God’s Ways of Administration

By John Thiel, Audio: God’s Ways of Administration

God’s ways are not mans way and vice versa and those in position of leadership and membership in this administration must understand God’s way.  In this study we examine him and his way. Recall the studies ‘Gravity and Gods Government of Love’ and another entitled ‘Leadership in God’s Church’.  In those studies we highlighted that Gods church and his realm is a kingdom which has rulers to which some are to be submissive to right to the very point of the realm of you own monarchy of you own body that your brain is to be your will monarch of you destiny. In the study of these subjects we highlight that in Gods church realm is a kingdom which has rulers to which some are to be submissive to right to the very point of the realm of your own monarchy, of your own body, that your brain is to be your will.  Your will is to be the monarch of your destiny.  In God’s kingdom from the kingdom of a person’s own individuality to the kingdom of God overall there is to be a government of love, freewill submission that is not coerced or forced.

I have found because of man’s ways around us in regards to government and leadership it is important to repeat this subject to understand God’s clear pristine way of administrating in his kingdom because we are so accustomed to mans ways it is hard for us to remember the detail in our application.  We are so easily swayed and swamped by man’s way we need to remind ourselves of God’s way so different to what we are accustomed to. Because God is a God of justice and terrible majesty, Satan caused them to look upon Him as severe and unforgiving. Thus he drew men to join him in rebellion against God, and the night of woe settled down upon the world.  {DA 21.3}

Satan has managed to contort the picture.

The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. {DA 22.1}

Satan claimed to have government over this planet.  All the kingdoms were for him to impart to j or to who he will as he said to j. This is the misapprehension that government control is arbitrarily engaged in.  Lucifer gave us that picture and we are still in danger of falling under that and so it is imperative that we remind ourselves constantly how Gods way is to be enacted in administrating authority. Jesus had trouble communicating the principle because in human minds government and control is so affected by the kingdoms of this world.

Mark 4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

Can we see Jesus here trying to communicate something and he says how can compare it for you, how can I illuminate you.

When Christ was on this earth, He sought in vain for something with which to compare His kingdom. “Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God,” He said, “and with what comparison shall I compare it?” He who is the Wisdom of God seemed to hesitate, embarrassed. There was nothing in earthly governments which He could use as a means of comparison. Society contained no fitting symbol of His church.  {21MR 152.3}

And yet we who are living on this planet often used comparisons of government in the church with the governments of the world but Jesus could not do that because he knew there was nothing on this earth that could illustrate his way of government on this earth. He was embarrassed, He seemed to hesitate to try and get this across.  But in his words to the disciples we can pick up the exact description of what he meant to communicate. Here Jesus expressed himself from the heart which he understood and wanted us to understand because in the government and in the Jewish church there were these leaders and rulers of the church.  What did he say in reference to them so we don’t follow in their example?

Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren.

The word Rabbi simply means teacher, in other words we submit ourselves to you as our teacher but don’t be called Rabbi’s. Here is the clear revelation of what it means Jesus is like in his kingdom, in the rulership and administration of his church – all ye are brethren.

Matthew 23:9 And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, [even] Christ.

23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Here Jesus is delineating the way of God in the administration of his church.  One is your master and all ye are brethren.  If there is anybody who is to be ruler in God’s church what is he to be?  In action he is not to rule in authority he is to be a servant. Jesus qualifies the fine tuning of understanding of Gods ways of administration.

Mathew 20:25 But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

Notice now he makes a comparison and he uses it as non-valued.

Matthew 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

He who is the head of God church how does he represent himself?  Even as the son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give his life a ransom of many.  That is to behaviour of leadership in God’s church even as Jesus did.  He did not come to administer rulership as the mindset of every human being is.  He came to minister to us to give his life a ransom.  What a mediation here to understand God’s way.

1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

5:3 Neither as being Lords over [God’s] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

