ekklesia (Strong's Concordance Greek word #1577): meaning chosen called out ones.
A word at the start here. Within the ranks of Christendom itself, there is NO war.
We had a pastoral friend who used to teach about what happens when warriors sit around in the barracks, not doing war in the fields. He'd say that if the warriors aren't careful in training their own personalities, they start warring with each other in the barracks, due to their war training instincts. But, be clear on this - we have no good guys / bad guys within our ranks as Christians. Our enemy is truly satan and sin, from outside our ranks.
That being said, some people conjure up that someone might hate clergy, or laity. That is an immature position for a warrior of God to take. In God's eyes, there is no professional clergy or commoner unschooled laity, but we still have to temper our warring personalities. Those who are "professionals" within institutional churches are there because of sincerity of drive and purpose, for one reason or another, and by and large, are only doing what they have been schooled or taught to do, ever since Emperor Constantine declared Christianity to be the approved state religion in the early 300's A.D. Those who are choosing to be laity, commoners, or parishioners are doing so because it is what they saw in their formative years, and after being impressed for a period of time, decided to follow along in something that they find absolutely satisfying (or so it seems). There is great comfort and security gained by staying within an age-old tradition-defined system, and many never even want to think about boat-rocking or outright leaving - there's no need to in their minds - and rightly so.
Many leaders and followers within institutional church-dom are absolutely Godly, noble and upright individuals. Many have never heard the teachings that we present here and practice (faith-with-works) in our gatherings. Even if they do read it, and then see in us "the doing," then reject it all and continue in their traditions or institutions, they are not bad people.
There is no drawing of a line that we are after. History has far too many instances where line-drawing of so-called "Christian" warriors has led to persecution and death (of fellow Christians - unwittingly) [as an aside, just one example of many - the phrase "line drawn in the sand" literally comes from the massacre of over 300 fine Christian Huguenots in the sandy beaches of Saint Augustine, Florida, in 1565, by overzealous Spanish Roman Catholic conquistadors, at a place that is to this day referred to as Matanzas - or Spanish for "slaughters" - go here Martyrs Of Matanzas, or see www.christfellowship-lc.org/matanzas.htm]. And upon further examination, in every instance, the death and persecution was done quite idiotically, while satan sits smiling as Christ's ekklesia body of warriors are in-fighting amongst themselves and slaughtering themselves.
Scripture talks of this happening to the enemies of the Hebrews in olden days, where the enemy would be self slaughtered. It doesn't bode well when those of us who are supposed to be called by the right name of The Savior, Jesus, get involved in actually killing each other. So, it is with Jesus' Spirit of Peace, that we present here, what is simply personal revelation of the accounts He has handed to us. If it causes you to walk a different way, then so be it. If it causes you to think, then so be it. If it causes you to go right back to your learned traditional ways, then so be it. But don't be ensnared in the befalling of other brothers called by the Honorable Name of Jesus.
No where in the New Testament is the word "church" used in any of the original Greek writings. Don't take my word for it - treat this like your favorite TV game show - research it yourself and see how many times you find ekklesia (#1577) popping up where you now see the word church displayed.
In 1611 a.d., just breaking into the Seventeenth century, when Anglican King James of The Church of England commissioned a "new" translation of the Bible, which is properly titled The Authorized Version (AV), his company of translators built upon William Tyndale's excellent earlier version and The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century. James was so bent on having his new translation be as different from Roman Catholic translations as possible and he wanted every potential word changed, that could possibly be changed, without committing heresy.
One such word was ekklesia. The substitute word became a middle old English word, kirk, one which we now transliterate as church. So the word church and what it means, is not a Greek word, nor part of the intent of the original writings of the New Testament. At first blush, this appears innocent enough, and to be sure, James meant no harm, foul play, nor heresy. The word kirk meant a building and institutional meeting place, much like the Hebrew word synagogue denotes a Judaic temple/ meeting place.
DOES THE DIFFERENCE MATTER?
