Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
Acts of the Apostles
Solomon's porch is no longer the stopping point for the Gentiles, for now that Jesus Christ has paid that supreme price on the cross; salvation is open not only to Israel, but all races of God's children.
Acts 10:1 "There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,"
Cornelius was an army officer that was over anywhere from one hundred to five hundred men. Cornelius was over a Roman regiment.
Acts 10:2 "A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway."
Cornelius was a religious man, and he as well as his entire family were just as religious minded as Cornelius. Remember Tabitha, or Dorcas from Acts 9 was blessed with the gift of almsgiving also. Alms giving is the giving and expecting nothing in return. "the people", in the Greek, is "laos", which are the poor people. So we see that Cornelius is a Gentile that love God, gave much to the poor, and was a man who held much power.
Acts 10:3 "He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, "Cornelius." "
The day started at 6:00 A.M. in the morning, and so this vision came to Cornelius about three o'clock in the afternoon. This is very special, for God sent this angel to speak to Cornelius, this Gentile.
Acts 10:4 "And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, Lord?" And He said unto him, "Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God."
It can be a frightful thing to be around the supernatural. God has seen the almsgiving of Cornelius, and heard his prayers.
When you do your alms, and give in the name of the Lord, not expecting anything in return, God sees your heart and knows the intent of your mind. He hears your prayers when you speak to our heavenly Father. God always hears. Then He will do what is best for you, even though at the time you may not think so.
Acts 10:5 "And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:"
"Simon" means "heard", and "Peter" in the Hebrew means "rock". Peter is the foundation of the church, and Cornelius is told to send for that man. Remember that Peter had a little difficulty with Paul, because Paul wanted to preach to the Gentiles. Peter had a little problem with that, because he had been trained in the school prior to the crucifixion, and Peter was trained and set in his ways. In the old school, you couldn't even spend time in a house where unclean things had been cooked, or even carry on a friendship with them. So Peter is now going to be asked by Cornelius to come and preach to his entire household.
Acts 10:6 "He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest do."
Remember at the close of Acts chapter nine, Peter had just been called in to pray over the dead body of Dorcas, and after the Holy Spirit of God healed Dorcas, Peter stayed in the area, in Joppa, preaching and living in the household of this Simon the Tanner. This angel of God is giving directions of where Peter is, and how to get there. This angel of God is telling Cornelius to send for Peter and he will instruct you what you ought to do.
Acts 10:7 "And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually:"
This "devout soldier" was an armor bearer that Cornelius trusted so well that even with his armor off, he would trust him even to his back.
Acts 10:8 "And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa."
Cornelius is obeying God's command given through the angel.
Acts 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:"
We are back in Joppa here, in the house of Simon the Tanner where Peter is staying. Peter is up on the house top praying at midday.
Acts 10:10 "And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,"
While Peter was on the roof praying, Peter became very hungry, and while they were fixing the meal, Peter fell into a trance. The Holy Spirit is dealing with Peter, and going to give him a lesson.
Acts 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:"
Peter had a vision, and in this vision Peter saw a great sheet, that was tied at the four corners. Peter is hungry and now at midday this sheet full of food is lowered from heaven before Peter.
Acts 10:12 "Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air."
There were all sorts of animals, and insects, and birds within this sheet, and they were all considered unclean and not to be eaten as the law of Moses would stipulate as unclean for eating. They were all scavengers, and not fit to be eaten by man.
Acts 10:13 "And there came a voice to him, "Rise, Peter; kill, and eat."
Many people take this, in their ignorance, and say that God takes this hereby and makes all things edible. If this is what you think it says, you miss the whole point. This has nothing to do with food, but God is using this as an analogy. God will not allow Peter to touch these wild creatures. God did not allow Peter to eat any part of this filth, for God is using these animals to teach Peter something entirely different.
Acts 10:14 "But Peter said, "Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean."
Peter is arguing with God. The word common also means unclean. Where the previous uses of the word "unclean" were in reference to evil spirits, here it is in reference to the ceremonial uncleanness of the Levitical law. Every one of these animals and fowl were listed as unfit from the mouht of God Himself.
Acts 10:15 "And the voice spake unto him again the second time, "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common."
Remember back when Jesus was speaking to Peter, after Peter had denied Jesus three times, and Jesus told Peter also "Peter, feed My Sheep" three times.
John 21:15 "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?" He saith unto Him, "Ye Lord; You knowest that I love Thee." He saith unto him, "Feed My lambs."
Jesus' lambs are the Christians that are new converts, and need the milk of the Word, they need to be taught the basics.
John 21:16 "He saith to him again the second time, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?" He saith unto Him, "Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee."
