Up until Acts chapter 10 the apostles were convinced that the Gospel was only for them. This is not an arrogant way of looking at things; there was a reason why they believe that. To understand the fullness of why they adapted that way of thinking, we must take a trip back to Genesis. 

In Genesis we see a progression of sin, transgression, and iniquity. We see spiritual and physical pollution. Everything started with the introduction of sin as the serpent deceived Eve and tricked her into eating off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That sin introduced instant spiritual death; from that moment on, there was a need for man to be born again in the spirit (John 3). Man became separated from God. Physical death was also introduced with the sin of Adam and Eve. Physical death did not happen instantly, but from that moment on our days are numbered.

In Genesis 6 some of the fallen angels had sex with women. This union gave birth to the Nephilim. This was not only a physical corruption, but also a spiritual one. Not only that the Nephilim were giants, but they were also full time evil (Genesis 6:5). This iniquity was the reason for the Flood of Noah as God was purging the earth. However, this kind of corruption continued even after the flood. Noah and his family were the only ones who were genetically pure at the time of the flood. This corruption also contaminated a great deal of the animals. It is not a coincidence that today we can walk in any supermarket and find that over 85% of the products for sale are genetically corrupt. Many of the food we eat are processed; that means, not organic, in other words, not created by God. The Bible tells us in Genesis 6:11 tells us that “…the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.” (NIV) 

The word Corrupt here is the Hebrew word, šāḥaṯ  menaing, “To spoil, to ruin, to destroy, to pervert, to corrupt, to become corrupt, to wipe out. The verb is used to denote the action(s) of the world (i.e., it is corrupt) and ultimately the reason for God’s flooding it (Gen. 6:11, 12). However, even in total destruction meant to punish the evil of humans, God was sure to save a remnant and therefore keep His part of the covenant. This idea of a saved remnant is predominant throughout the rest of the Old Testament.”[1]

Later in Chapter 10 we see God giving up the nations because of their transgressions against Him. God did not totally give them up, but placed them under other gods. These gods were under Him, but they also betrayal God and caused the nations to totally turn their backs on Jehovah. In Deuteronomy 32:7-8 Moses speaks about this when he said, 

Remember the days of old;
    consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
    your elders, and they will tell you.
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God. (ESV)

Things did not get any better; we see that in Genesis 11 men, again, transgressed against God by building the Tower of Babel. This was an open rebellion against God as men wanted to make a name for themselves. Men refused to spread around the world and multiply as God commanded. These gods were behind this whole rebelliousness as they turned the world upside down. Asaf speaks about this in Psalm 82 when he states, 

God has taken his place in the divine council;
    in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
    and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
    maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
    they walk about in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I said, “You are gods,
    sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
    and fall like any prince.” 

Arise, O God, judge the earth;
    for you shall inherit all the nations! (ESV)

I set all this complicated back story for a better understanding of a crucial moment in Church history. The moment the apostles, starting with their leader at the time, Peter, realized that the gospel was not only to redeem Israel, but also the nations. This is a major revelation…

To be continued… 

[1] Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 1124.

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