Mt. 5:13 π Mt. 6:10 π Mt. 7:21 π Mt. 15:24 π Mt. 18:6 π Mt. 22:11-13 π Mt. 24:11 π Mt. 24:12 π Mt. 25:9-12 π Mt. 25:40 π Mt. 25:45 π Jn. 12:20-21 π Jn. 13:34 π Jn. 13:35 π Jn. 17:20-21 π Acts 9:31 π 1 Cor. 12:13 π 2 Cor. 7:1 π Eph. 4:3 π Eph. 4:3 π Eph. 4:13 π Eph. 4:14 π Eph. 5:27 π Eph. 6:11 π Col. 2:8 π 1 Ths. 4:17 π 1 Tim. 3:15 π Heb. 1:3 π Jas. 3:1 π Jas. 3:14-16 π 2 Pet. 2:3 π 2 Pet. 2:18 π Rev. 7:14 π Rev. 17:14 π Rev. 19:7-8 π Rev. 19:14
Assembly, “Church” (KJV) – ekklesia –  π Wile, Trickery – methodeia – 
A prophet speaking in 1985 said, “I’ve been standing at the shoreline and I’ve been watching a lot of ships coming in. Most of them had false flags. When I saw them in the distance, I thought it was a right ship but it was not. But that ship is coming in any day now. Only the one who is true in his heart can see that ship. All the others won’t because you live on a lie. You call yourself a something that you don’t live. Your life is not backing up the truth you say with your mouth. But you will see one day it was not true and you fooled yourself.”
Another prophet recently wrote, “Back in the 1990’s, I prophesied that the churches would drift, seeking popularity and growth. And in using man’s methods for this, they would not notice the Holy Spirit slipping out while another spirit sneaks in, deceiving and taking over. Few would notice the apostasy had begun. And the surprise is that those staying in the fallen churches were the ones falling away. And those leaving the buildings for home groups were the faithful ones. The very opposite of general expectations.”
Since the time these things were first spoken, there has been a proliferation of mega-“churches” and house-“churches” alike, along with the kingdom and the apostles and prophets movements and many various other “ships” with varying degrees of “false flags.” But the fruit in these movements remains the same – that of division and selfish, even lawless religiosity. In breaking off some branches of the “church’s” corporate sin, the root has never been torn out. What exactly is this root? How do we recognize a “false flag”? What exactly is the true “ship” that was coming into view on the horizon in the mid-80s?
The root sin of the “church” (in whatever form it is practiced) is most easily seen from two directions – historically and linguistically. And it is easiest to see the root if we look at these elements as being intertwined because, in reality, they are. The “church’s” sin is a direct result of its historical departure from the truths revealed in the New Testament. But let us not look at all this just to find the problem – let us look at the problem and then press on to find the solution because correctly assessing a problem is the only means to reaching the solution just as rightly diagnosing a disease is the only means to finding its cure.
When Jesus walked on this earth, He never once said the word “church.” This fact alone is a shock to many. But how could He possibly have used the word “church”? Historically, He belongs to the first part of the first century – English, as a language, did not even come into existence until over a millennia later. The word “church,” as it is now pronounced is even something from a period that experts call middle English – so it came even later than the English language! Search the English Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) with a computer or concordance – only Matthew records Jesus as saying “church” and that is only 3 occurrences in 2 verses. And these are most likely only insertions made by Matthew into what Jesus actually said. This fact is also a shock to many, even most!
How can we know that Matthew inserted these? Jesus was an itinerant Jewish Rabbi, sent by God only “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” ( Mt. 15:24 ) The word that is translated as “church” in the English New Testaments is the Greek word ekklesia [ 1577 ]. Jesus, as a Hebrew sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, probably just did not speak any Greek! The Greeks who, just before the crucifixion, came desiring to see Jesus seemed to act like they thought they would need an interpreter. ( Jn. 12:20-21; top ) If Jesus used, as is most likely, Aramaic or Hebrew in His teachings, the verses where we find ekklesia would use a word that would be more rightly translated “temple.” As we will discover in a moment, there is nothing particularly wrong with Matthew having inserted ekklesia here because there is a very common meaning between the two words and their concepts.
But let’s look at the English word “church” for a moment. In modern dictionaries, it has four meanings: the “Christian” 1) building, 2) clergy, 3) religion and 4) people. The Greek word ekklesia has only one meaning: people! The same is true of the usage of the word-pictures “temple,” “body,” “house” and “household” throughout the New Testament – they all referred only to the people of Christ! Thus, when Matthew substitutes ekklesia for the Aramaic or Hebrew equivalent of “temple,” he intends us to know that he is referring to the people who belong to Christ. It is simply not at all possible for him to be referring to the building (which would not begin to exist until the end of the second century), nor the clergy (which did not come into existence and prominence until the second and third centuries), nor the practice of religion as a means to attain to salvation (which the New Testament has always and everywhere denounced).
It was only in the second and third centuries that the Catholic sect (even though a majority, it was only a sect, a separate, peculiar branch of “Christian” practice) brought in the building, the clergy and the exaltation of mere religion as a valid part of attaining to salvation. The Reformation (some 1400 years later) did much to remove the doctrines, errors and abuses of the Catholic sect (somewhat modifying the religious practices and even reintroducing a lot of “lost” truths) but did little or nothing to remove the building or the clergy or religion from being an integral part of the “right” way to follow Christ and God – but these three additional meanings found in the English word “church” are nothing but deceptive additions to the Way that was practiced in the book of Acts, additions that are demonically designed to divert believers from that only right way which is Christ Himself! Any final reformation (that must come if the bride is to be spotless and blameless – Eph. 5:27 , etc.) must include removal of all the deceptive and destructive elements and aspects of religion, buildings and clergy! These three elements of the English word “church” go far indeed in encapsulating the clever schemes (Greek, methodeia [ 3180 ] – Eph. 4:14 , 6:11; top ) of the devil by which he intends and works to deprive any unwary sheep of his or her eternal life in Christ.
When we recognize that Jesus did not proclaim the “church” and that its modern practices is at least three parts demonic deception, we are free then to ask the question: what did Jesus proclaim? The answer to that question is: the kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God? The kingdom is that realm where God is actually obeyed as King and Lord. ( Mt. 6:10; top ) Thus when we actually obey God and Christ’s commands, we bring His kingdom into our midst.
When we can recognize this, we can see that it is the “church’s” disobedience to some important commands that has brought us to the place where the “church” is more about apostasy, lawlessness and rebellion against God than it is about truth, righteousness and obedience to Him. What is the primary responsibility of any group that professes to follow Christ? The answer to that question is: To present to all the world an accurate picture of Him.
Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ( Jn. 13:35; top ) When we have genuinely divine love for one another, all men will know that we are Jesus’ disciples. So long as we continue to practice division and separation from one another, the whole world will continue to (almost rightly) believe that all “Christians” are mere frauds, hypocrites and idiots.
Paul wrote that “the house of God…is the ekklesia of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” ( 1 Tim. 3:15 ) It has been God’s design that the ekklesia, the people of Christ called out of this world’s darkness, should be the standard of truth that would be the salt that would preserve the world from wickedness and evil. (also see Mt. 5:13 ) But instead of upholding and presenting the one truth of Christ Jesus, the “church” has fractured and splintered into literally thousands of sects and divisions (“denominations”) and lawlessness (doing what is right in one’s own eyes) abounds within the circle most men call “Christianity.” ( Mt. 24:12; top ) So long as this condition continues (and it will within the “church” that refuses to be genuine ekklesia), the world will continue to think that there is no such thing as one truth and that all things, especially morality, is only subjectively relative.
Jesus also said, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” ( Jn. 17:20-21; top ) When we are one, the world will believe that God sent Jesus! Until we are one, the world will continue to believe that all of us, no matter what flavor of “Christianity” we embrace, are just a bunch of babbling fools because Jesus is just one more religious figurehead, a mere icon and myth.
