'Then Noah built an altar to the Lord , and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.'
- Genesis 8:20-21
When we read the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) we read a lot about sacrifices and how important it was for the Israelites to bring their offerings before the Lord to be burned upon the altar as a sweet aroma to Him.
There were many specifications that needed to be followed for each offering that was brought before the Lord, for example, the animals that were to be offered had to be without blemish or if it was a grain offering it had to be of fine flour and it shall not be made with leaven. (Leviticus 6 - 10)
I am very thankful that today we do not have to slaughter and offer animals for our sins, because I fail Abba Father daily and I would have run out of livestock (farm animals regarded as an asset) to offer.
But I am grateful and humbled by the pattern and the order we read and learn about in the Torah, and how Jesus Christ came not to abolish the Old Testament, but to fulfill it. Jesus came to show us how we ought to live. He laid down His own life for us and He became the offering, the Lamb that was slain for us:
'The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! '
- John 1:29
Once we learn to understand the reason, the pattern and the order which Yahweh established in the Old Testament we will understand why Yeshua came as the Messiah’s (Anointed One) to live among the Gentiles. It truly is one of the most beautiful love stories you will ever read.
I do not know how many of you might know this, but the whole Bible is written in Jewish Marriage Terms and the theme of the whole Bible is: God’s love for us.
We need to understand that Jesus Christ was a Jew and this whole book revolves around Him and us and His unconditional, never-ending love for us.
The Bible is the only Book where the Author is in love with the reader – unknown
As I started my journey with Abba Father a few years ago, I knew that He desired to spend time with me through His word, but most of the time I had excuses and were distracted. I compromised and didn’t spend as much time in the Word as Abba Father desired for me to do, but I still had a strong desire to get to know my Bridegroom, because I was in love and longed for Him. I longed for intimacy with Yeshua. He knew me intimately, even before I was born (Jeremiah 1:5) but I didn’t know much about Him and His heart’s desires for me.
I prayed about it and said to Abba that I do not know how and where to start, and He simply replied to start at the beginning.
The next morning before I started reading the Bible, I prayed and asked for the Holy Spirit to reveal the scriptures to me and in the first day, I read the whole book of Genesis because I simply was caught up and in awe of every word.
I then realized that we cannot read the Bible and cannot truly understand the Word of God if we read it without the Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit to reveal the deeper meaning of the Word to us.
As I started reading the Bible and getting to know Abba Father and His character, I realized that many things in my life were still influencing my relationship with Abba Father and hindered me from entering into His presence and having intimacy with Him. I still battled with the lusts of the flesh. I was still compromising; I was still following after the things of the world and this is Baal worship (lord or master, possessor - the name of false gods, a place). We cannot worship Baal and our Beloved at the same time. You either burn for this world or for your Beloved.
Baal demands ownership and possession and not a relationship. Our Beloved demands relationship and intimacy.
Just as Abba Father’s Spirit leads us into righteousness and obedience, the spirit of Baal distracts us and leads us to worldly lusts and desires.
We need to understand that there is a constant battle between the flesh and the Spirit.
Abba Father truly needs His children to repent of Baal worship, because He already made the way for us, through His blood. There is freedom from all of this, but we need to get on our knees, repent and humble ourselves before Him, and that was exactly what I did. I asked Abba Father to reveal to me exactly what Baal worship is and to take me to His altar to burn away all the fleshiness, all the things that break His heart.
I am not going to sugar coat anything, but this was a bold prayer to pray and at that time I didn’t really know what I was actually praying for, but Abba Father allured me into the wilderness, stripped me naked, brought me to my knees in desperation and humbled me. He spoke tenderly to my heart as I once yearned for what Egypt had to offer, I was led through the desert to a beautiful place of Promise.
Although the journey was tough, it was all worth it, because I knew Abba Father was with me all the way. I truly learned to trust Him and to feast upon Him in the desert, for He was my manna.
There will come a day that you might find yourself before the altar of God and only you can choose to lay yourself down on the altar, so that Abba Father can burn away all the fleshiness, to rid you of everything that breaks His heart.
This might be the boldest step you have ever taken in your journey with Abba Father, laying down your whole life for The One, your Bridegroom as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord (Leviticus 1:17)
God said in Isaiah that he will give you beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3)
O brothers and sisters, consecration is a spontaneous thing. Anyone to whom God has manifested Himself cannot do anything other than live for Him. Once God appears to a person, he will totally live for God… with the altar, nothing is ours any longer, and whatever is left from the altar is placed in the tent. Nothing can occupy our hearts anymore; our conscience is at peace before God, and we can boldly say to HIM, “I have not held back one thing from you.”
- Watchman Nee (The life of the Altar and the Tent)
'I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
- Romans 12:1
So will you choose to lay down on the Altar of your Lord your God's consuming fire (Deut.4:24; Heb.12:29) which is the possession and promise of everlasting love and eternal life in Him or will you rather fuel the fire that is an abomination to the Lord? (Deut.12:31; Lev.10:1-2)
We should not serve God with strange fire, but with the fire from the altar. Strange fire is fire of self; it is fire that issues from the soulish life, the fleshy life, and the natural life. Offering up strange fire is employing the self's methods and wisdom and insisting on self's proposals in the service of God. God pays attention not only to wether or not there is fire, but also to the source and the nature of the fire; our zeal must come from the altar.
- Watchman Nee
Falling in love with Christ is such a beautiful thing. It's like a fire set deep within your soul that can't be controlled and it can't be fully comprehended, but the warmth of His love leads us wanting and desiring more and more of Him.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,