Why is it necessary to have men

…full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom…

to wait on tables?

Acts 6:3 - 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.


The apostles wanted men to fill the position of taking care of the widows houses that had already proved themselves.  The position was not to be filled with those that had not already proved themselves to the people, and before God.  This is not cronyism, or putting some into office so they will be faithful, which was a real plague on the churches I attended when I was young. 


Why is it necessary to have a Holy Spirit filled person take care of the widows?  So the widows would not be abused.  So the job would be accomplished in a timely manner in the way the apostles desired.  The men chosen by the church were well known for spreading the gospel message and for being able to take orders.  A person that will not be a good follower will not be a good leader. 


If a person needs experience in order to receive a position, how does he gain that experience in the first place?  By being faithful in that which he already has.  I found in my job with Farmers Home Administration how to get a promotion.  I did my job, and struggled to understand and do the job above me, as my supervisor gave me opportunity, permission, and instruction.  I would ask him what his job description was, and how could I help him accomplish his daily tasks. 


The office of Deacon:  None of the men chosen in Acts 6 were ever referred to as a deacon.  Acts 21:8 reveals they were referred to as “The Seven”.  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. 

Stephen was never called a deacon. 


Philip at Samaria:

Acts 8:5-13  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Philip with the Ethiopian Eunuch:

Acts 8:26-40  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. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39  And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

Acts 8:40  But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Acts 21:8  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.  Perhaps Phillip is here referred to as one of the seven because he was no longer a deacon or servant of the church at Jerusalem.  After all, he no longer lived at Jerusalem, but at Caesarea, a distance of some 54 miles from Jerusalem.  Acts 21:7 records that Paul and his company came from Tyre to Ptolemais, which Ptolemais is located some 30 miles north of Caesarea, both cities being on the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea. 

None of the other men listed in Acts 6 appear anywhere else in the entire Bible.  [1]


All the scriptures in the Bible that contain the word “deac*”. 

Philippians 1:1  Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:  The plural words “elders” and “deacons” must be noted.  Apparently there was more than one elder (pastor) and deacon in the church located at Philippi.  There may have been more than one church in this city, or the one church in the city of Philippi had more than one pastor and deacon. 

1 Timothy 3:8  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1 Timothy 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1 Timothy 3:12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1 Timothy 3:13  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.


1249 diakonov diakonos dee-ak’-on-os  probably from an obsolete diako (to run on errands, cf 1377); TDNT-2:88,152; n m/f  AV-minister 20, servant 8, deacon 3; 31 

1) one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister

1a) the servant of a king

1b) a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use

1c) a waiter, one who serves food and drink


For Synonyms see entry 5834 & 5928  1247 diakonew diakoneo dee-ak-on-eh’-o   from 1249; TDNT-2:81,152; v   AV-minister unto 15, serve 10, minister 7, misc 5; 37

1)) to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon

1a) to minister to one, render ministering offices to

1a1) to be served, ministered unto

1b) to wait at a table and offer food and drink to the guests,

1b1) of women preparing food

1c) to minister i.e. supply food and necessities of life

1c1) to relieve one’s necessities (e.g. by collecting alms), to provide take care of, distribute, the things necessary to sustain life

1c2) to take care of the poor and the sick, who administer the office of a deacon

1c3) in Christian churches to serve as deacons

1d) to minister

1d1) to attend to anything, that may serve another’s interests

1d2) to minister a thing to one, to serve one or by supplying any thing



Concise Bible Dictionary defines deacon as: 


ziakonov. This name is generally applied to the seven who were chosen to superintend the distribution of the funds of the church in #Ac 6:3; but they are not there called deacons, and though the name may be applicable to them, yet it cannot be restricted to such service. The term applies to any service not otherwise specified. The Greek word is more often translated ‘minister’ and ‘servant’ than ‘deacon.’

·         It twice refers to Christ, (as a servant, or one that is in subjection to)

·         Romans 15:8 – Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 

·         Galatians 2:17 – But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 

·         also to Paul and others,

·         Colossians 1:7 – As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;  

·         Colossians 1:23-25 -  If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a  minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: 25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 

·         to magistrates, #Ro 13:4;

·         and even to Satan’s emissaries, #2Co 11:15.

·         The Epistle to the Philippians was addressed to the saints and to the ‘bishops and deacons,’ or overseers and servants.

·         In #1Ti 3:8-13 the moral qualifications of the deacon or minister are given, but what his work was is not specified; it is evident that they carried out their service officially.

·         The service of deacon must not be confounded with ‘gift.’ Phebe was DEACONESS of the assembly in Cenchrea. #Ro 16:1.


Eason Bible Dictionary:


Anglicized form of the Greek word diaconos, meaning a "runner," "messenger," "servant." For a long period a feeling of mutual jealousy had existed between the "Hebrews," or Jews proper, who spoke the sacred language of palestine, and the "Hellenists," or Jews of the Grecian speech, who had adopted the Grecian language, and read the Septuagint version of the Bible instead of the Hebrew. This jealousy early appeared in the Christian community. It was alleged by the Hellenists that their widows were overlooked in the daily distribution of alms. This spirit must be checked. The apostles accordingly advised the disciples to look out for seven men of good report, full of the Holy Ghost, and men of practical wisdom, who should take entire charge of this distribution, leaving them free to devote themselves entirely to the spiritual functions of their office #Ac 6:1-6 This was accordingly done. Seven men were chosen, who appear from their names to have been Hellenists. The name "deacon" is nowhere applied to them in the New Testament; they are simply called "the seven" #Ac 21:8 Their office was at first secular, but it afterwards became also spiritual. Both Philip and Stephen, who were of "the seven,"

[1] Preached to here 09/06/2009 IBC Sunday Evening