Word of Jesus Part 70

Act 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
Act 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 always.

We see here a devout man, a religious man and one who loved God but it wasn't enough. He needed Jesus Christ.

Act 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.
Act 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.

We don't know what Cornelius prayed for but God was answering his prayer. Perhaps he was praying for a way out of sin, hope of eternal life or just more understanding of God. Faith in Jesus opens that door of understanding that was once closed to us. When we believe in Jesus, we receive the Holy Ghost that leads us further into the truth of God's word. The works of the Holy Spirit always glorify Jesus Christ and never contradicts the word of God.

Act 10:5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
Act 10:6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
Act 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;
Act 10:8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
Act 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:
Act 10:10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
Act 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:
Act 10:12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
Act 10:13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
Act 10:14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

The Jews had dietary laws that forbade some of the animals he saw hear. This vision was not given to Peter for the perpose of changing his dietary laws but to show him that the gospel was for Gentiles as well as Jews.

Act 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
Act 10:16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

Apparently the number three is significant to Peter. He had to see it three times. It could be that three men were coming to see him. These men were Gentiles. This emphasis of three times was important because Peter later had trouble and was rebuked by Paul for being prejudice against the Gentiles.

Act 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 inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
Act 10:18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
Act 10:19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
Act 10:20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
Act 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?
Act 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 a holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
Act 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.

God could have sent anyone else or even an angel to preach to these men but He chose to send Peter for Peter seemed to always be a spokesman for everyone else and had much influence, not because he was better than the other apostles but because he was quick to take charge and speak out.

Act 10:24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
Act 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
Act 10:26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

No true prophet, pastor, pope or spiritual leader will accept the worship of man. Neither will an angel from heaven nor even Mary, the mother of Jesus. The real Mary would be appalled to know many pray thinking they are talking to her.

Act 10:27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
Act 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 showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

When God cleanses us from sin, it doesn't matter who we are. We could be Jew, Muslim, Gentile, black, white, Indian, child, woman, man, Russian, American, Chinese, poor, rich, slave, tax collector, ditch digger or politician. The gospel is for anyone who will dare to believe and receive it.

Act 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?
Act 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,
Act 10:31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
Act 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.
Act 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.
Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Act 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
Act 10:37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
Act 10:38 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.
Act 10:39 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:
Act 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly;
Act 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.
Act 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.
Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Jesus was sent from God and ordained to be the one who judges those alive and those who died. Jesus is the only way for any soul to be saved from judgment and enter eternal life. Only through Jesus can we be saved from sin. There is no other way. If we don't receive Jesus we will die in our sins.

Act 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
Act 10:45 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.
Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

We see that the sign of speaking in tongues as the spirit gave utterance let Peter know that the Gentiles also received the Holy Ghost.

So many stumble at the thought of speaking in tongues. They consider it strange. Some say that it is not for today but only in the days of the apostles. There is nothing in the New Testament that supports the theory that the tongues ceased or for that matter any gift of the spirit. They shall cease only at the return of Jesus Christ, the perfect one. In that day there will be no need to prophesy or speak in tongues for we will be made perfect.

The gifts of the spirit will only cease when they are no longer needed.

Tongues are actually languages spoken somewhere either in earth or in heaven. They help us praise God and they edify those that are speaking to God in tongues. It is a sign that the Holy Spirit is present in the individual who is speaking.

This sign showed Peter at this time that the salvation of Jesus Christ was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews.

We can be thankful to God for bringing us the gospel as well as the Jewish people.

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

They still needed to obey God by the ordinance of water baptism. They were already saved and filled with the spirit so the water itself does not do the saving as some may teach. It was an outward act of obedience to show forth what has already taken place in the life of the believer. The water has no power to save in itself. It could represent the inner living water that come within all who believe described by Jesus when talking with the woman at the well in John 4.

Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

I really don't blame them. Peter brought them the message of salvation and eternal life. They were in no hurry for him to leave.

There is only one verse in Act 11 with the actual quote of Jesus but I had to include the surrounding verses in order to give us proper understanding of the passage. Actually the words in verse 16 are a repetition of Christ's words in Acts 1:4, 5

Act 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Act 11:1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
Act 11:2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
Act 11:3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.

It was hard for believing Jews to understand that the gospel was for the entire world and not just the Jewish nation. They should have known without this vision of Peter's but they didn't quite realize it. The apostle Paul had no problem with this but it seems the other apostles struggled with this at times.

Act 11:4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
Act 11:5 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:
Act 11:6 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.
Act 11:7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
Act 11:8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
Act 11:9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
Act 11:10 And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
Act 11:11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
Act 11:12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house:
Act 11:13 And he showed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;
Act 11:14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
Act 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
Act 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Act 11:17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

When God truly shows us a truth, who are we to hinder and try to change what God has spoken.

Act 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

We can rejoice with this that after hearing Peter, they began to rejoice and be thankful that God was spreading the gospel to all who would believe.


Words of Jesus 71
 

 

 
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