Timothy: Let’s continue studying and considering the longest sermon.
Video: There are two kinds of Christians. Beware of the ordinary Christian. It’s because they persecute their spiritual Christian. “At that time, the sun born in the ordinary way. Persecuted the son born by the power of the spirit It is the same now. It is the same now.” (Galatians 4:29).
Intro: Consider the wisdom. Consider the madness. Consider the folly. Ecclesiastes 2:12. Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom and also madness and folly. Today’s events, Paulorrow’s realities at www.consider.info.
Timothy: This is part 2 of the longest sermon. How’s it going today, Jacob?
Jacob: It’s going good.
Timothy: We’ve been considering the sermon that Steven preached and we’re going to get into him being killed today. Big question, the main question. Jacob, who’s doing the killing after this particular sermon?
Jacob: It’s the Pharisees and Sadducees. All the, I think Sanhedrin. It was the religious leaders of the day.
Timothy: And the followers. It was those who claim to be to put it in our terms or to put it in today they would claim to be Christians. And yet they’re stoning Stephen. And we saw…
Jacob: And the best, the cream of the crop. Like the teachers and the leaders too.
Timothy: Correct. Now why is he stoning them of course? Let’s go to Acts chapter 7 verse 31 or why are they stoning Stephen? He’s preaching a that we’ve already discovered, right Jacob? That is logical, reasonable, scriptural, biblical, definitely spiritual. It’s just they don’t like the spirit with which he’s speaking and eventually they turn on him. It’s not what an offering should be and I don’t mean that as a joke. Go and read Acts chapter 7 verse 39- 41 there Jacob.
Jacob: “But our fathers refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and, in their hearts, turned back to Egypt. They told Aaron, ‘Make us Gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt– we don’t know what has happened to him!’ That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration in honor of what their hands had made.”
Timothy: There’s a lot to that we could explore and as I always have to say we don’t have time for it today. In verse 39, it says, “But our fathers refuse to obey him.” It was that real cross carrying type of obedience to follow God. They’d follow the law, they’d follow principles or they think they would and do those things, but they would turn their back on a Holy Spirit. Even today in the church what we see is there’s a spirit out there alright but it’s not a Holy Spirit it may be a religious spirit or what I’m calling co Christianity where you take all the zeal and the effort that happens at a football game. You turn it into evangelism. You tack on the name of Jesus. Everybody’s hyped up getting baptized but it’s not the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s the work of the marketing of man.
Alright, it says, “Instead, they rejected him and, in their hearts, turned back to Egypt.” What we’re going to see here is we kind of move into this sermon is that it’s a turning in the heart first and then you begin to see it on the outward behavior, don’t you?
Timothy: And what you hear all the time when you come in to people especially you start looking at the outward things because that’s all we see. I technically unless God actually gives me the grace. I can’t see your heart. I can barely discern my own heart for that matter. So, what we are looking at here is the outward thing and people will say, well, you don’t know my heart. Well, it’s not true. The Jews or the Israelites who turn their back on God, did it not come out in action?
Timothy: In fact, go on to verse 40. We’ll kind of read it again. I’m laughing a little bit, because I was looking at this again and they were always grumbling. They’re always complaining as Stephen said, “You’re always refusing the Holy Spirit, no matter how God comes to you.” So, they go to Aaron who is the priest or the preacher of the time and they told Aaron, ‘Make us Gods who will go before us.’ We know, we don’t want to hear a voice behind us because that requires faith and marching forward. We want Gods that will go before us telling us what to do or fashioning these Gods into what we want them to say is really what’s going on here.
Let me emphasize that again. Just like today there are people fashioning Jesus according to what they want him to say to go before them, and you get all kinds of, well it’s just a complete mess out there. “Make us Gods who will go before us.” Now notice the wording here. Jacob, go ahead and read the first 3 or 4 words there.
Jacob: “They told Aaron, ‘Make us Gods who will go before us.’”
Timothy: Okay, and then I’m pressing on. Those next 3 or 4 words.
Jacob: Oh, “As for this fellow.”
Timothy: This fellow.
Jacob: As we gonne from this guy.
