We Have An Altar

We Have An Altar

Although the greatest miracle is the salvation of the soul which is eternal, other temporal miracles on the human body like straightening up of paralysed limbs do provide a needed spiritual encouragement to the ministry. At the Prayer Mountain a few months ago, Brother Brandon gave a request for the salvation of his family. Just before service today, Brandon’s brother was baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the same vein, Brother Alberto had his assets restored, namely a car and some R19, 000 in cash after the prayer of faith was made by the minister. He also got a much better job with more favourable working conditions which allow him to attend services on Sunday. The mother to Sister Mlambo had cancer of the oesophagus but after doctors’ knife cut through her, they could not find the cancer after a simple prayer of faith was offered in the hospital by the minister. For the salvation of Brandon’s sibling, an altar of stones was made at the Mountain and brother Brandon took one stone and placed it on the altar signifying his request for the salvation of his loved ones. Thereafter, the brother gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, we have an altar. Beginning from the Old Testament, altars are often talked about in the Bible. From Genesis, we see altars being built, we see Solomon at the altar and even right now the Jews in Israel are looking for an altar. There were 3 altars in the Old Testament namely the altar of brass (brazen altar), the altar of judgement and the altar of incense. At the brazen altar, we see sin being judged through the offer of animal sacrifices from bullocks, rams, goats and others. Of the goats offered, one is killed and the other is kept alive to carry the sins of the people into the wilderness as the scapegoat. Already, the operation of predestination is clear in how the scapegoat was selected. Lots were cast upon the 2 goats to decide the one which should die, like our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, and the one which should stay alive, like Barabbas who was spared alive when he should have died by crucifixion for his sins. From the scripture in Hebrews, the altar is associated with eating. This reminds us of the first exodus where the lamb was slain as a sacrifice and the meat thereof eaten. If there was eating during the first exodus, it follows that there should be eating as well in the third exodus today. If eating caused the fall in the garden of Eden, in the same way if we eat today we gain redemption back to God. However, we must avoid unlawful worship and offering of strange fire before the Lord. At the brazen altar, there is judgement, and those who offered strange fire before the Lord were killed as recorded in the Bible. We must come with our perfect and spotless sacrifices before the altar by dying to ourselves and coming in purity and holiness. Before the priest ventured into the Holy of Holies, there was a brazen laver where he washed himself. God requires a clean life to enter into His Presence. And as long as there was blood on the altar, the same altar served as the Mercy Seat. However, when blood is no longer there, the Mercy Seat becomes the Judgement Seat. The Holy of Holies was not permitted to anyone to enter just like that. Only the High Priest was permitted to enter once a year. But the Holy Place, which is the second court, could accommodate others apart from the High Priest, much like people today come to church but fail to have an experience with God by crossing the veil into the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is like the bedroom which is reserved for intimate relations between husband and wife. The bedroom is where privacy reigns, where things are said in secret and should not be heart outside the confines of that secret room, unless of course the woman has a public ministry of letting out secrets, which is really a problem on its own. The outer courts, inner court and holy of holies correspond directly to Justification, Sanctification and Holy Ghost Baptism respectively. In the book of revelations chapter 6, we see all six seals opened one after the other like that. But the seventh seal is not opened in the same chapter. The next chapter 7 says nothing about the 7th seal. It is the interlude, rather, which is that interval of time where a break in activity is observed. Like in a boxing match, after some rounds, the boxers go to their respective corners for coaching, instruction and encouragement by their masters. The equivalent of boxing coaches to the athletes like boxers is the prophets in the Bible. They come to tell secrets to the believers who are fighting the devil. That is why we see Moses as the Coach when Israel is fighting. They lift up Moses’s hands so that he continues to fight and win the battle. In lifting up the coach’s hands, the point is that the people must keep holding on to what the coach said. That is why Christ’s hands had to be fixed to the wooden cross, to keep what he said in the believer’s heart. The coach for our day is Malachi 4 who brought back the altar of restoration. He showed God’s grace to the people. He preached God’s mercy to the people. He preached redemption to lost souls, which is the Message of the Hour. No wonder he had to go 7 times around the world, like the high priest would blow the trumpet 7 times in the Old Testament. But why is the brazen altar only introduced in the wilderness? It was introduced because of unbelief. We do not find the same brazen altar in Egypt when the exodus begins. At the start of the exodus, we see healthy people, thus there is no need for the brazen altar. It is a fearful thing to worship God unlawfully. For certain tribes that committed idolatry were totally removed from the book of life, their names are not mentioned in the 144,000. Dan and Ephraim are removed and replaced by Joseph and Levi. This is a great lesson. God can remove names for changing altars, God can erase names for false teaching. Just like in the Garden of Eden, false teaching brings death and the fall. When altars are changed, God comes down to execute judgement. In the Garden of Eden, He comes down to judge. But being the Merciful God described by David as one who remembers mercy in times of judgement, God does not simply deliver judgement on fallen humanity. God remembers mercy. That is why he curse the ground instead of hitting Adam with a curse. While we live on the same earth today, we see both hell and heaven at the same time. For God put his spirit into the body of man in the beginning while the devil was looking. Thereafter the devil started again putting evil back into the bodies of people once again. Those who have the spirit of God are already living in heavenly places in Christ while those living in sin are already in hell right now without the need to first die. As God’s seed, we look up to Christ, who was hung naked on the cross in order to clothe us of our nakedness. When the 7th Seal is opened, there is silence in heaven. The Bible does not say there is silence on earth. Only one place is mentioned as regards silence: HEAVEN. What is happening? Silence is a great subject. We see it in the Codes of Silence which people in uniformed forces practice in real life. Soldiers and spies will never betray others; at least that is what they are taught through the code of silence. Then we also observe a moment of silence when we face grave and solemn situations. But the silence of the 7th seal is none of the above. The 7th seal silence is actually the breaking of silence. This is when the secrets are release of what Daniel saw but was forbidden to write down, of what John also saw and was not allowed to record. There are secrets being made known on earth. As seals open, mercy and judgement follow one another. When mercy is rejected, judgement is the natural outcome of that rejection of grace and mercy. At the same time the seals are being opened, there is intercession. We see this with Abraham in the Old Testament, when he intercedes for Lot in Sodom when he is told of the destruction of the city. We need to sigh and groan for the sins being done in the city for us to be sealed by the inkhorn writer clothed in white linen. We need to be like Rahab, who has sealed in while the rest of the people in Jericho perished at the hands of the destroying angel in the form of Joshua. Let us get the seal of God. Let us not sell out on God like Esau who minded the flesh more than the spirit.

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