The Importance of Holy Convocations – “Call a Solemn Assembly”

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How do the convocations relate to the Church today?  Is there a benefit in them?  What relation do they have to the former and latter rain, to the loud cry and the time of trouble?  Should we make an effort to bless one another by our presence at these convocations?  Solemn assembly Latter rain pentecost

“Those who shut themselves up within themselves, who are unwilling to be drawn upon to bless others by friendly associations, lose many blessings; for by mutual contact minds receive polish and refinement; by social intercourse, acquaintances are formed and friendships contracted which result in a unity of heart and an atmosphere of love which is pleasing in the sight of heaven.” (Ellen White 6T 172.2)

In order to “polish” and “refine” the stones, so that they can be tightly fitted up they must be willing to have mutual contact with one another.  This study will examine the importance of not just gathering, but being orderly in gathering as neglect with regards to “assembling” together will lead to abrasive stones that cannot be fit up a Spiritual house, and furthermore, will keep them from receiving the out pouring of the latter rain of the Holy Spirit.

“At the time of the new moon a sacred festival was celebrated in Israel.” (E.W. , PP 665)

Many are not aware that the New Moons were a festival in themselves.  Some are aware of the annual festivals, but they were not aware that God had set aside a time each month for his people, his Church body that the woman might receive a period each month where a cleansing of the body was to take place.

woman moon

Col 2:16, 17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Christ celebrated the Passover with the disciples and in place of the sacrifice, instituted the Lords supper.  Christ told us that there would come a time where we would celebrate the Passover meal with him in heaven.(Luke 22:15, 16) and these shadowed forward to something future.  Some of the Jews were still offering sacrifices during these occasions where the Colossians were gathering, and during the times of the Convocations the Colossians would have a meat and drink that they would be doing in remembrance of Christ body and blood.

Joh 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

This they were to do in remembrance of Him(Compare 1 Cor 5:7-8, 10, 11:24). In place of the sacrifice, Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8 “…For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:  (8)  Therefore let us keep the feast…”

Very simply, Christ our sacrifice was nailed to the cross, therefore don’t let the Jews who don’t understand that the Passover sacrifice was replaced by the Lord’s Supper judge you with respect to your keeping of the feast, New Moons or Sabbaths as these are shadows of things to come when we come into the New Heaven and earth to eat of the tree of life, and drink of the river of life, to dine and keep the Passover with Christ Himself.

Luke 22:15-16  And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:  (16)  For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

New Moons and Sabbaths….

Isaiah 66:22-23  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.  (23)  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

When will we come together each Sabbath and New Moon for a sacred assembly and festival?  In the New Heaven and Earth, which would indicate that the New Moons are not “nailed to the cross” as many have come to believe.

Eze 46:1 Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.

Let us note carefully what we will be doing at these sacred times.  Read the Following testimony carefully.  Note the principles of what surround the keeping of Sabbaths and New Moons in the New Heaven and New Earth.

(Ellen White God’s Amazing Grace Page 76)
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving-kindness and for thy truth. Psalm 138:2.Ellen White New Moons Feasts convocations

The bright and cheerful side of our religion will be represented by all who are daily consecrated to God…. While we review, not the dark chapters in our experience, but the manifestations of God’s great mercy and unfailing love, we shall praise far more than complain. We shall talk of the loving faithfulness of God as the true, tender, compassionate shepherd of His flock, which He has declared that none shall pluck out of His hand. The language of the heart will not be selfish murmuring and repining. Praise, like clear-flowing streams, will come from God’s truly believing ones….

The temple of God is opened in heaven, and the threshold is flushed with the glory of God which is for every church that will love God and keep His commandments. We need to study, to meditate, and to pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the themes of song and thanksgiving of the heavenly choir round about the throne. When Zion shall arise and shine, her light will be most penetrating, and precious songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard in the assemblies of the saints. Murmuring and complaining over little disappointments and difficulties will cease…. We shall see our Advocate offering up the incense of His own merits in our behalf….

“God teaches that we should assemble in His house to cultivate the attributes of perfect love. This will fit the dwellers of earth for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for all who love Him. There they will assemble in the sanctuary from Sabbath to Sabbath, from one new moon to anotherto unite in loftiest strains of song, in praise and thanksgiving to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.”(AG 76.4)

Our God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, declares: “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me” (Psalm 50:23). All heaven unite in praising God. Let us learn the song of the angels now, that we may sing it when we join their shining ranks. Let us say with the psalmist: “While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being” (Psalm 146:2).”

There is so much to that quote that tells us of our time to come.  But it also tells of our time here now.

Rev 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

We will be Singing Precious Songs.  God teaches that we are to be preparing for heaven, and to be practicing and assembling before we get there in order to be fitted to go there, “cultivating”, getting the ground ready for some good rain.  This occurs on Sabbaths and New Moons.

