16. God’s Way of Organisation in the Sanctuary

By John Thiel, The Sanctuary Series, study 16, mp3

We are looking at the sanctuary and appreciating what the sanctuary actually depicts. We want to reignite our understanding as to what we are really doing in the study of the sanctuary, and what is the deep value of beholding the sanctuary.

Psalms 63:1 O God, thou [art] my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so [as] I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

In the sanctuary the power, glory and the character of God are seen. Our thirsting for Him, our understanding of Him can be wonderfully satisfied as we see him in His sanctuary,

Psalms 63:3 Because thy lovingkindness [is] better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

In every aspect of God’s character that we are looking for we will find it in the sanctuary because Psalms 77:13 says, Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary. “Thy way”, God’s way.

God’s Way

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God’s ways are higher than our ways, as the heavens are higher than the earth. This has to be governing our understanding when we look at the sanctuary so that we would expect nothing else but a way that is completely different to our comprehension, to our understanding. It is something that God has to reveal to us, and we need to submit to that. Because the ways that we can comprehend and the ways that seem right to us are actually ways of death in contrast to that way.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

As we pursue God’s ways we will find them in the sanctuary. And we have to expect that in the study of that it will be totally different to what is our natural way, because God’s ways are not our ways. In fact, as we look at the history of man and we look at our own life we become distracted because if we are going to follow God’s ways we find that we actually go through painful experiences. In Psalms 73, the Psalmist is in lamentation about following God’s way and is punishing himself in doing so and wondering where it’s all going to end:

I Was Envious at the Foolish

Psalms 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, [when] I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

He describes his envy at them because they seem to be doing so well, and he is in a state of punishment upon himself.

Psalms 73:12 Behold, these [are] the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase [in] riches. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart [in] vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

This is the experience of the believer. Then he says:

Psalms 73:16 When I thought to know this, it [was] too painful for me; 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; [then] understood I their end.

As we follow God’s way it feels like it’s not comfortable, it’s not right, because there is a way which seemeth right but the end thereof are the ways of death. These people who go the ways that seem right to them seem to be flourishing, and God’s people seem to be plagued, until we study the sanctuary and then we will see the end.

God’s Way in Church Government

The subject that we want to pursue at this present time is God’s way in the sanctuary in reference to the organisation of His government, and the organisation within the government itself. As the pioneers of this Advent message launched out, the key that unlocked their disappointment was the sanctuary. As they launched out in the sanctuary studies, they discovered a whole system of truth, connected and harmonious.

It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand had directed the great advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people. {GC 423.1}

The sanctuary presented present truth, and brought to light the position of God’s true people in the last days.

Now in the holy of holies they again beheld Him, their compassionate High Priest, soon to appear as their king and deliverer. Light from the sanctuary illumined the past, the present, and the future. {GC 423.1}

Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in His ministration there, new duties would be revealed. {GC 424.4}

New Duties

The duties, the life understandings would be revealed in the study of the sanctuary. We launch in this study in reference to what the Lord led them to understand and discover in reference to the organisation of God’s people and how they should function together. The earthly sanctuary was given to Moses. It was revealed to him as he was in the mount. It is very interesting that God is pointing out to him and saying, Make sure you do it according to the pattern,

Exodus 25:9 According to all that I show thee, [after] the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make [it]. 10 And they shall make an ark [of] shittim wood:

Moses makes an ark, and the ark actually represents the throne of God. That ark was put right into the most holy place.

Exodus 25:40 And look that thou make [them] after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.

Moses was shown the sanctuary, in the mount. There he saw the very throne room of heaven, and then he was to make the ark, the throne, the mercyseat, in which were the Ten Commandments. Before the Israel in the wilderness was laid the program of God’s government over Israel. The Hebrew sanctuary literally formed the headquarters’ organisation of these people. God was their King, He sat on the throne, and there it was in the sanctuary. That is why it was such a bizarre thing for them to say, We want a king like all other nations. Because in the sanctuary they had the throne. It was where their King sat, and from there all the government was to take place.


The sanctuary and the government of the Hebrews in the wilderness had everything to do with God’s organisation. Here is one form of organisation within this Hebrew system,

Deuteronomy 1:15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear [the causes] between your brethren, and judge righteously between [every] man and his brother, and the stranger [that is] with him.