These sheep in the Greek text are "probation" they are not the real young sheep, but ones that need more then just milk.
John 21:17 "He saith unto him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?" Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, "Lovest thou Me?" and he said unto Him, "Lord, thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee." Jesus saith unto him, "Feed My sheep"
The sheep mentioned here are those that are seasoned in the Word, the more mature sheep that desire the more meat of the Word. God is telling Peter to teach all his sheep, even the more mature Christians. God spoke to peter three times for emphesis to make a point, and that is what is He is doing here also to Peter.
What this is refering to here in Acts, is not eating our animals, but People, Gentile people that had been considered polluted and unclean before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God is not talking about the food you eat, nor has He changed any part of His health laws. Scavenger food, and swine and the sorts, that were not to be eaten, are still not to be eaten. This is an analogy that has to do with the Gentile peoples.
Acts 10:16 "This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven."
Each time was a witness from God to Peter, to instill within Him that the Gospel of Christ is now even for the Gentiles. After the point was made, each time God took it up into heaven, before Peter even had a chance to touch the creatures.
Acts 10:17 "Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,"
Peter knew that something was strange about this vision, and he did not know what it was. Peter knew that God would not expect him to eat of that polluted and filthy animals. Then we see the perfect timing of God, right on time. The vision to Cornelius, the time to travel from Cornelius' house to Joppa, and the timing for the visions of the three times of the sheet to be lowered, all were right on time for the visit at Simon's house.
Many times we think that God is a bit slow, but on God's schedule, He is always in perfect time.
Acts 10:18 "And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter , were lodged there."
Acts 10:19 "While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, "Behold, three men seek thee."
While Peter was on the roof trying to think what this vision of those filthy things on the sheet could mean, the men from Cornelius were knocking at the front door below. Then the Holy Spirit told Peter, there is three men that are seeking you.
Acts 10:20 "Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them."
Then the Holy Spirit told Peter, you go down and meet them and go with them, and stop your doubting. I showed you three times, no let that be sufficient, don't you dare doubt. If God should reveal something to you from the Scriptures, don't doubt what the spirit of God has placed within you.
This then is a very strange thing in the eyes of Peter, and a new thing as far as acceptance of the Gentile.
Acts 10:21 "Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, "Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?" "
Don't get things mixed up here, though it was Cornelius that sent the three men to get Peter, it was the angel of God that instructed Cornelius to sent these three men there. Cornelius did not send the men on his own. God is totally in charge of this entire action that is to take place.
Acts 10:22 "And they said, "Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee."
Cornelius was a honest and just man, and one that reverence God, and all those in Judaea that knew Cornelius thought highly of him.
This word "nation" in the Greek, can even include Israel, as it is "ethnos". In the singular it can be Israel, but in the plural, it can never include and mean Israel. This will be important to understand a little later in this chapter.
Acts 10:23 "Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him."
These believers were of the house of Israel that had believed and were followers of Christ through Peter.
Acts 10:24 "And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends"
To Cornelius this was the greatest thing that could happen to him. God had spoken to him, and now this man from God is coming to him. Cornelius let all his friends know who was coming, and wanted them to here also what Peter would have to say. Cornelius wanted to share what ever he had with everybody, especially his friends. He was a giver and a lover of people.
Acts 10:25 "And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him."
Peter would not stand for this by Cornelius.
Acts 10:26 "And as he talked with him, "Stand up; I myself also am a man."
Don't worship me, worship God. We are only slaves and servants of God, and let no man make more of you then that position. We must decrease that God may increase. You can lose the blessings of God quicker by getting on an ego trip and elevating yourself higher then what you are, a servant of God, set forth to do His word. It is God that placed the gift in you in the first place and all the credit goes to Him.
Acts 10:27 "And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together."
Cornelius had the place full of family and friends, and they all loved the Lord.
Acts 10:28 "And he said unto them, "Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company or come unto on of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean."
Peter now understands what the Holy Spirit was trying to show him, back on the roof top in Jappa, when the sheeps of the unclean were lowered three times. It wasn't a lesson about animals and birds, and unclean things, but "any man common or unclean". This is the basis of the matter.
God created the Gentile races as is recorded in Genesis 1:26, 27; "And God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
God created all the races after their kind, and in the image of God, and all of them were God. God loved all of His children.
Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him: male and female created He them."
No race need to apologize for his race to any man, for God created your ancestors exactly as He wanted them. So now we see that the church of Christ, the anointed one, is open to all races of the ethnos, that in believing on Jesus all people have the of receiving salvation. It is natural that one cares for his race and his people, and God takes that truth and says, if your proud of them, then teach His Word to them. It is natural that one stands up for his own kindred, God has placed this desire in all men. It is not a racist statement, but a statement of fact. Be a realist, and get away from the games of religion.
