Biblical Definitions – Church

Church

Church is translated from εκκλησία ‘ekklēsia’ which is a compound of εκ ‘ek’ meaning “out from” and κλησία ‘klesia’ meaning “call out”.  Thus εκκλησία ‘ekklēsia’ has the meaning of a“called out” group of individuals.  This corresponds with the Hebrew word קהל ‘qahal’ meaning one who hears the voice of the Shepherd.  The church is the “called out” or “chosen” people of God who have heard the voice of THE Good Shepherd (John 10:1-14).

 

CHURCH from the Catholic Concordance
The name given the “convocation” or “assembly” of the People God has called together from “the ends of the earth.” In Christian usage, the word “Church” has three inseparable meanings the People that God gathers in the whole world; the particular or local church (diocese); and the liturgical (above all Eucharistic) assembly. The Church draws her life from the Word and the Body of Christ, and so herself becomes Christ’s Body (752). In the Creed, the sole Church of Christ is professed to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic (811).

The Biblical meaning of the word means an assembly.  The Old Covenant ‘church’ was “born” at Mt. Sinai.

King James Version

Act 7:36  He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
Act 7:38  This is he
(Moses), that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: Exo 24:7-8

William Tyndale 1534
Act 7:38 This is he that was in ye congregacion in the wyldernes with the angell which spake to him in ye moute Syna and with oure fathers. This man receaved the worde of lyfe to geve vnto vs

Geneva 1587
Act 7:38  This is he that was in the Congregation, in the wildernes with the Angell, which spake to him in mount Sina, and with our fathers, who receiued the liuely oracles to giue vnto vs.

Congregation/church is translated from the following Greek word:

G1577 ἐκκλησία ekklēsia ek-klay-see’-ah
From a compound of G1537 and a derivative of G2564; a calling out, that is, (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.

Day of the assembly (church)
Deu 9:10  And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly {קהל ‘qahal’}.

H6951 קהל qâhâl qâhâl kaw-hawl From H6950; assemblage (usually concretely): – assembly, company, congregation, multitude.

The Septuagint translates קהל ‘qahal’ in this verse as ἐκκλησίας· ‘ekklesias’.

Deu 10:4  And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.
Deu 18:16  According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly , saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

A company (church) of gentiles was prophesied to come from Jacob

Gen 35:10  And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.
Gen 35:11  And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation
(גוי ‘goy’) and a company (קהל ‘qahal’ – church) of nations (גוים ‘goyim’ – gentiles) shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
Heb 2:12  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Tyndale 1534
Heb 2:12 sayinge: I will declare thy name vnto my brethren and in the myddes of the congregacio will I prayse the.

This verse in Hebrews is quoted from Psalm 22 referring to Israel.
Psa 22:22  I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

Heb 12:23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

The Geneva Bible translates the congregation of Israel as Church

Lam 1:10  The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation. {Authorized King James Version}

Lam 1:10  The enemie hath stretched out his hande vpon al her pleasant things: for she hath seene the heathen enter into her Sanctuarie, whom thou diddest commande, that they shoulde not enter into thy Church. {Geneva Bible}

Jesus used the phrase εκκλησία ‘ekklēsia’ to speak of those who would believe on Him.

Mat 16:18  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.

The New Covenant Church was “born” on the day of Pentecost following the resurrection of the Lord.

Act 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Act 2:5  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Act 2:6  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Act 2:7  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
Act 2:8  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Act 2:9  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Act 2:10  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
Act 2:11  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
Act 2:12  And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
Act 2:13  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Act 2:14  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
Act 2:15  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
Act 2:16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Act 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Act 2:18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Act 2:19  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Act 2:20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
Act 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Act 2:22  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Act 2:23  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Act 2:24  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
Act 2:25  For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
Act 2:26  Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
Act 2:27  Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Act 2:28  Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Act 2:29  Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
Act 2:30  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Act 2:31  He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Act 2:32  This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Act 2:33  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Act 2:34  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Act 2:35  Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
Act 2:36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Act 2:37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Act 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Act 2:40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Act 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Act 2:43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Act 2:44  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Act 2:45  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Act 2:46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

The Church is built up on the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

Mat 16:13  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Mat 16:14  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 16:18  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.
Mat 16:19  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.

