IN THE BEGINNING
The Bible does encourage a vegan diet, and in fact, a strong case can be made for the children of God in the last days returning to a vegan diet before the end of days. God created the heavens and the earth, He made man to dwell upon the earth in perfect conditions, perfectly suited for his development and joy,
learning more intimately about his Creator and holding closest communion to Him. When God formed man and planted him in the garden of Eden on the sixth day of creation, he had already created the earth and everything else necessary for sustainable, joyful living.
On the third day, Infinite Wisdom ordained man’s diet: “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth: and it was so…And God saw that it was good.” And that diet He ordained was a vegan diet. Yes, Adam & Eve had a vegan diet.
“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 which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” (Gen. 1:29) Yet, ever since Adam & Eve ate from the forbidden tree, a knowledge of evil, with it’s guilt and selfishness, has been opened to them; it was in a perfect diet that our first-parents found they highest joys, and it was in departing from it, that disease and death came in like a flood.
Yet it is God’s will that His people would live and not die, and “above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2) In delivering His people out of the land of Egypt, the land of their captivity, He promised: “And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you have known, upon you…” (Deut. 7:15) How did He bless His people to take away the diseases that they had? He fed them a vegan diet of manna, “the wheat of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food, He gave them meat to the full.”
The meat God gave to man in the beginning is the Hebrew word for “food”, and the “meat” given to the Israelites was the same. It was the Creator’s plan to restore health and life to His people. When He brought them into the promised land, “a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey”; He gave His word to “make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD” (Isaiah 51:3); but they rebelled against Him and broke His commandments.
They began to erect the gods of Babylonia and the knowledge of God and truth was being swept from the land. The God of heaven pleaded with His people and “sent to them by His messengers…because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets…until there was no remedy.” (2 Chronicles 36:15-16) But what does this have to do with a vegan diet, you may be asking. Read on and see.
When under an emergency, God is left with only so many options for a people who exercise their freedom to rebel against Him. In order to preserve His people and His truth, He let the people reap what they sowed. They desired the gods of Babylon that were powerless to save and protect, and would find no place for compassion for them. Therefore, the protecting hand of God was removed from His people.
As a result, the Babylon Empire, under it’s king, Nebuchadnezzar, besieged Jerusalem and took captive it’s princes. Jerusalem refused to submit under ancient Babylon’s rule, therefore it was utterly thrown down, stone upon stone. Country upon country fell under ancient Babylon’s dominion until the empire of Babylon was worldwide in it’s extent.
THE CAPTIVE’S TREASURE:
This is where we find the book of Daniel. The king of the Babylonian empire exercised wisdom to have the best men of every country secured for him to be the elite of his empire. Therefore he sought “children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the books and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” (Daniel 1:4)
Those who had ability to stand before the king would cease to speak their mother tongue. They would learn the language of the Chaldeans (the Babylonians). They would learn no more from their own literature; the histories and the Babylon bible, their sacred texts, with the learning and customs of the gods of Babylon were taught. Thus would the captives be absorbed into the culture of Babylon, and learn to worship their gods.
All who were taught to stand before the king were not to overthrow him and to have their posterity rule, therefore everyone who would stand in the king’s palace were made eunuchs, that they might not have children; thus largely destroying the captives hope of passing on his name. While the Babylonian crown could perpetuate their legacy, all foreign captives were not permitted to multiply and overtake the throne.
Among those taken captive and made eunuchs were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, of the Jews; “Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, of Shadrach; to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.” (Daniel 1:7) Why were their names changed? This too was a process of Babylonian indoctrination.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF NAMES IN CULTURE
All of God’s people since the formation of Adam had name meanings which identified them; the names of these Hebrews were no exception to this. Daniel’s name meant “God is my Judge”; Hananiah meant “YAH [God] is gracious”; Mishael meant “Who is equal to God?”; Azariah meant “YAH [God] has helped”. Thus named, the God of Israel was to be remembered, and not forgotten. Their parents having intended for them that their identities should be bound to the God of heaven when so many of their own nation were forgetting them.
