The First Martyr – Stephen

Chapter 7 of the Book of Acts

When Stephen was brought to trial before the Sanhedrin – the Jewish religious council – his life was hanging in the balance.  Yet, Stephen did not make excuses for his actions nor try to defend himself.  Rather, he used this opportunity to proclaim the mercy and grace of God to the Jewish nation.  In essence, he indicted his accusers.  He told them they were displaying the same spirit of unbelief that their ancestors had done in the past as they resisted the work of God in their nation.  He did this by illustrating God’s hand in the past history of Israel.

Abraham – the founding father of Israel.  To Abraham had been given the call to go to a land which God would show him – and someday give to his descendants.  Stephen shows that from the very beginning of their nation, God was the one in control. 

God (the God of Glory – ho theos tes doxes) – the God who possess and manifests glory.  God of the outward and visible glory.  It is the glory, radiance, brilliance of God’s Person which bursts forth from His Supreme Being.  The idea is that God appeared and revealed His glory to Abraham) appeared to Abraham – while he was still living in Mesopotamia.

God promised him a land – if he would “get out” of his present country and life.  The land was to be one of God’s choosing, not Abraham’s.  The land was to be an inheritance to his descendants.

Today, God has appeared to us while we were yet in sin (Romans 5:6-8; John 3:16), calling us to “get out” of our present country and life (Acts 2:40; 2 Corinthians 6:17-18; Ephesians 5:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 John 2:15-16). 

Romans 5:6-8 – For when we were still without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18 – Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.  Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.  I will be a Father to you and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.

God has promised us a special relationship with Him now and a future home in heaven (John 14:19-21; John 15:9-11; John 14:1-4; Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 13:14). 

John 14:19-21 – A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me.  Because I live, you will live also.  At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.  And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.

John 14:1-4 – Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believer also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go t prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know.

Our relationship with God is something we need to pass on to our children as an inheritance Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:1-9; 2 Timothy 2:2).

Ephesians 6:4 – And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and the admonition of the Lord.

Joseph – a type of Christ. 

Joseph was chosen by God, but rejected by his brothers (Genesis 37). 

Joseph suffered for years, but gained ultimate victory. 

God had a plan (Galatians 4:4-5).  Man may try to stop it because of envy, because of rebellion, but God will always work out His plan regardless of what man does to try to stop it. 

Galatians 4:4-5 – But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Moses – the great deliverer.  The time came for God’s people to receive the promise made to Abraham (Genesis 15:1-7; Genesis 15:13-14).  But they had forgotten the promise – it was not the focus of their lives.  They had grown comfortable in Egypt.  God had to act to cause them to want deliverance and then to bring about that deliverance.  They were powerless to make the promise come true. 

Moses was stirred into action by God.  However, he apparently sought to do God’s will his way. 

Moses was originally rejected also. 

Again, it was God who appeared to Moses, it was God who called him to save the people, it was God who sent the miracles and brought Israel out of Egypt. 

Charges Against Israel

The people worshipped false gods rather than the One True God.    God turned away from them (Romans 1:21-28).

The people carried the tabernacle of false gods in their hearts.  Again, God turned away from them (2 Kings 17:5-18). (Molech was the sun god to whom children were often sacrificed.  The idol had the head of an ox and arms that stretched out.  There was a hollow place underneath the arms where a fire was built.  The fire consumed the sacrifices lying in the outstretched arms above.  Molech was the god of the Amorites.  Remphan was a god of the Egyptians, Arabs and Phoenician.  It is thought to have been the worship of the planet Saturn.)

The people had no excuse.  God had given them the tabernacle, great leaders, the temple.  Still they chose the world instead of God.

The people did not understand the temple.  They did not understand that God was not limited to one place (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chronicles 6:18; John 4:24).

The present generation of Israelites were rejecting God just as their fathers had done.  They were “stiff-necked” (sklerotracheloi) – hard necked, obstinate, stubborn.  They were “uncircumcised in heart” (aperitmetoi kardiais) – idolaters, false worshippers, ungodly.  They “resisted” – deliberately opposed or rushed against God, actively struggled and fought against God. 