Timothy: We’ve gone from Moses. Yeah. We’ve gone from Moses exalted Moses who got us out of Egypt and all these miraculous things and it gets all the way down to they got bad attitudes. They don’t want to wait on God. They don’t want to be self-disciplined. They don’t want to pick up their cross. And so, what did they begin to refer to Moses as?
Jacob: The fellow.
Timothy: Yeah, this fellow. I mean we all know who it’s a total exaggeration of the relationship. I’ve seen this way too many times that people that either turn their back on Jesus Christ or they begin to grumble I no longer am a brother I’m becoming an enemy or just this person. I remember the persecution we went through; they would never refer to the church as a church. They call it what the group or whatever. So, they have this attitude, “As for this fellow Moses.” Oh, let’s just over exaggerate every, correct? That though isn’t that, right?
Timothy: Remember when they said, oh, we used to lay around I mean they were slaves in Egypt building pyramids or whatever they were doing and when they have a bad attitude is, oh, we were lounging around and we had cucumbers and we had lots to eat. It was holiday vacation working under Pharaoh and now you’ve got us out here to die Moses, that’s why you brought us out in the desert. No, get here all day long. When you bring up the narrow road, when we talk about the complete gospel, when you talk about denying self and losing your life on, there’s all kinds of objections. I’ve yet for anybody to actually sit me down and say, yeah, let’s talk about how do we begin to deny ourselves. What are some specific things we can do? I’ve never heard anybody say hey you know what? Let’s have a prayer meeting and ask the Lord what new ways we all need to deny ourselves. You ever heard of that?
Timothy: No. Alright. That was the time. In other words, Acts 7:41 is saying, “That was the time.” In other words, there’s multiple other times. It’s like he’s got to clarify their bad attitude. He has to clarify. Well, which group are we talking about and which time are we talking about? They were just so rebellious and again, I’m quoting Acts. So, this is a New Testament thing point. He goes back to the Old Testament but it’s in the church as a whole today, at least the church that claims to be a Christian. Anything you want to say before I kind of press on from there, Jacob?
Timothy: Alright. “That was the time they made an idol a form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration in honor of what their hands have made.” The thing that we kind of look at and consider a lot on this podcast is how people are fashioning a Jesus by their own hands of exactly what they want him to be and we refer to it as cultural Christianity. So, we see this compromise going on and this is what Stephen is talking about and that’s what he’s pointing out. He’s saying, you guys completely compromise, you resist the Holy Spirit. This is like they’re running to Steven going, tell us how you do these miracles. What does it mean to pick up your cross? What does it mean to hate and despise money? Let’s talk about ways we can obey, right?
They’ll listen. They’ll endure. They’ll let him go through his long-winded sermon in their minds. They’ll wait till he’s almost at the end and then, you know what? They’re just kind of sitting there. They’re just not going to do anything and that’s eventually when he goes, you know what? You guys, you’re always receiving the Holy Spirit and they get all because I guess the religious pride was wounded. I’m not sure exactly why. It’s Exodus chapter 32 verse 5, and Jacob I’m going to let you read again in Exodus 32 verse 5. We covered this very early on in the first podcast but we need to remind everybody here what’s going on.
Jacob: Exodus 32 verse 5, when Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Paulorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.”
Timothy: So, you have all the people’s sins. He sees his he actually participated in, if he was a publisher today, he published all this junk stuff. And then it always goes too far, and then you always got to backtrack. But you keep trying to put this little sticker on there that says, oh, this is of the Lord, this is Jesus Christ. Builds an altar to do it but he’s going yeah man this is just kind of out of control and they look like the world, yeah, I have a sense in my heart and whatever that this is not of God. so, let’s redeem it, right? Let’s redeem it. Let’s put the name of the Lord on the golden calf. Any comments Jacob before we keep pressing forward, because there’s a little bit to cover here.
Timothy: Alright, let’s go to Exodus chapter 32 verse 18 and this is important to what Steven’s doing. Because what Stephen is doing in his sermon, he’s exposed the fact that they’re religious people, they’re biblical people, they have all the trappings of worship but in the end of it, when push comes to shove, they always, every single time resist every single aspect of the Holy Spirit. So, I would come along and go, you know what? The music is unholy out there. It’s unrighteous. What would be the response, Jacob? Well, the same response has been for decades but what would be the response?
Jacob: Stop judging. You’re so harsh.
