Did God tell Peter that he is free to eat unclean animals which He had banned before? Acts 10:1 – 11:18

A lot of people read the events around Peter and the vision he saw, to say that “God revoked the Food Laws”. Is this true? Can we come to the conclusion that God was trying to communicate to Peter that the Food Laws were no more after Christ’s death through this Vision? The objective of this study is not to conclude whether the Food Laws are valid for today, or not. (This will be a separate study, hopefully in the near future). The objective of this article is to study the said passage, so that we can figure out what it means, and what it does not mean. Whether God really did tell Peter to start eating all animals without separating clean and unclean, or whether God’s message was something else.

Let us start at the beginning of the Chapter and work ourselves down step by step. Since this is a verse by verse commentary, I have underlined the critical verses, if you want to get the facts, fast.

Acts 10:1
We know a few things about Cornelius. He was a Centurion of the Italian Regiment. He was posted in Caesarea, a place in Palestine. Mar 8:27, says that Yeshua Himself visited Ceasarea.

Acts 10:2
He was a godly man. He feared God with all his household, helped the poor and prayed constantly to God.

Acts 10:3
It says that he saw a vision about the 9th Hour. Later in verse 30, he confesses that he was fasting and praying at the 9th hour in his house. This was a separated time of prayer as seen in Acts 3:1. In this vision he saw, an Angel of God speaking to him.

Acts 10:4
And the Angel says that his “prayers” and the “compassion he had towards the poor” has reached God.

Acts 10:5,6
He is given direction to send men to Joppa(another place in palestine) to bring Simon Peter to him, so Peter could direct Cornelius as to what must be done.

Acts 10:7,8
When the Angel had left Cornelius, he called two servants and a god-fearing/devout soldier and told them what had happened and sent them to Joppa, as he was commanded.

Acts 10:9
While Cornelius’ men were approaching Joppa the next day, Peter went upstairs to pray around the 6th hour of the day.

Acts 10:10
It says Peter was very hungry, but the food was still being prepared. And he suddenly fell into a trance.

Acts 10:11,12,13
Peter saw the Heavens open up, and a great sheet with all kinds of animals let down to earth. And Peter heard a voice saying “Rise, Peter, Kill and Eat”.

Acts 10:14
Peter says “Not So, Lord”, meaning “may it not be”, I have “never” eaten anything which is unclean or common/unholy. This poses and interesting question. If, as some believe, Yeshua(Real name of Jesus) had taught the Disciples that all things are Clean, and everything can be eaten, why is Peter rejecting this “commandment” from heaven? So, it is safe to say, that Yeshua would have never taught any disciple to break God’s Food Laws.

Acts 10:15,16
Then the voice replies Peter saying, “What God has cleansed, do not call common/unholy”. This happens 3 times and the sheet was taken up back to Heaven. In this vision, did God revoke his food Laws and say God has cleansed all food, and not to call or segregate foods as clean and common/unholy or unclean? It is very clear. But, let us read on before jumping to any conclusions.

Acts 10:17
It says that Peter was unsure of what the vision meant. Why? it was so clear. God had told him to eat all things. But, Peter was not so sure what all of this meant. God had commanded not to eat unclean animals before, and now suddenly, He is asking Peter not to call Unclean animals Unclean! While all of these thoughts were in Peter’s mind, the men from Cornelius had reached the gate of the house where Peter stayed.

Acts 10:18,19,20
While the people asked for Peter, He was still thinking what the Vision meant, when the Holy Spirit spoke to him saying “3 men are looking for you, Arise, Go with them, without doubting anything, I have sent them”. Is this vision somehow connected with the arrival of the 3 men from Cornelius’ house? Let us read on.

Acts 10:21,22
Peter goes downstairs and declares that he is Peter and asks for what reason they are looking for him. They tell him that Cornelius, a Centurion, a God fearing just man, who is known by even the Jews with good report, saw an Angel asking him to send for Peter, to hear what he has to say.

Acts 10:23,24
Peter asked them to stay with them in Joppa, and left Joppa the next day with some of the other believers. The next day, they entered Ceasarea, and Cornelius was waiting for Peter in his house, and he had invited his friends and relatives as well.

Acts 10:25,26,27
As Peter was entering the house, Cornelius rushed to him, fell down, and worshiped him. But Peter “took him” up saying “Stand up, I am also just a man”. And then Peter entered the house to see many who had gathered.

Acts 10:28,29
Peter talks to the assembly, and says “You know, that it is unlawful for a Jew to keep company with, or visit foreigners”. Let’s stop here for a minute and study what Peter really meant, before we proceed. First of all, we should see that it was a known fact by all, that Jews did not keep company with foreigners. Otherwise, Peter would not start his speech by saying “You know”. We see this separation throughout the bible(John 4:9) So much so, that Jews did not even talk with non-Jews (John 4:27). They tried to even refrain from stepping into buildings that foreigners were in(John 18:28). Had God Almighty, instituted such a Law? God has always advised Israel not to go after the nations, and their ways, but never to not keep company with them or talk to them. in Deut 4:6-8, God even advised Israel to keep His Laws so Gentiles will see the good things of God and obey God. This law, of division between Jew and Gentile, like many other laws, were forced on Israel by their teachers and rulers, such as the Pharisees. (More about them in a future study). So, in short, It was a custom, or man made law, that no Jew could visit or keep company with a Gentile.

Now we finally get some solid answers to the questions we asked in Acts 10:15,16. Peter goes on to say, “but God has showed me that I should not call any man “common/unholy” or “unclean”. That is why I came promptly to you, as soon as I was asked to come”. It is very clear, by reading this admission, that Peter understood his vision the moment the 3 men asked him to come with them to Ceasarea. He understood that “God had showed” him the vision concerning not calling any man “Common/Unholy” and “Unclean”. Putting no difference between a person who knows God, and a person who is searching for God. Remember, ultimately, all are children of Noah, a child of God.

