The

Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 7

Stephen's Testimony, and Death."

 

Acts 7:1 "Then said the high priest, "Are these things so?"

This is a continuation of the last chapter, when Stephen sat before the Sanhedrin; "looking stedfastly on him as it had been the face of an angel." Was this high priest mesmerized by the face of Stephen, or was he terrorized? It was obvious that when they looked upon Stephen they saw the presence of the Living God. So this high priest softly stated, "Are these things so?" There is no harsh accusations at this time, for as God's glory fell on Stephen, they knew that they were in the presence of of the Living God.

Acts 7:2 "And he said, "Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,"

Stephen said listen to me, and he is about to give one of the greatest Bible lessons you can ever hear, and it was delivered by the Holy Spirit through Stephen. It will cost him his life, and his blood will be spilled because of these statements.

"Abraham" in the Hebrew tongue, meaning "the father of many nations".

Acts 7:3 "And said unto him, `Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.' "

Abraham also was obedient to God, and that is why he was blessed by God.

Acts 7:4 "Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, He removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell."

The Chaldaeans are the Babylonians, the land of Babel, which means confusion. To picture this land of the Chaldaeans that Abraham was a youth, it was the same location where the Desert Storm war was fought.

Acts 7:5 "And He gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet He promised that He would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child."

Even though Abraham did not live on the land of this promise, God promised that it would be given to his inheritance of a possession. This promise was made before Abraham even had a child, and by both his and Sarah's age they were far beyond child bearing age. This covenant that was made by God, with Abraham is recorded in Genesis 15.

Acts 7:6 "And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years."

The seed of Abraham, spoken of here are the children of Jacob, whose name was changed by God to Israel. Israel had twelve sons who went into Egypt from the land of Canaan, when there was seven years of drought. This "evil" that put them in bondage for the four hundered years was Pharaoh. Pharaoh kept them in Egypt for that full four hundred years.

Acts 7:7 "And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge,` said God: 'and after that shall they come forth, and serve Me in this place.' "

God is saying that when I deliver the Israelites from Egypt, I will be their judge. God is saying they will be My possession., and so it was.

Acts 7:8 "And He gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs."

The covenant of circumcision was given to Abraham, which was passed on continuely to Isaac, then Jacob [Israel], then to the twelve sons of Jacob, which are the twelve patriarchs, and on from generation to generation to this day. It is a marking of the Israelites, both the house of Israel [Christians nations], and the house of Judah [Jews, Judah and Benjamin, with the Kenites mixed with them] today. To understand what this marking of the circumcision is all about we have to go to Genesis 17:9-17.

Genesis 17:9 "And God said unto Abraham, "Thou shalt keep My covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations."

Genesis 17:10 "This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised."

Genesis 17:11 "And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you."

It is the sign that you are under the covenant of the blessings promised to Abraham. You are part of Abraham's covenant that God made with Abraham.

Genesis 17:12 "And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

All male children, even that of slaves, and strangers, such as the Nethinim Kenites what became part of Judah in Babylon, and took over the levitical priesthood.

Genesis 17:13 "He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant."

The promises don't stop in this flesh age, but are continued for eternity. Though it started with Abraham, it continued with each generation that followed, and into the Millennium age. It is a physical marking on those under Abraham's promise.

Genesis 17:14 "And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant."

To get back to Stephen's message; we have a short summary of the seed line from Abraham to the patriarchs which will carry the names of each of the twelve tribes.

Acts 7:9 "And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,"

Those sons of Jacob sold Joseph into Egypt, God went with Joseph, and was in control of all matters. Joseph probably felt that he was down and out many times, when his brother did wrong to him. Remember though that as all this was happening, it was God that was moving this family into position to fulfill his prophecy, stated to father Abraham. God would build this family into a nation in Egypt, over that four hundred years. By selling Joseph into bondage, would insure all the tribes safety during that four hundred year captivity. God is in control, and with Joseph.

Acts 7:10 "And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house."

