Acts of the Apostles

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[...]   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.   [...]

Acts of the Apostles: chapter 14, verse 23

Chapter 7, verse 16 - Chapter 12, verse 12

16 and they were brought back to Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver from the children of Hamor of Shechem.
17 “But as the time of the promise came close which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
18 until there arose a different king, who didn’t know Joseph.
19 The same took advantage of our race, and mistreated our fathers, and forced them to throw out their babies, so that they wouldn’t stay alive.
20 At that time Moses was born, and was exceedingly handsome. He was nourished three months in his father’s house.
21 When he was thrown out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and reared him as her own son.
22 Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He was mighty in his words and works.
23 But when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel.
24 Seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him who was oppressed, striking the Egyptian.
25 He supposed that his brothers understood that God, by his hand, was giving them deliverance
26 “The day following, he appeared to them as they fought, and urged them to be at peace again, saying, ‘Sirs, you are brothers. Why do you wrong one another?’
27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?
28 Do you want to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’
29 Moses fled at this saying, and became a stranger in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
30 “When forty years were fulfilled, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.
31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight. As he came close to see, a voice of the Lord came to him,
32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Moses trembled, and dared not look.
33 The Lord said to him, ‘Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.
34 I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning. I have come down to deliver them. Now come, I will send you into Egypt.’
35 “This Moses, whom they refused, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—God has sent him as both a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
36 This man led them out, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.
37 This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord our God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me.’
38 This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living oracles to give to us,
39 to whom our fathers wouldn’t be obedient, but rejected him, and turned back in their hearts to Egypt,
40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods that will go before us, for as for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.’
41 They made a calf in those days, and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands.
42 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?
43 You took up the tabernacle of Moloch, the star of your god Rephan, the figures which you made to worship. I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’
44 “Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern that he had seen
45 which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered into the possession of the nations, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, to the days of David,
46 who found favor in the sight of God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.
47 But Solomon built him a house.
48 However, the Most High doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says,
49 ‘heaven is my throne, and the earth a footstool for my feet. What kind of house will you build me?’ says the Lord
50 Didn’t my hand make all these things?’
51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do.
52 Which of the prophets didn’t your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers.
53 You received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn’t keep it!”
54 Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed at him with one accord.
58 They threw him out of the city, and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”
60 He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Chapter 8
1 Saul was consenting to his death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles.
2 Devout men buried Stephen, and lamented greatly over him.
3 But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house, and dragged both men and women off to prison.
4 Therefore those who were scattered abroad went around preaching the word.
5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.
6 The multitudes listened with one accord to the things that were spoken by Philip, when they heard and saw the signs which he did.
7 For unclean spirits came out of many of those who had them. They came out, crying with a loud voice. Many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed.
8 There was great joy in that city.
9 But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who used to practice sorcery in the city, and amazed the people of Samaria, making himself out to be some great one,
10 to whom they all listened, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is that great power of God.”
11 They listened to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his sorceries.
12 But when they believed Philip preaching good news concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
13 Simon himself also believed. Being baptized, he continued with Philip. Seeing signs and great miracles occurring, he was amazed.
14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit
16 for as yet he had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of Christ Jesus.
17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 Now when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,
19 saying, “Give me also this power, that whomever I lay my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart isn’t right before God.
22 Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.”
24 Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that none of the things which you have spoken happen to me.”
25 They therefore, when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the Good News to many villages of the Samaritans.
26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a desert.”
27 He arose and went
28 He was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah.
29 The Spirit said to Philip, “Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.”
30 Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 He said, “How can I, unless someone explains it to me?” He begged Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. As a lamb before his shearer is silent, so he doesn’t open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation, his judgment was taken away. Who will declare His generation? For his life is taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch answered Philip, “Who is the prophet talking about? About himself, or about someone else?”
35 Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, preached to him Jesus.
36 As they went on the way, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Behold, here is water. What is keeping me from being baptized?”
37 And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38 He commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, and the eunuch didn’t see him any more, for he went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip was found at Azotus. Passing through, he preached the Good News to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.
Chapter 9
1 But Saul, still breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,
2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he traveled, it happened that he got close to Damascus, and suddenly a light from the sky shone around him.
4 He fell on the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 He said, “Who are you, Lord?” The Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
6 But rise up, and enter into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the sound, but seeing no one.
8 Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he saw no one. They led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 He was without sight for three days, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias!” He said, “Behold, it’s me, Lord.”
11 The Lord said to him, “Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judah for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus. For behold, he is praying,
12 and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight.”
13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he did to your saints at Jerusalem.
14 Here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go your way, for he is my chosen vessel to bear my name before the nations and kings, and the children of Israel.
16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
17 Ananias departed, and entered into the house. Laying his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me, that you may receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18 Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received his sight. He arose and was baptized.
19 He took food and was strengthened. Saul stayed several days with the disciples who were at Damascus.
20 Immediately in the synagogues he proclaimed the Christ, that he is the Son of God.
21 All who heard him were amazed, and said, “Isn’t this he who in Jerusalem made havoc of those who called on this name? And he had come here intending to bring them bound before the chief priests!”
22 But Saul increased more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived at Damascus, proving that this is the Christ.
23 When many days were fulfilled, the Jews conspired together to kill him,
24 but their plot became known to Saul. They watched the gates both day and night that they might kill him,
25 but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket.
26 When Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join himself to the disciples
