The true Assembly (Church)

THE EKKLESIA / ASSEMBLY

 

Concerning the original Scriptural word used by God: Ekkelsia, and the false word "church":

 

Some Bibles translate the greek word “ekklesia” into “church”. When the word “church” was used in the first translations, it was a false, intended mis-translation done to deceive people. Later on, some might use the word unknowing that it is a wrong and false word to use for the ekklesia of Scripture. The original greek word “ekklesia”, means “called out ones”, and when talking about disciples of Christ, it means those called by God out of the world and into His kingdom, universally and locally.

 

In the New Testament, the word ekklesia is used 115 times in 112 verses. It appears in other forms at other times. In these mis-translated bibles, 3 times it talks of a gathering of people (not disciples), and it is in these instances translated “assembly”. However, in the other 112 instances, when it talks of the group of called out disciples in a town, they have purposely chosen to use the word “church” instead of the correct “called out assembly/congregation”. This was done with malicious intent by King James and others, to maintain the idea of factious sects separating the believers, and to keep them in bondage under men within man-made systems.

 

Today Christians and non-christians alike use the word “church” as it was something from God used in the Bible. But it is not. The word “church” is a word that has replaced the original greek “ekklesia”, meaning the “called out ones”, or the “called out assembly/congregation”. If correctly translated from greek, the word used in the New Testament “ekklesia”, would be “called out ones”, “called out assembly”. It contains a whole body of called out people, and in the NT always speaks of just one in each city/town. That is because the ekklesia, the called out assembly in any and every town, consists entirely of - and only of - the whole sum of every born-again believer and follower of Jesus Christ who lives in that town. Whenever a person who lives there gets saved, or whenever a saved person moved to that town, they are immediately added to the assembly in that town. The Bible uses different words to describe the ekklesia: the body of Christ and the Temple of God among others. There is only one flock of believers, one called out assembly in every town, and they are commanded by God to love each other, fellowship and be the body of Christ, working together as Christ’s servants.

 

“church” is a word that carnal people has used to replace ekklesia when translating from the original greek, to create an illusion that factions and parties are approved by God, and to strengthen the division of the ekklesia, the body of Christ.

 

The word church comes from the greek word: kuriakon (old english circe), or kurios (and has nothing to do with the ekklesia of Christ), and should not be used by Christians.

 

However, the word ekkleisa:

ekklēsia G1577

ek-klay-see'-ah G1577

 

From a compound of G1537 and a derivative of G2564; a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): - assembly/congregation.

 

The word Assembly is the word "Ekklesia", from "Ek" (G1537) meaning "out of" and "Kaloe" (G2564) which means "to call". The Assembly therefore, is the “out called ones”, those who are “called out”. The Assembly of Christ in any and every place is thus the assembly of the holy children of God, who are called out of the world, and into Gods Kingdom. John 15:19 “...but I have chosen you out of the world”. Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness, and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”. See also 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1.

 

 

 

Gods called-out assembly

 

The Assembly, is commanded in the Word of God, to be of of one mind and fellowship, to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” Ephesians 4:3

 

«16 (be) of the same mind one toward another» Romans 12:16a

 

«2 ...mind the same thing -- having the same love -- of one soul -- minding the one thing » Philippians 2:2b

 

1 Corinthians 1:2a

«2 To the assembly of God which is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints»

 

2 Corinthians 1:1a

«1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the assembly of God which is at Corinth”

 

Paul is writing to the (one) Assembly of God which is in the city of Corinth, that is, those who are sanctified in Jesus (the Christians in Corinth). There is only one Assembly in any location. This is true because the Assembly in any given location IS “the whole flock of sanctified believers” who lives in that location. The Assembly in any location or place, consists completely of all the Christians who lives there. The Assembly is not an organization or a building, but consists ONLY of and COMPLETELY of those who are the followers of Jesus in any and every location.

 

In Galatians 1:2 it says "to the assemblies of Galatia". Here it says “assemblies” in plural, because Galatia was a large region in what is known today as Turkey, and not one location, place or city.

 

Ephesians 1:1

«1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus»

 

This letter is written “to the saints who are in Ephesus”. Paul could write one letter to all those in Ephesus, and expect all the believers to read it, because they all had fellowship. He is writing the letter to them, as to one assembly/one recipient.

 

Philippians 1:1

«1 Paul and Timotheus, servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippe, with overseers (episkopos G1985) and ministrants (diakonos G1249)»

 

Paul could write one letter to all those in Phillipi, and expect all the believers to read it, because they all had fellowship. He is writing the letter to them, as to one assembly/one recipient. Here he is also specifying that there are overseers and ministrants among the assembly.

 

Colossians 1:2a

«2 to the saints in Colossae, and to the faithful brethren in Christ»

 

The letter is written “to the saints in Colossae, and to the faithful brethren in Christ”. Paul could write one letter to all those in Collosae, and expect all the believers to read it, because they all had fellowship. He is writing the letter to them, as to one assembly/one recipient.

