What Stephen Saw

Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God ~ Acts 7:55

Stephen before the Sanhedrin council was about to be stoned to death because of his faith sees heaven open and sees God. This verse perfectly embodies the ‘concept’ of God, as some may refer to the trinity. The verse, like many others in the Word lays bare that concept of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are not separate entities, far removed from each other. They are not even closely related because they are One- God.

stephen-sees-jesus-standing-on-the-right-hand-of-god

Stephen seeing God was not an external experience like we use our physical eyes in seeing objects. Before he even died Stephen saw God, demonstrating that God is not a removed entity outside of us. The Bible states, ‘He has also set eternity in the hearts of men’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). ‘Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit’ clearly shows that God lived in him. The first man, Adam, God ‘breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man become a living being’ (Genesis 2:7). After the fall of man, God’s Holy Spirit makes us new beings.

Jesus before ascending to heaven appears to His disciples and, ‘breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:22), giving them new life and making them ‘born again’. After receiving the Holy Spirit, ‘None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord’ (21:v12). However, the power of the Holy Spirit was to be unleashed when Jesus ascended to heaven. Jesus says, ‘For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you’ (Acts 1:5,8).

Not only does the infilling of the Holy Spirit gives us new life, opens our eyes to see Jesus for who He is and gives us extraordinary power, it also brings heaven to our hearts. Jesus says, ‘He will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth’ (John 14:16). With the Holy Spirit, we constantly have God in our hearts.

The Holy Spirit is a gift from God that descends from heaven, like manna which descended from heaven. John describes, ‘I saw a Spirit come down from heaven…’ (John 1:29) while Joel writes, ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people’ (Joel 2:28). When people asked Paul what they could do to receive the Holy Spirit, he said, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 2:38).

Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, sees the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Does that mean that God and Jesus are separate entities? Not at all. Jesus Himself declares, ‘I and the Father are one’ (John 10:30). God in His vastness is invisible but Jesus is, ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Colossians 1:15). John writes, ‘No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known’ (John 1:18). Because we can behold the glory of God, Jesus says, ‘Anyone who sees me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9).

Like Moses who saw the glory of God, Stephen saw the glory of God and the image of God, Jesus. David also had a similar experience as Paul writes, ‘For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand…’ (Acts 2:34). John writes, ‘He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made’ (John 1:2,3) and Paul also backs this Supremacy of Christ when he writes, ‘For by him, all things were created’ (Colossians 1:16). This goes to show that God and Jesus are inseparable because they are the same. And God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit makes us see just that- like Stephen.

9 thoughts on “What Stephen Saw

  1. Pingback: What Stephen Saw – NarrowPathMinistries

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