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Bible Study: The Way of the Altar

This bible study of sorts breaks down the spiritual concept of altars. Altars run the world yet they are rarely spoken about in church settings. People in the kingdom of darkness brag about raising their altars.

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I’m going to walk you through what an altar is, what makes an altar powerful, and how altars control the world. The focus will be on holy altars but I will discuss evil altars here and there so that we have context for how things work on both sides.

Text

I think a great place to start our study is with this text from Genesis 12:1. Here’s what it says…

“The Lord said to Abram:

Go from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth

will be blessed through you. So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated, and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan.

When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the site of Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He built an altar to the Lord there, and he called on the name of the Lord.”

So we see a lot happening here but here’s where I want to draw your attention. God called Abram out of his homeland and promised him a new land. As Abram passed through the land he built altars to the Lord that appeared to Him, which is who we now know to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Let’s put a pin in this and we will come back to it a little later after we establish some things.

So, I don’t think I can effectively teach you about altars without first exploring the role humans play on the earth.

Dominion and Authority

So let’s go to Genesis 1:26-28

  • “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”
  • What is this passage telling us about our role here on Earth?
    • First, it’s letting us know straight out the gate that we are the created beings here that were made in the image and likeness of God.
    • Then it tells us what we are supposed to do, which is, rule the whole earth and subdue it. There are other things we are supposed to do but for the purpose of this study, we’re just focusing on ruling and subduing.
    • To rule means to dominate and subjugate; it means to bring under control and governance 
    • To subdue means to make subservient; to dominate
    • So the text is making it clear to us who the Creator of the Earth is giving authority and dominion to on the earth, and that’s humans. We are in charge.
    • Note, that nowhere in any other text has God given authority and power over the earth to spirits. Nowhere in any other text has God given authority and power over the earth to Himself. Remember, God IS a spirit.
  • This means that humans have exclusive authority and rulership over the earth. We’re made in the image and likeness of God. What makes us in the image and likeness? Genesis 2. God breathed into us. We’re the only thing on earth that has something in us that wasn’t created. We have the mind of God—this is the secret of the kingdom of God.
  • Because humans have exclusive authority on earth, if any spirit (divine or evil) or any spiritual power wants to do something in the earth, they must consult with mankind. There has to be some kind of an agreement forged between man and the spirit in order for the spirit to facilitate its will in the earth. This brings me to altars…

When we set up an altar whether the altar is physical, in our heart, or on our bloodline, when we set up an altar we are welcoming the spirit behind the altar and giving that spirit legal authority and legal ground to operate in the earth.

Basics

  • Now that we have laid that foundation, we can get into the details of altars, starting with answering the question, “what is an altar in general, whether holy or unholy, what is an altar and what is its function?” In general, an altar is a place where people engage with spirits. It serves as a gateway or a portal between the spiritual realm and the physical realm. The type of activity at the altar is what draws a particular spirit being to that altar. The type of activity you’ll typically see happening at an altar are sacrifices, prayer, rituals, and worship. Sometimes you’ll see a combination of all of that going on at the same time. But the setup is like this, in order for their to be a functioning altar, there must be a priest who services that altar and there is a spirit that is

It’s a place where sacrifices are made. The sacrifice seals the agreement between the spirit and the person. From that point forward, the spirit has free will to operate in the life of the person and the generations after them. I think a lot of times when we hear about sacrifices on an altar, our minds default to sin or guilt sacrifices which were offered to atone for sin, but there were other types of sacrifices like grain offerings and peace/fellowship offerings which were offered for thanksgiving.

Altars are also a place where covenants are established. That is the agreement made between the spirit and the person that I just mentioned.

Each altar requires a different type of ritual and sacrifice depending on the spirit being ministered to at that altar. For example, Baal requested a certain kind of offering and sacrifice. Molech required child sacrifices in the Bible.

I heard a young lady give her testimony of being approached by the demonic spirit aphrodite and aphrodite requested chocolate and wine as the necessary sacrifices to summon and appease her. You may have even seen altars with fruit and vegetables in nail salons. The spirit summoned to the altar will give instructions for how someone can achieve what they want (i.e., light white candles, bring fruits, liquor, etc).