 

Romans 1:7:

«7 to all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called saints»

 

Paul could write one letter to all those in Rome, and expect all the believers to read it, because they all had fellowship. He is writing the letter to them, as to one assembly/one recipient.

 

1 Thessalonians 1:1a

«1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, to the assembly of Thessalonians in God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ»

 

2 Thessalonians 1:1

«1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, to the assembly of Thessalonians in God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ»

 

There was ONE Assembly in Thessalonia: the assembly/whole flock of all believers.

Also notice this great relationship between each and every one, in 2 Tess 1:3: "Brothers, we ought always to give thanks to God about you, even as it is right, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of each one of all of you multiplies toward one another," The love of each one towards another can only abound and multiply if love first is with each of them, and if there is fellowship among them.

 

Titus 1:5

"5 For this cause I left you in Crete, that you might set in order the things lacking and appoint elders (presbyteroi) in every city, as I prescribed to you"

 

There shall be elders in every city / in every location – elder in every Assembly. It is therefore the same if Paul says “appoint elders in every city”, or “appoint elders in every assembly.

 

Romans 16:5a

"5 And greet the assembly at their house"

 

This does not say “the assembly which IS their house”, but it says “the assembly at their house”. Or in other words: the assembly used the house for their fellowship at that time. As we will read later in Acts, the followers of Jesus in this time sold much of their land etc. and gathered together. They lived together and had fellowship daily. Here then, the assembly at this location/place chose to use a suitable house as the place which they had gathered.

 

Philemon 1:2

"2 and to Apphia the beloved, and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the assembly in your house"

 

Again, this does not say that the house was an assembly, but that the assembly in that place gathered in that house.

 

According to the Word of God we read that there is only ONE Assembly in every location. This is because the assembly in any location consists of the total sum of all born-again followers of Jesus in that location. They are one family, one body. All the believers/Christians are called to be one and be together.

 

Hebrews 10:25 tells us to

«25 not forsaking (egkataleipō G1459) the full assembling together of ourselves (episunagōgē G1997), as is the custom of some, but exhorting, and by so much more as you see the Day drawing near.”

 

So then if some within the assembly in a city does not fellowship together with the rest of their assembly, they are neglecting this command, and are among those whom the verse warns about.

 

Colossians 1:18a

«18 And Himself is the head of the body -- the assembly ,»

 

The assembly is the body of Christ, and Christ is the Head. The whole body needs to stay together and work together.

 

 

 

The life and fellowship of the Assembly – as God commands

 

«32 and the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul. And not one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own. But they had all things common. » Acts 4:32a

 

In Acts we read about the first flock/assembly consisting of all those who believed in and followed Jesus. Or in other words more common today: the first Christian Assembly. Here we see how the fellowship among the assembly/the whole flock of believers, are supposed to be.

 

First notice in Acts 2:1 that “And in the day to be fulfilled, the day of Pentecost, they were all with one mind upon the same place and purpose.”

 

Acts 2:42-47

“42 And they were continuing steadfastly in the doctrine of the apostles, and in fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43 And fear came to be to every soul, and many wonders and miraculous signs occurred through the apostles.

44 And all the believing ones were on the same place and had all things common.

45 And they sold possessions and belongings and divided them to all, according as anyone had need.

46 And according to a day continuing steadfastly with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they shared food in great joy and simplicity of heart,

47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to the assembly the ones being saved according to a day.”

 

Acts 4:32-35

“32 And of the multitude of those who believed, the heart and the soul were one. And no one said any of the possessions belonging to him to be his own, but all things were common to them.

33 And with great power the apostles gave testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

34 For neither was anyone needy among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses, selling them, they brought the value of the things being sold,

35 and laid them at the feet of the apostles. And it was distributed to each one according as any had need.”

 

 

This was the first Assembly:

 

They were continuing steadfastly in the doctrine of the apostles, as we too must continue steadfast in the Word of God. (Acts 2:42)

 

They were continuing steadfastly in fellowship – as we too must continue steadfast in fellowship. We can not first divide into factions and sects, and then say within our own small little factions “look, we are continuing steadfastly in fellowship”, because the fellowship has then already been broken! We are to continue steadfast in the fellowship with our own assembly – which is the fullness of all born-again Jesus believers where we live. (Acts 2:42)

 

They were continuing steadfastly in the breaking of bread – as we too must. (Acts 2:42)

 

They were continuing steadfastly in prayers – as we too must. (Acts 2:42)

 

All the believers were together and had all things common. And no one said any of the possessions belonging to him to be his own, but all things were common to them. And neither was there anyone among them that lacked, for as many as were owners of lands or houses, selling them, they brought the value of the things being sold, and it was distributed to each one according as any had need – as we too must have fellowship and be together.

