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Manual for new members of the Church of Christ

October 3 2006 at 2:11 AM
Dino  (Login Coffeemaker)

Response to The best of forum 70213

September 26 2006


For New Members

Of The




Church of Christ
Iglesia ni Cristo


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
priviledge 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 par-
ticipating in Church activities, for by 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.

1 What you should do right after baptism

What should you do immediately after

* Please see the local secretary who will offi-
cially register you as a full-fledged mem-
ber of the Church of Christ.

* You shall be assigned a permanent tag list-
ing your name and the number of the dis-
trict and group you belong to. This tag will
be found at the chapel lobby or entrance.

Remember your tag number and where it is
located. Everytime you attend the worship
service, please turn your tag to indicate proof
of your attendance. Be careful not to turn
somebody else's tag.

If the day of the worship service has ended
and you have not turned your tag, it will be
presumed that you were absent or you have
attended in another locale. Therefore, please
expect a visit from your overseer who would
ask why you were absent or when you at-
tended the services. He will remind and
counsel you not to neglect this extremely im-
portant duty to God. If perhaps the reason for
your absence is that you were sick, it would
be better for the overseer to pray for your
recovery and annoint you with oil as the Bible
teaches. If there were other reasons, like any
of life's problems, the overseer would be
there to counsel you. You can likewise seek
guidance from God through prayer.

* The local secretary will give you the name
of the overseer assigned to your group
Please see your overseer as soon as pos-
sible. He is your closest link to the Ad-
ministration of the Church. He will preside
over the weekly prayer meetings of your
group in designated homes of the brethren.
Please try not to be absent in such prayer

Eventually, you will be asked to have the
prayer meeting done in your home. You
should consider it a blessing, because it shell
bring abundant spiritual graces which you
need to increase your faith. In such occasions
you will also receive significant messages
from the Church Administration concerning
local activities which you must join.

* You should also know the pastor or mini-
ster assigned to your locale, as well as
brethren comprising the local leadership.

To what organizations of the Church of
Christ should you belong?

Within the Church, the Administration es-
tablished 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 in-
cluded in the Binhi.

Whatever organizations you shall belong to,
please know --

* who are the president and officers in your

* when the regular meetings of the organiza-
tion are held in your locale. Oftentimes
you will hear announcements after the wor-
ship service as to the date and time of the
monthly meetings;

* what projects and activities are being spon-
sored by the organization so that you may
actively participate in them.

2 You and the Church Administration

The 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 organiza-
tions, 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 supervis-
ing) minister. The division minister is direct-
ly responsible to the Executive Minister con-
cerning 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 ad-
ministered by a district leader), which are fur-
ther subdivided into groups (each supervised
by a group leader who may be a deacon or
deaconess, or an overseer being groomed for

Every group is composed of several
families in the Church and that is where you

Thus, your closest link to the Church Ad-
ministration is your group leader, then your
district leader, finally the resident minister or
worker, including 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 Christ

Twice a week the Church of Christ holds a
congregational service. This is normally done
every Thursday and Sunday (some local chur-
ches, mostly in the West, have Wednesday or
Friday services instead of Thursday's). There
are occasions when the Church observes spe-
cial worship services on days other than
Thursdays and Sundays.

You are required to attend these as-
ssmblies. The Bible says" "Not forsaking the
assembling of ourselves together, as the man-
ner of some is; but exhorting one another and
so much the more, as ye see the day ap-
proaching." (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

Our worship begins with congregtational
singing led by the choir members and ends
with the benediction.

This is the order of activities during a
regular worship service:

* Congregational singing led by the choir
* Prayer by the minister/worker who shall
preach or by the assigned head deacon
* Congregational singing
* The sermon
* Prayer
* Collection of Offerings
* Prayer for the Offerings
* Doxology
* Benediction

You are expected to partricipate 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.

* While the sermon or the study of God's
words has not begun yet, be at peace to
meditate and silent prayer.

* Open your heart during the assembly's
prayers, whoever may be leading. Please
stand properly and close your eyes all
throughout the prayer. Remember that we
stand in the presence of God, therefore we
should act with extreme reverance. Indi-
cate your participation by responding at
proper intervals with "Yes, Father" or

* Follow intently the course of the preaching
of the words of God. Strive hard against
falling asleep and against other hindrances
to receiving the message. The best ques-
tion you can ask yourself, to guide you
during the study, is: "What is God's will
that I should be doing?" Thus, your efforts
will be concentrated at fully understanding
the message at hand.

* Your contribution must be prepared in ad-
vance, 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 lo-
cale, you should obtain a certificate of atten-
dance from the secretariat of said locale.
They will ask your name, the locale where
you are registered, and the number of the dis-
trict and group you are assigned to. Please
provide the information wanted, 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 lo-
cale. 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 praise God for all His 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 ap-
pearance, including your attire, must comple-
ment 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 in-
side the house of worship, we must be truly
dignified. Please follow the instructions of
the deacons and deaconesses who are charged
with the orderliness of the occasion.

Avoid any damage to any part of the chapel
and please do not litter.

Yet, 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, everytime
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 received

As a review of the basic doctrines you have
just learned, here is a summary together with
the instructins on how to implement them.

About the Bible. The Church of Christ
believes that the words of God are written
only in the Bible. Thus, the Bible should be
the sole basis of service to God; it comprises
the truth and it teaches man how to be saved
from punishment on the Day of Judgment.

Therefore, renounce all belief in cathecism
books, the Book of Mormon, and books by
other religions, because God prohibits it (1
Cor.4:6; Rev.22:18-19).

Follow steadfastly all teachings from the
Bible which you have learned in the Church
of Christ.

About God. The Father alone is the true
God, the creator of all things.

