- THE BRAZEN ALTAR – Representing the cross or death to sin.
- Justification – Made just as if you had never sinned.
- Salvation – Redemption – Bought and paid for.
- THE BRAZEN LAVER– Representing Death to Self typified in baptism – Entering into a Covenant relationship with God.
- Baptism – Entering into a Covenant of death, burial and Resurrection with Christ.
- Sanctification – Made clean and acceptable to God
- Consecration – Putting aside that which is cleansed for the purpose of God’s use alone.
- THE TABLE OF SHEWBREAD – Representing the feasting on the Body of Christ – God’s dining table – The King’s Table
- Feeding on Christ in the Body.
- Feeding on Christ within one’s own spirit.
- Feeding on Christ in Jesus, who is not only in us, but with us.
- THE GOLDEN CANDLESTICK or Lampstand – Representing the union in the spirit of man and God. It does not merely represent the baptism of the Holy Spirit, since one may be baptized in the Holy Ghost and not live in the Spirit, but it represents the bringing forth of the fruits of the Spirit. It represents man and God working together as one unit.
- THE GOLDEN ALTAR OF INCENSE – Representing the offering of the soul.
- THE MERCY SEAT – Representing the overshadowing of the Body of Christ.
- THE ARK OF THE COVENANT – Representing the manchild.
These seven pieces of furniture represent:
- The seven stages of progression in the history of the church which will eventually produce a perfect church, spoken of in Revelation 12:5 as the “MANCHILD.”
- The seven mysteries of the gospel which will be and are being revealed within man. As we walk in them, we receive the revelation of them. God is daring men and women to walk blindly by faith into the blazing light of the WORD. Jesus said in John 7:17, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
- The opening of the seven mysteries is the opening of the Seven Seals, Revelation 5:2. As these mysteries of the gospel are opened, the world is being brought nearer to the final fulfillment of all things.
THE SEVEN SEALS
The opening of the Seven Seals in Revelation 6 describes certain momentous occurrences, some of them cataclysmic. As the message of life goes forth to the Church and becomes clearer, and as the Church gets stronger, the world, the flesh and the devil are given more power to manifest. For this reason, we find that the breaking of the seals produces certain adverse effects in the world.
A bucking, bellowing bull is brought in by sheer force to the place of death. He can smell the blood of his predecessors, and he fights the more to retain his life, but it is all in vain. He is tied down with cords to an altar of brass with four brazen horns – depicting power, authority, force and judgment – then slain with one stroke of the priest’s knife. The bucking ceases with one last kick, and the bellowing voice is forever stilled. The bull has entered into its METAMORPHOSIS to migrate into a higher form of life through death. For the first time in its long history of destruction, DEATH has been used of God to kill that which is undesirable: carnality. Thus, because of sin, death becomes a necessity. “The sting of death is sin.” 1st Corinthians 15:56.
This altar of Moses was symbolic of Calvary – not the one that was enacted in real life upon the same hill where Abraham sacrificed a ram instead of his son (Genesis 22:13) – but the Calvary within the human heart. The ram of man’s sin life is being sacrificed.
The knife is the Word of God. The sin life of the sinner is the bull. The rope is the physical circumstances which bring us to the binding. And the Great High Priest is Christ.
Jesus Christ Himself, of course, was the first lamb slain on this altar, and since then, we are only asked to do it in spirit, and we receive all the benefits of life.
The brazen altar is sometimes called the altar of burnt offering. The dimensions were 5x5x3 cubits, and it was made of SHITTIM wood overlaid with brass. It had four horns at the four corners, also made of wood overlaid with brass.
WOOD is a type of flesh, which signifies that man would have to save man from his sins. This point is brought out in 1st Corinthians 15:21,
“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.”
SHITTIM WOOD suggests that it was a special type of wood. We find all through the Word of God, this wood being used in the construction of holy things. This would suggest that those who minister in the redemption of the world of men are special people ordained of God, and not just anybody who likes the profession of preaching.
BRASS is a type of judgment, justice and force. The work of the altar speaks of judgment against sin – justification by faith – and a measure of force which is being used to bring in the animals, as it is in the case of every convert. Jesus states in John 6:44,
“No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
FIVE BY FIVE BY THREE
Five is the number of the ministry and the number of redemption. Five squared represents a complete work – ministration of death to sin. Though this altar does not represent the full redemption of man, it represents the beginning of the work of redemption. Redemption begins in death. The old life must die before the new life begins. This altar, being square, shows the equality required by God of each minister with Christ in his or her willingness to sacrifice. For that matter, every child of God who comes to this altar is required to be of the same mind that was in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5. In Matthew 20:22, Jesus asked James and John, “Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They answered in the affirmative. We must be equal to our Savior in the will to sacrifice. The Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:12 states, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” This is the spirit of equality. The NUMBER THREE is the number of God. The Altar of Burnt Offering is three cubits high, which signifies that the height or fulness of God’s will in this first work is the creation of a new creature. The horizontal work, or that which is laid down on a flat plain, which is represented by the figure FIVE, is the laying down of one’s life for the brethren, even as Christ did for us – the nature of the lamb.
