But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him.
And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting;
but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do."
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.
Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.
And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Anani'as. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Anani'as." And he said, "Here I am, Lord."
And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying,
and he has seen a man named Anani'as come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight."
But Anani'as answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem;
and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon thy name."
But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;
for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name."
So Anani'as departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized,
and took food and was strengthened. For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus.
And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, "He is the Son of God."
And all who heard him were amazed, and said, "Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name? And he has come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests."
But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.
When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him,
but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night, to kill him;
but his disciples took him by night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket.
And when he had come to Jerusalem he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.
But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.
So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem,
preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists; but they were seeking to kill him.
And when the brethren knew it, they brought him down to Caesare'a, and sent him off to Tarsus.
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Sama'ria had peace and was built up; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit it was multiplied.
Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints that lived at Lydda.
There he found a man named Aene'as, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralyzed.
And Peter said to him, "Aene'as, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed." And immediately he rose.
And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity.
In those days she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.
Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him entreating him, "Please come to us without delay."
So Peter rose and went with them. And when he had come, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping, and showing tunics and other garments which Dorcas made while she was with them.
But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, rise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.
And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive.
And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.
And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.
At Caesare'a there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort,
a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms liberally to the people, and prayed constantly to God.
About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius."
And he stared at him in terror, and said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.
And now send men to Joppa, and bring one Simon who is called Peter;
he is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside."
When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those that waited on him,
and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
The next day, as they were on their journey and coming near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.
And he became hungry and desired something to eat; but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance
and saw the heaven opened, and something descending, like a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth.
In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air.
And there came a voice to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
But Peter said, "No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean."
And the voice came to him again a second time, "What God has cleansed, you must not call common."
This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision which he had seen might mean, behold, the men that were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon's house, stood before the gate
and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there.
And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you.
Rise and go down, and accompany them without hesitation; for I have sent them."
And Peter went down to the men and said, "I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for your coming?"
And they said, "Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house, and to hear what you have to say."
So he called them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went off with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
And on the following day they entered Caesare'a. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his kinsmen and close friends.
When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.
But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am a man."
And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered;
and he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me."
And Cornelius said, "Four days ago, about this hour, I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer in my house; and behold, a man stood before me in bright apparel,
saying, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.
Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter; he is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the seaside.'
So I sent to you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God, to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord."
And Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality,
but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),
the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
And we are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;
but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest;
not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.
And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.
For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,
"Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
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