|Acts 11 |
1 Now the apostles and brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were of the circumcision [Jewish believers] challenged him,
3 Saying, "You visited uncircumcised men and ate with them."
4 But Peter explained the matter to them in order from the beginning, saying,
5 "I was in the town of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision of a vessel coming down like a great sheet lowered from heaven by the four corners, and it came even with me.
6 And when I looked closely, I saw within it four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the air.
7 And I heard a voice saying to me, Rise Peter, kill and eat."
8 But I said, "Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is impure or unclean."
9 But the voice said to me again from heaven, "What God has cleansed, do not call it impure."
10 This was repeated three times, and then all were drawn up again into heaven.
11 And at that time, behold, there were three men who had arrived at the house where I was, having been sent from Caesarea to me.
12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. In addition, these six brothers [also of the circumcision] accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house.
13 And the man explained to us how he had seen an angel in his house, who stood and said to him, 'Send men to Joppa to visit Simon, whose surname is Peter;
14 Who will tell you the words, by which you and all your household will be saved.'
15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as he did on us in the beginning.
16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, 'John indeed baptized with water; but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
17 If then God had given them the same gift that he had given to us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; who was I to oppose God? "
18 When they heard these things, they ceased their challenge and glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted repentance to life1 to the Gentiles."
19 Now those who had been scattered abroad due to the persecution that arose after Stephen's death, traveled as far as Phoenice, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one except the Jews.
20 But some of them, who were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, when they came to Antioch, spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the LORD Jesus.
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
22 Then tidings of these things came to the ears of the church that was in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
23 Who, when he came and saw the grace of God that was given to them, he rejoiced and exhorted them all to purpose their hearts to cleave [persist and persevere in abiding] to the Lord.
24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and faith. And many people were added to the Lord.
25 Then Barnabas departed to Tarsus to find Saul.
26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for a whole year they met together with the church, teaching many people. These disciples in Antioch were the first to be called Christians.
27 Now during this time prophets2 came to Antioch from Jerusalem .
28 And one of them named Agabus stood up in their meeting and prophesied by the Spirit that there would be great famine throughout all the world, which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability,3 decided to send relief to the brothers who dwelt in Judea.
30 This they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
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1 Notice: Peter speaks of Repentance to Life. To obtain Life, it is absolutely necessary to repent from your current life; all of your lusts, affections, pleasures, habits, pastimes, social actions; and even words and thoughts must be forsaken and crucified. You must lose your life to save it. But this can only occur by the changing power of God, which is accessed by waiting on God in humble silence as you listen, watch, and obey all commands heard. As you get quiet to listen and watch, the Lord will show you the sins in your heart in his light, and loving the light (Christ), you will feel sorrow and repent, which then results in the Lord removing that sin from your heart. This is the grace of God teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, as we receive the blessed fulfillment of our hope, even the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; which redeems us from all iniquity and purifies us to become His own special people zealous for works of love.
2 Many believe prophets are only those who foretell future events. But the true definition is anyone who is able (by the promptings of the Spirit of God) to speak to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation. 1 Cor 14:3.
3 Notice: this contribution was according to everyone's ability, from their excess; not everyone giving 10 per cent. This was a contribution to relieve the poor Christians in Judea, and is not for salaries of any hireling priests. This was to relieve the famine of the Christian brothers in Judea.
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