Acts 7 - Calvary Chapel Yelm

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Acts Chapter 7
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Chapter 6

Stephen Accused of Blasphemy by a band of Hypocrites:
Acts 6:15 …all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face
of an angel.

Stephen at Perfect peace 20 minutes before he dies
I. Abraham
1 Then the high priest said, “Are these things so?”
Game on: Open Door

Accusations true? False-witnesses. High Priest Caiaphas present as w/Jesus
1. Speak against the Temple
2. Speak against Moses
3. Speak against the Law
4. Keeps taking about Jesus

Stephan:
1. Not defending self but teaching in spite of consequences
2. Filled with Spirit of God: Boldness
3. Goal: Prick the conscience of listeners fearlessly

Stephan’s 2 Major Points:
1. God cannot be confined to a man-made dwelling
2. Jews have always rejected God’s Prophets
2 And [Stephen] said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory
appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he
dwelt in Haran
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
Brethren and fathers: My Jewish brothers and fathers
God appeared to our father Abraham in Mesopotamia [Modern Iraq] before Temple
God Appeared to Abraham in a Pagan Country…God spoke to Abraham in a
Pagan Country…Abraham was a Pagan; moon worshipper!
3 and [God] said to [Abraham], ‘Get out of your country and from your
relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’

God speaks to pagan Abraham:
Leave your country and relatives; leave everything you know and hold dear

Abraham took his father and nephew lot

Partial obedience but not to bad for pagan
4 Then [Abraham] came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in
Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this
land in which you now dwell.
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Abraham’s father dies on the way to Promised Land
After father dies he makes his way to Promised Land [Israel]
5 And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot
on...

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God gave him no inheritance: No land. No children
Only land Abraham will own is a grave
5b …But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for
a possession and to his descendants after him.

Abraham: Father of faith
1. Abram:
Exalted Father
2. Abraham:
Father of multitude
I know you don’t see it Abraham. You don’t have children. You don’t have property.
One day your descendants will own the land you are walking on
Galatians 3:7 … they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
6 But God spoke in this way: that his descendants would dwell in a foreign
land, and that they would bring them into bondage and oppress them four
hundred years. 7 ‘And the nation to whom they will be in bondage I will
judge,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and serve Me in this
place.’
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God prophesies to Abraham:
1. I know your 75, but you and Sarah will have a son
2. Your descendants will end up in a foreign land [Egypt]
3. Eventually they will multiply and be oppressed [Slaves]
4. After 400 years they will…
 Be set free
 Serve Me here…where you are standing with no children
Abraham [100] and Sarah [86] had the promise son
Isaac: Laughter [Abraham laughed at the thought of how Go would pull this off
Abraham had faith…lots [Saved by faith not law]
8 Then [God] gave [Abraham] the covenant of circumcision; and so
Abraham begot Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac
begot Jacob, and Jacob begot the twelve patriarchs.
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
Covenant [Cutting] of Circumcision: Set apart a people for God
Patriarchs:
1. Abraham
2. Isaac
3. Jacob [Israel]

Why is Abraham important:
1. God spoke to him in a pagan land
2. He was saved when he trusted God’s promise of son [seed]
Genesis 15:6 [Abraham] believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for
righteousness.
3. He was saved before he was circumcised
4. He was saved before there was a Temple
II. Patriarchs
9 “And the patriarchs, [sons of Jacob [Israel]] [became] envious [and] sold
Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and delivered him out of all his
troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of
Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.


Jacob [Israel]: Abrahams grandson had 12 sons [12 Tribes of Israel]
Joseph: God with him, spoke to him again when there was no temple
1. Dreams everyone would bow [he would be deliverer]
2. Told dreams to brothers and the hated him [Daddy’s boy]
3. Through into pit
4. Told Jacob he was dead/showed bloody coat proof animals killed him
5. Instead of killing sold to Ishmaelite’s and brought as slave to Egypt

God’s
1.
2.
3.
blessed Joseph in Egypt
Favor with Pharaoh
Wisdom seen by Pharaoh
Made him King of the world [2nd to Pharaoh]
11 Now a famine and great trouble came over all the land of Egypt and
Canaan, and our fathers found no sustenance. 12 But when Jacob heard that
there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first.
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Worldwide famine: Joseph in Egypt
Thought dead by Father and brothers in Promised Land
Jacob sends Josephs brothers [12 tribes] to Egypt
Stephen calls Joseph’s brothers “our fathers”

Drawing them in: Saul listening???
First trip to Egypt sons of Jacob [Israel] didn’t recognize Joseph
13 And the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers, and
Joseph’s family became known to the Pharaoh. 14 Then Joseph sent and
called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him, seventy-five people.

Series of events brother go back to Jacob who sends them back to Egypt 2nd time
Joseph makes himself known [2nd coming Jews will recognize Jesus]
15 So Jacob went down to Egypt; and he died, he and our fathers. 16 And
they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham
bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem.