Zion will arise and Shine Her light will penetrate.

Zion and New Jerusalem – The Church of the Firstborn

Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,and New Jerusalem Zion Church of the firstbornto an innumerable company of angels,

Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

God’s Church has some differences from many of the churches in this world.  It is built on the rock.  Some particular characteristics include it’s location “Heavenly Jeruslam”, “Zion”, “written in heaven”.   No man can remove our name from this book despite what an organization built by men may say, when that organization does not have the Spirit of God, it does not have the authority of God.   And it will deny the following foundational stone on which God’s love and Church is based.

“The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner.” {Ellen White The Desire of Ages, p. 51}

Receiving the Latter Rain – Convocations of the Church

“We should improve every opportunity of placing ourselves in the channel of blessing. . . . The convocations of the church, as in camp meetings, the assemblies of the home church, and all occasions where there is personal labor for souls, are God’s appointed opportunities for giving the early and the latter rain.”(Ellen White FLB 246)

On Pentecost when the people were gathered together and of one accord, united.  They were ready to receive the out pouring of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:1-3  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  (2)  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the housewhere they were sitting.  (3)  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Pentecost was 50 days after the cross for any who might be thinking these feasts were nailed to the cross.  It was God’s appointed time for giving them the early rain of the Holy Spirit.  Imagine missing this feast.  He also has an appointed time for giving the latter rain as we shall see.

However, consider the following principles. In order for the Spirit or the Presence of God to fill his house or Church.  First they are to be assembled, their voices must be one.

Notice when the house was put up in Solomon’s day.   The walls were finished, everything was in order, there was organization, and then fire came down from heaven and the presence of God, or his Holy Spirit filled the house.  In the same sense as when they were of one accord on Pentecost, orderly, organized, and assembled.

2 Chronicles 5:1-14
(1)  Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.
(2)  Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David,which is Zion.
(3)  Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
(4)  And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.
(5)  And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.
(6)  Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.
(7)  And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:
(8)  For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the Solomon's templestaves thereof above.
(9)  And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day.
(10)  There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.
(11)  And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:
(12)  Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)

Notice the Order:

(13)  It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;
(14)  So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.

They had finished building the house, they called a sacred assembly, their was divine order, the singers sounded as one and of one accord, united, and they praised the Lord.  They had gathered in Jerusalem, which is Zion and then God filled His house or Church with His glory, His presence, His Holy Spirit.

God Cannot Work with Disorder and Disunity – Angels not Commissioned

“Angels work harmoniously. Perfect order characterizes all their movements. The more closely we imitate the harmony and order of the angelic host, the more successful will be the efforts of these heavenly agents in our behalf. If we see no necessity for harmonious action, and are disorderly, undisciplined, and disorganized in our course of action, angels, who are thoroughly organized and move in perfect order, cannot work for us successfully. They turn away in grief, for they are not authorized to bless confusion, distraction, and disorganization. All who desire the cooperation of the heavenly messengers, must work in unison with them. Those who have the unction from on high, will in all their efforts encourage order, discipline, and union of action, and then the angels of God can co-operate with them. But never, never will these heavenly messengers place their indorsement upon irregularity, disorganization, and disorder.”(Ellen White—Testimonies for the Church 1:649, 650.)

Angels are not commissioned to co-operate with us unless we are orderly.  Thus the order that is seen in these convocations, the importance of attending them is not to be neglected.  The neglect of these convocations as we shall see may mean that we are not sealed and receive the plagues.

Therefore we should earnestly seek to attend these meetings setting aside all worldly interests.

Angels Commissioned to Work on Pentecost:

Hebrews 1:7  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

We are told that the flames of fire in scripture can symbolize angels from heaven.   They have the appearance of fire, as was the case on Pentecost where God worked “through His angels”

“When the truth in its simplicity is lived in every place, then God will work through His angels as He worked on the day of Pentecost, and hearts will be changed so decidedly that there will be a manifestation of the influence of genuine truth, as is represented in the descent of the Holy Spirit.” {ML 58.6}

How many of us have been neglecting the following?  Neglecting our opportunities to bless others and be blessed by others?  Neglecting the necessary polish and refinement so that they might be fitted on that wall, built up a Spiritual house?

Blow the Trumpet in Zion – Call a Solemn Assembly

Joe 2:15  Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
Joe 2:16  Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

Again the reminder “ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…To the general assembly and church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:22-23)

Therefore “Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:”(Joel 2:15).  Notice again the passage of Joel that this army of God is to be orderly, organized.

Joe 2:7 They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranksAssembly blow the trumpet

They are not scattered.  We must understand the context of this verse and how it is to be applied.

“I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be. Those who shall heed this false message and try to leaven others will be deceived and prepared to receive advanced delusions, and they will come to nought.”  {Ellen White 2SM 68.3}

Pouring out His Spirit – The Former and Latter Rain

Fulfillment of the Prophecy of Joel.

