GOD'S SCHOOL OF DIVINE GOVERNMENT

By

Sam Fife

 

Miami 1974 - Elder's Teaching

 

This is a teaching I have felt led of tile Lord to give during the

last several months on just about every body farm that I've been to

and many of the local bodies that I've been to-only to elders. It is a

teaching that simply draws together all of the principles of God's Di-

vine Order for the Body of Christ that have been brought forth not

just from myself or my own ministry but all the ministry during the

past several years in tile move of God --tile principles of God's divine

order in God's divine government, and this teaching simply draws

them together into one comprehensive teaching on God's divine, or-

er so that all of the ministry can begin to see a pattern of God's

divine order government for the Body of' Christ and have guidelines

to follow so that we can conic into a greater oneness and ability to

move as one--as God's Divine Government.

Now the scriptural basis or foundation for this teaching is, of

course, the scripture in Hebrews 7:21, which says "Christ is God's

priest forever after the order of Melchisedec," for that's the scrip-

ture that has to do with tile divine order of God that God is bringing

forth in His people in His body, which will be the governmental or-

der under which the Spirit of God shall govern His body and the
world during the millennium which is soon to come.

The first thing that we want to say is that we must realize what

God is doing with us in this move of God. He is bringing forth a di-

vine order government to govern the world, after the order of Melchi-

sedec. We're not building a church, we're not playing church, we're

not a bunch of preachers that are looking for a ministry, this is not

an evangelistic move of God, it's not a full gospel move of God, it's

not a healing move of God, it's the move of God in which God is

bringing forth a many-membered manchild to govern the world,

through whom Christ will govern the world during the millennium

that is to come. Therefore, we are in God's school of Divine Govern-

ment, and God is training us as one many-membered man, teaching

us, training us, preparing us to be the government through whom the

Spirit of Christ will govern the world. The way that He is teaching

and training us is by letting us practice on one another, by teaching us

to govern one another and to be governed by one another after the

order of Melchisedec, which is a theocratic spirit government order.

Most of you have heard us teach again and again the definition of

that term "order" that is used when the Bible says "Christ is a priest

forever after the order of Melchisedec." An order is simply a system

of government or a governmental system. Thus, we say that here in

the U.S. we're governed by what is called the democratic order of

government, in Canada they have a parliamentary governmental

order or system of government, England has a monarchal govern-

mental order, and so we have illustration after illustration of what a

governmental order is.

 

 

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Since the order, or the system of government by which we are

to govern the world is a new governmental order, since there is no

precedent, no example of this governmental system that has ever

been seen or heard of before in the world, and therefore no prece-

dent or example to go by of times past: The principles of this govern-

mental order has to be revealed by revelation from heaven, line upon

line , precept upon precept.

Now I'd like to establish in your hearts the authority of this

governmental order. You see, every system of government that has

ever been brought forth in this world before was brought forth and

established by the principles of that government being brought forth

out of the belly of whatever ministry that was used to establish that

system of government in the earth by revelation arid by inspiration,

whether it was from the negative spirit of the devil or the positive

spirit of God.

Long ago when the devil through Nimrod brought forth and es-

tablished in the world organized government, he did it by the spirit

of revelation and inspiration and through Nimrod the devil brought

forth and established in the world all the principles of organizational

government that Babylon is ruled by today. Two hundred years ago.

or a little more, when the Democratic order of government by which

the U.S. is governed was brought into being in the earth, the way it

was brought into being was the laws upon which that government

was established were brought forth by inspiration and revelation out

of the belly of the ministers that God called to bring forth arid esta-

blish that government in the world. Some men named George Wash-

ington, Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin and the fathers of our

country who attended our country's first constitutional convention,

where the spirit of revelation brought out of their belly the principles

of the Constitution upon which the government of the U.S. is based.

Therefore, donít ever question the right of the five fold plural spirit

ministry to be the source of divine order government for the body of

Christ.

We are now in an hour when because all the governments of this

world that have ever been brought forth have turned themselves over

to the spirit of' the anti-Christ and are going to submit themselves to

becoming a part of' that one world beast, therefore God has called

out a people to bring forth and manifest in this world a new govern-

mental order, a theocratic spirit governmental order by which the

world will be governed after God judges all the other governmental

systems of this world arid removes them from off the face of the

earth. We are that people that God has called and anointed to bring

forth Out of their bellies through the spirit of revelation the princi-

ples of that governmental order, preach them to a people so they be-

gin to catch the vision and gain all understanding of that government-

al order and establish it in their midst, just the way the government

of the U.S. was established. It didn't happen in a day. It took many

many years for it to be finally ratified by all the states. That is the

way the principles of any governmental order come into being, by

 

 

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revelation and inspiration out of the belly of whatever ministry that's

called to establish that order in the world, whether it be a negative

governmental order or a positive governmental order.

Now that governmental order, at this point, is a five fold spirit

ministry governmental order consisting of apostles, prophets, evan-

gelists, elders or pastors (those two terms are synonymous) and

teachers. The spirit has called forth those spirit ministries not only to

reveal that governmental order in the earth but to establish it in

God's people and through God's people in the earth. Let's cut out all

the fooling around, all the ballyhoo, all the questioning, all the argu-

ing-for to anybody who's been in this move of God any time, it is

very clear that God has called out a five fold plural spirit anointed

ministry to bring forth out of their bellies and establish in the people

of God a new governmental order. That ministry, according to I Cor-

inthians 12, consists of first apostles, then prophets, and after that

teachers which consist of a three-fold teaching ministry of elders,

evangelists, and teachers.