Peter goes onto ask why they asked him to come.

Acts 10:30-33
Cornelius explains what happened to him and tells Peter that they are present, to learn what God has commanded them to do.

Acts 10:34,35
Then Peter says that he “understands” that God does not respect any particular individual or nation, and that He has accepted all who “fear Him” and “does what is righteous”, in all nations.

Acts 10:36-43
Then Peter goes onto witness about Yeshua and preaches the Gospel to the people.

Acts 10:44-48
Then something fantastic happen. While Peter talks to the people, the Holy Spirit falls on the people. And some of the believers who were of the “Circumcision party”, who had come with Peter, were astonished. (We will check who “the Circumcision party” was, shortly). The Gentiles spoke in tongues, and magnified God. Then, Peter asked “Can anyone forbid these people who have received the Holy Spirit to get baptized? And Peter commanded them to get baptized in the name of the Lord. And he stayed with them for sometime.

Acts 11:1
The apostles and believers in Judea had heard that the gentiles received the Word of God.

Acts 11:2,3
When Peter came to Jerusalem, “those from the Circumcision” opposed Peter. Notice, that it was not the “Apostles” and “all the believers” who opposed him. It was only those of “the Circumcision”. Some think that “the Circumcision” is, all Jews. Not so. (Gal 2:12,13 showcases how Peter was scared of the Circumcision, and how the “other Jews”, who were not of “the Circumcision Party/Group” also followed him). They believed, as per the name which is used to call them, that you needed to be circumcised to be saved.

What was the accusation brought forward against Peter? That Peter went to “men who are not Circumcised” and ate with them.

Acts 11:4-15
To this, Peter replied by conveying the whole story which happened to him, not starting with the 3 men who came to Joppa, but starting with the vision he saw. He tells them the vision, and how as he was having the vision, the 3 men were looking for him at the house, and how 6 believers, present with him, went with him to Caesarea. How Cornelius had seen an Angel, and how the Holy Spirit fell, while he spoke.

Acts 11:16-18
Peter also says that he remembered what Yeshua said “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit”. He told everyone, that God had given the Holy Spirit to the gentiles who believed in Yeshua, and asked them, who was he to withstand God. When “the Circumcision party/group” heard this, they kept quiet and glorified God, saying that God had granted repentance unto the gentiles as well.

So, in conclusion, as we have seen throughout this reading, the Vision was connected to the Gentiles and not regarding them as unholy or unclean. It could not have been about the food. If it was so, “The Circumcision Party” who accused Peter of eating with gentiles, would have ripped him to shreds for breaking “God’s Food Laws”. The key to understanding this misunderstood part of the Word, is Acts 10:28, where Peter said “God has showed me that I should not call ANY MAN “common” or “unclean”.

79 thoughts on “Did God tell Peter that he is free to eat unclean animals which He had banned before? Acts 10:1 – 11:18

  1. Jannie johnson

    all these years I thought wrong I thought God told peter not to call the animals unclean I didn’t read the whole scripture that’s where I made my mistake my teaching was to always read the whole scripture so we understood whats being said and now I know what the Lord was saying.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Hi Jannie,

      I sincerely thank God for people like you… who look at the evidence in the Bible and are not afraid to say “I understood this wrong”. Your comment was a big encouragement to me. Thank You for your honesty… May YHVH bless you and make you an even bigger blessing to all who are around you!

      1. Timothy Allen

        I read the KIng James version of the bible but this is in most bibles I’ve seen even if the description may differ in words. But Here is my question to you. WE all know that God is all powerful and can create anythings he wishes as HE did Eve from the rib of Adam. Now I take the bible quite literally, it’s in black and red, not gray. So why did he lower a sheet from heaven telling peter to “Kill and Eat” and showing all these animals. If it were as some think it meant mankind, don’t you think he could have lowered a sheet with all races of man in it, and there would be no reason to say kill and eat, would there. I think so many people like to put their interpretation of GOD’s word in the pulpit. I think that GOD’s word is plan enough for anyone who will listen and seek HIS word and guidance. Yes I believe it was a change in the dietary law. I hope I have not offended anyone, but this is my belief.

      2. rameshdesilva Post author

        Dear Timothy,
        It is good to have different opinions. And I am not at all offended by you. Will you also read the following study before you make your conclusion? This may clear up your issues, as God never said “Do not call what I have cleansed unclean”…. He said “Do not call what I have cleansed common”. The issue is that most of us do not understand the difference between “common” and “unclean”.

        Be a blessing to everyone around you


        You have to understand the significance of the cross of Christ. The old testament represents law and the new testament grace . The lord was showing him that he had made all things including the animals. Later in the passage Peter would understand that God was pouring out his spirit on the Gentiles as well which was conformation that God had made all things clean. God told Peter to arise and kill because he knew Peter wouldn’t but he would understand fully once he gave the gentiles the gift of the holy spirit. That’s the power of the Cross!!!

      4. RameshDeSilva Post author

        Dear Eric,

        Did god say “Do not call unclean, what I have made clean” or “Do not call common, what I have made clean”? Maybe the problem is in not understanding the difference between “Common” and “Unclean”. If you ca, please consider reading the following:
        May you be a blessing to everyone around you

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  4. Nathaniel Aaron Bourque

    Yeshua was a Jew. He observed all religious observances,Laws, and gave us the greatest beacon of light in this time of confusion and 1:Love thy God with all our substance,heart,soul. 2:Love thy neighbor as thyself. Brothers and sisters pray right after you read this. For Our Father to guide us as a father guides a baby learning to see the light. We must see the order to live in a community of like minded believers. Loving your fellow believers as neighbors is more excellent for our family. But for a missionary this is a impossibility. Must be strong to enter the field of missions. The Jewish community has it right. People who hear the word have the opportunity to believe. And spread the word,seed. In different fields. Not the same field where you live. That’s your rest,peace,home,sanctuary. And no man should enter your home when you are not there. No man should care for your children, that is the mothers job. Repent for your time is near. Doesn’t matter when Jesus returns, if it’s after your dead.

