Burning Altars by Glory Edet

Burning Altars by Glory Edet

"And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offering." Leviticus 6:12  

Many times, people sternly warn and rebuke whoever calls them by the title of a pastor. Some ladies go as far as refusing prophecies about their marriage to pastors because they detest being addressed by that title and feel it is only meant for preachers who are ready to take up the mantle.   

Here's the truth; I am a "pastor" and so are you, although that is if truly you are born-again. Did I just read doubt on your face? Oh C'mon, don't do that, all you need do is to patiently read this article, then you will come to understand that indeed, you’re a minister of God.  

From the reference above, the Bible says that "And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it..." If I may ask you, which fire and what is the altar?  

For reference purpose, if you're born-again, then you are a minister of God. Although you may not be on the pulpit like every other pastor is, but you should know that every child of God has the unction to function in the office of the minister. Hence, since you are born again, then you have received the unction to function in the office, you should get to work if you haven’t done that yet.  

In the old testament, there were ordained priests of God who would arrange woods orderly on the altar, afterwards they would set the woods on fire right there on the altar and they would ensure that the fire burnt consistently. It was a great job for those priests to ensure that they didn't only set the fire, but they also ensured that the fire burnt from morning to night every day. In fact, a true priest needed to set up the fire on the altar and also ensure that the peace offering took place between the morning and evening of every day. Likewise, the ordained priest must be obedient and humbly follow the order laid by the Creator; he must pay attention to the sacrificial lambs, in that the lambs must be pure without any blemish, and they must be lambs of the first year. Not only that, before the priest offerer the sacrifice for atonement to God, he must first put on "his linen garments", do every needful preparation and also follow all due orders laid by his Maker. These sacrifices were done twice a day; morning and evening.  

In the old testament, sacrifices were offered to God for different purposes, however, sacrifices from our reference text were offered for a peace offering and thanksgiving unto God. The peace offering was offered to God to make peace between man and God; that was for the remission of sins or atonement for sins, not only that, the priest would also offer the fat of the peace offering, that was to give extra thanksgiving to God for the extra things that He did for them. Hence, they would ensure to go the extra mile to appreciate Him since He also went extra mile to favour them. The priest was also under the obligation to do what was right according to the injunction of God. However, no man was allowed to eat the fat and the blood of the animals that were sacrificed to God.  

As we continue, let’s check out the correlation between the sacrifice made in the old testament and in the new testament. There is also the need to know how the sacrifices are presently offered to the King of kings in our present days without killing an animal.

These days, the only sacrifice that God accepts is those that are made from a clean heart. The amazing thing is that these kinds of sacrifices have their specimen on the Cross of Calvary. There, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father gave Himself sacrificially for the atonement of the sins committed by God's children which put them far away from their Father. Therefore, He shed His blood and died right there to close the gap between God and His children, hence all  who believes and would still believe in Him would be washed from their sins and saved from perishing in hellfire. Yes, Jesus shed His blood on the Cross of Calvary for the remission of sins of every human. I thank God that I got saved through His blood. What about you? 

Let me come closer to you.

How did you stop committing sins? How did you atone for your sins? Generally, how are sinners brought to repentance? What fire are we talking about today? What is the fire meant for? How do you keep the fire burning? By His grace, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, I'll give answers to the above questions and also explain each of these question, plus what is their correlation to our personal and spiritual lives.  
Shall we?  

How does an individual get converted from his sinful way of life? To be converted, the person must first acknowledge himself as a sinner; someone who isn't complete. Thereafter, he must accept the work of grace which Jesus did on the Cross of Calvary, then he must confess his sins to God and ask for forgiveness from He who laid down His life to save the world. Once this life-changing decision is made by the individual, he crosses over to the Saviour and becomes a new man.  Afterwards, the person is expected to gradually move from the point of giving his life to Christ to being baptised by the Holy Ghost. At this juncture, the individual is set ablaze by the Holy Spirit and he is expected to keep the fire of the Holy Spirit burning consistently. Since Jesus offered the sacrifice to God by shedding His blood, no human is expected to kill any lamb or whatever animal again because our dear Saviour paid it all on the Cross of Calvary. However, whenever an individual is expected to offer any sacrifice, it should be something done or a service rendered from a clean heart, just like the priest would put on his linen garment before he began to set the altar on fire, so also is every child of God expected to live a holy and righteous life to please God.    

