A lecture on the Order of the Church: Its Success, Part 1.

The New Testament describes the church as an organism and an organization. As an organism, she is a living entity for which God is largely responsible for her existence and growth; as an organization, she is a well ordered mechanism for which man is largely responsible for her discipline and oversight. A healthy church is one which maintains discipline as an organization, as well as one which grows in the Lord as a living body. These lectures on the Order of the Church are looking at the assembly of Christ from the standpoint of her organizational components.

The question answered in this study: Should a church measure her success based on duty or results? It is our conviction that result based measurements creates a false balance, cultivates hurtful attitudes and promotes a wrong perspective.

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The advent of John the Baptist into the world was not an unexpected event. Although his birth had not been announced by angels, as was Christ’s, yet God had declared, “I will send my messenger and he shall prepare the way before me.”—Mai. 3:1. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”—Mai.4:5,6. Jesus declared that it was John of whom this was written. —Matt. 11:10. He also testified that Elias (Elijah) must first come, but declared that he had already come, and they knew him not.—Matt. 17:11,12.

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