There is not a month that passes wherein I don’t meet some individual or group that expresses their dissatisfaction with the ‘church as we know it’. More and more, people are searching for something beyond the programs, events and endless fundraisers.
Some common themes I hear people say is, “I am tired of the same old thing”, or “I want to do something different”, or “There must be more”. The laments are usually followed by the individual resigning themselves to the fact that they are stuck in a religious system they don’t like.
This dilemma reminds me the relationship between David, Jonathan and Saul. Their relationship is similar to what is happening in the ‘church world’ today. For the sake of clarity, allow me to portray them as representatives of the traditional church system (Saul), the current move of God in the earth (David), and those who love what God is doing, but remain connected to the traditional system (Jonathan).
Saul represents the traditional church system
Saul represents the traditional church system. He is a reflection of ‘church as we know it’. From the onset, his very anoint-
ing was man made. The bible states that Samuel used a flask of oil to anoint Saul. A flask is a shallow bowl type utensil. Basically, it is a bottle. The point is that Saul was anointed from desires of people, not from the will of God.
The contemporary church system cannot be found in scripture. It is a system that placates the desires of men (1Samuel 8:4-22). It is hierarchal and self-serving (1Samuel 13:8-14). It blames the people for areas of its dysfunction (1Samuel 15:20-21, 24). And regardless of its ineffectiveness, the church system desires to be touted and honored (1Samuel 15:30).
David represents the present move of God in His people
Let’s look at David. He comes on the scene when Samuel anoints him to be king. He was the unconsidered
son of Jesse, and the youngest of seven sons. He was actually Saul’s replacement, even though Saul was oblivious to what was taking place (1Samuel 16:1). David represents the present move of God in His people.
Unlike Saul, David was anointed with a ‘horn of oil’. The horn was most likely from a sacrificed ram. David’s anointing came through the shedding of blood. His anointing had the seal of heaven upon it. David was God’s choice, not man’s.
David represents a shift in the spirit. The moment he was anointed, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and simultaneously left Saul (1Samuel 16:13-14). This is significant. I believe a similar shift is taking place today. I believe God is shifting the body of Christ back to his original intent. This goes far beyond the church becoming ekklesia, it is God’s people fulfilling the mandate He gave them in the Garden of Eden to be fruitful, to multiply, replenish and subdue the earth (Genesis 1:28). It then becomes the ekklesia Jesus declared He would build (Matthew 16:18).
David’s rise to the throne was anything but normal. He went from serving as Saul’s personal musician and armor bearer (1Samuel 16:15-23) to killing Goliath (1Samuel 17:48-21). He then scarcely avoided being killed by Saul (1Samuel 18:10), and spent years running from Saul and his assassins (1Samuel 19:15, 18; 20:1).
Space will not permit me to cover the see-saw relationship that existed between Saul and David. But I did find it interesting that the bible said the Saul feared David because the Lord was with him (1Samuel 18:12, 29). I am beginning to see glimpse of similar traits today. Some in the traditional church system are challenged by the advent of ekklesia. As we gain more insight to this word, it will demand that we realign ourselves with scripture to live out the Lord’s command.
This brings us to Jonathan. He was Saul’s son (1Samuel 13:16), but David’s covenant friend (1Samuel 18:1). He represents those who see and love what God is doing, but don’t have the courage to disconnect from where they are. They want the fresh move of God in their life, but cannot bring themselves to disconnect from their religious tradition.
[Jonathan] represents those who see and love what God is doing, but don’t have the courage to disconnect from where they are
Each morning I do a 20-minute teaching on Facebook Live. I am amazed to find so many people watching from all around the world. It is truly humbling. I am also ama-
zed at some of the people who have contacted me privately. Each have indicated how much they enjoy each broadcast, but they also made it clear that they cannot make their feelings known publicly for fear of repercussions from the ‘church’ they attend.
This is The Jonathan Church. They love what God is doing, but are so attached to their current religious system that they are paralyzed and unable to move. The tragedy of the ‘Jonathans’ is that when Saul died, Jonathan died with him (1Samuel 31:6). This, I fear will be the fate of many today. They are so vested in their current traditional church system, that when it falls, they will fall with it.
At one point, David was followed by a gang of men who were distressed, in debt and discontented (1Samuel 22:2). This sounds like many church members I’ve encountered. They are dissatisfied and disillusioned with where they are. They too need to follow David (the current move of God). Those who do, will become known as David’s mighty men with power and might. (1Chronicles 11:10-11).
Jesus is still building His ekklesia. He is building with those who have the revelation that He is the Christ, Son of the Living God. He is not building with the wavering, or double-minded.
I believe there will be a line of demarcation set in the earth. Malachi prophesied of a season when those who serve God, and those who don’t will be clearly identified (Malachi 3:16-18). My question to you is, where do you stand? It is time for you to align yourself with either Saul (the traditional church system), or David (the current move of God). I challenge you not to be a ‘Jonathan’. Decide which where you stand.
Jesus committed the 'keys of the Kingdom of Heaven' to His ekklesia. It was obvious from the start, that the ekklesia and the kingdom would be indelibly linked.
I am honored to share this blog post with you written by my friend, Myron Mason. He eats, sleeps and drinks the Kingdom. I believe you will be blessed by what he has to say.
At the end of this blog, there is a link to connect to our latest podcast. It is a great interview with Myron. You don't want to miss it.
