In Spirit and In Truth
God was very particular and exact about how He wanted things done in the tabernacle. He was very clear in saying that the fire that was to heat the incense MUST come from the altar of sacrifice. This was for 2 reasons.
#1 – God lit the fire on the altar of sacrifice himself.
#2 – Blood from a sacrifice poured over the coals on the altar of sacrifice.
Any other fire for petition or worship were absolutely unacceptable. God made this very clear to Nadab and Abihu when they offered “strange fire.” They were consumed by fire. (Lev. 10:1-11)
The symbolism here with the two altars is that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for us. The altar of incense represents the intercession which He does on our behalf. His intercession on our behalf is a fragrant offering to the Father. That fragrant offering is only possible because of sacrifice – His sacrifice of His own life for our sins.
When we come to God, we must remember that He is a HOLY God. We must remember that the only way we can approach Him is through Jesus, because Jesus is our intercessor. Trying to approach God because of our good works, or in any other manner, aside from Jesus, is offering “strange fire.” Because Jesus is our intercessor, we can now worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Hebrew word for “truth” means unveiled reality. Keep that in mind as we look at some scriptures that Beth Moore used in the study book A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place.
Jn. 1:14 says that Jesus was full of grace and truth. (unveiled reality)
Jn. 1:17 says that grace and truth (unveiled reality) came through Jesus.
Jn. 8:32 says that we will know the truth and the truth (unveiled reality) will set us free.
Jn. 14:6 says that Jesus is the way, the truth (unveiled reality) and the life.
Jn. 16:13 says that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (unveiled reality) and He will guide us in all truth (unveiled reality).
Are you getting the idea that Father wants us to really know Him intimately? With no veil blocking us from seeing or knowing Him? I pray that you catch the vision!
Because of the blood which Jesus shed as the ultimate sacrifice, we can now be clean. We are now free to worship God with no accusations, with no more guilt. May we all learn what it means to worship in spirit and in truth (unveiled reality). After being cleansed by the blood of Jesus (the altar of sacrifice), we can worship (the altar of incense) God from the very core of our being. May we learn to have a deeper reverence for Him, and a holy desire to focus all that we are on who HE is. May we all see our Savior’s great sacrifice in a new way, and begin to worship freely. My hope is that your prayers and your worship are becoming an incense before Him, (just as the altar of incense rose before Him). Jesus in us is the fire that causes the fragrance of our worship to rise to Father God.
When this happens, we may ask the Lord, “Can we have more intimate times like this?”
He will tenderly tells you, “My child, I am ready and waiting.”
© 2003, Stacy R Miller