Following those instructions gives the spirit the right to enter your life and influence your life. When a person does this at an evil altar not only do demonic spirits enter their bodies, but because they are now covenanted to that spirit, the lives of their descendants are also affected.

A great example of exchange at a holy altar in God’s word is in Exodus 20:24, CSB. God told Moses to tell the Israelities this. He said, “Make an earthen altar for me, and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your flocks and herds. I will come to you and bless you in every place where I cause my name to be remembered.”

So in this text, God is giving them instructions for how to summon Him from their altar. He basically laid out a ritual for them. Remember, the type of ritual performed determines the type of spirit you want to summon. The Israelites wanted to summon the spirit of God so they performed rituals and gave offerings that are pleasing to God. We also get to see in this text how God will influence the Israelites’ lives once they offer their  sacrifices. He flat out tells them that once they offer those sacrifices, He is going to come to them and bless them.

While people who operate in the kingdom of darkness tend to build physical altars, we as followers of Christ erect altars to God in our hearts. How do we know that this is a thing? Well, we get a glimpse of it in the Old Testament. Even though in the Old Testament, the saints would have physical altars, the prophets stressed the importance of heart posture along with the physical offerings God’s people were sacrificing to Him. We see this in Micah 6:6-8.

Fast forward to the New Testament, and while we no longer offer sacrifices for sin, we do still offer sacrifices to God. 1 Peter 2:5

Why do we need to learn the way of the altar?

An altar is a spiritual principle. It allows any human to summon a spirit. Because it’s a spiritual principle, it works no matter the human and no matter the kingdom the spirit derives from, whether it’s the kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of light, which is God’s kingdom

When’s the last time you heard of someone doing that?? And how did he even know that it was possible??

He was deeply and intimately tapped in to God.

Everyone doesn’t just walk around demonstrating the power and glory of God to that level. It isn’t because those people had more power than anyone else, they didn’t. What they had was access and capacity … you have to have the capacity to carry God’s glory in that kind of way and the altar is where it’s built. When we pray, we receive intelligence from Heaven, strategies for warfare and anything else we need strategies for. Psalms God trains hands to war and fingers to fight? He does this in response to our prayers!

So let’s dive into each one of these reasons one by one.

Grow Closer to God and Become Better Partners

The first reason why we need to learn the way of the altar is to grow closer to God and become better partners with Him. Altars are where we engage with and commune with God. When we as followers of Christ establish altars in our heart, we invite the presence of God into our lives. We welcome God’s presence by ministering to the Lord.

Jesus taught us to usher in the presence of God by hallowing the name of God. When Jesus taught the disciples the disciples prayer, which most people refer to as the Lord’s Prayer, he said “When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Luke 11:2, KVJ. To hallow the name of God is to regard it with reverential respect; to honor. I say things like “God you are amazing! Your instructions are perfect! You are the God who created a a nation in a day. You’re the God who gives strategy. The whole earth is filled with your glory.” And I’m really just quoting the scriptures here and I even make it personal to me and say God you are the one who delivered me from evil covenants.

Now why does God want us to do this??

I think there are multiple reasons and it isn’t because He doesn’t know who He is. I heard LaLa say in one of her videos that God revealed a reason why this is important and it’s because it builds our faith!

This is how we service our altar as priests—by ministering to God and showing Him respect and honor for what He has done. And yes we are priests. Revelation 5-6, NLT tells us that “[Jesus] has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father…”

When we consistently spend time servicing the altar of our heart to God and ministering to Him in prayer, and drawing His presence we are able to access secrets and strategies from God that can deliver you and even deliver a generation. God doesn’t just give this to anyone.

Take Back Territory

The next reason why we need to learn the way of the altar is so that we can take back territory from the kingdom of darkness. Remember that an altar is a spiritual principle that works for Believers as well as for the enemy and his kingdom. And the altar that is most prevalent in a land will rule that land. If we as followers of CHrist want to become the prevailing altar in an area, then we must overcome darkness at a personal level, a societal level, and a territorial level.

John Mulinde once said in his book Prayer Altars that there is no such thing as neutral spiritual ground and I don’t think that I could agree with him more. This is something that I genuinely wish more people understood this. We cannot win the natural war against any expression of darkness until it has been won in the spirit realm. Chicago and murder. It isn’t going to stop with legislation or more policing because the root of it is the demonic principality over that region.