Now this is not five ministries, but it is the ministry of one spi-

rit of God through five channels. Not all channels are the same. Any

fleshly foolishness about everybody in the move of God being the

same is a bunch of foolishness. There is one spirit who ministers through all,

that's true, but all five of these ministries are not on the same level of

union with that Spirit and that's why I Corinthians says God hath set

some in the church first apostles, then prophets, and after that the

three-fold teacher ministries. Therefore, I want you to understand

that they are the government of God. We're not playing church,

we're not trying to build another church on the comer. The thing

that God is doing in us is far greater, far more consequential than

anything that's ever been done in this world before. We ought to get

serious about it, we ought to mature, we ought to cut out all the

foolishness, get all our doubts out of our mind, deal humbly and

gently with all God's children who challenge our authority in the Spi-

rit but don't put up with any foolishness. This is a mighty and a seri-

ous and an eternally consequential thing that God is doing.

This teaching consists of drawing together the principles of

God's Divine order government that God has brought forth over the

past several years into one comprehensive teaching. These principles

deal with elders relationship to elders, God's divine order for elders

disagreeing with elders and being one another's check and balance

and confirmations, eldersí relationship to body member, body mem-

bers' relationship to elders, eldersí relationship to apostolic ministries,

body members relationship to elders and apostolic ministries, God's

divine order for elders disagreeing with apostolic ministries and the

whole ascending and descending scale of God's divine order for us

dealing with one another in our various ministries, whatever they

may be. Of course, the first principle that should be taught is that

God wants you to deal with your brother in the Spirit of Christ.

This is a theocratic spirit government and these principles only apply

when you're in free Spirit and when you're not in the Spirit they

 

 

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donít apply to you at all- you forfeit your right to even participate

in this divine government if you are not in the Spirit of Christ when

you participate. If you're in your flesh, if you're irritated, aggravat-

ed, upset , emotionally disturbed, all of which is flesh- you ought to

just sit down and let somebody else govern the Body of Christ. This

is a theocratic spirit government founded upon not laws, as the gov-

ernment of the U.S. , but upon eternal spiritual principles and the

first principle is that You must be in the Spirit of Christ in the divine

order that God has established for us dealing with one another as

God's government. Itís a plural government -- that's nothing new

the democratic government of the U.S. is it plural government, but the

difference between us and it is that their government is based upon

laws and our government is based upon eternal spiritual principles.

They are governed by a constitution, but we don't have any consti-

tution for we're governed by a living spirit. Their government is

founded upon a constitution, but our government is founded upon a

living spirit, the Spirit of God.

The next principle that we need to learn and understand is what

God wants is not a group of elders (and when I use the term elder

now I'm including apostles, because in the spiritual sense apostles

are part of the elders too: Peter, I think it was, wrote to the elders

and said I, Peter who am also an elder) who are always agreeing with

one another on every issue, especially in elder's meetings, and there-

by becoming a bunch of ďyes menĒ for one another. What he wants

is a group of elders to be His government that can disagree with one

another, but in the right spirit, the humble sweet gracious Spirit of

Christ and in the divine order that God has established for disagree-

ing with one another and thereby be one another's perfect check and

balance. You would be amazed if you realized that about 90 percent

of the elders in the move of God across the country don't know that.

They think it's completely the other way. They think that what God

wants is a bunch of elders that agree with one another all the time

and if there's any disagreement, particularly in an elders' meeting,

then that's division, and there's division in the camp and that the

Kingdomís falling apart. I'll say it again, that's exactly contrary to

what God wants. he doesn't want elders that agree with one another

all the time on every issue, but a group of elders who can come to-

gether and disagree with one another in the right spirit, the spirit of

Christ, and such a spirit of love that your brother feels your love

even when you're disagreeing with him, and therefore is not offend-

ed, and you should reach the point where though you have disagreed

with him, and take your stand, you would rather he be right, if he

can prove to You that he's right, thereby being one another's check

and balance. That doesn't mean that some day God doesn't want us

to agree all the time on all issues. He does, for His word says His

watchmen shall see eye to eye when He brings again the captivity of

Zion , but that day is not now. They can't be yet and therefore the

instrument by which He wants to bring us to that day is ail eldership

that can disagree with one another in the Spirit of Christ and in that

 

 

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Divine order God has for disagreeing with one another, and thereby

be used to check one another, to purge one another, so that He can

bring forth that perfect ministry, a perfect government who do see

eye to eye on all things.

Therefore, here is the next principle for you-disagreement on is-

sues is not division in spirit. I can disagree with you on issues all day

long and dig in my heels and take my stand against you on issues all

day long and never be divided from you in my spirit, if I stay in the

spirit of Christ when I do it. And even if you get divided from me in

your spirit and resent the fact that I disagree with you on the issue

and get upset, uptight, just plain (town right mad with me, bitter, I

still don't have to be divided from you in my spirit. The old saying

"It takes two to tango" is absolutely true. You can get divided from

me in your spirit but if I stay in the Spirit of Christ, a spirit of love

toward you and don't get divided from you in my spirit, then we're

not tangoing. That's your key principle you want to bind on your

eyes for frontlets, mount it on your door post that you see it coming

in and going out--disagreement over issues is not division in the

spirit. Therefore I can love brother so and so and stand and say I dis-

agree with you on this issue and this is my reason and so forth and

still be perfectly one with you in spirit. I can disagree with you on

every issue and still never lose my oneness with you in spirit if I

simply understand and have a clear revelation that disagreement on

issues is not division in spirit. Teach God's people then that when

they go around seeing their elders disagreeing on issues they won't go

around thinking their elders are divided and there's division in the

camp.

