The first 60 episodes are from portions of Genesis. Since Feb 2021 we began a daily commentary in the the book of Acts since it is certain that almost all major theological errors within the church arise by a misapplication, or a misuse, of the book of Acts. If the book is taken in its proper light, it is an invaluable tool for understanding what God is doing in the redemptive narrative in human history. If it is taken incorrectly, failed doctrine, and even heretical ideas, will arise (and consistently have arisen) within the church. Let us consider the book of Acts in its proper light. In doing so, these errors in thinking and theology will be avoided. The book of Acts is comprised of 28 chapters of 1007 verses (as in the NKJV). Therefore, a daily evaluation of Acts, one verse per day, will take approximately 2.76 years to complete.

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Friday Sep 16, 2022

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

Thursday Sep 15, 2022

Thursday, 15 September 2022   While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you. Acts 10:19   The previous verse noted that those sent from Cornelius asked whether Peter was lodging at the house. That was occurring even while Peter was coming out of his vision –   From the BLB translation – a. And while Peter was perplexed in himself what the vision that he had seen might be, behold   b. The men having been sent from Cornelius, having inquired for the house of Simon, stood at the gate.   b. And having called out, they were asking if Simon who is called Peter is lodged here a. And of Peter thinking over the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you. One can see how Luke carefully gives an “a b b a” pattern to show that these things were occurring at the same time. With this noted, the verse now begins with, “While Peter thought about the vision.”   The verb is a present participle, “And while Peter, thinking about the vision...” Depending on the text, the word translated as thinking either means to ponder or to ponder thoroughly. Either way, Peter was mulling over what had happened at the same time that the travelers were arriving and asking whether Peter was there. It is at this time, while Peter is trying to figure out the meaning of the vision that it next says, “the Spirit said to him.”   Nothing is said about how this occurs, whether audibly or internally, but it appears to be similar to that of Acts 8:29 where the Spirit told Philip to go near the chariot of the Ethiopian Eunuch. A message was conveyed that was clear enough for Peter to know that it was real, saying, “Behold, three men are seeking you.”   The fact that the Spirit said this while he was pondering the purpose of the vision is a clear indication that these three have something to do with it. It is similar to that which was prophesied by Isaiah many centuries earlier concerning the millennium, saying –   “It shall come to passThat before they call, I will answer.” Isaiah 65:24   Peter had not yet asked the Lord what the meaning of the vision was, and yet he is being given directions that will explain what the vision means.   Life application: Peter’s vision, the coming of these Gentiles to meet him, and the Spirit speaking to Peter are all things that are leading to the inclusion of Gentiles in the body of believers. These were necessary steps to establish a baseline of what is allowed and acceptable within the church. Their inclusion in the word is thus also necessary so that subsequent generations of believers would know these things as well.   And that is the purpose of the Bible. It is to tell us of the things God has done within the stream of time so that we can know what is right and proper. This includes the inspiration of these men of God to relay what was to be written down. Once it was, such revelation is no longer needed. We now know that Gentiles were accepted. We now know that meats are not what God is focusing on and that we are free to eat anything set before us. And so on.   This is why it is so important to know your Bible. In knowing what it says, we can live our lives in the freedom offered to us because of the finished work of Christ. The Bible is not a book of bondage, but of life and fellowship with God. May we see it as such and not use it as a tool to unnecessarily impose bondage on ourselves and those we instruct.   It is true that there are confines we are to remain within, but these are still confines of freedom, meaning freedom from sin. Sin is bondage (John 8:34, Romans 6:6), and so to be kept from sin is its own type of freedom. If we can view the word from this perspective, our lives will be happy and prosperous in the Lord.   Heavenly Father, may we find joy in Your word each day. Help us to be faithful and careful stewards of it. And, Lord, help us to apply its precepts to our walk each day. Thank You for Your precious word. Amen.  

