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The Tabernacle, the Temple, the Synagogue and the Church Building

Updated on July 10, 2017
PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails' goal is to be a catalyst in encouraging the followers of Christ to pursue Biblical truth for themselves.

Those within the church system mandate their members to attend a building called 'church.' The pew-warmers assemble together on a certain day that their clergy deem to be the Sabbath. The purpose of this man-made structure is a place where people can come and worship in a liturgy, or structured template of programs and ordinances.

The purpose of this article will attempt to follow God’s people through the history of the Old Testament into the New Testament to find if there is any evidence that man-made tabernacles, temples, synagogues and church buildings that are known as places of worship today were actually used for the same purposes back in Bible times.

The Tabernacle

The first reference to a tabernacle in the Old Testament was a sanctuary built by men by the command of God.

And let them make me a sanctuary, that I MAY DWELL IN THEIR MIDST. Exactly as I show you concerning THE PATTERN OF THE TABERNACLE, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it. – Exodus 25:8-9

This was to be a dwelling place where the presence of God would dwell in the midst of His people.

I will make MY DWELLING AMONG YOU, and my soul shall not abhor you. – Leviticus 26:11

The tabernacle was built as a portable meeting place. It was not a place for other believers to have fellowship with one another, but a place for Israel to meet with Him at an appointed time. The people did not assemble within the tabernacle, but gathered at the doors of the tent of meeting. It was nowhere typical to a modern church meeting where the people gather through the church doors and sit in pews inside for a service led by salaried officials.

It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE TENT OF MEETING before the LORD, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. – Exodus 29:42

The main purpose and reason for the building of the tabernacle was not to have a religious denominational worship service, but to house the presence of God. Its main purpose was to have God dwell among His people.

The Temple

Four hundred and seventy five years later, the portable tabernacle housed the presence of God until David desired to build a temple for Yahweh. David would accumulate the materials that would be needed to build the temple, but his son Solomon would build and finish it as prophesied by Nathan.

When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your OFFSPRING after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom, HE SHALL BUILD A HOUSE FOR MY NAME, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. – 2 Samuel 7:12-13

And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, A CLOUD FILLED THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. - Kings 8:10-11

We can see from the above verse that the presence of God dwelt within the temple, but it was only on the condition that His people walked in His ordinances, statutes and commandments.

Again, it is important to understand that the temple was not for man, but for God. It was not a place to assemble to practice the rituals and man-made traditions of the modern church meeting.

And David the king said to all the assembly, “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, FOR THE PALACE WILL NOT BE FOR MAN BUT FOR THE LORD GOD. – 1 Chronicles 29:1

How many times have you heard from the pulpit that the church has replaced the temple and is now deemed the place of assembly for the people of God?

The modern minister calls his place of his occupation, 'the house of God.'

Upon closer inspection of Scripture, this is simply not true. When the people did gather, it was outside the tabernacle or temple, not within it.

The origins of church buildings as places for people to gather inside does not have its origins from the tabernacle or the temple in the Old Testament.

What about the synagogues?


In the New Testament, the word 'synagogue' can be referenced sixty eight times. Most people think of the word as a building where the Jewish people would formally gather inside for public worship and hear the teaching of their Rabbi.

What you may find interesting is that the word actually means a gathering or assembly of people, but later evolved to mean a man-made building where people gathered inside for religious activities. 'Assembly' became a physical 'synagogue,' which in similar manner today 'ekklesia' has been replaced with the word 'church.'

A deeper study into the word ekklesia will give a clearer understanding as to why the word 'church' is a corrupted term that was purposefully inserted into Scripture to give power to an institution.

Please peruse the two links to the right for more clarification:

And after THE MEETING OF THE SYNAGOGUE broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. – Acts 13:42

In this verse it is clear that 'synagogue' is not a physical building, but a congregation or assembly of people.

For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read EVERY SABBATH IN THE SYNAGOGUES.” – Acts 15:21

When we change synagogue to assembly, or congregation, the presumptions of physical institutional buildings are no longer there.

The fact is that in secular Greek, 'synagōgḗ' does not apply to a physical place or house of meeting, but rather an assembly of people, animals or things.

The word 'synagogue' may appear in some Scripture verses as a physical building, but this is the illusion of word bias planted by translators to push their Constantine agenda.

And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one WHO BUILT US OUR SYNAGOGUE.” – Luke 7:4-5

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I WILL BUILD MY EKKLESIA, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:18

Christ was not talking about building churches on every other street corner, but was talking about something completely different in nature.

