Summary: Peter was praying on the top of the house when a great sheet was let dow from heaven, on the sheet was all sorts of split-holf animals. The Lord told Peter to arise, slay and eat. Peter being a devout Jew refussed, and the Lord Reminded him that What He h
" BEING A WORLD CHRISTIAN "
" MEN OF MISSIONS "
" THE CALL TO THE GENTILES "
TEXT ACTS 10: 9-16
I think the Apostle Peter is one of the most colorful apostles in the band of apostles. He was a strong willed man, one that I believe, wants to do things his way, and the Lord had to humble Peter before He could really use him.
Peter had just came through Lydia where the Bible records that the Lord used Peter there to heal Aeneas, who was sick of the palsy for eight long years. The Bible also records that after Aeneas was healed that all of Lydda turned to the Lord.
Now the bible says that the city of Joppa was near by to Lydda, at Joppa there was a disciple there named Tabitha, ( which being interpreted is called Dorcas ). Dorcas was sick and the bible says that she died.
Peter not being very far away the disciples sent and called for him to come with all speed to Joppa. When he arrived he found that Dorcas had already died and the widows were weeping and they all began to show Peter the things that Dorcas had made them.
The bible says that Peter put them all out of the room and knelt down and began to pray, the bible does not record his prayer but it just say " ....and turning him to the body said, Tabitha arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter she sat up."
Throughout all of Joppa the bible says that many believed on the Lord. Peter tarried there many days, and while he was there he received a call from the Lord to go to Caesarea.
1.) CORNELIUS THE CENTURION:
Cornelius was a centurion, ( a captain ) of the band called the Italian band. There was something different about Cornelius that made him stand out from many others, that difference was that he feared God, the bible says with all his house. That means that he loved the Lord, and was trying to live for him, even though he didn’t know what to do.
He was praying one day and all of a sudden the bible says in verse three, " He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming to him, and saying Cornelius."
When he looked up and saw that God had sent an angel to speak to him, the bible says that he was afraid. No doubt, when he saw the angel he fail down as a dead man for fear. The angel began to speak and tell him that God has heard his prayers and alms and for a memorial they had come up before Him.
Cornelius was praying for something, but he had no ideal what. He knew that there must be a better way, and I believe that he was searching for it. God told him to send to Joppa and call for one called Peter, He told him that he was staying with Simon the tanner, and that Simon’s house was by the sea side.
Cornelius, knowing that it was an angel from the Lord God speaking, did what he was told to do. The bible says that when the angel 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 unto Joppa."
2.) PETER SEES THE GREAT SHEET:
While Peter was staying in Joppa he would go to the roof top to pray. One day while he was there praying he fail into a trans. He began to see a great sheet coming down from heaven, as the sheet got closer and closer, he could see that on the sheet there was all kinds of split-hoof animals. A voice from heaven begin to cry out: " Rise, Peter, Kill and eat."
Verse fourteen says; " But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean."
To the Jewish people a split-hoofed animal was and still is considered an unclean animal.
In Israel, when I was there in November, our guide told us that the pigs are not allowed to touch the ground, because if they did, that ground would become unclean. All the pigs are in pens that are platforms above the ground.
So Peter just flat out refused to eat. The bible says that the voice of the Lord called out again and said for him to rise and eat, again Peter refused, this was done, the bible says three times. The last time the Lord told Peter " What I have cleansed, that call not thou common."