2-8. Abraham. The Land promised.
9-16. Joseph. Persecuted. Delivered.
17-29. Moses. Type of the Prophet.
Acts 7:1 Then said the high priest, "Are these things so?"
(This is a continuation of the last chapter, when Stephen sat before the Sanhedrin; "looking stedfastly on him as it had been the face of an angel." Was this high priest mesmerized by the face of Stephen, or was he terrorized? It was obvious that when they looked upon Stephen they saw the presence of the Living God. So this high priest softly stated, "Are these things so?" There is no harsh accusations at this time, for as God's glory fell on Stephen, they knew that they were in the presence of of the Living God.)
2 And he said, "Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory
(Cp. Ps.29:3, and note the 7 other similar expressions, "The God of comfort" [Rom.15:5. 2 Cor.1:3], "hope" [Rom.15:13], "love" [2 Cor.13:11], "patience" [Rom.15:5], "peace" [Rom.15:33, &c.], "all grace" [1 Pet.5:10], and "truth" [Deut.34:2, &c.])
appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
(= a mountaineer. Babylonian city of music. Present day Iraq.
"Abraham" in the Hebrew tongue, meaning "the father of many nations".
Stephen is about to give one of the greatest Bible lessons you can ever hear, and it was delivered by the Holy Spirit through Stephen. It will cost him his life, and his blood will be spilled because of these statements.)
3 And said unto him, 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.'
(Abraham also was obedient to God, and that is why he was blessed by God.)
4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead,
(The Chaldaeans are the Babylonians, the land of Babel, which means confusion. To picture this land of the Chaldaeans that Abraham was a youth, it was the same location where the Desert Storm war was fought.
It was Abraham, not Terah, who had been called [Gen.12:1], and therefore Terah could get no further than Haran. There was a long sojourn in Haran of 25 years.)
He removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.
(I.e. in Israel.)
5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet He promised
(Refers to Gen.13:15. The covenant.)
that He would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.
(This promise was made before Abraham even had a child, and by both his and Sarah's age they were far beyond child bearing age.)
6 And God spake on this wise,
(Quoted from Gen.15:13,14.)
That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.
(This speaks of the captivity, see note on Ex. 12:40.
The seed of Abraham, spoken of here are the children of Jacob, whose name was changed by God to Israel. Israel had twelve sons who went into Egypt from the land of Canaan, when there was seven years of drought. This "evil" that put them in bondage for the four hundred years was Pharaoh. Pharaoh kept them in Egypt for that full four hundred years.)
7 '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.
(Worship, Gr. latreuô = to serve in official service [for hire, or reward]. Cp. Ex.3:12. Used of serving God in the externals of His worship.
God is saying they will be My possession, and so it was.)
8 And He gave him the covenant of circumcision:
(Gr. diathękę. It is an Old Testament word, and must always conform to the O.T. usage and translation. It has nothing to do with the later Greek usage. See Heb. 9:15-52. See also Appendix 95 of the Companion Bible.)
and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.
(The covenant of circumcision was given to Abraham, which was passed on continually to Isaac, then Jacob [Israel], then to the twelve sons of Jacob, which are the twelve patriarchs, and on from generation to generation to this day. It is a marking of the Israelites, both the house of Israel [Christians nations], and the house of Judah [Jews, Judah and Benjamin, with the Kenites mixed with them] today.)
9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,
(Because he was the youngest by Abraham's favorite wife, and because of his [Joseph's] dreams.
Joseph probably felt that he was down and out many times, when his brother did wrong to him. Remember though that as all this was happening, it was God that was moving this family into position to fulfill His prophecy, stated to father Abraham. God would build this family into a nation in Egypt, over that four hundred years. By selling Joseph into bondage, would insure all the tribes safety during that four hundred year captivity. God is in control, and with Joseph.)
