(Matthew 5:10; II Thess. 1; I Peter 4:13-14; John 15:19-21)
Stephen was a man full of faith and full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:5). Noted for his outstanding faith, he suffered persecution and ultimately death through stoning. No harassment could touch his faith to diminish it. Instead, it grew deeper and deeper to the point of death, and death by stoning. Just before it happened, he saw the glory of God and YAHSHUA standing at His right hand (Acts 7:55). With uncontrolled anger, for not being able to convince him to give up the faith in YAHSHUA, the people dragged him out of the city and stoned him. Not even that, however, erased his steadfastness to the faith, neither his courage to face death. Instead, Stephen prayed, Lord YAHSHUA, receive my spirit, and falling on his knees, he cried out loudly, Lord, fix not this sin upon them! And when he had said this, he fell asleep [in death] (Acts 7:58-60).