Returning to the Table of Showbread we note the following,
“And thou shall take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shall set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. And thou shall put pure frankincense upon each row that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.”(Lev 24:5–9)
It is not fully ascertain as to whether or not the twelve loves or cakes were placed in “rows” or in “piles”, Rotherham’s one of the most reliable translations states that it was rows, but in the margin suggest likewise that it may just as well have been piles.
The frankincense placed upon each row (or pile) represented praise to Jehovah (R3703:4). This frankincense, was, of course, not eaten, but offered by the priest as a “memorial” upon God’s altar “for an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” (Lev 24:7) For a time, the frankincense was identified with the showbread, though in no way a part of it. So the element of praise is not itself a part of the Word of Life—the TRUTH: but it is called forth by it!
Thus he (the antitypical priest) who has been “refreshed and strengthened . . . with the truth, as represented in the `showbread’ …should daily offer up sacrifices at the `Golden Altar (Item #4),’ acceptable to God through Jesus Christ —a sweet perfume to our Father.” (T22) Such sacrifice upon the “Golden Altar” are of praise and thanksgiving (Heb 13:11; Psa 50:5, 14) unto Jehovah God. “Praise ye the LORD Praise God in his Sanctuary.” (Psa 150:1) “Notes on the Tabernacle”, Pages 174-179
“Close to the `vail,’ stood a small altar, of wood covered with gold, called the `Golden Altar’ or `Incense Altar.’ It had no fire upon it except what the priests brought in the censers which they set in the top of this `Golden Altar,’ and then crumbled the incense upon it, causing it to give forth a fragrant smoke or perfume, which, filling the `Holy,’ penetrated also beyond the `second vail’ into the `Most Holy’ or `Holy of Holies.‘ ” (T17)
“The Golden Altar in the `Holy’ would seem to represent the `little flock,’ the consecrated Church in the present sacrificing condition. From this altar ascends the sweet incense, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ—the willing services of the priests: their praises, their willing obedience—all things whatsoever they do to the glory of God. Those who thus offer incense acceptable to God (1 Pet 2:5) come very close to their Father—close up to the `Vail’ which separates them from the `Most Holy’; and if they have requests (prayers) to make they may be presented with the incense—`much incense with the prayers of saints.’ (Rev 8:3) The prayers of such priests of God are effectual.
Our Lord Jesus kept the incense continually burning, and could say, `I know that thou hear me always.’ (John 11:42) So the under-priests, `members of his Body,’ will be heard always if they continually offer the incense of faith, love and obedience to God: and none should expect to have requests recognized who do not thus keep their covenant—`If ye abide in me and my words (teachings) abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.’ (John 15:7) The necessity of a clear apprehension of Christ’s teachings as a guide to our requests and expectations, that we may not `ask amiss’ and out of harmony with God’s plan, is clearly shown by this scripture—but seldom noticed.” (T120)
As was stated earlier all three of these items, the Golden Lampstand, the Table of Showbread and the Gold Incense Altar are indispensable to the new creature, available only to those who have taken the “second step” and have fully consecrated (sanctified) themselves to God and to His service. Such having been begotten of His spirit have entered the school of Christ that they might be fully developed, sanctified by God and made copies of their dear Lord and Master.
In our next post we will take a look at the “Most Holy” and how we may enter.
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