Timothy: Indeed, I was around. I’m old enough to know. Names people probably wouldn’t recognize. Striper was one of the first rock bands was actually a big deal. They would come out dressed I think as bees. I can’t remember exactly why and then you had Amy Grant and all kinds of it went down the line and there was a little bit of debate back and forth but the huge, it was very clear, a great compromise was happening. Why do I bring this up? Because what Stephen is talking about is the golden calf, and this is just before he gets stoned. Moses is coming down from the mountain and what’s the first sign that the people have become corrupt. Jacob read Exodus 32 verse 18.
Jacob: Moses replied: “Is it not the sound of victory? It is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.”
Timothy: What we see is the people in their hearts turn back and go to Egypt. Moses gone up on the mountain, they do a golden calf and what is the first sign and the first symbol, the bad fruit that’s demonstrating before Moses ever gets in and sees the golden calf before he sees the dancing and all the things that are going that are not of God. What’s the first sign the first whiff so to speak, the first thing that moves their ears that something is drastically wrong?
Jacob: The singing.
Timothy: The singing, the music. When you look at the Christian music, it is not Christian. Jacob, play this next clip for a little bit. This is a very popular group. I just discovered them today.
The secret side of me
I never let you see
I keep it caged, but I can’t control it
So stay away from me
The beast is ugly
I feel the rage, and I just can’t hold it
It’s scratching on the walls
In the closet, in the halls
It comes awake, and I can’t control it
Hiding under the bed
In my body, in my head
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this?
Make it end
I feel it deep within
Timothy: Alright, you probably got the idea Jacob.
Jacob: I get the idea.
Timothy: Alright. Any thoughts?
Jacob: No. Yeah, I think that’s, a lot of this been to, they come out the Christian, they say they’re Christian. Then they actually to worldly later. Just like Amy Grant way back in the day supposed she’s Christian. The only reason I comment that is because a lot of the artists after they become secular or they say they’re now secular they’re like, oh yeah, we were secular all along. Anyways, I was just commenting that these bands that even say they’re Christian, they’re not even Christian at all and then later on they’ll even admit that they’re not Christian. It’s such a mess, a total mess and nobody can figure it out from the beginning that they weren’t Christians.
Timothy: Go to that link there on Daily Signal, right?
Timothy: This is the skill of band and they’re talking about, let’s do away with, let’s confront race theory, let’s combat critical race theory and so on. People can look it up if they want. They’re not going to win a single thing, because they are just like if not worse in the world, they claim to be of Jesus. They’re resisting every aspect of the Holy Spirit. Now I know we’re a little bit of ourselves we’re eventually going to do some shows on what is acceptable music. So, let’s demolish that this is unacceptable right up front before we go any further. I’m just kind of hopping into it for a moment just to demonstrate. If I have to explain to somebody that this music is unholy, we’re lost.
Timothy: We’re completely defeated, we have to back up and go, you do not know what it is to be a Christian. You don’t even know step one. You don’t know who Jesus Christ is. You don’t know who God is. You don’t know the Holy Spirit. To come along at this point, of course, we saw it coming 30 or 3 or 4 decades ago. Well, I’m a lost for words. You’re dealing with fools here. You’re dealing with mad men and to debate with mad men is just a foolish thing to do. Let’s demolish it. Philippians 4:5. “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Anything about that, that was gentle?
Timothy: Okay. Need I say anymore. Do I really have to dive into it at the moment to make it clear that that’s not of Jesus Christ?
Timothy: Excellent. Let’s go to Deuteronomy chapter 30 verse 19. Again, we’re backing up obviously to the Old Testament, but I’m going to bring this right into the new. Deuteronomy 30:19. Because Stephen is saying, you always resist the voice of God. There are the laws of God. There are the principles of God. There are all kinds of, the ways of God. You go through scripture. There’re all aspects to God. The one thing though that brings all those things together correctly is his voice, and that’s where the rubber meets the road.
