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Christ's Congregation
( aka the Church ) ( aka the Body of Christ )
 
Member's Manual
 
based on the Bible, with
Role Descriptions from the Bible
 
 
Click to skip to the Preface or Table of Contents or Member's Manual (or scroll down).
 
 
Christ's Congregation refers to all the members
(with their God/Christ/Holy Spirit given gifts, callings, and ministries)
that make up:   the body of Christ
 
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MembersManual.com
Updated  Nov. 15, 2009
 
 
 
Preface

As a new (or old) member of Christ's Congregation, we each need a Member's Manual.

The Bible is of course, our primary reference book, in which God provides us with His word and understanding.

Most of us spend a lifetime, just trying to learn the truth about the basics of Christianity in the Bible.

This lifetime of effort, just to learn the basics, happens largely because we have been taught Christianity as it relates to the denominational viewpoint (called doctrine or dogma) of the denomination doing the teaching.  Changing denominations may just add to the confusion, because of the apparent contradictions that arise.

At the time the Bible's New Testament was written, there were no denominationsChrist's Congregation was/is one congregation, portions of which are scattered over many geographical areas.  Members of Christ's Congregation are now also scattered among many denominations.  But remember, Christ's Congregation is made up of members, not denominations.  Are you a member?  The Member's Manual will help you find the true answer from the Bible.

God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible all have the same message of truth.  The message of truth is always the same to each of us.  They do not convey one version of the truth to you, and a different version of the truth to someone else.  The truth they convey is always the same, to each one of us.  Therefore, all we have to do is seek the truth.

Using our Member's Manual, we can begin by seeking the truth that the Bible conveys to us about Christianity, and our role as a new (or old) Christian, a member of Christ's Congregation.

 
 
 
 Table of Contents / Outline of Terms

New Testament terms that describe the role of members who make up Christ's Congregation:
     (Click on the terms below to go to descriptions within this Manual.)
     (Page numbers are approximate, depending on you browser, printer, and settings.)

New Covenant (New Testament)    - - - page 5

High Priest (Jesus Christ is the high priest and mediator of the New Covenant.)    - - page 6
     (use of the term Priests / Priesthood is limited to several special context situations)    - pg 7
National / International / Worldwide Christian Organization and Hierarchy in the Bible    - - pg 8

Christ's Congregation as a whole:  My (Jesus') Congregation (aka Church), the Body of Christ

     Members of Christ's Congregation ( members of the Body of Christ are called:
          brethren, Disciples, Christians, Saints, brethren/brothers and sisters in Christ )
          (membership is based on being saved, by accepting Christ as your Lord & Saviour) pg 11

 
Callings / Appointments made by God and/or Christ    - - page 11 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
God hath set some(has appointed) in
  the Congregation (aka the Church):
Christ gave gifts unto men:
    Christ gave some [to be]:
Spiritual Gifts
    given by the Spirit:
1.  Apostles Apostles
- - - page 12
2.  Prophets (prophesying serveth for them which believe) (gift of prophecy) Prophets Prophecy   - page 14
 
Evangelists
- - - page 16
 
Pastors
- - - page 18
3.  Teachers Teachers
- - - page 19
 
For the perfecting of the saints,
     for the work of the ministry,
     for the edifying of the body of Christ:  - page 31
4.  Miracles (workers of miracles)
- - - page 20
Working of Miracles
5.  Gifts of:
- - - page 22
 
     Gifts of Healings
- - - page 23
Gifts of Healing
     Gifts of Helps (help others)
- - - page 25
 
     Gifts of Governments (administration)
- - - page 26
 
     Gifts of Diversities of Tongues
          Speak with Tongues (tongues are for a sign (in their native language) to them that believe not)
- - - page 27
Divers Kinds of
     Tongues
          Interpret (interpret what has been said in a foreign language)
- - - page 27
Interpretation of
     Tongues
 
