The Letters of Faith
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith -vs- Religion
“For where two or three are gathered together in My Name,
there I am in their midst.”
(Matthew 18:20 ENB)
Your letter was a delight, my friend, and the sincerity of your questions about the religious/church experience today, gives me the confidence to respond with zeal. Finger pointing is easy, but society is collapsing, and people need to know that Elohim (God) has not abandoned us; Elohim has not failed us. That which you have seen does not represent the EKKLESIA (The True Body of Yehoshua) which Yehoshua intended for us, but instead reflects the front-line of the spiritual battlefield that has been manifestly impacted by Satan and his minions. And the religion” -vs – Ekklesia battleground is being traversed by many souls today, because people worldwide are dissatisfied with their experiences, and are seeking the same answers as you. Prayerfully, what I am about to say will be helpful!
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – Worldliness of the “church”:
Admittedly, I am extremely unhappy with the worldliness of the church, which means that the exhortation I am being led to offer must be stern and forthright. Any self-examination, however, must be honest and above reproach, don’t you think? Nonetheless, I cannot allow my personal sentiments toward the “establishments” and/or “political assemblies” of the faithless “church”, to deflect the love and compassion that is in my heart for the souls that are currently lost in those establishments and assemblies. As a disciple of Yehoshua, I must be faithful unto Him, and in discussing His Body; I must begin this exhortation by saying that caution is the order of the day!
At the outset, I must admit that I do not know how to discuss these matters with you, without considering you a fellow believer. At the very least, your search has brought you closer to Elohim than ever, you have been extremely sincere in your studies, and your tenacity in the examination of the Scriptures has been outstanding. Admittedly, therefore, I enter this conversation with much hope and expectation, as well as with much concern for your future growth and development.
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – Who & What is the “Church”?
The exhortation I am moved to offer is this: Individually and collectively, those who know and have accepted Yehoshua ha Mashiach as their personal Master and Messiah, are the EKKLESIA. As such, the EKKLESIA is intended to represent Yehoshua to this world. When the body assembles, it is meant to display the grace and power of Messiah, under the direction of The Holy Spirit (Matthew 18:20; Colossians 1:10). As a living entity, the EKKLESIA is meant to be alive in the anointing of the Blood of the Lamb, and therefore, alive in His presence, power and truth. The body of Yehoshua is meant to be alive with His healing; alive with His teaching and truth; alive with His prophecy; and alive with His Gospel. In power and glory, psalm and worship, praise and prayer, unity and peace, the EKKLESIA is meant to be the LIVING presence of Yehoshua in the world – every day, and in every way (Matthew 18:18-20; Acts 12:5; Ephesians 4:1-3, 5:19).
The spiritual warfare being fought for and through the EKKLESIA, however, on the battlefield of religion and paganism, is as profound as the differences between Elohim’s way and the ways of mankind. As an example of these differences, I wish to draw a parable between the religious systems of our day, and the manner in which the United States waged the war in Vietnam. Hopefully, this parable will show in part what is wrong today, and from that lesson, we can begin the process of change.
In Vietnam, instead of sweeping through the land, conquering and claiming what we conquered, we built fortresses and bunkers, and fought from those fortifications. On a daily basis our troops would wander into the enemy’s territory, enter into a skirmish, and retreat back into the bunker at the end of the day. We would boldly take a hill, most often at a great cost, only to surrender that hill back to the enemy when we returned to our fortresses. Then, we would take the same hill the next day. We never claimed the ground we conquered, and we never moved forward. Neither were we victorious!
Such is the battle we have been taught to fight through the religious institutions.
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – An Exhortation:
The buildings we call “church” are the bunkers and fortresses of this spiritual warfare. Instead of victoriously marching through the land, conquering and claiming victory for Yehoshua, our institutional mentality has us running to our bunkers at the end of the day. Instead of reaching out to those lost in the world, we meet in our fortifications and discuss, “how terrible it is out there”. And instead of “Going through Samaria”, we wait for the lost sheep to open the doors of our buildings, while we mock those who actually do go door to door in search of the lost. We must recognize, however, that the message to the end time EKKLESIA, throughout Scripture, is unique, and we must also have the courage to acknowledge that those who have Yehoshua in their heart today are the end time EKKLESIA. If we can do this, we can then read Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, and recognize that those Words speak directly to us. In the fullness of that revelation, we must then allow Elohim’s Words to identify our sin, and in the identification – we must repent. The assembly of the EKKLESIA is the beginning point in that repentance, because many within the religious systems (who are of the Body) have hardened their heart to the Spirit’s moving for too long, and for far too long, the EKKLESIA, and society, has suffered.