You can talk all day long about denying self or picking up your cross or being spirit filled and all these things that go on. But until you actually are in the prayer closet, bend your knee and say, okay God, what do you want done today? And you know that’s going to bring both the sufferings and the joys of Jesus Christ. It’s going to have a cross, a denying self. It’s going to be the opposite of everything you want to do. It’s going to be contrary to all your goals. It is the abundant life. Doing his will. Deuteronomy 30:19, “This day I call heaven and earth as a witness against you that I’ve set before you life and death.” They quote this all the time. Blessings and curses. Oh yeah, right. You can hear the applause, the hallelujahs, the coach Christianity going throughout the congregation, right? Now choose life so that you and your children may live they’re all shouting. Oh, we choose life, we choose life.
Verse 20, “And that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.” That’s what was rejected that Stephen was preaching. They knew every single ink on paper or stone on tablet or papas or whatever was written now. They knew the scriptures, but they rejected and were stiff necked toward His voice. And you can see that whenever we try to discuss anything to be obedient in, people either want to whitewashed, ignore, persecute, prosecute, run you out of town, ignore you, anything but actually engaging in it. We’re getting ready to, you know, Jacob got a book, “101 Ways to Deny Self, right? Won’t go into all the history of that. We’re going to have some shows on that. So, let me give you a little bit of hint on what I’m talking about here. You can go into any church right now, right, Jacob? And there there’s signs up there on how to deny yourself and a list of specifics and people are talk, yeah, I’m denying myself and I’m denying myself over here, right? That’s all over the place, right?
Jacob: Well, I’m only going to interject it. I don’t know that you can go into any church and there’s signs about denying self. There’re certainly some talks.
Timothy: Ain’t that the good news? Didn’t Jesus come and say, hey, I’m the good news. Pick up your cross, deny yourself and fall. Isn’t that exciting? Isn’t that good news to deny ourselves? So, surely, you go into any Christian bookstore, they’re going to have rows of life. Different ways to deny yourself. I mean, the book “100 Ways to Deny Self” was never rejected. Nobody, you know, didn’t like it because they knew that was all part of Christianity, right?
Jacob: Not quite.
Timothy: Not quite. See sarcasm does come out but it’s usually toward the church. “Listen to his voice, hold fast to him for the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” It’s his voice. Alright, there’s a lot of talk out there about the voice of God, right? All every spirit-filled church says, oh we hear the voice of God. Dear neighbor, I hear the voice of God. Every politician the voice of God or the will of God, right? In John chapter 4 verse 23 people forget there are two aspects of this. Go ahead and read John 4:23.
Jacob: John chapter 4 verse 23, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the father seeks.”
Timothy: This is quoted all the time, but the part that’s left out is the truth. “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the father in spirit.” And everybody likes to talk about the spirit of God, but where is the hardcore suffering for Jesus Christ, hating your own life, specific discussions and songs about that, Jacob.
Jacob: Very few.
Timothy: Very few. The last one that I know was Keith Green in terms of music goes.
Timothy: Jesus says you have to have two. The spirit and the truth. You got to have both. That’s why in Isaiah chapter 8 verse 20, God prophesied through Isaiah long ago. To the law and to the testimony. If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Just like the music we played. There was no light of dawn and that there was nothing that reflected the truth. Nothing about their dress, their actions, their behavior, everything about them, the tattoos, the whole bit, the pierced ears, all the loud noise will be. There wasn’t one single thing that reflected the truth. You can tack on Jesus all day long but it’s golden calf worship fashion of our own hands and saying Paulorrow we’ll have this big celebration for the Lord. Any comments before we keep going?
Timothy: Alright, let’s go to Romans chapter 8 verse 13 and emphasize again that it’s only by the Holy Spirit that we can put to death the misdeeds of the body. “For if you live according to sinful nature, you will die.” They will die. These people that are not worshiping God in spirit and in truth will die. You can’t even, there’s books on how to overcome sin or how to do. There’s lots of sermons on that but I don’t see very much death to those things going on. Romans 8:13 says, but if by the spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body you will live. Alright. Jacob, are you there at 8:13 thirteen?
Timothy: Alright. What’s the last 3 or 4? What can we, what’s it telling us to look at to kind of demonstrate that the Holy Spirit may be working to put sins to death? That little plague.
Jacob: Well, I think you’re going for the misdeeds of the body. It would come outwardly.
