…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
“…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” states it so clearly.
I was told once, by an avid fisherman, “I can get as close to God on the lake as I can in church.” That may well be; who am I to declare him mistaken? But he cannot get as close to the assembly on the lake as he can in church, because the church is where we come to assemble ourselves together.
…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some.
How much this shames us. The writer of Hebrews spoke to those Christians and reminded them not to forsake the assembling of themselves together as was the manner of some. If the statistics are true, this verse would need to be reworded slightly for today’s American church. It would need to read, “…as is the manner of most!” A large percentage of the American population professes to be Christian, but where are these people when the rest of the body comes together for worship? Why are they forsaking the assembly? Could it be that they have never truly read this verse?
God creates nothing without purpose and the local church serves His purposes greatly. As long as we continue to forsake this assembly we refuse to grow up and become all He has called us to be (Eph 4:14-16).
…but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24 elaborates on the exhortation; we are to exhort one another to love and good works. And we are to do it “so much more as you see the Day approaching.”
The Day, of course, refers to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it doesn’t take either an expert on Bible prophecy or a student of world events to see that the Day is most definitely approaching. Indeed, it approaches so quickly that I find myself rushing to get done all He has called me to do so that I will leave no unfinished work behind me.
Oh, that we would stop playing around with the time He has given us, but that we would, instead, devote our days to preparing ourselves and others for the reality that is eternity!
“And it shall come to pass in the last days,” says God, “that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.”
“And it shall come to pass in the last days,” says God, “that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh…”
I do know there is more to this verse. I do know, too, that in this case the proper translation is “mankind” or “people group,” rather than the “flesh” I think about when I consider my daily walk with the Lord, but…
I think perhaps it is not such an “off” thing that the word flesh is used here…for most of us ARE too fleshy to be of continual, supernatural use to God. Flesh cannot survive where the Spirit of God is, so what happens when He pours out His Spirit on me…on my flesh? My flesh dies! It is mercy that He did not pour out His Spirit on me, the baby Christian, because I was almost all flesh then. Had flesh died in that day, there would have been only a spark left alive – that spark that came with the God so newly arrived in my heart.
Today, though, I am somewhat more mature. I have not arrived, yet there is more of Him and less of me than ever before. As He pours out His Spirit on my flesh, I feel the pain of its death, yet I also rejoice in the fact that its death leaves that much more room for the One who lives within me.
So I wonder…
Is this part of the purpose of the last days’ outpouring? The Bible speaks of a dividing line – that there will become an obvious difference between the just and the unjust, and that many who have been comfortable in the church will fall away. Is it, perhaps, that He has allowed His children plenty of time to grow and pours out His Spirit to free us for that final growth spurt?
Should God, today, pour out His Spirit upon an entire congregation – every member – those who have come to worship in spirit and truth will rejoice, enduring the pain in the knowledge that more room is being made for Christ to live big inside of them. On the other hand, those who have been playing games with God – those who wish to be counted as one of His without making Him Lord – will run screaming in pain, “cleansing” their flesh of His Spirit as one would wash acid from burning skin, pampering that flesh so it can grow again.
Or so I surmise.
Assuming my conclusions are correct, what would happen next?
“…Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.”
What a rich result of the outpouring He speaks of in the first part of this verse! Can there be a greater promise for one who is enduring such a purging as happens when He pours His Spirit out on their flesh? In the natural, when one goes through removal of flesh – say cancerous flesh – it is in hopes of at last being normal again. But this promise takes us beyond normal into… Oh…or does it?
What is “normal,” or what ought it be? What is the true standard where LIFE (God-life) is concerned? It is – would have to be according to the theologian’s Law of Beginnings – the life Adam lived before The Fall. So in pouring out His Spirit upon my flesh so that the flesh dies and His Spirit lives in me God is merely returning me to normal according to His standards!
He says He is returning for a glorious church. We know it is far from glorious now, and He needs to do a quick work if He is to bring us up to that level any time soon. But through pouring out His spirit on my flesh He can and will! He pours His Spirit out on us and a natural result of that outpouring is a greater sensitivity to Him that results in prophesies, visions and dreams, all of which are evidence that we are coming closer to that glorious state.
I wrote the first section of this meditation years ago, and still consider it valid, but going back to “all flesh” meaning “all mankind” now brings a different thought.
One day, when Saul was hot after David’s life, God poured His Spirit out on Saul and, though he had murder in his heart, Saul began to prophesy. So it occurred to me some months back… Is the same thing happening today? How many times have we heard, in recent years, of people coming to know Jesus not as a result of a missionary’s work, but rather because Jesus visited with them in a dream or vision?
Imagine a gathering of Christian haters in which God pours His Spirit on the leader, who then begins to prophesy the Good News of Jesus Christ. How would that impact the two kingdoms-God’s and the devil’s? Is it happening today?