The Ultimate Solution for Success in Human Relationships

The latest TIME Magazine, Beyond 2000 states in an article entitled What New Things are Going to Kill Me: “During the 1980s the Soviet Union used rudimentary genetic engineering to create incurable strains of Black Death, Bubonic plague, that were resistant to drugs. This biotech Black Death was loaded into missile warheads aimed at the U.S. As biotechnology becomes more supple and powerful and as the genetic code of more organisms is unraveled, biologists will learn how to mix genes of different bugs to create deadly, unnatural strains that can be turned into deadly, effective weapons. Scientists have found a type of bacterium that is virtually indestructible. It is called, Deinococcus radiodurans, terrible berry that survives radiation, this bug can live in a blast of gamma rays that is the equivalent of thousands of lethal human doses—radiation so strong it cracks glass.

Scientists have found ‘dead’ radiodurans spores in Antarctica that have baked in UV light for 100 years. Yet when placed in a nutrient bath, the bug’s DNA reassembles itself and proliferates. If radiodurans genes could be put into Anthrax, they might produce an Anthrax that is virtually impossible to kill.”

Strange, that human beings, who were created in the image and likeness of God, have this infatuation for annihilating one another. When I think of anthrax, when I think of germs that are going to be so strong that they can annihilate us, I realize that I need to get in harmony with natural law and follow some points of boosting and building the healthiest immune system that I can. I believe that is going to be my defense.

Dr. Richard Schulze is one of the foremost authorities on natural healing and herbal medicines in the world. He is widely recognized for his unequaled understanding of natural healing. On a recent radio show, Dr. Schulze listed sixteen steps to a healthier life and I want to share a few of these with you. He said: “Start with cleaning out your elimination organ, especially the colon. Stop eating animals and their by-products; buy a juicer and use it daily; move every day for one hour; sweat. Stop watching television, especially the news. Wear cotton and other natural fibers; eat more raw, fresh foods and cook only in stainless steel or glass. Drink only distilled, filtered, or reverse osmosis water; walk barefooted and breathe deeply. Begin and end each day by saying, ‘It is great to be alive.’ Help someone every day. Throw out and give away one-third of everything you own, your possessions can bury you. Pray and meditate. Laugh.” The last one says, “Love, love and love some more.” That is his strategy to protect mankind from annihilation.

Love One Another

The Bible tells us, in 1 John 4:8, that God is love. In John 13:34 we read, “I bring you a new commandment that you love one another, even as I have loved you.” I believe that the Bible emphasized love, and devotes a whole chapter to this subject, because it is the greatest virtue we can have; it is a description of God Himself. Jesus says, “This is My commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12, 13.

But there is a greater love than this. You might ask, “How can that be? The Bible says, ‘Greater love hath no man than this.’ How can there be a greater love?” I, too, was confused on this point until the Holy Spirit directed me to Romans 5:7–10: “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

So the greater love is not man’s love, “Greater love hath no man than this.” John 15:13. But there is a greater love, it is a Godly love, and this is the love that will die for enemies. If we would look at people through the eyes of Christ, we would have that kind of love, and we would not need to assemble for a unity meeting.

Love and the Law

As a Seventh-day Adventist, I have learned much about the law of God, the Ten Commandments. I can quote them, I can defend them, I can emphasize them to the point that another Christian will walk away from me saying that I am a Jew, that I am stuck on the law of God, and I am trying to earn my way into heaven. They would say to me, “Brother, all you have to do is love.” And that nearly offends me, because I have to defend the law.

In their defense, they will even go to Scripture and point out things that I am quick to rebut, but today I want to look at things through their eyes. We can sit in church on Sabbath and be lost, and they can sit in their church on Sunday and be saved. So what is the difference? We are law-abiding creatures; they are loving creatures.

“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him, and saying, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’” Matthew 22:35–40. You see, if you had true love, if you had, not man’s love, but Godly love, you would not steal, you would not use the Lord’s name in vain. You would be obedient to the Commandments of God.

I am concerned that we are keeping the law without the love. Ellen White says, “Let us drink in this love, that we may know by experience what a real, tender, joyful, experience there is in a realization of the Fatherhood of God. Let brotherly love continue. By bearing one another’s burdens, we are fulfilling the law of Christ.” Spaulding Magan, 68.