Timothy: Correct. You would see it outwardly. Just like Moses coming down from the mountain, right? He could hear. He could see. So, they couldn’t come to him and go, well, God knows our heart and doesn’t care about what I wear. No, from our perspective, by grace, by the Holy Spirit I’m going to look at your life the misdeeds of the body that should be putting to death. “For if you live it according to sinful nature, you will die.” Again, I don’t even know groups of Christians individuals going, you know what? What are the sinful nature things we need to put to death? How do we put it to death in specific ways, and what are the misdeeds of the body? So, it always shows up. Didn’t Jesus’s life demonstrate by his actions and behaviors what was in his heart?
Timothy: Of course, it did. That’s why Romans 8:14 says, “Because those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God.” People will agree with me on Romans 8:14. That’s right. Those are led of the spirit and God told me to do this and God told me to do that and that makes me a son of God, right? Well, the problem with that is where’s verse 13? You might have heard from God, oh God, told me to buy this car or he told me to get married, or this was my career opportunity, or God put this on my when I was 7 years old that I was supposed to be Christian coach and go out there and get everybody together and get them all excited for Jesus Christ. You can do all of those things, right? But what does verse 13 tell us we should be looking at?
What would it be? Oh, God would call me to this grand ministry? I don’t think so or God call me to be a Christian band. I don’t think so. What is the thing that demonstrates I’m being led by the spirit of God and that I’m a son of God. What did verse 13 tell us is the sign.
Jacob: Misdeeds of the body.
Timothy: Putting them to death. I just want to emphasize that. You’re correct. But not misdeeds of the body done. Misdeeds of the body put to death.
Timothy: Church after church, ministry after ministry is impure constantly in the news, people falling in sin and the congregation’s right there too. It’s not just the leadership. They like that leadership. Look, if people liked hating their own life, wouldn’t they be begging me to start a church?
Timothy: If people were eager to deny themselves, would they not be going, hey, yeah, you’re right. Let’s do something. Let’s have a right? If people really knew what it was if disciples of Jesus were really out hating and despising money. That’s a rare call. You don’t hear that out there anywhere. So, those that are true disciples of Jesus, their ears would open up their eyes would see. It’s like Keith Green’s song like a motto flame. You’re just drawn to that. So, you’d be going, yeah, start a church and let’s call it the first church that hate and despises money, right? That’s the good news that we get to put to death the misdeeds of the body. What can I say? It’s the cross that’s left out. This is what Stephen is going to be stoned for because he’s pointing back that they’re not all that they think they are. Any comments or anything Jacob?
Timothy: Alright. Go ahead and go to this next link there. You’ll see it is at PJ Media and we’re not going to discuss the whole article. What I’m really just trying to get at is the title of it is, “Finding the Balance between Martha and Mary”. And then of course, it goes on to say, Martha got a bad rap. Alright, you’re in trouble. The minute you say, okay, let’s get a balance. What? There is no balance in Jesus that’s somebody manipulate the name of Jesus to make him what we want to do. So, we have a Jesus, we have a Christianity, we have a political agenda, a certain belief in God and so, okay, here’s an idol. We’re going to call this idol Jesus. It’s going to be, there’s a golden calf there but we’re going to fashion that exactly what we want it to be. So, Martha’s not all that bad or Mary’s not all that good and everybody out there needs to find a balance.
It totally stinks of law. It stinks of principles. It’s human wisdom applying scripture and the human flesh wants a balance, right? Don’t you want to balance life, you know? Things are even keel and especially guys. Lay back and chill and go fishing and hunting or whatever. I don’t, what do yuppies do? Go to Starbucks, I guess. I don’t know but you want the balance Christian life? Don’t go to extremes, brother. Really? Isn’t the Bible full of all kinds of things that are out of balance?
Timothy: I know I just would say, anything you want to add to that, anything you want me to clarify?
Timothy: It’d be literally like they would go to Peter who tradition has he was crucified upside down. And they go hey you need to find a balance here. You’re in the danger of mocking Jesus. You’re being crucified upside down. There is no finding a balance. There is only losing your life, picking up your cross and letting God weave and work. What do you want? Each of our temperaments are different and when and how God wants to crucify that if by the spirit you put to death and the misdeeds of the body you will live. It is this kind of principle concept that’s going to get Stephen crucified because you can lay out all these principles, right? I want to be a balance. I don’t want to be a Martha, Mary. Okay, what acceptable music what’s this beat over here or this structure over here, right? Then they want to debate all that, correct?