The boring, dry and somber hours of assembly that we have all experienced, or the raucous, uncontrolled gatherings we frequently witness, are from Satan, because he does not want the world to see the fullness of our Messiah in us. The body of Yehoshua ha Mashiach is to be an open, sincere, Spirit organized and Spirit empowered entity of love, compassion and truth. Adjectives like programmatic, formal, systematic, rigid, cold, closed, controlling or uncontrolled, or unloving (spiritually dead) describe what is evidenced throughout the Babylonian Institutions today, and in the world’s view – that is the church! Furthermore, the liberal or restrictive theologies we hear must smack us across the face as we compare those teachings with the truth of Scripture. Gone is our cleansing through the Blood of Yehoshua our Messiah, and gone is the truth of obedience and discipleship unto Yehoshua our Master. The call to repentance and reconciliation has been lost, and we no longer KNOW the fullness of the resurrection of Messiah – IN OUR LIVES – every moment of every day! Instead of the army of Messiah marching through the land, properly sustaining and upholding civilization (while finding the lost souls of the Body) – through “the church” today, the world sees an entrenched group of (mostly hypocritical) people who gather for programmatic periods of entertainment and homily. And while they gather, civilization crumbles around them!
Sadly, the exhortation I am moved to issue has no denominational boundary. No particular group, sect or cult has a lock on salvation, because today, Yehoshua’s children are trapped within the confines of every religious enclave. In these last days though, Elohim’s call to His children, issued in Revelation 18:4, to come out of Babylon; to come out of the religious enclaves, will be heard, because the command speaks directly to the end time EKKLESIA. The body of Yehoshua is about to be awakened, and it is my fervent prayer that writings like this will help stimulate that awakening.
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – Repentance Required:
The standard by which we must live our lives is found only in His Word, and whenever we hear His Word, we must ask ourselves questions, to see if we can apply His truth to our life. In that vein, I wish to present a few passages, and ask some difficult questions for your consideration. As you answer these questions in your heart, though, please allow your responses to His Word to be stern and forthright. Please do not permit the deception to remain intact. And, when you answer these questions, consider how many times you are tempted to respond with, “I really do not care one way or another”, because therein lies the long prophesied apostasy – from which we MUST REPENT NOW!
(That word, “REPENT”, by the way, means, “To have a change of heart”… Many think the word is harsh, but it is not. Being repentant, means to grasp in your heart that you have been doing something, or looking at something, incorrectly – or against Elohim’s Word, and upon learning of your error, you are sorry for the error, and truly desire to change; truly desire to change your actions or thoughts).
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – Are these your experiences?
Yehoshua said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in their midst” (Matthew 18:20 ENB).
Have you ever really experienced the presence of Messiah in an assembly? Consistently? Have you ever been led to assemble as if Yehoshua actually was in the midst of your group? Do your leaders really allow Him to direct the worship, or does the program remain unchanged week after week?
Have you ever really experienced the presence of Messiah in an assembly? Consistently? Have you ever been led to assemble as if Yehoshua actually was in the midst of your group? Do your leaders really allow Him to direct the worship experience, or does the program remain unchanged week after week?
Yehoshua said, “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you” (John 15:12 ENB).
Have you ever experienced an assembly where the love of Yehoshua for you, and the love displayed for each other in attendance, so permeated the gathering, that The Spirit of prophecy, and the presence of Messiah, caused people to confess and repent of their sins, thereby allowing Elohim to heal individuals and relationships?
Have you ever experienced an assembly where the love of Yehoshua for you, and the love displayed for each other in attendance, so permeated the gathering, that The Spirit of prophecy, and the presence of Messiah, caused people to confess and repent of their sins, thereby allowing Elohim to heal individuals and relationships?
Elohim also said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down their life for their friends” (John 15:13 ENB).
In your experiences, how often have you assembled with a group you believe would lay down their life for you – or you for them? How often have you visited a new “church”, and only seen the back of people’s heads; leaving without the congregation even knowing or caring that you were there?
In speaking of the gifts, Scripture says, “He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, unto mature sons and daughters, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah” (Ephesians 4:11-13 ENB). Additionally, we are told that the assembly of the EKKLESIA is to include each one having a psalm, revelation, teaching, language of the nations or the interpretation of the language of the nations (1 Corinthians 14:26-40 ENB).
Have you ever witnessed these things, or have the assemblies you have attended consisted of individuals who quietly sit in their pews, staring at a preacher, who is telling them what he thinks they need to hear? Has Yehoshua, and deliverance through His Shed Blood, been the focus of the messages you have heard? Are Elohim’s Word and Good News being spread, or have donations slipped again, necessitating another sermon on tithing? Except for the ritualistic standing to sing and sitting to listen, have you ever seen each member of the body intimately involved in the worship experience?
