Hebrews 10:24 "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works
:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is but exhorting one another and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching".
We have always heard lost people use the excuse "I don't have to go to church to know God, to go to Heaven, etc". But in today's age of internet and technology there is a growing trend in the Body of Christ that people are leaving the church structure and not attending with other people. They say they are not forsaking the assembling but rather are assembling with their internet pastors and fellow believers on the internet. Is this the Will of God? Is it His Will for us to stop attending regular meetings with the local brethren? Is it His Will that our number one source of being fed His Word is the internet?
Let's take a look at the word "assembling". Strong's G1997 - episynag.
Outline of Biblical Usage 1) a gathering together in one place
2) the (religious) assembly (of Christians)
To "assemble" means to gather together in a group. It does not mean to leave the congregation. Leaving the congregation and to continue to assemble are two different things.
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord
How can you call for the elders of the church if you have no church? or no elders?
:15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of (from) his chamber (come out of his dwelling place to gather with others, come out of isolation), and the bride out of her closet (come out of her dwelling place to gather with others, come out of isolation). :17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar (of the local church building or house church. This is not the Temple. Joel 2 is talking about the end time when there is no Temple in Jerusalem), and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
What is the context and timing of this assembly? It is in the End Times! Notice again in Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is but exhorting one another and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching".
Notice it says that we should assembly together more as the day approaches! God knew that we would have the internet! But He tells us that we are not to forsake the assembling! As the day approaches of the Return of King Jesus, we are to assemble more, not less! Sure it may be in barns or living room congregations. But regardless of where, we are still told in God's Word to assemble.
In Lev. 23:3 we are commanded to keep the Sabbath. Rest is part of the Sabbath. But a commanded assembly is also part of the Sabbath!
Lev. 23:3 "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. "
What is a Convocation? Strong's H4744 - miqra.
Outline of Biblical Usage:
1) convocation, convoking, reading, a calling together a) convocation, sacred assembly b) convoking c) reading Authorized Version (KJV) Translation Count — Total: 23 AV— convocation 19, assemblies 2, calling 1, reading 1
Gesenius's Lexicon: a calling together, to call together an assembly, an assembly called together,
Conclusion: A Holy Convocation is a sacred gathering (assembly) for the purpose of the reading of Holy Scriptures, in this case on the Sabbath Day.
We also see the commanded convocation on the High Holy Days throughout the year. But Hebrews 10 tells us to meet more often as we see the day of Christ's return approaching. In Hebrews 4:4-10 we see there still remains a Sabbath Observance. Hebrews 4:9 contains the Greek word "sabbatismos" which means the observance or keeping of the Sabbath. Jesus told us to keep the Commandments.
Many people believe that attending church is bad because of the many false doctrines being taught in many churches. I am not saying that we should attend a church that teaches false doctrines. We should not attend churches that teach babylonian doctrines. We should try our very best to find a congregation that has True biblical doctrines. If we can't find one, we should start our own assembly, even if in our living rooms, basements, garages or barns.
The church has a structure. There is a 5-fold ministry of the Apostles who are regional district managers, Prophets, the Evangelist who travels to each congregation, and the local Pastor and then the elders and other teachers in the local church. To believe that we are to come out of the local assembly is to ignore the 5 fold ministry and to ignore the instituted church structure. The Apostle Paul traveled to start local congregations and then put them into the hands of the local Bishop/Pastor.
It is true that the church is not the building. It is the people. It is the body of Christ with many members. The church is a spiritual organism consisting of human temples. Each human unit/member fitting into each member body coming together as a church congregation which is biblical. You are not a computer unit. Don't get caught being a computer chip in the electronic matrix. You were born from a human matrix and you should remain a human in this life eventually to be translated to Spirit. Don't become a robot of the electronic matrix! Robots don't need human contact! Robots don't need human fellowship. Just feed them with electronic information. They can be fed electronically. We need human fellowship. We should not forsake the human body of Christ. The Head of the Church is Christ, not the internet. Your brothers and sisters are human, not internet profiles. We are sheep, not computer chips. We should assemble to be fed. We need hugs. We need back pats. We need eye to eye contact. We need in person assistance. We do need to be careful where we get fed. We should not let just anybody feed us. We should pray about where to attend. And whether to return.
