THE ABSENCE OF THE VIRTUES OF GOD If a one of the brethren notices a lack of God’s manifestation in him or her, then they should immediately begin crying out to God, asking Him for His virtues. We must continually be vigilant and ask God for His guidance and help in this part.
CALLING ON THE BLOOD OF OUR LORD JESUS The ministry advises the brethren to remain under the living protection of the blood of Jesus Christ, the fruit of His sacrifice and death on the cross (Rev. 12:11). We remember that the Lord’s blood was shed for the atonement of our sins (Rom. 3:15 to 25; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14 and 1 Pet. 1:19). As such, we should call on the blood of the Lord Jesus in worship services, spiritual services as well as if we feel in danger or in temptation.
THE SIN OF LYING The practice of lying is a grave sin in the eyes of the Most High, since this accursed habit is a characteristic of Satan, his nature being that of a fallen cherub, as we read in John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” We must keep in mind that liars will not enter the holy city as the truth itself testifies in the book of Revelation (Rev.21:27 and Rev.22:15) “… And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that … maketh a lie… For without are…. and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.“
THE SINS OF DIVISION, MURMURING AND STRIFE The church is the priestly body of Christ, being referred to in scripture as His bride and future wife. For this reason, those who rise up against their brothers (Matt.5:22; Phil.3:2 and Rev.22:15), as well as those who murmur or seek to divide the brethren into factions and parties, practice a grave sin, acting contrary to the ordinances of God’s word, which exhorts us in the way of brotherly love. Of these, it is written in the letter to the Romans 16:17, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Rom.12,10; 1Cor.13,1 to 14; 1Tim.1,5; Heb.10,24 and Rev.22,15).
GUIDANCE FROM THE WORD OF GOD REGARDING THE RAISING OF OUR CHILDREN, THEIR MORAL AND CHRISTIAN FORMATION AND OUR (PARENT’S) RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM We reiterate to the brethren that the process of raising and educating children is the sole responsibility of the parents. We also find in God’s word a recommendation for parents to instruct their children in sound doctrine and the knowledge of it. We urge parents to be vigilant regarding the content that your children are consuming, whether it be via literature, electronic games, films, cartoons, musicals, malicious sites, as well as their social relationships, understanding that wickedness is being disseminated through all these channels. The patience and care that we have in the treatment and upbringing of our children shows and cultivates love. The formation of a Christian character in our children is necessary for a peaceful future.
PROPHECY God’s wisdom makes it clear that ” Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he. ” (Prov. 29:18). The law and the prophets lasted until John the Baptist, a period in which the coming of the Messiah was prophesied. The fulfillment of these revelations, coming in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, also brought the gift of prophecy. Since the coming of the Messiah, the prophecies now announce the return of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, the ministry of the prophet was extinguished, but the gift of prophecy was dispensed to men (Rom. 12:16; 1 Cor. 12:10 and 1 Thess. 5:20). Through this gift the future is announced, but we must understand that the final intent of the manifestation of the gift of prophecy is to convince the believer to stand firm in faith, turning away from evil.
THE GRACE OF GOD – MAN’S SALVATION Grace is a heavenly gift, granted by God through Christ’s sacrifice, saving the believer from condemnation, justifying and leading the believer to salvation (Eph. 2:8 and Titus 2:11). All those who are saved, overcome solely through the Grace of God. No one can earn salvation through personal merit. Grace is also the living and working power of God in the Church, given by the Holy Spirit, enabling it in its fight for eternal life. The apostle Paul testifies to the power of grace in his epistle 1 Cor 15:10: “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” He recommends Timothy to be strengthened in grace as well, as found in 2Tim 2:1: “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, a Church that experiences the Holy Spirit within itself, experiences the dispensation of heavenly gifts, respects God’s holy word, and keeps the sound doctrine, proves that the grace of God dwells within it. Salvation is not the property of any religious denomination, nor could it be, but is the work of divine grace, the great gift of Jesus, who, by His sacrifice, opened the revelation of His Word to us and, through faith, gave us access to God by imparting the Holy Spirit into our hearts.
