The first time I heard a preacher say, “The church is not a building. It’s the people,” I thought how insightful. But that was before I knew the sad truth. Insightful comments like that would be unnecessary if ekkle?sia were translated correctly. Strong’s dictionary defines ekkle?sia as a calling out, a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation or an assembly.But in most English translations it’s church. This error is no simple mistake. It’s a strategic (Satanic) agenda to separate believers from their Hebraic roots!
Around 275 BCE—before the birth of Yeshua (Jesus)—some 70 Hebrew scholars translated the Tanach (Old Testament) into Koine Greek. In that translation, the Septuagint, qahal, which is an assembly or congregation of Israelites, was most often translated as ekkle?sia. Thayer states that “in the Septuagint. ekkl?sia is often equivalent to the assembly of the Israelites.”
There is a Greek word that means church. It’s kyridakon, which means the lord’s house, a meeting place for any religious group including pagan. But this word is not found in the New Testament Greek manuscripts.
So how did we get church? Where did it come from?
The first time it appeared was in 1382 in the John Wycliffe Bible, translated, not from Greek but the Latin VULGATE. Later English translations, however, such as Tyndale 1524, Coverdale 1535, Matthew Bible 1537, and the Great Bible 1539, all translated ekkle?sia as congregation. It wasn’t until the lauded King James translation of 1611 that the deliberate deception began.
King James gave specific edicts to his translators. Edict number three forbade translating ekkle?sia as congregation, except in a few specific places like Acts 19:32 and again in Acts 19:39 where it is rendered assembly. Psalms 22:22 says: I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. But when that scripture is quoted in Hebrews 2:12, the translators render it thus: “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.”
Another deception perpetrated to further separate believers from their Hebraic roots has to do with when this new entity called the “Church” came to be. They claim it began at Pentecost, yet Acts 7 speaks of the church in the wilderness.
This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
So Ekkle?sia is not a church, not a building, it’s a called out congregation, and it existed in the wilderness with Moses.
According to Genesis 12:1 it all started with Abram, the Hebrew!
Gen 12:1 Now YHVH had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee:
Abram was the first called out member of God’s ekkle?sia. Brown-Driver Briggs Hebrew dictionary defines Hebrew as “one from beyond.” Abram became Abraham, who begat Isaac, the son of promise, and Isaac begat Jacob, whom God loved.
In Hebraic thinking one’s name designates: character, destiny and purpose. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel because Jacob would not let go until God blessed him:
And He said, your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have wrestled with God and with men, and have prevailed. So the name Israel represents not only one of the patriarchs, not only the promised land, but all those in covenant with the Most High.
In Acts 20:29-31 Paul warned followers of the Messiah:
“For I know that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember . . .”
And by 325 CE, at the Council of Nicaea under Constantine, Paul’s dire predictions came to pass. Departing from Yahovah’s instructions, they outlawed His appointed times and substituted the popular pagan holidays we call Christmas and Easter. They also replaced the day Yahovah set apart, making it holy, on the 7th day of the creation week, with the day Romans worshiped their sun-god, the day we know as Sunday. No, the Christian Church was not born on Shavuot
(Pentecost). The Christian Church was born in 325 C.E when the Church fathers replaced God’s instructions with the traditions of (pagan ) men.
There is one God, one Spirit, one baptism, and one faith! (Ephesians 4:4-6). And there is but one Covenant people spoken of in the Scriptures: The whole House of Israel, with whom Yahovah made both the old and the renewed covenants.
First a little history:
Because of Solomon’s spiritual adultery, Israel split in two. The House of Judah consisted of Judah and Benjamin in the south and the House of Israel consisted of the other 10 tribes in the north. The House of Israel is also referred to as Ephraim or Joseph.
And he said to Jeroboam, Take ten pieces for yourself. For so says Jehovah, God of Israel, Behold, I am tearing the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and giving to you the ten tribes. And he shall have the one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.
Behold, the days come, says Yahovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, says Yahovah, but this shall be the covenant I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says Yahovah, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Notice that in the renewed covenant, the law did not change, only where God’s law would be written. No longer would the TORAH, which means instruction, be written on tablets of stone, but on hearts and on minds.
