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2Ch 20:18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.

 Dec. 16, 2006              Giving God Everything             Kathleen Maples
The altar of incense, which is symbolic of the prayers of the people of God, was to be placed in front of the veil in the tabernacle which separated the priest from the holy of holies. It was made of shittim wood, and overlaid with gold. It was placed in front of the veil, by the ark of the covenant, before the mercy seat that was over the testimony, where the Lord would meet with Moses.

Exo 30:7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it.

In the Hebrew, the word 'burn' here comes from a root word 'qatar' and it implies the idea of fumigating a closed in place to drive out the occupants. To smoke, turning into fragrance by fire, to kindle or offer (incense or sacrifice). In the morning, he would trim the lamp, and you should really see all that goes into that definition (H3190 in your Strong's Concordance) and it implies that he would be content, diligent, finding favor, glad, sweet, and accepted as he went about this task. He would burn incense on this altar before the Lord's mercy seat-which was a physical illustration, of a believer, covered in the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, bowing before the throne of grace, meeting with the Lord. When you consider the mercy seat was over the testimony, which was the law of God, which none of them could effectively keep, and He put the mercy seat over that. What a merciful God! That tells me He really wanted to have a connection to these people. He was going to great lengths and had them go to great lengths in preparing the tabernacle, and everything because He wanted them to understand and share His desire for communication with them on a personal level.

I read in Smith's Bible Dictionary that when the priest was offering the incense, there was profound silence observed among the congregation who were praying outside. They were reverent. The priest would cast the incense on the fire, and bow reverently toward the Holy of Holies and back out of there. He would not turn his back to the altar. He backed out of there facing it. I have had to stop and ask myself some hard questions. Why is it I have not thought before of examining how I come before the Lord in comparison to His Word, and the order He laid out in His word? I know we are under the new covenant. But this is an illustration of how it's to be done. With reverence.

Now, back to the fumigation part. That really caught my attention and stopped me cold for a minute. What occupants need to be driven out? Remember in 2 Chr 20 when Jehoshaphat and Israel were facing an overwhelming enemy, and the Lord ordered them to send out the singers and praisers before the army and the Lord fought their battle? What occupants are there in this temple of the Lord that need to be smoked out? The flesh, the carnal mind, the lies of the enemy that have slipped in and weighed me down, anything that is not lining up with the Word of God. And when I looked at the next word, I got a huge surprise.

Exo 30:8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.

The Hebrew word for 'lighteth' in this verse is alah, pronounced 'aw-law'. It means to ascend, be high, or active, to climb up, come up, increase, offer, recover and restore. Isn't that what our prayers are supposed to do? To ascend before the throne, as sweet smelling incense before God, as mentioned in Revelation and cause the hand of God to move as His saints pray His will back to Him?

Exo 30:9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.

Strange means foreign, profane, or turned aside, to commit adultery and come from another. When I read this, it sent a chill of fear through me. I thought back to the times I'd sat in front of the television and watched the news, or something I thought of as harmless and then try to go pray and wonder why I couldn't get anywhere. And what about the times I was having a bad day, and walking through camp complaining, then try to pray and wonder why the heavens were brass over my head?

Pardon me, folks, while I stop and thank God for His incredible mercy to my willful ignorance-and I say willful because when you go before the Most High, and you don't get in His word to see how it should be done correctly, well, let's just say I wish I had..because I did not realize I was dishonoring Him. No, I thought I was doing it right, doing what I was supposed to do or something. I mean, we're supposed to pray. But when it's not achieving results, we need to find out why. I'm seeing here some of the reasons. I went to pray this morning, wanting to talk to Him, feeling weighed down by junk, mental battles, etc., and I felt a check in my spirit, and remembered what I had read in Leviticus about the order of the sacrifice. Before it was laid before the Lord it had to be washed, watered (by the Word-
Eph_5:26) and that powerful Word prepares the sacrifice and washes the dirt off and makes it acceptable. It cuts the vessel (Heb_4:12) and when the vessel willingly submits to the washing of the water of the Word and the cutting of the Sword of the Word, and let it trim off the chaff, or what needs to go, then that vessel will get somewhere when it heads to the altar of incense- i.e., on their knees before the throne of grace. To put it in perspective, consider it this way: if your spouse came home with another woman or man's smell on them, you would not receive them, would you? God will not receive us when we come to Him smelling of the world, or flesh. I always thought I should pray before I read my Bible, and though I believe I should pray and ask the Lord to open my eyes to His Word, and teach me, but now I believe it should be reversed- I should go to HIS Word first and then pray.