The people persecuted all the prophets – the very ones who predicted the coming of the Messiah  (2 Chronicles 36:14-16).

Acts 7:54-60 (The Amplified Bible) – Now upon hearing these things, they [the Jews] were cut to the heart and infuriated, and they ground their teeth against [Stephen].  But he, full of the Holy Spirit and controlled by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory (the splendor and majesty) of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand; and he said, Look! I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand!  But they raised a great shout and put their hands over their ears and rushed together upon him.  Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him, and the witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.  And while they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit!  And falling on his knees, he cried out loudly, Lord, fix not this sin upon them [lay it not to their charge]! And when he had said this, he fell asleep [in death]. 

Do I have the faith and courage of Stephen?

Is my testimony so great that I could possibly take some sort of physical torment by unbelievers?

Stephen was totally innocent of wrong doing in his life according to the Scriptures.  Could we fit that category – totally innocent?

Have we ever cried out in a loud voice about the goodness of God?  Is our testimony so great and persuasive that some might stop their ears?

When we are receiving verbal or possibly physical abuse for our stand for the Lord will we have the same forgiveness as Stephen?

Unlike Achan in the Old Testament who deserved punishment for his sin, Stephen did not deserve the treatment he received.  How do we respond to harsh treatment by others?  How do we respond to verbal abuse or criticism concerning our faith?

Wages of Sin vs. Gift of Eternal Life

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Wages – something worked for and expected to receive; earnings received for work accomplished.
  • Sin – the job or the thing done whereby wages are expected.
  • Death – sin’s ultimate retirement plan; eternal separation from a loving God.
  • Gift – gratuity, something we did nothing to receive; something freely given.
  • Eternal life – the gift itself.

1 Peter 1:4 – to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Exodus 20 lists very clearly and plainly the Ten Commandments.  Our permissive society has tried to water down, to dictate, to expand, read between the lines what is/what is not allowable under the Law, undermining God’s Word.  If this was done in the political realm, it would be akin to treason against the law of the land.

In Matthew 22, Jesus narrowed these Ten Commandments down to only two.

Matthew 22:34-39 – But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”  Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Can we say we obey these laws?  At various places throughout the Word of God we see specifics about obedience, about the Law, about “thus saith the Lord God,” but all the additional things related by writers in both the Old Testament and the New Testament refer back to the original ten commandments given by God to Moses to give to the children of Israel. 

  • Commandment #1 – You shall have no other Gods before me.  (Exodus 20:3)

You have to ask yourself, according to the Word of God, what constitutes a god?  (Exodus 20:4-5)

  • Commandment #2 – You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.

You have to ask yourself, according to the Word of God, what makes something an image, or an idol that would fall in this category?

  • Commandment #3- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. (Exodus 20:7)

Do we take the Lord’s name in vain when we call ourselves Christians or Christ-like and then behave otherwise? 

  • Commandment #4 – Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  (Exodus 20:8)

You have to ask yourself, according to the Word of God, what is it that breaks the law of the Sabbath?

  • Commandment #8 – You shall not steal.

Stealing includes stealing from God.

Malachi 3:10-11 – “Will a man rob God?  Yet you have robbed Me!”  But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’  “In tithes and offerings.  You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.  Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts;

  • Commandment #9 – You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What is a lie?  Stretching the truth; falsifying any record (income tax, expense reports); implying something that is not true; swearing to factual events.

Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

  • Hypocrisy will not do
  • Lip service will not do
  • Half-hearted service will not do
  • GOD WANTS YOUR ALL

Sin is sin; a lie is a lie; stealing is stealing, adultery is adultery, disobedience is disobedience.  You cannot justify your life before God if you have sin in your heart.  You cannot explain away sin when you stand before Him.

Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Jesus is Our Only Solution

1 John 5:12

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

  • He came to give us life

1 John 1:1-2 – That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—

  • He came to fill us with joy

1 John 1:4 – And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

  • He was there “from the beginning

John 1:1-2, 14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

  • Disciples saw His miracles!  They were witnesses!  They knew!

2 Peter 1:16 – For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

  • He is real

Luke 24:39 – Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.

