© 18 August 2017 Revive Israel Ministries
Rediscovering the Original Ecclesia
I believe we are living in a time where the Holy Spirit is highlighting the word Ekklesia (Greek for Church, Kehila in Hebrew) in order to help us rediscover and walk in its original meaning.
Throughout Scriptures we see the secular language of the day being used to communicate spiritual realities in the kingdom of God. The way we define and use the word church (Ekklesia) today is far removed and not rooted in its original context and meaning.
Called out to Govern
Centuries before the New Covenant was written, the Greeks were using the word Ekklesia to describe a group of citizens called out for governmental purposes. This group was made up of about 6000 men over the age of 18. They would meet on a regular basis to discuss and vote upon new law proposals, come up with military strategy and elect magistrates.
Though the Greeks invented this word, it was really the Romans who adopted, developed and implemented the ‘Ekklesia’ and its function into the heart of their empire. The Ekklesia was gathered around the Roman Emperor/king to hear and record his words. Then they were to see that his will and desires were being implemented across his kingdom.
This is how we as the Ekklesia are called to function, as rulers under the supreme Ruler – King Yeshua. We have been called out from the kingdom of darkness to gather around our King in nearness and intimacy (Col 1:13). We are to hear His voice and act as scribes who record His will, plans and strategy. Then, under His authority and in partnership with Him, we are commissioned to obey and act upon what we heard in His presence (Matt 28:18-20).
Advancing the Kings Agenda
This is what Yeshua was getting at in Matt 16:13-19 when He asked His disciples,
“Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ (anointed king), the Son of the living God.” – Matt 16:13-19
Then Yeshua declared He would build His Ekklesia upon this revelation. (Of course, in the original dialogue Yeshua used the Hebrew/Aramaic Kehila, but the later Greek readers of the Gospels would hear/read “Ekklesia.”) In other words, “You have seen Rome’s Ekklesia function in governmental authority under their king, but now is the time to establish My Ekklesia, of whom I am the head and King, and the gates of hell will not be able to stop the advancement of My government.”
The original governmental meaning of Ekklesia in the New Covenant is directly related to the mandate God gave to mankind in Gen 1:26:
“Let us make man in Our image…
let them have dominion… over all the earth.”
This speaks of ruling, governing, bringing order, administration, protection, maintenance and more. We have been called to rule over all the earth, its creatures and resources.
We are moving closer to the restoration of all things. Part of this process includes the global Ekklesia of Yeshua rediscovering her original identity and calling as a governmental body of people called out to rule the earth and every sphere of society under King Yeshua’s leadership (Acts 1:8).
From Cooperation to Covenant
Arab Christians and Messianic Jews are already reconciled through the cross of Yeshua. The next step was cooperation, but even that is not enough in today's religious and political climate. It's time to take things to the next step.
Subtitles available in: Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish!
Real Peace between Jews and Arabs in Israel
It's no secret that the one issue that dominates most of Israel's headlines is the "peace" process between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. When I was a child, I was certain that by the time I would enlist in the army that Israel would have achieved peace, and I wouldn't have to fight in the army. However, by the time I reached my 18th birthday, the dream-of "peace" between Jews and Arabs was still elusive as ever, and I had to enlist in the Israeli Defense Force. Today, 18 years after completing my mandatory military service, peace still can't be found, and as I write this, I don't know if there will even be peace by the time my own children turn 18.
Despite Israel's being in an almost constant state of war, I have seen and experienced moments of peace, real peace. One that goes into the heart, breaking the "dividing wall of hostility". A peace that transforms the reality of hatred between Arabs and Jews into a reality of love.
I have been privileged to experience that beautiful and special kind of love at Tiferet Yeshua congregation in Tel Aviv, where I came to realize that faith in Yeshua the Messiah is the bridge that is able to span the divide between Jews and Arabs. One of my favorite teachers in the Body of Messiah is Yosef Hadad, the pastor of an Arab congregation in the north of Israel. He has a great relationship with Tiferet Yeshua and actually comes to teach at our congregation from time to time. What I love about Pastor Hadad is not only the content of his teaching but his ability, as an Arab, to share with us as Jews his love of the nation of Israel—truly a miracle! Seeing an Arab pastor at a Jewish congregation in the heart of Tel-Aviv, teaching, encouraging, blessing and praying for us, seeing him as a part of our family—that, for me, is true love and peace.