God Not Author Of Confusion

 

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

 

1Co_14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

 

1Pe 2:16  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

 

1 Cor 14:33 For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

 

Philipians 2:2        Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind. 

2:3    [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 

 

Ephesians 5:21     Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

 

Romans 12:9         [Let] love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

12:10          [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

 

Creation and order

God brought order out of confusion

 

Gen 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Gen 1:31  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

 

Psa 19:1  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

 

Isa 40:26  Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

 

Angels are orderly

Psa 103:20  Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

 

Heb 1:14  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

 

Angels work harmoniously. Perfect order characterizes all their movements. The more closely we imitate the harmony and order of the angelic host, the more successful will be the efforts of these heavenly agents in our behalf. If we see no necessity for harmonious action, and are disorderly, undisciplined, and disorganized in our course of action, angels, who are thoroughly organized and move in perfect order, cannot work for us successfully. They turn away in grief, for they are not authorized to bless confusion, distraction, and disorganization. All who desire the co-operation of the heavenly messengers must work in unison with them. Those who have the unction from on high will in all their efforts encourage order, discipline, and union of action, and then the angels of God can co-operate with them. But never, never will these heavenly messengers place their endorsement upon irregularity, disorganization, and disorder. All these evils are the result of Satan’s efforts to weaken our forces, to destroy courage, and prevent successful action.  {1T 649.2}

 

Order in the family

The rules God has given for the government of His church are the rules parents are to follow in the church in the home. It is God’s design that there shall be perfect order in the families on earth, preparatory to their union with the family in heaven. The usefulness of men and women in the church and in the home depends on the discipline and training they receive in the home life. {Ms49-1901}

 

They are doing God the highest service by presenting to the world well ordered, well-disciplined families, who not only fear the Lord, but honor and glorify Him by their influence upon other families; and they will receive their reward. {Ms27-1896}

 

Teach them neatness and order. If possible, teach both boys and girls how to cook and how to make themselves useful in every department of the home work. Encourage neatness and order. It is your duty so to fit them, that they will be capable in after years of caring for their own homes. {Ms60-1903}

 

But although these difficulties exist, will it abolish them to put an end to organization? I am sure that the Lord has wrought in the organization that has been perfected, and the fact that there are discouraging features in the work should not be thought a sufficient reason for disorganization. Much light was given to us in reference to the organization of churches, and yet we had a hard battle to fight in perfecting organization; but the victory was gained at last, and now shall the church be disorganized because of indifference, formality, and pride? Shall we go back to disorder because unconsecrated members of the church have placed upon the work the mould of man, and sought to fashion the church to meet a popular standard?  {CE 135.2}

 

Unity in the Body of Christ

Eph 4:1  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Eph 4:2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Eph 4:3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Eph 4:4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Eph 4:5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Eph 4:6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

 

1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

 

1Co 1:13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

 

 

For the edification of the church

 

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Eph 4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

Foundation of true organization

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

Isa 28:16  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

1Co 3:18  Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

 

Eph 4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

NECESSITY OF ORDER

It is nearly forty years since organization was introduced among us as a people. [THIS STATEMENT WAS MADE IN 1892.] I was one of the number who had an experience in establishing it from the first. I know the difficulties that had to be met, the evils which it was designed to correct, and I have watched its influence in connection with the growth of the cause. At an early stage in the work, God gave us special light upon this point, and this light, together with the lessons that experience has taught us, should be carefully considered. {CET 192.1}

 

Now, just now, is the time when the perils of the last days are thickening around us, and we need wise men for counselors, not men who will feel it duty to stir up and create disorder, but who cannot possibly give wise counsel and organize and arrange that every stirring up shall bring order out of confusion, and rest and peace in obeying the Word of the Lord. Let every man be found in his true place, to do some work for the Master, according to his several ability. . . .  {CL 27.3}

 

How shall this be done? “Take my yoke upon you,” saith Jesus Christ, who hath bought you with His own precious blood, whose servants and property you are, “and learn of Me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” If everyone will come to Jesus in a teachable spirit, with contrition of heart, then he is in a condition of mind to be instructed and to learn of Jesus and obey His orders. . . .  {CL 27.4}