 

Not only where they together and had fellowship, as all real believing sibling must have, they were also of one and same mind. 1 Corinthians 1:10 also tells us: “Now I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all say the same, and there be no schisms/divisions among you, but you be perfectly joined together, in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

 

In Acts 14:21-28 we hear about Paul and his traveling companions coming to the city of Antioch. From verse 27 we read:

 

“27 and having come and gathered together the assembly, they declared as many things as God did with them, and that He did open to the nations a door of faith;

28 and they abode there not a little time with the disciples.”

 

Also here we can see that there was just one assembly in Antioch, and that they came together when Paul came and witnessed to them what God had done.

 

Acts 15:1-29 tells us the story of some people who came down from Judea and tried the convince the other brethren to be circumcised. Paul, Barnabas and some others should travel to Jerusalem and present the issue to the Apostles and elders there. Verse 3 says that “they indeed, then, having been sent forward by the assembly”. In verse 4 the travelers had arrived in Jerusalem. Then it says in verse 4: “And arriving into Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the assembly and the apostles and the elders. And they reported as many things as God did with them.” After they had discussed the matter, verse 22a says: “Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with all the assembly,”.

 

Again, we see that both in Antioch and in Jerusalem, the Bible is always talking about one one assembly, that is, one flock of believers.

 

John 13:34-35

“34 I give a new commandment to you, that you should love one another; according as I loved you, you should also love one another.

35 By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love among one another.”

 

Jesus has commanded us to have love among one another.

 

When the Bible talks about the assembly/ekklesia, it is actually talking about the whole body of believers in a place/the sum of all the belivers. They are all one and have the fellowship that God gave to them, where love remains and they serve each other with the gifts that God gives to each one.

 

Notice in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, given to His servant John: Seven messages are given to seven assemblies, in seven specific locations/cities:

 

Revelation 1:11

“11 saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last; also, What you see, write in a book, and send to the seven assemblies of Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

 

Revelation 2:1a

“1 To the angel of the Ephesian assembly, write”

 

Revelation 2:8a

“8 And to the angel of the assembly in Smyrna, write”

 

Revelation 2:12a

“12 And to the angel of the assembly in Pergamos, write ”

 

Revelation 2:18a

“18 And to the angel of the assembly in Thyatira, write”

 

Revelation 3:1a

“1 And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis, write”

 

Revelation 3:7a

“7 And to the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia, write:”

 

Revelation 3:14a

“14 And to the angel of the assembly in Laodicean, write”

 

 

 

What about the organizations today that call themselves “churches”?

 

Thus far we have seen what the real Biblical assembly really is – and it has nothing to do with the so-called “churches” that men have made today. Let us now see what the Word of God says about the conditions when only a fragment or group of the whole body of Christians in any place create their own factions. Thankfully, God has spoken clearly about this in His Word.

 

Jesus warns us about wolves::

Matthew 7:15-23

“15 But beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are plundering wolves.

16 From their fruits you shall know them. Do they gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

17 So every good tree produces good fruits, but the corrupt tree produces evil fruits.

18 A good tree cannot produce evil fruits, nor a corrupt tree produce good fruits.

19 Every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and is thrown into fire.

20 Surely from their fruits you shall know them.

21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My Father in Heaven.

22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power?

23 And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; “depart from Me, the ones working lawlessness!” Psalm 6:8a”

 

What fruits shall we know the wolves by? Is it if they have done (or claimed to do) thousands of miracles? Is it if thousands of people have been (or claimed to be) saved by their preaching? No. None of that matters at all. How we shall know the wolves are that they are “working lawlessness”. They are not “under the law of Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:21).

 

They are not keeping the commandments of Christ:

 

John 15:12-14

“12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you.

13 Greater love than this has no one, that someone should lay down his soul for his friends.

14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”

 

Today we have many false prophets and preachers who do/claim to do great wonders, and tens of thousand of people have been/claim to be, saved by their teaching. And many people think that these supposed results are evidences of good fruits, coming from a good tree. But false prophets can perform wonders and so-called miracles. And we know that most preachers today are not preaching the pure Biblical gospel. Instead, they are preaching man-focused messages where their aim is for you to achieve worldly success and feel good about yourself, and that God is your servant to fulfill your dreams and desires in your life on this earth. Whether they play on peoples loneliness, desire for money, status etc. makes no difference – the result is the same: that people “receive” Jesus or the life that is presented to them, as a means to gain, or something they might as well “try” the same way they try anything new and exciting for a time. It is not difficult to make thousands of people accept a man-focused message. Other wolves again may tell the true/or parts of the true gospel, that people need to be saved because they are evil sinners who deserve an eternal damnation in hell (the lake of fire), about repentance and faith in Jesus. But the REASON that these wolves preach the gospel is not from an honest heart, but because of different fleshly and evil desires within themselves: status, followers, people who will give “tithes and offerings” to them, some want to build their own organization etc. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul tells us about some who were preaching the gospel for bad reasons:

 

Philippians 1:14-18

“14 And the most of the brothers in the Lord, having been persuaded in my bonds, more exceedingly dare to speak the Word fearlessly.

