Keeping the fire burning at the altar
According to the law of burnt offering, Aaron was commanded that the fire on the Altar shall be kept burning; never be put out and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning
In Leviticus we learn that the consuming fire came down from heaven. It was Yahweh who sent the fire but Aaron’s duty was to keep the fire ablaze i.e. it was the work of men to keep the fire burning. Wood had to be placed upon the Altar daily and an offering had to be placed on the wood, the residue was to be cleansed. The priest shall take up the ashes of the burn offering which fire has consumed on the Altar and shall put them beside the Altar. Then he shall take off his garment, put on the Altar garment and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place (Leviticus 6:10-11).
Four pillars in the burning of offering
- The sacrifice- obedient believers
- The wood- the word of God (the bible)
- The heavenly flame-the Holy spirit
- The ashes-useless waste/residue extracted from the sacrifice.
- The sacrifice – obedient believers (Rom 12:1-3)
Paul in Rome called the saints to ‘present their bodies as a living sacrifice Holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service and not to conform to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by the renewal of the mind.’
We living in a season that we should allow our mind to be renewed from corruption. The world is corrupt because of the corruption of the mind but for us as Christians we should be transformed by the renewal of the mind. How shall we overcome the flesh that is always itching and want to sin? It is only by having our minds renewed; not even look at a woman lustfully because by doing so you would have committed adultery with her in mind (Mathew 5:27)
Paul also urges Colossians to put to death what is earthly in us: Fornication, impunity, passion, evil desire and covetousness that we may be able to present ourselves as a sacrifice.
So now it’s your duty as it was Aaron to keep the flame ablaze live on the altar of sacrifice. Do not yield your members(body) as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin but yield yourself unto God Rom 6:13-14. Continuous burning of the sacrifice it won’t be quick fix or once for all self-denial. Death to carnal nature must become a regular routine in anyone who is hoping for eternal life.
- The Wood -Word of God
In the burning of offering, the sacrifice was laid upon the wood which provided the fire that kept the sacrifice ablaze. Without the wood there would be no fire. The word of God is the indispensable fuel that keeps the fire burning. Without the word your sacrifice lacks fuel and there will be no fire. As Aaron had to place wood upon the Altar each day, thus you need to study the word each day and apply it.
- The heavenly flame – The Holy Spirit
God expressing his approval or acceptance of the sacrifice, sent the flames that lit the wood and burnt the sacrifice. Without God, all the human effort of laying the wood, killing the animal and placing it upon the wood would have been futile.
For us today, the heavenly flame is the gift of the Holy spirit that was vividly outpoured upon the disciples on the historic day of Pentecost, in fulfilment of Joel’s prophesy. All this is the work of God which cannot be manipulated, duplicated or engineered by men. Many have tried to mimic like the case of Mt. Carmel but it never happened. Zechariah 4:6 says, Not by your mighty nor by power but by the Spirit of the Lord.
- The Ashes
The worthless element should be removed at the Altar before adding more sacrifices. God wants us to remove any dust that might be in our lives.
Paul talks of counting all things loss because of the knowledge of Jesus (Philipians 3:8). Your old nature will not die while you nourish them. We must remove all that belong to the old nature (Rom 6:12-14). Sin should not dominate us anymore.
By John Tinkoi