10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions,
and gave him favour
(= grace, Gr. charis= free, undeserving favor.)
and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
(This applies to us today, just as it did to Joseph. When we get into afflictions that seem impossible, when we turn it over to God, He will level those mountains out, to make them hills that we can cross over. God will deliver you, if you have faith. That is His promise.
God gave Joseph favor with Pharaoh, because of the wisdom that Joseph possessed from God. This one of the twelve of Israel, who was sold into Egypt as a slave, would become the ruler of Egypt during the time of the famine, when the whole world was suffering. God was in control.)
11 Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance.
(They were about to starve to death. The only place to get the food was to go to Egypt.
However, before Joseph was ever sold into Egypt, Joseph had a dream that showed him that his brothers would bow to him, and their shocks would bow to Joseph's shocks. So this would come true because of another dream that Joseph had while in Egypt, where by there would be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. God placed Joseph in charge of the food supply, that would draw the whole house of Israel into Egypt, where they would grow into a nation.)
12 But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first.
13 And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh.
14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen
(This included Jacob's race. See Gen.46:26. They were saved at Egypt's expense.)
(Gr. psuchę, used of man as an individual [just as we speak of a ship going down with every soul on board, or of so many lives being lost in a railway accident])
15 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers,
(Buried in Hebron, i.e. the patriarchs.)
16 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.
17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
(When that four hundred years was all most completed that God had promised Abraham that would come to pass, they had grown into a large nation. In fact they had grown to the point that Pharaoh wanted to eliminate the births of all male babies. Though the Pharaoh gave the order, it did not work, for the midwives were threatened with their lives if they killed the babies. The male babies lived, and Israel continued to prosper, even while in captivity.
Again, just as in Joseph's case, one of these male babies would grow to a position just under Pharaoh, even in Pharaoh's household.)
18 Till another king arose, which knew
(Gr. oida = to know [intuitively] without effort, to understand.)
19 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.
(Or preserved alive. They were left in the field.)
20 In which time Moses
(= drawn from water, or saved by water.)
was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up
(Gr. anatrephô, a medical term, providing more proof acts writing by Luke, the physician.)
in his father's house three months:
(This is the time that Moses was set into the bull rushes, in the Nile, and taken into Pharaoh's household, by the Pharaoh's daughter. Moses had nursed in his own mother's milk for three months, and he was a beautiful child.)
21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.
(God has a way of providing.)
22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,
(This included all the mysteries of the Egyptian religion, as all education was in the hands of the priests.)
and was mighty in words
(He was a great orator, yet forty years later Moses tells God, "I can't speak." On the things that God wanted spoken, Moses felt insecure. He was a lord among the Egyptians.)
and in deeds.
23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.
(The number forty in biblical numerics, means probation. God has a way of keeping track of all people, individually, and touching a mind, and saying it is time now to think about your own people. This is your purpose.)
24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
(Notice this was an act of self defense, defending a brother who was being mistreated. This is not murder as some teach.)
25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, 'Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?'
27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, 'Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?
(They were afraid of Moses. They didn't trust him. They should not have said this.)
28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?'
(When this man shouted this accusation out, he knew that this accusation had to be known by all the Israelites. Moses knew that he was in great danger when this man shouted this out publicly. Moses was betrayed by the mouths of his own people, and this goes right to today, and our dealing with other people. When you need something kept secret, that has to do with the work of God; do not trust the ears of a non-believer, any more then you would let a non-believer do your translating for you, and believe it.
It is written in Mark 13:12; "Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death." Satan is death, and in a time coming very shortly, the "instead of Christ" who is Satan will be on earth posing as Christ, and they shall deliver you up to Satan in ignorance. Be careful what you say even to a brother, who is a non-believer.)
29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian,
(Heb. = strife. Jethro was a Medianite priest. Not a Kenite. Son of Abraham by Keturah. Moses was led to him. God's plan NOT an accident!)
where he begat two sons.
30 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.
