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Acts 7

Standing at the Right Hand of God

Perhaps the best place to begin is to share once again what is happening during the Revealing Administration.

I have called it the Revealing Administration because Israel will preach and teach the Gospel concerning Jesus Christ to the world and because the administration ends with Christ returning and being revealed to the world. 

Revelation 1:7
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Zechariah 14:4
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Christ will return to end the Revealing Administration and start the Millennial Kingdom Administration; he will also be the transition between the two administrations. Every eye shall see Christ return. Do not ask me how, but understand God said it, so it will happen. 

Those who have died, believing in the Lord, during the Revealing Administration will be many and they will be from all nations, all families of the earth.

Revelation 7:9
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.

So many believe the Gospel pertaining to Christ that no man could number them. That so many can repent and believe, receiving the redemption of God is due to God’s goodness (Romans 2:4 and 1 Timothy 2:4).

I called it the Revealing Administration because the Gospel of Christ and the presence of Christ reveal the glory of God to the world.

The name of the administration is not declared by God, so label it as you will. Some refer to this administration as the wrath of God and others highlight the time of tribulation. The point is to understand its purpose and reason. The point is to see the administration from God’s perspective.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

A blessing and a curse. The blessing was accomplished in Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. (My emphasis!)

Galatians 3:10-12
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith [pistis = believing]. And the law is not of faith [pistis = believing]: but the man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree:

The Law is not of believing. The Law dressed up the outside of the package, the Law dealt with the flesh. While believing comes from the heart, inside the package. So too, circumcision and water baptism dealt with the flesh, dressing up the package. God is interested in your heart and that deals with believing in Jesus as Lord.

What God has declared; He will perform. What God has said, He will, absolutely, do. The Truth is clear, there is life or death. There is a blessing and a curse. There is no middle ground between the two. If you follow God, you will have life, absolutely! If you reject God, you will have death. That is the Revealing Administration.

The Revealing Administration concludes the Law given to Moses, with the conclusion of the curse.

Hebrews 8:13
In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

The Revealing Administration is judgment against all unrighteousness and ungodliness. The world has these two qualities, unrighteousness and ungodliness, because they have rejected God’s way for another way. It is in that rejection of God’s way that the world accepts the logic and methods of the antichrist, who in turn, follows the example of his father, which is to lie, steal, kill, and destroy.

The Law given to Moses came with a blessing and a curse. Those under the curse are there because of their own mindset and their own decisions.  

The only thing that allows any person to receive salvation in the Revealing Administration is God’s love, and grace, and mercy. The forbearance of God opens the door to people who have rejected His redemption and His redeemer.

The only way to be saved is through God’s chosen savior, the Redeemer, that He sent into the world to save the world. All those who refuse God’s way and devise a method of salvation of their own making will fail. God explains this a multitude of times in His Word.

Consider the words of Peter, the steward of the Revealing Administration.

Acts 4:10-12
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone, which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

The words of those who are Christ’s witnesses, whether the twelve in Acts 2, or the seven in Acts 6, or all that were scattered in Acts 8, or the two witnesses in the Book of Revelation, or the 144,000 from the 12 tribes, all witnesses will carry words of deliverance to the world. All will offer the opportunity to believe God. 

Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

The words translated “deliverance” and “liberty” are the same Greek word in the text, aphesis. Lexicons define it as “to release.” It also forms the figure of speech polyptoton to emphasize this release. It comes from the Greek words apo, meaning away from, and hemi, meaning to send. The first use in Luke 4:18 refers to those who are held captive by sin and therefore many times it is translated forgiveness or remission. The second use in Luke 4:18 is to give freedom or liberty to those who are oppressed by the Adversary.

God, since Adam’s sin, has always offered aphesis to humanity. That is what Stephen endeavors to teach the religious leaders of Israel, by using the history of Israel. Stephen is charged with blasphemy against the Temple and the Law. But in contrast to blasphemy, like his Lord, Stephen preached God’s deliverance in Acts 6 and Acts 7. God’s deliverance that has often been refused. Consider Cain.