Jacob, Joseph die in Egypt and brought back to grave Abraham purchased in
Promised Land

Why is Joseph important: Picture of Jesus who they are rejecting
1. Brothers were jealous of him
2. Treated him with contempt
3. Brothers did not recognize him the first time
III. Moses
17 “But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to
Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt


Time of Promise: v 6 400 years in Egypt
Sons of Jacob [Israel] Multiplied in Egypt
18 till another king arose who did not know Joseph. 19 This man dealt
treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, making them
expose their babies, so that they might not live.
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Joseph dead and forgotten/descendants of 12 Tribes are exploding in Egypt
New king [Pharaoh] tries to prevent rebellion
1. Israelite babies murdered [worse than one baby policy]
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Moses preserved miraculously: As Jesus when Mary/Joseph told to go to Egypt
20 At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was
brought up in his father’s house for three months. 21 But when he was set
out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son.
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Set out on little boat in Nile
Brought up by Pharaohs daughter as her own son, an Egyptian
22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was
mighty in words and deeds.
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Build pyramids?
Mighty in words and deeds? [Complained to God he did not speak well?]
23 “Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his
brethren, the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he
defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the
Egyptian. 25 For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that
God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.
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Moses came to Jews the first time defend/avenge his oppressed brothers
Moses saw Egyptian beating an Israelite; killed Egyptian and buried in sand
1. He supposed Israelites would understand why he was there
John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did
not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
2. Jews did not understand or believe that Moses was sent by God
26 And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and
tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong
one another?’ 27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away,
saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Do you want to kill
me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?’

Stephen: You say you honor Moses?
“Your forefathers rejected Moses deliverance… the first time”

Who made you ruler and judge?
John 10:31 … the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many
good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone
Me?”33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for
blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
Stephen's message is plain: "You have rejected Jesus, who was like Moses yet greater than
him, and you deny that Jesus has any right to be a ruler and a judge over you." [Guzic]
29 Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of
Midian, where he had two sons. 30 “And when forty years had passed, an
Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, in the
wilderness of Mount Sinai. 31 When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight;
and as he drew near to observe, the voice of the Lord came to him, where
you stand is holy ground.

Moses left for 40 years
1. An Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses on Mt. Sinai in burning bush
2. From bush [not temple] Moses heard voice of the Lord…
saying, ‘I am the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of
Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and dared not
look. 33 ‘Then the Lord said to him, “Take your sandals off your feet, for the
place where you stand is holy ground.34 I have surely seen the oppression
of My people who are in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come
down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.”’
32

God sends Moses to do what was in his heart: Deliver his people.

Stephen continues:
35 “This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a
judge?’ is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the
Angel who appeared to him in the bush.

The one your forefathers rejected was their deliverer:
1. They were wrong
2. They did not believe
3. They rejected him

Paraphrase: Don’t make the same mistake!
36 [Moses] brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the
land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
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God brought plagues to Egypt through Moses hands!
Wonders/Signs proved, validated who he said he was!
Do you remember someone recently who did signs? Said He was Son of God?

Why is Moses important: Picture of Jesus whom they are rejecting:
1. Moses was “well pleasing to God”
Matthew 3:16 When [Jesus] had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the
water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God
descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven,
saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [Also at transfiguration]
2. Moses came the first time to deal with suffering of brothers
Luke 7:20 When the men had come to [Jesus], they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to
You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’” 21 And that very hour
He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.
3. The Jews did not recognize Moses until he came to them a second time…
Revelation 1:7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they
who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.
IV. The Prophet: Closer to Home

Stephen continues with Moses who he is accused of blaspheming:
37 “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The LORD your God
will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall
hear.’
Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren,
and will put My words in His mouth

Jesus
38 “This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel
who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who
received the living oracles to give to us, 39 whom our fathers would not
obey, but rejected.


Moses was in congregation with The Angel of the Lord [Same Joshua followed]
Jesus spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai…Jesus gave Moses the Law!
39b And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron,
‘Make us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who brought us out of the
land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 41 And they made
a calf in those days, offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works
of their own hands.

Rejected Moses authority; i.e. authority given by God.
In rejecting Moses, God’s man, they rejected God
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Hearts turned back to Egypt [World] Complained/Murmured
Rejoiced in the work of their hands
1. As you now rejoice in the Temple
2. Rejoicing in work of your hands…not God
Hebrews 3:16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of
Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was [God] angry forty years? Was it not with
those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?

Stephen’s Point: Your love for the Temple has become idolatry
1. Love for religion /religious activity nullifies your love for God
2. Love for pet doctrine, candle lighting, ceremonies is Idolotry!
Think you are worshiping God but in reality worshipping an idol
1 Corinthians 10:18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices
partakers of the altar? 19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is
offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they
sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with
demons.
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
Do we rejoice in religion or in Jesus?
Delight in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart!
42 Then God turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, as it
is written in the book of the Prophets: ‘Did you offer Me slaughtered animals
and sacrifices during forty years in the wilderness,O house of Israel?43 You
also took up the tabernacle of Moloch,And the star of your god Remphan,
Images which you made to worship; And I will carry you away beyond
Babylon.’

