EXPANSION

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ACTS 6:6-11**WHOM THEY SET BEFORE THE APOSTLES: AND WHEN THEY HAD PRAYED, THEY LAID THEIR HANDS ON THEM (STEPHEN, PHILLIP AND FIVE OTHERS) AND THE WORD OF GOD INCREASED; AND THE NUMBER OF THE DISCIPLES MULTIPLIED IN JERUSALEM GREATLY; AND A GREAT COMPANY OF THE PRIEST WERE OBEDIENT TO THE FAITH. AND STEPHEN, FULL OF FAITH AND POWER, DID GREAT WONDERS AND MIRACLES AMONG THE PEOPLE. THEN THERE AROSE CERTAIN OF THE SYNAGOGUE……….DISPUTING WITH STEPHEN. AND THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO RESIST THE WISDOM AND THE SPIRIT BY WHICH HE SPOKE. THEN THEY SUBORNED (SECRETLY PERSUADED LIARS) MEN, WHICH SAID, WE HAVE HEARD HIM (STEPHEN) SPEAK BLASPHEMOUS WORDS AGAINST MOSES, AND AGAINST GOD.

STEPHEN WAS SELECTED TO BE ONE OF THE DEACONS, A TABLE WAITER SERVING THE ELDERLY. HE BECAME THE FIRST MARTYR BECAUSE HE WAS A REBEL, CHALLENGING THE RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL POWERS BROKERS OF HIS DAY. YET HE DID NOT FOLLOW A DULL EXISTANCE AS MOST CHRISTIANS, BUT FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, HE WALKED CLOSE TO A REVOLUTIONARY CHRIST JESUS.

ACTS 7:1**THEN SAID THE HIGH PRIEST, ARE THESE THINGS SO?

STEPHEN’S SPEECH WAS NOT IN DEFENSE OF HIMSELF, BUT OF THE GOSPEL. HE RECOUNTED A HISTORY OF ISRAEL’S RESPONSE TO THE PROPHETS.