God's Truth

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The Acts of the Apostles



The 1st Chapter
     In the former treatise (dear friend Theophilus) I have written of all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day in the which he was taken up, after that he, through the holy ghost, had given commandments unto the Apostles, which he had chosen: to whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many tokens, appearing unto them forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God, and gathered them together, and commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem: but to wait for the promise of the father, whereof you have heard of me. For John baptised with water: but you shall be baptised with the holy ghost, and that within this few days. When they were come together, they asked of him saying: Lord will you at this time, restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them: It is not for you to know the times, or the seasons which the father has put in his own power: but you shall receive power of the holy ghost which shall come on you. And you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Jewry and in Samary, and even unto the worlds end.
     And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him up out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly up to heaven as he went, behold two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said: you men of Galile, why stand you gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, even as you have seen him go into heaven.
     Then returned they unto Jerusalem from mount Olivete, which is near to Jerusalem, containing a Saboth days journey. And when they were come in, they went up into a parlour, where abode both Peter and James, John and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartlemew and Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas, James son. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women and Mary the mother of *Jesu, and with his brethren.*Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
     And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples and said (the number of names that were together, were about an hundred and twenty) you men and brethren, this scripture must have needs been fulfilled which the holy ghost through the mouth of David spoke before of Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us and had obtained fellowship in this ministration. And the same has now possessed a plot of ground with the reward of iniquity, and when he was hanged, burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it is known unto all the inhabiters of Jerusalem: in so much that, that field is called in their mother tongue, Acheldama, that is to say, the blood field.
     It is written in the book of Psalms: His habitation be void, and no man be dwelling therein: and his Bishopricke (place among the Apostles) let another take. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning at the baptism of John unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to bear witness with us of his resurrection.
     And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas (whose surname was Justus) and Matthias. And they prayed saying: you Lord which know the hearts of all men, show whether of these two you have chosen that the one may take the room of this ministration and Apostleship, from the which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven Apostles.

The 2nd Chapter
     When the fiftieth day was come, they were all with one accord together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as it had been the coming of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they sat. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as they had been fire, and it sat upon each of them: and they were all filled with the holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, even as the spirit gave them utterance.
     And there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, which were of all nations under heaven. When this was noised about the multitude came together and were astonied, because that every man heard them speak his own tongue. They wondered all and marvelled saying among themselves: Behold, are not all these which speak, of Galile? And how hear we every man his own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and the inhabiters of Mesopotamia, of Jury, and of Capadocia, of Ponthus and Asia, Phrigia, Pamphylia, and of Egypt, and of the parts of Lybia which is beside Syrene, and strangers of Rome, Jewes and converts, Greeks and Arabians: we have heard them speak with our own tongues the great works of God. They were all amazed, and wondered saying one to another what means this? Other mocked them saying: they are full of new wine.
     But Peter stepped forth with the eleven, and lift up his voice, and said unto them: you men of Jewry, and all you that inhabit Jerusalem: be this known unto you and with your ears hear my words. These are not drunken, as you suppose: for it is yet but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel: It shall be in the last days says God: of my spirit I will pour out upon all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my servants, and on my handmaidens I will pour out of my spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in heaven above, and tokens in the earth beneath, blood and fire, and the vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before that great and notable day of the Lord come. And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved.
     You men of Israel hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth a man approved of God among you with miracles, wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves know: him have you taken by the hands of unrighteous persons, after he was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, and have crucified and slain: whom God has raised up and loosed the sorrows of death, because it was impossible that he should be holden of it. For David speaks of him. Before hand I saw God always before me: For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved. Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad. Moreover, also my flesh shall rest in hope, because you will not leave my soul in hell, neither will suffer (allow) your holy, to see corruption. You have showed me the ways of life, and shall make me full of joy with your countenance.
     Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David. For he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre remains with us unto his day. Therefore seeing he was a Prophet, and knew that God had sworn with an oath to him, that the fruit of his loins should sit on his seat (in that Christ should rise again in the flesh) he saw before: and spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul should not be left in hell: neither his flesh should see corruption. This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
     Since now that he by the right hand of God exalted is, and has received of the father the promise of the holy Ghost, he has shed forth that which you now see and hear. For David is not ascended into heaven: but he said, The Lord said to my Lord sit on my right hand until I make your foes your foot stool. So therefore let all the house of Israel know for a surety, that God has made the same Jesus whom you have crucified, Lord and Christ.
     When they heard this they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and unto the other Apostles: you men and brethren, what shall we do? Peter said unto them: repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the holy ghost. For the promise was made unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words bare he witness and exhorted them saying: Save yourselves from this *untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his preaching, were baptised: and the same day, there were added unto them about three thousand souls. * untoward: unfavorable, contrary
     And they continued in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayer. And fear came over every soul. And many wonders and signs were showed by the Apostles. And all that believed kept them selves together, and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and departed them to all men, as every man had need. And they continued daily with one accord in the temple, and brake bread in every house, and did eat their meat together, with gladness and singleness of heart praising God, and had favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the congregation daily such as should be saved.

