The ekklesia of God is one body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith
The definition of language,
according to my Websters dictionary is: 1. (a) the expression or communication of thoughts
and feelings by means of vocal sounds, and combinations of such sounds, to which meaning is attributed; human speech; (b) the ability to express or communicate by this means; (c) the vocal sounds
so used, or the written symbols for them.
There is more in my Websters dictionary, however, I feel this primary meaning is sufficient.
In addition, there are related
issues such as linguistics, etymology, translation, semantics and etc.
Language is not trivial.
As per the definition above. Just ask the group at the Tower of Babel.
Language is a communication device which utilizes symbols to convey intended meanings and/or to convey mental images.
I speak English fluently. I understand English. If you want to talk to me you must use English. If you
want to write to me you must use English. The words that have come into common usage in the English language are symbols to me and to the speaker that convey intended meanings. Ditto for those
who speak Spanish, German, Dutch, Japanese, Hebrew and etc.
Because of translators,
no one needs to learn Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic in order to understand the Bible.
Its just that simple.
On the subject of language,
we need to distinguish between the word church as is commonly used, when many
times we are really referring to the ekklesia (Greek: a called out assembly) of God.
I suggest the word
church be used in referring to the visible institutionalized corporations that meet in
buildings constructed for the purpose of subjecting the people who go there to the highly organized
man-made systems with traditional, worldly and sometimes pagan and/or occultic, forms and practices.
The ekklesia of
God would be used to identify those who recognize the perils of such a system and are the truly
called out assembly of the saints of God. In this respect, they would be virtually identical to the remnant of Gods people, i.e., those who are truly united with God,
in spirit and in truth, and have submerged their own identity in order to truly be one with God.
These words, I think, are
appropriate as they evoke different images of what we are speaking about.
Without getting into many
pages of the discussion of the word ekklesia I think that regardless of what it meant at the
time it was written in the Bible that Jesus modified it to another meaning entirely when He said
... I will build my church ... He used the word my to indicate it would
be different from previous or subsequent ekklesias.
If we can agree on that then
we must come to an agreement of what the purpose of the ekklesia of God is.
Although the term
alternative lifestyle has a different connotation in the world today, I suggest that is
what we are called to when we accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord of our lives. In pursuing that alternative lifestyle we are called out of the culture, society, economy, authority structure, traditions,
values, beliefs, attitudes and habits of our former personal practices and those of our native country.
In order to be perfectly clear,
I define those terms as follows:
cultureestablished concepts of manners, skills, intellect and aesthetics
societyan organization of persons sharing common interests
economycareful management of material resources
authority structurea system of arranging persons in order of rank, grade or class
traditionssuccessional generational practices
valuesthe perceived or estimated worth of a thing
beliefsintellectual assent as something being true or valid
attitudesa firmly held point of view
habitsbehaviour patterns established by repetition
I will use the term
worldly lifestyle as representing the aforementioned culture,
society, economy and etc.
As the ekklesia
of God we are translated from the kingdom of darkness (read: worldly lifestyle) into the kingdom
of light. That kingdom of light is the kingdom of God, which is the essence of the Gospel of Jesus
Christthat the kingdom of God has arrived and we can now be a part of it by our willful
The ekklesia of
God demands a new lifestyle, with its own culture, society, economy and authority structure, with
new traditions, values, beliefs, attitudes and habits. And we all have to learn to speak the same spiritual language by becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. This is all clearly delineated in the New Testament relative to the teachings of Christ and of the kingdom of God.
The kingdom of God is
that place where Gods rule is acknowledged and voluntarily submitted to. The outworking
or manifestation of this kingdom of God is a future physical and spiritual reality of all of creation.
It has begun in seed form as the ekklesia of God. In the book of Revelation John saw a manifestation of this finalized, completed form as a city of God from heaven.
Since this manifestation
of the the finalized, completed form of the kingdom of God, which began from the seed form of the
ekklesia of God was recognizable by John, then todays ekklesia should be
recognizable in this present time.
Obviously, as we very well
know, that is not the case. Instead, the church is hardly distinguishable from the
worldly lifestyle of today.
