I have some points of disagreement regarding ekklesia, the Greek word for “church”, and in no way do I desire to argue or convince anyone of my beliefs, but I do want all to be confident that we are not following another gospel at HomeGroups.Org- And here is the main error of ekklesia’s origins, the foundation of everything else on which the idea of the rest is based:
What Is a Church to most christians?
The “church” (Greek ekklesia) is literally “a called-out assembly.” Its birth (by strict definition) took place when the first disciples responded in faith to “Follow me!”
This is untrue but it is what most Christians believe or they believe the church was born at Pentecost. The law of first mention takes us back to: Ex 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
When we start at the law if first mention of “Assembly”, we will quickly find 2 words in Exodus 12; qahal and edah, the feminine of ed, in which we also get the term “Moedim”, or appointed times. This means that the “church”, was formed not at the 1st century Pentecost (Shavuot), in Acts but rather at the first Pentecost (Shavuot) ever- in the book we call Exodus. And if we go to the first verses of that book, we see it more clearly defined:
Ex 1:1 ¶ Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.
So the True definition of the Assembly, or the church as people like to call it is, the multitude of witnesses who assemble or congregate with a common testimony and culture- Torah+Messiah. This is CLEARLY mentioned in several NT passages, but none are so clear as Re 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
The following article has not been read, but it was returned by a quick google search to explain my issue with the word ekklesia because of King James’ struct rules in translating original text. http://bible-truth.org/Ekklesia.html
Every instance of the word church in the NT when quantified, is quantified by geological location, not “local congregations”; The church at Corinth, Ephesus, Thyatira, Philipi, Laodicea, Thessolanica or Rome et al, including the reference of Jesus using the word ekklesia in Mt 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Several issues exist with this assumption, but I will minimized it to 3. First, Jesus was talking to His disciples who were Hebrews and spoke Hebrew. So it’s a false assumption that Jesus actually used that word, it was simply translated into Greek when the gospel according to Mathew was translated. Google search “Hebrew Mathew” and we will find overwhelming evidence that it was originally written in Hebrew, not Greek. I would argue the entire new testament was possibly originally written in Hebrew but it’s a subject that can only be debated, not yet proven. But endless Hebrew Idioms that don’t translate well into Greek are a great evidence, but I digress.
Church in the Wilderness
This is an excellent way to think about the church, and I would add:
Jer 16:14 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
See also Isa 43:18 and Jer 23:7-8 for further clarification. Father always intended to return the Kingdom of heaven to Israel, the wild olive tree that would be grafted back into the natural olive tree, Judah. But are those who claim to be “lost sheep of the house of Israel” wild branches if they were once part of the same root?
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Ro 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
In fact, It is my belief that our entire eschatology looks completely different when we realign our understanding to these foundational Truths of Scripture that we have overlooked because we have been blind in part according to the God of Israel, not the God of the “church”
Mt 15:31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
Eze 11:14 ¶ Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given in possession. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.
Eze 36:16 ¶ Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Eze 36:25 ¶ Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Now read all of Ezekiel chapter 37 and this should make our head spin if we have not been shown these scriptures before.
See my study on eschatology in light of these revelations: http://homegroups.org/the-book-of-revelation/
Again, Ro 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear😉 unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
Ro 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
See my study on the remnant: http://homegroups.org/the-remnant/ , a work in progress. The church is not the mystery, Israel and his blindness is as well as how the Covenant would be restored after Isral and Judah were divorced. The story of the prodigal son is about Israel and Judah, not the church. Although technically the church is Israel and Judah under Messiah’s restored Covenant of Yahweh, but Wendy and I are not Jews and we don’t follow Judaism as Jesus did not with its Gemara and Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud, Mishnah etc. The mystery is also the two houses as referred to in the “new testament”:
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Israel and Judah becoming one flesh- as the husband and wife have been shadow-pictures of the Assembly called Israel, the Bride for the Husband from the foundations of creation- also becoming one flesh, one Body! The Northern and Southern parts of the Kingdom re-uniting are like Judah coming out of the rib of Israel, Israel coming from the rib Jesus, Eve from the rib of Adam and reuniting. Reconciliation of family from beginning to end, the end from the beginning. DEEP stuff. The family is a wheel-within-a-wheel throughout history into eternity in a new heavens and Earth in a mind-bending reality that unfolds in many directions simultaneously.
It is VERY difficult for mainstream Christians who still worship in the ways of the goyim, the gentiles, to grasp this because of their confirmation bias, their love of money for their institutions’ continuity, their love of pork and Christmas and Easter, and their grace-alone, faith-alone comfort zones that daily give them a clean conscience for their lukewarmness. Plus, this is only realized by those who seek the face of the Father diligently and those who have hearts that desire to please the father, instead of the preaching and teaching of men; hearts of flesh and not stone. I don’t mean those words in a harsh manner at all. Christianity is certainly the path that we start on, which leads to the narrow path if we are continually growing and overcoming to the end. On the left and the right of the Way of the Nazarene Path of Truth and Life are two ditches; Judaizers and Hellenizers- Judaism and Mainstream Christianity. These are religions at their core; one of which Jesus taught against and turned over tables to demonstrate the Father’s anger for turning the Path of Yahweh into the paths of men and moneychangers in Nicolaitanism (which literally means to lord over or triumph over the people, and can also be eisogeted to mean followers of Nicolaos and his paganism, oddly similar to St. Nicholas and his paganism which Christians love) which God and His Son hate.
There are no hard feelings, there is no judgment or spiritual pride behind any of these posts on this site. I have NEVER been so confident in the Word of Yahweh, the Truth has NEVER made so much sense and connected all the dots and cleared up all the confusion of errors and mistranslations. Switching from studying Greek to studying paleo-Hebrew and the Biblical Hebrew of the text has proven to me beyond a shadow of ANY doubt that we are on the narrow path that Jesus spoke of. His burden is light, His Yoke is not hard; Be set apart from the world, die to self and do things His Covenant Way. Most scholarly writings/ pens are excellent and are part of the Path in my opinion, but they are not the end of the Path. Most Christians get to a point of learning and they plateau in their learning and separate based on their plateau of belief into denominations instead of continuing to learn. This is especially true of scholars, I know because I was there once; I thought I knew just about everything there was to know, but Father humbled me even further to make my heart right for even more Spirit and Truth. He is MOST gracious and deserving of glory.
1Pe 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Re 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.