1Co 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Eph 2:19  So, then, you are no longer strangers and tenants, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and of the family of God,
Eph 2:20  being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the cornerstone,
Eph 2:21  in whom all the building being fitted together grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
Eph 2:22  in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

1Co 3:11  For no one is able to lay any other foundation beside the One having been laid, who is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12  And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw,
1Co 3:13  the work of each will be revealed; for the Day will make it known, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire will prove the work of each, what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If the work of anyone which he built remains, he will receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If the work of anyone shall be consumed, he shall suffer loss; but he will be saved, but so as through fire.
1Co 3:16  Do you not know that you are a sanctuary of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1Co 3:17  If anyone corrupts the sanctuary of God, God will bring that one to corruption; for the sanctuary of God is holy, which you are.
1Co 3:18  Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks to be wise among you in this age, let him become foolish, that he may become wise.

1Co 3:20  And again, “The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are worthless.” LXX-Psa. 93:11; MT-Psa. 94:11
1Co 3:21  So let no one glory in men; for all things are yours,
1Co 3:22  whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours,
1Co 3:23  and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

The church is the pillar and ground of truth

1Ti 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

“WE have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.”  {Irenaeus Against Heresies Book III}

We believe in Jesus because of the word of the Apostles (John 17:20) which was given through the Spirit and handed down through the Church.

Joh 17:20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Act 2:40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Act 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Act 4:4  Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
Rom 15:18  For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
Rom 15:19  Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Rom 16:24  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Rom 16:25  Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Rom 16:26  But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

The Church is Zion

Isa 28:16  So, the Lord Jehovah says this: Behold, I place in Zion a Stone for a foundation, a tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation; he who believes shall not hasten.

Rev 21:14  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Zion is the little guy in the Eye
Zec 2:7 Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.
Zec 2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. (little guy in the Eye – Psalm 17:8; Deuteronomy 32:9-10)

There is true Zion and there is false Zion. True Zion points the way to Messiah Jesus. False Zion points the way to the antichrist. (Matthew 7:13)

Zion is a picture of nomads (Psalm 39:12; 1 Peter 2:11) walking in the desert towards a mark.

Zion = The bride in the wilderness (Revelation 12:14). In the desert is where dragons reside (Deuteronomy 8:15). This is the place of warfare between the seeds (Genesis 3:15; Luke 10:19). It is only through abiding under the shadow of His Wings (Psalm 91) that we can overcome these enemies and enter the Kingdom.

Zion comes out of Babylon (Zechariah 2:7) which is linked to the wilderness as it will be a habitation of unclean creatures of the desert (Isaiah 34:13; Revelation 18:2).

Zion is the city of the great King. Who is this King? Jesus.

Psa_48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

Psa 149:2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Psa 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Psa 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Act 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Heb 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

The Gospel proclaims this Son, this King.

Isa 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Jesus is the LORD, the King of Israel

Isa 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Zec_9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Mat 21:5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Judaism denies the King

Luk 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Joh 19:15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

Judaism is a rebellious vineyard which rejects the King, the Son who is THE heir of the promises to Abraham (Galatians 3:16).

Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 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 Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Near the end of His ministry, the Jews asked the Messiah where He got His authority to do what He was doing in which He asked them about their belief in the baptism of John (Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:2-8). He then gave them the parable of the vineyard where the workers of the vineyard kill the servants of their Master and eventually His Son so that they can seize the inheritance (Matthew 21:28-41; Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-16). Messiah said they rejected the cornerstone and as a result they were to be rejected and the vineyard/kingdom would be given to others (believers in Messiah – Ephesians 3:8-12) (Matthew 21:42-44; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17-19).

