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Wednesday, June 27 2012

The Worldwide Church of God

The Messiah was the miraculously-conceived firstborn ("she brought forth her firstborn son") child of Mary ("Miriam" in Hebrew) and Joseph - who later had other children in the entirely-natural way (see The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth):


"2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus [see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars], that all the world should be taxed [i.e. like most "superpowers" ever since, the imperial Romans arrogantly considered merely the territory of their empire to be the entire "world"; see also Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire]. 2:2 And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city [see also Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate?].

2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem [see Bethlehem In History And Prophecy]; because he was of the house and lineage of David: 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:1-7 KJV)

Local shepherds, of Judah, became representatives of the people of Israel greeting the birth of their King.

"2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour [see Where Is The Messiah's Royal Line?], which is Christ the Lord. 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them." (Luke 2:1-20 KJV)

Gentiles also "attended" that birth of the King of all nations (see Why Did The Magi Come? and What Did The Messiah Say About Gentiles?; also The Gospel By The Gentile). In effect, representatives of the entire world of humanity greeted the Messiah at His coming.

The Magi

"2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king [see A History Of Jerusalem: The Herodian Dynasty], behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him [see A History Of Jerusalem: The Coming Of The Messiah]. 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel [see Bethlehem In History And Prophecy].

2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way." (Matthew 2:1-12 KJV)

The Messiah was truly a "worldwide" Messiah, as attested in "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son."

"2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son." (Matthew 2:13-15 KJV)

Even the "slaughter if the innocents," because of the birth of the ultimate innocent human (see Innocent Blood), who would Himself be slaughtered (see Nisan 14: The Sacrifice Of The Lamb Of God), came about as a result of the "worldwide" greeting that the newborn Messiah received from "Jews" and "Gentiles."

"2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet [see The Rachel Prophecies], saying, 2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." (Matthew 2:16-18 KJV)

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus"

The Messiah is the Creator of His Church (see What Is The Church? and the Fact Finder question below) - those who have repented and follow Him (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners). He is also the first, and only so far, to be truly "born again" (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?) from the dead:

Crossing The Jordan River

"1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." (Colossians 1:18 KJV)

"8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:28-29 KJV)

Mary was the mother of her firstborn, Jesus, and later other sons and daughters - who were living prophecies of all of His people who will also be born (see the Fact Finder question below) as children of God. For that reason, Mary is used as another (see Brides From Their Sides) analogy for the Church of God, the "woman" from whom God's children (see Spiritual Conception) will be born from the dead (see Born Again, How and When?), just as Christ was (see also The Day Of Christ's Resurrection).

When Satan could no longer destroy Christ, by means of corruption (that's what the "temptation of Christ" was all about - see Could Jesus Have Sinned?), he instead turned on the other "children" who can still be endangered by him, by corruption, because they "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" - notice that there is no petty nationalism involved.

"12:13 And when the dragon [see Dragons] saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Revelation 12:13-17 KJV)

The true Church of God, of people of all nations of the Earth, existed before there were any Israelites or Jews (see A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions and the Fact Finder question below). The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews (the author is not identified, but many think that it was the apostle Paul; see The Passed Over Pharisees) spoke of the "general assembly and church of the firstborn" - Christ's true and eternal Worldwide Church of God.


"12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God [see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?]. 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin [see Concupiscence]. 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits [see The Holy Father], and live? 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed [see also The Risen Kingdom].

12:14 Follow peace with all men [see Striving For Strife], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire [see Why Through The Sea?, The Ten Commandments and The Two Great Commandments], nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 12:19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 12:20 For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:

12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion [see Zionism], and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling [see Christ's Mercy Seat], that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh . For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace [see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge], whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:1-29 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) When and where did the Messiah's true Church of God originate? (b) How has the true Church of God existed from its beginning to today? (c) How and when will the true Church of God be transformed into the Kingdom of God? (d) When will the Messiah, "the LORD God" (see Appearances Of The LORD God) have completed the task that God sent Him to complete on Earth?
(a) See The Church In The Garden
(b) See The Church In The Wilderness and The Church Today
(c) See The Church In The End Time and The Church In The Kingdom Of God
(d) See The Church: Mission Accomplished and The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God

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This Day In History, June 27

1358: The Republic of Dubrovnik was founded.

1709: Peter the Great defeated Charles XII at the Battle of Poltava.

1743: King George II of Britain defeated the French at Dettingen in the War of the Austrian Succession. He was the last British monarch to lead his troops into battle.

1759: British General James Wolfe landed his army near Quebec City and blocked the St. Lawrence River to French shipping. After a siege that lasted 75 days, the 33 year-old Wolfe led his troops up the cliff behind Quebec City to the Plains of Abraham (September 13) where they defeated Montcalm's garrison and captured the city. Both commanders died in battle.

1787: Edward Gibbon wrote the last lines of his classic "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."

1801: British forces defeated the French and took control of Cairo, Egypt.

1844: Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, and his brother Hyrum Smith, were killed by a mob in an Illinois jail.

1893: A major stock market plunge began in the U.S.A., leading to an economic depression in which 600 banks and 74 railroads went out of business by the end of the year.

1898: The first solo circumnavigation of the earth was completed by Joshua Slocum of Briar Island, Nova Scotia.

1905: Mutinous Russian soldiers seized the battleship Potemkin in the Black Sea, throwing the commander and several other officers overboard.

1918: Two German pilots became the first to be saved by parachutes.

1954: The world's first nuclear power station began operation, in Obninsk, Russia.

1967: The world's first ATM went into service, in London, England.

1976: Members of the Baader-Meinhof gang, a German terrorist organization inspired by Soviet anti-Semitic propaganda, hijacked an Air France airliner flying from Paris to Tel Aviv and forced it to land in Idi Amin's Uganda. They then set apart the 83 Israelis to be murdered if Israel did not release 53 Palestinian terrorists being held in Israel. The hostages were rescued by Israeli commandos in the "Entebbe Raid" 6 days later.

1991: After declaring independence a few days earlier, Slovenia was invaded by Yugoslav military forces, beginning the Ten-Day War.


Copyright © Wayne Blank