To the Brethern who love the Truth
From the Desk of: Timothy M. Youngblood ~ March 1995
Presented by: The Master's Table Web Site
IF YOU FIND THIS TO BE IN ERROR TO GOD'S WORD OR TRUTH, PLEASE MAKE IT KNOWN TO ME.
I write this in humility and out of love for all God's people. This is not based on my interpretation or personal view; I do not in any way feel I personally can judge others in a way that places me above them as I would have to cast the first stone at myself. However, if we judge by the word of God and in truth it is not us that judges, but God.
I would like to ask you true ministers of God to please at least consider the FACTS here with a very humble spirit before the GREAT GOD. Is it possible you have become caught up in the old trap many people have in the past and come to believe something without really proving it?
In the booklet by Global Church of God "Church government and Church unity" on page 8 under "Very seldom a central government in God's Church" I quote Rod Meredith, He stated…"Mr. Armstrong knew and many of us who have studied church history know, that in fact VERY SELDOM in its 2000-year history has God's Church ever had one administration, with one man in charge." On page 10 under "What Kind of Church government in the New Testament?" "If we look into the New Testament with an open mind, we find a totally different approach to government than what has developed in the Church. This different approach affected the way the early brethren and ministers interacted with each other, and the way they handled disagreements. Perhaps before plunging into scriptural examples, I should first set the stage. Frankly there was never in the New Testament Church-any example of a "Moses figure" or a "Pope Peter" who towered over the other apostles and elders gave them orders, threatened to "fire" them, etc. I cannot refer you to any scripture on this, because it IS NOT THERE!"
From these statements by Rod Meredith it becomes apparent to me that he, who was instrumental in establishing the hierarchical government in WCG, finely after many years, came to understand that this type of government is man's government. Or he was presenting the truth because he wanted people to come out of the WCG during that time so he could GET them into his church. He stated in his first government booklet that Herbert Armstrong knew there were never in the New Testament Church any example of a "Moses figure" or a "Pope Peter" who towered over the other apostles and elders also. (Request the article Mr. Armstrong wrote in the 30’s concerning true government in God’s Church”) HWA makes the same statements plus he uses the scriptures that prove Jesus Himself did not want this type of government in the church. I ask…why did HWA leave these scriptures out of his later articles concerning church government?
The proof is also now written in history by the bad fruits produced by this type of government. All one needs to do is talk to hundreds of brethren that have been greatly abused by this system. I have been told by good people that Rod even had a spy system to keep an eye on the ministers. All you need to do is ask any minister that is not now under the rule of Rod in the living church. What is the truth about Rod's ruling hand? It was Rod and Herman Hoeh that brought in the false un-godly pyramid structure of government that we saw in the old church. It was these two men that convinced HWA to place this type of government in the church. Why he listened to them, I don't know, but I do know that HWA knew it was incorrect because he wrote the truth about this as we stated above in the 30's.
I have checked into this and found Rod Meredith to be absolutely correct in the first government booklet and the Catholic Church is a very good example of this fact, as it is hierarchical and has the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes from the top down. My question now to you Rod Meredith is why have you lead the Church back into error? In the 2nd Church government book "When should you follow Church government?" on page 35 you went right back to MAN'S GOVERNMENT!! The "Moses figure" and you tried to make a command out of it by stating "Listen to the inspired instruction which originated from the One who became Jesus Christ," and again on page 36 half way down you went even further into the false statement adding "What is the basis of any human organization in which God is actively involved? Christ instructed Moses to select etc." If I remember the account correctly, it was Moses Father- in-law who gave him this idea. God spoke to Moses directly before and after this account without bringing up the issue of government.
Why would God use Moses Father-in-law to issue a COMMAND to Moses when He knew He would soon give him the Ten Commandments at Sinai? This approach to government is not necessarily sin, however it is only man's type of government... not God's, and it can and always has become corrupted. This type of government has never been Commanded by God, in fact we see in 1 Sam. 8:7-12 how God stated He was rejected by the people and how the King would set up a ungodly human government over them. And notice the structure of this government in vs. 12 1Sam 8:12. "He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, Now notice the comment by Moses' Father-in-law (not Christ) in Exod. 18:16-21 "When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws."
So Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you do is not good. "Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. "Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. "And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. "Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
When someone asks ministers to prove from the bible if God wants the hierarchical type government set up in His church today they refer to Exod 18:23. "If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace." Notice the words "God so commands you" This is what they focus you on because of the word "COMMANDS". Either they are deceiving you, or they don't know the word of God.
If they are going to use this to point people to God, then they should be sure of the meaning. The word Command here in Exod. 18:23 is Tsavah in Hebrew and means to enjoin or better put (if God so wills) we will do this or that. The word in Hebrew for Command as, God giving a command is mitsvah; and this word denotes a command, law, ordinance, or a precept. There's a world of difference in the meanings here, because the word "Tsavah" is used, the true meaning is getting God's blessings on something we do, and that is all this was.
