Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bible’s Secrets

The Testimony of Yeshua

Acts 10-18 (The Gabriel Version)

Cornelius’ Vision


Acts 10: There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He was righteous and revered Yehovah, as did every member of his household. He was very charitable with the people, and always prayed to Yehovah. 3 One day at about the ninth hour [3:00] he had a vision, and distinctly saw a messenger of Yehovah who came in to him and said, “Cornelius”!

4 He stared at him in terror and asked, “What do you want, Master?” The spirit messenger replied, “Your prayers and your charity have ascended to Yehovah as something quite memorable!” 5 Now, send men to the city of Joppa and bring back Simon who is called Cephas. 6 He is staying as a guest with Simon, a leatherworker who lives by by the seashore.

7 When the spirit messenger who talked with him left, he called two of his household servants and a dedicated soldier who worked for him, 8 and after telling them everything that he had seen, he sent them to Joppa.

Simon’s Vision

9 The next day, while they were on their way and approaching the city, Simon went up to the roof to pray at the sixth hour [noon]. 10 He was quite hungry and wanted to eat. But while they were preparing his food, he was seized with ecstasy [Gr. ekstasis]. 11 He actually saw the sky open and a sailing vessel fastened at the four corners. It was like a huge linen sail, and it descended from the sky to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of quadrupeds and land dwelling reptiles and birds of the air. 13 He heard a voice that said, “Simon, get up, kill and eat.”

14 Simon said, “Absolutely not, Master, because I’ve never eaten anything defiled or unclean.

15 He heard the voice again, “What Yehovah has cleansed you must not consider to be unclean. 16 This happened three times, then the vessel was raised back into the sky.

17 While Simon was still entirely at a loss about what the vision he had seen could mean, the men arrived who had been sent by Cornelius and began asking directions to where Simon lived. Soon they were standing at the gate to the courtyard. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was called Cephas was staying there.

19 While Simon was still thinking about the vision, the spirit told him, “Three men are looking for you! 20 Get up, go down and accompany them, and don’t even think about discriminating against them, because I sent them.”

21 So Simon went down to the men and said, “I’m the man you’re looking for. Why have you come here?” 22 They told him, “A man named Cornelius, a centurion who reveres Yehovah and is well spoken of by all the Jewish people was told in vision by a spirit messenger to have you come his house and hear what you have to say.” 23 Simon invited them in to be his guests where he was staying. The next day he got up and left with them. Some of the Friends from Joppa also went with them.

Simon Meets Cornelius

24 The day after that, they arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them, and all of his relatives and his close friends were also there. 25 As Simon was entering, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet to worship him. 26 But Simon lifted him up. He said, “Get up, I’m just a man.”

27 As he was talking with him, he went in and found that many others had gathered. 28 He told them, “You know that it is assumed to be [1] contrary to our Law for a Jewish man to associate with a foreigner of another race, but Yehovah has shown me never call anyone defiled or unclean.” 29 So I came without any reservations when you sent for me. But please tell me, why did you sent for me?”

30 Cornelius told him, “Four days ago I was fasting and praying in my house at this very hour, the ninth hour [3:00]. ‘Suddenly’ a man clothed in white stood in front of me. 31 He said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and Yehovah is well aware of your gifts to the poor. 32 Now send messengers to the city of Joppa, and have them send Simon who is called Cephas to you. He is staying at the house of a leatherworker named Simon who lives by the sea. He’ll come and talk to you.’ 33 Immediately I sent a messenger for you, and it was good of you to come. We are all here here before you [2] eager to hear whatever Yehovah has commanded you to say.”

Simon Understands His Vision

34 Then Simon said, “The truth is, I now realize that Yehovah doesn’t discriminate between people. 35 He accepts anyone who reverences Him and lives righteously from every nation. 36 This is the Word that He sent to the descendants of Israel, announcing to them peace and rest by Yeshua (Jesus) Messiah. He is everyone’s Master. 37 You are familiar with ‘what happened’ thruout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the immersion that John heralded, 38 how Yehovah anointed Yeshua of Nazareth with the kadosh spirit and with power. He is the One who traveled around healing those who were oppressed by evil [3], because Yehovah was with Him.

39 We are His witnesses for everything He did in the region of Judea and in Jerusalem. He is the One who the Jews hung on a tree, killing Him. 40 But Yehovah raised Him up on the third day and allowed him to appear openly, 41 certainly not to everyone, but to those of us who were previously chosen by Yehovah to be His witnesses. We even ate and drank with Him after His resurrection from the dead. 42 He commanded us to herald to the people and to solemnly testify that He has been appointed by Yehovah to be the judge of the living and the dead. 43 All of the prophets are witnesses that whoever believes in His name will be pardoned and released from bondage due to their violation of the kadosh Torah [definition of “sin”].

