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Monday, 13 October 2014

The Ekklesia is not a Building

On a street corner near you.
On a street corner near you.
Hmm... If I am the church, then what is this?
Hmm... If I am the church, then what is this?
Portable Tabernacle
Portable Tabernacle
What happens when someone is saved and there is no “local” modern church in their area? What are they to do when there is no “church” to go to with other Christians in it? If you do not attend “church” on Sunday, then you might not be considered a believer at all. If you are one of those people, do not fret; the Word of God will reveal who, or what the “local church” really is.

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. – 1 Corinthians 3:9

This verse does not say that we are in a building, but we are “God’s building.”

Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? – Acts 7:48-49

In the Old Testament, the Israelite's had a portable tabernacle, but when King Solomon built the first fixed one the result was that it became a worship place of other pagan gods. To this day, man is still trying to erect their own "temples” of worship and say that is the place where you can go and meet God. They do this in in the name of God, but the fact is that over time, through the diaprax of compromise, the “local” modern church will conform the traditions of man, and the idolatry that becomes more about about the man-made building and the agenda within it.
Stephen was stoned for speaking against the Jewish temple.


This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.- Acts 6:13-14

Today, you will most likely be called a heretic for saying that there is no need for a “church” building for people to go into to worship Jesus Christ. We do not need to go to a temple, tabernacle, synagogue, or “church” building to meet God and have the truth dispensed to us from a pulpit or platform from the “priest class” to a passive audience.The true and genuine ekklesia are not supposed to be a permanent fixture on a prime piece of real estate in your local neighborhood, but is to be portable in nature. It is supposed to go out to the hurt and the lost, not the other way around. The modern "church" expects the lost to come to them to find truth. Where in the New Testament does it say to erect a building and invite the lost to come into it? The true believers (ekklesia) are living stones who are supposed to go out and save the lost. Saved souls are the ekklesia.

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. - 1 Peter 2:5

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

The verse says, “Which temple ye are,” not which temple ye attend. There is a very clear distinction in this verse. The people that go to the modern “local churches” display completely different behaviors when they are in the "church" building. They are on good behavior so that they will not defile themselves in such a “holy” place. The carnal “Christians” carry on in their behaviors during the week, but on Sunday in the church building, they are “plastic fantastic.” If they would truly understand that their bodies are the church/tabernacle of God they might behave differently. What you choose to do “in church,” at home, or out on the town should be considered the same thing. If you smoke, drink, and fornicate at home, you are doing it in the church because you are the church.

Are you “in church” just on Sundays, or are you the ekklesia all the time?

There is a big difference. To most people, their "church" life is summed up on one, or two days a week “in church.” Many people have asked me, “Where do you go to church?” My reply is, “How do you go to church if you are the ekklesia?” I often get this blank stare from them as they think I must be out of my mind. The fact is, I am one of the ekklesia seven days a week.
Church Board
Church Board
"How can we get more people in the door?"
"How can we get more people in the door?"
The "church" building is a hungry “beast” that has a ferocious appetite for the monetary. There are expenses such as, the mortgage, building maintenance, clergy/staff salaries, lawn/landscape maintenance, utilities, etc.., which must be kept up. The list could go on and on. How much of the monetary is applied to getting to know Jesus Christ more intimately, learning Scripture, and GOING OUT to the hurt, needy, and lost. Most of the typical “pew warmers” know very little about Scripture at all. All that they consume is the “cotton candy” that the pastor spews from the pulpit to tickle their ears. The false doctrine of tithing is promoted to manipulate those into filling the offering baskets. The announcements are all about getting volunteers to sign up for the endless “to do” list that is all about what goes on IN THE BUILDING.

Do these type of behaviors really develop a more mature intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, or is it more about the relationship with the "church" building?

The incorporated "church" system has failed because it runs on a worldly system of operation. It has become all about the bottom line where the board members run the activities of the "church" entity. The ekklesia are people whose activities are run by the working of the Holy Spirit in them. Waiting for a priesthood to do things for you will lead to a dead end. You must learn by the guiding of the Holy Spirit that to learn to seek out truth for yourself. The “local” modern "church" that markets products and services does not offer the true gospel; they have turned the true Gospel into a business instead.
"Open wide, here comes the choo choo train!”
"Open wide, here comes the choo choo train!”
Is the Gospel about having a store front? When the salvation message is preached over and over each week in church to get the random couple, or person saved so that they can become members, it is essentially about obtaining a licence to tap into their wallets. There are people who want to consume solid food, but they are not getting it. The CEO (pastor) is too busy trying to fill the pews so that he can go home with a paycheck. The pastor is not supposed to have all the answers; instead, each one of us should be studying the Bible on our own and weighing and testing to see if what the pastor says is actually truth.

