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Organizional Structure and Church Governance forms two phases where the church of Christ has formed and operated for the delivery of the Gospel to humanity and the receiving of humanity into the fold …

Organizional Structure and Church Governance forms two phases where the church of Christ has formed and operated for the delivery of the Gospel to humanity and the receiving of humanity into the fold of Christ in preparation for his second coming. It is God’s divine plan to function separate and apart from worldly structure and governance that it be a bacon of administration for humanity

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  • 1. {a} Organizional Structure and Church Governance formstwo phases where the church of Christ has formed andoperated for the delivery of the Gospel to humanity and thereceiving of humanity into the fold of Christ in preparationfor his second coming. It is God’s divine plan to functionseparate and apart from worldly structure and governancethat it be a bacon of administration for humanity.“Behold I have taught you statutes and judgments, even asthe Lord my God commanded me, that you should do so inthe land whither ye go to possess it.[6] Keep therefore anddo them; for this is your wisdom and your understandingin the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise andunderstanding people.[7] For what nation is there so great,who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is inall things that we call upon him for?[8] And what nation isthere so great, that hath statutes and judgments sorighteous as all this law which I set before you thisday?[Deut.4:5-8].
  • 2. From the pen of inspiration, it states, “As apeople we should study God’s plan forconducting his work. Wherever he hasgiven in regard to any point we shouldcarefully consider how to regard hisexpressed will. This work should takespecial attention.” Tes.Min.pg.342. {b} In observing this mission as God’s planfor his work and giving it the specialattention it needs, for if the opposite isadministered, the plan will not be God’splan, but man’s plan. We have the rightdoctrines and message, but these alone arenot sufficient. We must also have the rightway to implement them.
  • 3.  {1} Organizional Structure and Church Governance began in heaven: “And God said, Let {us} make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth…and the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the city of men builded .[6] And the Lord said, behold the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.[7] Go to, Let {us} go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understanding one another’s speech. Gen.1:26, 11:5-7. [a] “US” represents Will-{father}, Word-{Christ}, Creative Agent-{Spirit}: “For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”1Jn.5:7.
  • 4.  {2} God never intended that Organizional Structure and Church Governance be headed by one man only: Exo.18:1,9,13-17, 19- 27, Deut.1:9-14, Spirit given: “And the Lord said unto Moses, gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.[17] And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.” [Num.11:16,17]. [a] Church pioneer James White states, Review and Herald Dec. 1,1874 “Moses was simply a faithful servant in the Jewish house, while Christ is the son over his own house. Moses was not a lord in the Jewish house, he was a servant, while Christ was Lord…Christ then is the leader of his people in all ages…But here we wish it distinctly understood that officers were not ordained in the Christian church to order , or to command the church, and to “Lord it over God’s heritage”…Christ will lead his people, if they will be led.”
  • 5. [b] The idea of humanity exercising lordship over another isa paganistic knowledge received from the tower of Babelwhose leader was nimrod and has filtered down throughcivilization, even to our time. It is not God’s plan for thechurch; it’s an act of rejection of God by his people:[1Sam.8:1-22, 10:17-27].[c]Lording over God’s heritage presents the individualimage to be possessing an egotistic sense of self-importance, the same trait possessed by lucifer in heaven:“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hastcorrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I willcast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that theymay behold…For thou has said in thine heart, I will ascendinto heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: Iwill sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sidesof the north:…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, Iwill be like the most high.”[Eze.28:17,Isa.14:13,14]
  • 6. [d]These traits of character exhibits the person as a humanidol, and the followers thus places the person before [inplace of]God, thus committing the sin of spiritual adulteryagainst YHWH: “Thou shalt have no other gods before[inplace of]me…For all the gods of the people are idols: butthe Lord made the heavens…As concerning thereof theeating of those things that are offered in sacrifice to idols,we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and thatthere is none other God butone.”[Exo.20:3,1Chr.16:26,1Cor.8:4]From the pen of inspiration, it states, “The heavenlyteacher enquired, what stronger delusion can beguile themind than the pretence that you are building on the rightfoundation and that God accepts your works, when inreality you are working out many things according toworldly policy and are sinning against Jehovah.”8T.249.