The Lord Jesus warned believers of those who did not bring forth fruit after their “field” was given dung that their “tree” would be cut down (Luke 13:8-9). The “vineyard” that rejects Messiah Jesus and does not bring forth the fruit of His Word/Spirit will be destroyed (Matthew 21:33-43). This was also the warning of John the Baptist (Luke 3:8-9) {“Elijah message“}. Yet, if we seek His Face at all times (1 Chronicles 16:11) we will see Jesus (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6) and we will not be unfruitful (2 Peter 1:4-9).

Israel is likened to an olive tree in the Scriptures but due to their rejection of God’s love, He cast them away and ‘reformed’ them (Jeremiah 18:1-6). Messiah Jesus is the Olive tree. He is the root (Romans 11:16; Isaiah 6:13; Galatians 3:16; Colossians 2:7; Ephesians 3:17), the holy Firstfruit (1 Corinthians 15:52). He is the source of life (Acts 3:15; John 1:4). The branches of Israel come forth from Him (John 15:1-13). If we are not in Him, we are dried up and cast into the fire (John 15:5-6; Matthew 3:10; 7:19; 13:41). Let anyone who believes that genealogy without faith in Him makes you a part of the olive tree take heed.

The Word of God was committed to Israel, who was called to bring forth God’s glory/love to the world. Instead, Israel fell into idolatry and was cast into the nations. Judah was cast into Babylon but by God’s grace was allowed to return to the land with another opportunity to bring forth God’s message of love to the nations. Instead, Judah chose to form a religion which corrupted the message of God’s Word and instead of man being formed into His image, they were to be formed into the image of Judaism.

The fruit which Israel was called to produce was the ‘goodly’ fruit of His Word (Jeremiah 11:16). However, Israel did not produce this fruit but brought forth wicked fruit (Jeremiah 24:2-8). As a result, God brought fire upon this olive tree, breaking the branches thereof (Jeremiah 11:16-17).

The Hebrew word for ‘goodly’ in Jeremiah 11:16 is תאר ‘toar’ which means a shape, form, outline or figure of a thing. תאר ‘toar’ is a cognate of the word תורה ‘torah’ which literally means instruction which defines the border of a people or the ‘image’ of a people. תורה ‘torah’ is most commonly translated as ‘law.’ Here we see that Israel was to produce the fruit of His Law which would bring forth His image to the world. His Image is that of love (1John 4:8, 16; Matthew 22:35-40).

Israel did not bring forth this image of love (Luke 7:36-47; 10:27-37; 18:9-14). Although they were zealous for the law (Acts 21:20; 22:3), in their zealousness they corrupted its true meaning (Romans 10:2). They were outwardly religious, yet inwardly full of wickedness (Luke 11:39; 16:15; 20:47; Matthew 6:2-5, 16; 23:5, 25-27). They separated themselves from the peoples of the world, declaring anyone who didn’t worship God according to their traditions was an unclean heathen (John 4:9; 8:48; Acts 10:28).

By their traditions they had put up a dividing wall between themselves and others (Acts 21:28; Ephesians 2:14-15), preventing them from drawing nearer to God (Luke 11:52) as Israel was the custodians of His Word (Romans 3:2; John 4:22) which reveals His nature to mankind. It was their traditions which corrupted the Word of God (Matthew 15:2-9; Mark 7:3-13; Colossians 2:8) and perverted the message of His love to mankind, which led Jesus Christ to declare them as lawless (Matthew 23:28; John 7:19). It is because of this lack of love (Matthew 5:22; John 15:25) that the Lord was sent to Israel to separate the good trees from the bad (Malachi 3:2-3; 4:1; Matthew 3:10-12; Luke 3:9; John 15:2).

The inheritance was taken away from the bad trees and given to a nation that would produce the fruit of love which the Lord desires (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; 1 Peter 2:4-9; Galatians 3:1-29). Believers in Messiah became a ‘reformed’ Olive tree and were given the call to abide in Him (Hebrews 3:1-6), being formed into His image (Philippians 3:14-15; Ephesians 1:1-6; 1:17-23), bearing forth His fruit (2 Peter 1:5-9), called to bring forth God’s Gospel of love to the world (2 Timothy 1:9-11), revealing His image (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

The Greek word for ‘calling is κλῆσις ‘klēsis’ which is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word קרא ‘qara’ which, as mentioned above, is associated with manifesting God’s name/image on earth.

