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The Christian Church At Antioch





The disciples who had been scattered by the persecution which came after
the killing of Stephen went to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, but
told about Jesus only to Jews. Some of them, citizens of Cyprus and
Cyrene, when they reached Antioch also told the good news about the
Lord Jesus to the Greeks. The power of the Lord was with them, and a
large number believed and turned to him.

When the news of this reached the church in Jerusalem, they sent
Barnabas to Antioch. After he saw the proofs of God's goodness, he was
very glad and urged all to remain loyal to the Lord; and many more
believed.

Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Paul, whose name had been Saul.
When he had found him, he brought him to Antioch, and for a whole year
they were with the church there and taught a large number of people. It
was at Antioch also that the disciples were first called Christians.

During these days some prophets came to Antioch from Jerusalem. One of
them, Agabus, under the influence of the Spirit, told that a severe
famine would come all through that part of the world, and this famine
came when Claudius was emperor. Therefore, the disciples, each as he was
able, sent something to help the brothers living in Judea. They sent
their gifts to the elders by Barnabas and Paul. After Barnabas and Paul
had done that for which they were sent, they returned from Jerusalem,
bringing with them John, who was also called Mark.

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and preachers:
Barnabas, Symeon (called Niger), and Lucius the Cyrenean, besides Manean
(a childhood friend of Herod the ruler), and Paul. As they were
worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for
me Barnabas and Paul for the work to which I have called them." Then
when they had fasted and prayed, they gave them their blessing and sent
them on their way.





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