Acts 10:29 "Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?"
Peter came to Cornelius' house and he did not dispute, as soon as I was sent. Peter said, I know now that I am not suppose to call any many polluted, so why did you send for me?
Acts 10:30 "And Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,"
The angel didn't mind going into a Gentiles house.
Acts 10:31 "And said, `Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God."
God doesn't miss anything. God will bless you, when you bless Him. What have you done for Him, have you spread His word and told Him that you love Him? Do you care about people to help them in need? God remembers all this that you do for Him.
Acts 10:32 "Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who when he cometh shall speak unto thee."
This is what the angel told Cornelius.
Acts 10:33 "Immediately therefore I sent to thee and thou hast well done that thou art come, Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God."
Cornelius is saying that he obeyed immediately, and didn't waste any time. We are all here now for the sole purpose of hearing the Word of God. Cornelius did care to hear Peters fancy words, but only what God had to say. Cornelius love God, and tried to always please Him, and now He and the others wanted to hear what God had to say to them.
Acts 10:34 "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons:"
Peter now understands fully what it is that God was trying to tell him through that sheep with all those animals in it. God wants Peter to teach all these people and share the commandments of the Living Word with them. "Call no man common or unclean"; if they have a question about the Word, share it with them.
Acts 10:35 "But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him."
In other words, God will accept anyone who will seek Him, and it matters not what race of nation "ethnos" they are from. This is a race matter, and any person from any race that reverse God, and worketh the righteousness of Christ, is acceptable to God. They demonstrate their love for the Father through their love and believe in Jesus Christ the anointed one. When you seek God, He will receive you through His Son Jesus.
Righteousness is to love Jesus, the Son God the Father sent, and to do His commandments, as best as you can. Then when you do accept Christ, you have the full knowledge that your sins are forgiven by the Father. When you fall short again, which you will do, those sins are also forgiven upon your repentance in Jesus name. Just because God has opened salvation to all mankind, God still sticks to His rules set forth in His Holy Word. God knows the intent of your mind, and He knows the sincerity of your heart.
Acts 10:36 "The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all:)"
He is Lord of all. Not just Judah, or Israel, but of all races and tongues and nations, but Jesus is Lord over all mankind. He is lord of all because he created all peoples and races. On the sixth day God created the races, and on the eighth day God created man [Adam], in the Greek, "eth'-Ha' adham", "the particular adam". God had no man to till the soil, He had only hunters and fishermen, and that is why this one particular Adam was created.
From the six day creation we have the Gentile nations, he had no man to tend to the soil so God created "Ha' adham", the man to do the work of the soil. For a companion to the man Adam, God created Eve. Eve is called the mother of all living. Why? Because through Eve, according to God's purpose, the Messiah would come. This one that is Lord of all mankind, and through His blood would bring all people to the throne of God. This is of both the living and the dead, for those that are dead in flesh are living in spirit, and are present with God.
At that moment that any person of any race would believe on Jesus Christ and repent in His name, the throne of God is open to that repented soul.
Acts 10:37 "That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;"
Peter is telling this group of listeners at Cornelius' house, I know you have heard what has been said throughout all Judaea, from the time that Jesus Christ was even baptized in the river Jordan, the things of Jesus were spread throughout the land. All of his miracle were spoken of, and what He was teaching passed on from mouth to mouth.
Peter is telling them that this was the beginning of the story that God would have you hear.
Acts 10:38 "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him,"
Has the devil ever oppressed you? Each on that believes of Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit of God within them, that oppression can end. You will possess the Power of the Holy Spirit if you claim that power for yourself.
God knows your heart, and don't expect that power within you, if you are trying to pull some "Simony" (Simon) tricks, like we read about in Acts 8, who thought he could use the power of the Holy Spirit as some sideshow in his magic act. That would make you a fake. But if you desire the Power of the Holy Spirit, desire it for the sake of your family, and of your Heavenly Father. That power is to be used in only one direction, for the sake of the cause of bringing people to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to drive Satan and his angels [evil spirits] out of your life, and those that you love. Then you can do God's work.
The power of the Holy Spirit assists you in doing the work, it doesn't do your work for you. It strengthens you, when you are about your heavenly Fathers business, and taking care of those matters that counts.
Remember the Words that came down, when that Holy Spirit came upon Jesus, following his baptism? It is found in Matthew 4:17 "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." The voice was the voice of God. God is pleased when you accept His Son. When you accept Jesus and the Holy Spirit of God, Luke 10:17 tell us the power that we do have.
Luke 10:17 "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."
