Their control of their members is extraordinary and unmatched by any other Christian denomination. They have a tried and tested organisational structure and a highly effective management system in terms of the function of control. Their structure and management system is also based on biblical texts, rendering the word of their priests and other dignitaries "holy" which strengthen the management of their members even further.
They offer something unique and greater than what any other christian denomination can promise: Eternal life while you are stil alive! There is no need to wait to die or for some judgement day - you can have eternal life here and now!
They are the body of Christ. Eternal life is to be a member of the body of christ - to be a member of the church.
They base this fact on Ephesians 4: 11&12
"11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ"
Romans 8:1: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
At the head of the church, is an Apostle. They believe the Apostles never died off, but they were always succeeded by another, because the bible actually mention more than 30 apostles - and they have the bible verses to proof it.
The Apostle is in charge of the second tier management postions of what they call the fourfold office, which consists of Prophet, Evangelist and Overseer (representing the pastor and teacher). The Prophet is in charge of the "Spiritual" aspects of the church, namely dreams, visions and prophesies. The prophet does the revelation of these spiritual "powers/gifts" and tells the members what their dreams etc. mean. The Evangelist is in charge of the spreading of the gospel as an instruction of God. They have set aside monday- and thursday evenings especially to recruit new members. For this purpose they have a post of underdeacon who's sole task is to drive the recruitment activities on community level. The Overseer is the shepherd. He is in charge of the rank of Elder, who in turn is in charge of the community priests. The Elder manage the priests and he is also the "healer" of the church. Powers have been placed in him by the Apostle to heal the sick. The Priests must manage their members and report to him.
The church has activities 7 days a week. These activities are compulsory. Attending these activities means that the member is actively part of the body of Christ and therefor already a partaker of eternal life. A member can only be excused from an activity by the Priest if he has to work or if he is ill.
The priest must keep record of the attendance of his members in the activities. He must then fill out and keep to date activity reports of his members and report to his elder, who in turn report to the Overseer, and he to the Apostle.
A member must mantain a personal file which must contain the following:
- A personal budget (Income and expenses)
- This budget must make provision for a full 10% tiches of the member's gross income. Members who do not pay a full 10% tiches must make provision in their financial planning to work towards the goal of paying the full 10%;
- Life insurance documents;
- Last will and testiment.
The Priest must mke sure that the members file is complete and up to date. The Priest must also report on this aspect to the Elder.
Members are being tought that, if it was not for God they would have nothing and that the 10% tiches actually belongs to God. If they do not pay their tiches, they steal from God. Their remaining 90% of their income will be blessed to provide for even more than they expected. This system must make their church the richest church in the land.
They are a very practical church. They do not belief in some supernatural god far away.
God is Spirit within man - period.
John 4:24: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
It was Jesus himself who said in Luke 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
John 1:14: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
Allthough the person might be fallable and sinfull, the gift of God within the person is holy.
For the child, God is in his mother and her word is the word of God.
The mothers's Saviour is in her husband (the house priest).
For the husband, the authority of God resides in his Priest and so on.
A member must consult and obtain his Priest's permission on basically all aspects of life:
- If he or anyone in his family gets ill, he must first contact his Priest. His Priest will then, most probably, bless him and tell him to insult a medical doctor. The Priest will also bless the doctor.
- If he gets medicine, he must first "bless" the medicine by means of a prayer before they use it;
- If he wants to go on holiday or even away for a week-end, he must first get permission from his Priest. If he will leave the area of his congregation, he must get a letter from his Priest which he must take with him on his trip,
- If a member wants to buy a new car (or any expensive item), he must first dicuss it with his Priest and if his Priest assured himself that the member will be able to afford it by stydying the member's budget, he will bless the member to buy the car he wants.
This is the order of the Apostle and straying out of the order can be detrimental to ones eternal life.
A member is required to write down his dreams and hand it to the Priest. The Priest, ho was trained by the Prophet in the matters of the Spirit, will then analise the dream and "warn" the member accordingly (Almost always a dream means that the member must change from bad to good, from darkness to light.)
It is a pre-requisite for soul salvation is to be / become a member of the body of Christ which is this church. They even have a system in place through which you can become a member after your death. The Apostel holds a "sealing" service whereby departed souls can still be baptised, receive holy communion and be sealed (their third sacrement.)
Most interesting about this church is their interpretation of the bible. Their spiritual interpretation make (almost) all aspects in the bible - even the Old Testament - fit like a glove. But that is a subject for another day.
For now, what a powerful management system!
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