Beginning from the baptism of John - From the time that Christ was baptized by John in Jordan; for it was at that time that his public ministry properly began.
Must one be ordained - This translation misleads every reader who cannot examine the original text. There is no term for ordained in the Greek: γενεσθαι, to be, is the only word in the verse to which this interpretation can be applied. The New Testament printed at London, by Robert Barker, the king's printer, in 1615, renders this and the preceding verse more faithfully and more clearly than our common version: Wherefore of these men who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus was conversant among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day he was taken up from us, must one of them Be Made a witness with us of his resurrection. The word ordained would naturally lead most readers to suppose that some ecclesiastical rite was used on the occasion, such as imposition of hands, etc., although nothing of the kind appears to have been employed.
Beginning from the baptism of John - The words “beginning from” in the original refer to the Lord Jesus. The meaning may be thus expressed, “during all the time in which the Lord Jesus, beginning (his ministry) at the time when he was baptized by John, went in and out among us, until the time when he was taken up,” etc. From those who had during that time been the constant companions of the Lord Jesus must one be taken, who would thus be a witness of his whole ministry.
Must one be ordained - It is fit or proper that one should be ordained. The reason of this was, that Jesus had originally chosen the number twelve for this work, and as one of them had fallen, it was proper that the vacancy should be filled by some person equally qualified for the office. The reason why it was proper that he should be taken from the seventy disciples was, that they had been particularly distinguished by Jesus himself, and had been witnesses of most of his public life, Luke 10:1-16. The word “ordained” with us has a fixed and definite signification. It means to set apart to a sacred office with proper forms and solemnities, commonly by the imposition of hands. But this is not, of necessity, the meaning of this passage. The Greek word usually denoting “ordination” is not used here. The expression is literally, “must one be, or become, γενέσθαι genesthaia witness with us of his resurrection.” The expression does not imply that he must be set apart in any particular manner, but simply that one should be designated or appointed for this specific purpose, to be a witness of the resurrection of Christ.
“If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. 9T 263.1
“So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.” Exodus 18:13-26. 9T 263.2
In the first chapter of Acts, also, instruction is given regarding the choosing of men to bear responsibilities in the church. The apostasy of Judas had left one place vacant in the ranks of the apostles, and it was necessary that another be chosen to take this place. Speaking of this, Peter said: 9T 263.3Read in context »
Study the first and second chapters of Acts. Light has been given me that our work must be carried forward in a higher and broader way than it has ever yet been carried. The light of heaven is to be appreciated and cherished. This light is for the laborers. It is for those who feel that God has given them a message, and that they have a sacred responsibility to bear in its proclamation. FE 530.1
The message of present truth is to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord. Let us understand this, and let those placed in responsible positions come into such unity that the work shall go forward solidly. Do not allow any man to come in as an arbitrary ruler, and say, You must go here, and you must not go there; and you must do this, and you must not do that. We have a great and important work to do, and God would have us take hold of that work intelligently. The placing of men in positions of responsibility in the various conferences, does not make them gods. No one has sufficient wisdom to act without counsel. Men need to consult with their brethren, to counsel together, to pray together, and to plan together for the advancement of the work. Let laborers kneel down together and pray to God, asking Him to direct their course. There has been a great lack with us on this point. We have trusted too much to men's devisings. We cannot afford to do this. Perilous times are upon us, and we must come to the place where we know that the Lord lives and rules, and that He dwells in the hearts of the children of men. We must have confidence in God. FE 530.2
Wherever you may be sent, cherish in your hearts and minds the fear and love of God. Go daily to the Lord for instruction and guidance; depend upon God for light and knowledge. Pray for this instruction and this light, until you get it. It will not avail for you to ask, and then forget the thing for which you prayed. Keep your mind upon your prayer. You can do this while working with your hands. You can say, Lord, I believe; with all my heart I believe. Let the Holy Spirit's power come upon me. FE 530.3Read in context »