Let’s pick up the story in verse 15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
Peter was allowed to see the same vision three times. Seemingly Peter and the number three are always connected. Remember Peter wasn’t able to stay awake in the garden three times, then he denied Jesus three times and a few days later three times Jesus asked him, do you love me. Now the Lord has let Peter see the same vision three times to capture his attention because Peter was still trying to live by the law. The religious teachings of the law were still keeping Peter from being free under the New Covenant. Friends, a religious spirit is probably stronger than any other spirit the enemy uses because its root is in deception and the last person to know they are deceived is the person deceived. Saul, before his transformation, on the Damascus Road was religiously persecuting Christians thinking he was doing it for God’s Kingdom. Religious spirits have torn many families, many ministries and many friends apart. We have to stand for truth but we do it in love.
17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
Notice the power of the religious spirit on Peter. God has shown him this vision three times and he still doubted what it meant. We understand that the Jews eat no unclean animal as part of their religion in pleasing God but now a new way to Father God had been established, by the blood of Jesus not works. Under the Old Covenant mankind had to work out their walk with God, under the New Testament we are accepted in Father God’s family by faith not works. Now we have works because we want to serve the one who gave His life for us out of love not duty.
God’s timing is always perfect, because when Peter doubted, God was sending men and they were outside the gate trying to find Peter. Father God is so amazing. I know we’ve all had divine appointments in our lives where God has orchestrated meetings for our good.
18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
I love it! Can’t you picture it? Peter just had a God-encounter and he’s sitting there trying to come to Godly truth and the Holy Spirit says, there are three men looking for you.
20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. 21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
Once again Peter is being tested, knowing the messengers are Gentiles and normally he would not go with them, so the Holy Spirit said don’t doubt anything just go with them because I sent them. I believe Peter is fishing for information when he asked, why are you here and what do you want with me. He knew he would go with them, but he was trying to find out the purpose.
22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
They report to Peter that Cornelius is a wonderful Gentile man whom the Jews even love and then they rehearse with him the vision Cornelius had with the visitation of angels. I’m sure Peter is religiously asking himself, how can angels show up in a Gentile home but Peter’s own vision keeps coming back to his memory. What God has called clean, do not call unclean. Peter was reluctant in his flesh to go but in the Spirit realm Peter knew Father God was about to do something new.
23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
So now Peter gave them a place to spend the night and the journey to destiny would start the next morning taking along witnesses to testify about what was about to take place.
Next week we will hear of the wonderful conversion of the Gentiles but right now let each one of us examine our own hearts to see if we have been deceived by religious spirits and they are all over this region keeping ministries and ministers from fulfilling the purpose God has for them.
Prayer Points: 1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you (about you not others) anything in your life which has become so religious that it is stopping the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life. I seen & heard about music, instruments, the way we used to do it, color of carpet, clothes, where a well should be, all kinds of crazy things hinder a move of God. Let’s get free from anything that binds us from following the Presence of the Lord.