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  • Discussion Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

    Hi I just joined. My question is about Acts chapters 10 and 11; but also how they relate to the rest of scripture. Please note i am not a 7th Day Adventists.

    These chapters appear to me to be about a dream Peter has that convinces him to have social dealings with a gentile named Cornelius. Peter eventually gives the interpretation of his dream in verse 27 of chapter 10.

    27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

    The vision also includes a blanket that both comes down from heaven and is taken up again. It is not left on earth.

    I have two questions. Firstly, if this is what the chapters are about, and Peter himself gives the interpretation, why do people use it as pertaining to foods that are able to be eaten or not eaten. That seems forced. Secondly, why are we allowed to eat unclean animals? Where does that idea come from? Thanks for all answers in advance!

  • #2
    Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

    Welcome to the board!

    I don't necessarily use it to eat unclean animals, but I do use this verse that shows I can.

    11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

    A diet with out these things is probably healthier, but cannot defile us.

    blessings to you
    My soul does GLORIFY the LORD, my spirit REJOICES in GOD MY SAVIOUR
    ------
    "To be entirely safe from the devils snares the man of God must be completely obedient to the Word of the Lord. The driver on the highway is safe, not when he reads the signs but when he obeys them." A.W.Tozer

    The Lifehouse Skit

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    • #3
      Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

      Originally posted by jesse View Post
      Hi I just joined. My question is about Acts chapters 10 and 11; but also how they relate to the rest of scripture. Please note i am not a 7th Day Adventists.

      These chapters appear to me to be about a dream Peter has that convinces him to have social dealings with a gentile named Cornelius. Peter eventually gives the interpretation of his dream in verse 27 of chapter 10.

      27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

      The vision also includes a blanket that both comes down from heaven and is taken up again. It is not left on earth.

      I have two questions. Firstly, if this is what the chapters are about, and Peter himself gives the interpretation, why do people use it as pertaining to foods that are able to be eaten or not eaten. That seems forced. Secondly, why are we allowed to eat unclean animals? Where does that idea come from? Thanks for all answers in advance!
      I like the above post by Indueseason. I have no idea how people can use that verse/passage as pertaining to foods that Jews can eat or not eat. It certainly does seem forced! Why are we allowed to eat unclean animals? I think a better question would be why were Jews not allowed to eat unclean animals? Remember, for 2,000 + years, no one had these limitations placed on them. It wasn't until God chose to separate Israel from the rest of the nations did that limitation arise. I assume that it was probably healthier at that time (reasons unknown to me) and/or was beneficial to Israel in some way (unknown to me). Additionally, God was trying to keep Israel "different" and separated so that He could use them to be a light to the rest of the surrounding nations.

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      • #4
        Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

        I certainly don't want to seem argumentative and thank you for the answers. My question to both of you is this i suppose. Is not the verse from Matthew 15:11 a discussion about extra laws imposed by the jews?

        Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. Matthew 15:2

        Jesus responds in his patented "answer a question with a question" technique. Asking why they do not honor their parents and teach others to not do so. He also gives a spiritual lesson about defiling yourself. And then he returns to the main point.

        These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. Matthew 15:20

        His statement in verse 11 never touches on what the law says we can or can't eat. It is about washing your hands which was an extra law imposed by the jewish religious leaders. Even Jesus kept God's true law. That is why he was sinless. No? He didn't wash his hands but he also didn't eat unclean animals. Actually i would like to add that Jesus is not the accused who didn't wash his hands, his disciples were. Jesus may have washed his hands. But i digress.

        As for the second answer. Fair enough but are not we also supposed to be separate?

        Again i am not trying to be rude or argumentative and please forgive me if i come across as such.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

          Originally posted by jesse View Post
          I certainly don't want to seem argumentative and thank you for the answers. My question to both of you is this i suppose. Is not the verse from Matthew 15:11 a discussion about extra laws imposed by the jews?

          Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. Matthew 15:2

          Jesus responds in his patented "answer a question with a question" technique. Asking why they do not honor their parents and teach others to not do so. He also gives a spiritual lesson about defiling yourself. And then he returns to the main point.

          These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. Matthew 15:20

          His statement in verse 11 never touches on what the law says we can or can't eat. It is about washing your hands which was an extra law imposed by the jewish religious leaders. Even Jesus kept God's true law. That is why he was sinless. No? He didn't wash his hands but he also didn't eat unclean animals. Actually i would like to add that Jesus is not the accused who didn't wash his hands, his disciples were. Jesus may have washed his hands. But i digress.

          As for the second answer. Fair enough but are not we also supposed to be separate?

