"You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? But your ancestors did, and so do you!
Name one prophet your ancestors didn't persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One -- the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered.
You deliberately disobeyed God's law, though you received it from the hands of angels."
The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen's accusation, and they shook their fists in rage.
But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily upward into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God's right hand.
And he told them, "Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God's right hand!"
Then they put their hands over their ears, and drowning out his voice with their shouts, they rushed at him.
They dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. The official witnesses took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul.
And as they stoned him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
And he fell to his knees, shouting, "Lord, don't charge them with this sin!" And with that, he died.
Saul was one of the official witnesses at the killing of Stephen. A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem, and all the believers except the apostles fled into Judea and Samaria.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)