Acts 10:34-43 - Learning how to hear "in tongues"

Updated: Mar 26

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Acts 10:34-43

Peter began to speak to Cornelius and the other Gentiles: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ--he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."


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This is the mandatory selection from the Acts of the Apostles that will be read aloud on Easter Sunday, Year B principal service, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will either be the First Lesson, removing Isaiah 25:6-9 from the schedule, or it will be the New Testament reading, eliminating 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 from the schedule. In any case, this reading will be accompanied by a reading from Psalm 118, which sings, “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Depending on the selection process, this reading will precede a Gospel reading (either from John 20:1-18 or Mark 16, 1-8), which speaks of Jesus being found not in his tomb by women who came early on the first day of the week with spices.


Acts chapter 10 tells of a divine vision Peter had, where God showed him Gentiles were no longer forbidden from belief in Yahweh. This led to Peter being called to meet with a Roman Centurion, named Cornelius, who was a Gentile. The first thirty-three verses tell this story, none of which are ever scheduled to be read aloud in Episcopalian churches. This reading becomes the soliloquy of Peter speaking to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ home, telling of his association with Jesus, who was killed but resurrected. This translation reads as if Peter was bragging about having personally witnessed all the power of glory of Jesus, “in Judea and in Jerusalem.”


There is a concept in Christianity known as “witnessing.” From the website for a Roman Catholic Diocese is this definition of a Christian “witness”:


“As followers of the Lord Jesus, we are called to serve as “witnesses” to our faith. To be a witness to Christ is to demonstrate by our words, actions and attitude the sacred mystery that we have “seen”, heard and believe in our hearts about the Lord who has forgiven us of our sins and offered us eternal life. In contrast to the world, Christian witness is to be offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” [Diocese of Bridgeport (CT.)]


In this reading selection, Peter is quoted as saying “witnesses” twice. While there are other places in the Epistles where Christians point to references such as this being a characteristic all Christians must display, some pointing to these specific verses in support of that concept, the “definition” above makes it clear that “witnessing” is not about seeing Jesus, but about experiencing Yahweh personally. That makes “witnessing” be as relevant today as it was when Peter spoke with Cornelius. It also makes it clear that “witnessing” is not a power of brain, because a brain only thinks about certain things [consciously] when queued to thought. That “24 hours a day, 365 days a year” part of the definition above says “witnessing” is more subconscious than conscious, as it is impossible to stop. That becomes a statement that the soul has married to Yahweh and the body acts in righteous ways, without any need to use forethought.


In this soliloquy, it is the translation into English that misleads those who hear them read aloud or read these words silently alone. Even those fluent in Greek cannot see the whole truth of this conversation. This is because these words of Peter, like those of Paul, John, James, and all prophets who wrote divinely, were spoken in a divine language. Divine language requires divine assistance to understand, therefore translate properly.


This can be seen stated in Acts 2, on Pentecost morning, when all the Apostles began “speaking in tongues.” Rather than them beginning to make unintelligible noises [as some ‘Pentecostal’ churches promote], they all began to explain the lesson of the prophet Joel. Not only did they speak that in Hebrew, but in all the foreign languages, for the benefit of foreign pilgrims. What the Apostles spoke was a depth of understanding that came from being able to understand Joel wrote in the divine language of Yahweh. The Apostles suddenly began to understand Scripture and suddenly began to explains Scripture in new ways it had never been explained before [thus the thought that they must be drunk on new wine].


That receipt of God’s Holy Spirit within Peter and the others [including three thousand who heard the word and also became saved souls] meant he began [like all the others] to speak in divine ways that normal translation misses. From then on Peter spoke in ways that demanded someone explain the Word he spoke in new ways. This is a concept held by ‘Pentecostal’ religions, where someone "speaking in tongues" requires someone to translate what has been spoken "in tongues." However, rather that one being forced to make up meanings for gibberish spoken, a Saint is required to understand what an Apostle wrote.


This can be seen where the translation above [NRSV] begins with Peter saying, “I truly understand that God shows no partiality.” In reality, Luke [the believed writer of Acts] wrote: “Ep’ alētheias katalambanomai hoti ouk estin prosōpolēmptēs ho Theos,” which literally translates to state: “Above truth I comprehend because not being one who shows face this God.” This shows the words of Peter were spoken in divine language, which is impossible to state in other language translations correctly, unless the translator is led by the same Holy Spirit and enabled to understand divine language of Yahweh [speak in tongues].


