Dear Bro. Walker,
Don't know if you will remember me or not. I've written you before and here I am again.
I need you to explain Act 6:1&2 to me if you can. Is it saying that even then, that the people were murmuring because the women were not included in with what the men were doing or am I reading this wrong. I went back up in part of the 5th chapter and read 1-7 in the 6th chapter but I just need some help on this.
Will be patiently waiting for your help answer.
God bless you brother.
Acts 6:1& 2
Greetings to Brother Rxxxxxxx in the name of Jesus Christ,
May the grace of God be upon you and your family and may his goodness always endure as we all continue to run this race that is set before us. It was good to hear from you again and thank you for your continued support of 'The True Word website and for this God is sure to bless you.
Now, your question is one that needs to be explained carefully as many writers and ministers have had a lot to say about this NT scripture, while many have gotten it almost right, very few have expressed the revelation that should have been revealed. given below is both the interoperation, and revelation:
To this point in its history we have witness the church’s struggles with her enemies. Also, we (disciples) have triumphed with her in her victories. Now we are at that time in its evolution where we are able to take a view of the administration of her affairs at home. As we examine the first seven verses of the 6th Chapter of Acts, here is what we find.
We find an unhappy disagreement among part of the church-members, which might have been of ill consequence, but was prudently accommodated and taken up in time (v. 1): When the number of the disciples (for so Christians were at first called, learners of Christ) was multiplied to many thousands in Jerusalem, there arose a murmuring. Something that we have not witness in the early church to this point.
Our praises are extended and our hearts are most happy to find that the number of the disciples is multiplied, and it surely vexed the Hebrew priests and Sadducees to the heart to see this taking place in the church of God. All the opposition that the preaching of the gospel of Christ met with, instead of checking its progress, contributed to its success ; and the infant Christian church, just like the infant Jewish church in Egypt, the more it was afflicted, the more it multiplied. The ministers of the gospel, eventhough they were beaten, threatened, and abused, and yet the people received the New Testament Church Doctrine, invited, no doubt, by their wonderful patience and cheerfulness under all their trials, which convinced men that in this dispensation of grace they were borne up and carried on by a better spirit than their own. A spirit that heretofore had not strived with man as it is now with those who are called disciples of Christ.
As believers we feel saddened and a damp is cast upon us to find that the multiplying of the disciples proves an occasion for discord. To this time, they were all with one accord. Often notice had been taken of this (one accord) to their honor; but now that they are multiplied, they began to murmur; just as in the old world, when men began to multiply, they corrupted themselves. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased their joy, Isa. 9:3. When Abraham and Lot increased their families, there was a strife between their herdsmen; so is it here: There arose a murmuring, now this was not an open falling out, but a secret heart-burning.
Now regarding this division, The complainants were the Grecians, or Hellenists, against the Hebrews, that is, the Jews that were scattered in Greece, and other parts, who normally spoke in the Greek tongue, and read the Old Testament in the Greek version, and not the original Hebrew, many of whom being at Jerusalem during the feast embraced the faith of Christ, and becoming believers were added to the church, and continued there. They complained against the Hebrews, the native Jews, that used the original Hebrew of the Old Testament. Some of each of these two groups of Jews became Christians, and, it seems, their joint-embracing of the faith of Christ did not prevail, exactly as it ought to have done, to extinguish the little jealousies they had one of another before their conversion, but they retained somewhat of that old leaven; not understanding, or not remembering, that in Christ Jesus there is neither Greek nor Jew, no distinction of Hebrew and Hellenist, but all are alike unto Christ, and should be, for His sake, dear to one another in love and peace.