- - - page 29
Discerning of Spirits
 
- - - page 29
Word of Wisdom
 
- - - page 30
Word of Knowledge
 
- - - page 30
Faith

 
Defining the "work of the ministry", ministry, minister, ministering, ministration   - page 31
Your Ministry (the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, thy ministry, his ministry) 32
Preacher, preach, preached, preachest, preacheth, preaching    - - - page 32
 
Christ's Congregation (aka Church), a portion thereof, at the local level    - - - page 33
 
     Members of Christ's Congregation, at the local level ( members of the Body of Christ
         are called:  brethren, Disciples, Christians, Saints, brethren/brothers and sisters in Christ)
               (membership is based on accepting Christ as your Lord & Saviour,
                    not on local congregation "membership")    - - - page 34
 
Assembly, Assembling and Gathering Together
     (no mention in the Bible of an earthly physical Christian:  Temple, Synagogue,
     Sanctuary, Lord's House, Storehouse, Building, or Church structure)    - - - page 35
 
Elders (ordained in every city, ordained in every local congregation (aka local church))   - pg 36
Bishops (office)    - - - page 37 Deacons (office)    - - - page 37
 
Salvation: How to Spend Eternity in Heaven The Book of Life
Born AgainBaptism Once Saved,  Always Saved ?
 
The 8 Commandments of the New Covenant Tithing (Tithes, Offerings, Alms)
The Sabbath Giver, Giving & Receiving, Give, work to Give
 
Hypocrisy  (Don't let the hypocrisy of another Christian, keep you from going to heaven.  That would be your loss, not theirs.)  (Love the sinner, but hate the sin.)
 
          The Bible        Prophecies:  (GT = the Great Tribulation)
What does the Bible, and
     Bible Chronology (detailed in the Bible),
     and Astronomy tell us about:
Bible Chronology Dates
Creation Week
The Pre-Flood Era
Noah's Flood
Joshua's Longest Day (~12 hours longer)
Hezekiah's sign from the LORD: (-10 degrees)
Birth of Jesus
Resurrection Week
Bible Astronomy Formulas
 
Revelation ChronologyCountdown to GT
Who's Who in Bible Prophecy ?
Where are we Now in Bible Prophecy ?
Antichrist is Revealed (3.5-year GT begins)
Overcoming
Mystery Babylon and its Fall
The Rapture (~2 years after the GT begins)
Judgment Seat of Christ  (1st resurrection)
Christ Returns at Armageddon (GT ends)
Christ's 1,000 year Millennial Reign on Earth
Great White Throne Judgment (2nd death)
New:  Heaven, Earth, Jerusalem for Eternity
 
   
Note:  Terms above without links are "Under Construction."  Visit often for additions & updates.
   
End of  Table of Contents / Outline of Terms
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Christ's Congregation
Member's Manual
 
New Testament terms
(used to describe the role of members who make up Christ's Congregation)
 
 
New Covenant  (New Testament)
 
The Old Covenant (administered by the Levitical priesthood) was in force until the Resurrection of Jesus. Jesus Christ is the high priest and mediator of the New Covenant. With a New Covenant and a new high priest, the Old Covenant then vanished away over the next 40 years, until finally the temple at Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews scattered (including the Levitical priesthood) in 70 A.D. For more on the New Covenant, see: "Old & New Covenants: Structure & Terminology" at
          http://www.888c.com/Covenant.htm
back to TOC
 
High Priest
Jesus Christ is the high priest and mediator of the New Covenant.
 
