God's Truth

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The Acts of the Apostles

(Part Three)


The 11th Chapter
     And the Apostles and the brethren that were throughout Jewry heard say that the Heathen had also received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they of the circumcision reasoned with him saying: You went into men uncircumcised and *atest (eat) with them.
     Then Peter began and expounded the thing in order to them saying: I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, a certain vessel descend, as it had been a large linen cloth, let down from heaven by the four corners, and it came to me. Into the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and vermin and worms, and fowls of the air. And I heard a voice saying unto me: arise Peter, slay and eat. And I said: God forbid Lord, for nothing common or unclean, has at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, count not you those things common, which God has cleansed. And this was done three times. And all were taken up again into heaven.
     And behold immediately there were three men come unto the house where I was, sent from Casarea unto me. And the spirit said unto me, that I should go with them, without doubting. Moreover the six brethren accompanied me: and we entered into the mans house. And he showed us, how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said to him: Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, named also Peter: he shall tell you words, whereby both you and all your house shall be saved. And as I began to preach, the holy ghost fell on them, as he did on us at the beginning. Then came to my remembrance the words of the Lord, how he said: John baptised with water but you shall be baptised with the holy ghost. For as much then as God gave them like gifts, as he did unto us, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ: what was I, that I should have withstood God? When they heard this they held their peace and glorified God, saying: then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
     They which were scattered abroad through the affliction that arose about Steven, walked throughout till they came unto Phenice and Cyper and Antioch preaching the word to no man, but unto the Jews only. Some of them were men of Cypers and Syrene, which when they were come into Antioch, spoke unto the Greeks, and preached the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned unto the Lord.
     Tidings of these things came unto the ears of the congregation, which was in Jerusalem. And they sent forth Barnabas that he should go unto Antioche. Which when he was come, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would continually cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the holy ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioche. And it chanced that a whole year they had their conversation with the congregation there, and taught much people: in so much that the disciples of Antioche were the first that were called Christian.
     In those days came Prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioche. And there stood up one of them, named Agabus, and signified by the spirit, that there should be great dearth throughout all the world, which came to pass in the Emperor Claudius days. Then the disciples every man according to his ability, purposed to send succour (security) unto the brethren which dwelt in Jewry. Which thing they also did, and sent it to the elders, by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

The 12th Chapter
     In that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the congregation. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword and because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further, and took Peter also. Then were the days of sweet bread. And when he had caught him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four *quaternions of soldiers to be kept, intending after ester to bring him forth to the people. Then was Peter kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing of the congregation, unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him out unto the people, the same night slept Peter between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and the keepers before the door kept the prison.*quaternions : four soldiers, so four quaternions = 16 soldiers (heavy security)
     And behold the angel of the Lord was there present, and a light shined in the lodge. And he smote Peter on the side, and stirred him up saying: arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the Angel said unto him: gird yourself and bind on your sandals. And so he did. And he said unto him: cast your mantle about you, and follow me. And he came out and followed him, and wist (knew) not, that it was truth which was done by the Angel, but thought he had seen a vision. When they were past the first and the second watch, they came unto the iron gate, that leads unto the city, which opened to them by his own accord. And they went out and passed through one street, and by and by the Angel departed from him.
     And when Peter was come to himself, he said: now I know of a surety, that the Lord has sent his Angel, and has delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the waiting for of the people of the Jewes. And as he considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of one John, which was called Mark also, where many were gathered together in prayer. As Peter knocked at the entry door, a damsel came forth to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peters voice, she opened not the entry for gladness, but ran in and told how Peter stood before the entry. And they said unto her: you are mad. And she bare them down that it was even so. Then said they: it is his angel. Peter continued knocking: When they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonied. And he beckoned unto them with the hand, to hold their peace, and told them by what means the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said: go show these things unto James and to the brethren. And he departed and went into a nother place.
     As soon as it was day there was no little ado among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. When Herod had called for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded them to depart. And he descended from Jewry to Cesarea, and there abode. Herod was displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon. And they came all at once, and made intercession unto Blastus the kings chamberlain, and desired peace, because their country was nourished by the kings land. And upon a day appointed, Herod arrayed him in royal apparel, and set him in his seat, and made an oration (speech) unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying: it is the voice of a God and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the honour, and he was eaten of worms and gave up the ghost. And the word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and Paul returned to Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their office, and took with them John, which was also called Marcus.

