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The Advent Movement | Survey 4

“And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness.” – Deuteronomy 8:2

“Moses gave them these words near the end of the exodus movement.  They were to do what?   Remember.  Remember what?  The way God had led them.  How much of it?  All of it.   Remember all the way the Lord thy God lead thee.  And so the Lord’s messenger echoes this in the wonderful statement in Testimonies to Ministers”:

In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God!  As I  see what God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and  with confidence in Christ as leaderWe have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us. – Testimonies to Ministers, pg. 31

Now if we forget the way the Lord has led us then we have something to fear.  You find a similar statement in the other reference, Life Sketches. There it says:

We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us and His teaching in our past history. – Life’s Sketches, pg. 196

“So there is a teaching of the Lord in the way He has led this people and we are to study the way He has led this people, and from it learn lessons as we complete the journey from the midnight cry of 1844 to the open gates of the city of God just ahead.”

“Now in our study*, I want to study with you especially the development of organization among Seventh-day Adventists.  Beginning with the 1844 date and coming on through the history of the movement, we find that the early years of this movement were  largely taken up with bringing together the various truths that constitute the three-fold message. We’ve studied that in our first three lessons.  That occupies roughly the first decade.”

“By early1850s the doctrines of this message were quite well understood, and had been brought together in a great chain of truth, clear and connected, as the Lord’s messenger speaks of it; the coming of Christ, the sanctuary with the work of Jesus in the two apartments, the investigative judgment, the binding claims of the law of God, the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, the testimony of Jesus (which is the Spirit of Prophecy), the state of the dead, and the three angels’ messages of Revelation chapter 14 – as the special truth of God for this time.  All of those things had been brought together and were commonly accepted by the group that later developed into the organization we know now as the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

“Although, (as we come into the 1850s) those truths had been brought together, there was still no organization.  There was still no church as we think of a church today.  There was no publishing house, as we know it today.  There was a struggling little publishing work that James White and a few brethren with him were carrying, we might say, as a personal enterprise for there was no church organization.  There was no plan for the support of the ministry.  Tithing, as we know it today, was unknown.  There were no conference headquarters, and presidents and secretary-treasurers.  There were no local churches organized, as we know them today.  They spoke of themselves as the scattered flock or the remnant, or sometimes as the Sabbath-keeping Adventists.”

Now, there was not only a lack of organization, there was on the part of a number, a settled  feeling against any organization.  This is well summed up by James White in Early Writings, page 97, in a footnote:

The Adventists [those that accepted the first angel’s message] were of all churches, and at first they had no idea of forming another church.  After 1844 there was great confusion, and the majority were strongly opposed to any organization, holding that it was inconsistent with the perfect liberty of the gospel. – Early Writings, pg. 97

“So you see, they were not only not organized, many of them thought that they shouldn’t be.  I was quite interested in the way George Storrs put it.  He was a leading Adventist minister in the second angel’s message, and the midnight cry of 1844; never a Seventh-day Adventist, but one of those in the Miller movement.  Writing in the “Midnight Cry” of February 15, 1844, he said”:

“Take care that you do not seek to organize another church.  No church can be organized by man’s invention but what it becomes Babylon the moment it is organized. The Lord organized His own church by the strong bonds of love.   Stronger than that cannot be made.  And when such bonds will not hold together the professed followers of Christ, they cease to be his followers and drop off from the body as a matter of course.” – Midnight Cry, February 15, 1844

This statement I am reading, I have taken from Loughborough’s book, The Great Second Advent Movement, pg. 344. We read this to give us the background of the thinking.  A number of them thought they had come out of Babylon in coming from the various Protestant churches in 1844.  Now if  anyone brought up the idea perhaps they needed more of an organization, “No, no, we got out of that. We got out of that bondage.  We got out of Babylon.  We’re free.”  They were “free” and they had all the, shall I say the advantages and disadvantages of that. Now as the result of that lack of organization various problems began to appear.  For example, if there is no organized church, then who constitutes the duly appointed ministry?   Who speaks for the church?  Who has the right to teach?  Who has the right to baptize?  Who has the right to administer the ordinances?  Whom should the church support?  You can all see that those are very practical questions.