Jesus Christ is our high priest under the New Covenant, and mediator of the New Covenant. Jesus the Christ then became our heavenly high priest after the order of Melchisedec.  (Heb 4:14, Heb 5:6 Heb 5:10)   (also see Heb 9:11, Heb 9:24) Jesus' last name is not Christ.  The Bible's Old Testament prophesies the coming of a saviour or Messiah.  The Hebrew to English word Messiah is equivalent to the Greek to English word Christ.  Hence we have "Jesus, the Messiah" or "Jesus, the Christ", which is usually shortened to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has numerous other names and titles in the New Testament: For more on Jesus Christ as the High Priest of the New Covenant, see: "Old & New Covenants: Structure & Terminology" at
          http://www.888c.com/Covenant.htm
back to TOC
 
Priests / Priesthood
(use of the term Priests / Priesthood is limited to several special context situations)
 
Christ's congregation (aka church) has only a heavenly high priest, after the order of Melchisedec: Jesus Christ, the Son of God. All the members collectively of Christ's congregation (the body of Christ), redeemed with the blood of Christ (1Pe 1:18-19), being born again (1Pe 1:23), are characterized by Peter as a spiritual house, holy priesthood, chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation, and a peculiar people in: In the book of Revelation in the Bible we have another special context situation.  This one involves all or part of Christ's congregation ruling with Christ as kings and priests during the 1,000 year millennial reign of Christ on this earth.  Until Christ returns at Armageddon, this special context situation does not yet exist.
Hierarchy
National / International / Worldwide Christian Organization and Hierarchy in the Bible
 
Christ's congregation (aka church) in the Bible's New Testament has no national / international / worldwide Christian organization or hierarchy.  Only at the local congregation level did they even have Elders, Bishops, and Deacons.

On rare occasions, the original apostles would meet to discuss and try to understand some "as yet not fully understood" theological issue.  But as the Bible's New Testament was written under God's inspiration and direction, the theology became documented and shared among local congregations, eliminating the need for such meetings.

The Bible's New Testament apostles had no successors (other than Matthias, the replacement apostle for Judas Iscariot (see Act 1:26 below under Apostles) ).

Christ gave the original apostles (disciples) the role of being the first missionaries to fill the great commission.  With each new generation, God and Christ appoint/call (and Christ gives gifts to) new apostles to fill the missionaries' role described in the great commission:

Christ's Congregation as a whole:
My (Jesus') Congregation (aka Church), the Body of Christ
 
To get an English translation of the Bible, the Old Testament is translated from Hebrew to English, and the New Testament is translated from Greek to English.

Because the Greek word ekklesia is so important, the Bible shows us exactly how to translate the word ekklesia from Greek to English.

However, for reasons that we will not explore here, the King James Bible translators in 1611 were persuaded to instead translate the Greek work ekklesia to the English word "church."  The intended word congregation creates a clear picture of members of the congregation, whereas the word "church" can be expanded to mean many things. For more on Christ's congregation as a whole, see: "Jesus Christ's called out Congregation (aka The Church)" at
          http://www.888c.com/MyCongregationVsTheChurch.htm
back to TOC
 
Members of Christ's Congregation
( members of the Body of Christ are called:
brethren, Disciples, Christians, Saints, brethren/brothers and sisters in Christ )
(membership is based on being saved, by accepting Christ as your Lord & Saviour)
Act 11:26b  And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

The Bible defines "members" and the "body of Christ" by drawing an analogy with the human body, and its many parts (also called members of the human body).

Our membership in the body of Christ is totally based on our relationship with Christ. Death does not affect our being a member of the body of Christ (a member of Christ's congregation).
 
back to TOC
 
Callings / Appointments made by God and/or Christ
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
God hath set some (has appointed) in
  the Congregation (aka the Church) :
Christ gave gifts unto men:
    Christ gave some [to be]:
Spiritual Gifts
    given by the Spirit:
back to TOC (for the rest of Table above)
The table above is constructed from 3 lists, given in the Bible's New Testament, and shown below.

Each term in the lists below is described in greater detail under a heading box below:
     (You can scroll to the heading box below, or click on one of the links in the verses below.)