Exo 30:20 When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD:

Exo 30:21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not:

They had to have clean hands and clean feet to minister before the Lord. They had to be living the life, walking in holiness before the Lord before they could minister before Him or they would die. He warned them to keep His order. We have to remember this is a spiritual principle illustrated in the Old Testament. If we try to play games with God, and come before His Holy Presence with unclean hands, unclean lips, and unclean hearts, He will not receive us. If we persist in our uncleanness He will take His Holy Spirit from us and we will die.

Exo 30:27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense,

Exo 30:28 And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot.

Exo 30:29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.

If we are going to minister before the Lord and be used by Him, we can't feed on the dead things of this world. We must eat only at His table. If we want to have His presence and see His glory and power manifested in our lives, it's going to cost us. If we fill up on Him, and on His Spirit and on His Word, the world will hold no appeal. To think of feeding on its death would make us sick. What do I mean by dead things? The Lord alone has the Word of Life. If we open our temples and minds to the pleasures of the world, the entertainment of the world that will feed the flesh and the carnal, the spiritual will die. It will be choked out by the thorns of the world. It will make us unclean.

Exo 30:31 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be a holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations.

Exo 30:32 Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you.

Exo 30:33 Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.

Now, just a brief pause right here: I see occasionally an advertisement in the mail from so-called, self-serving ministries that they have holy anointing oil for sale. Miracle oil. Made in Israel, no less, they claim. Buyer beware. This Scripture forbids that practice. We are warned in Timothy they will make merchandise of you. People fall for this, and get taken in because they have not taken time for themselves to get in this BOOK and pray for understanding. That won't be an excuse when we face Him at the end. Now, I believe this Scripture can also be applied to the New Testament church....God won't pour out the Holy Ghost on someone walking in the flesh. If we let our flesh rule us, we won't be in a position to have this precious gift of the Holy Ghost poured out on and in us. And anybody who tries to play games with or pretend they possess the holy things, and Holy Spirit of God for gain is walking on very dangerous ground. You don't try to fake the things of God, which means you don't indulge in ministries who do this, nor should you support them with financial gifts. By their fruit, ye shall know them, He said. Oh, my, this is frightening ground I've ended up on today..Lord, help me.

I did a little reading about the spices mentioned in verse 34, the stacte, which is the tears of the tree-when the sap drops off-it's like liquid myrrh, and the onycha, which is the outer shell of a shell fish found in the Red Sea, probably ground to powder, and galbanum, gum resin from a plant causes the fragrance of the spices when mixed to last longer. These three were mixed with pure frankincense:

Exo 30:35 And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy:

Exo 30:36 And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.

Frankincense is a vegetable resin, brittle, bitter, and white, and is used for fumigation at sacrifices. I would imagine the altar would stink with the smell of dead animals and blood, so the fumigation would be important. It burns for a long time with a steady flame. Some species of this tree grow to very tall heights and send their roots down to extraordinary depths. The resin is obtained by cutting incisions in the bark of the tree called Arbor thuris. The first cut yields the whitest and purest resin. It was imported from Arabia. Being one of the perfumes for the incense burned in the sanctuary, it symbolizes prayer. This was to be mixed together, and placed before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation. This was where the Lord would meet with Moses. What does all this mean? I am not sure. I do believe when we are willing to sacrifice ourselves, the pleasing of our own selves, with humility before God, and give up all attempts to run ourselves, over to God, and we have repented over our sins, it's special to God. He said in Psalms, "precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." But as with the oil, it's not to be manufactured or faked. To do so incurred a severe penalty. It was only to be made and used in the ministry of the Lord, not for personal or commercial use. It was not to be sold or used commonly among the people. God wouldn't tell them this and then give ministries permission today to make their 'holy miracle oil' and sell it for money. If God is in their ministry it won't need or use gimmicks and it won't feed off the poor. It won't have to beg for finances. It will give, not take from the people.