From what is written, the capitalization of “Ep’” [an abbreviation of “Epi”] means a divinely elevated translation must be seen. Rather than simply being read as the preposition “of,” it becomes “Above,” where the capitalization makes that direction be heavenly. This is then the source of “truth,” such that Peter was not bragging about “truly understanding,” but his divine [“Above”] source of “truth” being how he then had an ability to “comprehend,” relative to that which he did not understand before.


He then said that limit is placed “not” on “one who shows [his or her own] face" [from "prosōpolēmptēs" means "one who is an accepter of a face"], meaning Peter was once known as Simon, which was a flawed human face. As Peter [meaning {Rock”], he became “one who shows a face" that is God’s.” This means that instead of Peter seeming to say, “God loves everyone,” Peter said a Saint stops being himself or herself and puts on the face of Yahweh, so the truth will be revealed [otherwise the full truth remains hidden].


This has to be seen as what Peter was saying to Cornelius, who was Roman. As someone from Rome, it makes sense that Peter would say, “in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” That means Peter was speaking the Word, as Yahweh speaking through him, saying, “The same sacrifice of self, to wear the face of God, applies in all places." In no way did Peter imply that he spoke with the authority to determine who was a Saint, because Peter was just one servant of Yahweh.


The translation then has Peter say to Cornelius and the other Gentiles, “You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ--he is Lord of all.” That translation implies that the Romans were present in Jerusalem when Jesus was executed, but then leaps to an expectation that they knew all about the truth of who Jesus was. While the Scripture gives some impression that Roman guards and leaders made remarks when weird things happened when Jesus was crucified, Peter’s initial rejection to meeting with Gentiles [not read today] says he would not have known anything about what “they” [as “You”] knew. He did not care to know what Gentiles knew. This becomes cleared up with a better translation of what is written here.


Luke wrote that Peter said, “ton logon honapesteilen tois huiois Israēl , euangelizomenos , eirēnēn dia Iēsou Christou --- houtos estin pantōn Kyrios.” This literally translates to state: “this word which he sent with them sons Israel , proclaiming the good message , wholeness through Jesus Anointed One --- this being in all Master.”


As can be seen, what Peter said [only understood by divine assistance] is greatly different than some simple history of Jesus, which [at that time] was not that widely known. The power comes from hearing Peter tell Cornelius, “before now this state of righteousness that is acceptable to Yahweh has only been received in those sons of Israelite descent , we are the sons who proclaim the truth of God’s messages through prophets , we give wholeness to the written word that have only partially been grasped and this ability come through us having been reborn as Jesus so we too have become the Christ --- this state of being we all possess means Yahweh is the Lord over our souls.”


When Peter then is shown to have said to Cornelius, “That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced,” this is where the importance of “You” is written. This series of words begins with the capitalized Greek word “Hymeis,” which becomes Peter recognizing Cornelius and the other Gentiles were likewise given a taste of the Holy Spirit, leading them to summon Peter as one truly filled. Thus, the following word, “oidate” says they were able to “appreciate” the message [as “declarations” or the spread of talk] of righteousness that had spread throughout the lands there controlled by Romans.


Included in what the Romans had heard, from having open ears to the common talk, was: “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”


In that, the central focus becomes written: “echrisenauton ho Theos Pneumati Hagiō.” This says, “this anointment of him this God Spirit Holy.” This places more importance on Jesus being a man made special by God [where “anointed” reflects the “Christ”], through [as John had said: someone would come not baptizing with water, but by …] the Important divine Spirit of Yahweh, married to the soul of Jesus. That focus says that the union of Spirit made Jesus Holy, as God incarnate in human flesh. This then leads to the word “kai,” which announces importance to come, where that importance is then stated “power.” The “power” of Jesus was all due to God’s Holy Spirit” being upon Jesus.


It was that empowerment of the Holy Spirit that allowed Jesus to do good and healing all, while also being the one who ordered his disciples into internship, doing the same. The power was not limited to Jesus, because the power came from Yahweh … from "Above." The power was to counter the "oppression of the devil," where "diabolou" is better understood as a soul that has been trapped in the lures of the world [not heaven].


