In the previous chapter, we see that God’s words were spreading, the number of disciple was increasing, and many miracles were happening. However, the dark forces did not resign; it tried to seize Stephen by the false testimonies of the people, the elders and the teachers of the law. Yet, Stephen was full of power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. He spoke before the high priest and the people about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the twelve ancestors that came from Jacob, and then Moses, David, and Solomon. He spoke of God’s words and works in the Old Testament, and he accused them in public of being stiff-necked. He said that their hearts and ears are still uncircumcised and they rejected the Holy Spirit. Stephen also called them murderer of prophets and the Righteous One. When the members of the Sanhedrin heard these, they were furious, and they stoned Stephen to death. Before he died, Stephen prayed to God, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Just like what Jesus said on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Old Testament is the base of the Holy Bible; it shows us God’s principle of doing things. If we do not read Old Testament, it would be difficult for us to understand New Testament. Every of our group starts from Genesis, then Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Five Books of Moses is the required reading for every group, therefore, Stephen’s preaching should not be unfamiliar to us. When we try to spread the gospel of God, Satan will attack us through our family, friends, even our brothers and sisters in the church and through our environment. But we need to keep in mind that it is not those who we love that are against us, but the dark forces behind them. Hence, do not hate or blame those who attack us. Instead, we should bind the dark forces behind them in the name of Jesus. ”Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? Say the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?” God does not rest, because the men He created offend, reject, and deny Him. God works until this day because we are all imperfect. He has to make us grow and become mature enough to receive His inheritance. When we serve God, we should not think that we are doing God any favor. It is for God’s grace that we can serve Him! We should not merely understand why God has created us. We should all ask, “God, how are you going to use me?” We should not only ask what God can do for us, but “Lord, what can I do for you? If we only keep the work God has asked us to do in our head, Satan will disturb and deceive us. He will make us believe that we won’t make it. Therefore, to do God’s work, we need to take action first. This is to show our will. Then, we will experience “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” in every step we take. We will face difficulties in the process, but in those difficulties we will experience the power of God.
Message by Elder Yeh / Summary and response by Jim Lin