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. – 2 Timothy 2:1-2

Pastors are supposed feed the flock solid food. The ekklesia are not supposed to get it from one sole person, but from others too. We must learn to compare and contrast Scripture with the words of men among many witnesses. No one person is infallible. If pastors neglect to feed the flock proper food, then the flock will not mature and grow to learn how to find food for themselves, or others. Unfortunately, the modern "church" is filled with adults that need to be spoon fed. The pastor has to say, “Here comes the choo choo train!” so he can spoon feed the pabulum into their mouths. The "pew warmers" do not know how to function as “living stones.” If you cannot feed yourself and others, you will be useless in expanding the kingdom of God.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. – Revelation 3:20

And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water. – Exodus 29:4

These two verses reveal two different doctrines to two different people groups. Aaron, who was the high priest of the Levite priesthood had control of the door of the tabernacle to the Israelite congregation. In contrast, Jesus Christ is our High Priest and we (the ekklesia) are the tabernacle. We do not need a priesthood to open the door for us, all we have to do is open the door and let Jesus Christ in ourselves. The Pope, or pastor will make you believe it is only them who can open the door for you. The truth is that you are the one who is in control.

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus – Hebrews 3:1

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. – Hebrew 4:14-15

Jesus Christ knows what we are personally going through in our lives and truly understands us because He went through all the temptations, trials, and tribulations as a man also. He can be our High Priest because He made it through without sinning. No clergy member can claim the infallibility of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ washes us with His blood, not via the priesthood.

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. – Revelation 1:5-6

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. – Ephesians 5:25-27

Our physical bodies are the temple, Jesus Christ is the High Priest, and we are washed by His blood and cleansed by the Word of God. His blood washes our sins away and we stay clean by washing ourselves in His Word. It is living according to His standards. You cannot know His standards by not studying them. Sitting passively in a modern "church" pew is not going to wash and cleanse you in the Word of God.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. – Psalm 119:9
Spending time studying the Word is so much more important than your social status in the "church." Your social status with Jesus Christ should take precedence. We are His dwelling place. We are the building. We are the church. If you believe the “church” is where you go, then you have been deceived. Making a place in your mind and heart for Jesus Christ is not in the "church" building, but among the ekklesia.
The modern "church" has forsaken the Gospel for the all-inclusive social club that takes place in the building.

Do you go to church, or are you among the ekklesia?

Jesus Christ never mentioned that we are to join a "church" building and become members in some denomination. What He did say is that we are to be separate. Even the Israelite's who were the distinct people of God, were to be holy and separate from the heathen nations. Shouldn't we also separate ourselves from the traditions of man?
The modern “church” has become like the Jewish synagogue centers of worship, with the "clergy" teaching the "laity" the things of God. True Christianity has been lost in the traditions of man that believe that you must go to "church," rather than being the ekklesia. We are the tabernacle of God. Going to the "church" has become idolatry. The modern "churches" are eating off the table of Satan. God destroyed the Jewish temple two times, and He will do it again because it will honor the Antichrist, instead of Jesus Christ. The modern "churches" have erected their own “temples” for men and have become an abomination to God.
The pastors in the modern "church" are honoring themselves and their legacies, and history reveals that this behavior will bring wrath and judgement. King Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed Babylon in honor of his majesty, but God made him to eat grass like an ox. Restoration to God only comes from giving Him all the thanksgiving and glory. The modern "church" will hate you for truth, but will only love you as long as you do not hinder their cash flow. Just like Israel, the modern "church" has taken Canaanite women as wives. The result is that their offspring have become genetically debased and Godless.
A true believer in Jesus Christ is the true temple of Jesus Christ. Do not fall for the man-made counterfeit.


God's Vision for His Ekklesia is not a Changeable Commodity

http://planksandnails.hubpages.com/hub/Church-Vision-Fixed-or-Changeable

The "switcher"
The "switcher"
The modern "church's" vision for you.
The modern "church's" vision for you.

