Part 7 – “Not forsaking the assembling”
The Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry talked about how at His Second Coming He would send angels to “gather together His elect” believing remnant of Israel. This will be the ultimate “gathering” or assembling of “the Israel of God.” Actually, John the Baptist preached of two end time gatherings, 1) the kingdom gospel believers of Israel and, 2) the unbelievers. Then, Jesus spoke similarly, with more detail.
“(Christ) Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his (threshing) floor, and gather his wheat (believers) into the garner (barn); but he will (also gather and) burn up the chaff (the unbelievers) with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:12)
“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares (unbelievers), and bind them in bundles to burn them: but Gather the wheat (believers) into my barn.” (Matthew 13:30)
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall Gather Together His Elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)
“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:6)
Now we can see that failing to ‘Gather’ among Israel’s Real Believers in preparation for that day will results in their destruction (Heb. 10:25-27).
“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. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:25-27)
This is not a gathering of Christians at a local church organization’s building. Neither is it about members of “the Body of Christ” losing their eternal life. Rather it’s Jewish kingdom believers coming ‘out from’ Apostate Israel, and gathering; trusting Jesus as their coming Messiah, thereby preparing to enter Christ’s Millennial Reign! It’s also about Jewish unbelievers, His adversaries, being cast into the eternal destruction of hell-fire for refusing to break away from wicked Apostate Israel and look to their Messiah!
Christ will return in the “wrath” of Heb. 10:26-29.
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of Judgment and Fiery Indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the (Israel’s New) covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” 30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance Belongeth to Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people (Apostate Israel). 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Those of Israel who failed to “assemble” with other Jewish believers will likely be ‘gathered’ and consumed by God’s righteous indignation, His vengeance (cf. Isa. 61:2); when Jesus returns to end the seven-year Tribulation. Only those of Israel who will “endure (faithful) to the end” (Matt. 10:22) and not take “the mark of the Beast” (Rev. 20:4) will be saved.
God’s impending judgment is clearly connected to the O. T. prophecies of Israel’s coming Messiah (Deut. 32:22-43; Psa. 2:4-5; 68:1-8; Isa. 34:1-15; Jer. 25:29-33; Joel 1:1–2:32; Nah. 1:1-8; Zech. 14:12). Hence, John the Baptist, just before Messiah (Christ) Jesus began His earthly ministry, was warning his audience of that “wrath to come,” when Jesus would baptize Israel “with fire,” “to burn up the chaff [lost Apostate Jews] with unquenchable fire” (Matt. 3:7-12).
Jesus Himself forewarned Israel of this future “burning” with “fire,” when His angels would gather the unbelieving sinners of Israel and “cast (them) into a furnace of fire,” in spite of their “wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 13:30, 40-42, 49-50). At His 2nd Coming, all Christ-rejecters (Matt. 24:37-41) as well as the Jewish-haters of God will be consumed, tossed into “the lake of fire” (Matt. 25:30, 41-46). Jesus Christ will come back in “flaming fire” to take “vengeance” on the rebels (the Apostates) who wanted nothing to do with Him (2 Thes. 1:8-9).
As said earlier, the Apostle Peter concluded his famous Pentecost sermon to “Ye men of Israel” with these words (Acts 2:22). “… Save yourselves from this untoward generation (of Apostate Israel).” (Acts 2:40b)
Once again, the message in Hebrews 10:25 to the Jews is clear: “Come out of that apostate, wicked, rebellious nation!” Leave that vain Apostate religious system and trust in Jesus alone as your Lord and Christ! Quit trying to please God with your works and come to Him in trusting faith! This evil generation will be consumed in God’s wrath when Jesus comes back!”
That Day of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming in vengeance is that “day approaching” that Heb. 10:25 refers to,
“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.”
So, Hebrews 10:25 has nothing to do with the shallow religionist’s explanation of “Come to church because Hebrews 10:25 says so!” Hebrews 10:25 is not at all talking about Christian believers during today’s “dispensation of the Grace of God” going to a ‘worship service’ in some manmade organization’s so-called ‘church building.’
Rather, it’s God’s instructions to the Called-Out Believers of Israel with regard to staying doctrinally pure in the Tribulation and being spiritually ready for the Messiah (the Lord Jesus) to come back and establish His earthly kingdom! They are to ‘Come Out and Remain Separate’ from Satan’s policy of religious evil, ‘stay out’ from Israel’s Apostate system that has strangled Israel’s spiritual life. Those Jews who fail to assemble with believing Israel will be cast into hellfire destruction when Jesus Christ returns (Heb. 10:25-31).