Wednesday Sep 14, 2022

Wednesday, 14 September 2022   And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. Acts 10:18   The last verse had the men who were sent from Cornelius arriving at the gate of Simon’s house. With that, the next words are given. The NKJV doesn’t do a great job in its translation of the verbs in this verse. Therefore, the BLB will be used. Notice the difference –   And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. NKJV And having called out, they were asking if Simon who is called Peter is lodged here. BLB   With that noted, the verse begins with, “And having called out.” Those who had arrived at the gate had called out. In their having called out, a response was obviously received, either from a window or from someone directly coming out to them. Either way, Luke has the reader involved in the action that is ongoing because he next notes, “they were asking.”   The verb is imperfect, giving the sense of continuance. In this case, it probably isn’t, “They asked and continued to ask,” as if the people inside didn’t understand the first time. Rather, it is probably, “They asked and were waiting for a response.” That sense of continuance is then explained in the coming verse where Peter will gather himself from his pondering about the vision. For now, the question they put forth was “if Simon who is called Peter is lodged here.”   Again, as in verse 10:5, both names are given. This is to ensure that the right Simon is summoned. The house belonged to Simon the tanner, and it would be normal for someone to come looking for him, maybe to get a hide tanned or to pick one up. And so, to avoid any confusion, the men were instructed to ask for Simon who is called Peter.   Along with this, the certainty that the correct Simon is summoned will also be confirmed by the Spirit speaking to Peter in the next verse. Everything about the account is precisely stated, and the verbs are carefully used by Luke to give us an intimate look into the events as they occur.   Life application: Why is Peter being summoned when it is Paul who is the apostle to the Gentiles? That doesn’t seem to make sense unless one takes in the whole account of what is going on. Like the Greek language, which is very precise, the overall narrative is also very precise.   There is a reason why Peter is called, and it is not to tell Cornelius that he has to wait for someone named Paul to show up and give him the Gentile gospel. It is because Peter’s gospel is the same gospel as Paul’s. Only the prime focus of Peter’s gospel is to the Jews. And yet, he wasn’t called only to the Jews. Likewise, Paul wasn’t called only to the Gentiles. Even the poorest of scholars can figure that out when taking things in the proper context.   Unfortunately, there are those who evaluate the word in an unscholarly manner. In this, they come to unfounded conclusions, ignoring the overall message and focusing on division rather than unity of thought. Though the word must be rightly divided, and it is a unified whole. Therefore, any division is for a logical analysis of Scripture, not to divide the overall message.   Be sure to keep things in context and be sure to avoid people who proclaim a false gospel, which is no gospel at all. Jews and Gentiles are saved in the exact same way – by faith in the finished work of Jesus and in nothing else.   Lord God how blessed we are to be saved in the simplest manner of all which is by faith in the finished work of Christ. Anything else would make it too complicated for most to understand. And even the simple gospel eludes so many. Help us to not add to or divide this precious offer of life, the gospel of our salvation. Amen.

Tuesday Sep 13, 2022

Tuesday, 13 September 2022   Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. Acts 10:17   Peter’s vision ended in the previous verse with the object being taken up into heaven again. Luke next records, “Now while Peter wondered within himself.”   The word translated as “wondered” is stronger, meaning totally perplexed. This is the last of four times it is seen. Two of its other uses in Acts were in Acts 2:12 and Acts 5:24. HELPS Word Studies says it “refers to ‘one who goes through the whole list of possible ways, and finds no way out.’” In other words, Peter was perfectly perplexed as to “what this vision which he had seen meant.”   Because he is working it out in his mind, he may have thought it was just a delusion because he was overly hungry, or maybe he got too much sun on the roof, or maybe it was real. If it was real, then there must be some connection that he had not yet made.   The answer to his state of confusion was, literally, just about to knock on the door. The vision was real, and the Lord was going to tie it into the stream of events that were coming to pass at that moment. As it next says, “behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house.”   Here is a word found only this one time in Scripture, dierótaó. It comes from dia (through) and erótaó (to ask). As such, one gets the sense of the men arriving at Joppa and then asking their way through the streets until they finally found the right house. Once that was ascertained, they came to it “and stood before the gate.”   The word “and” is not in the Greek. It simply shows the events as they took place –   “having made inquiry for the house of Simon, stood before the gate.”   Luke masterfully leaves the reader ready for the next action to take place, setting the actions of those sent from Cornelius to align perfectly with the ponderings of Peter. The timing of the events shows that God was in total control of the events that took place so that they would come to pass together at the same moment.   Life application: There are things that happen in life that we often call chance or coincidence. Or we may brush them off with the words, “What synchronicity!” But we often go no further. However, for those who know the Lord, such events can be looked at with a different view.   We can ascribe them to the working of God in our lives to bring about a good end in whatever matter we thought was, at first, total calamity. This doesn’t mean we should go looking for signs and ascribing goofy things like getting $7.77 change back at 7-11 to be a sign that the rapture will happen next Tuesday. There is a difference between seeing the Lord’s hand working out a good end for a certain matter and the type of thinking that is just plain goofy.   And more, the rapture is not dependent on events that occur in our lives, as if the Lord is using us as an instrument of His will to bring it about. That is a “me” centered theology and it is quite harmful.   On the other hand, if we have calamity today and suddenly something amazingly good replaces it, we can ascribe that to the Lord’s kind hand upon our affliction (think of Job 42) and praise Him for His tender care of us. That is a “Him” centered theology because it always ascribes events from the top down, not the bottom up.   Let us remember this. In such times, we have not erred by giving Him the glory, even if it was mere chance (if you believe in that). But in ascribing things in a bottom-up manner, when the events do not take place, you have erred, you have brought disgrace upon the name, and you have made yourself look foolish. In all things, and in all ways, glorify God, not yourself, for the events that take place in your life, whether good or bad. In the end, and because of Jesus Christ, good will ultimately come to pass.   Lord God, help us to not error in our thinking by making events that happen around us all about us. Rather, when we see the marvelous occur, may we rightly ascribe it to Your hand and be grateful for Your grace and mercy upon us. In all things, may we remember to glorify You above all else. Amen.   

