Keep The Altar Fire Burning


The fire on the altar is to be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest will burn wood on the fire… Fire must be kept burning on the altar continually; it must not go out.

~Leviticus 6:12-13 (CSB)


Confession without repentance is just boasting.

~H. Eugene Bolton

Corrie Ten Boom said there are four characteristics of true repentance: [1] Acknowledgement of the wrong, [2] willingness to confess it, [3] willingness to abandon it and [4] willingness to make restitution. Through Moses, God instituted the sacrificial system. The system actually dates back to the garden of Eden where God performed the first sacrifice. In the sacrificial system, everyone must bring an offering because everyone is a sinner. I made a statement from the pulpit some years ago regarding the sacrificial system, I said, “without an offering, the Hebrews could not worship.” One fellow got offended: He thought I was talking about money. Listen folks, the sacrificial system did not exclude poor people. Those who could not afford an animal from the flock could bring a pair of turtledoves or a pair of pigeons. Both were plentiful then and now. If they could not afford to bring a pair of birds, they could bring a grain offering, two quarts of flour. No one was excluded but of course there were those who did not participate. Another interesting aspect of the sacrificial system is the ALTAR, the place where sin is dealt with. Moses instructions to the priest wasKEEP THE ALTAR FIRE BURNINGNEVER ALLOW IT TO GO OUT. This is a huge problem today, the altar fire has burned out. The point that Moses is making is simple: people sin everyday, therefore confession and repentance should happen daily or constantly. When the Hebrews approached the Tabernacle, the first thing they seen was the ALTAR. It was strategically placed just inside the front door or gate. Again, the message is simple and clear: sin has to be dealt with before we can truly worship.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not an advocate of airing out our dirty laundry but the altar fires are out in our churches because we don’t even acknowledge sin, let alone confess and turn from it. Matter of fact, you would be hard pressed to find a repentant soul in any congregation. It is not that we have stopped sinning: we’ve stopped acknowledging our sin or doing anything about it. This is exactly why revival tarries. Cain and Able both presented offerings but Cain’s was unacceptable. Why? Because he refused to acknowledge his sin. Think about what the LORD said to Cain… “Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent?  If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” — Genesis 4:6-7 (CSB) Let me ask you a simple question: did Cain do what was right? Did he confess that he did what was wrong? The correct answer to both is NO! It puzzles me that folks don’t understand what’s going on here but the fact is–Cain is the father of pride and self-will. He refused to acknowledge his guilt. His refusal to repent made him a slave to sin and kept him from the abundant life. Cain lived under the curse of sin simply because he refused to acknowledge that he was a sinner and needed God’s grace and mercy. We have more Cains in our churches than we do Abels.

  • We worked outside yesterday morning and I came to a conclusion: a 32 degree day with a bright sun and no wind is better than 50 degrees with no sun and lots of wind. I want to thank Joe Fitz and Rickie Hill for helping me complete a project.
  • We have three Grand children with Birthdays today {I think}: Ryder Ace {who mother called Trucker} is 12 and Josie and Ty are 11. Chloe Bug is the only one in single digits. I have observed something: everyone is getting old including my grand kids.
  • I have to miss a CHRISTMAS PARTY tonight and I’m not taking it well. I’m trying to talk Big Mama into going but she hasn’t made a commitment. I’m for more Christmas Parties. Tis the season to be jolly.

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