Understanding the Church (Ecclesia)
We need to understand the Ecclesia and the system of the Kingdom of God.
Mark 11:17 And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'
Isaiah 56:7 Even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples."
House: In the Greek, this means: nation, lineage, descendants, and place. In the New Testament we are the Temple of God.
1 Corinthians. 3:16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?
God’s desire is a House that is governmental and has influence and authority over all other forms of government. We are the light and salt of the earth. We are ambassadors (a governmental term).
2 CORINTHIANS 5:20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors...
Jesus picks it up in Matthew 16:18-19
“18 And I say also unto thee, That, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 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.”
Everything about these verses are governmental. The Church Jesus mentioned comes from the Greek word Ecclesia. An Ecclesia within the Greek and Roman culture of Jesus’ day spoke of governmental, legislative and judicial body that made decisions and judgments that determined how society functioned. Have you ever heard the phrase “Keys to the City”? Well Jesus said I’ll give you the “Keys to the Kingdom”. The keys were authority through prayer!
It’s very important that we understand what Jesus was talking about building. He was not talking about building "church services" (the way we know them). He was talking about building a government that would make decisions and judgments on how society would function. We’ve watered “Ecclesia” down to fun, games, carnality, donuts, cool stage designs, smoke, business, “church clothes”, and silly programs. We are supposed to be taking care of business so that we can transform our nation! We are a nation within a nation, a government within a government and WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON TOP RULING AND REIGNING!
Judge, Advocate, and Ambassadors
God is called Judge. A legal term in the courts. James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?
Jesus is called Advocate (a lawyer and legal title in the courts). 1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
The Holy Spirit is called Paraclete (a legal term in the courts): Advocate, Stand By, one to Help. John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
We are called ambassadors. A legal term in a government. 2 CORINTHIANS 5:20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors...
In Acts 19, "ecclesia" is a town council: a civil body in Ephesus. Thus, the translators were forced to abandon their fake translation in these three instances. Nonetheless, 112 times they changed it to "church." This fact has been covered-up under centuries of misuse and ignorance. The Greek word "ecclesia" is correctly defined as: "The called-out (ones)" [ECC = out; KALEO = call]. Thus, you can see how this word was used to indicate a civil body of select (called, elected) people.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
In the New Testament, "ecclesia" (signifying convocation) is the only single word used for church. It (ecclesia) was the name given to the governmental assembly of the city of Athens, duly convoked (called out) by proper officers and possessing all political power including even juridical functions.
Obviously, in Greece an ecclesia had no resemblance to a church. An "ecclesia" was a civil assembly in Athens even before the writing of the New Testament. In the Oxford Universal English Dictionary (considered the standard for the English language) the word "ecclesia" is listed in its English form as used by our English forefathers. (Nowadays, only forms of the word appear - like, "ecclesiastical").
Quoting from the Oxford Universal English Dictionary on the word "ecclesia":
Ecclesia [mediaeval Latin, and Greek - from: SUMMONED] -A regularly convoked assembly, especially the general assembly of Athenians. Later, the regular word for church.
Thus, two of the most prestigious word resources in the English language confirm the fact that an "ecclesia" was originally a select civil body, summoned or convoked for a particular purpose. What, then, did the writers of the New Testament mean when they used the word "ecclesia" to describe a Christian body of people? We can assume that they intended to convey the original Greek meaning of the word: a body of Christians called out of the Roman and Judean system to come together into a separate civil community. It meant a politically autonomous body of Christians under no king but Jesus; under no other jurisdiction but that of Jesus. No man ruled them! Only Christ. And that was the reason these same Christians ran into trouble with kings and rulers; were arrested, crucified and martyred. They dropped Caesar as their King and took up Christ.
In Acts 17, verses 1-6 we see that Paul and Silas had a reputation that preceded them. They were "turning the world (system) upside down." What was their inflaming message? Were they telling the people to find a minister and support him; go to church every weekend; be nice to their neighbors? Could this have been the message that set the city fathers against them? Or maybe they were asking people to send money, so they could build a nice church building or develop a Christian recreation center? (of course there's nothing wrong with those things...I'm just making a certain point) No? What then? What were these guys doing that was "turning the world system upside down"? The answer is found in verse 7:
"Whom Jason hath received (into his house): and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus."
Now is that clear? Do you see what they were doing? They were announcing ANOTHER KING! Not Caesar! This was a king who was bigger than Caesar. They were forming civil bodies that no longer looked to Caesar as their king. They were forming civil outposts for Christ's conquering army! They were at war (spiritual warfare)!
Paul and Silas weren't just "church builders" like preachers today claim. They weren't proselytizing people from one church or synagogue to another. They were kingdom builders! They were dethroning rulers in the minds of the people and alienating them from the mental hold Caesar had upon them through heathenistic (central) government. They were teaching the principles of Christian government. They were putting forth the call of God to whomever would hear and obey, and those whose hearts responded to the call became citizens of Christ's kingdom and joined themselves to the ecclesia, or community of believers.
(Notes from ACMTC Library and Ben Williams Library)
Folks you have been summoned by the King to be the Church-Ecclessia-Kingdom on the earth-God's Government-God's Civil Assembly. God's church is more than church services on Sundays. It's more than insecure people wanting titles and their birthdays recognized. Most of the stuff we do is ridiculous. We have turned God's Ecclesia into an entertainment business that entertains people FOR MONEY. We will not have it at our churches.