Then I will set on his shoulder the key of the house of David; when he opens no one will shut, when he shuts no one will open. —Isaiah 22:22 AMP
We have weapons to invade realms! However, you might be pondering if contending against principalities is an off-limits activity for the church. What does Jesus tell us about our position of authority? As stated before, He has not left us to battle alone. He has given each of us keys. He has given each of us the authority to bind and loose. In Matthew 16:13-17, we have the historic core confession of the Body of Christ. It is Simon Peter’s proclamation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Now when Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is? And they answered, Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am? Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven (Matthew 16:13-17 AMPC).
Jesus then made a paradigm-shifting proclamation of His own to Simon Peter: “And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros—a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra—a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church…” (Matt. 16:18 AMPC). Simon Peter, the first to make this Kingdom declaration, was the first to receive the promise that God would use him like a substantial piece of rock to build upon. Jesus stated that joining Peter would be other believers who would also proclaim this truth and represent the Kingdom of God. Together this Body would make up a great rock, like Gibraltar—petra. And on this rock, He would build His Church, which I am now going to term Ekklesia.
What Is the Meaning of Ekklesia?
The translation for the word Church in the above Scripture does not portray what Jesus was powerfully stating. The literal meaning is “called-out ones” or “assembly.” The word is used 114 times in the New Testament, and in 90 of these references a local church assembly is in view. However, in this first use of Ekklesia, it seems likely that Jesus had a more significant and larger picture in mind. He was building a worldwide Body of believers composed of all who make the same confession of faith.
The word and concept of Ekklesia was not new to the disciples. It carried significant cultural emphasis. In this time of history, this word was applied to the popular assembly of Greek citizens who helped to govern a city or district (see Acts 19:32,39,41). Also, the Greek translation of the Old Testament used Ekklesia to describe the congregation of Israel when it was corporately gathered when Moses presented the law for all of Israel to perform and carry out the law as a people and a culture.
In Greek and Roman society, the Ekklesia consisted of ones who functioned in their cities as a senate or legislative governors. They were known as a military task force of the culture they represented to cause things to appear as Greek or Roman. Their function carried with it the ideology to disciple people, cities, and nations. Why do we need to know this to be effective intercessors? To understand our keys of authority to bind and loose, we must realize the history-making message Jesus was relaying at this crucial moment. Allow me to explain further how history, misplaced translations, and words have shaped our effectiveness as the Church and as prayer warriors.
The Greek word kyriakon is the origin of the word church that we use in English. Kyraikon is composed of two words—kyrias, meaning the Lord, and oikas, meaning house or building. Together the meaning is clear—house of God or building. It is a purely religious word that originally meant temple or chapel, a physical location where people gather. It conveys something very different from the original meaning of Ekklesia.
Historically and theologically it is a known fact when the King James Bible was written in 1611 there was considerable argument over how this word Ekklesia would be translated. The Tyndale translation done in 1525 accurately portrayed Ekklesia as a governing body. By 1611 King James was head of the Anglican Church. The favored meaning of the word church under his leadership was that of a building. Therefore, this Greek word kyraikon was chosen as the basis for the English translation. Unfortunately, this word is not even in the Greek New Testament. This helps to give a clear picture why leaders keep explaining to people that church is not the building but rather the people of God who assemble to hear from Him, to be sent out, to pray and to release His Kingdom.
Further adding to the confusion, in AD 313 the emperor Constantine established himself as the head of the church controlled by the state and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. He began a massive building spree across the Roman Empire naming all the buildings after apostles from the Bible—for example, the church of St. Paul. He declared himself the thirteenth apostle and erected statues of the twelve apostles in a massive building in Constantinople and included a larger statue of himself in the building. He banned all house meetings and unofficial gatherings of any kind, and all had to gather in the buildings. Still to this day, all these years later, we think of the church as a building, not a Body of believers who pray and effect change. This in turn causes us to downsize the strategies of the enemy and our role to see victory obtained.
It Is Time for a New Paradigm
We see that immediately following His proclamation, Jesus focused on the position of authority in which the Ekkleisa is to operate:
…and the gates of Hades (death) will not overpower it [by preventing the resurrection of the Christ]. I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:18-19 AMP).
Gates of Hades
I believe Jesus was intentional. I find it interesting that when He initiated this discussion with the disciples, He chose the location of Caesarea Philippi, home to Mount Hermon. It was known as the rock of the gods due to the many shrines that are carved into the face of the mountain. Shrines to Caesar, an open-air shrine to Pan and the court to the fertility goddess, Nemesis. It also houses a large cave called the gate of Hades. It was believed that baal-hermon would enter the world from this cave. Worshipers would congregate and take part in bizarre, blatantly demonic sexual activities as well as rituals involving human and blood sacrifice. Jesus in a strategic move took His disciples to the most degenerate place possible. Clearly, He was making an object lesson.
The Lord of heaven and earth stands before His twelve disciples, and in a prophetic revelation of insight more vivid than the snow-capped glow of Mount Hermon—a place that fed the fears of men and demonically enticed surrender of their souls—Peter becomes the first human to acknowledge Jesus for who He really is. The King of kings and the Lord of lords. The Ancient of Days. Most Holy One. Lord of Hosts. Captain of the armies of God. The promised Messiah. Savior of the World. The Great I Am. Friends, when we get even a small glimpse into the complete kingship of our Savior, we stand at a new gateway or portal for understanding our own purpose. Why? It is now known that Jesus not only possesses all authority, but that He also bestows it. Understanding this truth far better than His disciples, Jesus takes the opportunity in front of His chosen band of disciples to declare out loud that Hades will not prevail. Unity is vital to breakthrough intercession. The size of the band of warriors is not the determining factor. Although, I will strongly emphasize here again that there are no lone rangers in dealing with principalities and territorial spirits. Individuals have been given authority over demons as stated clearly in Mark 16:17, “And these miracle signs will accompany those who believe: They will drive out demons in the power of my name” (TPT). But there needs to be a team or corporate assembly of the Ekklesia to defeat principalities. This can occur with a large governing assembly or even a band of warriors of two or three gathered together. What does matter is knowing God has assigned the battle—a clear revelation of the One who has directed you, a clarity of purpose that is voiced out in agreement among the gathered and convening Ekkelsia when on the land.
