Acts 10:33

State Senate, Salt Lake City, Utah

Sunday, 2 October 2022

So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.” Acts 10:33

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).

In the previous verse, Cornelius continued his reason for having Peter called, as he conveyed the words of the messenger from God. Now, he finishes this side of the conversation, beginning with the words, “So I sent to you immediately.”

This is exactly what happened as was stated in verses 10:7, 8 –

“And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.”

Not even waiting for the next day, he had immediately followed through with the words spoken to him. With that, he next says to Peter, “and you have done well to come.” The words more appropriately read, “and you did well, having come.”

Cornelius acknowledges Peter’s presence, demonstrating gratefulness through the words conveyed. It is the same formula used when Paul addressed those at Philippi –

“Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.” Philippians 5:13,14

After his compliment to Peter, he begins his finishing thought, saying, “Now therefore, we are all present before God.”

Cornelius acknowledges on behalf of all assembled his understanding of God’s omnipresence and ability to discern the hearts of those assembled. Even if his understanding of the nature of God was limited, he had deduced enough to know that God was fully sovereign over His creation, including His creatures, and that He had expectations of man who walked in His presence. His words convey the idea that God was attending the meeting with the same attention that He had when He created the universe. Having noted this, he finishes with, “to hear all the things commanded you by God.”

The Alexandrian text, used by many translations, says, “to hear all the things having been commanded you by the Lord” (BLB). Determining which is original, God or Lord, is difficult. If Cornelius was either aware of Jesus, or if Peter had told him he was a messenger of Jesus as they entered in verse 10:27, then saying “Lord” would make more sense. If Cornelius was not yet aware of Jesus yet, then saying “God” would make more sense.

The coming verses do not really clear that up and could be taken either way, but because Jesus is God, it doesn’t change the overall narrative greatly. God sent Jesus to accomplish His mission. The command rested upon Jesus, and He fulfilled it, including giving His commands to the people. Peter was fully aware of this, and he had been given his further commission during the trance which was specifically tied to his speaking to Cornelius.

Peter will explain the ministry of Jesus going back to the time of John’s baptizing, including the words “that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout Judea.” However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Cornelius was aware that Jesus was the Messiah. All it means is that he had likely heard about Jesus in some fashion. This is certain because it will go on to say –

“Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.” Acts 10:40, 41

If the resurrection was not known to all the people, then it means that not all the people knew that Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah. As such, the story in Cornelius’ mind may be that another failed messianic figure had come among the people. The extent that Cornelius had of who Jesus was cannot be known. But what he will need to know will be fully presented as the verses continue.

Life application: It is rare to come across a person who has never heard of Jesus, even people in other cultures around the world usually have some limited knowledge of Him. This is no different than most people having heard of Buddha or Muhammed. Just because someone has heard of a person, it doesn’t really tell you much about the extent of that person’s knowledge.

In the US today, knowing there was a “Jesus” who started Christianity is almost universal. And yet, even in supposed Christian churches, there may be very little knowledge beyond that about who He is or what is expected by Him. Our responsibility as saved believers in Jesus is to explain the meaning of Jesus’ coming and what it means to the state of humanity.

Once the truth of Jesus has been explained, there is still the necessary instruction that not only is He God and that He is the focus of the gospel, but it should be explained that He is the only path of restoration with God. This is not a part of the gospel itself, but it is an important point about Jesus that should be explained. If not, there may remain confusion in people’s minds about the exclusivity of what Jesus has done. This should not be the state of anyone who has accepted the simple gospel.

The sooner sound discipleship is introduced, the chances will be all the better that this person will rightly repeat the message of Jesus to others. And so, be prepared to give the important basic points about the faith that will keep that individual, and those he next talks to, from heading down erroneous paths of thinking.

Lord God, help us to be clear in our presentation of who Jesus is and what He means to the state of all people before You. Give us wisdom in our presentation of Him, and help us to be strong in our stand concerning those points about Him that must be conveyed for a new believer to be solidly grounded in his thinking about the faith. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 10:32

Utah Senate. State capitol, Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.’ Acts 10:32

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).

In the previous verse, Cornelius noted the words of the messenger sent from God, saying, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.” The words of verse 10:32 now continue his thought. They follow closely after the words of verses 10:5, 6 –

(10:5, 6) “Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.”

(10:32) “Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.”

Cornelius is carefully explaining exactly what occurred so that Peter is fully aware of what transpired and of what is expected of him. To get a full sense of the meaning of the words, please refer to the commentaries on Acts 10:5, 6.

