The verses below from the book of Isaiah make it sound like we are supposed to keep the Sabath and abstain from unclean meats. Can you explain these verses please?
Isa 56:2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
Isa 56:6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
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;
Isa 65:5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in
my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
These are very good questions. What you’re really asking about is the difference between the Law of Moses and the Law of the Spirit. Mike has written a paper that covers this topic in great detail:
Here is an audio recording, the article is quite long:
Law of Moses Audio
I’ll also give you a brief answer below.
The vision that the Lord gives peter in the book of Acts directly addresses the issue of clean an unclean meats.
Act 10:9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city,
Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
Act 10:10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready,
he fell into a trance,
Act 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had
been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
Act 10:12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and
creeping things, and fowls of the air.
Act 10:13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
Act 10:14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is
common or unclean.
Act 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed,
that call not thou common.
Peter was a good law keeping Jew and had never eaten anything that God had told him was unclean. Prior to this vision, Peter was not aware that all of the laws given to him in the Old Covenant were merely types and shadows of the spiritual reality to come.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
So Peter was brought to Christ by the law and then….
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
So after faith is revealed, the Law of Moses is replaced by the Law of Christ.
The vision in Acts 10 is a great example. God is not concerned with what kinds of meat we eat any more that he is concerned with physical sacrifices or not doing physical labor one specific day called the Sabbath.
Psa 51:16 NKJV For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
Psa 51:17 NKJV The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
We also see Christ healing on the Sabbath and defending his disciples for picking grain on the Sabbath.
Luk 13:14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on
the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them
therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
Mar 2:23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples
began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
Mar 2:24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
Mar 2:25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an
hungred, he, and they that were with him?
Mar 2:26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the
shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
Mar 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Mar 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
God is making the point that no animal is unclean under the New Covenant, and one day is not different from any other. The Old Covenant was merely a type and a shadow of the spiritual things to come. Paul also states that nothing is unclean of itself.
Rom 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.
Here it is said a different way.
Tit 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and
unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
There is a spiritual meaning of clean and unclean meats as well as the Sabbath, which is the reality that the Old Covenant foreshadows.
First of all we are beasts, and the animals that we are to eat are are a parable about how we are to behave.
Ecc 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Here are the qualities of a clean animal:
Lev 11:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them,
Lev 11:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
Lev 11:3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
1. A hoof split into two parts
2. Chews the cud
1. A split hoof is a witness to God’s word pressed into the earth.
Mat 26:60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, [yet] found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
2Co 13:1 This [is] the third [time] I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth
So a clean animal is a witness to all the earth.
Jer 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in
Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2. Chewing the cud is a symbol for meditation on the word of God.
The word of God is called bread, which is our food that we must think on over and over just as a clean animal
chews the cud.
1Ti 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may
appear to all.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and
Observing the Sabbath is about resting in Christ, and waiting upon the Lord for salvation.
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Psa 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the
Isa 40:30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as
eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
All of Law of Moses is but a shadow of the good things to come.
Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can
never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
So once we come to understand this truth, we not longer concern ourselves with the Old Covenant because we
are now under the New Covenant, the Law of the Spirit.
I hope this helps,