Why Should We Build House Assemblies NOT Churches and NOT Synagogues?
Why Should We Build House Assemblies NOT Churches and NOT Synagogues?
Before we discuss the characteristics of the ekklyssia (House Assembly) there are two points to know:
(A) The Ekklyssia mentioned in the Apostolic writings is a Greek word translation of the Aramaic and Hebrew words Qohelet (and Kenneset). The word ekklyssia is falsely translated as “church.”It should have been translated as “Assembly” or “House Assembly” or “Congregation.” The word Church comes from the pagan “Worship Circles” of Mithra, Apollo, Sol Invictus, Aphrodite and most other gods and goddesses. Circle is circuit, which is church. YHWH Yeshua Jesus did not create the pagan worship circles to invoke gods or to invoke Him. Therefore we will NOT use the term Church.
The Roman arrogant bishops (who were not truly born-again believers in Jesus) chose the term “Worship Circle - Church” to be acceptable to the pagan Romans. Consequently, Emperor Constantine who established the Church gave them equality with the other pagan religions and issued with Emperor Licinius the Edict of Tolerance of the Christians and the Church as equal to the other pagans. All Churches are built facing the Sun-god, i.e. East. And All Churches (except the Messianic synagogues, the Adventists, the New Church of God and few rare individual churches) worship the Lord on Sun-god Day (Sunday). Furthermore, they changed the name YHWH to the Lord Kurios. The Lord Kurios was the title of the gods, such as Jupiter-Zeus, Apollo and the Sol Invicus.
(B) The Ekklyssia (Assemblies - Congregation) although appeared to be weak independent families, yet converted the entire world in the first three hundred years. Today the Churches have the image of piety and claims the name of the Lord and have no power. I do mean they have no power. Most of the preachers mix positive psychology with the Bible.
Now Let Us Describes the suggested Characteristics of the true ekklyssia (House Assembly) as Jesus Yeshua established it and as the Disciples continued for three hundred years.
(1) HIERARCHY and AUTHORITY
While every church and Messianic synagogue claim that Jesus is the Head of the church, yet such claim is false. The true Head or Heads of the church are the people who are on top of the pyramid. They may be called Pastors, or Messianic rabbis, or Elders, or Deacons, or Church Business Administrators. They are the ones who run all the business of the Church.
The ekklyssia has only Jesus Yeshua as the Head. No teacher, or preacher, or pastor, or elder, or deacon, or missionary, or coordinator has any power to control the entire congregation.
The implication is, for example, when there is a teacher who serving for many years, and another new teacher (who became member of the family) disagrees with him, then no one wins. The new teacher has equal rights and authority as any big or small member in the ekklyssia. No one has power, or right to determine the direction or the activity of the family. Everyone is equally involved and has equal share and right.
No one can or shall control the assembly or the lives of the individuals in the assembly. A good teacher, elder, deacon, pastor may encourage the young to follow the right way (according to the Scriptures) but he may never control their lives or behavior.
(2) MEETING PLACES AND BUILDINGS
The ekklyssia meets in houses or private areas.
It is preferable to have one principal house and a secondary house in case that the hosts of the principal house are on vacation or have to travel.
No need to purchase a building or to rent a building, even if houses are small and inconvenient.
Just as the disciples met in smaller houses without air conditioning, we also have the privilege to suffer like them if we have to suffer.
(3) MEETING FREQUENCY
The disciples met every day (seven days every week). As the ekklyssia is a true family, meeting every day is normal. Yet, this may be inconvenient.
Meeting once or twice a week is adopted by the “Church.” But, twice a week creates fake relationships.
We recommend four or five times a week in person and by phone. Such meetings should never be limited to a click or a few select friends, but to everyone in the ekklyssia family.
(4) FAMILY (MISHPAHAH)
The ekklyssia is a true family; its members are chosen (elect) by YHWH to be His Family. The origin does not matter: if you are of gentile origin or Hebrew origin you are called to be a member of the One Family of God.
All members of the family are equal: children, adults, men, women, rich, poor, eloquent, slow in speech, healthy or unhealthy are the same and equal to each other.
All the activities of the ekklyssia are to be determined by all the members equally.
A true family acts at the speed of the weakest or slowest person. There are no victims and no one left behind in a true family.
As a family, the ekklyssia members care truly, in a practical manner, about each other. It is neither socialism, nor communism. each person is responsible for their own livelihood with help in the times of extraordinary needs.
The priority goes always to the blood family. In other words, if you have to help a brother in the ekklyssia or your own blood brother, your blood brother get the highest priority.
Contrary to the Church system: This is NOT the way racist churches do, i.e., "thank you for coming, see you next week." I have encountered many racist pastors "Preachers" and racist missionaries in every denominations and in many churches. Remember: any racist person, whether employed as a "Pastor" or a "Rabbi" or a "Deacon" or an "Elder" or a "Woman Leader" cannot be truly born again if he or she is racist or agrees with racists and with slanderers.
