[Let us consider the tribes of Israel. Numbers chapter two, verse two tells us, “Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father’s house.”
The standard, or flag, of Judah is a lion. Dan is a white horse that is being bit by a serpent. Naphtha is a hind, or deer. Gad has a horse carrying a man of war. Issachar has a donkey carrying a load. Ephraim has an ox. Benjamin has a wolf.
The national emblem of the United States of America is an eagle with outstretched wings, and Isaiah says in chapter eighteen and verse one; “Woe, (pay attention) to the land shadowed with wings.” AMERICA. When three heathens were at the door looking for Peter – he immediately understood the vision, for he realized that the three sheets represented the three heathen men at the door, and the animals represented the banners, flags, or standards, of tribes, clans and nations that most of them had as their insignia an animal, snake, fish or bird on their standard banner, or flag by which they were known and that is still true today. Our banner or flag is the stars and stripes.]
“Moreover these SIX BRETHEREN (and Peter made seven) accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house: And he showed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. And as I began to speak, the HOLY GHOST fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the LORD, how that HE said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the HOLY GHOST. Forasmuch then as GOD gave them the like gift as HE did unto us, who believed on the LORD JESUS CHRIST; what was I, that I could withstand GOD? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified GOD, saying, Then hath GOD also to the Heathens granted repentance unto life.”
What have you been taught by tradition from the record of Peter’s vision – have you ever studied it for yourself? – To see if what you have been taught is truth or error?
Let us now study these two chapters together. First, how many times did Peter see the vision? You know it was three. How many came looking for Peter? It was three – one vision for each man. DO you find any record where Peter came down after the vision and ate anything? What did Peter see in the vision? Animals that GOD says are unclean. And what do these animals represent?
Remember the children of Israel? Each tribe had an ensign or standard, (a banner or flag to you and me), and some of these ensigns or standards (banners) of the tribes, clans, nations, had animals on them, even to this day. In Peter’s day, most all ensigns or standards (flags) had an animal on it – a lion, bear, snake, bird, fish, etc., Seven of the tribes of Israel had animals for their ensign, standard, banner, or flag, that represented their tribe. The tribe of Judah’s ensign was known as a Lion. Dan’s ensign was a horse being bitten on the heel by a serpent. Naphtalis’ ensign was a leaping hind. Gad’s ensign, a mounted leader on a horse. Issachar’s ensign was a donkey laden with a burden. Ephraim’s ensign, an ox, and Benjamin’s ensign was a howling wolf.
When Peter came to the door, he understood the vision. For there were three heathens – unclean – just like he had seen in the vision. So Peter obeyed the vision, but he got in trouble and was called before the Presbytery to see if he was going to have his ministers’ papers taken away from him. As you have read in chapter eleven, Peter explains his own vision and never once does he say that he sat down and ate pork or any other forbidden thing. What was Peter accused of when he came to Jerusalem? Eating unclean meat? No, eating with heathen, uncircumcised men.
We have been studying, “Are You What You Eat?” Based on Leviticus chapter eleven and Deuteronomy chapter fourteen, we have shown that Peter’s vision had nothing to do with the traditional teaching of Peter’s vision, that you can eat whatever you want and there will be no consequences, even though GOD said, IT IS WRITTEN. In Exodus, chapter fifteen and verse twenty-six, it says, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy GOD, and wilt do that which is right in HIS sight, and wilt give ear to HIS commandments, and keep all HIS statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I AM the LORD that healeth thee.” Don’t ask GOD to heal your diseases unless you are willing to obey HIS health laws.
Deuteronomy chapter thirty verses fifteen and sixteen say, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in HIS ways, and to keep HIS commandments and HIS statutes and HIS judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee”.
Leviticus chapter seven and verse twenty-one says, “Moreover the person who touches any unclean thing, such as human uncleanness, an unclean animal, or any abominable unclean thing, and who eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of the peace offering that belongs to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his people.”
In Mark, chapter five, where JESUS comes to the country of the Gadarenes and confronts the demoniac, and tells him to come out, when JESUS asks him his name, the demoniac answers, that his name was Legion. The demons ask to go into the herd of hogs that were feeding on the mountain and JESUS allowed them to go. Why did JESUS allow that? Approximately two thousand head of hogs was worth a lot of money. It was someone’s livelihood. Whoever owned the hogs knew the statutes and that they were not to be raising them. If this had been a flock of sheep, JESUS would never have permitted it. You put a herd of hogs in a field of timber that is infested with rattlesnakes, or any kind of snake, and in a months time the hogs will have eaten them all. Hogs are scavengers, and the bite of a rattlesnake will not hurt them. They will eat their own young and any other dead thing, including humans.