Now the complaint of these Grecians was that their widows were neglected in the daily administration, that is in the distribution of the public charity, and the Hebrew widows had more care taken of them. Observe, The first contention in the Christian church was about a money-matter and women; it is not only a shame but also a pity that the little things of this world should be makebates among those that profess to be taken up with the great things of another world. Large amounts of money was gathered for the relief of the poor and needy, but, as it often happens in such cases, it was likewise impossible to please every body in the laying of it (the charity) out. The apostles, at whose feet it was laid, did their best to dispose of it in a way that would answer the intentions of the donors, and no doubt designed to do it with the utmost impartiality, and had no intentions of respecting the Hebrews more than the Grecians; and in spite of their good intentions, here they are complained to. Now, perhaps this complaint was groundless and unjust, and there was no cause for it; but those who, upon any account, lie under disadvantages (as the Grecian Jews did, in comparison with those that were Hebrews of the Hebrews) are apt to be jealous that they are slighted when really they are not ; and in an usual way, it is the common fault of poor people that, instead of being thankful for what is given them and what they own, they are querulous and clamorous, and apt to find fault that more is not given them, or the fact that more is given to others than to them; and there are envy and covetousness, those roots of bitterness, to be found among the poor as well as among the rich, notwithstanding the humbling providence's they find themselves under, and should accommodate themselves to. But, for the understanding which we are seeking, let us just assume there is an occasion for their complaint. Some suggest that though their other poor were well provided for, yet their widows were neglected, because the managers governed themselves by an ancient rule which the Hebrews observed, that a widow was to be maintained by her husband’s children. See 1 Tim. 5:4. But,, I take it that the widows are here put for all the poor, because many of those that were in the church-book, and received alms, were widows, who were well provided for by the industry of their husbands while they lived, but were reduced to straits when they were gone. As those that have the administration of public justice ought in a particular manner to protect widows from injury (Isa. 1:17; Lu. 18:3); so those that have the administration of public charity ought in a particular manner to provide for widows what is necessary. See 1 Tim. 5:3. And observe, The widows here, and the other poor, had a daily ministration; perhaps they wanted forecast, and could not save for hereafter, and therefore the managers of the fund, in kindness to them, gave them day by day their daily bread; they lived from hand to mouth. Now, it seems, the Grecian widows were, comparatively, neglected. Perhaps those that disposed of the money considered that there was more brought into the fund by the rich Hebrews than by the rich Grecians, who had not estates to sell, as the Hebrews had, and therefore the poor Grecians should have less out of the fund; this, though there was some tolerant reason for it, they thought hard and unfair. Note, In the best-ordered church in the world there will be something amiss, some mal—administration or other, some grievances, or at least some complaints; those are the best that have the least and the fewest.
The apostles had hitherto the directing of the matter as all charity was laid at their feet , Applications were made to them, and also the appeals in cases of grievances. It was their obligation to employ persons under them, who for whatever reasons did not take all the care they might have taken, nor were so well fortified (rooted and grounded) as they should have been against temptations to partiality; Because of all these factors it became evidence to the Apostles that some persons must be chosen to manage this matter who would have more leisure to attend to it than the apostles had, and were better qualified for the trust than those whom the apostles employed to handle this matter. As all thing must be done decent and in order, please observe how the method was proposed by the apostles: They called the multitude of the disciples unto them, the heads of the congregations of Christians in Jerusalem, the principal leading men. The twelve themselves would not determine any thing without them, for in multitude of counsellors there is safety; and in an affair of this nature those might be best able to advise who were more conversant in the affairs of this life than were the apostles .
The apostles urge that they could by no means admit so great a diversion, as this apparently had become , from their great work (v. 2): It is not reasonable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. The receiving and paying of money was serving tables, as like the tables of the money-changers in the temple. This was foreign to the business which the apostles were called to. They were to preach the word of God; and though they had not such occasion to study for what they preached as we have (it being given in that same hour what they should speak), yet they considered that was work enough for a whole man, and to employ all their thoughts, and cares, and time, though one man of them was more than ten of us, than ten thousand. If they serve tables, they must, in some measure, leave the word of God; they could not attend their preaching work so closely as they ought. —These minds of ours admit not of two distinct anxious employments. Though this serving of tables was for pious uses, and serving the charity of rich Christians and the necessity of poor Christians, and in both serving Christ, yet the apostles would not take so much time from their preaching as this would require. They will no more be drawn from their preaching by the money laid at their feet than they will be driven from it by the stripes laid on their backs. At he beginning, while the number of disciples was small, the apostles might manage this matter without making it any considerable interruption to their main business; but, now that their number was increased, they could not do it. It is not reason, —it is not fit, or commendable, that we should neglect the business of feeding souls with the bread of life, to attend the business of relieving the bodies of the poor. Note, Preaching the gospel is the best work, and the most proper and needful that any minister can be employed in, and that which he must give himself wholly to (1 Tim. 4:15), which that he may do, he must not entangle himself in the affairs of this life (2 Tim. 2:4), no, not in the outward business of the house of God, Neh. 11:16.