  5. Jeff Jabben

    I highly recommend you do extensive research on the health facts of unclean animals. That should scare them away to begin with. Beings that eat dead beings and substances like animal waste (unclean animals) should not be eaten. Common sense, I would never want to eat a vulture.

    Some helpful tips for this subject.
    Acts 10:14 Peters statement rebukes mark 7:19 as being valid proof of food cleansing from God.
    Matthew 15:17 doesn’t use the term purify.
    So all those years Matt was teaching he never said that all meats are purged. It was just Marks vocabulary. If you notice before he says it he mentions cast out into draught. You cannot cleanse something in particular if it is being cast out into the draught.
    Also Mark chapter 7 is frequently used for justifying of the eating of unclean food. It is actually about the traditions of men. The apostles ate bread with dirty hands. The Pharisees claimed they were now defiled. Jesus stated that isn’t the case. Your point you should make is that if you dip your hands in poison and ate bread it won’t defile you, however it will not be good your health. Just like unclean animals.
    All the verses about unclean animals have science behind. The reason if you eat them and have to wash your clothes is because of the toxins and poisons from the animals that your excreting out of your swear glands. The fact God gives instructions on what to do if you eat it by accident shows it is a moral law. Usually someone were to be stoned or had to offer an animal sacrifice for disobeying an ordinance. Waiting until the eighth day to circumsise your child is scientific. It’s scientifically proven to reduce chance of blood clots. That Chapter is right under unclean food in Leviticus. The mom is unclean due to bacteria that she produces after child birth. The same Christians that say unclean food doesn’t stand says that we should not commit incest. They contradict themselves. Incest was stated in the old testament. Scientifically proven; incest causes birth defects.

    Keep going, your on the right track.

    1. Jeff Jabben

      Wanted to grammatically fix this reply and provide further clarification, my apologies I typed this on my phone at the time and quickly and did not provide adequate information.
      Matthew 15: 17 – I meant “purging all meats”
      Poison will not be good for* your health just as the unclean animals are not good for your health*
      The excretion of poison or toxins (or that of the unclean animal itself DNA wise) was in relation to the temple, and it would or should not feasibly affect another human being. If a poisonous puffer-fish was eaten in large quantities and the person sweated incredibly it is possible to be reasonably traced in the sweat but I highly doubt enough to affect another human being (possibly a more than normal burn on an open wound?). The only feasible thing I can theorize for it to be harmful to others is if the sweat (which the body does to rid of toxins) is consumed in large quantities, which is not something to be done anyways. – I did not mean to cause any worries or concern with this statement, as I said before was just trying to provide quick possible clarification of why God commanded peculiar ordinances aside from the instructions of which animals to consume in the “Law of the Beast” on a small screened phone. – God Bless

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  7. Dorothy Adams

    I find that almost all of scripture is multi-faceted, meaning that there are many teachings out of them that have different conclusions. I would like to point out that Peter did eat with them. Now, what they served and what Peter ate is a mystery that you cannot conclude with any real facts. It is possible that they were not serving unclean animals that day(perhaps God made it so), perhaps they were serving something Peter would not normally eat and he just did not eat that part of the meal. We would be foolish however, to blow off the possibility that he did eat an unclean thing that day. If Peter was a guest in their home and already walked across a social barrier, and was served unclean food and blessed it, trusting in God and ate a bite to show that God is more a God of love, than a God of works. Peter would also be trusting that by coming into relationship with Christ, they would soon decide not to eat unclean animals out of love for Gods wisdom. It would not have been a good example to start it all off with ‘do as I do’ in order to be holy but rather I choose the wisdom of God out of faith that He alone knows what is best for His people. An example, if you will. I do not eat unclean animals because God told me not to. I see that I have the opportunity to honor His wisdom and hold fast to that there is a very good reason for it. Now if I was starving and something unclean was presented to me, I would bless it and eat it and not feel that I have made God unhappy.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Dorothy,

      First of all I do not believe that this whole event was about food at all. The only reason Peter was shown a vision about clean/unclean animals was because of the state he was in that particular moment – he was hungry. His words are very clear “Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” – common or unclean being the key words. Furthermore, if this was about food, he did not need to doubt in himself about the meaning of the vision as mentioned in Act 10:17. And while he was still perplexed by the vision, the 3 people from Cornelius arrive at his door asking for him. When he enters Cornelius’ house the first thing he says is that “but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean(V28)”. notice the 2 key words “common or unclean”. Also notice he says that God has showed him not to call any “MAN” (not food) common or unclean. The only reason Peter was perplexed about the vision was because God had instructed not to eat common or unclean animals – but now He was going against His own words and saying kill and eat. Peter knew that God’s Words cannot change, and was unsure what God was trying to say through the vision… which he understood when he stepped into Cornelius’ house. I think it is foolish to believe that God would suddenly change His everlasting unchanging word – the same word that Yeshua said would not loose a jot or tittle till heaven and earth lasts. If food was an integral part of being a follower of God as James judged in Acts 15 (out of the 4 commands 3 were about food dervied from Lev 17) I don’t think Peter would have broken God’s commands even to make another person happy – conversely, he could have easily explained what God said to eat/not eat, when he preached at Cornelius’ house. We should love even the people who do not understand God’s Word as we do, but that does not mean we break His Word… If I were Peter, I would sit with them and eat bread and anything else which is clean, while saying I just do not eat the unclean. That does not mean I love a person less… it just means I love God as much as I love my neighbour. While your example is an extreme case scenario (which I hope no one has to go through) it is still breaking God’s command to feed oneself. If I were to take it to a higher extreme, I am sure you would agree with me that we would not kill a person so that we can feed ourself… which is breaking God’s Law to feed ourself… why then would we do the same with unclean foods? Sin in sin after all. If God has called unclean food abomination(Deut 14:3) I beieve that is quite serious…

      May you be ablessing to everyone around you!