However, it is still
Gods will and plan that the localekklesia of God be the visible,
manifested, living organism of the universalekklesia of God throughout
history and in every part of the globe.
We must understand the
invisible component of todays ekklesia of God, i.e., (past) those who have since died
in the faith, from Old Testament times to the present; (present) those who are part of the
ekklesia of God but are not identified as such; and (future) those who will come to be part
of the ekklesia, which includes those not yet born and those who are presently alive, but not
yet part of the ekklesia.
We must also understand
that the New Testament ekklesia is not a new outgrowth from the Old Testament
ekklesia. As a living organism, God has simply expanded the ekklesia from the Old
Testament in the New Testament by inclusion of the Gentiles (Isaiah 49:6-26, note verses 6 and 22).
This He planned to do from before the foundations of the world. (See also Genesis 22:18; Psalms
22:27; 86:9; Isaiah 9:2; 42:1; 55:5; 60:3; Daniel 7:14; Hosea 2:23; Malachi 1:11; Romans 11:11-24;
Ephesians 2:11-22; 3:6).
Jesus moved us out from
the types and shadows of the Old Testament and Law with its rituals and sacrifices which were limited
to the nation of Israel into the anti-types and substance of the New Testament, with its grace and
mercy, for the ekklesia of God to manifest the kingdom of God throughout the earth.
No longer limited to the
nation of Israel, scripture makes it clear that the ekklesia of God is no longer under the Law
of Moses of the Old Testament, but we now have a new covenent with better promises in the New
Testament, and Gentiles are now included in the ekklesia of God. The entire book of Hebrews
explains the superiority of the person, priesthood and power of Christ. Hebrews 3:1-6 tells us:
1 Wherefore, holy brethren,
partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ
2 Who was faithful to him
that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
3 For this man was counted
worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than
4 For every house is builded
by some man; but he that built all things is God.
5 And Moses verily was
faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6 But Christ as a son over
his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm
unto the end.
Jesus has commissioned
His ekklesia to make disciples and teach them what He taught. The book of Acts traces the
steps of the disciples of Jesus in struggling to do what Jesus had told them to do. Throughout this
account we are made aware of the presence of Jesus through the Holy Spirit of God. And Jesus
came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore,
and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20).
The standard of the
ekklesia of God must be the scriptures which have been given for us as the rule of faith and
practice. Our rules of conduct must be according to the teachings of Jesus and scripture.
church has few, if any, characteristics of the New Testament ekklesia. Instead,
today, we have the solid foundation of Romanism with some doctrinal truths (and some erring human
opinions), from the 15th century on added to the church. We also have the solid foundation of Judaism
co-existing with the Romanism system, which calls itself a Messianic Congregation.
church then is clearly at odds with Gods eternal purpose to bring all things
together in one, in Christ. This was discussed
in my article entitled Israel and the Church: Gods Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: And How About A Little Common Sense? under the subhead of
Gods Eternal Purpose.
As someone once said,
Two wrongs dont make a right.
Scripture makes it clear
there are not two, or more, types of the ekklesia of Jesus. However, present day experience
reveals the scripturally prophesied truth that there are many types of what we call
Scriptures concerning the
one-ness of the ekklesia of God are plentiful in the New Testament. Here are
John 17:11, 20-23:
11 And now I am no more
in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name
those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
20 Neither pray I for these
alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be
one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may
believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which
thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in
me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and
hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
The phrase may
be one occurs four times in these scriptures. ... may be made perfect in one ...
gives added emphasis and meaning to the phrase.
1 Corinthians 3:9:
For we are labourers together with God: ye are Gods husbandry, ye are Gods building.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14:
12 For as the body is one,
and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also
13 For by one Spirit are
we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have
been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one
member, but many.
We are labourers
together with God: Whether we be Jews or Gentiles ... :the body is
not one member, but many.
23 But before faith came,
we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was
our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is
come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children
of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as
have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew
nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ
29 And if ye be
Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Verses 28 and 29 are a very
clear statement of the oneness in Christ.
12 As many as desire to
make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory
in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that I
should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me,
and I unto the world.
15 For in Christ Jesus neither
circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
16 And as many as walk
according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From henceforth let no
man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
18 Brethren, the grace of
our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
circumcision and uncircumcision refer to Jew and Gentile, respectively.