Non Israelites Receive the Spirit

44 While Simon was still speaking, the kadosh spirit rested on everyone who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who came with him were amazed and astonished that the gift of the kadosh spirit had been poured out on the other ethnicities too, 46 but they had heard them speak in various languages, praising Yehovah. 47 Simon asked, “Can anyone withhold water for immersing these people, since they’ve received the kadosh spirit just like we did?” 48 Then he determined that they should be immersed in the name of our Master Yeshua Messiah. Afterward they urged him to stay with them for a few days.

[1] Barnes Notes on this verse explains that tho they were prohibited from marrying the unfaithful, their idea of total segregation was only a Jewish contrivance. [2] The Greek ‘says’ “before God”. [3] The Greek ‘says’ “oppressed by the devil”.

Simon Explains the Vision

Acts 11: The envoys and their Friends thruout Judea heard that people of other ethnicities had also accepted the Word of Aloha. 2 But when Simon went up to Jerusalem, those who ‘insisted on’ circumcision began to argue with him. 3 They said, “You entered the home of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

4 So Simon began to explain the situation exactly as it happened. 5 “While I was in Joppa praying, I went into an ecstatic state. A vessel descended that looked like an enormous sail! It was tied at its four corners, and it came down from the sky and came right to me. 6 I looked into it and I saw four footed animals, terrestrial reptiles and birds of the air. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up Simon, kill and eat.’

8 “I said, ‘Absolutely not, Master, since nothing unclean or common has ever entered my mouth!’

9 But the voice from the sky spoke again, ‘What Yehovah has cleansed you must not consider unclean.’ 10 This happened three times before everything was taken back into the sky.”

11 Just then three men came who had been sent to me by Cornelius from Cesarea, and stood at the gate of the courtyard where I was staying. 12 The spirit told me to go with them without hesitation. These six Friends also went with me and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen a spirit messenger stand in his house and say, ‘Send these men to the city of Joppa and have them send Simon who is called Cephas to you, 14 and he will tell you everything you need to know so that you can be Rescued, you and your entire family’”.

15 When I began speaking, the kadosh spirit overshadowed them just like it did for us to begin with. 16 Then I remembered what our Master had said, ‘John immersed in water, but you’ll be immersed in the kadosh spirit.’ 17 So if Yehovah gave the same gift to other ethnicities who believed in our Master Yeshua Messiah, as he gave us, who was I to try interfering with the gift of Yehovah?

18 When they heard these things, they quieted down and they praised Yehovah saying, “Now Yehovah is also giving a changed mind leading to eternal Life to other ethnicities!”

19 Those who were dispersed [Gr. diaspeiro] by the persecution that arose in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and even to the country of Cyprus and to Antioch, explaining the Word to no one except the Jews. 20 However a few men from Cyprus and Cyrene went up to Antioch and spoke with the Greeks announcing the Good News of our Master Yeshua. 21 The power of Yehovah was with them, and many believed and turned to Yehovah.

22 This came to the attention of the people of the assembly in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the compassion of Yehovah, he encouraged them all to remain resolutely faithful to our Master. 24 He was a good man, full of the kadosh spirit and faith. Many people were added as followers of our Master.

They Were Called Christians

25 Then ‘Barnabas’ left for Tarsus to look for Saul. 26 When he found him, he brought him with him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the assembly and instructed a great many people. Beginning in Antioch at this time, the disciples began to be called Christians.

27 At that time some prophets arrived there from Jerusalem. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and predicted, by the spirit, that there would be a severe famine thruout the land of Israel [1]. That famine happened during the reign of Claudius Caesar. 29 So each of the disciples, according to their ability, decided to provide as much food as they were able for their Friends who lived in Judea. 30 They did this by sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

[1] See why this should say “the land of Israel” rather than “the world”, using the keyword dearth.

Herod’s Persecution

Acts 12: About that time King Herod arrested some of the people of the assembly, intending to abuse them. 2 He killed John’s brother James with a sword. 3 When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he decided to arrest Simon Cephas also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 When he arrested him, he put him in prison, handing him over to sixteen soldiers to guard him. He intended to hand him over to the Jewish people after the Passover.

5 While Simon was in custody in the prison, the assembly continued praying to Yehovah on his behalf.

6 The night before he was to be handed over, Simon was sleeping between two soldiers and he was bound with two chains, while others were guarding the prison gates. 7 Suddenly Yehovah’s spirit messenger stood over him and a light illuminated the entire building, and he smacked him on the side to awaken him, and told him, “Get up immediately”. Then the chains fell from his hands.

8 The spirit messenger told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals”, so he did. Then he told him, “Throw your coat around you and follow me.” 9 He followed him out of the prison, not realizing that what had been done by the spirit messenger was a reality. He thought he was seeing a vision. 10 After they passed the first and second guard posts, they came to an iron gate [1] and it opened for them automatically [Gr. automatos]. When they got out and passed the first street the spirit messenger left him.

