Prayer Targets: Solemn Assembly; Call2Fall; Dr. Floyd; Answering the Transgender Movement & More
June 17, 2015
Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people… assemble the elders… the children… the bridegroom…the bride… the priests… the ministers… Let them weep… let them say… “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them”…Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people… and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen… Joel 2:15-19
Many influential leaders credit Rev. Richard Owen Roberts for introducing them to the biblical truth about Solemn Assembly. Many have labored to revive the biblical practice, among them Dr. Henry Blackaby, Claude King, Avery Willis, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Terry Tekyl, P. Douglas Small and others. The upcoming Call2Fall is a local church gesture, pointing toward all of God’s people; eventually the nation responding to God’s call to repentance from individual and national sin. Roberts writes:
Most professing Christians have never heard of a Solemn Assembly. Of those who have, a large portion consider it as merely an Old Testament practice of no particular relevance today.
The Biblical Background - There are not less than twelve revival movements in the Old Testament. While each of these revivals is very different from the others, there are at least four factors preceding each revival which they all hold in common.
1. A Tragic Declension. Every revival of the Old Testament is preceded by a period of moral and spiritual decline among the people of God. As illustrations of this problem, consider that preceding the revival of Exodus 32-33, the decline included the building of the golden calf and its worship, while the revival under David was preceded by a period of more than six decades in which the Ark of the Covenant of God was out of its rightful place in Jerusalem.
2. A Righteous Judgment from God. Without any exception, Old Testament revivals have always been preceded by some kind of a righteous judgment from God. While some of these judgments are immediate and final, resulting in deaths among the wicked, others are gracious and remedial, resulting in brokenness, prayer, repentance and extraordinary seeking of God's face.
3. The Raising Up of Immensely Burdened Revival Leaders. a) Moses (Ex 32ff). b) Samuel – (1 Sam. 7 - chapters 1-6 give background). c) David (2 Sam. 6, 7). d) Asa (2 Chron. 14-16. e) Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 17-20). f) Jehoida (2 Chron. 23-24). g) Hezekiah (2 Chron. 29-32). h) Josiah (2 Chron. 34-35). i) Zerubbabel (Ezra 1-6). j) Ezra (Ezra 7-10). k) Nehemiah (Neh. 1-13). l) Joel – (Joel 1-2:27).
God Himself raised up a leader who was under the heavy burden of the moral and spiritual needs of his people. The words of Moses in Exodus 32:32 forcefully emphasize this: "But now, if Thou wilt, forgive their sin - if not, please blot me out from Thy book which Thou hast written."
4. Some Extraordinary Action. While this action varies from revival to revival, the most common action taken was that of a Solemn Assembly. Again, note the record in the revivals themselves: a) Moses – Ex. 33:7-11; called the people to the tent of meeting outside the camp; b) 1 Sam. 7:5, 6 - Samuel required all Israel to gather at Mizpah in a Solemn Assembly; c) 2 Sam. 6:14 - After illicitly moving the Ark of the Covenant on a new cart, David danced before the Lord with all his might in a linen ephod … acting like a common man… the Solemn Assembly is detailed in the parallel passage (1 Chron. 13-18); d) 2 Chron. 15:9-15 - Asa called a Solemn Assembly in Jerusalem; e) 2 Chron. 20:3-13ff - Jehoshaphat called a Solemn Assembly throughout all Judah and Jerusalem; f) 2 Chron. 23:16 - Jehoida, in a Solemn Assembly, covenanted between himself, the king, the people and the LORE and they cleansed the land of the evil; g) 2 Chron. 29:5ff - Hezekiah and the leaders decreed that all the people gather for a Solemn Assembly and to celebrate the Passover. Fourteen days were devoted to seeking the Lord and worshipping Him; h) 2 Chron. 3:31-33 - Josiah gathered the people together in a Solemn Assembly; i) Ezra 6:16-22 - Zerubbabel led the people in Solemn Assembly and seven days observing the Passover; j) Ezra 8:21-23; 9:5-15 - Ezra proclaimed a Solemn Assembly at the River Ahava. k) Neh. 8:1ff - A Solemn Assembly at the Water Gate; l) Joel 1:13; 2:12-17, etc. - Joel called a Solemn Assembly… the People, guilty of flagrant sin, were under judgment. But in response of corporate repentance through the divinely ordained Solemn Assembly… so great was the blessing bestowed by the God who delights in a broken and contrite people that He made up to them the years that were lost to the mighty army of locusts. The people had plenty and praised the Lord… They knew that God was in their midst, that He only was God, and that there was none other! (read Solemn Assembly, by Richard Owen Roberts, 1989; Click to Download – see more on Solemn Assembly at Call2Fall.com).