Acts 2:22-23
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

When Jesus was on trial the people had more fear of the Sanhedrin than respect for God. The same can be said of the people when Stephen was put on trial. Any time a person has more fear of what the world will do or say, than respect for what God has said, the result will be disaster for that person. 

Acts 6:8
And Stephen, full of faith [grace in the text] and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Like Jesus. Stephen demonstrated God’s power with signs and miracles. But the people had more fear of the Sanhedrin than respect for God. So, these religious leaders acquired power. Fear of anything gives that thing power over your life. Fear of the leaders provided false witnesses to offer lies before God and men.

Matthew 26:50
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death.

Acts 6:13
And set up false witnesses, which said, this man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law.

Both Jesus and Stephen were charged with blasphemy, as are all those who speak the words of God, by those who speak the words of religion. 

In the face of these accusations Stephen spoke the Truth. Stephen spoke about deliverance, he spoke about the land, he spoke about a relationship with God, he spoke of the promise made to Abraham.

Acts 7:2-8
And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on, yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. And God spake on this wise, that his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage and entreat them evil four hundred years. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so, Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.

This was the deliverance God offered Abraham. He was the first Hebrew, one that passed over. Abraham passed over the river Euphrates leaving behind the worship of many gods, to worship the One True God (Meaning of Hebrew).

Stephen is also handling a wrong oral tradition the Pharisees believed and taught. The Pharisees believed living in the land removed their sins. Therefore, Judeans looked down on Jews that lived in other countries, the Hellenists. Which brings us back to the beginning of Acts chapter 6.

Acts 6:1
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians [Hellenists] against the Hebrews [those living in Jerusalem], because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

It was obvious to see the Jerusalem believers placed a difference and a preference between the two sets of believers. This was a direct result of this wrong doctrine concerning living in the “promised land.” 

Humility was in short supply in Jerusalem. The gospels are truly clear about how the Sadducees and Pharisees looked down on the average Judean living in Jerusalem. As the average Judean looked down on the Hellenist. As all of them looked down on the Gentiles, even though God put no difference between the Jew and the Gentile of the Revealing Administration.

You grow by what you feed on, an axiom of life.

The logic of the Pharisees came from Isaiah.

Isaiah 33:24
And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

The mistake the Pharisees made was in the context.

Isaiah 33:17
Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

The context is speaking of when Christ returns as King and sets up the Promised Land. Stephen begins by showing them Abraham, who did not have the land, yet he was blessed by God. Abraham had a promise, a promise he believed. Stephen goes on to speak of Joseph, whom God delivered and blessed even though Joseph was not in the land.

Stephen is teaching the religious leaders that it is not about the land; it is about God. It has always been about God. Abraham had a relationship with God! Joseph had a relationship with God! God is big enough to have had a relationship with all the people in the world at the same time, but especially Israel that held His words of life.

Acts 7:9-10
And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. 

Joseph was a slave, and in prison! He was not in the land, but God could deliver him and bless his life.

Acts 7:11-14
Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. 

Then, through the deliverance and blessing Joseph had received, the descendants of Abraham were delivered from the famine.

Acts 7:15-18
So, Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, and were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem. But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. 

Jesus also taught Israel that it was about God and not the land.

Luke 4:25-30
But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias [Elijah], when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias [Elijah] sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus [Elisha] the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

Jesus also taught Israel it was not the land but rather their relationship with God. Notice the response of the people, they tried to stone Jesus for telling them the Truth. 

The Mishnah states the place of stoning was about twice the height of a man. So about twelve feet. The convicted party would be thrown face first from this cliff onto the rocks below. If he did not die from the fall a heavy rock was to be dropped on his heart. Final, if he were still alive the congregation would then throw stones at the convicted person. 

This was their intent with Jesus in Luke chapter 4, and it is what they accomplished with Stephen. It is how the Adversary works, he wants to kill those who believe God, Hebrews 2:14.

Stephen continues to teach the council of God’s deliverance.

Acts 7:19-22
The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months: And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds. 