      1. Terry Buddrow

        Abomination! Filthy, disgusting. The fact that God describes those unclean animals in Lev 11 as abominations or filthy, disgusting to use as food. The question one has to ask is, “did God change his mind and that practice of (eating unclean animals/fish-sea creatures/insects) which was an abomination to him he now regards as perfectly acceptable?” What say you something that God views as filthy, disgusting in his sight now he likes and enjoys, I don’t think so… People going to read into it what they want to see just as I and others have done. We see what we want to see……. A fact of our fallen state.

  8. Jeff Jabben

    rameshdesilva – I read something like this before except not as detailed. Very interesting, I appreciate the share. I would also recommend my short “book” or document on the law applying today in its fulfilled form and unclean animals remaining unclean for eating purposes. I spent over 300 hours creating this work to prove laws such as unclean animals apply today so I believe you will truly enjoy it. It is a very efficient and organized read.

    The link – https://www.scribd.com/document/325232945/Uncleanliness

    Feel free to quote from my work as much as you like.

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  10. thierry

    Well, I do observe and teach we have to observe the 10 commandments. But as for the food I think the Bible is very clear :

    Acts 15:19
    Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

    Acts 15:28
    For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 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. Fare ye well.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Thierry,
      I believe things are complicated than what it seems. The complications stem from years of religious teachings that have never been challenged. My motto is to keep reading till there is harmony throughout the Word. On Acts 15, if you do have the time – do read the following as well.
      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

      1. Thierry

        Dear Ramesh,
        I come back 6 months later and have to tell you were right! What led me to understand and believe we do have to make a difference between the clean and unclean beasts is that God asked Noah to take clean and unclean beasts in Genesis 7:2 and we find again the warning against those who eat swine (and other unclean) meat in Isaiah 66:17.
        God bless you and keep on guiding you throughout your life!

  11. Norman mitchell

    Contextually we know that Acts is focused on the gentiles being accepted as clean in CHRIST and He needed Peter to get that. Got that! But do u think Christ would use an irrelevent analogy for such an relevent revelation? Accepting the dogs (gentiles) was against the law too and scripture eventually made very clear that our Salvation was not and is not inclusive of our diet. Nowhere in scripture do the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit say that the gentiles had to conform to Hebrew diet to complete Christ making them clean. So the food really wasnt the focal point in acts but I wouldnt be so quick to negate the double message in that comparison. And concerning Peter when the Party came Peter switched up and Paul checked him for that. Galatian’s

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Norman,
      My understanding is that we cannot pick and choose what we want to obey. God’s Law was given to the Hebrews, including the 10 commands. If we are not to obey what was given to the Hebrews, we need to discard the 10 commands as well. Gentiles were never mentioned anywhere in His Covenants. Not even the New, as seen in Jer 31:31-33 & Heb 8:8-10. I believe we have all been taught a negative outlook of God’s Law. The Scripture of the 1st Century was the part we call the Old Testament. We hardly study the front of the book before we try to understand the front of the Book. Just my thoughts.
      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

      1. Joel

        This is a difference in the books of Law of the Bible between Moral Law (the 10 Commandments) and civil and ceremonial laws (cleanliness and righteousness laws). At the time God was laying out laws to keep Israel ritually pure in keeping with their need to perform constant sacrifice for their sins. He was also trying to mitigate community health disasters in this very small prehistoric community (yes, these are some of the first true public health laws in the world). But, as soon as they were no longer needed because a) they were no longer needed because there was an increase in population that disease wouldn’t necessarily destroy the whole community and b) there was no longer a need to maintain ritual purity because there was no longer any need for ritual sacrifice, since it was all paid on the cross. That is why Mark wrote (Jesus was declaring all foods clean). Mark was writing from what Peter was preaching. He was very well educated and would not just make up a whole clause as a “mistake”. If you believe that to be true then the entire Gospel of Mark must be thrown out.

        The reason Peter also declares this vision to be about the foods AND about people is because he finally remembered what his rabbi Jesus had told him and it finally made sense to him.

      2. rameshdesilva Post author

        Dear Joel,
        I believed exactly as you did. But have you really checked into Mark’s Gospel?Was the phrase “Thus he declared all foods clean” written by Mark, or was it added by English translators? Please try finding this phrase in the KJV… you won’t be able to, as the Greek Manuscripts don’t have such a phrase. Only newer English translations such as NIV has this “addition”. The truth is that Mark wrote no such thing.
        Don’t believe me? See for yourself in the link below:

        Please read following if you have a little time to spare as well.

        Be a blessing to everyone around you

      3. rameshdesilva Post author

        Dear Cebador,
        If you have read the study, you know that the reference to be checked is about the translator’s inclusion in Matthew which makes a statement that Christ never made. Regarding your question on Mark, this was also addressed in the study – is Yeshua speaking of eating unclean meats or eating with “common”(koinos) hands? I think the answer is very clear…
        Mat 15:20 KJV These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

        When he says that the stomach cleans “meats” he is still talking about eating with unwashed hands. How can we change the subject of the debate and take that to say that we can eat whatever we like by what Christ said.
        If He did indeed say that we can eat whatever we like, why is Peter after years after Christ’s resurrection, still not eating unclean animals in Acts 10?

        These are questions which need to be answered before you make a decision on a command of God.

        Be a blessing to everyone around you

      4. CEBADOR (@Cebador_circula)

        I actually agree with you in that he could not contradict the law, so he didn’t mean that. However, if one tries to convince someone with the wrongs arguments it could be seen as done in bad faith from the other side, which I know is not your intention. So, I try to clarify what I would not agree from the opposite side (and help build my knowledge at the same time, since it was not long since I started studying scripture).

