Christian Churches of God
God and the Church
(Edition 2.0 19960127-19990109)
This paper deals with the Church God has formed and the uses of it among the nations.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1996, 1999 Wade Cox)
(Summary edited by Wade Cox)
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God and the Church
God is not attempting to convert the world now. The world lacks the understanding the NT Church had at the first. If God is trying to convert the world now, then the pagans are winning.
All power is from God. This is revealed in Daniel 2 and 3 that shows the period of the world powers from the head of gold, to the last days (Dan. 2:28), when God forcefully intervenes in the affairs of mankind.
Daniel’s vision was for a period we refer to as the "Times of the Gentiles" or nations. Daniel 2:40-45 shows the fourth kingdom to be of iron, which extends over a long time into the end, culminating in a union of 10 kings represented by the iron and clay of the feet and ten toes.
The "Times of the Gentiles" is a period of seven times. The visions were given at the beginning so that the end might be foretold from the beginning (Dan 4:8-9). The seven times are found in Daniel 4:32. The period covered 2,520 years from 605 BCE and continued until the final phases in 1995/6 and is a continual one of re-organisation. The times of the Nations are now finished and the period of the end is now upon us. God has dealt with the Church among the nations and prevented the rise of the complete world system so that the Church could not be obliterated and the nations could be accountable.
The generic name of the Church is "Church of God". It is not an international organisation by structure and control. That will not occur until Messiah rules from Jerusalem.
God deals with the nations under the law, and Deuteronomy 28 deals with blessings and curses on a national basis.
The Church was established in 30 CE in Jerusalem and was persecuted. Many came, and the Parable of the Sower shows many are called but few are chosen (Mat. 20:16). The predestination of the elect is found at Romans 8:28-30. The Church of God is known for its obedience to the Law of God, and must speak according to the Law and Testament (Isa. 8:20.)
The faith is spoken in parables so that only those who are able to come into judgment for the First Resurrection are called (Mat. 13:10-13, Mk. 4:2-34). Romans 8:28-32 shows that we are called according to His purpose and for no other reason. God foreknew us, Christ was predestined to be slain, and we were predestined to be called as seen from Psalm 116.
The death of the elect is precious in the sight of God (Psa. 116:15). The elect were called according to His purpose from the patriarchs and prophets. Jeremiah was called before he was conceived (Jer. 1:4-19).
Like Jeremiah, we were formed according to the knowledge of God even before we were in the womb (Ps. 139:13-16). God knew that Christ had to be slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8) and God therefore knew that Satan and the Host would rebel.
Jeremiah was cleansed and used to speak God’s word (Jer.1:9), as was Isaiah (Isa.6:5-7). Through Isaiah the cleansing of the elect was foretold (Isa.1:18-20).
God calls and uses sinners, placing them in the Church (lCor. 1:26-28) and these are the ones to be in the First Resurrection which is the better one (Heb.11:35) of the two resurrections (Rev. 20:4-6).
Revelation 20:1-4 appears to show two groups to be in the First Resurrection, one of which was beheaded and the other simply persecuted by the false system. There are thus two ways to read Revelation 20:1-14, and two options. However, all will be revealed at the First Resurrection, if we are in it, or we wait for the Second.
There is the Great Multitude who take part in the Government and reign with Christ for one thousand years (Rev. 7:9-17). As the two groups are identified prior to the texts dealing with the return of Messiah, it seems they are in the First Resurrection.
Satan is released to deceive the nations again (Rev. 20:7-10). God uses the Lake as a memorial to false systems. The devil is a state of being. Satan is reduced from his state of spiritual being to flesh and his system destroyed and his power harnessed harmlessly. (See papers No. 80 and No. 143.)
Revelation 20:11-15 shows the general resurrection of the dead. This is the Second Resurrection. There is no third resurrection as promulgated by another church (see paper No. 166). The resurrections encompass all the Adamic creation.
To be in the First Resurrection, we must repent, be baptised, obey God’s commandments and the testimony of Christ, and preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. We must also take the Lord’s Supper every year (see paper No. 150).
The distinction between the Lord’s Supper and the Passover is distinctive of the difference between the Church and the nation. Passover night is when the death angel passed over Israel, and Christ thus saved all Israel. The Lord’s Supper is for baptised members of the Church only and Passover embraces all Israel, which will eventually include all nations.
Christ dies as the sin offerings and the peace offerings. If Yahosuah did not die on the correct day we have no Messiah. What then is communion? It is a rite of the Athanasian church that does not confer any benefits.
The Bible clearly denies the doctrine of the Trinity and of transubstantiation in the communion service.
There have been five Church eras extant over the centuries that were acceptable to God. Their names are recorded in Revelation 2-3. The two later eras of Sardis and Laodicea failed and only individuals of these churches will be in the Kingdom of God. God, however, operates the same spirit and gifts and administrations in all things in all (lCor. 12:5-6).
Our job is to do the work of the Last Days. Our purpose is to prepare for and do the job Satan and the demons should have done. During the period of the Second Resurrection the entire planet, including the demons (1Cor 6:2-3) will be judged. God does not want any flesh to perish (2Pet. 3:9). There is, however, a planned end to the physical creation.
We cannot understand the Bible if we do not obey. Those who obey God are of one family, the Church of God. We are now in the last phases of the Last Days. We look to the arrival of the Two Witnesses, and know that three and a half years from thence Messiah will return. Matthew 10:23 shows that we will be persecuted up until Christ’s return.
Our obligation is to continue the work with all our might, but the work is really done by the Spirit (Zec. 4:6). We proceed by faith.