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Friday, June 10 2016

Acts 10: Peter's Lesson With Cornelius The Centurion

"There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion ... A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway ... Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him"

Cornelius was a centurion, a Roman military officer in command of a hundred men (the Latin term for 100, cent, is still widely evident today e.g. a century of 100 years, 100 cents in a dollar, 100 centimeters in a meter, per cent i.e. per 100) and a "devout man" who believed in the true God in the time of the Messiah's Sacrifice. He lived, or was posted at, Caesarea, a city located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea about 80 kilometers / 50 miles northwest of Jerusalem.

Cornelius is often regarded as among the first "gentile" (a word from Hebrew that simply means a nation of people; by actual meaning of the word, Jews and Israelites are "gentiles" too - the term is used in the Bible however in reference to the other "gentiles"; see What Are Gentiles Doing In Israel?) converts to Christianity in that time (keeping in mind that the Gospel of the coming Messiah and the Kingdom of God began with "gentiles," long before Israelites even existed; see The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq) after God delivered individual messages to both Cornelius and Peter. At the time, Peter was staying at Joppa (today within Tel Aviv), about 50 kilometers / 30 miles down the coast from Caesarea.

A Centurion The meeting of Peter and Cornelius was no accident. It was declared by the LORD for a purpose.

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

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. 10:5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: 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.

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; 10:8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa." (Acts 10:1-8 KJV)

The encounter was declared by the LORD as a lesson to Peter (and to everyone else) that true righteousness is based solely upon obedience and faith to the LORD. The only people who are "unclean" are those who make themselves so by rejecting their calling to the Truth when it comes. The lesson wasn't about the dietary laws that are about human health, not anyone's religion (see the Fact Finder question below), but about a perception that had been created by the nationalized religion of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism and Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism).

"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: 10:10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 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: 10:12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 10:13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

10:14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

10:16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

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, 10:18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.

10:19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 10:20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

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?

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. 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." (Acts 10:9-23 KJV)

So it was then that Peter met with Cornelius. Notice also that when Cornelius revered him, Peter told him not to revere any man ("But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man") - except the Messiah (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour). After their meeting, Cornelius and his family were baptized.

Caesarea

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

10:27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. 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. 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?

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, 10:31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 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. 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.

10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) 10:37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 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.

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: 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 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. 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. 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

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

Then answered Peter, 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." (Acts 10:24-48 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why is it that LORD's dietary laws are entirely about health, not "religion" - and as such will never be "done away"?
See What Makes Creatures Clean or Unclean?


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This Day In History, June 10

323 BC: Alexander the Great, Macedonian king, died at age 33 (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids and The Prophet Daniel: The Ram and The He Goat).

Alexander the Great 1190: During the Third Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), Frederick I Barbarossa drowned in the Saleph River while leading his army to Jerusalem.

1285: King Philip III of Spain was succeeded by Philip IV.

1307: Robert the Bruce, Scottish king fought an English attacking force of cavalry under Aylmer de Valence at the battle of Louden Hill in Ayrshire.

1503: Christopher Columbus "discovered" the Cayman Islands (it wasn't a discovery for the people already living there). All of the four voyages of Christopher Columbus to "America" were actually only to the islands of the Caribbean (see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy and the map below).

1610: The first Dutch settlers arrived on the wilderness island that is known today as Manhattan.

1655: Jamaica was taken by the British after being held by the Spanish for 161 years.

1692: During the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials, Bridget Bishop was hanged at Gallows Hill for "certain Detestable Arts called Witchcraft & Sorceries" (see also What Is Sorcery?).

1774: King Louis XV of France died of smallpox. He became king at the age of five on the death of his great-grandfather, Louis XIV.

1791: The British Parliament passed the Constitutional Act following the arrival in Canada of 10,000 more Loyalist refugees from the revolution of the New England colonies (most of the Loyalists were hard-working, conservative people who had been successful in their businesses, professions or trades in New England). The Act divided Canada into two provinces, Upper Canada with a capital at Newark (Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario) and Lower Canada with a capital at Quebec City ("Upper" and "Lower" Canada were geographic terms simply based on the flow of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River toward the Atlantic Ocean).

1794: Elizabeth, the sister of French King Louis XVI, was beheaded.

1796: Napoleon's Army of Italy defeated the Austrians under Baron Beaulieu at the Battle of Lodi, southeast of Milan. Over 2,000 Austrians were killed or wounded.

1798: British explorer George Vancouver died. He sailed with Captain James Cook to Australia and New Zealand and to the west coast of North America where Vancouver Island and Vancouver B.C. are named after him.

Voyages of Christopher Columbus 1809: Pope Pius VII excommunicated Napoleon for his decree to annex the Papal States as part of the French Empire.

1857: The Seepoys of India revolted against the British rule.

1871: France and Germany signed a peace treaty in Frankfurt by which France ceded Alsace-Lorraine.

1898: During the Spanish-U.S. War, U.S. Marines invaded Cuba.

1933: Nazis in Berlin burned books by Jewish authors, including those by Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1940: Winston Churchill took over as British Prime Minister after the resignation of Neville Chamberlain (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1940: Germany invaded Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium.

1941: Nazi government member Rudolf Hess flew a Messerschmitt fighter from Augsburg, Germany and parachuted out near Glasgow, Scotland, with his unauthorized "offer of peace" with Britain. He was imprisoned for the rest of his life.

1967: Day 6 of the "6 Day War." At the end of the conflict, Israeli casualties: 759 killed, about 1,500 wounded, 40 aircraft, 80 tanks. Arab casualties: 30,000 killed and wounded, over 450 aircraft, 1,000 tanks destroyed or captured. Within the newly captured territories, Israel also found itself with over 1,000,000 new Arab "subjects": 670,000 in the West Bank and Jerusalem, 356,000 in the Gaza Strip, 33,000 in Sinai, and 6,000 in the Golan Heights (see A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace and Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).

1989: The official opening of Skydome in Toronto.

2002: The first direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans was accomplished, in the United Kingdom.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank