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The Home Ekklesia | Part C

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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Yahushua reduces the Jewish minyan or least number necessary for congregational prayers to two or three. Two or three can bind a matter, that is, establish a ekklesia that follows the Gospel order exactly. The principles are these:
  1. The ekklesia is founded on the declaration of Peter that Yahushua is the son of Yahuwah. (Matthew 16:16-18)
  2. The ekklesia is the authoritative representative of the kingdom of Yahuwah on earth. (Matthew 16:19)
  3. The ekklesia keeps a low profile, even at times a secret one, as it is at war with the kingdom of Satan in this world. (Matthew 16:20)
  4. The ekklesia is based on the plan of salvation of which the death and resurrection of Christ is central. (Matthew 16:21-23; 17:22-23)
  5. The ekklesia is the practice ground for that denial of self that in necessary for salvation. (Matthew 16:24-26)
  6. The ekklesia is based on the expectation of the soon coming of Christ. (Matthew 16:27-28)
  7. The ekklesia is visionary and prophetic, bringing the gathered into direct contact with the prophetic revelation from heaven. (Matthew 17:1-9)
  8. The ekklesia is the vehicle of divine blessing to the world in teaching and healing, empowered by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:14-21)
  9. The ekklesia wisely does what it must to avoid conflict with Rome. (Matthew 17:24-27)
  10. The central value the ekklesia is to maintain is humility, and a tender attitude toward the lowly. (Matthew 18:1-14)
  11. The ekklesia is a vehicle of reconciliation in the event of conflict, and it has the obligation to eject those who engage in offenses to their brothers. (Matthew 18:15-17)
  12. The ekklesia is established by the action of two or three gathering in the name of Christ for that purpose. (Matthew 18:18-20)
  13. Christ is invisibly but personally present in the gathering of the ekklesia. (Matthew 18:20)
  14. The ekklesia is the vehicle of divine forgiveness, which is relayed in the same measure as its members forgive one another. (Matthew 18:21-35)

These fourteen Gospel principles are essential to the kingdom of Yahuwah of which the Gospel is a proclamation. If any are missing, the institution ceases to be a valid ekklesia. The ekklesia is not an institution transmitted by apostolic succession. It is established directly by Yahushua Himself, who is present at its establishment and at every meeting.

The apostolic ekklesia generally gathered in homes or in secluded places out of doors.... That was the prevalent system before imperial Christianity, which started building large structures in order more easily to control the people and indoctrinate them with apostasy. Home ekklesia were established quite close to each other, such as that kept, apparently in her home, by the deaconness Phebe in Cenchrea, well within walking distance of Corinth, where another ekklesia gathered.

The Gospel ekklesia does not include the necessity of elders and deacons. These are offices that were established in the apostolic ekklesia to meet the specific needs of the times. During that time the mystery religions were very popular in the Roman empire. They were semi-secret home groups that had a form of initiation similar to baptism, but sometimes involving horrid rites of being washed in blood, had a sacred meal, worshipped a man-god who was claimed to have died and resurrected, and sang hymns and read scriptures to that effect. The similarity with the Gospel ekklesia was very close, so close that both Jews and Gentiles sometimes had difficulty telling the difference. Within this context, the offices of deacons and elders were necessary to maintain Gospel order. Given that we are faced today with the same challenges, hundreds of forms of paganism all claiming to be Christian, deacons and elders serve a valid and often necessary role today as well.

Paul writes in detail about these offices in 1 Timothy 3.

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