The One Legal Place of Worship on Earth
Deuteronomy 12:4-11 :
You shall not do so to Yahweh your God. But to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose out of all your tribes, to put his name there,
you shall seek his habitation, and there you shall come. There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes,
the wave offering of your hand, your vows, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. There you shall eat before Yahweh your God,
and you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, in which Yahweh your God has blessed you.
You shall not do after all the things that we do here today, every man whatever is right in his own eyes; for you haven’t yet come to the rest and to the inheritance,
which Yahweh your God gives you. But when you go over the Jordan, and dwell in the land which Yahweh your God causes you to inherit,
and he gives you rest from all your enemies around you, so that you dwell in safety; then it shall happen that to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose,
to cause his name to dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes,
the wave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow to Yahweh.
As we continue to discuss the rules of the Law of God that Moses gave to Israel. I want us to keep in mind what the purpose of the law is.
Romans 3:20 :
Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight.
For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.
These words we are read here are "the law" that Paul is talking about in Romans. He clearly tells us that by "the works of the law" no one is made better in
God's eyes. Did you know that? This is probably one of the biggest secrets in the world. Satan does a great job of hiding things in the daylight
Also notice that the stated purpose of the law is to bring "the knowledge of sin." The Bible teaches us that the law is for non-Christians. It helps them to
discover that they are sinners. So, when I am asked if I think that "the law" is for today, my answer is a definite "yes!" As long as there is an unbeliever anywhere on
earth, "the law" is still at work. With that in mind, let's continue.
The law clearly says that there is only one place that God wants to be honored, physically, on earth, and that is in Jerusalem. If you were following along
through Exodus and Leviticus, you have already heard the exact requirements for how it was to be done too. If the world really cared about God's law,
they would allow the Jews to worship where God
says they are supposed to in the "the law." It's pretty obvious that the world is full of sinners, because they are currently demanding the opposite. So, as you
can see, God is right. The law is exposing the sin of the world concerning Israel and the worship in Jerusalem.
God also knew that people were not going to obey this commandment. Listen to what Jesus said:
John 4:21-24 :
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.
You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is,
when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The only ones who can worship God in spirit and in truth, are the ones who have been born again by the Spirit of God. Clearly, "the law" is for those who still
have to walk to Jerusalem to worship God. That's what people who don't believe in Jesus are supposed to do if they want to follow "the law," and they are doing
a pretty lousy job of it right now. If they don't worship God they way He wants, do they expect Him to be Ok with it? "The law" tells us the answer to that too.
Like we learned last time, God's temple is now inside of Christians. When we became living spirits, we were able to worship God in spirit. That's the way
that God wants us all to worship now. He knows we can't keep the law on our own, but we can follow Jesus if we trust in Him.