By Pastor Shana Wise
The Story of Cornelius and Simon Peter
Acts 10:1-48, There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” 7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. 8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.
· Your prayer and good works make their way to the heavenly. When God is about to use you in a mighty way, the supernatural will start arising even more so in your life.
· Cornelius's prayers and pure heart caused him to have a visitation from God via an angel. The angel gave him specific instructions concerning Simon Peter.
· Notice Cornelius's response when he saw the angel, he was afraid, but he asked, “What is it, Lord?”. Like Cornelius, there will be a time where we must answer and obey God even when we feel afraid. Also, Cornelius obeyed immediately. When was the last time God told you to do something? Did you obey immediately or did fear hold you back?
9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” 15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
· Notice with both Peter and Cornelius, that they both had a habit of praying to God. Pray was a part of their lifestyle, meaning they set aside time every day to commune with God. Their fellowship with the Father, caused the supernatural to arise in the earth. We must understand the importance of prayer. In both instances, prayer invoked visitation by God through visions.
· A trance is like a vision, you are awake, but you are having an interception with the heavenly realm on earth.
· God was dealing with Peter’s prejudice and attitude against the Gentiles concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the vision he gave him. Sometimes we can be the most devout Christians, but still have issues that hinder the purpose and calling on our lives. This was Peter’s case. He loved God and believed in Jesus, but the Jewish law caused him to still view outsiders of the law as unclean.
· God loves us so much that we will correct things that we may not be aware of. God sees our heart more so than our flaws, and He knows how to get our attention. God was preparing Peter to encounter Cornelius.
· Has God ever done work in you to better you? Did He visit you supernaturally? If so, what was your response?
Summoned to Caesarea
17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. 18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. 19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you. 20 Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.”21 Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, “Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?” 22 And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.” 23 Then he invited them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
· I love how God works. He said, “Call on me and I will show you great and mighty things” (Jer. 33:3). Peter was pondering on the vision he just had and while he was doing that, God was sending an answer through Cornelius's servants.
· Also, notice that the Holy Spirit was speaking to him with precise instructions concerning the men looking for him. He told Peter not to doubt because God is sending them to you.
· Have you ever received precise instructions from God?
Peter Meets Cornelius
24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?” 30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.’ 33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.”
· God used Cornelius to show Peter that He is not limited to the Jews. God loves all the children of the earth! Everyone deserves to hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
· Do you see prejudice and attitudes against others coming from those who say they love God (church members)? Do you have any hidden attitudes within yourself concerning other people that may not look, act, or believe as you do? If so, pray to the Lord to deliver you from your attitude.
· Lastly, you may not feel comfortable witnessing and fellowshipping with others outside of your comfort zone. Pray for the Lord concerning this, and like Cornelius, step out on faith and out of your comfort zone.
Preaching to Cornelius’ Household
34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
· What an amazing story! God used Peter to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the region of Caesarea! The Jews and Gentiles were able to experience the power of the resurrected Savior Jesus Christ. The sign that came from this was the gentile speaking in tongues given by the Holy Spirit. Many people of that region accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and were baptized.
· Like Peter, God wants all of us to know that is not about us, but about advancing the Gospel of Christ throughout the land. God wants us to get out of our comfort zones and be the witnesses that He has called us to be.
· God uses the supernatural like dreams, visions, signs, and wonders to get our attention. He uses them to use us here on earth.
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, The Impact of Your Election, and co-author of Basic Ministry Training Manual (available on Amazon). She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets and television. Shana is married to Deacon Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.
For speaking engagements email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Acts of Intercession
The Impact of Your Election
Basic Ministry Training Manual
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