Life application: There is a great division among people about how the Bible is to be translated. Cornelius does not explain to Peter word for word what the messenger said to him. However, he carefully gives the substance of what the angel has said.

In Bible translations, some demand an exact and literal rendering of what is said in the originals (literal translation). Doing this can make the translation unintelligible to the reader because various words and idioms do not convey the same meaning as they did in the original.

Some think that a dynamic equivalence is the best way to go. That is having the “quality of a translation in which the message of the original text has been so transported into the receptor language that the response of the receptor is essentially like that of the original receptors” (Eugene Nida). The meaning is “sense for sense.”

The original audience received the words of the writer, and their minds had a sense of what the meaning was. Likewise, when translated into another language, the desired goal is for the translation to carry the same sense.

For example, “He was killed with the mouth of the sword” (Hebrew thought) becomes “He was killed with the edge of the sword (English thought).” Another example might be that of 1 Kings 18:21, “Until when are you leaping on the two branches?” That becomes “How long will you falter between two opinions?” The first is an idiomatic expression that means nothing to an English reader. Hence, a literal translation really says nothing to the mind. In dynamic equivalence, the original words are not conveyed, only a sense of what they mean is.

There are many (almost innumerable) other types of Bible translations, each claiming it is the “best and most reliable.” But the fact is that any translation can only go so far in its ability to convey the true meaning of what is said. Before Bibles were common, plays about the gospel message helped explain the Bible to people. That would be a sort of verbal paraphrase to convey meaning. Is that wrong? Obviously not. We watch movies about Jesus all the time.

In church on Sunday, a reliable pastor will read a passage of Scripture and then take the time to describe it in one of various ways, such as from a moral, a historical, a prophetic, or a typological explanation. Is one “more right” than another? Not if the word is properly explained. We should not get so caught up in a single translation or a single way of instructing from the Bible that we dismiss other ways of transmitting the message.

This will lead to arrogance, judgmentalism, finger-pointing, and congregations that are actually unbalanced and unhealthy. If you don’t know that, go sit in a King James Only congregation for a couple of Sundays. The Bible will give you exactly what you are willing to take from it. If you don’t read it, it will give you nothing. If you read it in one fallible translation, you will think of its contents only from that perspective.

If you read many translations, you will get a broader view of what is being said. You will be able to more accurately evaluate what is going on and what the meaning of various literary styles will convey. If you study the original languages, you will become even more proficient in the nuances of what is being conveyed. If you study the land from which the narratives are penned, you will gain even greater insights into the original intent of the authors. And so on.

Be careful to always handle the Bible with the utmost care and respect. But also understand that because it comes from the mind of God, what is being conveyed can be explored and explained in a multitude of ways, none of which are incorrect. But they may be insufficient in fully explaining all of what the original intent may mean. Above all, pray to the Lord for guidance, insight, and wisdom in His word when you read it. And you cannot get those things unless… you actually read it.

Heavenly Father, what a joy and a blessing it is to receive Your word each day, to drink from it as the coolest of water, to revel in it as the greatest treat, and to share it as the most precious gift. What a treasure it is that we possess when we have Your word. Thank You for Your precious word. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 10:31

Inside senate, Utah state capitol.

Tuesday, 27 September 202

and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. Acts 10:31

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).

The previous verse began Cornelius’ explanation of how it came to be that he had summoned Peter to come and speak to him. He noted the coming of the man in bright clothing. The man stood before Cornelius “and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard.’”

In verse 4, at the time of the visitation, it said, “your prayers.” Now, Cornelius says, “your prayer.” No contradiction needs to be assumed here. Rather, Cornelius is most likely focusing his mind on the single most important aspect of his prayers, meaning how to be righteous before God.

Cornelius, as previously noted in earlier commentaries, understood that there was a disconnect between him and God. He understood his sinful nature, he grasped God’s perfection and realized that He could not abide with his sin. He also knew that condemnation was his default position. This can all be deduced from Cornelius’ attitude, habits, and lifestyle. He sought out the truth that could set him free from the burden his soul felt laid upon him.

Because of this heart attitude, and because this was certainly his most consuming thought and his most constant prayer, he notes it in the singular. This prayer was issued again and again, making it one prayer repeated many times. With this surely being the reason for his words, he continues with the words of the messenger, saying, “and your alms.”

It is the same word spoken by the messenger. Cornelius repeats this portion exactly as it was conveyed to him. Together, his prayer and his alms “are remembered in the sight of God.”

In verse 10:4, the messenger said, “have come up for a memorial before God.” Cornelius uses terminology that explains rather than repeats the words of the messenger. His prayers had ascended as a memorial before God. As such, they are remembered in the sight of God. A memorial is something to bring to remembrance. To be “before” someone is to be “in the sight of” that person.

