Constitution

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The meaning of “Congregationalism”

Congregationalism means that the church is autonomous in terms of governance.

The origin of congregationalism, is normally traced back to England during the 1558 – 1603 era. Congregationalists repudiated the concept of a state church and favoured the “gathered church” principle. There are others who believe that autonomous churches consisted of Christians who refused to be part of the Roman church that was established under Constantine in 314AD. The ordination of its ministers is not subject to bishops, magistrates or elders, but is determined by the congregation in accordance with the church constitution. The legacy of independency is embraced by Congregationalist. The congregational system of church government has often been wrongly interpreted as democratic. Ideally the church is seen as being under the rule of Christ and the church seeks to discern His will through the collective vote or consensus of it’s members. Membership of the church is on profession of personal faith in Christ and new members are normally welcomed by being given the right hand of fellowship at a communion service. The congregation chooses its minister and mandates him to lead the church as a shepherd leads his flock and as a captain leads his team.

For more information consult R.W. Dale – Manual of Congregational Principles, London 1884.

ST DAVIDS CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

Street Address: Verbena Drive, Sunridge Park, Port Elizabeth 6045
Postal Address: P O Box 28956, Sunridge Park, Port Elizabeth 6008
Telephone/Fax: 041-3601127 stdavids@telkomsa.net

1. NAME

This Church shall be known as “ST DAVlDS CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH” (hereinafter referred to as “the Church”). The Church shall assume this corporate identity as a Faith Based Organisation (FBO).

2. ORGANISATION

2.1. The Church shall be constituted of those who have become members in terms of Clause 3 of the Constitution.

2.2. A Congregational Church is formed by a body of men and women who personally confess Christ Jesus as Saviour and Lord of their lives. The supreme authority in the Church is the Word of God and His Will expressed through the Church meeting. The Minister, Elders and Deacons are elected by the Church meeting as the spiritual leaders and executive officers of the Church. Their mandate is to lead the Church under Christ’s headship.

3. MEMBERSHIP

3.1. RESPONSIBILITIES

Church Membership carries with it very definite responsibilities. Sincerity of Membership must find expression in Character, Conduct and Service, not only in the Church itself, but also in society.

3.2. WORSHIP

lt is the first obligation upon members of the Church to be present at the stated times for worship, especially at the central act of worship in which the Members of the Church meet for communion at the Lord’s Table.

3.3. THE CHURCH MEETING

It is the second obligation upon Members of the Church to be present at the Church Meeting – the Assembly at which the Church exercises its responsibility in determining all its affairs under the guidance of Christ.

3.4. FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Consistent with their means Members shall contribute with regularity to the upkeep of the Church and to the maintenance of its work.

3.5. SERVICE

Membership implies such zeal for the cause of Christ that Members will recognise their obligation to take part in the Christian service and organised work of the Church.

3.6. ADMISSION OF MEMBERS

Membership of the Church shall consist of all who have been received into Church Membership and whose names appear on the Church roll at the date of which this constitution is adopted, together with future Members accepted.

3.7. CONFESSION OF FAITH

Names of all prospective members who have applied for Membership shall be placed before the Deacons who after due consideration may be recommend them to Church Membership at a communion service.

3.8. BY TRANSFER

Members applying for transfer from other Churches may be accepted into the Church fellowship by the Deacons and in cases of doubt applications must be confirmed by the Church meeting after recommendations by the Deacons.

3.9. CONDUCT

A Member whose conduct has been clearly unbiblical, divisive, disrespectful or has clearly transgressed this constitution shall automatically cease to be a member and their names shall be removed from the Membership register unless sound biblical reasons are advanced to the Diaconate to retain their Membership and subject to their recommitment to the ethos of the Church, the constitution and statement of faith. Members are not to attend unofficial caucus meetings. The protocol to follow is to submit concerns and issues to the Diaconate for their discussion and their consideration which may result in an official meeting with the Diaconate to resolve matters of mutual concern. In the unlikely event of no resolution a Special Meeting may be called according to clause 4.4.