“But what about the Gentiles?” you’re probably asking. The following scriptures will provide that answer, but remember a Gentile, by definition, is one not in covenant with God.
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh, made by hands. That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners,(GENTILES) but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. (ISRAEL)
For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved.
Who are these Gentiles, these people from Nations not in covenant with God?
And this spoke he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
Who are these children of God who are scattered abroad?
I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:
Unlike The House of Judah which returned after its Babylonian exile, the Northern Kingdom never returned. They assimilated into the nations. They lost their identity. But though Judah played the harlot, Judah never lost its identity. Like a wedding ring never removed, the Sabbath was a sign between Judah and the Most High forever.
EXODUS 31:16 “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”
Hosea 1:4 And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.
Hosea 1:6-7 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, . . .
Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
So the House of Israel got scattered into the nations. They stopped being God’s people, and He stopped being their God. But what about the “it shall come to pass” part?
The Apostle Paul solves that mystery.
. . whom He also called, not only us, of Jews, but also out of the nations. As also He says in Hosea, I will call those Not My people, My people! And those not beloved, Beloved! “And it shall be, in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there they will be called, “Sons of the Living God.”
This explains why Yeshua said in Matthew 15:24 that he was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
God promises to restore Israel.
. . . Then He said to me, Son of man, these bones are all the house of Israel. Behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is perished; we are cut off to ourselves. So prophesy and say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people, and I will bring you to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am Jehovah when I have opened your graves and have brought you up out of your graves, O My people. And I shall put My Spirit within you, and you shall live; and I will put you on your own land . . .
. . . son of man, take one stick to yourself and write on it, For Judah, and for his companions, the sons of Israel. And take another stick and write on it, for Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions. And draw them one to one for yourself, into one stick. And they shall become one in your hand. And when the sons of your people shall speak to you, saying, Will you not declare to us what these mean to you? Say to them . . . Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions. And I will put them with him, with the stick of Judah, and I will make them one stick . . .
Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations. . . and will gather them from all around, and will bring them into their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and one King shall be for a king to all of them. And they shall not be two nations . . . and they will not be split into two kingdoms any more. And they will not still be defiled with their idols, even with their filthy idols, nor with all of their transgressions. But I will save them out of all their dwelling places where they have sinned . . . and I will cleanse them. They shall be a people to Me and I will be a God to them. And My Servant, David, shall be King over them. And there shall be one Shepherd to all of them. And they shall walk in My judgments and keep My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell on the land that I have given to my servant, to Jacob . . . they shall dwell on it, they and their sons, and the sons of their sons, forever. And My Servant David shall be a ruler to them forever. And I will cut a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant it shall be with them, And I will place them and multiply them, and I will put My sanctuary in their midst forever. And My tabernacle shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And when My sanctuary shall be in their midst forever, the nations shall know that I, Jehovah, sanctify Israel.
Does this mean that all who come to faith in the Messiah are physical descendants of the Northern tribes that got scattered into the Nations? No! Certainly not! But both descendants who lost their identity and Gentile must be grafted into Israel’s cultivated Olive Tree to partake in the renewed covenant. Once a Gentile is grafted in and becomes part of the Common Wealth of Israel, he or she is no longer an out-of-covenant Gentile.
The story of Ruth, a Moabite, provides the example Gentiles are to follow. “Your people shall be my people,” she said, “and your God my God.” Ruth started out a Moabite, but she joined herself with Israel, just like the mixed multitudes that came out of Egypt with the Israelites.
Exodus 12:37-38 And the sons of Israel traveled from Rameses to Succoth, the men being about six hundred thousand on foot, apart from little ones. And also a mixed multitude went up with them. . .”
This mixed multitude observed the same laws and statutes as the Israelites.
Exodus 12:49 One law shall be to the native, and to the visitor, the one staying in your midst.
Through which of the 12 gates, on which you will find written the names of Israel’s tribes, do you plan to enter the Kingdom during the Millennium?
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice out of Heaven saying, My people, come out of her, that you may not share in her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues;
. . . and having a great and high wall, having twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates and names having been inscribed, which are of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.
Blessed are the ones doing His commands, that their authority will be over the Tree of Life, and by the gates they may enter into the city.
Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commands of God, and the faith of Jesus.