54-Place of Worship

God said to Moses that he should build a holy sanctuary and furnished it exactly as he wanted it.  Our churches today have no resemblance of the sanctuary God instructed Moses to build. If our churches – holy sanctuaries are different, why do we want some things to be the same when most things are different?

Audio Blog

“A Place To Worship??”

Response to the sermon recorded on Youtube: https://youtu.be/cyMxSBmvhy4.  Also see the article “Build Me A Sanctuary

God said to Moses that he should build a holy sanctuary and furnished it exactly as he wanted it.  Our churches today have no resemblance of the sanctuary God instructed Moses to build. If our churches – holy sanctuaries are different, why do we want some things to be the same when most things are different?

If we read Exodus 25, 26, & 27, we would see God’s instruction for building a holy place of worship, but the churches we have today are far different from what God instructed! Should we follow God or man?

In Exodus 28, God gave special instruction for the clothing for the pastors: “Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and beautiful. 3 Instruct all the skilled craftsmen whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom. Have them make garments for Aaron that will distinguish him as a priest set apart for my service.” But the garments the pastors wear nowadays are far different from what God instructed. The question still remains the same: should the pastors follow God’s instructions or men?

In Exodus 29:42, God mentioned about the consecration of the priest (or pastors) and the sacrifice that should be done:  “These burnt offerings are to be made each day from generation to generation. Offer them in the Lord’s presence at the Tabernacle entrance; there I will meet with you and speak with you.” But we are not following these instructions today!!

Again in Exodus 31:12-13, God gave instructions about the holy day: “The Lord then gave these instructions to Moses: “Tell the people of Israel: ‘Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation.” This one apart from the others we follow (to the best of our abilities), but the other instructions we ignore! Why?  Should we pick and choose which of God’s instructions we prefer or should we follow all of his instructions to establish a ‘Place of Worship’?

I could continue to show you many more of God’s instructions that we are not following today in regard to how we should worship him and where we should worship him. Why are we still confused with selecting from Exodus and Leviticus only those instructions that pleased us but omitted the ones we don’t agree with?  Why do we burden the Saints of God over these materials and edifice when God is more interested in the person’s heart (despite where they are worshiping from).  Jesus gave the clarification in John 4:23-24, “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.  For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” Since the time is coming and it is here, it means that the past events are not essential. Jesus shows that these worship activities are in two different eras. In the new era, true worshipers must worship in spirit and truth (and not in symbols and ornaments as was done in the days of Exodus).  Therefore, any reference to the Exodus mode of worship is not the worship Jesus is recommending, because he specifically said “this time is coming…” and if that special time is coming, what about the time in the past?  The Leviticus mode of worship is also in the past.

In John 4:21 Jesus replied to a woman who was asking about the Exodus and Leviticus mode of worship. He said, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.” If Jesus said those modes of worship do not matter, why do we still continue to insist that we should employ some of the Exodus instructions in contemporary worship; why do we continue to focus on monuments and edifice? In Mark 13:1-2, the disciples were also caught up with places of worship. Mark said, “As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, ‘Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls.’ Jesus replied, ‘Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!’”

Sister Ellen G. White also shows that our mode of worship should not be centered on the way the people of Exodus or Leviticus had worship.  She said, “The Teacher from heaven, no less a personage than the Son of God, came to earth to reveal the character of the Father to men, that they might worship him in spirit and in truth. Christ revealed to men the fact that the strictest adherence to ceremony and form would not save them; for the kingdom of God was spiritual in its nature. Christ came to the world to sow it with truth. – CE 74.1”

She also said, “Here is declared the same truth that Jesus had revealed to Nicodemus when He said, ‘Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ John 3:3. Not by seeking a holy mountain or a sacred temple are men brought into communion with heaven. Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit, every sincere prayer is indited, and such prayer is acceptable to God. Wherever a soul reaches out after God, there the Spirit’s working is manifest, and God will reveal Himself to that soul. For such worshipers, He is seeking. He waits to receive them and to make them His sons and daughters. – {DA 189.2}” The wherever includes any humble room in your Church.

In regard to a building, Sister White further strengthen her point by saying, “There have been times when it seemed necessary to worship God in very humble places; but the Lord did not withhold His Spirit nor refuse His presence because of this. It was the best His people could do at the time, and if they worshiped Him in spirit and in truth, He never reproved or condemned their efforts. But He has blessed us with means, and we expend that means in making our houses attractive, in planning and executing to please, to honor, and to glorify ourselves; if we are content to thus leave the Lord out of our plans and to worship Him in a much poorer and more inconvenient place than we are willing to live in ourselves; if I say, our selfish purposes are thus made supreme and God and His worship secondary, He will not bestow upon us His blessing.—Manuscript 23, 1886. – {Ev 377.2}.  

She further stated that “That holy institution was not given to interfere with the needs of our being, bringing pain, and discomfort, instead of blessings. ‘The Sabbath was made for man,’ to give him rest and peace, and remind him of the work of his Creator, not to be a grievous burden. – {2SP 196.2}.”  She emphasized, “We have no command from God to erect a building which will compare for richness and splendor with the temple. But we are to build a humble house of worship, plain and simple, neat and perfect in its design. – {Ev 377.3}.”

Then let those who have means look to it that they are as liberal and tasteful in erecting a temple wherein we may worship God as they have been in locating and building and furnishing their own houses. Let them manifest a willingness and a desire to show greater honor to God than to themselves. Let them build with nicety but not with extravagance. Let the house be built conveniently and thoroughly so that when it is presented to God He can accept it and let His Spirit rest upon the worshipers who have an eye single to His glory. Nothing must interfere between God’s glory and us; no selfish plans, no selfish schemes, no selfish purposes. There must be an agreement.—Manuscript 23, 1886. – {Ev 377.4}” 

In summary, it is the worshipers who determine if they are worshiping God (in truth and in spirit), not the church buildings, or the temples.  God is seeking such worshipers who focus on true worship, and not to be confused with material extravagance.

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