Luke 10:18 "And He said unto them, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
Luke 10:19 "Behold, I give ynto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
Friend the serpents are the Kenites, those offspring of the serpent in the garden of Eden, while the scorpions are the angels of Satan, that Joel writes about and is revealed in Revelation 9. When we have the Holy Spirit, we have power over devils and deception. We can see through lies and fakes and those that would deceive us into believing lies over common sense.
Acts 10:39 "And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; Whom the slew and hanged on a tree:"
The Kenites accomplished this, and the apostles witnessed the acts taking place. They were there to see Jesus handing on that cross, with the malfactors hanging on both sides of Him. Peter was also there as Jesus went throughout the land of Judaea doing the many miracles and things that He did.
Acts 10:40 "Him God raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly:"
Jesus Christ was in the tomb for the tree days, as prophecied, and then He came out of that tomb. There was nothing hidden from anyone. Everything that was done, was done in public. Nothing that Christ did while here on earth, was hidden from the people, except for the transfiguration, which was only delayed for a few days, until after the resurrection took place. This was to give the disciples the understanding of what would take place to Jesus' physical body upon His resurrection.
Acts 10:41 "Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead."
Peter is telling this army officer Cornelius and the people there with him, that not all the people would see and understand, but there were witnesses chosen before God, that these things were done for. This is just as God's deeper truths are only given to those that have the eyes to see and the ears to hear and understand those truths. This is not talking about salvation, but the deeper meanings of God's Word.
Why did Jesus do this with His twelve disciples? They were to be witness, with seals to the promises of God, that this event truly happened.
Acts 10:42 "And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead."
"Quick" is the "living, and the dead, are the spiritually dead. It is God that ordained Jesus and ordained him with that authority to be the judge over the living and the dead, physically. Those that died in the flesh and were held prisoners in the heart of the earth, Jesus was able to release part of those lost souls that would believe.
Then what we are witnessing is the teaching of the real word, right in the home of the Gentiles. This is the start of God opening His promises to all His children.
Acts 10:43 "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins."
Probably the strongest prophets to bring this to light is in Isaiah 53:11, to the end of the chapter. It tells us how Jesus would suffer. There would be a first advent, and there also would be a second. This is made clear in this chapter of Isaiah.
Acts 10:44 "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word."
As Peter was speaking to these Gentile people, the Holy Spirit fell on all of the people that were there listening to Peter.
Acts 10:45 "And they of the circumcisin which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Those that came with Peter to Cornelius' house, saw the evidence of the Holy Spirit in all of these Gentiles, and they were astonished.
Acts 10:46 "For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,"
All of these people had the evidence of that Holy Spirit? Remember what that evidence of the Holy Spirit was? When they spoke, the words were understood in the very language and dialect of the neighborhood that the listener was from. In other Words, these Italians and other foreigners that were from other Gentile nations, sounded like they came from Joppa, the place where Peter's friends came from, while he was living at Simon the tanner's house.
Remember back in Acts 2: when the Holy Spirit filled that room and all those in that room. The all received also the gift of the filling of the Holy Spirit, and there was no confusion of languages, of that is the evidence of the Holy Spirit, when you speak, and those speaking are understood clearly exactly what is spoken of. There is no babbling, or strange noises coming from on filled with the Holy Spirit, every word is understood at the same time, crystal clear to those doing the listening.
Acts 2:6 "Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language." That is how they spoke on Pentecost day, and that is the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God that fell on them in the beginning.
Friend there is only one Holy Spirit, [or Holy Ghost] and the same one that fell on the Jews, fell on the Gentiles also. We will see in Acts 11:15 as Peter is repeating; "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as on us at the beginning." What happened to the Gentiles at Cornelius' house was the same happening of the cloven tongue, and it was heard clearly in every language. "The Question" is not that it was confusing, but that it was crystal clear to the listener.
It was no secret what was said, nor was it a mystery. It was know in every language that heard it, and Peter clarified it in Chapter 2. That message was that which Joel spoke of in Joel 2:28-32. Sound the trumpet, sound the alarm, for antichrist with his locust army shall come first. And many of God's sons and daughters shall witness with the Holy Spirit speaking through them in every language to take the truth of God to the world. They will show that Christ did not play favorites amongst the peoples and races. The Spirit of God was for all that would believed.
Acts 10:47 "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we?"
Mark this verse well. How did Peter and the others [we] receive the power of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit? The received it on Pentecost day. This then was a duplication of what had happened on Pentecost day.
Acts 10:48 "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days."
Cornelius and his family and friends wanted to hear more about Jesus Christ, and the Word of God. The "Holy Spirit" properly translated from the Greek text, of course is not "Holy Ghost" as many modern translations offer, but reads, "Holy Spirit".
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