There are principles of God's divine order necessary for you to

understand before you accomplish this. The first one is that the only

way that you can disagree with your brother on issues and not get

divided from him in spirit is that you recognize his right to his con-

viction even though lie may be wrong. If you don't have that vision

and that revelation then you can't stay one in spirit with him and

still disagree with him on the issue. Every elder in this move of God

should come to the point where he recognizes his brother's right be-

fore God to his conviction even though he may be wrong. The se-

cond one that is necessary is to recognize that he is sincere in his con-

viction even though he may be wrong. When I was a young Baptist

preacher I couldn't see that at all. Anybody who didn't see it the way

I did, I was absolutely sure they just didn't love the Lord the way I

did, and they weren't all sincere as I was. Besides, they were proba-

bly stupid if they didn't see it the way I did.

God had to show me how wrong I could be dozens of times and

let me go through a lot of experiences before I recognized that be-

fore God every man has his right to his conviction even though he's

wrong and that a person could he wrong and just as sincere in their

love for Jesus, and just as sincere in their conviction as I am. The rea-

son this can be so is that not only are there two sides to every ques-

tion, I've found there are at least half a dozen sides to every question,

 

 

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and it all depends on what side you're standing on Whether you're

seeing it aright or not.

I'm sure we've all heard the story about the three blind men that

were taken to the zoo to see the elephant and see what an elephant

was like. One of them approached the elephant and began to feel up

his leg and said "I know what an elephant is like, he's like a tele-

phone pole". Another one began to feel around his belly and he said,

"You're wrong, an elephant's not like that, he's like a barrel." The

other one began to feel its trunk and he said "You're both a bunch

of nuts, he's like a snake." Now all three were right, but all three

were seeing the elephant from different sides. When we understand

this we will all lose some of our dogmatism, become more humble,

recognize our fallibility more, and above all, recognize our brother's

right to his conviction, and that he can be sincere in it even though

he's sincerely wrong. These two areas must be in order to be divided

from your brother on issues, and yet not be divided from him in

spirit.

What God wants is elders who can disagree with one another, be

one another's check and balance in the right spirit, and in the divine

order that God has given us to disagree with one another. If you

leave those last two out, you're out of order. You can be right on the

issue, but wrong in your spirit, and you're out of order.

On the other hand, that doesn't mean that just because you've

heard a revelation that what God wants is elders who can disagree

with one another, that that means that you have a special calling to

disagree all the time and that you're more spiritual than anybody else

because you're the one who's always disagreeing with your brother,

neither that we should disagree just to fulfill the revelation or dis-

agree just to be disagreeable which brings us to the next principle.

This principle, which we should really get settled on, is that we

should never disagree with our brother ministry unless we feet sure in

our heart that we have wisdom from the Lord and a good reason for

disagreeing with him, from the Spirit of God. If we don't, then we

should simply be quiet, speak not a word, and if he's wrong, let

someone else be used of the Spirit of God to be his check and bal-

ance. Above all we should never do what one brother did once in an

elders' meeting: one elder had presented what he felt was wisdom of

God on the issue and this brother spoke up and said "I disagree with

that." When the other brother gently asked him to tell him the rea-

son why, he said "I don't have to give a good reason, I just don't wit-

ness to it." Well, that might be all right for him, but it's not all right

for me. If you disagree with me on what I feel is the wisdom of God

that I heard from the Spirit, you better be ready to give me a reason

or we're going to have a spiritual confrontation because the principle

is that we shouldn't speak unless we believe we have wisdom from

God, and I'm sure you try to keep that principle as I do, and there-

fore, when I do speak and present what I feel is wisdom from God,

I'm not interested in what you feel because I know there are several

sources feelings can come from. I'm only interested in the scriptural

 

 

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reason you can give for disagreeing with me. Or perhaps if you know

some facts about the issue that I don't know, or if perhaps you're

standing on another side of the issue where you can see another side

of it that I can't see from where I'm standing that shows you right

and me wrong and of course then I'm perfectly willing to listen.

Therefore, if we are going to dare to get in the way of God and dis-

agree with any wisdom our brother elder has brought forth which he

feels is the voice of God speaking, then we should be prepared to give

a good reason for doing so, either something he doesn't know on the

issue scripturally or facts about tile issue, or just what we know that

we're standing on from another side and can see from another side

and therefore be a good check and balance.

The next principle is when we disagree with a fellow elder or

apostle, there is a divine order for our presenting our disagreement to

one another. The first principle in that divine order is that when el-

ders come together to seek the wisdom of God for God's people, and

the issue is brought forth, whoever feels they have wisdom from God

on the issue should speak and present it. If not, they shouldn't speak

at all.