11 When Simon realized what had happened he said, “Now I know for certain that Yehovah sent His spirit messenger and rescued me from the ‘clutches’ of King Herod, and from what the Jews were plotting against me.”

12 And after further thought, he went to Mary’s house, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many of the Friends were gathered for prayer. 13 He knocked on the courtyard gate and a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Simon’s voice, she was so overjoyed that she ‘forgot’ to open the door. She ran back and told everyone, “Simon is standing outside the door!”

15 They told her, “You’re out of your mind.” But she insisted that it was so. Then they said, “Perhaps it is his Messenger.” 16 Simon kept knocking on the door, so they went out and saw him and were amazed. 17 He motioned to them with his hand to be quiet, then he came in and told them how Yehovah had led him out of the prison. Then he said, “Tell James and our Friends about this.” Then he left and went somewhere else. 18 In the morning there was a frenzy over what had happened to Simon.

Herod Struck Down

19 After Herod had made a thoro search for him and didn’t find him, he interrogated the guards, and sentenced them to death. Then he left Judea and stayed for a while in Caesarea. 20 Because Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, they gathered and came to him in unison. Having persuaded Blastus, the king’s aide for help, they asked for cultivated land [2], because the food supply for their country came from of Herod’s kingdom.

21 On the appointed day, Herod put on his royal robes, sat down on the royal seat and made a public statement to them. 22 All the people started shouting, “This is the voice of an Aloha, not a mortal.” 23 Because he didn’t praise Yehovah, a spirit messenger of Yehovah immediately struck him down. He was eaten by worms and died.

24 Aloha’s Good News continued to be proclaimed and spread.

25 After Barnabas and Saul completed their service, they returned from Jerusalem to Antioch. They brought John with them, who was also called Mark.

[1] The Greek adds “leading to the city”. [2] See why this says “cultivated land” instead of “peace”. Keyword cultivated.

Acts 13: Now there were several prophets and teachers in the assembly in Antioch: Barnabas, and Simon called Black, and Lucius from Cyrene, and Menaen who grew up with the guardians of Herod the Tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were fasting and worshiping Yehovah, the kadosh spirit told them, “Appoint Saul and Barnabas for Me to do the work that I called them for.” 3 After they had fasted and prayed, they laid hands on them and sent them away.

Bar Shuma the Sorcerer

4 After being sent out by the kadosh spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed as far as Cyprus. 5 When they arrived in Salamis, they announced the Word of Aloha in the Jewish synagogues. John was there to assist them.

6 After they had traveled over the whole island, as far as the city of Paphos, they found a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar Shuma. 7 He was with the proconsul, an intelligent man named Sergius Paulus. The proconsul sent for Saul and Barnabas, because he wanted to hear the Word of Aloha. 8 This sorcerer, Bar Shuma, (whose name means magician in Arabic), opposed them because he wanted to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 But Saul, who is also called Paul, was filled with the kadosh spirit, and he looked intently at him 10 and said, “Man, you are full of deceit and evil, you are a son of the Devil and an enemy of everything righteous. Will you never stop misrepresenting the righteous ways of Yehovah? 11 The Master’s hand is on you. You’ll be blind for a while, unable to see the light of day.” Immediately a cloud of darkness overcame him and he went around asking for someone to take him by the hand.

12 When the proconsul saw what happened, he was astonished, and he believed the Master’s doctrine. 13 Paul and Barnabas set sail from the City of Paphos and came to Perga, a city in Pamphylia. John left them and returned to Jerusalem. 14 They left Perga, and arrived in Antioch, a city in Pisidia. They went into a synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. 15 After reading from the Torah and the Prophets, the elders of the synagogue sent for them and said, “Men, countrymen, do you have any words of encouragement [or admonition] to tell the people?”

16 Paul got up, gesturing with his hand and said, “Men of Israel, and you others who fear Yehovah, listen. 17 The Aloha of our people chose our ancestors and made them great and multiplied them during their stay in the land of Egypt and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. 18 For a period of about forty years, He fed them like a nurse, in the wilderness. 19 He destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and gave them their land for an inheritance. 20 For four hundred and fifty years He gave them judges, down to the time of the prophet Samuel. 21 Then they asked to have a king, and Yehovah gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin during those forty years. 22 After removing him, He raised up David to be their king, and He testified about him and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man ‘who thinks as I do.’ He’ll do whatever I want”. 23 From his descendants, Yehovah brought Israel a Life Giver, Yeshua, as He promised. 24 Before He came, He sent John to herald the immersion of changed minds to everyone in Israel. 25 While John was finishing his course he asked, ‘Who do you think I am? I’m not the One. Understand that I’m not worthy to untie the sandals of the One coming after me.’

26 Fellow countrymen, descendants of the family of Abraham, and those of you who fear Yehovah, the message of eternal Life has been sent to you. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their leaders didn’t understand Him or the Writings of the Prophets that are read every Sabbath, but they condemned Him, fulfilling everything that was prophesied. 28 While they found no grounds for His death, they urged Pilate to have Him killed anyway. 29 After they fulfilled everything that was written about Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb, 30 but Yehovah raised Him from the dead. 31 For many days He appeared to those who had come up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now His witnesses to the people.

