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Act 10,1-8

(32j) Gift of God >> Father will honor your devotion to Him >> Honor your prayers – It is an incredible testimony to Cornelius that his prayers and alms had ascended as a memorial before God. He watches us; God watches the wicked to tally up their sins, and He watches the righteous to reward them both in this life and in eternity. Cornelius the centurion had stored up a large sum of faithfulness and obedience to God, until it had become enough for Him to use it, similar to the way a cloud stores up static electricity before it releases the lightning bolt, and the moment the voltage exceeds the atmosphere’s ability to contain it, a flash splits the sky in a tremendous show of energy. God expects us to pray it forward, faithfully doing his will for long periods before He will consider using us for his kingdom and glory, like saving up to buy a car. Of course we know in this economy we can buy things without having the money, using credit, but God does not operate on a borrowing system. He wants our obedience up front; he wants us to show Him that we are faithful. God wants to see us behaving faithfully before He considers using us for His service and glory.

Act 10,1-4

(93c) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> You will find your ministry along the narrow way

(235e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Offerings >> Help your weaker neighbor (alms)

Act 10-1,2

(85m) Thy kingdom come >> Belief >> Treating the knowledge of God as fact >> Believing the Son by obeying the Father >> Obeying the old covenant through the new

(90c) Thy kingdom come >> Keeping the law >> Law is our tutor >> It prepares your heart to receive Christ -- These verses go with verse 33. The evidence of Cornelius’ faith was that his entire family believed in God with him, yet we can’t be sure he had even heard the gospel, since partly the reason they sent for Peter in the first place was to preach to him the gospel of Christ. So it seems Cornelius believed in God according to the Old Testament law, and what did Paul say about that? “The law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith” (Gal 3-24). Therefore, on the one hand, following the law will keep us from getting entangled in sin, sin having the effect of repelling us from the gospel; and on the other hand following the law can entangle us in the religious trap of self-justification based on good works, which the Bible condemns. So, the law can work either for or against us, but in the law's defense it is far more likely that we will receive the message of the cross as proponents of the law rather than as opponents of it. The indication of Cornelius’ genuineness of faith was that he gave alms. When our faith affects what we do with our money, it is evidence that we are sincere. It also says that he prayed continually, which is an even stronger evidence that he believed. The three proofs of faith are: a positive influence on others, a willingness to give of our heart and money, and becoming students of the word of God and disciples of prayer.

Act 10-2

(174b) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Man’s religion >> Good traditions (Exception to bad religion) >> Good habits

Act 10,3-8

(220d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> Divine appointments -- These verses go with verses 17-33 

Act 10,3-7

(15e) Servant >> Angels are messengers from God >> They are sent to impart information – These verses go with verse 30. God sent the angel to help Cornelius believe in Jesus. He uses angels to orchestrate a multi-step plan and to keep it on track, so that everything meshes to fulfill what God had destined to happen. The angel told Cornelius to search for a man named Peter, who had something important to tell him. At the same time, the angels were working on Peter revealing a vision to him about accepting the gentiles. Including the gentiles in the salvation of Christ is not something the Jews would not have ordinarily done, since it was engrained in them for thousands of years to shun the gentiles (a person of non-Jewish descent).

(214k) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> God Has Good Timing >> God synchronizes events in His time -- These verses go with verses 17-23

Act 10-3,4

(97f) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Facing in the direction of the Lord >> Focusing your mind on God – God sent an angel to Cornelius after much prayer and giving alms to the Jewish poor, suggesting that Cornelius was of gentile descent. Alms is another word for “offering” that is above our regular giving. God equates giving alms with prayer, and alms are a way of beseeching God for His grace and mercy, so if we want God’s attention, pray and be generous to the poor; and if we really want His favor, honor the Jews. God sent the angel to give him a message and a task to perform. Cornelius wasn’t praying for these things; he had no idea that Simon Peter had a vision about the gentiles being included in God’s grace and mercy. Cornelius was chosen because he was praying and giving alms; hence, prayer opens our lives to ministry, not just ministry that we would choose for ourselves, but ministry that God would give us, an angelic ministry. Cornelius didn’t just have a religion; he was a godly man, devout in his faith and service to the Lord. He fixed his gaze on the angel in the same way that he fixed his gaze on God through prayer and gave alms, for without his ministry of prayer and giving no angel would have appeared to him.

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Act 10,9-36

(210j) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Fellow heirs with Israel (Spiritual Jew) >> God welcomes the Gentiles to the promise of Israel -- These verses go with verses 44-48. It wasn’t unusual that gentile nations believed in the God of Israel, for anyone was welcome to come and worship in Jerusalem (see Act 8-27). To this point Peter believed this salvation was meant for the Jew only, but this experience changed his mind; in fact it was never true. Not even in the Old Testament was the Jewish nation meant only for themselves. The Jew was a distinct people that God raised up as a leader for the world in things pertaining to God, and the world adopted Israel's law, and any non-Jew was welcome in Jerusalem to worship God at certain times of the year. The Jews were not permitted to mix their bloodline with the nations but to remain distinct throughout their generations, and over the centuries this commandment confused Israel to think that the ways of God were meant only for them; thus they believed the salvation of Christ was meant only for the Jew. God said in the days of Moses that He intended to raise up Israel as an example to the nations. If the nations went astray God would destroy them using Israel, but Israel was also meant as an example of how to live and worship God with a good heart, and the fact that Israel kept going astray did not detract from their purpose in the world. Israel was God’s chosen people, and He would bless them along with those who would obey Him through Israel. Their pervasive disobedience is the reason this point is not well understood, for instead of doing God’s will, Israel has always tried to model after the world. For this reason it was difficult not only for Peter but for all the Jews to understand God's ministry to the world, that the gospel belonged to the gentiles through Israel.

Act 10,9-16

(94l) Thy kingdom come >> God’s perspective >> God reflects on His plan

(94p) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective >> False perspective in the Church – We could almost say that this is what it means to be an adult: someone who has developed a belief system designed to encapsulate reality. The goal of every person should be to build a paradigm that corresponds with the truth, but with man “truth” is nonsensical. Man has the notion that he is able to create his own truth, but this is a fallacy that almost always ends in tragedy. Even when our paradigm fails to parallel the truth, we will hold to it rather than change our worldview when a more accurate version of the truth is presented to us. We are willing to fight for our paradigms, shedding as much blood as it takes to affirm them. Our paradigm represents our identity; it is how we make sense of the world. For example, when Jesus told His disciples that He would be crucified and rise from the dead, they threw that information straight in the dumpster, because it didn’t fit their paradigm. They would do anything for the Lord, except change their worldview. They were convinced that this man was the Son of God, but when He said something that didn’t fit their preconceived notions, they trashed it, suggesting that their belief system meant more to them than their own Messiah; but when He rose from the dead, it changed everything.