Let me just digress here for a moment and deal with a very im-

portant point, and, solve what may be a very important problem if

you ever get on an endtime body farm. I was at an endtime body

farm where the problem was that there were about 24 elders on that

farm and they'd come together in an elders' meeting and each one

wanted to give his opinion, so it took about four hours to deal with

each issue and the elders' meeting was lasting all night long. Final-

ly, the elders all got so sleepy they all had to go home, and nothing

could be settled, simply because every elder would start giving his

opinion. The solution to that problem is keep quiet unless you know,

as much as Your heart understands, that you have wisdom from God,

and if that is taught everywhere, that will solve that problem. And if

you don't know if you have wisdom from God, for God's sake, don't

give Your opinion. Don't muddy up the water or anything else, just

sit quiet and wait and see who does.

That's the first step. Whoever has what they feel is wisdom from

God on the issue should speak and then if there's someone who dis-

agrees with him in the Spirit of Christ, present to him the reasons

why you disagree and present them clearly, as precisely as you can,

back them up with all the evidence that you can and then if you feel

it'll help and you can come up with a good illustration to make it a

little clearer, then illustrate it. When you've finished that, then give

your brother time for a rebuttal. If you still haven't convinced him

that your view is right and his is not the correct wisdom of the Lord

and he says "Well brother, I canít receive this. I still feel I have the

right wisdom, than give him time to make his rebuttal, and then

when heís done that if either one of you says one more word beyond

that, you've gotten into to an argumentative spirit and you're no longer

moving in Godís divine order, You're arguing.

 

 

 

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You see, you should have presented all you've got the first time.

If, that can't convince him then there's no use for you to say any

more. Therefore, after he has presented his rebuttal, you've given all

you've got to convince him the first time and you have no more to

say, Amen. If you say anything beyond that you're just repeating

yourself and that's argument. Thatís not government, that's not di-

vine order. Take your time. He should listen, everybody should listen

humbly and shouldn't interrupt one another. That's how I tell if

someone's in a demon spirit. After I've listened to them, hearing

everything they've wanted to say, when I start talking, if they inter-

rupt me after I start talking I know they're in a demon spirit because

that's what spirits do. They don't want to ever give you a chance to

get your say out. The Spirit of God, after he's said all lie has to say,

isn't going to speak again.

So, there are just three parts to the divine order: (1) Let your

brother present his view, (2) present your disagreement, (3) give him

his time for his rebuttal, and then if you haven't convinced him,

don't say another word, either party. Then it's time to go the next

step higher in God's divine order with the question. It doesn't have

to be left in confusion, God has another step up in God's divine

order.

That step is that if the issue has been brought forth and there is

disagreement among two elders or two segments of elders and the

one has presented his disagreement, and the other his rebuttal, and

still the question isn't resolved, they can't convince one another, the

next step is for the elders to call God's apostolic ministry in on the

issue, and to present the issue to the apostolic ministry who are sup-

posed to have a higher wisdom than elders. If they don't, they

shouldn't be apostolic ministry-shouldn't be considered apostle

ministry. In having the issue presented to them, they may see some

sides of the issue that the elders don't see, and by presenting the

issue to them can bring the elders together and make them one in the

issue, and solve the matter. When the apostolic ministry presents

their wisdom and the issue is still unresolved, the elders still aren't

convinced, they're still divided, maybe one segment is standing with

the apostle ministry, and the other segment still says I don't receive

it, the next step up in God's divine order is to take the issue to Jesus,

the head, through the prophet ministry. Get two or three good solid

seeing prophets, and we've got them in this move of God, never any

further away than the telephone and if there's time, a letter written,

to inquire of the Lord to speak in visions as He always does to see

whether he confirms the one side or the other side on the issue.

Whichever one He confirms the Head has spoken and then every-

body's responsible to submit and in the right spirit and in a spirit of

oneness, everyone can be one over what the Head says. If they can't

they forfeit their right to participate in this divine government.

 There is one point here that is necessary to make and that is if

the issue is a pressing issue and needs a decision fight now and there

is no time to contact the apostle ministry (and the way God's got

 

 

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them running cross the world today sometimes it does take a little

time, even with the telephone, just to track them down), then it is

valid for the elders to bypass the apostolic ministry and go straight to

the head asking the prophets to ask the Lord for a word from God to

see if He confirms one side of the elders or the other segment. Now,

since this is valid under this circumstance, one might ask the question

"Well, why don't we get smart and save time and bypass the apos-

tolic ministry all the time?" 'Me reason this is not in God's divine or-

der is that the purpose of God ultimately is not to bring forth a body

of elders in government that has to go to the head all the time, but

on the lower levels apostles ministries, elders ministries and so forth

can solve the matter through good spirit led judgment and wisdom. If

not the elders, then the apostles ministry. The prophet ministry is a

crutch that God has provided for us for a period of time until we

have come to that growth in the Spirit and wisdom where one day

the prophet ministry of confirmations can be done away with and

when the apostolic ministry speaks as the wisdom of God it'll be the

wisdom of God. And then some day all the elders will come to the

point where all the apostolic ministry can be done away with and the

question can be settled through the spirit led wisdom of what were

elders, but have just become sons of God. Then some day the elders

ministry can be done away with and every body member will have a

walk in the Spirit that can settle the issue through the spirit-led wis-

dom. So you see, if you bypass the apostolic ministry all the time, it

wouldn't be fulfilling the purpose that God has and that's why it's

not God's order to do so, except in necessary circumstances.