Moses' Father-in-law (not Christ) saw that Moses was being overwhelmed by answering the peoples questions and solving problems. The solution was to appoint able men, that feared God, men of truth to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, etc. Again I say this was not a bad suggestion nor was it evil, but it was nothing more than a solution to the problem at hand, NOT A COMMAND FROM GOD! The statement "If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure." was in fact "If you do this thing and God wills (or God agrees) then you will be able to endure."
Who should we follow?
There’s a lot of discussion about following a man as he follows Christ. Many misguided ministers quote 1Cor. 11:1 stating, "Follow me, just as I also follow Christ. The King James version incorrectly uses the word follow. The Greek word is mimetes which means Imitator.
Would Paul ever instruct anyone to take their eyes off Christ and follow him!1Cor. 1: 12-15. What does the bible teach about who we are to imitate? Eph. 5:1-2 Webster's New World College Dictionary renders imitate as to seek the example of or take as one's model or pattern. To mimic, or resemble.
This rendering denotes becoming like Jesus, and could be used by Paul in that as long as he conducted himself in a Christ-like manner, then those who saw his actions could learn by example. Ever see a small child imitate someone? What a big difference that is from follow.
Webster's New World College Dictionary renders follow as to go along, to accept the authority of, to obey, yield to, or to advocate the ideas, or opinions of those followed.
Now this rendering has a completely different meaning than to imitate Paul as he imitates Christ. Paul was in essences being the example for others to see. Where following him would get our eyes off Christ and on Paul (or any man) thereby the possibility of being deceived if the man would cunningly change the doctrine. The one thing God wants mankind to always remember and it's the very thing we always seem to forget, and that is, GOD IS SUPREME! He has never and will never give up or trust His authority to any angel or man.
A True Minister
However, if a man comes teaching the truth, pointing you to the most holy Father in heaven by Jesus' teachings showing that salvation is a free gift from God, and is in fact a humble teacher of righteousness doing what Jesus commanded, feeding the flock, giving hope to the hopeless, encouraging the broken hearted, visiting the sick and comforting the dying. Bringing back to Christ those who were lost and showing the love of God to the rejected. Loving the truth and defending it from those who would pervert it. That man can indeed be used of Jesus to preach the true gospel. The truth is that Christ is governing His church from His headquarters in heaven through every truly begotten child of God. He has never and will never give up His authority to any man.
Under the new covenant we can individually go directly to God the Father and therefore the governmental structure has to be on an individual bases. In 1 Cor. 11:3 the term 'HEAD' is referring to rank or position in authority. Anointing the head has been used many times to crown a King or appoint a Priest. Exod 30:30. 1 Sam 15:1 so here in 1 Cor. 11:3 Paul is using the term head to denote governmental structure.) "But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Christ instructed us to NOT have a man made type of Government over the Church, and if you need a command by Christ (not Moses' Father-in-law) here it is. Matt 20:25-26 "But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
The Gentiles Christ was referring to had a hierarchical type government. Their type of government was the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes which means "victor over the people" The Greek word nikee means "victor, and the Greek word laos means the people or the lay members. In the book of Revelations we read that God hates the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, and states He will come and fight these churches who profess His Name, but disobeys Him by placing this type of system and burden on His children. Rev 2:15-17
Christ's way throws cold water on politicking and brings out those who truly want to serve God's people without blowing any trumpets and gives all opportunity to lay up treasures in heaven pleasing God and Christ and bringing great blessing on His Church.
Our Real Paramount Goal
Rod Meredith stated in the Global Church News Sep.-Oct. 1996 issue on page 14 that the WORK WAS THE PARAMOUNT GOAL AND PURPOSE EVEN TO OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!! The Webster's New World College Dictionary renders PARAMOUNT as "ranking higher than any other, as in POWER or IMPORTANCE, CHIEF, SUPREME. When you read the Global literature it becomes very apparent that the WORK is most important, in fact the WORK it seems has become a new Gospel.
The job Christ gave His Church was to FEED HIS SHEEP AND PREACH THE TRUE GOSPEL TO THE WORLD. See John 21:15-17 and, Mark 16:15.
The true Gospel that Christ preached was introducing the Father for the first time ever and showing that we individually can have a personal relationship with Him and that Christ would die in our place to become the mediator for us to the Father and through Christ we could become begotten Sons of God and in the resurrection enter into the Kingdom of God. In other words our relationship with the Father through the true Christ is PARAMOUNT and IS THE TRUE GOSPEL!
Those who are true Shepherds
Who was God speaking about in Ezk. 34: 1-10. Is it just possible He is speaking to you? Do you fear God enough to be absolutely sure you have not fallen into error? The facts above speak for themselves and if you dare to look closely at the people of God you will see they are hurting and falling pray to every type of false gospel Satan can muster. Have we forgotten God does the calling and expects the ministers to feed the flock?
Ezk. 34: 1-10 “And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? "You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. "The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. "So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. "My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them."
'Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: "as I live," says the Lord GOD, "surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock"-- 'therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD! 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them."
Timothy M. Youngblood
The Master's Table