27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.
28 He was with them entering into Jerusalem,
29 preaching boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus. He spoke and disputed against the Hellenists, but they were seeking to kill him.
30 When the brothers knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him off to Tarsus.
31 So the assemblies throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, and were built up. They were multiplied, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
32 It happened, as Peter went throughout all those parts, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.
33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, because he was paralyzed.
34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed!” Immediately he arose.
35 All who lived at Lydda and in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which when translated, means Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and acts of mercy which she did.
37 It happened in those days that she fell sick, and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.
38 As Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them.
39 Peter got up and went with them. When he had come, they brought him into the upper room. All the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.
40 Peter put them all out, and kneeled down and prayed. Turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41 He gave her his hand, and raised her up. Calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.
43 It happened, that he stayed many days in Joppa with one Simon, a tanner.
Chapter 10
1 Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,
2 a devout man, and one who feared God with all his house, who gave gifts for the needy generously to the people, and always prayed to God.
3 At about the ninth hour of the day, he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God coming to him, and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
4 He, fastening his eyes on him, and being frightened, said, “What is it, Lord?” He said to him, “Your prayers and your gifts to the needy have gone up for a memorial before God.
5 Now send men to Joppa, and get Simon, who is surnamed Peter.
6 He lodges with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside.”
7 When the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier of those who waited on him continually.
8 Having explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 Now on the next day as they were on their journey, and got close to the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray at about noon.
10 He became hungry and desired to eat, but while they were preparing, he fell into a trance.
11 He saw heaven opened and a certain container descending to him, like a great sheet let down by four corners on the earth,
12 in which were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the sky.
13 A voice came to him, “Rise, Peter, kill and eat!”
14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord
15 A voice came to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed, you must not call unclean.”
16 This was done three times, and immediately the vessel was received up into heaven.
17 Now while Peter was very perplexed in himself what the vision which he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood before the gate,
18 and called and asked whether Simon, who was surnamed Peter, was lodging there.
19 While Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men seek you.
20 But arise, get down, and go with them, doubting nothing
21 Peter went down to the men, and said, “Behold, I am he whom you seek. Why have you come?”
22 They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous man and one who fears God, and well spoken of by all the nation of the Jews, was directed by a holy angel to invite you to his house, and to listen to what you say.”
23 So he called them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter arose and went out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him.
24 On the next day they entered into Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his relatives and his near friends.
25 When it happened that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet, and worshiped him.
26 But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up! I myself am also a man.”
27 As he talked with him, he went in and found many gathered together.
28 He said to them, “You yourselves know how it is an unlawful thing for a man who is a Jew to join himself or come to one of another nation, but God has shown me that I shouldn’t call any man unholy or unclean.
29 Therefore also I came without complaint when I was sent for. I ask therefore, why did you send for me?”
30 Cornelius said, “Four days ago, I was fasting until this hour, and at the ninth hour, I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your gifts to the needy are remembered in the sight of God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa, and summon Simon, who is surnamed Peter. He lodges in the house of Simon a tanner, by the seaside. When he comes, he will speak to you.’
33 Therefore I sent to you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God to hear all things that have been commanded you by God.”
34 Peter opened his mouth and said, “Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism
35 but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.
36 The word which he sent to the children of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all—
37 you yourselves know what happened, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached
38 even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
39 We are witnesses of everything he did both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem
40 God raised him up the third day, and gave him to be revealed,
41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen before by God, to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that this is he who is appointed by God as the Judge of the living and the dead.
43 All the prophets testify about him, that through his name everyone who believes in him will receive remission of sins.”
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word.
45 They of the circumcision who believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was also poured out on the Gentiles.
46 For they heard them speaking in other languages and magnifying God. Then Peter answered,
47 “Can any man forbid the water, that these who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we should not be baptized?”
48 He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay some days.
Chapter 11
1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
2 When Peter had come up to Jerusalem, those who were of the circumcision contended with him,
3 saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men, and ate with them!”
4 But Peter began, and explained to them in order, saying,
5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision: a certain container descending, like it was a great sheet let down from heaven by four corners. It came as far as me.
6 When I had looked intently at it, I considered, and saw the four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky.
7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter, kill and eat!’
8 But I said, ‘Not so, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered into my mouth.’
9 But a voice answered me the second time out of heaven, ‘What God has cleansed, don’t you call unclean.’
10 This was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven.
11 Behold, immediately three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent from Caesarea to me.
12 The Spirit told me to go with them, without discriminating. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house.
13 He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying to him, ‘Send to Joppa, and get Simon, whose surname is Peter,
14 who will speak to you words by which you will be saved, you and all your house.’
15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, even as on us at the beginning.
16 I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit.’
17 If then God gave to them the same gift as us, when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could withstand God?”
18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life!”
19 They therefore who were scattered abroad by the oppression that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews only.
20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.
21 The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
22 The report concerning them came to the ears of the assembly which was in Jerusalem. They sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch,
23 who, when he had come, and had seen the grace of God, was glad. He exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they should remain near to the Lord.
24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and many people were added to the Lord.
25 Barnabas went out to Tarsus to look for Saul.
26 When he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. It happened, that for a whole year they were gathered together with the assembly, and taught many people. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
27 Now in these days, prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.
28 One of them named Agabus stood up, and indicated by the Spirit that there should be a great famine all over the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius.
29 As any of the disciples had plenty, each determined to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea
30 which they also did, sending it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Chapter 12
1 Now about that time, King Herod stretched out his hands to oppress some of the assembly.
2 He killed James, the brother of John, with the sword.
3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This was during the days of unleavened bread.
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.