Acts 6:11-13 – Then they suborned men . . . And they stirred up the people . . . And set up false witnesses . . .
Stephen, along with six other men (Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timan, Parmenas, & Nicolas) had been selected by the people, approved by the apostles, and anointed by the Lord to wait on tables in seeing to the ministry to the widows to assure all were treated properly. These men were not selected for pulpit ministry, as at this time none of them were called to any office of the five-fold ministry (at least not knowingly). We should learn from this that one does not have to be called to the five-fold ministry to be full of Holy Ghost and endued with power from on high to perform wonders and miracles. In this case, a table-waiter was empowered for such purposes. At this point I will ask a simple question of you. Whom are you serving? True servant-leaders are positioned for power, not through title, but through service.
Note, too, that Stephen not only performed wonders and miracles, but he spoke the Truth in a way that could not be resisted. And speaking in that manner provoked the enemy of his soul, Satan, to attempt to stop him. This provocation came from one source in three phases. The source – unholy men (people). The phases – (1) men were suborned; (2) people were stirred up; (3) men became false witnesses. In other words, men were recruited, inspired, and given a lie to speak.
Dear reader, though the times have changed, though societies have greatly changed, and though boundaries of nations have and still are changing, the strategy of Satan to stop the kingdom of God remains the same. It may seem disguised, but in reality, it is still the same. The enemy of our soul suborn men, use those men to stir up all the people they can, and give them a lie as a cover story in an attempt to hide the fact that their true motives are demonic, directly from the bowels of hell. When you will take up the mantle of holy boldness necessary to speak the truth of God’s Word in EVERY situation in EVERY place at ALL times, and wear that mantle in compliance to Holy Spirit within you, you will be the target of the three phases I have set before you today. And there will be SOMEONE that will become Satan’s pawn(s) in that attack. Once again, the reason is simple; you have allowed yourself to become the most dangerous element of God’s arsenal against the darkness of the age. Without the anointed voice of integrity speaking forth the truth of God’s Word, the church is ineffective. Jesus Himself demonstrated this truth in His temptations on the mountain. Every response He gave began with “It is written,” and ended with an accurate and applicable quotation of Scripture. We need the same thing today.
Manna for Today – Acts 6:1-15; Matthew 5:1-16; 1 Timothy 3; Isaiah 55:8-13; Matthew 12:37