Have you ever been in an assembly that encourages the use of the gifts outlined in Ephesians, 1 Corinthians and Romans, without the gathering getting out of control? Have you ever seen The Holy Spirit bestow a gift of healing, watched a prophet rise with Elohim’s message, or witnessed any type of miracle? Or do the groups you have been with maintain a prearranged schedule of sermons and events, regardless of how The Spirit might be moving? Have those you have assembled with, sat week after week in personal pain, grief or anguish, tormented in the spiritual battle, without anyone even knowing of their pain, let alone offering to relieve it? Or, have you seen people set free from the demons of darkness, as they were brought into the glorious light of our Messiah? Have you ever witnessed the body functioning as a living entity, each one empowered “for the work of ministry,” or is Elohim’s power being denied?
The Old Covenant says, “Of Your holy ones who are on the earth, and the excellent, You have said, ‘In them is all My delight.'” (Psalms 16:3 ENB).
Have you ever witnessed an assembly where the brethren actually believed that they were majestic and the delight of Elohim? Have YOU ever felt this? Or are the people in your church merely pew warming bodies who gaze at the pastor and sing along with the choir? Even worse, are they simply wallets to pluck as the plate passes by? In the warmth of the assemblies you have experienced, are the brethren comfortable enough to reveal the burdens of their soul? Are they free to confess their sins without being judged? Lastly, does anybody even care to actually listen to the trials and tribulations of others (Luke 17: 37)?
Have you ever experienced an assembly so spiritually alive with the presence of Elohim that you did not want it to end? If The Holy Spirit is in fact leading us while we assemble to worship, do you think you would ever really want it to end? Consider eternity when you answer this!
Yehoshua said, “I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15:5). Additionally, we are to be, “of one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32). The branches of Yehoshua’s vine are meant to spread out and grow, in loving unity – with a purpose. What we witness in most institutions, however, is an inward looking mass of confined individuals, who either no longer know how to reach out to the lost sheep, or don’t care to reach the lost at all. Sadly, these same souls no longer know that Elohim has gifted them in such a way that His glorious growth is imminent. In these last days though, we must know that if we are gathering as spectators, if we are being denied the training and opportunity to use our gifts to glorify our Messiah, we very well may be connected to the wrong vine.
If Yehoshua is not the focus of praise, worship, prayer and teaching, someone else is. If Yehoshua is not the Head of the assembled body, someone else is leading the assembly. In the spiritual realm there are only two sides, Yehoshua’s or someone else. Harsh? Yes! Scriptural? ABSOLUTELY!
Look for yourself!
The EKKLESIA; The Church, The Body of our Messiah:
Let’s stop though, and recognize that in this discourse I am not attempting to encourage a new denomination. We will never find Elohim in an organization, and we must stop seeking Him there. Elohim lives in our hearts, and those who have accepted Yehoshua ha Mashiach as their personal Master and Messiah, have Him abiding within their heart. And it is these who are the EKKLESIA. As such, when we come together in assembly, our sole purpose must be to worship and glorify Him. In faith we must individually and collectively represent the Risen Messiah to the world, and this must be done without judgmentalism or religious rhetoric. Otherwise, we will continue to abide in and portray a deceptive presentation, and the world will never see the fulfilled and glorified Body of Yehoshua ha Mashiach.
Warnings & Commands regarding proper assemblies:
This discussion about the EKKLESIA, and our proper assembly, however, requires additional input from Elohim’s Word, because a warning has been issued for the period of “the last days”, in which we are told that mankind will be, “having a form of reverence, but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 ENB). This warning is connected to a command instructing the faithful to, “avoid such as these,” and the fullness of this command must be united with Revelation 18:4, where Elohim’s people are told to, “come out”.
These warnings and commands are to be of particular concern to us today for two reasons: First, the signs of our times indicate that we are rapidly drawing toward the conclusion of this age, and the return of Yehoshua our Messiah. Second, spiritual Babylon, the religious institutions, genuinely lack knowledge or concern for Elohim’s Word, nor do they possess a desire for it. They certainly know how to manipulate it, but they deny the use of His power, teach a blatantly liberal or restrictive theology, and either refuse to permit any display of the gifts of The Holy Spirit, or display an absolute disregard for the disciplined use of those gifts. These facts dictate that every faithful disciple of Messiah must preach a Gospel of repentance within these institutions, in an attempt to draw them back unto Elohim, but barring any change, we must obediently disassociate ourselves from these comfortable enclaves, and “come out”. And, as always, our actions must be – In love!
