Archive for incense

Zechariah the Priest & Prayer

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2020 by paulthepoke

Luke 1:5a In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah…

Luke 1:8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty…

This is the introduction of Zechariah the priest, father of John the Baptist.

But first, let’s look at the name Zechariah. His name means “Yah has remembered”. It would appear, Zechariah is the first person to talk to the angel (Gabriel) in the New Testament. We know that he has prayed for a child.

Luke 1:13a But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard…

A man whose name means “Yah remembers” has prayed to Yahweh. Yah has heard, remembered, and grants “Yah remembers” his wish. Then “Yah remembers” does not believe Yah remembered him and discounts the promise of a child.

Luke 1:18 “How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”

~

Luke 1:11 Just then, an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah, standing at the right side of the altar of the incense.

The angel was located at the right side. Symbolically, the right of God is known as a position of presence, power, and authority. Christ has ascended into Heaven and is located at the right hand of the Father.

golden_altar_of_incense

The directions for the construction and purpose of the altar of incense are located in Exodus 30. The priests are instructed to burn incense continually. This is a request for all generations. The burning of incense is perpetual.

Exodus 30:7-8 And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it. Every morning when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it, and when Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn it, a regular incense offering before the LORD throughout your generations.

The incense is fragrant and pleasing to smell. God only wants incense from this altar.

Exodus 30:9 You shall not offer unauthorized incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering, and you shall not pour a drink offering on it.

In Revelation, in the throne room of Heaven, the incense is equated with prayers.

Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne…

Despite being a priest and serving God in the Temple, Zechariah did not believe God’s message. He was still granted his prayer request. But with his unbelief, there was a consequence. Silence!

Luke 1:20 And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this comes to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time. -Gabriel

Do not underestimate the power of our prayers. Gabriel was located at a position of authority near the symbol for prayers.

Prayer should be part of our lives. God wants us to communicate with Him. He desires to hear from us. Our prayers are a sweet aroma to Him. He does listen and He always remembers.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-19 pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.

Isaiah 1:12-15 Rest Means Rest!

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 1:12-15 When you enter my presence, do you actually think I want this – animals trampling on my courtyards?  Do not bring any more meaningless offerings; I consider your incense detestable!You observe new moon festivals, Sabbaths, and convocations, but I cannot tolerate sin-stained celebrations!I hate your new moon festivals and assemblies; they are a burden that I am tired of carrying. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I look the other way; when you offer your many prayers, I do not listen, because your hands are covered with blood.

The focus of this study is the origin and intent of the religious works in the following verses. These include the burning of incense, new moon festivals, the Sabbath, and prayer. Again, these people are going through the motions and the Jews do not take these seriously. It is a broken record, but these folks are living a lifestyle of sin.

What is the relevance of incense? Revelation 5:8b makes it very clear what incense is. It is prayer. Each of them had a harp and golden bowls full of incense (which are the prayers of the saints). The imageryis the ascension of smoke is like a prayer being offered up to God. This same idiomatic language is noted in Psalm 141:2. Incense is the symbol for prayer. The directions for making and using incense are noted in Exodus 30:34-35. Incense is to be made in a specific manner and is to be used only in a sacred manner. If used inappropriately, the guilty party is to be cut off (DEATH!) from the people.

New Moon Festivals: These festivals were celebrated every month as prescribed by a lunar calendar. Sacrifices and offerings were a part of the festival and as noted in Numbers 28:11-15. Trumpets were blown (Numbers 10:10) and business was not conducted (Amos 8:5).

The Sabbath has taken on many meanings to the Jewish people. In Genesis 2:2-3, God rested on the seventh day after creation. The Sabbath is a reminder of the God’s rest. This day is practiced with rest and work is not to be completed. Exodus 20:8-11 “Rememberthe Sabbath day to set it apart as holy.For six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; on it you shall not do any work, you,or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your cattle, or the resident foreigner who is in your gates.For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. That sounds a bit extreme in today’s culture. God takes this very seriously and he is interested in obedience. Look at Exodus 31:14. So you must keep the Sabbath, for it is holy for you. Everyone who defiles it must surely be put to death; indeed,if anyone doesanywork on it, then that person will be cut off from among hispeople. Just in case there is any confusion about the penalty, death is explicitly stated emphatically two times in the verse. The phrase “cut off” in the Hebrew is another way to express death.

The last of these is prayer. Plain and simple, prayer is a conversation or dialogue between a person and God. In verse 15, you can see the person stretching their hands out and leaning their head back and closing their eyes to the heavens (much the same way as viewed on television with today’s “miracle workers” and “healers”). God’s response, He literally closes His eyes and ears to the petition. Why, because their hands are covered with blood. In the final analysis, God hates religion.

Paul the Poke

Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. -LORD God

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