urn to Acts 19 and lets look at the church there. (Now don't get confused and let me lose you in this study. Your Bible may not read exactly the same as mine, but don't be concerned, I will explain.) In verse 32, we read: "So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the church was in confusion, and the majority did not know for what cause they had come together" (Holts Consistent Translation). That sounds like a description of some churches I have known through the years. I have even heard some shouting one thing and some another. In the larger church world this is often a characteristic of some of the churches .
Also you will notice that "the majority [of the church] did not know for what cause they had come together" (V. 32). Sometimes it seems that some churches today are in a state of confusion for the same reason. The majority of the members do not really know what is going on. For example, how much and for what does the church spend its money, how much money the church has, the salaries and compensation benefits of the hired church employees, the payments on the building, and other items of business of the church. It really isn't of any concern to the members of the church , for their responsibility is merely to obey and pay.
In this chapter we also have an example of a church that "shouted for about two hours . . . " No doubt that this was a "shouting church" and this is a classic example that a church should be a shouting church! And there are many instances of shouting churches today; in church business meetings; in arguments about who is going to "run" or control the church; in church lawsuits; and even now and then some shouting from the church pulpits.
It appears that the situation got so bad in this church, of Acts 19, that the town clerk had to come and quieten the church down. He told them that "if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful church" (v.39). Now we are getting a clue to help us understand. The first church (v.32) was not a "lawful church;" hence, it was an "unlawful church", that is, a church acting without lawful approval; and a church has no legal right to act unless it is a "lawful church". Therefore, if the people would go to a lawful church they could get things settled as a true church should. (Are you catching on yet?)
In verse 40 we are told that the town clerk "dismissed the church", and he wasn't even a member! I am acquainted with church dismissals, as well as church beginnings. It probably doesn't take a town clerk to dismiss the church, but that town clerk did it. And even till this day churches are being dismissed.
All scripture citations above are from the new "HOLTS CONSISTENT TRANSLATION". In the three passages used above (Acts 19:32, 39, 41), you will note that the word church is used rather than the word assembly, which appears in most translations. This is done to make the translation consistent in these three instances with its use everywhere else the word ekklesia appears in the Greek text. If the Greek word ekklesia should be rendered as church in all other places it is found, then it should be so translated here.
The word ekklesia appears 115 times in the original texts from which the King James translation was made. In 112 of these instances the word church is used as a substitute for an accurate translation of the word ekklesia. Only in the three cases mentioned above (Acts 19) is the word ekklesia translated correctly! The word assembly is used. Isn't it somewhat suspicious to you that the translators would do such a thing? Why did they not translate the word ekklesia rather than substitute the word church, which does NOT translate the word at all? Yes, the translators knew better than that; but they thought they had no choice because King James specifically ordered that the word church be used rather than an accurate translation as is given in Acts 19. The translators thought more of their life and well-being than they did of their integrity and honor. Hence, the English speaking world was given the church by adding it to Gods word! There is no church, a religious institution such as we know it today, to be found in Gods word!! King James, through his selected group of fearful, cowardly translators, delivered and "justified" (?) "the church" institution to the world by forcing it into the Holy Scriptures through his obedient translators. He was the Head of the Church of England. He took this opportunity to SCRIPTURALIZE" his Church by ordering (demanding the use of) that word instead of a true translation of the Greek word ekklesia .
Dear Reader, once more I am trying to inform you of how your CHURCH, of whatever denomination, got in the Bible (?). It is a deception, a delusion! In reality and actuality, there is no church in Gods word! The Greek word ekklesia means nothing more than a gathering or group of people in whatever sense or for whatever purpose they are grouped together, even as we have seen clearly from its use in Acts 19. In HOLTS CONSISTENT TRANSLATION the word church is used to make those instances of the word ekklesia consistent with its translation in all other passages. The very fact that in Acts 19 no translation has ever given the word church as the translation of the word ekklesia, should tell any honest, objective student that there is no church in Gods word.
All churches have been "born" of men, not of God! They are the creations of men and they provide the institution or organization in which and through which men are able to institutionalize and thereby control other men! The Roman Catholic Church is the classic example; and through 1,200 years or more that monstrous institution has exerted its power and control over millions of people. Look at the other millions of people the world over who "BELONG TO" a Church of some kind or other. Regardless of the brand or who started it, it is not from God!
It is time that all of the Lords redeemed people, whoever they are and wherever they are, get out of the churches and begin to serve God individually and personally as the Lords redeemed people should. Jesus did not call churches to serve God; He called you and me as individuals to serve Him.
Oh, dear brother and sister in Christ, I urge you to recognize and accept the fact that THERE IS NO CHURCH OF ANY KIND TO BE FOUND IN GODS WORD. Have the faith and courage to get out of the church and claim your freedom in Christ. Accept your individual responsibility. Rest assured that God will hold each one of us individually responsible for our service to Him. Salvation is not found in any church, but only in Jesus Christ. - CAH