The chief shepherd and you are all under shepherds.  What did he say?  You do not rule as the princes but as ensamples to the flock – the flock of sheep.  How does the shepherd appear to sheep and the sheep which follow him? In today’s society how do they shepherd? They get motorbikes and shake up the nerves so badly they have to calm down afterwards.  Can you see how the rulers rule today?  That is not shepherd like. Consider our kind King Jesus he came not to be served but to minister to us.  He came to give his life as a ransom.  The kingdom of Christ does not and cannot bear any resemblance to the kingdoms of the world. In the kingdom of Christ there is no instrument of coercion.  How will you apply that world in living reality coercion?  It is a gentle form of force.  To coerce means to manipulate trough circumstances to force the people into harmony just like the dogs push the sheep into a bundle.  In the kingdom of Christ there is no instrument of coercion – in it force has no place.  How clear do we want it?  Nothing of anything of that sort. The gospel that gave his life for the life of the world is a gospel of peace.  You know how the spirit of God here helps us to understand his way.  Where does the government force come into focus? The good shepherd gave his life for the world is the gospel of peace.  It is the saviors grace his love his tender compassion that breaks every barrier down. When you have to rule people there are all sorts of barriers and the only thing man knows is do what you are told.  You can’t get your children to do what you want so there comes force because that is the easier way out for us.  But to help the child to obey by very God’s methods is much harder world.  It requires a much harder activity to bring the children to willing obedience.  We begin to think I have to do something and then the children will obey.  It is a real balancing act in training children and it is no different in the church. Barriers are always there. The gospel is a power of itself. Do you want to have power in God’s church? We need to be fed with the gospel in such detail that we will become willingly submissive of those who are in government over us.

Where We Are Ruled From

It is a divine, immutable principle, as well-spring fed by the stream that flows from the throne of God.  {21MR 152.4}

From the throne of God and in all Gods administration, in the immutable principles is a well spring of the gospel.  That is what comes for the throne of God to control and overwhelm the rebelliousness and the insubordination that comes against this kingdom.  No coercion whatsoever.

Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit.  {DA 509.4}

Do you notice that in God’s government he works on the government of the individual – the implanting of Jesus in his heart and every person who has Jesus in his heart is subordinate to the government of God.  There needs to be no legislation, there needs to be no counsel that legislate to us this is what you must do and yet we see it in practice all around us but that is what is written.  Not by the decision of counsels or legislative assemblies but by the implanting of Christ’s nature through the work of the Holy Spirit.

God’s Throne Sheds Abroad the Gospel

What does God’s throne reveal?  As we look at the Ark of the Covenant and you have the Ten Commandments above which is the mercy seat.  The Ark of the Covenant represents the gospel and when you look at that kind of government in humanity that Satan has placed upon this world do you see a precarious danger? When people are not rebellious like Lucifer isn’t that a precious thing?  How can the law and mercy work together to ring them into harmony to bring them into subordination because this is not powerful enough in a human view so we have to control.  Like those in leadership are in danger of not relying upon the gospel of Jesus Christ to bring about subordination of his church they see by coercion and by other means they will try to bring about subordination.

The Lord has not placed any one of His human agencies under the dictation and control of those who are themselves but erring mortals. He has not placed upon men the power to say, You shall do this, and you shall not do that. But there is a power exercised in Battle Creek that God has not given, and He will judge those who assume this authority. They have somewhat of the same spirit that led Uzzah to lay his hand on the ark to steady it, as though God was not able to care for His sacred symbols. Far less of man’s power and authority should be exercised toward God’s human agencies. Brethren, leave God to rule.  {TM 347.3}

Did you notice here they have somewhat of the same spirit that led Uzzah to lay his hand on the ark to steady it?  As he was walking behind the ark it toppled a bit and what did he do?  When in Gods church God’s topples it a bit because there is something that happens that shouldn’t be happening, what do we do?  Uzzah stretched out his hand to steady the ark.  This is what leadership is faced with – situations in the church which troubles them.  To try to bring order when something that troubles us we fall into the same trap as Uzzah, a human hand to steady the problem. The question of religious liberty needs to be clearly comprehended by the people. The members and the leaders need to understand this.

With outstretched arms men are seeking to steady the ark, and the anger of the Lord is kindled against them because they think that their position entitles them to say what the Lord’s servants shall do and what they shall not do. . . .  {UL 227.2}

That is what it means in reaching out to steady the ark.  Because something is not quite running right we need to step in and tell them what they should be doing.  But what else can you do to stop trouble?  Brethren leave God to rule.  Can I wait to do something when I am responsible? What did I have to do to step in? Proclaim the power of the gospel that the gospel will reach the heart of the insubordinate, then God can deal correctly because everyone realizes what went wrong. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ, yes this is God’s way of administration.  To apply this as we participate in Christ’s kingdom, let us examine inspiration to follow the lead of Gods way to actually know how this is to be enacted.

Matthew 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

We are not to Lord it over the flock but like Jesus who came not to be ministered to but to minster and to give his life as a ransom.

Jesus has given us an example in His life of purity and perfect holiness. The most exalted being in heaven, He was the most ready to serve. The most honored, He humbled Himself to minister to those who a short time before had been disputing as to who should be the greatest in His kingdom.  {TDG 192.6}

What did he do? He washed Peter’s feet and Peter said don’t touch me.  Can you see the action of Gods government?  When the mind is built upon having someone in leadership and he serves it doesn’t make sense does it.  If you sit back let all the other people do the work that is not God’s way. A true leader in the church gets down and serves there.  That is Jesus serving.  That is God’s government.

