I believe we are living in a time where the Holy Spirit is highlighting the word ekklesia (Greek for "church," kehila in Hebrew) in order to help us rediscover and walk in its original meaning.
Throughout Scriptures we see the secular language of the day being used to communicate spiritual realities in the kingdom of God. The way we define and use the word church (ekklesia) today is far removed and not rooted in its original context and meaning.
Called Out to Govern
Centuries before the New Covenant was written, the Greeks were using the word ekklesia to describe a group of citizens called out for governmental purposes. This group was made up of about 6000 men over the age of 18. They would meet on a regular basis to discuss and vote upon new law proposals, come up with military strategy and elect magistrates.
Though the Greeks invented this word, it was really the Romans who adopted, developed and implemented the ekklesia and its function into the heart of their empire. The ekklesia was gathered around the Roman Emperor/king to hear and record his words. Then they were to see that his will and desires were being implemented across his kingdom.
This is how we as the ekklesia are called to function, as rulers under the supreme ruler—King Yeshua. We have been called out from the kingdom of darkness to gather around our King in nearness and intimacy (Col 1:13). We are to hear His voice and act as scribes who record His will, plans and strategy. Then, under His authority and in partnership with Him, we are commissioned to obey and act upon what we heard in His presence (Matt 28:18-20).
Advancing the King's Agenda
This is what Yeshua was getting at in Matthew 16 when He asked His disciples, "'Who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter replied, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:15-16).
Then Yeshua declared He would build His ekklesia upon this revelation. (Of course, in the original dialogue Yeshua used the Hebrew/Aramaic kehila, but the later Greek readers of the Gospels would hear/read "ekklesia.") In other words, "You have seen Rome's ekklesia function in governmental authority under their king, but now is the time to establish My ekklesia, of whom I am the head and King, and the gates of hell will not be able to stop the advancement of My government."
The original governmental meaning of ekklesia in the New Covenant is directly related to the mandate God gave to mankind in Genesis 1:26: "Let us make man in our image ... let them have dominion ... over all the earth."
This speaks of ruling, governing, bringing order, administration, protection, maintenance and more. We have been called to rule over all the earth, its creatures and resources.
We are moving closer to the restoration of all things. Part of this process includes the global ekklesia of Yeshua rediscovering her original identity and calling as a governmental body of people called out to rule the earth and every sphere of society under King Yeshua's leadership (Acts 1:8).
This article originally appeared at reviveisrael.org.
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