Joseph had many and great afflictions, yet God delivered him out of all those afflictions. This applies to us today, just as it did to Joseph. When we get into afflictions that seem impossible, when we turn it over to God, He will level those mountains out, to make them hills that we can cross over. God will deliver you, if you have faith. That is His promise.

God gave Joseph favor with Pharaoh, because of the wisdom that Joseph possessed from God. This one of the twelve of Israel, who was sold into Egypt as a slave, would become the ruler of Egypt during the time of the famine, when the whole world was suffering. God was in control.

Acts 7:11 "Now there came a dearth [famine]over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our father found no sustenance."

During this famine that covered the world at that time, Israel [Jacob] and the family lived in Canaan, and Joseph ruled over Egypt. The only place to get the food was to go to Egypt.

However, before Joseph was ever sold into Egypt, Joseph had a dream that showed him that his brothers would bow to him, and their shocks would bow to Joseph's shocks. So this would come true because of another dream that Joseph had while in Egypt, where by there would be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. God placed Joseph in charge of the food supply, that would draw the whole house of Israel into Egypt, where they would grow into a nation.

Acts 7:12 "But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first."

Jacob was still greiving over his loss of Joseph, who was his first born of his true love, Rachel.

Acts 7:13 "And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh."

After much affliction, Joseph had been moved by God to the position whereby he had favor with Pharaoh, to where he was second in the land in command..

Acts 7:14 "Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls."

Joseph loved his father, and sent for Jacob, and all seventy five in his household to come to Egypt where there was plenty to eat for the entire famine period.

Acts 7:15 "So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he and our fathers,"

Acts 7:16 "And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a some of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem."

Acts 7:17 "But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,"

When that four hundred years was all most completed that God had promised Abraham that would come to pass, they had grown into a large nation. In fact they had grown to the point that Pharaoh wanted to eliminate the births of all male babies. Though the Pharaoh gave the order, it did not work, for the midwives were threatened with their lives if they killed the babies. The male babies lived, and Israel continued to prosper, even while in captivity.

Again, just as in Joseph's case, one of these male babies would grow to a position just under Pharaoh, even in Pharaoh's household.

Acts 7:18 "Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph."

Acts 7:19 "The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live."

This is the time that Moses was set into the bull rushes, in the Nile, and taken into Pharaoh's household, by the Pharaoh's daughter. Moses had nursed in his own mother's milk for three months, and he was a beautiful child.

Acts 7:20 "In which time Moses was born, and was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months:"

He was cast out when Moses' sister placed Moses in the Nile river, and followed that little ark as it floated down the nile, and floated right into the middle of Pharaoh's daughter had a bathing party.

Acts 7:21 "And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son,"

The nurishing of Moses again was done by his own mother, when Moses' sister and advised Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her to his mother.

Acts 7:22 "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds."

Moses was instructed in the highest schools of education in Egypt, with the best teachers. This tell us that Moses was wise in the ways of the world as well as from God. Moses was a great speaker also, yet forty years later Moses tells God, "I can't speak." On the things that God wanted spoken, Moses felt insecure. He was a lord among the Egyptians.

Acts 7:23 "And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel."

The number forty in biblical numerics, means probation. God has a way of keeping track of all people, individually, and touching a mind, and saying it is time now to think about your own people. This is your purpose.

Acts 7:24 "And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:"

Acts 7:25 "For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not."

Moses felt in his own heart that because he took this great risk to save a Hebrew, they would have to understand, and kept the act secret, and they would know that he was the deliverer.

Acts 7:26 "And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, `Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?' "

The next day Moses watched as the Israelites were fighting amongst each other, and asked why they would do such a thing.

Acts 7:27 "But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, `'Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?' "

This one that Moses addressed answered back.

Acts 7:28 "Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?"

When this man shouted this accusation out, he knew that this accusation had to be known by all the Israelites. Moses knew that he was in great danger when this man shouted this out publically. Moses was betrayed by the mouths of his own people, and this goes right to today, and our dealing with other people. When you need something kept secret, that has to do with the work of God; do not trust the ears of a non-believer, any more then you would let a non-believer do your translating for you, and believe it.