Satan the disorganizer

 

O how Satan would rejoice if he could succeed in his efforts to get in among this people, and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential, and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings, and to refute claims not indorsed by the Word of God! We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of organization and order that has been built up by wise, careful labor. License must not be given to disorderly elements that desire to control the work at this time.–Gospel Workers, p. 487.  {ChS 75.5}

 

The Lord has shown me that gospel order has been too much neglected and feared. That formality should be shunned; but in so doing, order should not be neglected. There is order in heaven. There was order in the church when Christ was upon earth; and after his departure, order was strictly observed among his apostles. And now in these last days, while God is bringing his children into the unity of the faith, there is more real need of order than ever before. For as God is uniting his children, satan and his evil angels are very busy to prevent this unity, and to destroy it. Therefore men will be hurried into the field; men without wisdom, lacking judgment, perhaps not ruling well their own house, and not having order or government over the very few that God has given them charge of at home; yet they feel capable of having charge of the flock. They make many wrong moves, and all the messengers are thought, by those unacquainted with our faith, to be like these self-sent men; and the cause of God is reproached, and the truth shunned by many unbelievers, who would otherwise be candid, and anxious to inquire, Are these things so?  {ExV54 15.1}

 

Men, I saw, whose lives are not holy, who are unqualified to teach the present truth, enter the field without being acknowledged by the church or brethren generally, and confusion and disunion is the result. Some have a theory of the truth and can dwell upon argument, but lack spirituality, judgment and experience, and they fail in many things which is very necessary for one to possess before they can teach the present truth to others. Others have not the argument; but because a few brethren hear them pray well, and give an exciting exhortation now and then, press them into the field, to engage in a work that God has not qualified them for, and when they have not sufficient experience and judgment for the work. Spiritual pride comes in, and they are lifted up, and act under the deception of thinking that they are laborers. They do not know themselves. They lack sound judgment and patient reasoning. Talk boastingly of themselves, and assert many things which they cannot prove from the Word. God knoweth this, therefore he does not call such to labor in these perilous times. And brethren should be careful and not push out those into the field whom God has not called.  {ExV54 15.2}

 

These men, who are not called of God, are generally the very ones that are the most confident that they are so called, and that their labors are very important. They go into the field, and do not exert a good influence generally, yet in some places they have a measure of success, which leads individuals to think that they are surely called of God. I saw that it was not a positive evidence that men are called of God, because they have some success; for now the angels of God are moving upon the hearts of his honest children to enlighten their understanding as to the present truth, that they may lay hold upon it and live. And even if self-sent men put themselves where God does not put them, and profess to be teachers, and souls receive the truth by hearing them talk it, this is no evidence that they are called of God. The souls who receive the truth from them, receive it to be brought into trial and bondage, as they afterwards find that these men were not standing in the counsel of God.

 

Even if wicked men talk the truth, some may receive it; but it does not bring those who talked it, into any more favor with God. Wicked men are wicked men still. And according to the deception they practised, and as they deceived those who were beloved of God, and brought confusion into the church, so will their punishment be greater, and their sins will not remain covered, but will be exposed in the day of God’s fierce anger.  {ExV54 16.1}

 

These self-sent messengers are a curse to the cause. Honest souls put confidence in them, think that they are moving in the counsel of God, that they are in union with the church, and suffer them to administer the ordinances, to lead them down into the water and baptize them, as duty is made plain that they must do their first works; and then when light comes as it surely will, and they are aware that these men are not what they understood them to be, God’s called and chosen messengers, they are thrown into trial and doubt as to the truth they have received, and feel that they must learn it all over again, and are troubled, and perplexed by the enemy, about all their experience, whether God has led them or not, and are not satisfied until they are again baptized, and begin anew. And it is much more laborious, and wearing to the spirits of God’s messengers, to go into such places where those have been, who have exerted this wrong influence. God’s servants have to deal plainly, and not cover up wrongs, but act openly; for they are standing between the living and the dead, and must render an account of the faithfulness of their mission, and the influence they exert over the flock of which the Lord has made them overseers.  {ExV54 17.1}

 

NEW TESTAMENT MODEL OF ORGANIZATION

Mar 3:13  And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.