  • 7.  {3} God’s plan regarding Organizional Structure and Church Governance was and is to be a Decentralized Organizional plan, which would mark the second point of God preparing his people for the end time. Therefore in God’s plan in regard to Church Governance, all should understand the philosophy of true leadership as taught by JESUS: Philosophy of True Leadership: Mt.20:25-28, “[25] But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.[26] But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever shall be great among you, let him be your minister;[27] And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:[28]Even as the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mt.23:1,8-12: “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,…[8]But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.[9]And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is father, which is in heaven.[10]Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, even Christ.[11]But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.[12]And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Mal.2:10: “Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us?....
  • 8. “God has made men responsible beings, and placed them incircumstances favorable to obedience to his will. In the dignity of theirGod-given manhood, they are to be governed and controlled by Godhimself, not by any human intelligence in our world. Man is ever toacknowledge that God lives and reigns; men are never to become lordsover God’s heritage. They are to consider that “all ye are brethren.” Inthe very fact that men are free moral agents, God teaches us not to forcedor compelled into any course of action, also that as responsible beings incopartnership with God we are to represent God in character. We are tohave an interest in our brother, in our neighbor, in all around…..The oftrepeated “Rabbi,” was very acceptable to the ear, but Jesus warnedhis disciples against this. He said to them, “But be not ye calledrabbi; for one is your master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Andcall no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father which is inheaven. Neither be ye called master: for one is your master, even Christ.”By these words Christ meant no man is to place his spiritualinterest under another as a child is guided and directed by hisearthly father. This has encouraged a spirit to desireecclesiastical superiority, which has always resulted in theinjury of the men who have been trusted, and addressed as“father”. It confuses the sense of the sacredness of theprerogatives of God.”5B.C.#1098.
  • 9.  {4}JESUS is leader of his church[God’s people in the endtime] and his disciples having been taught by him aught to educate all who are followers of Christ Jesus: Jn.10:27-30: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.[28]And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.[29]My father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my father’s hand.[30]I and my father are one.” Heb.12:2: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Eph.2;13,18-22: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ…[18]For through him we both have access by one spirit unto the father.[19]Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.[20]And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;[21]In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord.[22]In whom ye also are builded for a habitation of God through the spirit.” 1Pet.5:1-3: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:[2]Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;[3]Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.”
  • 10. Decentralized Governance
  • 11. Review and Herald, Dec.1,1874; James White states “In thediscussion of the subject of leadership, we propose to bringout evidence from the words of Christ, and from theteaching and practices of the early apostles, that Christ is theLeader of his people, and that the work and office ofleadership has not been laid upon any one person, at anyone time, in the Christian age”.Test.Min.pg.93: “For years the church has been looking toman, and expecting much from man, but not looking toJesus, in whom our hope of eternal life are centered”….Test.Min.pg.477,478 :“For years there has been a growingtendency for men placed in positions of responsibility tolord it over God’s heritage, thus removing from churchmembers their keen sense of need of divine instruction andan appreciation of the privilege to counsel with Godregarding their duty”.
