Thursday, March 29, 2012

Food and the Anti-Christ pt.2.

This is the second of a four part series.
The first post should be right below this one, and If I remember when this posts ...well, posts, I will include a link here  Link

but will probably forget (no really, I remembered Go me!!!)

After reading about the passage in mark, and Jesus rebuking people for setting aside the commands of God... Many people then ask about Peter and his vision. HE had this vision from God where God lowered a sheet down and on the sheet there was all these animals... You know what, I'm just gonna post it so we can walk through it together. ( or you can read it yourself in Acts 10)

GIANT CHUNK OF SCRIPTURE WARNING ( you don't want to read it, skip ahead to the part where it says, start reading here again)(...why  does a big chunk of scripture need a warning?)

1 Now there was a man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, “Cornelius!” 4 And fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed, he said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5 Now dispatch some men to Joppa and send for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter; 6 he is staying with a tanner named Simon, whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who was speaking to him had left, he summoned two of his servants and a devout soldier of those who were his personal attendants, 8 and after he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
 9 On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10 But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; 11 and he *saw the sky opened up, and an  object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, 12 and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. 13 A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.15 Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky.
 17 Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions for Simon’s house, appeared at the gate; 18 and calling out, they were asking whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there. 19 While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. 20 But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself.” 21 Peter went down to the men and said, “Behold, I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for which you have come?” 22 They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man well spoken of by the entire nation of the Jews, was divinely directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and hear a message from you.” 23 So he invited them in and gave them lodging


Alright, lets break this down

We have an Italian man, very very righteous because Italians are awesome, and God gives us favor... er.... uh.....

So, we have an Italian man. Not a Jew, but an Italian man Praying to God and serving him.
This man has a vision, and the message was: Call Pete.

Now in verse 10 God is using Peter's heart to show him something not about food, but about righteousness. God is getting to the point with Peter, because Pete had a habit of refusing to eat with Gentiles because he deemed them unclean. We know that this issue came up for peter at least one other place in scripture because Paul tells us that he got in petes face about this in Galations 2:11-13

I can see how a person can look at this part about all these creatures and think that they are food.  I understand how at  a casual glance that it would look like that. In my previous post, I posted the scriptures where God defined what is clean and what is not, in regards to food.
I believe that peter was there for that part in Mark where Jesus kept rebuking men for not following the commands of God. If that part was God changing his mind and now making everything food, I think that peter would have heard it. If that were the case, perhaps he wouldn't have hesitated to chow down on some creepy crawlers. ( the thought of that turns my guts by the way)  But he protest. He reminds God of what his word says. It's interesting that Peter never killed and ate anything. He could have eaten a deer which is by God's standard food. Food wasn't the point here, the heart was the point.

Now the parallel here to Mark is interesting.  In both of these passages, we are seeing someone call something God has said is clean, not clean.  Peter had this holier than you attitude that he got sucked into, and he started setting aside the commands of God for the sake of his own traditions... in this case, not eating with gentiles... and considering them unclean. (peter had a habit of not eating with gentiles, so God uses food to make the connection for him)

This is emphasized in verse 17, after God snatching his weird animal slumber party blanket back into heaven. Peter was perplexed by the vision.  He was confused by the vision. Peter knew that the word of God says not to eat certain things because they aren't food. HE knew that God won't go against his own scripture.

So he was confused and trying to understand the meaning... when the Spirit of God showed him, Lucky for him. The gents show up and ask peter for a house call. He invites them in to hear the story on how they were sent.

MOAR SCRIPTURE YAY!!! (no really, get excited, it's good stuff)

  And on the next day he got up and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.27 As he talked with him, he entered and *found many people assembled. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.

So Pete comes into a sold out stadium here. He's rocking a packed house and Speaks saying I'm nothing special... why am I here?
 Then he says " you know how its unlawful for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner"
When he says it is unlawful... He's not speaking about God's law. Not the commands of God.
He's talking about the traditions set in place. Then he states clearly the meaning of the vision.
That even though the Jews make that separation, God doesn't.  It wasn't a seminar about how God showed him that SPAM is some how edible. He states clearly the meaning. We're one in the Messiah.

 That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for. So I ask for what reason you have sent for me.”  30 Cornelius said, “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour; and behold, a man stood before me in shining garments, 31 and he *said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Therefore send to Joppa and invite Simon, who is also called Peter, to come to you; he is staying at the house of Simon the tanner by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. Now then, we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Gentiles Hear Good News
 34 Opening his mouth, Peter said:    “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. 36 The word which He sent to the sons of Israel,preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)37 you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. 38 You know of (Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. 40God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

Again Peter states that its about not calling the Gentiles unclean. God didn't call them unclean, men did. Just like in Mark. God didn't call bread unclean, Men did. Everyone who believes in his name receives forgiveness of sins.  Everyone. YEAH BUDDY!!!

Go on, get excited. I'll wait..

... go on.


Then what happens next:

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days. 

Nothing about animals. Nothing about eating spiders or owls. God said it was gross.
All of this passage is about the fact that God likes Italians just as much as Jews. God loves all the races, because when they are his people, they are HIS PEOPLE. HIS PEOPLE are cleaned.
HIS PEOPLE have had their sins forgiven. His PEOPLE, all of them, of Jewish decent by birth or not, had the spirit of God poured out on them.

Peter had been guilty of putting down God's people based on race. Pete had a touch of the racism.

After all of that, what was next for Peter?
Did he go out an proclaim that God changed his mind about eating shrimp cocktail?

Chapter 11. The retelling of the events to his crew.

1 Now the apostles andthe brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him, 3 saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” 4 But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence, saying, 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me, 6 and when I had fixed my gaze on it and was observing it I saw the four-footed animals of the earth and the wild beasts and the crawling creatures and the birds of the air. 7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8 But I said, ‘By no means, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 But a voice from heaven answered a second time, ‘What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.’ 10 This happened three times, and everything was drawn back up into the sky. 11 And behold, at that moment three men appeared at the house in which we were staying, having been sent to me from Caesarea. 12 The Spirit told me to go with them without misgivings.These six brethren also went with me and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and have Simon, who is also called Peter, brought here; 14 and he will speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15 And as I began to speak,the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” 

Having heard the entire story they didn't  get up and say "God has Made  ham food now."
They Glorified God, and quieted the grumblings that said that a man of Stature, a Jew, isn't to associate with a lowlife commoner unclean Gentile.  They Praised God for the life of the gentiles.

God spoke to Peter in a language that would make the loudest point. 

Turkey bacon is better anyway.

in the next Blog, I will talk about Romans 14, Paul, Daniel and the Anti-Christ.

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