“And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as YOU behold the day drawing near.”Hebrews 10:24, 25.
Hebrews is regularly drawn on by the Watchtower Society to indicate we need to be regular at five meetings per week.
It is interesting to compare how the scripture is used with what is actually said.
Kingdom Ministry 1990 May p.7 “Christian meetings are an essential part of our worship of Jehovah. The apostle Paul fittingly urges us not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together, “as some have the custom.”—Heb. 10:25. Do you have similar sentiments about associating with your brothers at Christian meetings? What does your custom reveal in this regard? Do you regularly attend all the meetings, including the Congregation Book Study? Or do you find that you customarily miss meetings? What place do meetings have in your life? Are you encouraging others to attend meetings regularly? Have you been encouraging Memorial attenders to be regular in their meeting attendance?”
Hebrews simply states ‘do not forsake’ gathering together.
It does not say where to gather. Paul did not saying gatherings must be in, or limited to Churches or halls. Gathering together could include meals and social events. How often? The scripture simply says not to forsake gathering, but does not demand that this be daily, weekly or even monthly. Though the Watchtower insists that this is referring to all five weekly meetings, special days, assemblies and conventions this is not what the scripture states. It is important to associate with other worshipers as regularly as required to keep encouraged. Life in the first century was much different than the life we experience today. In order to live the people had to work all the time. They had little time to get together and their time together was limited.
What to discuss? Paul does he mention what needs to be discussed. He certainly does not prescribe fixed format discussion, where comments in question and answer sessions must strictly comply with what is printed in a denominations journal. They were read to from the Bible only, not periodicals. The Holy Scriptures were meant to teach on their own. (Joshua 8:34-35) The strictness of regularity and the global precision of discussion are an effective form of control not prescribed in the bible. Basically it means give up or reject entirely... not exactly a five meeting a week mandate is it. No where is it written that salvation comes through affiliation with a group of imperfect men. Especially when compared to the rest of the New Testament that repeats over and over again that salvation is through faith in Christ, not meeting attendance and not an organization! The Watchtower places great emphasis is on regular meeting attendance, regular field service, and study of the Watchtower. The Bible makes it clear that Christianity is about Jesus, not about the Watchtower.
Jehovah's Witnesses call themselves "True Christians", separating themselves from other Christians. In the first century they were all called "The Way". The name christianity and the denominations did not come until later. So the members of The Way met in the fields, in the catacombs, at meals, whenever they had time. To forsake means to give up, to abandon or leave altogether. It does NOT mean that you must go to five meetings a week. You could go once a year and still say that you are not forsaking the gathering of yourselves together. As long as two or more or gathered in the name of Jesus, then it doesn't matter where they are.
Jehovah's Witnesses like to say that they strictly follow the Bible. This is laughable. They are so far off the mark and simply overwhelmed with teachings that are strictly of men who claim to speak for God.