If you find yourself grossly involved in what purports to be an Ekklesia, enduring hour after hour of “training” and lectures from the “group’s” leadership—you’re probably not in an Ekklesia, but engrossed in someone’s ministry. Now, if the leadership of said group is clever enough—they will try to align your little Ekklesia experience with that of their ministry’s experience.
I’ve repeatedly been asked: What does an Ekklesia (or “Ecclesia”) look like? May I be a bit more ambiguous? Shouldn’t an Ekklesia look a lot like my ministry? ANSWER: No. What about looking like brother so-and-so’s ministry: ANSWER: No. Frankly, it shouldn’t look like any person’s ministry—It’s not of Paul, of Peter, of Apollos, and not even “of Christ” (for the “spiritually discerning” types). But aren’t these gifted ones rather obvious figures whose ministries have had amazing impact upon the overall Body of Christ, and shouldn’t we honor them? Of course, to deny they exist is foolhardy—but once we come into an Ekklesia experience these beloved brethren must take a back seat.
And, although the Second Temple was altogether inferior to Solomon’s majestic First Temple, the LORD so encouraged His “Two Sons of Oil” (Zerubbabel the Governor and Joshua the High Priest – Haggai 2:4) that He declared this far-reaching prophecy regarding the ultimate manifestation of the Holy District and New Jerusalem’s Temple/House as seen in Ezekiel 40-48 and Revelation 21; to wit:
“For thus says the LORD of hosts; ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS, and I will fill this temple (house) with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter temple (house) shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give PEACE; says the LORD of hosts’” (Haggai 1:6-9).
You might be wondering how the New Testament Ekklesia is related to the major”Feast Days” of the Lord—aka, “The Lord’s Appointed Times” (Lev. 23). Especially, since Paul’s reflections on Christians’ and their relations to the following:
“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival (aka “feast day”) or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance (lit “the body” or “reality”) is of Christ” (Col. 2:16-17).
Think of it? If Christians are trained by their leadership to “mingle with other Christians” as a PRACTICE—meeting and greeting one another . . . having other members of the Body of Christ over to such BBQs (if you would) without trying to RECRUIT them to their own churches—but to practice the “unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of Peace” – THAT is precisely what we’re talking about. We hold to a “common faith” – ONE LORD, ONE BAPTISM, ONE SPIRIT…get the point; if so, why can’t we encourage the brethren to “greet the ekklesia that is in their house” (the house of Priscilla and Aquila) or how’s about Gaius who is hosting the “whole Ekklesia” passing on greetings to all the saints in Rome (what a heart this brother had) (Rom. 16:5, 23).
There’s nothing – absolutely nothing here – that bespeaks of some charismatic preacher or faithful pastor doing his job – NO, NO, NO—it’s the WHOLE CONGREGATION or Ekklesia doing the job of testifying, prophesying, convicting and convincing. The minister, pastor-teacher, preacher, evangelist, apostle, prophet may just have to (for a refreshing change) sit there and behold the work of equipping he has done! Such a gathering of the Ekklesia, is NOT under the control of a central/regional work, ministry, or preacher/pastor, teacher or evangelist!
“I WILL BUILD MY EKKLESIA” - ONE BODY LIFE CONFERENCE with NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MINISTRIES - Sacramento, CA - November 1-3 - (Friday through Sunday) - 2019. REGISTER ON LINE HERE. We are gathering together brethren from all over the West Coast and inviting folks from all over the country, even the world. This will be a WATERSHED encounter of the FIRST KIND - and BEST LOVE! We are believing the Lord for a SEASON OF REFRESHING FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD….The Holy Spirit is moving in our midst—may we be available to Him for His move on the earth today!
There you go again, Krieger, trying to rearrange chairs on the top deck of the Titanic when we should be getting into the lifeboats and letting this “thing” sink! Yes, I guess I’m guilty of at least trying to move things around a bit because it’s a little chaotic between clergy/laity – pulpit/pew – ministers/congregants – elders/members - I could go on; but I’m not trying to destroy the obvious. Let me explain . . .
Forgive me – did you get that? EACH OF YOU HAS and if YOU HAS, then YOUs better get that out in the assembled and do so with others as in “let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret . . . let two or three prophets speak” (NOTE: You’re not the only guy who’s a prophet when the “whole Ekklesia” comes together). Are we getting the picture here? This is NOT the “big time minister” doing his/her thing but the Body edifying one another by twos and threes. And, if you’re not going to have “interpretation” of your tongue going on—better to “keep silent” and “if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent” when it comes to revelation.
Therefore, it is crucial for those desiring to answer the Lord’s Prayer for the oneness of His people to understand these two different kinds of doctrine. On the one hand, we need to be those who keep mining the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ so the doctrine (didache) of Jesus Christ becomes fuller and deeper for our enjoyment and our ministry to people. Satan’s strategy is designed to distract believers from focusing on and knowing Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, we need to be wary of Satan’s other tactic: motivating ministers to emphasize Biblical doctrines (didaskalia) to the point of divisiveness whereby these “healthy teachings” turn into unhealthy food. Instead of teachers divisively tossing believers around by every wind of doctrine, what is needed are teachers who can apply Scriptures to a person in need at the right moment to bring individuals back into fellowship with Jesus for the building up of His One Body. Jesus alone is precious.
There cannot be ANY PARTIALITY—Peter found that out and so did Paul. May the next, and I believe, possibly the final REVIVAL, be the pure, unadulterated move of the Holy Spirit—outside all our “you need to be under authority” – outside all our “walls of separation” – outside all our feeble or sophisticated control mechanisms – yes, utterly idealistic, you say? Indeed, it’s time the Holy Spirit interrupted our sermons and fell on His people! This uncontrolled, unfederated move of God will reach into every denomination, every “Church”, every label and outside of every label.
Nearly a half century ago I met a “Man of God” who was so overwhelmingly impressive, he rarely, if ever, was found “sharing the pulpit” with anyone who could have been considered “contemporary” with him. The strength of one’s ministry is not in the singularity of it but in its ability to collaborate with other ministers of the Lord. Likewise, the ability of that ministry’s leadership to “blend into an Ekklesia-style gathering” demonstrates, even more, the strength of that minister(s) in equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:12).
No one wants to offend a controlling host, however, this makes it all the more difficult, for true “Spirit spontaneity” in the gathering. Is it the same one who leads off in prayer, praise and worship, some form of speaking every time? Even with the best of intentions, the “controller” can become the “control freak” of the gathering—telling and/or even commanding people to share, pray, or whatever the “expression” takes – in sum and substance, it becomes “his/her meeting” – but NOT the meeting of the ekklesia, the gathering of the saints. In essence, it’s really NOT an ekklesia, it’s the “controller’s ministry.” Listen up, I’m not talking about someone leading a Bible Study group—that’s an entirely different environment - sure, we’re all members of the Lord’s Ekklesia; however, having an “ekklesia-style gathering” is totally different than someone conducting a Bible study!
You see, Paul was preaching a COMPLETION GOSPEL – not just the Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24; Rom 1:1, 9, 15-16; 2:16) – it was the Gospel of Peace (Romans 10:15-16; 15:16, 19-20, 29; 16:25). Paul wanted to eventually come to Rome but in a way whereby the “completion of the blessing of the gospel of Christ” would be manifested among the saints - wherein they would “strive together” and whereby when he did arrive, he would “be refreshed together with you . . . now the GOD OF PEACE be with you all. Amen” (Romans 15:29-33 – excerpts).