The promise to Abraham is to his Seed, the Messiah (Galatians 3:16) and His people (Galatians 3:26-29). Paul says that not all Israel which are of Israel (Romans 9:6) and that the promise is not through the flesh, but through the promise (Romans 9:8; Galatians 4:22-31), the sons of God – the joint heirs with Messiah (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:14-17).

Messiah also said that those who reject Him would lose their “nation” and it would be given to others (Matthew 21:41-43; 8:11-12), Scripture defines as believers in Messiah (1 Peter 2:9), and that the kingdom belongs to those who are born again (John 3:3-5). The inheritance was taken away from the bad trees and given to a nation that would produce the fruit of love which the Lord desires (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; 1 Peter 2:4-9; Galatians 3:1-29). If a follower of Judaism comes to believe in Messiah then they are grafted back in to the olive tree and return to the inheritance but otherwise I don’t see anywhere that a “cut off branch” still can claim the promises to Abraham.

Isa 62:11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
Isa 62:12 And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.

Jesus is the LORD with the reward

Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

The Holy Nation are those who believe in Jesus.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Who are the redeemed? Christians (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18; Revelation 5:9; 14:3-4; Galatians 3:13; 4:5).

Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Rev 14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
Rev 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

The promises/inheritance to Abraham belongs to the redeemed in Christ.

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Rom 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Eph 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him,
Eph 1:18 the eyes of your mind having been enlightened, for you to know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Act 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Act 26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
Act 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Act 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me

It is King Jesus the LORD, that brings the redeemed to the land.

Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Jer 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Jer 23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
Jer 23:8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

The “Church” is the Household of God

1Ti 3:15  But if I delay, that you may know how to behave in the house of God, which is the assembly of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

His People are His Temple
1Co 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
1Co 3:10  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.
1Co 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1Co 6:19  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 your own?

Rev 3:12  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

The Saints are the HOUSE of God

Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Israel is defined as His saints
Psa 148:14  He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.
Psa 149:1  Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation (קהל ‘qahal’
church)
of saints.

The children of Zion are His saints
Psa 149:2  Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

Saints are His body
Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

His Temple

Exo 25:8  And let them make a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell in their midst.
2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

The word for sanctuary in the above verse in Exodus 25 is מקדש ‘miqdash’ which comes from the root קודש ‘qodesh’ meaning holy.

Saints=the chosen people

1Pe 2:5  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.
1Pe 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

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

Eze 37:27  My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Eze 43:9  Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.
Lev 26:12  And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
Exo 29:45  And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.
Zec 2:10  Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Eph 3:17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
1Jo 4:12  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1Jo 4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1Jo 4:14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
1Jo 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1Jo 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1Jo 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

From looking at the connection of the word saint and the word church it can be seen that the ‘Church’ is the assembly/congregation/body of Messiah.  It is also a building, the household of God.  A house not made with hands.

The Church is His Body

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Rom 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Gal 3:28  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 Jesus.

1Co 12:12  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 is Christ.
1Co 12:13  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.
1Co 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many.

The Saints are His Body

Eph 4:11  And indeed He gave some to be apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12  with a view to the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ,
Eph 4:13  until we all may come to the unity of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
Eph 4:14  so that we may no longer be infants, being blown and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the sleight of men, in craftiness to the deceit of error,
Eph 4:15  but speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, the Christ,
Eph 4:16  from whom all the body, having been fitted and compacted together through every assisting bond, according to the effectual working of one measure in each part, produces the growth of the body to the building up of itself in love.
Eph 4:17  Therefore, I say this, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk even as also the rest of the nations walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18  having been darkened in the intellect, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance which is in them because of the hardness of their heart,
Eph 4:19  who, having cast off all feeling, gave themselves up to lust, to the working of all uncleanness with greediness.
Eph 4:20  But you have not so learned Christ,
Eph 4:21  if indeed you heard Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus.

