RANKS AND ROBES
185. Celestial Church of Christ has a hierarchy in which the different ranks are distinguished by the robes worn. Members shall adhere strictly to the provision relating to seniority, robes and ranks as contained in the Church publication "ORDER OF SENIORITY AND PROMOTION AND DRESSING RANK BY RANK" together with the accompanying chart and drawings of robe.
186. Normally, the highest rank in the hierarchy of the Church to which members may be elevated by promotion is that of the corresponding ranks of Superior Senior Leader, Superior Senior Wolida and Superior Senior Elder. Consequently, those who have attained these ranks should not expect automatic promotion to the higher ranks of Assistant Evangelist and above whether or not they are full time Church Workers.
187. Where vacancies occur in the higher ranks of Assistant Evangelist and above, selection from the corresponding ranks of Superior Senior Leader, Superior Senior Wolida and Superior Senior Elder shall be made after serious consideration as to the suitability of the respective candidates by the Pastor assisted, if necessary, by a special committee of the Pastor-in-Council.
188. The Pastor, in whom resides all authority in the Church, may at his sole discretion 'make direct appointments to any rank including that of Assistant Evangelist, Evangelist and above.
ROLE OF FEMALE MEMBERS
189. For emphasis, it is repeated here that female members during menstruation are not allowed to come within the precincts of the Church until after their sanctification after seven clear days; and where the' menstruation extends beyond seven days, two clear days should be allowed for after stoppage before sanctification. (Lev. 15:19; Matt 5:17-19).19).
190. In Celestial Church of Christ, women are not permitted to preach the sermon or read the lesson or make announcements during Church devotional services. Indeed, they are not allowed to perform any spiritual functions connected with conducting of services in the Church other than saying the prayers when asked and reading portions of the Bible quoted by' the preacher.
191. In Celestial Church of Christ, under no circumstances shall women say the grace during devotional services or lead men in prayers. This is in accordance with St. Paul's injunction (1 Cor. 14:34-35; Gen. 3:16).
192. But outside the Church amongst a congregation of women and in outdoor preaching, female members may perform spiritual functions of preaching.
193. Female members are not permitted within the precincts of the Church until forty-one days after child birth when they are obliged to go to Church for thanksgiving.
194.Female members in their period after eight days shall go to the Church for sanctification in the prescribed manner before entering the Church. The process of sanctification in this regard shall be as follows:
the female member concerned shall come to the Church premises with a pail of water, candle, sponge and soap. She shall kneel at the Western entrance outside the Church building facing the altar before the Pastor's Representative or his appointees and shall hold her candle with the pail of water, sponge and soap in front of her. The Pastor's Representative or his appointee shall light the candle and, after singing appropriate spiritual songs, he shall say a prayer of forgiveness and sanctification. After this, he shall put the candle in the pail of water and the female member shall go and have a bath with the water, sponge and soap. She is now free to enter the Church.
This process of sanctification shall not be confused with the normal one obligatory to all members, male and female, on entering the Church by any of the entrances when they should dip their hands in the Holy water by the side of the door and make the sign of the cross before entering the Church.
195. Celestial Church of Christ respects marriages solemnised in holy wedlock in accordance with covenants entered into between husband and wife before God at His Holy Altar.
196. All marriages in holy wedlock solemnised in other Christian churches are recognised by Celestial Church of Christ. All vows made at such Christian are recognised by, Celestial Church of Christ as inviolate because anyone who covenants with God but fails to honour it sins before God (Ecc. 5:4-6).
197.All marriages solemnised in Celestial Church of Christ shall be in accordance with the Marriage Act under which our Church is licensed.
198. Anointment is a spiritual act whose raison dÍtre dates back to the fall of ADAM. Following that fall and the subsequent destruction of the world by water during the time of NOAH , God sought to give through MOSES the ten Commandments regulating human conduct to the people of Israel and the world.
While MOSES was away communing with God to receive the commandments, AARON sinned by erecting graven images for the people to worship. When MOSES saw this on his return, he was so annoyed that he broke the tablet; but he subsequently entreated God on Aarons behalf. God then said that if Aarons' sin 'was to be wiped out, he, MOSES, would have to anoint him with oil. This MOSES did and so AARON became the first man to be anointed. After his anointment, he was renamed LEVI. He thus started the anointment which all "sons of LEVI" followed.
