Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 331

Martyred for Christ, November 21

Acts 6; Acts 7

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

Stephen, the foremost of the seven deacons, was a man of deep piety and broad faith.... He was very active in the cause of Christ and boldly proclaimed his faith. Learned rabbis and doctors of the law engaged in public discussion with him, confidently expecting an easy victory. But “they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.” ...

As the priests and rulers saw the power that attended the preaching of Stephen, they were filled with bitter hatred.... [They] seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin council for trial....

Saul of Tarsus was present and took a leading part against Stephen. He brought the weight of eloquence and the logic of the rabbis to bear upon the case, to convince the people that Stephen was preaching delusive and dangerous doctrines; but in Stephen he met one who had a full understanding of the purpose of God in the spreading of the gospel to other nations....

In the cruel faces about him the prisoner read his fate; but he did not waver. For him the fear of death was gone. For him the enraged priests and the excited mob had no terror. The scene before him faded from his vision. To him the gates of heaven were ajar, and, looking in, he saw the glory of the courts of God, and Christ, as if just risen from His throne, standing ready to sustain His servant.46Ibid., 97-101.

In every age God's chosen messengers have been reviled and persecuted, yet through their affliction the knowledge of God has been spread abroad.... When the noble and eloquent Stephen was stoned to death ... there was no loss to the cause of the gospel. The light of heaven that glorified his face, the divine compassion breathed in his dying prayer, were as a sharp arrow of conviction to the bigoted Sanhedrist who stood by, and Saul, the persecuting Pharisee, became a chosen vessel to bear the name of Christ before Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.47Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 33, 34.

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