You see, love works no ill to his neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. What does that say to you? Have we been lopsided in our Adventist experience? Have we been emphasizing the law without the love?

“Greater love hath no man than this that he will lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. There is a greater love. While we were yet enemies, Christ died for us. So the principle is to love, not only your friends, but to love your enemies.

Be Ye Therefore Perfect

We often turn to Matthew 5:48 and read, “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” And that means we need to live a life of the law: obedient to every commandment, not sinning, victory over every sin. Has anyone attained it? Can we say every cultivated, every hereditary tendency in our life is gone? Paul said, “I press toward the mark.” Philippians 3:14. But the Holy Spirit showed me that we must also include Matthew 5:44–47, and that tells us if we want the perfection of God, then we must, “Love your enemies.”

“I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.” 2 John 4–6.

I see the law, and I see love there. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor. In fact, true love, loves his enemies.

One Spirit Binds Together

“The work of God’s people may and will be varied, but one Spirit is the mover in it all. All the work done for the Master is to be connected with the great whole. The workers are to labor together in concert, each one controlled by divine power, putting forth undivided effort to draw those around them to Christ. All must move like part of a well-adjusted machinery, each part dependent on the other part, yet standing distinct in action. And each one is to take the place assigned him and do the work appointed him. God calls upon the members of His church to receive the Holy Spirit, to come together in unity and brotherly sympathy, to bind their interests together in love.” My Life Today, 276.

We will never have unity until we have the love of God. When we are trying to glue something together, we have strife. Many of us still have carnal hearts, and unity will only come when we have true love.

“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5. The love of God, not the love of man, the love that loves its enemies, the love that allows no strife, the love where perfect unity exists, this is the love we need.

If the only way we can be bound together is by perfect love, then we should be praying for that. There should be far less talking about our need of the Holy Spirit and far more praying for it!

“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18. I believe that. I am not condemned by the law if I am in the Spirit, because I am walking in perfect love and perfect obedience. In fact, the first fruit of the Spirit is love. Is that an accident? It is the most critical thing that we need, and it is the super-glue of heaven.

Fruits of the Spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22, 23. Do you not love that? Ellen White says we should talk more about the Spirit; it is not talked about enough in the church. The subject is neglected, and this is our only hope.

I believe that this “fruit of the Spirit” is a photograph of the heart of God, and it is His desire to see this mirrored in His people. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26, 27. God is taking the active role here!

I received an Instruction Manual for the New Pictorial Aid, Science Publishing Company, 1987, Australasian Conference Association. It is a Bible study course, with all these pictures by Roy Hession, on the Fruit of the Spirit, the beautiful character of God, and it says, “Why does this fruit mean so much to us?” Because, “The things that God is most concerned about are our coldness of heart concerning Himself and our proud unbroken natures. That is why there is scarcely a church, a mission station or a committee undertaking a special piece of service for God that is without an unresolved problem of personal relationships, eating out its heart and thwarting its progress. This is because Christian service gives us opportunities of leadership and position that we could not attain in the secular world. And we quickly fall into pride, self-seeking, ambition. With these things hidden in our hearts, we have only to work alongside others and we find resentment, hardness, criticism, jealousy and frustration issuing from our hearts. We think we are working for God but the test of how little of our service is for Him is revealed by our resentment and our self-pity when the actions of others, or circumstances, or ill health, take it from us.

In this condition, we are trying to give to others an answer which we have not truly and deeply found for ourselves.”

Galatians 5:22, 23 contains that answer. Here lies the ultimate formula for success in human relationships. “And the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

We Have a Common Enemy

Follow an equation with me. We have a common enemy; it is Satan. We have a common Friend; it is Jesus. We have a common goal; the Three Angels’ Messages, the warning to the world, the salvation of souls. We have many things in common. The sanctuary message, Ellen White, the health message, the seventh-day Sabbath, righteousness by faith, victory over all sin, the beast and his mark, the image to the beast, sanctification, the state of the dead, the resurrection, the investigative judgment, a thousand-year millenium in heaven, that Christ is the Head of the church and the church is the body of Christ. We are in harmony on those things. But the touchy subject is who and what is the church? Yet, the Spirit of Prophecy tell us, “From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church [of God] on earth.” Acts of the Apostles, 11. “It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations;” for Christ’s presence alone can constitute a church. So where two or three are gathered together in His name, there am I in the midst of them.” (See Upward Look, 315.)