Now that's God's divine order for elders disagreeing with elders

and thereby being one another's check and balance. The qualifying

principle that you must always keep inserted here is that it must be

done in the right spirit, in the spirit of Christ, in love, with no emo-

tionalism and no overcharging of the air. There's the case of the

young elder who was mad with the fellow he was disagreeing with

ever since he opened his mouth and the other guy hadn't even decid-

ed whether he was going to receive it or not. He was all upset and his

attitude was all fighty and he didn't know, his brother might have re-

ceived what he was saying if he finally gets it said. But out of his in-

security he's gotten all emotional about it. He's quite sure his bro-

ther's going to disagree with him before he starts and he's on the de-

fense. Don't you ever doubt it beloved, anytime that, in any disagree-

ment with our brother ministry, we are emotionally disturbed, upset,

the air is charged in anyway whatsoever, it's our own immaturity and

insecurity showing up. When you are secure in your stand in Christ,

in your walk in the spirit, confident in it and in your conviction, you

can calmly quietly present your disagreement with your brother el-

der and especially if you recognize deep down inside you that you

just might be wrong after all, no matter how the evidence looks as

though you've got it. Therefore, if you are depending upon your

brother's disagreement and your brethren's disagreement to be your

check and balance, then you won't ever get upset. The air won't ever

 

 

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be emotionally charged, you'll simply quietly calmly say, "Dear bro-

ther, I disagree with you on the issue and here's the reason why- 1,

2, 3, 4, 5," and you'll calmly, quietly wait to see how lie receives it

and if he says, "I disagree with you and here's why," then you'll say

"Well, then, let's take the next step in God's divine order,"

I passed over one little point that should be inserted here, when

there's disagreement between two elders, before going to an apostolic

ministry, if there's time, it is perfectly valid to say, "Let's table this

and pray on it for a week, come back together again and see if we

can come to oneness without even going to the apostolic ministry. If

everybody goes off really open to the Lord saying, "If' I'm wrong,

show me ," then it's possible when you come together the next time

to come to oneness upon it.

The next thing that I'd like to point out in this category of elders

disagreeing with elders is that if we're right on the issue and if we do

have the true wisdom on the issue of the Lord then we don't have to

go around during that week or any time politicking, talking about it

outside the elders meeting trying to line up a clique on our side so

that when we come together again the vote will be on our side, like

we used to do in the old order, like they still do in the old order and

like everyone of us has done in the old order. You see , in this move

of God it's a futile waste of time, because if you line tip a vote and a

clique on your side when you come back in the elders meeting you'll

just be wasting your time because there isn't any voting in this move

of God; in this move of God the majority rules is not the rule. That's

only in the democratic order of the U.S. The majority does not rule

in this move of God. You come into an elders meeting and you've 25

elders and 24 of them all agree that it ought to be this way and one

feels that it ought to be the other way, then he has the right to re-

quest that the matter be taken to the apostolic ministry and If the

apostle ministry and all 24 elders agree that it ought to be the other

way and he still doesn't witness to it he his the right to request that

the matter be taken to the head Jesus through the prophet ministry

and therefore, you see, it's no use lining up a clique in this move of

God because there isn't any voting in this order. I've seen some

places where there's a great need for this teaching because some of

the elders still think that the majority rules. And if all the majority

agree and one little old elder disagrees, he's scared to death to dis-

agree, afraid he'll be thought a fool or something.

But, of course, we all know that old Elijah on Mount Carmel had

the majority against him. Four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal

against him, but God vindicated him In the end. And that's the point.

The one thing the Spirit of God burned in my soul when he first

brought me into this move of God is that if you're Only one and

there's 400 against you, if you do have the true wisdom of the Lord

you don't have to politic, you don't have to line up a clique, you just

have to state your conviction and stand on it - in the end. God will

vindicate you . If we all really believe that, if we all really learn that,

youíll find a great peace suddenly descending upon this move of

 

 

10.

 

 

God, because a thing called politicking will be done away with for-

ever. There's still some of it that goes on in this move of God because

everybody doesn't know this. It hasn't been taught too much that

the majority doesn't rule. Of course, this divine order that I'm teach-

ing today hasn't been fully established yet, in this move of God. Can

you see the beauty of order? Can you see that when it is fully esta-

blished and when it is accepted by every ministry in this move of

God and when they all have committed themselves to it there will

never be any room for a spirit of division to come in and divide up

elders. The order just doesn't leave any room for it. No opening

whatever for any spirit of division to come in and divide up the min-

istry in this move of God. The only thing that leaves room for evil

spirits of division to cause division after having this revelation is the

human factor, that is if some one person decides they're not going to

walk in the order, they're not going to submit to it, they're going to

try to push their own view through, bypassing the order, bypassing

going onto the next step, and we have a little bit of that sometimes.

Somebody asked me a question one time, "What do you do in an

elders meeting when a brother starts trying to ram his view down

everybody else's throat and he gets out of the spirit and he gets to

hollering, he gets his temper up and he gets emotional; how do you

deal with it?" The way to deal with it is for everybody else to, get

very quiet, so quiet and in the spirit themselves that before very long

the brother will look around and he himself can see what a fool he's

been. And it will be evident even to him that he's out of the spirit

without anybody saying a word and he'll get back in and then you

can move on in the Spirit of God and in God's divine order.

