Peter’s Vision, in the book of Acts, is often used as evidence that God has cleansed the unclean animals that were forbidden as a food source back in Old Testament times. But, is that truly an accurate assumption?
Come, and let us reason together as we do a little investigative research by delving right into the heart of this matter in order to get to the bottom of this popular myth, by either establishing it, or once and for all, debunking it!
Peter’s Vision starts with Peter going upstairs to pray. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat. But, while he waited for the preparation of the meal, he fell into a trance and had a vision.
In this vision he saw heaven open up and then saw a sheet descending from heaven with all kinds of unclean animals and unclean birds:
Acts 10:9 – 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 10:10 – Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance
Acts 10:11 – 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.
Acts 10:12 – In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.
Acts 10:13 – And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
Acts 10:14 – But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
Acts 10:15 – And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”
Acts 10:16 – This was done THREE TIMES. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
So, that pretty much summarizes Peter’s Vision.
Let’s start analyzing this information and collecting all the facts, so that when we’re done with this examination, we, ourselves, will have a good and clear vision of Peter’s Vision.
When doing an examination of scripture on any topic, it is only proper and prudent, to take into consideration the context before, and after the verses in question, in order to get the bigger picture in the quest for properly understanding biblical doctrine. Therefore, we do so, here and now.
Let me just say here and now, that Acts 10, does not teach what people assume that it does.
Peter was hungry, fell into a trance, and had a vision. In this vision, he saw several different kinds of unclean birds and unclean animals descend from heaven on a sheet, or object. Then, a voice tells him to kill and eat!
Peter refuses by saying he has never eaten anything common or unclean (Acts 10:14).
This happened about ten years after the death and resurrection of Christ, and Peter, after all of those years, still acknowledged, that unclean animals were still unclean by explicitly saying so, and refusing to eat of them.
This destroys the false doctrine that says Christ cleansed unclean birds and unclean animals at the cross- and that from that point onward, we were allowed to eat them.
Not true! Peter knew absolutely nothing about any of that.
Let’s continue analyzing.
Acts 10:16: – “And this happened THREE TIMES, and again the object was taken up into heaven.”
Notice, that each and every time he was told to kill and eat, Peter refused to eat of these unclean animals. Also, interesting to note, is that each time, the object was taken back up into heaven.
This really wouldn’t have given Peter a chance to kill and eat, even if he’d wanted to.
Think about that! That should give all of us some pause, instead of jumping into any unsubstantiated conclusions.
The sheet of animals was taken back up into heaven each and every time, because God wasn’t really wanting Peter to kill and eat any of these unclean animals. That wasn’t the message He was relaying to him.
Besides, this wasn’t real! It was only a vision and you can’t eat a vision even if you wanted to. It was all symbolic.
BUT, a vision from God means something. So, what did this one mean?
Well, while Peter was pondering about what this vision he’d seen three times meant, Behold! The Spirit said to him… wait for it…“THREE” (Gentile) men are looking for you (Acts 10:16,19).
Now, we can do some simple reasoning and place the significance of the THREES together! This is the exact, same “clue”, God gave Peter.
The vision of unclean animals repeated itself three times! And scripture says, that immediately afterwards, while Peter pondered what this vision he had just seen meant, THREE GENTILE men that God sent, were at his door! (Acts 10:16,19-20).
And now, suddenly, clarity is starting to clear up the perceived mystery. No coincidence of threes here!
It was an intentional ploy from God, to Peter, to help him understand the vision and prepare him for the journey he was about to embark in.
Gentiles were considered by Jews as common and unclean during those times. This was a classic, symbolic vision! In the vision, all of the unclean animals symbolized the Gentile peoples, who, at that time, were considered like common dogs in the eyes of a Jew.
So, what did the vision mean?
Instead of jumping to conclusions, what we do here at powerfulbibleverses.com, is allow the bible to interpret itself. And so, we shall let it.
Read the following verses and Peter will tell you exactly what God revealed to him through this vision. No need for guessing, or speculating, just the plain, simple, and explicit truth.
Acts 10:28: – And he said to them (to Cornelius and the Gentiles), “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me (thru this vision) that I should not call any man (not unclean animals) common or unclean.
Acts 11:18 – When they (the Jewish believers in Jerusalem) heard this, they quieted down, and praised God, saying, “So God has given even the gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”
So! It was the Gentile Nations, or other Peoples other than Jews (not unclean animals), that should now be considered as being clean and acceptable to God. This, and nothing else, IS what God revealed and related to Peter in this vision.
Yet, those who are deceived, can’t see this and refuse to do so.
I’m sure that some of you will find it difficult to accept this Truth as revealed through scripture, because, it will go against the grain of what you believe. Therefore, some of you will still insist (despite the facts) that in Acts 10:1-28, unclean animals were cleansed, when in fact, they were not.
However, if the excellent evidence in the context of Peter’s Vision in Acts chapters 10 and 11, alone, did not convince you otherwise, then perhaps this will.
Jesus would not have cleansed the unclean birds and animals from the point of Acts 10:1-28 and on, only to turn right around again, and declare that they are still unclean at the very end of the age, in Revelation 18:2:
“The angel shouted with a powerful voice, “She is destroyed! The great city of Babylon is destroyed! She has become a home for demons. That city has become a place for every unclean spirit to live. She is a city filled with all kinds of unclean birds. She is a place where every unclean and hated animal lives.” (ERV).
Jesus would not have contradicted Himself. And believing so, would be contradictory to truth, scripture, and in violation of the established Law of Noncontradiction.
Besides, that seriously would render Jesus as an incompetent and confused man, saying one thing here, and then, turning right around, and saying the direct opposite there.
Therefore, In Acts 10:1-28, it is The Gentile People and not the unclean animals who are to be considered as being clean and acceptable to God now, as scripture so profoundly has declared.
God’s Law forbidding the eating of unclean animals is still valid and still being spiritually enforced. There will be a price to pay when Christ returns, for any who continue to defile themselves with the eating of pork and other unclean animals:
Isa 66:15 – The LORD will judge them with fire. His chariots are coming like a windstorm. He will pour out his burning anger on his enemies. It will blaze out like flames of fire.
Isa 66:16 – The LORD will bring everyone into court. He will use fire and his sword to punish those he finds guilty. He will put many people to death.
Isa 66:17 – “Some people set themselves apart and make themselves pure. They do it so they can go into the gardens to worship other gods. They do what the worship leader tells them to do. They eat the meat of pigs and rats. They also eat other things I hate. All of those people will come to a horrible end,” announces the LORD. (NIrV)
We’ve been warned by God, through Isaiah’s prophecy, about not eating unclean animals. Let’s heed his Word and comply, by not defiling our bodies- the Temple of the Holy Spirit, with the flesh of unclean animals.
Peter’s Vision, does not give us a license to eat unclean animals. By his refusal to do so, Peter proves God’s Law of what to eat, and what not to, is still valid to this very day.