Cornelius has clearly explained the matter to Peter. For those who would say his words are not the words of the angel and are a fabrication, the fact is that those same people would say of an exact repeat of his words, “Luke just copied the words from verse 10:4. This is just a fabrication.” But the words spoken by Cornelius now are reasonable, they fully explain the matter, and they are how any normal person would explain the events they had experienced a few days earlier.

Life application: In Isaiah, there is an excellent connection to the words of Cornelius as spoken to Peter –

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.” Isaiah 59:1, 2

Sin is what keeps our prayers from being heard by God. As all people have sinned, there is a disconnect between us and God that keeps our prayers from being heard. In the case of Cornelius, he had faith that God existed. He also knew that if the infinite gap that stood between us and God was to be bridged, it would have to be from the top down.

This is the prayer that God can hear because it removes us (meaning our attempts at reconciliation) from the equation. This is why Jesus gave this parable to Israel –

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:10-14

The tax collector removed himself from the equation as far as reconciliation is concerned. He threw himself at the mercy of God and begged His forgiveness. God can deal with such a person. The arrogant Pharisee placed himself before God as if they were equals, expecting God to see his self-righteousness and reward him. God cannot deal with such arrogance.

This explains the worthy or unworthy manner in which one takes the Lord’s Supper as explained in 1 Corinthians 11. The purpose of taking the Lord’s Supper is “to proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (vs. 26). It is an acknowledgment that Christ had to die for our sins, and only because we are in Christ are we found acceptable to God. The fact is, that without Jesus, there is nothing in us worthy of salvation or even an explanation from God about anything. But thanks be to God for Jesus Christ who alone makes us worthy. Yes, thanks be to God for our Lord Jesus.

Lord God, praises alone belong to You. Without Your glorious hand of reconciliation and restoration through Jesus, we would be utterly swept away. But because of Him, we have been brought near to You. Thank You. We praise You forever and ever because of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 10:30

Utah House of Representatives.

Monday, 26 September 2022

So 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, Acts 10:30

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).

The previous verse noted Peter’s words which questioned Cornelius as to why he had been sent for. With that, it now says, “So Cornelius said, ‘Four days ago I was fasting until this hour.’” Some texts (and thus some translations) say, “Four days ago to this hour, at the ninth hour.” As such, there is nothing noted about him fasting and the explanation of the hours of the day is slightly altered.

Either way, the point is that Cornelius is recounting that it was four days prior to the current day when the events that started the matter began to occur. Regardless of the text used, it literally says, “from the fourth day.” Cornelius is reckoning backward from the day in which he is now speaking.

Whether he fasted or not doesn’t change the overall message. One would think that the note about fasting would more likely be dropped out by accident than inserted without justification, but either way, Cornelius continues, saying, “and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house.”

This would be in accord with his nature which was described in verse 10:2. There it said that he “prayed to God always.” It was during the time while he was in prayer, that he says, “and behold, a man stood before me.”

Verse 4:3 said, “About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in.” His words to Peter about it being the ninth hour are supported by this. And more, the angel (Greek: messenger) is now described as being a man. This does not mean he is not an angel. The angel Gabriel is described as a man in Daniel 9:21.

As such, it could be an angel, or it could be a man (such as Enoch or Elijah who stand before the Lord to this day). Either way, the text clearly identifies him as a messenger of God. And more, Cornelius says he was “in bright clothing.”

The word here is not the same as that used for Jesus’ garments at the transfiguration. It was used, however, to describe the “gorgeous robe” that was placed upon Jesus in Luke 23:11 during His trial before Herod. The word is lampros. It signifies that which is radiant. It is used by James to describe a person dressed in fine clothes, and it is used five times in Revelation to describe various things (see Revelation 15:6, 18:14, 19:8, 22:1, and 22:16).

Life application: Cornelius’ description of the garments of the messenger from God is the same used of the seven angels who are “clothed in pure bright linen” in Revelation 15:6 and of those who are the bride of the Lamb in Revelation 19:8. There it says that they are arrayed in “fine linen, clean and bright.”

As such, this does not answer if the messenger from God is an angel or a man. Either way, he came to Cornelius with a message that changed his life, and it has been documented to show us how the inclusion of the Gentiles into the church was brought about. It is true that the Ethiopian eunuch has already been included in it, but Peter was not there to validate that. The account now includes Peter to specifically ensure that it is fully agreed upon that Gentiles can be included in the church and that they are not bound by adherence to the law before being accepted by the Spirit.

