The Altar: Sermon By Apostle Gobanga
The Hebrew word for altar is “Mizbah” with a root meaning to slaughter. In Greek, the word altar, in its root meaning, is a place one offers sacrifices.
The altar is a place where Divinity and humanity touch base. It is a place of Divine exchange.
God does not respond to humanity without an altar. It is a place where He speaks. Humanity will intercourse with Divinity at the place of the altar.
The medium of exchange at the altar is sacrifice. Once the sacrifice was accepted, smoke ascended to the heavens.
God required specific various sacrifices for various ordinances. However, unlike gods of other nations, Jehovah did not require sacrifices to survive. He is the Self-existing One. It is mankind that needs God to survive.
The act of sacrifice needed to be offered in an acceptable manner.
Cain and Abel were offering sacrifices to God. Abel’s was accepted and Cain’s rejected. Cain’s sacrifice, fruit from the ground, was a type of sacrifice of works and performance. Abel’s sacrifice, the first fruit and fat portions, was a type of sacrifice for justification by the blood.
A sacrifice can only be sacred as far as the person’s heart position is concerned. The heart position is a function of the revelation of God a person has attained to and applied in their life.
When you place the sacrifice on the altar, it cease to be yours and now belongs to God. It transcends from the visible to the invisible.
The seal of a sacrifice is the blood. In our day, the Cross is the altar and the blood of Jesus is the seal.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.Romans 1:16
Life is in the blood of the animal that is being offered. The atonement of sins is imputed on the animal. This is what happened to Jesus on the Cross.
The altar of the Cross is where you perceive stability. There is a Divine exchange.
That the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.Romans 8:21
At the centre of the Gospel is the Cross of Jesus.
It is at the altar where we submit. The presence of God and His authority takes precedence.
Purpose aborts where there is no counsel. The voice of God issues forth at the place of the altar. Submitting to the altar is to submit to the voice of God and His counsel.
Until humanity submits to the altar of the Cross, humanity will never be reconciled to itself – man to fellow man.
The altar is the place you get promoted to the place of service. If you do not submit, it demotes you.
For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.Psalm 75:6-7
The altar is a type of Holy of Holies. The altar sanctifies everything that touches it. The high priest had to sanctify himself before entering the Holy of Holies.
Seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and consecrate it, and the altar shall be most holy. Whatever touches the altar shall become holy.Exodus 29:37
Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out.Leviticus 6:13
There is a difference between the altar and a stage. A stage is for performance and exhibition. An altar is a place of death to self, and entrance of Divinity.
Christ died on the Cross. They taunted Him to save Himself but He despised suffering for the reward set before Him.
The voice of God does not speak to performance. It speaks to purpose vested in the womb of your spirit and Divine ordinations.
You spirit man is what responds to the voice of God when a mere mortal that is consecrated ministers.
The altar is a place of Divine manifestation. When God wants to do something, it begins at the place of the altar.
When you kneel down in the secret place of your room, you are submitting to the altar and the presence of God.
Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”Matthew 18:18-20 (NKJV)
Do you want to experience God’s presence in your life? Set up an altar.
It is at the place of the altar where you disregard what you value most and offer it to God e.g. Abraham offering Isaac.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”Psalm 16:2
God only regards the finished work of the Cross and that is Jesus Christ. Be Christ-like.
The altar has a way of dethroning things that are not of God; things that are of pride and performance.
Never offer your prowess as a sacrifice. It will be rejected. Christ is the sum total of what the law and prophets talked about.
What Jesus did on the Cross cannot equate to His submission to the prefect will of the Father. May our heart position be like that of Christ – to submit to the will of the Father.
God is more concerned about your heart position and your submission to His will.
You sacrifice on the altar will only be acceptable if it comes from your identity in Christ Jesus and not your prowess.
God abhors performance at the altar. Performance is for the stage. The altar is a place to worship in the beauty of holiness.
We have been called to worship Him in truth and spirit. Performance cannot count as worship. We need to return to true worship.
The altar is not for everyone but for a people that have met certain conditions – consecration unto God.
The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters. Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face. Selah.
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.Psalm 24 (NKJV)
Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.
In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord. He who swears to his own hurt and does not change; He who does not put out his money at usury, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.Psalm 15 (NKJV)
Consecrated things belong to consecrated people. Spiritual things belong to spiritual people.
The Church needs to return to the place of preaching holiness.
For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.Leviticus 11:44
When you are a consecrated person, all that you own is consecrated.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.Colossians 3:23