Second 8th Week® Ministries

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   The Altar of Christ

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Christian Priesthood Defined

Priests Partake of the Sacrifice

Lesson 6 of 11

The Lord God set the priesthood apart for Himself to teach us that our eternal inheritance is in Him. God is our inheritance. God is our possession. Every soul that is born into God’s house is to function in a spiritual priesthood to be sustained by God. God teaches us through the Levitical priesthood how to be a partaker of Christ. If Christ is your righteousness, He will sustain you by that measure. If Christ is your holiness, He will sustain you by that contact. If Christ is your truth, He will cleanse your conscience and reciprocate grace upon grace. Let's look at how that works.
 
Ezekiel 44:28-30
28. And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: I am their inheritance: and ye shall give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession.
29.  They shall eat the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering: and every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs.
30.  And the first of all the first fruits of all things, and every oblation of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be the priest's: ye shall also give unto the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house. (see also Numbers 18:20)
 
In the Old Testament the priests were sustained by the meat they offered on the altar to God. We see that in verse 2 “they shall eat the meat offering”. The priests had a 3- pronged flesh hook that they stuck into the sacrifice once it was offered to God. 1Samuel 2:14 reads, “And he (the priest) struck (the fleshhook) into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself.”
 
How does that apply to the New Testament church and Christian priesthood? In the New Testament priesthood we are sustained by the knowledge we offer to the Lord. That means that the Spirit sustains us by our spiritual sacrifices of prophecy. The edification, exhortation, and comfort Paul spoke of in 1 Corinthians 14 is a direct result of each believer functioning in their priesthood. This is the witness (confirmation) of the Spirit upon the record.
 
gain we see the pattern God set in the Old Covenant altar, which was to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and we see that the purpose of the altar was not only for offering sacrifices, but also partaking of them. Apostle Paul reflected on this type and shadow of Christ when he wrote in 1Corinthians 9:13, “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?” This scripture in the Old Testament pointed towards Christ and how believers now serve God at the altar of Christ with their spiritual sacrifices of prophecy, and they partake of Him through the edification, peace and rest they receive from God.
 
Jesus Himself spoke of our partaking of Him in John 6:55-57, “For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.”
 
We cannot physically eat the flesh of the Son of God, nor drink His blood. Nor can we figuratively eat and drink of Him through the commemorative bread and wine. Those are merely symbols, not reality. Our hope is not made living through symbols. We have an altar in Christ, and as we serve God at the altar of Christ, we are eating and drinking (partaking) of the sacrifice, which is Christ Himself.
 
Remember, in the previous lesson we discussed what Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life” (John.6:63). We are eating and drinking of Him through the utterance of His knowledge that He shared with His apostles to share with the church. The 12 Elements of the Gospel. It is by His knowledge that we share (partake of) His likeness. That means to partake of His divine nature. According as Apostle Peter wrote:
 
2 Peter 1:3-4
3.  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4.  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
 
Christ gave of Himself in His righteousness, holiness, faith, grace, sanctification, and charity. At the altar you partake of His divine nature. If Christ is your righteousness, He will sustain you by that measure. If Christ is your holiness, He will sustain you by that contact. If Christ is your truth, He will cleanse your conscience and reciprocate grace upon grace. If Christ is your charity, you will live by that power and virtue.

How Can I Sustain My Faith?
 
Christians ask all the time, “How can I sustain my faith? I feel as if I have a faith that does not take hold of me. I feel a love for God that I cannot give back. I am trapped, and my daily life is smoothing my faith.”
 
What keeps Christ from impacting your faith? It is simply that you did not know the basic principles of the Second Covenant faith Jesus shed His blood to provide and you did not know how faith is to be expressed at the altar of Christ.
 
We need the power of God to be transformed into the image of Christ and we need strength to meet the challenges of each day. If we occupy ourselves with the promises and fears of this world we become blind to grace and God’s transforming power. When that happens a person uses other things to mold a relationship with God and struggles to find what he saw before: “Where is the zeal I once had for God?” “Where is the desire I once had to know God in His one pure way?”
 
When the altar of Christ was polluted by the reason and logic of man, the “words” of Jesus were reduced to the precept and line of scripture, which became subject to private interpretation; so the words were empty. A person no longer testified of Christ, but of man’s need and greed. And because the Spirit ceased to glorify Christ through those words that reflected men, believers were no longer able to partake of Christ.
 
Can you see what that system does? If you are going to live in the system whereby the flesh is challenged, but not conformed to Christ then the flesh continues to control you.
 
By restoring the altar of Christ, God is freeing us from sin and restoring the priesthood of Jesus Christ to sustain all those who believe in Him. God is looking for those who will occupy themselves with the priesthood. It is necessary to come into covenant and build the altar of Christ to keep the flames of faith burning brightly.
 
The Altar of the Heart is the Tether to the Trone of Grace
 
Learn the meaning of the phylactery and tie to the altar of Christ.In the Old Testament the Jews were to write passages from Exodus 13 and Deuteronomy 6, enclose it in a calf-skin case and fasten it by thongs (tether) to their left arm or forehead, thus showing their tether to God through His Law, as God commanded them saying, “And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes,” (Deuteronomy 6:8). This is called a phylactery.
 
In this way, God was teaching His people to be mindful of His word and to carry His word with them always. He was establishing that a tether of care existed between them and God through His word. This is what the covenant established—His care for His people.
 
The altar of Christ serves the same purpose for Christians in the New Testament. As we learn the Altar Elements, God is writing these new commandments (law) of grace and truth in our hearts and this knowledge is what we tether ourselves to in remembrance of Him.The Altar of the Heart is the tether to God's throne of grace.
 
Hebrews 8:10-11
The altar stones. Learn how to build the altar of Christ in your heart.10.  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 . And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
 
We know God by the 12 Altar Elements. God gave us these Elements that we might experience Him. The experience of His grace carries His perspective and power of His persuasion and we see the things of darkness(honor of the world) for what they are: vain and unprofitable.
 
There is a sharp contrast between building in the kingdom of darkness and building with the tools of the covenant. We understand through experience that there is no cap on faith but continual frustration when we labor with the aspiration and the principle. We see the power of God in our life and we measure reality by that power. This is the renewing of the mind. The mind is renewed in knowledge—the knowledge of the Altar Elements.
 
You will hear instruction of faith from Second 8th Week Apostles and elders, encouraging you to stay tethered to the altar by reflecting on Christ in the Elements of the Gospel. The mind chooses to reflect on Christ instead of cares of the world, because regeneration tells us, that only our labor of faith, works the virtue of God and that everything else is vain.
 
As a result we make provision for faith, leaving off the cares of the world and use our time wisely. The mind reflects this in its next cycle of growth. We do not leave off the cares of the world but rather are prudent in those things we chose to take up our time. We value this form of contact from God because we see God separating us from the world unto Himself. Because we value this contact, we continue to reflect this in the mind. We see the renewing of the mind by the things that the mind reflects upon. It will reflect and set a course for those things that it values.
 
By the Spirit we understand His Oath to fulfil all things that Christ sealed within us. The tether of righteousness binds those of faith and His hand draws the holy knowledge in the heart to the lips as a sweet sound of praise.

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