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HOW to KEEP UNITY in the CHURCH!
Good News Magazine
January 1958
Volume: Vol VII, No. 1
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HOW to KEEP UNITY in the CHURCH!
Garner Ted Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: February 9, 1930
Died: September 15, 2003
Member Since: 1930
Ambassador College: 1956
Ordained: 1955
Office: Evangelist

This Church the True Church of God is GOVERNED by the Creator, through Jesus Christ, its living HEAD. But are you sure it is the government of God and not mere HUMAN rule?

   THE CARNAL mind is "ENMITY against God" (Rom. 8:7). ALL of us, regardless of who we are, still possess a goodly amount of carnality! Paul told the brethren at Corinth, who were members of the CHURCH OF GOD members of THIS CHURCH: "For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and factions, are ye not carnal, and walk [live] as men?" (I Cor. 3:3.)
   Even though we have been begotten by the Father, we still have a great deal of our own HUMAN NATURE. That human nature is antagonistic to God. It is human nature that causes individuals within the Church to begin wanting their own way, leading them to discount the government of God within the Church!

Humans Rebel Against Authority

   You need to recognize there is a trait of your nature which leads you to resist authority! God identifies the Israelitish peoples in His Word by a special characteristic of rebelliousness! (Deut. 9:13.)
   Typical carnal rebellion against the authority of God nearly always takes the same course. Today, when individuals let their carnal nature exert itself, they argue against God's government just as did Korah in resisting Moses!
   God had called Moses, as we all well know. God too, called Mr. Armstrong to this world-wide ministry by literally sweeping him into His work. Most of you are familiar with some of the details, and are presently reading the autobiography being run serially in The PLAIN TRUTH.
   Moses was human!
   Mr. Armstrong is human!
   Notice how those who despise authority always point to the human instrument to justify their own mistakes!
   The people who rebelled against Moses refused to recognize him as only the instrument in God's hands. They reasoned around in their own minds that Moses and Aaron had PRESUMPTUOUSLY SET THEMSELVES in office.
   Notice it!
   "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 [these men were 'popular' among the people), men of renown. And they gathered themselves together [formed a 'party' or 'group'] against Aaron..." (Numbers 16:2-3). Notice how these human, carnal leaders did not recognize Moses and Aaron as the direct representatives of the living God, but looked on them as EQUALS, as mere human beings whose office was humanly appointed. They had reasoned themselves into feeling, in the face of such OVERWHELMING evidence to the contrary, that Moses and Aaron had SET THEMSELVES up as human leaders over the people
   That is always the first accusation today, when carnal-minded ones begin to question Church doctrines or Church authority. They reason begin to "rationalize," which God condemns (II Cor. 10:5, margin) that they are dealing with human beings who hold only human offices!
   So did Korah, and those with him.
   "Ye take too much upon you," they accused, "seeing all the Congregation are holy, every one of them [the age-old theme, 'you're no better than I'], and the Lord is among them; wherefore then lift ye up YOURSELVES above the congregation of the Lord?" (Num. 16:3.)
   Read this entire chapter! It clearly shows that the attitude of the people toward their leaders an attitude of rebellion, of accusation was one of deliberately accusing Moses and Aaron of having SET THEMSELVES up in Office, not acknowledging their DIVINE APPOINTMENT!
   Moses proved by the fruits it was GOD who had called him to office (verses 28-31). But even in the face of this great miracle from God to punish the factious leaders, others still didn't understand, and began to "point a finger" again, claiming Moses and Aaron had somehow destroyed Korah by their own power!
   And so it is today!
   When God's ministers must act to safeguard the ENTIRE Church by putting oat an individual who is filled with a root of bitterness, some do not understand. Some begin to accuse God's ministers of acting on HUMAN REASON of acting because of HUMAN feelings because of personal antagonism! They accuse the Government of God of being the government of men!

