Understanding “The Church” or the “Ekklēsia” and the “Kuriakon”
There is much confusion about “The Church” and about its meaning and its intention. From personal experience, pastors and teachers seem to preach and teach only half the message. Perhaps because they too have not heard the whole message of that the Church means.
Unfortunately, Satan knows how important the information is, and as the Jesus clearly says, he tries to take it away from us at every opportunity he can:
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the Word of the Kingdom [of God] and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown by the wayside” Mathew 13:18-19.
Jesus then goes on to say of the Church,
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18.
Let’s look at exactly what Jesus is saying here in the Greek. Peter = Petros = Πέτρος = little rock or piece of rock; Rock = petra = πέτρα = an immoveable mass of rock; Church = ekklēsia = ἐκκλησία = a calling out, that is, a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation; Gates of Hell = the government of hell.
In Matthew 16:18 the Lord declares that Peter is one these living stones, made such by his confession of faith, and ready to be built into the church, the spiritual temple, formed of living stones, and built upon the rock.
Jesus is in fact saying here saying, I will build my government and the government of hell will not prevail against it.
This statement of Jesus in Matthew 16:18 is not a religious statement, but a legal one. He is stating clearly how the government of the Kingdom of God will be formed on earth and against it, the kingdom of darkness cannot prevail.
In ‘The Church,’ in the Church of Christ, Jesus did not establish a religion, but a governmental body. Sadly, this is a truth and understanding missed by most Christians.
For confirmation of this, we need to remember and understand why it was that Jesus Christ came to earth as a man. For details on this see our article “Why did Jesus come?”
Looking at the original Greek word which the English Bible now records as Church, we find it is the word ekklēsia, meaning a calling out or an assembly. In this context, Jesus was referring to those who were called out to know something special, to receive special training, to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. It was to be a secret group – or at least group with secrets. Jesus clearly confirms this view in His answer to the purpose of parables:
“And the disciples said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them” Matthew 13:10-11.
The Greek term ekklēsia, is normally translated by the English word “church” in its 80 occurrences in New Testament.
Unfortunately, what most Christian do not know is that the English word “church” did not originate from the word ekklēsia, “called out,” nor from the concept of the ekklēsia as expressed in the New Testament.
Instead, the English word “church” originated with the Greek word kuriakos which means “belonging to the Lord.” This Greek word is used only twice in the New Testament as follows:
“When you come together, it is not the Lord’s [kuriakon – κυριακός] supper that you eat” (1 Corinthians 11:20 ESV).
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s [kuriake- κυριακός] day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…” (Revelation 1:10 ESV)
In both of these verses, the adjective kuriakos, is used to specify the owner of the “supper” or “day”, that is, the supper and day belonged to the Lord. As you can see, this word belongs to a completely different range of meanings than the Greek word ekklēsia.
Eventually, the place where believers met together came to be called “the Lord’s house” using the term kuriakon, which is literally, “the Lord’s thing.” This word made its way into both German (“Kirche”), Anglo Saxon (“circe”), and Middle English (“chirche”).
It is interesting that when Luther translated the New Testament into vernacular German, he did not use the word “Kirche” to translate ekklēsia, he used the German word “Gemeinde,” which means something similar to the English word “community.” However, many Germans today still refer to the “church” as the “Kirche,” not unlike in Scotland where the Church is still known as “the Kirk.”
In 1356 when Tyndale translated the New Testament into English, he did not use the word “church” to translate the Greek word ekklēsia. Instead, he used the word “congregation.” However, within the next 100 years, all English translations normally used the word “church” as the translation of ekklēsia rather than the more correct, congregation.
The Bishop’s bible of 1568 records Matthew 18:18 thus:
“And I say also vnto thee, that thou art Peter, and vpon this rocke I wyll buylde my congregation: And the gates of hell shall not preuayle agaynst it.”
Fortunately, in some modern languages version of the Bible, the word currently translated and used for ‘the church,’ does derive from the Greek word ekklēsia.
Does not matter what word is used to reference the church, the ekklēsia in the New Testament? The answer must of course be yes, but given the total integration of the word with the English language and psyche, I believe it is beholden on those who do understand the differences, to make themselves and their intended meaning clear, each time they use the word.
We can use “Church,” or “Body of Christ,” or “community.” The word itself is important, for it is important how we use those words; it is important what we really mean, when we speak them.
Do we use Church to refer to buildings, or organizations, or denominations, or clergy? If so, then we are not referring to the same thing that the New Testament authors were referring to when they used the Greek word ekklēsia.