4. CHURCH MEETINGS

4.1. Church Meetings (including the Annual Meeting) shall be held at least twice a year, after having given 14 days’ Notice, or at such regular times as may be determined by a Church Meeting. Ten Members shall form a quorum.

4.2. It shall be customary for a Member of the Pastorate by agreement to preside at all Church Meetings. ln the absence of such a Member, it shall be competent for the Meeting to choose a Chairman from those present.

4.3. Minutes of all Meetings shall be kept, and such Minutes shall be confirmed at the ensuing meeting, and signed by the Chairman.

4.4. Special Church Meetings may be called by the Pastorate and by the Diaconate, or on receipt of a written request signed by not less than five members of the Church addressed to the Pastorate. The parties may be invited to meet the Pastorate and Diaconate to discuss and resolve any matter of concern. If no resolution is found the members may be called to vote on the issue at a Special Church meeting to be announced at the morning services of the two preceding Sundays, or notices thereof contained in any news-sheet distributed at the Church Services on those Sundays. In addition, written notices shall be sent by the Diaconate to all members by ordinary post, to the members address as recorded in the Membership Register, not less than 10 days prior to the meeting. The written notices convening the meeting shall state fully the purpose for which it is called. No other business shall be discussed at the meeting.

4.5. A notice of motion on any matter shall be lodged with the Secretary not later than 10 days prior to the Church Meeting without notice having been given, it shall be at the discretion of the Chairman as to whether it is considered important.

4.6. The Annual Meeting of the Church and Congregation shall normally be held in the first trimester, when reports and audited balance sheets for the year ended 31st December shall be submitted and the Minutes of the previous Annual Meeting shall be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

4.6. Voting at all Church Meetings, by Members only, shall be by show of hands unless requested to be by ballot.

4.7. Proxy votes will only be considered for those who are infirm. A request must be received in writing for a proxy vote. The name of the person requesting such a vote must be on the relevant form and a Deacon must be present at the time of voting.

5. THE PASTORATE

5.1. The Minister shall be elected by a majority vote of not less than two thirds of the Members present at a Special Church Meeting convened for the purpose. Voting shall be by ballot.

5.2. The Church, in like manner, shall have the right to terminate the service of its Minister by a two thirds majority vote of the Members of a Special Church Meeting convened for that purpose provided that the Labour Relations Act is followed. Voting shall be by ballot.

5.3. The candidate for a vacant pastorate position shall be evangelical and shall embrace the doctrinal statement of the Church.

5.4. In the event of the resignation, transfer, retirement or deathof the official Minister the Diaconate may appoint a suitable lay person to fill the temporary pulpit ministry until the election of a new pastor provided that the lay Minister adheres to the Church doctrinal statement.

5.5. An electoral college (adhoc committee) consisting of five Members made up of two Deacons, two Members of the WA and a lay Minister or ordained Minister (not a candidate for the vacant pastorate) who understands and embraces the statement of faith be appointed by the Diaconate to interview prospective candidates. The EC shall make their recommendations to the Diaconate who in turn shall interview the candidate and on the recommendation of both the EC and the Diaconate the nominees credentials and application shall be presented to the Members for their approval.

6. DEACONS

6.1. To be responsible for the maintenance of the Church properties.

6.2. To be responsible for the efficient running of the Church and to this end, to see that all vacancies and appointments of the Church officials are adequately filled.

6.3. Deacons shall serve for a period of two years. The retiring Deacons shall be entitled to offer themselves for re-election without the necessity of nomination.

6.4. The election of Deacons shall take place at a Church Meeting each year (normally at the Annual Church Meeting) the date of such meeting to be decided by the Diaconate.

6.5. The Diaconate may call for nominations for the vacant position of Deacons and all nominees shall be ratified by the pastorate and at least three Deacons before the nominee’s name is submitted to the Church meeting for elections. All departmental leadership positions shall be ratified by the Pastorate and the Diaconate.

