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3 major characteristics of God’s ‘Oikos’-Household

Prothesis (purpose)

Koinonia (communion)

Agape (love)

 

Today’s article is an edited transcript of a message I spoke at the “School of the Word 2017”, in Graz Austria, on August 14, 2017.

This is the 2nd message, and a continuation of last week’s – link here below:
“Oikos”-Household of God 

http://mailchi.mp/c66c428241af/500-years-after-luther-1288949?e=[UNIQID]

The theme of this year’s school was

Kingdom Culture

Making Christ Visible

The “School of the Word” is organised annually by “BLAST Ministries” under the Apostolic leadership of Franz Lippi, the spiritual father of this international network, who is my Pastor/leader. This year’s S.O.W. was the 15th that I participated, since 2003.
https://blastministries.net/
https://www.facebook.com/blastministriesnet/

 

Click on the link below for the 40 minute audio recording of my message which is in English, and translated into German.

 

‘Oikos’ = Prothesis-Koinonia-Agape

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rc6p8ij7fn5wd1g/2017-08-14_GEM-2_Prothesis-Koinonia-Agape%40SOW.m4a?dl=0

If you click on the link and the audio does not play back automatically, you need to first DOWNLOAD the file to your device. If the DOWNLOAD button does not appear on the Dropbox page, click on the 3 dots (…) in the upper right corner; you will find it in the drop-down menu that will open up.

 

This is an edited transcript of the message I spoke at the School of the Word on Aug.14

How would you like to learn three Greek words today:
prothesis (purpose), koinonia (communion), and agape (selfless love).

These are three characteristics of God’s household, the ‘Oikos’ that we spoke about in the first message. We said that the people of the ‘Oikos’ of God make up the Ecclesia.

The Ecclesia is made up of:

-> members who position themselves next to each other in the battlefield, bound together by the bonds of love.
(remember here what we spoke about the great commandment in the Law, that the way we show our love for God is practiced and manifested through how we show love to the person in the closest proximity to us) 

Also, the Ecclesia is made up of:

-> “members of one another” like the members of a physical body;
-> sons of the same ‘Oikos’-Household of God, which (Oikos) has the identity of the Father of the Household where the children have “koinonia”-communion (fellowship) with one another (remember here what we said in the first message about pater-father and patria-fatherhood).

So these are the three major characteristics that define the Oikos-Household of God; the first is the prothesis, and that is the purpose, which explains:
-> why does the ecclesia exist;
-> why and how does the ecclesia fulfill the eternal purpose of God;
-> why does God need an Oikos-Household that is made up of Patriae-fatherhoods on earth (?)

The second is koinonia, the communion (fellowship) with each other, and the third is the agape, the selfless, sacrificial love for each other that binds us together in a way that we form the body that can fulfill the prothesis, the purpose of God.

Out of plenty of scriptures from the pre-Christ era (which are relevant to the subject) I chose a small portion out of 1 Chronicles 7.

(At the School I said) We shall not read every word. I will move through several verses reading only what is related to the oikos and patria. I take for granted that you can follow through from the previous teaching (concerning these words oikos and patria).

(Here below is the full text from which I read only the highlighted words)

1 Chronicles 7:2 The sons of Tola were Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father’s house. The sons of Tola were mighty men of valor in their generations; their number in the days of David was twenty-two thousand six hundred. 3 The son of Uzzi was Izrahiah, and the sons of Izrahiah were Michael, Obadiah, Joel, and Ishiah. All five of them were chief men. 4 And with them, by their generations, according to their fathers’ houses, were thirty-six thousand troops ready for war; for they had many wives and sons. 5 Now their brethren among all the familiesof Issachar were mighty men of valor, listed by their genealogies, eighty-seven thousand in all. 6 The sons of Benjamin were Bela, Becher, and Jediael–three in all. 7 The sons ofBela were Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth, and Iri–five in all. They were heads of their fathers’ houses, and they were listed by their genealogies, twenty-two thousand and thirty-four mighty men of valor. 8 The sons of Becher were Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jerimoth, Abijah, Anathoth, and Alemeth. All these are the sons of Becher. 9 And they were recorded by genealogy according to their generations, heads of their fathers’ houses, twenty thousand two hundred mighty men of valor.