Here you can see government as it was given to the Hebrews. Without going into all the detail of all the forms of government and leadership from the sanctuary itself, we read from Patriarchs and Prophets a beautiful summary of everything that was written in reference to how the Hebrews were to be organised:

By divine direction the tribe of Levi was set apart for the service of the sanctuary. In the earliest times every man was the priest of his own household. In the days of Abraham the priesthood was regarded as the birthright of the eldest son. Now, instead of the first-born of all Israel, the Lord accepted the tribe of Levi for the work of the sanctuary. By this signal honor He manifested His approval of their fidelity, both in adhering to His service and in executing His judgments when Israel apostatized in the worship of the golden calf. The priesthood, however, was restricted to the family of Aaron. Aaron and his sons alone were permitted to minister before the Lord; the rest of the tribe were entrusted with the charge of the tabernacle and its furniture, and they were to attend upon the priests in their ministration, but they were not to sacrifice, to burn incense, or to see the holy things till they were covered. {PP 350.1}

The Levitical government was delineated so that all of the tribes of Levi were directly related to the work of the sanctuary, the priests were to be taken from Aaron’s line, and there was the care and the responsibility and the organisation of the sanctuary. Everyone had their particular jobs to do.

The government of Israel was characterized by the most thorough organization, wonderful alike for its completeness and its simplicity. The order so strikingly displayed in the perfection and arrangement of all God’s created works was manifest in the Hebrew economy. God was the center of authority and government, the sovereign of Israel. Moses stood as their visible leader, by God’s appointment, to administer the laws in His name. From the elders of the tribes a council of seventy was afterward chosen to assist Moses in the general affairs of the nation. Next came the priests, who consulted the Lord in the sanctuary. Chiefs, or princes, ruled over the tribes. Under these were “captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens,” and, lastly, officers who might be employed for special duties. Deuteronomy 1:15. {PP 374.2}

The Hebrew camp was arranged in exact order. It was separated into three great divisions, each having its appointed position in the encampment. In the center was the tabernacle, the abiding place of the invisible King. Around it were stationed the priests and Levites. Beyond these were encamped all the other tribes. {PP 374.3}

To the Levites was committed the charge of the tabernacle and all that pertained thereto, both in the camp and on the journey. When the camp set forward they were to strike the sacred tent; when a halting place was reached they were to set it up. No person of another tribe was allowed to come near, on pain of death. The Levites were separated into three divisions, the descendants of the three sons of Levi, and each was assigned its special position and work. In front of the tabernacle, and nearest to it, were the tents of Moses and Aaron. On the south were the Kohathites, whose duty it was to care for the ark and the other furniture; on the north Merarites, who were placed in charge of the pillars, sockets, boards, etc.; in the rear the Gershonites, to whom the care of the curtains and hangings was committed. {PP 375.1}

The position of each tribe also was specified. Each was to march and to encamp beside its own standard, as the Lord had commanded: {PP 375.2}

This is a beautiful summary of God’s organisation. With that form of organisation, with the priests being the next ones down to actually minister and then the Levites to take care of the furniture and everything being organised perfectly, with these leaders and captains, but God being the king, there came an occasion when there was an uprising against all this.

Korah, Dathan and Abiram

Identify how they raised their resistance to this kind of government and how God in the sanctuary dealt with that.

Numbers 16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took [men]:  2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, [Ye take] too much upon you, seeing all the congregation [are] holy, every one of them, and the LORD [is] among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? 4 And when Moses heard [it], he fell upon his face: 5 And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will show who [are] his, and [who is] holy; and will cause [him] to come near unto him: even [him] whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.

In this government Moses reveals the mentality of God’s government. Here are these men who are themselves in position, princes. They themselves have leadership positions and they are raising their voices against certain leaders. What does Moses do? Instead of saying, I am the leader here, stop arguing, he fell on his face because he himself was subject to the King. He himself was not a person who would dictate to the others, who were themselves dictating to him. Moses said, The Lord will show us.

Numbers 17:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of [their] fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod. 3 And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod [shall be] for the head of the house of their fathers. 4 And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. 5 And it shall come to pass, [that] the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you. 6 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, [even] twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron [was] among their rods. 7 And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness. 8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.

Not only was it alive but it actually budded. This is how God rules. He convinces people. We notice that in consequence of this, a token of God’s order was made for all time;

Aaron’s Rod

Numbers 17:9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. 10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.

He said, You can all have your rods back, but Aaron lost his. Aaron’s rod was to go as a token in front of the testimony.

Hebrews 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein [was] the golden pot that had manna,

As we saw in the study on the health message in the sanctuary, that golden pot of manna was the token of the health reform message, and we are now looking at another token in the ark.