6.6. If more nominations than vacancies are received, voting shall be by ballot on forms to be provided at the meeting, such voting being by Members present and voting at the meeting. A maximum of seven Deacons, excluding an Elder, secretary and treasurer is required a two third majority vote of members present at a Members Meeting is required for election.

6.7. Vacancies on the Diaconate may be filled at any ordinary Church Meeting by election as set forth above.

6.8. The Deacons shall normally meet each month. Special Meetings may be convened at any time by Notice on the preceding Sunday, or by Notice at least twenty-four hours before the time of the meeting, on the requisition of not fewer than two Deacons or by the Secretary. A Member of the Pastorate by agreement, or in the absence of such a Member, a Deacon chosen by the Meeting, shall preside as Chairman. A majority of Deacons and the Chairman shall form a quorum.

6.9. The Church may appoint life Honorary Deacons at its discretion for outstanding service. Honorary Deacons may attend all Deacon meetings with no voting power.

7. CHURCH OFFICIALS

7.1. An honorary Church secretary shall be elected from among its Members with power to vote and to serve on the Diaconate. The honorary secretary shall keep adequate minutes of all meetings and shall fulfil duties as are normally required of a honorary secretary. A two thirds majority vote is required.

7.2. A Church office secretary may be semi-employed to attend to the secretarial duties and may serve on the Diaconate as a non-voting Member. Ideally the appointee should be a Member, however a non-Member who is a Christian may be appointed to the position subject to receiving a two thirds majority approval from the Members at a Church meeting. In the event of such an appointment clause 7.1 will fall away.

7.3. An honorary Church treasurer shall be elected to serve on the Diaconate with power to vote and shall keep proper books, records and accounts and shall present to the Church Annual General Meeting a duly audited annual financial statement and balance sheet and shall carry out such duties as are normally required of a treasurer.

7.4. The Diaconate may nominate a candidate to fulfil the position as Church administrator. In the event of such a need arising the appointment requires a two thirds majority approval of Members present at a Church meeting. The administrator may carry out all the functions as clause 7.3 in a semi-employed capacity.

8. ELDERS

8.1. The pastorate and Deacons may nominate a suitable candidate for the office of an Elder to assist the Minister in spiritual matters and Church programmes (no more than two Elders).

8.2. The nominee shall be presented to the Church meeting for a two thirds majority approval.

8.3. An Elder may serve on the Diaconate with voting power.

8.4. The elected Elder shall serve for two years and may be re-elected if nominated by the Diaconate.

8.4. No Member under the age of twenty five may serve in this capacity.

9. PROPERTY

9.1. A Member of the pastorate by agreement, the secretary and the treasure for the time being, shall be the Trustees of the Church property. The Diaconate may, by resolution, appoint one or more of its Members to discharge any of the duties required to be performed by the Trustees. The Trustees under the authority of the Church meeting may acquire by way of purchase, donation, exchange, lease or any other manner, any property movable or immovable and may sell, donate, exchange, lease, mortgage or otherwise alienate any of its properties. They may also at any time, under the authority of the Church meeting, permit the Church premises to be repaired, altered or enlarged, taken down and wholly or partially rebuilt, or sanction the erection of any other buildings, so as to render the premises more suitable for the carrying out of the work of the Church.

9.2. The Diaconate shall be authorised to make any capital expenditure which fall within the ambit of the annual Church budget.

9.3. The Diaconate shall be authorised, without recourse to the Church meeting to make expenditure of up to 10% of the Church budget on items not included in the Church budget.

9.4.nThe Diaconate shall be authorised also to undertake minimum emergency repairs which are necessary for the continued funning of the Church or the well-being of its property without recourse to the Church meeting.

10. FINANCES

10.1. A banking account shall be kept at a registered bank in which all finances received shall be deposited without delay. At the discretion of the Diaconate savings or other accounts may be opened with a registered bank, building society or other financial institution.

10.2. Cheques and withdrawals shall be signed by at least two responsible persons. The treasurer/administrator and a Deacon.

10.3. All payments, other than disbursements from petty cash, shall be by cheque or electronic means when necessary. A protocol in this regard may be prescribed by the Diaconate for good order sake.

11. PARTY POLITICS

11.1. The Church as an ecclesiastical body is a-political and shall not be partisan to any political persuasion or party. The Church shall promote the ideals of justice and equity.

12. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

12.1. The Church recognises the social challenges of our time and shall endeavour to care for Members.

13. MARRIAGE

13.1. The Church embraces and recognises the sacredness of the institution of marriage to be conducted subject to the proviso that neither the Church nor its marriage official(s) shall be compelled or obliged to approve or perform a marriage, which in the sole discretion of the Church and its Pastoral Leadership, will or is likely to offend the religious tenets and beliefs of the church.

14. MISSIONS

The Church subscribes to the principles of evangelicalism and therefore supports mission endeavours of evangelical mission bodies who embrace the Church’s ethos and doctrinal statement. The Church recognises the mission needs for literature, stipends, upliftment, transport, Church planting, etc. Ideally the Church shall commit a tithe of its monthly income to a worthy mission enterprise recommended by the pastorate and the Diaconate and endorsed by the majority of Members present at a Members meeting.

15. ALTERATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION

The constitution cannot be added to or altered except by vote of a majority of not less than two thirds of members present at a Church meeting and after not less than fourteen days notice of motion.

16. MEMBERS CONSTITUTION

Each Member shall be provided with this constitution.

17. DISSOLUTION OF THE CHURCH

17.1 . In the event of the Church being dissolved the assets of the Church after all liabilities have been met shall be determined by the Church meeting prior to dissolution. The Church may close down by a resolution adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of members present and voting at a Church Meeting, provided that such a resolution is ratified and confirmed by a two-thirds majority of the Members, present in person, or by special proxy, in writing, at a subsequent Church Meeting. Notice of such Meetings shall be given, and the purpose stated.

17.2. If the Church should close down, it shall pay off all its debts. After doing this, if there is property or money remaining, it should not be paid or given to Members of the Church. This shall be subject to the proviso that such assets as there may be shall be awarded or distributed to a Church or a similar organisation.

ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION

This constitution was adopted at a Church meeting held at Verbena Avenue, Sunridge Park, Port Elizabeth on 17th Day April Month 2013 Year and cancels and replaces the constitution which was adopted at the first Church meeting held on the 12th day of February 1964 amended on the 20th of August 1968 and again amended on the 3rd November 1991. Further amendments to the constitution followed on the 21st April 1999 and the 7th April 2011.

ARTICLES OF FAITH:

UNITY

We affirm that the seven-fold unity expressed in Ephesians 4:1-7 is the Holy Spirit’s doctrinal Statement for the Church that is the Body of Christ. We recognise other doctrinal unity as given for the various programmes found in Scripture but we affirm that Eph. 4 stands alone as the doctrinal unity for the Church today.

SCRIPTURES

In keeping with orthodox belief, we affirm that the entire Bible written in the original languages is inerrant, verbally inspired by God and is of plenary authority (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21).

GOD

We believe that there is but one living and true God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4) an infinite, intelligent Spirit (John 4:24); perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, existing and subsistent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14).

God the Father is the first person of the Trinity (1 John 5:7). He is the Creator of all things (Gen. 1:1-31). He is sovereign (Rom. 11:33). His Fatherhood denotes a spiritual relationship within the Trinity, secondly within mankind creatively and thirdly in spiritual relationship to all believers.

JESUS CHRIST

The Son, Jesus Christ, is the second person of the Trinity and possesses all divine attributes. He is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father (John 10:27-30). We teach that in His incarnation He surrendered the prerogatives of deity, but nothing of divine essence, either in degree or kind. His divine nature and human nature is an indissoluble union.

