PLACES FOR RELIGIOUS WORSHIP
The popular worship places in Old and New Testament times!
BIBLE WORSHIP PLACES
Religious worship places in Bible times
|1. The Altar
A raised structure upon which sacrifices were offered or incense burned. It was man’s simplest and earliest effort to give outward expression of faith in God, the desire to worship, and his need of sacrifice for sin.
Immediately after leaving the ark Noah erected an altar, and offered sacrifices unto the Lord. This act was acceptable unto Jehovah, and resulted in a divine promise of blessing for the world throughout ages to come.
From Noah’s time godly men continued to build altars for worship. Abraham erected altars at different places where he sojourned. See Gen.12.7,8; 13.18; etc.
Jacob was an altar-builder. See Ge.33.20; 35.7, etc. Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David and other ancient worthies built altars for sacrifices, or in commemoration of great events.
|2. The Tabernacle
A sacred tent and its furniture made according to a divine plan given to Moses in the mount. Heb.8:5. It was the idea of the altar, expanded by divine revelation, to meet the needs of the nation for sacrifice and worship
The Tabernacle proper was divided into two parts –the holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The Holy Place was twenty cubits long. And ten wide, It contained the “ table of shewbread, “the” golden candlestick,” and the altar of incense.
The Holy of Holies was ten cubits square. It contained the “ark of the covenant,” a sacred chest which was a symbol of the divine presence. A curtain or veil, of costly material divided the two sections.
No one, except the high priest, ever entered the Holy of Holies, and he went in only once a year, on the “Day of Atonement,” to made atonement for the sins of the people. Many of the ceremonies and furnishings of the tabernacle had a typical significance, and foretokened the coming of Christ.
For the typical teachings see Hebrew Chapter 8,9.
|3. The Temple
The Children of Israel had been pilgrims from Egypt to the Promised Land. When they were settled in their new home it was natural for them to desire something more permanent than a tent in which to worship.
David conceived the idea of building a temple for the Lord but he was forbidden to do so because he was a man of blood, 1 Chr. 22.8.He amassed a great amount of material for the construction of the building but it was left for Solomon to erect it.
|4. The Synagogue
A Jewish place of worship. This institution appears to have arisen during the exile, or shortly after. The Jews that were scattered abroad fell the need of places for religious assembly and thus synagogues were erected wherever there was a Jewish colony
They differed from the temple at Jerusalem in the fact that they were generally plain buildings of rectangular form, with no altars for sacrifice or elaborate furnishings.
The Sabbath services held in them were comparatively simple, Consisting largely of reading the Scriptures, prayer, some kind of religious instruction, and often an expository address.
They were in some sense forerunners of the church. Jesus attended their services, and Paul often spoke to assemblies gathered these buildings.
|5. The Church
We can trace the desire for spiritual worship up through the successive steps in the erection of the altar, the tabernacle the temple, and the synagogue.
It reaches its highest stage of development in the institution of the church founded by Christ.