The 13th Chapter
     There were at Antioche, in the congregation certain Prophets and teachers: as Barnabas and Simeon called Niger, and Lucius of Cerene, and Manahen Herod the Tetrarkes nurse fellow, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the holy ghost said: separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work where unto I have called them. Then fasted they and prayed, and put their hands on them, and let them go. And they after they were sent of the holy ghost, came unto Seleutia, and from that place they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were come to Solamine, they showed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jewes. And they had John to their minister. When they had gone throughout the Isle unto the city of Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet which was a Jewe, named *Barjesu, was with the ruler of the country, one Sergius Paulus a prudent man. The same ruler called unto him Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But elymas the sorcerer (for so was his name by interpretation) stood them, and sought to turn away the ruler from the faith. Then Saul which also is called Paul being full of the holy ghost set his eyes on him, O full of all subtlety and deceitfulness, and child of the devil, and the enemy of all righteousness, you cease not to pervert the straight ways of the Lord. And now behold the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind and not see the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and darkness, and he went about seeking them that should lead him by the hand. Then the ruler when he saw what had happened, believed, and wend doctrine of the Lord.*Barjesu: or Bariesu.
     When they that were with Paul, were departed by ship from Paphus, they came to Perga a city of Pamphilia: and there John departed from them, and returned to Jerusalem. But they wandered through the countries from Perga to Antioch a city of the country of Pisidia, and went in to the synagog on the Saboth day and sat down. And after the law and the Prophets were read, the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them saying. you men and brethren, if you have any sermon to exhort the people, say on.
     Then Paul stood up and beckoned with the hand, and said: Men of Israel, and you that fear God, give audience. The God of this people chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with a mighty arm brought them out of it, and about the time of forty years, suffered he their manners in the wilderness. And he destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, and divided their land to them by lot. And afterward he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years unto the time of Samuel the Prophet. And after that, they desired a king, and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And after he had put him down, he set up David to be their king, of whom he reported saying: I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, he shall fulfil all my will.
     Of this mans seed has God (according to his promise) brought forth to the people of Israel, a saviour, one Jesus, when John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to Israel. And when John had fulfilled his course, he said: whom you think that I am, the same am I not. But behold there comes one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to lowse.
     You men and brethren, children of the generation of Abraham, and whosoever among you fears God, to you is this word of salvation sent. The inhabiters of Jerusalem and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the Prophets which are read every Saboth day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And when they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate to kill him. And when they had fulfilled all that were written of him, they took him down from the tree and put him in a sepulchre. But God raised him again from death, and he was seen many days of them which came with him from Galile to Jerusalem. Which are his witnesses unto the people.
     And we declare unto you, how that the promise made unto the fathers, God has fulfilled unto us their children, in that he raised up Jesus again, even as it is written in the *first psalm: You are my son, this same day begat I you. As concerning that he raised him up from death, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise: The holy promises made to David, I will give them faithfully to you. Wherefore he says also in another place: You shall not suffer (allow) your holy to see corruption. Howbeit David after he had in his time fulfilled the will of God he slept, and was laid with his fathers, and saw corruption. But he whom God raised again, saw no corruption. *first psalm: some read second psalm, this text says first. both are of Christ.
     Be it known unto you therefore you men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and that by him, are all that believe, are justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore least that fall on you, which is spoken of in the Prophets: Behold you despisers and wonder, and perish ye: for I do a work in your days, which you shall not believe, if a man would declare it you.
     When they were come out of the Synagogue of the Jews, the Gentiles besought that they would preach the word to them between the Saboth days. When the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and virtuous converts followed Paul and Barnabas, which spoke to them and exhorted them to continue in the grace of God. And the next saboth day came almost the whole city together, to hear the word of God. When the Jews saw the people, they were full of indignation and spoke against those things which were spoken of Paul, speaking against it, and railing on it. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said: it was meet that the word of God should first have been preached to you. But seeing you put it from you, and think yourselves unworthy of everlasting life: lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so has the Lord commanded us. I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you be salvation unto the end of the world.
     The gentiles heard and were glad and glorified the word of the Lord, and believed: even as many as were ordained unto eternal life. And the word of the Lord was published through out all the region. But the Jews moved the worshipful and honorable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them out of their coasts. And they shook off the dust off their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the holy ghost.

