Forsake not assembling together (Hebrews 10:25) is a misunderstood scripture in the church today. When the Bible refers to the "church" it is always the people who make up the body of Messiah. When the book of Hebrews was written there were no church buildings. Houses of worship were not a part of the faith until around 323 AD. when Emperor Constantine ordered them to be built.. The author could not have been talking about religious services in buildings as we have them today because they had not yet been instituted. It used to be believed that Paul wrote a letter to the Hebrew believers addressing the current issues of that day. Many scholars now say that one of Paul's associates probably wrote this letter because it is not in the style of Paul's other writings. Whoever the author was we should understand the message he was conveying as he was writing. During that time, those who accepted Yeshua as their personal Lord and Savior met with other sisters and brothers in Messiah informally in their homes.
The "church" that prayed for Peter in Acts 12 were men and women who gathered inside of a house. Christianity, as a whole, has transitioned from that day to our modern establishments of elaborate physical structures that are referred to as churches. They have, however, nothing whatsoever to do with the letter to the Hebrews.
The website Rawgod.com gives compelling reasoning why Hebrews 10:25 is not addressing church building attendance.
Please note: The information in this article is not an attempt to discourage believers from attending church services.
This article is about revealing Biblical truth so believers can make informed decisions rather than choices based on tradition.
The above site takes the approach of those who say Hebrews 10:25 addresses the gathering of the saints after Messiah's second coming.
” Assembling together” is from one Greek word whose lexical form is episunagōgē. which is a noun and found only in one other place: II Thessalonians2:1-2. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Yeshua Messiah, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Messiah is at hand” “Gathering together” in this passage is episunagōgē which refers to our being gathered to Messiah on THE DAY of his return.
The evidence from both the context and the wording is compelling. It clearly indicates that Hebrews 10:25 is admonishing believers that we should not forsake the faith in and the hope of our gathering with Messiah after He returns as some at that time had done. Believers are to encourage each other to hold on to the blessed hope. We are to do this even more as we see the day of His return approaching...
his verse is taken by virtually every congregation and every elder to mean that we should not stop attending congregation; that we should be in congregation every Sabbath. Some even take the latter part of the verse to mean that, the closer we get in each week to Sabbath, the more we should be exhorting one another to attend congregation. Many Bible scholars, who I must presume are afraid of upsetting the “sacred cow,” simply will not give an unbiased exposition of this verse.
I know what it is like. I saw the truth of Hebrews 10:25 well over twenty years ago. But I looked the other way. I convinced myself that I must be wrong, and that, since everyone else says so, then this verse–despite what the Greek clearly says–must be saying that we are not to forsake “going to congregation.” And, particularly since there is no other Scripture that says we are to go to congregation, it is a fearful thing to give up the “sacred cow” of Hebrews 10:25. Nevertheless, all through those years, in the back of my mind, I knew full well that Hebrews 10:25 doesn’t address going to congregation at all. This verse addresses something altogether different. I hope that my confession in this article will encourage others, who also know the truth of this verse, to also come clean.
What I intend to do in this article is give an honest exposition of this verse, just as I would any other. I would encourage readers to read the whole of Hebrews 10 to get the context, but I will begin my exposition with verse 23: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).” I won’t belabor you with details, but I will point out here that the word “faith” in the King James Version should really be “hope.” The Greek word is elpidos, and in every other place where it appears in the New Covenant, it is translated as “hope.” So, this is talking about not wavering concerning our hope that our faithful Elohim has promised. What is this hope?
Certainly, there are many things for which we may hope. But the Scriptures often refer to our hope as the resurrection from the dead and our glorification at the return of Yeshua Messiah. In Acts 23:6, Paul refers to “the hope and resurrection of the dead.” Again, in Acts 24:15, Paul says that he has “hope toward Elohim, which they themselves [the Pharisees] also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” This same hope is what he refers to in Acts 26:6 and 28:20. In Romans 5:2, Paul writes of the “hope of the glory of Elohim.” This is not referring to Elohim’s essential glory, but to something we hope for in the future. That is, this is a reference to our hope in the glory that Elohim will bestow upon us (see also Ephesians 1:18).
This is also what Paul is talking about in Romans 8:19-25:
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of Elohim. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of Elohim. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
There are many other passages I could cite, but I will give just two more. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, Paul again refers to the resurrection at the return of Yeshua Messiah as our hope: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Yeshua will Elohim bring with him.” In Titus 2:13, Paul says we should be, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great Elohim and our Saviour Yeshua Messiah.”
Getting back to Hebrews 10, in verse 24, we read, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” In context, then, because of our hope of glorification in the resurrection at the return of Messiah, we are to keep one another in mind to incite each other to love and good works..
ecause of confusing translations, Hebrews 10:25 is a very misunderstood passage. That has its reasons; it is not very easy to know what original language words and meanings are hidden behind such wordings as “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together”. Congregations and their bible-translators and preachers have caused people to think that the apostle supposedly was talking about “going to congregation”. But, Paul was writing about something very different.
His words referred to the event when the set apart ones were to be gathered up to Yeshua. Here is a different translation of the passage in question (there is more on the meaning of these verses, below). Let us begin in verse 22, in order to see some of the context:
Hebrews 10:22 let us then draw near, [B] with a true heart, in total faithfulness, [C] having our hearts sprinkled [D] from an evil conscience and our bodies washed [E] with pure water. 23 We should hold fast to [our part in] the agreement, [F] in an assured expectation, [G] because, he who gave the promise [H] [to us] is faithful. 24 And we should keep an eye on one another, provoking unto love and to good works; 25 not turning our backs on our [coming] gathering [I] (as some do), but admonishing one another: And so much the more, as you see That Day [J] approaching. 26 For if we deliberately trespass after having received the full knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a furious fire that will consume those who oppose. (Author’s tr.)
[B] and [C] Verse 22, “drawing near” and “faithfulness”- these things are explained later under this present heading.
[D] and [E] Verse 22, “sprinkled” and “washed” - the meaning of those words is explained in the table that follows after this note section.
[F] Verse 23, “agreement” - the Greek word is homologia. It did not mean “profession” as some have it; its primary meaning was “agreement”. (See for instance the Greek-English Lexicon by Liddell and Scott.) Here, it referred to an agreement in the meaning “betrothal” - the set apart ones’ betrothal to Yeshua.
[G] Verse 23, “expectation” - the Greek word is elpis which meant “hope”, “expectation” (not “faith” as some have it).
[H] Verse 23, “who gave the promise” - the Father had betrothed those set apart ones to his son Yeshua. That was a promise regarding marriage. Those set apart ones were waiting for the Wedding Feast.
[I] Verse 25, “gathering” - the Greek word is episunagoge whose primary meaning was “carrying away” or “gathering”. That referred to the episunagoge of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 -the day when Mesengers were to gather up those set apart ones and take them to the Lord Yeshua.
[J] Verse 25, “that day”- the day when those set apart ones were to gathered up to the Lord Yeshua, the same day and event which 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 mentions, “the Day of the Anointed”.
Regarding these old Greek words - please note that “biblical” Greek lexicons are often very misleading, because of dogmatic reasons. See instead the Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon by Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, or their more extensive Greek-English Lexicon. (Even they contain some religious bias, but not at all as much as “biblical” lexicons do.)
There is more on these things, later.
Let us first consider the “drawing near” which verse 22 mentions. The wider context shows that the apostle was comparing the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. He made an analogy where he used symbols and parallels. Here are some of them:..