(97b) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about yourself >> An uncooperative attitude – Suddenly Peter had a vision of a sheet being lowered with all kinds of animals on it that he was expected to kill and eat. Many of the animals were off the menu according to the Laws of Moses. Peter answered the voice in the vision and said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean,” but the voice answered him, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” Then immediately after the vision enter stage right Cornelius with a message that Peter should come and minister the gospel to the gentiles. Like the pigeon associates the light with the pellet, Peter understood that the vision referred to the gentiles being included in God’s grace. God chose to reveal this first to Peter, since he was the leader of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, who was on the council that determined church-wide changes in rules and behavior. Peter conveyed his vision to the board members and they readily accepted it. If somebody else had received the vision, Peter probably would not have accepted it, since he had a hard time accepting it even from the Lord.

(117g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Vision >> Real-eyes God’s purpose for the Church >> Understand Jesus' vision of the Church – Jesus kept telling his disciples that they were slow of heart; they seemed to be in the dark about everything. Then the Holy Spirit came along and changed all that, but not entirely. There were some things that not even the Holy Spirit could do, requiring an angelic visitation and a divine vision on a housetop to impart the revelation to Peter. This vision was replicated three times in exactly the same way, being common among true dreams and visions from the Lord, emphasizing its importance. The changes the vision implied effected a paradigm shift in Peter’s mind that was tantamount to the earth splitting open and whole mountains of Peter’s thinking swallowed into it. If the Holy Spirit tried to explain this to Peter, he would have figured it was his own imagination getting the best of him. Peter needed help believing that the gentiles were included in God's grace, removing any doubt and establishing witnesses with proof of the gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit.

(119k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Curse of sin is broken >> Curse of ignorance is broken

Act 10,9-15

(162c) Works of the devil >> Satan determines the world's direction >> (Exception) Carried away by the Holy Spirit – We would think Peter would have gotten the message that the gospel was made for the gentiles too when the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit (Act 8,14-17) . They were partly Jewish, and so Peter and the others must have thought that God had given them the Holy Spirit based on their partial Jewish blood. It was the bestowing of the Holy Spirit on Cornelius and his family and friends that finally proved to Peter that the grace of God was also extended to the gentiles (Acts chapter 10).

(173m) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Man’s Religion >> Resisting the Kingdom of God

Act 10,12-16

(191d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Extract the leaven of false doctrine

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Act 10,13-16

(126i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Patience >> The patience of God >> God is patient – Peter was often going the wrong way, but in this case we can’t blame him, since he was a citizen of an ancient culture that lived by a set of laws they received from God through Moses, and some aspects of that law were now in the way and needed to be removed. The Jews had a list of foods they were allowed to eat, split-hoofed animals that chew the cud, and regarding all other animals that were off the list such as the pig they felt the same way about foreign nations of the world; they didn't feel comfortable associating with them. God through Moses commanded them not to intermarry or to adopt the nation's foreign gods and evil practices, and through that the Jews developed the attitude that they were better than the gentiles. It was impossible for Peter to have known the changes that were coming, but he walked with Jesus for 3 years and should have been used to change. Peter knew it was the Lord speaking to him, yet God was saying things that were blasphemous in the ears of any Jew; Peter flatly refused to eat the off-menu items, but the Lord was patient and persevered with him until he accepted the message that no longer were these foods forbidden and that the gospel belonged to the gentiles too.

(180i) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Rebellion >> Rebelling against God’s narrow way >> Rebelling against the will of God – Peter argued with the Lord again. We all love Peter, but we know he had a mind of his own that he tended to respect over the Lord’s commands. He certainly loved the Lord as a faithful, dedicated and devout Jew, which is why Jesus chose him as one of His twelve disciples. Devotion is a good thing, but if we are not careful it can get in the way when we dedicate ourselves to the wrong things, like a car that runs well but is going in the wrong direction. In some ways we would be further ahead broken-down on the side of the road, closer to our destination than thousands of miles off-course.

Act 10,13-15

(103c) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> God’s cleansing power >> Cleansing power of the word – Peter received in a vision from the Lord an admonition not to deny the gentiles the gospel of Christ or refuse to associate with them. Peter considered the animals in his vision to be unholy and unclean, but God was using them to represent the gentiles. God commanded Israel in the Old Testament not to mix their bloodline with the gentile nations; He also commanded them to eat only animals with split hoofs and chewed the cud; if the animal was missing one of these characteristics: pork, rabbit, camel… then it was off the menu (Lev 11,1-8), and over the centuries the gentile and the restricted animals developed an association: they both were off the list. These were some of the customs that Israel practiced since the days of Moses, so Peter was actually being faithful in terms of the old covenant, but little did he know what had changed; God had sacrificed His Son on the cross for the sins of the whole world, not just for Israel. Since the gentiles have been included in the grace of God, then it also implied by association that a ban on these meats is no longer in effect. Peter could now eat pork, for the Jew was no longer required to live by a roster of dos and don’ts; God has set us free from these things; however, there may have been health reasons for not eating certain meats. The new covenant is living by a whole new standard; instead of living by a set of commandments, we are required to live by only one, the law of faith and love, living and walking by the Spirit.

(189c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Holy sacrifice >> Acceptable sacrifice

Act 10-13,14

(174c) Self Righteousness (Key verse)

(174d) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Self righteousness >> Trying to please God by your own good works

(200g) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Excuses for rejecting Christ >> Selfish ambition >> Putting your own personal interests above God – The Jews were thinking that the gospel was about them only, but God’s purpose in revealing this message to Peter was that the gospel is intended also for the gentiles. They were treating the gospel in the same manner that Jesus operated in His ministry, which was to the Jew only, and that was fair enough, but it was wrong. Jesus was hesitant to minister to gentiles to set precedence that the gospel was meant for the Jew first. God was able to communicate to Paul by the Spirit through his understanding of the Old Testament that His grace applies to the gentiles too, but with Peter, God had to virtually take him by the hand and lead him into this revelation, otherwise he would have never received it. Peter made this clear in so many words, after God told him to “Kill and eat,” he protested, saying, “By no means, Lord.” He knew it was God, yet he argued with Him.

Act 10-14

(155a) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Conscience >> Having a good conscience >> Doing right to the best of our knowledge

(173i) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Unholy sacrifice >> Penance of following the law (Legalism)

(182i) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Being deceptive with people >> Distorted perception of others – In Peter’s vision there were many kinds of animals, some the kind the Jews were not allowed to eat, and the command was to kill and eat, and so Peter reminded the Lord that His laws prohibited him from eating such things, but the Lord responded, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” The various species of animals represented the various races of man. The point of the vision was that the gospel was meant for all the nations of the world, and that he should not be afraid to share the gospel with anyone. This was a revelation to Peter; he was under the assumption that the gospel belonged to the Jews only, because this was the way of the Old Testament. God judged the world through Israel and bestowed His blessing on the nations through them, giving us Christ. Peter readily accepted the message of the vision, being acquainted with many twists and turns associated with the Lord, and with many surprises from things he assumed to be true that were absolutely false. For example, the twelve disciples hardly listened to Jesus while He was with them in the flesh, since they had their own ideas about what God was doing. They thought the Kingdom of God should one day suddenly appear, but that never happened. Instead, God intended to manifest His kingdom on a spiritual level first. After His resurrection and ascension they had to remember what He said and come to an understanding about His actual plan. He brought about a 2000-year age of grace, and throughout that time He has been selecting people from the world to be His worshippers. Once He chooses their full number, then he will bring about His kingdom in the natural realm, the kingdom that Peter and the other disciples expected 2000 years ago. When Peter received this vision and was told by God that the gentiles were included in salvation, he didn’t flinch but immediately accepted it. Three years of walking with the Lord taught him to expect the unexpected. Later, when Paul appealed to Peter, James and John as a fellow apostle to the gentiles, they accepted him (Gal 2,7-9), which showed their greatness of humility to believe in a man that once persecuted the Church. They readily accepted Paul because they were familiar with God, familiar with the least likely things coming true. What about us? Are we willing to make a 180-degree turn at a moment's notice because we were totally wrong about some things we believed? Are we willing to change like Peter did? Even if God Himself tried to explain His truth, the vast majority of the Church today would not budge, exposing our smallness of heart. See also: Expecting the Kingdom of God to appear immediately; 1Pet 3-18; 207l