Hebrews 9:4 … and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

Inside of the ark there was the testimony, the manna and the rod of Aaron. As the manna represented the health reform in the sanctuary, the rod that budded was a representation, a token for anybody who would rebel against God’s government. It was given as a token, as a lesson to understand God’s form of government and organisation.

Like Korah and his companions, many, even of the professed followers of Christ, are thinking, planning, and working so eagerly for self-exaltation that in order to gain the sympathy and support of the people they are ready to pervert the truth, falsifying and misrepresenting the Lord’s servants, and even charging them with the base and selfish motives that inspire their own hearts. By persistently reiterating falsehood, and that against all evidence, they at last come to believe it to be truth. While endeavouring to destroy the confidence of the people in the men of God’s appointment, they really believe that they are engaged in a good work, verily doing God service. {PP 403.4}

Here is what we want to pursue and understand. In other generations after Korah, Dathan and Abiram, we need to get the correct perspective of those who are leaders like Korah and the two hundred and fifty men of renown were. They were great men who in their intelligent way were asserting that the leaders whom God had appointed were beneath them. That is the picture that was painted, and that would be a story running through the history of the world.

The Hebrews were not willing to submit to the directions and restrictions of the Lord. They were restless under restraint, and unwilling to receive reproof. This was the secret of their murmuring against Moses. Had they been left free to do as they pleased, there would have been fewer complaints against their leader. All through the history of the church God’s servants have had the same spirit to meet. {PP 404.1}

It is by sinful indulgence that men give Satan access to their minds, and they go from one stage of wickedness to another. {PP 404.2}

The story of God’s form of organisation has always been opposed throughout history just like Korah, Dathan and Abiram did. It is very interesting to see what a trick Satan plays on people in leadership positions. Let us carefully examine this. As God’s way is revealed in the sanctuary message, which was the very hub of all the organisation that goes on around it, we recall that it is a copy of heaven’s order, because the sanctuary was a copy of the heavenly. We turn our attention to the heavenly sanctuary and examine in heaven the decisions and the deliberations that were sent out from there to the universe. The execution of God’s counsel is in harmony with all the others that were in different positions of leadership.

What Happens in the Heavenly Sanctuary and At the Throne of God?

Here is a beautiful heavenly sanctuary depiction of what we saw in the Hebrew sanctuary.

Revelation 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and [one] sat on the throne. 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and [there was] a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

Here was the King.

Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne [were] four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.


Revelation 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and [there were] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Around the throne there were others with crowns.

Revelation 7:11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and [about] the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

In the heavenly sanctuary you can see many different individuals including the angels and they are all serving in the throne room of heaven, in the government of heaven. Among the angels are commanding angels which commanded others. There was the arch angel Michael, which was Jesus, and there were the other angels, who were leading angels, and Lucifer was one of those until he fell. God’s government in heaven is shadowed in the government of the Hebrews. And the shadow points us to the real. It is evident then that in Daniel, in the judgment message of 1844, you have exactly the same representation as the one which we were reading in Revelation. There are thrones plural:

Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down [set up], and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

This is the government of heaven.

Observe How God Rules

When God governs He has all these thrones around Him, and everybody is interacting together so that God’s government is thoroughly and efficiently carried out across the universe, including this planet. This is God’s government and how He rules from the heavens.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

Here you have a governmental meeting, a parliament. People from all the universe are coming. The sons of God were all coming around God to work out issues. Just like any parliament or organisation, the people who come from different places have to give their reports, and the time came for this planet earth to be represented. And Satan came also among them. Why is Satan there? Because he usurped the position of the son of God – Adam. So he had the right to be there in those counsels. Therefore he presents himself.

God says, Give your report, where are you coming from? I come from planet earth. As he reports where he comes from, God starts conversing with him about Job.

That is a simple representation of how God works. People have their kings in different places and they have to give reports and decisions are made. In the story of Job the decision was made to give Job a hard time, because Lucifer wanted to give him a hard time, and God said, Okay. Think about that. Lucifer, this ugly person, was given a rulership position on this planet, and God said, Do as you like, but don’t touch his life. He had his limitations but he could do it.

We now come across another interesting representation of how God governs in the throne room of heaven and how He uses every person’s position according to their understanding.

2 Chronicles 18:18 Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and [on] his left. 

This is just what we were reading about, that’s the throne room of heaven with the angels all around. And the Lord said, I’ve got a situation here.

2 Chronicles 18:19 And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?

I want Ahab to be killed. How are we going to do this?