32 We are bringing you the Good News about the promise made to the patriarchs. 33 Yehovah has fulfilled the promise for us, their descendants, by raising Yeshua back to life, as it is written in the second Psalm, “You are My Son, today I have caused You to exist as My Son.” 34 Yehovah raised Him from the dead, never to return there and see decay, as He said, “I’ll give you the Kadosh One of faithful David.” 35 He also says in another ‘Psalm’, “You haven’t allowed Your Kadosh One to see decay.”

36 After serving Yehovah’s purpose during his generation, David fell asleep and joined his predecessors, and underwent bodily decay. 37 But the One Yehovah raised didn’t undergo bodily decay. 38 So friends, I want you to know that thru this Man being announced to you, your sins can be pardoned, as if they had never been committed, 39 and thru Him everyone who believes is pardoned in every regard, in a way that you could never be pardoned by the Torah of Moses. 40 So pay attention to the things written in the Prophets so that they don’t happen to you. 41 “Look, you scoffers, be amazed and cease to exist, because I’m going to accomplish some work in your days that you won’t believe, tho someone were to explain it to you” [1].

Paul and Barnabas Teach on the Sabbath

42 As they [Paul and Barnabas] were leaving, the Jews strongly urged them to talk about these same things with them on the following Sabbath. 43 When the synagogue meeting was finished, many of the Jews followed them, as well as converts who feared Yehovah. They conversed with them and persuaded them to persevere in the benevolence of Yehovah.

44 The next Sabbath, almost the entire population of the city assembled to hear the Word of Aloha. 45 When the Jews saw the large assembly, they were filled with jealousy and spoke out against the things that Paul was saying, and blasphemed.

46 Paul and Barnabas speaking boldly, without holding anything back said, “We were obligated to proclaim the Word of Aloha to you first, but since you rejected it and decided that you aren’t worthy of eternal Life, we’re now going to turn to the other nations. 47 This is what our Master commanded us, as the Scriptures say, ‘I have made you a light to all nations so that you can bring eternal Life to the remotest parts of the earth.’” 48 When those of other ethnicities heard this, they were delighted and praised Yehovah. Those who believed were chosen for eternal Life.

49 The Word of the Master was explained to everyone in that region. 50 But the Jews stirred up the leaders of the city and some influential religious women, and stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drove them out of the region. 51 When they left, they shook the dust from their feet as a protest against them, and went to the city of Iconium. 52 Yet the disciples were completely filled with joy, and with the kadosh spirit.

[1] This is a quote from Habakkuk 1:5. The entire 3rd chapter of Habakkuk is about Judgment Day. For years the envoys thought that the end of the age was very near.

Violence Attempted in Iconium

Acts 14: They went into a Jewish synagogue in Iconium and spoke in such a way that many of the Jews and Greek speaking Jews believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up some people of other ethnicities, persuading them to mistreat the Friends. 3 Yet they remained there a considerable time, speaking boldly about the Master, and He confirmed the message of His compassion by the signs and miracles that he did thru them. 4 The entire city was split into two factions. Some sided with the Jews, and some with the envoys. 5 A plot was devised by those of different ethnicities and by the Jews and their political leaders to mistreat them and then stone them to death. 6 When they found out about it, they escaped to the cities of Lycaonia and Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding villages 7 where they continued to spread the Good News.

8 There was a man who lived in the city Lystra who couldn’t use his feet. He’d been crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He was listening to Paul speak. When Paul saw him, he could see that he had the faith to be healed. 10 So he called to him in a loud voice, “In the name of our Master Yeshua Messiah, I tell you, stand to your feet.” Then he sprang up, stood, and then walked.

11 The people gathered there when they saw what Paul had done, and shouted in the ‘Lycaonian’ language, “The alohee [gods] have assumed human form and have come down to us.” 12 They called Barnabas ‘the Lord of the Gods’ [Aramaic Mare Alohee] and Paul, ‘Hermes’, because he was the main speaker [the word] [1]. 13 The shrine of the priest of ‘the Lord of the Gods’ [Zeus/Jupiter] was just outside of the city. He brought oxen and garlands to the gates of the court where they were staying, intending to offer ze’bakim [sacrifices] to them. 14 But when Barnabas and Paul heard about it, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd lamenting, 15 “Men, what are you doing? We’re ‘only’ frail mortals like yourselves, we’re bringing the Good News to you so that you’ll turn from these useless things to the living Aloha, who made the skies and earth and seas and everything in them. 16 In previous generations He allowed every nation to go their own way, 17 yet He left evidence ‘of His existence’ and sent help from the sky by sending the rain, allowing fruit to grow in the proper seasons, and filled them with cheer [2] and gladness.” 18 Even after saying this, it was still difficult to prevent the people from offering ze’bakim [sacrifices] to them.

