Frequently Asked Questions: The Church of Jesus Christ

Welcome to The Church of Jesus Christ. We have chosen the most common questions about who we are and what we stand for. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us. We hope you will choose to worship with us and experience the love and blessings found in The Church of Jesus Christ.

Q. Is the name of the church significant?

A. Yes, Jesus told us "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20) and the Apostle Paul adds "whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17). We believe that a church named after the man belongs to that man, but that a church named after Jesus belongs to Him, as long as it is founded on His precepts, and bears evidence of His gifts and love.

Q. Why are members called "Brother" or "Sister?" Shouldn't those titles be reserved for positions of honor within the church?

A. We do in fact use the terms "Brother" and "Sister" to refer to the most honorable position in The Church, that of a member. As we are all part of the Family of God, and are "affectioned one to another with brotherly love" (Romans 12:10), the titles are certainly appropriate. Jesus showed preference to His followers over His own natural family when He announced, "Whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in Heaven, the same is My brother, and sister" (Matthew 12:50, Mark 3:35). If Jesus was willing to call His followers brothers and sisters, we will do the same.

Q. Who is being prayed to?

A. Jesus instructed His disciples how to pray, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which are in Heaven ..." (Matthew 6:9). We pray to God the Father, but we do so through Christ, His Son. As Jesus said, "... no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

Q. Who are the men who sit in front of the church and deliver the sermon?

A. The men sitting in front of The Church are Elders (Ministers), responsible for the spiritual well-being of The Church. In Acts 14 and 15, Paul traveled throughout The Church, ordaining Elders in different locations to look after The Church's needs in each area. Our Elders serve a similar purpose.

Q. Do you ordain female Elders?

A. Women play an important role in The Church of Jesus Christ. In addition to the office of Deaconess as described, women serve The Church through auxiliaries such as Sunday School, Missionary Benevolent Association and the Ladies' Uplift Circle, and they hold various operational offices at the local and national level of the organization.

As stated, The Church of Jesus Christ follows the example that Christ set in setting up The Church. Our Lord and Savior did not call women into ordained offices such as Apostles, Elders or Teachers, and we adhere to that order.

Q. Do Elders prepare their sermons in advance?

A. While the Elders of The Church of Jesus Christ prepare for sermons by studying scripture and going to God in prayer, they speak from no prepared text. Rather, our Elders speak under the inspiration of God, allowing the Spirit to direct their words, such that the congregation may be fed spiritually. Paul wrote to Timothy, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (II Timothy 3:16-17).

Q. Do the Elders of The Church get paid?

A. The Elders are not paid any money for their work in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each holds a regular job to make a living for himself and his family. Jesus said, "freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). Paid ministry is not at all consistent with our belief that truth must be brought forth. Paul faced this situation with the Corinthians, "Have I committed an offense in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man" (II Corinthians 11:7-9).

Q. How does someone become an Elder?

A. A man does not choose to become an Elder; only those who are called by God are ordained into the ministry; "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God" (Hebrews 5:4). God reveals Himself to the Priesthood of The Church who should be called and ordained into the Priesthood.

Q. What is the purpose of testimony?

A. The testimony portion of the meeting gives the members of the congregation the opportunity to praise God openly for what He has done for them. As David wrote, "praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders" (Psalms 107:31-32). It is done weekly because God blesses us continually and should be praised as often as possible, "I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more" (Psalms 71:14).

Q. Are only members of the church allowed to testify?

A. Everyone has a reason to praise God, so all are given the opportunity to testify. "Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud Him, all ye people" (Romans 15:11).

Q. What determines whether or not the person is anointed with oil?

A. Oil is used if the person is physically ill. If the prayer is for spiritual uplifting, oil is not used. "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).

Q. For what reasons do people request the Elders to pray to them?

A. People who are physically ill or spiritually troubled may request that the Elders lay hands on them to ask God to relieve their afflictions. "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray for 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 5:14-15).