Timothy: But the minute that you come in with, no you have to follow a Holy Spirit and let him crucify you and put you to death, the discussion comes to an end, they start to pick up the rocks and you know what’s about to happen. Let’s go to Acts chapter 7 verse 51 and let’s look at what happens. This is kind of where I think we left off last time, didn’t we, Jacob?
Jacob: Yeah, I think so.
Timothy: Acts 7:51, “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” It isn’t like and I’m just going real fast through this. It’s like what the music thing and say, okay, well, this is not acceptable music. Everybody wants to get bogged down in, well, what is acceptable? What can I do? Or how do you know this or just because their genes are torn doesn’t mean anything. You know, and you’re awful. No, that’s not the attitude of a humble servant of Jesus Christ. We’re to be pure in everything where the what happened to coming out and being separate as scripture says of being a holy people not touching hating clothing stained by corrupt flesh there should be an eagerness to go, well, let you know what? I don’t know, let’s go seek God. What should our music sound like? What should we be like? What are the words he has chosen?
Verse 52, “Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the righteous one, and now you have betrayed and murdered him–” And it’s getting personal right. Now he’s coming in going you are not Christian to put this in current perspective, right? That’s where those that preach by the power of the Holy Spirit and those of you out there if there are any of you that want a church that’s holy there’s going to come a point when you start laying these things out and go you know what? We need to repent. And you really come down in such a way to demonstrate and show who their hearts are. They’re either going to repent or they’re going to come after you. And now you betrayed and murdered him. You have to go for the heart of the sin with blocking the problem.
The last thing we want to solve is what’s acceptable music and then we have 15 principles of what is good music or this always needs to happen. That’s not what this is about. This is a Holy Spirit that in cultures, all lands whether it be Africa over here or in Alaska or the North Pole. It’s going to come out in different ways but it’s always going to come out holy because the heart is being Touched and moved by God. Verse 53, “You who have received the law.” You’ve received all these good things. I can go down through all the New Testament and just go are you is your church doing this? No, no, no. That was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it. Verse 54, their bubbles bursted. They’ve discovered their Christianity is worthless. Or they’ve discovered they need to repent which, and you know what? That’s supposed to be a good thing. But what does it say in verse 54 Jacob?
Jacob: When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.”
Timothy: What can you say? Reasoning now has ceased. Discussion is nowhere around. A prayer meeting about what Stephen said? Not even close. Verse 55 says, “But Steven, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God.” True disciples of Jesus can see the glory in the obedience. Can see and feel the glory in what it is to pick up a cross and love other people. “He saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Verse 56, you have to love the love of Stephen. “Look,” he wants them to look and see. But are they in any place to discover and understand and see the glory of God?
Timothy: People come into me from time to time. Yeah, you’re in sin, this, that, there’s never really any specifics. It’s all very generic and behind the scenes but there and if I say, well, look, look at the glory of God. Look at what the Holy Spirit is saying. Look at what all of scripture saying. You’re not seeing this clearly. They can’t see it. “Look,” Steven said, “I see heaven open and the son of man standing at the right hand of God.” There you go and this is good news. It is literally good news to be set free from every obligation except to follow the will of God. Their answer, their response, Acts 7:57. “At this, they covered their ears, and yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him. Dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.” If I was ever invited to preach a big conference, people would think this stuff couldn’t happen. It’s there. It’s there. It’s just nothing’s being presented to make anybody mad. It’s all whitewashed and platituded down. Don’t believe me. Invite me to your next big conference and we’ll see what happens and then the purity of the heavens. I know I’m kind of mumbling there. Anything, Jacob?
Timothy: Alright. Verse 58, “They dragged him out of the city, began to stone him.” And here’s where I really wanted to get to today. “Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.” I want us to really stop and pause and consider the love of Stephen. He was willing to endure these things and go through this stoning. And he did miracles and all kinds of good deeds and the opposition and all of that was brewing in there and he was willing to be long suffering with that. In terms of preaching to this congregation that stoned him, Jacob, how many converts did Stephen win?
Jacob: Well, so in the it was Saul, one.
