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The Church: Its Organization, Order and Discipline

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    Visible Leaders in the Ancient Church

    As God is the author of “peace in all churches of his saints,” he must have arranged for avoiding “confusion” in “the church in the wilderness.” Acts 7:38. The invisible leader of that company was Christ. Of the Israelites it is said: “The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them by the way; and by might in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.” Exodus 13:21. Moses and Aaron were the visible leaders of that great company. “Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Psalm 77:20. Isaiah says: “Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? Where is he that put his Holy Spirit within him? that led them by the right had of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name?” Isaiah 63:11, 12.COOD 61.4

    To move that vast host of six hundred thousand men, beside women and children (at least thee millions in all), with their cattle, and other belongings, must have required good generalship, and the most perfect order. This they must have had. “The children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.” Exodus 13:18. For the word “harnessed” we read in the margin, “or five in a rank.” So we see that in their marching there was observed something like military order.COOD 62.1

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