Christ, Calvary, and the Sanctuary

Golden Altar of Incense

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Carlton P. Byrd


Series Code: 16SCM

Program Code: 16SCM000008S

00:51 Welcome to 3ABN's Spring Camp Meeting:
00:57 Live from the 3ABN Worship Center.
01:02 Good evening and welcome once again to the Thompsonville SDA
01:06 church/3ABN Worship Center/Spring Camp Meeting
01:11 2016. It is so good to have you here
01:15 in this house. And those of you who are watching
01:16 around the world we welcome you to what has begun to be
01:20 a truly God-filled, God-blessed experience
01:25 with the Lord. We have had some powerful sermons
01:28 from the Word of God, and we expect no less than that
01:31 this very very evening. So again we say welcome to you all:
01:34 to those of you who have traveled from near and from far,
01:37 from states near and far, and some have even
01:40 come from outside of the hemis- phere, outside of the country,
01:44 outside of this part of the earth.
01:46 We've got people here all the way from Australia.
01:49 So we praise the Lord that God has given everyone thus far
01:52 safe journey, and we are so happy to have you here.
01:56 Tonight is going to be a very special night indeed.
01:58 Our speaker is Dr. Carlton Byrd.
02:02 Now what I say to you now I say in all sincerity.
02:05 We need to pray for that very select group of individuals,
02:09 that very small fraternity of pastors,
02:12 who have been called to pastor our young people on the college
02:16 and university campuses across this earth.
02:20 These pastors - Dr. Byrd being one at the Oakwood University
02:23 church - have been given direct access to the minds
02:27 and hearts of the young people that we send to those colleges.
02:30 And as such they do deserve an interest in our prayers.
02:34 And what I say now I say advisedly, but pastors like
02:37 Dr. Byrd have the ability to directly inject into the
02:42 spiritual veins of the young people who sit in front of them
02:45 each Sabbath whatever they are infected with.
02:48 Are you listening to me?
02:49 Be it good or ill they have direct access
02:53 to our young people. So we need to pray for them
02:56 that their words will be God's words,
03:00 their thoughts will be God's thoughts,
03:02 and that the things that they transport into the minds
03:05 and hearts of the young people are the things that God
03:08 wants them to have and nothing else.
03:11 Now I've heard Pastor Byrd speak a number of times.
03:13 He's a godly man; he's a spiritual man.
03:15 He's a straight shooter and a straight preacher of
03:18 righteousness. But that doesn't mean we can sleep on him.
03:21 We've got to pray for him, too,
03:22 as we pray for all of these pastors
03:24 because God has given them a very special responsibility
03:27 in training up our young people to be solid citizens
03:30 of this world as they prepare for the higher citizenship
03:34 which is in the world to come.
03:36 Along with his portfolio as pastor of the Oakwood University
03:40 church he also is the speaker/director
03:45 of the Breath of Life telecast.
03:47 So he has a double responsi- bility to lift up the name
03:51 of Jesus. And God has given him the strength and the mind
03:54 and the ability to do just that.
03:57 He's going to be speaking to us this night, and we are very very
04:00 pleased to have Dr. Carlton Byrd here with us.
04:03 He is the husband of one wife - Danielle -
04:06 and the father of 3 children.
04:10 So he is a busy fellow on many many fronts.
04:13 And we are so happy that he has taken time... He's actually
04:16 in an evangelistic meeting even as we speak.
04:19 And the one night he has off which is Thursday night
04:21 he traveled here to southern Illinois to speak to us.
04:25 So we want to thank him for that...
04:26 but he's got to get back 'cause tomorrow night
04:28 he's in the saddle again preaching for Jesus Christ.
04:32 Before Dr. Byrd comes and speaks to us
04:34 on the subject The Golden Altar of Incense
04:39 we're going to ask Yvonne Lewis to come forward.
04:42 She and Tim Parton have joined together
04:44 in just a little bit to sing a song that I am not familiar
04:49 with... but I'm anxious to hear her sing.
04:52 It's called The Body and the Blood.
04:54 I'm going to ask you to bow your heads with me
04:56 as we pray. And then Dr. Yvonne Lewis and Tim Parton
05:00 followed by Dr. Carlton Byrd.
05:03 Shall we pray. Father God, how we praise You,
05:06 how we thank You, how we love You,
05:07 how we bless Your name. We thank you for this
05:10 Camp Meeting experience.
05:12 We thank Thee that through Your messenger You have said
05:15 that there are special blessings reserved for the Camp Meeting
05:19 season. Dear Lord, be pleased
05:22 to give us some of those blessings this very night.
05:26 Teach us those things that You would have us to know
05:30 and then embolden and enable us to do them
05:34 because it is in the doing that we are make like Christ Jesus.
05:37 Use Your manservant in a marked way this night.
05:40 And we will give You the honor, the praise, and the glory.
05:43 And we thank you, dear Father, in Jesus' name. Amen and Amen.
06:04 Fifty years ago today
06:08 she gave her only child away
06:12 to live a life easy to regret.
06:20 Years went by... how time has flown.
06:24 Her days are mostly spent alone
06:28 daring to remember...
06:32 hoping to forget.
06:45 This is My body
06:49 broken for you
06:54 For all you've been
06:57 and all you've been through.