“Did Jesus command His church to go teach and baptize?  Well now the question is, who is going to baptize?  Is everybody going to baptize, anybody that teaches somebody the truth,  are they to baptize them?  And about the ordinances.  Jesus said that as often as ye eat this  bread and drink this cup you show the Lord’s death till He come.  Can anybody simply give somebody else a cup of the wine and a piece of bread and say now we are having the  communion?  Those you can see are very practical questions.

“As you study this chapter in Early Writings, beginning on page 97, you will note that they were having some of these problems.  Notice at the bottom of 97, Sister White is writing (well we will just scan down through that first page).  She speaks of the importance of order.   There is order in heaven.  There was order in the church when Christ was on earth.  There was order when the apostles had the early church.”

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. Early Writings, pg. 97

“Oh, how beautifully God has guided His people through this prophetic gift.  What did she point out was the need?  Order.  The date of this is 1853.  You see approximately ten years after the disappointment.  Still they were without order.”

“Running ahead of our study a little, it took nearly another ten years to get the organization fully established.  In fact, it was just ten years from the publication of this testimony that the General Conference was organized in 1863 – ten years of earnest work by James White and  Ellen White and others to get the system of organization established.  That was due to a great extent to the great prejudice against organization; the fear that in organizing they would become what?  Babylon and get in bondage.  So God spoke from heaven through this gift as well as leading the minds of His people to the Bible.”

 

–The Fruits Of A Lack Of Order–

As God unites His children, Satan and his evil angels are very busy to prevent this unity and to destroy it.  Therefore men are hurried into the field who lack wisdom and judgment” Early Writings, pg. 97

After pointing out the need of order now as never before, Sis. White goes on to describe some of their lack.  But now watch.  What was Satan doing?  He was causing men to be what?  Hurried into the field.  Satan would move upon people to go out and start teaching and preaching.  Well, don’t laborers need to be hurried into the field?  Apparently while the Lord may move upon some people to go into the field, does Satan move upon some?  Yes! Now the question is, who is to decide?  There is the thing you need to have in your mind as you study the development of these ten years.

Men whose lives are not holy and who are unqualified to teach the present truth enter the field without being acknowledged by the church or the brethren generally, and confusion and disunion are the result. – Early Writings, pg. 97

“Now what brings confusion and disunion?  Men entering the field without being what?   Acknowledged by the church and the brethren generally.  That was what was happening back there.  Then she presents several classes of workers.  Some, she said, could present the argument of the truth but they lacked judgment, and spirituality, and experience.  Others she said didn’t even have the argument.  They couldn’t even present the doctrines of the truth very well.  But, because they could pray and exhort with quite a bit of enthusiasm, why some brethren suggested that they would make good preachers.  So forthwith they went out to preach; so near the middle of page 98 at the end of that paragraph, she says”:

Brethren should be careful not to push those out into the field whom He has not called. –  Early Writings, pg. 98

“So apparently some of these men that God hadn’t called had some brethren that supported them and encouraged them.  Is that clear from this?  Well that would only add to the confusion, wouldn’t it?  Yes, alright.”

“Now in the next paragraph you notice that some of them had a measure of success.  But Sister White points out that it is not a positive evidence that men are called of God because they have some success.”

“These self-sent messengers are a curse to the cause.” – Early Writings, pg. 99

Were they trying to preach the third angel’s message?  Yes.  But they were a what?  Curse.   Who sent them?  They sent themselves.

“Then she goes on and says that honest souls accept the truth under their labors, and allow them to baptize them and to administer the ordinances.  Then later they see that these men are not sent of God, and it puts them into a great confusion.  And finally it says, they are not satisfied until they are again baptized and begin anew.  Sister White points out that it was more wearing for the true messengers of God to go over the ground and bring these people in right and get them ready all over again, than it would have been to do the thing in the first place without these self-sent messengers being in the way.”