(223e) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Conceit >> Conceited toward God

Act 10-15

(103a) Cleansing Power (Key verse)

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Act 10,17-33

(220d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> Divine appointments-- These verses go with verses 3-8. God set up this divine appointment so Peter could understand that the gentiles were included in the grace of God, also that Cornelius and his family and close friends could get saved and receive the Holy Spirit. Those cooking that evening's meal invited the friends of Cornelius into the house, but they might not have known Peter was on the roof and may have assumed he went somewhere and sent the visitors away, had God not spoken to Peter and told him to go downstairs and greet the men who were looking for him. How many times have we missed an appointment because of irregular and extenuating circumstances? Peter was present; he just happened to be on the roof, and in this case everything worked according to plan, but God had to force his plan to fruition. This elucidates the thickness of satanic forces that are in the world, working against everything God wants to do. His timing was perfect as usual, but His plan was always on the edge of failure at every link along the chain of events, yet when God orchestrates a divine appointment, He makes sure it succeeds. So if something important to us fails, we know by its failure that our plan was not from God, otherwise He would have guaranteed its success.

Act 10-19,20

(105h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit >> Into the will of God >> Led to the right people – The angel of the Lord had Cornelius gather a posse to round up Peter and bring him to his house where he and his family and friends were waiting for him to hear the message of the gospel in the comfort of his home. God orchestrated this event for the sake of Cornelius, because he was a godly and generous man, indicating how much the Lord thought of him, because he sought the God of Israel, he led a life of prayer and helped those in need. Prior to this, Cornelius, being a gentile, was worshipping the God of the Jews according to the Old Testament. Little did Cornelius know at the time what lengths God went to bring Cornelius the gospel, who represented all the gentile nations of the world, who had not yet heard the gospel of Christ. This divine appointment was meant as much for Peter as it did for Cornelius, solidifying the fact for Peter that the gospel belongs also to the gentiles.

(174c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Man’s religion >> Good traditions (Exception to bad religion) >> Overcoming religion -- These verses go with verses 28&29

Act 10-19

(110b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through you >> Word of knowledge >> knowing the mind of Christ – The Church today has many beliefs that need to be excavated and dropped into a dumpster. We must be very careful what we believe, because once we ratify a certain idea and add it to our doctrines, when someone tries to give us a more accurate rendition of the truth, we will reject it in favor of our previous ideas, and it will have a negative impact on our faith and ministry. God had to take Peter by the hand and lead him to the understanding that the gentiles are included in the gospel of God’s grace and mercy. Without Peter's sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and extensive experience with God, he may have attributed the vision to a lying spirit. How do we discriminate the Spirit of God from the spirit of demons? We determine a message is from God partially by the message itself, and partially by the Spirit who brings the message. By these two: the Spirit and the word, we can discern truth from error. Experience is the best teacher when it comes to walking with God.

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Act 10-25,26

(195f) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping men >> Idolizing men – Cornelius worshipping Peter was an indication of the reverence he had for Peter, apparently hearing about him as an apostle of the Most High God, and hearing about the many miracles he performed through Christ and the many thousands of people who had already turned to the Lord as a result of his ministry, for a heavy anointing was upon him. Nevertheless, when Cornelius fell down and worshipped him, Peter immediately stood him back to his feet, reminding him that he was just a man, no different from anyone else, except for the anointing based on his relationship and experiences he had with Christ.

Act 10,28-35

(110ja) Thy Kingdom Come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of revelation >> Revelation of the truth >> Revelation of the true Church

(129d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing the fruit of evangelism >> Bearing the fruit of the gospel – If a certain person or group or nation does not receive our message, we are to find those who will receive us and preach to them instead. This is a principle of Scripture. We are not to beat our heads against a wall trying to reach those who don’t want the Lord. Jesus’ biggest concern was the lack of harvesters, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Lk 10-2), so we are to use our time wisely and maximize the number of souls that we reach for the Lord, and one of the ways we do this is to reject those who reject us, and go to those who will receive our message. God will lead us to those whose hearts are open to Him (Act 13,42-52).

Act 10-28,29

(95g) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> An attitude that fosters unity -- These verses go with verses 34-36

(174c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Man’s religion >> Good traditions (Exception to bad religion) >> Overcoming religion -- These verses go with verses 19&20

Act 10-30

(15e) Servant >> Angels are messengers from God >> They are sent to impart information – This verse goes with verses 3-7

Act 10-33

(90c) Thy kingdom come >> Keeping the law >> Law is our tutor >> It prepares your heart to receive Christ -- This verse goes with verses 1,2

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Act 10,34-36

(95g) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> An attitude that fosters unity -- These verses go with verses 28&29

(135n) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Similarity in the body >> The things we have in common >> Common Lord

Act 10-34,35

(51h) Judgment >> Judging the Church with the world >> No partiality among us with God – God was calling the whole world to repentance, every nation under heaven; whoever fears God and does what is right is welcome to Him, regardless of their nationality. There is no partiality with God’s judgment or with His forgiveness; in fact, they can be seen as one and the same, for God's forgiveness is an aspect of His judgment against His Son, and His judgment is a consequence of rejecting Christ.

(88k) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God >> Revering God – Peter is saying that the prerequisite for being born-again and having the Holy Spirit dwell in our heart is the fear of God and doing what is right; and when these things are lacking in people, they also are what keep them from heaven. This goes back to what Jesus said in Jn 6-45, “It is written in the Prophets: `They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to Me,” referring to old covenant Law. If we do the commandments in the fear of God, we are welcome to the grace of God in Christ, for the fear of God and keeping the law cultivates our hearts, so when the seed of the gospel sprouts, it will grow in good soil. Conversely, sin deters people from the cross of Christ in those who languish in their depravity and are hardened by it, while they deny the subtle voice of the Holy Spirit whispering in their ear. They can’t get saved until they have a change of heart. According to Act 10,34-43, there are three things that must be in place in order to be saved: we must fear God, we must believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, and we must repent. That is the gospel in a nutshell.

