birds of a feather, called out assembly (group community family), church (man-made organization), doctrinal conformity, ekklesia is NOT a church, flock together, inner and outer oneness, koinonia or fellowship, strong spiritual characteristics, the Lord's House
…And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. ~ Acts 2:47b, KJV; cf. Romans 8:30
Clearly, God knew the literal meaning of mankind’s wise old saying: “Birds of a feather flock together.” There can be no doubt that the Creator of birds knew that single species of birds would form flocks. Likewise, the figurative meaning also did not escape God. He knew exactly what Greek philosophers like Plato would mean when they used the ancient proverb: “Birds of a feather flock together.” Of course God knew that one of the fundamental laws of social interaction would be that people with a similar character, interest, and/or background naturally would flock (gather) together—that humans would be the most comfortable when they are around individuals who are more like them.
Perhaps this knowledge is why God doesn’t give the writer of the book of Acts, the Apostle Paul, or any other first-century writers of biblical Scriptures, the word “church” to use when He speaks about a “called out” or a special assembly of God’s people who, in essence, are Christian “birds of a feather” flocking together. That’s right. “Church” is not even in the unadulterated Word of God; “church” is not in the New Testament Greek manuscripts. In fact, the English word, “church,” in the above Acts 2:47b Scripture, and in 111 other biblical occurrences, is an incorrect translation of “ekklesia,” because “ekklesia” doesn’t mean a brick and mortar building used for public Christian worship.
Indeed, in the 112 of the 115 places “ekklesia” is found in the Greek New Testament, the translators of the 1611 Authorized King James Version (AV) of the Holy Bible translate “ekklesia” as “church.” In the remaining three places “ekklesia” is found, the English translation is “assembly” (see Acts 19:32, 39 and 41).
So, then, there are 112 times, in the AV, that “church” is a poor translation for the word, “ekklesia” (or “ecclesia”), which is a transliteration of “ejkklhsiva.” Once again, the Greek New Testament “ekklesia” NEVER is defined as a physical structure like a modern day brick and mortar building.
For sure, in the 112 times that “ekklesia” is translated as “church” in the AV, “ekklesia” always means a gathering of born again, saved, justified, full of the Holy Spirit, and in the process of becoming sanctified believers who have ALL things in common. In the first century, such a gathering would meet in places that were either “without walls” (out-of-doors), or in rented halls, or inside homes. Put differently, even though the first-century Christian “birds of a feather” flocked together at multiple locations, like various places in Jerusalem, Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Rome, and so on, each SINGLE “ekklesia” (each different congregation of the “called out ones” of God’s Household of Faith children) was merely one part of the Body of Christ that was demonstrating the same kind of “koinonia” or fellowship—the same strong spiritual characteristics of inner AND outer “oneness.”
The inner “oneness” is the combined spiritual relationship between every believer and his or her God, every believer and his or her Savior, and every believer and his or her Household of Faith siblings. When this combined spiritual relationship expresses itself in an outward display of “oneness,” as each believer’s joint participation with the infilling Holy Spirit, with other full of the Holy Spirit believers, and in an unconditional surrender to the Lord for service, the end result is that the Body of Christ/Bride of Christ is accomplishing God’s Perfect Will on Earth. In short, each part of the “ekklesia,” no matter where it might be located on this globe, would have all things in common and would be doing God’s Perfect Will together.
Once again, in the first century, the “ekklesia,” or Christian “birds of a feather,” was an assembly of believers (and ONLY believers) who gathered for worship and fellowship (“koinonia”) purposes. Moreover, in spite of the rapid growth of the first-century “ekklesia,” the believers in each portion of God’s “ekklesia” maintained the aforementioned strong spiritual characteristics of inner AND outer “oneness,” by having ALL things in common, which was demonstrated primarily in the area of their Daily “koinonia” or DAILY fellowship. Other measurable strong spiritual characteristics were these “called out ones’” doctrinal conformity, which the apostles demonstrated in every preached, taught, and testified to Gospel message, and these “called out ones’” observances of communion ordinances, apostolic miracles, prayer, communal sharing of property, and displays of godly love and joy. In essence, the real spiritual meaning of “koinonia” or fellowship that the first century’s assembly of God’s people experienced is: Doing together—that is, “koinonia” or fellowship means ALL believers were doing God’s Perfect Will together (cf. Mark 3:35; Acts 2:42, 44-47; Acts 4:23, 32-37).
Even though Jesus the Christ’s modern-day “ekklesia” isn’t growing in numbers as rapidly as the first-century “ekklesia,” the Lord’s “ekklesia” continues to consist of born again, saved, justified, Holy Spirit filled, and in the process of becoming sanctified believers (and ONLY them) who, while purposely seeking to maintain the strong spiritual characteristics of inner AND outer “oneness” and doctrinal conformity, DAILY continue to gather together and gladly worship, pray, share, and break bread with one another. Furthermore, it is the Lord, these believers’ Savior, and ONLY Him, who adds (joins) new “members” to His “ekklesia”—His spiritual Body of Christ/Bride of Christ. This last Divine Truth is why ONLY Jesus the Christ knows who should be added to any portion of His “ekklesia,” and why ONLY Jesus the Christ knows when to add each new person!
The point here is that the Lord NEVER promises to build a religious institution (a man-made organization consisting of numerous physical buildings, or meeting places also known as churches, where Christians publicly worship God). What the Lord promises to build is a spiritual House that is exclusively His; therefore, this House cannot be built by human hands. In other words, the Lord promises to build an “ekklesia”—His spiritually “called out” assembly, group, community, family (cf. Hebrews 9:11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 5:1). The bottom line is this: God always meant for the Lord’s Christian “birds of a feather” to flock together!
Since born again, saved, justified, full of the Holy Spirit, and in the process of becoming sanctified believers are designed to be Christian “birds of a feather” who are predisposed to flock (assemble) together (cf. Hebrews 10:15-25), today’s true believers cannot stop gathering DAILY in their God-appointed assemblies, groups, families, or communities where they joyfully share the unadulterated Gospel, as well as gladly share their worldly possessions, praises, prayers, miracles, worship, the Lord’s Supper, and fellowship (having ALL things in common, including a similar character, interest, and background).
In the majority of the members who attend the brick and mortar building that you currently call your “church” home, have you witnessed all of the aforementioned measurable strong spiritual characteristics—the inner “oneness,” doctrinal conformity, and outer “oneness,” as seen in sharing, loving, and caring actions? If not, then it is time for you to seek out the Lord’s true “ekklesia”—His spiritual House, where genuine Christian “birds of a feather” will be found flocking together and doing the Perfect Will of God, together! AMEN.