We teach that Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:26) and that through His merits and work of salvation, redemption is made possible to all who believe and receive His grace through faith.

The Lord’s death was voluntary, vicarious, propitiatory, redemptive and substitutionary (Rom. 3:25; 5:8). We believe His resurrection from the dead was literal and physical and He ascended to the right hand of the Father where He ministers as our Advocate.

We teach that His resurrection from the dead confirmed His deity and guarantees our future resurrection (Rom. 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:22-23). He is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5).

He is the Head of the Body, the Church (Eph. 1:22); He is the coming universal King who will reign on the Throne of David (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Luke 1:31, 32).

We teach the return of Christ to receive the Church as His Body unto Himself (1 Thess. 4:13-18) and that He will come again to judge all mankind.

HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, possessing all the divine attributes and is co-equal with the Father and the Son (Acts 5:3-4). We believe the work of the Holy Spirit is to execute the divine Will of God. The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness and judgement, glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into Christ-likeness (2 Cor. 3:8; Eph. 2:22).

The Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration, baptising all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). He indwells, empowers and has sealed all who believe, until the day of redemption (Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13).

Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all believers to be filled (controlled by the Holy Spirit moment by moment, Eph. 5:18).

We believe the Holy Spirit has bestowed gifts to the Church for the perfecting of the saints. Sign gifts and spiritual gifts must be distinguished. It is evident in Scripture that the sign gifts were given to manifest and reveal Christ as the Messiah both in His earthly ministry and through the delegated authority of the Apostles (Matt. 10:5-11; Mark 16; 1 Cor. 12,14; 1 Cor. 1:22; Acts 28:26-28; 1 Tim. 5:23).

It is evident in Scripture that the sign gifts continued to authenticate Apostleship until the complete revelation was given (2 Cor. 12:12; 1 Cor. 13:8-13). These texts indicate a functional change in the demonstration and purpose of the gifts. Therefore today only spiritual gifts are in operation and not sign gifts.

MANKIND

We teach that mankind was directly created by God in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26; 2:15-25).

We teach that the purpose of man’s creation was with the divine intention that he should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship and live his life in the will of God. By this he shall accomplish God’s purpose in the world (Isaiah 43:7: Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11).

Adam’s sin of disobedience to the Will and Word of God resulted in man losing his innocence. Mankind incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, became inherently corrupt and incapable of doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace.

Man had no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself. Man is hopelessly lost, apart from the salvation which is in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ (Gen. 2:16, 17; John 3:36; Romans 6:23; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 John 1:8).

We teach that all mankind, in the loins of Adam are partakers of his sin that has been transmitted to all humanity, Jesus Christ being the exception. All mankind is sinful by nature and by choice (Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:9-18; Rom. 5:12).

SALVATION

We believe that salvation is by God’s grace through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood and not on the basis of human works (Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10).

We believe in the all-inclusive complete work of salvation performed on the cross (1 Cor. 1:17-18).

REGENERATION

We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God so as to secure voluntary obedience to the gospel. This work of regeneration is manifest by God’s grace through faith (Tit. 2:11, 12; Eph. 2:10; 1 Cor. 6:19-20).

ELECTION

We believe that election is an act of God and the human response to the gospel. It is consistent with the responsibility of man because it comprehends all the means in connection with the end achieved.

We teach that election should not be mistaken as merely based on abstract sovereignty, independent of man’s responsibility, but that through faith, men and women may exercise their responsibility to accepting God’s grace which is a free gift and completely unmerited.

God’s sovereignty is in harmony with His other attributes. This sovereignty must never exalt the Will of God as separate and apart from His character. Our salvation and election are in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:4-11).

JUSTIFICATION

We teach that justification before God is an act of God by which He declares righteous those who believe in Christ (Rom. 8:33).

SANCTIFICATION

We teach that every believer is sanctified, that is set apart unto God by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer is declared holy and is identified with the Body of Christ. This act of sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his state (1 Cor. 1:2.30; 6:11; 2 Thess. 2:13).