However, Nebuchadnezzar was pleased that they should forget all gods but his. We are told in Daniel 4:8 that Nebuchadnezzar named Daniel “Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god”; thus would they forget their identities. Belteshazzar meant “Bel [Ba’alzebub]’s captive treasure”; Abednego meant “Servent of Nebo”.
The Babylonian god Bel was the father of the god Nebo, while the goddess Ishtar was the mother of Nebo, called “the Queen of heaven” (Jer. 7:18); this trinity of gods was depicted on the outer walls surrounding ancient Babylon. It was the worship of these gods that filled the measure of guilt in the Jewish nation to overflowing (Isaiah 46:1-9).
Consider how hopeless the case seemed. Driven out of your home, separated from family and friends, made eunuchs, enrolled into the school of Babylon, and named after the gods of Babylon. No Bible now; the precious opportunities to become acquainted with the true God of the Scriptures is has sifted through your fingertips. How will you hold on? How will these Hebrews preserve their knowledge and worship of the one true God? Thankfully, we are instructed by Daniel’s example of how.
THE DANIEL FAST
We are told of the diet that the king Nebuchadnezzar was going to give them sharply contrasted the vegan diet instituted at creation for man, and is not dissimilar to the standard North American diet. “The king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king…But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:5, 8)
It was enough for Daniel to have gone through the terrible ordeal he went through, and he purposed that he would not let this last dignity be seized from him. His request was that he might refuse the king’s meat and drink, which request could place a servant’s life at considerable risk. But there were several great problems with this diet that the Hebrews were well acquainted with, and why Daniel objected.
THE KING’S MEAT
The Hebrews sacredly guarded the account of creation and their Creator before their rebellion. They were aware of the diet appointed for man by the King of the universe; and the daily provision He gave them from heaven in the wilderness. Further than this, they were instructed in the law not eat animals which were unclean, not only ceremonially, but also intrinsically.
Every animal that was carnivorous, feeding on dead and diseased animals, God declared as unclean. It was swine that the heathens would often sacrifice to their gods, and it was the meat sacrificed to their gods that the priests and royals would feed on. When going through the law of God, it declares all these as unclean, and states clearly: “ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves…” (Levi. 11:44)
In not defiling himself, Daniel said in his heart “My God is holy, His law is holy; my body is His, and I shall be sanctified.” This was a declaration from Daniel saying “I will not partake of the sacrifices of the gods of Babylon. How can I sin against my God?”
THE WINE OF BABYLON
But even further telling was his rejection of the wine of the king. Fermented wine was regarded with sober thought amongst the Israelites. Anciently, two of the Levitical priests of the Hebrews took common coals of fire into their censor to offer prayer. Does this sound like a sin to you? It might if you knew that the sacrifice on the altar of the Levitical temple was where the coals were lifted from to be placed in the censor. But those coals of fire were lit from the very fire of God’s presence, and were kept burning continually without ceasing.
Thus it was holy fire that accepted the sacrifice which bore the sins of the people. That sacrifice represented Jesus. The fire symbolizing that God’s presence consumes sin and accepts Christ in our place. Therefore, to take common fire, not from God’s presence, and not representing Christ, the sin-bearing sacrifice, was a great offense. These priests approached the presence of God in this manner, without the sacrifice of Christ, and the fire which consumed the sacrifice consumed them in it’s place.
Why did they go into God’s presence without holy fire, symbolizing the blood of Christ? Because they drank heavily of fermented wine.
The Drunken Sin
“Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD… The LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink… when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: … that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.” (Leviticus 10:1-10)
The priests needed to teach the ways of God, and show a clear difference between the holy and unholy. Yet if their minds became intoxicated, this would assist in forgetting the commandments of God and deceiving those who partake of it. The common people, who handled nothing holy, were not given so strict instructions, but were taught by the priests against it’s use if they would not sin against the God of heaven (Prov. 20:1).
Daniel knew if he partook of the wine, he couldn’t discern or remember the ways of his God, but would surely cut the cords of remembrance that he desperately required. Therefore, to abide in the presence and protection of God continually, he refused to touch any fermented liquid.