07:02 This is My blood
07:06 And when you've reached the end
07:13 I offer you again
07:17 the body and blood.
07:34 He fought a war against his will;
07:39 Truth be known, he's fighting still.
07:43 He looks for hope through narrow blood-shot eyes.
07:50 He slips into a polished pew,
07:55 lingers for an hour or two.
08:00 Sometimes it feels better
08:03 to sit and cry a while.
08:12 This is My body
08:16 broken for you.
08:20 For all you've been
08:24 and all you've been through.
08:29 This is My blood
08:33 And when you've reached
08:37 the end
08:40 I offer you again
08:43 the body and blood.
08:49 One by one we take
08:52 communion's cup
08:57 we remember
09:01 and we lift it up.
09:07 This is My body
09:11 broken for you.
09:16 For all you've been
09:19 and all you've been through.
09:25 This is My blood
09:29 And when you've reached the end
09:35 I offer you again
09:39 the body and blood.
09:44 This is My blood
09:49 And when you've reached
09:52 your end
09:55 I'll offer you again
09:59 the body and
10:03 blood.
10:23 Amen!
10:32 I want to thank Sr. Yvonne Lewis for that
10:35 beautiful selection. Let's give her another hearty amen.
10:38 Amen! It's a joy for me to be here
10:41 with the 3ABN family for 3ABN Camp Meeting.
10:45 I was here a couple of years ago.
10:46 It's always good to know you've been invited back because
10:50 that means you must have done well the first time
10:52 you were here. So it's good to be back with the 3ABN family.
10:56 Our founder, Bro. Danny Shelton. I thank Pastor C.A. Murray
11:00 for the wonderful and the kind introduction this evening.
11:04 Our encampment this year: Christ, Calvary,
11:08 and the Sanctuary. My assignment that I've been
11:12 given this evening is on the golden altar of incense.
11:17 If your Bibles are with you this evening, I invite you
11:19 to take them and turn to the book of Exodus.
11:22 We're going to the book of Exodus chapter 30
11:26 and we're going to begin reading with verse number one.
11:29 Exodus chapter 30 and we're going to begin reading
11:34 with verse number one
11:38 as we study tonight the golden altar of incense.
11:44 The Word of God says to us in the book of Exodus
11:46 chapter 30 verse number one, and I'm reading:
11:49 "Thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon.
11:53 Of shittim wood shalt thou make it. "
11:56 Verse 2: "A cubit shall be the length thereof
11:59 and a cubit the breadth thereof.
12:02 Foursquare shall it be
12:04 and two cubits shall be the height thereof.
12:07 The horns thereof shall be of the same.
12:10 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold:
12:13 the top thereof and the sides thereof,
12:15 round about and the horns thereof.
12:17 And thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about.
12:22 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it
12:26 by the two corners thereof upon the two sides of it
12:30 shalt thou make it.
12:31 And they shall be for places for the staves
12:34 to bear it withal.
12:36 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood
12:39 and overlay them with gold.
12:42 Thou shalt put it before the veil that is by the ark of the
12:46 testimony before the mercy seat
12:48 that is over the testimony where I will meet with thee.
12:54 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense
12:57 every morning; when he dresses the lamps
13:00 he shall burn incense upon it.
13:03 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps in the evening
13:05 he shall burn incense upon it... a perpetual incense
13:10 before the Lord throughout your generations.
13:13 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon
13:16 nor burnt sacrifice nor meat offering.
13:20 Neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. "
13:24 Verse number 10:
13:26 "And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it
13:30 once in a year, with the blood of the sin offering
13:33 of atonements. Once in a year shall he make atonement upon it
13:38 throughout your generations
13:40 because it is most holy unto the Lord. "
13:45 Can you say amen tonight? Amen!
13:48 Before we share with you let's talk with God.
13:52 Our Father in heaven, tonight on this most important
13:55 subject we pray for the power of Your Holy Spirit
13:59 to dwell with us as Lord we preach on the golden altar
14:04 of incense.
14:05 God tonight we thank you for Jesus Christ;
14:08 we thank you for Calvary;
14:11 and we thank you for the sanctuary.
14:14 Now forgive me of my sins because, Lord, I'm not worthy
14:17 to stand here tonight. But because of Your grace
14:20 and because of Your mercy, God, you allow this unworthy
14:24 soul to stand in this place tonight.
14:26 Forgive me of my sins; hide me behind Your cross.
14:30 It's in Jesus' name we pray, let everyone say Amen and Amen.
14:36 The golden altar of incense.
14:40 From the outset let's be reminded tonight
14:43 of the purpose of the Old Testament sanctuary.
14:46 The sanctuary was the place where the sinner received
14:50 forgiveness from sin.
14:53 Now if we don't get anything else, let's make sure we get
14:56 that. As a sinner that's important to me.
15:00 As a sinner, that should also be important to you:
15:04 that the sanctuary was the place where the sinner
15:08 received forgiveness from sin.
15:11 But the sanctuary was just a foreshadow of things to come
15:14 because the good news is when Jesus came,
15:18 when the Lamb of God sacrificed His life for our sins,
15:22 there was no more need for the earthly sanctuary sacrifices.
