1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it.

An altar to burn incense upon

The word is miz.beach from zabak, to slaughter. Thus, although no animal was offered upon it, it was given the same name as the altar of sacrifice, being an extension of it. Only after an offering had been made on the brazen altar could the priest approach the golden altar.

This teaches that true worship can only be offered in Christ. We must first make contact with him as the brazen altar, before we can properly enjoy the privilege and communion of complete prayer.

The word "incense" is qetoreth in Hebrew, from qatar, "to drive out, to smoke." The word speaks of the purifying effect of prayer (see Psa. 141:2; Luke 1:9-10). In Rev. 5:8; 8:3-4, incense is used as a symbol for prayer, and represents the fulness of the incense principle.

The Christadelphian Expositor

2 A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same.

3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about.

The golden Altar was connected to the brazen Altar of sacrifice by the coals taken off the latter to burn the incense brought in by the golden censor of the High Priest.

This represented the prayers or thoughts of the saints ascending to the Father (Rev.8:3-7, Rev.5.8, Psa:l41.2, Pslm.119:l64).*

The Golden Altar of Incense

6 And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.

The Vail

Why was it there? As a literal element of the tabernacle, we know that it was there to provide a concealed recess for the symbols of the divine presence in Israel's midst; but the question now concerns the significance of the veil as part of the Mosaic shadow. Why was there a veil?

We see the answer when we ascertain what it represents. This we ascertain from the circumstance recorded by Matthew, that when Jesus died,

"the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom" (Matt. 27:51),

considered in connection with the exegetical remark of Paul in Heb. 10:20, that there is a

"new and living way which Jesus hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh".

The veil, then, stands for the flesh of present mortal nature, as possessed by Christ in his natural days. This nature veils off or stands between us and the glorious realities signified by the golden ark-throne in the Holiest of all. It was natural, therefore, that in a structural prophecy of good things to come, there should be a counterpart to this time of waiting and preparation.

The veil divided the two apartments; the veil of the flesh divides the two states.

The veil had to be torn asunder that we might enter from the one to the other. This was done in Christ. It could not be done in any other; for while any man could have been crucified, any man could not, under the law of sin and death, have risen to glory, honour and immortality.

Any one could have died, but mere death was not passing through the veil. The inner side of the veil was the immortal state, and this is not entered except by resurrection. If Christ had not risen, his death would have been in vain, as Paul teaches (1 Cor. 15:17).

A successful rending of the veil required the righteousness of a perfectly obedient man, which existed only in Christ. Therefore, the veil, while standing for the flesh-nature, stood particularly for the Christ form of that nature--through which only could the new and living way be opened.

The concurrence of the rending of the Temple veil with the death of Christ might seem to indicate death simply as the rending: and so it might be considered in the case of Christ, in which it was the completion of a perfect course of obedience.

The resurrection sequel was ensured, and was only a question of a few days. He could exclaim,

"It is finished",

though resurrection and many other things remained to complete the glorious programme of the divine work in him, because all was secured by the course completed in his death.

So the rending of the Temple veil could proclaim the opening of the new and living way, though resurrection had to follow crucifixion before the opening was actually achieved.

Law of Moses Ch 14

7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it.

God was ever to be delighted by the desire of His People to serve Him and the spiritual nature of that desire was represented by the conversion of the material incense into fragrant vapour by the action of fire. And what fire was that? Significantly it was of coals taken from off the Altar in the Court (as we gather from Lev. 16: 12; Num. 16: 46) - a salutary reminder that the worship of the Israelite, for all the earnestness of his desire, could only be acceptable on the basis of atonement made for his sinfulness.

Law and Grace Ch 5


Every morning Sweet incense. An exhortation to prayer at the start of every day/ combined with being enlightened by the pure light of the word (dresseth the lamps). When we receive the word we hear Yahweh's voice. When we pray he hears ours if we are pure in heart.*

8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before Yahweh throughout your generations.

