1 Timothy 4:1-5 (NKJV) Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from FOODS which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

This one seems a bit more difficult but that's only because we read on the surface, and we typically apply no level of brain activity. The first thing you need to do, if you want to know what Scripture is saying, is slow down and look closely at what it's saying; then make the brain work for you. Not that you imagine it saying what it's not; we have enough of that already. But, notice the deliberate speech that is often used.

Verse three talks about "foods which God created to be received". Not everything God creates is food. Think about this… not everything that God creates is food. Therefore, not every creature God creates is for food. You would not eat a blowfish, would you? Absolutely not, because it would kill you. What about if you prayed over it? It would be okay to eat them, right? No, it wouldn't; because God did not create blowfish to be food.

Doesn't verse four say "every creature of God is good"? Yes, it does, but here's where you need to slow down and look at deliberate speech. Verse three says "FOODS which God CREATED to be received".

God creates a lot of good stuff, but there are often restrictions on it. Sex is good, but only in a marriage. Anger is not bad unless it causes you to sin. Food is good, but there are somethings that cannot be eaten.

If Paul is not talking about clean and unclean, then what is he talking about? The key phrase here is "by those who believe and know the truth"

Paul and Timothy had been traveling the lands of the gentile where meat was offered in sacrifice to pagan idols. As long as one does not know it's been offered to idols, then receive it with thanksgiving; as long as it does not become a stumbling block to those who are weak (1 Cor 8:6-13).

1 Corinthians 8:6-8 (NKJV) yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
7 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.

Yet, if you find out the meat was offered to an idol, then avoid eating it (1 Cor 10:28).

1 Corinthians 10:28 (NKJV) But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience' sake; for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."

So, if you're eating at your favorite Asian restaurant, with all those buddha's and cat's around, don't worry if they offered it as a sacrifice to those dead idols. If you have a brother, or sister, with you who is concerned about it, then move on to another restaurant. If the server tells you the food was offered to idols, move on to a different Asian restaurant… and tell them to keep their mouth shut.

Part 5 - It's Not What Goes Into the Mouth