There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a Roman army officer in what was called the Italian Regiment.
He was a devout man, a "God-fearer," as was his whole household; he gave generously to help the Jewish poor and prayed regularly to God.
One afternoon around three o'clock he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!"
Cornelius stared at the angel, terrified. "What is it, sir?" he asked. "Your prayers," replied the angel, "and your acts of charity have gone up into God's presence, so that he has you on his mind.
Now send some men to Yafo to bring back a man named Shim'on, also called Kefa.
He's staying with Shim'on the leather-tanner, who has a house by the sea."
As the angel that had spoken to him went away, Cornelius called two of his household slaves and one of his military aides, who was a godly man;
he explained everything to them and sent them to Yafo.
The next day about noon, while they were still on their way and approaching the city, Kefa went up onto the roof of the house to pray.
He began to feel hungry and wanted something to eat; but while they were preparing the meal, he fell into a trance
in which he saw heaven opened, and something that looked like a large sheet being lowered to the ground by its four corners.
In it were all kinds of four-footed animals, crawling creatures and wild birds.
Then a voice came to him, "Get up, Kefa, slaughter and eat!"
But Kefa said, "No, sir! Absolutely not! I have never eaten food that was unclean or treif."
The voice spoke to him a second time: "Stop treating as unclean what God has made clean."
This happened three times, and then the sheet was immediately taken back up into heaven.
Kefa was still puzzling over the meaning of the vision he had seen, when the men Cornelius had sent, having inquired for Shim'on's house, stood at the gate
and called out to ask if the Shim'on known as Kefa was staying there.
While Kefa's mind was still on the vision, the Spirit said, "Three men are looking for you.
Get up, go downstairs, and have no misgivings about going with them, because I myself have sent them."
So Kefa went down and said to the men, "You were looking for me? Here I am. What brings you here?"
They answered, "Cornelius. He's a Roman army officer, an upright man and a God-fearer, a man highly regarded by the whole Jewish nation; and he was told by a holy angel to have you come to his house and listen to what you have to say."
So Kefa invited them to be his guests. The next day, he got up and went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Yafo;
and he arrived at Caesarea the day after that. Cornelius was expecting them - he had already called together his relatives and close friends.
As Kefa entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell prostrate at his feet.
But Kefa pulled him to his feet and said, "Stand up! I myself am just a man."
As he talked with him, Kefa went inside and found many people gathered.
He said to them, "You are well aware that for a man who is a Jew to have close association with someone who belongs to another people, or to come and visit him, is something that just isn't done. But God has shown me not to call any person common or unclean;
so when I was summoned, I came without raising any questions. Tell me, then, why did you send for me?"
Cornelius answered, "Three days ago around this time, I was at minchah prayers in my house, when suddenly a man in shining clothes stood in front of me
and said, 'God has heard your prayer and remembered your acts of charity.
Now send to Yafo and ask for Shim'on, known as Kefa; he is staying in the house of Shim'on, a leather-tanner, by the sea.'
So I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. Now all of us are here in the presence of God to hear everything the Lord has ordered you to say."
Then Kefa addressed them: "I now understand that God does not play favorites,
but that whoever fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him, no matter what people he belongs to.
"Here is the message that he sent to the sons of Isra'el announcing shalom through Yeshua the Messiah, who is Lord of everything.
You know what has been going on throughout Y'hudah, starting from the Galil after the immersion that Yochanan proclaimed;
how God anointed Yeshua from Natzeret with the Ruach HaKodesh and with power; how Yeshua went about doing good and healing all the people oppressed by the Adversary, because God was with him.
"As for us, we are witnesses of everything he did, both in the Judean countryside j
but and in Yerushalayim. They did away with him by hanging him on a stake;God raised him up on the third day and let him be seen,
not by all the people, but by witnesses God had previously chosen, that is, by us, who ate and drank with him after he had risen again from the dead.
"Then he commanded us to proclaim and attest to the Jewish people that this man has been appointed by God to judge the living and the dead.
All the prophets bear witness to him, that everyone who puts his trust in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
Kefa was still saying these things when the Ruach HaKodesh fell on all who were hearing the message.
All the believers from the Circumcision faction who had accompanied Kefa were amazed that the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh was also being poured out
on the Goyim, for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Kefa's response was,
"Is anyone prepared to prohibit these people from being immersed in water? After all, they have received the Ruach HaKodesh, just as we did."
And he ordered that they be immersed in the name of Yeshua the Messiah. Then they asked Kefa to stay on with them for a few days.