The Altar Speaks Part 2 – The Brazen & The Golden Altars
The brazen altar was placed in the outer court of the tabernacle. As we enter into the opening of the tabernacle, called the way, this would be the first piece of furniture that we would behold. The brass would speak to us of judgment. As we move forward we understand that the layout of the furniture in the tabernacle was in the shape of a cross. The brazen alter would be at the feet of that cross. In Rev. 1:15 “His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace.” At the brazen alter we are at the feet of Jesus where our sins are atoned for.
As we move even further into courts of the tabernacle we come to the laver of bronze, which was made from the looking glasses of the women of Israel. This speaks of the washing by the water of the word. The priest were to wash as they did service unto the Lord. As we look into the water we see the reflection of ourselves; ourselves as the Lord see’s us. At each glimpse into this water word we see the glory of the Lord. And with an open face, which is in full honesty, we are changed into that same image from glimpse to glimpse, or glory to glory, or revelation to revelation. The laver was about at the knee of the cross.
As we continue to move forward into the tabernacle we come into the sanctuary. This is called the Holy Place. This is where the table of shew-bread was placed; 12 loaves each week which represents bread for each tribe of the children of Israel. Fresh bread every week, a loaf for each tribe – the Lord is all sufficient! He has something new each day! Another name for it was the bread of face because as you eat His word it brings you face to face with God.
On the other side in the sanctuary we come to the menorah, or the seven-hand candelabrum; the only light in the room. The speaks of the seven Spirits of God. The Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Knowledge, and the Spirit of Fear and Holy Reverence. As we sit at the table of the Lord and eat His word there is imputed unto us each of these manifold attributes of our Great God!
Next we come to the golden altar. This altar is not brass, so it does not speak to us of judgment. It is gold, so it speaks to us of redemption. We have already been to repentance where the smoke of the sacrifices went up to God speaking of substitution. The smoke of incense representing the prayers of the saints; speaking of intercession, prayer, and travail. This altar is set about where the heart would be on the cross because we are at the heart of God. Reconciliation, intercession, prayer, and travail are at the heart of God.
Aaron’s censer was of pure gold – redemption. Korah’s censer along with Dathan’s and Abiram’s were of brass – judgment. Judgment was for the outer court. However the golden altar reconciliation was placed next to the veil, as close to the presence of God as you could get. It was also the highest piece of furniture in the Holy Place. The highest and the closest you can get to God is at the golden altar. This is the ministry of prayer, intercession, and travail. There is not a lot of recognition, or notoriety at this altar, yet it is the place that is at the heart of God. There is no closer or higher place than this. As we get upon our knees we are walking higher and closer than we have ever been!