Therefore, these are the principles in God's divine order for el-

ders settling every issue in the body of Christ and in the move of

God. Just one more point, not only inside elders meetings but out-

side elders meetings. If you have an issue with your brother, I don't

mean a personal issue, I mean an issue over the work of God, your

personal issues settle with him personally, because elders meetings

aren't courthouse trials to settle your personal issues with your bro-

ther. They are forums of issues of how elders should take God's body

on to perfection, and how they should do the work of God. But if

you feel on an end time farm that you ought to plant beans on this

piece of ground instead of potatoes and your brother elder feels you

ought to plant potatoes- an issue comes up outside the elders meet-

ing and you can't convince your brother elder, then it's very valid to

request an elder's meeting, and bring the issue before the whole of

the elders and then take the ascending scale of God's divine order for

settling it. So you see, this order works either inside or outside the

elders meeting if we will all get a true vision and revelation on it and

walk in it.

In interpreting visions, if there is a disagreement, the elders

should meet together and seek together the interpretation of the

vision. If they can't agree on the interpretation, then they must as-

cend up the scale again and take it before the apostolic ministry to

 

 

11.

 

 

get the interpretation and. Of' Course, the apostolic ministry in that

area of interpreting the visions settles the matter, because , of course,

you canít go and seek more visions to see if God confirms the inter-

pretation of the visions of the apostolic visions. However, If you per-

sonally don't receive the interpretation of one apostolic ministry,

you do have the right to go to two or three other apostolic ministries

if you so desire. The right of appeal is always a part of God's divine

order.

The next category is God's divine order for body members dis-

agreeing with elders. The first principle we need to learn here is that

we do not teach blind submission in the move of God, We teach sub-

mission, but we do not teach blind submission. Blind submission is a

teaching that a member of the Body of Christ is responsible to sub-

mit to an elder or an apostle just because they are an elder or an

apostle whether their spirit witnesses that they're moving in the

Spirit or not. That's the doctrine of blind submission and this we do

not teach. And again you'd be amazed to discover how many elders

in the move of God across this country think we do. I was amazed at

how I discovered many think that we do, and I have been quoted as

teaching blind submission even though many have heard me preach

again and again and again as elders were set in that this doesn't give

you any official authority and that no one is responsible to submit to

any ministry in the move of God unless their spirit witnesses that

that ministry is moving in the Spirit of Christ.

I was amazed to discover once, in a certain body house situation

down in Miami where a group of people had been living in a body

house for a couple of years, that an elder there had been teaching

blind submission and teaching the people that I was teaching blind

submission and sincerely believed it. The people for two years had

been submitting to it and there was such a beautiful order in that

body house all the time. The only thing is the poor people's shoul-

ders were getting lower and lower. The way I discovered that this el-

der was teaching that brother Sam says, "You've got to submit, you

need to submit," was that I was out to dinner one time with that el-

der. Something came up and she told about how this body member

tried to tell her that we didn't teach blind submission in the move of

God, and she said, "And I let them know we do." Then I said, "Well,

you had better go back and let them know we don't." The principle

that she was teaching them was that you should submit every time to

any elder whether he's right or wrong because it'll do a good work in

you, it'll work the cross in you. And of course that's true, it'll work

the cross in you all right. And it's true that in small matters that

aren't of serious consequence, we should submit right or wrong. But

that's not only true of elders, that's true of any one of our brethren

in small matters that aren't of serious consequence, and it'll do a

good work in us to prevent strife, if it's going to be a matter of strife.

But in serious matters, God's people can get hurt that way. They can

get killed spiritually that way. And, of course, they were also teach-

ing that if you submit, you're not responsible if that elder is wrong

 

 

12.

 

 

and the elder is not responsible but in the end the apostle ministry is

responsible. That's the doctrine that the Catholic church teaches;

submit to the priest and the priest isn't responsible and it goes up the

ladder and the Pope is the only one who's responsible, he's the one

who gets all the trouble if things go wrong.

I said to that person, "I don't want that responsibility, and if you

see the wisdom in that, then you won't want to teach blind submis-

sion either." We teach that you're only responsible to submit if the

Spirit of Christ witnesses to you that that elder or apostle is moving

in the Spirit of Christ, and you're not submitting to them, you're

submitting to Christ. But, as Brother Buddy Cobb so clearly teaches,

we're not responsible to submit in the sense of obeying what they

say but we are responsible to keep a submissive attitude. Whether we

think they are wrong or not, whether we witness to what they've

asked us t-o do or not, we're not responsible to do what they say, but

we are responsible to keep a submissive attitude. As Brother Buddy

so widely teaches, submission is not an act, it is an attitude. Obedi-

ence is an act. Submission is an attitude. Any body member is free to

disagree at any time, with any direction, and counsel, any revelation

that an elder or an apostle or anyone gives them, if they don't wit-

ness to it in their own spirit as long as they do it in the Spirit of

Christ and in the divine order that God has for body members dis-

agreeing with their ministry. And that divine order is this: if a body

member disagrees with an elder's counsel, wisdom, revelation, guid-

ance, the first step in God's divine order for him disagreeing is that

he has the divine right to go to whoever he feels to be a more mature

elder in that local body, if he feels there is one, and counsel with him

on the issue and see what wisdom he gives. It's his right to choose the

one whom he feels is the more mature elder. Then if he does not wit-

ness to the counsel that elder gives him, he has the right, if he

chooses, to come before the whole eldership and seek counsel. If he

doesn't witness to that, then he has the right to go to an apostolic

ministry to seek counsel and wisdom on the issue, and if he doesn't

witness to what the apostolic ministry gives him, then he has the di-

vine right to ask that the whole matter be taken to Jesus, the Head

through the prophets to see if God confirms through the prophets

what has been given through the elders . I have seen elders immature

enough to bitterly resent it if a body member did this, if he didn't

witness to their wisdom and went over their heads to an apostolic

ministry. Don't anybody get bitter about anybody going over your

head in this move of God. In the world, they do it, the secular world,

the business world they -et bitterly resentful about it. But we teach

in this move of God that everybody has somebody over his head.

