• Sean Esposito

Q & A: What about Acts 10?




Question:

Hello Sean! I just read your article, “We were all lied to about Noah’s ark!” It sparked a few questions that maybe you can answer? I’d like to grasp the concept a bit more!

I have two questions that I ask out of respect, that you are wanting to please God in this choice of living according to the Law of Moses. I greatly respect that!

My question is, how would you explain Peter’s vision in Acts chapter 10:9-16? Peter is clearly told by the Lord that the food in which was unclean is now clean because God has the final say. How do you harmonize this with your view?

Also, Romans 5:1-11 Paul tells us that we are made righteous through Faith in Jesus, because of His blood. How would you also harmonize this?

Quick reply:

I’m trying to be as concise as possible, so I appreciate your understanding when I fail... haha. First, thank you for recognizing that my heart is to please the Most High to the best of my ability. I want to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. 😊 It sounds to me like you do too, praise God! So, with the same respect, I excitedly share a quick response!

To answer your first question, Acts 10 was actually one of the main passages that helped me realize that the Dietary Instructions our Father lovingly gave us (Leviticus 11 & Deuteronomy 14) were still valid and applicable to the lives of believers today. Wrestling with that passage helped me realize that Peter, who was one of our Messiah Yeshua’s (Christ Jesus’) best friends, had never eaten anything unclean post resurrection (probably around 10 years). This means that Peter was never taught by Messiah that such a thing was holy, permissible, or allowed. Yeshua never instructed him that there would be a change to the Law of Moses, even after he resurrected and ascended. In fact, Peter felt so strongly about it that he told Almighty God, “By no means, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean” three times. God of course responded: “What God has cleansed, do not consider unholy.” The key for me was in the following verse: “Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen might be…” I thought to myself, "inwardly perplexed?! PETER, it’s clear! Eat whatever you want!" Yet, in reality, if anyone knew God’s will and the will of our Messiah, it was Apostle Peter. Peter knows God and Messiah better than most people who ever lived. So, why was he perplexed? Because Peter knows that the Law of Moses can never change. Apostle Peter knows that the Law of Moses, which is founded upon the 10 Commandments, is the revealed image of Almighty God. The Law of Moses are the Ways of our Creator:

Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all HIS WAYS and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Joshua 22:5 NASB

This very passage set me on a path to realize that the Law of Moses are the perfect instructions of Almighty God and a self-revelation of His image and likeness. Which eventually hit me on the head, because in the beginning—before sin—we were made and walked and lived in Their image and likeness. Genesis 1:26: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness…” So, naturally, I realized that any plan or set of instructions would be the Way in which we can repent and return to that sinless image. Any ushering from God would be to return us to the perfect way that leads to life. Deuteronomy 30 then made much more sense, especially when the Father was saying that the Law of Moses sets before us life and death, blessing and the curse. He calls us to choose life, which is the Way of obedience to His perfect instructions (delivered to Moses and then to His people, Israel--which believers today are grafted into (Romans 11)). And that in Deuteronomy 12:38, he tells us that we can never add to nor take away from these perfect instructions. The following verses in Deuteronomy 13 teaches God’s people (believers) that if anyone comes and teaches contrary to these instructions, adding to or taking away from even one instruction, they are to be put to death because they are teaching you to follow a false god and leading YHVH’s people away from him. Thus, the Law of Moses (which is the Law of God) can NEVER change. In fact, in Deuteronomy 13, God says that he will allow false prophets to rise up and sinfully add to and take away from these perfect unchanging instructions. Why? In Deuteronomy 13 God says that He will allow such an abomination (adding to or taking away from the Law of Moses) to test you—to test His people—to see if they love Him with all their heart soul mind and strength. We are all being tested. (Many overlook this).

In Deuteronomy 4, 12, and throughout, God makes it clear that nobody—not even Messiah himself (or any prophet sent by God)—could add to nor take away from the Law of Moses. If they did, they were not a prophet sent by God (this is actually the only way we know that any of the prophets are sent by God—and this is the only way we actually know that Yeshua is the true Messiah). Deuteronomy 13 is the litmus test that everyone who speaks on behalf of Scripture or God must pass or they are not speaking truth.

This is why Peter was so sure and so bold to tell God Almighty “NO WAY!! I’m never eating anything unclean!” He knew that the Father would never add to nor take away from His perfect instructions, because they are His revealed image and likeness. Yeshua, our Messiah, kept them perfectly (was sinless) and thus reflected the image of God perfectly (if you’ve seen Yeshua, you’ve seen the Father). Peter knew that we are to walk as Messiah walked on earth, striving to be blameless and spotless (2 Peter 3). Peter knew that the Law of Moses stands forever, because his Messiah Yeshua taught that not a jot or title would pass from the Law or Prophets until heaven and earth pass away (Matthew 5:17-20). So, what was God saying to Peter then? This moved me back to the context of the passage in Acts 10:1—Cornelius, a Gentile, is the context, not the changing of the definition of food. Peter knows that God already defined what food is in Lev. 11—that definition can never change. In Acts 10:2, we see that Cornelius was a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms and prayed continually—in fact, he had earned the respect of the Jewish people (which is only possible if one keeps the Instructions of God—the Law of Moses). If we finish verse 17, we see that God’s answer is connected to the context found in Cornelius: Acts10:17-- "Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions for Simon’s house, appeared at the gate...”