By standing at the rock of the gods, Jesus was making a clear and undeniable illustration. As the Church, we are His legislative body of people anointed in His glory to go to the darkest places of the world in order to destroy the schemes of the enemy and establish His Kingdom. One of the strongest demonic assignments and schemes of the enemy is the attempt to talk the church out of being the Ekklesia—the exact people to whom the glory of God has been imparted and distributed for stewarding and impacting the nations. It is not survival mode. It is overcoming and conquering mode. We carry governmental anointing in which our intercession made in partnership with the Lord can heal the past and shape the future.
Testimony of Jordan!
2018 has afforded us with the awesome privilege of developing relationship with Bible College of Wales. This is the college founded by Rees Howells in 1924. We have visited three times this year and are planning a return for next year. The last visit in October, our team experienced God moving in amazing ways. It was a time of soaking, intimacy with the Lord, intercession for Wales and the nations. I was also beyond honored and privileged to receive an invitation to teach an evening course.
It is hard to share all that transpired, but one day was supernatural in a way that only He can orchestrate. We felt the Lord leading us to visit, worship and intercede at Blaenannerch, the chapel where Evan Roberts in an abandoned cry of surrender shouted, “Bend me Lord!” We experienced the Lord’s presence in a deep way which brought us into a place of revived surrender and desire for awakening. The worship time and intercession for Wales and the nations was transformational.
Following this time, we knew the Lord was directing us to pray for awakening and breakthrough in the land of the mountainous region of Preselau. It is an ancient occult site of druid worship and the location where the stones were removed for Stonehenge. It is scientifically proven that the earth in this region vibrates at a different frequency than any other locations in the world and it produces a rare sound as well as stones called Blue Stones.
We huddled in a circle on the high place, kneeling and laying hands on the land. We worshipped, prophesied God’s new purpose and amplified sound to bring a harvest into the land following our time of breaking the occult power of Lilith and death. As we completed our time of intercession, I noticed a young man approaching who had been speaking to Roy and Adriane, the pastors who had hosted and driven us to this location. He approached the team. To explain the supernatural orchestration of this encounter, I must explain we were out in the middle of nowhere, in the mountains. Therefore, having someone approach us would not be a normal nor expected.
He asked what we were doing. I explained worshipping and praying to Jesus. I asked him if he knew Jesus. He responded, “I don’t think that I do.” I asked his name and it was Jordan. He explained He heard us shouting and worshipping as we were on assignment. He shared he had been in a car wreck three days prior. His car was totaled, but he walked away unscathed. In order to get home which was over 2 1’2 hours away, he had to buy a new car. Yet, he could not get a peace to leave the area. He had walked a 3-hour trek in the mountains seeking the Lord for direction in his life asking to hear His voice and guidance. His life being spared in what should have been a fatal car crash had gotten his attention. After his walk he sat in the valley directly below the mountain top we were on to worship and pray. He heard us, but he explained it sounded like hundreds of people not just eight. So, he came to see what was occurring. He shared that he knew Roy and Adriane and had visited their church 3 times and was surprised to see them.
Once again, I shared that we were praying and worshipping Jesus and asked if he wanted to know Jesus. Ten minutes later, this young man named Jordan received salvation! We knew this was a prophetic sign. Jordan is symbolic of crossing over into a new season. We know that Jordan’s salvation was a manifestation of a new season of harvest in the land of revival. He is 24, and a musician. On a mountain known for its unique frequency of sounds a new soul to release a sound of praise and worship entered heaven’s sound. There were eight of us on the team which means new beginnings. All of this occurred after our time at the church where Evan Roberts had his encounter with the Lord that sparked the revival in Wales. Even typing this I am undone by God’s goodness today!
Heading into 2019 to Fulfill the Call
I pray the above portion of a chapter from my (Becca’s) new book Glory Warfare and Jordan’s testimony blesses you. Greg and I fully believe the Lord is directing our paths in the days ahead to continue to pave the way in our nation and the nations as an Ekklesia anointed prayer army and not only breaking strongholds, but also building and planting for a sustained transformation in the land. Our nation and the nations are calling, and we are responding with a resounding, “Yes!”
As we head into 2019, we are preparing key assignments with our prayer network, SPAN, for our nation and the nations. The Lord has spoken clearly that we are to engage in strategic assignments heading into the 2020 elections. Therefore, we are busy with planning and strategizing meetings already underway as we close out 2018. We will also partner with Aruba, Scotland, Spain, China, Wales, Korea, Africa, Amsterdam and Europe in this coming year to speak and train in prophetic strategies for transformation with key leaders in these nations.
We are so emboldened by all God has allowed us to be a part of in the nations and in ours. We wanted to send you a small token of our appreciation for your prayers and partnership with us financially as we move forward with all God is showing us. Thank you.
If you would like to send a gift to the ministry, you can use the enclosed envelope or you can visit our website to give your tax deductible donation, www.christianharvestintl.org/donate. We are so grateful for all of you who have joined us in seeing souls brought into God’s kingdom. We pray for His Spirit and love to follow and be with you in 2019 and it will become your breakthrough year!
In His Love,
Greg & Becca