God's list of callings/appointments is found in:

Christ's list of callings/appointments is found in: The Holy Spirit's list, of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, is found in: Each term in the lists above is described in greater detail under a heading box below:
     (You can scroll to the heading box below, or click on one of the links in the verses above.)
back to TOC
 
1.  Apostles  (Called by God and/or Christ) (the first Missionaries)
 
Jesus chose the first 12 apostles from among his disciples. Jesus describes the mission field for the first 12 apostles:  "go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Christ gave the original apostles (disciples) the role of being the first missionaries to fill the great commission: The remaining 11 apostles cast lots to select a replacement apostle for Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus. Paul was chosen by Christ and God to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Barnabas, an apostle, follows the path of a true missionary:  sells everything to follow Christ, and spends the rest of his life going from place to place helping to establish new portions of Christ's congregation at the local level. The Bible's New Testament apostles had no successors (other than Matthias, the replacement apostle for Judas Iscariot (see Act 1:26 above) ).
 
With each new generation, God and Christ appoint/call (and Christ gives gifts to) new apostles to fill the missionaries' role described in the great commission.
back to TOC
 
2.  Prophets  (Called by God and/or Christ, Spiritual Gifts given by the Holy Spirit)
(gift of prophecy) (prophesying serveth for them which believe)
 
Use the gifts you are given: Prophecies shall fail.  Knowledge and prophecies are not all knowing, but are only part of the picture. Of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, prophecy is a superior gift, according to the Bible.  Eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.  All of 1 Corinthians 14 is devoted to this subject.  A few verses are selected below: The word of God, whether from the Bible, God, Christ, Holy Spirit, prophecy, or spiritual gifts, is the same word of God to all members of the body of Christ.  Therefore, there is no basis for divisions within the body of Christ.   No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. A final warning concerning false prophets.  We are told to test the spirits. For more on Gifts of Prophecy, see: "What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost" at
          http://www.888c.com/HolySpirit.htm
back to TOC
 
Evangelists  (Called by Christ)
 
Philip is the only person that the Bible names as an evangelist. The Bible describes a typical day in the life of an evangelist. Paul charges Timothy to "do the work of an evangelist", Proverbs says "he that winneth souls is wise", and Jesus said to his disciples: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel"
Pastors  (Called by Christ)
 
The term "Pastor or Pastors" appears only once in the Bible's New Testament. Therefore we must look to the Bible's Old Testament for insight into the role of a pastor.  The Old Testament verses all appear in the book of Jeremiah, and are best broken into 2 groups: those about good pastors, and those about bad pastors.

Good pastors (after the LORD's own heart) feed God's flock with knowledge and understanding, and follow the LORD.

Bad pastors.  From below, we can conclude that good pastors should: seek the LORD; visit the flock; not destroy, not scatter, and not drive away God's flock; and should not transgress against the LORD.
3.  Teachers  (Called by God and/or Christ)
(Teach, Teachest, Teacheth, Teaching)
 
The apostles were called to teach: Teachers called, and given a ministry, by God and/or Christ, may be men or women.  Anyone, a man or a woman, can choose to learn from another's teaching ministry, whether the teacher be a man or a woman.  But we, as members (according to Paul), should not select a woman to teach a man (or men).  Older women are to teach the younger women: Sometimes, teachers need to be taught the basics of God's word again: Members are to share their understanding with teachers, who will teach others.
The goal of teaching is to convey wisdom, that we may present every member perfect in Christ: We are warned about teachers teaching false doctrine:
back to TOC
 
4.  Miracles (workers of miracles) (Called by God, Spiritual Gifts given by Holy Spirit)
 
Surprisingly, there are only 5 mentions of the word miracle(s) in the Old Testament.  All of these references are to the miracles that Moses did in Egypt unto Pharaoh and in the wilderness.

