Now we will examine the Greek word Ecclesia in greater detail:
THE SEVEN ASSEMBLIES AS A WHOLE (i. 11).
(Taken from Bullinger, E.W. (2011-08-21). The Apocalypse or “The Day of The Lord”: Commentary on Revelation , Trumpet Press. Kindle Edition).
We must here, at the outset, remove the greatest source of all the misunderstandings which have arisen with regard to these seven “churches.” The fact of their being called “churches” has naturally led commentators and students of this book to infer that it is the Church of God, or at any rate the historic Christian Church, which is meant. As a first step toward removing this great evil, let us note at once that the word (…) (ecclesia), rendered “church,” is by no means limited to the restricted sense which is thus forced upon it.
Ecclesia means simply an Assembly: any assembly of people who are called out (for that is the etymological meaning of the word) from other people. Hence, it is used of the whole nation of Israel as distinct from other nations. The Greek word Ecclesia occurs seventy-five times in the Septuagint Translation of the Old Testament, and is used as the rendering of five different Hebrew words. As it is used to represent one of these, seventy times, we need not concern ourselves with the other four words. This Hebrew word is (…) (Cahal), from which we have our English word call. It means to call together, to assemble, or gather together, and is used of any assembly gathered together for any purpose. This Hebrew word Cahal occurs 123 times, and is rendered: “congregation ,” 86 times; “assembly,” 17; “company,” 17; and “multitude,” 3 times: but is never rendered “church.”
Its first occurrence is in Gen. xxviii. 3 – “that thou mayest be a multitude (margin, assembly) of people,” i.e ., a called-out people. That is what Israel was, a people called out and assembled from all other peoples. In Gen. xlix. 6 we read – “O my soul, come not thou into their secret ( Council or Senate); Unto their assembly (cahal), mine honour, be not thou united.” Here the word cahal is used, not of all Israel as called out from the nations, but of the assembly of those called out of form the Tribal Assembly (or Council) of the tribes of Simeon and Levi. Then, it is used of the worshippers, or those called out from Israel, and assembled before the Tabernacle and Temple, and in this sense is usually rendered “congregation.” This is the meaning of the word in Ps. xxii. 22: “In the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee;” and verse 25: “My praise shall be of Thee in the great congregation.”
We ought to use the word Ecclesia in the sense in which it is here used; and not, surely, in the newer and special sense which it acquired, and in which it is used, in the Epistles. In the Pauline Epistles we read nothing about an “angel” as having to do with the churches of God which Paul planted. When the word Ecclesia, in the Apocalypse is rendered “Church,” and the word “Synagogue” in Rev. ii. 9 and iii. 9, is interpreted of the church, it is playing fast and loose with the “words which the Holy Ghost speaketh,” and which He (God) has employed, not only for His revelation, but for our instructions. We hold that the Apocalypse contains a record (by vision and prophecy) of the events which shall happen “hereafter” in the Day of the Lord; that the whole book is concerned with the Jew, the Gentile, and the Earth, but not with the Church of God, or with Christendom; or with the latter only so far as the present corruption of Christianity ……after the Church, the Body of Christ, shall have been removed.
It is interesting to me to notice that the KJV, NRSV and NASB entitle this “book” as “The Revelation to John,” while the NIV entitles it merely “Revelation.” I would have have entitled it “The Revelation of Jesus Christ to Israel and the Gentile Nations.” “Why'” you say? Well, let us look at how it is written and “to whom” it is written:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
If you have been reading any of my posts you know that God has a reason for what He says, why He says it and to whom He says it. He does not use words loosely or carelessly. What we see here is that God gave this revelation, apokalupsis, (noun, a disclosure of truth, instruction, concerning divine things before unknown) to Jesus Christ who sent and relayed it by His angel to His bond-servant John.
Rev 1:3 3
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The words of this prophecy are just that, prophetic, things that will come to pass in the future. Preterists believe that this prophecy came to pass in 70 A.D. Futurists like myself and Fred Price Jr. believe it is still future. Time is the word kairos and means a fixed and definite time: the time occupied by what is written, i.e., the Coming of the Day of the Lord; the days of the wrath of our God. At the culmination of which, we, the born again believers of this Age, will return with Christ for the Battle of Armagedon.
John to the seven assemblies that [are] in Asia:
Young’s Literal Translation properly translates ekklesias as assemblies, not churches. These 7 assemblies have nothing to do with the Church of God to which all born again believers belong, the Body of Christ.
Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come;
Here we have an undoubted reference to, and paraphrase of, the name of Jehovah, as revealed in Ex. iii. 14. It is not from the Father to His children, as in the Church Epistles ; but it is from Jehovah as He was revealed and made known to Israel. This is in perfect keeping with what we hold to be the scope of the book. Three times we have this periphrasis of Jehovah, and yet it is varied according to the emphasis we are to place upon it. Bullinger, E.W. (2011-08-21). The Apocalypse or “The Day of The Lord”: Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2486-2490). Trumpet Press. Kindle Edition.
and from the seven spirits which are before his throne;
We see from Rev 8:2 that these seven spirits are angels and more than likely the angels of the 7 assemblies as well: “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” KJV Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. KJV
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Grace and peace are given from the Old Testament reference to YHWH, the 7 angels who stand before Him and from Jesus Christ. As we go further in this spoken and written prophecy, we will see beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Church to which you and I belong will be long gone before the unfolding of the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD!
for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
“For that which is conceived (gennao, a verb, 1080) in her is of [the] holy ghost.” First of all, there is no definite article “the” in the texts. When there is no article, there should be no capital letters. It should read: “for that which is to be born in her is of holy spirit.” “That which is conceived” is the single word gennao* (1080, from ginomai, 1096), meaning to procreate, regenerate, or engender. In the Bible, it is variously translated as “begat,” “should be born,”“were born,” “been born,” “shall bear,” “bear,” “brought forth,” “be born(again),” “was born (Moses),” “is delivered,” “which gendereth,” “is born (us who believe),” “free born (Paul),” “is begotten (us),” etc. In Matthew 1:20, it should have been translated as “that which is to be born,” instead of “conceived.” This distinction will become more succinct in the following verses.
Unfortunately there is not a Bible in print, that I know of, that makes the necessary distinction between The Giver (The Holy Spirit, who is God) and The Gift of (holy spirit). The presence or absence of the definite article “the” determines which one The Bible is talking about.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive (sullambano, 4815)8 in thy womb, and bring forth (tikto) a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called [the] son of the Highest: and [the] Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not (never had intercourse with) a man? And the angel answered, saying unto her, holy spirit shall come upon thee, and power (dunamis, 1411) of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also [that] holy thing which shall be born [of thee] shall be called [the] son of God. ( Lk 1:31–35, AT)
First, notice that this passage is in the future tense (some of which is still in the future), while the previous one from Matthew was in the past tense. Second, notice that the word translated as “conceive” is totally different than the word used in Matthew. Sullambano (to seize, take, conceive) is made up of two words: sun (4862) and lambano (2983). Lambano means to take or receive objectively. Sun denotes union; with or together by companionship or process. The same word is used in Luke 1:46:
“And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her,who was called barren.”
In Luke 1:35, the angel said, “holy spirit shall come upon thee.” “Come (1904)” and “upon (1909)” are the same words used in Acts 1:8a:
“But ye shall receive (lambano) power (dunamis, 1411), [after that] the holy spirit is come upon you.”
“Come (eperchomai)” means to supervene and to arrive, and “upon (epi)” is a superimposition, as a relation of distribution, rest, or direction. In this verse from Acts, Jesus is instructing his disciples as to what they should expect on the day of Pentecost. The gift from the Holy Spirit came upon them just as it came upon Mary, accompanied by the power needed to be “witnesses unto the uttermost part of the earth.” In these two passages, the word “power (dunamis)” denotes the inherent, miraculous, power of God, which shall “overshadow (episkiazo, 1982)” or cast shade upon. Every usage of the word dunamis in the Bible is in relation to the power of God, whether in a cloud casting a shadow or the shadow of Peter cast over people who desired healing.
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, [which] said (saying), This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. ( Mt 17:5)
Jesus was born, came into existence, just like you and I were, with the exception of how he was conceived! God’s spirit, of or from God, took care of the conception with the accompaniment of His inherent, miraculous power! The same power that raised Christ and Lazarus from the dead. Jesus did not pre-exist his birth. God did not take on the form of a man and come down from His throne and decide to become a baby and leave Mike & Gabe in charge of the heavenly hosts for 31 years! He did not die for 72 hours then somehow wake Himself up and raise Himself up from the dead. Too many people in the Christian world are far too entrenched in Greek Mythology and Mysticism. There are no Scriptures as absolutely clear as these that show the coming into existence of my Lord, Jesus Christ.
* gennao (1080), is used 97 times in the NT and this is the only time it is translated as conceive.