Monday Sep 12, 2022

Monday, 12 September 2022   This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again. Acts 10:16   The previous verse brought to Peter’s ears the voice from heaven, saying, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This was in response to Peter’s balking at the voice concerning his dietary scruples. With that remembered, it now says, “This was done three times.”   The Greek includes a conjunction to begin the verse – “And this was done three times.” What was done is not specified, whether it was the presentation of the object like a sheet with all the animals, whether it was the command and Peter’s balking at it which was then followed by the Lord’s note of cleansing, or whether the entire process took place three times. The latter is probably the case, however.   If the entire process, including Peter’s balking at the Lord’s word, is what is referred to, the event is remarkably similar to Moses’ three protestations before the Lord in Exodus 3 and 4 –   The Lord’s directive: “Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10).   Moses’ protestations:    “Then Moses answered and said, ‘But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you’” (Exodus 4:1). “Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue’” (Exodus 4:10). But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send” (Exodus 4:13).   Moses was called to lead the people of Israel into the dispensation and observance of the law which included isolation from the Gentile world. Peter is being told he is to lead them out of the law observance and into fellowship with the Gentile world.   The three-fold repetition of the event is to ensure that Peter is fully aware that this has been decided and that it is the course that must be taken. The number three in Scripture “points us to what is real, essential, perfect, substantial, complete, and Divine” (Bullinger). This is a fitting description in all ways concerning what is now to occur. Peter is being pointed to God’s real, essential, perfect, substantial, complete, and Divine revelation concerning the grace of God in Christ. With this settled, it next says, “And the object was taken up into heaven again.”   The lesson has been taught, the message has been conveyed, and it has been given to Peter first to confirm a particular pattern that will be revealed before the chapter is complete. It is not to convey one gospel to the Jews and one to the Gentiles. Rather, it is to establish the matter that there is one gospel to both. Peter is the key to this particular revelation.   The Lord personally spoke to Peter in John 21, three times prompting him to tend to His sheep –   ------------------------------------ So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.” John 21:15-19 ------------------------------------   Now in Acts 10, Peter is beginning to find out that the sheep Jesus was referring to includes the Gentiles.   Life application: The matter of calling the supposedly unclean Gentiles to faith in the Lord is not merely speaking of the people. It is also referring to the ending of the dietary restrictions within the Law of Moses. How can we know this is absolutely the case? It is because anyone who had eaten something unclean under the law was considered defiled for a particular amount of time as defined by the law. But what will transpire in the coming verses will reveal that these “unclean Gentiles” are accepted by God without reference to the required timeframe set by the law.   As this is so, and the point will be explained again as Acts 10 continues, it demonstrates that the law was only a tutor for the people of Israel to understand their need for Jesus. Remember this as you interact with those who claim what is happening in Acts 10 only speaks of accepting the Gentiles, but it does not change adhering to the dietary laws set forth within the Law of Moses. In Christ’s New Covenant, there are no dietary restrictions. Nothing is unclean to those who understand the cleansing power of Jesus Christ. As Paul says of such things –   “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” Titus 1:15, 16   This is the lesson Peter is now learning. Don’t be like the Judaizers of the world! Understand that in Christ, the flesh counts for nothing. This is a temporary body that exists within a temporary system. God is not concerned about what goes into your stomach. He is watching our actions and reading our hearts as we live out our lives before Him.   Glorious God Almighty, You have set us free from the constraints of law so that we can worship You in Spirit and in truth. Help us to live out this freedom in holiness and in obedience to Your precious word. May we not fall back on a law that could save no one, but rather, help us to live for You according to the New Covenant set forth through the finished work of Jesus. Amen.  

Sunday Sep 11, 2022

Sunday, 11 September 2022   And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” Acts 10:15   In the previous verse, Peter replied to the voice from heaven, saying, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” With that, it next says, “And a voice spoke to him again the second time.”   The translation is correct. There is no definite article before “voice.” But also, there is no verb and so the action must be supplied. It literally reads, “And a voice again for a second time to him.” It is not unlike the account of Elijah in 1 Kings 19 –   -------------------------------------- And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” 11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:9-13 --------------------------------------   The Lord has a way of clearing the mind of biases, presuppositions, fears, anxieties, and so on by repeating Himself in order to make a point. In the case of Peter, he spoke out a directive, Peter balked at what was said, and now a voice from heaven comes forth a second time, saying, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”   Peter will have to consider what is said, and he will. But what is being referred to is more than just the eating of meat, even if the eating of meat is a part of what is being conveyed. The object like a sheet descended from heaven. Hence, God has sent it. The animals are God’s creatures, and their disposition is up to Him. That was clearly revealed to Noah in Genesis 9 when Noah was told that every moving thing that lives shall be food for man.   Nothing is stated about impurity, and thus all animals were considered clean according to consumption. But something happened at the giving of the law. The Lord directed that certain animals were to be considered unclean. And so, the question must be asked, “What made the animals unclean?” If they were clean for consumption until the giving of the law, then it was the law itself that made them unclean.   This is true with sin. Until the law was given, sin could not be imputed. But when the law was given, Paul says, “sin revived and I died” (Romans 7:9). He says also, “for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). No person since Noah has ever been imputed sin for eating a particular animal except those of the nation of Israel. This is because only the nation of Israel was given the law.   Now, God has said to Peter that such animals are cleansed. The question then must be asked, “For who?” They were not cleansed for the Chinese. The Chinese had no law from God declaring them unclean. The same is true with all nations, except Israel. Therefore, it is for Israel that God has cleansed them through the fulfilling and annulling of the law. As such, Peter is told that he must not call them unclean. Of this, Vincent’s Word Studies clarifies the matter –   “The thought goes deeper than merely styling ‘common.’ Lit., do not thou defile. Do not profane it by regarding and calling it common. Rev., ‘make not thou common.’”   The point is, and it is obvious, that if the law made these unclean, and that they are not to be considered unclean any longer, then the law is no longer in effect for Peter. He has come to Christ, and in him (meaning Peter), the law no longer has the power to make the animals unclean. Therefore, what God has declared to him as acceptable, he is to no longer proclaim unclean.   This cannot be considered the case for those of Israel who have not come to Christ. They are bound to the Law of Moses until they come to Him. Therefore, the law is their standard and it is the gauge by which they will be judged. For Peter, he is no longer under the law, and therefore he cannot be judged by the precepts of the law. As this is so, he is not to then use the precepts of the law to make his own judgments concerning the matters contained in the law. In doing so, he then calls unclean things that are considered clean by God.   Life application: It is the law by which God declared foods unclean. In Christ’s fulfillment of the law, He has brought the law to an end for all who believe. Therefore, to call something unclean according to the standard of the law something that is not unclean is to then 1) call into question the efficacy of the work of Christ; 2) reintroduce the law as a means of personal justification; and 3) bring the curse of the law back upon oneself (for a Jew) or upon oneself (for a Gentile) when a precept of the law is violated.   Using circumcision as a benchmark for the entire law, Paul says –   “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Galatians 5:1-4   The question for all people is, “Where do you want to hang your hat?” You can trust in the law and be judged by the law, meaning every single precept found in the law, or you can trust in Christ’s fulfillment of the law and be freed from the law. This was one purpose of the law. It was to show us what God expects in order to be right with Him. In seeing the enormity of the burden the law carries, it was to then lead us to Jesus.   Hence, to say that we will live according to the law’s standard is to claim a self-righteousness equal to God. It is self-deceiving and it can only lead to condemnation. To trust in Jesus is to trust in God’s provision, thus giving all glory to God, not to self. Be wise, be discerning, and be ready to both enjoy the foods God has given us and also to not judge those who eat something we may find unpalatable according to a standard that does not exist –   “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.” Romans 14:20   Trust in Christ’s finished work and, please, pass the bacon.   Lord God, thank You for the freedom we possess because of Jesus Christ our Lord. Help us to never set an obstacle between ourselves and You by assuming we can be “holier” than Jesus by accomplishing deeds of the law. Instead, may we find our holiness and perfection before the law in His fulfillment of it. To Your glory. Amen.  