It is written in Mark 13:12; "Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death." Satan is death, and in a time coming very shortly, the "instead of Christ" who is Satan will be one earth turling as Christ, and they shall deliver you up to Satan in ignorance. Be careful what you say even to a brother, who is a non-believer.

Acts 7:29 "Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian [Midian in the Hebrew], where he begat two sons."

After Sarah died, Abraham took on another wife named Keturah. Genesis 25:1; "Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah." We see in the second verse that Midian was the son of Abraham by the wife Keturah. "And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, ..." So we see that Moses left Egypt and lived in the land of kinfolk, the Midianites, distant cousins.

In fact Moses father-in-law bacame a priest of the Midianites, of the offspirng of Abraham. Moses married into his own family, and not as many say, a Kenite. Jethro is a title, and not a name, for Moses father-in-law is given in Numbers 10:29; "And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law,..." Requel was the father-in-law of Moses.

Acts 7:30 "And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount sina an Angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush."

Moses was eighty years old when he saw the flame in this bush, but the bush did not burn.

Acts 7:31 "When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the lord came unto him,"

This came as a shock to hear the voice of the Lord.

Acts 7:32 "Saying, `I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold."

Acts 7:33 "Then said the Lord to him, `Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.' "

I'm sure Moses took no time at all in kicking off those sandals.

Acts 7:34 "I have seen, I have seen the affliction of My people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.' "

This is the Almighty Father speaking to Moses, and He said "I have seen" twice for emphasis. Stop and think for a moment, do you understand the emotions that He has in His heart of His people. How do you feel when you see someone kicking around your children, does it make you happy, of course not. It is true that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and just as He came to the rescue of those children of Israel in Egypt, He also will come to your rescue when you call on His name. He know exactly what is going on today in the world, and He will protect His own. God ordered Satan, touch not mine anointed, and that is why when one of God's elect orders Satan away, he runs.

Later in this chapter Stephen will talk about another that would be raised up to deliver His people, and that person was Jesus Christ the Son of God of Nazareth. He will come to deliver the people, not at the first advent, but at any time or moment that you would have faith to accept that deliverance and receive salvation at your time and pleasure. It gives God pleasure touch you and protect you from affliction, even today.

Acts 7:35 "This Moses whom the refused, saying, `Who made thee a ruler and a judge:' the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel Which appeared to him in the bush."

The Israelites refused Moses the first time, and so did all of Israel also refuse Christ when he walked on earth in the flesh body that first time.

Acts 7:36 "He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the, wilderness forty years."

This makes it the third forty year period; the first in Pharaoh's household growing up, the second in the land of the Midianites, having a famine, and now the third forty years in the wilderness. This makes Moses one hundred and twenty years old. When God has His hand on a deliverer, that man or woman comes through. God keeps His promises.

Acts 7:37 "This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, `A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear.' "

Remember that Stephen is giving this message before the Sanhedrin, who are ready to kill him for his witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that is speaking through Stephen, and now he tells them of a Prophet that God shall raise up, and "Him ye shall hear." On the first advent they didn't care to hear what that Prophet, Jesus Christ had to say, except for a very few.

Acts 7:38 "This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the Angel Which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our father: who received the lively oracles to give unto us."

This Man that you have tried, this man of Nazareth that you have crucified is He. That Spirit of Jesus Christ was even in the beginning, and moved upon the water to start the rebirth of this earth age, and this Spirit was in that buring bush talking to Moses.

Acts 7:39 "To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,"

This is going back to the type again, when Moses killed the Egyptian, they would have nothing to do with this savior, the first time, Moses the one that would save the Israelites. Stephen is comparing that denial to these members of the Sanhedrin that also would not have anything to do with the second savior, Jesus Christ, and plotted to murder Christ, and did crucify him.

Even after Moses set them free, they continually looked back to the times in Egypt, and sought the shelter that the Pharaoh gave. Even after all the miracles they always want to stray back to the worldly life.

