Hello everyone, and thanks for coming back. We are going to continue on with our tribute to our brother Stephen, the congregations first martyr. Like I mentioned last post, I will be taking some excerpts from an article, Stephen the First Martyr, by J.R. Miller. The excerpts from the article will be written in Italics. To me Stephen’s story is remarkable, his love for the Lord, his courage in the face of opposition, and his steadfastness in the truth, even unto death, without wavering, should be an inspiration to us all, so let’s continue. (Authors note: because the Lord led me to cover the Sanhedrin council, you will not find excerpts from J.R. Miller. I will return to his article later, when we resume the parallels between Jesus, and Stephen’s testimony, before the Sanhedrin council).
Remember in my last post, we covered how large of a group Stephen had to be speaking to. There were just way to many for just one synagogue, but in reality probably 5 different synagogues, that Stephen opposed, and spoke the truth to, and Acts 6:10 states that “they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.” So what did they do? They did the very same thing that they did to Jesus, they went out and found false witnesses.
Acts 6:11 Then they suborned men, which said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.”
This is exactly what happened to Jesus, first they “laid hold on” (seized) Jesus. Matthew 26:57.
Matthew 26:57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Then they went out in search for false witnesses against our Lord, Matthew 26:59-61
Matthew 26: 59-61 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witnesses against Jesus, to put Him to death: V60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet they found none. At last came two false witnesses, V61 And said, “This fellow said, I am able to destroy the Temple of God, and to build it in three days.”
Wow!!! How would you like to be those two witnesses? Bearing false witness against Almighty God Himself, to have Him put to death. Not me, noooo way!!! But the reason the council needed two witnesses, was because of the fact that before a man could be put to death on charges, there needed to be two or more witnesses. Look at Deuteronomy 17:6, and Deuteronomy 19:15.
Deuteronomy 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
Now let’s go to acts and look again at Stephen.
Acts 6:12-14 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council. V13 And set up false witnesses, which said, “This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: V14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered unto us.”
See already the amazing parallel so far? In Stephen’s case it doesn’t say “two,” but it does say “witnesses” obviously plural, two or more. Now because our Lord was taken before Pontius Pilate, for trial, and Stephen was brought before the council for trial, for the very same testimony, I think we need to dive in a little deeper, and really get the full picture here, so let’s start with the council, What was this council?
The council- When we look at the Strongs Concordance, and the word council we find this. Transliterated Word, sunedrion. Strong’s Definition, a joint session that is (specifically) the Jewish Sanhedrin; by analogy subordinate tribunal:– council. So who are these Sanhedrin, who are these lofty, high and mighty jokers anyway? These so-called men who felt they had the power to sentence Jesus (God), and one of His servants (Stephen) to death, these men who satan used as a tool to crucify our Lord, and now attack the Lord’s Congregation. Well let’s find out.
The Sanhedrin- The Sanhedrin, the great council at Jerusalem, consisting of the seventy one members, viz. scribes, elders, prominent members of the high priestly families and the high priest, the president of the assembly. The most important causes were brought before this tribunal, inasmuch as the Roman rulers of Judaea had left to it the power of trying such cases, and also of pronouncing sentence of death, with the limitation that a capital sentence pronounced by the Sanhedrin was not valid unless it was confirmed by the Roman procurator. (Thayer’s Concordance)
In the case of Jesus, the Roman procurator was of course Pontius Pilate, in the case of Stephen, it never went that far. These men were so in raged, that they took upon themselves immediately to murder Stephen. So we know now who the Sanhedrin are, let’s ask ourselves this question, Are they still in existence in Jerusalem today?
The Modern Sanhedrin- I’m going to start out by stating that the Sanhedrin council of the time of Jesus, and Stephen, are no longer. However they do exist, and this should frighten you a little, because it is another of the many prophetic signs of the times, and the fast approaching last days, the last hours that are coming, what Jesus called the end of the age. I put some thought into this and I was contemplating saving this for later, But you know what? I’m going over this right now. This is serious, but it needs to be understood, and explaining it now is not jumping ahead in this study, but actually is the perfect time to cover this, out of respect for Jesus, and Stephen, covering the council they went up against, and showing how this council will return, and many will actually be brought before the newly established council, as a witness for Jesus, and be found guilty, and be put to death, for the testimony in which they held for our Lord. So therefore because we are covering the subject of the council, let’s just go for it, and I will expose the modern day Sanhedrin, and the vicious role they will play, in the future martyrdom of the Congregation of Jesus. This wasn’t my plan but let’s go for it. However I will not go into detail, who those are who hold the testimony, not yet, that would be jumping ahead. But we at this point, will have a good understanding of the future council of the modern and future day Sanhedrin’s.
Well I just got my call to go to work, so this will have to be it. Even though this post was rather short, we are actually at a great stopping point, seems how the Lord laid it upon my heart to cover this now, we will go where the Lord wants to take us. Next post we will jump right into the modern Sanhedrin, and as we go, we will look at the future Sanhedrin. I will warn you, it’s scary, but you don’t have anything to be afraid of. If you will be one of those the Lord picks to stand before the future council, do not be afraid, His Holy Spirit, will see you through. Did you know that cowards are one of the sins listed that keeps people from inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven? Sins they held to and did not repent of, but continued in as part of their rebellion. Look at this verse.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, (cowards) and unbelieving, and the abominable, and the murderers, and the whoremongers, and the sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Notice it’s the first mentioned. Many, many, many, will turn to the antichrist, just out of fear alone, they are cowards, they had no faith in the Lord, and the Lord doesn’t like cowards. He wasn’t one nor was Stephen, nor all the other countless martyrs who have died for our Lord. Don’t be afraid, it will be alright, the Lord will have your back. Until next time, may the Lord bless your search for truth, leaving no stone unturned. Have a great day!!!