Through several months of self-sacrifice and labour, the place for our Passover in 2016 was transformed into readiness for our holy convocation. Widgee is about 30 mins west of Gympie which in turn is about two hours north of Brisbane.
As the Caravan’s rolled in and the tents went up there was an air of expectancy and of anticipated blessings and fellowship. The seeds for this moment had been set in motion almost 10 years earlier in ways that we could never have imagined.
Back in 2006 I had been working with and mentoring several men in the work of evangelism and pastoral leadership. I was seeking to encourage the men concerning their calling to the service of God. I used as my illustration a moment from the history of NASA where one of the heads of the Apollo program entered the room of astronauts and told them “The men in this room will make the moon landings.” It was a way of underscoring the fact that they had been chosen for a special task.
Little did we comprehend the path that lay ahead in order for this statement to come true. The Begotten Son of God came into my life shortly after and immediately tested all my friendships. There were a number of years of heartache and loss and what appeared to be the shattering of the dream.
A few of the men in that room also fell in love with the begotten Son and gave me consolation in my sorrow. After considerable study in 2013, Craig Jacobson joined me in attending a feast of tabernacles in the United States. What we witnessed and experienced confirmed the findings of Scripture about our Father’s appointments. At that feast Craig and I decided to remember the Law of Moses with the Statutes and the Judgments. Mal 4:4
As we continued to study, a small group of Bible students began to gather together at the place of the water crossing into the heavenly Canaan. We observed that the Divine Pattern of the Sabbath included the annual appointments that were governed by the moon. As the Scripture tells us:
Psa 104:19 He appointed the moon for seasons: [appointments] the sun knoweth his going down.
These seasons of refreshing provide a magnification of the gift of the Spirit given during the weekly Sabbath. In this light we came to see one of the reasons that the woman of Revelation 12 was standing on the moon. She knows the appointments of the Father given through Christ to refresh the people of God. In this discovery we had landed on the moon where our feet were now firmly placed.
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:
Of the 12 men that had gathered in that room back in 2006, four of them were coming to this appointed season of refreshing. They were coming to stand on the moon for the season of refreshing from the fourteenth day of the first month until the 21st day. Indeed some men from that room had made the moon landing. We still pray for the others that were there in the beginning to join us.
To see so many of my dear friends who had sojourned with me gathered in one place was like a cup of cool water for my soul. The Lord was taking away my sorrow and giving me new joy; like warm ginger beer overflowing the bottle (The illustration will make perfect sense to those who attended!) it flowed out of my being in gratitude and praise to our Father.
The property overlooked the valley and was surrounded by green hills. It was a postcard picture of tranquillity. We were also outside the range of internet and cell phone technology and so our fast from such distractions also helped us to focus on the promised feast of our Father and Lord Jesus.
As we gathered for Friday evening communion there was a peace and tranquillity that filled our hearts. As we reflected on the cost of our salvation we sang songs of heartfelt praise. As we went to wash each other’s feet my 17 year old youngest son Daniel, who is a hero of autism, pointed to the chair where we would wash each other’s feet. I was impressed that my son wished to participate. This was a joy for me. So I had the privilege of washing Daniel’s feet. As we all sang together and embraced under the twinkling lights of the Milky Way, we saw the moon shining broad and full and we remembered our Saviour and His sufferings for us.
The next day we shared on the subject of the Sabbath fountain and how on the first Sabbath, the Father embraced His Son and expressed His love for Him in the creation of the world. The original “you are my beloved Son,” refreshed the Son as He delighted before His Father (Prov 8:30). We were reminded how that we were entering into that Spirit of blessing of being sons and daughters of God. In the afternoon we had four precious souls go forward in baptism. The rain waited in the wings until the baptism was over and as we gathered again in our meeting room the heavens opened providing a visible token of the invisible truth that those who repent and are baptised shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Each candidate shared some of their testimony and love for Father and Son. Tears of joy were shed and our hearts united together in songs of joy. We were then impressed to invite all who wished to come forward to receive the blessing prayer and to hear the words “you are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased through Christ Jesus.” On this special Sabbath at the appointed time the season of refreshing swept over us and we knew the Lord was with us and rested in Him according to the Sabbath rest. How precious to move forward for Saturday keeping into the true rest of the Sabbath in Christ Jesus!
As the days past and we ate, sang, prayed and studied the Word of God together. We were building memories together and drawing closer to each other and to Christ our Lord. We were admonished to guard our words and thoughts lest the enemy should seek to break in and set on fire the course of nature through the wrong use of the tongue. The enemy hates to see God’s children resting in the blessing and tries everything he can to divert the mind for the spiritual blessings being given.
