The purpose of this message is to acquaint you all with the procedures for entering the Church. Some people appear to be unsure of the reasons and procedure for joining us. We had to issue instructions some time ago regarding the completion of applications for fellowship and for membership. An instruction was issued some time ago that all people coming to the Church had to complete an application for admission to fellowship and that after three years they were eligible to apply for admission to membership and that application need not necessarily be approved.
So we are all sure of what is to happen, I am issuing this instruction for the Christian Churches of God.
Christ said that “every kingdom divided against itself shall not stand” (Mat. 12:25). He said: “If a house is divided against itself that house shall not stand” (Mk. 3:25). He also said in the same context that: “He who is not with me is against me” (Mat. 12:30).
Christ also said, when he was asked about a man performing miracles in his name, that he was to be left alone, in that no one can perform a miracle in Christ’s name and be against us. In that, he that is not against us is on our part, for a person cannot give a cup of water to anyone in the name of Christ that belongs to Christ and lose his reward (Mark 9:39-41).
There is no contradiction in these sentiments. There are those who do good in the name of Christ yet are not of the elect. These shall not lose their reward. There are also many administrations and many operations but one Lord. Thus we can recognise that other people act in the name of the Lord and do good. These are not against us. However, there are those that are sent among us who work against us. It is these who are referred to as those who are against us, being not with us.
The Church has a policy concerning the means by which people enter it. This structure is necessary because the Church is a body governed by its own members and, unlike the other Churches of God, is not a private corporation owned by a handful of individuals and a ruling ministry. It is fully accountable both to the members themselves and to the states under which the various national bodies are registered and operating.
Moreover, there are no conflicts of interest in the governing bodies of the Church. Each national Church is governed by its own national conference operating under the Constitution of the Church and licensed by the World Conference. Anyone paid to do a task, whether to be a minister or any other task, is not eligible to sit on the Executive Committee of the National Conference, or World Conference. Those conferences get to set their allowances and that is the extent of any conflict of interest, in the same way parliamentarians get to set their own fees and allowances. In CCG’s case they are more accountable than even that.
The procedures of the Christian Churches of God are very simple.
1. All necessary material is available over the Internet free of charge. No one need approach us except to be baptised and partake of the Lord’s Supper. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two sacraments of the Church (see the paper The Sacraments of the Church (No. 150)).
2. People may attend as guests for a trial period. They may attend services and one feast. After they have been guests for a six-month period they may fill in the application for fellowship and enter the procedure for membership status. If they do not wish to enter fellowship they are required to leave quietly. They have no rights of de-facto membership, because they enter on the grounds of being guests only.
3. In the same way, people are required to enter a trial period for membership and the Church is not obligated to confer any membership on anyone who enters this fellowship situation. The person may apply for membership but membership is not automatic.
4. If the person in fellowship completes their three-year period without creating a problem, they are eligible to apply, but are not guaranteed membership and the Executive Committee considers each case on its merits.
5. Once granted membership, each person is allowed full adult franchise and a vote in the affairs of the Church on a cyclical basis, in the election of its officers and the credentialing of its ministers.
No one is allowed to remain in the Church who does not make application for fellowship by signing the application for admission to fellowship. The submission of the form is the member’s responsibility. Each coordinator is also responsible for ensuring that the forms have been filled in and submitted.
If a person refuses to submit the form he or she is to be removed forthwith.
This is not a game. It is an administrative order issued by the Church to protect the members of the Church from people who are inherently in disagreement with the Church. In almost every case the Church has experienced, where people have refused to sign the forms for entry, they have been hostile to the Church and in disagreement with the doctrines of the CCG. They have then left, trying to hurt the Church in some way.
There are plenty of Churches of God out there. Many of them are teaching the same thing. Usually those churches are in disagreement as to who will run the Church and who will be the ministry in charge and in control of the funds. In almost all cases they are run by their ministers alone. They have no voting membership. There is no reason why they should be apart except for the power struggle within the ministry of their churches and affiliated structures.
In CCG the people get a say about who governs them. They also get a say in procedures and their systems. For that reason they expect their officers, when elected over them, to protect them from people who would come among them to destroy them. The officers take this responsibility very seriously.
The CCG has a system of government that would have protected all the Churches of God from fraud and misuse and abuse over the decades past. The WCG system under Armstrong and later Tkach would not have fallen as it did, if the Church had insisted that the Constitution of the WCG was not fraudulently tampered with and its funds and government rorted by dishonesty in its ministry. It is with history such as this in mind, that the CCG protects its people and the right of membership.
