Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Face of an Angel

(Acts 6:15 NKJV) And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.
What Does the Face of an Angel Look Like?
Stephen was a faithful servant of the Lord in the early New Testament church.  He would be considered one of the first “deacons”.  He helped handle the financial affairs of the early church.  But he was much more than that.  He was “full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people (Acts 6:8).”  He was a great debater. Because he was so faithful and such a good evangelist, he ended up being the first named martyr in the early church.  
But while he could have looked “mad” or “angry” when being unfairly judged by the Jews who were using false witnesses to convict him of blasphemy, he had the face of an angel.  
In the Bible there are cherubim, who guarded the Garden of Eden.  There are seraphim who guarded the Lord Himself.  There are archangels (or chief angels).  Then there are the fallen angels of which Satan is one.  Obviously, Stephen didn’t have the face of a fallen angel.  Cherubim had several faces so he didn’t have the face of a cherubim..  So what did Stephen’s face look like?
Our Faces Say a Lot About Us
People will watch our faces when they talk to us to see if we are listening.  Sometimes they are trying to detect if we are lying.  Other times, they want to see if we appear to like them or if we are angry with them.  Jacob could tell from Laban’s countenance (face) that he wasn’t pleased with him anymore since Jacob seemed to be amassing wealth at Laban’s expense (See Genesis 31).
God could tell by the look on Cain’s face that he was angry when his offering was not accepted.  According to Psalm 10, what is in the heart is seen in the countenance or face of a person.  Psalm 10 deals specifically with pride. The face is often a dead give away as to the thoughts that are in a person’s heart.  
Stephen’s Face
We have pictures that people have painted of “cherubs.”  We talk about newborns being little cherubs.  Obviously we all have some concept of what the face of an angel is like even though we may never have seen an angel.  Angels are really messengers of God and I suspect that when Stephen was being prepared by God to give an honest sermon to those who were ready to stone him, I think his face may have had the light or glow that was associated with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration.  Moses had this same glow when he came down from the mountain after spending time with God and getting the new order of worship for the nation of Israel.  His face shone to the point that he had to put a veil on his face when talking to Aaron and the people of Israel (see Exodus 34).
I wonder what people see in our faces when we attempt to be honest with them about the Gospel.  Stephen called those he was addressing uncircumcised in heart (unsaved in our language) and  stiff necked and rebellious.  Yet it was obvious that he was the messenger of God and not of Satan.  He had the face of an angel.  
Remarkable!  I hope people at least realize that we are messengers of God when we preach the Gospel and that God really does love them.  But apparently a person can have the face of an angel and still speak about sin and eternal conscious punishment.  Thank God our message also includes mercy for those who flee to the Lord for salvation.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the weeks of June 20 and 27, 2021

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