The meetings focused on the loving character of our Father and Lord Jesus. Christ is the perfect revelation of the Father and as Christ did no violence while here on earth, He reveals a Father who is non-violent. We also discovered many aspects of the Divine Pattern and the Channel of Blessing in the family context.
In the middle of the week we visited Rainbow beach and had a picnic lunch there. I was reminded that the righteousness of our God is like the waves of the ocean. It comes in waves which come in and go out.
Isa 48:18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
At Rainbow Beach for a Picnic
When we hearken the our Father’s commandments concerning His appointments then we are placed to receive the waves of His righteousness. As every sailor learns the wind and tide so the Christian knows the times and the seasons of our Father’s refreshing.
We met a number of new friends that decided to come to the camp for various reasons. One couple from near Mackay had contact with Adventists but not actually joined the church. During the week we were together the wife decided that she wished to go forth in baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. By the final Sabbath we had another four people desiring to be baptised.
During the week we had some special music from Gavin and Zlata Devlin. Gavin has written many songs and he and his wife led us in much of our worship in song. We had some faithful helpers like Levi, Tony, Sebe and others playing joyfully before the Lord.
Tony Playing the Saw
On the Friday evening we once again partook of communion for many of those attending at the first weekend had left and several new folk had come for the second weekend. I spoke to the assembly that the weekly Sabbath was commencing and that it was also a holy convocation for the final day of unleaven bread. This is an alignment of the weekly Sabbath and an annual appointment. It was the Sabbath of the sun with the appointment of the moon. In this alignment there is a special gift of the Spirit magnified in the congregation. According to our faith so it will be.
As we washed each other’s feet a spirit of love, joy and peace came upon the women in their gathering. They embraced each other, shed tears together and laughed and sang. It was a tranquil and yet joyful time. When we assembled again for the taking of the bread and the wine there was a great spirit of unity, love and joy amongst us. Nobody wished to leave. We were in one accord in one place and tasted of the joy of heaven. It is a season of refreshing that I shall not forget. Some expressed the point that they had not experienced anything like this in all the Christian experience. Our Lord Jesus does all things decently and in order. He came at the time appointed. As it was that day so shall it be in the culmination of the midnight cry. We shall be commanded to go out and meet the Lord at the time appointed and we shall receive the Latter Rain according the Law of Moses in the Statutes and the Judgments.
On Sabbath we were brimming with over 60 people in attendance. We spoke of the safe place that we can call home. Many of us felt we had entered that safe place where we could share our faith without condemnation. In the afternoon we went again to the river. It was a very special time for my brother Craig Jones to see his childhood friend, Lester, go forth in baptism. At the same time it was a special treat for Lester to see his younger brother also go forward in the waters of baptism.
Lester, Craig and Adrian
Watching from the riverbank
Some of these dear people had desired to be baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus in the Adventist Church but the begotten Son was refused entrance in that place. They were advised that they must be baptised in the name of the Trinity. This god is nowhere mentioned in Scripture and so now it was with joy that they could be baptised according the Scriptures.
Acts 19:5,6 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
After the baptism brother Colin Nicolson reminded us of the Divine Pattern of baptism by showing that the visible baptism of water was followed by the spirit baptism of laying on of hands. So we called all those who were baptised to be placed in the centre of our assembly and the elders gathered around and then the rest around them and we laid hands on them and blessed them that they might receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
As we closed the Sabbath we invited different folk to come forward and sing. Several lovely items were sung that blessed us all. We really enjoyed the singing from the Gobbert family. Their four part harmony as a family was precious to hear. Afterwards we gathered around the camp fire and fellowshipped together under the starry heavens.
Many people expressed a great desire to return for feast of Tabernacles and bring more of the families and friends. Many miracles had happened during the camp. Too many to number all, yet our Father ensured we had enough water the whole camp. The weather was very pleasant the whole week and then on the day after the feast it became hot and humid again. We had a good water supply all week and then on the day after the feast when most of the guests had left the pump broke down and we had no water. These were all signs of our Father’s watch care during the feast.
Many of us will testify to you dear reader that we had entered into the rest of our Lord Jesus and His Father during this Holy Convocation. Sadly many today refuse to enter into this rest which speaks of a certain day although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. Heb 4:3,4. Today if you will not harden your heart, you can enter into this rest. At these times you will find the extra virgin oil according to the calendar that was discovered by our forefathers at the midnight cry at the beginning of the way and now lights the path all the way to the City. See Early Writings p14.
The Spirit and the bride say come. See you at the next annual appointment which is June 12 for Pentecost.