15:27 Jesus came and Jesus died for our sins.
15:30 Behold then the Lamb of God
15:33 which taketh away the sins of the world. Amen!
15:36 Now remember, the earthly sanctuary
15:39 had three sections. How many sections everybody?
15:42 Three. Three sections:
15:44 the courtyard, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place.
15:48 Each section represented the different parts
15:52 of Jesus' ministry. Now, the courtyard
15:55 pointed to the perfect death of Jesus on Calvary's cross.
16:00 In His death Jesus became the sinner's sacrifice.
16:05 Jesus became the Lamb of God.
16:08 No longer did people need to offer a lamb to God
16:11 when they sinned because Jesus, He died for our sins.
16:16 The Holy Place symbolized Christ's work of perfect
16:21 righteousness. Christ then not only bled for us on the cross
16:25 as the sacrifice for our sins
16:27 but Christ also pleads and intercedes for us
16:32 before the heavenly throne.
16:34 Jesus the Christ is our Advocate to the Father.
16:38 His perfect life is added as precious incense
16:42 to the prayers of the saints as these prayers ascend on up
16:46 to heaven. And then the Most Holy Place,
16:50 the third section. It represented the entire
16:54 cleansing of the same sinner and the sanctuary.
16:57 It represented where the sins of God's people
17:01 would be cleansed once per year.
17:04 Now I won't spend too much time on the Most Holy Place tonight
17:09 because you have to keep coming to Camp Meeting.
17:11 You have to keep watching Camp Meeting to see and hear
17:14 what this cleansing is all about.
17:15 So if I tell you about the Most Holy Place tonight
17:18 you may not watch or come back later.
17:21 So there must be a cliff hanger. Are you hearing what I'm saying?
17:24 Now, in the first two sections or compartments
17:29 of the sanctuary, the courtyard or the Holy Place -
17:33 and the Holy Place - there were five pieces of furniture.
17:38 Two pieces in the courtyard
17:40 and three pieces in the Holy Place.
17:43 In the Holy Place the two pieces of furniture
17:47 in the Holy Place were the table of showbread,
17:51 the seven-branch candlestick and the third piece:
17:54 the golden altar of incense.
17:56 So in the Holy Place three pieces of furniture.
18:00 Again: the table of showbread, the seven-branch candlestick,
18:04 and the golden altar of incense.
18:06 In the courtyard there were two pieces of furniture.
18:10 The 2 pieces were the laver and the altar of burnt offerings.
18:14 Now, in each of these five pieces of furniture -
18:18 two in the courtyard, three in the Holy Place -
18:22 we see Jesus as recorded in the gospel of John.
18:26 In the altar of burnt offering in the courtyard
18:28 we see Jesus, the Lamb of God, in John chapter 1.
18:32 In the courtyard in the laver we see Jesus
18:36 the Water of Life in John chapter 4.
18:39 In the Holy Place in the table of showbread
18:42 we see Jesus, the Bread of Life, in John chapter 6.
18:47 Also in the Holy Place in the seven-branch candlestick
18:50 we see Jesus, the Light of the World, in John chapter 9.
18:55 And then finally also in the Holy Place
18:58 in the golden altar of incense we see Jesus -
19:01 the great High Priestly prayer in John chapter 17.
19:06 Which means then for every piece of furniture we see Jesus.
19:12 Notice also with these two compartments we have two altars.
19:16 One is outdoors in the courtyard
19:19 and one is indoors in the Holy Place.
19:22 One is brass... the other is gold.
19:27 The outdoor one has no crown but the indoor one does.
19:32 Outside we see Christ in humiliation
19:36 but inside we see Christ in exultation.
19:39 Outside we see what Jesus did on this earth
19:43 but inside we see what Jesus is doing right now in heaven:
19:47 living and making intercession for each and every one of us.
19:51 But my assignment is the golden altar of incense
19:55 which is in the Holy Place - that's right -
19:59 which was different from the altar of burnt offerings
20:02 in that there were no sacrifices made on it.
20:05 But the golden altar of incense symbolized prayer.
20:11 In fact, the main emphasis of this piece of furniture
20:16 was prayer. Everybody say prayer. Prayer.
20:20 Now, the prayer emphasis was reflected in every aspect
20:26 of this altar. Now let's first talk about the golden altar's
20:30 construction and emphasis on prayer.
20:33 This altar was constructed or made of acacia wood.
20:38 Acacia wood was incorruptible.
20:41 Solid... it was without hollowness.
20:44 If it was submerged in water, acacia wood would not rot.
20:49 Acacia wood was durable.
20:52 Symbolically then for our prayers to be effective
20:55 they must come from the hearts of those that are solid...
20:58 without hollowness. And just like the acacia wood
21:02 was incorruptible Jesus is incorruptible. Amen!
21:06 Jesus is perfect; Jesus is the One who intercedes
21:10 for us who stands between God and us
21:14 and makes us acceptable to God.
21:16 The intercession of Christ is not corrupt in any way.
21:21 The intercession of Christ is perfect.
21:24 Jesus died and then Jesus rose from the dead
21:28 for us for this very purpose:
21:30 to stand before God as the great Intercessor for us.
21:36 Jesus intercedes for sinners.
