Stephen ― all that were in the council, looking upon him, saw his face as it were the face of an angel. What is the secret? I believe the second passage is the secret. “And lifting up his eyes he said, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
Stephen was a man full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and the Holy Spirit had drawn Stephen’s attention to the Lord Jesus in glory. Read Acts 7. It is almost matchless in New Testament literature; see the place that he gives to the Lord Jesus. He heads it right up to the Lord Jesus in glory and, while he is under the test, that is the thing that sustains him, and when he comes to the last moment he sees literally with his eyes what he had been seeing with his heart all the way through. And that just means this ― when we see the Lord Jesus in glory ― we have seen this, that God having got Him there, the Son of Man, having got one all-inclusive Man there, it is all right for us. He can get us there.
That One has simply fathomed all judgment, all death, all the power of Satan and the grave. He has exhausted all and God has got Him there. He had all the sin of all the creation from Adam onward heaped upon Him, and then that One came to glory. He had all the power and fury of the devil heaped upon Him, and God got that One to glory; the power of Death and Hades being liberated upon Him, and God brought that One to glory. We will never have to go through all that He went through. Stephen saw that one Man in the glory, being such a One as He was, as the guarantee that God could get him there; let all hell rush upon him. It is the secret of the shining face.
Sometimes we may, by reason of many things, wonder if we shall get to glory, if we shall hold out to the end, but, blessed be God, He is capable of getting us there. It is not our doing, it is the Lord’s doing. Why? Because He has already got our forerunner in His presence. That bears you up in the time of opposition. And men filled with the Holy Spirit are especially the object of stones.
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