psalms 78:25 – 31. Actually, the whole chapter of Psalms 78 gives a clear picture of God’s patience, and Israel’s continual sin, discontent, and rebellion. When you read these 3 chapters in context, it is clear that God’s wrath and the plague that followed were due to their murmuring about what they were being provided as food.

      “After the flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And He permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to SHORTEN their sinful lives. Soon after the flood the race began to rapidly decrease in size, and in length of years.” CD 373

      The life span was drastically shortened after the flood when man was permitted to eat meat. Genesis 11:10-32, 25:7, 35:28, 47:28, and 50:26

    • Le traducteur

      Thank you, Sister Renee, for your clear addition. We can agree 100% with what you have shared from the word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy.
      May the Lord bless you.

    • Renee Bushor

      You’re welcome and all praise to God.:)

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