Contrary to the Church system: The family of the ekklyssia regards everyone as equal. The Church regards some people as "more equal than others." The same applies to synagogues. The meaning of Church family is the pastor's family, relative, and close friends. Also, rich and young and attractive men and women receive almost all the attention and love of the leadership. This is a violation mentioned by the Apostle Ya'cov James the brother of Yeshua Jacob in his Epistle. The YARVE (Young Attractive Rich Verbally Expressive) people receive all the pastoral visits while the poorer and those with skin color whether of white or Latino or black origin are told with a BIG smile "thank you for coming, see you next week."
In the ekklyssia, all people are equal in love, value and importance. In the ekklyssia one is ready to die for another, not only for the pastor's or rabbi's family or their close friends, but for all the true believers in Messiah Christ.
(5) CRITERIA FOR JOINING THE EKKLYSSIA FAMILY
While the ekklyssia is open to all visitors, membership in the family needs to be based on four criteria:
(A) Accepting YHWH Yeshua Jesus as the only LORD and SAVIOR (REDEEMER) by a verbal confession of faith.
(B) Manifesting that such faith is genuine and true by obedience to the Ten Commandments and the Clean Food Law which were ordained by the Apostles in Acts 15.
(C) Demonstrating the Seventeen Marks of the true faith. While we understand and accept the possibility of human weakness and sin, yet we cannot accept living in sin or rejecting God’s Commandments or the Seventeen Marks of the true faith.
For example, it may be difficult to forgive someone who victimized us, yet to say “I shall never forgive such a person,” is contrary to the genuine true faith.
(D) All the current members of the ekklyssia family must be consulted and approve the new added membership, even if they are young children.
If the membership exceeds 25, then the ekklyssia needs to split into a daughter ekklyssia to keep the number of family members about 25. To shepherd people above 25 families in number is kind of impossible.
The goal of the ekklyssia family is NOT to become a mega-organization or a mega-group, but rather a true family.
Since all believers are one and the same in Yeshua Jesus the Redeemer, hence the name may better reflect such a unity.
A name such as Messianic Hebrews and YHWH is recommended.
The name Messianic Jews may not be used, because the term “Jews” indicates incorporation of some added rabbinic rules and laws which are forbidden by Yeshua Jesus.
(7) POLITY and GOVERNMENT
The Ekklyssia has no form of government. It is a family with NO human family Head. This makes Jesus only the Head of the family.
Each ekklyssia (House Assembly) is independent of any and all Churches and all Messianic synagogues. It is a family and all decision are made by all the members of the family together as equals, including young children using the Scriptures as the lamp and the only guide.
(8) CIVIC STATUS
There is no need to declare a 501(c)3 status since there is NO money exchange.
But it may be advisable to declare a 501(c)3 only to acquire a unique name which may be useful to avoid confusion with other Messianic Hebrew Congregations.
(9) SALARIES - COMPENSATIONS - STIPENDS
There shall be NO money given to any preacher, missionary, pastor, teacher, elder, deacon, coordinator, or provider of any service for the ekklyssia.
All services are given in the name of YHWH completely free of charge.
There maybe a compensation limited to actual and exact expenses.
For example, if a teacher travels two hours to teach, the ekklyssia may pay only for the actual gas expense, but not for the time spent.
(10) KORBAN (TITHE and OFFERINGS)
Any money offered to God must be given at 100% to: the poor, the homeless, the needy children, the needy chaste and celibate widows (or divorcees victims of spouse adultery), prisoners who are imprisoned due to lack of money (debtors’ prison) and other legitimate needs of families.
There shall be no collection of the tithe and offering. Each member is responsible before God to give their Tithe and Offerings directly to the needy at 100%.
If the members of the ekklyssia do not know where to find the needy and the poor, then the ekklyssia may assign two people, or more, to act as deacons and thus they can collect the Tithe and Offerings and identify and give the money to the needy. In such a case, there need to be complete and detailed transparency and accountability from the deacons to all the members of the ekklyssia family.
Contrary to the Church: Churches usually give 2%-7% of the donations received to the poor and the needy and the rest is used for salaries, building expenses and overhead expense. Such is a misuse even abuse of the name of YHWH. People should not collect money in the name of the Lord and then use it for their own projects and salaries claiming falsely that "whatever they do is God's business."
The ekklyssia shall faithful and shall give 100% of all donations for the needy.
(11) EXTRA CONTRIBUTION AND DONATIONS
To pay for expenses of food and other actual and exact expenses, members may voluntarily donate “above and beyond” their Korban "Tithe and Offerings".
Any extra contribution is counted NOT as giving to God, but as supporting one’s family.
When you buy your father or mother or brother or sister a gift, you cannot claim that as part of your tithe and offering to God. It is a normal gift and support among brothers and sisters just as in any normal family.
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