God delivers Moses from the death Pharaoh had decreed for Hebrew male babies, so that God could deliver the twelve tribes.

Acts 7:23-29
And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at once again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.

Moses was outside of the land, in Midian, when he met with God, through an angel at the burning bush. The relationship Moses had with God did not happen in the land.

Acts 7:30-38
And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the LORD came unto him, Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. Then said the Lord to him, put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. This Moses whom they refused, saying, who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: 

God delivered the nation of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt. This is what the God of Israel does, He gives deliverance and blessing, consider James 1:17.

Acts 7:39-43
To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, saying unto Aaron, make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon. 

But Israel did not obey, Israel did not follow the words of their God. Israel rejected God’s way to make their own way. Israel worshipped the land, they worshipped their blood line, they worshipped their oral law, they worshipped false gods, they had a greater fear of the world than a love and respect of God.

Acts 7:44-50
Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus [Joshua] into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David, who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?

The corruption of both the Sadducees and the Pharisees ran deep. When it came to the things of God, the Sadducees looked to their wealth and the Pharisees looked to their rules. Neither group could see that the building, the Temple, was meaningless without the presence of God. 

The Ark of the Covenant had been lost by Israel. The Shechinah glory of God was no longer in the Temple! But these things moved neither the Sadducees nor the Pharisees because they had the building! A Temple that was built by Herod, an unbeliever! 

The Shechinah glory of God stood before Israel in the man Jesus, the Christ. But they refused to see it (John 5:39).

God has always desired to be “in” all believers, that is why He created holy spirit within Adam and Eve in the Garden. That is why He poured out of His gift of holy spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

Matthew 23:23-24
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

The Orientalism of verse 24 sets the greatness of verse 23. The phrase should be translated, “strain out a gnat…” A typographical error that first appeared in the 16th century, at instead of out, has remained. The phrase is an old proverb referring to how it was customary to strain wine before drinking it to remove any insects from your drink. 

The Pharisees would go to great lengths to appear righteous while living a life of hypocrisy, “swallow a camel.” They looked good, even tithing of their herbs but the Law, and mercy, and believing they failed to do. Looks were everything for a religious leader of that time. Consider David, what is God looking at?

Matthew 23:27-28
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Stephen was demonstrating to the Pharisees and Sadducees that they had blasphemed the Temple and their relationship with God.

Then Stephen speaks of the ultimate deliverance God sent to Israel. 

Acts 7:51-52
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

Rather than speaking blasphemy against the Temple and the Law, Stephen showed them he was speaking of God’s deliverance that Israel had refused time and again. Rather than move with the deliverance of God the patriarch’s moved with envy and sold their brother into slavery. Rather than hear Moses they built a golden calf. Rather than receive from God they desired a false god of Egypt. Rather than hear the words of the prophets, the religious aspect of Israel persecuted and killed the prophets. Rather than receive God's redeemer they crucified him, hanging him on a tree!

Stephen’s words turn the accusations laid at his feet back onto the feet of the religious leaders. Just as Jesus turned accusations against him back to their rightful origin.

Matthew 15:3
But he answered and said unto them, why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

God sent the “seed of the woman,” the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Savior, and these leaders betrayed him and murdered him. 

This is not the first time Judeans, or their leadership were confronted about killing Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:23b
…ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Acts 3:13-15
The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

Acts 4:10-12
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone, which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Stephen continues.

Acts 7:53
Who [Israel] have received the law by the disposition of angels and have not kept it.

Exodus says the original tablets given to Moses were written with the finger of God, figure of speech condescensio

Exodus 31:18
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

But there was much more to the Law given to Moses than the ten commandments and it was received through angels.

Acts 7:38
This is he [Moses], that was in the church [assembly] in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles [living Word] to give unto us:

Hebrews 2:2
For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward.

Galatians 3:19
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

“Ordained” is the compound Greek word diatassoDia means through and tasso means proper arrangement. Moses received the Law through the proper arrangement of angels. Angels were the mediators of the Old Covenant between God and Israel.