Acts 7:40 "Saying unto Aaron, `Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.' "

Remember that Moses had been up on mount Sinai for a time, and after just that short time and all the miracles they had seen, they still desired to go back to Egypt.

Acts 7:41 "And they made a calf in thsoe days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands."

It is hard to understand how our forefathers could have seen the miracles, and power of God, and still desire to fall down and worship idols and things that common sense tells us has absolutely no intelligence, yet alone could even stand straight unless some man promped it up. The stupidity of looking to any object for understanding and help, shows how far these Israelites have fallen in such a short time.

Today we have not seen these miracles, yet many of us have seen miracles by God, and by faith we accept the power and Workings of God. But these people had tasted the manna, and even seen the Red Sea parted, yet they were blind to the power of God's Spirit. It is hard to understand them.

There are many religions in the world, that have many forms of idolatry. Yet, when it comes to the control of themselves, both individually, and as a nations, they do not use their idolatry to govern themselves, but the law of God. The commandments of God are the basic for of the law of the land, regardless of which idols the squat down to.

A church that operates totally on rules set down by rules of man, rather then strictly by the Word of God, is no better then those heathen nations that squat to idols. They simply follow the laws of men, that make void the laws of God. It seems that very few individuals have their minds so set on defying God's Word, that it just never entered their minds, "What am I doing this for?" when they see that their own church bylaws don't align with the Word of God. They are like blind sheep lead to the slaughter.

When some leader within their church makes a statement, the people in the congregation don't question it, nor check it out in God's Word, but suffer themselves as fools gladly. We can see much the church of today just like these foolish Israelites begging for their idols, because they simply don't care what God has told them, and they can't wait for Moses. They are being set up to worship the false Christ, the instead of Christ, and not waiting patiently for the true Christ's return. Even in their "rapture" theory, is like an idol, that they build to worship, for they simply do not want to hold on, and wait for the sounding of the seventh trump, but want to be taken in the fifth trumpet.

These things that happened in the wilderness, happened as an example and that we and our families have something solid to stand upon, and guide us, and that is what Stephen is bringing out so well. They worshipped the works of their own hands, and that is what men and women are doing today.

Acts 7:42 "Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven: as it is written in the book of the prophets, `O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to Me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?"

The "hosts of the heaven" are the angels. The "hosts of the heavens" are called "evil spirits". It is written in Amos 5:25--26; "Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?" [25] "But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god which ye made to yourselves." [26]

Are you doing things that hurt our Heavenly Father, or are you trying to please Him, and obeying His Word?

Acts 7:43 "Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon."

The tabernacle of "Moloch" is the practice of burning your children. God said that the thought never entered His mind, it is the teaching of demons, of evil spirits. The thought of threatening your own children up to the fire, hell fire, and blinding the love of God by your evil threats is all part of Moloch worship. Any form of frightening little children that they are going to burn in hell if they don't do this or that, that is of evil spirits. Friend, it is of the devil.

This star is the bright and morning star, Lucifer who tries to make himself appear as the true morning star who is Christ. God is saying that if you want to worship those evil spirits, and idols of Satan, I will allow you to be carried away to Babylon, which is confusion. If you want to be confused, and chase after it, that confusion is what you will have.

Acts 7:44 "Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness as He had appointed speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen."

The fathers wanted a place to worship, and something that they could see and relate to, so God gave them the tabernacle, or tent in the wilderness and he appointed Moses to set forth the worship according as God had instructed him on the mountain. The holy of Holies, the brazen vessels, the ark of the covenant, the sizes and dimensions were all part of the worship, and related to the relationship between God and His children.

Acts 7:45 "Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus [Joshua] into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David:"

This is very difficult to understand as it is given here in English. It requires a little understanding of the language it was written in.

The word "Jesus" as translated from the Greek into the Hebrew, is "Joshua". Both names in English are spoken "Jesus". It is the Joshua that we are familiar with, that sounded the trumpets and the wall of Jericho came tumbling down. And Joshua delivered the land of the Gentiles into the land of Israel, and they took possession of the promised land.

Acts 7:46 "Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob."

Joshua wanted not just a tent, but a permanent building of worship.