HORNS represent force and rulership. Six men took in the animal to be sacrificed, generally against its will. Very often, the Outer Court was a place of confusion. Men struggling with animals; animals bellowing and fighting in a vain effort to save their lives. It was a place of evil smells with the odor of blood, and the noxious bowels of animals. No man comes to God by his own free will.
God having made man subject to the fall, and KNOWING BEFORE MAN WAS CREATED THAT HE WOULD FALL, took the onus of man’s fall upon Himself, and not only pays the price for man’s redemption, but takes it as HIS BUSINESS TO DRAW EVERY MAN TO HIMSELF.
John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
THE BLOOD WORK
At this point, the church begins. Outside the Outer Court, there is no church. Any institution or organization which does not begin with the blood of the cross is not a church at all. Thus the REFORMATION of the church in general actually began with Martin Luther, who broke with Rome and again preached JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH (Romans 5:1), to a world which only knew penance, purgatory and Pope. This was only the first of the seven steps to perfection, but even in our time, some churches stop right here, at Luther, and refuse to budge. The fact of the altar being made of brass, shows that it is justice and not perfection. It suggests, also, the absolute necessity for a Christian to begin at the gate of the Tabernacle, and at the Brazen Altar, with no exceptions. “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. The body of sin must die, because it is an alien nature to God. If we are taking on the nature of God, then the alien nature must go. The blood shed on this altar depicts the life of God. This life was sufficient to re-energize our realm. Death had entered into our realm, and had slain all our forefathers, and would continue to impose upon us that which we hated. What we needed was energy to fight our enemy. God is light, and LIGHT IS ENERGY, thus God found a way to reveal HIS ENERGY in our realm in the form of the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST: a ready source from which we can recharge our tired batteries. This is fantastic, but beyond all shadow of a doubt, TRUE. The life of God which was sent here in the veins of a man named JESUS was a PRISONER within His veins and within His body, and unless He gave this up, you and I would have no hope of deliverance. When He did give it up, the whole UNIVERSE was quickened, and Satan was cast down from his throne as prince of the power of the air (no longer in a position above us). MAN WAS ONCE AGAIN PLACED ON the throne OF GLORY, which is the HEARTS of the Sons of God (Throne of David). We find thus, that in this age, men obey God or the devil by free will choice, for NOW THEY HAVE A BETTER WAY than obeying the devil. This is the reason David could be a man after God’s own heart, and yet capable of such heinous sins.
GOD A PRISONER
When we contain God, we retain, restrain and detain Him. Even as God THE MAGNIFICENT was contained within a man named Jesus, so also He is now within human frame again by the same process of procreation of the species which he used in bringing forth the FIRST CHRIST. This is a paradox – the ALMIGHTY GOD inside the closed confines of flesh which is addicted to corruption; BUT how else would this flesh become incorruptible?
SIN entered into man! Thus God must enter into man to finally deal with the foe. Even while Jesus walked on earth in human flesh, the LIFE of God within Him sought for a resurrection or a breaking forth. The same is within us who have the true work of the blood within us. THIS WORK AND THIS WORK ALONE makes us the church, none other. This is the entering, in the beginning of the creation of God. WITHOUT A BEGINNING there can be nothing at all.
The imprisonment of the Christ within us is a great mystery. In order to manifest HIMSELF within our realm, Jesus Christ our Lord had to come as a prisoner of humanity. Humanity contained and restrained DIVINITY, until Divinity overcame that which contained Him, and the man and the contained became one expression of God. I am depending on you to be in the Spirit to understand what I am saying. If you can understand this, then you are in the Spirit. If you cannot, then pray.
THE TRUE CHURCH DEFINED
The church therefore was never meant to be a building or an organization, but God Himself designed His people as HIS CHURCH. All that has been done in the past has only been a preparation for the TRUE CHURCH. Any organization which claims that it is the true church, no matter what good intentions it has, must be usurping a position which it can never live up to. When Jesus called His disciples together and gave them a spiritual charter, it exceeded and superseded all human charters and laws and was above them all. It was a “law planted on the fleshy tables of their hearts,” which, if you have, you will obey God and be one with God’s people. If you do not have it, you will just do everything but that which God requires. Thus we find that the churches which are running headlong with their programs of doing good are not in God’s order, and to God, they are like wild animals running up and down in the jungle doing their thing until their day of visitation.
For a long time, we all dwelt in this overcast situation, and after a while, we convinced ourselves that we were in the will of God. God, on the other hand, gave us many blessings and encouragements, healings and deliverances, which we have used to convince others that we are in the will of God, and that they should follow us and our program. YET, every honest minister of the Gospel knows that our programming of God, and our business of running the church, never really filled the bill in the eyes of God. Could God use this word for our works: “Perfect in his generation?” This kind of action, which has lasted for hundreds of years, while the light slowly breaks upon the church, demands an END. We HAVE NOW COME TO THE END OF PLAYING CHURCH. God is bringing the ax down upon our churchianity, and within a short period of years, there shall be a cleaving and a tearing, and GOD SHALL SUDDENLY DIVIDE THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS.