21:39 Jesus intercedes for weak believers.
21:43 Jesus... He also intercedes for strong believers.
21:47 Jesus... He also intercedes for His enemies.
21:51 Jesus intercedes for the church.
21:55 Jesus intercedes for God to accept us.
21:59 Jesus intercedes for our salvation
22:02 and Jesus intercedes for the Holy Spirit
22:06 to dwell and abide with us.
22:09 Secondly tonight, let's consider the altar's measurements
22:14 and let's consider their emphasis on prayer.
22:18 Like other altars the golden altar measured
22:23 one cubit long, one cubit broad, and two cubits high.
22:29 The altar of incense, then, was the tallest piece of furniture
22:34 in the tabernacle tent. Perhaps this was to let us know
22:38 of the tall and high importance of prayer.
22:41 The golden altar of incense was foursquare
22:46 which means it was perfectly square
22:49 just as the brazen altar and the room of the Most Holy Place.
22:53 Our God, we realize, is a God of order.
22:57 Our God is a God of specifics.
22:59 Our God is a God of perfection.
23:02 Even the New Jerusalem as recorded in Revelation 21:16
23:06 is described as being "a city of foursquare. "
23:10 And the fact that the altar of incense was foursquare
23:13 is a reminder to each and every one of us
23:16 that we are to spread the message of Jesus' intercession
23:21 to the four corners of the globe:
23:23 to the north; to the south; to the east; and to the west.
23:29 And prayer is the universal language to spread the gospel.
23:33 But not only the construction,
23:35 not only the measurements of the altar of incense,
23:38 but it should also be noted that the altar of incense
23:41 was overlaid with gold. That's right!
23:44 Throughout the Bible, gold is used as a way to show that
23:48 there is something greater.
23:50 God has always symbolized... gold rather,
23:53 has always symbolized wealth and monetary gain.
23:57 In Biblical times it was no different.
23:59 Wealth and monetary gain.
24:02 The most precious, then, and most valuable of all metals
24:05 was God's choice for the building of this altar
24:08 of intercession. Remember, gold is a symbol of Deity...
24:13 a symbol of the most precious possession.
24:16 Most precious possession of God Himself.
24:19 So then the golden altar of incense
24:23 points to the Lord Jesus Christ
24:25 who is the most precious possession a person can have.
24:30 Jesus is the perfect Intercessor:
24:33 the One who lives forever to make intercession.
24:37 The One who passionately prays for the people of God.
24:40 The One who prays for you and He prays for me.
24:44 This alluding to Jesus with gold, friends, is important
24:48 because while gold is most valuable
24:52 nobody can buy their way into heaven with gold.
24:57 The only way to heaven
25:00 according to the Word of God
25:02 is by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord.
25:08 My Bible says in Acts 4 verse number 12
25:11 that there is no other name under heaven given among men
25:14 whereby we can be saved but the name of Jesus.
25:19 Gold speaks of purity.
25:22 Genuine prayer that will touch the heart of God
25:25 must come from a sinless, pure heart.
25:28 Now this altar could not be made of any old material
25:33 laying around.
25:35 A piece of driftwood was not good enough.
25:37 Some old rocks that had been discarded from a field
25:40 was not good enough. Neither can we come to God
25:44 in prayer with insincere hearts,
25:47 hearts full of sin, or hearts full of unbelief.
25:51 But friends it wasn't just the construction.
25:54 It wasn't just the measurements.
25:56 It wasn't just the gold overlay that pointed to prayer.
26:00 But it was also the location of the altar that pointed
26:04 to prayer. The altar was placed in the Holy Place.
26:09 It was separated by the Most Holy Place
26:12 by a great veil. Now we don't know how close
26:16 to the veil the altar was specifically placed.
26:19 We don't know... but what we DO know is
26:22 that the altar was just outside the curtain
26:26 which means it was very close to the presence of God.
26:31 Hallelujah somebody. That this is the great blessing
26:35 of intercessory prayer. That intercessory prayer
26:39 is close to the veil.
26:42 Intercessory prayer is close to the throne of God.
26:46 Intercessory prayer is close to the glory of God.
26:50 It is close, my friends, to the place where God's
26:53 eternal mercy and grace reside.
26:57 It is close to the door of answered prayer
27:01 and it's close to the most intimate fellowship
27:04 and communion with God imaginable.
27:07 The one thing we are to seek above all else
27:09 is to be near God. Amen!
27:12 To be near God. Just to be close to the Lord...
27:16 that is my desire. Amen!
27:19 You can kind of think of the golden altar of incense
27:21 as a piece of furniture standing before the veil
27:25 like we use an electric plug in a wall socket
27:29 to tap the electric power behind the wall.
27:32 Behind the veil of the tabernacle was the Shekinah
27:36 glory of the presence of the Lord.
27:38 By putting in the plug of prayer with the hand of faith
27:41 we are able to tap those resources, and we find
27:45 that prayer changes things. Glory hallelujah!
27:48 Prayer brings us into fellowship with God.
27:51 Prayer brings us into the presence of God.
27:55 Prayer... by prayer we become partakers
27:58 of all God offers and we can obtain grace
28:01 and mercy daily. Amen!
28:04 God: He answers prayer.
28:07 Let me say that one more time.