Paul Stoned

19 But some Jews from Iconium and Antioch arrived and turned the people against them. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered around him, he got up and went back to town. The next day he left with Barnabas, and they traveled to the town of Derbe.

21 As they were heralding to the inhabitants of the city, they made many disciples. Then they returned to the towns of Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 establishing the spiritual lives of the disciples and encouraging them to persevere in the faith, and saying, “It is thru much tribulation that we enter the Kingdom of Yehovah.” 23 They appointed [3] elders for them in every assembly, and with prayer and fasting they presented them to our Master who they believed in. 24 After they had gone thru the region of Pisidia they came to Pamphylia. 25 After they had presented the message of the Master in the city of Perga, they went down to Attalia.

26 Then they sailed back toward Antioch where they had been entrusted by the compassion of the Master with the work they had accomplished. 27 When they arrived, they gathered the entire assembly together and told them everything that Yehovah had done thru them, and that He had opened a door of the faith to every nation. 28 And they stayed with the disciples for a long time.

[1] Hermes was a Satanic counterfeit of “the Word”. [2] See why this should say “cheer” instead of “food”. Search for the keyword “cheer”. [3] The Greek is literally “elect by a show of hands”.

Conflict Over Circumcision

Acts 15: Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the Friends, “Unless you are circumcised, as required by the Torah, you can’t have eternal Life.” 2 Paul and Barnabas ‘considered this an’ insurrection and vehemently argued with them. As a result, Paul and Barnabas and others with them went up to the envoys and elders in Jerusalem because of this debate about the Torah. 3 The assembly sent them on their way and they traveled all the way thru Phoenicia and the territory of the Samaritans, narrating the account of the conversions among other nationalities, causing celebration among the Friends! 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the assembly and the elders, and the envoys, and they explained in detail everything that Yehovah had done thru them. 5 Some of the people who had come from the sect of the Pharisees, but who now believed in Yeshua got up and said, “It is a necessity for you to circumcise them as required by the Torah of Moses.”

Conference in Jerusalem

6 The envoys and elders met to look into the matter. 7 After much discussion, Simon got up and said, “Men and Friends, you know that since the earliest days, Yehovah chose me to bring the Good News to other ethnicities so that they could believe. 8 Yehovah, who knows every mind, confirmed that He accepted them by giving them the kadosh spirit, just as He did to us. 9 He made no distinction between them and us [1] because He purified their minds by their faith. 10 Now why are you testing Yehovah by putting a yoke [2] around the necks of the disciples that neither our ancestors or we could carry ? 11 We believe that we will be Rescued by the compassion of our Master Yeshua Messiah, just as they are.”

12 The whole assembly was silent and listened to Paul and Barnabas as they related how Yehovah had, by their hands, done signs and miracles among those of other nations. 13 When they finished speaking, James got up and said, “Men and Friends, listen to me. 14 Simon has explained to you how Yehovah has begun to select a People for ‘Himself’ [Literally: for His name.] 15 This is in agreement with what the Prophets said. As it is written: 16 ‘After these things I’ll return and rebuild the tabernacle of David in the same place [3] where it was leveled. I will rebuild by excavating the ruins and setting it up again, 17 so that the survivors of humanity will search for the Master, including those from every nation who call on My name, says the Master who will do all of these things.’ 18 His undertakings have been known about for eternity.

19 So my judgment is that we shouldn’t oppress those who are just separating themselves from the nations and have been converted to Yehovah. 20 Instead, we should write to them, warning them to abstain from the defilement of food offered to idols and from sexual infidelity, and from strangled animals, and from blood. 21 BECAUSE in every city, from our earliest generations, Moses has had heralds in the synagogues who read His words every Sabbath [4].

22 Then the envoys and elders and everyone in the assembly chose some of their men and sent them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Jude who was called Barsabas, and Silas, men who were leaders among the Friends. 23 They wrote this letter to them: “From the envoys, elders and Friends, to our Friends in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia and Friends of other nationalities, greetings.

24 We have heard that some have forsaken our assembly and disturbed you with their words, without instructions from us [5]. 25 So after considering the matter while we were together, it seemed good to all of us to choose some men and send them to you, with our dear Paul and Barnabas, 26 men who have risked their lives for the sake of the name of our Master Yeshua Messiah. 27 So we have sent Jude and Silas so that they can tell you the same things personally. 28 It was acceptable with the kadosh spirit and with us not to lay upon you any greater burden than these preliminary requirements: 29 You must abstain from offering ze’bakim [sacrifices] to idols, and from blood, and from eating strangled animals, and from illicit sex. If you avoid these things, you’ll do well. Remain faithful in the Master.”