“Gave them up” Romans 1. Judgment…God’s protecting, loving hand removed
1. Did not offer sacrifice to me
2. Did offer sacrifice to the temple of Moloch and Star of Rempham
3. Worshiped a god of your own making…not Me

Judgment: Amos 5: I will carry you away to where your started: Babylon/Iraq
What you believe about Jesus is the Litmus Test: OT and NT Same God:
John 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives
life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to
the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not
honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

What about OT? Abraham and Moses?
John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57
Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen
Abraham?”58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I
AM.”
Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of
Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to
enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches
than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
SUMMARY: The Prophet: Moses told you about Jesus but you did not listen
V. Tabernacle: Moses-Solomon

Now let’s talk Temple
44 “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as [God]
appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had
seen, 45 which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with
Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before
the face of our fathers until the days of David, 46 who found favor before
God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob.

Our Fathers
1. Carried the Tabernacle [Mobile Tent of Meeting] on their journey to PL
2. God gave instructions as to how to construct that meeting place
3. Moses passed torch to Joshua who continued to carry the Tabernacle
4. God’s presence drove out the abominable Pagan nations until David
5. David asked to build a permanent dwelling [Temple]
6. David denied being a “man of blood”
47 But Solomon
dwell in temples
throne,And earth
LORD,Or what is
things?’
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built Him a house. 48 “However, the Most High does not
made with hands, as the prophet says: 49 ‘Heaven is My
is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the
the place of My rest?50 Has My hand not made all these
Solomon did build God a Temple
Stephan:
1. Most High God does not dwell in temples
2. He rests in heaven and earth is His footstool

Stephen looking around. God would say:
….Has
My hand not made all these things?’
Your self-made god is too small and unable to save
SUMMARY: Tabernacle: God was worshiped by Abraham in another land, by Israel in
wilderness, in Solomon’s Temple…but He does not dwell in buildings made with hands
VI. Resistance
51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist
the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.

You are the same as those who:
1. Did not recognize that Abraham was saved by faith…before the Law
Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness. [no temple, law, land]
2.
3.
4.
5.
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Did not recognize Joseph as picture of Jesus
Broke the Law given to Moses by Jesus
Failed to recognize the Prophet Moses spoke about…Jesus
Forgot God who gave victory before the temple was ever built
Reason you continue to reject God’s messengers: Stiff Necked/ Uncircumcised
Not only that but…
52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed
those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have
become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the
direction of angels and have not kept it.”

Can you think of one of God’s prophets “your fathers” did not persecute?


They foretold the coming of the Just One who betrayed/murdered
Your forefathers sawed Isaiah in 2 after prophesying Jesus so clealy
You who received the law [do not murder/bear false witness] and have not kept it!
SUMMARY: Resisting the Holy Spirit…again and again
VII. Cut to the Heart
54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they
gnashed at him with their teeth.
Hebrews 4:12 …the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged
sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a
discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
"He takes the sharp knife of the Word and rips up the sins of the people, laying open the
inward parts of their hearts, and the secrets of their souls … He could not have delivered
that searching address with greater fearlessness had he been assured that they would
thank him for the [speech]; the fact that his death was certain had no other effect upon him
than to make him yet more zealous." [Spurgeon]

Three
1.
2.
3.
responses after God’s Word cut’s us to the heart:
Ignore: Act like it never happened
Repent: Embrace the revelation you are wrong and turn to God
Gnash teeth at God and His People
They didn't start gnashing when Stephen finished his speech. "All they could do in their
frenzy was to gnash with their teeth. It was not a sudden outburst but the tense rather
shows that it was prolonged." [Gaebelein]
55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory
of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I
see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of
God!”


Full of the Holy Spirit gazes through a Window to Heaven
After sitting at the right hand of the Father now Jesus is standing!
1. Attention given to suffering
2. Standing Ovation!
"Stephen has been confessing Christ before men, and now he sees Christ confessing his
servant before God." [Bruce]
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him
with one accord;
3. Cried with a LOUD voice
4. Put fingers in ears
5. Ran at him in mob
John 16:2 Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God
service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor
Me.
58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid
down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.


Dragged out of city. Began to stone him but were bound by clothes
Took there clothes dropped clothes at the feet of a Pharisee named Saul
59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord
Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud
voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said
this, he fell asleep.
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Stephen heard Jesus say this before Jesus was crucified [His-story]
Saul the Pharisee heard Stephen say this as he consented to Stephens’s death!
Speech is fuel for young Pharisee Paul to go on violent rampage against the church.
But…He will remember Stephen’s last words forever:
“Lord, do not charge them with this sin.”
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