LIGHT IN THE EVENING TIME
For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. — Zech. 14:7 [NASB]
The 14th chapter of Zechariah clearly portrays events surrounding the return of the King and the winding up of this age. The sixth verse, “It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish” [NKJV] into the first part of the seventh verse, “neither day nor night” paints a scenario of confusion and uncertainty. The clear lines of demarcation between day and night are now completely removed. Truth is now relative and there are no clearly define standards anymore. This points to the activity of deception which will assume its fiercest dimension in the season known as the end time.
But while deception holds sway on the one hand, light is breaking forth on the other – at evening time! This is contrary to the law of nature in which light gives way to darkness as the evening of the day sets in. Evening time represents the closing of a day and, according to the prophetic agenda, light will dawn in the evening of this present age. May I state very emphatically that we are right now in that season. Whether it is the age of the fallen man which began about 6,000 years ago or the Church age which began 2,000 years ago, we are currently witnessing the falling of the curtains on these two ages. Consequently, that agenda is already unfolding: the Lord has begun to flood this season with light.
This light will do certain things:
1) It will bring greater accuracy and completeness to many of the half-truths and understandings that have been with us in Christendom for ages. Paul foresaw this season when he said, “Now we know in part and prophesy in part. We see things dimly as though through a veil. But a time is coming when we will see face to face” (1 Cor. 13:9-12). That season is here: light has come to cause us to see more perfectly.
2) But as the flood of light brings more accurate understanding, it will also sweep away the refuge of lies, error and falsehood; it will cause true believers to do away with all imperfect and inaccurate concepts. Certain erroneous beliefs, some deliberate and some inadvertent, but error all the same – which over the years have become an integral part of Christendom, whether in doctrine or structure or practice – must be done away with in this evening time as God brings the light of accuracy and truth into His Assembly, which is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15).
To all intents and purposes, an institution which is supposed to be an embodiment of truth cannot employ falsehood under any guise to promote its ideals. Error, no matter how minute, is a spot and a blemish that must be expunged from the Bride of Christ as she evolves into a glorious Assembly. Hitherto, God has merely winked at some of these inaccuracies because they were days of ignorance. But now, He commands all to come into accuracy.
So, get ready for a bumpy ride because as the whirlwind of truth blows unsentimentally in our generation, several layers of falsehood, which we have become so accustomed to, will cave in, causing a collapse of everything that have been built thereupon. This is not a time to be emotionally attached to a doctrinal position or some structures that have been built on them. It is a season to be married only to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the Father’s eternal purpose.
OUR IDENTITY: EKKLESIA OR KYRIAKON?
The matter of identity is so crucial; it is the first step in fulfilling purpose. John the Baptist was asked, “Who are you … what do you say of yourself?” (John 1:22). Old Testament Israel’s chief problem was their loss of identity and so, they were constantly trying to be like the other nations. Alas, New Testament Israel has not fared any better. Thus, we often hear the statement, “The Church is becoming worldly and the world is becoming churchy.” So, a full recovery of the Assembly of Jesus Christ according to His original intention begins with settling the identity question: who/what are we?
An ancient Chinese proverb says that the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names. A name represents identity. An identity crisis begins with tampering of names. And this is what the Body of Christ has suffered for so long in history but because of this season of light we are in, the Lord is bringing startling revelations to limelight which should concern every sincere Christian.
The word, “Church” and “Churches” appear 114 times in the King James Version of the New Testament, starting with Matt. 16:18 where the Lord Jesus famously declared, “I will build my “Church”. For centuries in Christendom, we have believed that Church comes from the Greek word, “Ekklesia”. Alas, it will shock you to discover that:
Jesus NEVER said I will build my “Church”
The word “Church” actually means a physical building
Ekklesia which is the actual Greek word that Jesus used in Matt. 16:18 IS NOT the same as Church. In other words, Church is a mistranslation of the word Jesus used i.e. Ekklesia – not just in Matt. 16:18 but in 111 places out of the 114 times that Church and Churches are used in the New Testament.
Worst of all, the mistranslation was not an accident but deliberate!
Dear child of God, are you aware of these things? You see, no matter how far and for how long falsehood has journeyed, truth always catch up eventually. Jesus said there is nothing hidden that will not be brought into the open (Mark 4:22). The suppressed, repressed and concealed truth, buried in secrecy away from public knowledge, is suddenly bursting out into limelight. The undeniable fact is that the word, “Church” is NOT from Ekklesia but from an entirely different word, “Kyriakon”. This fact is easily verifiable in this day of Information Technology.
What is Ekklesia ?
While Ekklesia literally means “Called Out”, its historical and contextual meaning is a legislative assembly. That means Ekklesia is not related to religion in any way. The word has been in use since the days of the Greeks up to Roman times to refer to a political assembly. When we understand the proper context of the Matt. 16:13-18 discourse, it will not be surprising why Jesus chose such a term to describe the Body that He is building when He could have easily used other religious terms such as temple, sanctuary, altar, synagogue, tabernacle, and so on. But the Lord Jesus said what He meant and meant what He said.
What of Kyriakon?
Kyriakon means “the lord’s house” but do not let that mislead you into assuming that the “lord” there refers to the Lord of the bible or that the “house” refers to the Assembly. While it is true that one of the metaphors used for the Body of Christ is a building (Eph. 2:21, 1 Cor. 3:9, 2 Cor. 6:16), kyriakon actually refers to a physical building for the worship of heathen gods or idols. Recall that until the 4th century, no physical building was associated with the Christian faith. So, kyriakon was always used in reference to heathen temples. Synonyms include temple, shrine, (and if you like, synagogue or even mosque because what is common to them all is that they are literal physical buildings dedicated for religious worship).
The birth of institutional Christianity
The word, Kyriakon, however was introduced into the Christian lexicon as a place dedicated for Christian worship in the fourth century, when Constantine established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. This was when Christians began to meet in “worship” buildings, rather than in homes or in public places. And that transition (the shift from homes to dedicated worship buildings) marked the beginning of our identity crisis: a switch from nationhood into religious institutionalization. And with every passing year, decade, century up to a millennium, the identity crisis deepened and became entrenched. Somebody once said, “Repeat a lie long enough and it becomes an accepted and established truth.”
Conspiracy against the Head
Fast forward to the 16th century during the Protestant reformation. The printing press had just been discovered to coincide with ongoing efforts to translate the bible from Latin to other languages, English being one of the first. I quote from Henry Hon’s book, “ONE: Unfolding God’s Eternal Purpose from House to House”:
In 1525, William Tyndale translated the first printed Bible into English. He translated the word ekklesia as “congregation” or assembly. This was in direct contradiction to the Roman Church. At that time, the Roman Church feared that removing the word “church” from the Bible would threaten their authority and hierarchy. This was one of the major reasons Tyndale was burned at the stake by the Roman Church in 1536. Interestingly, when King James authorized his translation of the Bible in 1611, eighty-four percent of the New Testament was translated directly from Tyndale’s Bible. But King James made one translation rule clear: ekklesia was to be translated “church” and not “congregation” or “assembly.” … King James was the head of the Church of England and all forty-seven translators were members. For political and control reasons, the King James Version of the Bible mistranslated the Greek word ekklesia to “church.” Since then, just about every English version of the Bible has kept to this translation of “church.”
Thankfully, besides the Tyndale translation, other bibles that have chosen to stay with the original word Ekklesia; include Darby, Young’s literal translation and Complete Jewish bible. They use the word Assembly instead. CJB uses “Community” which I believe to be contextually an even more accurate rendition.