Burning Altars by Samuel Adeseyoju

In Leviticus 6:12, we read that the fire upon the altar must be burning in it and shall not be put out. It is required of the priest to burn wood on it every morning, lay the burnt offering in order on it; and burn the fat of the peace offerings on it. This verse is apparently referring to the Israelite priests back in those days when they slaughtered animals to offer to God as burnt offerings and other kinds of offerings. The priest in charge was instructed to keep the fire upon the altar burning and every morning to burn wood on it to make both the burnt and the peace offerings. That was the service of the priest to God in intercession for either himself or the people of God to keep kindling the relationship and connection with God. 


Burning Altars by Samuel Adeseyoju

However, we are no longer living by the slaughter of animals as offerings to God. It definitely means certain things have replaced that act of service. As a matter of fact, two acts replaced it:  One was to re-establish a relationship with God once and for all; And the other one is to keep connecting with God after the instigation of that relationship. 

Talking about the first act that replaced the act of the Israelite priests in service to God which was specifically to re-establish the relationship of humans with God, it was done by Christ for all humans, unlike the Israelite priests' which was restrained to the Israelites only. 

The book of Hebrews shows Jesus as the great High Priest. He was given that title because He offered Himself and His blood to God as propitiation for the sins of the world and redemption, so that anyone who accepts Him as Lord will be saved by this sacrifice into eternal life (ref.: John 5:24; 1John 5:12).
Regarding the offering Christ made in the position of High Priest, there are three passages of the Bible buttressing it: 

First, Hebrews 9:11-12: “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal  redemption for us.” (KJV)   

It reveals Jesus surrendered Himself to be slaughtered in replacement and by His own blood shed, He entered into the holy place in heaven to present Himself. It was accepted because it’s the most holy sacrifice which needs no recurrence. 

Second, Hebrews 10:9-10: “Then said he, 'Lo, I come to do thy will , O God.’ He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (KJV) This verse reveals that, by that sacrifice, He has nullified the first covenant which was sealed through the slaughter of animals by the Israelite priests and, as a result, established the new one sealed by His own blood in God's holy place which is meant to be once and enough for all humans' salvation. 

Third passage or verse buttressing Christ's priesthood offering is in Hebrews 9:15: And for this cause he is the mediator of the New testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (KJV) 

The subject matter of this verse is that Christ is the mediator of the new testament, in that, He created it and He is playing His part as the High Priest because He has successfully made His blood to continually appear on the altar of God in the holy place in heaven. The blood is like a fire which can not be put out until it's time to put it out when the believers have all been taken out of the earth. Jesus is in heaven mediating. 1Timothy 2:5 says, 

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (KJV)  

Now the second act that replaces the act of the Israelite priests in service to God is for humans to keep connecting to God. Having established the relationship by His covenant, Christ expects us to secure the relationship by constant connection. For this reason, he turned us all into priests to offer what? 

Unlike the olden days, when priestly services were limited to the children of Levi among the Israelites because they were chosen by God to be, Christ has put the priestly garments on all believers. 1 Peter 2:9 affirms that we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a peculiar people with a mandate to show forth the praises of God who called us out of darkness into His marvellous light... This also means as priests, what we are expected to offer is our praises to Him to keep connecting to Him. Our altars of praises are our bodies. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (KJV) 

Anything you do with your body that praises God is what He tagged holy and acceptable, and it shows you're functioning in the priestly office that Christ placed you. 

The things you do that give praises to God are simple acts of thanksgiving to God (1 Thess. 5:18) and obeying all His commandments. Those are the offerings expected from you as priests and you have to constantly offer them as instructed in Leviticus 6:12, because you are priests. 

Jesus, our model and as the High Priest, continually makes His blood appear on the altar of God as a sacrifice for us. Likewise, we must keep the fire in our altars (bodies) burning and present the contents therein as sacrifices of praise continually in alignment with the instruction in Leviticus 6:12.


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