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Posted 23rd July 2007

Above the Synagogue

David Weber

October 2006

After a particularly blessed meeting between the Lord and just a few of us this evening, the Lord had me thinking and meditating further about the meaning of "forsake not the gathering (or "assembling") of yourselves together" as that is stated in Hebrews 10:25.

 
I felt that the Spirit was telling me that the word "gathering" (EPISUNAGOGE in the Greek) could mean "to gather ABOVE the synagogue," or in other words, to gather together unto the Lord in a realm that is HIGHER than the actual physical place of meeting (the synagogue). This is the message that Jesus was trying to convey to the woman at the well was it not? That the only true place of worship is a realm of spirit, and not a geographical location at all!

 
I ran a quick computer search on EPISUNAGOGE to see if I could find confirmation to what I was hearing about “ABOVE the synagogue,” to see if anyone had received a similar revelation of EPISUNAGOGE as it relates to Hebrews 10:25. The following is what my brief search turned up. It’s an excerpt from an article written by brother J. Preston Eby. May his words bless you as they blessed me.

DW

 

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The Greek word for "assembling" is EPISUNAGOGE. The word, literally, is a verb meaning to synagogue. It is a compound of the Greek prefix EPI with the word SUNAGOGE from which we get our transliterated English word Synagogue. EPI means super- imposition - that which is above, higher than, highest, upon. SUNAGOGE means a meeting, assembly, or gathering. Putting these two words together, EPI- SUNAGOGE means THE ABOVE SYNAGOGUE, THE HIGHER MEETING, THE HIGHEST ASSEMBLY, THE HIGHER-THAN-ALL-GATHERINGS! It bespeaks of something far greater than merely collecting so many breathing bodies together in one place. It is a meeting in a higher realm, on a higher plane, in the high places of the Spirit, and in the heights of Truth. It is a gathering together in a dimension above. It indicates an assembling IN THE SPIRIT, as Paul also testified, "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). Tens of thousands, yea, tens of millions of believers gather together in "church buildings" every Sunday morning, and because they make the effort to get out of bed, get the family ready, and drive off to a warm pew, they are convinced that they have met the requirements of the divine decree: "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together."


My beloved, they have not even touched the hem of the garment of this truth! We are not to forsake or neglect that wonderful seating we have together WITH CHRIST IN THE HEAVENLIES! That is precisely what the passage is saying. Hebrews 10:25 is nothing but lifeless words, until one sits in the presence of the Father, joined in worship with kindred spirits, and partakes of that holy communion within the veil! It is only as spirit calls to spirit that the depths of eternal truth are opened. And multitudes who meet together every week for singing, teaching, etc., have never discovered the glorious and eternal reality of that ABOVE SYNAGOGUE. They do not meet or minister or live from that higher than all heavens realm of HIS LIFE.


ABOVE the Synagogue or IN IT?

As a follow up to a recent e-mail about the meaning of "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25), I've compiled for you a list of scripture verses that clearly show the contrast and conflict between those who gather "above the synagogue," or in "the above synagogue" [a realm of spirit, and a gathering unto Him that can happen anywhere and at any time], and those who "gather" in a church or assembly in a more religious and carnal manner [they may be in the synagogue, but may not be  above it].

As I have already shared recently, the Greek word under "assembling" in Hebrews 10:25 is "episunagoge" and is used only twice in the entire New Testament; once in Hebrews 10:25, and once in 2 Thessalonians 2:1. Understanding the meaning of "episunagoge" as it is used in Hebrews will also help us to understand the meaning of its use in 2 Thessalonians, and vise versa. 

Episunagoge is a very unusual and profound word. For putting the Greek prefix "epi" before "sunagoge" [which is the usual word for "gathering" to regular worship services] sets it apart from that usual “gathering” and lifts it up to a supernatural, "over and above" event in Christ. The writer of Hebrews was telling Hebrew Christians [and us by extension] not to forsake that sort of gathering together [a supernatural gathering unto Him]; they were not being warned about missing regularly scheduled church services.

Anyhow, having shared all of that, let us use the above information as a lens with which we might view the following scripture verses. In doing so, we might be able to better understand the conflict between those who were gathering “episunagoge” and those who were not in the days of Jesus and the early church, and also a similar conflict that is happening in our day.

"And when He [Jesus] was departed thence, He went into their synagogue… Then said He [Jesus] stretch forth your hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole… Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against Him [Jesus] how they might destroy Him" (Matt. 12:9, 13, & 14).

"And when He [Jesus] was come into His own country, He taught them in the synagogue… And they were offended in Him" (Matt. 13:54 & 57).

"…and He [Jesus] went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read… And ALL they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath [rage], And rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong [over the cliff]…" (Luke 4:16b, 28-29).

"Then there arose certain of the synagogue… And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he [Stephen] spake. Then they suborned [bribed] men which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God" (Acts 6:9-11).

"And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews… And when there was an assault [violent attempt] made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them" (Acts 14:1 & 5).

"…they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures… But the Jews which believed not. Moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd [evil] fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company [mob], and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted [attacked] the house of Jason…" (Acts 17:1 & 5).

"And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks… Paul was pressed [compelled] in the spirit and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads, I am clean: from henceforth I will go to the Gentiles" (Acts 18:4-6).

"And he [Paul] went in to the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spoke evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them…" (Acts 19:8-9).

"But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge [severely beat] you in their synagogues" (Matt. 10:17).

"Wherefore, behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues…" (Matt. 23:34).

"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time comes that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service" (John 16:2).

May the Lord grant you understanding of His ways in these days. And may we all be exhorted not to forsake the gathering together that can happen ANYWHERE and at ANY TIME when kindred spirits worship the Father together in Spirit and in Truth.

Bless you all in Christ Jesus.

Related: Our Gathering Together