Now the apostles and the brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him,
saying, "Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?"
But Peter began and explained to them in order:
"I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, something descending, like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came down to me.
Looking at it closely I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air.
And I heard a voice saying to me, 'Rise, Peter; kill and eat.'
But I said, 'No, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'
But the voice answered a second time from heaven, 'What God has cleansed you must not call common.'
This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven.
At that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesare'a.
And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brethren also accompanied me, and we entered the man's house.
And he told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, 'Send to Joppa and bring Simon called Peter;
he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.'
As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.
And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"
When they heard this they were silenced. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life."
Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoeni'cia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to none except Jews.
But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyre'ne, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord.
News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose;
for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord.
So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul;
and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.
Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.
And one of them named Ag'abus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world; and this took place in the days of Claudius.
And the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brethren who lived in Judea;
and they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
About that time Herod the king laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church.
He killed James the brother of John with the sword;
and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.
And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.
So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.
The very night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison;
and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell off his hands.
And the angel said to him, "Dress yourself and put on your sandals." And he did so. And he said to him, "Wrap your mantle around you and follow me."
And he went out and followed him; he did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him.
And Peter came to himself, and said, "Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting."
When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a maid named Rhoda came to answer.
Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and told that Peter was standing at the gate.
They said to her, "You are mad." But she insisted that it was so. They said, "It is his angel!"
But Peter continued knocking; and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed.
But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, "Tell this to James and to the brethren." Then he departed and went to another place.
Now when day came, there was no small stir among the soldiers over what had become of Peter.
And when Herod had sought for him and could not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesare'a, and remained there.
Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and they came to him in a body, and having persuaded Blastus, the king's chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king's country for food.
On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and made an oration to them.
And the people shouted, "The voice of a god, and not of man!"
Immediately an angel of the Lord smote him, because he did not give God the glory; and he was eaten by worms and died.
But the word of God grew and multiplied.
And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, bringing with them John whose other name was Mark.
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