Amen. Everybody has a covering. That's why the right of appeal

right up to Jesus, the Head, is the absolute right of every member of

the body of Christ. Therefore, elders should not resent it if any body

member doesn't witness to their counsel and feels to go to the next

higher step of order. Apostle ministry should not resent it if a body

member or elder disagrees with him in God's divine order and asks

 

 

13.

 

that the matter be taken to the Head for confirmation through the

prophets, because our purpose in the end is to get the word from the

Lord, the true word from the Lord, and that's what everybody

should want.

 

Now the next question that comes when this is realized is "If a

body member does disagree with an elder's counsel to him and comes

to another elder in that same local body and presents the issue and

the other elder feels the first elder gave him the wrong counsel and

has to tell him so, how does the second elder do this without feeling

he's coming against his fellow elder or that he's hurting the ministry

of his fellow elder in the eyes of the body member. At the very first,

at the beginning of this move of God, God gave us his divine order

for doing this. If I'm an elder, the second eider, and a body member

comes to me and says, "Brother so and so gave me this counsel and I

can't witness to it in my spirit and I'd like to present the issue to you

or confirmation or to see if it's wrong," God's order for doing it is

to say to that body member, "I can't witness that this is the true wis-

dom of God, or I can't witness that this revelation is the true wisdom

of God and if you don't receive it either, let's pray for brother so and

so, that Godíll give him a little deeper wisdom in this area but at the

same time, let's submit to and receive everything that he ministers to

us that is the leadership of the spirit." In doing this, you have been

faithful to that body member and have been faithful to your fellow

elder. Simply tell him that I can't receive it either, therefore, let's

you and I pray for him in this area that God'll give him a little higher

wisdom, but at the same time don't get the idea that everything he

ministers is wrong. Let's receive and submit to everything lie mini-

sters to us that is the true leadership from the spirit. In doing so

you've been faithful to the body member and at the same time

you've lifted up the ministry of your fellow elder, not torn it down. I

was teaching this in a certain place and one elder said, "I just can't

see that, I can't understand that. It seems to me that if you don't

take a stand with your fellow elder no matter what, you're tearing

down the ministry and the elder in the sight of the body."

And I said, "No brother, if you do take a stand with him and

he's wrong, you're tearing down the ministry in the eyes of the body.

Because it only takes the body members about three times of this to

get the revelation that their ministry is a clique that's going to stand

with one another whether they're right or wrong and therefore minis-

ter death to the body. Then you've destroyed the body's confidence

in their eldership." Do you see what I mean?

Therefore, when you do this you're not tearing it down, when

your body gets the revelation that their ministry has an order by

which they are going to be faithful to them, and that they are not a

clique, brother, you're going to have them putting confidence in

their ministry, and nothing needs, to be torn down.

The next question is , "Should you then turn and say 'Let's go

to the other elder? You should not do this unless you know that

you know the Sprit is leading you to do it. He may be dealing with a

 

 

14.

 

 

young elder that just can't take it before that body member and just

cause a breach and division and so forth. You're far better, to leave it

unless you know that you know that the spirit is leading you to do

it.

The next question is "After you have dealt with the body

member should you then go to the other elder and straighten him

out and show him where his wisdom was wrong?" And once again,

it's all in the leadership of the Spirit, only if you know that you

know that the spirit is leading you and that your brother could re-

ceive it from you and that it wouldn't cause a breach. If not, you

should leave it alone. The body member has been delivered, he's not

under bondage, lie doesn't get death, he's had life ministered to him,

no harm has been done and you wait until the day perhaps the Lord

Shows you that your brother elder could receive it.

Sometimes the first elder the body member has gone to is a

mature elder and not liking what they have heard from that one they

have chosen to ,o to a less mature elder to get a word that is more

conducive to What they want to hear. In that case, You have obvious-

ly got a body member that is out of the Spirit or he would have re-

ceived the counsel of the first elder and you probably have what we

call an elder hopper.   And whatever he gets he deserves it. and if he

gets death ministered   to him (I'm perfectly serious), God will say he

deserves it, and if he   gets death ministered to him after a while he'll

learn not to do this. The fact is you have elder hoppers that don't

want to hear the real truth, and they'll go from one elder to another,

but this doesn't deny that this is God's absolute truth. God's prin-

ciple of order and truth is beautiful and perfect just the same.

This same order applies if an elder doesn't witness to an apostolic

ministry's counsel, lie has the divine right to go to what he feels is a

more mature apostolic ministry and there are apostles,

the Bible reveals this. The difference between Peter and

Paul as apostles was not quite the difference between day and night,

but almost. He has the divine right to go to an apostolic ministry if

he doesn't witness to his counsel, he has the right to request that the

matter be taken again to the head through the prophets for the first

appeal and the final word and when that word comes forth, everyone

is responsible to submit.