  • He came
    • To do away with our sin
    • To forgive us
    • To set us free
    • To bring us joy
    • To free us from bondage
    • To heal our bodies
    • Much-much more
    • But the main point was to forgive our sins

1 John 3:5 – And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

  • We are responsible for our sins – Not like Flip Wilson who said, “The devil made me do it.”

1 John 3:8 – He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

  • Tares or weeds
  • Tares are burned up
  • The sinner goes to hell
  • He/she suffers eternal punishment (separation from God)
  • There is weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth
  • Are there tares in the church today?

Matthew 13:38-40 – The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

  • He came to this earth for one purpose – to die on Calvary
    • By His death we know love because He gave His life for us
    • We should give our lives for one another following His example
    • It’s not all about ME, ME, ME – looking out for #1

1 John 3:16 – By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

  • He died for the ungodly – that’s you – that’s me

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

1 John 3:16 – By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

  • He was the propitiation (mercy seat), the one and only, the total and final ultimate sacrifice

1 John 4:9-10 – In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

  • Disciples saw, and testified to what He has done for us

1 John 4:14 – And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

  • Jesus is our only source!

1 John 5:12 – He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Choose Life

3 John 1:2-4

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

Verse 13 tells us that God’s chosen people are captives.  Who caused them to be captives?  Why were they captives?  How long did God tell them that judgment was coming before it actually happened?  Has He not said that He is no respecter of persons?  Will He not treat all people as He did His chosen people?

Have you ever thought of the sinner and backslider as a captive?  The unconcerned, or the prayerless, the loveless, the compromising, the lukewarm are captive as well.

When we take the first step in the opposite direction of where God is we begin to become a captive of our own desires.  God demands first place in our lives.  He will not be any less.  When we fail to do what we know to do we are captive of our own evil desires and whims and as we give in to our own lusts we become farther and farther away from God.

God wants to bless you, but you tie God’s hands.  When you dig in your heels and refuse to obey, when you refuse to make yourself a part of the family of God where He has placed you for worship and care and concern, you are a captive.  You want your children serving God but are willing to pray for them or set the right example in front of them.  What kind of loyal Christian does that make you?

God wants to bless you and answer your prayers, but He does not even know you anymore.  You have become so estranged from His presence you cannot even feel the warmth of His embrace.

Romans 2:1-11 – Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.

What is the answer?  Prayer is the answer.  It is the only answer.

Where would the nation of Israel be if it had not been for the Godly that held God’s judgment at bay?  Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Priscilla and Aquila, Paul, Stephen, Barnabas, James, John, Peter, and many, many more.  What of later church leaders like Billy Sunday, D.L. Moody, Billy Graham and a host of others who preached in storefront churches and homes and on the mission field, who told many about the saving grace of God?  Men and women of faith who went without little or no financial support.  Men and women who left all and followed Him.

Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciple unless you leave all and follow me.”  Not too many are willing to do that.

Jeremiah 29:12-14 – Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

What country are you captive in?  The country of “apathy”, the country of “unconcern”, the country of “it doesn’t concern me.”

Romans 6:23 — For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jeremiah 21:8 – Now you shall say to this people, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.

Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

CHOOSE LIFE!

Christ Has Set Us Free

Colossians 2:13-15

And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross. [God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross]. Amplified Bible

THE CONDITION OF MAN – SIN AND DEATH

  • Man’s concept of sin is different than God’s as stated in the Bible.  Man does not see sin as a violation of God’s will.  This simply shows how weak man and his ideas and thinking are in comparison to God.  Man looks at sin and calls it
  • Human error
  • Personal slip
  • Moral flaw
  • Physical failure
  • Character defect
  • Shortcoming
  • Immaturity
  • Unpreventable
  • Misunderstanding
  • Mistake
  • Irresponsibility
  • Semantics
  • Labeling sin something other than it is – sin – does not change it in God’s eyes, nor does it change the penalty for sin.  We may blame sin or whatever we choose to call it – the result of our environment, training, heritage, and/or belief or a combination of these.  Whatever we call sin or what ever we blame it on does not really matter.  In God’s eyes sin is sin.  Sin is a violation of God’s law or will.  Sin is also rebellion and insurrection against Him and the way He has told mankind to live. 

