“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Cor. 14:32, 33.
The organization of the church at Jerusalem was to serve as a model for the organization of churches in every other place where messengers of truth should win converts to the gospel. Those to whom was given the responsibility of the general oversight of the church were not to Lord it over God’s heritage, but, as wise shepherds, were to “feed the flock of God…. being ensamples to the flock” [1 Peter 5:2, 3]; and the deacons were to be “men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.” These men were to take their position unitedly on the side of right and to maintain it with firmness and decision. Thus they would have a uniting influence upon the entire flock.
Later in the history of the early church, when in various parts of the world many groups of believers had been formed into churches, the organization of the church was further perfected, so that order and harmonious action might be maintained. Every member was exhorted to act well his part. Each was to make a wise use of the talents entrusted to him. Some were endowed by the Holy Spirit with special gifts — “first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” 1 Cor. 12:28. But all these classes of workers were to labor in harmony.
The order that was maintained in the early Christian church made it possible for them to move forward solidly as a well-disciplined army clad with the armor of God. The companies of believers, though scattered over a large territory, were all members of one body; all moved in concert and in harmony….
Thus it was recorded for the benefit of God’s people: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” [1 Cor.14:40]. “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.” Col. 2:5.
There was order in the church when Christ was on the earth, and after His departure, order was strictly observed among the disciples. And now, in these last days, when God is bringing His children into the unity of the faith, there is more real need of order than ever before….
He requires that order and system be observed in the conduct of church affairs today no less than in the days of old. He desires His work to be carried forward with thoroughness and exactness so that He may place upon it the seal of His approval. Christian is to be united with Christian, church with church, the human instrumentality co-operating with the divine, every agency subordinate to the Holy Spirit, and all combined in giving to the world the good tidings of the grace of God.
AA 91.1-2, AA 95.3, RH, Feb. 16, 1911 par. 8, AA 96.1