Summary: What do we think of when we think of "The Altar?" For some it brings back sweet memories from our childhood. For others just confusion and misunderstandings. We cannot experience a move of God without The Altar! Today, let's take a quick look at the subject of "The Altar."
6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
• What do we think of when we think of the Altar?
• Is it just a bench at the front of the sanctuary where people kneel occasionally to pray?
• Has it become just a symbol that reminds us of our “Childhood Church?”
• For some of us it holds a dear place in our hearts. (For others, confusion and misunderstanding)
• To our text - It seems foolish to go kneel down at a cloth covered, wooden bench and talk to a God that we can’t see with our physical eyes…
• Today – Let’s examine the altar in Scripture…
I. Altars of the OT Tabernacle
• Spend a moment explaining the value of typology from the OT for the NT Believer.
A. The Brazen Altar & Laver
1. The Brazen Altar was made of Wood (a type of the humanity of Christ and the Cross) overlaid with Brass (a type of judgment).
a) The place where the Children of Israel brought their sacrificial lambs to be cleansed of their sins each year.
2. The Laver (a type of God’s Holy Word) was made of Bronze and was a place where the priests cleansed themselves before proceeding to the Altar of Incense and the Holy Place.
a) As Christians we are cleansed by the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ but doing life can “dirty us up!” Therefore, its necessary to keep washing ourselves with the water of the Word.
B. The Altar of Incense
1. The Altar of Incense (a type of Christ our Intercessor) was the place the place where the priests would offer up Praise and Worship before entering the Holy Place.
2. The rising incense is a type of our prayers and our praise being offered “up” to our Heavenly Father through Christ Jesus our Intercessor!
3. This activity was the last activity before the priests could enter into the Holy of Holies.
a) Praise and Worship precedes the manifestation of God’s Holy presence.
4. When Jesus died on Calvary the veil of the temple was torn apart from the top to the bottom giving the common man access into the Holy of Holies because of the blood of Jesus.
a) When we pray and praise IN THE NAME OF JESUS we are granted access into the Throne Room of Almighty God!
II. Altars in Scripture
A. The first sacrifice in Scripture is found in Genesis 3:21 where God made Adam & Eve coats of skin to cover their nakedness.
1. The “covering” of sin until Calvary was established by the Lord God Himself.
B. The first Altar in Scripture is the Altar that Noah built when God established His covenant with man to never again destroy the earth with a flood.
1. It is known as the Noahic Covenant
C. Three altars showing the generational power of Godly Covenants.
1. Abraham - Gen 12:7-8; Gen 13:18; Gen 22:9
2. Isaac - Gen 26:25
3. Jacob - Gen 33:20; Gen 35:1-7
D. Can a man love God and not go to church?
1. It’s possible but it will destroy your families faith.
2. In the Old Testament we find this example in the lineage of some of the Kings.
a) One king loved God but would not go to the temple.
b) His grandchildren were offered to the pagan God Molech as human sacrifices.
c) Why? He loved God but wouldn’t go to Church!
III. How to Rebuild the Altar in our lives
A. See the value of the Altar
1. It’s true - We can make an altar almost anywhere.
2. Kneeling at the altar when we come to Church is a Holy thing.
3. Make plans to spend time at the altar BEFORE you come to Church.
B. Fall back in love with the Altar
1. There’s very little that can’t be resolved at a Holy altar.
2. In the Bible
a) The word “salvation” is mentioned 156 times
b) The word “mercy” is mentioned 269 times
c) The word “grace” is mentioned 137 times
d) The word “altar” is mentioned 322 times
e) The word “sacrifice” is mentioned 302 times
3. God places great emphasis on the Altar!
C. Recommit to an Altar Lifestyle?
1. We are in a position of complete commitment to prayer.
2. It’s a place of cleansing & renewal.
3. It’s also a place of true peace and communication with God.
Closing: Let’s get “Back to the Altar!”
• There’s Salvation at The Altar