As believers in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, we are neither, but a new creature.
11 Wherefore remember,
that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called
the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were
without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of
promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus
ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who
hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in
his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself
of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 And came and preached
peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18 For through him we both
have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are
no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of
20 And are built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building
fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are
builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
30 For we are members
of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Note the phrases used in
made both one
make in himself of twain one new man
reconcile both unto God in one body
we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father
fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones
Of whom the whole family
in heaven and earth is named,
The ekklesia of
God is one, as members of his body we have to realize there are not two bodies because
Christ has only one body physically and spiritually. And we are one (whole) family.
1 I therefore, the prisoner
of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and
meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep
the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and
one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one
6 One God and Father of
all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Paul says there is one body,
one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. Paul labors the
point in order that we may understand the importance and reality of our oneness.
And he is the head of the
body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have
Who now rejoice in my
sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his
bodys sake, which is the church:
And hath put all things under
his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of
him that filleth all in all.
The church (read:
ekklesia) is his body. Christ has one body, physically and spiritually.
1 Corinthians 6:15,19,20:
15 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.
19 What? know ye not that
your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not
20 For ye are bought with
a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods.
bodies are the members of Christ. Christ has one body, physically and spiritually.
In following the Bible and
its teachings there is only one ekklesia of God. The ekklesia is rooted and founded
in Jesus Christ. I explained this, from scripture, in my article Israel and the Church:
Gods Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: And How About A Little Common
Sense? under the subhead Our Roots In Jesus Christ.
Romanism is flawed in its
attempts to represent the structure of the ekklesia of God. Messianic Judaism is flawed in
its attempts to represent the structure of the ekklesia of God. This means that Romanism must
leave the practice of its traditional, worldly and pagan relics behind, and Messianic Judaism must
leave the practice of the types and shadows of the Old Testament behind. They are fulfilled in the
person and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Both practitioners of Romanistic and Judaistic practices must implement the anti-types and substance of the New Testament in
order to incorporate true ekklesia lifestyle with its own culture, society, economy, authority
structure, with new traditions, values, beliefs, attitudes and habits into one new man into the one
ekklesia of God.
what I said. I did not say to discard the Old Testament. We must continue to study its types and shadows and all that is contained in it because it is the word of God. At the same time we must become
the ekklesia of God as set forth in the New Testament while incorporating all truth of the
Bible that is written within it.
That is why I said under
the material in the same article under the subtitle Evangelism Of The Gentile
Church: There is no such thing as a Moslem Christian, a Buddhist Christian,
a Mormon Christian, a Jehovahs Witness Christian, a Messianic Jew, a Completed Jew or
a Judaistic Christian.
To those that feel that English versions of the Bible have changed the names of the early Jewish converts to Christianity to
English names, I would say: Well, praise God for translators!
Jesus, and His disciples,
all read and quoted from the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament. So much for any argument on the exclusive use of Jewish names. However, there are significant differences in the translations of the Septuagint and the Masoretic text. Which one is flawed? The Septuagint? Then why did
Jesus, His disciples and the early church fathers read and quote it? Or is the Masoretic text to be
considered flawed because it doesnt always read the same as Jesus and the disciples read and
quoted in the Septuagint? In that case, how do we handle the issue of biblical inerrancy?
Jesus spoke Greek, Hebrew
and Aramaic. Was anybody there to hear what His parents called Him? In His final hours on the cross,
suffering great physical and emotional trauma, Jesus spoke in Aramaic. Why? Was He reverting back
to His childhood language? And was it Aramaic, commonly called Hebrew in association with the
Jews at that time? Or did they speak the Greek language? Unless there are 2,000 year old witnesses
alive to testify what they heard Joseph and Mary call Jesus, then all we can do is use our
human wisdomthat earthly, sensual and devilish thought process, and theorize about it.
There are some things that
are not black and white. Only God in His wisdom has the answers to our questions. We human beings
must learn to live with the tension of the greys in our lives, which we are loathe to
do, instead preferring human wisdom to neatly categorize, in our minds, the secret things that belong
to God (Deuteronomy 29:29).