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – Something to think about:
Elohim does not exist in the eyes of the world today, because the world cannot find Elohim in the so-called “christian” institutions today. (Or within the lives of many professing “christians)… The world cannot see YEHOSHUA’S love in our hearts for each other either, and in that blindness they remain lost…
Why is this so? Simply, this is true, because the spiritual and natural worlds are watching and reacting to what we do, and if the children of Messiah do not display His love, power and conviction on this earth, toward them as well as toward each other, then the demons of darkness have no human foe, united under the banner of Yehoshua, with which to contend. If the EKKLESIA is not abiding under the Headship of Yehoshua, then it is unwittingly abiding under the headship of someone else. And in so abiding, the remaining EKKLESIA is trapped in the halls of Babylon; sweeping the power of The Holy Spirit under the carpet.
Although Satan has been infiltrating the academic centers of the religious institutions for centuries, the last one hundred and fifty years have been especially cancerous to the body of our Messiah. From the lofty platform of academia Satan has convinced the pastor’s that it is really they who lead and shepherd the Body (although they would deny this vehemently). And, through these misled pastor’s, he has also convinced the body that they no longer need, or are being given, the gifts of The Holy Spirit. Once the deception took hold, the “church” divided itself into denominations that either deny the gifts completely, or abuse them in the most bizarre and unusual ways. And from this weakened, confused and disorganized position, Satan now rules Babylon. Satan rules the great harlot!
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – Deceitful Nicolaitan’s
In Exodus, chapter 18, we are shown where Moses fell victim to the same deception as these pastors, and we are also shown Elohim’s cure. (More on this in a moment). Additionally, in Revelation 2:6 we are given the name of this particular spirit of deception: It is called, NICOLAITAN. A Nicolaitan, Greek NICOLAITES, is a combination of two Greek words: NICOLAS = Victory Over and LAOS = People.
A Nicolaitan, therefore, is one who is victorious over people.
Someone who victoriously suppresses people!
When Elohim’s people are deceived into believing that their gifts are dead; that they need other men (or even women) to guide and lead them, and that they are incapable of serving Elohim with those gifts, then someone else is reigning over His people. The Nicolaitans of our day are those who either teach that The Holy Spirit no longer bestows all of the gifts upon the children of Messiah, or who confuse and confound the assembly by permitting uncontrolled and unrestricted use of the more controversial gifts, thereby stopping the EKKLESIA from being everything Yehoshua desires (for it), and deserves (from it).
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – Spiritual Gifts:
You see, the moment we receive Yehoshua ha Mashiach as Messiah and Master, The Holy Spirit imparts His gifts (Spiritual Abilities) upon us. When we deny the use of our gifts, we are in affect, denying the power of Elohim (See 2 Timothy 3:1-5). Satan’s deception regarding the denial and / or abuse of the gifts within the EKKLESIA is readily seen within a simple study of the gift of the pastor, because therein lies the fullness of the deception within the institutions (as we witness them today). And by turning back to Moses, a great example of a true pastor, we can find the denial of Elohim’s power and authority:
Moses wrongly sat alone in judgment over the tribes of Israel, and the “word” that was passed along to him, through his father-in-law, was that, “The thing that you are doing is not good” (Exodus 18:17 ENB). Enlightened, Moses taught the statutes and laws to the people, and delegated the authority of leadership and judgment to the elders. Later, after further enlightenment from Elohim’s own hand, Moses declared that he, “Would that all YEHOWAH’S people were prophets, that YEHOWAH would put His Spirit upon them” (Numbers 11:29 ENB)! Moses saw the power of Elohim working throughout the flock once he relinquished his control over them. Moses learned what it meant to be a mature spiritual leader; a mature under-shepherd, and it is this primary lesson that every leader appointed by Elohim must learn today.
Moses is the best single snapshot we are ever going to see of a faithful human pastor, because as he matured, Moses provided a great photograph of a truly Scriptural under-shepherd. For forty years Moses led the flock of Israel, and for most of that time he understood that it was Elohim’s flock he was leading. When Moses finally learned that he was an under-shepherd, he quickly discovered that his first responsibility was to train and empower other under-shepherd’s, who in turn would redouble the effort. The deception that Satan has fostered over the pastors of our age, however, has them refusing to acknowledge this truth. Too concerned with flock size, buildings, large salaries and elaborate programs, these souls actually believe it is their flock they are overseeing. To make matters worse, many of the pastors we see today are not even disciples of Yehoshua; they do not fully believe! Unlike Elohim’s appointment of Moses, anybody can attend a university today and receive an academic license to pastor. Faith is not required, and in many institutions, faithlessness reigns! And if you think that is harsh, just listen to the sermons preached today, and actually compare those sermons to the fullness of Scripture. Sadly, as you listen, you will realize that the truth of Elohim’s Word is not emanating from very many pulpits today…
Sadly, Satan has deceitfully led many who were called to lead Elohim’s flock into being Nicolaitans, and once the leadership was indoctrinated to believe that the gifts and calling of Elohim to the laity had stopped, these leaders began to sit in metaphorical judgment over “their” flock. The fullness of the deception in this age has groups of people coming together to be “ministered to”, just like the tribes of Israel went to Moses. Instead of being the dynamic body of Messiah, empowered to minister to the world, we find many lost and deceived souls attending boring, dry and somber Sunday morning religious services, and the body of Yehoshua is asleep!