Once again, you can see the beauty of God's perfect order, that if

all God's ministry and all God's body would receive this order and

commit themselves to it there would be no room for any spirit of

division to cause division in the body of Christ on any level.

And, of course, for all of us who are the ministry, our responsi-

bility is to recognize the plurality of Christ. It is our only protection.

The total wisdom of Christ is in a many-membered corporate minis-

try. The total wisdom of Christ is never going to be in any one minis-

try. There are questions of wisdom, pertaining to life, that it is not

possible for any one ministry, especially brother Sam, to have all the

answers. Simply because God will not allow it, otherwise God would

not be a corporate being. He would have instilled His fulness in a

 

 

15.

 

 

Peter, as the Catholic Church teaches. God will not allow it, it is not

possible, it is absolutely impossible, and that's why we need the plur-

ality of the ministry to be our covering. Your scripture for this is the

fact that when Jesus at the communion supper in the upper room

broke the bread which is the whole Body of truth concerning Him,

He didn't give any one of the 1 2 apostles the whole loaf. Otherwise

he would have said, "I'm the head of the church," as the Catholic

Church says of Peter, but he gave each one a piece of the bread,

which is a type. of all the spiritual bread, so that in the end they

would all have to come and submit themselves to one another to

receive the piece of bread that the other had before anybody's ever

going to have the full bread of God that will take us all to eternal

life.   

One last question concerning how to recognize apostolic minis-

try:   In reply to your question, no true apostolic ministry will tell

you who is apostolic ministry. No true apostolic ministry will ever

tell you they are an apostolic ministry and claim the name-they'll

walk in what God's called them and let the Spirit show you what

they are, just as Jesus didn't come into the world telling everyone He

was the Messiah. He said to Peter and others, "Who do you say that I

am?" and when they got the revelation He said "Praise the Lord."

And anyone who ever comes telling you they are an apostolic minis-

try then they are a false apostle or at least a very immature exalted

one. There might be some like that around. Any other ministry, pro-

phetic or whatever, anyone that runs around trying to claim the

name, they've just been taken by a spirit of exaltation. The best

thing I can do for you is tell you the qualifications for recognizing an

apostolic ministry and then everyone can judge for themselves.

There are several qualifications revealed in the scripture for an

apostolic ministry, but the greatest sign by which you can recognize

an apostolic ministry is that lie is one who births new works. If one is

manifestly, though simply doing it, has the wisdom, the patience, the

love, the faith, the courage (believe me it takes all those things) the

maturity to draw a group of people together in any one of the feasts

and births them into a body of people, a local body that holds and

finally stands, that's all the sign anyone needs to have that that per-

son has an apostolic ministry. It could have been in the first feast

level, the salvation truth or the second feast level or the third feast

level that we're now on. That's your great sign.

On the other hand, it's not pre-requisite that one is not an apos-

tolic ministry unless they've birthed new works. There were apostolic

ministries in the scripture that had an instructor's ministry and not a

foundation-laying ministry. And that's a sure sign.

The qualifications: the first qualification for an apostolic minis-

try is he must be supernaturally called by Jesus, given his message by

Jesus and supported by Jesus, which means he must live by faith, no

set salary dealt by some organization or something. The second quail-

fication is he must have ministered in the other four ministries, else

he couldn't be used to call out and train the other four ministries; of

 

 

16.

 

 

course any apostle who births a new work has to minister the other

four ministries until he brings it into being, fie has to evangelize them

in that message, elderize them, prophetize them and everything else.

until the other four ministries are brought forth. The third qualifica-

tion is he must be willing to go anywhere, anytime, to fulfill the

ministry God his given him. He's a "sent one." The word in the orig-

inal language in the scripture means "sent one." Apostle mean, spe-

cial messenger. The fourth qualification is he must be willing to have

no certain dwelling place, heís always on the go, it's his calling, his

ministry, he never can settle down. The Apostle Paul said, "We, the

apostles, have no certain dwelling, place." The fifth qualification is

that lie must be willing to be the offscouring of the earth, he must be

willing to take all the blame for everything. Paul said "I think that

God has set forth us, the apostles, last to be a spectacle unto the

world" (I Cor. 4:9-1 3) When you're called to preach truth to people

that they're already established in, nobody will ever hate you very

much, but when you're called to bring forth that next message (and

thatís what apostolic ministry's calling is, to establish new truth in

the earth) then you always get it in the neck from the established.

Those are the five main qualifications, so each one must just take

those and discern for themselves what the Spirit says.

These are God's eternal principles that we at last have come to

see in this move of God. If the old order ministry in the church

today ever sees, it, they'll come join us or better yet, they'll let us

come join them because we don't require anybody to join us. But

when all of us see it, the division will be done away with forever.

When this order is fully understood and at last established and

walked in by all God's people, division will be done away with for-

ever. It is absolutely perfect. The only room for imperfection is the

human factor, when a body member, an elder or an apostle just wants

his way and refuses to submit the question to the next step until

finally it gets to the Head, and we have seen some of that. But it

doesn't leave room for error or division if we walk in it.

Amen.

   
Copyright 2004 International Ministerial Association. All Right Reserved.