"On the morrow...Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat." Acts 10:9-13
Well, that's it! Case closed! Throw another shrimp on the barbie folks, nothing more to see here. Let’s have another slab of that bacon...
Unfortunately this is what many have been taught is the guiding force that annuls God’s moral authority on what is and isn’t meant for food. In a realm where food and the flesh are as intertwined as it gets on behalf of a daily moral decision, a lack of diligent study on behalf of this matter by many who have been taught to neglect the moral authority of God's Law strikes again.
Now to be fair it might not be right to assume that everyone who just went with the corporate doctrine on Peter's Vision is lazy in study. Some folks have some really good intentions while learning Scripture to keep their eyes on the prize. Sadly they are usually led astray by those they revere as "teachers" who have been programmed to teach these doctrines from the corporate mother brain itself, the seminary.
While some teachers have nothing but the best intentions for their flocks, there are many who pride themselves on the recognition they get from the seminary and from those in their social circles they minister to. Many just don't have the will to challenge their own esteem let alone the vain philosophy that attains it. This is why when Peter himself explains his vision without a shadow of doubt; many just call on their degree from seminary to trump anyone who simply reads Peters own assessment of his vision straight from the Scripture.
"Let no man deceive you by any means...For the mystery of iniquity doth already work...And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2Thessalonians 2:3-12
As we get into the meat of this study let's keep in account the man that is Simon Peter. Not only can we trust what he tells us his vision is about, but it can be completely reaffirmed by the content of his character. Peter was a fisherman. He was probably a pretty stinky guy by profession. Then Christ came and appointed Peter as one of the 12 disciples of his ministry here on earth. So here we have a man who now walks with Christ, talks with Christ, and even walks on water by the will of Christ:
"And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." Matthew 14:28-29
After years of being a student of Christ himself, he then watches Christ get captured, watches him hang on the cross and die, sees him entombed, witnesses his empty tomb, sees him resurrected and at that time receives an opening of his understanding of scriptures:
"And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures," Luke 24:44-45
He then dwells with Christ for the remainder of his time here, learning, praying and being instructed by him as spoken of in Acts Ch. 1, and of all the greatest things to have happened, received the Holy Ghost the day of Pentecost, or the Feast of First fruits, which some denominational Churches claim is the all knowing revelation of God in our hearts and minds. Peter now bears the seal many believe is received by God and confirmed by the Holy Spirit and to top it all off, is given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.
I could go on and on quoting and bringing into the light all of the things Simon Peter has been accounted for. I hope at this point the one thing that is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt is the fact that Peter was a man who knew Christ better then anyone we know and has way more "inner circle knowledge" of scripture then any seminary can teach. So with all of this in mind, It could be very safe to assume that the Law on unclean food was “done away with” considering Peters vision was of unclean animals and God said kill and eat, but lets look at the very next verses and see Peter's reaction to this vision.
"But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven." Acts 10:14-16
Now here we have a man who walked and talked with Christ, received the Holy Spirit and has the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and the man still, at least at this time, has never eaten anything that was unclean. 3 times he was told to eat and 3 times he refused all the while completely doubting what the vision had meant. He clearly should have already known that the Law was “done away with”, yet he seemed completely dumb founded by this vision and refused to obey God 3 times. In verse 19 we see Peter still dwelling on the meaning of the vision.
“While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.” Acts 10:19
Why would Peter be so confused by this vision? Could it be that this vision was in direct conflict with his love of God and the keeping of his commandments?
“This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.” Leviticus 11:46-47
We see the scripture teaches a very contrary command. Peter was a man of God who loved him and kept his commandments. This is why Christ chose him, this is why he is relied on to perform the service of the good news, and this is why even with a vision that God sent to eat unclean things he absolutely refused to and remained in full doubt.
So the real question is, “What was his final revelation of this vision if it wasn't about unclean meats?” Let’s let Peter tell us what that is.
"Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?" Acts 10:28-29
The full revelation was at the end of the chapter when Peter brought those “unlawful” men into the fold of Christ and the Holy Spirit fell on them. We also see as a reaffirmation that immediately following in chapter 11 Peter again explains the Vision in full detail:
"And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me: Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven. And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me. And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house:" Acts 11:2-12
Throughout the whole rest of the New Testament, Peter and the disciples were constantly under assault for the revelation of this vision. The reason why was because the Pharisees held a false doctrine that was taught in their “seminaries” that uncircumcised men were unclean; a doctrine mind you that cannot be found at all in the Word or Law of God yet the modern “church” of Peters time held steadfast to. How appropriate for God to send a vision of all the things that are actually deemed unclean by God for clarification right before he was to deliver the Holy Spirit to those who the Pharisees deemed unclean.
We can see not even 5 chapters later the turmoil Peter's Vision wrought amongst the people. It was so immediately bad that a call to have a Council at Jerusalem to clarify the meaning of this revelation came about.
"And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question... And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter." Acts 15:1-6
It is at the council where Peter rose up and again gave a third testimony on what his vision was about with yet another clear declaration of what God made clean.
"And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” Acts 15:7-9
The Pharisees created subversion amongst the gentiles on the issue of salvation with the false doctrines they held on what is considered clean and unclean in regards to circumcision. If Peters Vision was about doing away with the food Law found in God’s Word, don’t you think the whole issue the Pharisees would have brought to the table would have been that everyone now eats unclean foods considering their supposed diligence to uncleanness we see here? We only find that the rules the Pharisees clung to were their own traditions of men and not actual commandments of God, as they were charged for doing multiple times by Christ himself.
How the whole body of the modern corporate church neglects to understand Peters Vision and immediately use it to change what God considers clean and unclean as the Pharisees were charged with doing over and over again is way beyond me. Especially when we can see James reaffirming Peters Vision to be about the uncircumcised gentiles and specifically noting that its not about the food law.
"And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets... Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day... For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well." Acts 15:13-31
Why would the disciples feel it necessary to relay to the Gentiles actual unclean foods laws deeming them “necessary things” if Peter just had a vision to disannul such a law? If at all the church education you have received has taught you that its OK to eat unclean food based on Peters Vision the question must be asked: Is Peter's Christ the rock your church is bound upon or does it resemble that of the seminary of the Pharisees?