Saturday Sep 10, 2022

Saturday, 10 September 2022   But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” Acts 10:14   In the previous verse, the voice from heaven said, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” This was concerning the vision he was seeing of the animals, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. With that remembered, it next says, “But Peter said.”   This is in response to the voice from heaven. One would think, “I just heard a voice from heaven, and it is instructing me to do something. I will be obedient.” Such will not be the case. The idea was so repugnant to an observant Jew that Peter cannot process what he is being told to do. And so, in response, he says, “Not so, Lord!”   Whether Peter feels this is a test of his faithfulness to the law, or whether he simply cannot participate in something so contrary to what he has always known and held as sacred, he balks. In this, he uses the common word kurios. It can mean anything from “Sir” to “Lord” and even implying the Lord God. As the voice is from heaven, he must mentally assume he is addressing the Lord God. And this is more likely based on his next words, which say, “For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”   The words “common or unclean” are rightly explained by Albert Barnes –   “That is common - This word properly denotes ‘what pertains to all,’ but among the Jews, who were bound by special laws, and who were prohibited from many things that were freely indulged in by other nations, the word ‘common’ came to be opposed to the word ‘sacred,’ and to denote what was in common use among the pagans, hence, that which was ‘profane,’ or ‘polluted.’ Here it means the same as ‘profane,’ or ‘forbidden.’   Unclean - Ceremonially unclean; that is, what is forbidden by the ceremonial law of Moses.”   In his response to the voice, Peter is paraphrasing words that he would have heard in the synagogue over the years. In Ezekiel 4, a part of a discourse between the Lord and Ezekiel says the following –   ----------------------------------------- “Also take for yourself wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt; put them into one vessel, and make bread of them for yourself. During the number of days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it. 10 And your food which you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from time to time you shall eat it. 11 You shall also drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; from time to time you shall drink. 12 And you shall eat it as barley cakes; and bake it using fuel of human waste in their sight.” 13 Then the Lord said, “So shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them.” 14 So I said, “Ah, Lord God! Indeed I have never defiled myself from my youth till now; I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has abominable flesh ever come into my mouth.” 15 Then He said to me, “See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it.” Ezekiel 4:9-15 -----------------------------------------   The Lord was instructing Ezekiel to do something that would make him ceremonially unclean under the Law of Moses. This is seen, for example, in Leviticus 5:2, 3 –   “Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean livestock, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and he is unaware of it, he also shall be unclean and guilty. 3 Or if he touches human uncleanness—whatever uncleanness with which a man may be defiled, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty.”   Though ceremonially defiled, such a state of uncleanness simply required the appropriate sacrifices to restore him. Ezekiel thought it was repugnant to do this and he also balked at the Lord’s words. But Ezekiel was being used as a sign of what lay ahead for the people of Israel, and so, despite the clean foods he was instructed to eat, he was told to cook them in a manner that was ceremonially unclean. Because of Ezekiel’s concerns about being in a state of uncleanliness among the people, the Lord gave him the allowance of using cow dung.   The text of Ezekiel 4 makes it clear that the one speaking to him was the Lord (YHVH) God. Peter, certainly knowing the account in Ezekiel, would also know that the voice from heaven was also the Lord. As he knew at this point that Jesus is the incarnate Lord, the voice would be that of Jesus. In the case of Peter, the instruction would have been a direct violation of the Law of Moses. However, the Lord is going to convey to Peter that the Mosaic Code was no longer applicable to his life. Being in Christ meant something new was available to him.   Life application: Some years ago, a fad known as “the Ezekiel diet” came out. It can still be found on the internet and people have profited off it because it sounds biblical – “See, this is what was recorded for Ezekiel and so it must be good.” The same is true with the account in Daniel 1 concerning a diet that was decided upon there.   This is irresponsible, and it wholly ignores the context of what happens in Ezekiel. The Lord specifically tells Ezekiel why He was mandating the diet and what it meant –   “Moreover He said to me, ‘Son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread, 17 that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity.’” Ezekiel 4:16,17   This was not a diet that was intended to make people healthy. It was a diet that was the result of famine, lack, and affliction. It was a diet that would eventually cause the people to “waste away.”   Instead of getting caught up in fad things derived from a misuse of the Bible, live your life for the Lord, enjoy the blessings He has showered you with, and don’t allow people to sucker you into making them rich because of their twisting of Scripture. Have discernment. When people attempt to peddle things to you in the name of God or because of Scripture, they are the ones who will be home eating steak and potatoes while you are eating grass and tiny amounts of grain.   Lord God, give us discernment as we live out our lives before You. Help us not to get drawn into fads and novelty lifestyles that will enrich others but do nothing of value for us. May we be thankful for the blessings You have lavished upon us, and may we enjoy those blessings without feelings of guilt because they came from Your open hand of grace. Amen.