28:09 God answers prayer - Amen - when we face severe problems.
28:14 When we face trials or crisis God answers prayer.
28:19 When we face temptation and trouble
28:22 God answers prayer. When we face disease;
28:26 when we face sickness; when we face accidents.
28:29 I'm a witness that God answers prayer.
28:31 When we face pain and suffering and terminal illness
28:35 or death God answers prayer.
28:38 When we face the most difficult times in our lives;
28:41 when we pray; when we cry out to God from the depths
28:45 of our hearts I'm so glad tonight to say
28:48 that God hears us and He answers our prayers.
28:52 The veil that had once separated the altar of incense
28:56 and the ark of God's presence
28:59 was torn down. Torn from top to bottom
29:04 by God Himself.
29:06 God ripped it open through the death of His Son Jesus Christ.
29:11 So the way into God's presence is now open.
29:15 We are now invited to boldly come to God and worship God
29:20 at the throne of grace.
29:22 I like what the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews
29:24 chapter 4 verse number 16.
29:26 "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace
29:30 that we may obtain mercy
29:33 and find grace in time of need. " Hallelujah somebody.
29:37 But then the horns of the altar.
29:40 They remind us of the power of prayer.
29:44 Horns are symbols of power,
29:47 and from the altar of God comes power
29:50 to make us more than a conqueror.
29:53 Power to help us in times of temptation.
29:57 Power to deliver us through all trials... no matter
30:00 how bad they are. Our prayers are full tonight of power.
30:06 When we say: "Let us pray" we must remember
30:10 when we pray with a pure heart offering no strange incense
30:14 and resting upon the atoning power of Christ
30:17 God will then show us His glory,
30:20 He will bless us with His gifts,
30:22 and He will fill us with His power. Amen!
30:25 But then now finally: the incense of the golden altar.
30:30 The sweet incense is suggestive
30:34 of the sweetness of prayer.
30:37 Not only is prayer sweet to God
30:40 but prayer is sweet to us as well.
30:43 Do I have a witness in this place?
30:45 Our prayers become a fragrant perfume to the golden censors.
30:49 The offering of incense was accompanied by the lighting
30:54 of lamps. This suggests that we get light from our prayers.
31:00 That has to be true because the Bible says
31:02 "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
31:04 and a light unto my path. "
31:07 But while the Word of God is a lamp to guide our footsteps
31:11 we can only gain that light when we pray!
31:15 Incense was made of very sweet smelling and precious spices.
31:21 According to divine direction as recorded in Exodus 30
31:25 verse number 34 a similar compound for any other purpose
31:28 was not allowed to be made.
31:30 When the incense was to be offered
31:33 a fire pan or a censor with live coals from the brazen altar
31:39 was put upon the golden altar for burning.
31:42 The clouds of smoke rising from it were full of perfume
31:47 and they spread the fragrance all around penetrating the veil
31:50 and reaching even to the throne.
31:51 The priest, while he presented this offering,
31:55 was the people's intercessor with God.
31:58 He was praying for them and he was asking God to hear
32:02 and answer their petitions.
32:04 Not that incense has some "bloody" significance
32:08 because only the animal sacrifices had that.
32:12 Without sacrificial blood there is no access to God.
32:18 But then the horns of the altar
32:20 were sprinkled with atoning blood.
32:23 And so then it was from a blood-sprinkled altar
32:27 that the sacred odors, the sacred aroma arose
32:32 bearing on their wings Israel's cry
32:35 for mercy and much-needed blessings.
32:39 The incense burned continuously.
32:43 The incense didn't stop burning.
32:46 It burned incessantly.
32:49 Sweet incense was offered up to the Lord every morning,
32:53 every evening. According to Exodus chapter 30
32:56 the high priest burned incense every morning when he tended
33:00 the lamps and every evening when he lit them.
33:03 This symbolized the critical importance of praying every
33:05 morning and evening. The altar of incense
33:09 was to be the place where a permanent incense ascended up
33:13 to the Lord. The incense would burn perpetually
33:17 "before the Lord" verse 10 says "throughout their generations. "
33:21 This continual burning teaches us that day by day
33:26 we are to come to the Lord. And we are coming to the Lord
33:30 in prayer. We are to come to the Lord morning
33:35 and evening... which brings us now to the practical application
33:41 that I want to hammer home this evening.
33:44 After all of that teaching now it's time to preach.
33:48 What have I been trying to say all this time?
33:51 We have to pray and keep on praying. Amen!
33:56 That's the meat of this message tonight: The Golden Altar of
34:00 Incense. We can't stop praying!
34:04 We have to continually pray.
34:07 The golden incense must continually go up.
34:11 I Thessalonians 5:17 says we are to "pray without ceasing. "
34:16 The prophet Daniel understood this.
34:18 Though faced with sure death in the lion's den
34:20 he continued in his prayer practice.
34:22 Daniel, you will remember, every day entered still his house,
34:27 opens his windows, he continued kneeling three times per day
34:32 praying and giving thanks before God as he had always done.
34:37 And the Lord rewarded this continual practice of prayer
34:39 ascending up because God shut the mouths of the lions
34:43 in the lion's den. You've got to pray without ceasing.
