Temple Baptist Church - 3-23-2014
A. We have seen Jesus Christ as:
1. The Gate to the East – Jesus the Way
2. The Brazen Altar – Jesus our Sacrifice at Calvary
3. The Laver of Brass – Jesus our High Priest and Cleansing
4. The Golden Candlestick – Jesus our Testimony and Light
5. The Table of Shewbread – Jesus our Provision and Communion
B. This morning, I want us to look at the Golden Altar of Incense: Jesus our Intercessor.
C. One of the aspects of the work of the High Priest was to daily offer incense before the Lord. This was not the work of the priesthood in general but of the High Priest alone.
1. Once a year on the Day of Atonement when the blood was placed upon the Mercy Seat, incense was to be burned “that he die not.” Leviticus 16:12-13 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: (13) And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not:
2. Each morning when he dressed the lamps and each evening when he lite the lamps—perpetually: a beautiful type of our prayers: morning, evening, and continually. Exodus 30:7-8 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. (8) And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
D. At this point, as we get into the Old Testament type, it would do us well to, once again, have an understanding of the priesthood of the believer.
1. God gave the Old Testament saint the prophets and priests. The prophet gave prophecy or foretelling because the Word of God was not yet complete. We have the Word of God in all of its fullness and purity; therefore, there is no need for the prophet. The priest represented man to God because the High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ, was not yet given. Humanly speaking, there are no “priests” in our day because Christ came and died for our sin, was buried, rose again bodily, ascended back to heaven and fulfill that priesthood once for all when He offered His eternal blood. We need no man to intercede for us because we are priests and can go to God in prayer anytime of the day with Jesus Christ, our High Priest, doing the interceding. I will deal with that in a few minutes.
2. God gave the New Testament saint apostles, evangelists, and the pastor-teacher. The apostles were transitional until the completion of “that which is perfect,” the Word of God. There are no more apostles! The evangelist is the biblical missionary that allows you and I to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and the pastor-teacher is the under shepherd that takes the oversight of the local church.
E. Now, the Golden Altar of Incense: it was dual in nature.
1. The Golden Altar of Incense was made of shittum wood, a beautiful type of our Lord’s humanity. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory. 100 percent man!
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Our High Priest understands our problems.)
2. The Golden Altar of Incense was overlaid with pure gold, a type of our Lord’s divinity. As He was 100 percent man, He was 100 percent God!
Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: (Our High Priest can do something about our problems.)
F. Now, let us look at the work of our High Priest at the Golden Altar of Incense as He represents us to God the Father.
1. Jesus Christ, our Apostle and High Priest. Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (As our Apostle, Jesus Christ represents God to us; as our High Priest, He represents us to God the Father. By have this dual office, He fulfills His work in both dispensations: the Old Testament saint’s promise is fulfilled and the New Testament saint’s performance assured. The High Priest took the golden censor, filled it with coals from the Brazen Altar [a type of Calvary], and then put incense on the hot coals to be offered to the Lord.)
2. Jesus Christ, our Mediator. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (Mediator – go between or to reconcile. God cannot compromise His holiness nor can man perfect his holiness; therefore, Jesus Christ is our “Buffer” as He knows our infirmity and understands God’s holiness.)
3. Jesus Christ, our Intercessor. Hebrews 7:24-25 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Jesus Christ prays for us. Intercede - to act or interpose in behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble)
4. Jesus Christ, our Advocate. 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (You do not need the Greek to understand the English but the root word for “advocate” is “paraklētos.” That same word is used in John 14:16 where our Lord said, “ And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” The word “Comforter” is the same word. It gives us the mean of “to come along side of” or “consoler.” He is our Comforter!)
Conclusion: The Golden Altar is a beautiful type of our Lord Jesus Christ as He alone could fulfill the work done there.