Now, another important problem, page 100, the first paragraph.  What’s the danger?  What’s the danger in that first paragraph on page 100?  The danger of some folks doing what?   Traveling, whom God has not called:

Again the danger of those traveling whom God has not called,  was shown me. – Early Writings, pg. 100

“Do you suppose they thought it was the thing to do to go here and there and teach and preach. Well, if people listened to them and received them, and some accepted the truth under their labors, wasn’t that evidence that they were called of God?  Then notice how the Spirit of  Prophecy lays the responsibility back upon the church in this whole matter of who are to teach and who are to travel for the church.  Watch, the last two sentences”:

If unmistakable evidence is not given that God has called them, and that the ‘woe’ is upon them if they heed not this call, it is the duty of the church to act and let it be known that these persons are not acknowledged as teachers by the church. This is the only course the church can take in order to be clear in this matter, for the burden lies upon them. – Early Writings, pg. 100

“I want to ask you something, then. In the history of this movement, historically, who was it that told the Seventh-day Adventist Church to get together and organize and decide who should speak for the church and who shouldn’t?  Who was it that did that?  Why Jesus in Heaven sent the message down from Heaven.  Now that’s a very important fact in the history of this denomination.  It is one of these great way-marks we are studying.”

I saw that this door at which the enemy comes in to perplex  and trouble the flock can be shut. – Early Writings, pg. 100

What was this door?  How did the enemy come in to perplex and trouble the flock?  Why unsent, unauthorized false teachers or not necessarily teaching false, but not good representatives were coming in, traveling around.

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’. – Early Writings, pg. 100

“Who must flee? The church. They must flee and become established upon what? Gospel order. Now you notice the angel said they were to flee to what? God’s Word. You see how in harmony with our last lesson the work of the Spirit of Prophecy is to exalt what? The Bible, to point to the Bible, to lead people to study the Bible and follow what the Bible says. By the way, does the Bible teach gospel order? Did Jesus organize His church? Did He ordain twelve men and send them out? Yes. Did He instruct them to appoint others? When certain needs arose, did that group of apostles call for the appointment and ordination of deacons? Yes! Did everyone back there in the church baptize? Why? Did Jesus make provision for some people being added to the church and some people being dropped from the church? Is that in Matthew 18? Did Paul tell Titus that he was to ordain elders in every city?”

“So you look at the New Testament and you see gospel order. You see an organized church with power to add to its membership and drop from its membership, (That’s in the Bible, isn’t it?) with power to elect officers and arrange for the ordination of those officers, with authority to celebrate the sacraments, to administer baptism and the Lord’s supper. There are some of the great basic elements of gospel order.”

“Now you notice in this vision, the angel told the Lord’s messenger how this door through which problems were coming in among God’s people could be what? I saw how this door could be shut. Do you think it ought to be shut, friends? What do you think? Do you think it ought to be shut? This is a shut door friends, as a blessing.”

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. – Early Writings, pg. 100

“There you have it. Then she goes ahead and reviews the order of the apostolic church. The brethren chose men who had given good evidence they could rule their own house and preserve order in their own families. Then on the top of page 101, they inquired of God about these, and according to the mind of the church and the Holy Ghost, they were set apart by the laying on of hands.”

Now watch. Oh, this is so important, friends. And remember this is the instruction that came to God’s remnant church back here in 1853 that resulted in laying the foundations of the great organization which now covers this work.

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. – Early Writings, pg. 101

“Now I want to ask you, in the light of that could a person who really believes in the inspiration of the Spirit of Prophecy doubt the fact that God laid the organizations of this movement? Could he? No. And in the light of this, could one who really believes in the inspiration of the Spirit of Prophecy allow just anybody to go out and teach and baptize and administer the ordinances? Why that would be directly opposite to this chapter, wouldn’t it? Because that lack of order was the very thing that called forth this vision and this testimony.”

I saw that we are no more secure from false teachers now than they were in the apostle’s day… We have their example and should follow it. Brethren of experience and of sound minds should assemble, and following the Word of God and the sanction of the Holy Spirit, should, with fervent prayer, lay hands upon those who have given full proof that they have received their commission of God, and set them apart to devote themselves entirely to His work. This act would show the sanction of the church to their going forth as messengers to carry the most solemn message ever given to men. – Early Writings, pg. 101

“So back in 1853, they needed the same security that they had in the apostles’ day. Did you ever hear of men being called messengers? Is that a good Bible expression? Yes. But notice here that God calls upon His church to unite with the Lord in recognizing who are to go forth as what? Messengers. And if men won’t wait for that, then there is great danger that the same situation that called forth this testimony might develop. Is that clear?”