While that is a concept that most Christians today will freely profess faith in: Jesus being anointed by God and given His Holy Spirit; the point of Peter saying that was Peter too [and all other Apostles – Saints] was anointed in the same manner. Peter was not telling Cornelius and his Gentile soldiers who wanted to receive Yahweh’s Holy Spirit and become righteous, with saved souls, “Man, you should have been there. You could have touched Jesus and got some of that on you.” Instead, Peter explained why he told them about how special Jesus was, by saying “We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem.”


Here is the first of the two uses of “witnesses” [“martyres,” from which “martyrs” comes]. The word translates as “eye-witnesses,” which can only attest to “witnessing” God anoint with Spirit Holy when the same state of being has come upon Peter and others like him, all like Jesus reborn. No one can speak the “truth” [verse 34] and say, “We were there watching Jesus be made Holy.” Thus, the reason why “martyres” has become the English word “martyr” [meaning “a person who is killed because of their religious or other beliefs”] is because Peter [and all likewise filled with Yahweh’s Holy Spirit] had died of self-ego and self-will, sacrificing one’s soul-flesh to God, so they could become Sons of man [not a human gender distinction].


To make this point, Peter is then shown to have told Cornelius, “They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear.” This talk of death and resurrection is then Peter explaining that he, just like Jesus of Nazareth, had to sacrifice his soul to Yahweh, so he could be reborn as His Son, also in a body of flesh that was human.


In this, Peter called the instrument of death “a tree” [from the Greek “xylou”], which is different than the “stauros” or “upright stake” Jesus told his disciples they had to raise, in order to follow him. The difference says an upright stake means righteousness, where an instrument of death is made of dead matter – a tree killed and honed.


When Peter said “God raised him on the third day,” the slower way to receive divine meaning from that is to see the value of the number “three” alone. This says Jesus was raised “upon the third,” which means death is equated to the number two. Two becomes the body and the soul united, which can also be stated as a son [souls have only masculine gender] with God’s breath of life. To then become “on the third” [from “en tē tritē”] means to have then received the “third” element that brings a “raised” state of being, becoming righteous and eternally saved. That “third” addition is the Holy Spirit [or the “Spirit” that makes one “Holy” or “Sacred” – a Saint]. With that elevation to divine status, all becomes the light of “day,” as darkness has forevermore been overcome.


When Peter said that Jesus was resurrected and allowed to appear, the surface meaning is he came to the disciples, so they knew he was raised. However, the deeper, divine meaning is after Jesus ascended, after which he was then allowed to appear in the bodies of his disciples. That transformation was possible because they too had died and the third state of being had been received. It was then the Apostles saw the same light of day as Jesus reborn. The surface meaning becomes little more than a tidbit of ‘inside skinny’ told by Peter to Cornelius, making it be rather meaningless to him; but, as a statement about Peter coming to Cornelius as the resurrection of Jesus within his flesh, Jesus was then appearing before Cornelius [looking like Peter]. That becomes powerful, when read with divine assistance.


Then, Peter is shown to say to Cornelius, “not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses.” That says what I just presented. Jesus did not simply appear to everyone in the world, nor to all Jews, nor to just disciples trembling with fear because Jesus had died. The resurrection of Jesus was only to appear in those who submitted their souls to Yahweh, who had then become reborn as His Christ, Sons of man, Jesus newly appearing. Again, the use of “witnesses” says Peter was speaking from personally knowing the presence of the Holy Spirit and the life of righteousness known by Jesus from birth.


Next, the NRSV translation has Peter telling Cornelius, “[it was us] who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.” That once again sounds like Peter telling Cornelius he got to do some things nobody else can ever do, after Jesus left the world. Instead, those “chosen by God” have to be seen as given the divine blessing that says, “to us who did eat with” [from “hemin hoitines synephagomen”], where there is no mention of Jesus. The disciples who became Apostles dined on holy texts and singing psalms of prayer and lament, all while praying to Yahweh to lead them.


The holy texts became the spiritual food upon which they fed, which suddenly made deeper sense, once filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Thus, it was that outpouring of divine understanding that became [following the use of “kai”] importantly: “drink with him after this rising him out from dead.” That says they became the blood of Yahweh’s Christ, which allowed them all to become “him” [Jesus], them “rising” to that state of being “after drinking with Yahweh.” It was then their own deaths of self that made room in their soul-body duality for the third Holy Spirit.


