The word 'church' in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word 'ekklesia' which comes from two words 'ek' meaning 'out' and 'kaleo' meaning to 'call.' An ekklesia or 'calling out' was not just an assembly. The Greek words agora and paneguris as well as heorte, koinon, thiasos, sunagoge and sunago can all mean an assembly.
"CHURCH: In its most general sense, the religious society founded and established by Jesus Christ, to receive, preserve, and propagate his doctrines and ordinances...A body or community of Christians, united under one form of government by the profession of one faith, and the observance of the same rituals and ceremonies."
See also Churches
How do we get into or become a part of this one form government of Jesus Christ, this Kingdom of Heaven on Earth?
Must we die to get into the Kingdom of Heaven?
"He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err." (Mark 12:27)
What is the form of His government? How does Heaven run its government, its ekklesia, here on earth?
"But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."(Matthew 20:25-28)
Are you in a government which exercises dominion over you?
Do you pray to benefactors who exercise authority one over the other?
Are you praying to the fathers of the earth?
If you are, then you are not in a government established by Jesus the Christ and the form of your government is not Christian.
But if the church does not seek to provide the benefits of the people through faith, hope, and charity and the perfect law of liberty then it is not the Church established by Christ.
The early Christians and the early Church are decidedly different in their practice of faith than the Modern Church and the Modern Christians who attend them. The difference is so great that the latter is clearly in apostasy.
If the people who assemble at the Modern Church are not supporting that effort of the Church to be a daily ministration of the entire network of churches as the benefactors of the people who do not exercise authority one over the other, then they are not showing the fruits of repentance.
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- John 9:22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
- John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
- Liddell and Scott define ekklesia as "an assembly of citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly." [R. Scott, and H.G. Liddell, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 206.] Thayer's lexicon says, "an assembly of the people convened at the public place of council for the purpose of deliberating" [J. H. Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 196]. Trench gives the meaning as "the lawful assembly in a free Greek city of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship, for the transaction of public affairs" [R.C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, 7th ed., pp. 1-2]. Seyffert's dictionary states, "The assembly of the people, which in Greek cities had the power of final decision in public affairs" [Oskar Seyffert, A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, pp. 202-203].From "fully after the LORD" by [Steve Flinchum http://www.bryanstation.com/flinchum-fully.htm]
- Black's Law Dictionary 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th eds.
- Luke 22:29 "And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;"