SAY NO TO SIN AND YES TO GOD!!

  • Man’s view of death, the penalty for sin, also varies according to a person’s background and beliefs.  Some of the views of death that man has come up with are
  • Ceasing to exist
  • Passing into oblivion
  • A semi-conscious state
  • A deep sleep
  • Reincarnation into another form of life
  • Moving into another dimension
  • Most of men’s ideas about death involve either denial of a life hereafter or else another chance to work oneself into the favor of God.  All of man’s ideas and concepts of sin and death are based on man’s knowledge, man’s ability, man’s energy, and man’s power to somehow make himself acceptable to God.  If mankind could make himself acceptable to God, then Christ died in vain.  But He did die and we cannot make ourselves acceptable.
  • If there was something I could do on my own, there was no reason for Christ to go to the cross.  But He did go to the cross and we cannot atone for our sins.
  • There would have been no need for the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ to give of Himself on the cross for our sins.  But He did!
  • There would have been no need for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to give of His blood for the redemption of fallen man.  But He did!
  • There would have been no need for our precious Lord, our Healer to take upon Himself stripes on His back for our healing.  But He did!
  • There would have been no need for our provider, Jesus Christ the Righteous, to cry out to the Father in heaven asking pardon for you and I.  But He did!
  • There would have been no need for our Savior, Jesus Christ, to suffer pain and torment at the hands of wicked men so that we might have everlasting freedom.  But He did!
  • We cannot help ourselves so Christ gave Himself on the cross.

THE CONDITION OF MAN BECAUSE OF THE SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS

  • Man has a chance for new life because of the cross.
  • Man has a chance for new life because of Christ’s sacrifice.
  • Man has a chance if he will repent of his sins and change his way of living.
  • Man has a chance if he will surrender to God.
  • Man has a chance if he will throw himself on the mercy of God.
  • Man has a chance if he will submit to God.
  • Because of the cross I
  • Have new life
  • Hope eternal
  • Forgiveness
  • I am free

John 5:24 – Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 

Ephesians 2:1-8 – And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once con-ducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Romans 6:23 – The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.

Romans 8:6 – To be carnally (fleshly) (worldly) minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

CHRIST IS OUR HOPE

  • All requirements of the Law were fulfilled in Jesus Christ
  • 613 laws of Moses
  • 248 prohibitions – “Thou shall not”
  • 365 affirmations – “Thou shall”
  • There is no need for us to go back to the Law of Moses and try to follow all those requirements, holidays, holy days, dietary laws, purification laws, sacrificing laws.  The Pharisees tried to keep the Law.  They could not!  The Law pointed toward Jesus Christ and since He has appeared these laws are no longer needed.  It is just like you receive a gift at Christmas or a birthday or for some other day or occasion.   After the gift is opened and you have taken it for yourself and begin to enjoy it, you no longer keep the package or the wrapping paper that it came in.  That is not the important part of the gift.  The gift came in the package.  The gift was not the package.  Christ is now here.  He was and is God’s gift to fallen man.  He is our Hope; our only Hope. 
  • All the guilt charges, all the condemnation, all the crimes heaped against you and I, and all mankind from the beginning of creation were nailed to the cross.  He was saying my blood is enough to do away with them all.  The sacrificial lambs all pointed toward this day but they could only cover the sin.  I’m cleansing it; I’m washing it away for all time.  Just receive it.  It is finished.  He conquered it all…He made a public display of the fact that your sins and mine were nailed to the cross, triumphing over all principalities, powers, evil forces, demonic foes that might come against you.  Christ conquered all that.  So why do we feel defeated?   There is no need.  You are set free in Jesus Christ.  Just receive it.  Just believe it. 

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:37 – I am more than a conqueror through Him (Christ Jesus) who loved us (me). 

John 12:31-32 – Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.  And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.

Hebrews 3:14-15 – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” 

1 John 3:8b – For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world (me, you, all mankind), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever (me, you, all mankind that will receive) believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.