        You said “Was the phrase “Thus he declared all foods clean” written by Mark, or was it added by English translators? Please try finding this phrase in the KJV… you won’t be able to, as the Greek Manuscripts don’t have such a phrase.” and you provided a link to codex sinaiticus.

        The thing is that the phrase is there in greek:

        καθαριζων παντα τα βρωματα ·

        Interestingly, if you use google translate (with modern greek) it translate the sentence with the point as “always cleaning up stains;” which actually makes more sense in the context.

      5. rameshdesilva Post author

        Dear Cebador,
        The Greek you have highlighted are the words “purging/cleansing all meats/food” which is in the following verse.

        Mar 7:19 KJV Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

        The issue is that some translations (Eg. NIV) carry the words “thus he declared” in addition, which is not there in the text. This is the added part which is not helpful to the reader at all, as it forces a particular idea on the reader which the text does not carry. I believe I understand my fault in not making which part of the statement was in and not in the text. I have tried to correct this on the post and thank you for pointing it out to me, so that it doesn’t give the wrong impression.

        Be a blessing to everyone around you

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  13. Terry Buddrow

    I have to admit, I too was going by what my Pastor told us and did not really check what was actually written. Why would I? My Pastor gave me permission to eat my pork chops, shrimp cocktails, and crab patties so why in the world would I go looking for something that would make me stop eating that which I loved? Pride, arrogance or just plain down right willingly ignorant was what I was doing to support my desires, my will and not the Father’s will. Thankfully God’s will took control of mine and he opened my eyes to the truth not just with kosher but other lies false doctrine my Pastor was teaching. Bottom line it was my fault for not being a Berean, or as scripture says, “wanting my ears tickled”, so that I could keep doing that which is again scripture.

  14. germus marais

    dear Ramesh.i thank Yeshua for opening my eyes.thank you for being obedient and faithfull and for sharing Gods truths patiently with grace and love towards me and others.

  15. Russ

    If the passage is not about food, why is that? Why does every scripture seem to have people needing to explain what the words really mean? Why can’t or doesn’t God’s word mean what it literally says?

  16. Rex S. Sacayan

    Hi all,

    Have you done this:

    Leviticus 13 New International Version (NIV)
    Regulations About Defiling Skin Diseases
    13 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 2 “When anyone has a swelling or a rash or a shiny spot on their skin that may be a defiling skin disease,[a] they must be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons[b] who is a priest. 3 The priest is to examine the sore on the skin, and if the hair in the sore has turned white and the sore appears to be more than skin deep, it is a defiling skin disease. When the priest examines that person, he shall pronounce them ceremonially unclean. 4 If the shiny spot on the skin is white but does not appear to be more than skin deep and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest is to isolate the affected person for seven days. 5 On the seventh day the priest is to examine them, and if he sees that the sore is unchanged and has not spread in the skin, he is to isolate them for another seven days. 6 On the seventh day the priest is to examine them again, and if the sore has faded and has not spread in the skin, the priest shall pronounce them clean; it is only a rash. They must wash their clothes, and they will be clean. 7 But if the rash does spread in their skin after they have shown themselves to the priest to be pronounced clean, they must appear before the priest again. 8 The priest is to examine that person, and if the rash has spread in the skin, he shall pronounce them unclean; it is a defiling skin disease.”?

    Have you brought people with skin diseases to one of Aaron sons? Do you have sons of Aaron in your church?

    I am just curious. Please tell me.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Rex,
      The Aaronic Priesthood is still alive and so are the Levites, but there is no temple that they can serve in. As per God’s word, they can work and do sacrifices only in the Temple built in Jerusalem which was last destroyed in 70AD by the Romans.
      A “church” congregation cannot be equalized to the Temple of God and Preachers or pastors cannot be equalized to the aaronic priesthood or Levites.
      So all laws pertaining to sacrifices and the priesthood are temporarily on hold, just like in the time of Daniel.

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

      1. Tatjana

        Letter to Hebrews 7: 11Now if perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on this basis the people received the law), why was there still need for another priest to appear—one in the order of Melchizedek and not in the order of Aaron? 12For when the priesthood is changed, the Law must be changed as well.” Changed by the new, permanent and superior Priest, Jesus! God will never go back to old ways, the New Covenant is here to stay, while the Old one was “temporal” (2 Corinthians 3, for example).

      2. rameshdesilva Post author

        Dear Tatjana,
        Can you let me know what the New Covenant is according to your understanding. Please provide a Scripture reference as well.
        Be a blessing to everyone around you!

      3. rameshdesilva Post author

        But doe this negate the physical Temple God Himself wanted built? The idea of dwelling in the body is not a new one as Paul quotes Exo 29:45 & Lev 26:12 in 2Corinthians 6:16.

      4. reikster

        But why should there be a new temple if we are temple of God already? And do you think that people could be the temple of God in old testament?

  17. Adolph lucky Egumamhe

    God has a different ways of speaking and relating with human , and it takes any one to really understand his messages via revelations through the help of the Holy Spirit
    Now while peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean……. peter was really thrown into confusion, but thank God he could still remember that that vessel containing these all manner of four footed beast coming down to peter was done three times, ……. why do have to make it happen three times? I mean why not twice or fourth times.
    it’s so simple as this because not two or four men were sent to peter but three men were sent to peter
    verse 19 clarifies any doubt that the message God just pass to peter has nothing to do with dietary, it has nothing to do with food as in meal at all but the salvation of the Gentiles which has been made clean by the blood of atonement….
    while Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Whosoever that is been led of the Spirit won’t seek other interpretation to this having known that He is the Spirit off all truth, he leads us to all truth. the three men in question now delivered their mail to peter, an invitation into the Gentile world which to the Jews world unfit,unclean ,
    if by the time peter woke up from that revelation and there appeared unto him a pork, camel etc then one should have concludes that vision for eatable food. In John 4:32 …. Jesus said unto his disciples, I have meat to eat that ye know not of … my meat is to do the will of him that sent me…. the Apostle were no more ignorant of his parable after his glorification, so that trance or vision comes in parable but thank God for the Holy Spirit who quickly interpret it to Peter 20 Arise therefore, and get thee down and go with them doubting nothing for I have sent them.
    May we ever remain under the tutorship of the Holy Spirit to able to deliver spiritual pregnancies to the dying world around us in the name of Jesus.
    God bless you all

    1. Patrick Mcmullen

      Hard to overlook a vision that happened three times with unclean animals and then overlook that he “ate” with gentiles who very easily could have given him unclean food. Hard to overlook that he defends “Eating and Visiting” with Gentiles by explaining his vision. I do think the focus is on accepting Gentiles as unclean, but that does not mean food is not also part of God’s word.