Do NOT Lose Heart:
Please do not loose heart though, dear friend, because we must remember above all else, that according to Prophecy, there is a tremendous time of harvest to come. And the harvest is of Elohim’s children. That which is false will remain false, but that which belongs unto Yehoshua will be fully sanctified unto Him. Joyfully, we can report that this call to come out of the institutions has already begun. Many people, like yourself, are questioning the validity of what they have seen or been taught; questioning the very fiber of the religious systems. While Satan has attempted to kill the EKKLESIA through religion, Elohim is empowering us today, so that we can help our brothers and sisters as they come out from Babylon in faith. Christianity, as it is known and presented in this age, has failed in its call, primarily because potential disciples live as if Elohim were dead; as if Elohim is no longer involved; as if Elohim had failed – as if Elohim never existed! But Elohim has not failed, We have, and we must wake up and repent!
Isaiyeh and Jeremiyeh were moved to prophecy against Jacob – a parable of the legalized, ritualistic, institutional religion!
Elohim is furious with Jacob today, because they want to live by that part of the Law that suits their need, while they disregard the fullness of Scripture. Scripture, however, dictates that those who want to abide under the Law, instead of under the Blood of the Lamb, must abide by the whole Law. Jacob desires to abide liberally where it pleases them, ritualistically where it enslaves others and humanistically whenever the true Elohim either exceeds or falls short of their expectations, requirements or demands. Jacob’s lamps have no oil (Matthew 25:1-13).
Additionally, Isaiyeh, Jeremiyeh and Ezekiel prophesied about Israel (an occasional spiritual parable for the EKKLESIA), because Elohim is grieved by Israel’s faithlessness, lukewarm attitude and genuine lack of love for Him – and for each other. The Prophets inquired about the things they were writing, but were told it was not for them to know. It is for us to know though, because these prophecies speak directly to the end time EKKLESIA. They speak directly to us!
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – The Ekklesia will flourish again:
Wisdom, knowledge, discernment, insight and common sense are missing in society today, yet these things, and the fullness of the gifts of The Holy Spirit, will become increasingly manifest within the EKKLESIA, as we draw near unto Elohim once again. The false teachings that flourish throughout the religious institutions denounce the truth and power of Scripture, and aspire instead to manipulate Elohim’s Word to their advantage. While twisting His Law of liberty for liberalism, thereby lacking faithful submission, and in total disregard for His instructions, issues like abortion, homosexuality, adultery, divorce and the occult, are openly accepted and practiced within their ranks, and the true knowledge of Elohim, as well as the call for repentance and obedience, and therefore, His true forgiveness, remain unacceptably foreign. We cannot tolerate this laxness among the faithful any longer, though. The EKKLESIA cannot associate with the faithless in their folly, or permit the unrighteous to rule over them, and still expect our Father’s grace to abound in our lives. We must display every attribute of Elohim as we encounter the world, and we must encounter the worldly in our search for the lost sheep, on behalf of our righteous Messiah. But again, we cannot allow ourselves to be in subjection to them. We have been gifted specifically for this battle, and it is time for us to use every ounce of our gifting for His glory, honor and praise.
Unlike the religious institutions that will rebuke this message, Elohim is not interested in money, numbers, programs or buildings. Elohim is interested in people! Those within the institutions who are not His children, will never hear the call from heaven, because Yehoshua will never be in their heart. Those who know and have Messiah though, must return to our first love; we must return to the Lamb. And as the EKKLESIA awakens, the promised harvest of the last age will begin, and the EKKLESIA will be glorious – in Him – and for Him.
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – What is a Real Revival?
I have learned over the years though, that the revival vision held by the leaders of many institutions is one of big meetings, with thousands of converts and the resultant jam-packed auditoriums on Sunday mornings. As these men (and women) speak, I see legions of babes in Messiah, left in the pews to starve for want of milk and the provision of spiritual meat. While Yehoshua seeks disciples, the Nicolaitans seek converts. When I discuss the price of revival with a Nicolaitan, however, they usually rebuke my comments, because the price of a true revival is too high for them.