In the New Testament there are about 16 mentions of the word miracle(s) in connection with the miracles that Jesus performed.  Jesus even comments on a miracle done by someone else in Jesus' name:

The following verses refer to miracles done by the apostles & Stephen in Jesus' name: Finally, there are 3 mentions of the word miracle(s) in the book of Revelation, performed by the false prophet [aka the earth beast, the antichrist], and the spirits of devils:  For more on Working of Miracles see: "What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost" at
          http://www.888c.com/HolySpirit.htm
back to TOC
 
5.  Gifts of the Holy Spirit  ( Callings / Appointments by God, Spiritual Gifts given by the Spirit )
 
5.  Gifts of:
          Healings
          Helps
          Governments
          Diversities of Tongues
               Speak with Tongues (tongues are for a sign to them that believe not (in their native language))
               Interpret (interpret what has been said in a foreign language)

Each gift in the list above is described in greater detail under a heading below:

For more on Gifts of the Holy Spirit, see: "What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost" at
          http://www.888c.com/HolySpirit.htm

back to TOC
 
Gifts of Healings  ( Called by God, Spiritual Gifts given by the Holy Spirit )
 
God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and with power: Jesus went about healing all ... Jesus' sacrifices makes our healing possible: Jesus gives power to his disciples, instructs them, and sends them out 2 by 2 to preach and heal: There are vivid examples of the apostles healing many, as they went forth spreading the gospel: Not every member of Christ's congregation has the gift of healing:
     (But we can each pray one for another, that ye may be healed (keep reading below).) Is any sick among you?  let him call for the elders, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick:
     (The verses below suggest that the sickness may be related to sins that need to be forgiven.) And continuing in the next verse: pray one for another, that ye may be healed:
     (This states literally that:  ye [you] may be healed, if you pray for another.) For more on Gifts of Healings, see: "What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost" at
          http://www.888c.com/HolySpirit.htm
back to TOC
 
Gifts of Helps  ( Called by God )
(help others)
 
The phrase "gifts of helps" appears in the Bible only once, the word "helps" appears only twice: Additional verses that may be relevant are:
Gifts of Governments  ( Called by God )
(administration)
 
The phrase "gifts of governments" appears in the Bible only once: Additional verses that may be relevant are:
Gifts of Diversities of Tongues  (Divers Kinds of Tongues)
( Called by God, Spiritual Gifts given by the Holy Spirit )
Speak with Tongues (tongues are for a sign (in their native language) to them that believe not)
Interpret, Interpretation of Tongues  (interpret what has been said in a foreign language)
 
In the book of Acts, when the apostles, disciples, and Peter spoke on the day of Pentecost; each listener in the crowd heard the message in his own native tongue (language).  Each listener thought Peter was speaking the message in their own native language.  This was the work of the Holy Spirit manifesting one of the gifts of tongues. Paul instructs the congregation on the purpose and use of the gifts of speaking in tongues: Paul also instructs the congregation on the purpose and use of the gifts of interpretation of tongues: Another Gifts of Diversities of Tongues is sometimes called a private prayer language (that only God understands): For more on Gifts of Diversities of Tongues, see: "What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost" at
          http://www.888c.com/HolySpirit.htm
back to TOC
 
Gifts of Discerning of Spirits  ( Spiritual Gifts given by the Holy Spirit )
 
The phrase "discerning of spirits" appears in the Bible only once: Additional verses that may be relevant are: Concerning false prophets,  we are told to test the spirits: For more on Gifts of Discerning of Spirits, see: "What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost" at
          http://www.888c.com/HolySpirit.htm
back to TOC
 
Gifts of the Word of Wisdom  ( Spiritual Gifts given by the Holy Spirit )
 
The phrase "word of wisdom" appears in the Bible only once: For more on Gifts of the Word of Wisdom, see: "What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost" at
          http://www.888c.com/HolySpirit.htm
back to TOC
 
Gifts of the Word of Knowledge  ( Spiritual Gifts given by the Holy Spirit )
 
The phrase "word of knowledge" appears in the Bible only once: For more on Gifts of the Word of Knowledge, see: "What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost" at
          http://www.888c.com/HolySpirit.htm
back to TOC
 
Gifts of Faith  ( Spiritual Gifts given by the Holy Spirit )
 
Verses that may be relevant are: The prayer of faith shall save the sick, raise him up, and his sins shall be forgiven: For more on Gifts of Faith, see: "What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost" at
          http://www.888c.com/HolySpirit.htm
back to TOC
 
Defining the "work of the ministry", ministry, minister, ministering.
God and Christ have set some in the congregation, and Christ gave gifts to them,
for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying [improving] of the body of Christ.
 