Now there were other reasons for bringing in organization. These reasons are well summed up in Testimonies to Ministers, page 26, one paragraph here:

As our numbers increased, it was evident that without some form of organization there would be great confusion. – Testimonies to Ministers, page 26.

What happens without organization? Confusion. What’s another name for confusion? Babylon. Isn’t it interesting, back there, some of the believers were afraid of organizing for fear they would become what? Babylon. But the truth of the matter is without some form of organization there would be Babylon. Is that right? An interesting statement on that before I finish that paragraph, you will find in Volume 1, page 270″:

“August 3, 1861, I was shown that some have feared that our churches would become Babylon if they should organize; but those in central New York have been perfect Babylon, confusion. And now unless the churches are so organized that they can carry out and enforce order, they have nothing to hope for in the future; they must scatter into fragments.” – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1, pg. 270

 

–The Purposes of Organization–

It took just about a decade of the most earnest work to help our people to see the great importance of thorough organization. So, what are the various purposes of organization?

As our numbers increased, it was evident that without some form of organization there would be great confusion and the work would not be carried forward successfully to provide for the support of the ministry, for carrying the work in new fields, for protecting both the churches and the ministry from unworthy members, for holding church property, for the publication of the truth through the press, and for many other objects, organization was indispensable. – Testimonies to Ministers, pg. 26

“So this list doesn’t cover the whole thing, because she says, “many other objects.” But notice as she lists these. Here is one, two, three, four, five great objects of organization. The first was to provide for the what? Support of the ministry. That’s right. Now watch this. Who is it that provides for the support of the ministry? The church. Is that the plan we have today? Who gave us the plan? God did. Alright. But now notice, if the plan is for every minister to simply go around and give his message and let those that feel impressed pass him tithes and offerings, do we need any organization? Oh no, that’s not organization is it? And one purpose of church organization was to prevent that very thing, to provide for the support of the ministry in a properly organized way.”

“What was the second purpose? For carrying the work in new fields. What do we call that? Missions, that’s right, missions – home missions and foreign missions. Is it a fact that under this wonderful organization that God has given the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the church has been able to go out and enter one new field after the other all over the world. Isn’t it wonderful that when we give our offerings here on Sabbath in the Sabbath school, and when we go out and raise ingathering money, turn that in through the regular channels and that even when we pay our tithe, because part of the tithe goes to open up work in new fields – in all those ways through our mission offerings and our tithe we are helping to support the work in Africa, India, South America, and all parts of the world. Isn’t that wonderful, friends?”

“Now what was the third purpose? For protecting both the churches and the ministry from unworthy members. How does church organization protect the church against unworthy members? Why suppose here comes a man from Texas or Michigan or California and he says, “I am a Seventh-day Adventist,” and he wants to associate with the believers here. What is the thing that he does and that we do to protect the church from unworthy members? Why we say, “Brother, if that is so, shall we ask our clerk to send to your clerk back there,” and ask for what? A letter? A letter of recommendation, a letter of commendation. And do we put that brother into office and start him teaching the Sabbath school class before we get that? Not if we understand church organization. No. Because we may find somebody that ran before he was sent, mightn’t we? That’s right. Do you see how church organization helps protect the church from unworthy members? Why yes and oh, how glad we ought to be.”

“Now, before we go any further with this study I want to ask you something, friends. Do you think that church organization is perfect? Do you think it always functions perfectly? I wonder why. Well, because people aren’t perfect. Is that right?”

“I want to ask you another question. Do you think family government always functions perfectly? Do you think it would be a good plan to just do away with family government because there are so many faulty families? Do you think so? Would that be the way to deal with it? Why no. Did it ever happen that some child got abused in a family? Did it ever happen that in some homes the children were allowed to run the streets and didn’t have enough supervision? But because of those faults and extremes of indulgence on the one hand or abuse and force on the other, we do not set aside family government, do we? No.”