Timothy: And I’ll put a fine edge on that. Actually, it didn’t win anybody. Because it took the grace of God to open Saul’s eyes to see and understand what he had done.
Timothy: So, in terms you’re correct what you’re saying. What I’m really trying.
Jacob: I know what you mean. Yeah.
Timothy: Go ahead. Go for it.
Jacob: Well, nothing that, well I know what you mean that there was actually zero. It was only we know from other scriptures that God had been working on Saul’s heart for some time and then it was only Jesus appearing to Saul, that’s a whole another story, right? But I know what you mean that really it was zero. So, he died. Saul continued to persecute the church and it was only after the Lord the Holy Spirit Jesus working on Saul’s heart was there any development later fruit later.
Timothy: Correct. You have Steven preaching and the local TV ministry, radio ministry, book publishers talk about the good things the Lord worked. How many people did you win over? None.
Timothy: You’ll find that TV ministries bringing in the smallest most mundane pastor that hasn’t won anybody and go, yeah, that’s really of God. Do we?
Timothy: That’s how backward everything is everything’s market anymore. Alright, while they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” And then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” We see the love of Stephen is deep. Now he’s not saying all sin, he didn’t say, Lord forgive all their sins. Just this sin of murder, this sin of rebellion, this sin of rejection. Jacob, why is that particular prayer so significant? “Lord did not hold this sin against them”. Because he’s filled with the Holy Spirit falling to his needs, seeing God. Clearly, this is what the Holy Spirit because scripture says, “Pray in the spirit on all occasions.” Why this prayer just before he died?
Jacob: Well, it’s a very similar prayer that Jesus prayed right before he died.
Timothy: Let me kind of rephrase a little bit. What if he hadn’t prayed it?
Jacob: Maybe, later on Saul converts but maybe if he hadn’t prayed it Saul wouldn’t have repented later. I don’t know.
Timothy: Or he couldn’t have been forgiven.
Jacob: Or he couldn’t have been forgiven.
Timothy: Let me put it to you this way and I’m not trying to make too big a point of it except I’m really trying to make a huge point of it. Meaning, there stoning him and they’re looking at him as if by this time Jesus been resurrected. The church is around. Stephen’s done miracles. You’re border lining on committing the unpardonable sin. You’re saying you’re not fit to live. Essentially, you’re saying you’re demonic. You’re a cult leader. You’re all these things. You’re like right on that edge, right? And Saul or Paul is there giving his approval. So, the Holy Spirit works up this crying out to him. This is going to hold this against them. So, Saul who become Paul is totally in the clear is able to be forgiven. Did that not make any sense?
Jacob: No, it makes sense.
Timothy: Alright, what’s the main thing? So, we’ve got all these people that are not responding to God. Except we know, because we know how it turns out Saul later become appalled by God’s grace. Well, let’s look at Ephesians 4:29, because very often it’s not the person that you’re talking to that’s actually listening to the gospel. I’m not saying that’s every single time, but there’s a lot of times when you’re talking to somebody and they’re kind of debating back and forth and all of the things that go on, they’re not really ever going to come to the gospel. Because they’re debating, they’ve got their arguments, the whole business. They may or may not, but we’re just assuming at this point they kind of don’t. Because this is a situation that happened with Steven, but it’s the person that’s listening to what you’re saying.
And that’s very often, I’ve bumped into that several times where somebody knows an individual, right? And they have a very strong opinions about life and philosophy and Jesus and so, and they’re debating with me. They’re coming up against me and they’re trying to whoop me in a conversation. They’re not winning the conversation. They’re losing the conversation or I have an answer for whatever they’re bringing back. And the other preacher knows them well is listening to what’s going on and that’s the person that the Word of God is sinking into. Ephesians 4:29, go ahead and read that Jacob.
Jacob: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their deeds, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Timothy: “Then it may benefit those who listen.” And see the person debating with me normally is not listening, right but the other people around are. So, you just never know. We need the love of Stephen that will endure all things for the sake of one or two individuals or maybe none. But God is being glorified in some other way. Let’s look at that in Acts chapter 22 verse 4, where Paul later is testifying. And by the way, he never bored of testifying to what a terrible sinner he was and how God’s grace came along. Those that are touch Jesus Christ go, yeah, I was those things or I were those things, and this is who I was in specifics.