What can we learn from this? We spoke in the previous message about the (pre-Christ) shadow on the earth that revealed the heavenly kingdom that descends from above. And we explained how this shadow on the earth, made up by the people of Israel explained to us on whose throne Jesus came to sit, as the angel announced to Mary:

Luke 1:31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” 

These words of the angel, which were the most significant announcement that Heaven could make about Mary’s coming son, reveal both: the pre-Christ earthly Kingdom, which was the “model” (the shadow on earth), and the “Kingdom of which there will be no end” which descends from above, which is the Kingdom of Heaven that Christ came to reveal. So, what does the pre-Christ “model” teach us?

David was made King over a Kingdom and that Kingdom was made up of genealogies, and fathers’ houses, where everyone was a son of somebody (that was their primary, biblical identity which explains how God sees each one of us too)…

… where the blood of the animlas that saved them from the oppression and slavery of Egypt, was the mark on the fathers’ houses that provided protection for those who were the children inside the house. The “blood of the animals” was the earhtly shadow of the Blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus, and the “father’s house” was the earthly shadow of the ‘Oikos’ of God, which is the Ecclesia both universally, and in each local expression.

What is the eternal prothesis-purpose of God which is revealed in that He created the earthly Kingdom of David to be a shadow of another Kingdom coming from heaven? – of which Jesus is the King and we (the redeemed of the Lord, the members of the Ecclesia) are the “Jews” – circumcised NOT in the flesh, but in the heart (?)…

… called to be edified, to be built up, to learn what our Kingdom looks like, (i.e.) the heavenly Kingdom by looking at that shadow on earth so that we can find our place in the Kingdom of Jesus who is seated on the Throne of David.

In Ephesians 3:8-12 we read:

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal (prothesis) purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

Before we were born, before there was Light, God had a prothesis, a purpose, and He said: “I will make My wisdom known to the principalities and powers”. How? “I will build up on earth an Oikos that will perform the duty of the Ecclesia which will manifest my wisdom in the face of the enemy”.

That is why I started my previous teaching on the basis of the sons standing together in the battle. That is why the basis of my teaching on the Ecclesia is more on the basis of a battlefield than anything else. And then, by learning through the earthly shadow, the earthly Kingdom of David revealed the design of God whereby we go to the battle after we have become approved, faithful sons of our Father’s House.

Jesus confirmed this eternal prothesis-purpose of God when he made His constitutional declaration in Matthew chapter 16. This may be the most significant portion of Scripture perhaps in regards to the entire Bible (perhaps), but certainly concerning the ‘Oikos’-Household of God. And that is because Jesus made this constitutional declaration;

Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 

He said: On this rock I will build up my ecclesia

Here we need to stop so that I can give you a bit of the background. The word recorded here which is translated as “build” is in line with what we spoke in the previous teaching, where we explained the word ‘Oikos’ how it comes from the Hellenic version of the pre-Christ scriptures, the Septuagint.

And Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 “I will OIKO-domeo (build-up) My Ecclesia”.

Actually, if we were to translate literally what He said – let me first say it in the original Hellenic (here in Latin letters) “oikodomeso mou tin Ekklesian” – what does that mean in English:

I will build an Oikos to Myself; I will build-up a structure that is an Oikos-household to Myself, that is the Ecclesia.

To be precise He did NOT say, “I will build up my church” – literally He said: “I will buildto myself an Oikos, and it will be the Ecclesia” – and what will this Ecclesia do?

Let us get this right: Jesus first builds up to Himself an Oikos – His Oikos on earth, and this structure (the Oikos) that he builds up is ‘The Ecclesia’ – which means what?
— Just a brief background (before we continue on Matthew 16) —

The word ‘Ecclesia’ is not a religious word. In the days of Jesus, and from more ancient times, the religious gathering of the Jews was called “Synagogé”, in English “Synagogue”. In the Bible we read that Jesus taught in their Synagogues. Everywhere the Jews met for religious purposes, it was a Synagogue.

Jesus could have said, I will build up my own Synagogue, but He did not!   

He used a word that came from the secular world; which means what? The word “Ecclesia” stands for the gathering of the eligible elders of a city who have juridical authority over the people of that community.

The municipality leaders of Athens 2500 years ago were called the ‘Ecclesia of Athens’. The pagans of Ephesus who gathered to judge Paul (in the Book of Acts 19:32, 39) are recorded in the Scriptures as the “Ecclesia of Ephesus” – an absolutely secular word not related to religion (but one that is even related to legal matterssee Acts 19:39– why would then Jesus choose this secular word?

Because the purpose for his Oikos-household is NOT to be a religious gathering.