THE NATURE OF CHRIST Reference to Points of Doctrine 2 and 3 The human nature of Jesus, who was brought forth in Mary’s womb, is clearly distinct from the divine nature of God the son, the second person (1 John 5:20) of the holy trinity (Item 2 of the Points of Doctrine), who took residence in His body. The Lord, taking on this human nature to become the representative of those who believe in Him for the remission of sins, in His condition as a man, was inferior to God. However, in his divine nature, being the eternal Word, he never ceased to be God (John 20:21 and 1 John 5:20). Jesus Christ therefore became, simultaneously, God the son – eternal and uncreated – and the man born in Bethlehem of Judea. Therefore, although He assumed the nature of man (John 13:31), He will always have His unaltered nature as God, interceding for the Church in heavenly glory.
ANOINTING – PROCEDURES AND CLARIFICATIONS A person is anointed when one who is ill asks to be anointed, or the ministry feels to do it. “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:14 and 15). The anointing of a person is primarily the Elder’s responsibility, but in the absence of an Elder, it can be performed by a Cooperator, Deacon, or the Cooperator for Young People and Children. When two or more servants are present, one will present the need to God and the other will perform the anointing. After the presentation to God, the brother will anoint the person after a short prayer, dipped his finger in oil, and touching the person’s forehead, stating the following words “Brother, I anoint you with oil, in the Name of the Lord and according to the word of God.” Anointing is not a substitute for baptism. Additionally, the brethren should not offer for anyone to be anointed.
DIVINE SERVICE AT A FUNERAL – CREMATION The Council of Elders instructs that we should not deny a divine service at a funeral to anyone who requests it, regardless of whether the body will be interred or cremated, the professed faith or the life of the deceased, understanding that the divine service is to provide the family consolation from God. When the service is opened, it should be done using the following words: “God be praised. Let us begin this holy service, at this funeral, In the Name of the Lord Jesus.”
UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLICAL PHRASE WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MAN This phrase was spoken by the apostle Peter when the high priest forbade him from speaking in the name of the Lord Jesus or of His Doctrine, in turn, denying his guilt in the death of the Son of God. As such, it is inappropriate to use this phrase to imply that it is not necessary to obey the teachings revealed by God and taught to the brethren by the Ministry constituted to instruct the Church.
ORIGIN OF THE INSCRIPTION “IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS” IN OUR HOUSES OF PRAYER The phrase IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS has its origin in a revelation. At the beginning of this Work in Brazil, no Bible verse, or even an inscription, was chosen to be written down in the houses of prayer. At that time, the brothers discussed among themselves which Bible verse(s) should be written on the wall. During this period, Brother Louis Francescon, during a prayer with some of the brethren, received the answer to the phrase that should be engraved in the temples. A sister, with the gift of interpretation of tongues (1Cor.12,10), translated the language manifested by a certain brother as follows: “Brother, the Lord said that there is no need to look for biblical texts, just write the phrase: IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS“.
MARRIAGE God’s word guides us regarding marriage, which is to be solely between a man and a woman, so as not to sin (1Cor.7,9). When consummated, the marriage must be maintained until the death of one of the parties. If one acts contrary to this teaching, then they risk incurring that which is detailed below, in topics specific to these actions.
SEPARATION OR DIVORCE It is very clear in God’s Word that it is only tolerated for a man or woman to separate – or divorce – due to adultery, understanding that even this is not the express will of the Lord, as we can see in Matt. 19:3 to 9: “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” We reiterate that the above doctrine applies to both men and women.
MARITAL INFIDELITY A marriage turns man and woman into one flesh – or one body – before God. For this reason, the couple must mutually respect and love each other, and acts of physical or psychological aggression between spouses are not acceptable, as these actions constitute a form of marital infidelity. We must understand that the couple, with Christ as their head, can never indulge in practices of iniquity, perversity, malice, or disloyalty to one another other.