Every country that has had
the Bible translated into their own language has changed every word in the original text in
order that the readers would understand it.
This gets back to the importance of language. I am an American. I read and understand and speak English. I did not have to learn
Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew in order to read the Bible. I am totally Americanized in clothes, names,
jewelry, culture, society, slang, marriage, customs and etc. I speak English to others who understand
my language and they speak English and I understand them. It is a great system! I do not intend to
study the etymology of each word in my vocabulary in order to make sure that I am not misunderstood
by what it may have meant originally hundreds of years ago.
That is a common mistake
in logic, i.e., mistaking a symbol for what it formerly symbolized. (Another mistake in logic is mistaking a symbol for what it does symbolize). Nor do I intend to study in order to translate the biblical
texts into my own known and understood language. There are people a lot smarter than I am who
have already done so.
Thats why I said
in my article (previously referred to:) God, in His wisdom, had the Bible written in contemporary, living, dynamic, changing languages to suit His purposes. His goal is for each one of us to have
a Bible to read to comprehend the Gospel of Jesus Christ for ourselves.
Also ... in my article
Israel and the Church: Gods Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: And
How About A Little Common Sense? under the subhead A Rose By Any
Other Name ... I said: There is no indication in scripture that God or Jesus must
be called by a specific name, much less pronounced in a specific manner, other than what you understand it to be in your own language as translated by reputable translators. In fact, if we had to use
a particular word and to say it in a particular way in order to be saved, it would put that practice into
the category of salvation by works. The Bible does not teach any part of our salvation by works.
Jesus Himself called
God Abba, father an Aramaic term conjoined with a Greek word. Paul the apostle
urged us to consider the viability of the idea. These biblical statements reduce the posturing of the
Sacred Name movement to semantic silliness.
One of the really funny
things about this words and names is that after centuries of foreign domination, language, culture and society, the Jews language changed to such an extent that the
Hebrew Roots, Sacred Name/Yahwehism Movements,
and some others, claim that certain books of the New Testament were written in Hebrew. But because
Aramaic was incorporated into their language it was called Hebrew by those early
church fathers who stated that fact. So those books (if in fact they were written in Aramaic) were
then translated into Greek.
Hey, how about me going
back to the original meaning and calling my car a horseless carriage! Or my fridge
an icebox or my fax a facsimile machine? Things change, situations
change, people change, languages change. As someone once said: The only constant in life
People all over the world
are making their concept of Jesus Christ to be anything they like based on their redefinition of biblical
terms. This concept was introduced by New Agers as a paradigm shift. This term has
been picked up by many contemporary Christian leaders, hopefully in ignorance. But I know who
Jesus is, the real historical, biblical Jesus. I hear many people say that My Jesus would (or
would not) do so-and-so. They are absolutely correct. Because their Jesus is not the Jesus
of historical and biblical records.
The ecumenical and New
Age God of the Bible has been redefined by recreating God in mans image. Im not
into New Age. Jesus Christ is my Saviour and Lord. The real Jesus Christ of history and the Bible.
Not what the New Agers and compromisers proclaim.
This article was posted on
Jack Van Impes web site for January 1, 2000:
ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE FALSELY ASSOCIATES JVIM WITH
FAR-RIGHT EVANGELICALS TO PROMOTE ANTI-GOVERNMENT AND, IN SOME
CASES, ANTI-SEMITIC THEORIES AND BELIEFS TO SUPPORT THEIR VISION OF THE END
A Nov. 9, 1999
article from the Anti-Defamation League entitled Y2K and the Apocalypse attempted to link Dr. Van
Impe, Hal Lindsey, Chuck Missler, and other supporters of Israel and the Jewish people with
anti-government and anti-Jewish factions.
Jack Van Impes
article concluded with this statement: Christian persecution is just around the corner
friendseven from such an unlikely source!
In that article mentioned
on Jack Van Impes website from the Anti-Defamation Leagues website at
http://www.adl.org/y2k/apocalypse.html in an article I found this statement: ...messianic
Jewish group (Jews who have not formally converted to Christianity but believe Jesus is the Messiah)
In checking out a Statement
of Faith of one on-line Messianic Congregation this is what I found:
What does Congregation
We stand by these basic
We believe in one G-d as declared in the Shma (Deut. 6:4), who is Echad
(a compound unity) and eternally existent in three persons: G-d, the Father, G-d, the Son, and G-d,
the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) (Is. 48:16-17, Gen 1:1, Ex. 3:6, Eph. 4:4-6).