In Lev. 23:3 we see that a Holy Convocation (gathering/assembling) on the weekly Sabbath is a commandment. In the context of Hebrews 10:19-39 we see that forsaking/deserting/abandoning the gathering/assembling into the House of God is a sin (vs.26). The Greek word for "forsaking" in vs. 24 speaks of abandonment and desertion. It is the opposite of considering one another. Those that are faithful to God are also faithful to the body of Christ (the Church, the people) and will continue in the faith (vs.36), not wavering (:23), not drawing back (:39), not departing from the faith and not deserting the assembly (:25). It is not always about you (:24). By gathering together, you are a blessing to others. By gathering together we can share blessings, testimonies, songs, edifications, doctrines, revelation, etc. We are encouraged to consider one another (:24).
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments (including the Sabbath Commandment to Gather).
:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous".
Singing, praying together, studying together, human fellowship, partaking of the Lord's Supper (Passover), builds us up and make us stronger. It is good for us, not bad for us.
You will never find an assembly were you agree with them 100% on all doctrines. But people's imperfections should not deter us from gathering together with other people who are also trying to worship and serve God. Iron sharpens iron. You could be the person who helps others to understand the Word of God better.
Some people say they don't have time to go to church. They have jobs/careers. Jobs bring money and material possessions. But there is no life in those things. There is temporary pleasure/gratification in them. But they do not bring eternal satisfaction or eternal life. Don't think that every job is a blessing from God. The devil can give you stuff also! See Matt. 4:9. The devil would love to buy your inheritance (1 Kings 21). He will pay you to stop attending church! Only God can give you eternal joy, life and salvation. Therefore we should put Him first. Matt. 6:19-34 tells us to not put the drive for material possessions ahead of God. It tells us that if we put God first that He will take care of the rest including food and shelter. We should be more than willing to sacrifice a couple of hours each week to enter into the House of the LORD God.
If you can't find the right local Church/ecclesia/gathering/assembly, where God wants you to go, start one!
Invite other believers into your home, yard, basement, barn or other location!
Even if you do not have a pastor yet, maybe The Almighty will eventually send one to your gathering or raise one from among your midst. It is extremely important to meet with other brothers and sisters weekly on the sabbath day in person! Living room churches / home churches is the way that most of the true Elect is now gathering for services. Look for one of these and if you cannot find one, start one! It will help you and it will help others. Maybe after you start one that you will learn of another one and you could possibly merge together. In your local home gathering, you could put on a worship music CD, or actually take turns signing. You can study the bible together. You can share what The Almighty is showing you. You can also listen as a group to our live services each Sabbath and Holy Day. You can put it on speaker phone or listen via the computer speakers. For more information about our live broadcast of services, click here. We are looking to partner with people who are willing to start congregations in their homes or local communities to be under the direction of I Saw The Light Ministries. (See Same Link) We understand that it is extremely difficult to find a local congregation in your local area. There are many people in the exact same situation. But we are to make an effort to find an assembly. If needed, we may have to travel a couple of hours every Sabbath. But it will be well worth it! Not just to obey the old testament and New Testament command to assemble in person, but also to meet with and grow in fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. They need you. And you need them! We need each other. Once you find the right congregation, you should consider moving closer to them. In the Great Tribulation, we are going to need one another's help and support! There is strength in numbers. If you cannot find a local congregation and you are not going to start one, and if you agree with this ministry, maybe you should consider, fast, and pray about whether Jesus would have you to move here. That's between you and God. But we would surely welcome other brothers and sisters who are like minded and who Love Jesus! Otherwise, you are welcome to at least enjoy and partake of the many provisions that we provide for people online such as audio, video, flyers, articles and as well as Sabbath and Holy Day services by phone and internet. These are not meant to totally replace a real and in person congregation, but only to hold you over until you are able to become part of a real in person congregation, accordingly to His Will.
Are Church Buildings Forbidden or Needed or Required?
Do We Need Pastors or Teachers?
Psalm 122 begins and ends with speaking about the House of the LORD. It is a song they sung when going up to Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles each year. The context is to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem because of our brethren, our human companions! This was a commanded gathering to the Temple. But it goes beyond commandments. It goes to the heart of considering one another.
Psalm 27:4-6: 4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
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Forsake not the Assembly. Copyright 2014 I Saw The Light Ministries