Friday, January 28, 2011
The Angel Faced Deacon
Act 6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
Stephen was among the number of the first set of deacons of the church at Jerusalem. He also held the distinction of being the first of the 10's of millions of that special class of Christians called martyrs.
He is recorded as being full of faith and power and God used him to work great wonders and miracles among the people. (vs 8)
Additionally, he spoke irresistibly with wisdom and in the Spirit. (vs 10)
Now, Deacon Stephen is being falsely accused, as was his Lord and Savior. Rather than get angry and bitter, he took on the visage of an angel!
I have known a lot of deacons in my day, and most of them were great guys, but I have yet to witness one looking like an angel.
Chapter 7 records the answer of Stephen to his accusers. He gives them the history of Israel in a nutshell, leading up to the coming of the Just One and their rejection of Him.
What really threw them over the edge was when this deacon was so filled with the Holy Ghost that he stared up into heaven, actually seeing the Glory of God and Jesus STANDING at the father's right hand. This is the only time recorded when Jesus stood up from His throne in glory. Imagine that, a standing O from the Lord!
They were so angered at angel face that they threw a great collective tantrum, biting him, putting their fingers in their ears, crying out to drown out his accusations against their actions, stomping on him, throwing him out of the city and stoning him.
One last act of this deacon was most impressive. While dying, he kneeled down and shouted out, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." How like his Lord Stephen was! The next moment, he was in the arms of his Redeemer and living with the angels that he resembled.