So even though church government through the ages and even among the remnant hasn’t always been perfect, still we recognize that God is the one who established it. And that is what we are studying this evening, how He established it and why He established it.

We have seen how the church may protect itself from unworthy members. Now how does organization protect the ministry from unworthy members? You remember what we read here in Early Writings? Sister White says that:

Brethren of experience and of sound mind should assemble and following the word of God and the sanction of the Holy Spirit, should, with fervent prayer, lay hands upon those who have given full proof that they have received their commission of God, and set them apart to devote themselves entirely to His work. This act would show the sanction of the church to their going forth as messengers. – Early Writings, pg. 101

“What do we call that? Ordination. Who decides who is ordained? The church decides that. It isn’t that a man says, “Well I think the Lord has called me, so it is time for me to be ordained.” No. The church decides that in its organized capacity, and that’s to protect the ministry from what? Unworthy persons. But now watch. Can a church that grants authority to preach and teach and baptize, can it withdraw that? Well if it can’t, could it protect the ministry from unworthy persons? Why no, not at all. So our conferences provide for the review of those credentials from time to time. And notice that’s not only a privilege the church has, it’s a what? A duty, and as church members we are to recognize that.”

“I was interested in this chapter on organization in the Great Second Advent Movement. At the beginning (I say at the beginning, I don’t mean at 1844, but during this developing period before the church was formerly organized), there was such a crying need for some form of giving some measure of respect and authority to those that were recognized, that Joseph Bates and James White, simply signing the cards as leading ministers, gave what we would now call credentials to those who were recognized, shall I say by them, as being worthy of the confidence of the church. But later, of course, when the conference was organized then it was carried on in a more organized way, and the credentials were renewed every year.”

Now going back to our statement in Testimonies to Ministers. What was the next purpose? For holding church property. Think of the millions upon millions of dollars invested in church property today. But back there when that was one of the great reasons for organizing, so they could hold church property you will find as you read the interesting chapter on “Organization” in Spalding’s book, Captains of the Host, (those of you who have access to that) that some of the brothers, they said, “Well, God can take care of His property all right.” When it was pointed out that James White legally owned the publishing house there in Battle Creek and, according to the laws of inheritance, if he should die suddenly, his little children would be the legal heirs, and nothing could be done about it until they got to be of legal age, even that didn’t phase some of the men who were opposed to organization. They said the Lord could look after that.

“But now I want you to notice the comment of the Spirit of Prophecy on that attitude. Turn to Volume 1. Those who were farsighted, they not only saw the need for owning church property, but insuring church property. But again, there were those who said, “Well, the Lord will take care of things.” Here was a vision of December 23, 1860, and I want you to study Volume 1, pages 210 to 213. We will just notice a few points here”:

Matters pertaining to the church should not be left in an unsettled condition. Steps should be taken to secure church property for the cause of God. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1, pg. 211

Who was it that told us to organize so that church property could be held? Why Jesus told us. Alright. Notice also another reason for this was so that people could in their wills leave property to the church. She goes on:

Steps should be taken to secure church property for the cause of God, that the work may not be retarded in its progress, and that the means which persons wish to dedicate to God’s cause may not slip into the enemy’s ranks. I saw that God’s people should act wisely, and leave nothing undone on their part to place the business of the church in a secure state. Then after all is done that they can do, they should trust the Lord to overrule these things for them. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1, pg. 211

When are we to trust the Lord? When we do all that we can do. I want to give you a text on that. Psalms 127:1. This verse may be applied to a literal house, or it may be applied to the house of God which is the church:

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. – Psalms 127:1

“We don’t need a watchman then, anywhere, the Lord will take care of things. Is that what this teaches? Why if it does, then the first part means we don’t need any builders, brother, because the Lord will take care of the building too, won’t He? We know that we’ve got to build buildings, and yet God must work with us or it is all in vain. Can it all be swept away? Yes.”

