I recently read a Facebook post where 2Corinthians 6:17 was quoted. “…come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” The writers implied that those who have received the ‘revelation’, must separate themselves from those who are still in the institutional church.
The writer further implied that anyone in a traditional church was not only ignorant, but unclean, too. If this post was isolated, there would be no cause for alarm. However, when I saw the many ‘likes’ he received, and the numerous supportive comments that followed, my heart was broken.
Most ‘believers’ I know were saved in a traditional or institutional church. For those few who were not, they often looked for a traditional or institutional church to connect with after receiving Christ. The concept of ‘church’ is deeply engrained in the psyche of most believers.
Some of us have recently been graced by God to see something fresh. We have learned that Jesus never came to build a church, but rather an ekklesia. We have learned that ‘church’ and ekklesia are not the same. We have learned that Jesus intent is to give the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to an earthly ruling council with the authority to bind and loose on earth, whatever heaven has already bound and loosed. God has given authority His ekklesia to affect every facet of human existence. Unfortunately, everyone does not see this. Most believers only know the ‘church system’ that has been prevalent for nearly 1,700 years.
I have served as a traditional or institutional ‘church pastor’ for nearly twenty-five years. I see and embrace what God is doing in the Body of Christ today. What do I do with those I have served all these years? Do I leave them because my revelation shows me something that is incompatible with the traditional church? Do I ‘come out from among them’ and abandon them because they seem to still like traditional church?
No. I will not abandon them. Many are still trying to comprehend the difference between church and ekklesia. I suspect that there are some reading this blog who still have not comprehended the difference.
I am determinedly working to transition from ‘church’ into ‘ekklesia’. I am weaning myself, and helping to wean those around me from the system we have known all our lives. I am teaching those I have served to gather interdependently from house to house.
What about the many relationships I have gained with other existing traditional pastors? Do I ‘come out from among them’ implying they have allegiance to some evil entity? Have they become ‘unclean’ because God has allowed me to see something different? Will God receive me and reject them? To use 2Corinthians 6:17 to imply some spiritual superiority over other believers is pure spiritual arrogance.
an atmosphere of ‘us versus them – good versus bad, and right versus wrong’. You can never build something new based on being an antithesis to something else. What you build must have focus and purpose and above all revelation. Jesus said that He would build His ekklesia with those who have the revelation that He is the Christ, Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16-18). We are workers together with Him (1Corinthians 3:9; 2Corinthians 6:1)
Those of us who have been given a glimpse of the Lord’s ekklesia, have been entrusted by Him to bring this truth into the earth. We must seek to be an example of God’s will and way before our brothers and sisters. We need to spark their interest by the way we love them and one another (John 13:35), assemble with each other (Acts 2:21-47), and impact our community (Acts 16:20; 17:6). When they come asking what is going on, it gives us an opportunity to share (1Peter 3:15).
Finally, it is interesting that the admonition to forsake not the assembling is preceded by provoking one another to good works through love (Hebrews 10:24-25). I personally do not believe that I have the right to bash another system if I have not exampled the love, power and purpose emanating from mine.
Gideon’s defeat of the Midianites with 300 soldiers is a familiar story of faith, obedience and the strategic power of the Lord. When the Lord called him, Israel was already outnumbered.
Then the Lord began to whittle down his troops. It is interesting that the first thing God identified that would hamper Gideon was pride. If Israel had defeated the Midianites with the 32,000, God knew they would take the credit for the victory. They would claim that it was by their hand that they had won. So how did God sort these prideful people out?
Gideon was instructed to ask those who were afraid to leave. Twenty-two thousand admitted to their fear and left. Isn’t that interesting? God said that their issue was pride, but fear is what identified it. This reveals to us a truth we need to consider today. It answers why some continually resist ekklesia out of fear of repercussions. It explains why many attach themselves to religious traditions, while feeling that there must be more. It explains why some will deny the truth, even though they have the facts in front of them.
Pride attempts to mask their limited understanding of ekklesia, while fear reveals their unwillingness to venture beyond the status quo. Pride maintains an outward persona of confidence, while fear exposes their anxiety of potentially losing position and status. Pride portrays a ‘we are better than others’ in the church world, while fear grips their hearts with emotional instability.
Israel hated how they were treated by the Midianites. As soon as their crops were harvested, the Midianites came and took their goods. They were deeply impoverished (Judges 6:1-6). Today, many sense they are impoverished in the church system. They are being robbed week after week by sectarian doctrines and religious traditions. They want out, but don’t know where to go. Then along comes ekklesia. It is refreshing. It appears to offer a way to real spiritual growth. But it comes with a price. You must address your fears that have been masked in pride.
As important as ekklesia is to the Body of Christ, imagine the concern of the Father. Potentially too many people are pursuing it. Specifically, many are pursuing it with the wrong motives. They are found in three categories.
God is looking for the 300 who will win the battle. He is calling out those who are not afraid of losing friends. He will use those who aren’t shaken when some label them as a cult. God wants a people who are more interested in divine purpose than they are in positions and titles. The 300 do not fear losing any perceived status for the cause of Christ. The future of ekklesia will be contingent upon a pure cadre of believers who are fully committed to its advance.
Are you among the victorious 300?
Ekklesia is rising. The Ekklesia Center’s three-point plan to establish, develop and release believers can equip and prepare you for what the Lord is doing in the earth today. You can walk in faith. You can walk without fear. You can walk in confidence knowing that what Jesus is building, He is building with believers like you. Blessings.
Learn more about being established, developed and released. CLICK HERE
Ekklesia will be a disrupter. When Christians discover the historical facts surrounding what Jesus actually said, they will have to take a good look at how we have veered so far off course!