(130i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Accept one another >> Accepting the great and the small >> Great leaders accept small people – Peter was dedicated to saving the Jews, so it was by revelation that he came to the knowledge of the gentile’s salvation, though in Act 8,14-17 it says that Peter and John prayed for Samaritan believers and they received the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, prior to this dream Peter was completely in the dark about God’s plan to include the gentiles in salvation. This means he was in the dark about it during Jesus' entire 3½-year ministry and even during the days of Pentecost, when thousands of Jewish people were saved through his preaching. Jesus picked Peter for His following skills, his abiding love and his endless zeal, knowing he would one day become a great leader. He does not choose people based on their abilities, because God is able to give them abilities; what He finds in short supply is a heart that is trained on Him; that is not something He can just manufacture. Actually, Paul was more the leader of the apostles than Peter, especially of the Churches that he founded. The only reason Paul did not play an active role as lead apostle was that he didn’t have time for it, being either away on his missionary journeys or in prison. The quality that God looks for in His people is willingness to endure under trial and persevere in the face of danger. When God spoke to Peter and revealed to him in a dream that he intended to include the gentiles in this salvation, it was an affront to his Jewish heritage. Before this he considered the gentiles to be at the level of dogs, but his spiritual mind was trained on Jesus, and he had come to know the Holy Spirit and knew the message was from God. He put away his preconceived notions and blazed a new trail according to the leadership of Christ.

(206a) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Conditions to promises >> Conditions to living in the spirit >> Conditions to partaking in the spirit – Peter came to tell the facts about Jesus to people who needed no introduction to Him but were already familiar with the story about the man who “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.” God-fearing people knew the story, but sinners seemed oblivious to Jesus; this hasn't changed in 2000 years. Forgetfulness had taken Him from those who did not believe. They never had another thought about Him, but those who were faithful and loved God, who were looking for a home for their faith remembered Him. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and received an anointing at that very moment and started His ministry in Galilee. He ministered to the Jewish people where they lived and in Jerusalem, and he went around the surrounding area doing good, healing everyone and delivering them from demonic forces.

Act 10,37-42

(210f) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Jesus is our savior >> We must believe in the savior to be saved – When we compare the way Peter explained Jesus with our explanation of Him, we would learn how far we have drifted from biblical truth, suggesting that we should rethink the tenets of salvation and put them in line with the Scriptures and with Peter’s recollection of Christ. Peter recounted all the days he spent with the Lord, including His crucifixion and resurrection as aspects of our salvation, suggesting that we should too. The way we talk about Jesus makes it sound as though His ministry played no part in God's redemption of man, but we should remember that Jesus walked the earth for 3½ years under a heavy anointing and healed thousands of people, delivering them from the devil, and He preached the gospel of the kingdom, performing signs and wonders so plenteous that no one with a conscience could deny them. At the end of His ministry, sinners nailed Him to a cross and God raised Him from the dead.

Act 10-37,38

(119j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Curse of sin is broken >> Bondage of Satan is broken

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Act 10-38

(127d) Goodness (Key verse)

(127f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Rewards for doing good >> Sow the seeds of goodness >> Goodness bears the fruit of the Spirit – We don’t realize how much influence Satan has on the world and on our very lives. Many of the things we suffer we attribute to other causes, yet notice that releasing people from satanic forces was an aspect of doing good. We have all heard the term “do-gooders”; the world despises them; meanwhile, goodness is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is not one of the more common fruits; we hear more about love, joy, peace and patience. If we incorporated setting people free from satanic forces by the goodness we do in the world, people would not condemn “do-gooders” but would understand them better and maybe even learn to appreciate goodness. We could almost say that doing good is defined as setting people free from satanic oppression. If our goodness doesn’t set people free, then whatever good thing we might do will probably be forgotten.

Act 10,39-42

(48c) Judgment >> God judges the world >> Eternal judgment of the resurrection – Jesus being the judge of the living and the dead should be a component of our teaching both in evangelism and in the Church, because everywhere we look in the New Testament and primarily in the book of Acts, it speaks of the apostle’s teachings on these things: the resurrection, repentance, righteousness, judgment and self-control. If these subjects were in their teaching, then they should also be in our teaching. When Peter mentioned the living and the dead, he referred to those who have died in Christ and those who have died without Him, and he referred to we who are still alive. We all know that if Jesus doesn’t come in our lifetime, we too will die and will fall into the category of the dead, and those who have died in Christ the Bible says Jesus will come for us, and the dead will rise first and we who are alive and remain will accompany them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. The Rapture is an aspect of the First Resurrection and an aspect of God’s judgment in that He has counted us worthy of the First Resurrection.

Act 10,39-41

(39d) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Resurrection >> Witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection – Peter said, “We are witnesses of all these things.” Jesus revealed Himself after His resurrection, not to all, but to a select few. The resurrected body is a conundrum to us; it is impossible to understand even the simplest questions about having a spiritual body. It seemed natural and normal to eat and drink with the Lord after His resurrection. Where did the food go that Jesus ate? These are questions that make us scratch our heads. We know so little about the resurrected body. Then again, we don’t really know that much about our current body; for example, how we can eat chicken and a short time later the chicken that once had its own life is now part of our bodies? Hence, when we receive our resurrected body, it will seem natural and normal as living in our current body, though there will be many differences, the main one being that we will never die again. The most wonderful thing about Jesus’ resurrection was that He returned the same person in the very same body, and He is still the same person in heaven, and the same can be said about us at our resurrection; we will be raised in a new body the same person that we were in this life. Many of us long for heaven; we can’t wait to enter eternity and meet Jesus Christ, the lover of man’s soul. Imagine the anticipation of the apostles who had the privilege of knowing Him and then missing Him. After His ascension, when the circumstances grew dark and foreboding, they must have focused on the fact that He was with them in Spirit. For that reason they felt safe even in death, much more in life, though following Jesus is what led them to become martyrs.

Act 10-40,41

(220b) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> Predestined according to the sovereignty of God

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Act 10-42 

(40c) Judgment >> Father gave authority to the son to judge the world through His blood – All aspects of Jesus’ life pertain to Him being judge of all the earth. The one who will judge our lives is not evil; rather, He was the only righteous man who ever lived, and He will judge us based on that fact. On the one hand, some people would have benefited being judged by an ogre rather than by a righteous man, because an ogre would judge an evil man based on His own wickedness, whereas Jesus will judge the wicked based on His righteousness, and that will be a very fearful prospect for many.

(71j) Authority >> Ordained by God >> God ordains us through His commandments

(147i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Solemnly testify about Jesus

Act 10-43

(67g) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> The name of Jesus is the salvation of God

(85m) Thy kingdom come >> Belief >> Treating the knowledge of God as fact >> Believing the Son by obeying the Father >> Obeying the old covenant through the new – This verse uses the word “believe”; the Church has misconstrued this word to mean mental ascent, so all we need to do is agree with a certain set of doctrines and we can go to heaven. This is how most people use the word "believe", but when circumstances go south and we are confronted with difficult choices, God expects us to continue believing in Him. This is when we suddenly realize that believing in God is more in line with obedience. Abandoning our convictions to do what we think is necessary, though not necessarily right, is to abandon our beliefs. If we want to use this word in terms of accepting a set of doctrines as factual, then we must live by them, just as Paul taught about the law (Gal 3-12). After all, what is the difference between believing a set of doctrines and believing a set of commandments? This kind of "belief" does not transcend justification by law.