The lesson we can take from this is simple. Satan has perfected his operation of religion, and this includes Christendom today. What was successful to Satan’s program in Israel of the past is still successful today in Christendom. The same corrupt, perverted, religious system that gripped Israel pervades Christendom today. Hence, we do not look to so-called clergymen, denominational teaching-bodies, preachers, catechisms, creeds, seminarians, papal bulls and encyclicals, lectures, etc.
We have His pure word, to be rightly divided, as our guide. We need to go to the Apostle Paul’s epistles (Romans through Philemon) to learn what God has to say and not say to us as the believing Gentiles of this age of grace… concerning ‘worship.’ Interestingly, though the words “Worship Service …” appears on marques in front of so-called church buildings everywhere. Yet, the words “Worship Service” do not appear anywhere in Paul’s epistles to “the church which is His body.”
However, the words “thanksgiving,” and “giving thanks,’ and “making melody in their heart” do appear repeatedly in one form or another throughout Paul’s epistle. This is fitting since we are the individual members of “His body” who have Christ ever dwelling within us. We do not ‘worship’ in any wrote external manner according to the dictates of any formal liturgy or arrangement, but rather we have and enjoy ceaseless communion of the heart with Him, even subconsciously … since “we live and move and have our very being “in Him.” (Acts 17:28)
“For we are the (real) circumcision (the circumcised of heart), which Worship (Gk. latris, minister to) God In The Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (the outer, body worship” (Phili. 3:3)
Thus, today “the body of Christ” is the pure agency of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth till He comes for us at the Rapture (2 Cor. 11:1-33). We should gather as much as possible with others of like precious faith, to enjoy the fellowship, encouragement, and Bible teachings as shared among genuine grace believers who adhere to and study the tenets of Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” (Act. 20:24)
Paul’s epistles clearly tell us as believers that we are “in Christ” and that He by “His Spirit” is now “in us,” therefore, we have no need for any outer religious practice. Today, God does not ask us to attend the church meetings of the organizations of men in their so-called “church” buildings, but rather to offer heartfelt thanks to Him… for all things… at all times… in everywhere. We gather in homes and the like to be built up in the word.
Paul writes the Ephesian church concerning the ‘position’ of believers today, they are “in Christ,” and how that we may enjoy fellowship with Him while being built up in the faith.
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places ‘in Christ” (Ephesians 2:6).
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with (under the influence of) wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with (under the influence of) the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:16-20)
This above is a spontaneous function of the members of “the body of Christ,” not a wrote worship. When people talk of worshiping in some building on earth, and think of their ritualistic service as worship, and talk of worshiping God in music led by a so-called ‘worship team,’ it simply shows that they don’t understand the spontaneous living nature of the normal functioning of the members of “His body.”
His “Spirit of life,” which is now in our spirit, is analogous to the nerves that operate the senses in our physical body. By His indwelling Spirit we also have the spiritual senses of seeing, touching, hearing, smelling and tasting. The Bible speaks of these senses on the spiritual level. When any of these senses are felt or enjoyed spiritually, it is a time of intimate fellowship with the Lord and this is a glory to Him. By these senses we are individually built up, guided, and simply enjoy Him as the unconditional lover of our soul.
In every moment of a believer’s life, he is “sitting in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Here we may abide and ever be in the immediate presence of God … with nothing between us.
Thus, we as believers in this age of grace are delivered from anything to do with the world of religious externalities. We as believers today can rejoice in what God has done for us through Christ and His Redeeming Cross-work, making us well suited to “be partakers of the inheritance” of His life now in us.
Paul, by divine inspiration, explains “the mystery” of our union with Him.
“Giving thanks unto the father, who hath made us meet [fit] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom (royal realm) of his dear son” (Col. 1:12-13)
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Colossians 1:27)
The humblest believer can cry with Paul: “Thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ!” (2 Cor. 2:14) and “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Cor. 15:57). How appropriate, then, are the following exhortations:
“In Everything give thanks” (1 Thes. 5:18) and “By [Christ], therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise… giving thanks to His name (‘Jesus,’ means Savior)” (Heb. 13:15).
“For All Things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 4:15).
Our heart of “Thanksgiving” is what glorifies the Lord… not our church attendance, external worship, our good works, our participation in rituals, rites, or any such thing we may “do” for God or to please God.
Most of all, “Thanks Be Unto God For His Unspeakable Gift,” our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! (2 Cor. 9:15).