The Church, the ekklesia
The word 'church' in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word 'ekklesia' which comes from two words 'ek' meaning 'out' and 'kaleo' meaning to 'call.' An ekklesia or 'calling out' was not just an assembly. The words agora and paneguris as well as heorte, koinon, thiasos, sunagoge and sunago can all mean an assembly.
The word ekklesia was a political term in the Greek, not a religious term. Jesus was the King of the Kingdom of God at hand and the Bible used the term ekklesia for a good reason. In classical Greek "ekklesia" meant "an assembly of citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly."
The early Roman Senate, had no power to make law for the freeman. They were only titular leaders for the most part but their power would grow as the people became dependent upon the government benefits, the free bread. The Romans originally provided for their needy through voluntary practices of their community funded social welfare. When the wealthy men of power and governments supported the temples through the tribute they collected their religion became public religion.
In Israel the government assembly was similar. The congregations of the people were originally composed of the elders of each family group through a network of electors which chose titular representatives in patterns of tens. These elected representatives did not make law either. There were no kings in Israel because it was a "government of the people, for the people, and by the people". If God was in the people's hearts and minds they would be a successful nation.
But there was another group that was called out to be separate yet provide some of the service needed in every society. This was the Levites and the services were religious. But the religious services they provided was not what people think of when you mention religion today.
The liturgy of their religion was "public service" through charity. They provided welfare for the tents of the congregations by way of freewill offerings instead of force like the leaders of nations who called themselves benefactors but who exercised authority one over the other.
Through service the Levites helped facilitate unity for an entire nation but prevented a consolidation of power and influence. Moses devised this system by the inspiration of God at the time of the Golden calf. The Levites were the called out too and were called the Church in the wilderness.
By the time of Christ both, the Senate of Rome and the Sanhedrin of Judea had become bodies of legislative rulers exercising authority over the people. Their sacrifice or Corban was no longer funded by freewill offerings.They had become a corporate body of "lawmakers" ruling the people through vast bureaucratic systems under a central ruling office of executive power and forcing the contributions of the people.
Since the authority of the State in Israel was originally in the hands of the elders of each family, the people did not usually gather together to overthrow the corruption of government, since the people had learned to govern themselves. The heads of every household were the princes of Israel. The heads of each family group, which was a true government of the people, for the people, and by the people, under the God of Heaven were free as long as they remained faithful to God's law.
There was, at first, no King in Israel and the original Sanhedrin mentioned in Numbers 11:16 was to stand as a sort of overseer of truth serving the will of God by serving the congregation of the people in righteousness. They were truly titular leaders who served the public and God under the foundational laws of the government, the Ten Commandments. But, eventually the voice of the people sought a ruler who could exercise authority and who appointed officers over the people from the top down making new laws of control and oppression. The need for an ekklesia steadily grew again as the people and their governments became more corrupt.
When the Greek city states found their governments had become too corrupt and oppressive, they would call for an ekklesia, an assembly outside the civil authority of the city. If enough people came out and refused to accept the existing centralized civil authority, that government would collapse. Non participation has been a successful and peaceful means to free mankind from oppressive civil authority throughout history.
Like the walk out strikes instituted by Gandhi in hope of freeing his people from oppression of colonization, the act of calling the people out could be a very effective method of obtaining freedom through nonviolence. Gandhi did not only encourage worker strikes, but also practical methods to free society from the need of the corporate benefits and its resulting oppressive civil state. Moses had done the same in Egypt when he taught the people how to live without the exercising authority and benefits of the Pharaoh while still maintaining a viable, cohesive and productive society.
Jesus' procession into Jerusalem was a call for the people to stand against a corrupt oppressive government by offering them a legitimate government that operated differently than Herod the Great. John the Baptist had preached the kingdom of heaven at hand, which was nothing less than a government operating by freewill offerings, voluntary charitable participation and the perfect law of liberty. Jesus preached the same method of self government and proclaimed that right for all who would remain faithful to Him. It was a powerful and non violent movement of the people, by the people, and for the people to change the course of history by changing the hearts and minds of men, by altering their relationship with governments of the gentiles with their leaders who called themselves benefactors but who exercised authority .
The use of the word Church was a poor choice in place of the Greek ekklesia but what men often mean unto evil God turns to good. That word Church has its origin in the meaning of lordship which may be accurate from a certain point of view.
The ekklesia or Church was founded and established by Jesus Christ, Yahshua, almost 2000 years ago. It was a government established by the anointed King and appointed to His "little flock" to look after His Kingdom. Jesus was the rightful king, the highest son of David, proclaimed by many of the people as the Anointed. The trial before the Sanhedrin was an attempt to impeach Him and therefore end His appointed government. The Pharisees had given the ultimate right to choose who should be king of God's kingdom to the Romans back in the days of Pompey.
Jesus was recognized as the king by the existing world government when Pontius Pilate nailed his official proclamation of Christ's kingdom to the cross, which was sealed for all time in the blood of an innocent man. Jesus and His little flock of followers, the called out [ekklesia], were persecuted by the apostate church of that day who abandoned the house of David proclaiming they had no king but Caesar.