8 NT:4815 sullambano (sool-lam-ban’-o); from NT:4862 and NT:2983; to clasp, i.e. seize (arrest, capture); specifically, to conceive (literally or figuratively); by implication, to aid: KJV – catch, conceive, help, take. Strong’s
When one makes Jesus their Lord, God creates His seed in that individual. As was discussed in Chapter III, we become born again of incorruptible “seed” (1 Peter). The word “seed (spora)” implies parentage.3 Spora and sperma 4 both come from speiro (4687) and spao (4685). It is easy to see that these words are the roots of the English words spore and sperm,
which are both used to describe reproduction; the sowing of seed. To gain a better understanding of the birth of Christ, consider the usage of words in following passage:
“An account of the beginning, origin,(genesis, 1078) 5 of Jesus the Messiah,
son of David, son of Abraham” (Mt 1:1). AT
Here, genesis is a noun that means origin, source, or beginning; it comes from the word ginomai (1096): to come into being. Similarly, “And Jacob begat (gennao, 1080) Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born (gennao) Jesus, who is called Christ or Messiah” ( Mt 1:16).
Here is what the KJV says: The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
This should be particularly troubling to everyone, in that the very first verse of the New Testament is corrupt! The word “generation” 1074 is the word genea and is translated as such 31 of 37 times, but it is not used in this verse at all.
Matthew 1:18 should read, “The beginning, genesis (with one “n”), or origin of Jesus Christ happened this way,” not, “Now the birth (gennesis, with a double “n”) of Jesus Christ happened in this way.”6 The earliest and best manuscripts agree in introducing the passage with the words “The beginning.” Some manuscripts have “<1078> accompanying the word genesis.The reason for this is that other manuscripts use the word gennesis (1083). One thing that further sets these two words apart is that genesis can also mean creation. Genesis and “now” also fl ow with the context of Matthew 1:1. Now the beginning (genesis, 1078) of Jesus Christ was on this wise: his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of holy spirit (no article the). But [while] he thought on these things, behold, [the] angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of 7 holy spirit (no article the). (Mt 1:18, 1:20) It says this is the beginning, the genesis, of Jesus Christ. You either believe it or you do not. If you do not, then there is no reason to believe anything else the Bible has to say.
NT:4701 spora (spor-ah’); from NT:4687 (speiro); a sowing, i.e. (by implication)
NT:4690 sperma (sper’-mah); from NT:4687; something sown, i.e. seed (including
the male “sperm”); by implication, off spring; specifically, a remnant (figuratively,
as if kept over for planting). Strong’s
NT:1078 genesis, geneseoos, hee; 1. source, origin; 2. used of birth, nativity, in Mt
1:18; 3; of that which follows origin, viz. existence, life Jas 3:6. Thayer’s
Bart D. Ehrman, Th e Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: Th e Effect of Early
Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1993).
NT:1537 ek (ek) or ex (ex); a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence
action or motion proceeds), from, out of (place, time, or cause; literal or figurative;
direct or remote. Strong’s
This following will be taken from a book written by friends of mine called One God, One Lord. I am using it to help us understand how John wrote his gospel. The 4 Gospels depict Christ as a man, a servant, a king and in John as the son of God.
“The Gospel of John in many respects paints a portrait of Jesus has already glorified even before his resurrection. In John the glory to Jesus as Messiah is pictured as a present reality not a future one as in the other three Gospels. The projecting of his post-resurrection glory back onto the past is accomplished through the figures speech prolepsis, which is an anticipating; especially describing of an event is taking place before it could have done so, the treating of a future of event as if it had already happened.
It is not surprising that this bold proleptic picture of Christ could be misunderstood and taken literally, thus breaking down the literal, historical and crucial importance of the resurrection. The resurrection becomes devalued by the assertion of Jesus’ apparent innate glory as a pre-existent divine being.
Figures of speech are legitimate literary devices employed to give vigor and emphasis to verbal communication. In addition to prolepsis John employs a related figure of speech called heterosis, which is the exchange of one verb tense for another, in this case, the present for the future tense.
The Gospel of John, therefore, is a profoundly profoundly literary portrait of the Messiah that is emphasizing his post-resurrection glorification at the right hand of God. It goes beyond being prophetic (i.e., foretelling of his future glory) and becomes proleptic by portraying him already glorious. The use of these figures of speech heterosis and prolepsis is not incidental and occasional–is the very warp and woof of the tapestry of John’s Gospel.
Misunderstanding figurative language accounts for many misconceptions because Our Western minds assume that we understand what seems to be the plain meaning of language. The perspective from which the Gospel of John is written is actually “Back From The Future.” There has been a major disturbance of biblical “time-space continuum,” and it is caused by proleptic nature of the Gospel of John.
More evidence that John’s view is proleptic is the fact that John has no record of Jesus’ temptation by the Devil or his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. The risen Lord is beyond such temptation and to struggle in the flesh with an assignment from God is unthinkable. The essence of what Jesus is doing in the Gospel of John is looking down upon his earthly life and reinterpreting it in light of his exalted position at the right hand of God.