Act 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
Act 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Act 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Act 2:19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Act 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

The former and latter rain.  The former rain falls in the sowing time, but the latter rain falls in the later months to ripen the harvest for the sowing. (Revelation 14:14-).  The latter rain is given and the earth is lighted up with His glory.  But without following the divine order we will miss out on the reception of these important truths.

Joe 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
Joe 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Joe 2:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
Joe 2:30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
Joe 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

And where will this be poured out and upon whom?  The Church of the Firstborn.

Joe 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

These children stand on Mount Zion singing in one accord.(Rev 14:3).

Rev 14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

They have the name of the Father in their forehead, as well as their destination, the “New Jerusalem” which again points us to “the Church of the Firstborn”(Heb 12:23)

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: 144,000 Israel New Jerusalemand I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The Time of the Latter Rain

God has a particular “time” where we are to receive the latter rain.  We are told in Zechariah that we must ask “in the time of the latter rain”

Zechariah 10:1  Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

At what “time” does Zechariah tell us they will come together to worship the King unto the Heavenly Jerusalem, MountZion, and the Church of the Firstborn, and receive the latter rain?

Zec 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. Zec 14:17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
Zec 14:18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Zec 14:19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Zec 14:20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowl’s before the altar.

Whoever does not come up to the assemblies will not receive the latter rain.  This is the importance God is placing on us being orderly and coming to the assemblies of the LORD.  Whether it be Holy Days, Sabbaths, or New Moons.  How important are these convocations?  The woman standing on the moon has also a time of the month, a time of cleansing, a time to come to the tree of life, to eat of the fruit.  To do this in remembrance of Christ.   She needs this time of cleansing each month.

Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

So again the order is:

1. Call an assembly(Unite in assembly)
2. Praise God and Cry for His power and deliverance. A unified cry.
3. God fills the house with His Holy Spirit. (Angels ready to work)
4. They are unified and of “one heart”, “one soul” and “all things in common”
5. The worldly have gone up to the Kings of the earth to stop them.
6. God’s Children go forth with boldness.(See Acts Chapter 5)

Acts 4:24-37
(24)  And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

We find here a people who have a message similar to that of the first angel.  They are of “one accord” at this sacred assembly.

Acts 4:(25)  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
(26)  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

The churches around them have gone to the Kings of the earth, they have commanded them to stop preaching in that name.  And the announcement regarding these churches is the Second Angel.  Babylon is fallen, she has commited fornication with the Kings of the Earth.

Acts 4:(27)  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
(28)  For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
(29)  And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,

These children must put full trust and faith in their God.  They must receive the sealing of the Holy Spirit by the Faith of Jesus.  The Third angels message.

Acts 4:(30)  By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
(31)  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
(32)  And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
(33)  And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
(34)  Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
(35)  And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
(36)  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
(37)  Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

This is the divine pattern of God.  Will we accept it?  Will we come up to the next meeting?  Will we do all that we can to be at each weekly, monthly and annual meeting?

The convocations of the Lord are meant to bring His people closer to Him, but also “to one another”.

The Importance of the Convocations

“Anciently the Lord instructed His people to assemble three times a year for His worship. To these holy convocations the children of Israel came, bringing to the house of God their tithes, their sin offerings, and their offerings of gratitude. They met to recount God’s mercies, to make known His wonderful works, and tooffer praise and thanksgiving to His name. And they were to unite in the sacrificial service which pointed to Christ as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Thus they were to be preserved from the corrupting power of worldliness and idolatry. Faith and love and gratitude were to be kept alive in their hearts, and through their association together in this sacred service they were to be bound closer to God and to one another.

In the days of Christ these feasts were attended by vast multitudes of people from all lands; and had they been kept as God intended, in the spirit of true worship, the light of truth might through them have been given to all the nations of the world.

With those who lived at a distance from the tabernacle, more than a month of every year must have been occupied in attendance upon these holy convocations. The Lord saw that these gatherings were necessary for the spiritual life of His people. They needed to turn away from their worldly cares, to commune with God, and to contemplate unseen realities.

     If the children of Israel needed the benefit of these holy convocations in their time, how much more do we need them in these last days of peril and conflict! And if the people of the world then needed the light which God had committed to His church, how much more do they need it now!”(Ellen White 6T 39-40)

How much more do we need them today?  The principles in all these quotes in this study should all be closely considered as these are meant to unite the flock, to bring them into that “one accord” that was had on the day of Pentecost.  These gatherings are “necessary for the spiritual life of His people” and if kept “in the spirit of true worship, the light of truth might through them have been given to all the nations of the world.”

For more on New Moons as well as other convocations, feel free to contact us.  Hope to see you at our next meeting.

Taken From http://church-of-the-firstborn.com/importance-holy-convocations/ 

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