We believe in Messiah Yeshuas (Jesus) deity (Is. 9:6, John 1:1,4), His virgin birth (Is.
7:14), His sinless life, His atoning death (Is. 53, Ps. 22), His bodily resurrection, His ascension, and
His future return in power and glory.
We believe that the Bible, consisting of the Tanach (Old Covenant Scriptures) and the
Brit Chadasha (New Covenant Scriptures), is the inspired, infallible, and authoritative
Word of G-d (Ps 119:89, Prov. 30:5-6, 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
We believe in G-ds eternal covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We, therefore,
stand with and support the Jewish people and the State of Israel and hold fast to the Biblical heritage
of our forefathers.
So there is a problem here
in that Messianic Congregations and members are Jews who have not formally converted
to Christianity but believe Jesus is the Messiah ...and hold fast to the Biblical heritage
of our forefathers. While hold fast to the Biblical heritage of our forefathers
sounds principled, it appears to manifest as some type of modified Judaism. I hope no one has a
problem with the Anti-Defamation Leagues
definition of a Messianic Jew. I cant think of a more pro-Jewish organization.
Praise God that He has led
me in my research to what the real root of the problem is.
Messianic Jews insist on
maintaining a separate identify away and apart from the ekklesia of God. And they insist on
simply adding Jesus to their modified version of Judaism.
Somewhere the message
of Christ has failed to penetrate that partial hardening and blindness
that Paul talked about.
Could this have something
to do with the language problem of confusing the word Christianity with the true
ekklesia of God? Which really stems from confusing Christianity with
Romanism? I think there is a problem there.
Christians in America and elsewhere in the world are leaving the institutional
Romanized churches because they have recognized the scriptural errors inherent in
those institutions. They have come to recognize that they are the ekklesia of God and not
Christians as the numerous ecumenical councils now redefine the term. Many start
house or home churches. Others simply forsake the assembling of themselves.
For the same reason, perhaps
the so-called Messianic Jews shy away from Christianity because of
We must all become the
ekklesia of God to be truly separated from a worldly lifestyle.
And, yes, I understand the
rebellion of the Jews against those they identify as Christians because of the horrible
persecution they have had to, and continue to, suffer. While I am totally sympathetic at the same time
I realize that every unsaved person has their arsenal of reasons why they hate Christ, and the Bible
and Christians and anything to do with God.
Before I was saved I was
an early American heathen, pagan practicing, sometimes anointed sinner who hated God and the
mention of Christ and all that the church stood for. I believed in things that I now know
were occultic and some which today we call New Age. While I was never an active participant in
those occultic and New Age concepts, I did passively entertain that mindset.
Many unsaved persons
profane the name of Christ, and the concept of God most vehemently. And some with considerable
hatred because of what they experienced in a church at some time. Of course the
suffering of the Jews was on a far greater scale, however, the hatred of Jesus and God runs just as
high among non-Jews.
When I accepted Jesus Christ
as my Saviour, Lord, Master, Redeemer and Creator I had to give up all my former heathen, pagan
practices, sinning, hating God and Christ and the church and occultic beliefs. And I had to forsake
that mindset in pursuit of the mind of Christ.
And over a period of time,
I became a Christian, part of the ekklesia of God.
And I could not bring all
my former heathen, pagan, sinners, occultic attitude into Christianity with me.
In fact, the old man was
supposed to be dead. However, I had to fight him trying to come back to life. Still working on it
1. Is it OK to bring my
heathen, pagan, sinner, occultic New Age mindset, customs, cultures, societal influences and etc.
and the old man, who was supposed to be dead, into Christianity with me?
2. In answer to either
yes or no to question number 1, why, or why not?
All I need is a
yes or no, and a why/why not explanation of that
yes or no.
Maybe in reasoning out
answers to those two questions it will bring my point home.