Galatians 3:19
Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 
New International Version

The angels were the mediators of the Old Covenant between God and Israel. 

Why have I gone off subject to spend this time on the angels bringing God’s Word to Moses and Israel? 

Acts 23:8
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

Jewish leadership was divided about angels, and spirit, and the resurrection. Therefore, the Jewish population would also be divided depending on the leadership group a person followed. As for this event with Stephen, Acts 6 has an interesting statement.

Acts 6:15
And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Acts 6:15
All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
New International Version

The Sadducees held that there were currently no angels, but they did not deny the scriptures concerning Moses receiving God’s Word from angels. Acts 6 states that “all” sitting in the council, the Sanhedrin, saw Stephen’s face, “…like the face of angel.

How do you accept the Torah as God’s Word, know it came by angels, see the countenance of Stephen as like an angel and still be so hard hearted against him?

Chapter 7 opens with a first-class conditional clause.

Acts 7:1
Then said the high priest, Are these things so?

You do not see the conditional clause in the King James Version because the Greek word ei is not translated. Ei which means “if” is the beginning of a first-class conditional clause. The first-class conditional clause in the Greek assumes the statements are true and accurate. In other words, they assumed Stephen’s guilt before they heard from him. 

The Sanhedrin was not looking for the Truth, they were looking to shut Stephen up, like the apostles in Acts 5. Therefore, the accuracy of Stephen’s accusation in verse 51 is the Truth.

Acts 7:51
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

This is the figure of speech ecphonesis or exclamation. It shows a change in the manner of speech. In Stephen’s case he went from a logical and systematic teaching about God’s deliverance, the land, the Temple, Israel’s general response to God, with an outburst of emotion.

The phrase “Holy Ghost” is not speaking of God’s gift of holy spirit, Stephen is speaking of their response to God, THE Holy and THE Spirit. It has been their response through their generations.

The response of the Sanhedrin to Stephen’s words was violent.

Acts 7:54
When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

“Gnashed on him with their teeth” is the figure of speech pathopceia which is to display a strong passion or emotion of the mind. They did not literally start to bite Stephen, rather the strong passion the council showed in verse one with the first-class conditional clause came out.

In Acts 5:33 the council was also “cut to the heart” when Peter said, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” and the council, “…took counsel to slay them.”  

In Acts chapter 5 some spiritual common sense prevailed as the Sanhedrin heard the words of Gamaliel. Gamaliel was either silent, or not present in Acts chapter 7. 

Even though “all” saw the countenance of Stephen like as an angel, the ones who gave Moses the Torah, the Pentateuch, their hearts were so hard they wanted his death.

The outward appearance of those on the council looked holy and righteous but inside was uncleanness, and hypocrisy, and iniquity. The gnat and the camel.

Stephen’s account continues.

Acts 7:55-56
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

This contradicts what Jesus said in the gospels.

Luke 22:69
Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

Matthew 26:64
Jesus saith unto him, thou hast said: nevertheless, I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.

If Jesus is supposed to be sitting, why does Stephen see Jesus standing?

A custom, or Orientalism, in the Middle East is to sit when a thing is completed. Jesus sat at the right hand of God when he had completed his mission to fulfill the blessing in the Law given to Moses. Jesus sat for he completed the path for the blessing contained in the Law.

Matthew 28:18
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

John 5:22
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the son.

John 5:27-29
And hath given him authority to execute judgment also because he is the son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

The Covenant with Israel came with a blessing and a curse. Jesus fulfilled the blessing, and it will be his responsibility to carry out the judgments also.

Isaiah 3:13
The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

The word “plead” in Hebrew is rib and means to strive or contend. When it is time for the wrath of God against all unrighteousness and ungodliness, it will be Jesus Christ that executes the judgment of God. When it is time to stand and fight, it will be Jesus Christ that leads the charge.

Matthew 24:34
Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

In Acts 7, knowing we were in the Revealing Administration and that once this administration started it would end in the same generation, Jesus was standing at God’s right hand ready to contend and ready to judge.

