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purposes. They are also referred to in scripture as were found in HOMES (I Corinthians 16:19;
“CHOSEN” and “ELECT.” These are the Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2), referring to
members of the Messiah’s body -- the EC- saints who lived there or met there. The ecclesia
CLESIA. It could also be called the “Christian was NOT the place of meeting, but instead
community” or “body of Christians.” referred to the PEOPLE who met together.
Neither was it some structured “organization” in
Persecution of the Ecclesia which they had membership. Ecclesias existed
from Jerusalem to Britain. In fact, Paul
1. Read Acts 8:1-3. According to verse established them during his travels (Acts 16:5).
1, what happened against the ecclesia in He also revisited many of them and wrote to
Jerusalem? them. These were NOT “church organizations”
2. What does verse 3 states that Saul or “church buildings.” These were Christian
entered into, and into what did he commit the communities united in the Messiah, NOT in
members of the ecclesia? “organizations” devised by men.
3. Acts 9:1 indicates that Saul breathed
out threatenings and slaughter against whom? Saul’s Persecution of the Messiah
4. Acts 9:13 indicates that word went out
about how much evil Saul had done to the 1. Read Acts 9:1-5. As Saul was going to
ecclesia. In this case, what are the ecclesia Damascus to apprehend Christians, what did a
called? “voice” say to him? Verse 4.
COMMENT: The above verses show 2. According to verse 5, who was it that
that Saul persecuted the ECCLESIA at spoke to Saul?
Jerusalem and the SAINTS at Jerusalem. He also COMMENT: According to the above
persecuted the DISCIPLES (followers) of verses, Saul’s persecution of the Messiah’s
Yeshua the Messiah. This suggests that the disciples (the saints comprising the ecclesia) was
followers (disciples) of Yeshua were known as EQUIVALENT to persecuting the Messiah
the “saints,” and they comprised the himself! This is additional proof that the ecclesia
ECCLESIA. They were not members of some is the “BODY of Christ.”
“church organization.” Rather, they were
members of FREE SOCIETIES -- CHRISTIAN Origin of Christian Ecclesias
been “CALLED OUT” of the corrupt Baby- 1. Read Matthew 16:13-20. In verse 18,
lonian world system (centralized government) what does the Messiah say he will do to his
into the LIBERTY and FREEDOM of the ecclesia “upon this rock”?
government (kingdom) of YEHOVAH God 2. In verse 12 what does Paul say the
under the reign of YEHOVAH and the Messiah. ecclesia were from the commonwealth (citizen-
Because these Christians supported a ship; community) of Israel? Also, what were
DIFFERENT government and acknowledged they from the covenants of promise, “having no
and obeyed a DIFFERENT King (YEHOVAH hope, and without God in the world”?
God), the centralized world system PER- 3. According to Paul they are “no more
SECUTED them (Acts 12:1) -- just as it does strangers and foreigners.” What, therefore, are
today. The persecution WASN’T over religion they? Verse 19. Of what “group” of YEHO-
-- IT WAS OVER GOVERNMENT! VAH’s do they now belong?
Notice how Saul went into people’s 4. Verse 21 describes this “household”
homes to persecute the ecclesia -- he didn’t go to as something “fitly framed together.” What is
“church” buildings or organizations. Ecclesias this “something”? What does this “something”
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