We believe that experiential sanctification is the means by which the state of the believer is progressively brought closer to the standing that the believer enjoys in Christ. As the believer obeys the Word of God and is empowered by the Holy Spirit, he will live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the Will of God (Rom. 6:1-22; Eph. 5:26; 1 Thess. 5:23; Titus 2:12).

We do not embrace the doctrine of subsequence. The practical outworking of our standing in Christ ought to be the result of the finished work performed on Calvary. Now that we are in Christ, we are blessed with all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3).

SECURITY

The eternal security of a believer does not imply that one has a licence to live recklessly, irresponsibly and immorally. We teach that all redeemed – once saved, are kept by God’s power and are secure in Christ forever (Rom. 5:9-10; Rom. 8:31-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; Eph. 4:30). It is therefore impossible for believers to lose their salvation. We have reason to doubt a person’s salvation should they use Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Rom. 6:15-22; 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-15).

SEPARATION

In light of our present permissive and corrupt generation, believers must abstain from all practices of compromise with the world. All saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and should separate themselves from religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices.

A believer ought to walk circumspectly (Eph. 5:5-16; Rom 12:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 2:12-14) as he or she is an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-20).

GOSPEL

The gospel of grace as revealed in the New Testament is distinct from the works of the individual and is based solely on the merits and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In all other programmes, faith was expressed in works. Under the present programme, faith is the element by which we receive the gift of salvation, a work that God has already performed by the cross.

The uniqueness of this gospel is particularly taught in the Pauline writings. It is important to note that in all programmes in the Old and New Testament, salvation was by grace through faith, but was expressed through the works that were a shadow of the work accomplished by Christ alone.

When Paul states that there is only one gospel (Gal. 1:6-8), it is in reference to the gospel of grace distinct from the other messages for the past programmes in Scripture (Gal. 1:6-8).

The gospel of the good news of the kingdom was primarily intended for Israel (Matt. 10:5-8). Through the change of programmes and the call of Paul the Apostle to reveal Christ to the Gentiles, the emphasis of salvation is not on the works of the law but by the gift of grace. This is the gospel we preach (Eph. 2:8, 9; Rom. 16:25).

MYSTERY

We believe that the mystery of the Body of Christ is revealed through the writings of Paul the Apostle. It was hid from all generations and ages (Col. 1:26; Eph. 3:9) but was revealed to the Apostle to the Gentiles (Rom. 16:25). This revelation came from the Lord Jesus Christ directly from heaven (Gal. 1:11-12).

Paul is the dispenser of this revelation to the Church (Col. 1:25; Eph. 3:2; Gal. 1:11). Much of what Paul taught, was difficult for the apostles to receive because their programme was primarily Jewish in content (2 Peter 3:15-16).

The preaching of the Kingdom embraced the Gentile world. (Matt. 28:19). The apostles understood that their primary thrust of ministry was to reach the nation of Israel, thereafter, to carry the message of the Messiah to the uttermost parts of the world. We discover through careful study of the N.T. and the book of Acts that Peter was surprised when God called him to minister to one Gentile – this is evidence that Peter needed to see that a change in programme was taking place (Acts 10). Peter was able to say in Acts 15 that God had revealed a new programme for the Gentiles.

Paul the Apostle was raised up to carry out this new programme (Acts 9:15). Controversy and disputes became the order of the day as the apostles grappled with the revelation revealed distinctively to the Apostle Paul. This is borne out in Galatians 2:2-16.

CHURCH

We believe that all who place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are baptised by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body (1 Cor. 12:12-13). The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18).

The word “church” is taken from the Greek word ekklesia, meaning “called out ones”. Stephen refers to Israel as those called out of Egypt (Acts 7:38). The disciples and the followers of Christ were called out as the remnant from Israel and therefore they were the Messianic Church.