This prophetic and proleptic nature of the Gospel of John is made even clearer from the many other verses that attribute to Christ functions and qualities that properly belong to God, which will actually be delegated to him after his resurrection. The Jesus in John is already at the right hand of God, invested with all authority.”
What is it you want to be remembered for? What do you want your legacy to be? Do you want to be remembered like Hymenaeus and Philetus? (2Ti 2:17) Or Ananias and Sapphira? (Acts 5:1) Of course not, right? Better yet, do you want to get to the Judgment Seat of Christ only to find out that what you believed your entire Christian life and taught others as well, was wrong? No, you don’t want that either. But, this is in fact the legacy a great many Christians will leave including some of the most notable names there are.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray in Mt 6:10 ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.’
This prayer has gone unanswered to this day. The Kingdom has not come and God’s will is not being done on earth as it is in heaven, yet most Christians behave, act and teach as if it it is here already. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most obvious is the placement of the gospels of Mt, Mk, Lk and Jn in the New Testament, when they should have been placed in the Old.
Here are some more one no one who believes the Kingdom has come is willing to tackle:
“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Even though Jesus, the monogenetic Son of God, said these things, all the people to whom he said it, died, without them seeing what he said they would see. How can this be? How can you not have questions about it?
Preterists believe and teach that it did come to pass, just as Jesus said it would, but that Jesus’ return in the clouds was spiritual, not physical (hence no one really saw it). They also believe that all the prophecies in the Book of Revelation came to pass around 70 A.D. with the destruction of the temple; that that book is merely historical. I’ve only met one person who believed that and they are currently teaching it in England. Preterists also believe that the 1,000 year reign of Christ is not literal, but means a very long time. If that were the case, which it is not, then we very well could be living in the kingdom of God.
Everyone who says and believes that they are “kingdom” builders or that what it is they do is for the “kingdom” is in error. Jesus is not currently the king in the kingdom of God, because the kingdom does not exist.
Satan is the god of this age.
2 Cor 4:3-4
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god (theos) of this world (aion, age) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,
He is the prince of the power of the air
2 in which once ye did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler (archon, 1st in rank or power) of the authority of the atmosphere, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, YLT
Seeing, then, the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself also in like manner did take part of the same, that through death he might destroy him having the power of death — that is, the devil —
Don’t think or believe for a minute that we are living in the kingdom of God and that our Lord Jesus, the coming and future king, has anything to do with the mess the world is in today. Laying the condition of this age at the feet of Jesus, is not something I would want to be a part of; nor should you.
(In Part II we will be looking at “If you believe_____________then you must also believe__________.)
Some interesting facts.
One of the keys to understanding who is what in the book of Revelation being able to see the different Greek words from which our English words are translated. Beast for example is translated from either zoon or therion:
NT:2226 zoon(dzo’-on); neuter of a derivative of NT:2198; a live thing, i.e. an animal: KJV – beast. NT:2198 zao (dzah’-o); a primary verb; to live (literally or figuratively).
NT:2342 therion (thay-ree’-on); diminutive from the same as NT:2339; a dangerous animal: KJV – (venomous, wild) beast. NT:2339 thera (thay’-rah); from ther (a wild animal, as game); hunting, i.e. (figuratively) destruction: KJV – trap.
Zoon is used 7 times and therion is used 37 times in Revelation. Here we can see that therion is not just any living animal, but a wild, dangerous and destructive one as well.
Rev 13:11-17 describes this Beast from the Earth
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(Taken from Chapter XI of my book)
Yes, there any many false prophets and false teachers, but there is only 1 False Prophet thrown into the Lake of Fire:
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. KJV
This individual is first mentioned 3 chapters earlier:
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. KJV
Prior to this there is no mention of this individual by this name. The only way we can discover more about them is by their attributes:
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Great teaching from my sister.
When I studied and wrote about Jonah the other day, the Lord jolted me with two instructions. The first was to look up the location of Jonah’s Nineveh and see if it is the same as where ISIS is murdering people today. It is. And the demons are just as viscous now as they were over 2800 years ago in Jonah’s time.
I read this in Holman’s Bible Dictionary about Nineveh in Jonah’s time: “They fought with the Israelites continually, their brutality renowned. They impaled their enemies on stakes in front of their towns, hung their heads from trees and covered city walls with the skins of their victims. And when they took prisoners they tortured them—men, women and children—by hacking off body parts, gouging out their eyes or tearing off their lips or hands.” Horrendous inhumane deeds, then and now: same evil brought about by the same demons.
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