Saturday, May 17, 2014
“But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:16 KJV).
Today’s Scripture expressly declares why the God of the Bible “takes His time” when dealing with sinful mankind.
In Acts chapter 7, the Prophet Stephen, filled with the Holy Ghost, stands before Israel’s Sanhedrin, her ruling religious body. Having a glowing face reminiscent of Moses’ (Acts 6:15; cf. Exodus 34:29,30), the Prophet details Israel’s long history of unbelief in JEHOVAH, right up to her rejection and crucifixion of her Messiah Jesus at Calvary a year prior.
Luke continues, “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on [Stephen] with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:54-56).
Stephen said he saw Jesus Christ standing on God the Father’s right hand, which infuriated the unbelieving Jews because they knew the prophetic significance. Psalm 110:1: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” And Psalm 68:1,2: “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.”
Israel had exhausted God’s grace; the next event according to prophecy was God’s wrath (Psalm 2:4,5; Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21). She had rejected God the Father (who sent John the Baptist; John 1:6), she had rejected God the Son (at Calvary; John 19:15), and she had rejected God the Holy Ghost (speaking through Israel’s 12 apostles and Stephen). Israel had blasphemed against the Holy Ghost, the sin that Jesus said could never be forgiven (Matthew 12:31,32).
Stephen affirmed Jesus Christ was preparing to come back to Earth, to pour out His wrath on unbelieving Israel and unleash His righteous fury on sinful mankind….