Eph 4:22  For you have put off the old man, as regards the former behavior, having been corrupted according to the deceitful lusts,
Eph 4:23  and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
Eph 4:24  and to put on the new man, which according to God was created in righteousness and true holiness.
Eph 4:25  Therefore, putting off the false, “speak truth each with his neighbor,” because we are members of one another.
Zech. 8:16

One Head

Hos 1:11  Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
Col 1:18  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 the preeminence.

The Church is His Bride

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Rev 21:9  And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Rev 21:10  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Rev 21:11  Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
Rev 21:12  And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

 

Origin of the word Church

Some have claimed, based upon a similarity in sound, that the word Church derives from the pagan goddess ‘Circe.’  They do sound alike, but ‘church’ doesn’t have anything etymological in common with ‘Circe’.  The English word “church” originally meant “place of the master.”

Catholic Encyclopedia 1908
Church, The
The term church (Anglo-Saxon, cirice, circe; Modern German, Kirche; Sw., Kyrka) is the name employed in the Teutonic languages to render the Greek ekklesia (ecclesia), the term by which the New Testament writers denote the society founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ.  . The derivation of the word has been much debated. It is now agreed that it is derived from the Greek kyriakon (cyriacon), i. e. the Lord’s house, a term which from the third century was used, as well as ekklesia, to signify a Christian place of worship

Under the heading of “church” in the original 1828 Webster’s Dictionary, we find the following:

“Church, n. [Sax. Circe, circ or cyric; Scots, kirk, which retains the Saxon pronunciation; D. Kerk; G. Kirche; Se. Kyrchia; Dan. Kirke; Gr. Kuriokon, a temple of God, from kuriakos, pertaining to a Lord, or to our Lord Jesus Christ, from kurios, a Lord; Russ. Tzerkou.] .1 A house consecrated to the worship of God, among christians; the Lord’s house. This seems to be the original meaning of the word. The Greek ekklesia, from ekkalew, to call out or call together, denotes an assembly or collection. But kuriakos, kuriakon, are from kurios, Lord, a term applied by the early christians to Jesus Christ; and the house in which they worshipped was named from that title. So kuriaka signifies church goods, bona ecclesiastica; kuriakh, sc hmera, the Lord’s day, dies dominica. 2. The collective body of christians, or of those who profess to believe in Christ, and acknowledge him to be the Savior of mankind. In this sense, the church is sometimes the Catholic or Universal Church. Johnson Enclyce. 3. A particular number of christians, united under one form of ecclesiastical government, in one creed, and using the same ritual or ceremonies; as the English church; the Gallican church; the Presbyterian church; the Romish church; the Greek church.”

 I Will Build My Church
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

“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.” (Matthew 16:18)

This is the first of 115 occurrences of ekklesia in the New Testament—three times translated “assembly,” all other times as “church.” It is a compound of ek and klesia, thus meaning “called out” from their previous locations to meet together as a body for some purpose. The three times it is translated “assembly” refer to the town meeting in Ephesus (Acts 19:32, 39, 41). Once it refers to the congregation of Israelites in the wilderness (Acts 7:38), leaving 111 times when it refers to a Christian church or churches.

Of these 111, at least 86 clearly refer to local churches, each meeting as a body in specific times and places. Individual local churches may come and go, but the institution of the local church will continue at least until the return of Christ. In the Bible’s final chapter, after outlining the entire future of the world, Jesus said, “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches” (Revelation 22:16). All churches of all times and places, as well as the seven representative churches of Asia (Revelation 2 and 3), which have long since died out as distinct local churches, are thus intended to hear of the world’s prophetic future.

This is the last mention of churches, but the first, as cited in our text, has eternal dimensions, for even the “gates of hell” cannot prevail against it. This church actually will be in heaven itself. “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:22-23). HMM

 

blessing 4

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