  • 12. “Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink; and the character of our spiritualexperience depends on what our minds feed upon and assimilate. By continuallydwelling upon the mistakes and defects of others, many become religious dyspeptics. . .. Those who are so busy in dissecting the words and acts of others, to discover all that isobjectionable, fail to discern the good and pleasant things. They do not eat of the properfood to promote spiritual vitality and healthy growth The Lord is not pleased with Hispeople when they neglect to criticize their own soul, criticizing others instead. This isSatans work. When you do this work, remember that the enemy is using you as ameans of tempting others, in order that those who should be united in harmony and joy,building up one another in the most holy faith, shall be warring and complainingbecause some one else is sinning. Christ has not made you a sin bearer. You cannot evenbear your own sin.Therefore be very careful not to take up any reproach against your neighbor. God wantsHis people to be free. . . . Shall we not remember that by the words we speak we mayeither wound or heal? Shall we not remember that as we judge, so we shall be judged,we who perhaps have had many more opportunities than those whom we judge?Our hearts must be melted into tenderness and love for one another. We may criticizeourselves just as severely as we please. The one who criticizes another gives evidencethat he is the very one who needs to criticize himself. Pray God to show you what youmust remove from yourselves in order that you may see the kingdom of God....There is a crown for the overcomer. Do you want it? Do you want to run the race withpatience? Then do not seek to find something to condemn in your neighbor, but lookright to Jesus Christ. Behold His purity, and you will be charmed and will reflect Hislikeness”. Our Higher Calling.pg.233.
  • 13. God’s plan regarding Organizional Structure and ChurchGovernance was and is to be a DecentralizedOrganizional plan, which would mark the second point ofGod preparing his people for the end time. There are FOUR forms of Church Structure and Governance thatexist today in the Christian world, and as we examine them, wewill see where we fit as an organization, created by God to fulfillhis will, to present the final message. Three of the four formshold the structure of One Man at the top having the final say inall matters relating to the church, and only one holds thestructure as required by God in scripture and spirit of prophecy. These are as follows:[a]Hierarchal or Papal [b]Episcopal [c]Congregational [d]Representative or Decentralized
  • 14. Pope/Bishop/Elder/Past or 1Man/Small Group Member s/ Groups Centralized Church Governance
  • 15. Hierarchal/Papal : Built upon 1 individual or small Committee[college of cardinals] : Roman Catholic Church is thearchetype of this type of governance structure :Pope has absolute authority, leader makes decisions :Pope’s directives are expected to be accepted without modifications, additions, or deletions
  • 16. Episcopal Form :Anglican Church of England developed this form :Reigning Monarch is the Leader of the Anglican Church : Archbishop of Canterbury is called the Primate Great Britain : Possess some elements as the hierarchal form, but is less centralized; each bishop is almost alaw to himself in terms of authority; the running of the dioceses are largely in their hands
  • 17. Congregational Form : Every Church has its own authority/autonomy :The Congregations has the rite to hire or fire its own pastor : Church handles its own finances : Accepts missionary projects
  • 18. Decentralization is the antithesis of hierarchialism, therefore the endtime church isnot to show itself any resemblance of a hierarchical system. There is a history ofthis system creeping into the S.D.A.Church[General Conference/SDAOrganizations], thus let us briefly examine such:[a] The concept of decentralization is intimately linked with the issues of ReligiousLiberty, Justification by Faith, and Church Governance;“Now it has been satan’s determined purpose to eclipse the view of JESUS andlead men to look to man, and trust in man, and be educated to expect help fromman. For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much fromman, but not looking to JESUS, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered.Therefore God gave his servants a testimony that presents the truth as it is inJESUS, which is the 3rd Angel message, in clear, distinct lines”. T.M.#93.“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, which the Holy Ghosthath made thee overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchase withhis own blood.[29]For I know this, that after my departing, shall grievous wolvesenter in among you, not sparing the flock.[30]Also of your own selves shall menarise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.[ 31]Thereforewatch, and remember, that by the space of three years I cease not to warn everyone night and day with tears.”Acts.20:28-31.