30 So the men were sent off, and when they arrived in Antioch, they called together the congregation and delivered the letter. 31 Once they read it, they were very happy and encouraged. 32 Jude and Silas gave them a long and encouraging talk, strengthening the Friends, because they were also prophets. 33 After spending some time there, the Friends sent them back to the envoys in peace. 34 [6] 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch along with many others, teaching and announcing the Word of Aloha.

Paul and Barnabas Disagree

36 After a few days, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit the Friends in every city where we proclaimed the Word of Aloha to see how well they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, who was also called Mark, 38 but Paul was unwilling to take him with them because he had deserted them when they were in Pamphylia, and hadn’t gone on with them to the work. 39 As a result of this disagreement they went their separate ways. Barnabas took Mark and they sailed to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left after the Friends had entrusted him to Yehovah’s care. 41 He traveled thru Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the assemblies.

[1] There was never meant to be “Jewish believers” and “Gentile believers” with differing teachings. The oral law or Talmud is a rabbinical Jewish commentary on the Torah that bound the people with many contrived restrictions. [2] The Council met to see if men of other nationalities needed to be circumcised as soon as they learned of this Way to eternal life thru Yeshua. The decision at the Jerusalem council was to only put four conditions on these “seekers”. This allowed them to begin learning in the synagogues (v.20-21). (Also see What is the yoke?) The Jews had been deceived into believing that Yehovah would give them Eternal Life solely by obeying the Torah. This is the yoke that no one could bear (Romans 3:20, 28, Galatians 2:16-17). This is exactly what Yeshua brought out when He told the Jewish authorities (John 5:10) and the Jewish people who were expecting eternal life strictly thru Torah observance without faith. Yeshua said in John 5:39, “You search the Scriptures because you are of the opinion that there is eternal Life in them for you, yet those same Scriptures testify about Me!” [3] The Greek is literally “in the midst rebuild”. [4] The prospective converts, former pagans, were expected to begin learning “in the synagogues” “every Sabbath”, without coercion. [5] The oldest Greek Texts, while riddled with omissions, at least don’t contain the more recent forgery present in the KJV (from the Textus Receptus), with the words, “saying, you must be circumcised, and keep the law”. This forgery also found its way into the Peshitta. [6] Some newer Greek texts add, “Yet Silas was of the opinion that he should remain there longer.

Timothy Accompanies Paul and Silas

Acts 16: ‘Paul’ went to the city of Derbe and to Lystra, and there was a disciple there named Timothy, the son of a believing Jewish lady whose father was a Hellenist. 2 All of the disciples in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him with him, so he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, since they all knew that his father was a Hellenist. 4 As they traveled from town to town, they showed them the ordinance that the envoys and elders in Jerusalem had written. 5 So the assemblies were established in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

6 They traveled thru the regions of Phrygia and Galatia, but the kadosh spirit prohibited them from proclaiming the Word in Asia Minor. 7 When they came into the region of Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the spirit of Yeshua [1] didn’t allow them. 8 After they bypassed Mysia, they went down to the region of Troas. 9 In a vision [2] one night, a man from Macedonia appeared to Paul. He stood pleading with him, “Come to Macedonia and help us.” 10 As soon as Paul had seen this vision, we immediately decided to leave for Macedonia, because we were convinced that our Master had called us to announce the Good News to them.

11 We sailed from Troas straight to the island of Samothrace, and on the following day we sailed to the city of Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, the principal city of Macedonia, a Roman colony. We stayed in the city for several days.

Lydia Immersed on the Sabbath

13 On the Sabbath day we went outside of the gate of the city to the bank of a river, because we saw a place frequently used for prayer there. When we were seated, we began talking with the women who had gathered there. 14 A woman named Lydia from the city of Thyatira was there. She was a dealer in purple goods. She feared Yehovah, and the Master opened her mind and she listened to what Paul said. 15 She was immersed as well as her household. She encouraged us saying, “If you are really persuaded that I believe in our Master, then come and stay in my house.” She was very persuasive.

Paul Shuts Down a Business

16 ‘Once’ when we were going to the place of prayer, a girl possessed by “the spirit of Python” [see footnotes] met us. She made a lot of money for her masters by her divination. 17 She followed Paul and us crying out, “These men are the servants of Yehovah, who resides inthe highest regions, and they are announcing to you the Way to eternal Life.” 18 She kept doing this for many days. Paul became quite annoyed, so he told the spirit, “I command you in the name of Yeshua Messiah to come out of her.” And it left her instantly.

19 When her masters realized that their anticipated profits had vanished, they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them off to the authorities in the public square. 20 They brought them before the army commanders and authorities of the city and said, “These men are disturbing our city. They’re Jews, 21 and they’re teaching customs that we as Romans aren’t allowed to accept or practice.”

22 A large mob gathered to oppose them. Then the army commanders tore their clothes off, and ordered them to be scourged. 23 After a severe scourging, they threw them into prison and ordered the prison warden to guard them under tight security. 24 Once he got this order, he threw them into the inner part of the prison and secured their feet in the stocks.

