The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

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Re: The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Post by steve » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:04 am

Hello Si,

Thanks for weighing in and answering my question. I don't know that saying someone is being disingenuous is out of bounds in a debate. It is true that it reflects negatively upon one to have such a thing pointed out, but it is not impossible for someone to assess this characteristic in arguments, even on a semi-anonymous forum. I am not criticizing anyone for having weak communication skills. If I call someone disingenuous, I mean that they are not dealing forthrightly with the points presented to them, and are grasping at transparently invalid arguments in order to save their point from inevitable refutation. If that tactic is not observable in this thread, then I am much mistaken.

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Re: The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Post by jasonmodar » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:24 pm

steve wrote: If I call someone disingenuous, I mean that they are not dealing forthrightly with the points presented to them, and are grasping at transparently invalid arguments in order to save their point from inevitable refutation.
I didn't think you were insulting. Your above conclusion is how I saw Dwight's response to you as well. If anything, it was quite premature to call your character into question by saying you resorted to demeaning and insulting him.

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Re: The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Post by TK » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:04 am

I agree Jason-

And there may be a touch of the pot calling the kettle black based on some other threads I have read.

It may not be necessary to have elephant hide when participating in a forum that by its nature has folks who disagree in certain areas, but something like buckskin might come in handy.

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Re: The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Post by Ian » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:02 am

Dwight, why do you begin each paragraph with "Dwight speaking"? I don`t know but maybe you set Steve on edge even before getting to the "meat" of what you wanted to say (sorry for the pun :D )

With your name at the head of the post, we know it`s you speaking.

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Re: The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Post by Singalphile » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:07 am

dwight92070, you are correct that you were insulted and demeaned, and I am sorry about that. As far as I can tell, you've done nothing wrong here (and I'm not making any judgment about anyone else).

But, anyway, before that, I have been wanting to respond in this thread:

You wrote plainly, more than once, I think, that we are not under the law and that it's not a sin to eat an "unclean" animal, and I agree.

But I think you're combining the idea of "unclean" animals with the fact that some creatures/animals are unhealthy to eat. I don't know, but I doubt that every animal that was designated as unclean is actually unhealthy and I'm sure that there are many unhealthy creatures (or plants) that were not designated as unclean. So I don't see those as necessarily related categories.

The Bible isn't a book about diet and nutrition; it is a book primarily about God and morality. It tells us, I think, that God no no longer considers it unlawful or immoral to eat anything. But that tells us nothing about what is healthy for us. We determine what is healthy by testing and observing the ingredients and their affects, which can be different for different people.

Now if one wants to surmise that the unclean animals are also some of the unhealthy ones, then that's fine.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

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Re: The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Post by Ian » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:23 am

I have "no agendas or pet doctrines to support" (indeed I ate pork this week but would easily give it up if obliged to) but in Isaiah 66 v 17 today I read:
Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord.
This seems to imply God abominates those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and that for reasons within Himself - ie these things are to be avoided not because there is a risk of offending a man with a weaker conscience or those whose Jewish laws so dictate, nor that they may be unhealthy, but because God says so. If it is not a moral issue for Him, why do these people deserve to "meet their end" over it?

Steve, you ran out of time at the end of your Isaiah series and therefore didn`t address this verse there.

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Re: The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Post by TruthInLove » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:31 am

Hi Ian,

This is a fair question. The same could be asked of the penalty for breaking the Sabbath. Yet, as I'm sure you are already aware, Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Likewise, Paul points out that laws concerning treatment of animals in the OT were actually intended to demonstrate God's primary concern which was actuallly treatment of our fellow man (1 Corithians 9:9-10). Indeed, Steve points out many times in his lectures, especially in regards to eschatology, that animals and even vegetation are often really symbolic references to people.

I think it can be convincingly shown that that's exactly what we have here in Isaiah 66. I know your question was directed to Steve, and I'm not sure he would agree with me, but the following is what I see going on here.

Based on the research that I've done, I think pigs and rats in both the Law and here in Isaiah refer to the lowest of the low in society's classification systems. They symbolize Gentiles and various categories of disadvantaged people that all societies tend to treat unjustly and uncharitably.

Despite the detest God demonstrates for consuming pigs and rats in the Law, these words only occur a few times outside of it. Interestingly, they are mostly in eschatological passages much like Isaiah 66.

But beyond that if you look at the Hewbrew words themselves, there is evidence that they are in fact wordplays which ironically associate them with God's eschatological victors!

In much the same way that the last will become first, these pigs and rats outwardly seem like the most reprehensible things, yet they are the true treasures of God. To him, they are the choicest meat on whom he's forbidden the wolves to devour. In the end, they will be glorified and actualized as the clean meats as society generally thinks of them from an earthly perspective.

I can go into details if anyone is interested in the evidence for this but I'll leave things at that for now. The implications of these sorts of wordplays go much farther than just clarifying this portion of the Law. I think they are at the core of many Scriptural difficulties.

- Carmine

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Re: The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Post by steve » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:17 pm

I have always seen the use of Old Testament imagery, used in the prophets when writing of the Messianic Age (the present age), as simply a temporal accommodation to the original readers, whose only frame of reference was the Old Covenant forms of worship. That is, the New Testament spiritualizes many physical and ritual things in from Old Testament. Worship of God, which was always ritualized in the Old Covenant, is now "in spirit" and "in truth" (John 4:24; Phil.3:3).

