Allow me to give you one more example, the first martyred saint that was recorded; the story of Stephen. A man whose faith was so strong, he praised God as he was being tormented, beaten, and stoned to death. As you read this, I want you to recount the things in your life that hold you back from fully loving Christ. I want you to sit and imagine this story of what Stephen went through for Jesus clearly within your mind.
The First Martyred Saint
A Subheading From Book Two In the Martyrdom Trilogy, Soul Collector ©2012 Lyn Leahz
Once again, they were standing on a dusty road in a city area as townspeople busily walked about from place to place—carrying pottery, clay cisterns, material, cages containing chickens, and cages containing pigeons—a little bit of everything imaginable that a person of that time would lug around.
Khalid was amazed by all that he saw. “I believe we are in Jerusalem, Krista.”
They glanced around at their surroundings and spotted a temple amongst some of the ornate buildings when several guards abruptly appeared, accompanied by men dressed in decorative robes with fancy headdresses. They all came rushing out of one of the structures, brutally dragging a man along with them.
The man cried out, “Praise God! I can see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God! Glory to God on the highest! Hallelujah!”
One of the men, who appeared to be a pious religious leader or a high priest, ran after the man as they violently drug him along by his arms, pointing his finger in his face as he kept up with them. He was full of hostility as he angrily shouted at the helpless victim. “You already said this to us you hypocrite! How dare you blaspheme the name of our God! You will suffer for this outrageous thing you say before the council this day!”
People began gathering around in groups, following the mayhem that was taking place to see what would happen. Krista and Khalid went along with the crowd, curious what historic Bible event they were witnessing now. Finally, they were all standing right outside of the city as the guards viciously apprehended the powerless man, while the pious looking people spat upon him.
Everyone watched as the witnesses laid down their outer garments at the feet of a young man who was standing nearby observing as he coaxed them on.
“Kill the blasphemer! Kill the wicked blasphemer!” He held his hands up in fists, thrusting them forward as he shouted and taunted.
One of the men tossed his cloak at the boy as he yelled, “Here Saul, guard this with your life! It is the newest and nicest of all of my garments!”
The boy named Saul leaned over to pick it up and shake it off as he carefully laid it across his forearms. “Not to worry! If one spot of dirt or even the slightest wrinkle is found upon your cloak, you may remove my hands from off of my body!”
The group of spectators held their mouths wide open in shock. Some were upset, tearfully pleading for them to leave the man alone and stop at once; while others applauded the group of religious elders, shouting insults and words of rage to the helpless man they called Stephen.
Khalid and Krista were stunned! They couldn’t believe how Stephen glowed with joy while enormous rocks were thumping and hammering in violent blows against his body! In between jolts, the self-righteous religious leaders would walk up and spit upon him, kicking him wherever a large boulder had mercilessly pelted against his body.
An older gentleman with a long white beard leaned over into Stephen’s face. “You filthy, vile, unclean, and blasphemous pig; now you shall rot in Hades alongside Lucifer who has a special place saved for the likes of you!” He spit into Stephen’s face, and then picked up a large pile of sand and hurled it into his saliva covered eyes. Afterwards, he belted him hard across his swollen, mangled mouth and nose so that large amounts of blood began pouring from them.
Regardless of pain, spit, rocks, blood, and blows, Stephen smiled as he lifted his hands up high in praise of God. The average person would believe him to be insane; however, Krista and Khalid already knew about Stephen, the first martyred saint.
They brutally threw the stones all the more forcibly at him, yelling, screaming, and gnashing their teeth as they did so. Krista and Khalid cringed as an extremely large rock hit his forehead so hard, they could hear a loud crack. They couldn’t believe he hadn’t passed out after having the daylights knocked out of him as he had; instead, he bravely endured the agonizing pain and violent torment, barely cringing at all.
Stephen lie on his back instead of cowering on his stomach, his face gleaming brightly as he steadfastly held his arms up toward the heavens. Finally, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lord Jesus! Please receive my spirit into Your hands!”
With much difficulty, he rolled over and pushed himself up so that he was on his knees stooping down in prayer position. A council member walked over and kicked him in his side ruthlessly; yet, as though nothing had happened at all, an enormous smile lit up his face as once again he boldly cried out for all to hear, “My Lord! Oh my heavenly Father above, in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, I beg you have mercy on these people—do not hold them accountable for this sin!”
All at once, his body went completely limp as he went down to the ground face first, his bruised and bleeding arms still stretched out before him. Rivers of blood began flowing from beneath this victorious, martyred saint; puddling all around him in crimson pools.
One of the religious leaders who had assisted in his stoning commented, “What? Is he dead already? There is no reason why this man should have already died!”
The one who appeared to be the high priest replied, “We can not deny that when he spoke, his face shone with the brilliance of an angel!”
Yet, another religious member of the council added, “This means absolutely nothing! Even Lucifer himself is able to appear as an angel of light!”
Both of these are excerpts from my second book, Soul Collector, in the Martyrdom Trilogy. I share this with you because I believe the Lord gave me these stories, and I believe they are anointed and powerful. Sure, I want to share my work so that people will want to have a copy, but more than that, I want the Holy Spirit to touch you…to change your life….to possibly save your soul. That is worth far more to me than all of the money or self gratification in the entire world! Now tell me, who is Jesus to you?
Then Jesus asked, “Who do you say I AM?”