As a child of God, you can speak with Holy Spirit at any given point of time, irrespective of time, space, and distance. This is one of the most spirit-reviving conversations that I had with Holy Spirit in my Bible study closet. Hope this revives your spirit too. Keep these reference verses in view during your read.
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 at the right hand of God.
Acts 7:56 – And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
Acts 7:59 – And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Acts 7:60 – And he knelt down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
HOLY SPIRIT: What was Martyr Stephen thinking about when he was stoned to death?
ME: Holy Spirit, when I read that he LOOKED UP STEADFASTLY INTO HEAVEN, it meant to me that he had his mind on Heaven more than his persecution.
HOLY SPIRIT: Most Born Again Christians residing in affluent nations are living prosperous lives and thus, sometimes, it is easy for Satan to tempt them to be more concerned about being prosperous than they are in getting to Heaven. Contrastingly, Born Again Christians living in areas of poverty on Planet Earth are not distracted from thinking about Heaven by enjoying several material things in life. If Born Again Christians are going to be happy in times of persecution, they must keep their focus on Heaven.
In Acts 7:56, what is different about the position in which Martyr Stephen saw Christ Your Lord at the right hand of Our Father?
ME: Most of the Scriptural accounts written about Christ Our Lord after He ascended into Heaven describe Him as sitting at the right hand of Our Father (some examples are Mark 14:62, Luke 22:69, Colossians 3:1, and Hebrews 1:3).
HOLY SPIRIT: When it was time for Martyr Stephen to go to Heaven, CHRIST YOUR LORD STOOD UP TO WELCOME HIM INTO HEAVEN. It means that Christ Your Lord sitting at the right hand of Our Father in Heaven is aware of everything that is taking place on Planet Earth. It also means that Our Father with Christ Your Lord sitting at His right hand looks with favor upon those who are willing to endure persecution for the sake of the Church of Christ Your Lord.
Even though the pain and suffering of persecution do not come from Our Father, the persecution of both the Old Testament Church and the New Testament Church is part of His plan. The favor of Our Father is upon those who are willing to follow Our Father’s plan and endure the pain and suffering of times of persecution.
HOLY SPIRIT: In Acts 7:59 and Acts 7:60, what are the two things that Martyr Stephen did while he was being stoned to death?
ME: I know that prayer is a type of worship. Thus, Marty Stephen continued to worship and pray as he was stoned to death. This is similar to the incident where Paul and Silas sang hymns when they were in prison.
Act 16:25 – And toward midnight Paul and Silas prayed and praised God in a hymn. And the prisoners listened to them.
HOLY SPIRIT: This is an example of another guideline for Born Again Christians to be happy when they are being persecuted. They need to be at a level of commitment to Christ Your Lord that enables them to pray and worship even when they are suffering pain. Born Again Christians who really believe that Our Father will never forsake them are able to pray and worship even when suffering pain. See Acts 7:60.
Finally when I (HS) inspired Apostle Luke to write Acts 7:60, I had him use the expression FELL ASLEEP rather than the word DIE. One of the meanings of the Greek word that is translated TO GO ASLEEP is that one goes to sleep experiencing peace and joy. It was only the physical body of Martyr Stephen that ceased to function when he died. As a spirit light being that had been living in his physical body, he went directly to Heaven. He was experiencing peace and joy when he left his physical body and went to Heaven. This explains that Born Again Christians who keep their focus on Heaven, worship, and prayer will continue to experience peace and joy when they are being persecuted.
Be greatly blessed!
Pastor Paul Silway
God’s beloved whom Jesus loves
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