Human Nature Hasn't Changed

   Men are the same today. We are all potentially the same today, and, unless we have enough of the Spirit of Christ within us, we can allow OUR human reason to begin acting in the same manner as did Korah. Read the ninth chapter of John's Gospel and see how the Jews did the same thing to the blind man who had been healed.
   Refusing to listen to the wisdom of the words with which he spoke, they began to accuse the physical individual, finally "casting him out" in order to avoid being reproved and corrected! They wanted their own way!
   But what about YOU? Has your nature been changed? Have you literally begun to "put on the NEW MAN, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness"? (Eph. 4:24.)
   If so, then you have started on the road to salvation. But Jesus described it as a strait and narrow road, and said: "FEW there be that find it" (Matt. 7:14).
   There is a great PITFALL your Bible constantly warns of that of beginning to ACCUSE GOD'S MINISTERS! That of beginning to DESPISE GOVERNMENT, TO REJECT AUTHORITY!

Jude's Striking Warning

   Jude wrote to the Church of certain ungodly men who had slipped unnoticed into the congregation. In describing their overall ATTITUDE, Jude wrote; "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion [AUTHORITY, RSV] and speak evil of dignities" (Jude 8).
   The ones who had crept in with the true brethren were typical of Korah (who is used as an example in this very letter, verse 11) in that they were "murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of [in order to gain] advantage" (Jude 16).
   Because of this great destructive influence against government, wanting to PLEASE THE PEOPLE in order to gain personal advantage, Jude wrote: "You should earnestly CONTEND for the faith which was ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS" (Jude 3).

Jesus DID Establish Authority

   During His earthly ministry, our Saviour told Peter, "Thou art Peter [Petros, or a little stone], and upon THIS ROCK [PETRA, a large ROCK, or CRAG, referring to Christ, who is the Rock I Cor. 10:4, and the Chief Corner STONE Eph. 2:20] I will build My Church; and the gates of the grave [rightly translated] shall not prevail against it.
   "And I will give unto you the keys o! the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever you shall BIND [prohibit] on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose [PERMIT] on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:18-19).
   Jesus DID build His Church, and He DID give His true ministers the "keys" to the Kingdom of Heaven.
   But Christ did not relinquish His position as the living HEAD of the Church! The pagan doctrines represent Christ as having "gone 'way off somewhere," too busy, supposedly, to be concerned with this earth. Presumably, He gave PETER all the power as the "Vicar" in His stead and the so-called "successors" of Peter have made themselves the literal heads of the Church ever since. Heads of a church, YES, but NOT THE CHURCH OF GOD!
   Wherever you find GOD'S own Church you'll find Jesus Christ is still its living, active, RULER! (Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18.) Rather than turning the Church over to men, Jesus promised He would be with His Church always! "Lo, I am with you ALWAYS, even unto the consummation of the age" (Matt. 28:20).
   The authority placed in the Church is NOT THE AUTHORITY OF MEN but of Jesus Christ! Paul told the Corinthians, "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord ("BOSS," RULER); and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake" (II Cor. 4:5).

Various Offices Necessary

   The Body of Jesus Christ, explained Paul, is made up of many members, having many differing functions, or administrations. Yet it is one Body! Read the entire 12th chapter of I Corinthians. Here, you see God lists the governmental offices HE has set within the Church. "But now hath GOD set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased HIM" (.verse 18). "And God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of languages" (verse 28). Paul gives the organizational pattern in his letter to the Ephesians. "And He [God] gave some, apostles, and some, prophets: and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers" (Eph. 4:11).
   The necessity for having different offices is fully explained in I Corinthians 12. Just as ANY organization, as any machine, must have its separate parts, all functioning smoothly together, so must the Church of God!
   WHAT is the function of these God-ordained offices?
   "For the PERFECTING of the saints, for the WORK OF THE MINISTRY [preaching this Gospel of the Kingdom to all the world as a witness, and feeding the flock] for the EDIFYING of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:12).
   That's why Church Government is necessary.