“…ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate… touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…” (2 Corinthians 6:16-17)
THE DANIEL DIET: A VEGAN DIET
“Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.” (Daniel 1:12-14)
Daniel not only refused the king’s standard North American diet, but called for a vegan diet of living food. Pulse was the food that was “sown” into the ground; referring to fruits and vegetables. By this, Daniel would maintain a connection with his Creator by honoring the diet He gave to man at creation. This was another sign of allegiance by which Daniel fastened his identity and relationship to God.
Did It Make A Difference?
This request was actually taken much the same way many who are strong believers in the standard American diet of meat, cheese, and milk products would. “I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.” Where will you get your protein? Where will you get your calcium? You will waste away to nothing! But the cows, horses, ox, and gorillas enjoy a vegan diet, and they don’t waste away. How much more man who was the crowning creation of the earth, who was made vegan from the hand of a loving Creator?
The result was much different, and “he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.” (Daniel 1:14-15) How is this possible with only a vegan diet? Because the body is composed of minerals and nutrients which are found from the soil. Meat, eggs, and dairy provide these second-hand, getting their nutrients from the foods that come from the soil, but the source of these building blocks of the body are found in the way God designed us in the beginning. They are the superfoods which the body needs to thrive.
UNDERSTANDING THE PROPHECIES
The result of this steadfastness to God was a blessing from God which would enable the Hebrew children to abide more closely connected to God, enabling them to stand in the trial while preserving their Hebrew roots. “Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:16-17)
It was this blessing of understanding dreams that would save the lives of the Daniel, and the other wise men of Babylon, as recorded in the second chapter of Daniel 2 (which you can find here), and furnish us with the prophecies of Daniel. It brought the clarity of mind which allowed them to remain strong while error was being pressed against them at every side.
A great awakening of this truth is dawning on many who are experiencing health and vitality, overcoming sickness and disease, and having a much clearer, sharper mind better apt to understanding God’s Word.
Yet there were even prophecies given to Daniel which he did not understand, but the wise of these last days will understand. You see, in this present time of the world’s history we face a very similar situation, except many times worse. We are saturated with messages which undermine the truths of Scripture, possessing little to no understanding of the Bible. We’re continually being pressed by the culture competing for our attention, trying to remove our focus from God and heavenly themes.
A CALL FOR DEEPER CONSECTRATION
With entertainment, video games, television, movies, music, genetically modified foods (GMO), hormone, blood-soaked meat, disease, and an unforgiving work schedule pushing in on every side, what sacrifices will you make to be closer to the God of heaven? Could a vegan diet be in
order? If the Bible supports a vegan diet as the wisest course of action, doesn’t it deserve more of our attention? If we will understand the prophecies of these last days, shall we expect to identify with God any less than Daniel did? When Daniel himself, in all his wisdom, could not understand the things which we are to understand in our generation. Thus it demands of us deeper consecration than Daniel to unlock the secrets given to Daniel.
At the end of Daniel’s prophecies, even Daniel’s consecration to God wasn’t yielding sufficient understand. “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:8-10) (If you want to know where to start, a thorough and informative vegan diet recipe book can be purchased here.)
Speaking of the churches which have corrupted the holy things by their false doctrines and traditions, the Bible says the wine of Babylon today exists in a new sense.
“And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” (Revelation 14:8) You can learn more about how this has happened in our study of Daniel 7 here.
As John the Baptist, who prepared people for Christ’s first return, ate wild honey and locust beans in Israel; his diet was vegan. Once more, there will be people that will be raised up to prepare people for Christ’s second appearing. These will have a similar experience of a simple vegan diet to understand and teach the truths God would have proclaimed in these last hours of earth’s history.
Will you be a temple for God’s Spirit, full of understanding the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures? Or be a Christian who fails to understand the counsel of God at the closing scenes of earth’s history? Let us not be among the inhabitants of the earth made drunk with the wine of Babylon. Why should it be said of us that we failed to discern between the holy and the unholy? Choose ye this day whom you will serve…