God will bring to remembrance past situations in order to help you interpret revelation.

Peter’s trance in Acts 10 is a good example of this. Peter was living in Joppa with a tanner named Simon Acts 9:43. His lodging with him shows that he was already beginning to discard Jewish prejudice as a tanner worked with the dead bodies of animals and treated their skins. He was therefore classed as unclean according to Jewish law. Contact with him would have been forbidden which was why Simon lived on the outskirts of town by the sea Acts 10:6. While staying there Peter goes to the rooftop to pray at midday. He becomes hungry and asks for food. While it is being prepared he falls into a trance. The trance centres on food which is probably what he was thinking about.

“He saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. A voice came to him, ‘Get up, Peter, kill and eat!’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.’ Again a voice came to him a second time, ‘What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.’ This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky. Now Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen might be……..While Peter was reflecting on the vision.” Acts 10:11-19

Peter had been in a situation where things had been repeated three times before in John 21:15-17. He therefore realised that this was an important revelation, which was why he was meditating on it. When he meets with Cornelius who is a Gentile, the next day, he is able to state to him:

“You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for.” Acts 10:28-29

How did Peter get from a vision about killing and eating unholy food to going happily and entering into a Gentile home and even accepting Gentiles into the Kingdom of God? I believe the answer lies in Mark’s Gospel. Tradition associates this Gospel with Peter. Papias (A.D. 140) quotes an even earlier source as saying:
1. Mark was a close associate of Peter, from whom he received the tradition of the things said and done by the Lord;
2. This tradition did not come to Mark as a finished sequential account of the life of our Lord, but as the preaching of Peter – preaching directed to the needs of the early Christian communities. (Barker 1999)

In Mark 7:18-19 Jesus taught the disciples “‘Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated ?’ Thus He declared all foods clean.”

Straight after this Jesus enters the region of Tyre where:

“A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And He was saying to her, ‘Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’ But she answered and said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.’ And He said to her, ‘Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter.’” Mark 7:25-29

I’m sure that the Holy Spirit brought this incidence back to the remembrance of Peter and he used it to interpret the vision of the sheet being lowered and told to kill and eat unholy food and then applying it to the Gentiles receiving salvation.

Photo of a hang glider above a cricket match

Being lifted by the wind of God's Spirit changes the perspective on the game!


1. Introduction.
2. God is the only one who can interpret.
3. Bible is the best source.
4. Circumstances and knowledge can help.
5. Don't jump to conclusions.
6. Art or science? It'is only in part.
7. Ask for more.
8. Remembrance of the past can help.
9. How to interpret symbols correctly.
10. The importance of context
11. Don't add or subtract.
12. All prophecy must witness.
13. What if the opposite happens.
14. Dream interpretation.
15. Preparing to bring a prophecy.
16. How to bring a prophetic word.
17. Judging prophecy.
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