In my book, Leaving Church Becoming Ekklesia, and in other writings, I list six types of people and their responses to learning about ekklesia. In this post, I want to somewhat expand on that list to include five reasons why some are rejecting this teaching. These are not theoretical or hypothetical reasons. Each reflects actual beliefs I have encountered since I began sharing and teaching about ekklesia.
Before I outline this list, I want you to know that I am not solely focused on the negative and apprehensive responses I’ve heard. I have encountered many more people who have been liberated and empowered by learning about ekklesia. I simply share this in hopes that some who read it will avoid falling into the subtle traps satan uses to keep us from discovering what God has for us.
Here are the five top reasons people use to reject ekklesia.
My purpose for writing this was to show you there are barriers to understanding what the Lord is doing in this age. You may be able to add to this list. The Ekklesia Center is committed to helping you align with the word of God.
We strive to help you place your religious traditions in their proper place. We help you to accurately interpret the Word of God. We stand with you when you feel you are losing things dear to your heart. We unapologetically will provoke you to learn and discover for yourself. And finally, we help you to discern truth, even when it comes through people who you are not used to hearing.
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We are in exciting new times. Jesus is still building today with believers like you.
PS. For a limited time, you can download a FREE copy of my book, 7 Facts Why Jesus Didn't Say He Would Build A Church CLICK HERE
Believers are expected to build upon apostolic foundations
The church system has not taught the Body of Christ to build – but rather to watch and maintain systems. When it comes to building - most believers have no clue as to where they can begin – as everything they have known has been contained in the church system as we know it.
In today’s Ekklesia Insight – let’s look at the progressive layers of building the ekklesia as revealed in scripture.
First, we MUST begin with Matthew 16:18 where we read Jesus as saying
"… on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
Jesus first declaration is that HE WOULD BUILD. He is the sole builder of the ekklesia. But we find that there is another layer of building that is through the apostles and prophets
Jesus is the sole builder
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:18-22)
We see clearly that the impartation from apostles and prophets is critical to every believer. What they provide to us is FOUNDATIONAL. This passage in Peter serves as a segue to the next layer of building.
Notice that Peter said that we are LIVING STONES built up as a spiritual house THAT WE SHOULD BE A HOLY PRIESTHOOD. Remember we are built on the foundation of apostles and prophets and we as living stones and a holy priesthood should be offering up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God hrough Jesus Christ.
Paul brings this all together. Listen to his words in 1Corinthians 3:10-11. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, AND ANOTHER BUILDS ON IT. BUT LET EACH MAN BE CAREFUL HOW HE BUILDS ON IT. For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ.
This becomes the final layer in the process of building the ekklesia. After confirming his apostolic and foundational role he made it clear that the purpose of the foundation he builds is for believers to have something build upon. The final layer is what you build.
You determine the quality
of what you build
Make no mistake about it – according to Acts 2:28 IT IS THE LORD’S EKKLESIA that He purchased with His own blood. That is why He is the sole builder of it.
All others, the apostles prophets you and I are layers through which we become laborers together with.
Be a builder. Take heed how you build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. The Ekklesia Center will come along side you to help.
Before Jesus said what the ekklesia would be given, or what it could do, He declared that it would be necessary to have the revelation of who He is.
Let’s put this in context. Jesus had twelve young men following him. He led them to a place called Caesarea Philippi – a place that was forbidden territory for most Jews in that day. It was a place where dead Caesars were deified. It was where the temple of the goat god Pan where all kinds of debasing sexual activity took place – often in full view. It was where a cave – known as the Gate of Hades had a river flowing through it where both human and animal sacrifices took place. Just being at Caesarea Philippi could stimulate the flesh in so many ways.
It was here that Jesus asked two basic questions. First, who do men say that I am? IN OTHER WORDS, what are people saying about me? The answer they gave reflected the atmosphere and the environment they were in. They spoke of Jeremiah – Elijah – John the Baptist – and other DEAD prophets.
But Jesus then asked them – who did they believe He was? Peter said, “You are the Christ – the Son of the Living God.” HERE IS THE KEY. Jesus made it clear that flesh and blood did not reveal that answer to him. JESUS SAID HE RECEIVED IT FROM THE FATHER IN HEAVEN.
This single revelation is basis for
everything we do in the Kingdom
When you KNOW by revelation that Jesus is the Christ – Son of the Living God – it emboldens and empowers you to live above levels that your flesh and blood will struggle with. Jesus is building His ekklesia based on the revelation of who He is.
His ekklesia will not be built with people who know ABOUT Him – religion can do that. Most denominations have their version of Jesus – but when you personally have a revelation of Jesus as the Christ – Son of the Living God you shift from having head knowledge of Him – to giving all to be like Him.
We read in Philippians 3:10 that Paul’s desire was to know him, and the power of his resurrection. In his letter to the Galatians 1:16 Paul knew that when he was called – it pleased God to reveal His Son to Him.
That’s why he said in 1Corinthians 12:3 THAT NO MAN SPEAKING BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD CALLS JESUS ACCURSED: AND THAT NO MAN CAN SAY THAT JESUS IS THE LORD, BUT BY THE HOLY GHOST. Jesus is building His ekklesia with believers who have a revelation that He is the Christ – Son of the Living God
Once you have that revelation – He will build with you. Are you ready!
About The Author
Tim Kurtz is the Founder of The Ekklesia Center. The purpose of this blog/vlog is to explore subjects that show how the mistranslation of ekklesia to church has impacted the Body of Christ. He has served in ministry over three decades amd is the author of several books. He and his wife Carolyn have been married 46 years and live in SC Michigan.