This third and central piece of furniture in the holy place is the only element capable of ushering you into the divine presence of God. Now you are ready to experience the power of intercession.
Let’s study the definition of the word intercession. The prefix inter- means, “between, among, mutually, reciprocally”. The word cession is defined as “the act of ceding”. To cede means “to yield or formally surrender to another, to grant or transfer as by will [meaning the will of God].” When you become an intercessor, you “stand between and among, you intermarry, you interweave on behalf of another person”. You actually stand between what a person needs and his/her answer from God. While you are standing there, you act as the point of contact that causes Satan to yield or surrender to the will of God. You act as one who grants or transfers according to God;s will. When you become an intercessor, you stand in the gap for somebody else, and you don’t come out of that place until the enemy has fully surrendered that ground and given up that territory to you.
The word intercession is defined as, “an act or instance of interceding, an interposing or pleading on behalf of another person, a prayer to God on behalf of another”. Another meaning for intercession is to impinge, which means, “to encroach, infringe, to impinge on another’s rights, to strike, to collide, to light; have an effect, ideas that impinge upon or affect the imagination”. Your prayers infringe upon the enemy; they strike and begin to collide with the enemy. This makes an eternal impression and a powerful effect against the workings of Satan.
Another root word, encroach, means “to advance beyond established or proper limits, making gradual inroads to trespass upon the property, domain or rights of another, especially gradually or stealthily.” This means that when I begin to intercede and pray on someone’s behalf, I advance beyond the established proper limits. The enemy thinks that it is proper (perfectly understandable and something he expects us to do) for believers to pray from the outer court. To do so simply tells him that we accept what he is trying to do. When we go beyond the outer court into the holy place and then behind the veil to our final position in the presence of the Lord, Satan’s works are no longer acceptable to us.
Another root word is importunity, which means “an importunate solicitation or demand”. To be importune means “to urge or press with excessive persistence, to trouble, to annoy, to make urgent or persistent solicitations”. When you are a true intercessor, you pray without ceasing – at all times.
Now you are ready to pray in the third realm. As you stand at the golden altar of incense, you are just one step away from a threshing floor experience. In Exodus 30:1-11, God gave Moses instructions concerning the altar of incense. There was a significant difference between the construction of the golden altar of incense and the brazen altar. The brazen altar was made from bronze and wood, but the golden altar was made from shittim wood and overlaid with gold. One of the most notable qualities about the golden altar was that that it was positioned in the center, so it sat in the heart of the holy place. This correlates to intercession being the heart of God. Whatever comes from the golden altar must come from you heart. The condition of your heart can also hinder you from having an intimate relationship with God.
The purpose of the golden altar was threefold: prayer, intercession and worship. The fire on the golden altar was never suppose to go out. After both altars were lit supernaturally, the priests kept the fires burning continually, taking coals off the brazen altar daily and using them to keep the fire kindled at the golden altar, representing that the fire in our worship, intercession and prayer – though it is rekindled by our ongoing sacrifice - must come directly from God. It also represents who Jesus Christ is for us – and who we must become for others.
Like the table of shewbread, the golden altar was also made of shittim wood overlaid with gold. Here again we see a blending of humanity with the deity of God. The brazen altar, which was structured of shittim wood overlaid with bronze, had limitations because the covering wasn’t pure gold. If you spiritually embrace only the brazen altar, you will be limited to that level of an experience with God, one based on the limitations of humanity. But if you embrace the golden altar which was constructed of wood overlaid with gold (symbolizing the deity of God), your prayers, intercession and worship will be strengthened by the supernatural deity of God.
The golden altar was constructed to be three fee in height which corresponded to the height of the ark of the covenant. In practice, this means that when you worship at the golden altar, that piece of furniture brings you to the level where you can commune with God according to His divine pattern.
The holy incense that burned continually upon the coals of the golden altar was made up of several ingredients. This divine mixture of “pure and holy” ingredients symbolized our prayers, intercession and worship – ignited by our sacrifice – giving us entrance into the third realm, the divine presence and revelation of God, behind the veil from the mercy seat.
There were four ingredients used to create the holy incense (Exodus 30:34-35).
The first spice in the holy incense was stacte, a resin that would ooze spontaneously out of the storax tree. By revelation, I believe this means that our prayers, worship, and intercession must not be programmed. They must emerge spontaneously at the direction of the Spirit of God. Stacte must be a part of your prayers, intercession and worship because God needs for you to be instantly obedient to His voice and promptings.
The second spice that was part of the holy incense was onycha which was extracted from the shellfish that lived in the depths of the Red Sea. The revelation of this means you must have depth in your worship. Your level of prayers, intercession, and worship unto God must come from a depth in the Spirit. You must be able to leave the surface of what has already been done to tap into a realm of new experiences that flow from the heartbeat of God. The onycha anointing also means that God will require you to think more deeply about prayers you pray than to constantly repeat Jesus’ model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). When you are in front of the golden altar of incense, the deep things of the Spirit of God will call forth the deep that is within you (Psalm 42:7).
The third spice was galbanum, a pungent resin that could only be acquired by breaking or splitting the branch of a tree. The word pungent means, “affecting the organs of taste or smell with a sharp acrid sensation”. In other words, it was a bitter ingredient, not all pleasant to the senses. As an intercessor, there will be times when you go through galbanum experiences. Yet during difficult seasons and manifestations, you must come to a place where you can declare, “though I am having a bitter experience, I’m still going to stay in position of prayer, intercession and worship.” As you serve at the golden altar of incense, God will begin to train you in order to help you understand that everything in your life is not always going to run smoothly. But in the midst of these galbanum experiences, you must learn how to keep offering up prayers, intercession, and worship unto God from a deep place in your spirit.
The fourth and final spice that was added to the holy incense was frankincense, a resin that was collected early in the morning from the Boswellia tree (Psalm 63:1-2). When you seek the Lord from the ingredient of frankincense, you are seeking Him early – which doesn’t necessarily mean a time of day. This precious resin is collected early in the morning because it readily flows out at that time. You must seek God early in the morning. In the holy place, it becomes your way of life to seek Him early. When you do this, there will always be a ready flow of His Spirit. You will have a consistent flow of His anointing.
After blending the four elements together, one final element was used to temper them all (Exodus 30:35), salt. The Bible says we are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). You are the key element that brings it all together at the golden altar. You have to make prayer, intercession and worship a personal priority. You have to invest yourself into this divine process completely.
At this point you are just a heartbeat away from a threshing floor experience behind the veil.
Tags: behind the veil, Bible, Boswellia Tree, Brazen Altar, divine presence of GOd, Exodus 30, frankincense, galbanum, God, golden altar, golden altar of incense, Holy place, Intercession, intercessor, onycha, position of prayer, Red Sea, salt, Satan, seeking God early, Shittim, Spirit of God, stacte, Surrendering your will to God, threshing floor experience