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by Wayne Blank
"look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom"
The institution of the seven was in response to complaints from "Grecians," primarily Greek-speaking Jews who read the Greek-language Septuagint version of the Scriptures (what is called today the "Old Testament") rather than the Hebrew. The apostles appointed the seven to serve the rapidly growing church.
"And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
Nicanor was chosen as one of "the seven" who were "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost" (see also Ghost and Spirit: What's The Difference?):
"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 6:5-6 KJV)
The division of labor provided great growth in the service of the Church of God. It's interesting that "a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith" - the purpose of those Levites had been for centuries a foreshadow of the very service to God that apostles and the seven provided (see the Fact Finder question below).
"And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." (Acts 6:7 KJV)
By means of the Holy Spirit, the seven were powerful, in word and deed, in their service to The Lord.
"And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.