KEYWORDS: fellowship, home, disciples, persecution, lord, jesus

Forsake Not the Assembling of Yourselves Together

David Berg

—Heb.10:25 DO 2532 7/89

—Discussing Home Requirements

1. Did you know that just before He left, the Lord gave His disciples a strict command to assemble themselves together at a certain time in Jerusalem.—Luk.24:49; Acts 1:2-8. He didn't specify the place, but they chose an upper room, apparently, & it must have been a Hell of a big room because there were 120 men alone, besides the women & children! There must have been several hundred people!

2. Now this was at the height of the Jewish persecution of Christians when Jesus had been murdered & several others besides.—John the Baptist & all. And the Jews were just rampant trying to kill the Christians! But if we had not had that upper room occasion in which hundreds of Christians & disciples, hundreds of men with their wives & children met together & prayed for 10 days—ten days!—we would not have had the Day of Pentecost!—That must have been a Heaven-of-a-lot of racket—10 days of prayer until the Holy Spirit fell on them!—Acts 2:1-4.

3. And when it happened, they had a huge audience that gathered around outside their building amazed at what was happening.—An audience of their enemies & their friends & strangers & whatnot!—From all over the Roman Empire‚ so they all heard the Gospel in their own language & tongues!—Acts 2:5-11. Now don't tell me that was not of God because it was commanded by Jesus Christ Himself at the worst kind of time, it would seem, when there was the worst persecution!

4. And that kind of fellowship went on & on & on! You can read about Antioch. You can even read about Jerusalem after that. The disciples were still fellowshipping together, first the Jewish Christians & then Antioch & every place that Paul went to preach the Gospel, a big crowd assembled right there, in the Jewish synagogues, of all places!—The synagogues of Satan where all the enemies were! The disciples came & preached the Gospel & went from town to town, though often thrown out!

5. Of course they got persecution, they nearly got killed as far as the Bible says. (Acts 4:3; 5:33; 8:1.) And they went right on through the 10 major Roman persecutions & hid out in the Catacombs & assembled in large crowds for Paul & Peter to preach to them right in Rome itself!—Different ones to inspire & encourage them, & to see their numbers & their strength was an inspiration alone!

6. Don't tell me we couldn't fellowship like that if we had to‚ even though the Antichrist is going to be here! How on Earth do you expect us to reach & teach many, to instruct them about what's happening?—Dan.11:32-33.

7. Yes, of course‚ some shall fall by fire & the sword etc.—Dan.11:34. We're going to suffer persecution, we're not going to be able to hide out entirely. We're not going to be able to hide out completely to try to avoid it. Of course, we'll hide out as much as we can. But there are times when we must get together. There is a commandment from St. Paul himself, & that was certainly from the Lord! "Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: & so much the more, as ye see the day approaching!"—Heb.10:25.

8. Now that's the Word on it! And that's the last Word. As far as I'm concerned it was the last Word of Jesus to His disciples: "Feed My sheep!"—John 21:15-17. How on Earth are you going to feed the sheep if you don't have them there in the pasture together to feed them in Fellowship? Well, my rule when I first got the idea of emphasising greater fellowships was that all the Homes had to fellowship, all of them, regardless of numbers. (Maria: Yes, although at that time our Homes were quite small. Now so many have Combos‚ & because of their increased Home population‚ there's lots of fellowship right within the Home itself.)

9. Fine, all right, a large Home is already having good fellowship within their Home, then we won't require that they fellowship with another Home. But I still feel they should try to, at least occasionally.

10. The Devil would love to destroy our Fellowship! And if there's anything the Family holds dear outside of the Lord & the Letters, it's Fellowship!—And if there's anything they need outside of the Lord & the Letters, it's Fellowship. And the Scripture makes it very clear that Fellowship is necessary, & even in times of their greatest persecution the Church has always had Fellowship. And it strengthened them to be able to bear & resist those persecutions!

11. To summarise: "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together!"—The forsaking of which is contrary to all Scripture!—This was the whole idea of the Fellowships!—To keep us together & of one mind & heart!—The Fellowships are a great blessing & inspiration!—And can be held in many secure, cheap & easy places under any other names, if necessary. But we must have fellowship to strengthen each other & monitor each others' spiritual state.—Letters & Supervisors alone can't do it! Even in the Early Churches, under great persecutions by Jews & AC Romans‚ they did not forsake their Fellowship!—Though it be hundreds in the Upper Room commanded by Jesus, or later in Jerusalem, Antioch, synagogues‚ the Catacombs etc.!—We must fellowship!—To be strong & united!—Else how are we gonna "strengthen the Brethren"?