(114j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Working God’s grace through Christ >> Salvation is through Christ

(120b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Forgiveness >> God forgives us when we become accountable to Him >> When we repent – We all have inconsistencies in our walk; we all make mistakes; no one is expecting us to be without sin, for Jesus sacrificed Himself because of sin. Therefore, we should consider repentance because it is required of those who believe. Repentance admits to committing sin and denies the flesh the satisfaction of reveling in our fallen state. We should not think God is capricious to redeem one person and leave the next person unforgiven, based on a set of doctrines he believes or disbelieves. Rather, the forgiveness of God is by His grace, and His grace is defined by the indwelling Holy Spirit. If He dwells in us, then we are saved; if He doesn’t, then we're not. If we will invite God’s Spirit to dwell in our hearts without evicting Him, that is God’s definition of justification by faith in Jesus' cross.

(144h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Trinity bears witness of Jesus >> Word of God bears witness to Jesus

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Act 10,44-48

(110l) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spiritual substance and truth >> Spiritual substance follows the truth

(190k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Baptism >> Baptism of the Holy Spirit – Among many other things, water baptism is an analogy for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. People look down on the Pentecostals, often scratching their heads wondering what they are thinking, but not so much when we read the Book of Acts, for it goes a long way to vindicate them. Many of the doctrines they believe came from the Book of Acts. We also should take off our hats to the Pentecostals in that they are the only denomination that most accurately depicts the Christian walking in the power of the Spirit. The Charismatics have added so many prosperity doctrines to their Pentecostal foundation that it has eroded any potential to contain the truth. We think we are noble for not pursuing the power of God, but God is not one to be honored by rejection. It is dishonorable to God that we resist Him, just like it would be dishonorable not to eat at someone’s table after he has prepared a feast and invited us to dine with Him. Therefore, the Pentecostal’s obedience in pursuing the power of God, the gifts and the anointing that He has commanded us, honors Him, but they also observe many false teachings and practices that places them among their fellows who are suffering under apostasy.

(210j) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Fellow heirs with Israel (Spiritual Jew) >> God welcomes the Gentiles to the promise of Israel -- These verses go with verses 9-36. Cornelius had only heard about Jesus but didn’t hear an accurate depiction of the gospel; this is also true of our generation. God orchestrated an event that would serve His purpose on both ends: Cornelius would hear the gospel and the Jewish Church would come to realize that God was also calling the gentiles to repentance and faith in Jesus. Not a single aspect of this plan was by the thought of man, showing the importance that Peter understood this message. Since his ministry was to the Jews, why then was it important that Peter understood that the gospel pertained also to the gentiles? A man was coming whose name was Paul, who would have a ministry to the gentiles, and he would need acceptance from the Church as a missionary to the gentiles (Gal 2,1-9). Without the apostle’s acceptance of Paul the Church would have split down the middle before the end of the first century, in that there would have been disciples of peter and disciples of Paul. Paul even addressed this in 1Cor 1-12,13, “Each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ.’ Has Christ been divided?” The main purpose of God revealing this knowledge to Peter was to prepare him to receive Paul on the day that he would come to them seeking acceptance from Church leadership. Whatever Peter said became the direction of the Church; this is why it was important to God that Peter understood that the gentiles were included. Everybody looked to Peter for guidance.

(230d) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking >> Partaking of the power of God >> Partaking of the ministry of the Holy Spirit

(230i) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Mystery of the trinity >> Anointing is the mystery of godliness – The Book of Acts speaks about a bi-level salvation: God first saves us as sinners having been born in sin through no fault of our own, and then He saves us from committing sin. We receive the Holy Spirit as something we must do after we are born again, saving us in this life, this being in reference to the anointing. There are many Pentecostals who say that tongues are evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit, but whether this is an accurate observation is questionable, for in 1Cor 12,27-31 Paul said that not all speak in tongues. The person who does not receive the anointing is ineligible to work the gifts of the Spirit, though in many cases we see people who have denied the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, yet they pray for someone and see the sick person healed, but this is God healing the sick person in spite of denying the very doctrines by which he is operating. The Church today is highly resistant to the anointing; there may be several reasons for this, none of which are good if they lead to rejecting something that God wants for us. The anointing requires us to exercise a sincere faith toward God, and it requires us to be obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Everyone who believes in God longs for heaven; most accept the doctrine of being born-again and are willing to receive the indwelling Holy Spirit, but sadly few accept any manifestation of that same Spirit. This is a tremendous evil in the Church and it is the cause of apostasy that we see today. If the majority of the Church received the Holy Spirit and walked in Him, the apostasy would end overnight, but it would require them to be faithful to Christ who dwells in them; this is what they are unwilling to do. Then there is the issue of the gifts; many people steer clear of the anointing because of them, for where there is power there is misuse of power. However, it is just as evil to resist the anointing as it is the misuse the gifts.

(246f) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of the Spirit

Act 10-44,45

(210ia) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Salvation is from the Jews >> Jews are believers >> Gentile Christians have a Jewish religion

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Act 10,45-48

(35i) Gift >> God gives Himself to us >> Receiving the Holy Spirit as a form of baptism

Act 10-45,46

(95d) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude >> Speaking in tongues >> Tongues are a sign of obedience – This story speaks of receiving the Holy Spirit prior to being baptized, for there are many people, mostly in the Pentecostal persuasion, who believe we must do things in a certain order for God to acknowledged them, when in fact they must be done in a certain order for man to acknowledge them. They say we must first believe, and then be baptized (that is certainly biblical); then we must receive the Holy Spirit in that order (believe... be baptized... receive the Holy Spirit). This cannot be true if we see the reverse order with Cornelius and his family and friends. They received the Holy Spirit before they were baptized. Then some sects of the Pentecostals say we must receive the Holy Spirit during our baptism as we exit the water. The pastor and those in the audience wait with bated breath as the person exits the water for the emblematic gibberish and gyrations, and if they don’t appear, then somehow the baptism didn’t take. The person thereafter is labeled a second-rate member of the Church and possibly not even a citizen of heaven. This is outrageous! If the person is under that much pressure to produce oral and visual signs, he will do so whether or not he receives the Holy Spirit, making those who were silent at least honest, which is more than we can say about those who have concocted such mean-spirited heresies.