2 Chronicles 18:19 … And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.

God is listening to all these suggestions that came from different representations.

2 Chronicles 18:20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?  21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And [the LORD] said, Thou shalt entice [him], and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do [even] so. 22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.

In God’s government He doesn’t dictate, He counsels, and He uses the counsel of even a lying spirit. Try to get your head around that. This is God’s government, because the people that are in position of trust have a freewill that He permits them to exercise. Then He pursues a path that is the best path to pursue according to the counsels that are there.

You have exactly the same thing when it comes to the work of governing the wicked during the thousand years.

The Saints Will Judge

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:

Isn’t it interesting that thrones were there and judgment was given to these people? They were in position of judgment.

Revelation 20:4 … and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

What were they doing? They were judging. They were judging the wicked in God’s government. God doesn’t just say, I’m going to this and I’m going to do that to the wicked, He says, Okay, now you judge. We are going to be judging angels and the wicked in God’s government. They reigned, and they governed together with Christ. According to this form of government, what do you observe? God is not a dictator. If He were a dictator it wouldn’t all take so long, would it? It’s taken thousands of years and it’s going to take another thousand years because in God’s form of government He is not a dictator, but He works together with everybody until everything is sorted out in His government, in the correct, painstaking way.

God’s people since 1844, as they studied the sanctuary, the way we are doing it here, discovered God’s heavenly order and it became clear to them in the course of their study.

Church Organisation

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. {TM 26.2}

Yet there was strong feeling against it among our people. The first-day Adventists were opposed to organization, and most of the Seventh-day Adventists entertained the same ideas. We sought the Lord with earnest prayer that we might understand His will, and light was given by His Spirit that there must be order and thorough discipline in the church–that organization was essential. System and order are manifest in all the works of God throughout the universe. Order is the law of heaven, and it should be the law of God’s people on the earth. {TM 26.3}

We see it in the sanctuary.

We had a hard struggle in establishing organization. Notwithstanding that the Lord gave testimony after testimony upon this point, the opposition was strong, and it had to be met again and again. But we knew that the Lord God of Israel was leading us, and guiding by His providence. We engaged in the work of organization, and marked prosperity attended this advance movement. {TM 26.4}

It was the God of the universe in whose precincts order was manifest, and He then imparted it to Israel. Now as Israel had failed in its position over the history, the Christian church comes along, it becomes organized, and there is disorganization among them, they still continued to organize but not according to God’s way. Then we come to the pioneers of this last hour message, and they were given the same order.

The organisation that they pursued was carefully researched and sought for under God’s direction and we have a very beautiful expression made by the very one who was very prominent in this work as they studied and worked together. He would be the best versed in the kind of organisation they entered into.

James White

James White is talking about the General Conference leadership of the church:

“In the fulfillment of the duties of their office, in taking the general supervision of the entire work, their strength is in so counseling with their brethren in the spirit of tenderness and love as to bind the hearts, of all the laborers to their hearts, and give room for the voice of the Holy Ghost, as was manifested in the days of the apostles. They should ever bear in mind that the head of every man is Christ. They may counsel with the State Conference Committees in reference to ministers laboring here or there, but should never direct. “The head of every man [every minister], is Christ.” The minister who throws himself on any Conference Committee for direction, takes himself out of the hands of Christ. And that Committee that takes into its own hands the work of directing the ambassadors for Christ, takes a fearful responsibility: “One is your Master [Leader], even Christ, and all ye are brethren.” Matt. 23:8. May God preserve to us our organization and form of church discipline in its original simplicity and efficiency.” {James White, Review and Herald, January 4,1881}

The original simplicity and efficiency was that or 1863. That was when they first organised at a General Conference, in 1863.

“Organization was designed to secure unity of action, and as a protection from imposture. It was never intended as a scourge to compel obedience, but, rather, for the protection of the people of God. … Human creeds cannot produce unity. Church force cannot press the church into one body. Christ never designed that human minds should be molded for Heaven by the influence merely of other human minds. “The head of every man is Christ.” {Ibid.}

This was the person who was directly responsible, under God’s guidance and with his brethren, to develop the organisation of original Adventism. That was a description of the organisation that we have just studied about, where not even God practises dictatorship, but where everybody counsels together. No dictatorship, force or coercion like that which is common among kings of this world, nothing like that.

