Peter’s Vision Explained

Acts 10:13–15, Peter’s vision. In Peter’s vision of the sheet covered with unclean animals, the voice from heaven commanded him three times to kill and eat these unclean animals. Peter was confused by the meaning of this vision since being a Torah-law abiding Jew he knew that eating unclean meat was forbidden and in good conscience he could not do that which was contrary to YHVH’s Torah-law, for to do so was sin (sin is the violation of the law, 1 John 3:4). 

Often visions are metaphorical in nature and not literal. There are many examples in the Scriptures of people receiving metaphorical visions. For example, read the books of Daniel and Revelation. Indeed, Peter’s vision was no exception, for no sooner had the vision ended when three Gentile men appeared at his door seeking the gospel message and the Spirit of Elohim bade Peter to go and to meet them. Peter then realized that the interpretation of his vision was that he should not call any man common or unclean; that is, the gospel message is for all people regardless of their ethnicity (verse 28). In Peter’s case, Bible itself interprets his vision. The issue is not about whether it is now permissible to eat non-kosher meat or not, but rather the Spirit of Elohim was directing the apostles to begin taking the gospel to the Gentiles, who by Jewish standards were considered common and unclean (verse 28).

Now consider this. If Yeshua had meant to say in Matthew 15:11 and Mark 7:18–19 that it was now permissible to eat all foods including those meats that the Torah prohibits to be eaten (e.g. pork, shellfish, etc.), presumably Peter would have known this, since he was present when Yeshua made the statement (see Matt 15:15). If Peter knew that Yeshua had given the okay for his disciples now to eat unclean meat, why then did Peter so strongly object when the voice from heaven commanded him to eat the unclean animals in the vision (Acts 10:13–14)? Obviously, Peter had not changed his opinion about not eating unclean meat, since Yeshua had never annulled the Torah command forbidding the eating of unclean meats in the first place. 

There is another point to consider with regard to Peter’s vision. In the Tanakh, unclean animals or beasts of the field was a Hebraic metaphor for the people of the nations (goyim), or Gentiles. Peter would have been aware of the meaning of this metaphor once the angel explained to him that the unclean animals he had seen in his vision was a not a reference to the biblical dietary laws, but to the Gentiles. Moreover, to the Jewish religious tradition of the day, interaction with the Gentiles was something that orthodox Jews did not do. To do so made one unclean or unkosher. This is not a biblical concept, since in the Tanakh, the nation of Israel was to be a light to the nations and to bring them to Elohim. Furthermore, the Torah is inclusive with regard to allowing Gentiles to be sojourn with the Israelites as long as they would accept Elohim and his laws and abandoned their heathen ways. There was to be one and the same Torah-law for both the native born Israelite and the Gentile that was grafted into Israel. There are also several examples in the Tanakh of Gentiles converting to the Israelites’ religion and being fully accepted (e.g. Ruth and Rahab). Once the angel explained the meaning of Peter’s dream, it would have been clear to Peter that Elohim was expressing disapproval of the Jewish view of Gentiles and that this vision was a mandate from heaven to evangelize the Gentiles. Moreover, the Gentile who was converted and brought into Israel was made spiritually clean, but the Scriptures never considered unclean animals kosher, and never made any provision for unclean animals to be made kosher—ever! 

Acts 10:13–15, Rise…kill and eat…Not so, Lord. On occasion, YHVH will give his servants a dream or vision that on the surface or at face value seems outrageous or even anti-Torah as was the case with Peter’s dream. It seemed that YHVH was asking Peter to violate his own Torah-Word by eating unclean meats. This is how the modern church has largely interpreted this vision, while de-emphasizing its metaphorical meaning. 

So why does Elohim use such methods at times to get his attention? Certainly, he’d never ask his people to go against his Written Word. This is impossible. Therefore, if one receives a dream that they believe is from Elohim, yet he seems to be asking them do something contrary to Scripture, as was the case with Peter’s vision, then it behooves one to ask oneself the following questions. Was the dream truly from Elohim, or from my own soulish desires or from Satan? Or is the dream to interpreted metaphorically, and YHVH is simply using hyperbole, strong, albeit symbolic, imagery to grab our attention, again as was the case with Peter’s vision, to strongly convey to us a particular direction in which he wants us to go or something he wants us to do? 

Interpreting dreams and visions can be a dicey issue as Nathan the prophet found out when he misinterpreted the vision he received from Elohim pertaining to David. YHVH wanted to build up the house or dynasty of David, but Nathan interpreted the vision as David building a house (a temple) for Elohim. Likely both Nathan’s and David’s passion for wanting to build a temple to replace the aging and derelict Tabernacle of Moses was forefront on their mind causing them to come to an erroneous interpretation of the dream. This is why it’s important to ponder over any dreams or visions we receive from Elohim to ensure that we’re interpreting the correctly.