The 14th Chapter
     And it fortuned in Iconium that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jewes, and so spoke, that a great multitude both of the Jewes and also of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews, stirred up and unquieted the minds of the gentiles against the brethren. Long time abode they there and quit themselves boldly with the help of the Lord, the which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and caused signs and wonders to be done by their hands. The people of the city were divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the Apostles.
     When there was a fault made both of the Gentiles and also of the Jewes with their rulers, to put them to shame and to stone them, they were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derba, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lies round about, and there preached the Gospel. And there sat a certain man at Lystra weak in his feet, being cripple from his mothers womb, and never walked. The same heard Paul preach. Which beheld him and perceived that he had faith to be whole, and said with a loud voice: stand upright on your feet. And he started up, and walked. And when the people saw, what Paul had done, they lift up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia: Gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercurius, because he was the preacher. Then Jupiters priest, which dwelt before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the*church porch, and would have done sacrifice with the people. *churches: Again this word "church" is describing a pagan temple. RN
     But when the Apostles, Barnabas and Paul heard that, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying and saying: sirs, why do you this? We are mortal men like unto you, and preach unto you, that you should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven and earth and the sea and all that in them is: the which in times past suffered (allowed) all nations to walk in their own ways . Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he showed his benefits, in giving us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings, scarce refrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
     Over there came certain Jews from Antioche and Iconium, and obtained the peoples consent and stoned Paul, and drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. How be it as the disciples stood round about him, he arose up and came into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derba. After they had preached to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium and Antioche, and strengthened the disciples souls, exhorting them to continue in the faith, affirming that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders by election in every congregation, and prayed and fasted, they commended them to God on whom they believed. And they went through out Pisidia and came into Pamphilia, and when they had preached the word of God in Perga, they descended into Attalia, and from that place departed by ship to Antioche, from where they were delivered unto the grace of God, to the work which they had fulfilled. When they were come and had gathered the congregation to gether, they rehearsed all that God had done by them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. And there they abode long time with the disciples.

The 15th Chapter
     Then came certain from Jewrie, and taught the brethren except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved. And when there was risen dissension and disputing not a little unto Paul and Barnabas against them. They determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them should ascend to Jerusalem unto the Apostles and elders about this question. And after they were brought on their way by the congregation, they passed over Phenices and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles, and they brought great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the congregation and of the Apostles and elders. And they declared what things God had done by them. Then arose there up certain of the sect of the Pharisees, which did believe, saying, that it was needful to circumcise them and to enjoin them to keep the law of Moses. And the Apostles and elders came together to reason of this matter.
     And when there was much disputing, Peter rose up and said unto them: you men and brethren, you know how that a good while ago, God chose among us that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the Gospel and believe. And God which knows the heart, bare them witness, and gave unto them the holy ghost, even as he did unto us and he put no difference between them and us, but with faith purified their hearts. Now therefore why tempt you God, that you would put a yoke on the disciples necks, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved, as they do. Then all the multitude was peaced and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, which told what signs and wonders God had showed among the Gentiles, by them.
     And when they held their peace, James answered saying: Men and brethren hearken unto me. Simeon told how God at the beginning did visit the Gentiles, and received of them, people unto his name. And to this agrees the words of the Prophets, as it is written: After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and that which is fallen in decay of it, will I build again, and I will set it up, that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and also the Gentiles upon whom my name is named says the Lord, which does all these things: known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them which from among the Gentiles, are turned to God: but that we write unto them, that they abstain themselves from filthiness of images from fornication, from strangled and from blood. For Moses of old time has in every city that preach him, and he is read in the synagogues every Saboth day.
     Then pleased it the Apostles and elders with the whole congregation, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioche with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called also Barsabas, and Silas, which were chief men among the brethren, and gave them letters in their hands after this manner.
     The Apostles, elders and brethren send greetings unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. For as much as we have heard that certain which departed from us, have troubled you with words, and cumbered your minds saying: you must be circumcised and keep the law, to whom we gave no such commandment. It seemed therefore to us a good thing, when we were come together with one accord, to send chosen men unto you, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have jeopardied their lives for the name of our Lord *Jesu Christ. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, which shall also tell you the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the holy ghost and to us, to put no grievous thing to you more than these necessary things: that is to say, that you abstain from things offered to images, from blood, from strangled and fornication. From which if you keep yourselves, you shall do well. So fare you well. *Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
     When they were departed, they came to Antioche and gathered the multitude together and delivered the epistle. When they had read it, the; rejoiced of that consolation. And Judas and Silas being Prophets, exhorted the brethren with much preaching, and strengthened them. And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace of the brethren unto the Apostles. Not withstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still. Paul and Barnabas continued in Antioche teaching and preaching the word of the Lord with other many.
     But after a certain space, Paul said unto Barnabas: Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have showed the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas gave counsel to take with them John, called also Mark. But Paul thought it not meet to take him unto their company which departed from them at Pamphilia, and went not with them to the work. And the dissension was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: so that Barnabas took Mark and sailed unto Cypers. And Paul chose Silas and departed, delivered of the brethren unto the grace of God. And he went through all Cyria and Cilicia, establishing the congregations.