FOR A WHILE, WHICH SEEMED TO BE A VERY LONG WHILE, GOD WINKED AT OUR OPERATIONS IN HIS NAME, BUT NOW, HE WINKS NO MORE.
DEATH, THE GATEWAY TO LIFE
The Brazen Altar is not life – neither does it represent life, but death which is the gateway to life.
THE THREE CHANGES OF THE BRAZEN ALTAR
The brazen altar represents three changes.
- Change by death.
- Change by fire.
- Change by assimilation.
1. Change by Death: From Bull to Beef.
The law of life dictates: that which must rise from one life form to a higher life form must give up the lower life in order to gain the higher. Thus the caterpillar goes into a long sleep and dies, but from its tomb a beautiful butterfly rises with a new body and a new nature.
John 12:24, “Except a corn of wheat falls into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
This is a spiritual law and although paradoxical, it is absolute in its truth. The lizard eats the fly, and the chicken eats the lizard, and the man eats the chicken. Thus fly, lizard and chicken are raised by one overt act to become man.
When the bull was brought into the tabernacle and killed, the skin and the dung were taken outside of the tabernacle, and outside of the camp and burned with fire. This depicts the removal of the filth and mire of our past from us by faith, when we accept the death on Calvary within our bodies. The law of the Spirit which applies here is the one stated in Exodus 13:13.
“And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck.”
Interpreted in the Spirit, we see that one SOUL can pay the price for the sin OF ANOTHER. The problem in the human realm was that the soul of the sinner could not pay for the sinner. Therefore, it took the just to pay for the unjust. We needed Jesus CHRIST and we needed Him badly. Another divine order law applies here which is found in Romans 6:16.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
We had been in our past lives servants of Satan and his spirits, because we submitted to them. Now Christ is asking us to submit to the DEATH THAT WAS IN JESUS; His cross bringing the death to sin and carnality.
The accepting of Calvary and the death on the cross brings us to the same point where the lowly bull, in order to be exalted to oneness with the priest, must give up its life and be absorbed by the life of the priest. We therefore are asked to accept by faith this very position, and give up the natural life in order to gain the spiritual one. Giving up this carnal life is more of a happy riddance than a sacrifice.
“Present your bodies a living sacrifice.” Romans 12:1.
2. Change by Fire: Beef to Steak.
Fire is that element which changes the consistency of all other substances by increasing the velocity of their atoms, thus forcing them to change their form and structure. The fire therefore changes the beef to steak, breaking it down to be easily assimilated in the human body.
This act of change is a type of what occurs within the human being when the Spirit of purging comes upon him and brings deep remorse for sins. Sin comes under judgment at the Brazen Altar, and to the soul purged from its power, sin is exceedingly sinful. We see here that repentance is a basic part of receiving the work of the Brazen Altar within. “Why is repentance so necessary?” someone will ask. “Why could I not just accept Jesus as my Savior, and receive all the benefits of salvation without repentance?” Jesus cannot participate in sin. Matthew 9:16 states,
“No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.”
This is a Divine Order principle. God’s dealing with man under the law was to make man come to the realization that his righteousness was as filthy rags, and that he, man, needed a Savior. He could not save himself. Thus repentance is the renouncing of the old for the acceptance of the new.
SAVIOR BUT NOT LORD
Many have accepted Christ as their Savior, but have denied him as Lord of their lives. They want to do their OWN THING. This is the basic difference between the Adamic man and the Christ man. The Christ man seeks to do the will of the Father, while the Adamic man wants to do his own thing. Here lies the chief cause of division in the Christian world. Each person or group is obsessed with their own program, and few seek God’s perfect will.
The FIRE OF THE OUTER COURT is a fire of judgment and death. As JESUS HUNG on the cross, every nerve and every particle of His being was aflame. He was paying for the death we should have received, so that we might receive the purging without paying the price.
3. Change by Assimilation
The third change of the brazen altar is represented by the meat becoming food to be eaten by the priest and to be absorbed into the human body, thus giving the lowly BULL a part in the service at the altar. The priest actually eats in the Holy Place and not in the Outer Court, but the sacrifice of the Outer Court actually shows the breaking down of the flesh of the animal to a point where it is good for food. Some of the sacrifices are completely consumed on the altar, typifying the absolute uselessness of flesh in the service of God. Carnality has no place in God’s business. The end cannot justify the means before God. If the motive appears godly, but the means are ungodly, then the whole program is an ungodly one. The rallies and money-raising schemes, and even the preaching of a PROSPERITY gospel, (which always seems to end in the carnal thought of GIVING TO GOD in order that you might receive MORE), WOULD all come under the heading of unacceptable offerings before God. Nothing that has a carnal MOTIVE can be SPIRITUAL.
Daniel 8:25, “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, AND BY PEACE shall destroy many.”
The prosperity doctrine is part of the doctrine of the anti-Christ.
God does not require help, but OBEDIENCE.
This type, therefore, of the priest eating the bull is showing the work of the Spirit in the church, where carnal man (the bull) gives his life to Christ (the priest) and becomes a part of the priest. The DESTINY OF THE PRIEST is to become part of God as he offers himself to God in the Holy of Holies. THUS BY ASSIMILATION, the bull will enter into the very life of God.
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