          Again i am not trying to be rude or argumentative and please forgive me if i come across as such.
          Jesus declared "all foods clean" clearly overwriting the law that God gave earlier.
          But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the falcon of any kind; every raven of any kind; the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; the little owl and the short-eared owl, the barn owl and the tawny owl, the carrion vulture and the cormorant, the stork, the heron of any kind; the hoopoe and the bat. And all winged insects are unclean for you; they shall not be eaten. Deuteronomy 14:12-19

          i believe mt 15.11 is saying that transgressing physical requirements of the law did not make you unclean. As a clear example, there are people of a certain religion today (don't remember which) who wouldn't even touch the buttons of an elevator (they hired others to punch the buttons for them) because they thought that by touching the buttons they would get defiled. But Jesus is saying that it is transgressing the moral requirements of the law that made you unclean (mt 15.19-20). The Pharisees, in contrast, were saying people were spiritually unclean for doing something that does not make them spiritually unclean (transgressing physical requirements).

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          • #6
            Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

            I tend to favour the thought that there were many many man made laws added to the Law. At this stage, I have no real grounds for this but I do see that man tends to add stuff to what God say all the time. It appears that a simple truth is just to easy to accept...oi !
            The Main Thing is...to keep the main Thing, the Main thing.

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            • #7
              Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

              I was of the understanding that the vision had to do with the Gentiles being included in God's plan of salvation, which surprised the Jewish believers at first. The Gentiles were previously viewed as outcasts and unclean by the Jewish believers, God's vision was to reassure Peter that the Gentiles were included in his plan of salvation.

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              • #8
                Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

                This brings me some clarity to Peter's vision:

                1Ti 4:1 . Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding]to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4:4 For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

                We can eat all things if we give thanks for it.
                Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

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                • #9
                  Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

                  Originally posted by jesse View Post
                  As for the second answer. Fair enough but are not we also supposed to be separate?

                  Again i am not trying to be rude or argumentative and please forgive me if i come across as such.
                  We are indeed supposed to be separate. And the food laws are related to this. Peter speaks of holiness (which some call being separated) this way...

                  1 Peter 1:13-16

                  13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."
                  NASU

                  First, Peter states we are to fix our hope completely on the grace that comes to us when we have a revelation of Christ Jesus. IOW, holiness is as much an act of grace as is salvation. Then he goes on to quote a verse from the OT food laws... "Be hol for I am holy". The standard for holiness is God's holiness! There is no way to meet that outside of grace! Here's the verse quoted from the OT.

                  Lev 11:41-45

                  41 ' Now every swarming thing that swarms on the earth is detestable, not to be eaten. 42 'Whatever crawls on its belly, and whatever walks on all fours, whatever has many feet, in respect to every swarming thing that swarms on the earth, you shall not eat them, for they are detestable. 43 ' Do not render yourselves detestable through any of the swarming things that swarm; and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean. 44 'For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. 45 ' For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.'"
                  NASU

                  So Peter quotes the food laws when speaking of holiness! What in the world do food laws have to do with holiness? Well, Paul taught us something interesting about the Law.

                  Rom 2:29
                  29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
                  NASU

                  and

                  Rom 7:6
                  6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
                  NASU

                  So we need to understand the Spirit of the Law and what God is saying with that instead of the letter of the law. Is there anything in the NT related to food?

                  Look at what Jesus said...

                  John 6:35

                  35 Jesus said to them, " I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
                  NASU

                  The first step in being holy is to eat the "Bread of Life"! He was born in Bethlehem (the house of bread) and laid in a manger (food trough) for all to come and eat! Salvation, as an act of grace, is the first step to holiness.

                  Remember when Moses saw the burning bush? God told him to "take off your shoes, you are on holy ground". What made that ground holy? It was the presence of God! So when someone gets saved, the presence of God moves into them and they are made holy by grace.

                  Jesus also said this...

                  Matt 4:4
                  4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'"
                  NASU

                  The word of God (the bible and the spoken word to our hearts, when it becomes a revelation of who God is) is food for our spirit and souls! We are to eat that! As we have a revelation (an act of grace) we become more holy.

                  In another passage, we learn that deliverance is bread.

                  Mark 7:25-30
                  25 But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And He was saying to her, "Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." 28 But she answered and said to Him, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children's crumbs." 29 And He said to her, "Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter." 30 And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left.
                  NASU

                  The woman wanted deliverance for her child and Jesus referred to this as bread! When we are delivered from the most vile things (lust, lying, steeling, and other strongholds) it is an act of grace that makes us holy! This is considered spiritual food.

