Hi, I am on a short trip and opportunities to write and access ti internet are limited. Hence this is a set of posts from the past that I have revamped.
This is the sixth in a series of seven posts based on Acts 6-7 and the martyrdom of Stephen, exploring if it is a foreshadow of end-time persecution for the Church.
To go to the beginning, to the first post, please click here.
Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!
Acts 7:57 ‘At this, they covered their ears and yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.’
The world has always hated Jesus and they will hate the Church in the same way. The path of martyrdom that Jesus walked is an example for many others to follow.
1 Peter 2:21 ‘To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.’
Revelation 12:11 ‘They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.’
But yet the shed blood of the martyrs has never been wasted, not a single drop, and the advancement of the gospel throughout the world has been the blessed fruit of countless martyrs throughout the generations.
The more the world will persecute the end-time Church, the wider will be the spread of the gospel and the greater the harvest gathered.
Authoritarian governments endeavour to crush the growth of the Church in their nation, but their persecution only serves to purify and give strength to the Church.
The enemy thought he had scored a great victory by putting Jesus in the grave. When the stone was rolled away, and Jesus stepped forth, the malicious grin of the enemy turned to horror.
Revelation 6:9 describes the comfort that martyrs find in the heavenly courts.
Revelation 6:9 ‘When he opened the fifth seal I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “how long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood.”
They are given reassurance.
Revelation 6:11 ‘Then each of them was given a white robe and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow-servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.’
Please note that not for one moment would I want to glorify persecution or martydom.
Thank you for reading this!
- Revelation 16:1 Painful SoresAnd so we enter into a grim and melancholy chapter. There is little cheer to be found here. Those who have taken the mark of the beast, hoping to find some form of reward or relief, and having surrendered their soul to the worship of the beast in some shape or form, now find themselves reaping a bitter harvest of ugly and painful sores.
- Revelation 15:8 HolinessPlease click image and scroll down to see full picture. Once again, these precious verses remind us that God moves in heavenly righteousness. The seven angels are dressed in robes of perfect holiness and they carry the seven plagues that will purge and cleanse this corrupted world. The temple is filled with the glory of God as He brings perfect holiness and righteousness to bear down on this earth.
- Revelation 15:3 A Deeper UnderstandingPlease click image to reaf full post and scroll down. If you struggle with the horror of Revelation then you are certainly not alone. The absolute horror reflects the weight of sin that has corrupted man to the core. But as we embrace these sacred truths, they will bring us deeper, far deeper than ever before, into an understanding of the heart, into an understanding of the perfect holiness of God.
- Revelation 15:3 Moses and JesusPlease tap image to see full post The mention of both Moses and Jesus the Lamb in the same sentence strengthens the idea that Jesus will be the perfect Moses, who will deliver Israel, imprisoned or exiled by the antichrist and lead them victoriously back to Jerusalem.
- Revelation 15:1 Glass and FireThe bitterness of martyrdom gives way to eternal celebration. Their victory has always been dependent upon the strength that God provides and this is reflected in the harps given to them by God. And what a glorious celebration. The enemy has been defeated and the bowls of wrath will bring this evil age to a conclusion. The joy of eternity awaits!