Ellen G. White Writings

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From Trials to Triumph, Page 56

the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14); and he saw in Jesus the world's Redeemer.

With Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus had borne the expense of the burial of Jesus. The disciples had been afraid to show themselves openly as Christ's followers, but Nicodemus and Joseph, rich and honored men, had come boldly to do for their dead Master what it would have been impossible for the poor disciples to do. Their wealth and influence had protected them, in a great measure, from the malice of the priests and rulers.

Nicodemus No Longer Cautious and Questioning

Now Nicodemus came forward in defense of the infant church. He encouraged the faith of the disciples and used his wealth in helping to sustain the church at Jerusalem and advance the work. Those who had paid him reverence now scorned him, and he became poor; yet he faltered not in the defense of his faith.

The persecution gave great impetus to the work of the gospel. Success had attended the ministry in Jerusalem, and there was danger that the disciples would linger there too long, unmindful of the Saviour's commission to go to all the world. Instead of educating new converts to carry the gospel to those who had not heard it, they were in danger of taking a course that would lead all to be satisfied with what had been accomplished. To scatter His representatives where they could work for others, God permitted persecution to come. Driven from Jerusalem, the believers “went everywhere preaching the word.”

When they were scattered by persecution they went forth filled with missionary zeal. They knew they held in their hands the bread of life for a famishing world, and they were constrained by the love of Christ to break this bread to all who were in need. Wherever they went, the sick were healed and the poor had the gospel preached unto them.

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