The Apostles therefore desired that seven men be chosen, well qualified for the purpose, whose business it would be to serve tables, —to be deacons to the tables, v. 2. The business not only must be minded, but must be better minded than it had been, and than the apostles could mind it. Therefore proper persons must be occasionally employed in the word, and prayer, but not so entirely devoted to it as the apostles were; and these must take care of the church’s stock-must review, and pay, and keep accounts-must buy those things which they had need of against the feast (Jn. 13:29), and attend to all those things which are necessary, that every thing might be done decently and in order, and no person nor thing neglected.
In order to do this right the persons must be duly qualified. The people are to choose, and the apostles to ordain; but the people have no authority to choose, nor the apostles to ordain, men utterly unfit for the office: Look out seven men; a total they thought might suffice for the present, while others might be added afterwards if there were occasion. These persons must be, of honest report, men free from scandal, that were looked upon by their neighbors as men of integrity, and faithful men, well attested, as men that might be trusted, not under a blemish for any vice, but, on the contrary, spoken well of for every thing that is virtuous and praiseworthy not coming into condemnation; —men that can produce good testimonials concerning their conversation. As in all occasions those that are employed in any office in the church ought to be men of honest report, of a blameless, nay, of an admirable character, which is requisite not only to the credit of their office, but to the due discharge of it. The second thing, they must be full of the Holy Ghost, must be filled with those gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost which were necessary to the right management of this trust. They must not only be honest men, but they must be men of ability and men of courage; such as were to be made judges in Israel (Ex. 18:21), able men, fearing God; men of truth, and hating covetousness; and hereby appearing to be full of the Holy Ghost. The third thing, they must be full of wisdom. It was not enough that they were honest, good men, but they must be discreet, judicious men, that could not be imposed upon, and would order things for the best, and with consideration: full of the Holy Ghost, and wisdom, that is, of the Holy Ghost as a Spirit of wisdom. We find the word of wisdom given by the Spirit, as distinct form the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, 1 Co. 12:8. They must be full of wisdom who are entrusted with public money, that it may be disposed of, with fidelity, and frugality. The people (the assembly) must nominate the persons: "Look you out among yourselves seven men; consider among yourselves who are the fittest for such a trust, and whom you can with the most satisfaction confide in.’’ They (the assembly) might be presumed to know better, or at least were fitter to enquire, what character men had, than the apostles; and therefore they are entrusted with the choice of individuals.
The Apostles will ordain them to the service for which they are required, will give them their charge, that they may know what they have to do and make conscience of doing it, and give them their authority, that the persons concerned may know whom they are to apply to, and submit to, in affairs of that nature: Men, whom we may appoint. In many editions of our English Bibles there has been an error of the press here; for they have read it, whom ye may appoint, as if the power were in the people; whereas it was certainly in the apostles: whom we may appoint over this business, to take care of it, and to see that there be neither waste nor want, but that all things will be carried out decently and orderly.
The Apostles engage to addict themselves wholly to their work as ministers of the gospel, (v. 4): We will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. Take notice of, What are the two great gospel ordinances—the word, and prayer; by these two communion between God and his people is kept up and maintained; by the word he speaks to them, and by prayer they speak to him; and these have a mutual reference to each other. By these two the kingdom of Christ must be advanced, and additions made to it; we must prophesy upon the dry bones, and then pray for a spirit of life from God to enter into them. By the word and prayer other ordinances are sanctified to us, and sacraments have their efficacy. What is the great business of gospel ministers—to give themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word; they must still be either fitting and furnishing themselves for those services, or employing themselves in them; either publicly or privately; in the stated times, or out of them. They must be God’s mouth to the people in the ministry of the word, and the people’s mouth to God in prayer. In order to set in place the conviction and conversion of sinners, and the edification and consolation of saints, we must not only offer up our prayers for them, but we must minister the word to them, seconding our prayers with our endeavors, in the use of appointed means. We must not only minister the word to them, but we must pray for them, that it may be effectual; for God’s grace can do all without our preaching, but our preaching can do nothing without God’s grace. The apostles were and are endued with extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, tongues and miracles; and yet that which they gave themselves to continually was preaching and praying, by which they might edify the church: and those ministers, without doubt, are the successors of the apostles who give themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word; and such Christ will always be with, even to the end of the world.
Now look at how this proposal was agreed to, and presently put in execution, by the disciples. It was not imposed upon them by an absolute power, though they might have been bold in Christ to do this (Philem. 8), but instead proposed, as that which was highly convenient, and then the saying pleased the whole multitude, v. 5. It pleased them to see the apostles so willing to have themselves discharged from intermeddling in secular affairs, and to transmit them to others; it pleased them to hear that they would give themselves to the word and prayer; and therefore they neither disputed the matter nor did they defer the execution of it.
