In Proposition 88, George Peters states:
“The Church is then a preparatory stage for this Kingdom.”
This statement is a natural extension of the previous proposition. It the ekklesia is not the promised Kingdom, it must serve another purpose within the doctrine of the Kingdom. It has been established that the ekklesia is a preparatory stage for the future coming Kingdom. To view the ekklesia as the fullness of the Kingdom in this stage is as noted before, wholly incorrect.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 88 is the following:
“It is our deep conviction that the word ekklesia, translated church, was designedly chosen to express what the church really means. Let the reader notice how we have shown that to raise up a seed unto Abraham certain elect, those of like faith unto Abraham, are chosen out of the nations. The word therefore, ek out of, and kaleo I call, denotes to call out of, and hence means precisely what the Apostles in Council, Acts 15:14, denominated its object to be, viz.: to call out from among the nations a people, etc. Why was the word rendered church chosen in place of the more familiar one synagogue, unless it be that the former more explicitly expresses the idea intended?”
I appreciate Peters making this observation. I have tended to utilize the term ekklesia instead of church because ekklesia more appropriately in my humble opinion reveals the nature of who we are as believers. We are a called out people from among the nations, a peculiar people, different from the world. This means the very essence of who we are as individual believers as as the ekkelsia as a whole should represent something distinctly different from the surrounding pagan nations. Far too often, the term church is associated with an organization, a religion if you will that people identify with over and above identifying themselves as being called out by God from among the people. Being the ekklesia means we associate ourselves as being God’s people. If the first tendency is to identify oneself with a particular theological movement, approach, or denomination, a reassessment needs to take place. We are called out to be His, to be the bride for the Bridegroom. Just as Abraham was called to leave his homeland and the pagan behavior that permeated all who lived in that land, we too have been called by God to do the same. All forms of paganism and worldly behavior should be left behind to be replaced with obedience to the Father’s commands and will for His ekklesia. As the preparatory stage for the Kingdom, we are to be holy and set apart for the coming Bridegroom who will come to establish His throne. Are we being the ekklesia or are we being just a denomination or gathering around a theological doctrine as our point of identification? It is an important point to ponder. It is indeed no wonder why ekklesia is used in the NT to describe believers in the Messiah. Maybe we have a bit of an identify crisis.