17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
2 “To the [a]angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your [b]patience, and that you cannot [c]bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’
8 “And to the [d]angel of the church in Smyrna write,
‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: 9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a [e]synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’
12 “And to the [f]angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, [g]which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’
18 “And to the [h]angel of the church in Thyatira write,
‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, [i]service, faith, and your [j]patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have [k]a few things against you, because you allow [l]that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, [m]to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to [n]repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of [o]their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches[p] the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
24 “Now to you I say, [q]and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I [r]will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—
as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
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18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
NOTE: The original word translated “church” from original manuscripts is “ekklesia.” This word is the Greek word kaleo (to call), with the prefix ek (out).
Outline of Biblical Usage
Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)ἐπισυναγωγή episynagōgḗ, ep-ee-soon-ag-o-gay'; from G1996; a complete collection; especially a Christian meeting (for worship):—assembling (gathering) together.
a. a gathering together in one place, equivalent to τὸ ἐπισυνάγεσθαι (2 Macc. 2:7): ἐπί τινα, to one, 2 Thessalonians 2:1.
b. (the religious) assembly (of Christians): Hebrews 10:25.
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
soon-ar-mol-og-eh'-o; from G4862 and a derivative of a compound of G719 and G3004 (in its original sense of laying); to render close-jointed together, i.e. organize compactly:—be fitly framed (joined) together.
If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, G4905 she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
According to Revelation 1:11, on the Greek island of Patmos, Jesus Christ instructs John of Patmos to: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven Churches: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamum, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
One of the classes taught at Westminster Seminary California is titled "Ancient Church." It covers the history of the church after New Testament times until the Medieval period.
According to Dr. Van Ee who has taught language and biblical studies courses at Westminster Seminary California;
Now some might disagree, arguing that we don't find the word church in the Old Testament, and they would be correct but only for the English. The Greek word that is translated as church is ekklēsia and is used in the New Testament for a specific gathering of Christians, or for all believers together. The same word, ekklēsia, is used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, to translate the Hebrew term qāhāl, "assembly." It is used for Israel as they gathered together to appear before God or as a general reference to all of Israel. Another Greek word used to translate qāhāl is sunagōgē. It is also used to translate another word for Israel: 'ēdâ, "congregation." In the New Testament sunagōgē is most often used of a synagogue or its members, but is used for a gathering of Christians in James 2:2. The terms used in the New Testament for the church are not new ones but are rooted in the Old Testament. Thus, in at least some sense, Israel really was the Old Testament church-assembly-congregation!
And yet, we could say that the church stretches back further, even before Israel. The church includes Abraham who was summoned out of the nations (Gen 12:1), the line of Seth who called upon the name of the Lord (Gen 4:26), and Adam and Eve who embraced God's first gospel message (Gen 3:15). The church could even include Adam and Eve as created in perfection to dwell in God's presence