The concept of the "ekklesia" was shown to me many years ago and I didn't even recognize it until some time later. I was in a small meeting of about 40-50 people when a lady spoke to me and gave a prophetic word. She said she saw a large group of people milling around and there was a thick black wet blanket descending over them trapping them under it. She said I was standing outside the blanket and yelling and waving my arms saying "Come out! Come out from there before it's too late!" I listened to the lady and thanked her for the word she had given me, but didn't really understand what it meant at that time because I was not an "evangelist".
After several years this prophecy was brought back to my remembrance and I realized this prophetic picture was a perfect illustration of what the "ekklesia"really is. "Ekklesia" by definition refers to those "elected and called out to rule". From the Greek this word signifies a group of men in the Greek city-state culture that were literally the ones that were the rulers and business managers of that culture. It is interesting that the Holy Spirit chose to use the word "ekklesia" to identify the "Church". We are called out by God to labor together with Jesus to extend His kingdom, be stewards over all He entrusts to us, to have dominion over the earth, to bring all creation under the government of King Jesus, to tear down the Satanic strongholds in order to liberate mankind to know the incredible gift that God gave to humanity. In other words, to manage God's affairs on the earth under the tutorship of the Holy Spirit.
This picture was me standing outside the blanketed group calling to them to "come out" from the kingdom of darkness before it was too late. It has been my inspiration ever since and I have been proclaiming that the kingdom of God is at hand, therefore repent, be baptized, and enter into His kingdom.
The "Church", or "ekklesia", are the people who responded to the call and have left the kingdom of darkness and been transferred into His kingdom of light.
Most of us reading this information have heard the altar call being referred to as an "invitation" to "accept Jesus as your personal Savior", but this gives us a false picture of what the gospel really means. Let me explain what I mean.
First, the sermon or message preached, is called a "kerugma" (Greek word) which means a proclamation given by a King through his herald, or ambassador, to proclaim and give a command. The gospel message of the kingdom is actually a "command" given to the lost. Let me illustrate from Scripture.
Matthew 4:17 -- Jesus was preaching and His message was ,"Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand."Acts 2:38 -- When Peter was preaching he said, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized..."
Can you see the picture in both of these cases? They were not simply inviting people to come to Jesus. They were proclaiming or commanding the people to"REPENT!" or reject the kingdom of darkness and enter the kingdom of God. Not an invitation -- a declaration.
Second, we do not "accept Jesus". That is a false picture of our position. He is the Lord and King. The Creator of all things. The Master of the universe. We do not accept Him, He accepts us even as rebels to His authority and gives us an opportunity to REPENT and yield our lives to Him so as not to be eternally lost in darkness. This s a great act of mercy on His part. After all, why should He go to such trouble as to find us, declare to us the truth of the two kingdoms giving a chance to escape the darkness, allowing us to become part of God's family, and promising us all the benefits of life in His kingdom? For us to honestly think that we accept Him is preposterous pride on our part. Who do we think we are in the face of the most powerful person in the entire universe?
Thirdly, He is not just our "personal Savior". He is the Lord and King. When we bow our knee to His Lordship He saves us from everlasting destruction in the kingdom of darkness. Thus, He becomes our Savior, but before He is our Savior He must become our Lord. That, my friends, is the New Testament message.
When we understand the truth of the Scriptures it makes perfect sense and becomes a matter of making quality decisions, not simply emotional responses to some speaker that enticed us to do something based on that emotional response, something akin to a good sales pitch.
When we make these quality decisions based upon accurate knowledge of what the Scripture actually teaches we then become a part of the "ekklesia", or the "Church" described in the New Testament
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