Q. What is the purpose of the Holy Communion?

A. The purpose of communion is to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, that His body was broken and His blood spilt to atone for our sins and give us the opportunity to gain eternal life with God. When Jesus set the examples at the Last Supper, He stated the purpose very simply "this do in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19).

Q. Why are bread and wine used?

A. Jesus used bread to represent His body and wine to represent His blood, so we use bread and wine as well. We see no reason to deviate from the example Jesus set the night before His crucifixion, "He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you" (Luke 22:19). "And he took the cup and gave thanks and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God shall come" (Luke 22:17-18).

Q. Is communion served only to members of The Church, and if so, why?

A. Yes, the Elders will serve the bread and wine only to active members of The Church of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote, "he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body" (I Corinthians 11:29). None are worthy of themselves; Jesus makes us worthy. Thus, until a person becomes a baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ under our priesthood authority, they cannot receive communion from our Elders. We do not mean to cause any offense among our visitors. We pray that some day all who desire to participate with us will be in a position to do so.

Q. How does someone become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ?

A. A person becomes a member of The Church of Jesus Christ by obeying the words of Jesus, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Anyone desiring to join The Church must have faith and believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, repent of his sins and be baptized (born of water) for a remission of sins, after which the Elders lay hands on their head for reception of the Holy Ghost (born of the Spirit).

Q. How is baptism performed?

A. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ are baptized in the same way Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist; they are completely immersed in an open body of water. John the Baptist said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance" (Matthew 3:11). "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto Him" (Matthew 3:16). See also (Acts 9:26-39).

Q. What is the purpose of feet washing? How often is it performed?

A. By washing each other's feet, we demonstrate humility and our feeling that one person is not better than another, and therefore we perform this ordinance four times per year. Again we follow the example set by Jesus, "He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded" (John 13:5). When He was finished, He told them, "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you" (John 13:14-15).

When Peter at first refused to participate, Jesus answered him, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me" (John 13:8).

Q. What does it mean when someone stands and speaks in a tongue that cannot be understood?

A. When someone speaks in an unknown tongue, this is known as the "Gift of Tongues" and is generally followed by an interpretation in English (or whatever language he happens to understand). The gift of tongues and interpretation are listed among the spiritual gifts in Paul's writing to the Corinthians: "to another [is given] divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues" (I Corinthians 12:10). The message from God is generally in the form of instruction, admonishment or encouragement to His servants.

Q. What does it mean when someone stands and speaks in the Spirit?

A. When someone stands and speaks in the Spirit, they are speaking under the influence of God. Many of the Bible's prophecies came while prophets were speaking in the Spirit. Isaiah said, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me" (Isaiah 61:1).

Q. What are the scriptures that the church uses?

A. The Church of Jesus Christ accepts the Bible (King James Version) and The Book of Mormon as divinely inspired Holy Scriptures.

Q. If you believe in The Book of Mormon, doesn't that make you a Mormon?

A. If someone believes in the Old Testament, that does not automatically make that person a Jew. Similarly, if someone believes in the Bible, that does not mean that person is a Catholic, Baptist, or Pentacostal. The Church of Jesus Christ has no affiliation or connection with Mormonism. Many aspects of Mormon Doctrine are not supported by The Book of Mormon nor are they part of our beliefs.

The Book of Mormon is a record of Jesus Christ here in the land of America. Its scriptures go hand-in-hand with the Holy Bible as Christ set up His Church the same in Palestine as He did here on this land.

Q. Where can I get more information about The Church of Jesus Christ?

A. The Elders and Teachers of The Church will be able to answer any further questions you may have about The Church.

Q. How do I decide if The Church of Jesus Christ is the right church for me?

A. We invite you to go to God in prayer and ask Him to direct you in regard to decisions about The Church. James said, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5). Many of our members came to The Church of Jesus Christ in this way. God will not mislead you; put your trust in Him!