A church does not fall apart due to mismanagement of a few people. Normally it falls because it is undermined from without, in that people are placed within it to deliberately destroy it, and/or, it is destroyed by sin.
Many churches are destroyed by sin such as abuse from its officers. Where there is no control over its controlling officers, then abuse becomes entrenched. It attracts such people over time.
The Churches of God have been continually attacked and undermined by the main Trinitarian structure. This process was startlingly successful in the end of the 20th century. Much of the rot of the churches was because there was no accountability and no long-term commitment to a doctrinal ideal in its leadership and no power among its members.
For that reason the Christian Churches of God requires a written commitment to the upholding of the Statement of Beliefs (A1) and the Constitution (A2). It should be obvious that a person who will not uphold those two documents are not with us and have signalled by the refusal to sign an inherent disagreement with either CCG’s doctrine or administration or both. For that reason we cannot take a risk with such people and they have to be removed for the protection of others.
One would properly ask why would someone want to be among us if they did not agree with us? The answer is often not so simple. Often people have been hurt by organisations and so do not trust any organisation. Many are hurt by others abusing their power and position, and have deep-seated psychological problems. Many of these have been hurt among the churches of God and do not realise the differences in systems of government.
Many people are simply in hostility to the government of God and wish to destroy the Church during the last days. Many such people can only hurt us by being among us. Those that have long term ambitions of destroying and controlling us may refuse to sign the forms, so that they can alter our positions later on.
One of the mainstream churches is dedicated to our entire elimination and their officers and members are excused from singing, or falsely declaring and asserting and doing anything while among us, in order to destroy us. This even runs to the marrying of our women and the fathering of children by a celibate ministry that will renounce them later and even participate in their deaths.
Sound bizarre? Well that has happened for centuries among us. It happened with great success among the Churches of God and the Seventh Day Adventist Churches and others.
For that reason we will not allow anyone among us that is against us or does not agree with us. It is not that we deny their right to worship. They are free to worship wherever they like and with whom they like, that agrees with them. There is a brand out there to suit most if not all. The world seems to tolerate anything so long as it does not follow God and obey His laws and systems properly. Those people, who are not with us in Spirit and agreement, are simply not welcome with us to attempt to destroy us, and we will not tolerate that behaviour.
No coordinator of any Church area has the discretion to vary this order. If you don’t agree, then leave.
We have learnt by bitter experience that he who is not with us is against us and the best indication is the formal declaration of one’s beliefs and agreement with our system of government. One cannot be made a citizen of any country without giving a pledge of allegiance to their constitution and system and leadership.
How much more so should it be with we who are not of this world but are citizens of a higher calling? We obey the rulers of our nations as we are instructed to do. We also obey God and Christ and administer ourselves according to the Laws of God and the Testimony of the Faith through Jesus Christ and the Prophets. The elect are those who keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). By these two processes we show ourselves worthy of our calling. By giving respect and obedience to those who are appointed over us, and giving obedience to the magistrate, who does not wield the sword in vain, we show ourselves worthy of our calling. By loving one another we show our capacity to be given responsibility and rulership. How can we expect to be given authority if we do not respect it when it is placed over us?
This is the countdown to Pentecost. This year is the fifth year of the cycle.
It is normally a year of grace after the first four years of the Sabbatical
cycle. From our previous experiences, this year begins the trials that lead
up to the double harvest of the sixth year. This sequence is explained in the
paper Samson and the Judges (No. 73).
This year it has developed right from the New Year. The fallen host now attack us continually. This Pentecost is important and the demons are working to destroy us continually. Remember we have only a few years to go before our tasks are taken over by the Witnesses, and Messiah follows them. All of us are expected to give our utmost to accomplish the work. We do not need numbers to do the task we have been given. We need dedication and loyalty and hard work. How will you be of two minds: If Yahovah is God then worship Him, but if Baal is God then worship him. Deciding if we are God’s chosen people is simple. If we speak according to the Law and the Testimony we are they. If not, then there is no light in us (Isa. 8:20).
Love one another. Do no harm to those of your number or to anyone. Do not make a railing accusation. Give due deference to those placed in authority above you. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. You must discern the body of Christ. Keep the Passover with the body and align yourselves with the body. Consort with those with whom you agree and do not seek to hurt or do mischief to anyone.
Above all, show God you love him by obeying Him and loving one another.
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