  18. Daniel

    God looks at the heart of man. Jesus said, “There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

    The final answer is: If a person chooses not to eat pork for various nutritional reasons or preference, that is no big deal. You are free to eat or not to eat. But the moment that abstinence is invested with biblical authority as the path of obedience of maturity or salvation, a line is crossed that contradicts Christ and the gospel. Paul says in Colossians 2:16–17, “Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food or drink. . . . These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” When you have Christ as your Treasure and your all-satisfying food, you are free to eat pork or not. (Piper)

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Daniel,

      We all know that what you have presented is the mainstream understanding. And like you, I also believed the same. I had to wrestle with a lot of questions to land where I am today. Please consider reading the following before you make a firm decision on what has been taught to us all.




      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

  19. reikster

    But would God make a point to Peter by saying to him to do something sinful? Thats like making a point by showing naked women then saying “go and fornicate.” I dont think God would demand Peter to do something sinful even if its just a vision. Its unlikely in my opinion.

      1. rameshdesilva Post author

        Yes. But see Peter’s answer… I have not eaten anything “common” or “unclean. Which means there are two categories of animals according to Peter’s understanding. And what does the voice reply? Don’t call “common” what I have made clean. Note that the voice did not say don’t call “unclean” what I have made clean. If the voice said that, then it means all unclean animals were considered clean. But the issue is that most of us don’t understand this story because we don’t understand what “common” means. Please read:

  20. Gabriel

    Yes, food isn’t the focus here. Yes, he retells the story in chapter 11, but he never said he didn’t eat the food. Explains what happened giving the true meaning of what the dream meant doesn’t mean he didn’t eat the food. Peter is no longer “Jew” but a Christian no longer bound by eating what’s clean and not clean. So he wouldn’t have broken a law no longer meant for him. I do not believe they would have “ripped him to shreds” because he was speaking to apostles and brethren. God Bless.

    1. RameshDeSilva Post author

      Dear Gabriel,
      So you believe the “circumcision” mentioned in Acts 11:2 would have been OK to eat all animals because of the vision? The same people who were in Acts 15:5 who wanted the Gentiles to be circumcised were now OK that everyone was allowed to eat any meat? Even Paul who lived according to Mosaic Law(Acts 21:26) was a person who ate as he pleased? Yeshua did not come to start a religion but bring us to a relationship. If that relationship is devoid of God’s Law how can we know what God’s definition of sin is (Rom 7:7, 1Jn 3:4).
      May you be a blessing to everyone around you

  21. Kortney

    o Thank you for the article. I greatly enjoyed reading it.

    Regarding this passage, the real and more important issue was God was accepting the Gentiles to faith in Christ as much as the Jews. No Gentile was to be considered unclean, that is certainly true.
    o BUT we dare not simply look over the fact that the Lord GAVE A COMMAND to Peter to “Rise, kill and eat” what Peter believed to be unclean food. Notice how the Lord responds to Peter when Peter protests to this specific command about food. “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This happened not once, but three times – all in reference to Peter protesting that he had never eaten anything common or unclean. As a God-fearing Jew, this certainly was expected – and even though Jesus declared all foods clean to his disciples, he never called his Jewish disciples to break the law during his earthly ministry.
     BUT now the Lord (Peter calls him Lord) commanded it! No wonder he was confused.
     Three times (what is it with Peter and 3x’s with things) the Lord replies to Peter’s protest about not eating unclean food. It’s as if God really had to get this through Peter’s stubborn head.
     Peter stays in Cornelius’ house for a few days (v.48). What would he eat while there? The Lord had already made it abundantly clear from His command to Peter in the vision and later with what took place with the Holy Spirit being poured out on this Gentile household – that not only was no man to be considered unclean (he could enter their home) but he could also eat (“Rise, kill and eat”) their food too. It’s as if God knew the real issue for Peter was eating food more than winning the Gentiles. This was the barrier that God needed to tear down for Peter. If God hadn’t made it abundantly clear to Peter on the front end – the first conflict with the Gentiles after salvation would have been over food. Peter would have had to tell them their food was unclean and they would need to stop eating it.
     Specifically regarding verse 28 – it’s important to note Peter is addressing Cornelius and everyone there. He reveals that “God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” This is a true statement that reveals what God showed him – but this specific statement really isn’t about the vision of the food God gave him (although it is connected). Peter is simply declaring what the Spirit confirmed to Him AFTER the vision that we see in verses 19-20. “While Peter thought about the vision, THE SPIRIT SAID TO HIM, “Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, DOUBTING NOTHING (going into their home as well as eating unclean food); for I have sent them.””
    • “Doubting nothing” – this would include BOTH going into an unclean Gentile home and the eating of unclean food. Peter is to doubt nothing that God told him to do. Again, God commanded him to do both – to eat “unclean” food and go to this Gentile home.
     It’s very important to remember that in the vision, it was the food that Peter was protesting – not people. So why doesn’t Peter refer only to man in verse 28? Because that isn’t the real issue – the real issue is the salvation of the Gentiles – to whom the Spirit told him to “go with . . . doubting nothing.” For Peter to get sidetracked about the subject of food at that time when he was to be preaching the gospel would be wrong. But make no mistake – the subject of would most certainly come up afterward when Peter stays with them for a few days. I’m glad God made it clear to him that the food these Gentile believers would set before him would be just as clean as they were – and therefore acceptable to eat!
     Later in the Acts 11 when Peter gets back to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision confront Peter about two different things. 1. He went into the home of a Gentile. 2. And he ate with them. Notice Peter doesn’t deny either of these charges leveled against him. (I will admit that the text simply states their concern was that he ate with Gentiles, not about what he ate – but the context of the vision and Peter’s response it him telling it to them, strongly implies this was regarding the food itself, not just eating with Gentiles) There was no denying that he went into the home with a Gentile. Why doesn’t he say, “I only ate clean food while I was with them?” Instead, he recounts to them the story (verses 5-10) about what the Lord had commanded him about eating unclean food and how it happened three times, thus affirming that all food is clean and that there would have been nothing wrong with his eating it. And then he also reveals (verse 11) that the Spirit told him to go into the Gentile home. Instead of denying these accusations – Peter confirms them – but notice – he does it by telling them that both of these came about as commandments from the “Lord” (to eat) and the “Spirit” (to go into the home).