We all agree, but we have become like the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Somebody walks between us and says, “Is there a resurrection?” That lights the fuse and the fuse goes to two sticks of dynamite! Do you see the parallel? Is there a resurrection? Who and what is the church?

This must not keep us from working together. We must not make it our main issue. We want to make sure we are the church, that we are a new creature in Christ.

Do you realize how little time we have left to get out our literature? As you read the popular magazines of the world today, you constantly see articles concerning ecumenicalism and the workings of the Papacy. The Pope is shown on the cover of magazines every month. He is manipulating the religions of the world to go against us.

“We are made sad as we see in many places so much left undone that should be done. But the Lord will use in the accomplishment of His work means that we do not now see. He will raise up from among the common people, men and women to do His work, even as of old He called fishermen to be His disciples. There will soon be an awakening that will surprise many. Those who do not realize the necessity of what is to be done will be passed by, and the heavenly messengers will work with those who are called the common people, fitting them to carry the truth to many places. Now is the time for us to awake and do what we can.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, 312.

God says, “Are you going to do the work I’ve given you? If not, I have a group that will. They are going to come to the front, they are going to see battle.”

“In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged.…God will work a work in our day but few anticipate. He will raise up and exalt among us those who are taught rather by the unction of the Holy Spirit than the outward training of scientific institutions. These facilities are not to be despised or condemned; they are ordained of God, but they can furnish only the exterior qualifications. God will manifest that He is not dependent on learned, self-important mortals.” Last Day Events, 204.

God Takes the Reins in His Own Hands

“Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be among us those who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.” Testimonies to Ministers, 300.

“…God will not be left without witnesses. The one-hour laborers will be brought in at the eleventh hour, and will consecrate their ability and all their entrusted means to advance the work…and shun not their duty to declare the whole counsel of God. When those who have had abundance of light throw off the restraint which the Word of God imposes, and make void His law, others will come in to fill their places and take their crown.” Review and Herald, June 15, 1897.

“The Lord will gather a large company out of the world to serve Him. There will be a converted ministry. Those who have had privileges and opportunities to become intelligent in regard to the truth, and yet who continue to counter the work God would have accomplished, will be purged out, for God accepts the service of no man whose interest is divided. He accepts the whole heart or none.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 320.

The Lord gives a new heart. The Lord causes me to walk in His statutes. The Lord will choose ministers and pastors to guard His flock. The Lord is going to do a lot.

Faithful Souls will ‘Come Out’ to Proclaim the Message

“At the eleventh hour the Lord will call into His service many faithful workers. Self-sacrificing men and women will step into the places made vacant by apostasy and death.…With converted minds, converted hands, converted feet, and converted tongues, their lips touched with a living coal from the divine altar, they will go forth into the Master’s service, moving steadily onward and upward, carrying the work
forward to completion.” Youth’s Instructor, February 13, 1902.

I see this beginning to happen, and I am worried that the Loud Cry is going to go on and maybe we will not be in it. The Loud Cry may be going forward with people who have circumvented the Seventh-day Adventist organization, because God says I will call men of My own choosing; I will gather them in.

In 1844, people were called out of many different denominations to proclaim a message. God has true people in all denominations. Ellen White says in Prophets and Kings, 714, 715: “No longer have the hosts of evil power to keep the church captive.” Daniel was the church captive in Babylon. The church is captive to Babylon again, and these faithful souls are going to come out and they are going to proclaim a message.

These conversions to truth will be made with such rapidity that it will surprise us, and God’s name alone will be glorified. “There are many souls to come out of the ranks of the world, out of the churches—even the Catholic Church—whose zeal will far exceed that of those who have stood in rank and file to proclaim the truth heretofore. For this reason the eleventh hour laborers will receive their penny. These will see the battle coming and they will give the trumpet a certain sound. When the crisis is upon us, when the season of calamity shall come, they will come to the front…” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 386, 387.

Order and Harmony to be in Our Work

“God is a God of order. Everything connected with heaven is in perfect order; subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host…God requires order and system in His work now no less than in the days of Israel. All who are working for Him are to labor intelligently, not in a careless, haphazard manner. He would have His work done with faith and exactness, that He may place the seal of His approval upon it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 376.

