If you will recall, Mr. Armstrong had been out of the country for almost a full year. While he was away, many of the ministers took liberties that they should not have taken. Mr. Armstrong clamped down and began restoring order in the church. That is what he meant by “restoring government.”
Now, with that in mind, we know that God’s government will not be fully implemented until Christ returns to this earth. So, what is meant by church government?
When Christ began the building of His Church in 31 AD (Mat. 16:18) he established a ministry to take care of the church. (Eph. 4:11-12; I Cor. 12: 27-29). He gave them power to loose and bind. (Mat. 16:19). That is, there are some decisions the ministry would have to make that were not clearly outlined or defined in the Bible.
God did not expect the ministry to Lord over the people and dictate every decision in people’s lives. Read I Peter 5:1-6 to see what Christ expects from His ministry. People have to learn to discern right from wrong based upon the word of God, and by the teachings of the ministry. After determining what is right the true Christian should strive, with Christ’s help, to obey the word of God. It is the ministries’ responsibility …”to perfect the saints, and edify (build up) the church. That is the work of the ministry. (Eph. 4:12-13).
If at times, a Christian slips and falls back into the world the ministry may have to help him get back on track as we see in I Cor. 5: 1-13. God’s ministers should ensure order is maintained in the churches and unity among its members should be stressed.
This, in a nutshell, is government within the church.