Preparing the Altar for Pentecost: The Cry that Precedes Revival
The Feast of Pentecost is an ‘appointed time’ (see Exodus 23; Leviticus 23) for God’s people to receive a huge outpouring of His Holy Spirit. You can position yourself to receive a super charge from God! There are seasonal portals where God promises to visit us in an extraordinary way if we 'discern the time of our visitation’ and come, wholly available, to our appointment with heaven! And where is this appointment, where is this meeting place? The altar.The altar is the first place where the fire of the Holy Spirit is poured out. We must build an altar, we must wait on God, as they did in the Upper Room, we must earnestly seek him upon the altar.
What is the altar?
The altar is the place where God and man meet. We no longer have to physically build altars and physically sacrifice animals but now we build altars unto God in our hearts. There we meet God. This is where power is accessed, where His presence is accessed. We can’t depend on someone else’s altar. We must build our own.The altar is what Jesus called the secret place, the closet. It’s the place where we can experience the reality of God. It is the place of seeking and waiting on God and crying out for Him.
The altar is the place of sacrifice: In Hebrew: 'mizbeach’ which means 'the sacrificing place’.The altar is the place where fire falls and consumes the sacrifice. Every time your worship, pray, give offerings: that’s another brick to build your altar. This is how you build your altar. The sacrifice must be acceptable to God, not strange fire. A strange fire is when we give to God with personal selfish agenda.
Ex 20:24:'You are to make for Me an altar of earth, and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and peace offerings…. In every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you’.
Here we see the original purpose of the altar and that the altar is the place where God’s blessing is released upon you. If you have no altar you have no place for God to bless you!The most sacred part of the altar were the corners which had four horns on them - representing power and might. The four corners represented the four corners of the earth: God was saying: From this altar I will release my power all over the world! If we don’t have an altar we don’t have power to take to the world, to release on the people. We need to grab hold of the horns of the altar and cry out for God to pour out His power! Then we will carry that power we have received into the world!
A new Pentecost is about to come. Fire is about to fall and fire always comes on the altar first. God wants the altars to be restored because He wants His relationship with His people restored. He is giving us space and time to repent and repair and raise up the altars that are broken down. We are anticipating a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s fire, but to experience this we must have access to God – the God that answers by fire! You must build your own altar.
The altar is a place of death and the altar is a place of birth! In Acts 2, the Church was birthed on their altar in the Upper Room.God wants a people of His power; who carry His manifest presence, who operate in resurrection power, who have not words only but the evidence to back them up!
1 Corinthians 4:20: ‘For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.’
We can only fulfil the Great Commission, that Jesus gave us, if power accompanies our words, if signs and wonders follow us to confirm the word.
'And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover…And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.’
It’s time we take responsibility to completely fulfil our mandate, the commission the Lord gave us in his last words on earth, and start operating in the power of the Spirit instead of the arm of flesh. If Christ is in you, you ought to bring forth evidences of that power.
There is only one place where we can receive the power of God, only one place where we can know the heart and mind of God and that is at the altar.
The altar is the place of divine exchange where our living sacrifice is met by His fire.
We bring sacrifices of praise and worship, prayers, giving offerings, surrendering our will and yielding to His. The altar is where self dies, where the ego is crucified. The altar is the place where we allow the Holy Spirit to come and take full possession of our bodies.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.'
The altar is the place of power and God is wanting to pour out His supernatural fire, His miracle working ability upon a Church waiting at the altar! So let us cry out from our altars this Pentecost season as they did in Acts.
'Grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal’.
The world is no longer as openly hostile to the Church as it was then because it has lost its fear of her. Indifference and tolerance are more to be dreaded than open hatred and violence. For the Church to be tolerated is a sign we have become compromised! It is a sign that we have a Christianity of form but not of power! We must run to the altar and repent!
'Gird yourself and lament ye priests.’
'Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord WEEP between the porch and the altar and let them say: 'spare thy people’.'
The altar is first for the priests. The priests must run to the altar and lament.
Let us take up our call to priesthood and pray first for our own sin then for sin of the people –both in the nation and the church. We need to get a hold of the horns of the altar!
It’s time to 'rend your hearts and not your garments’ (Joel 2:13) This genuine heart cry gets God’s attention. His ears are attentive to the broken, contrite heart:
'The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.’