“Angels work harmoniously. Perfect order characterizes all their movements. The more closely we imitate the harmony and order of the angelic host, the more successful will be the efforts of these heavenly agents in our behalf. If we see no necessity for harmonious action, and are disorderly, undisciplined, and disorganized in our course of action, angels, who are thoroughly organized and move in perfect order, cannot work for us successfully. They turn away in grief, for they are not authorized to bless confusion, distraction, and disorganization. All who desire the cooperation of the heavenly messengers must work in unison with them. Those who have the unction from on high, will in all their efforts encourage order, discipline, and union of action, and then the angels of God can cooperate with them.” Christian Service, 75.

Revival Needed

Our most urgent need is revival and reformation. It must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit, shedding abroad in our hearts the true love of God. That is the glue for all human beings. “Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life.… Reformation signifies a re-organization.” Christian Service, 42.

“Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.” Ibid.

We want a reformation. We want things to happen, but we need a revival in our own lives, a quickening of the power of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Let us make a commitment to do everything we can to unify in truth, pray for the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts, to shed the love of God abroad, that we might go forward and get the work done.

Spiritual Order

“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and be holding your order, and steadfastness of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5

Recently much discussion has entered the arena of ideas regarding “gospel order” and “organization” of smaller bodies of believers, either within their own groups or as groups joining together. Many necessities have arisen in these late hours of earth’s history that are making such discussions imperative.

Fair or Foul Usage

In considering the practical and physical nature of order and organization, we would do well to consider the spiritual order necessary to make anything of a practical nature function correctly. There are many who are afraid of physical organization, believing such endeavors are doors to corruption. The early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers faced 20 years of such fear before settling into that which proved a “grand success.” (See General Conference Bulletins, April 10, 1903; General Conference Daily Bulletins. January 29, 1893; February 20, 1899.)

Everyone reading this probably has a five dollar bill in their wallet or purse. A great deal of time, thought, expense, and machinery went into the process of producing that small piece of paper. Users of that denominated bill can either purchase lunch, gasoline, or a pornographic magazine if they so choose. The bill itself is not compromised by fair or foul usage. It is the user who decides the final issue of its value.

One of the main reasons people fear organization in religious fields arises from the premise that it is an open door to a hierarchy developing. Hierarchies have certainly developed. Some, like the papacy, put it right on paper. Others put on paper principles of gospel order and representative systems of governance, but in practice they are veritable papal machines functioning as “rule or ruin” systems. The paperwork is invalidated by men, in positions of responsibility, either ignorant, blind, or defiant of inspired directions in these matters. The heart is not right. The head becomes confused. The results become a detriment to the progress of Christ’s church.

The True Foundation

Spiritual order is the true foundation often missing from efforts to organize a work for God. I trust readers are well aware of the many statements from the Spirit of Prophecy, which deal with the topic. Two should provide an adequate perspective;

“Organizations, institutions, unless kept by the power of God, will work under Satan’s dictation to bring men under the control of men; and fraud and guile will bear the semblance of zeal for the truth and for the advancement of the kingdom of God.” Testimonies to Ministers, 366.

“There is too much reliance upon human plans and methods, and too little faith in the mighty God of Jacob; too much machinery, and too little of the life-giving Spirit and power of the Most High.” Signs of the Times, June 30, 1881.

A Tool to Further God’s Work

Literally hundreds of other statements can be read to get the balance of intent where organization, machinery and kindred terms are found. Organization and the elements of organization are essential for the oversight and forwarding of God’s message in this world. Positions of responsibility can be faithfully carried out, or people can fall into being betrayers of sacred trust. Such actions are not a call to dismantle order and organization. They just show the perversions that can enter. Let it be remembered that rebellion broke out even in heaven. No amount of organization can keep things spiritual, period. Organization is a tool to be used by spiritual people to forward a work for God in this world. It is not to be feared but respected and utilized, as one would use any tool to accomplish a purpose.

This brings us to principles of spiritual order from the Holy Bible by which we can be blessed. They are simple things, but oh, how often forgotten or not given proper consideration.

Here is the bottom line, the foundation:

“…Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God… he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:4, 5.