34:47 Somebody said "You've got to push... "
34:49 which means you've got to pray until something happens.
34:52 The incense must keep burning; the prayers must keep ascending.
34:57 Ellen White says in Patriarchs and Prophets
34:59 that God looks with great pleasure upon those who love Him
35:02 bowing morning and evening
35:05 to seek pardon for sins committed and to present their
35:08 requests for needed blessings.
35:10 Daniel... he knew the power of prayer.
35:13 David... he also knew the power of prayer
35:16 which is why he said in Psalm 55 verses 16 and 17
35:20 "As for me, I will call upon the Lord.
35:23 I will call upon God and the Lord shall save me.
35:25 Evening and morning and noon will I pray and cry aloud
35:29 and He shall hear my voice. "
35:31 That's why Paul said in Ephesians 6:18: "We ought to
35:34 pray in the Spirit at all times
35:37 with every kind of prayer and petition. "
35:39 That's why Paul also said in Philippians chapter 4
35:42 "Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer
35:46 and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests
35:50 be made known unto God
35:52 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
35:55 will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. "
35:59 Well tonight there is nothing wrong with Paul, and I'm glad
36:03 he said something about continuous prayer.
36:05 There's nothing wrong with Daniel. I'm glad he promoted
36:08 continuous prayer. There's nothing wrong with David.
36:11 I'm glad we heard from him about continuous prayer.
36:14 But tonight I want to hear a specific word from the Lord.
36:18 What does Jesus say about continual prayer?
36:21 He told us in Matthew chapter 7 verse number 7
36:24 "Ask and it shall be given you;
36:27 seek and ye shall find;
36:29 knock and the door shall be opened unto you. "
36:32 And it's in this text when Jesus speaks
36:35 that we understand the call to pray and keep on praying.
36:39 To keep the incense burning.
36:42 To keep the incense ascending. What am I talking about?
36:46 In this text we have 3 verbs:
36:49 ask, seek, and knock.
36:53 These 3 verbs are what we call imperative commands.
36:57 They are necessary directives...
37:00 which means Jesus wouldn't have said it if He didn't mean it.
37:03 The Lord expects all of us to be active in prayer.
37:08 He knows what we need before we ask, but
37:11 we still have to ask. Are you hearing what I'm saying?
37:13 But not only that, when you study the Greek
37:16 in the New Testament there are two basic kinds
37:20 of imperatives. There's an aorist imperative
37:24 and there's a present imperative.
37:27 Everybody say aorist imperative:
37:29 aorist imperative. And now say present imperative.
37:33 present imperative. Now understand
37:35 the aorist imperative is a command to do a particular thing
37:40 at one specific time.
37:43 But the present imperative is a command not only to do something
37:48 but to keep on doing it indefinitely.
37:52 Present tense implies continuous persistent action.
37:58 You're all looking at me like I don't know what I'm talking
38:00 about... but you're gonna get this in a minute.
38:02 What Jesus is saying in this text is this:
38:06 not only that we must ask but we've got to keep on asking.
38:12 Not only must we seek
38:15 but we've got to keep on seeking.
38:17 Not only must we knock but we must keep on knocking.
38:22 We've got to pray and keep on praying.
38:25 The incense must continually ascend
38:29 and it must continually burn. But there's some more.
38:32 These present tense imperative verbs -
38:35 ask, seek, and knock -
38:39 have a natural progression of action
38:42 from the least aggressive to the most aggressive.
38:46 In other words, there's a reason Jesus put these words
38:50 in the order that they are in.
38:51 Jesus is saying not only must we engage
38:55 in continuous persistent action
38:58 but He's also saying that the very three words
39:01 ask, seek, and knock
39:04 suggest an ever-increasing intensity
39:07 in your continuous prayer life.
39:10 You see, He said step one is asking.
39:13 When you ask somebody something
39:16 you're making a request of them.
39:18 My children know this principle because when I don't respond...
39:22 when they ask and I don't respond...
39:23 they keep on asking.
39:25 When you ask somebody something you're making a request of them.
39:30 Asking in prayer is to make a request of God.
39:34 We ask something of God when we have a need,
39:37 and we ask something of God because we believe God can
39:40 provide for all of our needs.
39:42 If we want to receive, we must ask!
39:45 But not only asking... #2, we've got to seek.
39:49 Seeking then is asking PLUS action.
39:53 When we seek something we need something of value to us.
39:57 There are times when we need to take an active role
40:00 in the prayer process. If we want to find something,
40:03 we've gotta seek something.
40:05 You must pray as if everything depended upon God
40:08 and work as if everything depended on you.
40:11 You've got to ask, but you also have to act.
40:15 But then step #3... it's knocking.
40:19 Knocking is asking plus acting plus attitude.
40:25 Let me say that again. Knocking is asking
40:29 plus action plus attitude.
40:33 This implies our petition in asking, our purpose in seeking,
40:37 and our persistence in knocking.
40:39 We knock when we are shut out from what we need
40:42 and desire entrance. When we're trying to get in a door
40:46 what do we do? We knock!
40:47 And we knock until we gain entrance.
40:50 So then if we want entrance we've got to knock.
40:54 "Ask and it shall be given you;
40:57 seek and ye shall find;
40:59 knock, and the door shall be opened unto you. "
41:03 It's continuous action.