A Spirit of Grace and Supplication is upon us as we prepare for Pentecostal Outpouring.
'And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him…’
This passage describes that spirit of grace and supplication that will be poured out upon the Jewish people at the Second Coming of Christ, when, after having been through the woes of the Great Tribulation, the Holy Spirit moves upon them to recognise their Messiah who they have so long rejected.
It’s a spirit of mourning and grief, lamenting and crying out for His grace and a pouring out of the heart to Him.This spirit of grace and supplication, of lamenting and repentance is coming already upon the Church that humbles themselves, returning to Him with fasting and prayer:
1 Chronicles 7:14:
'if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.'
This was the Spirit of Prayer that they were in when they waited in the Upper Room:
Acts 1:14: 'These all continued in one accord in prayer and supplication’.
To make supplication is to earnestly plead and pour out your heart continually before God. It is the outpourings of a broken and contrite heart. It is praying from a place of brokenness and humility before God. It is an unrelenting yearning for Him.
Under this Spirit, God’s holy priesthood – the ministers, the leaders in the Church, the pastors and the whole body of believers who pray and minister as priests –need to cry out in repentance for the sins of the nation and of the Church. We must cry out for restoration. We must cry for Him to come and break in!
'O that you would rend the heavens and come down!'
This is the cry that precedes revival! This is the cry that opens up the heavens. This is a holy moment of preparing to receive God’s great outpouring of fire.There must be the lifting up of a lamenting cry, a mourning over sin (as will come upon the Jews when they realise how they rejected the Messiah all this time).
'Arise, cry out in the night, At the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him For the life of your young children…’
We lift up the cry for ourselves, for our children, for the Church, for the nation.
This is the acceptable sacrifice of worship that releases a sweet smelling aroma before God, upon which He will pour out His fire. Get ready! His fire will consume the sacrifice!
His fire will consume all your flesh so that what remains is holy to the Lord and fully His!
God wants to send a mighty river of revival through the nations – but first: We must recognise our condition and repent of our spiritual dryness.
Begin to cry out to Him:
Forgive us Lord for letting the river run dry! Forgive us for stemming it’s flow!
Open up the heavens!
Forgive us Father for neglecting our personal altars, our family altars and the altar in the House of God.
Forgive us for our idolatry, our self-sufficiency, our independence from you. Forgive us for being man-pleasing instead of God-pleasing and God-fearing!
Forgive us for our timidity and fear of man, forgive us for our cowardice, our passivity, our indifference!
Forgive us for compromising the truth, forgive us for bringing strange fire on your altar, o God! Forgive us for building houses of entertainment with stages and performers instead of Houses of Prayer with an altar and priests!
Forgive us for our lukewarmness and indifference to the Lost, for turning away while thousands upon thousands slip into hell!
We want our passion back! We need your fire, God! Send revival God! Start with us!’
Jesus said: 'Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted.’
Let us seek the true comfort of the Holy Ghost restoring His presence to us. Let us get low before Him upon our altars until His Spirit is poured out!
Before the fire fell at Pentecost in Acts 2, they already had the Holy Spirit with them:
Jesus had breathed on them and said: 'Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:22).
But they knew there was more! Jesus had promised them more! He told them to wait / tarry / literally 'sit in the place of power’ until they received power from on high. To sit is a posture of waiting.
Where is the place of power? - the altar is the place! Wait at the altar! But not a sit idle kind of wait but doing what you do at the altar: bringing sacrifices of worship, prayer, fasting….! That’s what pulls the power down!
They waited for the fullness of the promised Holy Ghost: for the baptism in the Holy Ghost.
Many have received the Holy Ghost, many have been filled, but not all are baptised in the Holy Spirit to overflowing with evidence and demonstration of His power! And this Pentecost, God wants to give you a fresh baptism in the Holy Ghost with a mega overflow of power, boldness and audacity to preach the gospel with miracles, signs and wonders following!
It’s time for the Church to be true ambassadors of Christ on earth and to demonstrate that He lives today and He is in us and working through us. The Great Harvest of the End of the Age is upon us and we need to carry the power to do the 'Greater Works’ that Jesus promised we would do!