was a friend of Abraham to the extent that He swore an oath:
that his descendants would possess the gate of their enemies (Ge 22:17).
In accordance with His spoken word,
He nurtured the Israelites in the land of Egypt,
and through Moses commanded His people to come out of Egypt.
At that time, the angel who appeared to Moses said (Acts7:30),
“I am the God of your forefathers—
the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – Jehovah.“ (Ex 3:15)
He also said,
“Jehovah is to be the sign of my name to be remembered forever.” (Ho 12:5)
He gave the people the Law from Mount Sinai (Ac 7:53),
and He was with Moses in the church of the desert (Ac 7:38).
Stephen had the esteem as a renowned and powerful saint.
He laid down His life for the sake of His people,
who relied on the name of Jehovah, the name given to the angel,
by which one could not reach salvation.
He shouted out that it was Jehovah that condemns us,
while Jesus was the one who saves us from sin and death.
He did this to amend the central faith of Israel.
◌ By Stephen preaching this word,
Stephen finished the work he needed to do and became a martyr.
He was a true witness of Jesus.
◌ Even today,
some people do not distinguish between Jesus and Jehovah,
and, therefore, they are still bound by the Law.
◌ Jehovah was the one who gave the Law,
while Jesus gave His grace and His blood.
He then, finally, sent the Holy Spirit.
※ Let us strive again and again to know God.
To know God and Jesus is eternal life.
In this way, we are all witnesses.
Even today your servant has received slanders. But even though my spirit receives slanders, the love from my friends and companions has been greater, and because of this my spirit receives healing. If this is what you, O Lord, desire of me, then I willall the more endure it eagerly.
Your humble servant has not yet received the discipline that he deserves. The name and honor of your servant has been given disgracefully treated.And it is continuing to be treated this way. But this is only because your servant has been foolish. It is because your servant has valued his honor like his life and has treated his honor like a great possession. The only true possession is your precious blood that you have given me, and the precious office of duty that you have given to me.
In the world, there are countless numbers of theologians – they are all wise and intelligent. But I marvel at how you have chosen a worthless servant like me! You have loved your servant so much, that I believe and endure for the sake of the great reward that you will give me from heaven, just like your servant Stephen.
Your servant has his whole life labored in this one place. Your servant remembers that he swore that he would only retire once he has breathed his last breath and has received your calling to come back to you. However, there are zealous sectarians who are calling to bring me down. Your servant has insisted that there is no such thing as retirement for your servant.Your servant has his whole life been preaching here, pouring out his blood, and he has regarded it as a great glory to labor to the death until you call him back to you. You, O Lord, came on this earth.You have given life to your servant, you gave your blood, you gave your flesh, you gave your name, and you gave your clothing. Yet even men today desire and gamble to get it for themselves.
O Lord! Even if someone would kill your servant, this church is still the church that your servant has established, and I am the Senior Overseer of Sungrak Church. In the same way that you and your Son had worked together, your servant and his son have determined to labor until our deaths. Although the position of the Overseer has legally been postponed, it does in no way deny the Senior Overseer himself. No one can deny that your servant is the Senior Overseer. From the moment that you called me and until now, I have been your servant, and I will continue to be your servant until you call my soul back to you. Please give strength to the speech and bodily endurance of your servant.
Just as there are four seasons in this world’s natural climate, there seems to be four seasons within this church. In the same way that the state of the world changes by its seasons, so does the state of this church. There has recently been a hot summer, but now a cool wind is starting to blow in this new autumn season. And just as the grain ripens in the open fields, I pray that the faith of Sungrak Church will also ripen. Even if the winter season comes, this church, which has completed its Passover, will surely endure.
The simple wish of your servant is that he could die for you. I pray that your servant would not die a foolish death, but that he would received your calling back to you with great glory. This is my lifelong prayer that I deliver to you.
December 25, 2018
Outline translated by Sarah Lee
Letter translated by John Kim
Interpretations by Daniel Hong
Chief Editor: Daniel Hong
Korean Summary by Kitaek Lee
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