Acts 7:47 "But Solomon built Him an house."

Solomon built God a house of unequal beauty.

Acts 7:48 "Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in Temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,"

What is being Quoted here is by Isaiah, in Isaiah 66:1, 2; "Thus saith the Lord, "The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me: and whee is the place of My rest?" [1] "For all these things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord..." [2]

Acts 7:49 " 'Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool: what house will ye build Me:' saith the Lord: `or what is the place of My rest?' "

Acts 7:50 "Hath not My hand made all these things?"

The stones and the marble, the silver and the gold, all that is in this house you have made with your hands, I have created. God said that even when you build that temple and make void My way and My Words, and come to that altar, I won't look upon you. In verse three:

Isaiah 66:3 "He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man: he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations."

Notice that all the animals of sacrifice that are recognized as clean, the ox and the lamb, God won't accept. When you create your own ways, and call them of God, when God's Word goes against them, God is saying what ever you do will not be accepted, but will be considered as doing an abomination to Him.

So many people bring their good intentions into the church and substitute them for God's Ways is ignornace, and they don't know why God will not bless them. The substitute Easter for Passover, with all the rights of "Ishtar" including the facing of the sun in the early morning hours, as the feast of Ishtar required, and they think they are worshipping God. What did God say about their rites, and their own ways? He doesn't accept it because it is an abomination to him.

The day of Passover is the most sacred day in the Christian religion, yet most Christians have no idea what the day even means, for they are so deep in their own abominations of the feasts of Ishtar, and with the special rites that they have made, and covered it over, but that swine is still a swine, even though you call it a lamb, and it is an abomination. That day of Passover is the day that the true Lamb of God was offered for all sins for one and all times. The eggs of Ishtar, is a representation of the fertiltiy rites of orgies that took place in the feast of Ishtar. No, they don't like to do those acts, but they simply can't give up those practices, even in ignorance. It is like the forfathers turning back to Egypt, even when they had seen the miracles and wonder that God had preformed.

Churchmen of today let Satan, that star of Remphan, blind them, and make the teachings of man make void the very Word of God. Friend, know what God's Word teaches, for it does matter what you do and say, even in ignorance, when you are in God's house. You are accountable for it, even if you are doing it in ignorance.

Acts 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye."

We can see that boldness comes into Stephen.

Acts 7:52 "Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted: and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of Whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:"

Stephen is calling attention to their fathers, the Kenites, who had been slaying the prophets. This was not done by brother Judah, but those that took over the priesthood from the Levites in Babylon. Stephen is calling attention that it was them, the Kenites that were the betrayers and murderers of not only the prophets, but the Just One, Jesus Christ the Living God.

Acts 7:53 "Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it."

You got the Word by the Spirit of God, coming through the prophets, yet you have not kept it. Jesus Himself made this statement in Matthew 23 where He calls attention to the fact that the Kenite scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, meaning they have taken over the law. Then in Matthew 23:31 Jesus said; "Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets."

Matthew 23:32 "Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers."

Matthew 23:33 "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

Better translated, ye offspring of vipers. Christ taught strong words also when confronted with Kenites, claiming to be of Judah and the house of Israel.

Matthew 23:34 "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:"

This is the same synagogues of Satan spoken of in Revelation 2:9, 3:9 spoken of in the end times. This is when the church on earth seeks after the "instead of Christ", and becomes Satan's church.

Matthew 23:35 "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias som of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar."

Righteous Abel was the son of Adam that was slain by Cain in the beginning. Cain the first born from the seduction of Eve by Satan in the Garden of Eden. Jesus makes it very clear that these people are sitting in the seat of Moses, the same ones that are sitting here and trying Stephen are hearing those same words spoken again, and reminded of their evil act. The Kenites become upset when their secrets are known. That secret was hidden to all except to them, that they are not of Adam, but their father is Satan the Devil, who played the role of the serpent in the garden of Eden in seducing Eve."

So we see that Christ Himself spoke and accused them before their face of the deeds that they and their generations have brought to pass.