Paul Rescues a Prison Warden

25 At midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and praising Yehovah, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was an earthquake so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all of the doors opened and everyone’s chains fell off. 27 When the prison warden woke up and saw that the doors of the prison were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he assumed that the prisoners had escaped, 28 but Paul shouted to him very loudly, “Don’t harm yourself, we’re all here.”

29 He lit a lamp, and rushed in trembling, and fell down at Paul and Silas’ feet. 30 He brought them out and asked, “Masters, what must I do to have eternal Life?” 31 They said, “Believe in the name of our Master Yeshua Messiah and you’ll be Rescued, you and your household.” 32 They explained the Word of the Master to him and to all the members of his household. 33 He took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds, and he was immersed immediately, he and everyone in his household. 34 He took them and brought them into his house and set a table for them, and he was filled with joy, ‘having accepted’ the faith of Yehovah, he and everyone in his house.

35 In the morning the soldiers sent officials to the warden with the order: “Release those men”. 36 When the warden heard about it, he went in and told Paul, “The officials have sent orders that you are to be released. So come on out and go in peace.” 37 But Paul told him, “They have scourged us, innocent men and Romans, for all the world to see, and have thrown us into prison, and now they want to let us out secretly? Absolutely not! Have them come and personally escort us out.”

38 The officials went and told the soldiers what ‘Paul said’. They were terrified when they heard that they were Romans, 39 So they came and apologized to them and escorted them from the prison and asked them to leave the city. 40 When they left the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, and after visiting the Friends, they encouraged them and then left.

[1] The other reference to the spirit of Yeshua is in Philippians 1:19. [2] or “a wakeful ecstasy

Paul Teaches in Amphipolis

Acts 17: They [Paul and Silas] traveled thru the cities of Amphipolis and Apollonia, and came to Thessalonica where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 Paul, as usual, went in with them and for three Sabbaths he discussed [Gr. dialegomai] the Scriptures with them, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah was to suffer and then rise from the dead. He said, “This Yeshua who I’m announcing is the Messiah.” 4 Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, including many Hellenists who feared Yehovah, and quite a few influential women.

5 But the jealousy of the Jews was aroused, so they rounded up some rabble rousers from the marketplace and formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house, intending to hand them over to the mob. 6 When they didn’t find them there, they dragged Jason and the Friends who were there before the city authorities, yelling, “These are the men who have troubled the entire empire, and now they are here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They all defy Caesar’s authority, saying that there is another King, one named Yeshua.” 8 The leaders of the city and all the people were alarmed when they heard these charges. 9 But after they took bail from Jason and from the Friends, they let them go.

Open Minded Bereans

10 The Friends immediately sent Paul and Silas away that night to the city of Berea, and on their arrival they went into a Jewish synagogue. 11 The [Berean] Jews were more open minded than the Jews in Thessalonica. They eagerly listened to the message from them every day, and examined the Scriptures to see if these things were true. 12 Many of them believed, including many distinguished Hellenist men and women.

13 When the Jews of Thessalonica learned that Paul was announcing the Word of Aloha in the city of Berea, they went there as well, continually agitating the crowd and stirring them up. 14 The Friends sent Paul all the way to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed in the city. 15 The men who escorted Paul went with him all the way to the city of Athens. And when they left him, they took a letter from Paul addressed to Silas and Timothy, saying that they should come to him as quickly as possible.

Paul and the Philosophers

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was deeply disturbed because he saw that the entire city was full of idols. 17 He conversed [Gr. dialegomai] in the synagogue with the Jews and with others who feared Yehovah, and he spoke in the marketplace with those who gathered there daily. 18 Also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. Some were asking, “What does this word monger want?” Others said, “His proclamations are about foreign gods, because he brings the people Good News about Yeshua and His resurrection.” 19 They took him to the court house, called the Areopagus [Mars hill], and said, “Tell us about this new doctrine that you have been teaching. 20 You’ve sown some unusual concepts for us to hear, and we want to know what they mean.” 21 All of the Athenians and the foreigners living there were totally preoccupied with sharing new ideas.

22 So Paul stood in the Areopagus, and said, “Men of Athens, I see that in every way you worship + many demons [Gr. daimon]” [1], 23 because as I was walking around observing your places of worship, I encountered an altar with this inscription, “TO THE UNKNOWN [Gr. agnostos] [2] DEITY.” So the One who you worship without knowing Him is the One I’m announcing to you, 24 because the Creator who made the world and everything in it—Master of Heaven and earth, doesn’t live in man made temples. 25 Humans don’t tend to His needs—He has no needs. He’s the One who gives everyone life and breath. 26 From one ‘man’ [blood] He made all of humanity so that they could live on the surface of the entire earth. He has defined their epochs by His decree, and defined limitations on their civilization 27 in order to orchestrate our finding out by thinking, meditating, reasoning and inquiry about Yehovah, by searching around for Him, inspired by His creations [3], so that we could find Him, because He isn’t far from any one of us. 28 Because of Him we live and move and exist, as one of your own poets has said, “We are His descendants”.

