The Brass Altar
Scripture reading: Psalms 27: 5, Exodus 27:1-8, Exodus 38: 1-7. Exodus 20: 24-26 (4:17), 1Peter 2: 5-9 .
The first, and the largest, item in the white linen enclosed court yard is an acacia wood altar completely encased in brass. Brass throughout the tabernacle, and the scripture, is indicative of judgment. This is why the 60 acacia wood post that held up the white linen curtains were standing on plates of brass, but were capped with 1/2 shekel of silver (which is indicative of redemption). Sixty 1/2 shekels of silver is thirty pieces (the price paid to Judas for identifying Jesus to the priests desiring to take His life). These two metals, along with gold (meaning purity) are repeated throughout the Tabernacle.
The purpose of this altar that which measured 71/2 feet square and stands 41/2 feet tall is to offer sacrifices for the sins of a nation chosen by God to be His children. Every one of the other five articles of furniture could have been carried inside this altar because of it's size. It was the intention of God for each article to be carried on the shoulders of the priesthood.
Blood was shed here or death would occur to anyone who tried to go further into the sanctuary without blood sacrifice. At this visible, permanent expression of God's judgment at the door of the tabernacle all could approach and offer their sacrifices. The blood that was shed here was poured onto the ground. The Israelites were only sprinkled with blood ONE time, as was the book of the Law given to Moses on Sinai. This is very important for us to know today that the blood of Jesus Christ is only applied one time to cleanse our spirit from original sin.
Every worshiper came here with their offering and the "whole burnt offering" was offered here morning and evening. The pans, shovels and flesh hooks were all of brass. The grate in the midst of the altar held the sacrifice. After the Tabernacle was completed and Moses had placed the first sacrifice on the alter, God sent fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice and commanded the priesthood to keep the fire burning ( Lev. 9:24) this altar was most holy (Ex. 40:10) . We keep the "fire of God" burning in our lives by applying His Word to our daily life.
On each corner were brass horns indicating the four directions on the earth. We are assured that the Lamb of God sacrificed on the cross is to "whosoever will" from every corner of the earth. Under each corner was a brass ring that held acacia covered brass poles. This holy altar and all of the other articles of furniture in the tabernacle where made with rings and poles to be carried on the shoulders of the priesthood. The only two without rings and poles were the Laver and Lampstand, and they were placed on boards and carried on the shoulders of the priesthood.
The Brass Altar was clothed in purple while being transported. Purple is the color of royalty. The substance this altar is a shadow of is the cross of Christ ( King of Kings Lord of Lords) Hallelujah!
The altar's presence doesn't put away sin. The sacrifice thereon does.
There was fire in the midst and this is the only piece of furniture used by ALL. God had shown Moses who He was - Substance, by judging the life of Egypt (NILE) , the wealth of Egypt (cattle and fields), and the progeny of Egypt (first born).
Here at this altar an innocent substitute bore their sin and was sacrificed for them. The worshiper had to participate by laying his hands upon the animals offered prior the their sacrifice. This was not just an act of observance since the heart of God desires relationship --- blood relationship. The steps of procedure was to confess the sin, the blood was applied, innocent for guilty, fire consumes. This was not a cancellation this was a payment. Praise God! As it is today, we must reach out and take hold of the Lamb of God (our offering for sin) to identify with Him.
This altar was the place where the priest had blood applied to the ear, thumb, and toe. Just as today the blood of Jesus Christ our sacrificial Lamb of God has touched our ear so we might hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. His blood is applied to our thumb indicating the work of our hands is blood washed. As well as to the toe so that our walk is blood washed.
Five offerings of sacrifice were offered here. In the order listed in the Word, the first is the whole Burnt Offering which is a propitiation for original sin that all the children of Adam where born under. The second was called the Meat Offering and was actually a grain offering . This speaks of Christ who is the bread from heaven. The third is the Peace offering which of course speaks of our reconciliation and was completed when Christ birthed us by the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Remember when He told His disciples "My peace I give you not as the world gives", and breathed on them and said " receive ye the Holy Ghost ". This is the only offering that everyone could eat as they offered it, they partook of it themselves. The fourth was the Sin Offering. The sacrifice required for this offering was according to your position and economic status, as where all the sacrifices and had to be brought each time a sin was committed. The fifth was the Trespass Offering for those who trespassed, most of us raised in America realize that when we see a land posted no trespassingwe break a law when we enter that posted territory. We also must confess and repent when we go out of the perimeter God has established when He said ye are in the world but not of the world.
It is very easy to see that this Brazen Altar is a shadow of the cross of Jesus Christ. We must do business here before advancing into His nature. The next thing we do is to take up the Word of God which is His meat offering (" my flesh is meat indeed", and He was the Word made flesh ). As we progress in the Word we see a need to be baptized in the Holy Ghost which is His Peace Offering, in order to understand His word. Then should we sin after our salvation we must come and confess and repent and have our fellowship restored, just as the Israelites brought their sin offering and were accepted of God. For most of us the trespassing is an act of our mind, will or emotion and this too is covered in the propitiation of Jesus Christ when we confess and repent.
It is sad that the (church systems) in the earth today do not teach progression into the nature of Jesus Christ. However, here in the Tabernacle as is our walk today the place of sacrifice is the introduction into the nature of Jesus Christ. We must continue on to the Laver, Holy Place and Most Holy Place in order to obtain the stature and fullness of Christ.