The Lord will not accept the work of any man that is not done in tenderness and love and kindness. He has not set us as rulers, to lord it over His heritage. Let others be moved by Christ, just as we desire to be moved by Him. {UL 267.2}

What a profound statement. Others who are in positions of office, let the Lord move them just like we who are in positions of office, she says, are to be moved by Christ. Ellen White says exactly what James White says. Let others be moved by Christ. We are never to be set as rulers to lord it over His heritage.

Fierce Beasts

To Daniel was given a vision of fierce beasts, representing the powers of the earth. {4BC 1171.5}

The governors of the earth are represented as fierce beasts.

But the ensign of the Messiah’s kingdom is a lamb. While earthly kingdoms rule by the ascendancy of physical power, Christ is to banish every carnal weapon, every instrument of coercion. His kingdom was to be established to uplift and ennoble fallen humanity (Letter 32, 1899). {Ibid.}

They had to become kings and priests for the Lord, not dictated to and controlled. That is God’s idea. That is God’s government. We read again in reference to those beasts in contrast to the lamb.

The kingdom of Christ does not and cannot bear any resemblance to the kingdoms of the world. {21MR 152.4}

God’s ways are not your ways. There is a way which seems right to a man, to govern, but it’s the ways of death. There is no resemblance.

In the kingdom of Christ there is no instrument of coercion. In it force has no place. The gospel of Him who gave His life for the life of the world is a gospel of peace. It is the Saviour’s grace, His love, His tender compassion, that breaks every barrier down. The gospel is a power of itself, above all and encompassing all. It is a divine, immutable principle, as well-spring fed by the stream that flows from the throne of God. {Ibid.}

In God’s form of government it is the gospel that affects people so that they are to willingly obey someone by their own choice, and to be guided individually by the King.

It is God’s design that his church shall ever advance in purity and knowledge, from light to light, from glory to glory. “Whereunto,” asks he who is the first and the last, “shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?” He could not employ any of the kingdoms of the world as a similitude. In society he found nothing with which to compare it. Earthly kingdoms rule by the ascendency of physical power. But in Christ’s kingdom every carnal weapon, every instrument of coercion, is to be abolished. This kingdom is to be established to uplift and ennoble fallen humanity. Christ makes his church a beautiful temple for God. {RH, December 4, 1900 par. 3}

The sanctuary is God’s church, and this is where the true form of government comes from.

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name,” he declared, “there am I in the midst of them.” His church is the court of holy life, filled with varied gifts and endowed with the Holy Spirit. Appropriate duties are assigned by Heaven to the church on earth, and the members are to find their happiness in the happiness of those whom they help and bless. {Ibid.}

According to the gifts that God gives, this is the only way of ordering God’s church. No other way. As James White put it, You never dictate, you never force any person to work wherever he is to be working. That is all in harmony with what the Spirit of prophecy is saying. There is to be no dictation and no coercion. But the Christ in the one is to work together with the Christ in the other.

In striking contrast to the wrong and oppression so universally practised were the mission and work of Christ. Earthly kingdoms are established and upheld by physical force, but this was not to be the foundation of the Messiah’s kingdom. In the establishment of his government no carnal weapons were to be used, no coercion practised; no attempt would be made to force the consciences of men. These are the principles used by the prince of darkness for the government of his kingdom. His agents are actively at work, seeking in their human independence to enact laws which are in direct contrast to Christ’s mercy and loving-kindness. {RH, August 18, 1896 par. 2}

If you carefully follow you can see that this is what God’s true church, the court of God’s organisation, is to exemplify. That is God’s true church.

Earthly kingdoms rule by the ascendancy of physical power; but from Christ’s kingdom every carnal weapon, every instrument of coercion, is banished. This kingdom is to uplift and ennoble humanity. God’s church is the court of holy life, filled with varied gifts and endowed with the Holy Spirit. {AA 12.2}

Wonderful is the work which the Lord designs to accomplish through His church, that His name may be glorified. {AA 13.1}

His name, thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary, this is to be the church in God’s government.

How to Tell If A Church Is Apostate or Not

Justification by faith in Christ will be made manifest in transformation of character. {6BC 1071.1}

If people are truly justified in Christ it will be made manifest. The character will manifest it. And what will it manifest?

This is the sign to the world of the truth of the doctrines we profess. The daily evidence that we are a living church is seen in the fact that we are practicing the Word. A living testimony goes forth to the world in consistent Christian action. {Ibid.}

It declares to a world apostatized that there is a people who believe that our safety is in clinging to the Bible. This testimony is in unmistakable distinction from that of the great apostate church, which adopts human wisdom and authority in place of the wisdom and authority of God (Letter 83, 1896). {6BC 1071.2}

We have been studying what God’s wisdom and authority in the church is, and the apostate church practices something different. A church that exercises human wisdom and authority is apostate, and we see it vividly.