(Moses was eighty years old when he saw the flame in this bush, but the bush did not burn.)
31 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,
32-34. The Wilderness a Holy Place.
40-43. Tabernacles of Idols.
44. Yahaveh's Tabernacle.
45-. Joshua. The Land possessed.
-45,46. David. Persecuted. Delivered.
47. Solomon. Type of the King.
48-50. All places Holy.
54–60. Death of Stephen.
32 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.
33 Then said the Lord to him, 'Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.
34 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.'
(Moses was a type of savior.
Stop and think for a moment, do you understand the emotions that He has in His heart of His people. How do you feel when you see someone kicking around your children, does it make you happy, of course not. It is true that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and just as He came to the rescue of those children of Israel in Egypt, He also will come to your rescue when you call on His name. He know exactly what is going on today in the world, and He will protect His own. God ordered Satan, touch not mine anointed, and that is why when one of God's elect orders Satan away, he runs.
Later in this chapter Stephen will talk about another that would be raised up to deliver His people, and that person was Jesus Christ the Son of God of Nazareth. He will come to deliver the people, not at the first advent, but at any time or moment that you would have faith to accept that deliverance and receive salvation at your time and pleasure. It gives God pleasure touch you and protect you from affliction, even today.)
35 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.
(The Israelites refused Moses the first time, and so did all of Israel also refuse Christ when He walked on earth in the flesh body that first time.)
36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders
(Gr. teras. This word has regard to the effect produced on those who witnessed the mighty work. The rendering "miracle" should be confined to this word.)
(Gr. sęmeion. This word has regard to the significance of the work wrought, whether in itself, or in reason, object, design, and teaching intended to be conveyed by it.)
in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
(God took care of them.
4 = Probation. This makes it the third forty year period; the first in Pharaoh's household growing up, the second in the land of the Midianites, having a famine, and now the third forty years in the wilderness. This makes Moses one hundred and twenty years old. When God has His hand on a deliverer, that man or woman comes through.)
37 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.'
(Quoted from Deut.18:15. Cp. 3:22.
On the first advent they didn't care to hear what that Prophet, Jesus Christ had to say, except for a very few.)
38 This is he, that was in the church
(The Greek word ekklęsia, means assembly, or a gathering of called-out ones. See Appendix 186 in the Companion Bible.)
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:
(Any Book in Fathers Word will give the promise of the coming of Messiah.)
39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
(Why would they turn so soon?
This is going back to the type again, when Moses killed the Egyptian, they would have nothing to do with this savior, the first time, Moses the one that would save the Israelites. Stephen is comparing that denial to these members of the Sanhedrin that also would not have anything to do with the second savior, Jesus Christ, and plotted to murder Christ, and did crucify him.
Even after Moses set them free, they continually looked back to the times in Egypt, and sought the shelter that the Pharaoh gave. Even after all the miracles they always want to stray back to the worldly life.)
40 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.'
(God, with a small "g", used of false gods something they can see. This is why God is so pleased with you when you don't have to see to believe!)
41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
(It is hard to understand how our forefathers could have seen the miracles, and power of God, and still desire to fall down and worship idols and things that common sense tells us has absolutely no intelligence, yet alone could even stand straight unless some man prompted it up. The stupidity of looking to any object for understanding and help, shows how far these Israelites have fallen in such a short time.
Today we have not seen these miracles, yet many of us have seen miracles by God, and by faith we accept the power and Workings of God. But these people had tasted the manna, and even seen the Red Sea parted, yet they were blind to the power of God's Spirit. It is hard to understand them.
A church that operates totally on rules set down by rules of man, rather then strictly by the Word of God, is no better then those heathen nations that squat to idols. They simply follow the laws of men, that make void the laws of God. It seems that very few individuals have their minds so set on defying God's Word, that it just never entered their minds, "What am I doing this for?" when they see that their own church bylaws don't align with the Word of God. They are like blind sheep lead to the slaughter.
