Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 307

Stephen, the First Christian Martyr, October 27

Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him. Acts 7:57, 58.

Stephen was the first Christian martyr.... The enemies of God and the truth felt stirred with hatred and opposition. Satan impelled them to resist the truth. Stephen had to meet in argument the most artful, deceptive disputants, hoping to confuse and put down his arguments. If Stephen had not searched the Scriptures and himself become fortified with the evidence of God's Word, he could not have borne the test; but he knew the foundation of his faith and was firm, and he was ready to answer his opponents.

Stephen came off victorious. He spoke with assurance and wisdom and power that astonished and confounded the enemies of truth. When they found themselves baffled and defeated at every attempt, then they were bent on his destruction. Had these professedly honest and wise men been really seeking for the truth, they would have admitted evidence that they could not controvert.... But such was not their purpose or character. They hated Christ, they hated all His followers, and they put Stephen to death.—Manuscript 17, 1885.

Stephen, a man loved by God, and one who was laboring to win souls to Christ, lost his life because he bore a triumphant testimony of the crucified and risen Saviour. The record states that he was full of faith and power, and that he did great wonders and miracles among the people.... But the spirit that had manifested itself in bitter opposition to the world's Redeemer was still working in the children of disobedience. The hatred that the enemies of truth had shown for the Son of God, they revealed in their hatred for His followers....

In the light that they saw in the face of Stephen, the men of authority had evidence from God. But they despised the evidence. Oh, that they would heed! Oh, that they would repent! But they would not; and the rebuke of God came from the lips of the faithful witness: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” ...

Here two armies were in conflict, the army of heaven and the army of false religious zealots. On which side would this company forever after stand? It was still possible for them to repent and be forgiven even after having done this terrible evil against Christ in the person of His saint.—Manuscript 11, 1900.

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