ISRAEL WAS A CHURCH. IT WAS CALLED THE CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS.
Act 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
Israel was the first church.
Upon this rock will I build my church. The word “church” is ekklesia in Greek. It means Congregation.
CONGREGATION IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
The word “congregation” in the Old Testament has two meanings. It means both the nation of Israel and a meeting place.
The Hebrew word for congregation is “Edah:. Many times when the Old Testament translated the word “congregation” they are referring to Israel. Notice the translation.
Feminine of H5707 in the original sense of fixture; a stated assemblage (specifically a concourse, or generally a family or crowd): – assembly, company, congregation, multitude, people, swarm. Compare H5713.
Listed below are some examples of Israel being referred to as a congregation.
MEMBERS CHOOSE DEACONS
Act 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Act 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
Act 6:6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
WHO MAKE DECISIONS IN THE CHURCH?
The entire church was involved in making the decisions in the church. It was not done by a church council or the elders in the church.
Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
LEVITES WERE ANOINTED BY THE ENTIRE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
Num 8:9 And thou shalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel together:
Num 8:10 And thou shalt bring the Levites before the LORD: and the children of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites:
CHURCH FORMAT FOR SERVICES
In the New Testament Church the following examples are set for us on how to setup church services:
- The Messiah did readings from the Bible.
- The Messiah and the ministers taught the people.
- They members of the church had open discussions about the scriptures.
- The Messiah healed the people in front of the congregation in the Synagogue.
THE MESSIAH DID READINGS IN THE SYNAGOGUE.
LUK 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
LUK 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
LUK 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
LUK 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
NOTE: Notice that Christ read the passage then explained it.
Should a Church be ran by a council?
Everytime a council is talked about in the New Testement, it had negative results.
Mat 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
Mat_16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Mat_16:12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Luk_12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy is wrongly translated, it should say deception.
THE MESSIAH WENT INTO THE SYNAGOGUE AND TAUGHT THE PEOPLE.
MAR 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
MAR 6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
JOH 18:20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
NOTE: When he taught the people he did not hold anything back. He taught the truth.
PAUL TAUGHT IN THE SYNAGOGUE AND HELD DISCUSSIONS.
NOTE: Paul was ask to speak after they read the law.
ACT 13:14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
ACT 13:15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
ACT 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
ACT 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
ACT 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
ACT 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
ACT 17:17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
ACT 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
ACT 18:19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
ACT 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
ACT 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
NOTE: The word Dispute is “dialegomai” means to say thoroughly, preach, reason with, dispute.
THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH HELD DISCUSSIONS
This is explained in I Cor 14 chapter. This chapter explains how to have open discussions in the Church. In Acts during Pentecost, the word “Tongue” meaning dialect or language. Notice the Greek word. (Strongs 1258 )- diaketos – mode of discourse. This is talking about language or dialect.
But the word “tongue” in I Cor 14 does not mean language or dialect. It means tongue “ to Speak”. It is talking about people in the church sharing information. It has nothing to do with talking in tongues or a different language. Tongue (Strongs 1100) Glossa Means “To Speak”.
Maimonides (s): “from the times of Ezra it has been customary that an interpreter should interpret to the people what the reader reads in the law, so that they may understand the nature of things; and the reader reads one verse only, and is silent until the interpreter has interpreted it; then he returns and reads a second verse: a reader may not raise his voice above the interpreter, nor the interpreter raise his voice above the reader. The interpreter may not interpret until the verse is finished out of the mouth of the reader, and the reader may not read a verse until the interpretation is finished out of the mouth
Speaketh is G2980 means to Preach.
1Co 14:2 For the person who speaks in another language is not actually speaking to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands him, because he is talking about secrets by the Spirit.
1Co 14:3 But the person who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding, encouragement, and comfort.
1Co 14:4 The person who speaks in another language builds himself up, but the person who prophesies builds up the church.
1Co 14:9 In the same way, unless you speak an intelligible message with your language, how will anyone know what is being said? You’ll be talking into the air!
1Co 14:19 But in church I would rather speak five words with my mind to instruct others than 10,000 words in another language.
1Co 14:40 Let all thingsG3956 be doneG1096 decentlyG2156 andG2532 inG2596 order.G5010
Paul is not just talking about speaking in another language. HE IS GIVING INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO CONDUCT SERVICES.
1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
1Co 14:27 If any man Preaches gives a message, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. (“to explain thoroughly”)
NOTE: The word interpret in Greek “diermeneuo” means to “to explain thoroughly”. The Word “unknown” was added it is not in the original Greek.
1Co 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
1Co 14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
1Co 14:30 If a revelation is made to another person who is seated, the first person should be silent.
1Co 14:31 For ye may all prophesy G4395 ((*speak with spiritual inspiration) one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
CHRIST DID HEALINGS ON THE SABBATH DAY IN THE SYNAGOGUE.
The Messiah healed the man with the withered hand in the synagogue in front of the congregation. NOTE: These are the instructions for anointing the sick. But this was probably done in front of the congregation as part of the service. Because this was the example that was set by the Messiah in Mat 12:9 and Mark 1:23
MAT 12:9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
MAT 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? That they might accuse him.
MAT 12:13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
JAM 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Music and Dancing in the Church
Psa_149:3 May they praise his name with dancing, chanting songs to him with tambourines and lyres.
2Ch 29:25 Hezekiah stationed descendants of Levi in the LORD’s Temple to play cymbals and stringed instruments, just as David, Gad the seer, and Nathan the prophet had directed, because the command to do so was from the LORD through those prophets.Mail this post
I am prejudiced. So I truly appreciate this article because this is how our little group “conducts” our study/service. We do have a bit of liturgy we’ve come to enjoy as part of the beginnings of the study: the Shema, shofars, candles lighted as we say a prayer. Nothing elaborate, although it sounds like it when it is listed. Then there may be a covering prayer, then music praise. Then we read the scriptures – going around the tables; discussion is either at the end of of a chapter or particular section. All at the table are encouraged to comment, ask questions, “chime in”. My husband and I “sat in the pews” of other sabbath keeping orgs for 20+ years, but when we left the corporation(s) and became involved with a non-aligned smaller group that used this pattern our first love was Renewed, Revitalized. ABBA has shown us SO MUCH since bringing us to the beit midrash format. Am grateful beyond words.
great to hear this. Continue your great work.