“Words are but the signs of ideas.” Samuel Johnson.
Since, “It is hardly possible to find two words having in all respects the same meaning,” then, “It is of the utmost consequence that strict accuracy should regulate our use of language, and that everyone should acquire the power and habit of expressing his thoughts with perspicuity and correctness”1 not only so that we may be understood but so that we may understand.
Anoint. Anointing of a ministers is done by another Minister of ministers and is signified by the administration of oils after a great deal of prayer, meditation and personal experience with the novitiate and consultation among the Brethren.
Appoint. Ministers of the Church may be chosen by a constituency but they must be appointed by preexisting members of the Church. Appointment is usually consummated by testimony in words written or spoken and sanctified by the act of anointing with oils. Officers of Church altars may be appointed but not anointed as sanctified members of the Church.
Polity. The polity of each congregation should strive to be in one accord with all other congregation through the precept upon precept, age after age. This is the role of the ministers, bishops and archbishops in communion with the ministers. God is judge.
Congregation. A congregation is a group acting in one accord. It is usually composed of groups of families which may be served by one minister. The minister is a member of the Church, the body of the clergy. Each family’s spokesmen is its elder or their representative. Two or more elders form a congregation, more than twenty-four may be to many while 10 to 12 are generally thought to be ideal. Any gathering of congregations is also a congregation in assembly.
The individual congregations should be linked in Spirit and in practical and real ways by the communion of their Ministers in a congregation within the Church with the help and service of the Bishops and Archbishops.
Elder. An Elder is often older and experience, usually holding a position of respect, a father and husband by experience, the head of a family by status. An elder is chosen by each family group by decision or status. It is from the elders that the Ministers of the Church are usually chosen for appointment by the Church.
Presbyter. The Greek word presbuteros is used in the New Testament for people who perform the functions of clergy in the Church but are not appointed members. Presbuteros means elder.
Acolyte. Acolyte comes from the Greek word for follower. A lay person who is a student of the Church in hopes of being of service and one day receiving an appointment as a member.
Clergy. Clergy are the members of the Church, mostly Deacons/ministers, bishops, ... They are members of the Church for the purpose of ministering their constituency, the Kingdom of God on earth and people in general everywhere.
Minister or Deacon: The word deacon comes from the Greek word diakonos, which means servant or Ministers. Minister is the Latin word for doer of little deeds. Minister is a generic term that includes all who serve others whether deacon, bishop, archbishop...
Bishop. A Bishop is a Minister. Bishop is the English version of the Greek word episkopos, which means overseer. He is a Servant of Ministers. Bishops are chosen by unanimous agreement of two or more Ministers from amongst themselves and appointed by another Bishop before the witness of others and anointed to that office. The congregation has not a determination in the choice of Bishops but in return the bishops have no authority or direct obligation to the congregation. His obligation is to the Ministers who have chosen him. [See qualifications]. His office extends no farther than the ministers who have chosen him. His authority is titular and his duty is to serve.
Archbishop. An Archbishop is a Minister. The word archbishop is Greek for chief overseer. [See qualifications] Archbishops are chosen by unanimous agreement of two or more Bishops from amongst themselves or two or more Archbishops from among themselves and appointed and anointed by another Archbishop before the witness of others and anointed to that office. His office extends no farther than the Bishops who have chosen him. His authority is titular and his duty is to serve.
Priest. A priest is a Minister. Priest is the English word that originated from the Greek word presbyteros, which means elder. But a priest is an elder of his family with in the Church and Minister to ministers. The Greek word for a temple functionary is hierarch. A true priest has become a master at being a servant and the testimony of this is that he has been chosen by servants to be a servant of servants.
Pastor. Pastor is the Latin word for shepherd. A pastor is the officiate but not the owner of a particular congregation. His authority is titular and his duty is to tend to particular needs of the congregation or tasks thereof directed by them and to create unity among the whole body.
Support of Ministers and Bishops and Archbishops. Support is given “according to their service” by the constituency or congregations or the general population.
Numbers 7:5 Take [it] of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service.
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, [and] prepared unto every good work.
1 Peter 2:17 Honour all [men]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
Qualifications of Ministers and Bishops and Archbishops.
Numbers 3:12-13 And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; Because all the firstborn [are] mine; [for] on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I [am] the LORD.
Numbers 3:45 Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be mine: I [am] the LORD.
Numbers 8:14 Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine.
Numbers 18:23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.
Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD.
Leviticus 19:34 [But] the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. [see bishop]
1 Timothy 3:8-13 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Unanimous: Each congregation makes decisions ideally with unanimous agreement.
I Cor. 1:10. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Phil. 2:2. Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Phil. 3:16. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same things.
Rituals. Rituals of or pertaining to rites or ritual; as, ritual service or sacrifices; the ritual law which is defined "Duly and formally; legally; properly; technically." These rites and rituals may differ in form but technically fulfill the same purpose and substance of most fundamental ordinances and ordinations; observances and duties; functions and ministrations; confirmations, consecration and communion; and recognition of births, matrimony and burials.
Ceremony. Ceremonies are the outward sign of a rite or ritual. It should be an open and visible witness to those concerned and the community of man and recognizably consistent for the purposes of giving evidence of an event related to a given rite.
Church. In its most general sense, the religious society founded and established by Jesus Christ, to receive, preserve, and propagate His doctrines and ordinances.
A body or community of Christians, united under one form of government by the profession of one faith, and the observance of the same rituals and ceremonies. Black’s L. D.
The Church includes the Brethren, Ministers and Bishops and Archbishops, as a body within the Polity of the Church to maintain and entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven for all the people who seek to obey the Father and do His will.
Sacrifice. An act of offering something precious; given up of oneself or one’s interest for others or for a cause or ideal. Voluntarily giving up what one does have, to give for the benefit of others, individual charity. The ministers are to manage the sacrifices of the congregation as the extended arm of community in charity, faith and hope.
Worship. Worship as a title is used for a person of importance such as magistrates and some mayors. Worship is translated from the Hebrew ‘shachah’ meaning to bow down before superior in homage and the Greek proskuneo literally meaning “to kiss the hand” and is used to express homage shown to men beings of superior rank.
There are many more words defined in the documents of the Church.