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What is a church?

Something I learned that surprised me was the Jews did not call a building where they met on the sabbath a “synagogue.” That came later in history, after Jesus’ time. The Greek word that is the root for this name is “synagein,” which means “to bring together.” The Hebrew terms that are relative to what we call a synagogue are: bet ha-tefilla (“house of prayer”), bet ha-kneset (“house of assembly”), and bet ha-midrash (“house of study”). Any place where Jews met, when Jesus was alive, was simply a place for “assembly.”

Similarly, Christians seem to think that the first Jews who transformed from disciples into Apostles stopped going to one of the “houses” where “gathering” took place on the Sabbath, because non-Christian Jews “assembled” there. Most likely, those first Saints kept going to the local house of assembly on the Sabbath; but, just as Jesus was run out of the meeting place in Nazareth, they would have gone to meet with Jews to teach them the truth of the Word they memorized, only to likewise be run out of those buildings of gathering.

This is where it needs to be realized that the first Apostles did not go around asking for money to build their own “house of assembly,” which they would differentiate from Jewish houses of meeting by calling that building a “church.” The Apostles either taught the truth of the Word to Jews in or around their houses of assembly (such as James did), or they went on the road looking for Jews and Gentiles (the lost Israelite descendants) to preach to; and, they did that wherever those people were gathered and willing to listen to a Saint.

The Greek word for “church,” as it originated, is ekklesia. That word actually means “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly,” which is especially used for religious purposes, such as the Israelites and Jews were called out of their homes to attend a Shabbat gathering. The places those would gather were then called (by those speaking Greek) “synagogues.” Jesus never referred to a “church” (ekklesia) as a building. Instead, his references to ekklesia (as written by Apostles writing in Greek) were about those people who would place their faith in him and follow his teachings.

The mountainside was not a church. Jesus sent twelve churches out to feed the multitude; and, from those twelve, 91.7% of the 5,000 (those not served by Judas Iscariot) became pilgrim churches that would go home after Shavuot and feed other souls in Jesus' name.

This is where divinely led intuition allows one to see that the mountainside by the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus would go with his disciples to teach them and where a throng of Jews would gather down below on the flood plain by the water, were never done on a Sabbath. All those pilgrim Jews in the region for the commanded festivals of Pesach and Shavuot would have filled the Jewish assembly houses on the Sabbath; and, Jesus and his disciples (et al) would have also been in attendance in such houses of worship. That means the sermons from the mount (there were many, not just one) were on Sundays, the first day of the week.

That is one of those hidden approvals for Christians having their day of assembly on Sunday, rather than the Sabbath. Being a true "church" is work to please Yahweh, as His Son resurrected in flesh; so, a day of rest before beginning God's work, in the name of the Son, is a way of giving thanks to Yahweh for having become one of His churches.

When you have an epiphany of intellect like that, one can then see how Jesus did not require a building to meet with the seekers of truth to the Word. Those who went to the house of assembly and heard nothing of value preached, as to the true meaning of that read aloud, seekers of truth were eager to hear what Jesus had to say. They went to the flood plain by the sea to have the lessons of the Sabbath be explained to them; and, that is what a pastor or shepherd of a flock is supposed to do.

Song and dance is entertainment. Rocking back and forth in a trance, while kneeling and singing a psalm of David to open one's soul to receive Jesus' message of truth is faith in David being a Saint - the truth of being an Israelite. That is not the same faith generated that comes from singing the songs of some songwriters, who knew little truth of the Word, beyond key words of English being plucked and used in lyrics put to toe-tapping music (piano and organ based, rather than accompanied by a harp). A true "church" does not need to produce a showman atmosphere to attract seekers of truth. Prayer books and hymnals are the products of men who were not led by the truth of the Word, spoken by Jesus within them.

By seeing how Jesus utilized an open space, with naturally good acoustics that carried sound from high on the hill to the plain down below, he had no expensive overhead to worry about. He had no such expenses in his ministry, as far as having to pay a mortgage for a building in which seekers of truth could gather. There are two loud and clear examples of this lack of need for money to support a ministry, like the churches owned by religious organizations require.

First, when there were about five thousand men (along with their traveling wives and children) waiting to hear Jesus preach – and it was lunch time – Jesus never said, “Take those five loaves of bread and two fish and put them over on that rock, because that is our lunch. Then, take the empty basket and go down below asking the men folk to come off some of that travel money they keep in their purses; and, then go into Capernaum and buy some snacks to bring back to feed to them, making sure you keep some of the money for your troubles.” No, Jesus instructed his disciples to feed the multitude with manna from heaven, which would pour from their mouths as they walked amongst the people (divided and organized into twelve groups). Jesus gave that instruction because he knew his soul will go with each of his disciples to feed the true seekers of truth.

The second has to do with the instructions Jesus gave to his disciples when he sent them out in ministry in pairs (it can be assumed the twelve were likewise sent with a companion, with each separately preaching the truth in the towns they entered). He told them not to take any gold or silver, nor a purse in which such items could be collected. The instructions did not say, “Go, erect a roadside stand, with a sign that says ‘Truth Be Told Here,’ so gawkers and interested passersby could come and ask for free samples. He told them to go to the people and see who offers them shelter, because they seek to know the truth of the Word.

As far as that goes, Jesus instructed those who would go into ministry IN HIS NAME to kick the dust off their sandals when leaving any place where the truth of the Word was rejected (by Jews), saying “The kingdom of God has come near.” That instruction means any priest, pastor, preacher, minister or rabbi that looks out over the faces assembled in someone’s house of worship and sees the same faces week after week, year after year, decades of time being the same ole same ole, they need to say, “This is rejecting service to Yahweh and refusing to heed the Son; so, I’m outta here. Just know the kingdom of God came near and you just sat on a bench and never received Jesus in your hearts. You had the opportunity, but you never opened the door to Salvation.”