Exo 30:37 And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD.

Exo 30:38 Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.

The Lord requires a sacrifice. We are not talking about bulls and goats and heifers. But these were used to illustrate the order. They were an example to teach us. In Leviticus 1, God spoke to Moses out of the tabernacle and gave instructions that were precise and exact regarding the sacrifice. We are the tabernacle or temple of the Lord. This is His Word. I want to dig for the treasure I know is here, and let it change my life....folks, I have got to have more of Him. Whatever it takes, I have got to have more of Him. It must be HIS way because only HIS way leads home.

Lev 1:3 If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.

Remember, there is neither male nor female in the kingdom of God, (Gal_3:28). He shall offer his burnt sacrifice freely, and it must not have a blemish. He must offer it at the door of the tabernacle, before the Lord, out of a sincere heart. We know the Door is Jesus Christ. He is the entrance for us-the gateway to God. Without blemish, in the Hebrew means 'entire'. That means the whole thing. It can't be missing any parts. Nothing can be held back. It must be whole, and undefiled. (H8549) He could reserve nothing for himself of the sacrifice. Remember what happened to Ananias and Sapphira when they held back part of the price deliberately? (Acts 5) We must mean business with God, when we pray this way. We must prepare ourselves before we even try to present ourselves as a living sacrifice. The only way I would know to do that would be to as much as possible saturate my mind, heart and soul with the Word and prayer, and ask God to lead and guide and oversee the whole process. (Jer 17:5, remember, can't trust the human heart-it wants to cut corners).

Lev 1:7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire:

Lev 1:8 And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:

The wood had to be laid in a certain order. They laid the head (carnal mind, self-life), and the fat (flesh) in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is on the altar. But the animal's inwards and legs were to be washed in water. Our inner being, that inner life of Christ we receive when we are born again, washes us by the washing of the water of the Word. When you expose yourself to the Word of God, it's amazing. It can cut or separate you from what needs to go, it can cause a burning zeal in your heart that separates you from the things of the world, it washes you and cleanses you, as you eat His flesh and drink His blood. It strengthens, and teaches, and does so many wonderful things for the soul of a willing human being. (Eph_5:26)

Lev 1:9 But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD.

I'm not sure how it works, and I don't understand it all, but, there have been times reading the Word that I have felt like someone had turned on a shower inside of me and it was the most wonderful feeling. Those rivers of living water would be stirred by what I was reading and I could sense it moving inside and I drew on it. I was strengthened by it. I don't understand what it all means or how it all works, but God does. I can trust Him to make sure it works out right and help me not err because I really don't want to. I have to do it HIS way, I can't do it how I think it should be done.

1Ki 18:25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.

1Ki 18:26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.

Here is another situation where sacrifices are being made to the Lord. Two separate people preparing altars, and sacrifices. The sacrifice has to be in pieces. It has to be broken. Surrendered. Humble. (Spiritually speaking, here). They cut the bullock in pieces, lay it on the wood, and neither lit a fire under it. Elijah wanted the fire of God-not man's fire to consume the sacrifice and that would settle the issue once and for all in the minds of the people about Who was really God. What happened when everything was done and in order?

1Ki 18:26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.

