Ellen G. White Writings

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From Trials to Triumph, Page 211

his labors. “When they heard it, they glorified the Lord.” The methods pursued by the apostle bore the signet of Heaven. The men who had urged arbitrary control saw Paul's ministry in a new light and were convinced that their course had been wrong. They had been held in bondage by Jewish customs and traditions, and the gospel had been hindered by their failure to recognize that the wall of partition between Jew and Gentile had been broken down by the death of Christ.

This was the golden opportunity for all the leading brethren to confess frankly that God had wrought through Paul and that at times they had erred in permitting his enemies to arouse their jealousy and prejudice. But instead of doing justice to the one who had been injured, they showed that they still cherished a feeling that Paul should be held largely responsible for the existing prejudice. They did not stand nobly in his defense but sought to effect a compromise.

Advice to Compromise Leads to Disaster

“You see, brother,” they said in response to his testimony, “how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed; they are all zealous for the law, and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or observe the customs... . Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you but that you yourself live in observance of the law. But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what had been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity.” RSV.

The brethren assured Paul that the decision of the former council concerning Gentile converts and the

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