Thursday, July 19, 2012

Philip, Apostle or Evangelist?

Are Apostle Philip and Evangelist Philip the same person or different?

Question : Are apostle Philip and evangelist Philip the same person or different?

Answer : They are two different people with the same name. The first Philip was an apostle among the 12 who were chosen by the Lord Jesus personally and trained under Him for nearly three and half years to be sent in to all the world to preach the gospel and be a unique witness
(Luke 6:13-14). The other Philip was a one disciple among the seven men who were full of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, who was chosen by the people of God and appointed by the twelve apostles over the buisness of daily distribution of food to all people (Acts 6:13, 5-6). These deacons were put in place as a complaint arose against the Hebrews by the Hellenists that their widows were neglected partially in the daily distribution. The following is the main difference between apostle and evangelist Philip.

Philip the Apostle

Philip the apostle was handpicked by Jesus to be one of His twelve apostles
(John 1:43), these twelve were unique in their calling and reward because in the book of revelation, John the revelator revealed that the twelve apostles of the Lamb Jesus will have their names written on the twelve memorial foundations of the wall of the city of New Jerusalem for eternity ahead (Rev 21:14). This makes them a unique twelve who can never be compared or replaced by any other person.

Philip was from the city named as Bethsaida who must have been a friend of Andrew and His Brother Simon Peter who were from the same city
(John 1:44). Later Philip led Nathaniel his friend to become connected with Jesus to be His apostle (John 1:45). This city was referred in the gospel two times for Jesus miracles: healing the blind man (Mark 8:22) and the first feeding of the Multitude (Luke 9:16). Later this very city was cursed by Jesus for not responding properly in repentance to the preaching of the gospel with mighty signs (Matthew 11:2), which was later destroyed in the 4th Century A.D according to history.

Later this Philip the apostle was described by apostle John in his gospel book as the one to whom Jesus asked,
"Where shall we buy bread, that these [five thousand men] may eat?" (John 6:5), which Jesus did ask to test him instead of knowing where the bread would already come from (John 6:6).

Then at another instance before Jesus crucifixion, Philip was described by John the apostle as to have been approached by some Greek men to introduce them to Jesus as he was close to Him in the inner circle
(John 12:20-22). Philip was the apostle who asked the embarrassingly insultive question to Jesus to show them the Father (John 14:8-11). Philip was one of the apostle who was present in the upper room with the 120 disciples after the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:13-15). History says that Philip preached the Gospel in Phrygia (west central Turkey) before dying or being martyred there at Hieropolis.

Philip the Evangelist

Philip the evangelist is first seen in the period of time when the christian community was growing after the day of Pentecost, in which he was described by Luke the writer of the book of Acts to be a disciple among the seven who were full of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, who was chosen by the people of God and appointed by the twelve apostles over the buisness of daily distribution of food to all people
(Acts 6:13, 5-6). After the appointment of Philip by the apostles, he acted as one of the first seven deacons of the Jerusalem Church. When persecution arose against the Jersalem Church, all the disciples were scattered everywhere around Jerusalem during which Philip was said to have went to Samaria and preached Christ to them with signs and miracles (Acts 8:4-6). This Philip was the only person to have the honor of being called as a evangelist in the entire Bible (Acts 21:8). Philip also was the only person in the New Testament to have been supernaturally transported from the city of Samaria in which he conducted the miracle crusade, to a desert road down south halfway between Jerusalem and Gaza in which a eunuch of great authority from Candace the queen of Ethiopians was returning back from Jerusalem after worshiping God (Acts 8:26-27). Philip empowered by the Holy Spirit ran along with that chariot in which the royal eunuch traveled and overtook it to speak with him (Acts 8:29-30) and as Philip preached the gospel, this royal eunuch accepted the gospel and got baptized to become the first missionary to the entire nation of Ethiopia (Acts 8:35-40). Then later Philip lived in Caesarea with his family (Acts 21:8) and had four lovely unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy, who also prophesied over Paul the apostle, the future plan of God for him and his ministry (Acts 21:9).

The apostle Philip should be distinguished from Philip the "deacon" or Evangelist because of all the unique differences in the personalities and background we have seen above. They are two different person with a entirely different office, experience, background and ministry, but with the same name.

Much Blessings....


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