Ellen White Topics

Those who stand as leaders in the church of God are to realize that the Saviour's commission is given to all who believe in His name. God will send forth into His vineyard many who have not been dedicated to the ministry by the laying on of hands. {AA 110.2}

At a later date the rite of ordination by the laying on of hands was greatly abused; unwarrantable importance was attached to the act, as if a power came at once upon those who received such ordination, which immediately qualified them for any and all ministerial work. But in the setting apart of these two apostles, there is no record indicating that any virtue was imparted by the mere act of laying on of hands. There is only the simple record of their ordination and of the bearing that it had on their future work. {AA 162.2}

Men who have been set apart by the laying on of hands, to minister in sacred things, often stand in the desk with their mouths polluted, their lips stained, and their breath tainted with the defilements of tobacco. They speak to the people in Christ’s stead. How can such a service be acceptable to a holy God, who required the priests of Israel to make such special preparations before coming into His presence, lest His sacred holiness should consume them for dishonoring Him, as in the case of Nadab and Abihu? These may be assured that the mighty God of Israel is still a God of cleanliness. They profess to be serving God while they are committing idolatry, by making a God of their appetite. Tobacco is their cherished idol. To it every high and sacred consideration must bow. They profess to be worshiping God, while at the same time they are violating the first commandment. They have other gods before the Lord. “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” Isaiah 52:11. {CH 82.1}

The work of the true medical missionary is largely a spiritual work. It includes prayer and the laying on of hands; he therefore should be as sacredly set apart for his work as is the minister of the gospel. Those who are selected to act the part of missionary physicians are to be set apart as such. This will strengthen them against the temptations to withdraw from the sanitarium work to engage in private practice. No selfish motives should be allowed to draw the worker from his post of duty. The medical work done in connection with the giving of the third angel’s message, is to accomplish wonderful results. It is to be a sanctifying, unifying work, corresponding to the work which the great Head of the church sent forth the first disciples to do. {CH 540.4}

I saw that this door at which the enemy comes in to perplex and trouble the flock can be shut. I inquired of the angel how it could be closed. He said, “The church must flee to God’s Word and become established upon gospel order, which has been overlooked and neglected.” This is indispensably necessary in order to bring the church into the unity of the faith. I saw that in the apostles’ day the church was in danger of being deceived and imposed upon by false teachers. Therefore the brethren chose men who had given good evidence that they were capable of ruling well their own house and preserving order in their own families, and who could enlighten those who were in darkness. Inquiry was made of God concerning these, and then, according to the mind of the church and the Holy Ghost, they were set apart by the laying on of hands. Having received their commission from God and having the approbation of the church, they went forth baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and administering the ordinances of the Lord’s house, often waiting upon the saints by presenting them the emblems of the broken body and spilt blood of the crucified Saviour, to keep fresh in the memory of God’s beloved children His sufferings and death. {EW 100.2}

At a later date, the rite of ordination by the laying on of hands was greatly abused; unwarrantable importance was attached to the act, as if a power came at once upon those who received such ordination, which immediately qualified them for any and all ministerial work. But in the setting apart of these two apostles, there is no record indicating that any virtue was imparted by the mere act of laying on of hands. There is only the simple record of their ordination, and of the bearing that it had on their future work. {GW 442.3}

The Holy Spirit, Christ’s representative, arms the weakest with might to press forward unto victory. God has organized his instrumentalities to draw all men unto him. He sends forth to his work many who have not been dedicated by the laying on of hands. {HM August 1, 1896, par. 6}

The ordination by the laying on of hands, was, at a later date, greatly abused; unwarrantable importance was attached to the act as though a power came at once upon those who received such ordination, which immediately qualified them for any and all ministerial work, as though virtue lay in the act of laying on of hands. We have, in the history of these two apostles, only a simple record of the laying on of hands, and its bearing upon their work. Both Paul and Barnabas had already received their commission from God himself; and the ceremony of the laying on of hands added no new grace or virtual qualification. It was merely setting the seal of the church upon the work of God—an acknowledged form of designation to an appointed office. {LP 43.3}

Women who are willing to consecrate some of their time to the service of the Lord should be appointed to visit the sick, look after the young, and minister to the necessities of the poor. They should be set apart to this work by prayer and laying on of hands. In some cases they will need to counsel with the church officers or the minister, but if they are devoted women, maintaining a vital connection with God, they will be a power for good in the church. This is another means of strengthening and building up the church. We need to branch out more in our methods of labor. Not a hand should be bound, not a soul discouraged, not a voice should be hushed; let every individual labor, privately or publicly, to help forward this grand work. Place the burdens upon men and women of the church, that they may grow by reason of the exercise, and thus become effective agents in the hand of the Lord for the enlightenment of those who sit in darkness.—The Review and Herald, July 9, 1895.

Hundreds and thousands who have received the light of truth for this time, but who are still idlers in the market-place, might be engaged in some line of useful service for God. Of these, Christ is now inquiring, "Why stand ye here all the day idle?" and he adds, "Go ye also into the vineyard." Why is it that many more do not respond to the call? Is it because they think themselves excused, in that they do not stand in the pulpit? Let them understand that there is a large work to be done outside the pulpit, by thousands who may never be set apart to the ministry by the laying on of hands. God calls upon all who have been drinking of the water of life, to lead others to the fountain. {RH March 24, 1910, par. 13}