There IS a fundamental problem. He whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Free from what? Old Hebraic rituals and laws, AND freedom from obedience to be in and around the old style institutional synagogues/ temples and governance by the old style boards of directors. God's dynamic and alive temple is not found to be confined within in any dead man-made institutional business, articles of incorporation, or building, that dynamic temple IS in and through his saints, the humans whom He calls out from the world of dead and inanimate things.
At first blush, statements like that appear to be those that strike fear (especially if used as a "sound bite" by an unscrupulous news reporter), because some people would take it to be offensive, as if it were promoting rebellion. To the opposite, if one studies Jesus' teachings and actions, He indeed has set us free from the very thing that the word kirk (or synagogue) implies. If He had wanted us to be in synagogues or kirks, He certainly would have plainly said so? However, He left no illusions about what His desires were for us, Himself speaking against those very institutional buildings, going forward, but our modernists have indeed added a new heap of designs and assumptions in the wake of His leaving temporarily (in body - while still here in Spirit).
Going further, you can clearly see that while He walked here on earth, all of His troubles came from one group, the religious leaders of the day. That has not ceased, and some would say that the biggest impediment to the ekklesia being His true chosen "called out ones" in the way He wants it to be still comes from some religious leaders of the day.
Far be it that rebellion be preached. In fact, submission and accountability run strong within the chosen called out ones - the ekklesia.
Drop the word church from your language, start saying "chosen" or "called out ones" instead, and see how your language changes when you make those formative statements you mean to say. If you feel like speaking Greek, then say "ekklesia" J . If you are talking about a meeting, or a meeting place/ building, you will say so. If you are talking about His Bride, The Chosen Called Out Ones, you will speak of them differently, with different phrases.
Human-Hand-Made walls do not contain The Holy Spirit of The Christ. His temple is written about all throughout scripture, and it ISN'T in any one solitary physical place on earth - to the exclusion of another - that is made by man's hands (including in Jerusalem) - again - research it for yourself. Indeed, His Temple is in-and-through humans, exhibited as those very humans. Visceral, organic, fluid, flowing, dynamic - yet all in spirit with Jesus as the Head.
One small collection of Jesus' Chosen Called Out Ones meets in Shady Shores at our house, and our meetings are central and focused around His supper - yes a feast, which He told us to do, that He called a Remembrance Feast. It's not the stale feast you may have experienced in times past. No. We CELEBRATE by feasting as He did, and then closing with a partaking of the symbolically sinless bread (yeast free), and the symbolically sinless wine (yeast/ alcohol free), in a fashion that recognizes what He told us to recognize, to consider deeply the Body Of Christ, that being Him flowing in and through us as us (again - that's what the bread and the wine symbolizes - THAT'S what He meant it to show).
YES - That my dear friends is THE Good News of all ages. That the Creator of the Universe has chosen to inhabit you as you, me as me, and so on, to all who receive and submit totally to Jesus in faith-Spirit. And He HAS chosen that we all enjoy fellowship with each other, because everyone of us is a different facet of Him. We do not fellowship based upon some trumped up similarity, we do not seek to align due to sameness or likeness, or love for one ritual, one color of garment, one form of liturgy, and so on. No, indeed, the unity we surely have is Jesus, we aspire to His unity, at the same time, we applaud His individuality and manifold differences expressed in the plain-faced appearances of each other.
We are called out from the world of sin, to be His Bride, while still being in the world. Sinners yet blameless, thanks to Him. Each one as different as a finger print, yet called out and chosen to be made one by His Holy Spirit, and full of the same.
KNOW TRUE SALVATION FIRST
Do you hear His Spirit voice? Have you renounced your sinful fleshly ways? Have you made Him Lord of your life? If so, then He has led you to exhibit such by being baptized in water as a physical expression of being born again with Him in spirit, symbolizing that your sins are buried under that water, and you are now alive within the Body of Christ as an elect chosen called out one. You are one with Him and all of the rest of His ekklesia saints, and He is the one who has joined us, or as the Bible says, He is the joint that supplies. He is God's Son, and He HAS set you free from sin and the law (and the law's buildings J ). You are one of the ekklesia.
SCRIPTURES FOR MEDITATION ON THIS SUBJECT
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