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The Altar

The concept of the altar embodies a divine principle. The impetus of the erecting an altar and the attitude of the heart towards it review the constituent of Christ. Looking very closely at the Scripture we discover what leads to one erecting an altar. An alter in the Old Testament is usually erected just after the greatness and supremacy of God is unveiled. When God reveals Himself and do something miraculous an altar is built there. The Altar of sacrifice springs forth from the revelation of Christ. The first time altar appear in the Bible was when God unveil His supremacy to man. Man had gone astray, they had rebelled against their Creator and they were living their lives for themselves. They had no regard for the One who created them and they did whatever they like with their lives. Then God came and reminded them that He created them and their lives were in His hands. He did this by wiping them away from the surface of the earth, sparing only a family to be a witness to His supremacy. And then Noah erected An altar. The altar was erected out of the revelation of the supremacy of God. Every other altar in the Scripture is erected as a response to the sighting of God. The second time altar appear in the Scripture the Bible started, "Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said... And Abram built an altar there" (Gen 12:7). Also "Isaac built an altar there" (Gen 26:25) when and where "the Lord appear to him" (Gen 26:24). The altar was built upon the revelation of God. What is the implication of this in the New Testament? We can only understand this by looking at the meaning of the altar. Yes the altar is for worship but specifically it is meant to secure God's right as Lord. The sacrifice on the altar is a portion of the fruit of the earth which is meant to represent the whole earth. And as that portion is offer onto God it signifies that the whole earth has been given onto God. God already own the earth because He is Lord and Creator of all but when man rebelled against His Lordship there arises the need for His right to be secured. After God reminded man that He is still Lord and that He is supreme Noah responded to this by yielding to God's Lordship. He acknowledge and secured God's right over the earth through the sacrifice on the altar. Noah gave a portion of the earth to God signifying that the whole earth is His. As a result God can now exercise His right over the earth. God cannot express the goodness of His reign on earth until His right is secured. Also the altar is the testimony of God's right. Anyone that sees an altar in a land would immediately know that God has a right over that land because it has been given to Him. Therefore the purpose of erecting an altar is to acknowledge the Lordship of God, secure His right and testify of His Lordship. The altar is only erected at the revelation of God in His greatness. This means as New Testament believes we cannot truly give all to the Lord until we have a revelation of Him. It is in the revelation of His Lordship that we submit and give ourselves as a living sacrifice to secure His right over all of humanity. Man is filled with pride and he doesn't know how to bow until he is brought to his knees by the impression of the greatness and majesty of the King of kings. If we truly want to submit completely to the Lord we must seek for the revelation of His greatness and the supremacy of His Lordship.

The Greatness Of Faith

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Heb 11:6) Look around you, what do you notice about man and his many religious activities? Isn't it all to please God? All those sacrifices and religious rituals, nothing but an attempt to appease God, to get God's attention, to make Him do that and this for us. Isn't that what it is all about? Now the Spirit is saying "without faith it is impossible to please God". This is one of the very few times the word impossible was used in the Scripture. The Holy Spirit was trying to reveal the greatness of faith. Ever since man was driven from the garden of Eden man had become restless by the hunger to return into relationship with God. Why did Cain killed is brother, his only brother? It is because his brother was getting something that his very soul crave for - to appease God and get God's acceptance. Cain was driven mad by jealousy because his brother was getting something that he desires the most, while he suffers for want of it. Man's greatest desire had always been to return into a right relationship with God. And all those who rebel against God, why do they? Is it not because they have tried so hard to get back into relationship with God but then they failed. Their heart is broken by this failure, they just couldn't bear it so they blame Christians and they blame God for their failure. This is our greatest desire, to please God and get into relationship with God and we would do anything to get that. Oh, all the effort we have put, all the things we have tried just to get to God. In our foolishness we believe we are capable, we think we have what it takes to please God and to walk with God. We even think we are wise enough to manipulate God. When we are in need of something, that is when we come regularly to church, spend hours in prayers, pay out tithe, read the Bible and do whatever we can to appease God and make Him do this and that for us. Men love to work, work and work, it is difficult for us to just believe and trust. We always want to do something, to make something happen by our own power. We think God would meet us on that ground - on the ground of the works we have done. We have foolishly think God is subjected under the law of survival of the fittest - "let the strongest win the price". No, God won't have that. He refuses to meet us on any ground apart from faith - the faith in Christ Jesus. We can't get God to do any for us base on our work but by faith. All the effort we have made and all the works we have done is being brought to nothing before faith. They are incapable of accomplishing right relationship with God because "without faith it is impossible to please God". Yes, outside of faith we come face to face with impossibility, we try to defeat it, we bring everything we have against this impossibility but yet we end up falling flat on our face in utter defeat. But with faith in Christ Jesus all things are possible. What all our works couldn't do, all our sacrifice, all our religious rituals, all our consistent begging and crying  all our manipulative methods couldn't do faith accomplish it and even more. Because faith is greater, yes greater than any works we can do. "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence." (1Cor 1:27-29).