  • 19. “…It has been proven in the preceding chapters that the idea of aprimacy is unknown in the scriptures, and that the primacy whichwas established, was only accomplished by unholy ambition andan unchristian seeking for spiritual supremacy, entirely foreign tothe spirit and teachings of Christ and the Apostles. We have alsoseen that it was accomplished after long centuries of plotting andscheming, and especially the union of this then-apostate with theRoman State and many other states under the control of thechurch; that a large part of the Christian church always protestedagainst it; and that the separation between churches of the eastand west in the 11th century was to some extent over this question;for the Eastern Church never accepted the supremacy of theBishop of Rome. Since that time, numerous bodies of Christianshave denied the doctrine of the primacy. The great Reformers ofthe 16th century made the denial of the primacy a cardinal featureof their work, and it is held none but the Roman Catholic Church.This church firmly maintains this doctrine as a fundamentalportion of its creed”. M.E.Kellogg, The Supremacy ofPeter#259,260.
  • 20. “….There is to be no primacy. The Gospel is designedfor all the world. Churches are to be raised everywhere,but there is no provision in the Christian systemwhereby one man, or a conclave of men in continualsession is to take the charge of the work of the Gospelin all the world. Such a task would be entirely beyondthe capacity of man. The world is large; and the ideathat one man, or one body of men, could take intoconsideration the spiritual needs of all believers inChrist, or the spiritual needs of many thousands ofbelievers in Christ, which are scattered throughout theworld is preposterous.” M.E.Kellogg, The Supremacyof Peter pg.260
  • 21. Ministerial HumilityPsa.11:3:- “If the foundations be destroyed, what can therighteous do?”
  • 22. In the organization of the early church structure and governance, Jesus himselfperformed the functions which was followed by the disciples, and which shouldcontinue until he returns;Acts.1:1-11, Mt.24:14: “And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all theworld as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come”.[a] Jesus himself ordained the first workers of the christian church: Mk.3:13-15: “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom hewould: and they came unto him. [14]And he ordained twelve, that they should be withhim, and that he might send them forth to preach,[15]And to have power to healsicknesses, and to cast out devils:”[b] Their mission as is with all ministers of Jesus today is to address physical andspiritual needs of humanity, returning humanity back to God: Mt.10:5-8: “The twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them saying, Go not intothe way of the gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not;[6] But gorather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.[7]And as ye go, preach saying, thekingdom of heaven is at hand.[8]Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the out devils:freely ye have received, freely give….” Lk.9:1-6: “….[3]And he said unto them, take nothing for your journey, neitherstaves, nor script, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.[4]Andwhatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.[5]and whosoever shallnot receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet fora testimony against them.[6]And they departed and went through towns, preachingthe Gospel, and healing everywhere.”
  • 23. [c]Jesus therefore gave ministers then as also today his own ministry: Mk.1:14,15: “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came intoGalilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom,[15]And saying, The time isfulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel.” Mt.4:23: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, andpreaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and allmanner of disease among the people.”“The Gospel plan is a better way than this; it allows a greater degree of freedomand independence to the members of the church, and also provides for suchconcentration of effort as will carry the Gospel to the world, and furnish pastoralcare to the churches already established. This may be seen by referring to the Actsof the Apostles. As the apostles went forth proclaiming the Gospel, churches wereraised; and after these had been sufficiently proved and elders had been ordainedin every city(Tit.1:5), these churches took their places asindependent parts of the church of Christ. Not that they wereindependent of the advisory power of the general council, if anything among themneeded to be considered by that body upon its convention, but aside fromthat they were independent. These churches would naturally form intoassociations for mutual council and cooperation, but in them existed no arbitraryauthority more than exists in every separate church for the correction and disciplineof its members.” M.E.Kellogg, The Supremacy of Peter pg.265,266.