Perpetual incense.

Christ's mind was a manifestation of his Father, his thoughts were continually ascending to the Father, so that he was at one with the Father (Jhn.17). This precludes the carnal mind. The Lord never had a carnal mind, he was the Holy Incense ascending continually to the Father beyond the Veil of the flesh, Ish Khasid, the Holy One of God, to whom is given the Urim and the Thumim (the lights and the fulnesses) (Deut.33:8).

The Golden Altar stood before the Veil, and Paul shows it actually within the Veil (Hb.9.4)The mind of Christ was continually beyond the Veil, as Bro Thomas says his was when considering aspects of the Apocalypse. He had gone beyond the Veil...So is the mind of a spiritual minded person, continually ascending to the Father.

'And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant'*

7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it.

8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before Yahweh throughout your generations.

9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. 

The altar of incense represents the sacrifice of prayer offered with Christ-fire on the gold-plate foundation of faith, without which it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). The presence of this altar in the Mosaic Holy and the daily consumption of incense upon it is a powerful inculcation of this truth from God, which is otherwise so often declared in the Scriptures, that men are not acceptable to Him who do not "pray without ceasing", and in "everything give thanks", offering "the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name" (Heb. 13:15)--"a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations".

No strange incense was to be used. Only God's own promises and God's own commandments must be breathed in prayer. God's own truth is the only acceptable basis of approach. Man's thoughts and inventions are odious to Him. This is only natural, as we might say; great men can only be acceptably approached by inferiors on the basis of the great men's own views of what is proper. How much more must man conform to God. "I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me", was His comment on the destruction of Nadab and Abihu when they presumed to offer strange fire.

The altar of incense, though wholly a symbol of prayer, was associated with atonement, in being touched once a year with" the blood of the sin-offering" slain and offered outside (Exod. 30:10), which is an intimation that prayer is not acceptable except at the hands of those who have come into contact with the sacrifice of Christ in the way appointed--the understanding, belief and obedience of the gospel, in being baptized into his death.

Men who worship apart from this are worshippers on the outside of the tabernacle, and invoke death in presuming to come near without the blood of the sacrifice required. The altar of incense had no relation to the stranger in any sense or way. It was in the holy which no stranger dare enter, and it was both anointed with the holy oil and sanctified with the atoning blood, with which the stranger has not come in contact. 

Also it was to be served only by the priests, with whom the stranger has no connection. It is only those who have submitted to the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus that are "a royal priesthood", qualified to acceptably "show forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God" (1 Pet. 2:9).

Law of Moses Ch 14

12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto Yahweh, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.


I regard no one natural simple element as the principle of life. Oxygen alone, diluted or undiluted with nitrogen; nor ruach or pure spirit; nor blood, separately considered, is the principle of life. It requires all three to vitalize flesh such as sin's body is composed of.

Chemical decomposition is the beginning of life, as observed in the phenomena of digestion. By this process, added to respiration, living blood is generated; and becomes the soul or life of the heart, liver, lungs, brain, and all other parts of the body, which are collectively styled 'sin's flesh,' and sometimes simply 'flesh.'

It is the immortal-soul theory that vitalizes the body by a single principle—a physiology well befitting the science of old Egypt, but worthy of no respect since many have run to and fro, and knowledge has been increased - Dan 12: 4.

A child lives by the life-development of its maternal flesh; an existence which is continued after birth, not by being born with an immortal vital principle hereditarily derived, or by the inrush of an immortal spirit with its first breath, but by the same process that continues in being 'the soul of all flesh,' from man to a mouse.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Dec 1852

13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of Yahweh.

14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from20 years old and above, shall give an offering unto Yahweh.

15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto Yahweh, to make an atonement for your souls.

The silver sockets were the one exception to the freewill character of all the materials of the Tabernacle. The gold of faith was the freewill offering of all, both men and women, but the redemption silver was the compulsory requirement for the men only - one half shekel for each male. The rich could not give more and the poor could not give less. All stood upon equal footing as regards redemption in Christ.