Every problem within organization stems from this situation first. If, in this politically correct world of ours, spiritual people cannot detect whether individuals placed in positions of responsibility are spiritual people themselves, we are in a most destitute situation, indeed. This is not judging salvation. This is not deciding who is weak in faith or strong. It is simply knowing who is a citizen of God’s kingdom by new birth, and who is not, by virtue of observing the fruits of life—love for God and love to our fellowman. If this cannot be known or observed in practical ways, let us call it a day and close up shop. But spirituality can be observed. It must be observed.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33.

Sung over and over again, as a Scripture song, the foundational principle here stated is almost lost amongst a people who regularly put men on pedestals, in the place of God, run the church like a Madison Avenue business or some secular country, when Jesus plainly stated – My kingdom is not of this world. The pure, worthy, heavenly, biblical prinicples that make up the governing of God’s kingdom must be sought, known and practiced if any kind of physical organization is to function well. They cannot be found in the kingdoms or corporations of this world. They are found only in Inspiration and the things of nature that God has created for our instruction.

Christ’s Righteousness Must be Exalted

All efforts to organize must center on the exaltation of Christ’s righteousness. No uplifting of the talents, accomplishments, education or banners and methods of man should be given entrance into the work of God. We are all sinners in need of a Saviour. We are all prone to self-centeredness. We are all bound to seek the comfort and affirmation of men in a crisis, rather than hold the line for God in the face of scowls, slicing words, or death. Teach, or let people look to men, and they will. They will bypass or replace counseling together with permission to go forward. A thus saith the Lord is replaced by a thus saith men. The principles of Bible truth are replaced by the rules, resolutions, regulations, policies, mandates and commandments of men. Nobody, with the glory of Christ’s righteousness shining through, will seek anything but the knowledge of God’s character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them, Great Controversy, 593. Whatever cannot be shown to aid in the believer’s attainment, by faith, of Christ’s righteousness cannot be made hard and fast. Let much prayer and thought go into this premise. Jesus knew about what He was speaking.

This leads us into another foundational principle. “…all ye are brethren.” Mat-
thew 23:8. There is only one King, one Head on one set of shoulders, upon which the government rests. There is one Lawgiver. How easy for sincere people to set men, called of God to do a work for Him, in the place of God Himself. It cannot be overstated how dangerous this is. It is very prevalent in all circles today and must cease. If we cannot humble ourselves and knock down the pedestals, God will.

“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. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28.

If men seek position, authority, dominion or greatness, they have not the spiritual order necessary to be involved in the work of God on earth.

In Luke 22:24-34, the same scenario is portrayed, with the added situation of Peter’s need for conversion to strengthen his brethren, and his confident statement of loyalty; to which Jesus told him of his coming denial.

We Must be “Servants”

Let the passage speak to the issue. Conversion, and realizing we are to be servants, is so necessary to successful organization; without it, all the talent on earth will accomplish only pain and trouble.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1. “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone:…” Matthew 18:15.

In Matthew 7:1–5, and Matthew 18:15–20, we read of basic principles of spiritual order that are constantly neglected to the destruction of souls. Now, let it be understood that Jesus said to “…judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24. But can you imagine a person with a ceiling beam sticking out of his face trying to tell someone how to get a sliver out of his eye? Jesus portrayed a preposterous situation to illustrate a plain truth; make sure your own heart and life are right with God before you get to thinking how to straighten out someone else’s life. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. How simple, and yet how foreign to much of what exists in religion today amongst God’s professed people, in the home and in the church. Certainly no organization can function properly where such principles are not carried out or found. Oh Lord, help Thy people to have spiritual order in every aspect of our lives.

A Heart Problem

Gossip and backbiting are poisons and disease that are eating out the life of the church in every quarter. Things ripple through the pews with such speed that surely the Seventh-day Adventist grapevine is the fastest communication system on earth! It is a heart problem that has nothing to do with districts, conferences, unions, positions of responsibility, printing presses, schools, or health institutions. There is such a lack of true brotherhood amongst God’s professed people that such illness is common rather than rare. Organization cannot stop it. Heaven could not stop it. Lucifer did what he did, and God allowed it to have its unfortunate results that we might learn the futility and destructive nature of these things. (See Patriarchs and Prophets, 41-42; paperback, 17, 18.)

Lucifer attacked God’s character, government and purposes. Spiritual order in heaven broke down. Rebellion broke out. War resulted. A separation took place. Do not miss the points. There is nothing new under the sun.

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1

In all things, restoration to God’s ideals is the influence that should be seen and practiced by God’s people. Tear down sin; do not tear down people.