  • 24. Princess Cunupia Chase La Malabar CaijualMay Town Vlg. matlot Horquetta Kellyaro Vlg. Sangre Chaguanas Toco South Arima Grande Zebach S.D.A.Acts.1:8: “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and inSamaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
  • 25. [d]Then came the time for the disciples to go to the world with the Gospel message,but they must as was the nation of Israel, have an upper room experience to share thework with Moses, their upper room experience came preparing them for the world:Acts.1:12-14:- “Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet,which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath day’s journey.[13]And when they were come in,they went up into an upper room, and abode both Peter, and James, and John andAndrew, Phillip and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alpheus,and Simon Zelotes and Judas the brother of James.[14]These all continued with oneaccord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus,and with his brethren.”Acts.2:1-8: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with oneaccord in one place.[2]And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushingmighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.[3]And thereappeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each one ofthem.[4]And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with othertongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.[5]And there were dwelling there atJerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.[6]Now when thiswas noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because thatevery man heard them speak in his own language.[7]And they were all amazed andmarveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speakGalileans?[8]And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we wereborn.”
  • 26. “The time has come when we must expect the Lord to do great things for us. Ourefforts must not flag or weaken. We are to grow in grace and in the knowledge ofthe Lord. Before the work is closed up and the sealing of god’s people is finished,we shall have the out-pouring of the Spirit of god. Angels from heaven will be inour midst….The present is the fitting up time for heaven, when we each mustwalk in full obedience to all the commandments of God…I know that a workmust be done for the people, or many will not be prepared to receive the light ofthe angel sent down from heaven to lighten the whole earth with his glory. Do notthink that you will be found as vessels unto honor in the time of the latter rain, toreceive the glory of God, if you are lifting up your souls unto vanity, speakingperverse things, in secret cherishing roots of bitterness brought from theconference at Minneapolis. The frown of god will certainly be upon every soulwho cherishes and nurtures these roots of dissension, and possesses a spirit sounlike the spirit of Christ…. Brethren we have little time in which to work.Certainly we need to stop complaining about each other, and lay our whole heartsopen before God, that we may receive the Holy Spirit. Years ago the time came forthe Holy Spirit to descend in a special manner upon God’s earnest self-sacrificingworkers. The Lord will greatly bless his tried and chosen ones if they willcooperate with him. When the Holy Spirit came down in the day of Pentecost, itwas like a rushing mighty wind. It was given in no stinted measure; for it filled allthe place where the disciples were sitting. So will it be given to us when ourhearts are prepared to receive it.” Manuscript Releases Vol. 1 pg.175-176.
  • 27. [e]The work of evangelizing the world became enormous and thus the apostlesneeded a support group, so as churches were formed, leaders were ordained andcalled Elders:Acts.14:23:- “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and hadprayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”*To “Ordain” means, Gk. “Cheirotonesantes”: “To elect or to appoint.”Tit.1:5 “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the thingsthat are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.”*The word “Elder or Bishop” means Gk. “Presbuteroi or Episkopos”; “Oneappointed to teach and overseer. These two words describes the office and maturityof the same person.[f]The qualifications of these offices are outlined in scripture:Tit.1:6-9:- “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children notaccused of riot or unruly.[7]For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God;not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthylucre;[8]But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy,temperate;[9]Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may beable by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”
  • 28. [d]The next group of ministers that were formed in the church are recognized as asupport staff of the church are called “Deacons” and their qualifications:Acts.6:1-7 “And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied,there arose a mumuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because theirwidows were neglected in the daily ministration.[2]Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It isnot reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.[3]Wherefore,brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the HolyGhost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.[4]But we will giveourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.[5]And the sayingpleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a men full of faith and of theHoly Ghost, and Phillip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas,and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch.[6]Whom they set before the apostles: andwhen they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.[7]And the word of Godincreased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and agreat company of priests were obedient to the faith.