MANNER OF DRESSING The manner in which a Christian dresses, whether speaking of our brothers or sisters, should be honest and decent, revealing the appropriate dignity and decorum as we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Through our manner of dress, we demonstrate our fear of God, as partial nudity or very tight garments which expose the body, promote sensuality and lasciviousness, behaviors reproved by God to His Church, as stated in the epistle to Galatians 5:19: ” Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (which is driven by lust) …”.
PARTICIPATION IN WEDDINGS CONTAINING IDOLATRY Regarding the religious ceremony of weddings that contain idolatry, prior to the bride and groom getting married in the religious service, they have not yet prostrated themselves before idols, therefore what you eat or drink before this ceremony does not carry contamination. Brethren who have family members who are to be married in religious ceremonies that contain idolatry, will be able to attend a lunch or dinner before the religious ceremony.
POLITCS We should not vote for candidates or political parties whose platforms are contrary to Christian values and principles or propose the deconstruction of families created in accordance with the Word of God, that is, a marriage between man and woman.
REQUESTING ASSISTANCE OR SOLICITATION OF FUNDS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA The brethren should not use social media to solicit funds and or request assistance. Likewise, the Christian Congregation in the United Kingdom, for its own benefit or for the benefit of congregations of the same faith in other countries, does not use social media to solicit offerings or collections from the brethren.
WE MUST NOT EXTINGUISH THE SPIRIT FROM WITHIN US A believer’s spiritual life is granted to him by the Holy Spirit, who grants us the necessary virtues (Acts 1:5 to 8; 2:4 and 33; 10:44) to walk with Christ on this earthly journey. Divine riches are dispensed to the faithful by this Holy Spirit sent by Christ (John 15:26), who makes of our body, a temple (1 Cor.6:19). Foolish behavior, impurities, and excessive involvement with the perversities of the world, grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph.4:30) and may extinguish it, as the apostle warns in the first epistle to the Thessalonians 5:19 “Quench not the Spirit.” The consequence of quenching the Spirit is spiritual blindness and tragically distancing ourselves from God, as it is the Spirit who communicates everything that is from God to us: John, 14:26, ” But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
CLARIFICATION REGARDING THE TERMS SECTS AND SECTARIANS While this is not prevalent in the English language, it is important that we are also aware of this issue. It is not correct to call evangelical churches sects. The word sect, in this context, denotes a group of people with religious beliefs that are divergent from dominant religion. There are brethren who are members of other evangelical churches, who experience and live through the Grace just as we do; they believe in our Lord Jesus and seek salvation in the redemptive work of Christ. In the same vein, we should never call any Christian a “sectarian”.
CLARIFICATION REGARDING THE TERM CREATURES Again, while not prevalent in the English language, it is important that we are also aware of this issue. We must never call non-Christians creatures, as this is an insulting term that does not fit with our teachings regarding how to treat others, as required by the Word of God.
SINGING THE CLOSING HYMN WHILE STILL KNEELING At the discretion of the brother presiding over the service, at the close of the service, we may sing the closing hymn, or a stanza of it, while the brethren are still kneeling. This should not become a habit but can be done when so guided by God.
TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OR PERMANENT WITHDRAWAL Any request for a temporary suspension or permanent withdrawal by a brother or sister occupying a volunteer position or ministry will result in the removal of his or her name from the register of volunteers and/or collaborators, as well as from the directory, resulting in an action of dismission. A person would only be allowed to return to that volunteer position and or ministry if that decision were made by and at the relevant Regional Ministerial Meeting (RMM). For cases involving Elders and Deacons, they must be re-ratified by the Council of Senior Elders. Extraordinary cases involving situations of serious or permanent illness that make it impossible to exercise an office or ministry should be referred to the Council of Elders.
CODE OF CONDUCT It is the duty of all members, volunteers and participants of the Christian Congregation in the United Kingdom to know the Code of Conduct and other policies published on the CCUK website (www.christiangregation.org.uk)