The Body of Christ does not consist of one national group but Jew and Gentile have now become one church, those called out of the pagan world and unbelieving Israel (Eph. 1:22,23; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27,28; Eph. 2:11-14). The church is an organism of “called out” people placed into the living body of Christ.

The autonomy of the local church is also a principle taught in Scripture (Titus 1:5). The Church is the recipient of the spiritual promises made to Abraham through his Seed, Jesus Christ. The physical promises meant for believing Israel will be fulfilled in the future and Israel as a distinct nation will be honoured by God above all other nations. Revelation 21 testifies to this fact.

COMMUNION

Communion is not an ordinance but an act of commemoration, proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes. It is not a continuation of the Passover Supper, it is a commemoration of the New Testament, made possible to the believer through the death and life of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

ANGELS

We believe that angels are created beings and are not to be worshipped. They are ministering spirits created to serve God and His people (Luke 2:9-14; Heb. 1:6-7 & 2:6-7; Rev. 5:11-14, Rev. 19:10, Rev. 22:9).

Lucifer was a created angel who through pride, fell and became the author of sin (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Gen. 3:1-5). Revelation 20:10 tells of his final fate.

FUTURE

We teach that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Rev. 6:9-11; Luke 16:19-31) and that the soul of the redeemed passes into the presence of God immediately (Phil. 1:23; 2 Cor. 5:8).

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all the saved to eternal life (Rom. 8:10, 11; 2 Cor. 4:14) and the unsaved to judgement and eternal punishment (Rev. 20:6,13-15; John 5:29).

CONSUMMATION

We believe in the personal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 4:16; Titus 2:11-13) to translate His Church from this earth (1 Cor. 15:51-53). All believers will receive rewards according to their works (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10).

TRIBULATION

We teach that the righteous judgement of God will be poured out upon all unbelievers in the world (Jer. 30:7; Dan 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:7-12; Rev. 16:1-21; Matt 24:15-31.) This will last for a period of seven years.

SECOND COMING

We teach that after the time of great tribulation, the Lord Jesus Christ will come to earth to occupy the Throne of David (Matt. 25:31; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:10,11; 2:29-30) and He will establish His messianic Kingdom on the earth for a period of one thousand years (Rev. 20:1-7).

The Lord’s reign will be preceded by the overthrow of a false system of the antichrist and false prophet. He will remove Satan from the world (Dan 7:17-27; Rev 20:1-7).

The Kingdom period is a fulfilment of God’s promise to national Israel (Deut. 30:1-10; Ezek. 37:21-28; Zech. 8:1-8). Israel has been temporarily set aside (Rom. 11:1-26) but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the Kingdom and the land of blessing.

We teach that the time of our Lord’s reign will be categorised by harmony, equity, peace, justice, righteousness and long life (Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezek. 36:33-38).

JUDGEMENT

We teach that following the thousand year reign of Christ, Satan will be released for a short period and will deceive the nations of the earth. He will convince them to attack the beloved city and Satan and his army will be devoured by fire (Rev. 20:7-9).

Satan will then be finally bound in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10). It is at this time that the Lord will judge all unbelievers (Rom. 14:10, 11; Rev. 20:11-15) at the Great White Throne Judgement.

ETERNITY

We teach that after the closing of the Millennium, the temporary release of Satan and the judgement of all unbelievers (2 Thess. 1:9,10; Rev. 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God.

The elements of the earth will be dissolved (2 Peter 3:10) and will be replaced with a new earth and a new atmospheric heaven (Rev. 21).

The heavenly city, the New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven (Rev. 21.22) and will be the dwelling place of the saints.

Believing Israel will play a dominant role on earth and believers making up the Body of Christ will fulfil their purpose in the heavenlies (Rev. 5:10; Phil. 3:20).

The Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission will then deliver the Kingdom to God the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-28) that in all spheres, physical and spiritual, the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Cor. 15:28).

WE LOVE GOD, HIS WORD AND HIS PEOPLE