Acts 1; Acts 2; Acts 3

1 Theophilus, I wrote about Jesus in my earlier book. I wrote about all he did and taught 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven. Before Jesus left, he gave orders to the apostles he had chosen. He did this through the Holy Spirit. 3 After his suffering and death, he appeared to them. In many ways he proved that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days. During that time he spoke about God's kingdom. 4 One day Jesus was eating with them. He gave them a command. "Do not leave Jerusalem," he said. "Wait for the gift my Father promised. You have heard me talk about it. 5 John baptized with water. But in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 6 When the apostles met together, they asked Jesus a question. "Lord," they said, "are you going to give the kingdom back to Israel now?" 7 He said to them, "You should not be concerned about times or dates. The Father has set them by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Then you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem. You will be my witnesses in all Judea and Samaria. And you will be my witnesses from one end of the earth to the other." 9 After Jesus said this, he was taken up to heaven. They watched until a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 While he was going up, they kept on looking at the sky. Suddenly two men dressed in white clothing stood beside them. 11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. But he will come back in the same way you saw him go." 12 The apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. It is almost a mile from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Peter, John, James and Andrew were there. Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew were there too. So were James, son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas, son of James. 14 They all came together regularly to pray. The women joined them too. So did Jesus' mother Mary and his brothers. 15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers. About 120 of them were there. 16 Peter said, "Brothers, a long time ago the Holy Spirit spoke through David's mouth about Judas. What he said in Scripture had to come true. Judas was the guide for the men who arrested Jesus. 17 But Judas was one of us. He shared with us in our work for God." 18 Judas bought a field with the reward he got for the evil thing he had done. He fell down headfirst in the field. His body burst open. All his insides spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this. So they called that field Akeldama. In their language, Akeldama means The Field of Blood. 20 Peter said, "Here is what is written in the book of Psalms. It says, " 'May his home be deserted. May no one live in it.' (Psalm 69:25) The Psalms also say, " 'Let someone else take his place as leader.' (Psalm 109:8) 21 So we need to choose someone to take his place. It will have to be a man who was with us the whole time the Lord Jesus lived among us. 22 That time began when John was baptizing. It ended when Jesus was taken up from us. The one we choose must join us in giving witness that Jesus rose from the dead." 23 So they suggested two men. One was Joseph, who was called Barsabbas. He was also called Justus. The other man was Matthias. 24 Then they prayed. "Lord," they said, "you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen. 25 Show us who should take the place of Judas as an apostle. He gave up being an apostle to go where he belongs." 26 Then they cast lots. Matthias was chosen. So he was added to the 11 apostles.
1 The day of Pentecost came. The believers all gathered in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound came from heaven. It was like a strong wind blowing. It filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw something that looked like tongues of fire. The flames separated and settled on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to speak in languages they had not known before. The Spirit gave them the ability to do this. 5 Godly Jews from every country in the world were staying in Jerusalem. 6 A crowd came together when they heard the sound. They were bewildered because they each heard the believers speaking in their own language. 7 The crowd was really amazed. They asked, "Aren't all these people from Galilee? 8 Why, then, do we each hear them speaking in our own native language? 9 We are Parthians, Medes and Elamites. We live in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia. We are from Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia. Others of us are from Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene. Still others are visitors from Rome. 11 Some of the visitors are Jews. Others have accepted the Jewish faith. Also, Cretans and Arabs are here. We hear all these people speaking about God's wonders in our own languages!" 12 They were amazed and bewildered. They asked one another, "What does this mean?" 13 But some people in the crowd made fun of the believers. "They've had too much wine!" they said. 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven. In a loud voice he spoke to the crowd. "My Jewish friends," he said, "let me explain this to you. All of you who live in Jerusalem, listen carefully to what I say. 15 You think these people are drunk. But they aren't. It's only nine o'clock in the morning! 16 No, here is what the prophet Joel meant. 17 He said, " 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Holy Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will have dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on those who serve me, both men and women. When I do, they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heavens above. I will show miraculous signs on the earth below. There will be blood and fire and clouds of smoke. 20 The sun will become dark. The moon will turn red like blood. This will happen before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' (Joel 2:28-32) 22 "Men of Israel, listen to this! Jesus of Nazareth was a man who had God's approval. God did miracles, wonders and signs among you through Jesus. You yourselves know this. 23 Long ago God planned that Jesus would be handed over to you. With the help of evil people, you put Jesus to death. You nailed him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead. He set him free from the suffering of death. It wasn't possible for death to keep its hold on Jesus. 