WHAT IS THE CHURCH?

A portion of the Church in Tennessee

by Tammy Phillips
September 23, 2021

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”” (Matthew 16:18-19 NKJV)

We have studied “the Church” in the Revelation letters for most of the last ten days.  I do not know why the Holy Spirit did not remind me to talk about what the church was, is, and is not.  Let’s chat about it now.

The word “church” or ekklesia, first appears in Matthew 16:18-19. Ekklesia is the Greek word used for church in the New Testament.  It is a compound of the Greek words ek and kaleo. The word ek carries the idea of out, an exit or a separation.  The word kaleo means to beckon, to call, to invite, or to summon. When these two words unite, we get, ekklesia, those who are called out and separated to a prestigious assembly.   According to Greek Bible scholar, Rick Renner, in book  “A Light in he Darkness,” the Ekklesia was/is:

a called, separated, and prestigious assembly; used to denote a prestigious assembly of distinguished Athenian citizens who determined laws, debated public policy, formulated new policies, argued and ruled in judicial matters, elected the chief magistrate of the land, decided who should be banished.  To be selected from society and invited to join this assembly was a great honor; in the New Testament, it depicts  the body of believers who have been called out, called forth, separated, selected, and assembled to be God’s representatives in every town, city, state, or nation; it is a body called to make decisions that affect the atmosphere of a region.”

Ekklesia, the CALLED-OUT ONES, a word borrowed from the city of Athens. The Greeks and Romans were called out ones to rule in a region.  We are God’s privileged and honored people who are called out to assemble and rule in the spirit realm. When we follow Jesus, we become children of the Most High God. We have power in Him to make decisions that affect the atmosphere of our region.  How and why?  Because Jesus said so in Matthew 16:18-19.  As the Church, we are given the keys to the kingdom. 

Keys lock and unlock, in order to close or open. Christ was declaring His church would have keys (authority) to lock the gates (government) of hell and open the gates (government) of heaven.” -Dutch Sheets

 We mistakenly believe that the Church was and is a building.  We do not go to church.  We are the Church.  The Church is people…who follow Jesus and are called out to affect the atmosphere of their local region.  The Church is the body of Christ worldwide, over which the Lord functions as head (Matthew. 16:18; Ephesians. 1:22).  The Church can be God’s people in a given region (Acts 9:31).

“God never intended for the local church to be simply a quiet, hidden body of believers. Rather, He intended for a church to be His voice and ruling power in each community — a special assembly comprised of people who have been called out to make decisions that will impact the atmosphere of their local environment for God and His purposes.” -Rick Renner

Peter said it this way:

“But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once [were] not a people but [are] now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJV)

We should be honored to be God’s people called out and endued with power and authority to make the ruling decisions of the land.

“We are supernatural daughters and sons of the Most- High God, filled with His Spirit and anointed to represent Him. God has His family back and can now continue His plan, which included them managing and governing the earth.  We are to “invade” our culture, workplace, city, nation, etc., with the spiritual might of God’s kingdom, spreading His life, love, and rule everywhere. Jesus told us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and to preach (declare) the good news of Him “to all creation” (Mark 16:15). The Acts church turned their world “upside-down” (17:6 AMP). They upset status quo everywhere they went – and we should also.” -Dutch Sheets (https://www.givehim15.com/post/april-13-2021)

I enCOURAGE you to meditate on what it means to be the true Church.  Have you found your place in the body of Christ, the Ekklesia? Are you occupying your territory and ruling in your spiritual regions through Jesus Christ our King?   As His child He has given you the keys to the kingdom, are you using them?   Let’s go turn this crazy world upside down or right side up!

” Let us hold fast the confession of [our] hope without wavering, for He who promised [is] faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as [is] the manner of some, but exhorting [one another], and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25 NKJV)

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