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First Corinthians 8--Meat sacrificed to idols, Part 2

May 01, 2017

1 Corinthians 8:8, 9 says,

8 But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat [meat sacrificed to idols], nor the better if we do eat. 9 But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

Paul tells us that we should be considerate toward the conscience of others. Though he believed that eating meat sacrificed to idols was not harmful or unlawful in itself, he would not have us use our liberty to wound the conscience of those who differ in their understanding of the law.

Paul’s use of the term “weak” appears on the surface to be a backhanded insult to those who refused to eat such meat. Was Paul really engaging in name-calling? I do not think so. See how the term was used in 1 Corinthians 1:25,

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Here Paul does not mean to imply that God is either foolish or weak. He was talking about the apparent foolishness and so-called weakness of God. In other words, God was thought to be showing weakness when Jesus paid the penalty for sin at the cross. In the eyes of soulish men, God should have shown His power over sin by just canceling it by decree, without blood. Or perhaps He should have made the blood of animal sacrifices sufficient. In their eyes, God lost dignity and appeared foolish for having to send His Son to die on the cross.

Hence, the foolishness and weakness of God is in the eye of the beholder. It is apparent, not actual. So also was Paul using the term in regard to those who refused to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Some were calling them “weak,” but this did not necessarily mean that they were actually weak. Since no punctuation was used in first-century writing, it is left to the translators to insert all appropriate punctuation.

In my view, the translators should have put quotation marks around the term “the weak.” This would soften the words to express Paul’s thoughts more accurately.

How Words Affect Food and Drink

In another context, Paul writes to Timothy of “foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in” (or eaten). Of such food, he says in 1 Timothy 4:4, 5, saying,

4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

First, Paul was reminding Timothy that God had called all animals “good” (Genesis 1:25) and later pronounced His entire creation “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Hence, they were “sanctified by means of the word of God.” Secondly, however, these were sanctified by prayer, for it was already customary in those days to bless the food and to receive it “with gratitude” and thanksgiving.

Pagans who thanked idols and demons for the food, and who dedicated such food unlawfully to their false gods, may have imprinted a false spiritual image to that which they had dedicated; however, if a believer rededicates the same food to the Creator and Owner of all food, his prayer can easily change its evil spiritual imprint to something good.

Modern science has proven that words affect the structure of water. Since most food contains water, unless it has been completely dried, prayer does indeed have a physical effect upon our food. This has been proven in 1994 by Dr. Masaru Emoto, a non-Christian Japanese scientist, who began to photograph flash-frozen water molecules.


To learn more about how the water experiments were done, watch the short video here:


He proved that the structure of water molecules changes when exposed to either negative or positive thoughts and especially to music (good or bad). When someone blesses the water, the crystals grow into beautiful hexagonal-shaped pieces of art.  Here is what the crystals look like when love and gratitude are projected:


When someone curses the water, the crystals grow into distorted images that often look quite demonic. This is what formed in the water when “you disgust me,” “you fool” and “evil” were projected:




This happens not only with words, but with music. Here is what happened when Amazing Grace was played in the presence of water:


This one pictures truth.


This one is thank-you.


Harmonic music grows beautiful crystals, while most rock music brings distortion to the crystals. Since we ourselves are 76 percent water, the type of music that we listen to has a physical effect upon our bodies. Likewise, our words have a physical effect upon us. This is why we ought to bless and not curse others (Romans 12:14).

So how does this relate to food sacrificed to idols? Dr. Emoto’s photographs show that blessings, positive words, and good thoughts have the same effect, regardless of who expresses them. Religious belief does not seem to matter in this regard. Yet he had no way of experimenting with water that permeates food. I have found no evidence that he made any attempt to extract and distill water from food to do his experiments. Nor did he think to offer water to a pagan god. So it is not possible to know if such pagan offerings had a physical effect upon the water.

I believe, though, that we can say with certainty that water molecules are fluid and can be altered by their changing environment. They change according to the words and music within range.

My conclusion, then, is that we ought to give thanks to God for the food and drink that we consume, for our gratitude does indeed affect it physically by a spiritual principle built into creation itself. Your spiritual prayer has the power to imprint blessings, not only upon food, but also upon your body, which will have an affect upon your soul as well.

Do Not Sin Against the Brethren

Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 8:10, saying,

10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idols’ temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?

We tend to follow the example of leaders. Paul says that if one man’s conscience is not violated by sitting down in a pagan temple to eat with pagans—perhaps to have opportunity to witness to them about Jesus Christ—others may follow his example and fall into sin. Hence, we should be careful what we do, even if we do not consider our own action to be sinful.

1 Corinthians 8:11, 12 continues,

11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 And thus, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble.

In other words, love defers to others. If a brother is “weak” insofar as certain actions are concerned, the proper course is to discuss the word (law) of God, so that the weak may become strong.

This is part 36 of a series titled "Studies in First Corinthians." To view all parts, click the link below.

Studies in First Corinthians

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Category: Teachings
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones