Acts of the Apostles

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[...]   But God turned, and gave them up to serve the army of the sky, as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘Did you offer to me slain animals and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?   [...]

Acts of the Apostles: chapter 7, verse 42

Chapter 12, verse 4 - Chapter 17, verse 3

4 When he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.
5 Peter therefore was kept in the prison, but constant prayer was made by the assembly to God for him.
6 The same night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Guards in front of the door kept the prison.
7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side, and woke him up, saying, “Stand up quickly!” His chains fell off from his hands.
8 The angel said to him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” He did so. He said to him, “Put on your cloak, and follow me.”
9 And he went out and followed him. He didn’t know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he saw a vision.
10 When they were past the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened to them by itself. They went out, and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
11 When Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I truly know that the Lord has sent out his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from everything the Jewish people were expecting.”
12 Thinking about that, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
13 When Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer.
14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she didn’t open the gate for joy, but ran in, and reported that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
15 They said to her, “You are crazy!” But she insisted that it was so. They said, “It is his angel.”
16 But Peter continued knocking. When they had opened, they saw him, and were amazed.
17 But he, beckoning to them with his hand to be silent, declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. He said, “Tell these things to James, and to the brothers.” Then he departed, and went to another place.
18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter.
19 When Herod had sought for him, and didn’t find him, he examined the guards, and commanded that they should be put to death. He went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there.
20 Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. They came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus, the king’s personal aide, their friend, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food.
21 On an appointed day, Herod dressed himself in royal clothing, sat on the throne, and gave a speech to them.
22 The people shouted, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!”
23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he didn’t give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.
24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
25 Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their service, also taking with them John whose surname was Mark.
Chapter 13
1 Now in the assembly that was at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they served the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Separate Barnabas and Saul for me, for the work to which I have called them.”
3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia. From there they sailed to Cyprus.
5 When they were at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. They had also John as their attendant.
6 When they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar Jesus,
7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn aside the proconsul from the faith.
9 But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fastened his eyes on him,
10 and said, “Full of all deceit and all cunning, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
11 Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is on you, and you will be blind, not seeing the sun for a season!” Immediately a mist and darkness fell on him. He went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
12 Then the proconsul, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
13 Now Paul and his company set sail from Paphos, and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John departed from them and returned to Jerusalem.
14 But they, passing on from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia. They went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down.
15 After the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, speak.”
16 Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen.
17 The God of this people chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they stayed as aliens in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm, he led them out of it.
18 For a period of about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness.
19 When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land for an inheritance, for about four hundred fifty years.
20 After these things he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet.
21 Afterward they asked for a king, and God gave to them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
22 When he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, to whom he also testified, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
23 From this man’s seed, God has brought salvation to Israel according to his promise,
24 before his coming, when John had first preached the baptism of repentance to Israel.
25 As John was fulfilling his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. But behold, one comes after me the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
26 Brothers, children of the stock of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, the word of this salvation is sent out to you.
27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they didn’t know him, nor the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him.
28 Though they found no cause for death, they still asked Pilate to have him killed.
29 When they had fulfilled all things that were written about him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb.
30 But God raised him from the dead,
31 and he was seen for many days by those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people.
32 We bring you good news of the promise made to the fathers,
33 that God has fulfilled the same to us, their children, in that he raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son. Today I have become your father.’
34 “Concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’
35 Therefore he says also in another psalm, ‘You will not allow your Holy One to see decay.’
36 For David, after he had in his own generation served the counsel of God, fell asleep, and was laid with his fathers, and saw decay.
37 But he whom God raised up saw no decay.
38 Be it known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man is proclaimed to you remission of sins,
39 and by him everyone who believes is justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
40 Beware therefore, lest that come on you which is spoken in the prophets:
41 ‘Behold, you scoffers, and wonder, and perish
42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
43 Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas
44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God.
45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed.
46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, and said, “It was necessary that God’s word should be spoken to you first. Since indeed you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.
47 For so has the Lord commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you as a light for the Gentiles, that you should bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.’”
48 As the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God. As many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
49 The Lord’s word was spread abroad throughout all the region.
50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, and stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and threw them out of their borders.
51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came to Iconium.
52 The disciples were filled with joy with the Holy Spirit.
Chapter 14
1 It happened in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed.
2 But the disbelieving Jews stirred up and embittered the souls of the Gentiles against the brothers.
3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who testified to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the multitude of the city was divided. Part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
5 When some of both the Gentiles and the Jews, with their rulers, made a violent attempt to mistreat and stone them,
6 they became aware of it, and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, Derbe, and the surrounding region.
7 There they preached the Good News.
8 At Lystra a certain man sat, impotent in his feet, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked.
9 He was listening to Paul speaking, who, fastening eyes on him, and seeing that he had faith to be made whole,
10 said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet!” He leaped up and walked.
11 When the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the language of Lycaonia, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!”
12 They called Barnabas “Jupiter,” and Paul “Mercury,” because he was the chief speaker.
13 The priest of Jupiter, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and would have made a sacrifice along with the multitudes.
14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes, and sprang into the multitude, crying out,
15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the sky and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them
16 who in the generations gone by allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.
17 Yet he didn’t leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from the sky and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
18 Even saying these things, they hardly stopped the multitudes from making a sacrifice to them.
19 But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
20 But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up, and entered into the city. On the next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe.
21 When they had preached the Good News to that city, and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
22 confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God.
23 When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.
24 They passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia.
25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled.
27 When they had arrived, and had gathered the assembly together, they reported all the things that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith to the nations.
28 They stayed there with the disciples for a long time.
Chapter 15
1 Some men came down from Judea and taught the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can’t be saved.”
2 Therefore when Paul and Barnabas had no small discord and discussion with them, they appointed Paul and Barnabas, and some others of them, to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.
3 They, being sent on their way by the assembly, passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles. They caused great joy to all the brothers.
4 When they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the assembly and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all things that God had done with them.
5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to see about this matter.
7 When there had been much discussion, Peter rose up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that a good while ago God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the nations should hear the word of the Good News, and believe.
8 God, who knows the heart, testified about them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just like he did to us.
9 He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.
10 Now therefore why do you tempt God, that you should put a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they are.”
12 All the multitude kept silence, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul reporting what signs and wonders God had done among the nations through them.
13 After they were silent, James answered, “Brothers, listen to me.
14 Simeon has reported how God first visited the nations, to take out of them a people for his name.
15 This agrees with the words of the prophets. As it is written,
16 ‘After these things I will return. I will again build the tabernacle of David, which has fallen. I will again build its ruins. I will set it up,
17 That the rest of men may seek after the Lord
18 All his works are known to God from eternity.’
19 “Therefore my judgment is that we don’t trouble those from among the Gentiles who turn to God,
20 but that we write to them that they abstain from the pollution of idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moses from generations of old has in every city those who preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole assembly, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brothers.
23 They wrote these things by their hand:“The apostles, the elders, and the brothers, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: greetings.
24 Because we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, ‘You must be circumcised and keep the law,’ to whom we gave no commandment
25 it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves will also tell you the same things by word of mouth.
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things:
29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.”
30 So, when they were sent off, they came to Antioch. Having gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter.
31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over the encouragement.
32 Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged the brothers with many words, and strengthened them.
33 After they had spent some time there, they were sent back with greetings from the brothers to the apostles.
34 But it seemed good to Silas to remain there.
35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s return now and visit our brothers in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, to see how they are doing.”
37 Barnabas planned to take John, who was called Mark, with them also.
38 But Paul didn’t think that it was a good idea to take with them someone who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia, and didn’t go with them to do the work.
39 Then the contention grew so sharp that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him, and sailed away to Cyprus,
40 but Paul chose Silas, and went out, being commended by the brothers to the grace of God.
41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the assemblies.
Chapter 16
1 He came to Derbe and Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess who believed
2 The brothers who were at Lystra and Iconium gave a good testimony about him.
3 Paul wanted to have him go out with him, and he took and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts
4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered the decrees to them to keep which had been ordained by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem.
5 So the assemblies were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
6 When they had gone through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
7 When they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit didn’t allow them.
8 Passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.
9 A vision appeared to Paul in the night. There was a man of Macedonia standing, begging him, and saying, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.”
10 When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go out to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the Good News to them.
11 Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis
12 and from there to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the foremost of the district, a Roman colony. We were staying some days in this city.
13 On the Sabbath day we went forth outside of the city by a riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down, and spoke to the women who had come together.
14 A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us
15 When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay.” So she persuaded us.
16 It happened, as we were going to prayer, that a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling.
17 Following Paul and us, she cried out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!”
18 She was doing this for many days. But Paul, becoming greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” It came out that very hour.
19 But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.
20 When they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men, being Jews, are agitating our city,
21 and set forth customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”
22 The multitude rose up together against them, and the magistrates tore their clothes off of them, and commanded them to be beaten with rods.
23 When they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely,
24 who, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks.
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken
27 The jailer, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, “Don’t harm yourself, for we are all here!”
29 He called for lights and sprang in, and, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas,
30 and brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.
33 He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household.
34 He brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his household, having believed in God.
35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, “Let those men go.”
36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go
37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, without a trial, men who are Romans, and have cast us into prison! Do they now release us secretly? No, most certainly, but let them come themselves and bring us out!”
38 The sergeants reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans,
39 and they came and begged them. When they had brought them out, they asked them to depart from the city.
40 They went out of the prison, and entered into Lydia’s house. When they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them, and departed.
Chapter 17
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
2 Paul, as was his custom, went in to them, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”