Examples of righteous saints pondering over dreams, visions and angelic visitations include Joseph who pondered the angel’s announcement about the birth of Yeshua and waited for confirmation from heaven before acting and putting Mary away (Matt 1:19–20). Similarly, Jacob in response to Joseph’s seemingly preposterous and impertinent dream publicly rebuked him before his mockingly sceptical brothers, yet he afterward pondered the matter in his heart (Gen 37:11). 


Natan’s Mother Now Awaits the Resurrection

This past Friday afternoon, my mother went to her resting place where she awaits the resurrection of the righteous dead at Yeshua’s second coming. She fought a hard battle against cancer. She was a few days shy of her 85th birthday. My parents were married for 62 years. My father is doing fine. Our family is relieved that mom is free of her sick bed where she languished for a couple of months. Thankfully, she had little if any pain (other than bed sores) until the very last night, and even then, the pain was not from cancer, but the bed sores. Thank you for your prayers.


Blog Scripture Readings for 4/4 Through 4-10-21


Parashat Shemini — Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47
Haftarah — 2 Samuel 6:1 – 7:17
Prophets — Isaiah 38:1 – 45:25
Writings — Job 8:1 – 14:22
Testimony — Acts 8:26 – 12:25

Our annual Scripture Reading Schedule for 2020-2021 with daily readings that began on 10/11/20 is available to download and print. The link to the previous 2019-2020’s Scripture Reading Schedule will still be available on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links” into next year. If you are using a mobile device or tablet, the link may be below, meaning you’ll need to scroll down instead.

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link or the “share your thoughts” box below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day: one each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 4/4 through 4/10/2021.


Acts Chapters 2 through 6—Natan’s Commentary Notes

Acts 2

Acts 2:1, With one accord in one place. The location of this event was likely in the Solomon’s portico area of the temple mount, and not in the traditional site of the upper room located on Mount Zion in the City of David, which is southeast and outside of the temple mount area. (See notes at Acts 5:12.) Here, the disciples were gathered in one accord. This is likely the spot where the Acts 2 Pentecost gathering occurred.  The reasons for this supposition are these: First, this area was large enough to accommodate thousands of people (unlike the traditional upper room location on Mount Zion in the City of David). Second, people from many nations would have been passing through the city gates located in this area en route to the temple and would have heard Peter preaching. Third, mikveh pools were located just to the south of the Temple Mount (and are still visible today) where those who repented and believed could have been easily and quickly baptized.

In one place. Where did the early believers hold their meetings? In “church” buildings? Not necessarily.

  • Acts 2:1 In one accord in one place. The upper room or on the southern steps of the temple?
  • Acts 3:1 At the temple at the hour of prayer at the Beautiful Gate.
  • Acts 3:11 Peter preaches in the temple area at Solomon’s Porch.
  • Acts 4:5, Peter preaches to the Sanhedrin.
  • Acts 4:31, The place or room where they were assembled was shaken.
  • Acts 5:11, The church was not a building, but the body of redeemed believers—the saints, set-apart ones.
  • Acts 5:12, The church met at Solomon’s Porch in the temple area—all in one accord.
  • Acts 5:42, Met daily in the temple and every house where they taught and preached Yeshua the Messiah.
  • Acts 8:3, The church met in houses (Greek oikos meaning “an inhabited house, home, any dwelling place, building of any kind.”
  • Acts 9:20, Paul preached Yeshua in the synagogues of Damascus.
  • Acts 10:22, 44, Meeting in Cornelius’ house, and the Spirit falls.
  • Acts 12:12, Gathered together praying in Mary’s house.
  • Acts 13:5, Peached the gospel in the synagogues.
  • Acts 13:13ff, Went into the synagogue on the Sabbath for the purpose of preaching the gospel, and on the next Sabbath as well (v. 44).
  • Acts 14:1, Preaching again in the synagogue.
  • Acts 15:21, Go to the synagogue each Sabbath to learn Torah.
  • Acts 16:13, Meeting by a river side, customary prayer was made on the Sabbath.
  • Acts 16:40, Lydia’s house a gathering place of the brethren.
  • Acts 17:3, Paul, as was his custom, reasoned with the Jews on the Sabbath in their synagogue.
  • Acts 17:5, A congregation in Jason’s house.
  • Acts 18:4, More reasoning with the Jews in the synagogue every Sabbath.
  • Acts 18:7, The house of Justice was a gathering place for the believers.
  • Acts 18:19, More preaching to the Jews in the synagogue.
  • Acts 18:24ff, Apollos preaching in the synagogue where Priscilla and Aquilla met him.
  • Acts 19:8, Paul continues to preach in the synagogues.
  • Acts 19:9–10, The disciples of Paul met daily in a school for two years.
  • Acts 20:8, Sabbath evening, meeting in an upper room.
  • Acts 28:23, In Rome, Paul preaches the gospel from his place of lodging.
  • Acts 28:31, From his own rented house, Paul preached the kingdom of Elohim and the gospel for two years.