Act 10-48

(72c) Authority >> Transferring authority >> Men delegate authority by obeying the word







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Act 11,1-23

(210k) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Fellow heirs with Israel (Spiritual Jew) >> Ministry to the Gentiles – The first half of chapter eleven is a reiteration of chapter ten, indicating the importance of this event. God wanted us to know in no uncertain terms that the gentiles were included in the grace of God, telling this story twice. We the gentiles are grateful that God has afforded us the grace that He first showered on Israel. The grace of God extended to the gentiles is one of the few things the Church has gotten right throughout the ages, that and 'Jesus died for sinners' (Rom 5-6; 1Cor 15-3). This has never come into question, similar to God commanding Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. Everything else is open to debate. People will argue about most anything, but they won’t argue that the gentiles have been included in salvation. God stated these things so accurately and clearly and so often, both in the Book of Acts and in many of Paul’s epistles that it would seem impossible to misconstrue, though it was an issue to the Jews at first. The gentiles understand this because we want to believe it, suggesting that our lack of understanding in areas of contention are about things we don’t care to believe. This suggests that our profuse variety of belief systems are more based on a capricious desire to believe them, rather than based on a genuine search for truth. In today’s world people believe what they want, but for the Jews of the early church, recognizing that the gentiles were included in the grace of God was not easy to believe. This is one example how first century Christians were better than us, for when the truth comes to our generation and we don’t like it, we simply choose not to believe it. Imagine if the Jews did that, where would we be? See also: Believing the truth is not easy; Act 11,15-18; 2m / Closer we get to the truth the truer it becomes; Lk 7,40-43; 69f

Act 11,2-18

(174c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Man’s religion >> Good traditions (Exception to bad religion) >> Overcoming religion – The Pentecostals still believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but they have added layers of self-imposed religion to their beliefs, essentially diluting the truth. The Charismatics have Pentecostal roots, but they too have added layers of false teachings, such as the prosperity doctrine, which is born of the devil. So who believes a pure form of the truth anymore? The Church is in a state of apostasy! People invariably find it necessary to add things to God’s truth as a means of spiritually measuring one another, whereas the anointing has as one of its many advantages the gift of discernment, whereby God Himself shows us the contents of each person’s heart as needed. This requires us to be faithful and listen to the Holy Spirit and follow in his direction. Carrying an anointing requires us to have a clear conscience and a right heart. For this reason many people withdraw from the Him, being afraid they will lie to Him and be deceitful, like they are with people and get themselves in all sorts of trouble with God. They are right in fearing Him. People resist the Holy Spirit because they know themselves that they won’t treat Him as holy. Unfortunately, obeying the Holy Spirit is not what people want in today’s Church, though it is the very crux of the gospel; they would prefer rather to have a relationship with the Bible, a book. They want their doctrines to remain on the written page; they don’t want the Holy Spirit lifting the words off the page and placing them in their hearts, but want their religion to remain in the theological realm.

Act 11,13-17

(85m) Thy kingdom come >> Belief >> Treating the knowledge of God as fact >> Believing the Son by obeying the Father >> Obeying the old covenant through the new – Cornelius was a gentile believer in a Jewish God. Wasn’t he then already saved? He was a devout man; his prayers and alms ascended to heaven as a memorial of his faith (Act 10-4), yet it says that an angel had Cornelius send for Peter that he and his family and friends might hear the message of the gospel and be saved. How could a person be this devout and love God and still not be saved? Perhaps we are misunderstanding the word “salvation.” We are seeing Cornelius in transition between the old and new covenants. There will be many old covenant believers in heaven according to Mat 8-11, “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Salvation of the old covenant was just as much a matter of faith as the new covenant. The Law of Moses evidenced faith as obeying the commandments, even before they were written, as in the case with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whereas the new covenant evidences faith as obeying the Holy Spirit. New covenant salvation is therefore defined as obeying the Holy Spirit. There are also two kinds of salvation: salvation in this life and salvation in the life to come. Jesus secured our eternal salvation at the cross, making a way for God to impart His Holy Spirit in the believer, while the indwelling Holy Spirit completes our salvation in this life as we obey Him.

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Act 11,14-17

(113j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Filled with the Holy Spirit -- These verses go with verse 24. The anointing leads us into the true knowledge of God for the purpose of abiding in Him (1Jn 2-20,27). The anointing rested only on certain individuals of the old covenant: kings, priests and prophets. The indwelling Holy Spirit was offered to no one else in the old covenant, but now that the indwelling Holy Spirit has become available to all, we new covenant believers have an obligation to receive Him to be saved. The manifestation of His indwelling presence is the anointing, who leads us to do good works that God had prepared for us, called the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc, found in Galatians chapter five. Cornelius got saved that day, along with his whole family and closest friends, and the salvation they received was the anointing, which is different from His indwelling presence. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not defined as an aspect of our eternal salvation, but of our earthly salvation, enabling us to live a godly life. Jesus said in Mat 13-33, “The Kingdom of God is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of meal, until it was all leavened.” This parable depicts the indwelling Holy Spirit gaining influence in our lives, until He dominates all aspects of our behavior. This parable bridges the gap between the indwelling Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, showing that they are one and the same Spirit. It also indicates that those who love God but don’t believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit will ultimately achieve the same results.

(115h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Laying on of hands >> Bestowing the Holy Spirit – Rome was the only world empire that transcended both old and new covenants, just as Pentecost was the only celebration that transcended both the Jewish and gentile faith. Pentecost celebrates the Holy Spirit. God dispatched a Holy Spirit anointing on King David through Samuel the prophet, and so many other kings and prophets carried anointings in the Old Testament, but Pentecost was the day God made this anointing available to anyone who fears Him and does what is right, king and pauper alike, so that He crowns His people even as he crowned King David.

(190k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Baptism >> Baptism of the Holy Spirit To participate in a ceremonial baptism of the Holy Spirit is optional, but it is not optional to have an anointing from God, for Christians literally means “anointed ones.” Since God offers an anointing, it would behoove us to accept it from Him. God has mixed His Spirit with ours, so that we have become one Spirit with Him. This makes the Holy Spirit in common with each believer, yet the diversity of the body is preserved, for there exists an array of results in the variation of gifts and abilities that God has specifically given to each person for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. It says in Rom 8-16, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God.” We know our brothers and sisters in Christ by this anointing that produces the love of God. Essentially, the only way to understand the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to compare it with water baptism, which is a public display of our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, whereas the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a public display of our faith in the Holy Spirit to safely lead us into godliness in this life. The early church was big on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but in today’s apostasy it is rarely mentioned, so maybe this is what is missing in the Church.

(205g) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> New covenant >> The new one is a better one – It is just as imperative to fulfill the law in the new covenant as it was in the old, except that today we love God and our fellow man by obeying the Holy Spirit. If we reject God’s plan for our lives and resist the Holy Spirit, isn't that like taking the first steps toward blasphemy? The Holy Spirit must dwell in our hearts to be saved, but that is not where the Church is hung-up, it has a problem with the Holy Spirit wanting to manifest in the world through us. The Church is happy to host the host the Holy Spirit in their hearts so long as He stays well hidden, but it's when the Holy Spirit wants to reveal Himself through us that we get our underwear in a bind. Mat 22,11-13 says, “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, `Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'” The wedding clothes represent two things: the anointing and our good works and the two are one, as it says in Rev 19-8, “It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” So we have come full circle in the evidence of old covenant believers being obedience to the law, whereas evidence of the new covenant is obeying the Holy Spirit, which inadvertently produces the works of the law.