Antichristian Behavior

Does the student of the Bible realize there is not a single instance in the gospels where Jesus verbally stated the problems people had with their personalities, characters, motives or methods—unless He was outright asked, addressed, or had people gather around Him to listen to Him teach principles that spoke to people’s hearts? Until people have that spiritual order that leaves the flaws of character, motive, personality, and methods (not out of harmony with a distinct biblical command) of others in the hands of God, we shall wander in the wilderness for generations to come, biting and devouring until a generation gets it right. We will never prepare for heaven while living out such antichristian behavior.

Consider these two stories and their import:

“And John answered Him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid Him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in My name, that can lightly speak evil of Me. For he that is not against us is on our part.” Mark 9:38–40.

If men forbid others because they are not “with the program,” if they display a “party spirit” or have that “company man” mentality, know they are not possessors of God’s spiritual order and will promote human wisdom over God’s revealed will.

In Luke 9:46-56 the same story is mentioned with the addition of comments by the “Sons of Thunder.” (See Mark 3:17.) When Jesus was not allowed to enter a village of the Samaritans because of their prejudice, James and John responded:

“Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did?” Jesus responded, rebuking them with the perfect words,
“Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:54–56.

To Build Up the Body of Christ

If men display self-importance, if they display bigotry or prejudice, or seek to hurt or destroy with ideas contrary to God’s government and kingdom, they have not the spiritual order that will build up the body. It is one thing to speak out against open sin and rebellion. It is another thing to deal with people as though we are engaged in a military conflict or sporting event. We war, but with spiritual weapons, not carnal ones. We race, but we do so that all may receive the crown of life, knowing we are in an endurance race, not a sprint to the finish line.

The book of Acts is filled with such harmony, brotherhood, love and power that one looks almost in vain to find any dissension. The murmuring of the Grecian converts, in chapter 6:1, which resulted in the office of deacons, is recorded. In chapter 15 we see the sharp contention between Paul and Barnabas over John Mark’s usefulness; something that was settled for the good of all with the insights, confidence and courage displayed by Barnabas. Would you be willing to disagree with the apostle Paul for the good of God’s work, or would Paul’s word settle a matter? Do not miss the point there.

In Acts 21:17–40, we have the unfortunate story of leaders having no confidence in Paul, this time around, which grew from having no spiritual order and little faith. Paul was asked to compromise his own principles, which he did to keep peace and unity. It cost the church the freedom of its greatest missionary. The leaders had no authority to place Paul under unnecessary restrictions, and their cowardice is a testament to what lack of brotherly love can cost God’s movement.

The Plague of Unbelief

There is, though, an underlying stone of offence that appears frequently in the book of Acts, as well as the epistles. In Acts 14 we see the influence of unbelieving Jews, and Acts 15 relates to us, in revealing detail, the problems that Judaizers would give the movement for years.

Unbelief is a plague, of course. No one would deny that. What could be less spiritual? But when it has the semblance of zeal for God and for His people, then it is most perfidious.

“But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.” Acts 14:2. What can be worse than former brethren and the trouble they can cause? Without spiritual order, and organization, an unraveling of the fabric of God can swiftly take place. Paul understood the issues and the times. He boldly spoke to these unbelievers and told them if they didn’t want the truth and the torch he would turn and watch God give it to the Gentiles. Acts 13:46; 14:3. True, they had to flee stoning (verse 5), but there is never a dull moment in the army of the Lord, beloved. Let us understand well that spiritual point. “All they that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (See 2 Timothy 3:12.)

In Acts 15 the issues came to a head within the body itself. If there is one thing that can slow down or derail the train of salvation, it is the misunderstanding of the plan of salvation. The Judaizers taught, “…Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” Acts 15:1. It did not seem to dawn on these souls that if circumcision actually saved anyone, half the human race (females) were left out. No small dissension and disputation arose. The Jerusalem council was called; Peter spoke the obvious, that the Holy Spirit had already decided the matter, and why put yokes on people no one was able to bear (generation after generation of false thinking)?

Is it not so that in our day there is tremendous misunderstanding of the plan of salvation, unto translation to heaven, throughout the ranks of God’s professed people? Rest assured, God has, and will continue to have, a movement where these precious truths are understood and proclaimed. But let it also be known that any type of physical organization that has people making up its numbers who do not understand God’s plan of redemption—from justification to sanctification to glorification—will find continual weak links in the chain of pulling souls from the quicksand of sin onto the solid rock of salvation.

