The church, or original Greek, ekklesia, is not an institution nor is it a proper noun that is capitalized. The ekklesia, as it applies to the people of God, is a congregation or assembly; a gathering or grouping of the called-out ones of God at any time on the earth. The ekklesia is an earthen vessel, not a heavenly one, and is comprised of faith-filled believers as well as unbelievers.
The old testament ekklesia was the nation of the twelve tribes of Israel, called out of Egypt to be God’s possession; a people in covenant with God. Many in the old testament ekklesia were not saved because they were not united by faith with those who listened to the good news (Hebrews 4:2). The Object of faith for the old testament saints was the Coming One; the coming Christ who is to bruise the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). In Hebrews 11, we learn that Moses regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward (Hebrews 11:26).
The new testament ekklesia is comprised of Jew and Gentile, called out of the world to be God’s possession; a people in covenant with God. Many in the new testament ekklesia are not saved because they do not understand the word of the kingdom, some fall away because of tribulation or persecution, and others are unfruitful because the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word (Matthew 9:18-22). The righteous shall live by faith, and those who have faith preserve their souls (Hebrews 10:38-39). The Object of faith for the new testament saints is the crucified, buried, and resurrected Christ, Jesus of Nazareth; our coming King (Matthew 25:31-46).
Within the old testament and new testament ekklesia are the saints of God, counted righteous by faith; the sons of Abraham (Galatians 3:7,29). Together we are made perfect (Hebrews 11:40)—resurrected and raptured (caught up to God; Greek, harpazo) at the parousia, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ; our blessed hope.
The church is not raptured. The saints of God, all the saints in salvation history, are resurrected and raptured at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). And we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
When does Jesus come to reign as King and displace the ruler of this world?
Revelation 11:15 “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).
- Jesus is King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2, Mark 15:2, Luke 23:38).
- Jesus is King of Israel (John 1:49, John 12:13, Matthew 27:42, Mark 15:32).
- Jesus is King of the nations (Revelation 1:5, Revelation 11:15, Revelation 15:4).
Luke 19:38 “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai…
Are Gentile believers members of the commonwealth of Israel? Who was grafted into the cultivated olive tree of Romans 11?
Paul wrote that a true Jew is one inwardly with a circumcised heart. Is circumcision a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, and not by the letter? Is the inward Jew a member of the cultivated olive tree?
In the epistle to the Romans, Paul writes, “Not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.” Is the Israel that Paul talks about the same Israel as the cultivated olive tree?
In the epistle to the Ephesians, Paul writes about a mystery—that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. Is this one body the cultivated olive tree?
Jesus said He has two folds and they will become one flock. Is the one flock of Jesus the cultivated olive tree?
Is there a spiritual Israel? What do you call the body of glorified saints who will rule and reign with Christ on earth? Are the glorified saints members of the cultivated olive tree?
Is the cultivated olive tree the Israel of God?
In Isaiah 49 the Messiah is referred to as Israel. Because gentile believers are in the Messiah, does that make them members of the Israel of God?
Are the sons of Abraham the Israel of God? Who are the sons of Abraham?
The sons of Abraham, counted righteous by faith, comprise the cultivated olive tree; they are Jew & Gentile—the “Israel of God…” The eternal covenant community of YHWH… The bride of Christ… The saints of the Most High God.
Matthew 23:9 “And do not call anyone on earth your father, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.”
When asked which is the greatest commandment God has given, Jesus said, “to love Him.” A person’s love for God is directly proportionate to their knowledge of Him. This is why knowing your heavenly Father is everything.
My motivation for what I do is my love for my Father. I want to honor Him. I want to glorify Him. I want to share His goodness. I want to share His love. What would it be like if everyone knew God as Father?
In the western church the orphan spirit outwardly professes God as Father, but the internal experience is in contradiction to that belief, looking to performance, praise of man, and other idols. Love is not something you get; it is something you receive, and you receive it from your Father in heaven.
When you see yourself as a son or daughter your behavior changes without receiving any rules. The power of God’s love is amazing.
The orphan heart and the heart of sonship
Christian discipleship homes
[Message given at Momma Jo’s, at the Andre House in Phoenix, October 2018]
Good morning brothers and sisters. I want to share a testimony and a message about who God is, about who we are, and truth that sets us free. No matter who you are, no matter what you believe, no matter what you do or what you’ve done, Jesus loves you.
I’m asking you to open up your hearts and hear what God is saying to you. After I share this message I am going to invite you up to join me for prayer. I believe that the Word of God will speak to many of you, and if anything I am saying is stirring your heart, please come boldly, and we will go to our heavenly Father together in prayer, believing through faith, that Jesus will come to restore your life and heal your heart.
Before Jesus came into my life five-and-a-half years ago I viewed other people as rivals, threats, competitors, obstacles, pawns, and pieces of meat for my consumption. I regarded people as objects that either threatened my selfish desires or served them. The Word of God tells us that the thief came to steal, kill, and destroy. I didn’t know truth and I didn’t know love—I didn’t know Jesus. I didn’t have wisdom, I didn’t have understanding. I didn’t know how to give love and I didn’t know how to receive love. Continue reading “Regard No One According To The Flesh” »
Before Christ came into my life seven years ago, I was clothed in the garments of lust, greed, and pride. I made most of my decisions based on my emotions—based on what I felt; and I lived to avoid pain and gain pleasure. My heart was a fountain of wickedness—idolizing and chasing after the things I coveted with no regard for offense against my Creator.
I didn’t know covenant love, nor did I know truth. As a result, I was always trying to get love; I recklessly pursued belief-systems and adopted paradigms that would enable and advance my sinful, selfish desires. The many false beliefs I had presumed about God, others, and myself, allowed lies to operate in my life—creating division and separation, as well as destruction in the lives of others.
Because of my sin, wounds, and false beliefs, I was bound in shame. As a result, I was always trying to cover, hide, escape, and control my shame. Continue reading “To Destroy The Works Of The Devil” »
I was a blasphemer and enemy of God my whole life until Father God drew me to Lord Jesus at age forty-five and I was radically converted to Christ. At that time I had been living on the street for three years, addicted to alcohol and meth, stealing every day, hating myself and others, and crossing boundaries I never thought I would cross in my life—I was greatly demonized and my heart was set on evil.
Continue reading “Repentance: Confess & Forsake” »
In the season of trials I have experienced since the beginning of 2018 God has been dealing with the pride of my heart and teaching me that the righteous shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38). In fact, without faith it is impossible to please God; for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Continue reading “By Faith We Shall Live” »
Man must have a knowledge of self before he is willing to surrender self to God.
Do you see it? Do you see how we must suffer in our own wisdom and strength before we are prepared for God to reveal Himself to us? We must first labor in the futility of our own limitations and depravity before we see our need for Christ. Brokenness is the critical part of transformation as God uses it to strip us of self-sufficiency. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise (Psalm 51:17). It is important to understand that brokenness looks differently for every person, but ultimately it is driven by shame and affliction.
Continue reading “The Sacrifices Of God Are A Broken Spirit” »
Adapted From A. W. Pink’s, A Fourfold Salvation
Before Christ came into my life I didn’t really have a clear understanding of what the word “salvation” meant. I had heard of the “Salvation Army,” and recalled seeing or hearing the term in religious literature or programming, but couldn’t define what it meant if you asked me.
As Father God drew me to Lord Jesus I learned that salvation means deliverance from sin and its consequences, through faith in Christ. Continue reading “A Fourfold Salvation” »