25 David spoke about him. He said, " 'I know that the Lord is always with me. He is at my right hand. I will always be secure. 26 So my heart is glad. Joy is on my tongue. My body also will be full of hope. 27 You will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your Holy One rot away. 28 You always show me the path that leads to life. You will fill me with joy when I am with you.' (Psalm 16:8-11) 29 "Brothers, you can be sure that King David died. He was buried. His tomb is still here today. 30 But David was a prophet. He knew that God had made a promise to him. He had taken an oath that someone in David's family line would be king after him. 31 David saw what was ahead. So he spoke about the Christ rising from the dead. He said that the Christ would not be left in the grave. His body wouldn't rot in the ground. 32 God has raised this same Jesus back to life. We are all witnesses of this. 33 Jesus has been given a place of honor at the right hand of God. He has received the Holy Spirit from the Father. This is what God had promised. It is Jesus who has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 David did not go up to heaven. But he said, " 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand. 35 I will put your enemies under your control." ' (Psalm 110:1) 36 "So be sure of this, all you people of Israel. You nailed Jesus to the cross. But God has made him both Lord and Christ." 37 When the people heard this, their hearts were filled with shame. They said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?" 38 Peter replied, "All of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then your sins will be forgiven. You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children. It is also for all who are far away. It is for all whom the Lord our God will choose." 40 Peter said many other things to warn them. He begged them, "Save yourselves from these evil people." 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized. About 3,000 people joined the believers that day. 42 The believers studied what the apostles taught. They shared life together. They broke bread and ate together. And they prayed. 43 Everyone felt that God was near. The apostles did many wonders and miraculous signs. 44 All the believers were together. They shared everything they had. 45 They sold what they owned. They gave each other everything they needed. 46 Every day they met together in the temple courtyard. In their homes they broke bread and ate together. Their hearts were glad and honest and true. 47 They praised God. They were respected by all the people. Every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.
1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple. It was three o'clock in the afternoon. It was the time for prayer. 2 A man unable to walk was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful. He had been that way since he was born. Every day someone put him near the gate. There he would beg from people going into the temple courtyards. 3 He saw that Peter and John were about to enter. So he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, and so did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man watched them closely. He expected to get something from them. 6 Peter said, "I don't have any silver or gold. But I'll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk." 7 Then Peter took him by the right hand and helped him up. At once the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. He went with Peter and John into the temple courtyards. He walked and jumped and praised God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 They recognized him as the same man who used to sit and beg at the temple gate called Beautiful. They were filled with wonder. They were amazed at what had happened to him. 11 The beggar was holding on to Peter and John. All the people were amazed. They came running to them at Solomon's Porch. 12 When Peter saw this, he said, "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us? We haven't made this man walk by our own power or godliness. 13 The God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has done this. He has brought glory to Jesus, who serves him. But you handed Jesus over to be killed. Pilate had decided to let him go. But you spoke against Jesus when he was in Pilate's court. 14 You spoke against the Holy and Blameless One. You asked for a murderer to be set free instead. 15 You killed the one who gives life. But God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 This man whom you see and know was made strong because of faith in Jesus' name. Faith in Jesus has healed him completely. You can see it with your own eyes. 17 "My friends, I know you didn't realize what you were doing. Neither did your leaders. 18 But God had given a promise through all the prophets. And this is how he has made his promise come true. He said that his Christ would suffer. 19 So turn away from your sins. Turn to God. Then your sins will be wiped away. The time will come when the Lord will make everything new. 20 He will send the Christ. Jesus has been appointed as the Christ for you. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time when God makes everything new. He promised this long ago through his holy prophets. 22 Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me. He will be one of your own people. You must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Those who do not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.'(Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19) 24 "Samuel and all the prophets after him spoke about this. They said these days would come. 25 What the prophets said was meant for you. The covenant God made with your people long ago is yours also. He said to Abraham, 'All nations on earth will be blessed through your children.'(Genesis 22:18; 26:4) 26 God raised up Jesus, who serves him. God sent him first to you. He did it to bless you. He wanted to turn each of you from your evil ways."
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