Of course, Jesus did not demonstrate an unwillingness to recognize the immaturity (spiritually) of disciples, because he led the same basic group of people for three years. Still, we read in Matthew 16 how Peter began thinking he was an equal to Jesus, rebuking him for saying he was going to reach the end of his ministry, at the hands of those who wanted him gone.

Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan!” That message of truth is how all pewples that feel they own a pew at the church they pay dues to attend should see themselves as Peter reborn. They make office visits to see their hired hand ‘leader,’ rebuking him or her for saying something that makes the flock feel uncomfortable. A disciple is a nobody, until he or she gets off the pew and goes out in ministry, IN THE NAME OF JESUS – reborn with his soul inside their flesh, alongside their souls, leading them like a ring through the nose on a bull as their (individual) Lord. To tell Jesus the way it will be is becoming Satan reborn [call that demonic possession].

Then Jesus told his group of followers, to whom Peter felt like he was the senior warden or lead deacon, “Hold on here a moment guys and gals and let me make a few points loud and clear.” Jesus said, “If anyone desires behind me to come, let him (or her) deny his (or her) own soul [a self], AND [the Greek word kai signifies importance to follow] pick up his (or her) stake (call it a cross in a vineyard that keeps the vines off the ground, away from pests that destroy the fruit) raising up his (or her) soul [again self], AND [kai again] accompany me.”

Now, these instructions go in one ear of a pewple and out the other. They cannot hear the call being sent to their souls, not their flesh alone. A soul in its flesh can only be a disciple of Jesus when it desires to be behind (or “after”) Jesus, which means Jesus’ soul must be desired to be the internal Lord of one's soul, thereby leading its flesh to righteousness (not being Satan, worshiping the world). That means with Jesus as one’s Lord within, then a soul in its flesh will become fixed to a raised stake [Jesus], so it can produce good fruit that the world cannot destroy [the lures of sin]. Then (importantly stated), one’s own soul has an accompanying soul within, which is Jesus. To desire anything less than that, then Jesus said those people [today’s pewples] cannot be his disciples.

To make this point clear, Jesus also explained that a church is not a building, but the body and soul of one of his disciples. He later explained [in Matthew 18], “Where indeed your souls exist two or [better yet] three brought together [that word synagogue, written as synēgmenoi] into this mine [Jesus becoming the Lord that possesses one’s soul] authority [the truth of IN MY NAME], there exists I [Jesus resurrected in new flesh] insidein the midst of their souls [“them” as selves].

From the use of synagogue being relative to human beings (those true disciples of Jesus) and not some building made of wood, stone, or straw, one can realize that a “church” is the flesh, with the soul inside the sacrificial lamb, whose sin was slaughtered at the hands of Jesus – the high priest of one’s ‘temple.’ Of course, just as it takes planning for the design and construction of a church building, it takes time for a bodily “church” to be where the soul of Jesus is gathered with the soul of a disciple and the Spirit of Yahweh. This means the three is the completion of a “church,” after the proposal of divine marriage has proved commitment [not showing God how many pillows, shawls, and boxes of tissues one has stored in its pew spot], so the consummation of that most holy union brings about the rebirth of Yahweh’s Son.

If you are paying close attention, you will see how three is a statement about the Trinity. Father - Son - and [Holy] Spirit all come together within one. Yahweh is the Father whose Spirit must be united with a soul, in a most Holy matrimony. This is the initial two. Then, the only reason for marriage is to produce offspring - be fruitful and multiply. So, the Father joins with the soul that will be made a Virgin Mother, so His Son can be reborn into flesh. The Son's soul joins with the host soul-body - the secondary meaning of two - and the Trinity is born IN THE NAME OF JESUS. The soul in its flesh becomes the Son, because of this union (regardless of human gender).

Yahweh does not have His Son kept in some box on the wall of a church building. Yahweh does not loan His Son out for hired hands and false shepherds to sell, in order to get paying customers into some heavily mortgaged building. Yahweh only sends His Son Jesus into temples built of flesh and blood [by the Hand of Yahweh], those who have realized the path of sin [letting their stake fall over to the ground] will forever condemn their souls, if not raised. Yahweh sends His Son’s soul [made only for this one purpose – to Save the lost souls] into those souls who willingly, lovingly, and totally submit their souls [again a self] to house the Lord of Salvation … forevermore.

The only purpose for a church is to teach the truth of Scripture. That truth can only be known by Jesus. Thus, a “church” is a mouth that opens and the truth of the Word is spoken by Jesus through those lips, coming from Jesus’ soul being within. A true “church” does not preach flowery messages that always say, “Ya’ll come back again next Sunday! Ya hear?” as if Jesus wants stupid sheep to follow him around life after life, doing nothing to save lost souls for millennia. A true “church” makes sure those listening to the truth being told realize this: "YOU must desire to be Jesus reborn into YOUR flesh."

That means a willing sacrifice of self [self-denial], so the vine you have become [more like a wild grapevine] can be divinely raised, so Jesus can bear good fruit in YOU. That means being assigned to go into ministry (in pairs, meaning with another reborn Jesus to help heal the wounds of persecution, which certainly will come), looking like YOU, but being IN THE NAME OF JESUS.

YOU cannot be a fruitless fig tree, weed mixed among wheat, or sour grapes, because that is all a hired hand can find from an Internet search about the meaning of Scripture, while preparing a flowery oration the next Sunday. A true “church” that has Jesus in the midst makes it clear – “No Pewples Allowed Salvation.”

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