In order for the revival to come, a reformation must come first. This reformation is one where faithful disciples, who have until now remained silent in their pews, stand – anointed in the Blood of the Lamb, and cry for repentance – both in the church and throughout the land. This reformation will end the reign of the Nicolaitans (whom Yehoshua expressed His hatred for in Revelation 2:6 & 15), by replacing them with an empowered Body who love their brethren as they love Yehoshua, and who love the world enough to share their faith, convictions and His Good News. Apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, administrators, elders, deacons, helpers and every other soul, gifted and led by The Holy Spirit, without any personal agenda, will guide the EKKLESIA in an environment conducive to worship, praise, prayer and love. This reformation will be the last one before the glorious return of our Master and Messiah, and we must prepare now in order to hear, “Well done!” Revival, nonetheless, is the first order of business, because we must be reawakened!
Once awakened, the EKKLESIA must pray intensely, fast faithfully, seek whole-heartedly, meet lovingly, and reverently devote itself to each other, in its attempt to rediscover the fullness of who we are in our Messiah. Even though the institutional leaders deem the reformation aspect of a revival too destructive, we cannot repel from the upward call of Elohim any longer. As we repent from our clergy mentality, and as we free ourselves from our enslavement to the false teachings we have absorbed, Elohim will replace the bitterness and anger we may harbor against those who have enslaved us, and replace it with the sweet fragrance of His love. His wisdom and knowledge will abound as well… And this repentance will bring about reformation. As faithful brethren repent and extract themselves from false institutions, or as entire institutions repent, the final reformation will begin. We must first be revived (reawakened), then we must repent of our sins – and seek the fullness of His love…
Do not forget though, beloved, that the EKKLESIA abides within each of us, and whether two individuals or two million people assemble, Yehoshua will be in our midst. The Master, however, is not concerned with numbers, and His anger was violently displayed whenever a census was taken without His authorization (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21). While the religious institutions may be increasingly concerned with the number of people in attendance, the EKKLESIA must never become involved with this matter. We are children of Elohim, we are the Body of Yehoshua, and He knows our number.
The revival, like the reformation process, must also focus on Yehoshua. Our praise, prayer and worship must center on the Head of the Body. No one individual can be allowed to distract us from our focus, or be permitted to control the assembly. Sure, we must follow those appointed by Elohim, but every faithful disciple, appointed as a leader, in following Yehoshua, will point the way unto our Father’s throne. We must study the Scriptures fervently and rediscover His truth, applying what we learn to our lives. We must fulfill our responsibilities as priests, administering and anointing the Blood of the Lamb according to His Divine instructions. We must sing unto Him, sing about Him and sing of our desire for Him. We must praise, worship and adore Him as we seek His presence in our lives and in our assemblies. And, we must be prepared to follow His lead when He comes. WE MUST EXPECT AND ANTICIPATE HIS PRESENCE! The EKKLESIA is the bride of Yehoshua, and it is time we prepare to meet the Bridegroom.
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – Revive, Repent & Renew:
This is the renewal aspect of what is to come: Revive, Repent and Renew! Once awakened, we must turn from our sin and return to our first love! Revive, Repent, Renew! How absolutely glorious the process shall be!
Every paid pastoral staff will have to learn to utilize their gifts within the format of the reformed EKKLESIA. The wasteful fat must be trimmed. Once the pulpit is returned to Yehoshua though, teaching and prophecy will pour forth from the EKKLESIA, led and empowered by The Holy Spirit of Elohim. And once the body prepares for battle, it will never return to the bondage of the Nicolaitans.
When the full Gospel is preached and believed once again; when our hearts are awakened again to the fullness of the truth that Messiah died for our sins; that only through the Blood of the Lamb are we forgiven; that only thru faith in Yehoshua ha Mashiach can we gain entry into heaven (to abide with our Father in His Kingdom); that only through obedience unto our Master, Yehoshua, do we remain under His anointing, and that in Him we are already resurrected, only in the fullness of these things will the revival pour forth from our hearts. Repentance will be witnessed in fullness and truth. Then, when our love for each other is as Yehoshua loves us, our assemblies will become a natural process of praise, adoration and worship. And when our assemblies become a joyful expression from every member; with a hymn, Scriptural revelation, psalm, utterance of national languages (with an interpretation) and our fear of exposure is replaced by the trust and assurance of a loving family, renewal will be real and everlasting. When our gatherings are a sharing of daily victories and experiences in Yehoshua, and our fellowship is genuinely Messiah centered, because the Blood of the Lamb anoints us and the love of Yehoshua fills our lives, reformation will be complete – and the Great Harvest will be in full bloom! Revival, Repentance and Renewal…
True revival though, will come only in and through the fullness of Elohim’s love in our lives. The EKKLESIA must dedicate itself to this fact, because only through our love for Yehoshua, displayed in our love for one another, can the world witness the truth of Elohim! The revival that glorifies and magnifies Yehoshua will be wrought only on the wings of love, guided only by The Holy Spirit, Who will work through us and in us for the glory of our King!
