July 11, 2019
A History Lesson: Democracy And A Kingdom
If you remember your world history, then you are most likely aware that the ancient Greeks are responsible for the concept of Democracy. Nearly 2500 years ago, the great Athenian general Pericles coined the phrase about the government of the nation being "in the hands of the many and not the few". From that moment in time, the idea of a representative government became a subject of much debate and conflict among the major Greek philosophers.
Aristotle declared that "man is by nature a political animal", but he saw the inherent flaws in a democracy. Plato saw it as a poor form of government, primarily because his mentor, Socrates, was executed by a democracy. They understood that Democracy, by considering the ignorant to be as important as the well-informed, does not guarantee sensible decisions. But the primary goal of all these great philosophers was to determine how to rule effectively. In that vein, they also studied kingdoms and how kings ruled. And what they discovered will have a tremendous impact on how you study and understand the Bible.
What they ascertained was that a King ruled in a reverse way from a democracy. In a democracy, the people vote [or select] the leader; the leader chooses a cabinet; then the cabinet counsels the leader. In a Kingdom it is reversed. The King chooses the citizens and appoints His cabinet. But the cabinet is not chosen to counsel the King, but to execute the King's will in the Kingdom. The Greek word for that legislative assembly is Ekklesia. Jesus says in John 15:16, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you might go and bear fruit -- fruit that will last...".
The Romans implemented this Greek idea of a kingdom cabinet, or Ekklesia, and they called that group the Senate. The Senate in Rome was King Caesar's legislative arm that executed his will throughout the entire Kingdom. They took the King's desires, translated them into legislation and made them into laws, so that the people actually obeyed the King's mind through the work of the Senate.
Jesus used the Greek word for this legislative assembly in Matthew 16:18, when He said, "I will build My Ekklesia, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it!" It is important to note that the gates of a city symbolized where justice and law was often dispensed. But, unfortunately, we in the 21st Century are still laboring under the wrong translation in the King James Bible, and that verse is rendered "I will build My Church...". Ekklesia, unlike Church, is not a religious group. It is the political agency of a King. It is important to note that the only person who can appoint an Ekklesia is a King. A Prophet cannot appoint an Ekklesia. A Priest cannot appoint an Ekklesia. A Teacher cannot appoint an Ekklesia.
It is my hope that as you study your Bible and all that is revealed about Kingdom, you will see that Jesus spends the majority of His three-year ministry teaching His disciples everything about THE KINGDOM, over and over and over. He knows that before He leaves the earth, He needs to establish His government. So, it is important for us to see why He asks His disciples "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" Because who they say He is [will] determine what He's qualified to do.
Stop for a moment and contemplate this idea. Muslims call Jesus a prophet in the Koran, and that disqualifies Him from being a King and having a Kingdom. The Hindus call Him a teacher of wisdom. That, too, disqualifies Him to be a King over a Kingdom. The Buddhists see Him as a Wise Man, which also disqualifies Him. None of those terms qualifies Him to be a King and appoint an Ekklesia on the earth to rule in His stead.
This is why it is so important for this generation [and every generation] to figure out how to properly identify Him! Whatever you call Him determines how He can operate in the world. That's why what I said in my previous post is so important to grasp. If we see Him as only the Lamb (full of Grace and Mercy) and don't see Him as the King [with Power and Judgment] then we will miss our appointments in the Kingdom and He won't have an effective legislative body to carry out His will.
That's why Jesus asks Peter, "Who do they say I am?" And look at the answers... each answer disqualifies Him as the King of a Kingdom! Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. A prophet is not a King, and a prophet cannot appoint an Ekklesia! And then comes the all-important question, "Who do you say I am?" Peter answers correctly: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!" What is lost on the modern church is the fact that there were many men calling themselves Christ in Jesus's day, and all serving dead gods. But Peter qualified our Lord! He said, " You are THE Christ, the Son of the LIVING God"!
And I want you to recall the difference between our identities as FAMILY and KINGDOM in yesterday's blog. I want you to see that when Jesus asked Peter, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?", He is pointing to His identity as a member of the Family of God. But when Peter replies, "the Son of the [Living] God", and Jesus tells him he is correct, that is Jesus qualifying Himself as our King and the head of God's Kingdom on earth. The Son of Man is a Family identity; the Son of God is a Kingdom identity.
I know that I keep hammering home this idea that the Body of Christ is to be more than the Church. But it's true! We don't even know the Biblical implications of the words we use to describe ourselves or our Lord! God chose to send His Son to earth in a time when the people understood the concepts of a Kingdom and an Ekklesia. We have lost not only those original words, but their meanings and significance. We must not try to interpret the Bible through our modern lenses of religious words and meanings. We must seek God's Truth, not our own! Holy Spirit, show us true revelation so that we might be the Lord's appointed ones to carry out our King's will in His Kingdom here on earth.
Thank you to the website, Independent, for the information on the Greek and Roman forms of government. And a special thank you to the late Dr. Myles Munroe for his persistent dedication to teaching the Body of Christ about the Kingdom of God.
Psalm 22:28 For kingship belongs to the Lord, and He rules over the nations.