Christians should reveal the tenderness of Christ, and this they will do if Christ abides in the heart. They will recognize Christ in their brethren. They will take sweet counsel together. If the dark chapters of human history were traced out according to the truth, how much would be flattering to those who exercise so much authority, who feel competent to say that others shall do as they dictate.  {TDG 192.5}

Here you get a wonderful appreciation.  Christians are never to get a take a position that they shall expect others to do as they dictate.  They will recognise Christ in their brethren and that is how the church will be in government recognising Christ in the other brother and taking sweet counsel together.  Don’t you like that concept that when you are to be corrected someone comes to you and doesn’t correct you, all he does is reach out for the Christ in you and the Christ in you convinces you inwardly. That is how church government is to be enacted. Sweet counsel together.  How does the church draw conclusions and stand on principals together? How?  By coming together in counsel sessions.  In the Spirit of Prophecy we have it all layed out in those counsel lessons.

Brethren, will you carry the spirit of Christ with you as you return to your homes and churches? Will you put away unbelief and criticism? We are coming to a time when, more than ever before, we shall need to press together, to labor unitedly. In union there is strength. In discord and disunion there is only weakness. God never designed that one man, or four, or twenty, should take an important work into their own hands, and carry it forward independently of other workers in the cause. God wants His people to counsel together, to be a united church, in Christ a perfect whole. The only safety for us is to enter into the counsels of heaven, ever seeking to do the will of God, to become laborers together with Him. No one company is to form a confederacy, and say, “We are going to take this work, and carry it on in our own way; and if it does not go as we want it to, we will not give our influence to have it go at all.” This is Satan’s voice, not God’s. Do not obey such suggestions.  {2SM 373.4}

When we come together and when the leaders come together with those that are subordinate to them they are as it says not one company- so what should these 20 do?  We are to come together and counsel together.  This is God’s way.

God’s Way

“The division of the General Conference into District Union Conferences was God’s arrangement. In the work of the Lord for these last days there should be no Jerusalem centers, no kingly power. And the work in the different countries is not to be bound by contracts to the work centering in Battle Creek, for this is not God’s plan. Brethren are to counsel together, for we are just as much under the control of God in one part of His vineyard as in another. Brethren are to be one in heart and soul, even as Christ and the Father are one. Teach this, practice this, that we may be one with Christ in God, all working to build up one another.  {8T 232.6}

Is that not a precious thing to be involved in so the brethren in the General Conference come not telling us this is not what you must do but let us counsel together.  How is it in your field?  What is it you need to most here?  How can we work together to make it the best vineyard in this corner of the vineyard? No direction and no saying this is what you must do.

These scriptures are right to the point. Every church member should understand that God is the one to whom to look for an understanding of individual duty. It is right that brethren counsel together; but when men arrange just what their brethren shall do, let them answer that they have chosen the Lord as their counselor. Those who will humbly seek Him will find His grace sufficient. But when one man allows another to step in between him and the duty that God has pointed out to him, giving to man his confidence and accepting him as guide, then he steps from the true platform to a false and dangerous one. Such a man, instead of growing and developing, will lose his spirituality.  {9T 280.1}

This is not to be done. There is no kingly power of Gods church there is an election and a gathering of the church. The field and the GC and every voice has a part in the sweet counsel together but the moment that that is overwritten;

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. Never should a laborer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body.  {9T 260.1}

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}

In sweet counsel seeing Christ in each other they come to a conclusion which can then be recognised as God’s voice as it is in harmony with God’s work. When this power is accredited wholly to one man and he is vested to be authority for other minds then the true bible order is changed. James white organised the church of God in 1863 and notice with everything we have read how he actually illuminates the kind of spirit that they build up their organisation from.

“In fulfilment of duties for supervision of an entire field their strength is to so counsel with their brethren in the spirit of tenderness, of love as to so bind their hearts to all labourers and give room for the Holy spirit as in the day of the early church. The head of every man is Christ. They may counsel state conferences in reference to ministers labouring here or there, but should never direct. The minister who throws himself on any conference committee for advice takes himself out of the hands of Christ.” The committee that takes into its hands the work of directing the ambassadors for Christ takes a fearful responsibility. One is your master. May God preserve to us our organisation and form of church discipline in its original simplicity in 1863. Organisation was designed to secure unity of action and as protection of impasture and legal holding of property. 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 moulded for heaven by the influence merely of other human minds, Christ is the head and all ye are brethren.” James White.

Beautiful words to summarise our whole mediation today.  One is your master an all ye are brethren.

Amen.

Posted on April 10, 2010, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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