Gracefully, the Holy Spirit is the fire that is set up in  a converted Christian, and this Christian brother or sister is expected to keep the fire burning by consistently communicating with God through the Holy Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit is upon the believer, then the believer lives a holy and purified life, likewise he is to live in peace with His Maker by obediently following His injunctions. In a nutshell, the Holy Spirit becomes the channel through which the believer lives and serves God.     

Furthermore, when an individual receives the light of the Gospel, he must also become a priest whose altar is first set on fire and who in turn sets other altars on fire, because every born-again Christian is expected to preach the Gospel of Christ to others so as to bring others out of darkness into His marvelous light. The moment an individual comes into the light, then he automatically becomes a "pastor/preacher/priest/minister", depending on the title you choose to be called. Hence, the person must one way or the other minister and show others the way out, therefore, the individual becomes a minister when he starts ministering to others after his conversion, and after he starts the work of evangelism either publicly or privately. The work of evangelism is not a one man work, it’s a chain work which must run from a person to another.    

Many people out there evangelise or minister using their various gifts. Some of the gifts are singing, writing, tteaching, counselling etc. Through any of these gifts, souls might be won and they are still won into the Kingdom of God. At this point, such people who preach Christ using their gifts and from pure hearts are referred to as ministers. For the fire to remaining burning, these ministers must be holy and keep their garments pure according to the injunction of Christ.    

Like I said above, the individual must keep the fire burning as a child of God, not only that, he must ensure that others are saved through the fire which he has set on the altar. You know, the basic goal of every believer is to save others from going to hell and depopulate the kingdom of darkness. For instance, a gospel singer who must minister to save others must do that from a pure heart and that is by allowing the Holy Spirit to be his Teacher, Leader and Director, the presence of the Holy Spirit must be felt whenever the person ministers, souls must be touched and liberated. Once this individual lives a life that pleases God and also proclaims the gospel of Christ whenever he sings, then he must ensure that his ministration is in line with the "order" of God. He must be obedient, humble and righteous just like a priest is expected to be pure.     

The fire must burn daily, spread out to others and also when others catch the fire, they must keep it alive, and ensure it burns continually. That would be done by allowing the Holy Spirit not only to be alive in them but must also spread through them to others like wildfire and that must be done consistently, continually, and daily through evangelism. Therefore, the fire must not be put out, neither should the priest be defiled.    

In addition, the Holy Spirit in an individual enables the individual to offer a more holy and acceptable service/sacrifice to the Almighty God. Likewise, the presence of the Holy Spirit enables the individual to have direction and be focused during his sojourn on earth. Mind you, a so-called Christian who lives and serves God without the Holy Spirit is only a wanderer. Just as the fire on the altar spells the presence of God continually, likewise a believer should bear Christ all around him, people should see the living Spirit of God in the life of a believer, especially in his service to God. Note that as a believer, the fire must keep burning till the close of the day.   

If I may ask you, is there fire on your altar?  
Is the fire continual or is it in the past already?
Is it that there was once a burning fire on your altar, or does it still burn continually? Ask yourself these questions and solemnly answer these questions.
Is your garment still pure just as it was when you first encountered Christ or it’s been stained and you even been offering sacrifices from a dirty heart to God?  

I want to admonish you that if you must live a successful Christian life and run a successful Christian race, then you must set your altar on fire, not only that, your altar (life, service, etc.) must keep on burning for God everyday of your life.   
May God help us to run the race successfully and also win the race on the last day...Amen 

In conclusion, just like the priest offered the fat of the race offerings to God, every individual must offer sacrifices of praise and adoration for the great things He keeps doing for everyone, and these sacrifices must be from a pure heart, only then will these sacrifices be accepted by God. There is no point in wasting your resources and time all in the name of offering peace offerings to God if your life is impure. God only accepts sacrifices from a pure and clean heart. Hence, the minister of God is expected to live a holy and righteous life and all must be in obedience to God’s order. Your altar must be burning for God if truly He has saved you.    

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