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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

THE CHURCH

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In both Ephesians 1:22-23, and Colossians 1:18, we read the statements, “The head over all things to the church, which is His body,and, “He is the head of the  body, the church.”

What is meant by “The Church?”

Firstly, let us define what is NOT. The word ‘church’ does NOT mean, and does NOT apply to, our present denominational churches or organizations. It never has, and never will. Furthermore, it cannot be spiritualised and applied to our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the HEAD, NOT the body.

The word ‘church’ is translated from the Greek “ekklesia.” This is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew ‘kahal’, both of which refer to “a congregation, or assembly,” and both of which identifies with ISRAEL AS A NATION.

In Acts 7:38 we read, regarding Moses,

“This is he, that was in the CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS which spake to him in the Mount Sinai.”

THIS  ‘CHURCH’  IN THE WILDERNESS WAS ISRAEL!!! !

Dr. Schofield identifies ‘the church’ as “Israel called out of Egypt and assembled in the wilderness.” (Schofield Reference Bible.)

Dr. Young identifies ‘the church’ as “that which is called out.” (Young’s Concordance.)

(I) Dr. Bullinger identifies the church’ as, those summoned to discuss the affairs of a free state. The body of citizens summoned together by a herald. Used  of the assembly of Israel, whether summoned or met for a definite purpose, or considered as the representative of the entire nation. (Critical Lexicon & Concordance)

(2) The Greek word ekklesiameans an assembly or gathering of called out ones.It is used 70 times in the Septuagint for the Hebrew word ‘kahal’ is used of Israel as a people CALLED OUT FROM THE REST OF THE NATIONS; of an assembly of Israelites called out for worship or any other purpose. (Companion Bible.)

It should also be noted that the word ‘body’ means “The necessary medium for the possession and manifestation of life.”

Thus, when we read that “Christ is the head of the church, which is his body,” we are being literally told that “Christ is the head of His ‘called out assembly or nation of Israel,’ which is His chosen medium through which he manifests LIFE.”

The  MORE  ABUNDANT  LIFE  promised by our Lord in John 10:10 will not, and cannot, come through the conglomeration of denominations which, with their myriad variety of doctrines, have confounded and confused the Truth of God’s Word. It will only come through the only channel ever created and formed by Almighty God for its implementation, and that is his chosen servant Israel.

As His Bride, Israel is identified in partnership with her husband. As His Body, Israel is identified as one with her Head.

The question will obviously be asked, “Where does the body of believers , who are generally referred  to as  ‘the church’, come into the picture?” It must be remembered that the above facts deal with the word ‘church’ in its initial application to the nation of Israel as God’s Kingdom here on earth. But naturally, a kingdom must have people, or citizens. In its perfected state, this kingdom will only contain those who have accepted the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, and have thus become acceptable to Him through obedience. This is the only qualification acceptable to God for membership or citizenship in the perfected Kingdom of God. But in this dispensation, prior to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ and the setting up of His perfected Kingdom on earth, He is calling out a preliminary ‘ekklesia’ who will constitute those who will be given the supreme blessing of ruling and reigning with him over that Kingdom.

These people will have a very special relationship with our Lord as His ‘church’ or ‘body.’ Have you ever considered this fact? We know, and then the Bible supports the fact, that when a man and woman are married, they become one flesh. But this does NOT change the husband from being the man, nor the wife from being the woman. The body of the husband still remains his own body. It does not become the body of his wife. Thus those who are ‘the body of Christ’ are in fact PART OF THE BRIDEGROOM, NOT PART OF THE BRIDE!

Just as the BRIDEGROOM, as the husband, rules over the BRIDE, as the wife, so we, as part of the ‘body’ or Bridegroom, will rule over the kingdom – the Bride – which is exactly what the Bible tells us we shall be doing!!!

There is certainly nothing wrong with being part of the Bride, but what we should be really aiming for is to be part of the BRIDEGROOM.

THIS IS SURELY THE HIGHER CALLING TO WHICH THE APOSTLE PAUL DIRECTED OUR ATTENTION.

Courtesy of ‘The Covenant Vision’. Australia

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