Kefa’s (Peter’s) Vision

In “Christianity” many of us had learned that Acts 10 was telling us we could eat anything we wanted but is that really true?

There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a Roman army officer in what was called the Italian Regiment. He was a devout man, a “God-fearer,” as was his whole household; he gave generously to help the Jewish poor and prayed regularly to God. One afternoon around three o’clock he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at the angel, terrified. “What is it, sir?” he asked. “Your prayers,” replied the angel, “and your acts of charity have gone up into God’s presence, so that he has you on his mind. Now send some men to Yafo to bring back a man named Shim‘on, also called Kefa. He’s staying with Shim‘on the leather-tanner, who has a house by the sea.” As the angel that had spoken to him went away, Cornelius called two of his household slaves and one of his military aides, who was a godly man; he explained everything to them and sent them to Yafo.

The next day about noon, while they were still on their way and approaching the city, Kefa went up onto the roof of the house to pray. He began to feel hungry and wanted something to eat; but while they were preparing the meal, he fell into a trance in which he saw heaven opened, and something that looked like a large sheet being lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals, crawling creatures and wild birds. Then a voice came to him, “Get up, Kefa, slaughter and eat!” But Kefa said, “No, sir! Absolutely not! I have never eaten food that was unclean or treif.” The voice spoke to him a second time: “Stop treating as unclean what God has made clean.” This happened three times, and then the sheet was immediately taken back up into heaven.

Kefa was still puzzling over the meaning of the vision he had seen, when the men Cornelius had sent, having inquired for Shim‘on’s house, stood at the gate and called out to ask if the Shim‘on known as Kefa was staying there. While Kefa’s mind was still on the vision, the Spirit said, “Three men are looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and have no misgivings about going with them, because I myself have sent them.”
Acts 10:1-20

When I became Torah Observant, I found out about not eating things that were unclean. For the last number of years I have often contemplated why Kefa/Peter did not understand his vision as written in Acts 10. Was there an answer in the Tanakh as to why Kefa was confused?

The forth chapter of Yechezk’el/Ezekiel is significant to both the house of Isra’el, and the house of Y’hudah. In this chapter Yechezk’el is told about the exile of the house of Isra’el for 390 years, as the house of Y’hudah would be exiled in Babylon for 70. The house of Israel was supposed to be away for 390 years … but they never returned … so it became 390 x 7 which is 2730 years. Some claim that the 2730 years came to an end in 1996 while others claim it came to an end in 2009. We do not know what year it was, but the state of Israel, the nation, does not recognize anyone but Y’hudah.

“As for you, human being, take a clay slab, lay it down in front of you, and draw on it the city of Yerushalayim. Show it under siege — build towers against it, raise earthworks against it, set up camps against it, and surround it with battering rams. Then take an iron griddle and put it in place as a wall of iron between yourself and the city, and fix your gaze on it — the city is under siege, and you are the one besieging it. This will be a sign for the house of Isra’el. “Next, you are to lie on your left side, and have it bear the guilt of the house of Isra’el — for as many days as you lie on your side, you will bear their guilt. For I am assigning you one day for each year of their guilt; thus you are to bear the guilt of the house of Isra’el for 390 days. Then, when you have finished that, you are to lie on your right side and bear the guilt of the house of Y’hudah for forty days, each day corresponding to a year; this is what I am assigning you. You are to fix your gaze on the siege of Yerushalayim, and, with your arm bared, prophesy against it. I am tying you down with ropes, and you are not to turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.

“Take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and buckwheat; put them together in one bowl; and make bread from it. For as long as you lie on your side, 390 days, this is what you are to eat. Each day the food you eat must weigh only three-quarters of a pound; you may eat it from time to time [during the day]. You are also to drink a limited amount of water, two-thirds of a quart; you may drink it from time to time [during the day]. [The bread] you eat is to be baked like barley cakes; you are to bake it before their eyes, using human dung as fuel.” Adonai said, “This is how the people of Isra’el will eat their food — unclean — in the nations where I am driving them.” I objected: “No, Adonai Elohim! I have never defiled myself — from my youth until now I have never eaten anything that died by itself or was killed by wild animals; no such disgusting food has ever entered my mouth.” He answered, “All right, I will give you cow dung to use instead of human dung, and you can prepare your bread on it.”