God's Government in Church Today

   But did you know these are not earthly, physical offices?
   "But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ... and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenlies [or, in heaven-appointed offices] in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:4-6). Notice: "And there appeared a great wonder in HEAVEN," wrote John, "a woman [THIS CHURCH] clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" (Rev. 12:1). The Church is a SPIRITUAL organism. As a spiritual body, its officers occupy SPIRITUAL (heavenly) offices which carry not physical, but SPIRITUAL power and authority!
   "But Jerusalem which is above [the heavenly city from which God's Government emanates] is free, which is the mother of us all" (Gal. 4:26).
   This is the vital principle Korah and the others who rebelled with him didn't understand! This is the truth those who murmur today do not understand! God's Government in His Church is DIVINELY appointed directly from God the Father and through Jesus Christ the Head of the Church! It truly is Government, NOT from men, but directly from God!

"Binding and Loosing"

   God's ministers have the grave responsibility of prohibiting certain things, and of permitting other things! This does not mean mere MEN may arbitrarily alter the divinely revealed LAWS of God! It doer mean Jesus Christ decides, through His instruments, in certain cases where there is no specific, definite "Thus saith the LORD" found in Scripture!
   The outstanding New Testament example is Acts 15. In reading the entire chapter, you see the apostles and elders at Jerusalem had to decide what constitutes sin in a certain case.
   After this "binding" decision had been made, the apostles delivered the outcome of the counsel to the Church. These decisions were "decrees!" That is, they became a plain "Thus saith the LORD" since it was CHRIST'S decision, not the vain ideas of men contrary to Christ and His rule! "And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to KEEP, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem" (Acts 16:4).
   God's ministers today are compelled to make certain binding decisions. In other cases, they must decide to "loose" a certain matter, according as God makes His will known, as He reveals it. This is true in deciding divorce and remarriage cases where the couple concerned don't really know whether or not they are living in adultery. After prayer, and sometimes many hours of solemn counsel, going over the facts of the case many times, a "binding" or a "loosing" decision is rendered. IN NO CASE DO GOD'S MINISTERS TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE CARNAL "FEELINGS" OF THE PARTIES INVOLVED! There can be NO respect of persons! I think you all should know that one of our own God-ordained ministers came to the others with a case of divorce to be decided. His divorce occurred, of course, long before his ordination. God's ministers could clearly see it was Christ's decision that the man was still bound to the woman even though she had remarried since their separation!
   This man is a true Minister of the Gospel of Christ. I have cited this case for YOUR GOOD! Some are not FULLY CONVINCED that the rule and authority in the Church is truly from God!
   It is the same when a certain doctrinal point arises. There can be NO respect of persons.
   As my father has explained, the Sardis Church made the mistake of wanting to "cowtow" to the wishes of the people! When a point was in question, the ministers would reason, "What will the TITHEPAYERS go along with? What will be most satisfactory to the people?" In doing this, they were guilty of rejecting precious truth and God says of them, "THOU ART DEAD!"
   When the question arose on make-up, God's ministers had to find, NOT "what will the most people go along with," but "WHAT IS GOD'S WILL?" God's expressed will as revealed in many PLAIN scriptures was made clear in my father's article on make-up. But some did not agree with God's ruling and so immediately fell into the trap of Satan, just as did Korah, and began to DENY THE GOVERNMENT IN THIS CHURCH WAS AND IS THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD!
   Because some "wanted their OWN WAY" they began to point a finger at the human instruments of God, saying it was NOT God's ruling, but merely the "ideas" of MEN! As I have already shown this is inevitably the PATTERN followed by those carnal minded persons who still want their own way!
   But it was GOD THE FATHER and JESUS CHRIST who made the decision on make-up! They revealed to their human servants the plain truth on the subject and it then became the duty of those human instruments to reveal that truth to YOU!
   But please note carefully that these carnal minded individuals never even attempt to answer from the Bible showing plain, clear scriptures to prove their point (because they know they can't), but invariably, just 'as did the Jews (John 9), they begin to ridicule the individual persons of those who were used in making the decision!
   Don't YOU ever fall into that deceptive trap!
   Rule in the New Testament Church
   Have you never noticed HOW MUCH of your New Testament reveals the government of the Church?
   Some have assumed Church Government is an "idea" of MEN. Some have said it cannot be proved from the Bible.
   What?
   Are any of YOU so ignorant of the scriptures?
   Every single letter of the apostle Paul presents in itself a clear picture of the exercise of government and authority in the Church!
   Notice! Paul wrote to the ROMANS in Rome, even though he hadn't yet been to Rome, and began the letter by citing his apostolic AUTHORITY! "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle, separated [ORDAINED! see Acts 13:14] unto the gospel of God" (Rom. 1:1). He rebuked them many times, giving them instructions on how to live a godly life.
   Notice his letter to the Corinthians. After stating again his office and divine authority, he begins to sharply REBUKE this church, which he spoke of as being yet carnal (I Cor. 3:1). Paul reiterates he spoke through the mind of Christ (Gal. 2:20 and I Cor. 2:16). He rebuked certain who were "puffed up." He wrote: "Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in POWER. What will ye? Shall I come unto you WITH A ROD, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?" (I Cor. 4:18-21). Does this sound like Paul had authority in the Church? It most certainly does!
   In the next chapter, he deals with the one who had been committing fornication. Again, after admonishing the entire congregation, he ordered them to PUT AWAY (disfellowship) the sinning person! When he did, he put TEETH in it! "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the POWER of oar Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (I Cor. 5:4-5).
   He ordered them to do it in the name of Jesus Christ!