Mar 3:14  And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

Mar 3:15  And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

 

The first step was now to be taken in the organization of the church that after Christ’s departure was to be His representative on earth. No costly sanctuary was at their command, but the Saviour led His disciples to the retreat He loved, and in their minds the sacred experiences of that day were forever linked with the beauty of mountain and vale and sea.  {DA 291.2}

 

 

Jesus had called His disciples that He might send them forth as His witnesses, to declare to the world what they had seen and heard of Him. Their office was the most important to which human beings had ever been called, and was second only to that of Christ Himself. They were to be workers together with God for the saving of the world. As in the Old Testament the twelve patriarchs stand as representatives of Israel, so the twelve apostles were to stand as representatives of the gospel church.  {DA 291.3}

 

The book of Acts reveals the next phase in the organization of the church—the establishment of the New Testament model of church leadership. Soon after Christ’s ascension the apostles became overwhelmed by the demands of the fast-growing church in Jerusalem. To cope with the challenges confronting them, the apostles divided the leadership responsibilities in the local church into two major areas. Seven men were chosen to “serve tables” while the apostles confined themselves “to prayer and the ministry of the Word”

 

Act 6:2  Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

Act 6:3  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.

Act 6:4  But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

 

The disciples of Jesus had reached a crisis in their experience. Under the wise leadership of the apostles, who labored unitedly in the power of the Holy Spirit, the work committed to the gospel messengers was developing rapidly. The church was continually enlarging, and this growth in membership brought increasingly heavy burdens upon those in charge. No one man, or even one set of men, could continue to bear these burdens alone, without imperiling the future prosperity of the church. There was necessity for a further distribution of the responsibilities which had been borne so faithfully by a few during the earlier days of the church. The apostles must now take an important step in the perfecting of gospel order in the church by laying upon others some of the burdens thus far borne by themselves.  {AA 88.2}

 

Summoning a meeting of the believers, the apostles were led by the Holy Spirit to outline a plan for the better organization of all the working forces of the church. The time had come, the apostles stated, when the spiritual leaders having the oversight of the church should be relieved from the task of distributing to the poor and from similar burdens, so that they might be free to carry forward the work of preaching the gospel. “Wherefore, brethren,” they said, “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 the laying on of hands, seven chosen men were solemnly set apart for their duties as deacons.  {AA 89.1}

 

The appointment of the seven to take the oversight of special lines of work, 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 by their prudent management and their godly example they were an important aid to their fellow officers in binding together the various interests of the church into a united whole.  {AA 89.2}

 

That this step was in the order of God, is revealed in the immediate results for good that were seen. “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 ingathering of souls was due both to the greater freedom secured by the apostles and to the zeal and power shown by the seven deacons. The fact that these brethren had been ordained for the special work of looking after the needs of the poor, did not exclude them from teaching the faith. On the contrary, they were fully qualified to instruct others in the truth, and they engaged in the work with great earnestness and success.  {AA 89.3}

 

ELDERS

 

Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

 

The organization of the church at Jerusalem was to serve as a model for the organization of churches in every other place where messengers of truth should win converts to the gospel. Those to whom was given the responsibility of the general oversight of the church were not to lord it over God’s heritage, but, as wise shepherds, were to “feed the flock of God, . . . being ensamples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2, 3); and the deacons were to be “men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.” These men were to take their position unitedly on the side of right and to maintain it with firmness and decision. Thus they would have a uniting influence upon the entire flock.  {AA 91.1}

 

Later in the history of the early church, when in various parts of the world many groups of believers had been formed into churches, the organization of the church was further perfected, so that order and harmonious action might be maintained. Every member was exhorted to act well his part. Each was to make a wise use of the talents entrusted to him. Some were endowed by the Holy Spirit with special gifts–“first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:28. But all these classes of workers were to labor in harmony.  {AA 91.2}

 

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-12.  {AA 92.1}

 

Worship and church services

1Ti 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

 

1Co_14:33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

 

Music

Eph 5:19  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

 

Bible study

1Ti 4:13  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

 

Fellowship and breaking of bread

Act_2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

 

Prayer and ministry of the word

Act_6:4  But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

 

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