Again, when the people of Israel asked for a King like other tribes, GOD was pleased with their request. He chose SAUL for them and SAUL's anointment marked his coronation. But when SAUL disobeyed God's word just as ADAM had done, he lost the support of God and, therefore, the crown. (1 Samuel 15: I - end). God chose DAVID and he was anointed King to replace SAUL (1 Samuel 16: 11 - 13). Similarly the anointment of SOLOMON settled the rivalry between him and ADONIJAH as to who should succeed DAVID as King. All subsequent Kings of Israel were similarly anointed.
With regard to our Lord JESUS CHRIST, His uniqueness had been foretold in the Old Testament (Isaiah 7: 14 - 15) where He was referred to as "EMMANUEL", meaning "God is with us". His two names, JESUS CHRIST, define two different aspects of HIM. JESUS means "SAVIOUR" while CHRIST means "the ONE who is anointed KING from his mother's womb". (Luke 1: 30 - 33; 2:11). It was the name CHRIST that most worried Herod. He, Herod, had been anointed King like those before him, but it seemed to him that, by the very definition of the word CHRIST, this new born baby had been anointed King even before He was born. (Matt. 2: 1 - 5 and : 6).
It is this spiritual act of anointment that Celestial Church inherited gloriously by grace. Anointment after baptism in Church of Christ is very important. The ceremony of anointment is performed only by the Pastor usually once a Year during the Christmas/New Year period.
199. Significance of anointment in Celestial Church of Christ.
Early in the life of Celestial Church of Christ on earth, the Pastor made a supplication (which was granted) that God should allow that those anointed by him should be endowed with a portion of the power (Holy Spirit) given to him so as to foster in his absence the power and glory of God (Numbers 11: 16 & 17). This is manifested by the fact that whenever an anointed person prays unto God for any specific purpose, the Holy Spirit, in recognition of the mark of anointment on the supplicant, will descend to fulfil that request and then leave (Numbers I 1: 24 & 25). This is different in character from that which permanently resides in God-sent messengers like Moses, Elijah, Elisha, the Pastor Founder S. B. J. Oshoffa etc.
PRECEDENCE OF MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
200. Members of the Board of Trustees are SEVEN in number, four of whom (listed last in clause 145 above) are not full time Church workers. These four, however, have already long attained the rank of full EVANGELIST and will have the insignia of their special position as members of the Board of Trustees displayed on them. These four will take precedence at all times over all Church members who were appointed Assistant Evangelist and Evangelist during the anointing period 1979/1980; that means that, in filing into or out of the Church or any assembly for services, these four members of the Board of Trustees shall file behind all Assistant Evangelists and Evangelists. Only those just appointed Senior Evangelists in 1979/1980 shall file behind these four members of the Board of Trustees.
LIST OF PERSONS RAISED FROM THE DEAD BY CHRIST THROUGH REV. S. B. J. OSHOFFA
In Republic of Benin
1. KUDIHO in Agange, via Porto Novo
2. AWUYON GUTON in Porto Novo
3. ABRAHAM ZANUTE in Agange .
4. TINAVIE, daughter-in-law of HUASU KUWAKAMU
5. Daughter of JOSEPH ZEVUNNU in Gavie
6. MOSES AFOYAN
7. Daughter of ANDRE YE in Shamwe, Toffin.
8. JOSEPH AWHANGBE, a son of Senior Leader MATTE GUGBE.
1. HUNSU (7 year old boy) at Makoko, Lagos
2. THERESA at Makoko, Lagos
3. OLUSOLA at Makoko, Lagos
4. Son of OYEDEJI in Abeokuta
5. Leader (Now late Evangelist) R. A. COLE in Abeokuta
6.Elder (later Senior Leader) LADIPO at Yemetu, Ibadan.
The above List is by no means exhaustive. Many more persons have been and continue to be raised from the dead by Christ through Rev. S. B. J. Oshoffa since the last of the above List occurred. Glory be to God on High. Halleluyah.