Paul's Personal Critics

   Some were Paul's critics. Some were "examining" Paul's motives. In the 9th chapter, he showed he had the authority to take a wife with him though he was unmarried, and have her full expenses paid! "Mine answer to them that do examine me is this. Have we not POWER [authority] to eat and to drink? Have we not power [authority] to lead about a [christian] sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Peter?" (I Cor. 9:3-5).
   He then went on to explain about tithing, showing it was the tithe that was to finance Paul on his apostolic journeys to spread the gospel.
   All the way through this wonderful letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives them reproof, correction, admonition ORDERS!
   Notice its last chapter. "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so DO YE!" (I Cor. 16:1.) And: "I beseech you, brethren... that ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth" (I Cor. 16:15-16).
   Paul concludes this letter by reminding them to show respect and submissive spirits toward those who had addicted themselves to the ministry and the work of God.
   But was this a harsh rule to make the Church miserable? Was Paul an "overlord" who was cracking his own whip over the poor, helpless souls in the Church? Not so!
   "NOT for that we have dominion over your faith, but are HELPERS of your joy: for by faith ye stand" (II Cor. 1:24). And yet, even in this second letter, Paul shows further the authority God had vested in His ministry:
   "For though I should boast somewhat more of OUR AUTHORITY, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed... 'For his letters,' say [some], 'are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.' Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, SUCH WILL WE BE ALSO IN DEED WHEN WE ARE PRESENT" (II Cor. 10:8-11).
   Paul, in his first letter, had to use the authority God had given him to correct and reprove the Church. The problems they had were of a very serious nature! Think of it! Some were even getting drank on the wine during the Passover!
   Is it any wonder Paul had to REBUKE them sternly?
   Notice, too, how he referred to certain individuals within the Church who "examined' or criticized him, and others who spoke stultifyingly of his personality.
   Read especially verse 13 of chapter 10: "We will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the RULE which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you" (II Cor. 10:13).
   Through the 11th chapter, Paul showed the Corinthians the utter carnality with which some of them were judging. They were concerned with the physical appearances, as carnal-minded people always are. He warned against false apostles (II Cor. 11:13-15), and then, through the remainder of the chapter, listed the many hardships he had undergone for their sakes!
   Finally, he concludes this letter of Church government by authoritatively telling them he was going to SETTLE the matter, and do it SWIFTLY, when he arrived in Corinth in person! "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established" (II Cor. 13:1). He showed how God's government within the true Church must be concerned with THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE CHURCH, even if it means cutting out ONE "spoiled" member, that the others are not affected with the same spiritual rot and decay! "I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I WILL NOT SPARE!" (II Cor. 13:2).
   "Therefore I write these things being absent," he continued, "lest being present I should use sharpness, ACCORDING TO THE POWER WHICH THE LORD HATH GIVEN ME to edification, and not to destruction" (II Cor. 13:10).

