And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Acts 6:8-15.
Once an organized movement of accusations targets someone, that person is in danger. After all, it’s how they got the mob riled up to demand the crucifixion of Jesus. And it was ramped up on an industrial scale during the French Revolution. Thousands of people were fed to the guillotine on the strength of enough people crying out, “J’accuse!” And throughout history, up until the present time, lives and reputations have been ruined, and wars have begun, because public opinion was driven to rage by organized media campaigns.
Stephen will go down swinging, preaching the Gospel and forgiving his assailants with his last breath. And because God gets the last word, it will be worth it. We all need to remember that the devil is known as “the accuser of the brethren.”
“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.'” Revelation 12:10.