How do we attain to this seemingly impossible goal of obeying these commands? Paul wrote, “Make every effort to keep the unanimity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” ( Eph. 4:3 ) Paul also wrote, “For we were all baptized by (or with or in) one Spirit into one body – whether Jew or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” ( 1 Cor. 12:13 ) These two statements, one taken from a letter to the most mature body of believers seen in the New Testament and the other from a letter to the most immature, present one truth. Only as we draw from the one Spirit of God will we be one. So long as we draw from some other polluted well (whether that be human achievement, human “theology” or philosophy or demonic “wisdom” – see Col. 2:8 , Jas. 3:14-16 , etc.), we will continue to only be yet another contaminated strand of churchianity. When we know that we will be held to account for everything we do or don’t do to Jesus’ little ones ( Mt. 18:6 , 25:40 , 45 ), there is indeed much more motivation to preserve the “bond of peace”! When we have the appropriate corporate “fear of the Lord” ( Acts 9:31 , etc.), we will take great care to present His truth and not our own “theology” or “doctrines” or dogma because we know that those who do not fear God “speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through licentiousness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error” – and that through “covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” ( 2 Pet. 2:3 , 18 ) Genuine teachers and preachers who speak for God know that they will be held to a higher standard! ( Jas. 3:1 ) Hypocrites and frauds and religious hucksters do not yet know this and speak so as to add to their condemnation – but this does not prevent them from deceiving many. ( Mt. 24:11; top )
Simply put, the root sin of the people of Christ is that we are not what God designed His people to be and we do not do the things Christ commanded us to do – we are not one (in spirit, Spirit or faith! – Eph. 4:3 , 13 ), we do not love one another (especially not as Christ loved us and commanded us to love – Jn. 13:34; top ) and we do not stand, neither as the truth nor, most often, not even in the truth. With these three “strikes” against us, it is no wonder that the vast majority of churchianity is out of God’s will and kingdom but is instead controlled and used as a powerful tool in the hands of God’s enemy. As a result of the people’s historical refusal to obey these commands, the world does not know that Jesus came from God, it does not recognize that God is in our midst (because largely He is not!) and it is lost in a swirling mass of conflicting religions and philosophies, as adrift as the “church.”
A false flag, then, is any practice or teaching that causes us to depart from genuinely worshiping God in spirit and in truth, from truly following the Lamb wherever He would personally lead us. It can be as simple as needing to have a building, needing some man to follow, embracing some peculiar practice or doctrine that separates us from the true people of Christ – any and all of these can divert us from the path that Christ would have us walk and live.
The true ship is the bride of Christ who washes herself “from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit” ( 2 Cor. 7:1 ), washing her robes in the blood of Christ and readying herself for His return by donning white robes of righteousness (righteous works – Rev. 7:14 , 19:7-8 ) Only the one who is true to God, called, chosen and faithful, will see – and be a real part of! – this ship. ( Rev. 17:14; top ) The coming ship prophesied of in the beginning of this article is not the return of Christ – it is the bride readying herself for the return of the Bridegroom, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
No one is guaranteed a place in the kingdom of God who has not done the will of the Lord. ( Mt. 7:21 ) One who has not properly attired him or herself for the wedding feast of the Lamb will not be allowed to remain. ( Mt. 22:11-13 ) The foolish wedding maids who don’t know how to replenish the oil in their lamps for themselves (hearing and following the Spirit) but have to run and find those who sell oil (their “pastor,” “apostle,” spiritual “father” or other spiritual “guru”) will miss this ship and they will later come and pound on the Master’s door only to be turned away. ( Mt. 25:9-12; top )
It is time to abandon any ship that sails under false flags and find the true ship. But this requires that, as has always been true in the kingdom of God, we must repent, turn to God Himself and be progressively changed into the likeness of Christ, the Son who is the image and likeness of God’s glory. ( Heb. 1:3 ) Anything else is simply a false ship that will deliver you to a place of darkness and separation from God – the same kind of place where one has truly lived their entire life. The choice is ours to make – and the consequences of our choice will be ours to eternally enjoy or regret. Choose this day whom you will serve and follow. Time is exceedingly short for making such choices. When the ship comes in and all can see it, it will be too late to get on board. Only those who are already prepared to meet the Lord in the air will be on that ship when it is visible for all flesh to see it for what it is. ( 1 Ths. 4:17 , Rev. 19:14; top )
Let he who has ears hear.
- An Admittedly Flawed System - Neil Girrard - ( in Adobe/pdf format ) Some people are able to admit that the “church” system is flawed – but what does that really mean?
- Ekklesia - A Word Study - Neil Girrard Reading the Scriptures with the word “church” in them has done centuries of damage to the body of Christ. A simple reading of these Scriptures with the Greek word “ekklesia” re-inserted can be a real eye-opener.
- The Final Reformation, Ekklesia and the “Church” - Neil Girrard - ( in Adobe/pdf format ) God’s final reformation must involve the enmity of the “church” against the ekklesia – but what are those?
- The Wiles of the Devil - Neil Girrard - ( in Adobe/pdf format ) Any soldier intending to survive the day’s battle needs to know what weapons his enemy is using and how to counter those weapons.
- Kingdom or Church? - Neil Girrard - ( in Adobe/pdf format ) Did Christ come to found and institute the church or did He come to bring forth the kingdom of God among men?
- The Importance of Christ - Neil Girrard Christ is the King, the Absolute Monarch, over those who claim to be His – so why isn’t He obeyed?
- The King’s Return - Neil Girrard - ( in Adobe/pdf format ) When the King returns, what will He expect us to have done for Him?
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