41:05 It's intensified aggressive ac- tion until we get what we need.
41:10 So don't grow weary in asking God for what you need.
41:15 Doesn't the Word of God say: "Let us not be weary
41:18 in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. "
41:24 Which means we've got to ask and keep on asking.
41:28 We've got to seek and keep on seeking.
41:31 We must knock and keep on knocking because the incense
41:34 must continually burn. But then there's one more thing
41:39 that I must add.
41:42 When you finish asking, when you finish seeking,
41:48 when you finish knocking
41:52 don't forget to say thank you.
41:57 If the only prayer you'll ever pray in your life is thank you,
42:03 friends of mine that will be enough.
42:06 The story is told of a woman who showed up at church.
42:11 And when she showed up at church she prayed the same simple
42:15 prayer every time: "Oh Lord, thank you Jesus. "
42:21 Every time she prayed she said
42:24 "Oh, Lord... " and "thank you Jesus. "
42:27 Week after week she prayed the same exact prayer.
42:32 "Oh Lord, thank you Jesus. "
42:35 The children of the church started laughing at this lady.
42:38 They started laughing every time she opened her mouth
42:41 because they knew it would be the same prayer.
42:43 They would say: "Here she goes again:
42:45 Sister Oh Lord, thank you Jesus. "
42:49 Finally somebody asked her
42:52 "Ma'am, why do you keep pray- ing the same little prayer? "
42:57 "Why do you keep praying 'O Lord, thank you Jesus? ' "
43:03 She said: "Well I'm just combining the two prayers
43:07 that I know. " She said: "You see, I live in a bad
43:12 neighborhood and some nights there are bullets flying
43:16 in my neighborhood and I have to grab my daughter
43:19 and I have to hide her on the floor.
43:21 And in that desperate state, all I know how to do is to cry out
43:25 'Oh Lord. ' But when I wake up in the morning
43:29 and see that we're OK I'm able to say 'thank you Jesus. ' "
43:34 She said: "When I go take my baby girl to the bus stop
43:38 and she gets on that bus, and I don't know what's going to
43:41 happen to her all day at school while she's away I cry
43:45 'Oh Lord. '
43:47 But then, when 3 o'clock rolls around
43:50 and that bus arrives at the bus stop in front of my house
43:54 and my baby is safe and sound
43:58 all I then say is: 'thank you Jesus. ' "
44:01 She said: "So these are the only two prayers I know.
44:04 So when I get to church, because God has been so good to me
44:09 I just put these two prayers together
44:12 and that's why I keep saying: 'Oh Lord, thank you Jesus. ' "
44:16 "Oh Lord, thank you Jesus. "
44:19 So friends of mine, when you finish asking
44:23 don't forget to say thank you.
44:25 "Thank you, Lord, for keeping me. "
44:28 "Thank you, Lord, for protecting me. "
44:30 "Thank you, Lord, for saving me. "
44:33 "Thank you, Lord, for delivering me. "
44:36 "Thank you, Lord, for waking me up this morning. "
44:39 "Thank you, Lord, for feeding me. "
44:42 "Thank you, Lord, for providing for me. "
44:45 "Thank you, Lord, I found the answer. "
44:48 I will learn how to pray.
44:50 Jesus on the main line... tell Him what you want.
44:54 You just call Him up and tell Him what you want.
44:57 Friends of mine, you've got to keep on praying.
45:00 Keep the incense burning; keep the prayers going up.
45:04 Because when the praises go up the blessings come down!
45:09 Prayer time is high time.
45:11 You see, I can fall on my knees and I can pray
45:13 because I serve a prayer-answering God.
45:16 I serve a problem-solving God.
45:19 I serve a pain-relieving God.
45:21 I serve a heart-fixing God.
45:24 I serve a way-making God.
45:26 I even serve a tuition-paying God.
45:29 I serve a cancer-killing God.
45:31 I serve a child-finding God.
45:34 I serve a job-giving God.
45:36 I serve a marriage-saving God.
45:39 I serve a single-satisfying God.
45:42 The devil can't stand prayer...
45:45 but the devil can't stop you from praying.
45:48 And the devil can't stop God from answering prayer.
45:50 Do I have a witness in this place?
45:52 Just ask, and keep on asking.
45:56 Just seek, and keep on seeking.
45:58 Just knock, and keep on knocking.
46:01 The Word says: "If My people who are called by My name
46:05 would just humble themselves and pray
46:07 seek My face and turn from their wicked ways
46:10 then I will hear from heaven and heal their land. "
46:13 "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found;
46:15 call upon God while He is near. "
46:18 "Confess your faults to one another. "
46:21 "Pray for one another that ye may be healed. "
46:23 Because "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person
46:26 availeth much. " You've got to pray without ceasing.
46:32 Prayer is the most important conversation of your day.
46:40 You'd better take it to the Lord in prayer
46:42 before you take it to anybody else.
46:47 Today we no longer need a literal altar
46:52 standing before us where we must burn incense.
46:57 All of the functions of the golden altar of incense
47:02 are fulfilled in Christ
47:04 and through the intercessory ministry of the Holy Spirit
47:06 in the hearts of men.
