The Tabernacle its construction and furnishings”, Part 34

“The Golden Incense Altar”

In connection with the Golden Incense Altar it will be noted that there was no mention of any specific
utensils as being connected with its construction as there was with regards to the Brazen Altar
Exod 27:3), the Golden Lamp-stand (Exod 25:38,39) and the Table of Showbread (Exod 25:
), although some have been inclined to imagine Num 4:12 which speaks of the “utensils of service
with which they minister in the sanctuary
” to be in reference to these, however this is merely an
assumption on their part without any sure evidence.

Since the blood of the sin-offering was taken from the animal to be sacrifice upon the Brazen Altar ,and
the hot coals likewise originated from this altar logic dictates that the censers used were those mention
as utensils belonging to the Brazen Altar, those made of
copper, these were the only two copper
items ever brought into the tabernacle proper
as everything else associated with the “Holy” and
Most Holy” was either made of gold or covered in gold representative of the spirit and or divine

As you recall “
copper” is a type representative of the perfect human nature (“flesh and blood”),
both of that which is actual and that which is reckoned so, the question then is what might these two
copper items in this particular picture represent, and how is it that they should enter the “
or Holies
” (Eph 2:6) the spirit plane, both that of the spirit begotten and the spirit born, for as you
recall the censer containing the blood was brought into the Most Holy, a plane not inhabited by “
and blood

The answer seems obvious, was it not our Lord’s perfect human nature (his life rights) which he
offered as a ransom for Adam and thus for the world, was it not the life, the blood contained
within this vessel which purchased us? Was it not this same perfect human vessel
(typified in
the copper censer)
which bore the heat (the hot coals) of trial’s and difficulties and yet willingly
offered up sacrifice (the incense) a sweet savor unto the LORD?

Is he not the “propitiation” (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins and those of the world (1 John 2:2)?
Was not the blood of his sacrifice brought into the Holy of Holies there to be sprinkled upon the mercy
seat? Did not God make him to be “
the place of satisfaction” our propitiation, our mercy seat (Rom
) fully satisfying the claims of justice?

If so then justice being satisfied
the merit or value of our Lord’s sacrifice (his perfect human life
rights) resides in the Father’s hands until such a time appropriate for its application on behalf of the

And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself, and shall make
atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is
for himself. And
he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the
LORD, and
his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: And he
shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover
the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not.
He shall take some of the blood of
the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy
seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times
” (Lev 16:11–14)

Now from the foregoing we deduce that Aaron made but the one trip from the courtyard into the
tabernacle, the narrative giving no indication that Aaron returned to the courtyard after having brought
the censer with the hot coals into the tabernacle to retrieve the second censer containing the blood,
therefore we must assume that both censers were carried into the tabernacle at the same time.
Likewise it should be recalled that both his hands at this time were filled with incense thus it would
seem likely that in order to accomplish this task a means must be employed whereby all three items
can be transported at the same time.

The most logical means would seem to be the use of a length of chain sufficient enough to allow the
two censers to be draped over Aaron’s arms allowing his hands to be free to carry incense. Once inside
the holy the censer with the blood would be carefully set upon the flood while that of the burning coals
was place upon the Incense altar (or vice verses whichever is more convenient), thus his hands would
now be free to apply the incense. But of course this is
only a suggestion, we leave it up to each to
determine for himself just how precisely this procedure might have been accomplished

And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue (representing our faithfulness), and
cover it with
a covering of seal’ skins (representing our flesh, our humanity), and shall put to the
staves thereof
” (Num 4:11)

All the staves used to expedite the carrying of the furnishments of the Tabernacle were made of shittim
[acacia] wood, overlaid with gold that is with the exception of the staves of the Brazen Altar, which were
overlaid in copper. These staves were undoubtedly removed from the altars, table, etc., when and
wherever the Israelites encamped along the way. There was, however, one exception: this was the Ark of
the Covenant. We read specifically, “
The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be
taken from it
.” (Exod 25:15)

To appreciate the significance of this, it is only necessary to remember that the Incense Altar and the
Table of the Showbread represented the Church “
this side the vail,” while the treasure is still identified
with the “
earthen vessel”—the flesh (2 Cor 4:7); and while the glory of the divine nature is still a hope,
though “
both sure and steadfast” (Heb 6:19), to be realized only when we have “passed beyond the
.” On the other hand, the Ark of the Covenant represented the Church “beyond the vail,” when this
mortal (wood) shall have put on immortality (gold).

It is not strange, then, that the staves identified with the Altar of Incense and the Table of the
Showbread should be withdrawn at each camping site; for they represented the Church in its present “
condition; and the flesh, which has no part “beyond the vail,” can be at home only in this world.
The New Creature—the spiritual entity—is not and never can be at home in this world; it will find its
everlasting rest only when it reaches the “
Temple” site in “Shiloh,” so beautifully depicted by the Ark of
the Covenant in its ultimate position in Solomon’s Temple. When the Ark was finally delivered to its place
in that glorious Temple of Solomon’s, its traveling days were over and the staves were drawn out. (
Kings 8:8—KJV and Rotherham

And so, the staves are identified with movement toward Canaan. The Church moves through this world,
and while in the “
flesh” may rest here and there; but it is never at home until it has attained its place in
the glory of the Kingdom “
beyond the second vail.” The “staves,” no longer being necessary, will have
been “
drawn out.” (Notes on the Tabernacle”, Pages 255,256)

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