Manual for New Members
Thanks to SaleemFOREWORD
Thanks be to God, now you are a member of the Church of Christ! You are welcome to the community of God's chosen people in these last days. Now you are a part of the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ--the Church of Christ--with the privilege to serve God and with the earnest hope that on Christ's second coming you shall be among those who will meet Him to receive God's eternal promises.
For you to remain in such graces, you should strive to keep the faith which you received from God once and for all. Let your spiritual life develop while in the Church of Christ. Strengthen your relationship with God by continuing in your praise and worship of Him, by your confidence in what He can do in your life, and by always praying to him. Let your love for god grow by actively participating in Church activities, for doing so you shall increase as well your devotion to your calling.
If there shall arise obstacles and trials in your faith, remember the words of god relayed to you through His messenger of these last days. Remain immovable on what those words stand for, because God awaits you to make such a firm resolve.
What you should do right after baptismWhat should you do right after baptism?
Within the Church, the Administration established organizations to foster closer ties among brethren and to strengthen their faith.
All married brethren should belong to the BUKLOD. Those who are single, aged 18 years or more, are members of the KADIWA. The youth from 13 to 18 years of age are to be included in the Binhi. Whatever organization you shall belong to, please know
2 You and the Church AdministrationThe Church Administration The local church you belong to has a local leadership headed by a minister or worker. The leadership also comprises five head deacons, the presidents of the local organizations, and the local secretary.
The locales of a province (or state, or region, as the case may be) compose a division being supervised by a minister who is entrusted the office of division (or supervising) minister. The division minister is directly responsible to the Executive Minister concerning all Church activities in his division.
The present Executive Minister of the Church of Christ is Brother ERANO G. MANALO. Every locale is divided into districts (each administered by a district leader), which are further subdivided into groups (each supervised by a group leader who may be a deacon or deaconess, or an overseer being groomed for deaconship).
Every group is comprised of several families in the Church and that where you belong. Thus, your closest link to the Church Administration is your group leader, then your district leader, finally the local leadership.
To the brethren mentioned above, please bring any problem regarding your faith and membership, for they are God's instruments in helping you.
3 Worship Service in the Church Of ChristTwice a week the Church of Christ holds a congregational service. This is normally done every Thursday and Sunday (some local churches, mostly in the West, have Wednesday or Friday services instead of Thursdays). There are occasions when the Church observes special worship services on days other than Thursdays and Sundays.
You are required to attend these assemblies. The Bible says: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of Some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)
The Lord God shall expect your presence in the house of worship every worship service day: "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." (John 4:23)
What activities comprise our worship service?
Our worship service begins with congregational singing led by the choir members and ends with the benediction.
This is the order of activities during a regular worship service:
You are expected to participate in all these activities during the service. That you may perform them with dedication:
You are supposed to arrive early at the chapel every worship service. You should participate at the very first hymn to be sung by the congregation. Sing with all your heart and soul.
Your contribution must he prepared in advance, so that during the collection you may give it as a voluntary offering and not as something forced on you. Do this act with all your heart and soul.
If you shall happen to attend in another locale, you should obtain a certificate of attendance from the secretariat of said locale. They will ask your name, the locale where you are registered, and the number of the district and group you are assigned to. Please provide the information requested, for these will appear in the certificate of attendance. Do not lose this certificate because you are expected to turn it in to your group leader when he visits you. He will definitely visit you if you are unable to attend the services in your locale. Be joyous about this, for it is a proof of care and interest for your welfare.
During the worship services, as mentioned before, you stand in the presence of God; not as a spectator in a theatre audience but as an active participant-- as a worshipper. You are there to please God for allHis goodness to you and to offer worship. He waits for you to entrust all your troubles and anxieties unto Him; and it is when you worship that He is ever willing to answer all your pleadings.
It is only befitting that you stand in deep reverence before God. Your entire appearance, including your attire, must compliment the holiness and majesty of our God. The finest and most appropriate clothing we possess must be worn when we worship God.
Likewise, when we walk, sit, and stand inside the house of worship, we must be truly dignified. Please follow the instructions of the of the deacons and deaconesses who are charged with orderliness of the occasion.
Avoid any damage to any part of the chapel and do not litter.
Yet, if beyond the physical cleanliness that must be accorded the worship service, should be the spiritual purity, that is, of our lives. Be earnest to achieve a righteous way of living you have been taught, so that the worship you offer shall always be pleasing to God.
