You know, the Greek word that Jesus borrowed from Greek culture for the Church is “ekklessia.” He first introduced it in Matthew 16:18 saying ….”I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
The church has a government established by Jesus Christ. In fact, the origin of ekklessia sheds light on this and it’s purpose. Prior to Jesus choosing to use this term it was used by the Greeks. According to Wikipedia, it was actually the principal assembly of democracy in Athens. It was open to all who qualified for citizenship and was responsible for declaring war, military strategy and electing government officials.
So, the historical purpose of the term translated “church” was to:
- Govern which requires making decisions
- Declare war and develop strategy
When you understand this and combine that with another word that Jesus borrowed from the Greek/Phoenician seafaring community, apostolos. Then you will understand the church’s call to spiritual war and some of the reactions in Jesus day. You see they understood EXACTLY what those words meant in their culture.
Apostolos first referred to the leader of a convoy, later the commander of an invasion force and finally it referred to the role of an ambassador general. It was like Pontus Pilate was the ambassador general sent to represent Rome in Jerusalem. Jesus basically called his 12 disciples ambassadors, admirals and or generals. They were messengers sent to represent God’s government on earth as it is in heaven.
Why? Revelation 12 provides context. It describes the spiritual war in heaven which spilled on to earth. It says Satan went to make war with the remnant of God’s seed and those who obey Him and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Armies Exist to Project Power on Behalf of Their Government
That is what the Navy War College taught me. Ephesians 3:10 says, “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places…,” Principalities and powers refers to demonic governmental offices.
So how does the Lord project power today?