Rediscovering the Original Ekklesia
by Cody Archer, , Revive Israel

I believe we are living in a time where the Holy Spirit is highlighting the word Ekklesia (Greek for Church, Kehila in Hebrew) in order to help us rediscover and walk in its original meaning.

Throughout Scriptures we see the secular language of the day being used to communicate spiritual realities in the kingdom of God. Consider the original meaning of the word apostle: before the New Covenant was written, the Phoenicians and Greeks would send out a fleet of battle ships for specific missions, or to sail to foreign lands with the purpose of colonizing new territory. The captain on the lead ship was called the 'Apostle'. The church is supposed to be like these ships, led by apostles, who have been sent out by the King to colonize and influence the earth with the culture of heaven.

Called out to Govern

The definition many today are giving for Ekklesia is not rooted in its original context and meaning. Centuries before the New Covenant was written, the Greeks were using the word Ekklesia to describe a group of citizens called out for governmental purposes. This group was made up of about 6000 men over the age of 18. They would meet on a regular basis to discuss and vote upon new law proposals, come up with military strategy and elect magistrates.

Though the Greeks invented this word, it was really the Romans who adopted, developed and implemented the 'Ekklesia' and its function into the heart of their empire. The Ekklesia was gathered around the Roman Emperor/king to hear and record his words. Then they were to see that his will and desires were being implemented across his kingdom.

This is how we as the Ekklesia are called to function, as rulers under the supreme Ruler - King Yeshua. We have been called out from the kingdom of darkness to gather around our King in nearness and intimacy (Col 1:13). We are to hear His voice and act as scribes who record His will, plans and strategy. Then, under His authority and in partnership with Him, we are commissioned to obey and act upon what we heard in His presence (Matt 28:18-20).

Advancing the King's Agenda

This is what Yeshua was getting at when He asked His disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ (anointed king), the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:13-19). Then Yeshua declared He would build His Ekklesia upon this revelation. (Of course, in the original dialogue Yeshua used the Hebrew/Aramaic Kehila, but the later Greek readers of the Gospels would hear/read "Ekklesia".) In other words, "You have seen Rome's Ekklesia function in governmental authority under their king, but now is the time to establish My Ekklesia, of whom I am the head and King, and the gates of hell will not be able to withstand the advancement of My government."

The original governmental meaning of Ekklesia in the New Covenant is directly related to the mandate God gave to mankind, "Let us make man in Our image ... let them have dominion ... over all the earth" (Genesis 1:26). This speaks of ruling, governing, bringing order, administration, protection, maintenance and more. We have been called to rule over all the earth, its creatures and resources.

We are moving closer to the restoration of all things. Part of this process includes the global Ekklesia of Yeshua rediscovering her original identity and calling as a governmental body of people called out to rule the earth and every sphere of society under King Yeshua's leadership (Acts 1:8).

This article was previously published 31Jul15 here on the Revive Israel website

Rediscovering the Original Ekklesia
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel

After many years of serving the Lord, I have developed such a level of maturity, wisdom and discernment that I understand what is wrong with everyone else: members of our congregations, ministry partners and spiritual leaders(!). I have collected and categorized all these people's faults in innumerable mental files in my memory.

Many of my discussions with other leaders examine the faults of those we work with. Much of my prayer life rehearses these problems before the Lord. Often my thoughts are concerned with the faults of others. This reminds me of a verse of Scripture:

"Now salvation, strength and the kingdom of God, and the power of His Messiah have come, because the accuser of the brethren, who accused them before God day and night has been cast down." (Revelation 12:10)

Oh my goodness! Is what I have been calling spiritual maturity actually servitude to Satan? (The word "Satan" in Hebrew means "accuser".) What percentage of my conversations deal with other people's faults? What percentage of my prayers? My thoughts? Perhaps you should ask yourself the same questions.

According to the verse above, if we could just stop accusing and condemning one another, great spiritual power would be released. Let's pray this together: "Lord, cleanse me of all satanic spirits of accusing my brothers and sisters! Help me to be their advocate before you like Yeshua and intercede for them, not against them (I John 2:1, Romans 8:34)."

This article was previously published 14Aug15 here on the Revive Israel website

Rediscovering the Original Ekklesia
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel

When Jacob married Leah, his third son was Levy (Levi). His name came from Leah's saying that her husband would "closely accompany" her (Genesis 29:34). This is the root of Levy . Leah meant this in a soulish way, but God - in His sovereign election of this family - used the name to achieve a spiritual destiny. Those who became the priestly tribe, took the name Levy as one who "clings to", "joins to", "closely adheres to", or "accompanies" the Lord.

Our friends at the International House of Prayer (Kansas City) took their name from Isaiah 56:7, "My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." And, in this chapter, who constitutes those praying in the house of prayer for all nations? "... the son of the foreigner who has become JOINED to the Lord" (Isaiah 56:3,6).

The root word for "joined" in Isaiah 56 is the same as the name Levy in Genesis 29. The sons of the Gentile nations who are joined to the Lord become a spiritual priesthood, according to the "order" of Levy.

The last chapter of Isaiah describes a special fulfillment of this Gentile, Levitical priesthood in the end times. "And also from them I will take to be priests and Levites" (Isaiah 66:21). These are Gentiles not only fulfilling the spiritual aspects of prayer and priestly service, but also supporting the regathering of the Jewish people and the re-establishment of the State of Israel (Isaiah 66:10-20). Joining in the fulfilling of the end times' prophecies about Zion is as much an integral part of their Levitical calling as their other priestly aspects of prayer and service.

In the New Covenant we see the fulfillment of the Priesthood: first in Yeshua, whose High Priesthood is of an order which precedes (and exceeds) that of Levy - the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7); but also in the priesthood of every believer, as we are called a "Kingdom of Priests" and a "Royal Priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6). The entire Body of Messiah, Jew and Gentile together, join themselves to the Lord in order to mediate God's will between heaven and earth. Thus we see how the prophetic Scriptures, the international prayer movement, and the restoration of Israel are vitally linked together in the end times.

Planting and supporting congregations is one of the goals of Revive Israel. Recently one of our staff members, Roni Rejuwan, who has been serving regularly at the drug rehab center Beit Ha'Yeshuah (House of Salvation), was asked to take on the pastoral role of their congregation Yeshuat Israel (Israel's Salvation). The congregation is growing with about 70 people currently attending, and about half of them are participating in or have graduated from the rehab program.

Please join us in prayer for Roni and the congregation, for the development of a strong leadership team, and for the finances for a new vehicle to transport participants.

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