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Peter’s Dream in Acts 10

Oh how many times must we deal with the question of Peter’s dream in Acts 10? Seriously? This comes up over and over again. “But Peter’s dream…” they will say, usually followed by some justification for continuing to eat bacon (or other unclean “food”). OK. Let’s let Scripture interpret itself:

ACTS 10:

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

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.

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.

And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:

He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.

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;

And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.

So this is the set up. A Roman centurion, who loves/fears God and clearly has a heart to know Him better, prays and YHWH answers with a vision of an angel telling him to seek out Peter. So, the centurion sends 2 servants and one of his devout soldiers. 

Meanwhile, elsewhere, YHWH has to prepare Peter for this visit…

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:

10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

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,

Please note two things:

  • Peter NEVER ate of the unclean animals.
  • He doubted what the vision could mean – because he knew Torah and he lived his life by it. So, what then could this vision possibly represent. The answer soon came…

18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.

19While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

So here Peter is still thinking about the vision and the Holy Spirit reveals the ANSWER to his questions. Three times Peter had the dream and what do you know? THREE MEN are waiting to see him! Imagine the “coincidence” in that!?

Let’s see what happens next…

20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

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?

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.

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.

24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.

25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

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 one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

And there it is ladies and gentlemen! The interpretation of the dream! GOD had shown Peter not to call any MAN common or unclean. It had NOTHING to do with food!

This revelation from God led to an awesome revival meeting…

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?

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,

31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

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.

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.

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Again, Peter is understanding the meaning of the dream – and once again, it was NOT about food!

35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

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.

43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

 
So, to recap: 
 
First we have the vision, which happens THREE TIMES, then “coincidentally” it is immediately followed by the arrival of THREE MEN…
 
Acts 10:19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, THREE MEN seek thee.
 
Then Peter gives the interpretation of the dream – three times in fact:
 
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 one of another nation; but GOD HATH SHEWED ME THAT I SHOULD NOT CALL ANY >> MAN << common or unclean.
 
And again…
 
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of PERSONS:
 
And again in the following chapter when he retells the story to the other apostles…
 
ACTS 11:
1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
 
2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
 
3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
 
4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
 
5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
 
6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
 
7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
 
8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
 
9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
 
10 And this was done THREE TIMES: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
 
11 And, behold, immediately there were THREE MEN already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
 
Peter interpreted the meaning of his own dream three times. YHWH had used the fact that Peter was hungry to illustrate a point. NEVER did Peter eat of those unclean animals. Rather as he THOUGHT on what the heck the vision/dream he had been given (three times) meant, THREE MEN showed up and the meaning became obvious to him.
 
So, why then is it not so obvious to so many on social media? Could it be that we have been blinded by the lies for so long we can no longer see for ourselves what is clearly stated in Scripture?
 
For more on the issue of clean and unclean animals, please see the Week 26 study we did on the Virtual House Church. You may also wish to watch the following videos:

 

What about Romans 14?


So, with both the commandments of YHWH and the backing of modern science to show us that the “unclean” animals of Scripture are in fact NOT GOOD for us, why would anyone want to fight to keep eating such things? YHWH knows how he made our bodies. He knows how He made the animals. He knows what is and is not good for us, so He told us not to eat certain creatures for our own health and well-being. Perhaps we should listen to Him.
 
– Rob Skiba
 
 
 




4 Responses to “Peter’s Dream in Acts 10”

  1. Daniel Cole says:

    As I thought on this I realized that how strangely backwards I had read this account. Somehow I thought that the dream was a dual purpose both showing Peter the truth of gentiles and freedom from the law. But in fact YHWH was counting on Peter own internal conviction of the dietary laws. The passage actually affirms the continuation of the dietary laws and serves to remind us to not take away from YHWH word but to also not add anything to it like Peter was doing. Peter thought of the gentiles as being unclean, despite the fact that YHWH word never called gentiles unclean. (At least not that I could find.)

  2. Rebecca (justbecky) Collins says:

    Where did get the notion that eating with ‘gentiles’ was unlawful? Not the Torah, right? Was Peter then still heavily influenced by the traditions of the talmud/mishna? Were those tradition so steeply breed into the disciples that even the coming of the Messiah didn’t completely shaken out of the talits, so to speak? These are questions that come up when reading Rob Skiba’s blogs.

  3. John Williams says:

    He said nothing common,or unclean I think we all missed the point. Peter was told to KILL and EAT
    He answered amd said NOT SO,NO-THING C O M M O N( dietary laws of Leviticus) or Unclean have crossed his lips.we miss Peter in so many words says he doesn’t eat meat. Just saying…

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