Assembling Together

Deuteronomy 12:1-32

The people whom they were about to dispossess from the land worshiped their gods and the mountain tops. On these, they placed altars, sacred pillars and wooden symbols of a female deity called Asherim. Moses instructed the sons of Israel to destroy all of these things. They were to come together as a single congregation and worship the Lord their God in a place that the Lord chose from among them. They were not to do as the nations before them did; the things that they did were abominable acts which the Lord hates. 

They were to think of themselves as one community under the Lord their God. They were to not to make altars and offer up sacrifices apart from their brethren. Moses made a distinction between eating meat as a meal and the act of offering up sacrifices to God. They could eat meat at their homes but must pore out the blood on the grown because the life is in the blood. However, their sin sacrifices, free will offering, the sacrifice of the first born; all of these must be done in the place that the Lord designates from among their people. 

This has not changed in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the temple of the living God. He alone is our living sacrifice. He died for our sins according to the Scriptures and he was buried and he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures and he appeared to his chosen apostles. (1 Cor 15:3-5) Jesus Christ is our Prophet better than Moses, he is our Priest better than Aaron, and he is our king better than David. We are not to forsake the assembling together; we are to come together and encourage one another, and stimulate one another to love and good deeds. The temple no longer exist in Israel. The true temple of the Lord has become flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. The church building is not a replacement temple. There are not temples dotting the landscape as on the mountain tops of Canaan. There is one temple, one sacrifice and one Lord who is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. However, we are to not forsake the assembling together. The church building is a place for us to assemble, that we may encourage one another, and stimulate one another to love and good deeds. (cf. Heb 10:19-25)