15 Some, indeed, even proclaim Christ because of envy and strife, but some also because of good will.

16 These, indeed, proclaim Christ out of self-seeking, not sincerely, thinking to bring affliction to my bonds.

17 But the others out of love, knowing that I am appointed for defense of the gospel.

18 What then? Yet in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and I rejoice in this; yet also I will rejoice.”

 

Men can surely be saved by listening to the preaching of false prophets and teachers. But then they are not saved because of them, rather they are saved by the grace of God, despite them. As God says in Jeremiah 29:13 “And you shall seek and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” When people humble themselves and seeks God with all their heart, He will reveal Himself to them. And God can use any instrument He wants.

 

Acts 20:29-31

“29 For I know this, that after my departure unsparing, grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;

30 and out of you yourselves will rise up men speaking perverting things in order to draw away the disciples after themselves.

31 Therefore, be alert, remembering that I did not cease admonishing each one with tears night and day for three years.”

 

Paul warns us and says he knows that grievous wolves WILL come in among the assembly of believers, and they will NOT spare the flock. Paul warns us and says that some people will rise up out of you (stand up as and call themselves “Christians” and believers), but they will draw away some of the believers, some of the assembly away from the flock, and after themselves. This they will do with FALSE speaking, which will convince believers that it is right to forsake their own assembly and flock, and instead follow the grievous wolf.

 

In His Word, God warns us that there will arise divisions and factions among the believers/assembly. This happens because people will draw parts of the flock (some of the Christians in a location), after themselves. Divisive people will start a division/faction/group/organization, and instead of building Gods Temple, Gods Assembly, they will build their own human works. When most people today think of the word “church” and use it in their everyday speech, they mean man-made organizations such as “Pentecostal churches like Zion, Bethel etc”, Protestant “churches”, Baptist “churches”, Lutherans etc.. These organizations are often in the same neighborhood as each other, but are completely separate, with their own agenda, buildings, structure etc. But this is not what the word assembly/ekklesia means, and that is also not the word God uses in the Bible, when He defines what these organizations are.

 

These are not Assemblies in Gods eyes, but divisions/factions/sects/denominations, where parts of the flock in one or more locations chose not to have fellowship with their own flock of believers where they live (that is the Assembly where they themselves live). Instead, they rather choose to stay with a divisive faction or group of select people that they prefer to have fellowship with.

 

In 1 Corinthians Paul exhorts the Assembly in that city, that they “all say the same, and there be no schisms/divisions among you, but you be perfectly joined together, in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10b)

 

1 Corinthians 1:10-13

10 “Now I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all say the same, and there be no schisms/divisions among you, but you be perfectly joined together, in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

11 For about you, my brothers, it was shown to me by the ones of Chloe that there are contentions among you.

12 But I say this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.

13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?”

 

Just as some people among the flock of believers (assembly) in Corinth began to divide themselves and call themselves by name, many people also do today. But Paul tells us that we must not take part in any such thing. “But I say this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.” (1 Cor 1:12). Then Paul rebukes them in verse 13 and says: “Has Christ been divided?” Men had begun to divide, but Paul tells them that Christ is NOT divided! Today people suffer from the fact that divisions and factions and sects have almost taken completely over, and they are so blinded by this lie that has gone on for so long that they think this is how it is supposed to be. Today people say, with pride, “I am of Luther”, “I am of Wesley”, “I am of Calvin”, or in other words “I am of the pentecostal movement” I belong to the Reformators, I am a Baptist, baptist, Lutheran, Evangelical, Charismatic, Protestant etc”.

Paul says to us: “Has Christ been divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13).

 

Further, Paul uses the whole of chapter 3 to talk about and expound on the same. First I will write the whole chapter so you can read it in its entirety. Then I will comment on it afterward.

1 Corinthians 3:1-23

“1 And, brothers, I was not able to speak to you as to spiritual ones, but as to fleshly ones, as to babes in Christ.

2 I gave you milk to drink, and not solid food, for you were not then able, for neither are you yet able now.

3 For you are yet fleshly ones. For where among you is jealousy, and strife, and divisions, are you not fleshly ones and walking according to man?

4 For when one says, Truly I am of Paul, and another, I of Apollos; are you not fleshly ones?

5 Who then is Paul? And who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, and to each one as the Lord gave?

6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God the One made to grow.

7 So as neither the one planting is anything, nor the one watering, but God the One making to grow.

8 So the one planting and the one watering are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

9 For of God we are fellow-workers, a field of God, and you are a building of God.

10 According to God’s grace given to me, as a wise master builder, I laid a foundation, but another builds on it. But let each one look how he builds on it.

11 For no one is able to lay another foundation beside the one having been laid, which is Jesus, the Christ.

12 And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw,

13 the work of each one will be revealed; for the Day will make it known, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire will prove the work of each one, what sort it is.

14 If the work of anyone which he built remains, he will receive a reward.

15 If the work of anyone shall be burned down, he shall suffer loss; but he will be saved, but so as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in you?