What is wonderful to consider is that someday the redeemed of the Lord will be clothed in magnificent garments. This signifies the righteousness of Christ that has been imputed to us. When we consider what lies ahead, we must consider that it was all because the Lord first acted to redeem us. May we never forget that we have been brought back to God by God in the giving of His Son for us. Let us remember the great cost that was needed for our reconciliation. May we forever and ever hail the Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, for what He has done.

Lord God, thank You that You have brought us back to Yourself. May we never assume that it is because of our goodness, but because of Your great love, grace, and mercy that we have been reconciled to You. Thank You. Great things You have done! Hallelujah and amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 10:29

Lots of marble. Capitol of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

“Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?” Acts 10:29

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, having gone into the house of Cornelius, said to those inside, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” With that, he next says, “Therefore I came without objection.”

Here is a word found only once in Scripture, anantirrétós. It is an adverb meaning without hesitation or promptly, but it carries with it the sense of without opposition or objection. The matter was set forth and Peter immediately agreed to come, based on Cornelius’ request. This was obviously initiated by the trance in which he heard the voice and saw the vision. Based on that, and based on the words of the messengers of verse 10:22, he knew that this was a matter that God had determined to come about. And so, he says, that he came “as soon as I was sent for.”

They left on the next day, obviously meaning that the day was expired enough that a stay at the house of Simon the tanner was necessary before actually departing. On the next day, they left and started the journey to Caesarea. Now that he had arrived, he immediately asks for clarification of the summons with the words, “I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?”

Verse 10:22 explained the reason sufficiently for Peter to depart with the messengers. If there was anything else that they knew, it is certain that they talked about it on the way to Caesarea. And so, what Peter is asking for is a more detailed explanation directly from the mouth of Cornelius. This will allow the entire event, from the first moments until the present, to be brought out in front of all of those gathered with him. Whatever God had wanted to occur would be completely expressed in the presence of all, thus providing an entire house filled with witnesses.

Life application: There are times in recorded Christian history, even in recent history, where a multitude of people have gathered together and claimed Spirit-led revelation. In fact, it happens in many churches every Sunday. Visiting one of those churches, it is obvious that what occurs does not match what is prescribed in the Bible. As such, the events cannot be of the Spirit.

One could then say, “Well then, how can you say that what is recorded in the Bible is any different? Where is the proof?” Obviously, there is no proof. However, there is sufficient evidence within Scripture to establish that what is recorded there is reliable. Anyone who truly determines to find out if Scripture is telling the truth will find out that it is. The finest minds of the last two thousand years have studied this book and found it reliable. And more, those who have vehemently tried to oppose it in order to have it proven false have failed to do so.

There will naturally be an element of faith required in accepting the message of the Bible and the reliability of accounts like this particular event recorded in Acts 10, but this is not a blind step of faith into the unknown. Rather, it is a step of faith into God’s revealed light that has been carefully recorded and upheld throughout the millennia.

On the other hand, those gatherings mentioned above that do not match with Scripture cannot be reliably trusted, no matter how many people are involved. Mass psychosis occurs among people all the time. It happens among secular populations, among adherents to various religions and cults around the world, and it happens within uninformed or purposefully manipulated bodies of those gathered under the umbrella of Christianity.

There must be a standard by which those things are based, and that standard must be the basis of the faith. As Jesus is the basis of the faith, and as the word of God is the instrument by which God explains Jesus, then such events must be based upon an accurate analysis of the word of God in order to be true.

A simple example of this is the speaking of tongues. Scripture defines what tongues are, meaning a known language. Scripture says –

“If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.” 1 Corinthians 14:27, 28

If a gathering does not match these parameters where tongues are spoken, then it is not led by the Spirit. That is perfectly simple to determine. Determining whether something is of God or not is to be conducted in this manner.

The modern Pentecostal movement, which was spawned by the Azusa Street revival, was filled with speaking in tongues by the entire audience. As this does not conform to what Paul said as he was led by the Spirit to write Scripture, and as Pentecostal gatherings to this day continue to not match what Scripture says, then it is obvious that this is a false movement based on something other than the Spirit of God.

Be wise, be discerning, and learn your Bible – in context.

Glorious God Almighty, thank You for Your word. By knowing it and applying it to our lives, we can be kept from false teachers and false gatherings of people who claim special powers and gifts. We have a record of how the church was established and of the miracles that took place when it was. What more do we need? We can now live by faith in what You have done. Thank You that Your word is sufficient for our lives, doctrine, and the practice of our faith. Amen.