Im either a part of
the ekklesia of God or Im on the outside, looking in. I cant be a member of
the ekklesia of God with all the manifestations of my former worldly lifestyle. I must conform
all of those things to the New Testament teachings of Jesus and the apostles relative to what Jesus
taught and what constitutes the kingdom of God.
Sure, there are a lot of
problems with the concept of what church is in this country (and others). Read the
rest of the stuff on my Myths page. I have a lot to say about the subject.
The Gentile esteems and
romances his institutionalized Romanism practices in his church. The Messianic Jew esteems and
romances his Judaistic practices in his synagogue. We play a game of Can you top this?
in remarkable displays of semantic proficiency and quoting scriptures out of biblical context. Superhuman efforts are made to convince the other camp that they are in an inferior position
in Gods economy. In all of this, we are really majoring on minors.
There are terrible, horrible
deficiencies in the ekklesia of God today. And the mindset that you can be part of the
ekklesia of God by claiming everybody has to be a practitioner of Gentile Romanism or a
Jewish wannabe is just a small part of it.
Its like mixing
together a can of black paint and a can of white paint. Notice the first thing you need is a bigger can
to contain both. You now get a different color of paint in a bigger can. ... for to make in himself of twain one new man ...
You now have a new concept of what constitutes a can of paint. Its a different color and its in a bigger can.
Yet the black paint cries
out that in order to be a true can of paint that you must be all black paint, and in a smaller can.
And the white paint cries
out that in order to be a true can of paint that you must be all white paint, and in a smaller can.
However, the essential
ingredients comprising the color of that new can of paint have been chemically altered by combining
them, and then pouring them into a new can, so that it is no longer two separate components.
It is, in fact, still a can of
paint. With a new color, and in a bigger can. But its still a can of paint.
There are monumental issues
of the heart and head that must be taught and preached in both camps in order to bring healing and
restoration to the body of Christ, in order for us to be the ekklesia of God.
Our focus must be on Jesus
Christ and Him crucified and on the eternal purpose of God. A persons understanding of what
those things are will be determined by how well those concepts are communicated to that person.
In their own language, in their own culture, in their own society and etc. And at their own level of
understanding within those parameters.
In an exchange of dialogue
with those who are not the ekklesia of God, we must teach them the new lifestyle of the
ekklesia of God with its new culture, society, economy, authority structure, with new
traditions, values, beliefs, attitudes and habits. And to speak the same spiritual language by becoming
disciples of Jesus Christ. We must then urge them to separate themselves from their cherished practices and/or worldly lifestyle and instruct them in how to enter into the kingdom of God and
Gods ekklesia. In other words, we must teach biblical righteousness and preach repentance in order to bring personal healing and restoration unto God to them (Matthew 4:23; 9:35).
They, and we, will never
enter into the kingdom of God and become the ekklesia of God by doing our own thing. The
New Testament is transparently clear in its teachings of one body of believers in the ekklesia
of God. There are no fringe groups in Gods ekklesia out there doing their own
There is love, life and liberty
in the ekklesia of God. Within scriptural parameters we have freedom to be all that we, personally, can be in Christ. There is no old dead, dry, dusty legalistic stuff that we can attempt to follow
as a formula or a ritual and bring with us into the ekklesia of God.
The cherished practices
and/or worldly lifestyles that we, as individuals, give up for New Testament practices as taught by
Jesus and that relate to the kingdom of God are all part of Pauls teachings on unity in diversity.
That is to say, we are diverse in the things that we have to give up.
And we are diverse in the
things that we must retrain ourselves in to become in Christ following His teachings
and becoming one with Him and a citizen of the kingdom of God. This will bring strength to the
ekklesia of God.
In no way, am I suggesting
that we must become cookie cutter Christians in order to be the ekklesia of
God. When we gather together, each of us will still continue to be as unique as our Creator has made
We are still different in
every imaginable aspect of the totality of our beings. Nothing can change that on this side of glory.
Different bodies, different soulswe all think, feel and choose highly
individualisticallybut we are of one Spirit. We should find strength in that diversity of personalities, ideas, creativity, natural abilities, learned skills and spiritual giftings and callings.
Instead, our diversities are
now weakening us. And that ought not to be so.