But God told His son it was not yet time to act for God had been keeping a secret since before the foundation of the world. A secret known only to Himself, hidden in His heart, a secret He was about ready to reveal.

Acts 7:57
Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

This had been the response of the religious leaders and the nation of Israel through their generations. Stopping up their ears, refusing to hear the words of God. As we saw in Acts 15 even the leaders of the Revealing Administration refused to follow the words of God from their Lord. They rationalized away taking God’s Word to the nations, to the Gentiles. They tried to hitch a ride on Paul’s ministry even though his doctrine was not in line with the Old Testament doctrine concerning Gentiles.

The words of the leaders in Acts 15 were accurate pertaining to God’s will, “…put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” But the Jewish heart still carried disdain for Gentiles.

Acts 7:58
And cast him out of the city and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

The witnesses were the false witness the religious leadership had arranged to testify. The blood of Stephen was on their hands for they are the ones who lied, and the witnesses were the ones to throw the convicted person off the cliff. The blood of Jesus was on the hands of the High Priest since he led the people in convincing Pilate. 

The young man who was holding their clothes, so that they were unencumbered for pushing and throwing stones, was the man who became the Apostle Paul. Saul was his Hebrew name and Paul his Greek name.

Shortly after the death of Stephen, Saul would be traveling to Damascus to seek out and arrest other followers of this Jesus. But that is an account for another teaching.

Acts 7:59-60
And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

(The word in red appears in no text.)

Stephen called out, “receive my spirit” the word spirit is the Greek word pneuma, but its usage depends on the context. Here the context dictates Stephen is speaking of his soul life, his breath life. Otherwise known as the spirit of man.

Stephen also calling out similar words to what Jesus said on the cross, “…lay not this sin to their charge…” 

This was Stephen’s heart. He did not enter the synagogue of the Libertine’s to start a fight or to cause any person trouble. Stephen was simply delivering a message from his Lord to all who would listen. Stephen acted in the love of God, for the benefit and blessing of all who would hear and believe.

The comparison of Stephen’s life to the life of Jesus demonstrates that Israel still is not ready to receive the words of God or the accomplishments of Jesus Christ. They are too hardhearted, or in Stephen’s words, “…stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears…” 

So, God prepares to hold the Revealing Administration in abeyance. This generation will live out their lives and many will continue to be the witnesses their Lord instructed them to become. Their personal relationship with God will grow and increase. But they will not take God’s Word to the world until after the Administration of Grace has concluded. God’s secret will come to pass before the Revealing Administration starts once again.

Some have epistles to write, all have words of deliverance to speak. With this temporary stop to the Revealing Administration God halts His time of judgment, His wrath. Also, the great tribulation Jesus and other prophets had declared, will not come to pass until the Revealing Administration is started once again. For God has no wrath in or to the Administration of Grace.

God in His Word shows us why this administration had to be held in abeyance; their hardheartedness placed a wall between their ears, and their hearts, and God’s declared Will. The result was a refusal to take God’s Word to the Gentiles and to continue living in a shadow, the Law. The cause was their stubbornness to hear and believe God’s Word, uncircumcised in ears and heart.

Romans 10:17
So, then faith [believing] cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God [Christ in the text]. 

“By the word of Christ” is a genitive of relation and is better translated, “through the word pertaining to Christ.” 

Literally: So, then believing comes by hearing and hearing through the word pertaining to Christ.

God held their administration in abeyance because you cannot believe what you will not hear, and you will not speak what you have not heard.

God also holds the Revealing Administration in abeyance because, as I said earlier, what God has said, He will absolutely do. God made a promise to Abraham many years ago.

Genesis 12:2-3
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Blessing and cursing, blessing and cursing.

Not only a great nation, but “shall all families of the earth be blessed.” 

This is not speaking of the Administration of Grace or God would have been revealing something He declared in Ephesians He kept secret from the beginning of the world. The descendants of Abraham, the nation of Israel, are to take the Gospel pertaining to Jesus Christ to all the families on earth, so they can be blessed.

© Auxano Ministry 2021

All verses quoted in this teaching are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.

A Journey through the Book of Acts