The Sanctuary

The design of the old testament tabernacle and its furnishings relate to particular concepts found in Christian worship. Two aspects of Jewish worship especially influenced Christian worship: the Passover ritual is reflected in the Lord's Supper (communion) and the synagogue service, with its Bible reading, prayer and sermon, formed a model for Christian services. To see where our roots began, take a tour of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

In our virtual sanctuary, you can participate in worship by listening to music, reading hymns, prayers, scriptures, sermons, and the communion liturgy. For those who have the free RealAudio® plug-in, you can listen to hymns and sermons in our Audio/Visual Center. For those you want a visual representation, visit our photos page, which includes images of church interiors, altars, and stained glass windows. Or, for more in-depth research, take a virtual tour of gothic cathedrals, a site which includes links to video, pictures, history, and information sites.

[History of the Church] [Basic Beliefs and Creeds] [Order of Worship]

History of the Church

The Ecole Initiative

    The University of Evansville's ongoing project to create a hypertext encyclopedia of church history, it includes translations of primary sources to 1500, short essays, articles, images, and a chronology with a geographical cross-index.

Basic Beliefs and Creeds

The Augsburg Confession
This is the first of the great Protestant Confessions. Most Lutheran church bodies base their teachings upon this document.

The Heidelberg Catechism
Written by Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus in Germany at the time of the breaking of the peace of Augsburg in response to the Lutherans and at the direction of Frederick the Elector. It is one of the principal documents of the Reformed tradition.

Luther's 95 Theses
One of the most important documents in western history, this is the defining statement of Martin Luther's dispute with the Roman Catholic practice of selling indulgences. What came to be known as the Protestant Reformation began with this document.

Prebsbyterian Statement of Faith

The Nicene Creed
Written during the 4th century A.D. in an attempt to unify the Christian church under emperor Constantine. Iit is the only statement of faith that is accepted by all three major branches of Christianity including Protestant, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox.

Official Statement of Fundamental Truths
From the Assemblies of God denomination, a simple outline of their faith.

Order of Worship

Tabernacle Influence on Christian Worship

During the wanderings of the Children of Israel through the forty years in the wilderness God gave Moses explicit and detailed instructions concerning the building of the Tabernacle along with specific instructions for the order of worship within the Tabernacle: Exodus Chapters 25-31.

 Aspects of the Tabernacle design, the furnishings and worship services relate to particular concepts found in the Christian worship. For instance, the mercy seat, where the blood of the sin offering was sprinkled on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), was fulfilled perfectly for all who believe on the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ whose blood was shed on Calvary's cross for forgiveness of sins. The table of shewbread representing hospitality and fellowship with God was fulfilled in Jesus Christ whose body was broken for mankind.By faith we partake of Jesus' body in the communion where bread and wine or grape juice (the blood of the grape) are consumed. The laver, or brass basin of water where the sacrificial animal was washed before being sacrificed is representative of Christians "washing by the Word" and of sanctification or cleansing from the former sinful life. This is also represented in the washing of the feet of the disciples' feet by Jesus, symbolizing our need to undergo a daily review of our lives and the cleansing through repentance for un-Christlike actions, attitudes and attributes. Additionally, this "washing of the feet" or sanctification represents the cleansing of the animal before sacrifice, or in the case of Christians cleansing before the giving of ourselves in a life of sacrifice to the Lord God.

 The "Holy of Holies", the central part of the tabernacle and later of the temple was enclosed by a thick woven curtain or "veil". Only the chief priest could enter the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, and if the priest were unworthy to enter because of sin he would be struck dead. For this reason he wore bells on the hem of his robe and a rope around his ankle so that his body could be drug from the Holy of Holies since no one could enter to carry out the body. On the day of Jesus' crucifixion, Matthew 27:51, there was an earthquake and the veil of the temple before the Holy of Holies was torn into two pieces from top to bottom . This signified that because of Jesus' sacrificial death all believers now enter the Holy of Holies, or personal fellowship with God. The Holy Spirit now indwells each believer and our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, I Corinthians 3:16


The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.