When some leader within their church makes a statement, the people in the congregation don't question it, nor check it out in God's Word, but suffer themselves as fools gladly. We can see much the church of today just like these foolish Israelites begging for their idols, because they simply don't care what God has told them, and they can't wait for Moses. They are being set up to worship the false Christ, the instead of Christ, and not waiting patiently for the true Christ's return. Even in their "rapture" theory, is like an idol, that they build to worship, for they simply do not want to hold on, and wait for the sounding of the seventh trump, but want to be taken in the fifth trumpet.
These things that happened in the wilderness, happened as an example and that we and our families have something solid to stand upon, and guide us, and that is what Stephen is bringing out so well. They worshipped the works of their own hands, and that is what men and women are doing today.)
42 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?
43 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.'
(Moloch, Heb. = king [small "k"]. Babylon, Heb. = confusion. Amos say "Damascus". See note there. The stages of captivity were: Syrian [same as Amram = an exalted people], to Damascus [?]; Assyrian [from Asshur = successful], beyond Damascus to Mesopotamia [= between the rivers]; Babylonian [= confusion], to Babylon and beyond, and now they are to be carried to the uttermost part of the earth, like right here in the USA. They went from an exalted People to a People of confusion. Do you know which tribe you come from?
The tabernacle of "Moloch" is the practice of burning your children. God said that the thought never entered His mind, it is the teaching of demons, of evil spirits. The thought of threatening your own children up to the fire, hell fire, and blinding the love of God by your evil threats is all part of Moloch worship. Any form of frightening little children that they are going to burn in hell if they don't do this or that, that is of evil spirits. Friend, it is of the devil.
This star mentioned here is the bright and morning star, Lucifer who tries to make himself appear as the true morning star who is Christ.)
44 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness
(See Ex.25:16; 26:33; 30:6. Rev. 15:5.)
in the wilderness, as He had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.
(Cp. Ex.26:30; 27:8. Heb.8:5.)
45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Joshua
(He was a type of savior. Cp. Heb.4:8. The Hebrew means "Yahaveh the Savior". See note on title, Josh. 1.
Joshua sounded the trumpets and the wall of Jericho came tumbling down. And Joshua delivered the land of the Gentiles into the land of Israel, and they took possession of the promised land.)
into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;
(Like Joseph, David was rejected, and tested by affliction before God gave him deliverance.)
46 Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle
(Not the same as v.43. Cp. Psalm 132:5.)
for the God of Jacob.
(Joshua wanted not just a tent, but a permanent building of worship.)
47 But Solomon built Him an house.
(Stephen does not enlarge upon the history of either David or Solomon, probably because he saw the gathering storm on the faces of his audience.)
48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
49 '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?
50 Hath not My hand made all these things?'
(Freely quoted from Isa. 66:1,2,3. Stephen ends teaching here.
God said that even when you build that temple and make void My way and My Words, and come to that altar, I won't look upon you.
Notice that all the animals of sacrifice that are recognized as clean, the ox and the lamb, God won't accept. When you create your own ways, and call them of God, when God's Word goes against them, God is saying what ever you do will not be accepted, but will be considered as doing an abomination to Him.
So many people bring their good intentions into the church and substitute them for God's Ways in ignorance, and they don't know why God will not bless them. The substitute Easter for Passover, with all the rights of "Ishtar" including the facing of the sun in the early morning hours, as the feast of Ishtar required, and they think they are worshipping God. What did God say about their rites, and their own ways? He doesn't accept it because it is an abomination to him.
The day of Passover is the most sacred day in the Christian religion, yet most Christians have no idea what the day even means, for they are so deep in their own abominations of the feasts of Ishtar, and with the special rites that they have made, and covered it over, but that swine is still a swine, even though you call it a lamb, and it is an abomination. That day of Passover is the day that the true Lamb of God was offered for all sins for one and all times. The eggs of Ishtar, is a representation of the fertility rites of orgies that took place in the feast of Ishtar. No, they don't like to do those acts, but they simply can't give up those practices, even in ignorance. It is like the forgathers turning back to Egypt, even when they had seen the miracles and wonder that God had preformed.