Friday Sep 09, 2022

Friday, 9 September 2022   And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” Acts 10:13   The previous verse showed that “all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth” were in the object that was like a great sheet. With that remembered, it next says, “And a voice came to him.” The source of the voice is not stated, but it is certainly the Lord Jesus. This is most probable based on his reply in the next verse and what is stated between the two. And the words conveyed to Peter begin with, “Rise.”   Rather, it is an aorist participle – “Having arisen.” Peter was obviously still laying or kneeling as during his praying. And so, the voice lets him know that once he has gotten up, he is to take a particular action. After this, and calling him by his given name, the voice continues with, “Peter; kill and eat.”   This is obviously in response to his state of being “very hungry” as was seen in verse 10:10. The voice instructs Peter to look upon the vast multitude of animals without distinction and to take whatever he desired for himself.   In this, Peter is clearly being shown that the dietary laws of the Law of Moses have been annulled. He is being returned to a time when Israel did not have the law and lived under the general command of God to Noah –   “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.” Genesis 9:2, 3   The importance of this is not to be missed because if the dietary laws are annulled, then the entire Mosaic Code is annulled. It is a single body of law, no part of which could be left unfulfilled without guilt being imputed –   “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18   If the dietary laws are annulled, thus meaning that the Law of Moses is annulled, then it means that the law has been fulfilled. Those of Israel who accept the completion of Christ’s work are brought out from the bondage and yoke of the law and into a new and as yet unexplained dispensation. Those who are not of Israel, and who had never been under the law, are imputed the righteousness of the law’s fulfillment because of Jesus.   This is all being seen, or at least hinted at, in the details provided in this one verse. The voice is from heaven, indicating that it is of God. It is in connection with the presentation of unclean animals to Peter, indicating they have been divinely sanctioned to be eaten, and it is given in typology of the people who already eat such animals because they are not, and never were, under the law of Moses.   Life application: The Lord would not present supposedly unclean animals to Peter and admonish him to eat them if it were a violation of His own law to do so without a particular reason for doing so. Hence, without going forward in the text, it is clear and explicit that these animals are no longer to be considered unclean.   And yet, there are innumerable teachers of the word, and even entire denominations, that adamantly state Christians are bound to the dietary restrictions of the Mosaic Law. If this is so, then they are also bound to every other precept of the law – without exception – and they must fulfill them perfectly. They have set aside the grace of Christ, and they have fallen back on a system that was never effectual in removing sin, except in the anticipation of its own fulfillment by Jesus.   Be sure to get what the meaning of grace is. It is not, “I have done and so now you must do.” Grace is unmerited favor. Salvation is solely and absolutely a work of the Lord. It is true that there are things we are told to do under the New Covenant, but these things are to be accomplished because of our state in salvation, not as a means of either earning it or maintaining it.   Lord God, thank You for the grace You have bestowed upon us through the giving of Christ Jesus. All that stood against us is now taken away because of Him. Praise You, O God, for what You have done! Amen.  

