Land and community statutue. Capitol building, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Friday, 16 September 2022
Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.” Acts 10:20
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen).
You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).
Peter was just informed by the Spirit with the words, “Behold, three men are seeking you.” The Spirit’s words now continue, saying, “Arise therefore.”
Peter was obviously still sitting or lying on the roof wondering about the vision when the Spirit spoke to him. But with the arrival of the three men, the time to ponder had ended and he was called to get up. The connection to the vision he sought was soon to be revealed. Continuing His words, the Spirit next said, “go down.”
Rather, the verb is an aorist participle, “having gone down.” It is making a future assumption that he has already obeyed and that the next step is about to come to pass. In other words, “Once you have done this, then you are to next do this.” The next thing to do is then stated, which is, “and go with them.”
This has nothing to do yet with intermingling with Gentiles. There was nothing wrong with a Jew walking along with a Gentile. Rather, this is to assure Peter, in advance, that these men’s intentions are proper and nothing untoward is going on. He can be confident that what they have come for is appropriate, and that it surely has something to do with the very vision he received and was even at that moment pondering. Therefore, he should be “doubting nothing.”
Because this has been explained to him in advance, he shouldn’t be at all concerned about the course of events, as if it is either out of the will of God, or that it is the wrong path to take in relation to the vision. Rather, it is exactly what has been planned for. This is then confirmed by the words, “for I have sent them.”
In reading the entire account, and without understanding the way things work, one could be a bit confused about this statement. In verse 10:3, it says that “an angel [messenger] of God” came to Cornelius and spoke to him, directing him concerning what he should do. Then, in verse 10:4, it said “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.”
Now, it says that the Spirit had sent these men. As the Spirit is God, there is no contradiction here. The works of God, within the Godhead, are clearly and unambiguously seen in this exchange.
Life application: The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus is God. They also deny the deity of the Holy Spirit, saying that the Spirit is an “active force” but not a member of the Godhead. Some accept the deity of Jesus but say that this is God working through modes (modalism) where Jesus is the Father and the Spirit is the Father (or any slight variation on this concept), and that He is expressing Himself in these various ways – somewhat like an actor going behind a screen and putting on a different mask for a different part of the show.
These are heresies. They do not fit what the Bible teaches. Each member of the Godhead is separate as a “Person” and yet is one in essence in God. To divert from this is to run off on an avenue that can only lead to further heresy. And because there are so many forms of diverting from what is orthodox, there are innumerable little heretics, influenced by Satan, pulling people away from the truth of how God presents Himself in Scripture.
One must be clear, precise, and extremely careful with one’s knowledge. A small divergence can turn into an entirely convoluted approach to how theology is understood and presented. If anyone comes to you and presents a doctrine that diverts from standard orthodoxy, warn him once and then a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. And most important of all is what John says concerning the Father/Son relationship –
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” 2 John -7-11
Keep away from those who twist the roles of the Father and the Son within the Godhead. They are not to be greeted once they have been shown what is right and who then reject correct doctrine.
Lord God, may we be clear, concise, and careful in how we present what You have already revealed in Your word. Help us not to get sidetracked by those who think they know it all, but who are actually twisting and manipulating Scripture to tear us away from a right understanding of who You are. Be glorified in our worship of You – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.