Philip The Evangelist
by Wayne Blank
Philip The Evangelist
As the early church rapidly grew, the twelve apostles were no longer able to do all of the work themselves, hence their choosing of "the seven":
"And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians [see also Hellenists] against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them." (Acts 6:1-6 KJV)
It was after the martyrdom of Stephen, and the scattering of the church, that, by means of the Holy Spirit, Philip became a powerful witness in the face of growing adversity (see also No Pain, No Gain).
"Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city ... And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized [see Baptism, also The Origin of Baptism], both men and women." (Acts 8:4-8,11-12 KJV)
It was Philip that The Lord sent to introduce the Gospel to the Ethiopians, and hence to Africa:
"And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship ... Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus."
Philip's prominence is attested by the people who visited him, including the apostle Paul (who is the author of much of the New Testament) who stayed with Philip "many days." By that time, Philip was called "the evangelist," who also had four young daughters who "did prophesy."
"And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. And as we tarried there many days" (Acts 21:8-10 KJV)
Fact Finder: Who was the sorcerer in Samaria that, although baptized by Philip, was not sincere in his repentance and went on to found a fraudulent Christianity that Martin Luther protested against many centuries later?