The 3rd Chapter
     Peter and John went up together into the temple at the ninth hour of prayer. And there was a certain man halt from his mothers womb, whom they brought and laid at the gate of the temple called beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple. Which same when he saw Peter and John, that they would into the temple, desired to receive an alms. And Peter fastened his eyes on him with John and said: look on us. And he gave heed unto them, trusting to receive something of them. Then said Peter: Silver and gold have I none, such as I have, give I you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up. And immediately his feet and anklebones received strength. And he sprang, stood and also walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping and lauding God.
     And all the people saw him walk and laud (celebrate, glorify) God. And they knew him, that it was he which sat and begged at the beautiful gate of the temple. And they wondered and were sore astonied at that which had happened unto him. And as the halt which was healed, held Peter and John, all the people ran amazed unto them in Solomons porch.
     When Peter saw that, he answered unto the people. you men of Israel, why marvel you at this, or why look you so steadfastly on us, as though by our own power or holiness, we had made this man go? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers has glorified his son Jesus, whom you delivered, and denied in the presence of Pilate when he had judged him to be loosed. But you denied the holy and just, and desired a murderer to be given you, and killed the Lord of life, whom God has raised from death, of the which we are witnesses. And his name through the faith of his name, has made this man sound, whom you see and know. And the faith which is by him, has given to him this health in the presence of you all.
     And now brethren I wot (know) well that through ignorance you did it, as did also your heads. But those things which God before had showed, by the mouth of all his Prophets, how that Christ should suffer, he has thus wise fulfilled. Repent you therefore and turn, that your sins may be done away, when the time of refreshing comes, which we shall have of the presence of the Lord, and when God shall send him, which before was preached unto you, that is to wit (know) Jesus Christ, which must receive heaven until the time that all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy Prophets since the world began, be restored again.
     For Moses said unto the fathers: A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, even of your brethren like unto me: him shall you hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. For the time will come, that every soul which shall not hear that same Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Also all the Prophets from Samuel and from that time, as many as have spoken, have in like wise told of these days.
     You are the children of the Prophets, and of the covenant, which God has made unto our fathers, saying to Abraham: Even in your seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. First unto you has God raised up his son Jesus, and him he has sent to bless you, that every one of you should turn from your wickedness.

The 4th Chapter
     As they spoke unto the people, the Priests and the ruler of the temple, and the Saduces came upon them taking it grievously that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from death. And they laid hands on them and put them in hold until the next day: for it was now even tide. How be it many of them which heard the words, believed and the number of the men was about five thousand.
     And it chanced on the morrow that their rulers and elders and Scribes, as Annas the chief Priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander and as many as were of the kindred of the high Priests gathered together at Jerusalem, and set the other before them, and asked: by what power or what name have you done this, sirs?
     Then Peter full of the holy ghost said unto them: you rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day are examined of the good deed done to the sick man, by what means he is made whole: be it known unto you all, and to the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, and whom God raised again from death: even by him does this man stand here present before you whole. This is the stone cast aside of you builders, which is set in the chief place of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other. Nor yet also is there any other name given to men wherein we must be saved.
     When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and understood that they were unlearned men and lay people, they marvelled, and they knew them, that they were with *Jesu: and beholding also the man which was healed standing with them, they could not say against it. But they commanded them to go aside out of the council, and counselled among themselves saying: what shall we do to these men? For a manifest sign is done by them, and is openly known to all them that dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But that it be noised no farther among the people, let us threaten and charge them that they speak from now on to no man in this name. *Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
     And they called them, and commanded them that in no wise they should speak or teach in the name of *Jesu. But Peter and John answered unto them and said: whether it be right in the sight of God, to obey you more than God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak that which we have seen and heard. So threatened they them and let them go, and found nothing how to punish them, because of the people. For all men lauded God for the miracle which was done: for the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed.*Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
     As soon as they were let go, they came to their fellows, and showed all that the high Priests and elders had said to them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voices to God with one accord, and said: Lord, you are God which have made heaven and earth the sea and all that in them is, which by the mouth of your servant David have said: Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things. The kings of the earth stood up and the rulers came together, against the Lord and against his Christ.
     For of a truth, against your holy child Jesus whom you have anointed, both Herod and also Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel gathered themselves together, for to do whatsoever your hands and your counsel determined before to be done. And now Lord, behold their threatenings and grant unto your servants with all confidence to speak your word. So that you stretch forth your hand, that healing and signs and wonders be done by the name of your holy child Jesus. And as soon as they had prayed the place moved where they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God boldly.
     And the multitude of them that believed, were of one heart, and of one soul. Also none of them said, that any of the things which he possessed, was his own: but had all things common. And with great power gave the Apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was with them all. Neither was there any among them, that lacked. For as many as were possessors of lands or houses, sold them and brought the price of the things that were sold, and laid it down at the Apostles feet. And distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
     And Joses which was also called of the Apostles, Barnabas (that is to say the son of consolation) being a Levite, and of the country of Cypers, (Cyprus) had land, and sold it and laid the price down at the Apostles feet.

