Ekklesia, Citizens of the Kingdom

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In contrast, the word Jesus actually used was "ekklesia" a completely different concept.

The idea or concept of church started after Christ's Ascension. There was no church in the old testament and no church in the gospels. During the two temple periods, the male Israelites were obligated to go to Jerusalem (or some other place as instructed) three times per year. (Deuteronomy 16:16) Otherwise, there is no record of formal worship services. Jesus never attended a "church" service or a "church".

Strong's definition (and many experts agree) largely reflects what the word has come to mean today, not what it meant at the time it was used.

01577 1577 ekklesia ek-klay-see'-ah from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):--assembly, church. see GREEK for 1537 see GREEK for 2564

The currently accepted meaning of "church" developed over time, along with the words "Christian" and "Gospel of Salvation". None of these words or ideas existed at the time of Christ, so could not have been His intended teachings.

Following is how the word was actually used at the time of Christ:

The ecclesia or ekklesia (Greek: ἐκκλησία) was the assembly of the citizens in the democratic city-states of ancient Greece.

see wikipedia here

see Britannica here

Ekklesia is NOT "church", it is not religious. It's the difference between members and citizens. Some might accuse me of playing loose with semantics but I hope to show otherwise. Churches have "members" and doctrines and beliefs (religion). Kingdoms have "citizens" and laws and allegiance (government).

Most of the new testament uses of church, are correctly and actually ekklesia (citizens of the kingdom or the assembly of citizens). Paul, primarily, and not until the books of Corinthians, is the one author who either uses "church of God" incorrectly or as a euphemism for Kingdom of God (it's difficult to tell his intent). But Paul didn't walk with the Master for 3 1/2 years and hear the numerous references to kingdom reported 121 times by the gospel writers.

The following verse is one of the few in which ekklesia is NOT mistranslated "church". It is more correctly translated "assembly" (closer to "citizens").

Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly [ekklesia] was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. Acts 19:32

Paul and Silas weren't "church builders" as claimed. They weren't converting people from one church or synagogue to another. They were building the kingdom! They were overthrowing Caesar's government.

But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them [Paul and Silas] out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Cæsar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. Acts 17:5-7

Church and members and woman and bride are (incorrectly) all used synonymously. Ekklesia are the citizens, the kingdom is now, but it is not yet the bride. The bride is the kingdom (not the citizens) after it is prepared for the wedding. The kingdom and its citizens are already NOW, the wedding and bride are still future when Christ will be joined with his prepared city / kingdom / government, the bride. This wedding takes place after the millenium when the Holy City, as a bride, descends to Earth (Revelation 21:2).

The church, as we understand it today, is an artificial religious construct. Body of believers is a concept arising from artificial corporate law. It is the system by which a group is treated as a single (artificial) person. It treats multiple people as a collective single person. The word "corporation" derives from corpus, the Latin word for body, or a "body of people". see wikipedia - corporation

"Church" has become the selfish egotistical application of the gospel of salvation (personal salvation). It answers "How can I be saved?". It's about MY personal salvation. The gospel of salvation is not wrong, it just isn't the more important gospel preached by the Christ, who continuously taught the concept of the gospel of the Kingdom.

I suspect that the apostles found it easier to "sell" the gospel of salvation than the gospel of the kingdom, just as we do today.

Ekklesia is the assembly of citizens of the City of God, his kingdom. It COULD equally be used to represent the citizens of Babylon, the City of Satan, but so far, has not.

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