The translation then has Peter telling Cornelius and his soldiers, “He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.” Here, a confused Christian today hears the third person pronoun “he” and immediately thinks that Jesus appeared in the upper room and began telling the disciples what they needed to do, after they ate some fish and drank some leftover Passover wine together. That is wrong to think, because “he” is Yahweh, the one whose Word they consumed and who Holy Spirit filled their bloodstreams.


Just as Yahweh commanded Jesus of Nazareth [born of a woman in Bethlehem] to “preach to the people and to testify” that Yahweh was his Father, being the Son of man, it was Yahweh’s Holy Spirit that told Peter and his fellow Saints to do the same. Once they had become Jesus reborn, they would then testify to that fact, having become that themselves. All of this is “ordained by God,” who is the “Judge” [where the capitalized word “Kritēs” is written].


Here, the Greek written by Luke needs to be more closely inspected. From realizing Peter was speaking of the power of God to ordain and certainly “Judge” [not "judge"], the words written become: “zōntōn kai nekrōn.” The presence of “kai” between those words surrounding it means Yahweh is the “Judge of the living” [from "Theou Kritēs zōntōn"]. Without going beyond that point, that says Judgment by Yahweh is based only on those souls who have gained eternal life, therefore “of living.” That judgment comes when one is ordained as a righteous soul married to the Holy Spirit, becoming the rebirth of Jesus in the flesh. Judgement Day for that soul is one “living” eternally, before physical “death” comes upon one’s flesh [and it will come].


That certainty is then emphasized by the word “kai,” such that “death” requires no judgment from Yahweh. Simply by being born mortal, one’s flesh will die, meaning a soul not saved [true Judgment] will return to another body of flesh [a baby born], bound to repeat that cycle of death endless [or when one becomes ordained by Yahweh as “living”]. The use of "kai" makes it important to realize that "death" becomes one's own soul bringing that judgment upon itself.


This reading then ends with Peter telling Cornelius and Gentile soldiers, “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” While it is true that Jesus is the model for all who are ordained by Yahweh to lead righteous lives and preach the good message of Salvation [the meaning of “Jesus” is “Yahweh Saves”], all the prophets wrote of Yahweh. It is belief of Yahweh, as God Almighty [not Jesus], that brings true “forgiveness of sins.” Jesus is the model of one who has never sinned, so once God has made a soul’s past sins be erased, then one becomes the resurrection of Jesus. The “name” Jesus is then that of Yahweh, such that being “in the name of Jesus Christ” means having married Yahweh and taken His name in marriage, Anointed with the Holy Spirit so all past sins are forgiven, allowing for one’s flesh to become the new home of Jesus resurrected.


As a mandatory reading selection for Easter Sunday, the first of eight mandatory readings from the Acts of the Apostles, the importance of this reading comes from not seeing it as Peter telling Cornelius all about how well he knew Jesus of Nazareth and followed him all around. Seeing that weak meaning means Cornelius would end up being just like a modern Christian, doing little more than saying he believed Peter, never actually becoming Jesus reborn. We have to read this selection as if we are Cornelius and Peter is himself the resurrection of Jesus [as an Anointed One] telling us how to save our souls from death.


During the Easter Season [which ends on Pentecost Sunday] the symbolism is fifty days [seven Sundays and then one more makes fifty]. This makes Easter synonymous with the Jewish Counting of the Omer. An omer is a dry measure, which are amounts of green fruits – the First Fruits of the year – that would be placed in the Temple of Jerusalem before the Passover feast. A daily count would be made, beginning on the second day of the festival of the Unleavened Bread [16 Nisan], so on the Fiftieth Day [Pentecost] those fruits would be deemed ready to eat. The ripening element of Easter [which is hidden from Christian eyes] is the time a disciple is prepared to become an Apostle. Thus, readings from the Acts of the Apostles [and not some book called the Acts of Jesus – aka the Gospels] is the need for a seeker of truth to find the need to surrender his or her soul to Yahweh and become ordained to enter ministry AS JESUS REBORN. One must be a true "witness" by having died of self-ego, putting on the face of Yahweh, so one personally knows what being Jesus means.


This is why this reading selection was purposely chosen to be mandatory, because it is written in divine language that one needs to be trained how to read it, so the truth shines through. This reading should be seen as leading to the unwritten book that proclaimed The Acts of Cornelius and his Gentile companions who became true Christians, because they heard, believed, and were transformed by the Acts of Apostle Peter. There should be seen a need for someone to write the book of the Acts of [You – Fill in the name].