At Pentecost thousands of Jews, citizens of Judea, and others were baptized into that government by the appointed followers of the proclaimed and recognized king. All who became members of that kingdom of Heaven were put out of the existing system of benefits offered through the Corban of the Pharisees and began to live a new life according to the precepts of God's government, by faith, hope and charity, and the perfect law of liberty.
God is the same, man is the same, sin is the same. Abraham was called out and eventually brought out many souls. Moses was called back to Egypt, assisted the people through the famines, teaching them the ways of God. He and Israel were cast out of Egypt but had to learn the ways of liberty under God. The people returned to sin with their golden calf and the Levites were called out to become the church in the wilderness.
The good news of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth has been shared with the world. His ekklesia was persecuted. Its chief executive officer is the Holy Spirit, its King is Jesus and its Ruling Judge is YHWH, God the Father. YaHWeH has given all power and authority to Jesus, Yahshua, who in turn has sent us the Holy Spirit to comfort us in our journey toward the Kingdom of God.
Salvation is returning to the Character of the Father like the Son. It is self-sacrifice, service and obedience that we must get right.
What is not the CHURCH?
There are a lot of things the Church is not but at least:
- It is not established by anyone but Jesus.
- It is not to hold lordship of one over the other.
- It is not to go under the authority of others nor lead men into bondage where some men will rule over mankind.
- It is not to scatter the flock but bring them together in charity and love.
- It is to serve the people as Christ commanded so that they do not have to apply or pray to other fathers of the earth.
- It guides the people toward Pure Religion unspotted by the gifts, gratuities and benefits of the world which snare the people back into the bondage of Egypt and make the word of God to none effect with their Corban.
- The Church is to be the servants of Christ to preach the kingdom, feed His flock under the perfect law of liberty or the people will return to the mire.
Who can define His Holy Church?
- 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 <http://www.hisholychurch.org/study/gods/cog15bvb.php> 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 Law Dictionary 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th eds.
How do we get into this government of Jesus Christ, this kingdom of Heaven on Earth?
Must we die to get into the Kingdom of Heaven?
"He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err." (Mark 12:27)
What and where is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven? <http://www.hisholychurch.org/sermon/kingdomofheaven12.php>
- "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my ekklesia (make my coming out); and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:17-19)
What is the form of His government?
How does Heaven run its government, its ekklesia, here on earth?
- "But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:25-28)
Are you in a government which exercises dominion over you?
If you are, then you are not in a government established by Jesus the Christ and the form of your government is not Christian.
Let every man remain subject to his superior authority; but should you go under authority in exchange for benefits and gratuities?
- "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body [is] not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid." (1 Corinthians 6:12-14)
Have you sold the sweat of your brow <http://www.hisholychurch.org/study/gods/cog4eve.php> and gone under the authority and power of another?
Have you sold your land in exchange for gifts and benefits?
- "Behold, we [are] servants this day, and [for] the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we [are] servants in it:" Nehemiah 9:36
" And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it. Nehemiah 9:38
Is your Church attending to the Weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith which include caring for the needs of our neighbors, the widows and orphans of our society through Pure Religion in matters of health, education, and welfare. We are NOT to do so by the Covetous Practices of modern governments.
The Way of Christ was not like the way of the world, nor the governments of the gentiles who depend on benefactors who exercise authority. Christ's ministers and true Christians do not depend upon systems of social welfare that force the contributions of the people like the corban of the Pharisees which made the word of God to none effect. Many people have been deceived to go the way of Balaam and the Nicolaitan and out of The Way of Christ.
The Christian conflict of the first century Church appointed by Christ was because they would not apply to the fathers of the earth for benefits but instead relied upon a voluntary network providing a daily ministration to the needy of society through Faith, Hope, and Charity by way of freewill offerings of the people, for the people, and by the people through the perfect law of liberty in Free Assemblies according to the ancient pattern of Tuns or Tens.
"Follow me!" —Jesus the Christ.
- One of the most important things to do is to become involved in a network of Charitable Practices. Everyone should want to join a Living Network of Love and Charity.
- If you think you have a calling to be a Minister of God or you might want to dedicate your life to Christ as an Ordained Minister of His Holy Church then contact us to start the process of discipleship and become the benefactors who exercise only love, NOT authority.
- Liddell and Scott define ekklesia as "an assembly of citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly." [R. Scott, and H.G. Liddell, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 206.] Thayer's lexicon says, "an assembly of the people convened at the public place of council for the purpose of deliberating" [J. H. Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 196]. Trench gives the meaning as "the lawful assembly in a free Greek city of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship, for the transaction of public affairs" [R.C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, 7th ed., pp. 1-2]. Seyffert's dictionary states, "The assembly of the people, which in Greek cities had the power of final decision in public affairs" [Oskar Seyffert, A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, pp. 202-203].From "fully after the LORD" by Steve Flinchum http://www.bryanstation.com/flinchum-fully.htm
- General Prologue to the John Wycliffe Bible translation of 1384.
- Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
- Exodus 35:29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
- Luke 3:11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
- James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
- Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
- John 9:22 These [words] spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
- Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mark 10:42-43 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
Luke 22:25-26 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.