Traditional Christianity places much emphasis on buildings of bricks and mortar as the central places of worship. History shows us that this concept of buildings as the place of worship really began to take shape during the time of Constantine. Prior to that time, the early church worshipped in synagogues and, later, in private homes. The world also had its places of worship, where people enshrined their idols and offered their sacrifices. The first mobile place of worship mentioned in the Scriptures was the tabernacle of Moses.
People interpret the Bible in many different ways. Some cling dearly to the idea of buildings as the central place of worship. But the question remains of how true this is to the Scriptures. Religion has certain regimented views and is too rigid and myopic to see beyond the lens of its own particular beliefs. The Scriptures, however, provide revelational insight and principles that help us understand who the Father is and who we are in Him. Everything in the Scriptures points to Christ, the Head, and the church, His body. While traditionalists emphasize the maintenance and beautification of buildings, there is a greater building beyond that which is in the natural: a temple not built by human hands; an organic temple comprised of people created in the image and likeness of the Father!
The tabernacle of Moses is a typological picture of Christ and His people. It represents this organic temple made not of inanimate materials but the living people of God. One man in the Old Testament longed to provide God with a house of His own in the midst of the people. He knew that without the presence of God, the nation was doomed. That man was David, who knew that he could never do anything apart from the Father. David was a man of a contrite spirit, yet so passionate for the presence of the Lord that when the ark of the Lord was brought into Jerusalem, he tore off his clothes and danced before the Lord almost naked.
David, however, was not able to build a house for the Father. It was David’s son, Solomon, who fulfilled his father’s dream. It was a glorious temple that Solomon built. People gave in abundance for its building. Professional skilled workmen were employed in its construction. As the fame of the singular beauty of this temple spread, people came from far and wide to see with their own eyes what had been established. Still, the Father was not moved by a building made of stone and cedar and gold. His desire has always been to have a people of His own — a family. They are His house, His temple, His building, a dynamic temple made up of “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5).