However, if we use Church words to refer to the people of God, then we are referring to the church, or community, the ekklēsia that Jesus loved and for whom He gave Himself.
The “Ekklēsia” or the “Kuriakon;” we need to make clear to the hearer – the believer – which word and meaning we are using. It is easy to confuse a hearer, as Satan knows well.
As mentioned before, Ekklēsia is a political word, not a religious word. It is to do with government organisation. The Romans adopted from the Greeks the concept of a political and ruling assembly or ekklēsia and through it, and through their development of the Greek concept of democracy, the Senate of the Roman Empire became the political institution of ancient Rome. The Ekklēsia was an institution familiar to Jesus the disciples and it meant simply, an assembly of elders.
The Apostles – the disciples of Jesus, were a Church – an ekklēsia – a called out assembly, a senate, a governing body. In modern terminology, the disciples were a political government cabinet representing God and the government of God, on earth.
Wikipedia says “a cabinet is a group of high-ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. In some countries, the cabinet is named “Council of Ministers”.” In the British system the members of the cabinet are referred to as Ministers, just as in the Church, where leaders are also referred to as Ministers. The realities of Jesus’ times can be seen in present time too.
This, all cabinets have collective responsibility, in that the members don’t talk other than the agreed message. Such too was the standing of the church in pre-reformation days which there was a collective voice.
Today, cabinet members of a ruling government have access to secrets and to knowledge to which the normal population are not privy. That is their power and through that power, they exercise their authority. As we saw before, this was made clear be Jesus in his explanation of the purpose of parables in Matthew 13:10-11.
Thus, as the main power of the Cabinet is KNOWLEDGE, the government of the Kingdom of God is no different to earthly governments in this respect, as we see in the following Bible verses:
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge….” Hosea 4:6.
“Woe to you, lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and you have hindered those who were entering in” Luke 11:52.
“And He will be the security of your times, and strength of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of Jehovah is his treasure” Isaiah 33:6.
“And the key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house” Isaiah 22:22-23.
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts; and shuts and no one opens, says these things…” Revelation 3:7.
If you look carefully at the time when Jesus answered a question about the taxes, you will clearly see that He was answering a political question, not a religious one:
“….. Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at Him” Mark 12:17.
Compare Isaiah 9:6 and Isaiah 22:22 and you will find they are both talking about Jesus as the Messiah and about his Government and the keys of authority which unlock the power of that government:
“For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6.
“And the key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open” Isaiah 22:22.
Yes, on his shoulders Jesus carried two burdens – for us. For more on this, please read the article “The Yoke of Jesus.”
The Ekklēsia, the Church, the Body of Christ, is a legal, political governmental body representing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. It is not a religious body.
Just how far Satan and the powers of darkness will go to deceive us and separate us from the knowledge of the Kingdom of God can be seem in the USA and the demonic Freemasons and their secretive Freemasonry who have separated Christianity and the Ekklēsia from government, so they can control it. I recommend you listen to the following Audio an Audio recording by Arthur Burk entitled: The 3 Roots of American Freemasonry. It is a short talk which looks at the history of the Church in comparison to the demonic roots of Freemasonry in the United States of America and how, while the Church, the Ekklēsia, has been incapacitated to fulfil its biblical imperatives, Demonic Freemasonry has conquered the country.
For those reading and thinking that this view of the Church, the Ekklēsia, is stretching the point, I present a final confirmation from the Bible.
“Then we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as God exhorting through us, we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” 2 Corinthians 5:20.
Ambassadors are cabinet appointees! Ambassadors are political government representatives. This is who we are, as members of the Ekklēsia – Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God!!
There is more to the meaning and the understanding of “Church” than is often taught in Churches. Without that knowledge and understanding, our overall view of Christianity is skewed and off target. I pray that you will now take the time to come to the knowledge of what Jesus mean by His Ekklēsia, for as a born-again Christian, you are a part of it and must, as is the duty of any Ambassador, to speak for and on behalf of the Government of God in Heaven in all things and at all times, as and when necessary.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray that you will give me a full and proper understanding of Your Ekklēsia and of my role for You in it. Correct my earthly myopic vision of all religiousness and give me eyes which allow me to see my status as you see me. Grant me understanding, I pray, of the knowledge which you have given to me here such that with Your grace, I may come to true wisdom.
Lord, please teach me all I need to know about Your Ekklēsia, and empower me to teach others.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.