17 If anyone corrupts the temple of God, God will corrupt this one; for the temple of God is holy, which you are.

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks to be a wise one among you in this age, let him become foolish, that he may become a wise one.

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written, “He is taking the wise ones in their own craftiness.” Job 5:13

20 And again, “The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise ones, that they are useless.” LXX-Psa. 93:11; MT-Psa. 94:11

21 So then let no one glory in men; for all things are yours,

22 whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours,

23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”

 

So then in 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

“1 And, brothers, I was not able to speak to you as to spiritual ones, but as to fleshly ones, as to babes in Christ.

2 I gave you milk to drink, and not solid food, for you were not then able, for neither are you yet able now.”

 

God Word clearly says that Paul can not speak to the Corinthians “as to spiritual ones”, but only as to what they are: “fleshly ones, as to babes in Christ.” He wanted to give them solid food, but can only give them milk, because they are are not able to receive solid food – the food of growing and maturing believers. And as long as they keep agreeing with and doing the things which keeps them from it, God still can not speak to them as to anything but what they are, which are carnal and babes in Christ, and He can not give them anything but milk.

 

As we read on we see what the reason is that God can not speak to them as to spiritual ones, but only as to carnal, as to babes in Christ:

 

“3 For you are yet fleshly ones. For where among you is jealousy, and strife, and divisions, are you not fleshly ones and walking according to man?

4 For when one says, Truly I am of Paul, and another, I of Apollos; are you not fleshly ones?

5 Who then is Paul? And who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, and to each one as the Lord gave?”

 

As long as a person builds and supports man-made organizations and divisions of the assembly, God can not give that person solid food, that he might be able to grow away from his carnality or “babes in Christ”-stage. It does not matter how many “big” revelations and healthy doctrines such a person has; he still can not grow past this stage and grow unto maturity as long as he is supporting divisions/factions/sects/denominations, and is not working towards the unity which is in Christ Jesus between all the believers – one assembly in any location.

 

Do you know what the word for denomination is in the language of the New Testament? It is the same word for sect or faction.

 

From Oxford Dictionaries: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/denomination: 1) A recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church:

3 formal A name or designation.

3.1 [mass noun] The action of naming or classifying something:

3.2

 

From Cambridge Dictionaries Online: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/denomination: a religious group that has slightly different beliefs from other groups that share the same religion:

 

The word denomination is from Latin (dēnōminātiō, from de- + Latin nōmināre to call by name;)

 

To “denominate” is to put a name on, as in Lutheran, Methodist, Wesleyan, Presbyterian, Baptist, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Anglican etc.

 

These people who had created schisms, divisions and factions among the flock of believers/assembly in Corinth, had begun to denominate themselves: Those of one faction said, “I am of Peter.” Those of another said, “I am of Paul.” Those of still another said, “I am of Apollos.” In reaction, others boasted, “I am of Christ.” . In the exact same way that these began, people have continued to destroy the assembly by dividing into more and more factions/divisions/sects.

 

In the original language of the New Testament, the Greek word for denomination (or for any such faction or sect) is “HERESY”: ΑΙΡΕΣΙΣ. That is what the word heresy actually means.

 

A common misunderstanding is that heresy is simply “an unbiblical doctrine”, a false teaching. Even though this is how most people today have started to use the word, it is only but an implication of the word. While an unbiblical doctrine might often have been used as an excuse to form and start a denomination or sect, that is not the main meaning of the word heresy as used by God in the Bible. Heresy is actually the faction, sect or denomination itself.

 

According to Scripture, the mentality that can either foster or condone a denomination, faction or sect, is at enmity with the Spirit of God. You will find that both faction and sect are in the list of the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:20 (see original language). The works of the flesh are the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit. God is not the author of heresies (sects or denominations). If God were to sanction a denomination, sect or faction, He would contradict Himself.

 

Regardless of how spiritually minded they purported to be, the fact that those in Corinth to whom the Apostle was writing had begun to factionalize and denominate themselves was proof that they were yet carnal, preoccupied with themselves and with fleshly and worldly things. They were not walking in the Spirit.

 

We read on in1 Corinthians 3:

“6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God the One made to grow.

7 So as neither the one planting is anything, nor the one watering, but God the One making to grow.

8 So the one planting and the one watering are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

9 For of God we are fellow-workers, a field of God, and you are a building of God.

10 According to God’s grace given to me, as a wise master builder, I laid a foundation, but another builds on it. But let each one look how he builds on it.

11 For no one is able to lay another foundation beside the one having been laid, which is Jesus, the Christ.

12 And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw,

13 the work of each one will be revealed; for the Day will make it known, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire will prove the work of each one, what sort it is.