When we read Scripture and presume to use secular definitions our paradigm will become tainted towards the ways of the world.

All we have to do is look out our front doors and the manifestations are physical buildings with large inner rooms and lofts to house the masses on every other street corner. All who walk through her doors are void of understanding of the true nature of Christ's words.

Men have always desired to erect structures in honour of their gods, but the pattern of God is much different than what man desires. The way of Babylon has become the norm among the religious masses today with their desire to attain God in their own way within their own structures they have built for themselves.


The concept of Church is etched within the religious mind with a vivid picture of a building with a towered steeple and a name above her doors. It is a building where the religious masses gather inside and sit on pews to listen to their hired hands who are deemed as the mediators between them and God.

Since the term church is found in their Bibles, the deception coupled with their indoctrinated bias blinds them from seeing the the values and principles of the Kingdom of God.

The term church has been imposed and has replaced ekklesia to take away the spiritual picture of a living organism that God intended for His people for a counterfeit religious institutional hierarchy.

Greet also the church (ASSEMBLY) IN THEIR HOUSE. – Romans 16:5

The ekklesia are people, not religious buildings. The assemblies are believers within a certain locality who are also not physical buildings.

For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read EVERY SABBATH IN THE SYNAGOGUES.” – Acts 15:21

The churches (ASSEMBLY) of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church IN THEIR HOUSE, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.

– 1 Corinthians 16:19

Is the verse in Acts referring to going a synagogue on the Sabbath, or is it about an assembly of believers?

The indoctrinated will immediately conclude that Moses was reading in a Jewish synagogue. This is a false precept because the proper definition of 'synagogue' should be deemed as an assembly of faithful and obedient believers in God through Christ.

Many will have a hard time understanding this because they want physical affirmations for their words instead of allowing God to give them spiritual understanding to the terms He has given them.

Church is a man-made concept that was never initiated by God or by His Son.

This is not the Way of Christ and the apostles as attested in Scripture. The harlot church system has stripped everything away from what the ekklesia practiced in the New Testament and and has replaced them with man-made traditions.

When we take a deeper look into the origins and purposes of the tabernacle and temple in the Old Testament, the translator bias pops out and the replacement theology becomes more evident. The importance of finding the true meanings of words and the historical contexts should expose the corrupt words and definitions imposed on God’s word.

The ekklesia are a body of believers where Christ is the head and the synagogue is the assembly of them. The assembly is not within a church building where people spend all their time, money and energy, but means something radically different.

Those within the kingdoms of men will point you to physical buildings where you can become indoctrinated to becoming a tithing church minion.

In contrast, Christ points to the Kingdom of God. When we seek the Kingdom first, His ways will always take precedence over man’s ways.

The question is,

If man-made tabernacles, temples, synagogues and churches known as places of worship today were never actually used for the same purposes that God intended in Scripture, then what does that say about those who say they do?

Counterfeit religion needs physical institutional buildings with their lords inside of them who claiming to be 'the Church of God.'

Howver, the ekklesia are part of a spiritual body built and organized by Christ.

Those of this world will promote places that are built with man's hands.

The Kingdom of God and the ekklesia are spiritual in nature in this age as they are made from the things of heaven. In contrast, the religious kingdoms of men are physical in nature made from the things from this corrupted world.

Do you believe the Church system reflects the principles of the Kingdom of God and the example of Jesus Christ?

See results

© 2015 PlanksandNails

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    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      5 months ago

      Hi Jack,

      Thanks for spending the time to write out a well thought out comment. Your reference to the straight gate verses are very important and we should take heed to them. Although I did not mention them in this article, I have written an article on the narrow way versus the wide one.

      Unfortunately, many are on the wide road that leads to destruction because they want to go with the flow of the ways of the world than seek first the Kingdom of God. I believe the man-driven church system does not point the genuine Christ because in action and behaviour they deny Kingdom principles that he taught in Scripture.

      God Bless.

    • Jack Jenn profile image

      Jack Jenn 

      5 months ago from Nelson Bay NSW Australia.

      Hi PlanksandNails,

      Your article here is well written and well put - just a shame that so many don't understand the truth. In every respect I class all of them as cults.

      As I was reading your words I kept thinking, I hope you will talk about it and tell all who would stop by to read but sadly I never saw the scripture that I was hoping to see. And that's ok, you did a fine job anyway and I sincerely hope it will jolt some out of false worship.

      The words I was hoping to see are from Matthew 7: 13 & 14 - the strait gate verses. Everyone has heard of or read these verses but strangely, few understand them.