Baal means 'master, lord'. Today, that would be whatever consumes the most of our time and thoughts, in the place of GOD. It could be making money, looking physically attractive, another person, it could be our own idea of who Jesus is. It could be a false gospel. A false Christ. It could be a love of the pleasures of life. It could be a harsh taskmaster of worry and fretting over things of life, because we put ourselves in the place of God when we try to run the show. These poor people are dancing around this altar, calling on Baal, they are seeking vindication, favor, or help, but they got no answer. Flesh will let you down every time. Flesh can't deliver the soul from sin. It can't meet the innermost need in the heart of a hurting soul. Remember, these folks had been suffering through a three year famine. Water was scarce. Food was scarce. Trouble abounded. People had been eating their own infants. These had to be some desperate people, needing answers and help.

1Ki 18:27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

1Ki 18:28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.

Elijah had a zeal for God, and I'm sure it offended him to see how the people of Israel had mistreated God, and turned away from His commands and love so quickly. But I cannot see Jesus mocking even the Pharisees this way. He upbraided them for their hypocrisy but I can't find one instance where He ever mocked anyone. The Scripture tells us Elijah mocked them, in their ignorance, and sin, but Scripture does not advocate this. His sarcasm only increased their desperation and they began to cry aloud and cut themselves until they were bleeding. That smacks of demonic oppression. But God is so merciful. I believe He wanted to manifest Himself and help Israel in their misery. They had exhausted their resources and strength. They were suffering, and empty, and dry. Surely they were afraid for their families, and lives, in the conditions of a three year drought.

1Ki 18:29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

1Ki 18:30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.

It can be a real battle when we try to pray sometimes. But we need to repair the altar and begin to seek God in earnest for the lost in our families, in our lives, and neighborhoods. We can send up prayers and shake off the lies of the enemy that tries to convince us God won't hear. When our flesh tries to tell us it doesn't want to pray, it would rather sleep, or do something else, we need to stiffen our backbone, and ask ourselves am I really going to let something so temporary, something that is decaying day by day rule that which is eternal within me? NO!!!! By the grace of Almighty God, I don't have to!

1Ki 18:31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:

1Ki 18:32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.

1Ki 18:33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.

1Ki 18:34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.

1Ki 18:35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.

Elijah did everything with deliberate care. He put the wood in order, cut the sacrifice in pieces and laid it on the altar. Then he had twelve barrels of water poured over the altar. It was saturated with the water. The sacrifice was completely saturated. I wonder what would happen if a person saturated themselves with the Word, and prayerfully made right everything they knew to, and rejected anything known of sin, and repented, and then, laid themselves on the altar before God, broken and cut in pieces by the Word, humble and contrite for their sin, and hungry for God? Would He send the fire? Would the Holy Ghost fall and consume the chaff and fill the vessel if it was empty of self? And how would you go about pouring out yourself? Would the fire fall and baptize that person with the Spirit of Almighty God?

1Ki 18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

1Ki 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

1Ki 18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

Is that what it takes? I've only read about it. I've heard about it. I've never seen it. I've heard it preached about. I'm hungry to see it. I'm hungry to experience it. But only for HIS glory, only because I loathe the weakness and rebelliousness of my own flesh and carnal tendencies. I was born in the flesh 40 years ago, it's so hard to unlearn dependence on self after 35 years of being taught by society that is the way to be.

1Ki 18:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

The writer in Psalms says be still and know that I am God.

Psa 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

Psa 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

Psa 119:161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

Psa 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

I want to see HIM exalted and glorified in the earth. In me, through me, all around me. Nothing satisfies but HIM. Nothing fills the longing in my soul like He can. There is not any other hope to be found outside of HIM. Glory to God for His great and tender mercies. I wonder. Do you? He said be strong, and of a good courage. Fear not neither be dismayed. (Jos 1:9) It's all about sincerity, hunger, and preparation. Only HE can sanctify. Only HE can fulfill His own command for us to be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18). Dare we find out? Dare we to discover the delight and the joy of the awesome and magnificent God who created us all? How dare we not. How dare I not!

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