Only an Isolated Case?

   But some will say, "Oh, but the Church at Corinth was a carnal Church they needed correction we don't need any of that kind of 'rule and authority' today! "
   Again, are you so ignorant of the Word of God?
   Listen!
   Every single letter of the apostle Paul in your Bible constitutes, IN ITSELF, one of the strongest proofs of the real authority and power God put within the ministry, and shows how that authority is to be used!
   Paul takes up the entire first chapter, and part of the second, PROVING his apostolic AUTHORITY to the Galatians! Read it!
   He writes, "O FOOLISH GALATIANS, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not OBEY the truth?" (Gal. 3:1.)
   In the letter to the Ephesians, he explains the offices of the Church (Eph. 4:11) ; and the entire 4th and 5th chapters constitute direct admonitive rules by which they were to live! Paul showed the government within the ministry by saying, "Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: WHOM I HAVE SENT unto you" (Eph. 6:21-22).
   The Church at Philippi was not experiencing the same problems as those in Corinth, and therefore did not need to be corrected as much. But this letter also illustrates Government in the Church! The entire second and third chapters of Philippians show Paul's direct admonitions on how to conduct their lives. Paul said this Church was an OBEDIENT Church! "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always OBEYED, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). He included certain personal notes concerning the ministry in the second chapter, saying "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to SEND Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know yow state" (Phil. 2:19). After mentioning two of the other ministers, Timothy and Epaphroditus, Paul reminds the Philippians to "HONOUR SUCH!" Or, as the Authorized Version renders it: "Hold such in reputation! " (Phil. 2:29.)
   In the letter to the Colossians, Paul begins again by citing his apostleship and authority. He opens the letter with a wonderful description of our calling and hope in Christ, showing Christ's high OFFICE now, and explaining once again the GOVERNMENT OF GOD IN THE CHURCH!
   Notice it! "And He [Christ] is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And HE is THE HEAD OF THE BODY, THE CHURCH, who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead" (Col. 1:17-18).
   When we understand the real intent of Colossians 2:16-17 we see again, NOT an annulment of God's laws, but a direct statement about Church government! Paul says, in effect, not to let any man be your judge as to HOW you keep the annual Holy Days, new moons or Sabbaths, BUT, on the other hand, let the Church of God judge the manner. The word "is" in verse 17 is italicized, showing it was supplied by the translators. Dropping out this added word, the context can mean: "Let no MAN therefore judge you... BUT (or, on the other hand, let) the BODY OF CHRIST! " (Col. 2:16-17.)
   The 3rd chapter is a series of direct admonitions on HOW TO LIVE!