He then said to me, “Human being, I am going to cut off the supply of bread in Yerushalayim, so that they will anxiously weigh out bread to eat, and, horrified, ration water to drink. Finally, due to lack of bread and water, they will stare at each other in shock, wasting away because of their guilt.” Yechezk’el (Ezekiel) 4:1-17

Notice what verse 14 says: ‘I objected: “No, Adonai Elohim! I have never defiled myself — from my youth until now I have never eaten anything that died by itself or was killed by wild animals; no such disgusting food has ever entered my mouth.”’ Both the verses above (Yechesk’el 4:14 and Act 10:14) are almost identical in context. The answer Yah gave to Ezekiel chapter 4 is not the same as the one given to Kefa in Acts chapter 10. Kefa was looking for an answer from the Ruach (Spirit) but there was none. The answer Kefa was looking for was given in Yechezk’el 4:15. That answer never came so Kefa knew it was not about food but he did know it had something to do about gentiles (house of Israel) and that is when the three men from Cornelius came to the door.

So Kefa went down and said to the men, “You were looking for me? Here I am. What brings you here?” They answered, “Cornelius. He’s a Roman army officer, an upright man and a God-fearer, a man highly regarded by the whole Jewish nation; and he was told by a holy angel to have you come to his house and listen to what you have to say.” So Kefa invited them to be his guests.

The next day, he got up and went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Yafo; and he arrived at Caesarea the day after that. Cornelius was expecting them — he had already called together his relatives and close friends. As Kefa entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell prostrate at his feet. But Kefa pulled him to his feet and said, “Stand up! I myself am just a man.” As he talked with him, Kefa went inside and found many people gathered. He said to them, “You are well aware that for a man who is a Jew to have close association with someone who belongs to another people, or to come and visit him, is something that just isn’t done. But God has shown me not to call any person common or unclean; so when I was summoned, I came without raising any questions. Tell me, then, why did you send for me?” Cornelius answered, “Three days ago around this time, I was at minchah prayers in my house, when suddenly a man in shining clothes stood in front of me and said, ‘God has heard your prayer and remembered your acts of charity. Now send to Yafo and ask for Shim‘on, known as Kefa; he is staying in the house of Shim‘on, a leather-tanner, by the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. Now all of us are here in the presence of God to hear everything the Lord has ordered you to say.” Then Kefa addressed them: “I now understand that God does not play favorites, but that whoever fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him, no matter what people he belongs to.

“Here is the message that he sent to the sons of Isra’el announcing shalom through Yeshua the Messiah, who is Lord of everything. You know what has been going on throughout Y’hudah, starting from the Galil after the immersion that Yochanan proclaimed; how God anointed Yeshua from Natzeret with the Ruach HaKodesh and with power; how Yeshua went about doing good and healing all the people oppressed by the Adversary, because God was with him.

“As for us, we are witnesses of everything he did, both in the Judean countryside and in Yerushalayim. They did away with him by hanging him on a stake;[Deuteronomy 21:23] but God raised him up on the third day and let him be seen, not by all the people, but by witnesses God had previously chosen, that is, by us, who ate and drank with him after he had risen again from the dead. “Then he commanded us to proclaim and attest to the Jewish people that this man has been appointed by God to judge the living and the dead. All the prophets bear witness to him, that everyone who puts his trust in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Kefa was still saying these things when the Ruach HaKodesh fell on all who were hearing the message. All the believers from the Circumcision faction who had accompanied Kefa were amazed that the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh was also being poured out on the Goyim, for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Kefa’s response was, “Is anyone prepared to prohibit these people from being immersed in water? After all, they have received the Ruach HaKodesh, just as we did.” And he ordered that they be immersed in the name of Yeshua the Messiah. Then they asked Kefa to stay on with them for a few days. Acts 10:21-48

In the culture back in that time, that Kefa lived, it was not a good thing for people to sit with people that were considered to be unclean. It is still this way among us, as many of us would have a hard time eating with someone who is eating unclean food, they are not looking for the Way. The difference is Cornelius wanted to believe in the Way and needed to be taught that. This was the open door that Kefa was looking for, after his vision, when he saw who was at the door.

When reading from the Word of YHWH, we should not be taking other peoples word for it. We need to read it for ourselves to know what the Word of YHWH says. Study the Torah (the first five books) and also the rest of the Tanakh (aka Old Testament) first to know what the B’rit HaDashah (aka New Testament, New Covenant) is really saying.

With the help of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), written by Bernard Yosef Honigfort

REMEMBER: We must gauge all Scripture according to the pattern we are given in the Torah. If we deviate at all from this frame work, we get a faulty picture, this is out of order. Please consider this every time we read the Word or anyone’s teachings based on the Word. Examine all things.

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