Shavuot at Mount Sinai and Pentecost in Acts 2

Although some 1500 years separate the first Pentecost at the foot of Mount Sinai and the one recorded in Acts 2, they are wonderfully linked to each both prophetically and spiritually. Few people understand this. In fact, one large branch of Christianity takes its name from Pentecost, yet it is safe to say that most Christians who claim the moniker of “Pentecostal” know little about the deeper implications of this term.

The first Pentecost is the foundation for and points to the latter one. Each was a watershed event for the people of YHVH that helped set their course of destiny for generations to come. We can learn much by studying these two events and understanding the spiritual implications for us as end time believers even though these events occurred thousands of years ago.

At the first Shavuot, the commandments of Elohim were written on two tablets of stone (Exod 24:12); on the Day of Pentecost, the same Torah was written on the heart of men by the Spirit of Elohim on Shavuot (or Pentecost, Acts 2:1–4; Heb 8:10). In 2 Corinthians 3:3 we read,

“Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Messiah ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Ruach of the living Elohim; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.” (2 Cor 3:3)

Interestingly, as YHVH inscribed the Torah on two stones at Sinai, likewise the human heart is also comprised of two “tablets,” or compartments, which physicians refer to as the “left heart” and the “right heart.” 

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Bible Study and Discussion with Natan Lawrence TODAY

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Blog Scripture Readings for 3-28 Through 4-3-21


Parasha — No Parasha This Week
Haftarah —
Prophets — Isaiah 29:1 – 37:38
Writings — Job 1:1 – 7:21
Testimony — Acts 4:23 – 8:25

Our annual Scripture Reading Schedule for 2020-2021 with daily readings that began on 10/11/20 is available to download and print. The link to the previous 2019-2020’s Scripture Reading Schedule will still be available on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links” into next year. If you are using a mobile device or tablet, the link may be below, meaning you’ll need to scroll down instead.

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link or the “share your thoughts” box below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day: one each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 3/28 through 4/3/2021.


Leviticus Chapter Seven—Natan’s Commentary Notes

Leviticus 7:6, Every male…may eat it. 

The Torah Origins of the Communion Ritual and the Priesthood of All Believers

Why were the priests allowed to eat some of the offerings? What’s this all about? Let’s answer this question with a question. Why do believers in Yeshua eat the communion elements, and what do they represent? Is there a connection between the Levitical priests eating of the sacrifice and the saints eating the communion elements? Now let’s explore this idea. 

In Leviticus 6:26 and 29, only the male priests were allowed to eat of the sin offering. Likewise, YHVH commanded the male priests to eat the baked unleavened bread of the minchah offering (Lev 6:16, 18). Yeshua himself not only continued this Levitical practice, but expanded and elevated it to a higher level at his last supper. 

When Yeshua initiated communion among his disciples, what in essence was he saying? Simply this. His disciples were all now his holy or set-apart priests. This is the origination of the concept of the priesthood of all believers, or the royal priesthood as Peter terms it (1 Pet 2:9), or a kingdom of priests John calls it who will rule with King Yeshua in his millennial kingdom (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6). 

It was YHVH’s desire that the children of Israel would become such a priesthood even before he called the Levites to be his set-apart priests (Exod 19:6). However, they failed in this mission when they chose to worship the golden calf instead of YHVH (Exod 32). At that time, YHVH chose the faithful Levites to be his priests instead of the firstborn male leaders from all the tribes of Israel (Exod 32:26, 29; Num 3:11–13, 44). 

Moreover, Isaiah prophesied about the priesthood of all believers—a priesthood that would extend beyond the confines of the Aaronic priesthood (Isa 66:21 cp. Dan 7:18). This higher level priesthood would extend beyond the patriarchal male leaders, who were the original priests in Israel (Exod 19:22, 24), to include all the Israelites, both male and female (Exod 19:6), as well as Gentiles who have been grafted into Israel through Yeshua the Messiah (Gal 3:28–29; Eph 2:11–19; Rom 11:11–32), which Paul refers to as the Israel of Elohim (Gal 6:16).

Being a kingdom of priests who will teach the inhabitants of planet earth the ways of Elohim is the role and destiny of all the modern day saints of Elohim who have been washed of their sins (i.e. Torahlessness, 1 John 3:4) in the blood of Yeshua (Rev 1:6), for they will reign with Yeshua on this earth (Rev 5:10) for a thousand years as Elohim’s resurrected and glorified adopted sons and daughters (Rev 20:6; John 1:12 cp. Rom 8:14–15, 23; 9:4; 2 Cor 6:18; Gal 4:5–6; Eph 1:5; 1 Jhn 3:1–2; Rev 21:7). 