The "work of the ministry" is collectively defined as all work done by all the saints on behalf of Christ, as if it were all a single ministry.  This is certainly God's and Christ's overall perspective. The "work of the ministry" is also defined as the work done by a number of groups of saints, each group of saints being thought of as a separate ministry.  (Example:  The 12 apostles, were each called by Christ separately, but they sometimes refer to being a part of this (apostles') ministry.) The "work of the ministry" is also defined as the work done by a single saint, who has been called by Christ to perform a certain ministry (his ministry, or thy ministry). Several saints that make up a kind of "team", may have a single ministry known as their ministry.  In the example below they are called by Christ to perform a certain ministry that consists of a short term assignment, that concludes when they have fulfilled their ministry. The act of performing any "work of the/his/thy/their ministry" is called ministering (such as ministering to the needs of others), or to minister to the sick, or ministration: the act or process of ministering (he performed his ministration). The person performing any "work of the/his/thy/their ministry" is often called a minister.
Your Ministry  ( The ministry you receive from the Lord Jesus Christ )
(the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, thy ministry, his ministry)
 
God and Christ have set some in the congregation, and Christ gave gifts to them, for the perfecting of you, for the work of your ministry (the ministry you receive from Christ).
Preacher, preach, preached, preachest, preacheth, preaching
 
The word "Preacher" appears in 11 Bible verses, but in only 4 New Testament verses:
     (The plural form "Preachers" does not appear in the Bible.) The words "preach, preached, preachest, preacheth, and preaching" appear in 134 Bible verses, but in only 4 Old Testament verses.  Of the 130 New Testament verses, 37 are in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; 37 are in Acts, and 56 are in the rest of the New Testament.  Most of these verses describe the act of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  A few examples are given below:
Christ's Congregation (aka Church), a portion thereof, at the local level
 
In the Bible, Christ's congregation (aka church) at the local level have names like: For more on Christ's congregation at the local level, see: "Jesus Christ's called out Congregation (aka The Church)" at
          http://www.888c.com/MyCongregationVsTheChurch.htm#location
back to TOC
 
Members of Christ's Congregation, at the local level
( members of the Body of Christ are called:
brethren, Disciples, Christians, Saints, brethren/brothers and sisters in Christ )
 
(membership is based on being saved, by accepting Christ as your Lord & Saviour,
not on local congregation "membership")
 
Act 11:26b  And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

The Bible defines "members" and the "body of Christ" by drawing an analogy with the human body, and its many parts (also called members of the human body).

Our membership in the body of Christ is totally based on our relationship with Christ. Members of the body of Christ are sometimes called a "flock", usually referring to the portion of Christ's congregation located in some local geographical area. Death does not affect our being a member of the body of Christ (a member of Christ's congregation).
 
back to TOC
 
Assembly, Assembling and Gathering Together
(no mention in the Bible of an earthly physical Christian:  Temple, Synagogue,
Sanctuary, Lord's House, Storehouse, Building, or Church structure)
 
When a portion of the congregation is assembled together, the assembled congregation (ekklesia) may be translated as an "assembly." In the Bible Jesus Christ reveals that an assembled congregation may be very small. There is no mention in the Bible of an earthly physical Christian: Temple, Synagogue, Sanctuary, Lord's House, Storehouse, Building, or Church structure: For more on Assembly, Assembling and Gathering Together, see: "Jesus Christ's called out Congregation (aka The Church)" at
          http://www.888c.com/MyCongregationVsTheChurch.htm#my-ekklesia
back to TOC
 
Elders
(ordained in every city, ordained in every local congregation (aka local church))
 
The Bible describes the roles of Elders.
Bishops (office)
 
The Bible gives us the qualifications for a Bishop:
Deacons (office)
 
The Bible gives us the qualifications for a Deacon:  
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