CHURCH    3/31/23                            “WORTH CONSIDERING”
Credited to Bo Salisbury
VISION OF THE ECCLESIA   ( Called out ones )

Just as there were many believers who “came out“ of denominational churches in the 70’s and 80’s to form non-denominational churches, there is a “coming into” ecclesia that is beginning to take place.  Read Isaiah 2:1-5 with prophetic eyes and you’ll see what I mean.  The Israelites “came out” of Egypt, but not everyone “came into” the Promised land.  Most of them died in the wilderness.  Only those who properly aligned with God-endorsed authority, and who walked in faith and obedience to the law of God and who related appropriately with the people of God, entered into the promised land.    In the NT, we’re told to “come out” from among them and be separate.  But we’re also told to “go into all the world.”  What lies in between is Ecclesia.  (You might want to read that again)  Paul “was with them (the ecclesia) at Jerusalem, COMING IN and GOING OUT.”     We’re a “called out” people as God’s true church (Kingdom citizens), but we’re also a “sent” people on assignment (Kingdom ambassadors) to reach the world around us with the love of Jesus.  Problem is, our “churchianity” often masquerades as ecclesia when it’s sometimes a poor representation of what God intends for us. Thank God for divinity in the midst of our humanity, but there is so much more to ecclesia than what we’ve experienced thus far.  As Ecclesia, we gather to be equipped and we scatter to extend Kingdom influence all around us.  We’re transformed as we connect & relate with spiritual family, and we release transformational power in our spheres of influence.  But our Sending authority is only as great as our Gathering capacity.  If we don’t properly assemble and function as ecclesia in cities, regions and nations of the world, we won’t carry the authority to turn the world upside down.   The Ecclesia I’m talking about transcends denominational borders, ministry networks, doctrinal creeds and ministry philosophies.  It’s composed of every ethnicity, gender, age, spiritual gift, and church culture.  There is a networking of networks, a connecting of leaders from different camps, a cross-pollination of spiritual substance in the body of Christ.  There are revelational upgrades from Aquila’s and Priscilla’s awaiting Apollos’.  There are ministry assignments awaiting Paul’s and Barnabas’.  There are Kingdom connections awaiting Peter’s, James’ & John’s with Paul’s and Barnabas’.    The Spirit beckons us to come into proper alignment.  Some will respond, others will choose not to because it’s easier not to try.  And some won’t even hear because their ears are only tuned to what is familiar to them.  Do you hear the Spirit’s cry?      We’re told to “endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit” but how can we keep what we don’t have?  For that reason, the Spirit is stirring hearts to make peace where there is no peace, to build bridges where there is separation, to unite where division has been normalized.  The Kingdom requires it.  The Body of Christ needs it.  The Father longs for it.  Simply put, the World will believe in Jesus as we become One, just like Jesus prayed for us in John 17.   BTW, there’s a difference between the pieces of a puzzle all being in the same box and the pieces actually being connected to form the intended picture.  “To him who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the ecclesia.”

Ken’s Comments:
At first in looking at the above writing, I almost passed it up as just too many words and no pictures.  But then felt a nudge of the Holy Spirit to read it.   And to my surprise I found a kindred spirit with one who was seeing the same things I have been seeing.  “ It is not by our power nor our might that kingdom work is accomplished but by the Holy Spirit that the Church of Christ Jesus is being built. And it seems to me to be being built in spite of our efforts to box it in and make it comfortable and safe for ourselves with our add on vain traditions.   Any more, If I can not find it being done in the New Testament with the context of the New Testament I am considering it a foreign vain tradition for giving GOD’s Glory to some man or some denominational institution.

In the New Testament we find CHURCH is of the people, no paid clergy.   Offering and gifts were collected only for evangelism and to help the poor.  Not one word about building anything.   And the home gatherings were taught in 1 Cor. 14:26-33 to be a forum and interactive and not a theater (with all looking at the back of heads and to a stage as in entertainment.)  Believers came to share and to participate not to watch a show and then go to lunch.   In fact the gathering were on Sat. evenings and included a meal and had no time limit.  And God’s Truth was top drawer and the Holy Spirit was always confirming with setting folks free and healing and delivering all who came, Acts 5:16.   Personally I have seen this happen just one time in my Christian experience of 68 years.  And it was at a gathering that was totally called together by the Holy Spirit and totally unexpected with nothing prepared.

It is very difficult for most of us to wash out the vain (vanity filled prideful) traditions that we have had sown into our lives.   We keep doing them over and over and over thinking that some how God is going to honor them but HE never does.   It is really a definition of insanity.  We have been taught to go to a building called a “Church” when it is really the people who are the Church.   Then we are taught to knell to pray, stand to sing, sit to listen and to pay our 10% and go home believing that we touched GOD and had HIM touch us.  But this is nothing at all like an Acts Church as witnessed by Luke in writing about it.  For sure it is orderly and much safer than the Church of Acts.  But if we really want to touch God and be touched by HIM we are going to need to change back to the original design for the Church as guided by the Holy Spirit.  And HE care little about our comfort zone nor us feeling secure.

When we gather together for Church it should be that the Holy Spirit has us bring with us the fruit, gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit to share with each other.  When we come together it is nice to great one another but basically we come together to have time with our LORD through the Holy Spirit and lift Jesus up.  Eph.4:11-16.  Jesus told us that if even 2 or 3 gathered in HIS name He would be there. Matt. 18:20.   Church is not numbers but relationship.   “ For where two or three are gathered in My name [meeting together as My followers], I am there among them.”   So are we following Christ Jesus as our LORD.  Or are we following the vain traditions of religious men which doesn’t work ?  Every time in the Gospels where Jesus showed up there was His supernatural ministry of HIS love confirmed by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus told us that we could do what HE did.  Jn.14:12.  So seems we have a bit of house cleaning and learning to do before getting to go home with Jesus.

Yours, in HIS great Love and wonderful Grace & Mercy,   Ken<><   www.OhanaChurch.Life

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