So saints of the YHVH Elohim, encourage yourself with these immutable promises from the Word of Elohim! Are you presently preparing yourselves now for auspicious and lofty role?

Leviticus 7:13, Leavened bread. The Torah prohibited the offering of leavened bread on the altar (Lev 2:11). There are only two instances where leavening in bread was permitted in the tabernacle service. In this verse, leavened bread was offered in conjunction with the peace offering (Lev 2:13), where it was eaten as part of the sacrificial meal. This was not a sin offering, but the peace offering. Therefore the bread of this offering didn’t represent the body of Yeshua. It was merely part of the fellowship meal representing a peaceful and loving relationship between the offerer and the Creator, and was similar to a family picnic, dinner or barbecue. But it wasn’t placed on the altar, nor was it a part of the sacrifice, therefore, it wasn’t a prophetic picture of the sinless Yeshua dying on the cross.

The second instance of leavened bread being offered in a tabernacle service occurred when the Torah instructs the priests to wave two loaves of leavened bread on Shavuot or Pentecost before YHVH (Lev 23:17). These two loaves prophetic and symbolic metaphors for the two houses of Israel (the northern kingdom and southern kingdom)—a spiritual picture of Jews and Christians. In this ceremony, the gracious and merciful Creator was demonstrating his acceptance of his people despite their sin.

Leviticus 7:23, Not eat any fat. All the organ fat of the ox, sheep and goats was used as part of the sacrificial service (Lev 7:30–31).The organ fat was given to YHVH as part of the burnt offering (Lev 1:3), the peace offering (Lev 3:3–4), the sin offering (Lev 4:8–10, 19). Fat is the Hebrew word cheleb/CKJ meaning “fat of humans or animals” or metaphorically, “the choicest, best part, or abundance of the land.” Therefore, the fat as one of the choicest parts of the animal was reserved for sacrifice to YHVH on the altar. But not eating fat, the Israelites in their minds preserved a reverence for YHVH’s altar upon which the fat or the best part was offered to YHVH. To eat the fat was to show irreverence for that best part that belonged to Elohim, which is why the offender was cut off from the nation of Israel. As living sacrifices who have been redeemed or bought with the blood of Yeshua, are we giving YHVH the best part of our lives? After all, he so loved us that he gave us Yeshua, which was the best he had to offer.

Leviticus 7:26, Not eat any blood. 

The Supreme Significance of Blood

YHVH revealed in the Torah that the life of flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11). Therefore, the blood symbolizes the whole life of the living being. This is why the blood being poured upon the altar made atonement for the souls of men (Lev 17:11–12), since it represented and pointed to the shedding of Yeshua’s blood when he sacrificed his life on the cross in atoning for men’s sins. Respecting the blood is necessary not only because it symbolizes the sanctity of the life of man who was made in the Creator’s image (Gen 1:26 cp. 9:6), but more importantly, because of the blood of Elohim’s Son that was shed for man’s redemption (Lev 17:11). For one to eat the blood showed disdain for what the blood typifies. In times past, this was so important to YHVH that a violation of this prohibition resulted in banishment from the nation of Israel.

The blood was to be reserved for the sacrificial service, where it was used symbolically to represent Yeshua’s shedding his blood on the cross. The blood of a lamb was put on the door posts to protect men from YHVH’s judgment against sin (Exod 12:7, 13). Moses sprinkled the blood of oxen on the people symbolizing their coming into covenantal relationship with YHVH (Exod 24:5–8). Additionally, the blood of sacrificed animals was sprinkled throughout the tabernacle, on Aaron and his sons, and all around the altar to sanctify it. All these acts and uses of the blood were illustrative of the unrestricted cleansing power of the blood of Yeshua (Rev 1:5; 7:14; 12:11; 1 Pet 1:2, 19; Heb 9:12; 10:19–22; 12:24; 1 John 1:7; Matt 26:28), which is why YHVH expected his people to treat the blood with a reverence. Those who didn’t evidenced a heart of indifference for the set-apart or kadosh things of Elohim—an intolerable offence in the Creator’s eyes.

On the dark and satanic side, the blood of humans and animals is profaned through demonic rituals involving drinking it and even cannibalism. This is an abominable perversion of holy communion and was an aspect of ancient heathen religions (Ps 16:4; Ezek 39:17, 19 cp. Num 13:32), and is a practice in which the end time antichrist heathens of the Babylonian whore system will engage (Rev 17:6; 18:13, 24).