Ellen G. White Writings

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From Trials to Triumph, Page 48

brought increasingly heavy burdens on those in charge. There was necessity for a distribution of the responsibilities borne faithfully by a few during the earlier days. The apostles must lay on others some of the burdens thus far borne by themselves.

Summoning the believers, the apostles stated that the spiritual leaders should be relieved from the task of distributing to the poor and from similar burdens. They must be free to preach the gospel. “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. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” This advice was followed, and by prayer and laying on of hands, seven chosen men were set apart as deacons.

The Results of This New Plan

The appointment of the seven proved a great blessing to the church. These officers gave careful consideration to individual needs, as well as to the general financial interests of the church and were an important aid in binding together the various interests of the church.

“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.” This was due both to the greater freedom secured by the apostles and the zeal shown by the seven deacons. These brethren ordained for looking after the needs of the poor were also fully qualified to instruct others in the truth, and they engaged in the work with earnestness.

The proclamation of the gospel was to be worldwide, and the messengers of the cross should remain united, and thus reveal to the world that they were one with Christ in God. See John 17:11, 14, 21, 23. Their power was dependent on a close connection with the One who had commissioned them to preach the gospel.

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