Every worship Service must result in the strengthening of your faith. Thus, overtime you attend, you should feel the power of God that will fortify you amidst your weaknesses, comfort you in times of sorrows and miseries, encourage you to overcome all trials and make you endure in your calling.
All these you shall experience when you steadfastly devote yourself in worshipping God and when you fully prepare yourself to receive God's abundant blessings.
4 How you should obey the teachings you receivedAs a review of the basic doctrines you have just learned, here is a summary together with the instructions on how to implement them.
About the Bible.
Therefore, renounce all belief in cathecism books, the Book of Mormon, and books by other religions, because God prohibits it (I Cor. 4:6; Rev. 22:18-19).
Follow steadfastly all teachings from the Bible which you have learned in the Church of Christ.
You should now reject the doctrine of the Trinity; this runs contrary to the Bible. Do not worship images, for these- are not the true God.
You should acknowledge the Father as the only true God. But this is not the extent of how you should recognize Him. Your relationship with him should grow, He should be your rightful Father and friend, and you should walk in His presence daily.
About Christ's state of being
You must discard the idea that Christ is the true God. This is sinful thinking because it is contrary to Bible teaching.
You should also deny the belief that Christ is both true man and true God.
Those who preach that Christ is God use the Bible also. Be not deceived by them because nowhere is it recorded in the Bible in which Christ said that He is the true God. But why do they quote verses from the Bible? They either give those verses a wrong interpretation or they rely on those passages that have been erroneously translated.
Never believe that there is at least one Bible verse (correctly translated) which states that Christ is God. Whoever preaches such is a false teacher (II Cor. 11:3-4).
You must reject the doctrine that there are three persons in one God. The Father is the only true God.
You should, however, acknowledge and worship Christ, recognize Him as our only Mediator with God and the only man who is holy and sinless.
About the true religion.
About the Church of Christ.
Keep believing that Christ will save the Church of Christ.
Do not let others deceive you when they say that to believe alone in Christ is enough to gain salvation.
About the Church Founded by Christ in the first century.
The first century Church established by Christ went into apostasy. Most of the members were led astray from the truth by the false prophets who arose within the Church with the passing away of the Apostles and the rest, those who remained faithful, were slaughtered by the ravenous wolves.
Those who were forewarned as leaders who would mislead the Church were no other than the Catholic priests. They introduced false beliefs into the Church until it was no more the true Church, until it became the Catholic Church -- a religion vastly different from the Church of Christ recorded in the Bible.
Thus, the Catholic Church is not of Christ and definitely not of God, and there is no salvation in it.
If you are a former Catholic, do not make the sign of the cross anymore. Renounce all Catholic teaching for it is against God's word.
If you used to be a Catholic, remove all images, crosses, crucifixes, and idols,.
Do not listen to mass anymore, neither receive communion.
Do not confess to a priest anymore.
Do not say prayers for the dead and never celebrate "All Saints Day" or any Catholic feast day anymore. Do not participate in any celebration to honor a Catholic saint.
Moreover, remove all superstitions.
About the Church of Christ's emergence from the Philippines.
The Church of Christ that appeared from the Philippines (in the Fat East) during these last days is the fulfillment of the prophecies made by God and Christ. This is the third part of the Church founded by Christ. It arose in these last days after the Church built by Christ in the first century was completely led astray by the false prophets. This Church's later extension into the Far West is equally the realization of God's prophecies in the Bible.
About God's Last Messenger.
Brother FELIX Y. MANALO became God's instrument in preaching the gospel of salvation in these last days. He was the first one to proclaim about the Church of Christ in the Philippines. That is why this Church which you joined is of God and of Christ.
Do not ever believe those detractors who claim that it was only Brother Felix Y. MANALO who founded the Church in the Philippines; that this is supposedly the Church of Brother Manalo. Those are simple lies and slanderous statements. Resist being called a member of the Church of Manalo.
Believe instead in the calling of Brother FEIIX Y. MANALO as God's messenger.
About enduring as a member of the Church of Christ.
You should strive to obey all Church regulations, for doing so, you prove that you are a true member of the Church of Christ. It should never be your motive that you joined because of your patents, spouse, brothers, sisters, friends, employers who are Church members, or out of personal profit,
About renewing your life.
Those members who have turned a new life truly belong to Christ and to God. We should put into practice the commandments we received.
If you used to get drunk or you used to drink liquor or take drugs, you must refrain from any of these acts now. God forbids them.
