Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb
For His Glory!
What is the Church?
The word "church"
"Of or belonging to the Lord"
"For decades our Chinese Christian family members have boldly, lovingly and humbly obeyed Christ no matter how their government opposed them. When their gatherings were made illegal they held church services anywhere necessary to avoid the secret police. And they also prepared for the inevitable arrest so that when pastors were imprisoned, others in the congregation were ready to take their place. Meanwhile, the imprisoned pastors embraced their time in jail as a new ministry assignment from the Lord. They simply continued their work." (From Voice of Martyrs)
Matt 5:10"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Scripture Reading - Yeshua(Jesus) is building His Church
Matt 16:13(NKJV unless indicated) When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
Matt 16:14So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. "
17Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Matt 16:20Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" 23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."
Matt 16:24Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
This series of lessons is based on the definition of the Church taken from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia* (ISBE[K. L. Schmidt, III, 487-536]). We will be following their outline. (Some slight editing is done to condense article length.)
*A reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either general or special to a particular field or discipline.
I. PRE-CHRISTIAN HISTORY OF THE TERM
II. ITS ADOPTION BY JESUS
III. ITS USE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. In the Gospels
2. In Acts
3. In the Pauline Epistles
IV. THE NOTES OF THE CHURCH
V. ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH
1. The General and Prophetic Ministry
2. The Local and Practical Ministry
The word "church," which is derived from kuriakos, "of or belonging to the Lord, " represents in the English Versions of the Bible of the New Testament the Greek word ekklesia; Latin, ecclesia. It is with the signification of this word ekklesia as it meets us in the New Testament, and with the nature of the society which the word is there used to describe, that the present article is concerned.
I. Pre-Christian History of the Term.
Although ekklesia soon became a distinctively Christian word, it has its own pre-Christian history; and to those, whether Jews or Greeks, who first heard it applied to the Christian society it would come with suggestions of familiar things. Throughout the Greek world and right down to New Testament times (compare Ac 19:39), ekklesia was the designation of the regular assembly of the whole body of citizens in a free city-state, "called out" (Greek ek, "out," and kalein, "to call") by the herald for the discussion and decision of public business. The Septuagint translators, again, had used the word to render the Hebrew qahal, which in the Old Testament denotes the "congregation" or community of Israel, especially in its religious aspect as the people of God. In this Old Testament sense we find ekklesia employed by Stephen in the Book of Acts, where he describes Moses as "he that was in the church (the Revised Version, margin "congregation") in the wilderness" (Ac 7:38). The word thus came into Christian history with associations alike for the Greek and the Jew. To the Greek it would suggest a self-governing democratic society; to the Jew a theocratic society whose members were the subjects of the Heavenly King.
The pre-Christian history of the word had a direct bearing upon its Christian meaning, for the ekklesia of the New Testament is a "theocratic democracy" (Lindsay, Church and Ministry in the Early Centuries, 4), a society of those who are free, but are always conscious that their freedom springs from obedience to their King. (MEM: we would prefer to use the term "theocratic republic" as it is based on the Law of God.)
II. Its Adoption by Jesus.
According to Mt 16:18 (see scripture reading above) the name ekklesia was first applied to the Christian society by Jesus Himself, the occasion being that of His benediction of Peter at Caesarea Philippi. … It is true that Jesus had hitherto described the society He came to found as the "kingdom of God" or the "kingdom of heaven," a designation which had its roots in Old Testament teaching and which the Messianic expectations of Israel had already made familiar.
But now when it was clear that He was to be rejected by the Jewish people (compare Mt 16:21), and that His society must move on independent lines of its own, it was natural that He should employ a new name for this new body which He was about to create, and thus should say to Peter, on the ground of the apostle's believing confession, "Upon this rock I will build my church." The adoption of this name, however, did not imply any abandonment of the ideas suggested by the conception of the kingdom. In this very passage (Mt 16:19) "the kingdom of heaven" is employed in a manner which, if it does not make the two expressions church and kingdom perfectly synonymous, at least compels us to regard them as closely correlative and as capable of translation into each other's terms. And the comparative disuse by the apostolic writers of the name "kingdom," together with their emphasis on the church, so far from showing that Christ's disciples had failed to understand His doctrine of the kingdom, and had substituted for it the more formal notion of the church, only shows that they had followed their Master's guidance in substituting for a name and a conception that were peculiarly Jewish, another name whose associations would enable them to commend their message more readily to the world at large. (End ISBE definition for part one.)
The Church - The called out ones = Belonging to the Lord:
1Cor 3:11For no other foundation (Matt 16:16-18) can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1Cor 3:16Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
Jesus is "Lord"
G2962 (Strong)- Transliteration: Kurios - Phonetic: koo'-ree-os
1. he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, Lord
a. the possessor and disposer of a thing
1. the owner; one who has control of the person, the master
2. in the state: the sovereign, prince, chief, the Roman emperor
b. is a title of honor expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master
c. this title is given to… the messiah
- Strong's:… kuros;
supreme in authority that is (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title): - God Lord master Sir.
Total KJV Occurrences: 643
"You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.
1 Corinthians 8:6
yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
1 Peter 2:5
you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
… Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
The Church Jesus is building - Is: One body, one assembly, with One Spirit, and One Lord…
1Cor 12:1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: …3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
1Cor 12:7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
1Cor 12:13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?
1Cor 12:18But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
1Cor 12:22No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
1Cor 12:27Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
Next time we will continue with the ISBEcompendium on "CHURCH".
Proverbs1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…
Prov 2:3Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.
Prov 3:5Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Prov 3:26For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.
Prov 8:13The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.
Prov 15:29The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
Prov 19:21There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the LORD's counsel -- that will stand.
Prov 22:17Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge; 18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips, 19 So that your trust may be in the LORD; I have instructed you today, even you.
LORDHebrew Strong’s H3068
- Transliteration: Y@hovah - Phonetic: yeh-ho-vaw'
- Definition:Jehovah = "the existing one"
1. the proper name of the one true God
Total KJV Occurrences: 6425
"Lord / LORD"
Psalm 8:1O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Ps 38:9Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You.
Ps 38:22Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!
Ps 39:7"And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
Ps 57:9I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations.
Ps 68:20Our God is the God of salvation; And to GOD the Lord belongs escapes from death.
Ps 68:26Bless God in the congregations….
Ps 130:3If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
Ps 135:5For I know that the LORD is great, And our Lord is above all gods.
Ps 136:3Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever:
"The Bible refers to those who professed to be wise and became fools. Have you ever known anyone to overanalyze issues to the point of indecision and inaction? Often those with the most information available to them and the most complex arguments end up with the least certainty, insights and conclusions. Yet the Kingdom of God is open to the brightest and to the least of these and all in between. Our Lord gave us an intellect. The glory of this is that it allows us to receive and comprehend revealed truth. It does not enable you to become a source of it. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
(Adapted from a Dale Cresap blog)
"My child, I am the Lord Who gives strength in the day of trouble. Come to Me when all is not well with you. Your tardiness in turning to prayer is the greatest obstacle to heavenly consolation, for before you pray earnestly to Me you first seek many comforts and take pleasure in outward things. Thus, all things are of little profit to you until you realize that I am the one Who saves those who trust in Me, and that outside of Me there is no worth-while help, or any useful counsel or lasting remedy."
"To live in accordance with the laws of Christ and to accept Him in our hearts is to cast a gigantic floodlight of hope on our valley of problems and despair" Charles Hembree
I did not know that!
Diavik Mine, Canada
Question: "Are we going to His Church?"
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