Thursday Sep 08, 2022

Thursday, 8 September 2022   In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. Acts 10:12   The previous verse referred to the “object like a great sheet [sail]” descending to Peter from heaven to the earth. That now continues with, “In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth.”   The translation is not acceptable. It is stated without exception, saying, “all the quadrupeds of the earth.” It is a new word, tetrapous, that signifies “four” and “foot.” It will be seen here, in Acts 11:6, and then in Romans 1:23. Every four-footed animal that is to be found on earth was included in this display. That is followed by, “wild beasts.”   This word, thérion, is not included in some manuscripts, but it is found in Peter’s description of the account in Acts 11:6. It is possible a scribe either missed it in this verse, or it was purposefully inserted to reconcile the two accounts. Either way, the word comes from the word théra, signifying a trap used for hunting. Thus, this is a generic word for any wild animal. Next noted are “creeping things.”   The Greek word is herpeton. It also is a new word, and it signifies any crawling animal, reptiles, and especially a serpent. It is comparable to the Hebrew word remes first found in Genesis 1:24. The Greek word is the etymological root of our modern word herpes which is a disease that creeps. Finally, it says, “and birds of the air.”   Rather, the Greek reads, “and the birds of the heaven.” There is no qualifier saying, “clean birds.” Rather, it can be assumed that all birds of the heavens are included in the scene before him.   Though getting a bit ahead of the narrative, what is being seen is a picture of the cleansing of the Gentiles through Christ’s work. The sail is the means by which the message goes forth, signifying movement on the seas, even to the furthest parts of the world.   The sail being made of linen provides its own picture of purity. All that are noted upon it are cleansed by the blood of Christ, apart from deeds of the law, and are deemed as acceptable to God because of Him.   The sail having four corners signifies that the gospel will go forth to every part of the earth, the four corners representing the entire earth. And the animals, regardless of the kind are included in the scope of the transmission of the gospels.   Under the law of Moses, animals were specifically divided into clean and unclean. The two main records of this are found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. To fully understand the typology, please refer to the appropriate Superior Word sermons on these passages.   Israel was set apart under the law and was permitted to eat only certain foods derived from a select list of animals. Gentiles have no restrictions on them concerning dietary laws. This goes all the way back to Genesis 9 –   “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.” Genesis 9:2, 3   The law was introduced as a tool for Israel, and Israel alone, to conduct its affairs. The Gentiles were never placed under that law, and no dietary restrictions, apart from drinking blood (Genesis 9:4), were placed upon the people of the world. With the law fulfilled by Christ, it was set aside. The Gentiles who ate unclean animals are no longer considered unclean. This will be made explicit in the coming verses.   The descending of this object from heaven to the earth was to signify to Peter that a mystery was being revealed. That mystery is then explained by Paul –   “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.” Ephesians 3:1-7   Despite Paul being the one through whom the mystery of the church is conveyed to the Gentiles, it is the same mystery that is first revealed to Peter, and which will be confirmed by Peter in Acts 10. Once again, as has been seen several times in Acts, the same working of God, meaning the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is given by both Peter and Paul. The focus of the ministry for that gospel (meaning Peter’s toward the Jews and Paul’s toward the Gentiles) is the only difference. It is one gospel to all people.   Life application: The Chinese people have a saying, “If it moves on the earth, if it is found in the oceans, or if it flies in the sky, we will eat it.” This is a truth found throughout the Gentile world to some degree or another. No dietary restrictions exist except those that are self-imposed or that may be imposed by a particular nation or by some false religion.   For example, Islam and Hinduism restrict the eating of certain foods. Also, there are things that are just culturally not considered acceptable. Various bugs have always been eaten in parts of Asia, and even the Levitical law allowed for the consumption of locusts.   However, until recently, it was considered socially unacceptable in the western world to eat bugs. It was not prohibited, but it was something looked down on as boorish and objectionable. With the modern green movement, bugs are in, and beef is out. This is not a dietary law. Rather, it is just an attempt to manipulate the populace for a perverse agenda.   Despite this, the vision that Peter is seeing is exactly what is found in the Gentile world. The old saying, “You are what you eat,” is on full display here. Gentiles eat snakes, bugs, and lobsters (to their delight by the way) while Jews do not. And so, what is being seen is more than just the acceptance of Gentiles into the plan of God, but the acceptance of what they eat as well. The two are not to be disassociated from one another.   And yet, heretical cults and false teachers will use Acts 10 to say that the typology only points to the cleansing of Gentiles, but not the cleansing of foods. This is incorrect and it is dispelled both in the coming account of Acts 10, throughout the Pauline epistles, and the book of Hebrews as well. Don’t be fooled by perverse people with an agenda to push you under the constraints of the Law of Moses! Pass the whale blubber and bacon and enjoy the freedom God has given you in Jesus Christ our Lord.   Lord God, how precious it is to know that by faith alone in Jesus and in His fulfillment of the law we are pleasing to You. He lived out the law, He shed His blood, dying in fulfillment of it, and He rose again, setting aside its ordinances so that we are justified not through our deeds, but through His. In Him, reconciliation and forgiveness of sins have come! Now, we have a blessed and eternal hope. Thank You for Jesus Christ our Lord, O God. Amen.  

