Cornelius, a Roman military leader, lived in the nearby town of Caesarea (255). Though not a Jew, he was a devout man who honored God, encouraged his family to honor God, gave generously to people in need, and prayed faithfully to God.
One afternoon at 3:00 PM — several years after Jesus had returned to heaven and the witnesses had begun their jobs for Jesus — Cornelius saw clearly in a vision an angel of God, & he heard the angel calling him by name! As Cornelius observed the angel, he was fearful, and asked, “What is it, master?”
The angel’s reply came: “Your prayers & your generosity have been remembered by God. Send to Joppa for Peter; he is living with Simon, a tanner, in his house by the sea. Peter will tell you what you must do.” When the angel had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants, plus a godly soldier, and sent them to Joppa to find Peter.
The next day, as these three men were coming into Joppa, Peter was praying at about midday. As he prayed, Peter saw a vision of heaven opened & an object, like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him on the earth. In this sheet were various animals (wild & domesticated), various reptiles, and various birds — many of which Jews were forbidden to eat, according to the law of Moses.
Then Peter heard a voice saying, “Get up & eat whatever you wish.” Peter said, “No, master, I have never eaten anything that would make me ritually unclean.” The voice spoke to Peter again, “What God has made clean, you must not call unclean.”
Three times, this vision & conversation were repeated! Then the object was taken up into heaven . . .
(255) Acts 10:1-16