God's Vision vs. Man's Vision

The only vision that the ekklesia should have is what comes from Jesus Christ. Most modern “church’s” version of vision comes from the imaginations of men to succeed as a business. The “vision” is created to appeal to a certain target audience to draw (seeker friendly) those to into the “four walls.” When the “church” starts to grow it is touted as evidence that God must doing something in their midst, which is then advertised as, “Come and see what God is doing in our building by joining us in His dynamic plan for us.”
God doesn't have multiple changeable plans for His ekklesia. It is not based on what street corner, or piece of real estate the building is on.
For those who attend the building that they call the “church,” it might come as a surprise to know that most of their "church” growth comes from people who have switched from going from some other building to their building.There is a huge difference between becoming a church member versus being born again. What many attribute as “church” growth is in fact is simply false advertising.
When the vision of the ekklesia is looked at more closely in the Bible, it reveals that it is not a dynamic thing that must constantly change to appeal to cultural norms, but is fixed in nature, given once and for all. Vision is about what God has said He is going to do, not about what man says he is going to do. True vision, when it is discovered is something specific to all followers of Jesus Christ, and does not cater to the wants of specific denominations that must have their own unique “vision” from God.

Nope, it's all about Jesus Christ.
Nope, it's all about Jesus Christ.
The temple veil is torn.
The temple veil is torn.
Ask about the Pastor perks and entitlements.
Ask about the Pastor perks and entitlements.

God's Vision has already been Communicated

Many have been falsely taught that in order to become part of the ekklesia that a pastor must first have a special “vision” from God in order to lead His people. The Bible reveals that that there is only one vision and it applies to all followers of Jesus Christ.

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. – Proverbs 29:18

This verse reveals that keeping the Law was the vision. If one did not keep the Law, there would be no vision; it was that simple. It was not some continual ongoing process in searching for “God’s will,” or something that was always changing, but was made crystal clear on the onset.
When Jesus Christ died on the cross there was a change that took place.The temple buildings with all their magnificent splendor and religious experience would be in contention with the true Gospel. The followers of Jesus Christ who were part of establishing the Early Ekklesia endured persecution and death for contesting man’s way of doing things. God had done away with the temple system when Jesus Christ become the foundation of the Gospel. Unfortunately, the modern “church” still promotes the man-made religious temple system with a “vision” that promotes syncretism with the ways of the world.
The foolishness comes from the sophistry that glorifies man and his wisdom. The modern “church’s” vision of growth is a vain philosophy that does not create converts, but membership. They advertise to the world to come to them so they can dispense their wares. Scripture reveals God's true vision that is in opposition to the ways of man.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness – 1 Corinthians 1:22-23


Gloss or Gospel?

The Gospel should never be about baiting the world with enticements, but about Christ crucified. The true Gospel in the modern “church” has been removed because it is not politically correct and would ruffle too many feathers. They do not want to be portrayed as offensive and foolish to the unbelieving world; it is bad for business. “Church” has become about a meeting of the masses that caters to the unsaved.
If the true Gospel was actually preached, it would most likely be offensive to the unsaved visitor because the gate is narrow. The modern “gospel” is a watered down version of the real thing, or is replaced completely with “cotton candy” to avoid offending their target audience.

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. – 1 Corinthians 1:1-2

It should be crystal clear what the vision of the ekklesia is, and that it applies to all who are followers of Jesus Christ; they are the ones who have heard the internal call of God and accepted Him. The ekklesia understands that it is not about them, but about Him. It is not about being entertained, but about the Gospel, the Word of God, fellowship, communion and prayer.
The nature of the modern “church” has become like a carnival that uses the latest parlor tricks to gloss over the eyes of the masses. True believers will desire pure teaching from the Word of God rather than capitulating to the unconverted pagan ideologies to become more appealing to everyone.

The modern “church” is a gathering of the “church” that is not the ekklesia. The true ekklesia DOES NOT cater to an audience that is not the ekklesia.