Wednesday Sep 07, 2022

Wednesday, 7 September 2022   and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. Acts 10:11   Taken with the previous verse, the words form a complete thought – “Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.” With this noted, the words can now be looked into, starting with, “and saw heaven opened.”   Rather, the first verb is present tense to more poignantly bring the reader into the narrative – “and beholds heaven opened.” It isn’t that he went into a trance and saw. He went into a trance, and he beholds. It is right there before him as he looks. While beholding this marvelous scene it next says, “and an object.”   This is all happening while he beholds. This thing, described here as an object, takes hold of his vision. The word simply means a vessel by which something is contained. In this case, the object is “like a great sheet.” The word is othoné, and it is found only here and in verse 11:5 where Peter explains to others what he saw. It is fine linen, and thus it refers to a sheet or a sail. It is a piece of linen, obviously square (as will be seen), and extremely large.   Some speculate that this may be a tallit, a fringed prayer shawl used by Jews. If it were such an item, and because Peter is a Jew, he would have certainly said so when later describing it. Rather, it appears to simply be “like” a great sheet, and thus something specifically used for this purpose. Of this object, it next says that it was “bound at the four corners.”   This now gives a better sense of what the object may be. As noted, the word used to describe it is a sheet or a sail. The Weymouth New Testament uses the word sail –   “The sky had opened to his view, and what seemed to be an enormous sail was descending, being let down to the earth by ropes at the four corners.”   This is probably what is being conveyed. Peter bar Jonah (his full name as seen in Matthew 16:17) was a fisherman and well acquainted with sailing. He had just been called from Joppa where centuries earlier Jonah had sailed aboard a ship going to Tarshish. As he was by the sea at Simon the tanner’s house (Acts 10:6), he would have daily seen ships coming and going. When describing this object in Acts 11, it would be much more normal for him to use this description with those he talked to – “I saw this thing descending like a huge sail!”   The description of it being a sail would then fit more readily with the typology of what will later be described for other reasons as well. Of this great object like a sail, it next says it was “bound at the four corners.”   The word translated as “corners” means “beginnings.” It is the very extremity of the sail, and this is what would naturally be done to a sail. The billowing square sail of a ship is what catches the wind and impels it forward as it is bound by its corners. This is just what the word was used to indicate in ancient Greek as noted by Vincent’s Word Studies –   “Dr. J. Rawson Lumby suggests that the word, ‘applied to loose, bellying sails of ships,’ may indicate that the form of vessel which appeared to Peter ‘recalled an image most familiar to his previous life - the wind-stretched canvas of the craft on the Lake of Galilee’ (‘Expositor,’ iii., 272).”   The verse finishes with the words, “descending to him and let down to the earth.” The number four in Scripture is defined by Bullinger as the number of creation. It is the world number and especially the city number. This object bound at the four corners descended down to the earth. As such, it would indicate the four corners of the earth noted elsewhere in Scripture, such as in Isaiah 11:12. It is a way of describing the totality of a location, such as a city or a country, or even the earth itself.   As this has descended from heaven, its origin is in heaven. Due to its great size and the fact that it has four corners, and that it has descended to the earth, it is emblematic of the entire earth. These things can be deduced even before the next verses are given.   As a point of interest, the word used to describe this sail has a kindred noun, othonion. That is seen in the gospels when referring to the linen strips used to wrap Jesus’ body. That word is not used, but it is an interesting connection to help understand the word that is being used by Luke.   Life application: At times, the Bible provides information in typology, metaphor, and comparison and asks us to think through what is being said. It can be an imperfect science to interpret these things, but the more we read the Bible, the more clearly such things begin to be understood.   The consistency of the Bible in its use of various literary devices, especially combined with the life or circumstances of those who are highlighted in the passages, can give us even more assurance of what is being conveyed. For example, Peter is being used to convey imagery to the church at this time. Who he is, what he did, and the surrounding passage all give us clues as to what the imagery is conveying.   From there, we can then make logical deductions about what is being expressed. In other words, read your Bible, think about what it says, and remember these things as you continue. When an interesting passage comes before you, then you can take your store of information and make such conclusions. Be careful, however, because some people can make anything mean anything by incorrectly analyzing what is being described. Don’t just jump on the first commentary’s explanation but be willing to research the matter fully in order to get the best hint of what is being expressed.   Lord God, thank You for the wonders and delights that are found in Your word. They give us a lifetime of things to study, contemplate, and consider. Someday, we long to see the word fully explained to us so that we can behold the marvel of all that it contains! Thank You for this precious gift, Your wonderful word. Amen.  