For example, the Passover, the animal sacrifices, the Levitical Priesthood, the temple, Jerusalem and Israel itself, are all spoken of in the prophets as having relevance to the Messianic Kingdom—but are all given a spiritual interpretation by the New Testament writers:

1. The "Sabbath" and the "burnt offerings", spoken of in Isaiah 56:3-4, 6-7, refer to the spiritual "rest" discussed in Hebrews 4:9-11, and in the "spiritual sacrifices" offered by the church (1 Pet.2:5; Heb.13:15-16).

2. The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread are fulfilled in Jesus' death and our holy living (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

3. Similarly, the Feast of Succoth, predicted to be kept in the Messianic Age, in Zechariah 14:16-19 (accompanied by the offering of temple sacrifices—v.21), seems to have its spiritual fulfillment in our present "wandering" (1 Cor.10:1-11) and our present dwelling in "tabernacles" (2 Cor.5:1ff). The water-pouring ceremony, on the last day of that feast, in particular, seems to be fulfilled in Christ's giving us the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39).

4. "Circumcision" (an Old Testament requirement, said to be perpetual "to all generations") is now understood to be fulfilled in "circumcision of the heart" and is defined as "worship[ping] God in the Spirit, rejoice[ing] in Christ Jesus, and hav[ing] no confidence in the flesh" (Phil.3:3).

5. The future "exodus," referred to in Isaiah 11:15-16; 51:10-11 (cf., Jer.31:31-32) is referred to as something Jesus accomplished in Jerusalem (Luke 9:31 [Greek])

6. "Jerusalem" and "Mount Zion" into whom all nations flow, in Isaiah 2:1-4, appears to be spiritualized in Hebrews 12:22-24.

7. The gathering of Gentiles "for an offering to the Lord" (Isaiah 66:20) is interpreted as Gentiles being brought to Christ and presented by Paul as an offering to God. (Rom.15:16).

8. The following verse, Isaiah 66:21, speaks of God taking some of these saved Gentiles to replace the "priests and Levites," a fact to which the New Testament also testifies—though spiritualized (1 Peter 2:5; Rev.1:6; 5:10).

9. The spiritual worship offered to God by Gentiles in this present age is predicted under the form of offering incense (Mal.1:11).

In agreement with Carmine, I think unclean animals are often treated in the New Testament as unclean people (e.g., when Paul applies Deuteronomy 22:10 in 2 Corinthians 6:14; or in Peters rooftop vision [here under discussion]; or in Jesus' words in Matthew 7:6).

However, I suspect that the pigs and the rats mentioned in Isaiah 66:17 are simply an Old Testament image representing behaviors which the New Testament identifies as spiritually "unclean"—usually listen along with various sexual sins (2 Cor.12:21; Gal.5:19; Eph.4:19; 5:3, 5; 1 Thess.4:7; 2 Peter 2:10). It is no doubt this matter of which Paul speaks when he writes:

Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you...Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 6:17; 7:1)

Because of the frequent use of such imagery in the prophetic passages, and because Jesus declared all foods "clean," I believe that the pigs and rats on Isaiah 66:17 are to be spiritualized.

Since Paul said, "I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean," I will know and be convinced that this is the case, as well. If Paul was convinced by the Lord Jesus that something is true, I doubt that he could be convinced by modern Torah-observers of the opposite opinion.

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Re: The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Post by Ian » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:17 pm

Carmine and Steve, I like both your answers, thank you!

Not only does this view on that matter remedy many potential "contradictions" between the OT and the NT, but it fits what I`ve experienced of God in my life. Outside the Scriptures He has not often told me something directly, but usually communicated through symbolism to me. The most blatant example Steve knows about. The day before my wife's op for ovarian cancer, in 2014, I wandered along the foot of a gorge in a daze (I`m a bit of an outdoor nut and had to get out).

On reclimbing the banks to get back up to the road, my eyes were drawn to a rock on the river bed floor. This rock looked different than the others so I went over to inspect it. Covered in fossils it was!

As my ex-geology teacher from the Seventies (and the man instrumental in my conversion) wrote on seeing it, "the Lord knew exactly how to get through to you". I have spent thousands of hours in the mountains and gorges like that and never once come across a fossil. And this was stuffed full of them. "Christ our rock" was my immediate reaction.

It has not been plain sailing since, but Adriana is still here (and she was forecast not to be). There is more water to pass under the bridge, good and the opposite, yet, I`m sure.

I wish I could upload a photo of it here but the Img button doesn`t appear to facilitate that

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Re: The Vision of Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Post by psimmond » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:30 pm

Gentiles were never under the OT dietary laws, so we can take that off the board. Whether or not Jews should still follow the Law will depend on whether or not they accept Paul's writings on the matter--Rom. 7:4, Eph. 2:11-12, and Gal. 3:14--or the words of the unknown author of Hebrews who said, "By calling this covenant ‘new,’ [YHWH] has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear."

But I agree with dwight92070 that Peter's vision in Acts and the conversation about washing hands in Mark probably have nothing to do with this issue.
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
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