Peter saw a vision in Joppa: a linen cloth was lowered from heaven, and every kind of animal on Earth was in it, including those considered “unclean”. Wow, how enormous the cloth must have been! Then a voice told him: “Kill and eat” the animals. If Peter was seeing a vision, why did he not see the speaker, but only heard his voice? When he replied, “By no means, Lord” did he use the word “Lord [kurie]” generally, to mean “Sir”? Or did he not need to see the speaker because he recognized the voice? And whose voice from Heaven would he recognize immediately? But we really have no conclusive evidence that it was Jesus.
the vision ended, three men sent by the centurion Cornelius arrived at
the house of Simon the tanner, where Peter was. Now, when Peter met
these men from Caesarea, didn’t he do something unthinkable for a
Jew of his time? Yes, he
invited them into the house as his guests.
Was the Roman soldier a Gentile?
Hey, weren’t Jews prohibited from associating with Gentiles
[10:28]? Moreover, it was
not even Peter’s house! Even
worse, these Gentile guests shared a meal with Jews; wasn’t that
God had just told Peter he should eat even those animals forbidden to
Jews but these were eaten by Gentiles.
Hadn’t God broken the food barrier between Peter and the
Gentiles, opening the way for Peter to invite the trio into the house,
and for Peter later to enter the house of Cornelius, a Gentile?
men came from Caesarea to fetch Peter.
How many of them accompanied Peter from Joppa to Caesarea?
In addition to the three, six or more Christians accompanied
Peter [Acts 11:11]. These
Christians went out of their way to help and support Peter, and put
their lives in danger to protect him along the way and in Caesarea.
No wonder Peter called them “brothers”.
How far are we prepared to go, to support our Christian
brothers and sisters?
those days, people in Israel thought nothing of walking 100 kilometres:
50 kilometres one way, and another 50 back.
A fisherman like Peter was more used to travelling by boat, but
hadn’t Jesus trained him to walk for hundreds of kilometers all over
men took 20 hours to walk from Caesarea to Joppa.
How long did the walk from Joppa to Caesarea take?
If they left around dawn, say 6 a.m., and arrived at 3 p.m. the
next day [when Peter arrived, Cornelius said, “Four days ago, at
this very hour, 3 p.m.”] isn’t that 33 hours?
That’s 13 hours more, over the same distance!
What do the figures suggest?
That the Three Walkers set a slower pace in deference to Peter?
That they stopped to rest overnight, so that Peter would not
arrive exhausted at Cornelius’ house?
Or did they do both?
was the apostle to the Jews, but didn’t he also evangelize Gentiles:
Cornelius, together with his relatives and close friends?
Mission work need not be confined to one race only and may
freely include other races as God in His goodness sends these along
Peter, as head of the early Church, have allowed the evangelization of
Gentiles if he had not had a personal experience of evangelizing
Gentiles and seeing the Holy Spirit falling upon them, with the same
speaking in tongues that Jewish converts manifested when they received
the Holy Spirit? How many
Gentiles like us have been saved since then?
is the central figure in Acts 10?
Well, who sent an angel to Cornelius in Caesarea, a vision to
Peter in Joppa, the Holy Spirit to speak to Peter, and the Holy Spirit
to fall upon the people in Cornelius’ house?
Who arranged everything?
Satterthwaite led Chapel on 1st October, and spoke on Job 3,
Job’s first response to the terrible
Job right to say these things? If one curses one’s birthday, isn’t
that close to questioning God the giver of life? Has Job lost his sense
of proportion, let his present misery affect the way he looks at the
entire course of his life? Yet this, after all, is how he feels at
present. His friends have come to help him. Does he not owe it to them
to tell them how he really feels? Remember, too, God’s verdict at the
end of the book: ‘Job has spoken of me what is right’ (42:7, 8).
us too, if God brings sorrows into our lives, should we not grieve? Are
we obliged to hide our feelings, even from God? Isn’t such a response
actually dishonouring to God in the end? Here Job has a lesson for us,
not to whitewash things, either for ourselves or for others. We are not
called to be God’s ‘spin-doctors’.
on 15 October was taken by Dr Ng Peh Cheng and on 22 October Dr Philip
Satterthwaite is scheduled to speak.
New Home for BGST. Our
search for our new home started way back in 1999. In view of our need to
move out of the current premise at Bishan by Oct 2004, we intensified our
search from the beginning of this year. We were limited by two main
constraints in our search: floor loading requirements for the Library and
the approved use for a religious institution. Initially we considered the
rental option. However, with the downturn in economy and the reduction in
prices of properties, the Council felt that it would put the resources given
to us to better use if we buy rather than rent.
(To be continued in coming issues).
will be an important Extraordinary General Meeting on Oct 24 to decide on
the purchase of the property for BGST. Please pray for the mind of God in
the decision that needs to be made. .
The Faculty and Staff of BGST would like to express their condolence to
Elder Teoh Chong Tatt on the demise of his beloved wife, Mdm Lee Sam Chin,
who went home to be with the Lord on 10 October.
to Pastor Lim Kee Oon and Soo Fong for their second child, Shauna Lim
Song Ern. She weighed 2.59kg at birth.
BLESSED BIRTHDAY TO ...
Ms Linda Ang
Ms Linda Ang
Daniel Chua 13/10