    Thanks again, and I would appreciate your feedback.

    1. RameshDeSilva Post author

      Dear Kortney,
      Please read the following article as well. Maybe we should all understand the difference between common and unclean. God never told Peter to call what He has made “clean unclean”. It was “clean common”.
      May you be a blessing to everyone around you

  22. Nita Neyland

    A friend of mine who has a Jewish background explained to me about Peter’s Vision of lowering the sheet from Heaven and God saying take eat. So if we start with the old testament, where the list of what you cannot eat mainly boils down to avoiding carnivorous animals that kill to eat or preditors that are scavengers who eat dead remains includes the animals on land, in the oceans. Birds of the air. All these animals carry diseases that can cause sickness if eaten, so we stay clear from such food. And that was good advice in the old Testament.
    In the New Testament, God will not just be in Israel; the Old Testament advice is very sound and logical and indeed can be carried over, and I think this health and safety standard is up and running well. But globally, some countries that ate their food differently may not be so easily found in their country. Sheep and cattle do not exist; even grasshopper may not be native to their country, Eskimos in winter, even myself who lived on a Sheep Station we got rained in and had a low food shortage and could only walk from the house to shoot a bird to keep us going until the roads dried up enough for the food to get to us. So what I am saying is The whole earth is the Lords and everything in it. So He knows what He is talking about when you look at things globally.

    1. RameshDeSilva Post author

      Dear Nita,
      God is Lord of the whole earth. The Animals He considered “Food” was what He told His people to eat. In Lev 20:25, He tells His people not to make their “Souls” abominable by eating the Animals He pronounced as non-food. This is not about Health alone. It is about what God calls “Food”. There maybe events such as floods where “Food” maybe scarce. There maybe places such as Alaska where “Food” maybe scarce. But these are the exception and not the Norm. We do not need to eat meat alone – there are grains and plant food that can be eaten. Even in a place such as Alaska, there are clean fish that can be eaten. There are exceptions in everything, but we should not take the exception to the rule and use that to say what we can and cannot do.
      Remember the great commission – “Go and teach all nations… Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” – Christ said that “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      So I don’t believe He told the disciples to teach anything outside the Law to any of the Nations.

      Be a blessing to everyone around you

  23. H Singh

    This is a good post and has helped me understand this topic more. However, I am still confused as to why God told Peter this in Acts 10:13: And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”

    Wasn’t God lying to Peter, or trying to trick him by inviting him to eat the creatures that are unclean? In that vision, Peter saw a great sheet descending from heaven, filled to overflowing with all kinds of beasts, birds, and creepy-crawly animals. Three times Peter was invited to eat the disgusting collection of creatures, and three times he refused.

    I know the purpose of the vision was to show Peter that no man was unclean, however, you could argue God was lying to Peter by telling him to eat the creatures in the sheet that are unclean.

    1. RameshDeSilva Post author

      Dear Singh,
      This is a great question, which critically looks at the situation mentioned in Acts 10. Let me tell you how I understand it. The whole point of the vision is not for God to show that unclean animals have become clean. It is to show that there is nothing called “common” animals. If you look at the vision again, the voice tells Peter not to call what God deems clean, common. In other words, the sheet contains for example a pig, a snake, a raven and a cow. The pig, snake and raven are unclean according to God’s Word. The cow is clean and can be consumed. But in Peter’s day, the rabbinical authority considers the cow which was together with the pig as “common” – ritually unclean. This is what God is trying to explain to Peter. This is why Peter was perplexed – surely God cannot say He deems something clean after saying it is unclean before – that is against God’s character of “unchanging”. Peter got the answer only when he visited Cornelius’ house, that he should not deem unclean, a gentile who has turned to God, even though the rabbinical authorities would have called them ritually unclean. Please read the following article for more on this: https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/does-peters-vision-prove-we-can-eat-anything-the-difference-between-common-unclean/

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

      1. H Singh

        This is a brilliant explanation. After doing more research I have found even more evidence that the vision was about men and not food:

        Verse 16: “This was done THRICE: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. 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 enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate . . . 19: While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, THREE MEN SEEK THEE” [This is why the sheet was seen thrice as in verse 16].

        Another question. Why do we still have to follow this old testament dietary law today if the 613 old testament laws were abolished? Thanks.

      2. RameshDeSilva Post author

        Dear Singh,
        This is also a good question. One which is explained in detail in Acts 15. There the elders decide on 4 commands that all Gentiles who come into the congregation have to start with. Please see:

        In short, my answer is that none of the commands have been abolished. If you believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, you have to live according to what He says is the right path. There will be many questions on this line of thinking. Didn’t Paul say it was abolished… And the like. Look for answers with a critical eye and you will find the answers. You can contact me if you have questions.
        Be a blessing to everyone around you

  24. H Singh

    “But in Peter’s day, the rabbinical authority considers the cow which was together with the pig as “common” – ritually unclean.”