      There are so many different ways these days, which only causes confusion, (much to Satan's delight) which one shall I go to? And that's because most are looking for one that only suits their needs but ignores the big picture.

      Jesus told us there are two gates - the strait and narrow gate that leads to life, and the broad way, in which so many think theirs is the right way but lead to nowhere and millions to their astonishment will find it only ends in shipwreck on eternity's shore. Most think there are many ways that all lead to the same place. There is only ONE God, so there must be only ONE true way. And further to this, ANY religion that preaches theirs is the only way is a cult. Many things are done in God's name but are they done in His way?

      Jesus has told us about this narrow way that leads to life and it doesn't involve going to a money making enterprise, which are all man made. This is cult thinking, nothing that is man made is the strait and narrow way.

      Jeremiah 5: 31 says it all - The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will you do in the end thereof.

      Going to a church doesn't guarantee salvation, nor finding the strait and narrow way. The strait gate isn't difficult to find once you know how because it's in you and there are so many things to give up and leave at the gate to enter the narrow way - a complete change of heart. Just as the Spirit is given by grace, so too, is the strait and narrow way and we access it by faith. (How many times did Jesus say Oh ye of little faith.) 'And few there be that find it' suggests this gate is hidden - 2nd Corinthians 3: 3 is a wonderful blessing and 4: 3,4 tells us who will never find it and why.

      Many seek to find it but only a few will and they fail because of not seeking with all their heart and mind until they realise it's a given and gifted thing along with the Spirit. So many think that's too simple, there must be more to it than that. Those in the broad way think that they ARE in the narrow way saying it's only the unbelievers who are in the broad way, yet in fact, the unbelievers are not trying to enter anywhere so how do they explain that?

      The worst thing about the broad way as Tribulation approaches, is they will all be coerced by the false prophet to follow Satan (in the anti-Christ's body) to accept the mark because they are comfortable in the broad way. And doesn't that tell them that the easy ways of the world are far removed from the strait and narrow way? If they can't agree that the strait and narrow way is not found in any church, then they must ask themselves, Why did Jesus tell us about it and where is it?

      As it is written and it was Jesus who said it, enter ye in at the strait gate, let's just imagine that there weren't any churches anywhere, where would it be?.....That's right! it's in you.

      This can be a hard thing for many to accept, to recap, we have the spirit who leads us into truth (and the narrow way, which is truth) and we have our Bible. Can it be any simpler than that?

      Best regards,


    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago


      Counterfeit religion needs physical buildings with their lords inside of them claiming to be "the Church of God."

      The Ekklesia are part of a spiritual body built by Jesus Christ organized by him in one spirit with the Father.

      Those of this world will promote a different temple than those who are no longer of the world.

      The Kingdom of God and the Ekklesia are spiritual in nature as they are made from the things of heaven. In contrast, the religious kingdoms of men are physical in nature made from the things that are confined to the earth.

    • Rich kelley profile image

      Rich Kelley 

      3 years ago from The Ekklesia

      I have linked this to answer a defense of Hebrew 10:25 (not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.) This article covers the mental indoctrinations in place today with most denominational thinking religious people.

      Their claim was the synagogue was the church building. The scripture read in context clearly doesn't speak of a building with pastors/elders and collections of money to perpetuate their denomination and cause.

      It is truly hard to get a word of truth in edge wise to those that are indoctrinated and convinced of their man made doctrinal head knowledge.

      Thank you for your interactions with the body of Christ and those that may stop by reading to draw closer to Him. (the sower sows the word)

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago


      The principles of the Kingdom of God are not of this world; therefore, if something is organized and run by the ways of the world, it is of the world.

      Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. - 1 John 2:15

      Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” - John 18:36

      If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. - John 15:19

      The structure and principles of the Church system are based on man-made ideologies; therefore, the "Jesus" they worship is something of their own making too.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago


      The indoctrinated Church minion somehow believes that Jesus mandated the Gospel to be run like a business.

      The truth is that the ekklesia that Jesus is building is a living organism, not a soulless institution run by a team of religious experts.

      The Jesus I believe in has brought me out of the harlot system to be part of a family of equals that resemble him, not the likeness of a denominational commodity with their buildings, signs and logos.

      I am no longer a customer who buys "happy meals" every Sunday morning.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago


      (For example, when Jesus taught in the synagogue or temple.)

      As mentioned in the article, the word church (ekklesia) in its original meaning does not refer to a building, and in similar manner, synagogue does not refer to a building no more than ekklesia.

