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1The apostles and brothers all over Judea heard that the heathen had also accepted God’s message, 2and when Peter returned to Jerusalem, the advocates of circumcision took him to task, 3charging him with having visited and eaten with men who were not Jews. 4Then Peter explained the matter to them from beginning to end. He said,
5“I was praying in the town of Joppa, and while in a trance I had a vision. Something like a great sheet came down out of the sky, lowered by its four corners. It came right down to me, 6and when I looked at it, I saw in it quadrupeds, wild animals, reptiles, and wild birds. 7And I heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up, Peter! Kill something and eat it!’ 8But I said, ‘Never, sir! For nothing that was not ceremonially cleansed has ever passed my lips.’ 9Then the voice from heaven answered again, ‘Do not call what God has cleansed unclean!’ 10This happened three times; then it was all drawn back again into the sky. 11Just at that moment three men, who had been sent from Caesarea to find me, reached the house where we were staying, 12and the Spirit told me not to hesitate to go with them. These six brothers here also went with me, and we went to the man’s house. 13Then he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for a man named Simon who is also called Peter, 14and he will tell you things that will save you and your whole household.’ 15When I began to speak to them, the holy Spirit fell upon them just as it did upon us at the beginning, 16and I remembered the saying of the Lord, ‘John baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the holy Spirit.’ 17So if God had given them the same gift that we received when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, to be able to interfere with God?”
18When they heard this, they made no further objection, but they gave honor to God, and said,
“Then God has given even the heathen repentance and the hope of life!”
19The fugitives from the persecution that had broken out over Stephen went all the way to Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, but they told the message to none but Jews. 20There were some men from Cyprus and Cyrene among them, however, who when they reached Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, and told them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord’s hand was with them, and there were a great many who believed and turned to the Lord. 22The news about them came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas all the way to Antioch. 23When he reached there and saw the favor God had shown them, he was delighted, and encouraged them all to be resolute and steadfast in their devotion to the Lord, 24for he was an excellent man, full of the holy Spirit and faith. So a considerable number of people came over to the Lord. 25Then Barnabas went over to Tarsus to seek out Saul, 26and found him and brought him to Antioch. The result was that for a whole year they met with the church, and taught large numbers of people, and it was at Antioch that the disciples first came to be known as Christians.
27About that time some prophets from Jerusalem came down to Antioch, 28and one of them named Agabus got up and under the influence of the Spirit revealed the fact that there was going to be a great famine all over the world. This was the famine that occurred in the reign of Claudius. 29The disciples determined to make up a contribution, each according to his ability, and send it to the brothers who lived in Judea, 30and this they did, sending it to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
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