Freewill offering here was not enough. This was a ransom for man's forfeited life. "Each man shall give a ransom for his soul of one half shekel." His helpless bondage to sin and need for redemption must be emphasized in the foundation of this building. Here is something that no amount of voluntary offering, eager and freewill though it might be, could accomplish. There was more silver used in the Tabernacle than gold and brass combined.

The atoning sacrifice of Christ must be the major foundation aspect of the way of salvation. He must have the pre-eminence in all things, as we read in the first chapter of Hebrews.

Bro Growcott - God Enthroned in the Ecclesia and in Our Lives

The Brass Laver

18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.

19 For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat:

Cleanse the actions and walk. The dimensions of the laver are not given. It was a vessel representing the flesh - with Yahweh it is not external appearances that count. Messiah had no external beauty or comeliness this was all internal - full of grace and truth.

The water of the laver was purifying as Yahoshua was the logos who came down from heaven. That is, Yahweh was manifest in him. He was without blemish. Though burdened with weak emotional sin's flesh he never crossed the line from righteousness.

22 Moreover Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying,

23 Take thou also unto thee Myrrh 500 hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of sweet calamus 250 shekels,

24 And of cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin:

25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.

The Eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14) as Creator, is necessarily before all things, and is, therefore, the "Theos," and the "Logos" of John 1:3, where it is testified that

"all things were made on account of Him; and without Him was made not one thing which exists."

This same Eternal Spirit was effluently in Noah, in Moses, in David, and all the prophets, in Jesus and the apostles. One Spirit in these many persons. In the Mosaic system the Effluence of the Eternal Power was represented by "an oil of holy ointment," or "a holy anointing oil" an unction that was not to be commonly used upon pain of death (Exod. 30:25; 1 John 2:20, 27). It was compounded of myrrh, sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, cassia, and olive oil, after the art of the perfumer.

The tabernacle with all it contained, with the altar of burnt offering and all its vessels, the laver and its foot, were all anointed with it, and thereby became most holy, so that whatsoever touched them became holy. Aaron and his sons were also consecrated with it when "the diadem of the anointing oil of his Elohim" was said to be "upon him" (Lev. 21:12). The holy anointing oil was not to be used apart from these, for "upon man's flesh," saith the Law, "it shall not be poured."

The Cherubim were anointed with the most holy unction, by which also they became most holy. It was one holy anointing oil for many things, which in and of themselves differed nothing from that which was common.

This principle of "One in Many" is thus foreshadowed in the law and the prophets -- One Eternal Spirit-Power which "shall be" in the "mighty ones of Israel" as it was and is in Jesus of Nazareth -- "Thou," Eternal and Anointing Spirit, art "He" in "the Mighty Ones of Israel," the "Theos and the Logos creator of the heavens and the earth."

The "Holy Anointing Spirit-Oil," is styled by Peter in 1 Peter 1:11, "the Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets": because "Christ" signifies "Anointed," and the Spirit that was poured out upon Jesus and constituted him anointed also, anointed them; hence it was said of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, "touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm" (1 Chron. 16:22).

Phanerosis - Yahweh manifested in the cherubim

30 And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office.


The High Priest and the Kings of lsrael were anointed, i.e. they were anointed ones (Christ's), but they were not The Christ (Lev.8.12, Pslm.l33.2, ISam.16.13, 1Kgs.1.39).

So The Anointed One would be both a King and Priest in Israel reigning from the throne of his Father David in Zion (Lk.I.32, Is.24.23). *

*Bro Richard Lister

The Apocalyptic Messenger, May 2016


32 Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you.

Because man's flesh is defiled sin's flesh

33 Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.

34 And Yahweh said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:

Stacte is the resin from a gash in a tree - symbolising suffering.

Onycha is a shellfish extract (from the red Sea) - deliverance

Galbanum - when burnt repels serpents - diabolos