11:1-17. Dissension in the Assembly.
1-3. Peter blamed.
4-10. Peter's Vision.
13,14. Cornelius' Vision.
15-17. Peter vindicated.
Acts 11:1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles
had also received the word
2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
(I.e. Israel. See 10:45. These men heard what Peter had done, and they were filled with indignation that Peter would do such a thing as give the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles. They wanted to know why Peter would even go into a Gentile house? They don't eat as we eat and believe as we believe. There was great contention with Peter in Jerusalem.)
3 Saying, "Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them."
(They were saying, "Whoa, what have you been doing here Peter?")
4 But Peter rehearsed
(= retold, lest you forget.)
the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
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,
(As in 10:11.)
let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered,
(Gr. katanoêo = to perceive with the senses, referring to the object of observation rather than the act of getting to know. It has regard to the conscious action of the mind in getting to see or understand.)
and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
(All unclean animals as in 10:12.)
7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, 'Arise, Peter; slay and eat.'
(As in 10:13. This is not tradition that Peter would not eat scavenger foods, because they are part of the food laws that will never change. The sin of violating them will not condemn your soul, but they do not deal with the health and condition of your physical body. When you are in the flesh, there are certain things that God did not intend to be eaten by man, for they are the garbage collectors of the earth. The scavengers are created for that purpose, and eating them is like eating the filth out of your garbage can.
Friend, flesh hasn't changed, and the same things that made the flesh sick two thousand years ago will still make it sick today.)
8 But I said, 'Not so, Lord:
(Used of Christ, i.e Messiah.)
for nothing common or unclean
hath at any time entered into my mouth.'
(Why? Peter liked to be healthy. The law guided Peter to stay away from them.)
9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, 'What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.'
(Pay close attention to what is talked about here. It has nothing to do with eating any food, for God is giving Peter a lesson, and He will not allow Peter to even touch those things that are in the sheet. God is using this as an analogy, to show that the different peoples, called the uncircumcision, will be acceptable through salvation by Jesus the Christ.)
10 And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
(Notice that Peter at no time while he was being told this was told it was OK to eat unclean food. Analogy; He [God the Father & Son] did not clean the meats, only men.)
11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
12 And the Spirit
(= the Angel of Yahaveh of 10:3.)
bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house:
(He's telling them exactly how it happened. The angel told Peter to go and don't let doubt enter your mind. Peter went with six men; three were the ones that Cornelius sent, and three were of the brethren from Jappa, and entered into Cornelius' house. So with the six, and with Peter makes seven men, and in biblical numerics the number seven means, "spiritual completeness".
This "spiritual completeness" of the seven will establish salvation for all Gentiles by order from God, given three times for emphasis.)
13 And he shewed 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;
14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.'
(Teach about TRUE Salvation. How Jesus had paid the price on the cross, and raised from the dead, to join His Father in heaven, and now sits on the right hand of the Father. There Jesus will remain until all His enemies will be made His footstool.
If Christ is on the His throne in heaven, then who will make His enemies His footstool? Friend, you are starting to catch on. Those that make Christ's enemies His footstool are God's elect. It is you and I, armed with the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. We go into that battle with all our armor on and in place, ready to stand for the battle that is upon us even today. That battle is a spiritual warfare, fought with words from the Scriptures, with ideas, and concepts according to God's Word, and the battlefield is in your mind. The sooner you know where the battle is, and how it is to be fought, the sooner you can start to prepare for it.
Our gospel armor is the truth of every part of God's Word, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, it is truth, and not traditions and fairy-tales. Ephesians 6:10-20 tells us how we put that armor on to protect us from our head to our feet. Our armor is facts and not false doctrine, it is truth and understanding, and not confusion and babbling.)
15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
(This is concerning end times, i.e. Cp. 2:17-21. Joel 2:28-32. How did it fall on them? At the beginning! Isn't that complicated? I don't think it's complicated at all. I don't know how anyone can confuse it. The Holy Spirit fell on these exactly as the tongue fell on them on the Pentecost day, thus being called the Pentecost tongue. It was heard in every language of the world and no man can fake that. Now, I know that sometimes the truth of God upsets people because they’ve heard so much from man. Well, I could say by the grace of God, there go I. What’s important is what the Word of God says. What the Word of God teaches. And hey, like it or lump it friend, you’d better be in accord with God or you’re in accord with the master of confusion, that is to say, Satan. Not necessarily because you want to follow Satan, but because he has you confused. You see, the example, the word language that was translated into English as language, we found out was dialektos, which is the dialect, which meant that it was even more specific than simply a language, they talked in the same dialect as the county that the old boys were born in; emphasizing clarity and the simplistic way in which God teaches, giving everyone that equal chance to hear and to understand. So, there you have that tongue of Pentecost.)
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 Spirit.'
(You must know the Holy Spirit to understand John 14, the promise from God that He would sent the Comforter, and He still remains to this day. We need Him to lead and guide us in prayer and living our daily lives, and in understanding God's Word.
When one is baptized with the Holy Spirit, usually they are given a gift, and when man uses his gift given him, there will be success in doing that work that the gift was intended for, and it is God that gets all the credit for that gift. The fall of man comes when he attributes his successes to himself, and not to where it belongs, to God.)