  • 29. 1Tim.3:8-13 “Likewise must the deacons be grave{reverent}, not double-tongued, notgiven to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre{money},[9]Holding the mystery of thefaith in a pure conscience.[10]And let these also be first be proved; then let them usethe office of a deacon, being found blameless.[11]Even so must their wives begrave{reverent}, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.[12]Let the deacons be thehusband of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well[13]For they thathave used the office of a deacon well purchased to themselves a good degree, andgreat boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. Ministerial Functions of both ELDERS and DEACONSPhil.1:1 “Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in ChristJesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops{overseers} and deacons:There are at least Seven different titles that identifies the responsibilities of Elders:[1]Elder is used 20 times, emphasizing the person’s wisdom and maturity.[2]Bishop, emphasizing the person’s administrative function of the office.[3]Pastor, emphasizing the person’s responsibility in caring for the church.[4]Preacher, emphasizing the person’s ministry of publicly proclaiming God’s word.[5]Teacher, emphasizing the person’s readiness in “apt to teach”.[6]Servant, emphasizing the person is to minister to others.[7]Steward, emphasizing the person’s responsibility in managing the property ofothers(church of Christ).
  • 30. Ministerial Functions of both ELDERS and DEACONS Cont’dThe word “Deacon” is derives from a Greek word for “Servant”; hencedeacons are a serving office in the church. Seven men were appointed tocare for the church, therefore there is no “job description“ for adeacon, hence every christian should act like a deacon in encouragingchurch harmony and helping others serve Christ more effectively.
  • 31. Serious Matters[e] If there were serious matters in any church and other ministers of otherchurches counsels are needed, then they would come together to solve suchmatters. After the matters are solved, they would return to their respectivechurches.“The thing nearest to universal authority and headship in the church is the actionof a general council. The 15th chapter of Acts of the Apostles will ever stand asunmistakable evidence that the measure of authority, which primarily belongs tothe church as a whole, is, at special times, and for definite purposes, vested in acouncil; that the council may be summoned whenever great questions arise thatthreaten division in the church, or at regular intervals if necessary, for theconsideration of questions which affect the interest of the whole church; and thatthe decisions of the councils so convened, are advisory rather than actualobligatory on the church. Stated broadly, actual legislative power is notcommitted to the church. All actual legislative power was done byChrist.”M.E.Kellogg, The Supremacy of Peter,pg.261-262.
  • 32. …”A Christian council is a convention for a limited space of time. When it is inactual session, it is the repository of all the authority there is in the church, andtherefore its decisions should not be lightly regarded. But when the council isdisbanded, the general and advisory power vested therein is for the timesuspended until the next council; and there is no provision in the christian systemof the church government by which the authority of the general and universalcouncil may be transferred to any one who shall represent the council between itssessions, and thus forms a general and continuous head to the church on earth. Thiswould be an usurpation of the place of Christ, the only true head of the church. Continuous and general authority over the whole church by men, involves aresponsibility so great that god, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, thought it notbest that it be committed to a man or men.” Ibid.pg.262,263.… “The churches of Jesus Christ, in any and every country, must haveorganization, and men should be elected by free vote of the members to take theoversight of the affairs of the church; but these men would be heads only for alimited time over a small portion of the church. The men elected would be quitewell known, probably personally known to all. They would not be removed fromthose who gave them their temporary authority by an exaggerated height ofexcellence or knowledge, and hence may attempt by them to exert an unauthorizedand arbitrary power would be quickly checked by the body of the church, which isthe superior authority and final arbiter in all matters pertaining to itself.”M.E.Kellogg, The Supremacy of Peter,pg.261-262.
  • 33. [f]It is worldly practice to have hierarchal structures and authoritativeleaders. It is not acceptable practice to Christianity. God has called forleaders who are servants and ministers: those who will counsel andguide, not rule and dominate.“Men whom the Lord calls to important positions in his work are tocultivate a humble dependence upon him. They are not to seek toembrace too much authority; for God has not called them to a work ofruling, but to plan and counsel with their fellow laborers. Every workeralike is to hold himself amenable to the requirements and instructionsof God. Testimonies for the Church, Vol.9,pg.270.“Those whom God has placed in positions of responsibility shouldnever seek to exalt themselves or to turn the attention of men to theirwork. They must give all the glory to God. They must not seek forpower that they may lord it over God’s heritage; for only those who areunder the rule of Satan will do this.But the rule-or–ruin system is too often seen in our institutions. Thisspirit is cherished and revealed by some in responsible positions, andbecause of this God cannot do the work he desires to do through them.By their course of action those who reveal this spirit make manifestwhat they would be in heaven if entrusted with responsibility.Testimonies to Ministers,pg.279,280.
