Acts  ◦   Chapter 11

1The Lord's ambassadors and members of his spiritual health-care team throughout Judea got word that the Gentiles had partaken of the Remedy.2When Peter returned to Jerusalem, the circumcised men who had accepted Jesus criticized him,3saying, "You entered the home of uncircumcised men and not only ate with them, but stayed with them."

4But Peter explained exactly what had happened and why:5"I was in Joppa, talking with God, when I was taken away in vision by the Spirit. I saw what appeared to be a great sheet lowered from the sky by its four corners. It came all the way down to where I was.6On it, I saw four-footed animals from all over the earth — wild beasts, reptiles and birds.7Then a voice from heaven said, 'Go and sacrifice any of these, and eat it.'

8"But I protested, saying, 'Lord, there must be some mistake. I have never sacrificed nor eaten anything that is impure or not on the script.'

9"The voice from heaven spoke again: 'Don't reject as unapproved or impure what God has healed and made clean.'10Three times this vision was presented and then it disappeared up into the sky.

11"Immediately, the three men from Caesarea arrived where I was staying.12The Spirit told me to go with them without reservation. So I went, and these six members of the Lord's team went with me, and we entered the man's home.13He told us that an angel came to him and said, 'Send men to Joppa to bring Simon Peter.14He has the Remedy which will heal you and your entire household.'

15"When I began speaking to them, the Holy Spirit filled them, as he did us in the beginning.16Then I recalled what our Lord had said: 'John immersed people in water, but you will immerse their minds and hearts in the Holy Spirit.'17So if God poured upon them the same gift as he gave to those of us who accepted the Lord Jesus Christ, what reason could I have for opposing him?"

18Upon hearing this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "God's Remedy which provides eternal life is for all people."

19Some of the Lord's team who had scattered as a result of the persecution when Stephen was killed took the good news of the Remedy to Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, but shared it only with Jews.20Others, however, from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began sharing the good news of the Remedy procured by the Lord Jesus to Greeks as well.21The Lord's power was with them, and large numbers of people partook of the Remedy and turned to the Lord.

22When the church at Jerusalem heard this, they sent Barnabas to Antioch.23When he arrived, he saw the evidence of God's transforming work in their lives, and rejoicing, he encouraged them to trust the Lord with all their hearts and faithfully follow his treatment plan.24He was a good man, genuinely caring about people, full of the Spirit and strong in his trust, and because of him, many people partook of the Remedy and accepted Jesus.

25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to find Saul,26and when he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. For the entire next year, Barnabas and Saul met regularly with the Lord's team and instructed many people. The Lord's team first took the name 'Christians' at Antioch.

27During this time, some of the Lord's spokespersons came to Antioch from Jerusalem.28One of them, a man named Agabus, publicly foretold that a great famine would come upon the Roman Empire, which did occur later during the reign of Claudius.29The Christians in Antioch, as they were able, chose to provide financial assistance to the believers living in Judea.30They had Barnabas and Saul take their donations to the church leaders for distribution.