Church and what it means
Never in the history of mankind has there been a word that has provided so much misunderstanding and so many misconceptions.
When we started our journey of repentance and when the time came that we testified to members of our natural family, my Mom used the words from Matthew 16:18 to claim that she belonged to the only true church. As a family we were conditioned in the Roman Catholic Church and it is commonly known that its members claim that Peter was the first pope and they even use the words from Matthew 16:18 to further lay claim that Peter was the rock that the Roman Catholic Church was built on.
For a better understanding of the history of this worldly institution we invite you to read the articles The Mystery Babylon, Popes and the Princes of This World, Sainthood by the Pope and The Abomination of Desolation.
First of all to claim that Peter was the first pope is falsehood and a study of the history of the church will show that there were no popes till Leo I as the bishop of Rome (440 AD to 461 AD), used all his considerable powers to establish recognition for the bishop of Rome as "the universal bishop", having universal power over the Roman church. It was he who first made the claim that Peter had been the first pope. Leo's claim was enforced through the power of the Roman Emperor, but received only marginal acceptance within the church.
The word church itself does not appear in the Bible - even in the New Testament. The word consistently mistranslated as "church" in Greek is ecclasia. The first part "ek" means "from out among" or the whole word ecclasia means "Called ones" or "Called-out ones." It has the same meaning as the "Chosen people" in the Old Testament and the "Elect" in the New Testament.
From the book God's Secretaries by Adam Nicolson we can learn the following.
"Studying the making of the King James Bible, in the seven years between its commissioning by James VI & I in 1604, and its publication by Robert Barker, 'Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty', in 1611, makes one understand that the whole process remains something of a mystery. However, the men who did it, who pored over the Greek and Hebrew texts, comparing the accuracy and felicity of previous translations, arguing with each other over the finest details of chapter and verse, were many of them obscure at the time and are generally forgotten now, a gaggle of fifty or so black-gowned divines, whose names are almost unknown but whose words continue to resonate with us.
Beyond their private communication, they have left few clues. Surviving in one or two English libraries and archives are the instructions produced at the beginning of the work, a couple of drafts of short sections sketched out in the course of it, some fragments of correspondence between one or two of them and a few pages of notes taken at a meeting near the end, otherwise nothing."
The translation of the word ecclesia to "church" came by order of King James for strictly political purpose. The word ecclesia has no hierarchical implications. It just means "believers" with no suggestion of buildings, leaders or any organizational structure (Acts 7:48; 17:24).
Next, by studying the translation of the word Peter (Petros) and the word rock (petra), it reveals that the word Peter means Stone - not Rock. Jesus Christ is the Rock.
The translation of the word 'Peter' and what it means can be found in the Word of God itself.
It is written in John 1:42: Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
The word Cephas (Peter) is also mentioned in 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; Gal. 2:9.
During the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt through the wilderness, they were accompanied by the Spirit of God, as it states in 1 Cor. 10:4.
"And they all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock: and that Rock was Christ."
But even more than Christ being the Rock - the foundation of His ecclesia (the Body of Christ and His followers), Christ would build His ecclesia on a specific principle - the principle that God would teach His followers directly.
After Peter declared that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the Living God," Jesus said to Peter: Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed this to thee, but my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 16:17).
Jesus Christ proclaimed that His true followers would be taught directly by God - Not by man
God is our Teacher.
As we have testified before, the gospel we preach is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:10-12).
For a better understanding of the above we invite you to read the article You Need Not That Any Man Teach You listed on this website.