If you used to gamble, you must know that all forms of gambling are prohibited in the Church of Christ, like: racing, lotteries, card or dice games, slot machines, etc.
If you are involved in an adulterous relationship, you should stop this right away. God forbids adultery.
If you are employed in a dishonest occupation, committing fraud or any illegal acts, this is not allowed. We should live decently and righteously.
You must cease from any vice or sin in your life.
Refrain from swearing or using foul language and do not perform the kind of dances popularized in the world, characterized by provocative and sensuous behavior.
About the worship service.
To neglect the worship service is considered a serious trespass. From now on never miss attendance, unless you are seriously ill and incapable.
You must not be hindered by your employment or profession or any personal interest, in performing this duty. God should have priority over everything in the world.
When you attend the services in your own locale, do not fail to turn your own name tag (not somebody else's) before you enter the house of worship.
If you shall attend in another locale, do not forget to obtain a certificate of attendance from the Secretaries before you leave.
This certificate must be given promptly to your group leader or secretary so that you will not be placed among the absentees.
About the offering.
Every member of the Church of Christ is responsible to give offerings.
Do this with all your heart, willingly, and joyfully.
The offering should be saved and set aside. Do not offer only what is in excess or whatever is left of the money you earned after spending it for yourself.
As you budget your personal needs, be more concerned about setting aside you offering to God.
It is likewise the duty of the Church of Christ members to perform thanksgiving to God and to bring thanksgiving offerings every end of the year.
We have to prepare our thanksgiving offering for one year. Be like many members of the Church of Christ who save regularly through the Church's system. This is the most convenient method, because without realizing it, we are able to save.
About brotherly love.
You should call all members of the Church, including ministers, as your brothers (or sister as the case may be). We treat each other as equals within the Church. Follow Christ's command that we should love one another.
You should avoid doing evil to brethren in the Church.
You should not defraud anyone.
If somehow your brother has wronged you, do not sue him in court. God does not allow this.
Bring all your complaints to the Church Administration, for they shall be the ones to settle and decide.
Anyone who will bring his brother to court or who will refuse reconciliation shall be expelled from the Church.
Brethren who have disputes should settle their differences at once. They are expected to forgive one another.
About miscellaneous prohibitions.
When preparing or dressing fowls and animals prior to cooking, make sure to pour out the blood.
Is it a sin before God for a Church member to marry a nonmember?
Courting or being engaged with a non-member is already prohibited by God. If you are still single, do not many an unbeliever.
Do not elope just to get married. Be sure to get permission from your parents.
You are also commanded to avoid joining organizations or labor unions whose principles run in conflict with Bible teachings.
If you have children or will have some in the future, do not have them baptized because that is against God's law.
In the Church of Christ, infants and children who still have innocent minds are never baptized but simply offered to God to dedicate them into His service. In due time, when they reach the right age in which they could be taught and they are able to believe, shall they then be baptized.
While these children are growing up (from 4 to 12 years of age), they are required to attend the children's worship services held once a week (or twice weekly in some locales) at designated times and places.
If you have children whom you want to raise in the Church, have them offered and when it is the proper time, let them attend the youth worship services. When they become of age, with adequate minds to make intelligent choices, let them receive instructions in basic doctrines of the Church so they could be baptized.
About prayer and missionary work.
Therefore, you should help in the growth of the Church by inviting people to attend the Bible studies and distributing reading materials like pamphlets, leaflets and our magazine,
"God 's Message."
This organization is composed of missionary helpers in every locale. You could join this group, to further enhance your participation in the dissemination of faith.
In every aspect of our life, we should walk with our God.
You should learn how to pray in order to effectively communicate with God. You must pray:
About being registered.
The following are the occasions when a member may be delisted from the rolls of the Church:
Always remember: the moment you are not registered, you are not a member of the Church of Christ anymore, and one who is not a member will not be saved.
Show your best efforts to preserve Church unity, for the sake of glorifying God.
Do not attempt to violate Church unity, whether in voting or in other activities, for this is a sin that will lead to expulsion from the Church.
About continuing in our hope. Remain in the Church of Christ, obedient till the end. that you may receive that great hope of those who are in Christ when He comes again.
Continue to come to the worship services, join other Church activities, and endure much sufferings.
Do not withdraw from membership in the Church of Christ, whatever may happen to your life or to this world, so that you may not lose the privilege to inherit God's promises.
May our great God bless you all the days of your life.