In ALL the Epistles

   And SO it is throughout Paul's writings, and throughout the Gospels, and THROUGHOUT the entire New Testament! The Bible itself is it book of AUTHORITY! Paul oftentimes referred, in his letters, to the VERBAL authority of his office.
   "Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and EXHORT you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us [when he had been with them personally] how ye ought to WALK [live] and please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know WHAT COMMANDMENTS we gave you by the Lord Jesus!" (I Thes. 4:1-2.)
   He then continues to direct them in the matter of marriage commanding them to abstain from fornication. Notice further how he tells them to "study [be ambitious] to be QUIET, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, AS WE COMMANDED YOU!" (I Thes. 4:11.) Could anything be plainer?
   Paul reminded this Church, as he did also the others, to respect the ministry and acknowledge the authority God had placed in the Church. "And we beseech you, brethren, to KNOW them which labour among you, and are OVER YOU, IN THE LORD, and ADMONISH you; and to esteem them very highly IN LOVE, for their WORK'S SAKE!" (I Thes. 4:12-13.)
   In concluding this letter, he said, "I CHARGE [give orders, instructions] that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren" (I Thes. 5:27).
   In his second letter to this Church at Thessalonica, Paul had to deal forcibly with them! Because they did not heed his gentle warnings and admonitions of the first letter, he had to COMMAND them and do it with the very authority of Christ!
   "Now we COMMAND you, brethren, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye OUGHT TO FOLLOW [Greek, "imitate"] us, for we behaved NOT ourselves disorderly among you... For even when we were with you, THIS WE COMMANDED you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk [live] among you DISORDERLY, working not at all, but are busybodies" (II Thes. 3:6-11).
   Paul was having to take a hand!
   Paul was using his God-given authority to SETTLE a matter! Did he do it in timidity in spineless whining as the scribes and Pharisees? No! He most certainly did not!
   "Now them that are such WE COMMAND AND EXHORT BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST that with quietness they WORK, and eat their own bread' (II Thes. 3:12).
   Further, Paul told them to MARK anyone who did not OBEY his commands, and have no further fellowship with that person! "And if any man OBEY NOT our word by this epistle, NOTE that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed!" (II Thes. 3:14.)

Instructions to the Ministry

   In the "Pastoral" epistles, Paul is specifically concerned with Church Government! Their very presence in the Bible is DIRECT PROOF of the Government of God within the Church.
   Paul writes to the young evangelists under his charge to INSTRUCT them concerning the welfare of the Church. He urges them to hand down this authority to those under them, and to ADMONISH them, that the Church can GROW.
   READ THESE LETTERS AGAIN!
   Notice the very qualifications for holding office in the ministry have to do with how well a man can RULE and GOVERN. "One that RULETH WELL his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. FOR IF A MAN KNOW NOT HOW TO RULE HIS OWN HOUSE, HOW SHALL HE TAKE CARE OF THE CHURCH OF GOD?" (I Tim. 3:4-5.)
   Paul said those elders who RULED WELL (who really "bore fruit" in the ministry and were able to HANDLE the responsibilities of the office) were to be given DOUBLE WAGES! (I Tim. 5:17.) I could easily write many pages about the DOZENS (literally dozens count them!) of places in the letters to the young ministers where Church Government and authority is illustrated!
   But this is enough.
   Brethren you shouldn't need three dozen scriptures telling you to do the same thing! When God says DO a thing He should need to say it ONLY ONCE! It remains OUR decision as to WHETHER we will obey!

Does Government Remove FREE MORAL AGENCY?

   "But isn't this thing DANGEROUS?" some might say. "Doesn't this authority given to the ministry take away MY RIGHT TO DECIDE FOR MYSELF?"
   NO, IT DOESN'T!
   NONE OF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT OR EVER WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE FOR YOURSELVES WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG TO DECIDE WHAT IS SIN!
   God decides what sin is. And it is the responsibility of His ministers to preach what God has revealed in the Bible! BUT! YOU then, as a FREE MORAL AGENT, MUST DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT YOU WILL OBEY!
   God gives you that privilege! As a free, voluntary being, you can make up your own mind whether or not you will choose the RIGHT WAY or the WRONG way. God WILL not choose for you. But YOU can NEVER decide for yourself WHAT IS SIN! That is God's prerogative! For there is "ONE LAWGIVER who is able to save and to destroy" (James 4:12).
   And that GREAT LAWGIVER IS ALIVE!
   HE IS WORKING IN AND THROUGH THIS CHURCH!
   If you BELIEVE your Bible if you HAVE the Holy Spirit if you BELIEVE CHRIST IS TO DWELL IN His Church then you have the faith to know Jesus Christ is CAPABLE of ruling His Church, and capable of making the RIGHT decisions, and of REMOVING from office any instrument of His that is acting contrary to HIS will!
   Gods ministers are in these offices NOT to inflate their vanity, or to decorate their persons but to enable them to SERVE YOU! The Government in our Church is one of the greatest BLESSINGS God has given us!

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Good News MagazineJanuary 1958Vol VII, No. 1
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