Tuesday Sep 06, 2022

Tuesday, 6 September 2022   Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance Acts 10:10   The previous verse noted Peter going up to the housetop to pray at about the sixth hour. Now, it says, “Then he became very hungry.”   It is a word found only here in Scripture, prospeinos. It is a compound word signifying “toward” and “hunger.” Therefore, it signifies “hungering further,” and thus “very hungry.” This is not without purpose because it next says, “and wanted to eat.”   That is the usual thing that happens when one gets hungry. However, satisfying a hunger can be immediate, such as when grabbing an apple to eat, or it can take longer, such as waiting on a cook to prepare something. Peter has been praying, he got hungry, and so he obviously told someone that he would like to eat because it next says, “but while they made ready.”   The verb is a present participle, “they were preparing.” Nothing is said about anyone else in the narrative, so an answer to who “they” is must be mentally inserted by the reader. Whoever “they” are, they were preparing something for him to eat. As they were doing this, it next says, “he fell into a trance.”   Rather, the Greek reads with the same word found in Acts 8:16, saying, “an ecstasy fell upon him.” In Acts 8:16, it referred to the idea of the Holy Spirit falling on those of Samaria. It will be seen again in that context in Acts 10:44 and 11:15 when referring to the conversion of Cornelius and those with him. HELPS Word Studies says that the specific word used, epipiptó, comes from epi, on or upon, and pipto, to embrace (with affection) or to seize (with more or less violence, literally or figuratively).   In this case, it is a trance that has fallen upon Peter. It is not the same word, translated as “vision,” that described what happened to Cornelius in verse 10:3. This word, ekstasis, was seen in Acts 3:10 when describing the amazement of the people when the crippled beggar had been healed. It signifies a displacement of the mind. Thus, it is bewilderment or ecstasy.   Peter has entered into a different and bewildered state. It is in this state that he will start to understand particular points of theology that he never had considered before. Unfortunately, in his learning, he will afterward not always apply what he has learned. This is particularly noted in Galatians 2. For now, Peter has had a trance fall upon him for his learning, for our learning, and as a descriptive account of how it came about.   Life application: What Peter will see and be told in the verses ahead is rather clear, and it stems from symbolism going back to the book of Ezekiel, and it carries with it information that could only be conveyed to a person like Peter after the finished work of Jesus on the cross in fulfillment of the Law of Moses.   Despite being a descriptive account, it is clear and unambiguous in what it conveys. Some people ignore what is given here entirely. Others accept about fifty percent of the lesson and stop there. But what will be presented is so clear and obvious that it truly takes a full-blown case of cognitive dissonance to reject the lesson.   Pay heed to what is coming in the verses ahead, set aside any presuppositions that you may have about various matters, and carefully think about what is presented. In doing so, the difference between works of the law and the grace of Jesus Christ will become perfectly evident. It will also reveal the extent of this grace in relation to the people of the world.   Lord God, even the most studious of us may fail to understand what You are saying in Your word, simply because we have a presupposition or a bias about a particular doctrine. Help us to set such things aside and look to what You are conveying to us. Help us not to insert into the text what we want to see, but to draw out from it those things You want us to see. May it be so, to Your glory. Amen.

Monday Sep 05, 2022

Monday, 5 September 2022   The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Acts 10:9   The previous verse noted that Cornelius sent his servants and one of his soldiers off to Joppa. With that noted, it now says, “The next day.” At this point, it may seem that these messengers actually started their journey the next day, but this is not likely.   They had immediately left the house of Cornelius, eventually stopped for the night, and are now continuing on the journey. Depending on where the starting and stopping points are in the cities, the journey is 35-40 miles, or even more. This would take 10-13 hours to walk at a normal pace. If they had donkeys, it could go a little quicker. If they had horses, they would have to tire them out to meet the time stated in this verse if it was on the same day of their departure. For now, it continues with, “as they went on their journey.”   The verb is a present participle, “as they are journeying on the way.” Luke is taking us through a methodical set of steps concerning what occurred to show us how the Lord perfectly timed everything that will transpire. In this journeying, it next says, “and drew near the city.”   It is another present participle, “and are approaching the city.” Again, Luke is drawing the reader directly into the events as they unfold. They have left Caesarea. They are journeying on the way. They are approaching the city. Now, at that same time as these things are coming to their conclusion, it says that “Peter went up on the housetop to pray.”   The timing of the two events coincides at this moment. The people who have been sent by Cornelius because of the visitation of a messenger when he was seeing a vision are coming near the city just as Peter is going up to the housetop to pray. The housetop was most likely unoccupied at this time. If it was a sunny day, the sun would be high. Unless there was a purpose in going up there, people would more likely remain in the shade.   But more to the point, the housetop was a place people would go for various reasons, including worship. This is seen, for example in these passages from the Old Testament –   “And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah shall be defiled like the place of Tophet, because of all the houses on whose roofs they have burned incense to all the host of heaven, and poured out drink offerings to other gods.” Jeremiah 19:13   “Those who worship the host of heaven on the housetops;Those who worship and swear oaths by the Lord,But who also swear by Milcom.” Zephaniah 1:5   Despite these people improperly worshiping the Lord or other gods, these verses show us that the housetops were used for “getting closer to God,” just as the people would go to the high places for worship throughout all of the Old Testament. The idea is that of being elevated and in the open so that God could supposedly be more accessible. With Peter now having gone to the housetop, Luke records that it is “about the sixth hour.”   This would be right at midday. This shows that the journey most probably began on the day before. Unless they got up extremely early in the morning when it was still pitch black, they could not have arrived this quickly at Joppa. Hence, they immediately left Caesarea, they traveled until evening, and then they resumed travel again the next day. This is all to be considered in how the events will come together at the same time.   Life application: Don’t be afraid to read various versions of the Bible. One can really miss out on the actual feeling of what is happening if the translators are wrong in their wording, choice of verbiage, the tense of verbs, and so on.   Luke is purposefully drawing his readers into the narrative, leading them as if they are following along as the events take place. Using the past tense in place of the present tense may still convey the same general idea, but it loses the flavor of what is presented. Being captivated by one version, especially when it is wrong in such ways, means you may miss out on the delight of the moment.   So, feel free to read several versions as in a parallel Bible. You are sure to get a fuller appreciation for what is said. If you have a real question that develops between the versions, then you can research more fully to find out what is nagging at you. Most Bibles convey the same overall thought, and so the passage is clearly understood, but the subtleties can make a difference in how you might enjoy what is being presented.   Heavenly Father, help us to be attentive to the little differences in translations of Your word. We might get a different sense from one than from another, even if they convey the same overall meaning. Help our study of Your word to be a delightful experience where we find real intimacy with You through Your wonderful word. Amen.