Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people. But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves, as it was called, started to debate with him. They were Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia, and the province of Asia. None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke. So they persuaded some men to lie about Stephen, saying, “We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God.” This roused the people, the elders, and the teachers of religious law. So they arrested Stephen and brought him before the high council. The lying witnesses said, “This man is always speaking against the holy Temple and against the law of Moses. We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” At this point everyone in the high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angel’s. (Acts of the Apostles 6:8-15 NLT)
What a deacon! I only pray that the church in this day will have men like Stephen. As a matter of fact, I pray that the pastors of our day would be like Stephen. He was full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. He was confronted by a group of men known as the Libertines (freed men) who were descendants of Jewish people that had been enslaved since before the time of Christ. They were released from that slavery by the time this story occurs. They were staunch followers of Judaism (the religion of the Jewish people-the Torah being the foundational text). Although they argued with Stephen, they couldn't gain the upper hand. The power of the Holy Spirit is always better than conventional, traditional, religious proclamations. Only He can unlock the scriptures for correct interpretation and application (see I Corinthians 2:14). Stephen's wisdom in the things of God was too much for them, so much that they were enraged against him. They fabricated accusations against him and drug him before the Sanhedrin (the religious council).
I don't know about you, but this council just couldn't get it. No matter what they decided or did, the Lord just kept right on blessing His followers with Holy Spirit power. The anointing of God was so upon Stephen that his countenance glowed like an angel. I want this kind of anointing! In Jesus Name! Amen!!!
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Rev. Curtis Norris