The 16th Chapter
     Then came he to Derba and to Lystra. And behold a certain disciple was there named Timotheus, a womans son which was a Jewess and believed: but his father was a Greek. Of whom reported well, the brethren of Lystra and of Iconium. The same Paul would that he should go forth with him, and took and circumcised him because of the Jewes which were in those quarters: for they knew all, that his father was a Greek. As they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, ordained of the Apostles and elders, which were at Jerusalem. And so were the congregations stablished in the faith, and increased in number daily.
     When they had gone throughout Phrygia, and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the holy ghost to preach the word in Asia, they came to Mysia, and sought to go into Bithynia. But the spirit suffered (allowed) them not. Then they went over Mysia, and came down to Troada. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. There stood a man of Macedonia and prayed him, saying: come into Macedonia and help us. After he had seen the vision, immediately we prepared to go into Macedonia, certified that the Lord had called us, for to preach the gospel unto them. Then loosed we forth from Troada, and with a straight course came to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolim, and from that place to Philippos, which is the chiefest city in the parts of Macedonia, and a free city.
     We were in that city abiding a certain days. And on the Saboth days we went out of the city besides a river where men were wont to pray. And we sat down and spoke unto the women which resorted over there: And a certain woman named Lydia a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, gave us audience. Whose heart the Lord opened that she attended unto the things, which Paul spoke. When she was baptised and her household, she besought us saying: If you think that I believe on the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
     And it fortuned as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit that prophesied, met us, which brought her masters much vantage with Prophesying. The same followed Paul and us and cried saying: these men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul not content, turned about and said to the spirit. I command you in the name of Jesu Christ, that you come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
     And when her master and masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the market place unto the rulers, and brought them to the officers saying: These men trouble our city, which are Jews and preach ordinances, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, seeing we are Romans. And the people ran on them, and the officers rent their clothes, and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had beaten them sore, they cast them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them surely. Which jailer when he had received such commandment, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
     At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and lauded God. And the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundation of the prison was shaken, and by and by all the doors opened, and every mans bonds were loosed. When the keeper of the prison waked out of his sleep and saw the prison doors open he drew out his sword and would have killed himself, supposing the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice saying: Do yourself no harm, for we are all here. Then he called for a light and sprang in and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said: Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said: believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved and your household. And they preached unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds, and was baptised with all that belonged unto him straight way. When he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and joyed that he with all his household, believed on God.
     And when it was day, the officers sent the ministers saying: Let those men go. The keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, the officers have sent word to loose you. Now therefore get you from here, now and go in peace. Then said Paul unto them: they have beaten us openly uncondemned, for all that we are Romans, and have cast us into prison: and now would they send us away privily? No not so, but let them come themselves and fetch us out. When the ministers told these words unto the officers, they feared when they heard that they were Romans, and came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city. And they went out of the prison and entered into the house of Lydia, and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them and departed.

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