  • 34. “Let no plans or methods be adopted in any of our institutions thatwill bind mind or talent under the control of human judgment; for thisis not in God’s order. God has given men talents of influence whichbelong to him alone, and no greater dishonor can be done to God thanfor one finite agent to bring another man’s talent under his absolutecontrol, even though the benefits of the same be used to the advantageof the cause. In such arrangements one man’s mind is ruled by anotherman’s mind, and the human agency is separated from God andexposed to temptation. Satan’s method tends to one end-make men theslaves of men. And when this is done, confusion and distrust,jealousies and evil surmisings, are the result. Such a course destroysfaith in God and in the principles which are to control, to purge fromguile and every species if selfishness and hypocrisy.”Testimonies to Ministers, pg.360,361.… “In each country a man should be appointed to work in the generalinterest of the cause. He need not be a preacher, and he must not be apolicy-man. He should be unselfish, a man who loves, who honors,and fears his God. His whole time should be devoted to the work. Heshould plan unselfishly, and in the fear of God. Let him be generalagent for that country, and let him be connected with a councilcomposed of the very best men, that they may counsel together, andattend to the work within their boarders.” Ibid. pg.321.
  • 35. “It is not in the order of God that any man, or any class of men, should assume thatGod has made them conscience for their brethren, or put forth their finite hand in apatronizing manner to control the Lord’s delegated workers,…God does not confineHimself to one man, or to a set of men, through whom to accomplish His work, butsays to all “Ye are laborers together with God”. This means that every believing soulshould have a part to act in his sacred work,…they should reveal a depth ofknowledge independent of human inventions…. Let not men prescribe laws to takethe place of God’s law. Never educate men to look to men, to trust inmen;”.Testimony to Ministers & Gospel Workers. Pg.208,209.“When counsel is given that conflicts with your own personal wishes, you are not tothink that your own wisdom is sufficient for you to give counsel to others, or thatyou can afford to neglect the counsel given…It would be well for you frankly to stateyour plans to your brethren, that you may know how they [plans] to them when seenfrom their standpoint;…Counsel together.”Ibid. Pg.315.…”We must bar the mind against counsel. In our plans for the carrying forward ofthe work, our mind must blend with other minds…It is a mistake to withdraw fromthose who do not agree with our ideas. This will not inspire our brethren withconfidence in our judgment. It is our duty to counsel with our brethren, and to heedtheir advice. We are not to seek their counsel, and when they give it, we are not tocast it away, as if they were our enemies. Unless we humble our hearts before God,we shall not know his will. Let us be determined to be in unity with our brethren.This duty God has placed on us. Ibid. pg.500.
  • 36. …. “The angels of God are in our world, and satanic agencies are here also. I ampermitted to see the inclination of certain ones to follow their own strong traits ofcharacter. If they refuse to yoke up with others who have had a long experience inthe work, they will become blinded by self-confidence, not discerning between thefalse and the true. It is not safe that such ones should stand in the position of leaders,to follow their own judgment and plans. It is those who accept the warnings andcautions given them who will walk in safe paths…Our ministers and leaders need torealize the necessity of counseling together with their brethren who have been longin the work, and who have gained deep experience in the ways of the Lord. Thedisposition of some to shut themselves up to themselves, and to feel competent toplan and execute according to their own judgment and preferences, brings them intostrait places. Such an independent way of working is not right, and should not befollowed….I am free to say to our brethren who with humility of heart are followingthe counsel of the Lord: if you know that God would have you engage in any work,go forward. Those who have the light and consciousness that God is leading need notdepend upon any human agent to define their work. They are to receive the counselof the highest Authority. Safety and peace and calm assurance are to be found onlyby following the counsel of the greatest Teacher that ever lived in our world. Let usnot turn away from his unerring counsel….Workers for Christ are to strive for unity.We are the children of the same family, and have one heavenly father. Let us not puton garments of heaviness, and cherish doubts and a lack of confidence in ourbrethren. ” Ibid. pg 501-502.
