1. WHY did God instruct His people to build a sanctuary?
“And let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Ex. 25:8.
2. How did He tell them to regard this dwelling-place of God?
“Ye shall keep My Sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord.” Lev. 19:30.
3. What does the Lord say of things dedicated to His service?
“Every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord.” Lev. 27:28.
4. When God met Moses at the burning bush, why did He tell him to take off his shoes?
“And He said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Ex. 3:5. See also Joshua 5:15.
NOTE.-The presence of God made the place holy. Whenever God meets with His people, that place is holy.
5. When the tabernacle was reared anciently, what occurred?
“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” Ex. 40:34. See 2 Chron. 5:13,14.
6. Why should all show respect for the house of worship.
“The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Hab. 2:20.
NOTE.-A failure to recognize this fact leads many to treat the house of worship without due respect. Nothing seems more appropriate to divine worship than that a sense of awe and silence should pervade the place of worship, and that only the sound of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving to God should be heard within its walls. Both upon entering and just before leaving the house of God it is highly appropriate and a most excellent practice for each worshiper to bow the head for a few moments in silent prayer.
7. How did Christ manifest His regard for the sanctity of God’s house?
“And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Mark 11:15-17.
NOTE.-This cleansing occurred at the close of Christ’s public ministry. There was a similar cleansing also at the beginning of His ministry. See John 2:13-17.
8. What punishment did God bring upon Nadab and Abihu or offering strange or common fire in the tabernacle service?
“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” Lev. 10:1,2.
NOTE.-This, like the two cleansings of the temple by Christ at the beginning and close of His ministry (John 2:13-17; Matt. 21:12-16), shows that God is particular in regard to the worship and conduct of the worshipers in His house. No performance or exercise should be permitted in any church or building especially dedicated to God’s service which is not in keeping with its sacred character, or conducive to reverence for God and for holy things. It should not be made a place for feasting, visiting, or worldly entertainment and amusement.
9. For what purpose are we exhorted to have grace? “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:28,29.
10. In what spirit did David say he would worship?
“But as for me, I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy: and in Thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple.” Ps. 5:7.
11. What instruction has Solomon given respecting our conduct in the house of God?
“Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.” Eccl. 5:1.
12. How extensively has God said He would be honored?
“For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto My name, and a pure offering: for My name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.” Mal. 1:11.
13. For how many did God design that His house should be a house of prayer?
“Even them [the sons of the stranger] will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar; for Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” Isa. 56:7.
NOTE.-The fifty-sixth chapter of Isaiah contains a prophecy relating to New Testament times. It is plain, therefore, that Christ enunciated a general principle, applicable to all houses dedicated to God’ s service, when, quoting this prophecy, He said that God’s house should be a house of prayer for all nations. See margin of Mark 11:17.
14. Who is present in all assemblies met in Christ’s name?
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matt. 18:20.
WITH reverence let the saints appear,
And bow before the Lord;
His high commands with reverence hear,
And tremble at His word.