An apostle, being an extraordinary officer, was chosen by lot, which is more immediately the act of God; but the overseers of the poor were chosen by the suffrage of the people. We have a list of the persons chosen. Some scholars think they were such as were before of the seventy disciples; but this is highly unlikely, as they (the seventy) were ordained by Christ himself, long since, to preach the gospel; and there was not more reason that they should leave the word of God to serve tables than that the apostles should. It is therefore more probable that they were of those that were converted since the pouring out of the Spirit; for it was promised to all that would be baptized that they should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and the gift, according to that promise, is that fullness of the Holy Ghost which was required in those that were to be chosen to this service. We may further conjecture, concerning these seven, [1.] That they were such as had sold their estates, and brought the money into the common stock; —other things being equal, those were fittest to be entrusted with the distribution of it who had been most generous in the contribution to it. [2.] That these seven were all of the Grecian or Hellenist Jews, for they have all Greek names, and this would be most likely to silence the murmurings of the Grecians (which occasioned this institution), to have the trust lodged in those that were foreigners, like themselves, who would be sure not to neglect them. Nicolas, it is plain, was one of them, for he was a proselyte of Antioch; and some think the manner of expression intimates that they were all proselytes of Jerusalem, as he was of Antioch. The first named is Stephen, the glory of these septemviri, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost; he had a strong faith in the doctrine of Christ, and was full of it above most; full of fidelity, full of courage (so some), for he was full of the Holy Ghost, of his gifts and graces. He was an extraordinary man, and excelled in every thing that was good; his name signifies a crown. Phillip is put next, because he, having used this office of a deacon well, thereby obtained a good degree, and was afterwards ordained to the office of an evangelist, a companion and assistant to the apostles, for so he is expressly called, ch. 21:8. Compare Eph. 4:11. And his preaching and baptizing (which we read of ch. 8:12) were certainly not as a deacon (for it is plain that office was serving tables, in opposition to the ministry of the word), but as an evangelist; and, when he was preferred to that office, we have reason to think he quitted this office, as incompatible with that. As for Stephen, nothing we find done by him proves him to be a preacher of the gospel; for he only disputes in the schools, and pleads for his life at the bar, v. 9, and ch. 7:2. The last named is Nicolas, who, some say, afterwards degenerated (as the Judas among these seven) and was the founder of the sect of the Nicolaitans which we read of (Rev. 2:6, 15), and which Christ there says, once and again, was a thing he hated. But some of the ancients clear him from this charge, and tell us that, though that vile impure sect denominated themselves from him, yet it was unjustly, and because he only insisted much upon it that those that had wives should be as though they had none, thence they wickedly inferred that those that had wives should have them in common, which therefore Tertullian, when he speaks of the community of goods, particularly excepts: Omnia indiscreta apud nos, praeter uxores—All things are common among us, except our wives.—Apol. cap, 39.
The apostles appointed them to this work of serving tables for the present, v. 6. The people presented them to the apostles, who approved their choice, and ordained them. They prayed with them, and for them, that God would give them more and more of the Holy Ghost and of wisdom—that he would qualify them for the service to which they were called, and own them in it, and make them thereby a blessing to the church, and particularly to the poor of the flock. All that are employed in the service of the church ought to be committed to the conduct of the divine grace by the prayers of the church. They laid their hands on them, that is, they blessed them in the name of the Lord, for laying on hands was used in blessing; so Jacob blessed both the sons of Joseph; and, without controversy, the less is blessed of the greater (Heb. 7:7); the deacons are blessed by the apostles, and the overseers of the poor by the pastors of the congregation. Having by prayer implored a blessing upon them, they did by the laying on of hands assure them that the blessing was conferred in answer to the prayer; and this was giving them authority to execute that office, and laying an obligation upon the people to be observant of them therein.