14 If the work of anyone which he built remains, he will receive a reward.

15 If the work of anyone shall be burned down, he shall suffer loss; but he will be saved, but so as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

 

There is only one foundation, and that is Jesus Christ. And the assembly/Body of Christ/Temple of God, is commanded to be one. If anyone begins to divide the assembly (the whole flock of believers in any location), or supports the maintaining of factions, or name themselves and start organizations, then they are building on a different foundation than Jesus Christ.

 

“18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks to be a wise one among you in this age, let him become foolish, that he may become a wise one.

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written, “He is taking the wise ones in their own craftiness.” Job 5:13

20 And again, “The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise ones, that they are useless.” LXX-Psa. 93:11; MT-Psa. 94:11

21 So then let no one glory in men; for all things are yours,

22 whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours,

23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”

 

 

A warning against – and to – those who supports and create factions and sects

 

Romans 16:17-19

“17 And brothers I exhort you to watch the ones making divisions and causes of stumbling contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them.

18 For such ones do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth speech and fine speeches they deceive the hearts of the ones without guile.

19 For your obedience reached to all; therefore, I rejoice over you. But I desire you to be truly wise to the good, but simple toward the bad/evil (G2556 kakos).”

 

Paul warns us, with exhorting, that we watch and notice those who are “making divisions”.

The word “division” is the same word used in Galatians 5:20 when it tells us what are the “works of the flesh”, as opposed to what is the “fruit of the Spirit”.

 

Furthermore, we read in Romans 16:17b:"watch the ones making divisions and causes of stumbling contrary to the doctrine which you learned". Those who create divisions within the Assembly are causes of stumbling contrary to the doctrine which we have received from God.

 

Onward, we read in Romans 16:17:"...turn away from them. For such ones do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth speech and fine speeches they deceive the hearts of the ones without guile." Here it says that we are to turn away from those who create divisions, for they do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but themselves. And “by smooth speech and fine speeches they deceive the hearts of the ones without guile.”

 

There is today an abundance of preachers who, with their flattering messages are itching the ears of their hearers. The focus in their speeches are humans. Those who are creating the schisms and divisions does not want the assembly of Christ to remain one in every location. They do not really want to serve Christ, and neither do they want others to. Rather, they want people to serve them and peoples agendas and plans. These people build their own organizations and buildings, calling them “churches”. They build up their own status and the status of their organization. They have no interest in serving in the Kingdom of God and the Body of Christ, which is the true Assembly.

 

We continue in Romans 16:19: "For your obedience reached to all; therefore, I rejoice over you. " Paul says he is writing this letter and this warning (about the false “christians”/those who are creating the divisions), to the genuine followers of Jesus, because they (the real Christians) are obedient, which of course causes Paul to rejoice over them.

 

Real Christians will rejoice when other people are also obedient to Jesus, keep the fellowship with the assembly, and does not cause divisions. Romans 16:19b ends with: “But I desire you to be truly wise to the good, but simple toward the bad/evil.” Paul says that we who are followers of Jesus shall be wise to the good (we are to know and obey what is good), but simple toward the bad (untainted from and not having anything to do with what is bad). Of course Paul does not want us to partake or agree in any form of evil, but what he is specifically talking about are the divisions, which naturally are referred to as part of what is “bad and evil”.

 

2 Peter 2:1-3

“1 But there also came to be false prophets among the people, as also among you will be false teachers who will secretly bring in destructive/damnable (apōleia G684) heresies(factions/divisive parties) (hairesis G139), even denying/contradicting (arneomai G720) the One having bought them, the Master, bringing swift destruction/damnation (apōleia G684) on themselves.

2 And many will follow their destructive ways, through whom the way of truth will be evil spoken of.

3 And by covetousness, with feigned words, they will use you for gain, for whom judgment of old does not linger, and their destruction does not slumber.”

 

Peter is saying that among the followers of Jesus, there will come in false teachers who will create destructive disunion/factions/sects. They will contradict and deny the Lord Jesus, His commandments and the unity of His Assembly. This, they will do, through their destruction of the unity commanded by God, and by this bringing upon themselves swift destruction/damnation.

 

hairesis G139

hah'ee-res-is

From G138; properly a choice, that is, (specifically) a faction or (abstractly) disunion. (“heresy” is the Greek word itself.): - heresy [which is the Greek word itself], sect.

 

apōleia G684

ap-o'-li-a

From a presumed derivative of G622; ruin or loss (physical, spiritual or eternal): - damnable (-nation), destruction, die, perdition, X perish, pernicious ways, waste.

 

arneomai G720

ar-neh'-om-ahee

Perhaps from G1 (as a negative particle) and the middle of G4483; to contradict, that is, disavow, reject, abnegate: - deny, refuse.

 

Titus 3:10-11

“10 Reject a heretical man (literally: a man who is a heretic – G141) after a first and second admonition,

11 knowing that such a one has been perverted (literally: ekstrephō G1612 to pervert (figuratively): - subvert.) and sins, being self-condemned.”