Acts 7:54 "When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth."

When this Sanhedrin council heard these things they acted exactly as you would expect any demon, or spirit Satan to act. The acted just like mad dogs. They are mad because they knew who they were, and the deeds that they and their fathers had done. Understand that Israel, nor Judah had anything to do with plotting of the murder of Abel, the Prophets, Jesus, Judas, nor Stephen.

It was the Kenites, and if you don't know who the Kentes are, or anything about them, then there is very little of the Bible that you can really understand. They slipped in unawares and did their deeds that followed their father Satan, the serpent in the Garden. Their murdering heart came from their father Cain, who was the first murderer, the very son of Satan. Jesus stated this in John 8:44.

John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

Acts 7:55 "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,"

God allowed Stephen to see right into heaven, for Stephen had brought forth this beautiful truth. God sees every seed that you plant. God know's His servants, and He allowed Stephen to be comforted at this time.

Acts 7:56 "And said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."

Stephen is speaking here, and when He told of his vision, of seeing the "Son of man" standing on the right hand of the Father; this crowd of Kenites went absolutely bananas, mad out of their minds, like a pack of hungry wild wolves. This then is the ultimate in accusations, for each of these men knew what they had done just a few months earlier, in that same court room when they sentenced the very Son of man to be murdered with their false witnesses.

These Kenite Sadducees did not believe in life after death, yet Stephen is saying to their face, I see this Son of man, Jesus Christ the living God standing on the right hand of the Father in heaven. This pulls the rug right out from under their entire religious tradition, which has continued to this day.

Acts 7:57 "Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,"

Like a bunch of little children, they covered their ears and screemed, every last one of them. Friend, these Kenites, called Sadducees did not have ears to hear, do you? Do you understand these Scriptures? If you do, then God has His hand on you, and He has a purpose for your life.

Acts 7:58 "And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul."

Every last one of these Kenite Sadducees were casting stones in rage at Stephen to quiet his lips. Those false witnesses even took their clothes off and cast them in discust at Saul's feet, as one of those young men that was involved with the stoning of Stephen was Saul, who we know better as "the Apostle Paul", who later God would change his entire life, and he would in the end write over half of our New Testanment.

Paul was a learned man, who studied under Gameliel, who spoke at the trial of Peter, and made the council to rething the taking of Peter's life. Paul, who was this Saul was a man of the law, who knew that law precisely. Paul participated in the murder of Stephen, and he would refer to this often after his conversion. There stood Paul, holding the coats of the stone throwers.

Acts 7:59 "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

Stephen cried out this, and then he died. Stephen had seen the Father and he knew that this would be recorded in the history of God's Word. It was recorded from those that were there, and Paul was one of them.

Some of you that think that you are such bad sinners, that think that God could have no use for you, Friend there was no greater sinner then Paul, and God changed the world with Him. God had to strike Paul down to make a change in his life, and what does it take for you to see the truth and repent? It takes a humble and repentive heart, it take the belief and faith in Jesus Christ, and it all starts by confessing your sins to Him in Jesus name. This is a personal thing between you and God the Father, and it doesn't have to be cried aloud.

Paul was religious, but he was as far from God as you can get. He thought he had it right, because he studied under the great scholar, rather then studing from God's Holy Word. It is important that you study for yourself, rather then allowing others to tell you what to believe and do. On judgement day, it will be you alone giving account before the Lord, and no one else can help you.

Acts 7:60 "And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

Stephen knew that he would die, and he was ready to give his life for the sake of God's Word. Stephens last words were that God would not lay the sin of this murderer to the account of those that were throwning the stones, for he knew that they were blind and ignorant to what they were doing. We know that one of them did repent of this sin, and his name is Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ.

As Christ has taught, when we sin and repent of that sin it is as if it never happened before the father. Paul repented, and was saved, and the effect of Stephens life and death has rocked mankind for two thousand years, through those that were converted that witnessed this death of Stephen.

What a message Stephen gave, as the Holy Spirit of God flowed through him, and convicted those that had even plotted and put to death our Lord Jesus Christ.

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