Churchmen of today let Satan, that star of Remphan, blind them, and make the teachings of man make void the very Word of God. Friend, know what God's Word teaches, for it does matter what you do and say, even in ignorance, when you are in God's house. You are accountable for it, even if you are doing it in ignorance.)
51 Ye stiffnecked
(Cp. Deut.31:27. 2 Chron.30:8. Prov.29:1.)
and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit:
(This verse is quoted in support of the idea that men can successfully withstand the Spirit, instead of stumbling at His Words.)
as your fathers did, so do ye.
(He is speaking directly to them, i.e. the Kenites.)
52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?
(Stephen nails the Kenites here. See Matt. 23:31-35.)
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:
(This was not done by brother Judah, but those that took over the priesthood from the Levites in Babylon. Stephen is calling attention that it was them, the Kenites that were the betrayers and murderers of not only the prophets, but the Just One, Jesus Christ the Living God.)
53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it."
54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
(Cp. with Matt. 8:12. Both medical words.
When this Sanhedrin council heard these things they acted exactly as you would expect any demon, or spirit Satan to act. The acted just like mad dogs. They are mad because they knew who they were, and the deeds that they and their fathers had done. Understand that Israel, nor Judah had anything to do with plotting of the murder of Abel, the Prophets, Jesus, Judas, nor Stephen.
It was the Kenites, and if you don't know who the Kenites are, or anything about them, then there is very little of the Bible that you can really understand. They slipped in unawares and did their deeds that followed their father Satan, the serpent in the Garden. Their murdering heart came from their father Cain, who was the first murderer, the very son of Satan. Jesus stated this in John 8:44.
John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.")
55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up stedfastly into heaven,
(He was probably in one of the Temple courts, open to the sky.)
and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
(God allowed Stephen to see right into heaven, for Stephen had brought forth this beautiful truth. God sees every seed that you plant. God know's His servants, and He allowed Stephen to be comforted at this time.)
56 And said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."
(Stephen here in effect is calling them, i.e. the Kenites, a bunch of liars.)
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
(They could not handle the truth. It drove them nuts.)
58 And cast him out of the city,
(Cp. Lev.24:14. The charge was blasphemy, as in the case of his Master. Cp. Heb.13:13.)
and stoned him: and the witnesses
(See 1:8. In accordance with the law they had to cast the first stone [Deut.17:7].)
laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
(He [Paul] was probably about 33 years of age. Saul = Heb. desired. Paul didn't cast a stone. He knew Stephen was telling the truth.)
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
(Gr. pneuma = living soul [without article, here being imparted to man from God].)
60 And he kneeled down, and
cried with a loud voice, "Lord, lay not this sin
(Gr. hamartia = a failing to hit the mark; aberration from prescribed law, a sin, whether by omission or commission, in thought, word, or deed.)
to their charge."
(Would you be this loving?)
And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
(Gr. koimaomai = to fall asleep [unintentionally]. Hence, this latter is used of death, as it is involuntary.
Stephen knew that he would die, and he was ready to give his life for the sake of God's Word. Stephens last words were that God would not lay the sin of this murderer to the account of those that were throwing the stones, for he knew that they were blind and ignorant to what they were doing. We know that one of them did repent of this sin, and his name is Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ.
As Christ has taught, when we sin and repent of that sin it is as if it never happened before the father. Paul repented, and was saved, and the effect of Stephens life and death has rocked mankind for two thousand years, through those that were converted that witnessed this death of Stephen.
What a message Stephen gave, as the Holy Spirit of God flowed through him, and convicted those that had even plotted and put to death our Lord Jesus Christ.)