Witness to the Religious Establishment
The Religious Establishment wanted Stephen to shut up! They did not want to hear God’s Word or Truth. They could not stand the wisdom and Spirit with which he was speaking. They stirred up the people, elders and scribes against him; they came and seized him and brought him before the council. Stephen was required to give an account to them. They saw that he was full of the Holy Spirit as he preached God’s Word! He declared what God has said, and what He did. Remember, he was preaching to the religious establishment: to professed believers in God- not professed atheists. These professed God, yet they were not born from above. They were not at all regenerate nor in the Kingdom; they were not circumcised in heart. He told them the truth regarding their unbelief, sin and disobedience! He accused them of resisting the Holy Spirit and persecuting and killing God’s people whom they had betrayed and murdered. The religious leaders were enraged! Stephen continued to honor and glorify Christ! The only way they could shut him up was to kill him, but Stephen was faithful to Jesus until the end.
“You men who are stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who had previously announced the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become…”Acts7:51-52