Act 11-14

(208b) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The kindness of God >> You and your household shall be saved

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Act 11,15-18

(2m) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Get out of His way >> Let Him do His work – The Jewish people were taught throughout the centuries to disassociate from all other races of the world. Now, God has called them to drop their prejudice and their paradigms and embrace a completely new culture and accept the gentiles into the faith. This showed tremendous dedication on their part to please the Lord. Had they hardened their hearts against the gentiles, it would have squelched the Church, and it would not be in the world as it is today. For Peter to admit he was wrong, drop his pride and cleave to the truth regarding the gentiles being included in this grace, this was very big of Peter. As a result, the other apostles and leaders of the Church, rallied behind Peter and his revelation. Had Peter clung to his ego and rejected the truth, nobody at this council meeting would have accepted them either; the apostle Paul would have hit a brick wall in convincing them of his ministry to the gentiles (Gal 2-9). Where would the Church be today without Peter's sacrifice of his pride and acceptance of the truth? The horror he endured, being associated with Judas Iscariot when he denied the Lord three times, the lesson not to drop the ball next time was burned into his spirit. He led the Jewish Church to receive the gentiles in the salvation of Christ; perhaps this was the very purpose that Jesus chose Peter as His disciple in the first place. See also: Believing the truth is not easy; Act 11-18; 210i

(35i) Gift of God >> God gives Himself to us >> Receiving the Holy Spirit as a form of baptism – Pentecost was actually an Old Testament celebration, but to us it represents the beginning of Christianity. These verses recount the emerging events that developed into the revelation of the gentles granted “repentance that leads to life.” For 1500 years the Jews had been celebrating Pentecost 50 days after Passover in the same way that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, 50 days after His crucifixion. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is the life of God as Pentecost is a celebration of “first fruits,” a celebration of our physical lives. It is interesting that of all the Old Testament Jewish celebrations, the one Paul most earnestly desired to attend was Pentecost, and it cost him his freedom, knowing he would be arrested if he ventured into Jerusalem (Act 20-16). Why did it mean so much to him?  God reveled the inclusion of the gentiles through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the gentiles were the focus of Paul’s ministry. However, in our own time both the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the celebration of Pentecost have become relics of Christianity. That is, the very sign and celebration alluding to the gentiles being included in salvation has been all but truncated from the faith. Perhaps this was not an accident; perhaps most gentile Christians meet the baptism of the Holy Spirit with derision because they want to forget their roots; perhaps they want to believe that the gospel came to the gentiles and not to the Jews at all. Perhaps they don't want to know that the gentiles were grafted into the Jewish vine as though they were an afterthought (Rom 11,17-24). The gospel came to the Jew first, and then to the gentile, and it will stay in that order until the end of time. See also: Pentecost; 77m

(51h) Judgment >> Judging the Church with the world >> No partiality among us with God – Peter made an observation about the way in which God was working with the gentiles, and it had a transformative effect on him, and amazingly these observations made it into Scripture, which was a very rare occurrence indeed. Allowing our observations to take precedent over the impression of Scripture is highly unadvisable. People have paid attention to their thoughts and feelings and consequently devised some of the strangest doctrines, and religions known to man. To make an observation and from that derive the word of God is a very scary thing, but in Peter’s particular case it was exactly what God intended. Peter’s conclusions were not the product of a single observation, but the summation of a number of experiences, namely a dream and its confirmation. Peter observed people being baptized in the Holy Spirit, which he immediately interpreted as an act of God. Nowadays we see people baptized and coming from the water as though they were being electrocuted, but in the early days of the Church, when the fear of God was strong and healthy, people wouldn’t dare mock the power of God. Most showings of Holy Spirit baptisms today are humanly generated, no longer divine. In Peter’s day they didn’t babble like fools, but spoke fluently in a foreign language they never learned but other cultures used, who were present and confirmed these things, and so they were miraculous signs and wonders. That doesn’t mean these things must be present for the Holy Spirit baptism to be legitimate, but to fake them is a sure sign of an insincere heart. Signs and wonders are not frequent anymore, but that doesn’t mean people are not being baptized in the Holy Spirit. God works with us differently today, partly because He was initiating the Church, starting it with a bang, and partly because the truth was pure and undefiled, not filled with weeds and false doctrines as we see it today. The Church has splintered into a hundred denominations over the centuries, poisoning the anointing, so that God is not able to work with us as in the days of the apostles. However, a day is coming when he will reestablish His truth during the Great Endtime Revival, after He purifies His truth, placing it into the hands of trustworthy people, who will iron out the wrinkles and guard the truth from charlatans.

(77m) Thy kingdom come >> Humility >> Being Humble Before God >> Exalting God through humility – This passage shows the greatness of Peter, a lot greater than many people today, who don’t seem to think twice about maligning the word of God. If we were to approach the vast majority of pastors today with proof that they are teaching amiss, they would harden their hearts and show us the door. Instead of defending the truth, they would defend their egos, and that is exactly why we have so many denominations in Christendom today. Their egos matter more to them than the truth. People of this caliber have no business in the pulpits of our churches. Peter was exclusively a man of the Jews. He had great pride in his heritage, and he was fully under the impression that Jesus came for the Jews only, just like God came to his forefathers in the beginning, starting with Abraham and created the nation of Israel from His loins. Then God went to Moses and led Israel from Egypt’s slavery to the promise land. God dealt exclusively with Israel for hundreds of years and tried to elevate them as a beacon for the nations, and they would not have it. Israel rejected God’s plan of being a model nation, assuming that God didn’t care about anybody but them. Jesus Himself said in Mat 15-24, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” and He was highly resistant to help anyone but the Jews, and so it was no wonder Peter felt this way about his heritage, seeing no reason to have a thought about the gentiles until now. Then again, they should have known that the Father sent His Son to Israel so the Jews would sacrifice their own Messiah on the altar of God’s forgiveness for the sake of the whole world. See also: Pentecost; 35i / History of Israel; Heb 3,15-19; 162d

Act 11,15-17 

(217c) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> God Is Independent Of His Creation >> No one can walk in His glory without His consent

Act 11-15,16

(110l) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spiritual substance and truth >> Spiritual substance follows the truth

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Act 11-17,18

(35d) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> No partiality with God’s generosity

Act 11-17

(2g) Get out of God’s way (Key verse) – Whenever we try to help God without really knowing His plan we invariably offer Him the "arm of the flesh," and in so doing invariably get in His way, and we become an impediment instead of an assistant. He simply brushes us aside and continues with His work. It is up to us to ask Him to make us a helpful assistant who knows what He is doing and can predict His next move and be in the right place at the right time and keep from getting under foot.

Act 11-18

(193g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> God grants repentance

(210i) Gentiles Included (Key verse) – A massive paradigm shift occurred in Peter's mind and throughout all Jewish Christendom, inciting those Jews who did not believe in Jesus to view Christianity with all the more distain; Jewish Christians were teaching doctrines contrary to the traditions of Judaism. Most people today if required to make such a radical change in their belief system simply would not have done it, but Peter had the presence of mind to submit to the Holy Spirit when every fiber of his being was crying “NO!” Back then the Church was open to the Holy Spirit, but today people are open only to the thoughts of their own mind and consider it risky to trust the Holy Spirit. We have diluted the truth with our man-made religious doctrines that have substituted the truth, just like Israel did to their faith and customs that were handed down to them through Moses. What Peter was doing was considered the height of Jewish blasphemy, as seen from the reaction of his fellow Jews in verse two; they took issue with him for fellowshipping with the gentiles. They considered Peter to have committed treason against their Jewish heritage. What made the old and new covenants seem so incongruent was the fact that many Jewish customs slowly veered into falsehood over the centuries, including the restriction of speaking with the gentiles, though God did in fact restrict the Jews from intermarrying with the gentiles and worshipping their gods. See also: Believing the truth is not easy; Act 11,1-23; 210k

Act 11,19-26

(148a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Solemnly testify about the grace of God – Normally, we should not look to results to determine what to do, but in this case it worked. People who were bold enough to preach the gospel to the gentiles, realizing they had an audience who were believing their message and getting saved, saw tremendous results. What made the old covenant diametrically opposed to Christianity was Jewish disobedience over the centuries that tainted their minds and their religion through false doctrines that accumulated in their Hebrew faith, slowly replacing the tenets they received from Moses. The same has happened to Christianity throughout the world, though a Bible exists in most people’s homes; it hardly matters if they read it, since false doctrine has already crept in to their religion and tainted their minds. Christianity has evolved in the last 2000 years to become something that scarcely reflects the pages of the New Testament.