Recent Solemn Assemblies – Three denominations: the Southern Baptists, the Assemblies of God, and the Church of God (Cleveland, TN,) held solemn assemblies in the early 90’s. Slowly but surely the understanding and importance of corporate repentance and solemn assembly – God’s people repenting and seeking forgiveness not just for their individuals sins, but for the corporate sins of our churches, our states, our cultural power centers (1) Family, 2) Civil Government, 3) Military, 4) Media, 5) Business, 6) Education, 7) The Church, and now, 8), Medicine, Science and Technology. We could list the grievous sins and sinful influence that each of these centers of power are having on every man, woman, and child in America. The sins of the founding era (though human slavery was a huge and glaring sin), were mild by comparison to those commonly practiced and even accepted in many of our churches, today.
But the sins imposed and promoted by our cultural power centers, today, and especially of our federal government have become more obvious and are at the point of being overwhelming. The consequences of these sins weigh upon all of us. And those upon whom they do not either lack conscience or are caught in some life-dominating work, recreation, or personal sin themselves that they are oblivious to the cesspool of sin into which our nation has fallen. Even if we have genuinely and wholeheartedly repented of our own sins, we share the guilt of the dominating sins of our communities, schools, states and nation – and all the more so, because we live in a nation whose government is of, by and for the people and we have a say both choosing our leaders and impacting the decisions they make.
That is why, in the Founding Era (pre-and-post) governors and presidents frequently called for state and national fasts – always calling for humiliation (self-humbling), confession, repentance, even during thanksgiving holidays. In times of national disaster and war, our presidents have called for extraordinary days of prayer. Some of our state governors and other state officials, church groups and others have called for solemn assemblies – In January, 2011 30,000 gathered in Houston, in response to then-Governor Rick Perry’s call for the first Call to Prayer “Response.” Over 30,000 believers from across the nation attended in person, acknowledging that our nation’s problems are bigger than we can solve without God’s help – and that sin is at the root of our problems. In January, 2015, several thousand participated in a Solemn Assembly in Baton Rouge Louisiana. Last Thursday several hundred participated in a solemn assembly in Columbus, Ohio, and on Saturday, several thousand participated in a “Response” prayer event in Charleston, South Carolina. In ancient Israel, solemn assemblies were a command performance. On July 20, 1775, the day appointed by the Continental Congress for America’s first nationwide fast following the outbreak of the War for Independence - 3 million Americans, nearly the entire population, rushed to their churches for a day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer.”
Such efforts have mustered only a small percentage of Americans today. But each solemn assembly, large or small, is a faith response to God’s call to 2 Chron. 7:14 and Joel 1:13-14; 2:12-18, an appropriate response given our nation’s desperate moral and spiritual need. Every church can take a serious preliminary step toward a national solemn assembly like we see depicted in the book of Joel. That is what the Call2Fall is all about: A local church, a home group or family, humbling themselves, spending at least 5 minutes on bended knee, crying out to God for our nation and the churches in our nation, seeking his mercy, forgiveness and godly change. God promises that if enough of us do that from the heart, He will hear our prayers, forgive our sins and heal our land. God is our nation’s ONLY HOPE (see Ohio 7:14; Columbus’s Day; Ohio Slideshow; Ohio Photos; Video - National Day of Prayer; Gov. Haley, South Carolina; Video, SA; Gov. Jindal Calls Louisiana S.A.; Video - LA, 2011 Perry, Houston, TX).
May God move speedily to stir pastors across America to adjust their schedules and routines, to lead their people in the Call2Fall, Sunday, June 28th, before Americans break out their picnic gear and the fireworks to celebrate yet another Independence Day, without much thought about our nation’s spiritual condition nor the Rock upon Whom our nation was built, may God’s people everywhere bow the knee to Him who alone, is able to save our faltering, sin-soaked nation. May God blow upon the Church and fan the flames of spiritual fire that will light America and the world again, and may we burn brightly until the Lord, Himself returns to receive us unto Himself! Dt 32:28-36; Pr 4:18;4:26-27; Is 45:22-24; 59: all; Joel 1:13-14; 2:12-18; Jonah 3:7-9; Rom 14:11-12; 2 Cor 6:12).
Is America ready to embrace unvarnished socialism? Fairfax County, Virginia is moving forward with a transgender, sexual spectrum curriculum despite the outcry from angry parents. But parents are mounting an effort to run candidates to fill every school board seat in the November election. Dr. Ronnie Floyd, who participated in the Solemn Assembly in Columbus, Ohio last Thursday, delivered his President’s Address yesterday to the annual gathering of the Southern Baptist Convention in Columbus, Ohio. His message was relevant to every American Christian regardless of denomination. FRC has produced a comprehensive new paper that answers the transgender movement, presently on the front page of every gossip magazine in America and elsewhere. Meanwhile, as the Obama administration continues to celebrate LGBT Pride Month, seven openly gay ambassadors/envoys have called for the president to use the trade authority (defeated in the House, but to be revisited) to force nations to embrace the homosexual agenda. Please pray for Tony Perkins and the FRC staff. We need your prayers. Thank you for praying!