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Acts 10:1-48

Next, God's Word tells us about a Gentile-person, a person who was not a Judean/Israelite in background (see Acts 1:8 and 2:39). Much of the following record is summarized by Peter in Acts 11:4-18 and 15:7-11.

Acts 10:1-3:

10:1But some adult-male in Caesarea, Cornelius by-name - a centurion out-from (the) corps, the (corps) being called Italian, .2reverential and being fearful (towards) God together with all his house, doing many merciful-deeds for the people and supplicating God continually - .3manifestly saw in a seen-object as-though around (the) ninth hour of the day an angel of God having come-into (his house) towards him and having said to him, "Cornelius."

Cornelius was a military officer commanding a hundred men from the Italian body of men-at-arms in Caesarea, on the coast (refer to Acts 8:40, 9:30) which is not far from Joppa (refer to Acts 9:43). Even though he was not a Judean/Israelite by descent, he recognized that the only true God was the only true God, and Cornelius lived accordingly as best he knew how together with all the people who dwelled in his house with him. He was…

At that time Cornelius was only able to pray with his mind's understanding towards God because he had not yet received God's gift of holy spirit whereby he would be able to pray with his holy spirit-life, to pray with tongues.

However, on this day at about 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon Cornelius clearly and evidently saw within a seen-object (something presented to his eyes so that he would see and perceive and know it) – what? – an angel. This angel was a spirit-being sent from God with a message for Cornelius. This angel said Cornelius' name.

Let us continue on and see what Cornelius' reaction was.

Verses 4-8:

.4And he, having gazed-intently-on him and having become fearful-within, said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and your merciful-deeds ascended into a remembrance in-front-of God; .5and now you must send adult-males into Joppa and you must send-after Simon, someone who is called Peter, .6this-person is lodged-as-a-guest with someone (named) Simon, a tanner, whose house is beside (the) sea." .7And as the angel, the (angel) uttering-forth to him, went-away, having sounded (for) two of the household-servants and a reverential soldier of the (people) being strong-with him, .8and having told-out all-things-together to them, he apostled them into Joppa.

When Cornelius fixed his eyes intently upon the angel and had become fearful within himself, he asked "What is it?" And he addressed this angel as "Lord" - not because he thought that the angel was God or the Lord Jesus Christ, but because from Cornelius' viewpoint the angel had more authoritative-power and ability than he had.

Then the angel spoke his message - he didn't sing it or fly around while he was saying it! The angel told him that his prayers to God (his communications to/with God, his general speaking towards/with God) and his giving of alms to help people, had gone-up for a remembrance (a memorial, a calling-to mind) in front of (before) God. God did not ignore Cornelius' prayers to Him just because he was a Gentile who did not have holy spirit-life within him!

The angel also told Cornelius what he must do to get Simon Peter to his house and very specifically let him know where he was staying at that time (refer to Acts 9:43).

As the angel who spoke with him went away, Cornelius sounded for (voiced, summoned) three of his people who were attending-constantly to him - men he could rely on - and he told-out to them (he led the details out, recounted, related, unfolded) what happened and sent them forth to Joppa according to the angel's instructions to him.

Verses 9-16:

.9But on the morrow (during the) journeying-on-the-way of those-people and coming-near to the city, Peter ascended onto the roof to pray around (the) sixth hour, .10and he became hungry and intended to taste (food), but (during) their preparing (of food) a bewilderment came on him, .11and he views-with-attention the heaven having been opened2 and some vessel with four corners having been bound2 being left-down onto the earth .12in which began-to-be all the quadrupeds and creeping-things of the earth and birds of the heaven; .13and there became a sound towards him, "Having stood-up, you must sacrifice and eat." .14But Peter said, "By no means, Lord, because I never ate every common-thing and unclean-thing." .15And (there became) a sound again for a second-time towards him, "The-things-which God cleaned you must not make-common." .16And this came-to-pass on three-times and the vessel was taken-up into heaven.

The next morning, as the three men sent from Cornelius were approaching Joppa, Peter went-up to the top of the house where he was staying which had a flat roof to pray around 12 noon. The flat roof was one of the places where people would go to be alone and pray, plus if the house were inside the city-walls then the roof was also used to make an announcement and to spread some message among the neighbors. But Peter was outside the city in Simon the tanner's house which was beside the sea.

Peter got hungry and wanted to eat something, but while he was waiting for the meal to be prepared something outstanding came down-on him. From Peter's viewpoint it was bewildering, totally-puzzling, so-much-so that he was awestruck in his mind, as though out of his normal senses based on what was happening.

What was this bewildering thing that he saw? He viewed with contemplation in his mind the heaven which had been opened and some kind of utensil with four extremities which were tied being sent-down onto the earth. Within this there were all varieties of four-footed animals, and creeping-things (reptiles) of the earth, and birds (winged, flying things) of the heaven - both 'domestic' and 'wild.' Peter heard and understood a sound (voice) telling him that when he stands-up he must kill one of these creatures and offer it in sacrifice to God and then he must eat it.

But Peter's response to this shows that he still was basing some of his decisions, opinions and thinking-patterns on the Judean/Israeli laws and customs - instead of basing them on what God had accomplished with the Lord Jesus Christ and on the holy spirit-life which was made available to mankind on the day of Pentecost!

Peter told the source of this voice, addressing it as "Lord" that in no way was he going to kill and eat because he said that at no-time had he eaten any common (defiled) or unclean (ceremonially impure) piece of food, which all of those creatures were from the Judean/Israeli point of view.

However, the voice's reply to Peter's response was to repeat it again, plus the voice adds, “The things which God cleaned (purified) emphatically you must not make-common (you must not go against God by considering or treating them as being common, in the Levitical sense of being defiled, ceremonially unlawful and unclean, and therefore not fit or permitted to be eaten).” See Leviticus chapter 11.

Again this was repeated. Three times altogether - and then this vessel was received-up into heaven away-from Peter's sight.

[Note: verbs with a superscript 2 (2) immediately following them indicate the "perfect" tense - details are provided in the "Relevant Notes" link of this study.]


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