The advancement of the church hereupon. When things were thus put into good order in the church (grievances were redressed and discontents silenced) then religion got ground, v. 7. 1. The word of God increased. Now that the apostles resolved to stick more closely than ever to their preaching, it spread the gospel further, and brought it home with the more power. Ministers disentangling themselves from secular employments, and addicting themselves entirely and vigorously to their work, will contribute very much, as a means, to the success of the gospel. The word of God is said to increase as the seed sown increases when it comes up again thirty, sixty, a hundred fold. Christians became numerous: The number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly. When Christ was upon earth, his ministry had least success in Jerusalem; yet now that city affords most converts. God has his remnant even in the worst of places. A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. Then is the word and grace of God greatly magnified when those are wrought upon by it that were least likely, as the priests here, who either had opposed it, or at least were linked in with those that had. The priests, whose preferments arose from the law of Moses, were yet willing to let them go for the gospel of Christ; and, it should seem, they came in a body; many of them agreed together, for the keeping up of one another’s credit, and the strengthening of one another’s hands, to join at once in giving up their names to Christ: —a great crowd of priests were, by the grace of God helped over their prejudices, and were obedient to the faith, so their conversion is described. They embraced the doctrine of the gospel; their understandings were captivated to the power of the truths of Christ, and every opposing objecting thought brought into obedience to him, 2 Co. 10:4, 5. The gospel is said to be made known for the obedience of faith, Rom. 16:26. Faith is an act of obedience, for this is God’s commandment, that we believe, 1 Jn. 3:23. (2.) They envinced the sincerity of their believing the gospel of Christ by a cheerful compliance with all the rules and precepts of the gospel. The glorious design of the gospel is to refine and reform all our hearts and lives; faith absolutely gives law to us, and we not only should but, must be obedient to it.
Please feel free to let me know, should you have any questions.
Peace be and may grace abound
Chief Elder Charles Ford Walker
November 10, 1999
Dear Christian Friends, In the name of Jesus Christ:
I want to share with you an amazing experience I had on Saturday, October 30th. My son-in-law (
Elder Charles Ford Walker) was having a "Coming Together Reception" in Titusville, Florida, and he and my daughter (Sister Mary Tyson Walker) just insisted that I come. I have several disabilities to name a few; Arthritis, and wheel chair bound because of it. I have hypertension, Diabetes, and I am on Dialysis (the kidney machine). I felt that I just could not make the trip. I kept thinking, I am 77 years old and I am sickly and have trouble getting around and I would just be in the way if I went. I feel so out of place when I am out in public. I tried every excuse to not have to go to the Apostolic Ministries Reception, but one of my daughters said she had made plans to take me and that I should go ahead; so I did. I was afraid of the Florida-Georgia football game traffic on I-95 and didn't realize God had his plan already in motion. I prayed, and I prayed. I truly feared going on this trip, but when I prayed I thought of what Jesus said in Mark 11:24 I prayed, but I really had trouble believing. 1st. John 3:22 also tells us if we are obedient to his commandments what ever we ask for, we will receive it. I went on the trip to Titusville; I had a very enjoyable day; and was spiritually enriched by all that I witness and by all I heard that day. We journeyed back hoe, arriving around 11 p.m. to find my house had, had a chemical fire, which was started by a can of Black Flag insect repellant exploding underneath the kitchen sink, causing the fire. The explosion was so great until it blew out the kitchen cabinets; blew the control knobs of my gas cooking range; and blew out part of the house ceiling. The fire melted the sink drain pipes and the water supply line to my refrigerator. Somehow the water from this small icemaker line was able to put the fire out, before it could spread to the other parts of the house.
I had a good bit of water damage to my floors, damage to my kitchen, and smoke damage to my entire home. The thing I thank God for is that He had already put his loving arms of protection around me when he laid it upon the hearts of Elder Charles and Sister Mary to insist I attend the reception. God said he would be with us always. When the spirit lead me to accept their invitation that was the key too literally saving my life. I usually sit in my kitchen and eat my dinner. I probably would have been sitting in that kitchen when the explosion happen if I had been at home. If not I would have been in the next room and the fumes and the excitement probably would have caused me to become very ill or worse. The Fire Chief Said that he had never witnessed anything of this magnitude that left the house standing in all his 38 years of fire protection work.
What is it we always hear? God is an on time God, he may not come when we want him to, but he is always right on time. I thank God for Elder Charles and Sister Mary and Apostolic Ministries of America, Inc. It has proven already that God is in the Midst of their Ministry. I encourage them to keep on going in the name of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ so that others may be blessed as I was on Saturday October 30th of this year by "The True Word. Let us remember too that when we pray, Isiah 65:24 tells us God answers while we are yet speaking to him just as he promised he would hear our prayers if it is with hope. And confidence. We as Christians don't witness enough. We don't tell others how good God has been to us, or how good he is being to us in our lives.
May the Lord continue to bless each and everyone who hear this Testimony.