                  What are some things we are to avoid? Well look at what Jesus said here:

                  Matt 16:5-12

                  5 And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 And Jesus said to them, "Watch out and beware of theleaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 7 They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, "He said that because we did not bring any bread." 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, " You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? 9 "Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up? 10 "Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up? 11 "How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of theleaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 12 Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
                  NASU

                  Jesus referred to the teaching of Pharisees and Sadducees as leaven! Leaven is used in bread. It is not good food!!! It is used to change food. So it is bad "food" to be avoided. The sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. For them, religion may have been OK to make my life here better. But what of the afterlife? Today, we might call them the "liberal" scholars who doubt that Jesus is God or believe in an afterlife. The Pharisees were those that focused on doing all the time! They added to the law of God. They believed they could be good enough through obedience to make it into heaven. This food, this kind of thinking, makes us detestable before the Lord!

                  How does this work? As someone mentioned above, Jesus said it this way;

                  Mark 7:17-23

                  17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18 And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, " That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 "All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."
                  NASU

                  One can hear bad things. But if one eats them spiritually, and allows them into his heart, then they will come out of his heart and then he will be defiled or unclean! So we must be careful to eat clean spiritual foods. And to reject, through the shield of faith, all the food thoughts (lusts, unjust anger, coveteousness, self righteousness, salvation based on our own righteousness, etc.) that the enemy would have us eat. We capture these thoughts and bring them under subjection to Christ.

                  In this way, we keep the spirit of the OT food laws. It is not what a man eats physically that will make him unclean. It is what a man eats spiritually that is the real danger!

                  Grace and peace,

                  Mark
                  Matt 9:13
                  13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                  NASU

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

                    I believe the vision of the unclean animals was intended to teach Peter a spiritual lesson, not to abrogate Jewish dietary laws. We can deduce that Peter had a bit of prejudice against Gentles, which the Lord sought to address with the vision--which Peter understood. Knowing that Peter, as one of the chief Apostles, had this undesirable attitude, the Lord made some corrections. By means of the vision, and by sending him into "the belly of the beast," God made it clear to Peter, and the Jews with him, that He is no respecter of persons--and so then, neither should they be. When they saw the Gentiles experience the same outpouring of God's Spirit that they received, evidenced by speaking in tongues, they knew God had sanctioned the bringing into the fold of the Gentiles. So, while it would be a stretch to infer that Peter's vision represented a change in dietary laws for the Jews, it does carry the inference that those laws (with the exception of those stipulated in Acts 15) did not apply to Gentile believers--just as circumcision did not.

                    When we stand before the Judgment Seat, we will have retained only two things from our earthly life: what God gave us, and what we did with what He gave us.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

                      Originally posted by Sojourner55 View Post
                      I believe the vision of the unclean animals was intended to teach Peter a spiritual lesson, not to abrogate Jewish dietary laws. We can deduce that Peter had a bit of prejudice against Gentles, which the Lord sought to address with the vision--which Peter understood. Knowing that Peter, as one of the chief Apostles, had this undesirable attitude, the Lord made some corrections. By means of the vision, and by sending him into "the belly of the beast," God made it clear to Peter, and the Jews with him, that He is no respecter of persons--and so then, neither should they be. When they saw the Gentiles experience the same outpouring of God's Spirit that they received, evidenced by speaking in tongues, they knew God had sanctioned the bringing into the fold of the Gentiles. So, while it would be a stretch to infer that Peter's vision represented a change in dietary laws for the Jews, it does carry the inference that those laws (with the exception of those stipulated in Acts 15) did not apply to Gentile believers--just as circumcision did not.
                      Really great post!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

                        Originally posted by jesse View Post
                        I certainly don't want to seem argumentative and thank you for the answers. My question to both of you is this i suppose. Is not the verse from Matthew 15:11 a discussion about extra laws imposed by the jews?

                        Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. Matthew 15:2

                        Jesus responds in his patented "answer a question with a question" technique. Asking why they do not honor their parents and teach others to not do so. He also gives a spiritual lesson about defiling yourself. And then he returns to the main point.

                        These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. Matthew 15:20

                        His statement in verse 11 never touches on what the law says we can or can't eat. It is about washing your hands which was an extra law imposed by the jewish religious leaders. Even Jesus kept God's true law. That is why he was sinless. No? He didn't wash his hands but he also didn't eat unclean animals. Actually i would like to add that Jesus is not the accused who didn't wash his hands, his disciples were. Jesus may have washed his hands. But i digress.

                        As for the second answer. Fair enough but are not we also supposed to be separate?

                        Again i am not trying to be rude or argumentative and please forgive me if i come across as such.
                        I agree, I think, with what you've concluded. But are you asking if Gentiles should follow the laws that Israel was commanded to follow (i.e. dietary laws)?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

                          Originally posted by LookingUp View Post
                          I agree, I think, with what you've concluded. But are you asking if Gentiles should follow the laws that Israel was commanded to follow (i.e. dietary laws)?

