At this point Stephen's indignation at the situation confronting him on the side of his Jewish antagonists flares up, and quoting Solomon's words at the dedication of the Temple, he exclaims:

'The Most High does not dwell in temples made by hands. Heaven is My throne, and earth a footstool for My feet! What house will you build for Me, saith the Lord, or what is the place of My rest?' ACTS 7:48-49

The point is that the Temple was not intended, any more than the Tabernacle, to become a permanent institution, halting the advance of the divine plan for the people of God. Turning, therefore, upon his unbelieving audience, Stephen cries: 'You always resist the Holy Spirit. . . . You received the Law in charges given by the angels, and you have not observed it.' ACTS 7:51,53

It is plain that Stephen's passionate outburst at this point is not against Solomon's act in itself, for he quotes Solomon's words in defence of his own thesis. His indignation is rather at the blindness of the Jewish people at this time of crisis, at the failure of his opponents to see that with the coming of the Messiah the hour had struck for moving on from the Temple and Jewish institutions. The revelation given in the Law had been superseded. Its glory had been swallowed up in a higher glory.


from page 34, The Epistle to the Hebrews