When revival does come, we will be everything the Body of the living Messiah is meant to be. ALIVE! And when revival pours from our hearts, it will spread around the world, because the lost sheep of the family of Elohim will finally see Yehoshua alive in our lives, and will yearn to KNOW the fullness of His absolute love, truth and hope as well. The harvest will come in earnest.
It is impossible to predict what any particular assembly of the EKKLESIA will be like throughout this process though, because as a living body, each cell will have its own personality. Elohim is not looking for clones. He created individuals (in His image), and He desires our personalities to remain intact. Each member of the body is gifted to supply the needs of the other members though, and The Holy Spirit knows how the pieces fit. The EKKLESIA is not a building, organization, program or place, because it is us! The EKKLESIA is we who believe in Yehoshua ha Mashiach as Master, Messiah and King. How we assemble depends upon our personality, but the Body Assembling is no different than the reverential worship of an individual. Just because more members are present does not mean that our praise unto Elohim must change. As long as Yehoshua remains our focus, and The Holy Spirit remains our guide, our Father in heaven will be glorified and the world will witness His love.
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – Come Out from Babylon:
The call is clear: In love, humility and purity, the body of Yehoshua must “COME OUT” from Babylon. We must reject the notion that we are powerless and without the gifts of The Holy Spirit, because this is the great deception of our age. We must also reject the notion that we are mere spectators, because, “The earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the children of Elohim” (Romans 8:19 ENB). We are to be active participants in the government of the world, as well as in the administration of Elohim’s mysteries. We are to hasten and prepare the way for Yehoshua’s return. As His children, Elohim has empowered us, but we have denied His power for too long. Yehoshua has redeemed us and called us to minister as priests, but we have surrendered the priesthood to the Nicolaitans. We gather today as if we had no authority; as if we know nothing, but The Spirit, abiding within us, is the same as He who abided (and abides) within Yehoshua. But now we are awakening!
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion – No Middle Ground,
We either ARE His children, or we are NOT His children!
And if you think this is all hype, I challenge you to read Psalm 82, paying particular attention to verses 6 and 7, because we either believe that we are His children and act accordingly, or we do not, and in our disbelief, we clearly fail! Be assured though, beloved, that many millions of souls around the world are experiencing the same feelings you have about “church” and “religion”. You are not alone in your discontent. And remember too, that your discontent is also from Elohim. Joyfully, the EKKLESIA – worldwide – is beginning to hear His call to “come out” from that which is false. The children are truly awakening. Therefore, we must be prepared to serve!
The Ekklesia as we are meant to be:
As we come out of the religious institutions, many are wondering what we are supposed to do. We are wondering how and when we are to assemble. While the EKKLESIA of the Crucified Lamb searches the Word of Elohim for the guidelines and truth once again, and while we learn how to act without the Nicolaitans, we must trust The Holy Spirit to guide our way. We have much to learn as priests, and while we are learning, He will show us how to assemble, and He will call us together when our hearts are ready. The bitterness, anger and fear must be gone first though, because this is a time of renewal and faith. This is a time for His love to be manifest in our hearts and thru our lives. When we do assemble though, whether it be two or two million, we must CLAIM THE KINGDOM in His name and authority, and anoint each other in His Blood. And we must worship Him as one, solely under His leadership. In gathering, we must recognize the significance of His Words, when He says, “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in their midst” (Matthew 18:20 ENB), because HE WILL TRULY BE PRESENT WITH US. Praise be!!!
And in His presence, beloved seeker, we must humbly, gently, lovingly and faithfully use our gifts in ministry, one unto one another (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4; 1 Peter 4:10). We must stop worrying about “going to church”, and return to our first love. We must return unto Yehoshua, and in Him we must set aside our personal ambitions, striving instead for a united heart and soul, and giving witness to the world of His resurrection in our hearts. With power and authority we must pray without division, encourage without doubt, and love without partiality (Acts 4:32-35, 12:5-12; Romans 1:12, 15:5-16; 1 Corinthians 1:10, 12:12-31, 14:26-40, 16:15-16; Ephesians 4; Colossians 4:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-15; 1 Timothy (all); 2 Timothy (all); James 2:1-13; 1 Peter 1:22, 5:(all)).
This is the EKKLESIA as we are meant to be!
As a spiritual house we must administer the mysteries of Elohim, and reclaim our role as priests. We are told that, “You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation… a people for Elohim’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were, ‘Not My people,’ but now, You are the children of the living El; you had Not obtained mercy; but now you have Received Mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10 ENB). We either believe that or we do not. Personally, I am choosing to believe. I pray that you choose to join me in that belief!