                          I guess i am asking that. But i also suppose the answer would then be no. But then are jews supposed to keep the law? Was the apostle peter hanging out eating hamburgers at his local McDonalds shortly after his vision? And how could there be jewish believers during the end times if you can't become a jew via physical circumcision and most don't know their heritage and are probably khazarians anyways? And then if you say "well God knows who are real jews and even who belong to the lost tribes of Isreal" that is fine and good but what if I myself am one? And if i am shouldn't i be keeping the law? I don't know. Like i said, i am confused. But two of the least understandable things in the bible for me are, what is going on with Isreal/gentiles and what is going on with the Law/Grace. But that is pretty much all the bible is about so it is kinda a pain.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

                            Originally posted by jesse View Post
                            I guess i am asking that. But i also suppose the answer would then be no.
                            Right, the apostles concluded early on that a Gentile is not required to become a Jew (i.e. be circumcised, etc.) in order to obtain eternal life (Acts 15). But neither does that mean a Jew, who follows the customs of Moses (i.e. circumcision), should abandon the customs that have been a part of who they are for centuries. Remember, following the customs and laws of Moses was a sign that you were a believer in the God of Abraham. But following the customs and laws didn’t save you. As a Gentile, following the laws that are written on my heart by God (i.e. our conscience which tells us what is right and wrong) as well as following the commands given to Gentiles by the apostles (i.e. Jews) is a sign that I am a believer in the God of Abraham and His son, Christ Jesus. But those things don’t save me; God does.

                            But then are jews supposed to keep the law?
                            If they want to be considered a Jew according to the laws of Moses. I suppose they can turn to Gentile ways if they choose to, but it’s really up to them. It doesn’t affect their eternal life.

                            Was the apostle peter hanging out eating hamburgers at his local McDonalds shortly after his vision?
                            No, I don’t believe so.

                            And how could there be jewish believers during the end times if you can't become a jew via physical circumcision and most don't know their heritage and are probably khazarians anyways?
                            You are a Jew if you are born a Jew and continue in the laws and customs of Moses, I suppose. I suppose you can’t stop being a Jew genetically, but you can stop practicing the customs and practice the customs of Gentiles instead. Again, this doesn’t have an impact on your eternal life. The Jewish believers in the end times are Jews who follow Jesus and the laws and customs of Moses. That doesn’t mean they’re trusting in animal sacrifices to cover their sin; it means they’ve chosen to remain Jewish in their customs (imo).

                            And then if you say "well God knows who are real jews and even who belong to the lost tribes of Isreal" that is fine and good but what if I myself am one?
                            I, personally, don’t think we’ll know who is from the lost tribes until after the second coming. I assume the end times believing Jews are from Judah. I imagine it will be great fun to find out who is from Israel and see the two houses joined.

                            And if i am shouldn't i be keeping the law? I don't know.
                            Keep the heartfelt intent of the Law of God and you’ll be just fine (i.e. love God, love others). It would be cool if you were a member of one of the lost tribes, but it’s not your responsibility to figure it out just so you can keep the customs of Moses. I don’t think it’s possible anyway, is it?

                            Like i said, i am confused. But two of the least understandable things in the bible for me are, what is going on with Isreal/gentiles
                            Be more specific. What do you mean what is going on with Israel/Gentiles?

                            and what is going on with the Law/Grace. But that is pretty much all the bible is about so it is kinda a pain.
                            Again, try to be more specific here. The Law and Grace do not oppose each other.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Cornelius calls for Peter - Food V.s. Gentiles

                              Also, as near as i can figure from what Brother Mark is saying, some people believe that the physical acts of the law are all spiritualized or also that some like the festivals are fulfilled in Christ. Which is fine and i guess i agree to a large degree. But some are obviously not. For example in Romans chapter 7 Paul begins to explain how we are dead to the law, but he does so by stating how if a woman's husband is dead she is free to marry. Which is a law. So he is using the law to explain and ultimately justify how we are dead to the law. And he does it by using a law that we are still required to keep?!? What? That is confusing. On the other hand if all the laws are spiritualized, but i have to keep them still, just this time keeping them in my spiritual side first and then in my physical life, how does that do away with dietary laws? Or to put it another way, now that i recognize not only that i shouldn't murder, but i shouldn't even hate, should i not also recognize that i should not only keep the dietary laws but also what they represented? (which i suppose is Holiness according to Brother Mark?) Or is it good to not hate but i can murder all i want? To be separated to God inwardly but not be separated outwardly (in dietary laws) ? Now do you see my confusion?

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