      As I had also mentioned in the article, when we use secular definitions of words in Scripture, synagogue becomes an institutional building of Jewish worship rather than an open meeting place. The Aramaic word for synagogue meant the people, not the building, as with the Greek word ekklesia.

      Rabbinic sources would say that during Jesus' time a synagogue in a small town would be like a village council where people gathered. In the bigger cities the synagogue would be an institution filled with clergy that Jesus clearly disdained.

      “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the BEST SEATS IN THE SYNAGOGUES and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” - Luke 20:46-47

      It doesn't matter what Church one decides walks into, they are full of these types of people in clear defiance of the principles of the Kingdom of God.

    • profile image


      3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      PandN- Another great article. What should be stated is the fact that there is NOTHING holy about man made tabernacles, temples, synegoges or churches we see today. And anyone who think these buildings or sites are holy, then they are part of the anti-christ false doctrine or system. There is nothing holy about alters the people use today during their worship. All earthly alters of today, no matter where you may find them, have no purpose but to serve the evil one.

      God bless PandN

    • profile image

      Neil Braithwaite 

      3 years ago

      Today’s churches are nothing more than man-made self-serving “religious” institutions, which by nature are divisions among those who call themselves Christians. These divisions are more on the order of competing “franchises” than the one unified body Jesus called HIS Ekklesia. These franchises bear the names of their own brand of “Christianity” and ceaselessly compete with each other for the same target customer – those seeking a “church.” They market their particular brand of Christianity with their specific doctrines as the truth, yet condescendingly, when pushed to be “inclusive,” endorse competing brands of churches as legitimate while encouraging their members never to stray from their brand. The ultimate goal for these church franchises is no different than any secular provider of consumer goods or services in the market place – to increase their market share and profits and to ultimately put their competition out of business.

      Not a very good likeness of the Ekklesia Jesus said He was building.

    • kbdressman profile image


      3 years ago from Harlem, New York

      I can't answer your poll question with a yes or a no, so I'm answering it with a comment instead. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I agree that "church" or "synagogue" often refers to a group of saints, but there are instances in which it refers to that group meeting in a building to hear the law/Torah/scriptures as well. (For example, when Jesus taught in the synagogue or temple.) The Law of Moses (also known as the Law of Carnal Commandments or the Law of Sacrifice) was given to the Ancient Israelites after they refused a greater law God intended to give them. It was given as a preparatory plan to prepare a people who would be ready to receive the Higher Law when Christ came in the meridian of time. Rituals were implemented that were designed to remind the individuals on their dependence on Christ (represented by the priest) as their mediator and on their dependence on His atoning blood to save them (represented by the blood of the sacrificial animals). These ordinances were continued until Christ came and introduced the higher law. He implemented the sacrament on the Passover before His Crucifixion. He met with groups of saints regularly to strengthen them spiritually. He organized a church organization with ordained ministers that were authorized to perform miracles in His name. Eventually, the world killed those authorized servants and that church organization was lost. As a member of the LDS church, I believe that those same keys were restored by the angelic ministers that had authority over them in their lifetime. (Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, Peter, James and John, etc.) I have received the same baptism John the Baptist taught, the same Gift of the Holy Ghost Christ left with His apostles after His death at Pentecost, the Washings and Annointings as described in the Book of Leviticus, the same endowment of power as Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration and the same sealing ordinances Christ referred to when He said He would seal us His at the last day. I also believe that I meet with the church (a body of saints) weekly to partake of the ordinance of the sacrament that Christ instituted at the Passover before His death, we're just blessed to perform this ordinance and worship together in pleasantly furnished buildings, and not in a field, boat or upper room like Christ did in His day. I believe that these ordinances are done under the direction of the keys of the priesthood of Melchezidek that was forfeited by the Ancient Israelites and the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood that governed the Office of High Priest in the ancient tabernacle. I believe that a last blood sacrifice as was performed in the ancient tabernacles will be performed before the Great and Last Day under the direction of the same authority that directed it in the ancient tabernacle. So, do I believe in the church/synagogue/temple system as practiced by modern Jews? No. Do I think that many Christians are misguided about the ordinances and church organizations Christ laid out during His mortal ministry? Yes. Do I think the ordinances implemented in Old and New Testament times are practiced today? Yes. Either they were fulfilled by the atonement of Jesus Christ, or they are practiced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. I agree with you that there are many corrupted versions of what Christ taught on the earth today. Many people are doing the best they can in a morally confused world. But I can't say that I agree that the church system set up by Christ is not practiced anywhere on the earth today.


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