If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. – 1 Corinthians 14:23-25

The Ekklesia are Believers

The Gospel is about the conviction of sin via the Holy Spirit, it is not about the unbeliever feeling good about himself. The ekklesia is about the assembly of believers, not the assembly of pagan un-convicted unbelievers. The ekklesia are about the assembly of those who are redeemed, not about being seeker friendly to attract, entertain and make unbelievers comfortable. That is why many who define “church” and “vision” do so in contradiction with Scripture.
The modern “church” has become more about professional career advancement and accolades to facilitate the “vision” of growth than about faithfully preaching the vision God has already given us in His Word. This modern “vision” is devoid and in contention with the true Gospel because it is focused on man instead of Jesus Christ. Consistency of the counsel of God’s Word has been replaced with compromise baiting people with entertainment and distractions of side shows that results in idolatry.
The masses in the modern “church” have no idea of God’s wrath that is coming for those who do not accept the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
The vision of the ekklesia is not about the transitioning visions of man, but about the finished work of Jesus Christ. The true remnant that is on earth today will not be a part of the “vision” of the modern “church.” Jesus Christ promised He would build His ekklesia and He will not let us down. He is coming for His Bride who is going to be without spot or blemish. Let us cry out and plea before God for those who are consumed with deception that their eyes will open, and they will repent of their ways.
Pulpit peacock
Pulpit peacock

Membership or Conversion?

When the “church” focuses on a few select teachers who have their own ideas of how we need to change the way the "church" is to function, it should sound off a whole pile of alarm bells. The genuine ekklesia goes out to the hurt, lost and needy by representing the Gospel. It is not about advertising to get them to come into a building. Many do not have a clue whether a pastor, or teacher is speaking truth because they have not gone afterwards to see that it fits with the Word of God. It is our responsibility to do this. Many who peacock around the pulpit in the modern “church” do not dig into the meat of God’s Word, but tickle the ears of the masses with their sophistry. Money in the offering plates is more important than promoting a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The “church” building’s lifes blood is running as a business. The ekklesia's life blood is the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Tithes and offerings are heavily promoted because most of it is about self-maintenance, which include salaries and overhead costs. The organization has taken away the true functioning of the ekklesia for the self-absorbance of membership. The modern “church” is about becoming a successful business organization that has no real genuine contact with the lost at all. In contrast, the true vision of the ekklesia is about the organization of followers of Jesus Christ going out with a mission of hope, peace and purpose to a dying world.
Why is it that many simply do not understand that you have to leave the building in order to be obedient to the vision that God has given His ekklesia?
God has ordained ordinary people to do the extraordinary, not the selected “anointed” elite because He wants His name to be glorified over man. The traditions of man steal the vision that God has given all of His people. If many would come back to the simplicity of the Gospel there would be revival. Simple Christianity, without all the religion, looks a whole lot different than the modern version of “church.” The New Testament reveals precisely what the true ekklesia should look like and how it should function. It allows the Holy Spirit to move without the traditions of man getting in the way.
People pleaser.
People pleaser.

The Ekklesia

The simplicity of true vision is about being a family unit. It is not about programs, but a way of living connected with the company of friends with the purpose of pursuing God in the community. It is about saying, “Lord Jesus here we are, what do you want us to do?” The true ekklesia are open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. – Acts 2:42

The ekklesia is about sharing the material and spiritual blessings that God has given to each one of us. Nothing is done for a certain “esteemed” individual, but is about each person functioning with the purpose of helping and taking care of one other. It is about the partaking and consuming of God’s Word by engagement and dialogue, not as passive mute pew warmers. It is about everybody sharing the things that they have discovered on their own. It is about challenging and encouraging everyone to function as ministers, not spectators.

How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. – 1 Corinthians 14:26

Everyone who is among the ekklesia is a person who has something to contribute and offer; otherwise, we would be missing out on what God is doing in His people. It is a lifestyle of wanting to contribute, and being responsible with the unique gifting’s God has given each one of us. It is not something that is led by man from an elevated podium, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit over the whole group. It is finding the fullness of God through the whole body (kids involved too), not through a sole professional salaried individual.
The modern “church” has become an indoor spectator sport that does not allow the participation of everyone. The “good” man-made intentions in the modern “church” does not glorify the body of Christ because it does not allow each “living stone” to function, nor does it help disciple those into the ministry that God has called them to. It should be obvious that the true vision of the ekklesia would greatly interfere, and be in contention with man-made professional programs.

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:5

Discipleship

The modern “church’s” vision is to attract an audience rather than raising an army of disciples. Jesus Christ is not to be the honored guest at a gathering, but the conductor and master of ceremonies. We are to listen to Him and find out what He wants us to do with our gifts and calling. When the standard of Scripture is adhered to, it will spill into the local community.

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 3:10-11

The true vision of the ekklesia is simple. It is allowing the grace of God to manifest in each person’s life, and being open to being obedient to hearing Him with all the details that come with being part of His body. Each one of us has a responsibility through God's grace to make disciples who understand the principles of seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and know that this is infinitely greater than pursuing the things of the world.