I do a lot of talking about the ‘church as we know it’. If you follow my blogs, books, live teaching and other media, you hear me say that the ‘church’ will not be the same in a few years. It is in transition. But the question must be answered, ‘Where is it transitioning to?
I also speak often about the Greek word ekklesia. Sometimes I share it as though people thoroughly understand what I am talking about. In my excitement to show that Jesus never said He would build a church, I failed to clearly articulate His intentions. Within the framework of His intent is the revelation of where the coming transition is taking us.
It all began with the simple declaration, “upon this rock I will build my ekklesia”. Jesus had other word choices besides ekklesia. He could have said He would build His heiron, which is the Greek word translated as temple. Everybody in Jesus day would have identified with the temple. He could have also declared that He would build His synagogue. Both words would have been acceptable to the religious minds of that day. The temple and the synagogue were centers of Judaic religious activity.
Jesus used a word that had no religious connotations...
Jesus used a word that had no religious connotations – ekklesia. It was known in that day as an arm of the Roman government. He did not say He would build a church. Understanding this gives us a glimpse of where the church is transitioning.
The ekklesia was given specific authority by the government it represented. The Roman ekklesia could legislate, confer or deny citizenship, set policies and elect officials. Likewise, when Jesus declared He would build His version of the ekklesia, a similar authority would accompany it. Rather than representing the Roman government, His ekklesia would represent the Kingdom of Heaven. The authority it had would be a clear threat to the kingdom of darkness (Matthew 16:18-19).
The devil’s tactic to disrupt the Lord’s intent was to change the identity of the ekklesia. When the instructions were given to insert the English word church for ekklesia, the Body of Christ shifted from having an impact in the world, to an audience in a building. The Body of Christ took on a completely different identity. It was never intended to be a church.
...the Holy Spirit is bringing emphasis to the ekklesia the Lord originally proclaimed
Maybe this will give you a glimpse of what the coming transition is intended to produce. Over the past 400 plus years, the Lord has restored many things that had been stripped from His ekklesia. Critical doctrines and the ministry gifts were restored in preparation for this time. Unfortunately, they were restored and encased in a system totally foreign to their original purposes. Today, the Holy Spirit is bringing emphasis to the ekklesia the Lord originally proclaimed. Ekklesia is being restored. Its restoration will bring back the kingdom authority it originally had.
This is the first part of the coming transition. Church will be restored to ekklesia, and there is much more to come. Once we realize our identity, we can move into doing what is expected of it. Binding, loosing and establishing the footprint of the kingdom in the earth will once again become the norm. The gates of hades will not stand a chance against what Jesus said He would build.
If you are like me, you are looking forward to this powerful transition. Jesus is still building His ekklesia, with believers like you. Get ready, there is more to come.
P.S. Watch the latest episoded of 'Good Morning, Ekklesia!' Currently we are doing an indepth study on Ekklesia In The Word.
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.