If you have not witnessed any of these things, dear friend, it is because you have not yet met with the “EKKLESIA“. We have been asleep. As we awaken, however, you will begin to see change. The EKKLESIA, once fully awakened, will be unlike anything you have ever witnessed. Do not fear the change. Be cautious! Be on guard! But when you do find the EKKLESIA assembling, go on in – you will never regret it.
May Elohim grant His joy unto your heart, and may the efforts of your search be rewarded by the visitation of His profound and effective grace and mercy. And, may you know the fullness of Yehoshua ha Mashiach, and His Holy Spirit, that your joy may truly be complete…
I remain faithfully yours in Yehoshua our Messiah,
Letter 3: The Ekklesia (Body) & Faith – VS – Religion –
EKKLESIA (Church) Assembly:
Old Covenant: Leviticus 10:3,9; 1 Kings 8:22-53; Psalms 16:3, 44:1-19, 133(all), 134(all); Isaiyeh (all) – especially, 48-66. Look at Isaiyeh 1, 29:9-16, 48-66; Jeremiyeh (all) Look at Jeremiyeh 1-36 & 46-52, but especially, 3(all), 7:1-7, 33:14-22; Ezekiel (all) – with the same insights.
New Covenant: Matthew 10:27, 18:15-20; Luke 17:3-4,37; John 15(all); Act.4:32-35, 7:48-50, 12:5,12, 17:24; Romans 1:12, 12(all), 15:5-7, 16(all); [See Romans 16:16; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26 and 1 Peter 5:14]; 1 Corinthians 1:10, 12:(all), 14:26-40, 16:15-16; 2 Corinthians 1:13-14; Ephesians 1:22-23, 4(all), 5:18-27; Philippians 2:1-7; Colossians 1:3-4,18-29, 2:2, 3:12-15, 4:8; 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, 5:12-13, 20-21; 2 Thessalonians 3:6,14-15; 1 Timothy (all) – look at 1:18-20, 2:8-15; 3:15, 5(all); 2 Timothy (all) – see 3:1-5; Hebrews 3:13, 10:23-25; James 2:1-13; 1 Peter 1:22, 2:5-10, 4:8-9, 5(all); Revelation 2:6,15, 18:4.
Old Covenant: Genesis 4:2, 30:31-36; Exodus 3:1; Numbers 27:17; 2 Samuel 5:2; 1 Chronicles 11:2; Isaiyeh (all), 17:4-6, 48(all), 58(all); Jeremiyeh (all) 3:6-19; Ezekiel (all) 34(all); Micyeh 7:14.
New Covenant: Matthew 9:36, 24:24-51, 25:32, 26:31; Mark 6:34; Luke 2:8-20, 12:32; John 10:2-16, 21:15-17; Acts 14:23, 20:17-35; 1 Corinthians 9:7; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Timothy 2:12-15, 3:1-7, 4:14, 5:17-20; 2 Timothy 4:1-4; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:20; James 5:14-16; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Jude 1:12-16; Revelation 2:27, 7:17, 12:5, 19:15.
(Understand the Old Covenant name of YEHOWAH, “I AM”, when you study the New Covenant passages. After the time of Moses, the children of Israel never said “I am”, because that was the Name given to the nation of Israel in Egypt, when they asked Moses the name of the Elohim Who sent him to them. Moses was to say, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). Many false teachers want you to believe that Yehoshua never declared His Deity while He lived. The New Covenant evidence refuting that claim, however, abounds, especially in the Gospel according to John. Throughout His life Yehoshua proclaimed, “I AM” consistently. Additionally, and again, especially in John’s Gospel, He openly stated that He was the Messiah three times. And finally, He declared exactly WHO HE WAS AND IS every time He used His Name… The clues to the puzzle are all laying on the table before us. We just need to look at the pieces through eyes of faith.
Old Covenant: Psalms 2:12, 23(all), 78(all), 99(all), 100(all); Micyeh 7:7-20.
New Covenant: Matthew 9:2-7, 11:27-30, 16:13-17, 22:41-45, 26:63-66; Mark 2:5-11, 5:19-26, 14:61-62, 15:2; Luke 1:26-38, 8:26-39, 22:66-70, 23:3; John 3:16-21, 4:25-26*, 5:37, 6(all)*, 8(all)*, 10(all)*, 11:25-26, 12:44-50, 13:12-20, 14:6,9-11, 15(all), 17:6; Acts 2:36; Romans 1:4; Colossians 1:13-20, 2:9; Hebrews 1:3,8-9; 3:6, 4:14, 5:8-10, 13:8; 1 Peter 1:18-21; 1 John 2:22-23; 4:2-3,15; 5:1; Revelation (all) see: 1:4-7,8,17-18, 22:12-16*.
Letters of Faith™
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Lawrence T. Vosen, PhD.
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Lawrence T. Vosen, PhD. Used with permission.