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

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

Those who preach that Christ is God use
the Bible also. Be not deceived by them be-
cause 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 inter-
pretation 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. The prevailing
belief that all churches belong to God is false.
Christ founded only one true Church -- the
Church of Christ. Therefore, you should
value the Church because therein you are able
to do the kind of service which God shall ac-
cept and in which you shall be saved.

About the Church of Christ. You should
always appreciate and assert the significance
of the Church in the matter of salvation.

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

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

Thus, the Catholic Church is not of Christ
and definitely not of God, and there is no sal-
vation 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 im-
ages, 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 Far
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. God's
messenger of these last days is Brother
FELIX Y. MANALO. 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
FELIX Y. MANALO as God's messenger.

About persecutions. You cannot avoid
persecutions because your victory over them
becomes the foundation for inheriting the
kingdom of heaven. You should not give up
when you encounter harassments. Instead,
pray to God for help so that you may over-
come stiff persecutions.

About enduring as a member of the
Church of Christ. You should strive to
obey all Church regulations, for by 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 parents, spouse,
brothers and sisters, friends, employers who
are Church members, or out of personal

About renewing your life. It is not
enough just to be in the Church; you must un-
dergo a full renewal of life.

Those members who have turned a new life
truly belong to Christ and to God. We should
put into practice the commandments we

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

If you used to gamble, you must know that
all forms of gamblingh 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 occupa-
tion, committing fraud or any illegal acts, this
is not allowed. We should live decently and

You must cease from any vice or sin in
your life.

Refrain from swearing or using foul lan-
guage and do not perform the kind of dances
popularized in the world, characterized by
provocative and sensuous behavior.

About the worship service. As pre-
viously discussed in a separate section, you
must, out of love, always attend the worship

To neglect the worship service is con-
sidered a serious trespass. From now on
never miss attendance, unless you are serious-
ly ill and physically incapable.

You must not be hindered by your employ-
ment or profession or any personal interest, in
performing this duty. God should have
priority over anything in the world.

When you attend the services in your own
locale, do not fail to turn your own 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 group secretary so that
you will not be placed among the absentees.

About the offering. The offering or col-
lection being done in the Church of Christ is
not a rule created by the ministers but it is the
will of God. It should not, however, be given
like an alm for the poor.

Every member of the Church of Christ is
responsible to give offerings.

Do this with all your heart, willingly and

The offering must be saved and set aside.
Do not offer only when you have excess or

As you budget your personal needs, be
more concerned about setting aside your of-
fering to God.

It is likewise the duty of the Church of
Christ members to do the act of thanksgiving
to God and to bring thanksgivng offerings
every end of the year.

We have to prepare our thanksgiving offer-
ring 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. The members of
the Church of Christ have a very unique
relationship. They constitute a brotherhood
established by Christ and willed by God.

You should call all members of the Church,
including ministers, as your brothers (or
sisters, as the case may be). We treat each
other as equals within the Church. Follow
Christ's law that we should love one another.

You should avoid doing evil to brethren in
the Church.

You must not defraud anyone.

If somehow your brother had wronged you,
do not sue him in court. God does not allow

Bring all your complaints to the Church
Administration, for they shall be the ones to
settle and decide.

Anyone who will bring the brother to court
or who will refuse reconciliation shall be ex-
pelled from the Church.

Brethren who have disputes must settle
their differences at once. They are expected
to forgive each other.

About miscellaneous prohibitions. In
the Church of Christ, we are forbidden to eat
blood (or food using blood as an ingredient)
and we are banned from intermarriage with a

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 marry 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 prin-
ciples run in conflict with Bible teachings.

About baptism. Baptism is an act of
burying sins; thus, after baptism you should
walk in the newness of liffe.

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 are able to believe, only
then shall they be baptized.

While these children are growing up (from
4 to 12 years of age), they are required to at-
tend the youth worship services held once a
week (or twice weekly in some locales) at
designated times and places.

If you have young 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 come
of age, with adequate minds to make intel-
ligent choices, let them receive instructions in
basic doctrines of the Church so that they
could be baptized.

About prayer and missionary work.
He who engages in missionary work and
knows how to pray properly, eventually, be-
comes stable and strong in the faith. These
works are both commanded by God and
should be valued by all members of the
Church of Christ,

Therefore, you should help in the growth of
the Church through missionary efforts, invit-
ing people, and distributing our magazine,
"God's Message."

In the Church, the Administration or-
ganized the Light of Salvation.

This organization is composed of mission-
ary workers in every locale. You could join
this group, to further increase your participa-
tion in the dissemination of the 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:

* Before you eat
* Before you leave home towards work or
* Upon reaching home from work, school,
or any other place.
* Before you sleep at night.
* Upon waking up in the morning.
* When you ask to be forgiven from your
sins and to be strengthened in your faith;
when you need help in your livelihoood; and
when you plead to be saved from tempta-
tions and enumerable troubles in life.
* And in every moment, as the need and op-
portunity arise.

Do not forget to attend your group prayer

About being registered. If your name
does not appear in the Church's registry on
earth, it does not appear in the registry in
heaven (the Book of Life). If you are not
listed with the Church, you are not considered
a member and therefore you will not be saved
on the Day of Judgment.

The following are the occasions when a
member may be delisted from the rolls of the

* When he is expelled by the Administration
because of sin incurred.
* When he stops attending the worship ser-
vices and becomes inactive.
* When he leaves his locale without telling
the Church, by not obtaining a certificate of
* When he obtains a certificate of transfer
but fails to register with the locale he
moves to.

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.

About unity. Unity in the Church is
quite significant, because our unity includes
God and Christ. It is wrong to destroy this
unity. Thus, God discourages factionalism
and disunity in our midst.

We become one not only in voting but most
importantly in our services to God.

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 activities, and endure much suffer-

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.

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