The prothesis-purpose of this Oikos-household is to fulfill God’s eternal prothesis:

-> to make the wisdom of His Father known to the powers and principalities of this world!

(that is why God sent Jesus to the earth, to establish the Ecclesia through forgiven sinners, saved out of the grip of Death by the Blood that Jesus shed on the cross, acquired on to God as a people who make up a special nation on earth, which is the Royal Priesthood of Jesus – that is what the Bible teaches us)
— And so (back to Matthew 16:18) —

Jesus continued His constitutional declaration, saying:

This Household (oikos) that I raise up as a structure (domeo) to Myself, the Ecclesia, meaning, the eligible elder saints who have juridical authority in the Courts of Heaven… THAT is what I shall raise up to myself – and what will be the result?

-> the gates of Hades will not prevail!

Then Jesus continued (verse 19): I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

You can see that the constitutional declaration of the establishment of the Ecclesia that Jesus in person spoke out, not only reveals the nature of the Oikos-household of God but also explains that the reason it would be formed would be to fulfill the eternal prothesis-purpose of the Father.

‘KOINONIA’-communion is inside the ‘Oikos’-Household

The next major word/concept which defines the Oikos of God is the Hellenic word “koinonia”; a well known English word for it is “fellowship”, but another, better word is “communion”. The reason I think “communion” is a better way to render “koinonia” is because it contains the concept of “union” in it.

To have “koinonia” you have to be in the same Household.

I love my American and Kenyan brothers and sisters with the love of God, but in my everyday life I have no “koinonia” with them. In my everyday battle against the forces of Darkness, for which purpose I was brought to Christ, I cannot stand in the same battlefield next to Mark, Joyce, Don, or, John.

We are all part of the universal Body of Christ, all members of the Household of God on the earth but we are of different genealogies (a biblical word for families, whereby the emphasis is on the same “spiritual genetics”).

Each one of us is marked in the books of Heaven according to the order of our fathers’ Households (that is what the Bible teaches us and experience in real life attests to).

Each one of us is registered in the books of Heaven next to our brethren. We are all registered by names that were given to us from before the foundation of the world – for which we have been brought to Christ – not just to be saved…

Jesus did not die only for the explicit purpose of saving us and that’s all

That was not the original ‘prothesis’-purpose of God (as we have seen), but, Jesus saved us from the grip of Death in order to fulfill the ‘prothesis’ of God. And that is, to walk in the works that He has prepared for us from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 2:10).

What are these works? To fulfill the eternal ‘prothesis’-purpose of God. But to do that, we must first be members of an ‘Oikos’-family because that is the only place where the Blood saves us from the “destroyer angel” (ref. the 10th plague in Egypt).

That is the only place where I can fulfill the first and great commandment. Which is the only place… today I will say something even more challenging than what I said about the Blood

You actually reacted very positively when I told you about the Blood – and that is because we started with what the Word says. Today we will say something even more challenging… that the Blood does not work outside of “koinonia” – let’s see what the Word says about that.

We read in 1 Corinthians 10:16 “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?

This is a good place to put on “the glasses of simplicity which is in Christ”, shall we? Have you noticed before this little word? That the cup of blessing is not THE Blood of Jesus – it is in the communion of the Blood of Jesus.

Also, “the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” I grew up being told that “the bread is the Body of Christ”. And then there are so many debates… is it the ‘physical bread’ or is it just a symbol?

It seems like we missed the key word; the true ‘bread’ which descends from above is inthe communion – the ‘koinonia’ with one another which is the Body of Christ.

It has nothing to do literally with the physical bread or the physical wine; the Body of Christ is the people who have communion with one another as members of a Body are interrelated and interact with each other.

It has to do with the ‘Oikos’ of which I am a son and I have ‘koinonia’ with those who are in the closest proximity to me, whom I must love as I love God (ref. the great commandment), as we submit to our “father’s house”, which is the corporate authority over us, which defines us as sons of the Most High God, and identifies us as “sheep”. The goats do not need anyone to rule over them; it is the sheep that stay together.

Now verse 17: “For we … though many … we are one bread and one body”.

We are the Bread and we are the Body!

It is not what comes into my mouth. The Body is in the ‘koinonia’ of the saints, that is where the Blood is…

The Blood is in the ‘koinonia’ with one another inside the Household of God

-> that is better explained on the basis of 1 John 1:5-7, where John teaches that the Blood cleanses us only when we walk in the Light, which is verified and validated by how we are in communion with one another – more on that also below.