29 So we, Yehovah’s descendants, shouldn’t think that the one true Aloha is in the likeness of gold, silver or stone—something sculptured by the art and skill of people. 30 Yehovah has ended [4] the time of ignorance, and now He is commanding all of humanity, every single person everywhere to change the way they think. 31 He has established a fixed Judgment Day [5] for everyone on earth, with righteousness, by the Man He has designated, and has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them ridiculed him, while others said, “We’ll listen to you about this some other time.” 33 So Paul left them. 34 Some of them joined him and believed. Among them was Dionysius, one of the judges of the Areopagus and a woman named Damaris and a number of others.

[1] “Agnostos” simply means “unknown” in Greek. The ancient Greeks set up altars for a possible “agnostos” god—just in case. Today’s agnostics aren’t that concerned. [2] Not “idols” as Lamsa renders here. The word here is “shaida”, or demons as Etheridge and Murdock (and the Greek) correctly render it. [3] The Greek omits, “by His creations.” [4] The Greek says “took no notice”, instead of “ended” or “made to pass away”. [5] Daniel 12:1-3, John 5:28-29

Aquilla and Priscilla

Acts 18: When Paul left Athens, he went to Corinth. 2 He met a Jewish man there named Aquilla, a native of Pontus who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius Caesar had deported all the Jews who lived in Rome. So [Paul] went to visit them. 3 Because they had the same trade, he stayed with them and they worked together as talete [1] makers. 4 He conversed [Gr. dialegomai] in the synagogue every Sabbath, persuading both Jews and heathens.

5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul’s dialog was interrupted because the Jews opposed him, and they blasphemed as he testified to them that Yeshua is the Messiah. 6 He shook his garments and told them [2] “From now on I’m blameless, I’ll deal with the other ethnicities.”

7 He got out of there went to the home of a man named Titus, who revered Yehovah, whose house was next to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the synagogue leader, believed in our Master, he and his entire family, and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were immersed.

9 The Master told Paul in a vision, “Don’t be afraid, speak out! Don’t be silent, 10 No one is able to harm you because I’m with you. I have many people in this city.” 11 So ‘Paul’ stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the Word of Aloha.

12 When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him before the tribunal. 13 They said, “This man is persuading people to worship Yehovah in ways contrary to the Torah.”

14 When Paul was about to speak, Gallio told the Jews, “If your accusation involved some wrongdoing or fraud or a serious crime, it would be reasonable to listen to you, 15 but since it involves questions about doctrine or names or about your Torah, you must take care of that yourselves, because I refuse to judge such matters.” 16 Then he ran them out of his tribunal. 17 All the heathens seized Sosthenes, an elder of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal, but Gallio didn’t care about that.

Paul Returns to Antioch

18 After staying there for quite a while longer, Paul said goodbye to the Friends and set sail for Syria. Priscilla and Aquilla went with him, after he shaved his head in Cenchrea, because of a vow [3]. 19 They arrived in Ephesus, and Paul went into the synagogue and conversed with the Jews. 20 They asked him to stay with them, but he couldn’t be persuaded. 21 He told them, “It is an absolute necessity that I celebrate this coming feast in Jerusalem [4]. If it pleases Yehovah, I’ll visit you again. Then he left Priscilla and Aquilla and set sail to Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the assembly, and then went on to Antioch.

23 After he had been there several days, he began systematically visiting everyone in the region of Galatia and Phrygia, establishing all the disciples.

24 A Jew named Apollos arrived in Ephesus. He was a native of Alexandria, a very eloquent man who was very knowledgeable of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the ways of the Master. With spiritual fervor he conversed and taught accurately about Yeshua, tho he knew nothing other than the immersion of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquilla and Priscilla heard him, they took him to their home and showed him the Way of the Master more completely.

27 When ‘Apollos’ wanted to go to Achaia, the Friends ‘encouraged’ him, and wrote to the disciples asking them to welcome him. By going, he greatly assisted everyone who believed, by the benevolence of Yehovah. 28 He reasoned very convincingly with the Jews in front of the congregation, proving to them from the Scriptures that Yeshua is the Messiah.

[1] The Greek says tent maker. The Aramaic is disputed. It could be talete maker or even saddle maker according to “the Way” publications (that discourage quotation), tho Murdock and Etheridge opted for tent. [2] Strangely, the Greek has Paul speaking even more fervently: “Your blood is on your own heads.” Word sequences in v.5 and v.6 vary. [3] Numbers 6:9,18 [4] The others feasted locally.

ACTS 19 continues here.

Compare the Testimony of Yeshua Version of this book with the 1851 Murdock or the 1849 Etheridge Versions of “The Testimony of Yeshua” (New Testament).

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The Testimony of Yeshua was tweaked May 22, 2012