The Mortar of Wise, Praying Builders

The entire Bible is filled with God’s spiritual order. We have looked at but a few places of foundational interest. It is the conviction of the author that a “new movement” in Adventism, a “reformation,” has been underway for a century. Its results can be clearly seen in the confusion that abounds. When a people see that independent atoms cannot be God’s plan for success, when it is realized there is need for organization more than ever before, let the principles of spiritual order be experienced and put into the mortar of wise, prayerful builders.

The reader is asked to notice the scope of order and organization employed by Paul in 2 Corinthians 13. He quotes Deuteronomy 19:15 as a foundational principle in dealing with all issues in verse 1; that at the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established. He asserts his authority to speak to the issue of unrepentant sinners in verse 2, especially in the light of those who have challenged his calling as an apostle.

He pleads for self-examination, whether we be in the faith; that faith once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3). He states we cannot do anything against the truth in verse 8, and wishes for the perfection of his readers (verse 9), knowing the power of the truth to sanctify the believer.

He wrote to his children in the faith unto their edification, not destruction (verse 10), knowing, at times, that spiritual order calls for plain speaking. There certainly is need for plain speaking in our day.

“Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. Greet one another with an holy kiss. All the saints salute you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” 2 Corinthians 13:11-14.

Partners with the Holy Spirit

Beloved, if people are experiencing the power of the grace of Jesus and the love of God; if they are partners with the Holy Spirit; if they are praying together and truly studying together to show themselves approved unto God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, but rightly dividing the word of truth, spiritual order will prevail, physical organizations and structures will remain steadfast, on course, having timbers of integrity that will resist storm and tempest, and God will move mightily in this world again. (See 2 Timothy 2:15.) True, the time is coming when men will not be able to buy or sell. Property will be confiscated. Buildings will be taken away. Things will boil down to the simplest of actions and order. Probation will close. God’s judgments against the false orders and organizations of this world will fall, and we shall go home. Home! That place where perfect peace and order shall exist forevermore. But, until then, let us do every-thing decently and in order. (See 1 Corinthians 14:40.) God’s order. Let us go home.

Ask the Pastor – Let Order Prevail


I have a question concerning the text found in 1 Corinthians 11:10. I can understand what is being said before and after it, but what does this verse mean?


This whole section of Scripture has caused questions among the saints for centuries. For some, it has allowed for the subjection of women to be just a little better than slaves. Others have made this section part of their doctrine as to how women should dress themselves. It is important that we understand the customs of those times, because God does work within the times and customs of the various races of people. Otherwise, if this were not true, polygamy could never have become as popular as it was in the lives of Old Testament patriarchs.

Ellen White makes no comment in regard to this text. What is left for us, then, is to try and figure out what Paul is getting at, based upon the whole chapter. We cannot divorce this text from the whole context. One thing is clear from the context. It deals with gospel order.

In the setting up of the early Christian church, it was extremely necessary that order prevail. The success of the church was dependent upon fellowship and mutual respect. In chapter 5 of the Book of Ephesians, Paul set in place the template from which all relationships and congregational fidelity were to be built. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Verses 19–23.

Submission of one to another was the prevailing attitude throughout the East. This was the order that needed to prevail so that the church could prosper. This was part of what is known as gospel order.

There is one fact of which we cannot lose sight: we are not just an island unto ourselves. We have a responsibility to those around us in the church, and we also have a responsibility to the angelic host. The Book of Hebrews makes it plain when it says that the angels are “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” Hebrews 1:14. The whole creation is tied together. Our subjection to one another is a testimony that we are followers of Christ. Women’s subjection to their husbands is also a testimony to the heavenly hosts that God is right and the devil is wrong. The great controversy is still being decided in the minds of many in the universe, including the angels. How gospel order prevails in the lives of God’s people serves as a testimony to every creature in heaven and in earth.

This places a great responsibility upon us as heirs of the kingdom. It will only be when we get to heaven that we will fully understand how all this fits together. Until then, we need to follow the gospel order set down by inspiration.

Pastor Mike Baugher is Associate Speaker for Steps to Life. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to: or mail it to: LandMarks, Steps to Life, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.