  • 37. “ the danger of one man controlling another, or indeed, one man looking to anotheras his guide and controller, has fearful consequences in terms of the judgment.Therefore, the divine counsel is to break every such yoke. I write thus fully, because Ihave been shown that ministers and people are tempted more and more to trust infinite man for wisdom, and to make flesh their arm. To conference presidents, andmen in responsible places, I bear this message: break the bands and fetters that havebeen placed upon God’s people. To you the word is spoken “break every yoke.”Unless you cease the work of making man amenable to man, unless you becomehumble in heart, and yourselves learn the way of the lord as little children, the Lordwill divorce you from his work. We are to treat one another as brethren, as fellowlaborers, as men and women who are, with us, seeking for light and understandingof the way of the Lord, and who are jealous for his glory. Testimonies toministers, pg.480,481.Lets see what the Scriptures has to say in this regard:Jer.10:23:- “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man thatwalketh to direct his steps.”Jer.17:5:- “Thus sayeth the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and makethflesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.”Psa.118:8:- “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”
  • 38. SummeryThe foundations of the past are brought to the present to educate thechurch and to take the church into the future to sound the finalmessage{the loud cry}, and to see Jesus’ return:Psa.11:3:- “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”[a] The early pioneers of the Advent truth are the righteous who areresponsible for foundations and pillars of Church Structure andGovernance:Pro.10:25:- “As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but therighteous is an everlasting foundation.”“We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work, who knew whatit cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored tolay the foundation of our work. They moved forward step by step underthe influence of the Spirit of God. One by one these pioneers are passingaway. The word given me is, let that which these men have written in thepast be reproduced…Let the truths that are the foundation of our faith bekept before the people…We are now to understand what the pillars of ourfaith are,--the truths that have made us a people, leading us on step bystep.”Counsels to Writers and Editors.pg.28,29.
  • 39. [b] The pattern of Church Structure and Governance as set up by Jesus is andwill always be the true foundation:Isa.28:16:- “Therefore thus sayeth the Lord God, behold, I lay in Zion{theChurch} for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a surefoundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”Acts.4:10-12: “Be it known unto you all, and unto all the people of Israel, that bythe name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raisedfrom the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.[11] Thisis the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the headof the corner.[12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none othername under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”[c] We are to be identified with they that rebuild the true Church Structure andGovernance foundations of the past:Isa.58:12,11:- “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places:thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt becalled, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.[11]And theLord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fatthy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water,whose waters fail not. ”
  • 40. [d] The truths of Jesus Christ are the only foundation that anyone can build onregarding the topic discussed{Organizional Structure and Church Governance}:1Cor.3:5-7,9-11: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom yebelieved, even as the Lord gave to every man?[6]I have planted, Apollos watered;but God gave the increase.[7]So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither ishe that watereth; but God that giveth the increase….[9]For we are laborers togetherwith God: you are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.[10]According to thegrace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid thefoundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how hebuildeth thereupon.[11]For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, whichis Jesus Christ.”“Let not those who have been placed in responsible positions think that God hasgiven them light to controvert the work of the faithful ones who have died in thefaith. God wrought through these old pioneers of the cause, and no voice or penshould be brought into action to demerit their labor, which was full of self-denialand self-sacrifice. Their works were wrought in God….To the church in___I wouldsay, “Your only safety lies in walking humbly with God.” Let each bear in mindthat he is a thread in the great web of humanity, to act a part with his brethren andsisters in church capacity. All are to earnestly seek to make an entire surrender toGod.”Manuscript Releases Vol.9, pg.133. Fin.