In God’s organisation, God’s method of work, everyone has their specific place as God has given it to them.

Christ was the invisible General of that company of more than a million people, and there were no haphazard, disorderly movements made. Order, dispatch, and exactitude were required of each one at the post of duty assigned him. {TMK 323.3}

No haphazard. Everyone was very particular in doing their work precisely.

This is an important lesson to the church and to every man whom God has chosen to act a part in His great work. No one is required to do another’s work. {Ibid.}

God has chosen each one with a different gift and that person with the gift that he is exercising is to do it so faithfully that everything will work to God’s glory, and no one is required to do another’s work. They all have their different task.

Each is to do the work assigned him with exactness and integrity. The management of that great church in their journeyings in the wilderness symbolizes the management of the church till the close of earth’s history, till we come into possession of the heavenly Canaan…. {TMK 323.3}

This will be the case until the heavenly Canaan because then it will continue according to that way. We are told under inspiration, let alone from what we read in the Bible, that no committee of small numbers were to dictate anything in any direction. There was to be no kingly power.

No Kingly Power

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. {8T 236.3}

That is God’s order. No one king among the men, just everyone doing their part and only one invisible General.

I have often been instructed by the Lord that no man’s judgment should be surrendered to the judgment of any other one man. Never should the mind of one man or the minds of a few men be regarded as sufficient in wisdom and power to control the work and to say what plans shall be followed. But when, in a General Conference, the judgment of the brethren assembled from all parts of the field is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered. {9T 260.1}

When you counsel among a large number, with a multitude of counsellors, and we are all thinking fairly well in tune, I can submit myself to that. That is God’s way.

At times, when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise plans and to restrict God’s work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God. But this is not saying that the decisions of a General Conference composed of an assembly of duly appointed, representative men from all parts of the field should not be respected. God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. The error that some are in danger of committing is in giving to the mind and judgment of one man, or of a small group of men, the full measure of authority and influence that God has vested in His church in the judgment and voice of the General Conference assembled to plan for the prosperity and advancement of His work. {9T 260.2}

When this power, which God has placed in the church, is accredited wholly to one man, and he is invested with the authority to be judgment for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed. Satan’s efforts upon such a man’s mind would be most subtle and sometimes well-nigh overpowering, for the enemy would hope that through his mind he could affect many others. Let us give to the highest organized authority in the church that which we are prone to give to one man or to a small group of men. (262) {9T 261.1}

When God’s people come together representing the whole field, that is God’s order when they counsel together. This form and doctrine of organisation, in the light of God’s way in the sanctuary, is the very truth that must never be lost. It is to be carried through until we enter Canaan. Notice when Ellen White had to meet this problem in the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, she had to make this statement:

Every truth that He has given for these last days is to be proclaimed to the world. Every pillar that He has established is to be strengthened. We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established. {2SM 390.1}

What was the foundation, in this subject? The organisation. That is why she says:

We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth.–Manuscript 129, 1905. {Ibid.}

What was the organisation that they were trying to establish? She wrote that in 1905. They were trying to put the president and the leaders in a position of government over their brethren, and she says, That is apostasy from the truth. When a church dictates to the minds and consciences of its members, that is apostasy from the truth. The commandments of God forbid that. When a church is apostatising we can no longer go along with it. God’s true church is manifested by the character of its members who submit themselves to the order that we have studied here.

This is God’s form of organisation as represented in the doctrine of the sanctuary.


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Posted on 13/09/2009, in Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, The Sanctuary (Series) and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. jacqueline zarate saysayen

    Every truth that He has given for these last days is to be proclaimed to the world. Every pillar that He has established is to be strengthened. We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established. We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth.–Manuscript 129, 1905. {2SM 390.1}

    Notice what it said… we cannot now enter into any new organization. . this is referring to the Kellog crisis of 1905 where Kellog and other members of the church went out of the SDA church and formed another organization.

    “In visions of the night, representations passed before me of a a great reformatory movement among God’s people.. there seems to be a reformation such as we witnessed in 1844. ” Testimonies vo. 9 p 126.

    “Reformation signifies a reorganization,a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices.” Selected messages vol 1 p128.

    Sister White’s vision shows us that there is going to be a reorganization. not of individual thoughts and characters only but of the whole system of government.

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