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?"
(I.e., "Who am I to argue with God?"
That is the qualifier in receiving the Holy Spirit of God, you must "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ".)
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."
(This and v.3 shows that Cornelius was not a proselyte.
When the men that called Peter to Jerusalem had heard Peter they understood fully what had happened. They knew that God had now offered eternal life to all Gentiles, that upon repentance they also could be saved. The word "Gentile" is "ethnos" in the Greek and means all peoples. These Gentiles would have eternal life, if they believed and if they repented of their sins in Jesus name. It is so simple and so wonderful that God loves all of His children that He created, so why should He not offer all men salvation equally.)
11:19-30. Ministry at Phenice, &c.
19-26. In Spiritual Things.
27-30. In Carnal Things.
19-26. In Spiritual Things.
19,20. Preaching by Cypriotes, &c.
21. Many believers.
22-24-. Preaching by Barnabas.
-24. Much people added
25,26. Preaching by Barnabas and Saul.
19 Now they which were scattered
(Gr. diaspeirõ. See 8:1.)
abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch,
(The capital of Syria, about 16 miles from the sea. Seleucia was its port.)
preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
(Seed of Abraham = Israel. Remember that the ten tribes were scattered long before Judah went into Captivity, and because of this, the term "but to the Jews only", should read "but to Israel only." Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 10:6 "But rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." This is not the house of Judah, the Jews, but to the "House of Israel". The house of Israel includes Judah. Judah is only one tribe of twelve.
So we see that the Christians that were scattered at the time of Stephen's death, were preaching to only those of the scattered Israelites, all twelve tribes, thirteen when you consider Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph's double portion.
Today this house of Israel is scattered over all the world, and Hosea has told us long ago how we would recognize them, in Hosea 1:10; "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, `Ye are not My People,' there it shall be said unto them, `Ye are the sons of the living God'. "
Wherever those people are in the world today, two thing is for sure in identifying these people. First is that they do not know that they are of Israel, they call themselves something other then Israel, like Americans, British, French and so on. Secondly those people will call themselves Christians, a Christian nation. Jesus Christ is the Living God, and those that are of Christ are sons of the Living God.)
20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene,
(Cypriotes and Cyrenians. It was open to everyone of the Gentiles [nations].)
which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians,
(See 6:1. Most text read Hellênes, Greeks. There was nothing strange in speaking to the Greek-speaking Jews.)
(Gr. evangelizõ = to announce a joyful message; having regard to the matter announced not the manner.)
the LORD Jesus.
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
(This got the Church really going.)
22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
(Remember that Barnabas was the person that the angel of God appeared to, assuring them that Saul, [Paul] was truly converted. That Paul was of the way.)
23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God,
(God the Creator.)
was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
(It is quite common that when the full Word of God is not taught, those that receive the Word and repent, will drift away, back into the old worldly ways. When the times get tough and even when there is great prosperity, they abandon the way of the Lord.
God's Word will stand on it's own merits, when taught properly. When it is taught properly there will never be any need for the begging bag. Beggers are works of men, and if a teaching is of God there is no need to beg to have the sheep of the flock to give, they will automatically give them joy. It doesn't matter how tempted you are to teach tradition, and say things that the others want to hear, teach the Word of God, as it is given in the Word; Chapter by chapter, and verse by verse, with understanding.)
24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called
(Gr. chrêmatismos. This word occ. 9 times. See note on Luke 2:26. Generally of a divine communication. Though the name may have been given at first by the Gentiles in mockery, the usage of the word by the Holy Spirit indicates that its real origin was Divine.)
(Here, 26:28. 1 Pet.4:16. Cp.15:17. Jews could not have given the name, as Christos was a sacred word.)
first in Antioch.
(Paul had left Jerusalem when the Jews had sought to kill him, and went to Tarsus, the place of his birth. Barnabas went to Paul, and brought him back to Antioch were Paul taught the people the Word of God. Before this church that started in Antioch, the Christians were either called "Israelites, or Gentiles". The thing that separated the Israelite from the Gentile was circumcision. But now they were both believers, and Christ became their circumcision. They were now called "Christ's mans" which is to say, "Christians". It all started at this church where Paul was preaching and teaching in Antioch. They were followers of the way, Christ.)
27-30. In Carnal Things.
27,28-. Prophecy of Dearth.
29. Purpose of Relief.
27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus,
(= a locust, and that should give us a clue to look out for what is coming.)
and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world:
(Dearth, Gr. limos. Occ 12 times. Cp 7:11. Elsewhere transl. "hunger" or "famine". Cp. Amos 8:11,12. These and those who know the Lord won't starve during the drought.)
which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
(The fourth Roman Emperor [A.D. 41-54]. Roman historians mention several famines during his reign. See also Josephus, Ant.XX.iii.6.)
29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders
(Gr. presbuteros. This is the first time we meet with elders in the Christian churches. Here elders include the Apostles. Cp. 8:1. 1 Pet.5:1.)
by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
(Christianity was not popular in Jerusalem, because it brought into question the very traditions of the Kenites, and pointed out their laws and customs, from that taught by the prophets of the Old Testament, and Jesus Christ Himself. Those Christians that lived in Jerusalem were the ones that were called "the poor".)