    How do you know this? Thanks.

    1. RameshDeSilva Post author

      Dear Singh,
      You can see the orthodox opinion in Peter’s answer “I haven’t eaten anything common or unclean”. Which meant there are 2 categories in the vision. Compare this to the answer from heaven. “Do not call what I have made clean, common”.
      Then at Cornelius’ house Peter’s answer that a Jew is not supposed to eat with a Gentile does not appear in the Law of the Old Testament. These are all part of the “oral torah” of the Pharisees. Please see :
      Be a blessing to everyone around you

      1. H Singh

        Thanks for replying to both comments. I have some more questions.

        Question 1)

        Do these old testament laws still apply?:

        A) Is a woman unclean on her monthly cycle?

        B) Can we wear wool and linen fabrics in one garment?

        C) Can Christians consume the lifeblood of an animal?
        From google: “Jewish law prohibits the consumption of the lifeblood of the animal. … After a few minutes of dripping, the meat is salted and left to hang for sixty minutes to further draw out any remaining blood. After sixty minutes of salting, the meat is washed three times in cold, clean water to remove any remaining salt.”

        Question 2)

        What does Romans 10:4 mean if the Old Testament laws still apply today?

        Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

        Question 3)
        Why would Peter be calling the clean animals in the sheet “common”?
        I have heard of people call other people “common”, but not animals. Cows and pigs are not Jews and Gentiles.

      2. RameshDeSilva Post author

        Dear Singh,

        I believe it’s a disservice to give you short answers. But I will do my best. I’m sure these answers will only create more questions, but that is how it is supposed to be.

        Do these Old Testament Laws still apply?
        Mat 5:17-19 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

        When we say Old Testament, what we have been taught is that the New Testament made the Old Testament Obsolete. But what is the New Testament? It is the Old Testament written in our hearts and put in our mind, as per Jer 31:31-35, the only place which defines what the New Testament is.

        Is a woman unclean on her monthly cycle?
        Yes. But the Law of uncleanness was only in relation to the Temple. In other words, a person who came into uncleanness because of touching a dead body or because of a emission was not able to go into the Temple till they washed themselves and was pronounced clean in the evening. If you were not going into the temple, it is not an issue. One more small thing to note. Physical relations at that time is prohibited, that is still in effect. The purity aspect was not in effect whenever there was no Tabernacle.

        Can we wear Wool and Linen in one garment?
        This was in relation to the High Priestly Garment which was made with both Linen and Wool. The command restricted anyone from wearing anything that resembled the uniform of the Priest which God created. It’s very rare that Wool and Linen is mixed together as they have completely opposite attributes.

        Can we consume blood?
        Acts 15 is very clear on this command. And as I mentioned in my earlier answer, if you check the post, you will see that the 4 commands that James applied were from Leviticus 17 & 18.

        Is Christ the end of the Law?
        If I translated this same verse as “For Christ is the goal of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” would that make a vast difference? The word translated here in the Greek is Telos, which means Goal. You can check this in any Dictionary or Blue Letter Bible Online.

        The Vision and “Common”
        The Word “Koinos” which is translated as Common in Acts 10 is translated as “Defiled” in Mark 7:2. This was a term connected to the Pharisees as seen in Mark 7. Note that there is a difference between “common” and “unclean” in Acts 10. The vision is not about Jews and Gentiles, rather it is about unbelieving Gentiles and believing gentiles. In other words, Believing Gentiles who denote the “common” animals in the sheet, should not be called unclean because they live among “unclean” animals (unbelieving gentiles, because God regards them as clean. This is what Peter means when he says : Act 11:17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

        I hope this answers most of your questions.
        Be a blessing to everyone around you

      3. SP

        So in the “oral torah”, does it say that when a “cow which was together with the pig as “common” – ritually unclean.”?

        God Bless.

      4. RameshDeSilva Post author

        Dear Singh,
        the Orthodoxy Opinion would be the accepted opinion of the time. For example, in John 4:27 we see the Disciples had the similar question on why Yeshua spoke with a Samaritan woman who the “orthodox rabbinical opinion” held to be unclean.
        Peter expresses the same opinion in Acts 10:28 when he arrived at Cornelius’ home. The same opinion is repeated by the “Circumcision party” in Acts 11:3. But then they agreed with Peter in Acts 11:18. This shows that the “orthodox opinion” of uncleanness by association, was a Rabbinical idea and not part of God’s Word – which does not change. Hope this helps.

        Be a blessing to everyone around you

  25. SP

    So in the “oral torah”, does it say that when a cow was together with a pig it was considered as “common” – ritually unclean”?

    Btw, I just posted a comment but didn’t mean to. Please only approve this one.

    God Bless.

    1. RameshDeSilva Post author

      You can see the orthodox opinion in Peter’s answer “I haven’t eaten anything common or unclean”. Which meant there are 2 categories in the vision. Compare this to the answer from heaven. “Do not call what I have made clean, common”.
      Then at Cornelius’ house Peter’s answer that a Jew is not supposed to eat with a Gentile does not appear in the Law of the Old Testament. These are all part of the “oral torah” of the Pharisees. Please see :

      Be a blessing to everyone around you

      1. SP

        This still doesn’t explain why Peter looked at the animals in the sheet and then called some of those animals “common”. If Peter called some of those animals “common” this means that there would be certain criteria which would have made an animal “common”, just like there are criteria that make an animal “unclean” (e.g. “`Every animal that has a split hoof not completely divided or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches [the carcass of] any of them will be unclean.)

      2. RameshDeSilva Post author

        Dear SP,
        As I mentioned in the post, the word “common” directly connects with the word “defiled” in Mark 7:2. This shows that the word “koinos” is connected to the Pharisaic teachings of defilement.
        Be a blessing to everyone around you!

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