They Came From the East to Worship

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“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. ”

— Isaiah 9:6-7

Around this time of year, we read and think about verses like this. We remember how God had a plan from the beginning of the ages and strategized, plotted, and planned every detail of how the Son of God, Jesus our Messiah, would make His entrance into the world- the first entrance that is.  Have you ever thought about the details that the Father went through in preparation for Jesus’ birth?

He planned the location of His arrival- Bethlehem, the city of David. He planned many details that would require the involvement of prophets that lived hundreds of years before Jesus would show up on the scene. He spoke to people like Isaiah and David, revealing the characteristics of the Messiah, details such as being born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), His suffering (Isaiah 52-53, Zechariah 12:10, Psalm 22, Psalm 118:22-24), and so much more! The Father indeed is a divine planner.

One detail that we at Global Catalytic Ministries find very special is that men would come from the east, following the signs in the sky (the stars). These men, called the “Magi”, are not only said to be from the east, but many believe were actually Persians- which is modern day Iran.

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men[a] from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose[b] and have come to worship him. ”

— Matthew 2:1-2

In ancient Persia there was a religion that predates Islam called “Zoroastrianism” which was founded by the world’s first philosopher, Zarathustra. The term “Magi” referred to Zoroastrian priests and they were known to be “wise men”. They were educated in what is modern day Afghanistan and then sent out as missionaries to other parts of the Middle East. They were influential and were received by many villages influencing much of what is Iran today with peace and living in harmony with nature and each other. They were known for their understanding of astronomy and dream interpretation. Persian scholars today even believe that the bones of the three wise men lay near the capital city of Iran, Tehran. (More here)

Understanding this history of the people of these lands begs the question, “Had God prepared the people of the Middle East for Jesus’ arrival?” God is not bound by culture, language, or even religion. He is committed to reach human beings and will use whatever means necessary. We can see how God has been speaking to mankind since the beginning, to His prophets, and to those even a part of other religions, to draw them to His Son, Christ Jesus.

Today, we are witnessing an unprecedented moment in history where Jesus Himself is showing up to Muslims everywhere as “the Man in White”. This Christmas season, we encourage you to look to God in a new way, with a new hope in your heart. The world may look dark, but the Lord is doing something great in our day and in our time. Let us think upon the mighty works of God and be thankful that He is alive and active. We do not have to rely on our own strength, He is still drawing men to Himself today.

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We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:21)

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent who has revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Luke 3:22)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us, in His present rule as Head of the Church, and in His personal return in power and glory. (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31)

We believe in the creation of mankind in God’s image, and the fall of man, resulting in universal guilt and total depravity; and the necessity, therefore, of redemption and restoration; that all men and women are lost spiritually and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:17)

We believe salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life. (Luke 24:47, John 3:3)

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life in the presence of our Lord, and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48)

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and that all true believers are members of His body, the Church, which has the duty to preach the Gospel to every person. (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:22)

We believe that we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, to the service of our Lord, to His authority over our lives, and to the ministry of teaching, preaching, the prophetic, the apostolic, and evangelism. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

We believe in upholding the ordinances of the church of water baptism and holy communion.

The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47,48, Romans 6:4)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements—bread and the fruit of the vine—, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”