 

In other words, it says:

"A heretic (that is someone who creates disunion, factions, sects), after rebuking and warning them one time, and two times, reject them, knowing that such a person is an ekstrephō (a person who is perverted (deviating from what is right and correct) / subverted (undermining and twisting the truth)), and sins, being self-condemned.”

aihretikos G141

hahee-ret-ee-kos'

From the same as G140; a schismatic. (“heretic” is the Greek word itself.): - heretic [the Greek word itself].

 

ekstrephō G1612

ek-stref'-o

From G1537 and G4762; to pervert (figuratively): - subvert.

 

A person who participates in, supports and encourages to disunion and divisions of the Assembly, God commands us to to admonish one time and two times to quit. And if he does not want to listen to Gods commands, we shall reject him, because we know that he is a person who deviates from what is right and undermines and twists the truth, he is living in sin, and has condemned himself.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

There is then only one (1) Assembly in each and every place/location. The Assembly is not a man-made organization, faction, division or sect. The Assembly in any place consists 100% of all the believing followers of Jesus who lives in that place. The Christians ARE the Assembly. The whole flock of believers in any place is what makes up the Assembly of Christ in that place. One can not say then, that “you go to church”, neither that “you go to a church”.

 

If there are 100 Christians in a place, then 10 of them can not create an organization/faction/sect and call it a “church”, naming it “Zion”, “Bethel”, or “whatever denomination name they like” etc. If a portion of the whole body of all the Christians in a place make their own division or faction, and they call it a “church”, then that is nothing but heresy: a disunion/faction/sect. It is not a real assembly in Gods eyes.

If there are 100 Christians in a place, then these 100 ARE the Assembly in that place. They are the Body of Christ, the Temple of God, in that location. God wants all of them to have complete unity and fellowship, be one in mind. Some people say that because humans are proud and disagree, it is impossible to have this unity that God wants. And it is true that carnal people can not have the fellowship that is demanded by God. But Gods children, having the Spirit of God within them, will love to have fellowship with their siblings, their spiritual family. Some will protest: “Yes, but we disagree in so much theologically”". So what? The Bible says in Ephesians 4:13a "until we all may come to the unity of the faith ".

 

How are we going to be able to come to the unity of the faith if we divide ourselves and denies fellowship? But, if all who loves God come together in love and obedience to God, and acts and operates like the Body of Christ is meant to in any location, then we will grow more and more towards the unity of the faith.

 

I Ephesians 4:11-16 the Bible says:

“11 And indeed He gave the ones to be apostles; and the ones prophets; and the ones evangelists; and the ones shepherds and teachers;

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ,

13 until we all may come to the unity of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

14 so that we may no longer be little children, being blown and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the trickery of men, in craftiness to the deceit of error,

15 but speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the head, the Christ,

16 from whom all the body, having been fitted and compacted together through every assisting bond, according to the effectual working of one measure in each part, produces the growth of the body to the building up of itself in love.”

 

Today we have almost no genuine apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds (shepherd, pastor and elder is the same thing) or teachers. And those apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers that we might have, are seldom more than babes in Christ. For the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:3-4 that if there is: “jealousy, and strife, and divisions, are you not fleshly ones and walking according to man? For when one says, Truly I am of Paul, and another, I of Apollos; are you not fleshly ones?”

 

If anyone today claims to have any of these five ministries, or to be a Christian in general, irrespective of what gifts to serve someone has, as long as they are for, supports and encourages to denominations, divisions and factions, God can not speak to them as unto spiritual ones: God can not give them solid food, but only milk. This is written in Gods Word: “for you were not then able, for neither are you yet able now.” (1 Cor 3:2b). Only when they wake up and stop participating in the divisions/denominations/man-made organizations who call themselves “churches”, only then is God able to talk to them “ as to spiritual ones” and not “as to fleshly ones, as to babes in Christ.” This is clearly written in 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 (and onward to verse 23).

 

There might be one or more places in the world where the whole flock of believers in that place – the assembly – is gathered in the fellowship as it is meant to. Personally I do not know of any such place. But in 99,99% of places in the world, there are divisions and factions everywhere. And since the assemblies are divided, the believers are not having the fellowship with each other that they are meant to have.

Imagine a place where there are 100 Christians. These 100 Christians live close to each other and have the opportunity to fellowship daily. But they have divided. 70 of these believing Christian brothers goes to 5 different organizations scattered around different places, and 30 of them does not really want any fellowship. The prophet goes to one organization, the three teachers is spread to three others places, the evangelists are scattered, and everything is just chaos. God has called all of the 100 Christians to fellowship together and grow together by using the different gifts to ministry that God gave to them – and according to Ephesians 4:12 «for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ». But since they are not together and serving each other, they are also not experiencing verse 13: “until we all may come to the unity of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,”. Neither will they experience what God has for them in verse 14-16 which we read above.