Peter's vision is all about Cornelius, whose servants show up at the exact time. Succinctly, God was telling Peter that he needed to share the Gospel with the Gentiles. In fact, in Acts 11:1-18, Peter gives his testimony and complete explanation of His vision: That God has granted to Gentiles (other nations) also the repentance that leads to life. I realized that Peter’s vision had nothing to do with a new definition of food, or that believers could now eat cat, dog, rat, pig, or shellfish, but that God was telling Peter to stop avoiding the Gentiles and instead give them the Good News. 😊

What is the repentance that leads to life? Repentance is the turning away from living a life according to our own eyes—repentance is the turning away from sin. 1 John 3:4, John says that sin is lawlessness (sin is the breaking of the Law of Moses). John says that believers who keep on sinning are liars and do not abide in God. John says that anyone who believes in Messiah Yeshua is to walk as Yeshua walked and to purify themselves as Yeshua is pure (sanctification):

Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

1 John 3:4-10 NASB

There is so much that could be said here and I’d love to share more! Yet, the stumbling block is the false idea that one can earn their salvation by keeping the Law of Moses. That is impossible—one cannot ever earn salvation. This is something you addressed rightly in your next question. You’re exactly right, we are made righteous through our faith in Yeshua our Messiah. Eternal life is only available because of the free gift of Almighty God through the precious atoning blood of Yeshua Messiah. One cannot bribe the Perfect Judge: we have all sinned and we all deserve death. Yet, at one point in my life, I did not realize that this was the same plan from the beginning, which we see in Genesis 3:15—salvation was and is and always has been ONLY through the seed—through the precious blood of Messiah. Keeping the Law of Moses—which is being an obedient son or daughter by keeping the perfect instructions of God—never was a means in which one could be saved. Never. Good works do not save us. Yet, James tells us that our faith is known by our good works.

But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

James 2:18-26 NASB

So why should believer’s keep the Law of Moses? Because they love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. Our belief and faith in Yeshua Messiah connects us to the promise of God, that Abraham also believed in: that Almighty God is our Almighty Provider, and would provide a means in which we can be made right and set in order before God. A means in which we can have eternal life with Him. That realization is through the atoning blood of our Messiah Yeshua. Thus, one who loves God will strive to become like a child—exemplified through Messiah Yeshua. Loving children obey the Father and trust Him with everything. The Instructions of God (Law of Moses) are the instructions that teach us how to be like God, and walk like our Messiah. They are the means in which we know how to repent of our sins and how we can know the Messiah. This is why Apostle Paul said that because of our faith in Messiah Yeshua, we are to uphold the Law of Moses (Romans 3:31). Our faith in Messiah Yeshua is to cause us to be one of his devout disciples. His disciples strived with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, to walk just like him.

Once I realized that the Law of Moses is the revealed image of God—it finally made the whole Bible a cohesive whole. There were absolutely no contradictions. And since I was a staunch atheist for a majority of my life because the OT and NT seemed to conflict and contradict themselves, this was astounding to me. The whole Bible finally made complete sense! And just as God says in Deuteronomy 30:11—the Law of Moses is not difficult. John echoes it in 1 John 5:3, that the Law is not burdensome. After striving to live it out for many years now, I can thankfully say that my Father’s and my brother Yeshua’s words here are the honest loving truth. 😊

There is so so so much more that could be said. I will do my best to answer any other questions you may have as soon as I can.

At the end of the day, so you know where I am coming from:

I want to be just like my Messiah Yeshua. I want to love our heavenly Father with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I want to be an obedient son of Almighty God. My Messiah Yeshua, is sinless and perfect and reflects our Creator perfectly. Had he broken the Law of Moses, he would have sinned against the Father. Thus, his whole life, Yeshua kept the Law of Moses (Instructions of God) and taught others to do the same (Matthew 5:17-20; Matthew 7:12-27, Matthew 23:1-5, etc.). Hebrews 13:8 tells me that Yeshua is the same yesterday (before creation, as all things were created through him), today (his life & ministry on earth), and forever (when he returns and into eternity). If Yeshua kept the Torah perfectly on earth, He will forever—which makes complete sense when it is the revealed image of Almighty God (which does not change—Malachi 3:6). Again, I want to be just like the Messiah of the Bible! 😊

Never do I want to hear my Messiah say to me:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Matthew 7:21-23 NASB

Thank you so much for reaching out to me and giving me the opportunity to share what the Father has put on my heart. It is a pleasure to meet eager people that yearn to know what our Father has revealed through His perfect Word. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. With peace,

Sean


Sean is a former Atheist who was finally awoken to the reality of our Creator—which lead him to the one place he thought he would never step foot: “Bible College.” During his studies, our Heavenly Father flipped his Christian worldview upside down in order to reveal the Whole truth of His perfect Word. As a follower of Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus), Sean encourages believers to deepen their faith, seek the truth, test everything, and be willing to walk in the true image they were created: the image of the Most High and His flawless Son.


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