Continuing on verse 17: “for we all partake of that one bread”; what bread? -> the Body.

On to verse 18: “observe  Israel  after the flesh:  are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

So it is not the physical bread or the physical wine. What sanctified the Jews was the altar that sanctified the sacrifice. What then is it that sanctifies the saints of God in our New Testament dispensation? Just the physical substance of the bread and wine? What is our altar where we serve?

-> it is the ‘koinonia’-communion of the saints, where we come together and Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered in my Name, there I am in your midst”.

So as the source of sanctification is the altar, so partaking of the Body and the Blood is in the ‘koinonia’ for which the prerequisite is that we are in our “Father’s Oikos”.

And I am sure you know that you cannot partake of the Body and the Blood if you do not love your neighbor; because if you do eat of the Bread and Blood without loving your neighbor, you eat and drink to your own condemnation – see below.

Note for clarity:
-> this is direct reference to the continuation of Paul’s teaching on the Communion of the Lord’s Supper; in chapter 11, especially from verse 17 through 27, Paul said that if there are divisions among the brethren when coming together for the Lord’s Supper, then those brethren eat and drink in an unworthy manner, and therefore such people who do not show love to the others will be guilty of the Body and the Blood of the Lord
.

Can you see the strength of the bond of love that is necessary to establish us as (i.e. that validates that we are) people of God?

But before we move on the next subject of ‘agape’-love, I’d like to read one more portion of Scripture concerning ‘koinonia’, which clearly connects the ‘koinonia’ with the Blood of Jesus.

Now why are we spending so much time on something that should be basic Christianity that everyone should be able to understand?

Because we have fallen into the trap of our “own individual salvation”…

… “Jesus died to save ME” (!) “all that God did is about ME” …

… “the whole world revolves around ME and my individual salvation”; and …

… “now that I am saved who needs YOU? I don’t like you anyway!” …

… “why do I need to go to a Church meeting? I can have communion with MY God alone; I have MY Bible, I have beautiful worship music on the internet, I can place the bread and wine on the table, and Jesus sits on the other chair in front of ME and I am having communion with MY Jesus”…

1 John 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and …

… can we all please say “AND” … sometimes a little word makes all the difference in the world! There is a prerequisite for what comes after the “AND”… and that prerequisite is ‘koinonia’.

If there is ‘koinonia’, here is what happens (now reading the remaining of verse 7): “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin”.

These are precisely the same words that Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians about the cup of blessing, that the partaking of the Bread and the Wine is in the ‘koinonia’-communion. John here above applied the same principle of the same great commandment …

… “You love your God? Great! Now show me how you love the ones who in the closest proximity to you

… “You say you have fellowship with Him? Well, are you walking in the Light? If you are walking in the Light then you really have koinonia with Him” – how is it validated that we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light? By having ‘koinonia’ with one another – then as a result of that, the Blood of Jesus cleanses us of all sin.

Then it is like we are in the same Father’s House in Egypt, and because the blood is on the doorposts of the house, that is why the blood protects us… now that is the exact opposite of the “gospel of my individual salvation” – it is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which manifests on the earth through ‘Oikos’-Households which are listed by their ‘Patriae’-Fatherhoods and define the spiritual identity of the sons of the House.

You cannot say I am a “huios”-son of God if you are not protected in the ‘Oikos’ of your ‘Pater’ – and then …

‘Agape’-Love is the final and greatest characteristic of the Household of God

Let us turn to Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

If I wanted to identify just one verse in the Bible to kill the “gospel of my individual salvation”, this would be it! Because the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus came to preach requires the building up of an ‘Oikos’-Household, where the sons of the House who have ‘koinonia’ in ‘agape’, are joined together as members of a body.

What defines you as a member of a Body is how well you are knit together with the person next to you, with whom you are in the closest proximity.

If there is no love, the ‘agape’ kind of love, which is a selfless love, which is like this: “I lay down my life for my friends’ sake” then we are not validated as sons of the House, as members of a Body… as it is written,

John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”.

Is that not what it takes to be brothers-in-arms?

Is that not what defines a mighty army in the battlefield?

Let me close with the definition of Ecclesia, which is how we started:

Ecclesia is made up of (and I will now add) “huios”-sons, members, who position themselves, knit together in the battle field, bound by the bond of love so that we become one body, of which we are members, and our identity is that we are from the same ‘oikos’ of our father and our ‘koinonia’ reveals the ‘agape’-love of God.

By your love for one another they shall know that you are my disciples (John 13:35)!

 

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