One of the reasons among many reasons why people are not deeply coming to Jesus Christ, you don’t hear people going, yeah, I was this way, right? You don’t find them going and in specific enough ways I’m not telling you to throw your pearls to pigs, but what I am saying is there’s this generic kind of, well admit that you’re a sinner and that you need Jesus Christ. Oh really? That’s going to cut it. But if the person is going around saying, I was a blasphemer and I was a murderer and I was a prosecutor and I was all these things, they’re going to be convicted if God is working by his grace about the things that they do, right?
Timothy: We don’t want to talk about our own sins, so we can’t really talk with any great power with anybody else against their sins. So, we can look down on them. We can go, well, the gays, the lesbians, all these people. We got issues with them, we need to vote, we can be way off track. Acts Chapter 22 verse 4. Paul speaking, “I persecuted the followers of this way to their death.” Look how open he is. He is admitting I was a murderer. Arresting both men and women. He just doesn’t say I put them to death. Look at what he’s saying. I arrested women. “I arrested both men and women, throwing them into prison.” We if we heard that and we knew we’d go man you are low life to take women. Don’t we look down on people still that mistreat women?
Timothy: So, this is what he was doing in his religiosity, his false Christianity. He’s looking at Jesus from a worldly point of view. Verse 5 he goes, “As also the high priest and all the council can testify.” In other words, everybody can testify that I was a prosecutor going from town to town going after those Christians, those Christian grandmothers that don’t want to arrange flowers. “I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.” He’s in detail about who he was. I will gladly tell you who I was because I am no longer those things. And whoever you are, whatever you think you are and whatever you discover that is vile and sinful about yourself, he can deliver you from that as he has delivered me from that. And I have made so many mistakes and nothing the law would be interested in, but a lot of things God is interested in and I can testify to the power of God to change an individual. I’ve said this before Jacob, I call you in as a witness? Am I the same person that you knew 10 years ago, 20 years ago, or whatever?
Jacob: Most definitely not.
Timothy: “And went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.” Verse 6, “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice said to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’” Who are you Lord I ask? So again, Stephen laid the foundation and you know, there was some probably some cracking that God was using in his heart, but it hadn’t done on him. This is a total shift. So, you just Never know who’s going to become a Christian. That’s the difficult part. Why you need to listen to the Holy Spirit? Well, these are people you speak to or these people you don’t speak to.
He goes, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. ‘I am Jesus of Navitus whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.” So many, you can be right next to a religious person, a spiritual person who God is talking to. But if your heart and your life and you’re not surrendering to all to Jesus Christ, you will not hear his voice. You might be able to go, well yeah, there’s some light there and they obey some things over here. But you’re not hearing his voice you’re not walking and being led by the spirit and that’s why Paul says or becoming Saul, Saul becoming Paul in Acts 22 verse 10. “What shall I do Lord?” And then God tells him and takes call of his life and every single day, every single day Paul would get up and go, “Lord what is you want me to do?”
I’m going to end with Acts chapter 22 verse 16, because we’re really out of time. I’m not going to pick this up to part three. I think we’ll wrap it up here. We’ve kind of covered the basics of it. Lord leads we’ll come back at it later. If you’re not living the full gospel message, the complete gospel message and the odds are you haven’t even heard it. I pray that you’re willing to listen and look at an offensive Jesus you don’t want to listen to and you don’t want to look at. But the foundation has to be laid. The minute the minute Saul’s going to go from Saul to Paul he is water baptized for the forgiveness of sins. And then he begins to do as Romans says, “Calling on the name of the Lord.” Acts chapter 22 verse 16, “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and wash your sins, away calling on his name.” Jacob, go and take us out of here.
Outro: This has been the Consider Podcast at www.consider.info where yesterday’s folly is today’s madness. In the beginning, the unrepentant sinners words are folly. At the end, they are wicked madness. Ecclesiastes 10:13. Judgement begins with the house of God. Therefore, let everyone who loves the Lord with an undying love pick up their cross and walk the talk. As Peter the wrote. “Therefore, prepare your minds for action. Be self-controlled”. First Peter 1:13-14. The Considered Podcast, examining today’s events and Paulorrow’s realities. www.consider.info.
The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, folly and madness with the whole gospel