According to Strong’s ekklésia (church) means an assembly, congregation, church; the Church, the whole body of Christian believers. Now from what I recently learned this is the most basic definition. In other words the church or ekklésia means a group of people together. But what else does it mean? I will attempt to explain what I recently heard from two different minsters on two different occasion unrelated to each other.
According to ancient Greece the ekklésia was the senate of the government. It legislated what was allowed or forbidden or may I say bound or loosed (Matt. 16:19).
The ekklesia‘s powers were almost unlimited. It elected and dismissed magistrates and directed the policy of the city. It declared war, and it made peace. It negotiated and approved treaties and arranged alliances. It chose generals, assigned troops to different campaigns, raised the necessary money, and dispatched those troops from city to city. It was an assembly in which all members had equal right and duty. As the Roman Empire rose and supplanted the Greeks, the Romans adopted the term into Latin.
The concept that distinguishes biblical usage from classical Greek usage is the emphasis that it is God’s assembly. Ekklesia, therefore, means God’s people, called together by God to listen to or act for God. The emphasis is on the action of God, which has the force of a summons (as from a judge). The biblical ekklesia, the church, is a body of people, not so much assembling because they chose to come together, but assembling because God called them to Himself—not assembling to share their own thoughts and opinions, but to listen to the voice of God. – John W. Ritenbaugh
This should totally change your view of what Church means. Ritenbaugh also says about where the term “church” comes from:
Perhaps the best place to begin answering these questions is by tracing the etymology of the word “church” itself, and then looking at the way it is used in context. Many have assumed that it derives from the Greek ekklesia, but this is not true. The English word “church” descends from an Old English word cirice, akin to an Old High German word, kirihha. Both words derive from a Late Greek word, kuriakon, which comes from the Greek kuriakos, the possessive form of the word kurios, the term for “lord.” Kuriakos thus simply means “lord’s,” showing possession, or “belonging to the lord” (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1985, p. 240). It can denote anything that belongs to the Lord. – John W. Ritenbaugh
When I think of ekklesia I also am directed to 2 Cor. 5:20 when it speaks of being ambassadors of Christ. We bring the current rule and reign of Jesus to this earth as His representatives. We legislate Heaven’s directives upon earth. Far too long the enemy has ruled and run this world but with Christ’s FINISHED work we bring what He brought. Didn’t He pray, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven? Let us create the footstool for our Lord and bring the restoration of all things so we can hasten His coming (Heb. 10:13, Acts 3:21, 2 Pet. 3:12)
We need His directives and wisdom to establish His kingdom. He is coming back for a BEAUTIFUL Bride and not a disjointed church. He is still looking for a place to lay His head…
I do not believe in the escapism that is preached by pre-trib eschatologists. I do believe there is a light that is and will shine brighter and brighter upon His Bride as she continues to make Herself ready. Isaiah 60:1 needs to happen and I believe it will be a literal shining according to Matt. 17:2 and 2 Cor. 3:18. If Moses received a lesser covenant with a glory so strong he had to cover his face then how much more will the greater shine forth on and through us! I’ll end with this scripture:
Romans 8:30Amplified Bible (AMP)
30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].