“Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die” Leviticus 16:12-13
|Old Testament Shadow||New Testament Reality in Jesus and the Church|
|On the Day of Atonement the High Priest brought a golden censer full of fire and a handful of incense into the Most Holy Place. He put the incense on the fire in front of the Ark so that the cloud of incense covered the mercy seat. He then sprinkled the blood of the sin offering upon the mercy seat.||The mercy seat is a picture of Christ Himself. The sprinkled blood points to Christ’s shed blood. The censer of incense is significant of Christ taking the prayers of His people within the veil to God’s presence, on the basis of His shed blood. Read also Revelation 8:1-5|
He is extremely interested in the prayer and intercession of His Church. For the life of a believer to be truly saturated in prayer is well-pleasing to God.
“Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Ephesians 6:18
Strange incense – speaks of false worship, ie trying to come to God in a way other than through Christ.
Strange fire – speaks of self-effort, works of the flesh. Holy fire comes from the Holy Spirit, it is from Him and initiated by Him – all other fire comes through the flesh. God Himself lit the fire on the altar in the Tabernacle of Moses.
“And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” Leviticus 9:23, 24
This fire on the altar was kept burning at all times and this was the fire that was used in the Golden Lampstand, the Golden Altar and the Golden Censer. Any other fire than the fire from the altar was “profane fire” and spoke of man’s efforts, something that man initiated rather than God.
Our prayer life and our work for God must come from the fire of the altar – that is it is through the power of the Holy Spirit as we put our faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross. We do not want to offer God profane fire. Lord we ask for a fresh revelation of the cross of Christ.
Lord we repent if we have ever offered You profane fire. Forgive us Lord. Help us to be led by Your Spirit and to pray in the power of the Spirit only. We love You Lord and want to lay down our lives on the altar as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable for this is our reasonable worship.