I start with the Greek word ekklesia and not with the English term "church" for several reasons. First, the English term "church" according to some English Dictionaries has as many as nine different conflicting meanings while ekklesia had but one meaning prior to, and including the time of the New Testament. Second, the English term "church" comes from the Greek term "kuriakos" while "church" is used to represent ekklesia. The Greek term 'kuriakos" is used in the New Testament twice (1 Cor. 11:20; Rev. 1:10) and is a possessive noun with the meaning of "the Lord's". It was used in the first century as a technical term for those things that belonged to ceasar who was to be recognized as "Lord" by his subjects. The apostles refused to acknowledge Caesar as Lord, and so took the term "kuriakos" and applied it to those things that belonged to their Lord Jesus Christ (1) The "Lord's" Supper - 1Cor. 11:20; and (2) The "Lord's day" - Rev. 1:10. On the other hand, ekklesia in Classical Greek had one established meaning and that is "congregation" or "assembly." In Koine Greek it had one and the same established meaning. When the translators of the Septuigent used ekklesia to translate the Hebrew term Qahal they never used it in any context where it went beyond the meaning of congregation or assembly. In the Apocrapha it never is used anywhere other than for a congregation or assembly. It has no other meaning during the first century among secular Greek writers as demonstrated in Acts 19. Dr. Earl D.Radmacher, a thorough going universal church advocate in his book entitled "The Nature of the Church" is forced to admit after examining all the evidence from Classical and Koine Greek: "One thing must be stressed and that is that it always describes a corporeal, physical unity of people. In other words, one must be physically present in the assembly itself to constitute a member of the ekklesia." - Earl D. Radmacher, The Nature of the Church, [Western Baptist Press, Portland, OR, 1972], p. 122 However, Radmacher in his thorough scouring of pre-New Testament Greek literature failed to admit that the Greek term ekklesia with the definite article is found numerous times in Classical Greek literature in the abstract institutional sense. Therefore, when concluding the kind of uses found in Classical and Koine Greek, this term is found in the concrete and in the abstract and yet not once does it ever exceed a "corporeal, physical unity of people". Now when coming to the New Testament usage, no Greek scholar is given the privilege to invent a new meaning, UNLESS the established meaning cannot possibly fit the context. In other words, sound scholarship demands that every time the term ekklesia is found in the New Testament, if the established meaning fits, any other meaning must be rejected whether it makes sense or not. If this rule is not followed then one can change the established meanings of all words and thus words mean nothing. Therefore, when we come to the first passage where ekklesia is found in the New Testament the common ordinary meaning must be applied first and if it fits no other meaning must be sought. That means, that first the concrete use must be first applied. If that will not make sense, then, the abstract use must be applied, and only if that does not make sense are we justified in seeking a new meaning for an old word. However, the abstract institutional meaning makes perfect sense not only in Matthew 16:18 but in every place in the New Testament where the definite singular is found. The abstract use includes not merely the generic use but the institutional use. Indeed, the abstract institutional use of ekklesia not only makes sense in Matthew 16:18 but it is the only meaning that will harmonize with the next 22 times Jesus uses this term to describe what he claimed to build. In Matthew 16:18 we have the institutional use of ekklesia where he claims to build "my ekklesia' in the sense of an institution. In Matthew 18:17 we have the next two times he uses the same term in the same way (definite singular) without any geographical restrictions and the only meaning that makes sense is the historic meaning which agrees with the institutional use in Matthew 16:18. The next 20 times Jesus uses it in Revelatioon 1, 2-3, 22:16 the only possible meaning that makes sense is the common historic meaning which again harmonizes with the institutional use in Matthew 16:18. When the vast amount of instances are examined in Acts and in the epistles the vast majority only make sense according to the common historic meaning. The 18 or so cases where it is found in the singular with the definite article without any geographical restriction, the institutional or generic uses make perfect sense. Every single metaphor used for the ekklesia conveys only a visible local representation in perfect keeping with the historical use of ekklesia. The idea of a universal ekklesia finds its origin with Augustine in his debate with the Donatists where he introduced the term "feild" in Matthew 13 as the ekklesia - making it synonymous with "world" thus a universal ekklesia. Between Augustine and Luther there is no "invisible" ekklesia found in Roman Catholic controlled written history. The only belief other than the historic common use of ekklesia (concrete, abstract) is the future or glory ekklesia concept, which had no present existence in the mind of those who embraced this concept but was the yet future assembly after the resurrection of all the elect. The evidence is so strong for the historic meaning of ekklesia that Dr. Radmacher did not dare start his investigation where it should be started, and that is with the origin of the term ekklesia in pre-New Testament history, but he started with post-new tesament uses, in order to influence his readers according to his own theology before introducing them to the facts of its actual history and origin. But even so, Dr. Radmacher was honest to admit that the term ekklesia was NEVER EVER used to mean "called out of the world" at any point in Classical or Koine Greek and to claim so is dishonest: "Hort, along with other competant scholars confirms this when he writes: 'There is no foundation forthe widely spread notion that ekklesia means a people or a number of individual men called out of the world or mankind.' In other words, it does not mean a body of people who have been 'picked out' from the world." - Radmacher, Ibid., p. 111 The whole universal concept was invented to escape church disciple and disfellowship by other apostolic churches in the third century in order to avoid being considered as non-new Testament churches. The whole invisible concept was invented to escape church discipline and disfellowship by the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century as the Reformers had no intent on leaving what they believed to be the only true church - Roman Catholicism, but when Papal bulls removed them from the membership of the Catholic Church they found themselves unchurched and it is this doctrine that was used to avoid that stigma and justify other church denominations in addition to Roman Catholicism. It is the doctrine that justifies the existence of the Great Harlot and her daughters as valid "churches" or institutions of God.