The 5th Chapter
     A certain man named Ananias with Saphira his wife sold a possession, and kept away part of the price (his wife also being of counsel) and brought a certain part, and laid it down at the Apostles feet. Then said Peter: Ananias how is it that Satan has filled your heart, that you should lie unto the holy ghost, and keep away part of the price of the livelihood. Pertained it not unto you only, and after it was sold, was not the price in your own power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied unto men, but unto God. When Ananias heard these words he fell down and gave up the ghost. And great fear came on all them that these things heard. And the young men rose up, and put him apart, and carried him out, and buried him.
     And it fortuned as it were about the space of three hours after that his wife came in, ignorant of that which was done. And Peter said unto her: Tell me, gave you the land for so much? And she said: you for so much. Then Peter said unto her: why have you agreed together, to tempt the spirit of the Lord? Behold the feet of them which have buried your husband, are at the door, and shall carry you out. Then she fell down straightway at his feet and yielded up the ghost. And the young men came in, and found her dead, and carried her out and buried her by her husband. And great fear came on all the congregation, and on as many as heard it.
     By the hands of the Apostles were many signs and wonders showed among the people. And they were all to gether with one accord in Solomons porch. And of other durst no man join himself to them: neverthelater the people magnified them. The number of them that believed in the Lord both of men and women, grew more and more: in so much that they brought the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that at the least way the shadow of Peter when he came by, might shadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about, unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits. And they were healed every one.
     Then the chief Priest rose up and all they that were with him (which is the sect of the Saduces) and were full of indignation, and laid hands on the Apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said: go, step forth, and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. When they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning and taught.
     The chief Priest came and they that were with him, and called a council together, and all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to fetch them. When the ministers came and found them not in the prison, they returned and told saying: the prison found we shut as sure as was possible, and the keepers standing without before the doors. But when we had opened, we found no man with in. When the chief Priest of all and the ruler of the temple and the high Priests heard these things, they doubted of them, whereunto this would grow.
     Then came one and showed them: behold the men that you put in prison, stand in the temple, and teach the people. Then went the ruler of the temple with ministers, and brought them without violence. For they feared the people, least they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the chief Priest asked them saying: did not we straitly command you that you should not teach in this name? And behold you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and you intend to bring this mans blood upon us.
     Peter and the other Apostles answered and said: We ought more to obey God than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hanged on tree. Him has God lift up with his right hand, to be a ruler and a saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are his records concerning these things and also the holy ghost whom God has given to them that obey him. When they heard that, they clave asunder: and sought means to slay them. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a doctor of law, had in authority among all the people and commanded to put the Apostles aside a little space, and said unto them: men of Israel take heed to your selves what you intend to do as touching these men. Before these days rose up one Theudas boasting him self, to whom resorted a number of men, about a four hundred, which was slain, and they all which believed him were scattered abroad and brought to nought. After this man, arose there up one Judas of Galile, in the time when tribute began, and drew away much people after him. He also perished: and all even as many as harkened to him, are scattered abroad.
     And now I say unto you: refrain yourselves from these men, let them alone. For if the counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought. But and if it be of God, you cannot destroy it, least haply you be found to strive against God. And to him they agreed, and called the Apostles, and beat them, and commanded that they should not speak in the name of *Jesu, and let them go. *Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
     And they departed from the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer rebuke for his name. And daily in the temple and in every house they ceased not, teaching and preaching Jesus Christ.

The 6th Chapter
     In those days as the number of the disciples grew, there arose a grudge among the Greeks against the Hebrews, because their widows were despised in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples together and said: it is not meet (worthy) that we should leave the word of God and serve at the tables. Wherefore brethren look you out among you seven men of honest report and full of the holy ghost and wisdom, which we may appoint to this needful business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministration of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen a man full of faith and of the holy ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Permenas, and Nicolas a convert of Antioch. Which they set before the Apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
     And the word of God increased, and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly, and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. And Stephen full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the Synagogue which are called Libertines and Syrenites, and of Alexandria, and of Cilicia, and Asia, and disputed with Stephen. And they could not resist the wisdom, and the spirit, with which he spoke. Then sent they in men, which said: we have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. And they moved the people and the elders and the scribes: and came upon him and caught him, and brought him to the council, and brought forth false witnesses which said. This man ceases not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law: for we heard him say: this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the ordinances which Moses gave us. And all that sat in the council, looked steadfastly on him, and saw his face as it had been the face of an Angel.

CONTINUE

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