 

When I speak to believing brothers and sisters around the world, many have already seen the truth about the false organizations falsely called “churches”. And 90% of those who had not already seen this, understands this teaching in the Bible, when the Scriptures are presented to them. Many people that I talk to want that all the Christians in their home place gather and be one. But those who almost never accept this teaching from the Word of God, are those who call themselves – or are seen as – leaders in their organizations. They have so much pride and status where they are, they have spent so much time building on their own foundations and their own organizations, that they in no way want to lose this. They have lured so many sheep after themselves, and they do not want to release them back to Christ.

Of course, it is not all of the so-called leaders in different organizations who are aware of the fact that what they are building is human works. They have simply assumed this is how it is supposed to be, and jumped “zealously” into it, just wanting to do something for God. But confronted with the truth in Gods Word: What do you do know? Do you deny Gods commands in His Word, or do you repent and obey him?

 

 

John Bunyan said:

“Zeal without knowledge is like a mettled horse without eyes, or like a sword in a madman's hand; and there is no knowledge where there is not the word: for if they reject the word of the Lord, and act not by that, 'what wisdom is in them?”

 

Jeremiah 8:9

«9 The wise ones are put to shame; they are terrified and are captured. Behold, they have rejected the Word of Jehovah, and what wisdom is theirs?»

 

Proverbs 9:10

«10 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy Ones is understanding.»

 

We are not more surrendered to God, then we are surrendered to Gods word.

 

 

 

Assurance of Gods Word

 

Psalm 119:89

"89 LAMED: Your Word is settled in Heaven forever, O Jehovah."

 

Numbers 23:19a

"19 God is not a man that He should lie"

 

Hebrews 6:18a

"18 that through two unchangeable things, in which it was not possible for God to lie"

 

2 Peter 1:21

“21 for prophecy was not at any time borne by the will of man, but being borne along by the Holy Spirit, holy men of God spoke.”

 

John 1:1-2 and 12

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.”

...

“12 And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, glory as of an only begotten One from the Father, full of grace and of truth.”

 

John 14:6

“6 Jesus says to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father if not through Me.”

 

Hebrews 13:8

"8 Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever.”

 

God means what He has said, for He is the Truth. God never changes. Men may change their opinions and understanding, but Gods Truth always stands firm. We who are saved must be very careful not to just express opinions and our own thoughts that we “think” are true. Let us rather turn off the TV and PC, say no to hang out with friends, and seek Gods will where He has revealed it to us: In His Word, the Bible. Study the Bible, pray and read, and find Gods Truth based on His Word. When someone asks you next time what you think about this or that, you can say: “God says here in His Word ...”. Do we lack wisdom and understanding? Well, then I can pray and keep reading the Bible, and I will grow in wisdom and knowledge and understanding.

 

 

James 3:1

“1 My brothers, do not become many teachers, knowing that we will receive greater judgment.”

 

Proverbs 30:6

“6 Do not add to His words, that He not reprove you, and you be proven to be a liar.”

 

We must not be guilty of “putting lies in Gods mouth”, that is claiming God says something which is not true. What God has spoken is clearly written in Gods Word. We who are His followers are saved because we have received Jesus as our Savior and Lord. If He is our Lord, then we must obey Him.

 

Romans 3:10-11

“10 according as it is written, “There is not a righteous one, not even one!”

11 “There is not one understanding, there is not one seeking God.”

 

Romans 3:23

"23 for all sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

 

Romans 6:23

"23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Ephesians 2:8-9

“8 for by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God;

9 not of works, that not anyone should boast;”

 

John 15:14

"14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”

 

John 14:21-24

“21 the one having My commandments and keeping them, that one is the one loving Me; and the one loving Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and will reveal Myself to him.

22 Judas says to Him, not the Iscariot, Lord, what has happened that You are about to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?

23 Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word, and My Father shall love him. And We will come to him and will make an abode with him.

24 The one not loving Me does not keep My words. And the Word which you hear is not Mine but of the Father, the One having sent Me.”

 

John 15:16a

"16 You have not chosen Me, but I chose you and appointed you, that you should go and should bear fruit,”

 

 

Are you saved from your sin and the punishment for your evil - which is eternal damnation in hell? Then you are saved because you have realized your sin, repented, and is trusting in Gods gift which is eternal life through the sacrifice Jesus Christ made when He died in your place, resurrected and has given you His righteousness by grace. Then Jesus is your Savior and Lord. He is the Lord of your life.

 

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, which you have from God, and you are not of yourselves?

20 You were bought with a price; then glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are of God.”

 

Jesus Christ, who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is Lord also over you and me. He is in charge, and we live for Him.

 

Revelations 19:16

“16 And He has on His garment and on His thigh a name having been written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

 

Galatians 2:20

“20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live in faith in the Son of God, the One loving me and giving Himself over on my behalf.”

 

Philippians 1:21

“21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

 

Is Jesus your Lord? Then read the Bible so you can find His will, and obey Him. If you are His disciple, then you are called to preach the Truth, and not other peoples thoughts and opinions.

 

Matthew 16:24-25

“24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and let him take up his cross, and let him follow Me.

25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”