47:08 The ministry of the Holy Spirit is also witnessed through the
47:12 altar of incense. We are told in the Word that
47:15 the Holy Spirit makes inter- cession for us according to
47:18 the will of God. Romans chapter 8 verse 26:
47:21 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities
47:25 for we know not what we should pray for as we ought.
47:30 But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us
47:34 with groanings, with moanings that cannot be uttered. "
47:39 So sometimes I'm laying in the bed at night
47:41 and my wife is laying next to me and I just start moaning
47:44 in the middle of the night. She says: "Honey, what's wrong? "
47:46 I said: "I'm just having a little talk with Jesus. "
47:49 And He makes it right. We may not know what to pray
47:53 but the Holy Spirit will help us pray.
47:56 Pray, and keep on praying.
48:00 Keep the incense going up.
48:03 And what we must remember is we cannot get near to the
48:07 glory of God without prayer.
48:10 Prayer is the key that unlocks the veil
48:13 to the very presence of God.
48:15 Tonight, do we want to see the glory of God in the midst
48:20 of our church? Yes! Do we want to see the glory of God
48:25 in the midst of our lives?
48:28 Do we want to see the glory of God in the midst
48:31 of our children's lives? Yes!
48:34 Do we want to see God pour out His Spirit
48:38 upon His people? Friends, it will only come
48:42 when we have accomplished our ministry of intercession
48:46 before the altar of incense.
48:50 So tonight, just pray and keep on praying.
48:57 Seek, and keep on seeking.
49:01 Knock, and keep on knocking.
49:05 Keep the incense burning.
49:09 And friends of mine, watch God move in the lives
49:15 of His people. Amen! Because "The Lord is my light
49:20 and my salvation.
49:23 Whom then shall I fear?
49:26 The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
49:29 When the wicked, even mine enemies and foes,
49:31 came to eat of my flesh they stumbled and fell.
49:34 Though war should rise up against me, in this will I be
49:37 confident. One thing that I have desired of the Lord
49:41 and that which I seek after: that I may dwell in the house
49:45 of the Lord all the days of my life.
49:49 And God's house shall be a house of prayer
49:55 for all people."
49:58 Ask, and keep asking.
50:02 Seek, and keep seeking.
50:05 Knock, and keep on knocking.
50:10 Keep the prayers ascending.
50:13 Keep the incense burning...
50:18 and God will give you the desires of your heart.
50:25 Prayerfully Pastor John will come now
50:28 and sing that melodious song
50:31 Seekers of Your Heart.
50:56 Until we give You first place
51:04 Until we let You begin
51:10 To fill us with Your Spirit
51:17 Renew us from within
51:26 Nothing matters
51:33 Nothing's gained
51:38 Without Your holy
51:42 presence
51:45 Our lives are lived
51:49 in vain
51:57 Lord, we want to
52:01 know You
52:05 Live our lives
52:08 to show You
52:12 All the love
52:15 we owe You
52:19 As seekers of
52:23 Your heart
52:32 Because Your heart was broken
52:38 Because You saw the need
52:45 Because You gave so freely
52:52 Because of Calvary
53:00 We can now be
53:07 Called Your own
53:12 Completed
53:15 creations
53:19 We are filled with You
53:22 alone
53:31 Lord we want to
53:35 know You
53:38 Live our lives
53:41 to show You
53:45 All the love
53:48 we owe to You
53:52 As seekers of
53:56 Your heart
54:01 Lord we want to
54:04 know You
54:08 Live our lives
54:11 to show You
54:16 All the love
54:19 that we owe to You
54:23 As seekers of
54:27 Your heart...
54:32 Seekers of
54:39 Your heart
54:50 We are seekers
54:54 of
54:56 Your heart
55:12 God wants our hearts.
55:15 And if you're like me, I want to give Him my heart.
55:20 Tonight if that's your desire, I invite you to stand with me
55:24 as we pray.
55:36 Tonight, oh Lord, we've talked about prayer...
55:40 the golden altar of incense.
55:45 Not an altar of sacrifice per se
55:50 but an altar of intercession.
55:54 The priests interceded
55:58 and even right now our High Priest Jesus Christ
56:02 intercedes for us. Amen!
56:05 For that we say: "Oh God, thank you. "
56:10 Lord, You're omniscient which means You're all knowing.
56:14 And that means You know what we need before we even ask.
56:20 But God, it still is Your desire to hear the prayers
56:24 of Your children.
56:27 So Lord, we're going to ask and keep on asking.
56:31 We're going to seek and keep on seeking.
56:36 We're going to knock and we're going to keep on knocking
56:41 because we want the fresh aroma of the incense of our prayers
56:45 to continue to ascend to heaven.
56:50 So be with everyone under the sound of my voice:
56:54 those here and those yet who are watching.
56:57 God, You didn't promise us You would give us what we want
57:02 but You did say You'd meet our needs.
57:05 Meet our needs we pray tonight.
57:08 Forgive us for our sins.
57:11 Save us, please, when You come.
57:14 In the name of the Father, the Son,
57:19 and the Holy Spirit.
57:20 Let all those who love Jesus say Amen:
57:23 Amen and Amen.
57:26 May God bless you.
57:28 You may be seated.


Revised 2023-07-30