“So in building the church or in building a literal building, we must do all we can, and then what? Trust to God. See how God was trying to teach His people these lessons back there in 1853, 1854, and on through the 1850s and the early 1860s, teaching them the importance of good solid building. Alright, to secure church property, holding church property. Now what was the last thing mentioned in this paragraph? For the publication of the truth through the press, organization was indispensable. And so in 1860 and 1861, our publishing work was organized as the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association there in Battle Creek. And the ownership passed from James White over into the hands of a legally incorporated organization. Also, the Michigan conference was organized in 1861 and just two years later, in May of 1863, the General Conference was organized, and our work was well on its way. Thus during these ten years these different things were taken care of.”

 

–A System of Organization–

“Now as the work grew larger and larger the General Conference could not look after all the details of the dozens and scores of local conferences. So the next step naturally was to organize those local conferences into union conferences. This was beginning to be worked out in the late 1890s and was finally developed in the General Conference of 1901.”

“As far as organization is concerned, the two great conferences are the beginning conference of 1863 and the reorganization conference of 1901. If you have access to Spaulding’s book, Christ’s Last Legion, you will be interested in reading the chapter in there on the great conference of 1901. We may have time and opportunity later in this series to study that conference. It’s a very important conference. But that’s running ahead of our subject [right now], but I just mentioned it to bind off this thought that God gave us a system of organization back there in the 1850s and 1860s, that has stood the test of time. And with the addition of union conferences in 1901, it is the plan we follow today.”

Now, I want to read you a very interesting summing up of our simple system of organization that Sister White, herself, gives us here in Volume 8:

God has not set any kingly power in the Seventh-day Adventist Church to control the whole body or to control any branch of the work. He has not provided that the burden of leadership shall rest upon a few men. Responsibilities are distributed among a large number of competent men. Every member of the church has a voice in choosing officers of the church. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 8, pg. 236

… Now, I want to ask you something.  If you were the devil, what would you do about it?    Well, I will tell you what he does about it:

Oh 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 endorsed by the word of God! – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 9, pg. 258

“Now what is it Satan would like to do and would rejoice if he could do it? He would like to  get in among this people.  If you were the devil and were going to try to get in among this  well organized people, friends, would you come with hoofs and horns and a spiked tail?  Would you, friends?  No. Jesus said that the false prophets would come in what kind of  clothing?  Sheep’s clothing.”

“And back there, remember in this chapter on gospel order, it wasn’t just those that taught  heresy.  There were those that thought they were teaching the message.  But she said they were self-sent.  Some of them didn’t have the proper gifts.  Some of them didn’t know how to  present the arguments.  Some of them had the arguments, but they had other weakness.”

“God laid upon the church the responsibility for seeing to it that things were done decently and  in order, but Satan is trying to break down that organization.  I wonder if he quit back there in the 1850s.  I wonder if, when the organization was effected in 1863, if Satan got his angels together and said, “It’s too bad.  We failed in that.  We will just have to write that off.”  Do you think he did?  Oh, no, for this is written, my dear friends, clear on down here in 1909.   That’s long after 1863.  Clear down there Satan was still trying to get in among this people and disorganize the work. Now I want to tell you something, friends.  He didn’t stop when the prophet died.  No.  He didn’t stop last year.  He is working on it again this year.”

Some have advanced the thought that as we near the close of  time every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 9, pg. 258

Have you ever heard the thought advanced that organization was alright back there, but as we get near the end, we won’t have it.  But this covers that.  “But”… that’s the very next word:

But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man’s being independent. –Testimonies for the Church,  Volume 9, pg. 258

“Now, it’s true, friends, and the next page 259 points it out, that there is danger that organization will be abused.  That’s true and we need to guard against that.  Organization was never meant to be a yoke of bondage.  The Roman Catholic church has carried organization  way to one extreme, and become a dictatorial tyranny.  God has warned us against following in the track of Romanism.  But that isn’t what I am studying today.  I am studying this beautiful experience that God led His people into through the gift of prophecy and through Bible study, developing a simple, practical organization…”

“Oh, I pray that as a result of this little study, God may have given us all an appreciation of this organization, and we will want to support it and not feel that now is the time to tinker with it or tamper with it or set it aside, or put our hands on the ark because we think something might not be just the way it should be…”

Dear Lord, we thank Thee for Thy church, organized and we pray that we shall ever uphold the church that Thou hast established, and share in her final triumph.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen!

 

-Continue on to the next study-

_______
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee