Hi, I am still on a short trip where writing and internet communication are not always possible, hence some old posts that have been rehashed. This is the last in a series on Stephen and tomorrow I will start on exploring the identity of the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6.
This is the ninth and last in a series of short posts on the martyrdom of Stephen, described in Acts 6-7, exploring if this is a foreshadow of the end-time tribulations.
To start at the beginning, at the first post, please click here
Either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes or both!
In this series we have explored how the tragic martyrdom of Stephen, brought victory to the fledgling early church.
Whilst the hateful stones were hurled through the air, Stephen was being wrapped in the eternal presence of Jesus, and his death was no more than a transition into the courts of heaven.
Whilst I began this series, starting nine days ago, the Taliban conquest of Afghanistan took place. The theology of Acts 6-7 has become an unfolding real-life reality.
We pray that the horrific persecutions of the fledgling church in Afghanistan will cause the church to go from strength to strength and that a wonderful harvest of righteousness will abound in that area.
We see this principle at work, in China and Iran. Whenever the enemy seeks to bring darkness, the bright light of the gospel of salvation shines ever more brightly!
Jesus knows the troubles that we face but he also knows the victory that is coming.
Revelation 2:9 ‘I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich.’
Those who hold unswervingly to the faith will know the great victory in Christ.
Jesus will come to gather his bride, his beloved church, to bring them into the heavenly courts.
Matthew 24:30a ‘They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.’
In the heavenly courts, Jesus will tend to those who have suffered in the tribulations.
Revelation 7:16 ‘Never again will they hunger, never again will they thirst. the sun will not beat upon them nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’
And then, note carefully, King Jesus will return to earth once more, to bring justice and retribution.
Revelation 19:11 ‘I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire and on his head are many crowns.’
2 Thessalonians 2:8 ‘And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his being.’
And then King Jesus will establish his blessed Kingdom on earth.
Psalm 72:19 ‘Praise be to his glorious name for ever, may the whole earth be filled with his glory, Amen, Amen.’
Isaiah 35:10a ‘They will enter Zion with singing, everlasting joy will crown their heads. gladness and joy will overtake them and sorrow and sighing will flee away.’
Hasten the day…
Tomorrow: the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6.
- 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!
- Revelation 14:20 The battlefieldTo read full post please tap image and scroll down. There is a justice here, that as Christ Jesus was crucified outside of the city, so this battle will take place outside too. Those who hold to the idea that Jesus is a humble servant will be stretched by the description of Jesus as the mighty bloody warrior.
- Revelation 14:20 Trampled winepressTo read full post please click image and scroll down. In the past few posts we have explored the corn harvest which I suggested will be the harvest of the redeemed and then the grape harvest which is clearly the wrath of God being poured out upon the wicked. God will inspire the antichrist to march against Jerusalem but it will be a foolish move.