LETTER – 2005-B
During the quietness of the night hours, as I was waiting for my Beloved, my thoughts and spirit drifted back to the realm where there is no time or distance. The realm where we are allowed to rest in the shadow of His presence and "dream", as it were, for awhile. I would like to share with you a precious memory which came to me of a loving brother ... perhaps 'you will also remember ... methinks, you were there. It is the recollection of our brother, Stephen ... our brother with a face of an angel.
We listened as Stephen answered his accusers. His words were filled with the fire of the Spirit; the more he spoke, the more the fire of the Spirit fell upon him, and his words, like a mighty sword, cut deep into the hearts of his accusers. We watched as they came against him ... we could do nothing ... we knew what the Father had planned; this gentle, loving, and kind brother was ordained to be the first martyr for Jesus. We knew and Stephen knew the glory and power of a love so strong, so divine, that one would freely give of their life. Stephen had spoken boldly, without fear, speaking the truth in all that he said. And the Spirit of the Living God filled the Temple that Stephen was, and the glory of the Lord was shown to him, as he once knew it in ages past. He could see his Elder Brother standing at the right hand of the Father. When he spoke of this great wonder, it was more than his accusers could bear. We, my brother-sister-sons, could see within their wicked and jealous hearts. We could hear their self righteous religious thoughts cunningly persuading them to kill this fool that would make such statements against their religion and their God. Religious men, bound hand and foot to a dead order, bound hand and foot to religious practices and observances; always pouring over the scriptures, yet never finding life therein. A "living epistle" was standing before them; they heard the words as they flowed from his heart; they covered their ears ... for they knew in their heart that Stephen spoke the truth. But, their seared minds would not allow them to accept the truth. They knew in their hearts that Stephen was everything that was holy and righteous; he was everything they desired to be ... but could not be! Their preferred beliefs made the Word of God of no effect. Religion is a dangerous game people love to play, causing one to rise up against the other.
As their stones were cast, the unseen presence of many brothers surrounded their beloved Stephen. The presence and strength of the Father overshadowed him; the heavens touched the earth! Oh! What an awesome moment when Stephen asked his Elder Brother to receive his spirit; asking that his accusers be forgiven of their transgressions ... Then, as a little child, he fell asleep ... resting on the ground as a vessel sent from the Father's House; another "living sacrifice" offered up in a passionate and undying act of love. Another "Iamb" of the many membered Lamb of God.
The heavenlies opened to us as we ascended with the spirit of our brother Stephen unto the House of the Father ... to the throne room of the Most High. Our Elder Brother was standing, waiting to receive his younger brother. The divine emotions of that moment caused weeping of joy and songs of praise. The Father placed a ring on Stephen's finger, symbolizing their Eternal Union; then clothed him in garments of life and light. Banners of victory formed an arch behind the throne. Angels gathered roses and lilies placing them at Stephen's feet ... And the Sons of God shouted for joy! Then, as the Spirit of Silence rested over the heavenlies, Stephen took the roses and lilies and gave them to the Father ... saying ...
Stephen went to his secret garden and sat by the river of life pondering all these things over in his heart ... being overwhelmed by the love and goodness of the Father. An angel of the Lord came and ministered to him ... as he rested in the shadow of the Almighty and, in the shadow of the Cross of his Beloved.
Each of us is a living epistle; each one of us having messages of truth and life. At times I feel as though the heart of our inner son is a book of many pages; a book containing the mysteries of the Father, and the secrets of Paradise that He had shared with us. Glorious events of ages past, and of things to come are written upon
The recalling of heavenly things is an encouragement to us. It gives us strength to continue our earthly journey with joyous expectations. It gives us a greater foretaste of the unseen realms. It causes our light to shine brighter in a world of darkness. It causes the love and mercy of our Everlasting Father to flow freely from our heart ... sending forth the Spirit of Hope and Reconciliation to all mankind ... to all creation. Once we walked by faith; now we walk in the substance of the things we had hoped for, and in the evidence of things not seen. The knowledge of these things is causing us to see that our "Fortress of Aloneness" is, in reality, a Secret Place within the Habitation of the Most High. And it is in this Holiest of Holies that we are fed the heavenly manna which enriches our love for the Lord and Lover of All! Hallelujah!
Of course, Stephen did not die needlessly. This very day his blood cries out to all who have ears to hear.
I would like to close this little letter with a quote from the Apocrypha. Its words are a most fitting tribute to our brother Stephen, and to all those who are walking in his footsteps.
"Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labors. When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. And they repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit shall say within themselves, This was he, whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of reproach: We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honor: How is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints!"