Kingdom Priority by Myron Mason
When I hit the “proverbial wall” spiritually by truly repenting and ridding my life of idols, God began to reveal secrets to me beyond the gift of salvation; secrets about the reign of God's Kingdom in my life. God showed me that knowledgeable things I had learned were not all I needed to know.
God revealed to me what I had lost (after Adam’s fall). Jesus’ message was never to scare me into Heaven but to encourage me. He wanted to RESTORE me because I was made in God's image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-28).
God told me that satan's scheme was to steal my identity and turn me into a religious puppet so others that satan had misled could misinform me. Other people didn't have a clue as to what God had put on the inside of me; nevertheless, they thought they had the authority to tell me what God wanted me to do. This would cause me to covet the institution containing titles, pomp, and prestige and what it stood for and not GOD’S PRIORITY WHICH WAS HIM AND HIS KINGDOM.
Satan never wanted me to study and recognize that I am a container of God's Glory as I walk holy before the Lord. Eventually, I forgot my purpose and the assignment that came with it. “Where there is no revelation (VISION), the people cast off restraint” (Proverbs 29:18).
When you become free in Christ, your religious robes are discarded and you put on the new man which is renewed in the knowledge of Him that created you. God's ORIGINAL INTENT for man was being revealed to me “Behold I long for your precepts (original thoughts), revive me in your righteousness” (Psalm 119:40).
The Kingdom of God should reign in every believer because it was Jesus original message –“The Kingdom is at hand”; but man's religious “churchianity” hinders many from walking in it (Matthew 23:13). Hosea 4:6 says, “MY PEOPLE are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”!
May the body of Christ begin to ask God for what HIS PRIORITIES are...
May the body of Christ begin to ask God for what HIS PRIORITIES are and proceed to move away from bondage found in religion and tradition.
Jesus saved us not for us to go to heaven, only (John 17:15); but to display heaven on earth as He did “…as my Father has sent me, even so I send you” (John 20:21). Re-discover the Kingdom within, that Kingdom which God originally gave us. The Kingdom that promotes and utilizes the Holy Spirit as the early church did.
The word “Repent” means to think high thoughts, for people to change their thinking. “Coming up higher” means to not settle for the Status Quo of those who aren't pressing in. God has something to reveal to His remnant in this hour and it, diametrically, opposes what we are practicing today. That remnant is called the Ekklesia!
When I originally heard of the ‘Ekklesia’ from my friend, Tim Kurtz, I just listened to what he had to say. My spirit was moved; I knew it had to be more; however, I could never put my thoughts into words like he had.
So, I began to connect the dots; I read Isaiah 9:6-7, how Heaven’s government would be upon Jesus’ shoulders. Then, I read Jesus’ first declaration in Matthew 4:17 that the Kingdom’s government had arrived. When Jesus told Peter, “…Upon this rock I will build my CHURCH and the gates of hades will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18), somehow, that didn’t seem to give a true identification of who this CHURCH was; so, when I learned that what Jesus really meant was a government term it made me smile.
Finally, revelation came like never before; Jesus’ followers were given the approval as ambassadors!
In Jesus’ days, the Ekklesia in the first century meant a ruling governmental council with the authority to establish policies, legislate, confer, deny citizenship, or to elect officials.
I had heard of that word “council” in the scriptures before (the Sanhedrin council) so I looked it up. They consisted of 71 members: scribes, elders, prominent members of the highly priestly families and the high priest, the president of the assembly.
So, it appeared to me that there would be a conflict when Jesus began to make disciples (disciplined learners) on what it meant to be an ambassador, a citizen of heaven’s culture. He was in all actuality training them to become the ruling council, the Ekklesia, to speak to the authorities that be.
I recall in Acts 4:6 when Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest were gathered together at Jerusalem began to ask Peter and John by what power or what name had they healed the impotent man; the Ekklesia, Jesus was building was so much greater than those of the religious rule of His day. The Ekklesia had the power to heal and make men whole who had previously been doomed to suffer the ailment they had for the rest of their lives.
The Ekklesia are given keys to the Kingdom of heaven; whatever they will bind (forbid) declare to be improper and unlawful on earth will have (already) been bound in heaven, and whatever they will loose (permit) on earth will have (already) been loosed in heaven.
In other words, the Ekklesia is an extension of Jesus’ Ministry, mission while on earth, because it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom (Luke 12:32) so we can become representatives of the government of heaven on earth!
Myron R. Mason is a Kingdom Coach and Minister. For 30 years he has been the Chief Board Operator at WDCX-FM Radio 99.5 FM (Crawford Broadcasting). He has served in the United States Navy, and served on the National Peace Keeping Force in Beirut Lebanon 1983. He lives in Niagara Falls, New York with his wife, Dr. Veronica Mason. They have three children.
Tim Kurtz is the founder of The Ekklesia Center developed to help believers desiring to pursue New Testament values and structure. He teaches extensively on what the impact the mistranslation of the Greek word ekklesia to the English word church has had on the Body of Christ. He has served in numerous capacities in the 'church system' including being a Pastor for over 25 years. He is the author of several books and the primary contributor to the EKKLESIAInsights Blog. Tim is also the host of Good Morning Ekklesia, broadcast live on Facebook. In these daily Study Starters he provides key information that believers can use to study ekklesia deeper. He and his wife Carolyn have been married 46 years and live in Michigan. They have two adult children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.