Act 11-21

(54g) Paradox >> Opposites >> If repentance is a blessing, why do we need to be coerced?

(86d) Thy kingdom come >> Belief demands a response

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Act 11,22-26

(13f) Servant >> Serve the body >> Promoting its health >> Servant is anointed – It’s a good thing the word Christian is in the Bible, otherwise it would have been a man-made term that would have forever remained in controversy. As it is the Church has largely ignored the real meaning of the expression. It’s a well-descript title in that it actually has the name Christ in it: “Christ” meaning anointed One, hence “Christians” means anointed ones. Based on our very title, we should live and walk by an anointing, which is what walking by the spirit really means (Gal 5,16-25). This brings us back to the baptism of the Holy Spirit; are we obligated to undergo such a baptism? Based on our title, it appears so, Jesus Christ Himself being One who coined the term, yet still it doesn’t hold much credence among many denominations of Christianity. Since Christians feel obligated to be baptized in water, they should feel just as obligated to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, otherwise they should stop calling themselves “Christians” (anointed ones). If people do not want to be possessed by the Holy Spirit, it sends up red flags. Don’t they know it’s evil to resist the Holy Spirit especially as Christians? The act of water baptism represents our willingness to publicly demonstrate our faith, and the symbolism of baptism, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, represents dying to self to be raised in "newness of life" as Paul taught in Romans. Therefore, the baptism of the Holy Spirit refers to that newness of life. So, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are really one and the same thing, though we don’t need to experience them at the same time. There are Pentecostals who believe when we are water baptized we better emerge from the water speaking in tongues, or else…. This is just more human error. A person who seeks the baptism of the Holy Spirit is obeying God; it is not a false doctrine, and if we pursue it with all our hearts, ultimately we will come into possession of an anointing from God and all the blessings that are associated with it.

(129l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Being in one accord >> Single minded >> Going to any limit to fulfill God’s will – Paul and Barnabas were partners as a result of him being the one man with the open-mindedness to acknowledge that Paul experienced a genuine conversion to Christianity and helped him find acceptance among the brethren, while everyone else rejected him because of his reputation as an unflinching persecutor of the Church. As a result of this, Paul and Barnabas became friends and missionary partners for life. Paul could have accomplished what he did without the endorsement of the Church. Consequently, Barnabas represents the beginning of Paul's ministry, who won more people to the Lord than possibly all the other apostles put together. Paul’s contribution in evangelism was so great that the other apostles focused more on the saints than on winning souls. Paul knew what was burning in his heart after his conversion; this had to happen, and Barnabas was the catalyst that ushered his ministry from the realm of divine providence to physical reality. Paul and Barnabas were virtually fused together, Barnabas not only having a healthy gift of discernment to know a Christian when he sees one but had many other gifts that he regularly used as an evangelist such as bravery, devout faith, single-mindedness and a solid understanding of the Scriptures.

Act 11-23

(2a) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Keep your commitments >> Fulfill your vows in marriage to God

(138j) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Exhortation >> Exhorting the people to remain true to the Lord – Apparently even in the first century the Church had a problem with Christians remaining true to the Lord, otherwise Barnabas would not have resolutely exhorted them. He earnestly wanted to see the Church grow both spiritually and numerically. Although the world has always construed the Church as being an enemy of the state, as having a negative impact on society and as being deleterious to the general direction of mankind, the fact remains that true Christianity has always been the most positive influence in the world. Regardless of the world’s opinion, which cites the Church for just about every war fought for the last 2000 years, but this is just another lie of the devil and another reason Barnabas wanted the Church to succeed and prosper to become the salt of the earth and constrain the advent of war. If Barnabas had to exhort the saints to remain true to the Lord in his own time, how much more do we need this exhortation in our time? The worse thing that could happen to a Christian is that he fall away from the faith. This is what the parable of the sower teaches. In that parable the seed fell on four surfaces: the road, rocky soil, among the thorns and on the good soil. Only the seed that fell on the good soil grew to maturity and produced fruit.

Act 11-24

(113j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Filled with the Holy Spirit -- This verse goes with verses 14-17

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Act 11,27-30

(7l) Responsibility >> Use time wisely >> Get ready >> Use this time to gather – Endtime prophecy will eventually be fulfilled and the Great Tribulation will occur, and there will be a terrible famine in those days, along with many other plagues. Jesus said that it would be the worst time in human history, and God never told us to prepare for it apart from developing a relationship with Jesus through the word of God and prayer. God wants our relationship with Him to be strong enough to maintain a hearing ear so we can hear what the Spirit is saying, so we know what God is doing and what we can do to integrate into God’s plan and purpose. Our relationship with Him also communicates with each other that we belong to Christ, that we both make contributions to the Church and receive benefits. They sent the contribution to the brethren living in Judea, which is a more civilized district, where people live in cities, such as Jerusalem. City dwellers tend to suffer more during severe famines than country folk, because they have farms and the means to feed themselves. They may not have much money but they do have food they can donate.

(34l) Gift of God >> Be generous like your Father >> Give to your brother

(72j) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> More Authority The More Responsibility >> The strong shall help the weak

(235d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Offerings >> Help your weaker brother – the Church organized a contribution relief fund dedicated to the assistance of Christians only. They didn’t raise money for an outreach program to help pagans; instead, they took care of themselves before any consideration for the poor in the world. The priority is to our immediate family and relatives first, then to the Church, and finally to those in the world, in that order. If people in the world want someone to take care of them, then they ought to get saved, but the Church should not squander its resources on those who show no interest in reciprocating.

Act 11-27,28

(152kb) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> True prophets >> Prophesying the future – This famine covered the entire known world, not the entire globe. Far as they were concerned it affected everyone, for no one could go far enough to avoid the famine, so they were all stuck in it. Famines are the result of a lack of rain. Instead of telling His prophets that there would be a famine, why didn’t He just cause it to rain and stop the famine? Like road construction, instead of fixing a bump; He just put up a sign warning of the bump. God is not interested in fixing every bump in the road, but uses some of them to test us, commanding us to endure them and giving us prophets to tell us to prepare for hard times, as he did in the days of Joseph in Egypt. The only thing the Church did to prepare was to get together and pool their resources.

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