Principalities set the atmosphere of a territory...

They influence the character, nature, interests, and proclivities of the people in that territory. We see this throughout scripture, especially with the Isarelites, which is probably one of the main reasons why God would tell them, “Hey! When you get over there in that land don’t be doing what they do over there.”

The Bible reveals that there are demonic principalities and divine, holy principalities. But the controlling principality in an area sets the atmosphere for how a society will function because there are hundreds of thousands of spirits that are under the governing control of principalities. James Aladiran does a great job of painting a picture of what this looks like. Here’s a quick clip.

So let’s take his illustration and apply it to a specific region in the U.S. There are certain regions that are known for certain activities. Chicago is known for what? Murder, right? New Orleans is known for what? Voodoo.

So if we look at Chicago we can deduce that there is very likely a demonic principality of murder over that region. Well, in order for a territory like Chicago to stop being one of the murder capitals of this country, the war has to be won in the spirit realm by destroying that principality. There is no amount of policing or legislation that will get rid of it because it’s a spiritual issue and the spirit realm controls the natural realm.

So how do we take back territory here? Well, the most strategically obvious thing to do would be to take out the principality. Then the individual people would no longer be demonically influenced, which would lead to them making better decisions, and changing the culture of the society in that religion.

Here’s the problem with that...

… we are not to engage in warfare against principalities UNLESS God specifically tells us. These are extremely powerful spiritual beings. Now, I know some religious people are going to cringe hearing me say that but the Bible paints a very vivid picture of this in Daniel 10:13. God sent a messenger angel to deliver a message to Daniel and that angel was held up due to opposition from a demonic principality for 21 days and the only reason he was able to get free is because Michael, a principality from the kingdom of God, came to help him.

So, if you, human, think that you can just engage in 2nd heaven warfare without God equipping you and giving you the specific grace to do so, then, hey. What can I say? But, since humans are not generally engaging in warfare in the heavenlies against the principalities to take back territory in that way, then how do we begin to effectively and strategically take back territory?

We actually engage at the personal level by erecting altars through our prayers to God, because remember one of the primary activities going on at the altar is us ministering to the Lord to draw the presence of God. So let’s walk through the taking back of territory through altars.

The Abrahamic Strategy

To paint a picture of what it looks like to take back territory, I want to introduce you to the Abrahamic Strategy. So let’s go back to the text I read at the very beginning. We’ll focus on verses 5-8 here. It says:

“When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the site of Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. (remember now, at this time that Abram is passing through, the Canaanites were still occupying that land.) The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He built an altar to the Lord there, and he called on the name of the Lord.”

Move down a little further...

Move down a little further to Genesis 13:14-18, CSB which says, “After Lot had separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, “Look from the place where you are. Look north and south, east and west, for I will give you and your offspring forever all the land that you see. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. Get up and walk around the land, through its length and width, for I will give it to you.” So Abram moved his tent and went to live near the oaks of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord.”

So what is Abram doing here? He’s walking around Canaan, the land that God has given him, a land that is currently occupied by idol worshippers which means that the governing territorial spirit there is a demonic principality. So we see Abraham strategically going to different places around this land, and he’s building altars, physical ones. And what is the purpose of an altar? To engage with a spirit. So Abraham is building these altars and calling on the name of His God so that He can draw the presence of the Lord.

Everywhere Abraham went throughout Canaan, he erected altars to the Lord there so that he could create an open portal for God to interact with and move on behalf of His people. And as He’s drawing in the presence of God in these areas, and laying the groundwork for the Isarelities to win the war when it’s finally time for them to enter the promised land. Because remember, the war must be won in the spiritual realm first. As the altars are established and they ushered in the presence of God, the demonic principalities are being wiped out.

Many years later, we see God telling Moses in Deuteronomy 27:3-7, CSB that once he has crossed the Jordan in the promised land, he is to build an altar. Now more territory is being gained, and what was the result? After Moses died, Joshua led the Isaraelites to victory in that very land.

Do Business With God

  • The last reason we need to learn the way of the altar is because that is where you do business with God. I know the super religious person listening to this is going to think I’m absurd but remember that altars are a place of exchange.
    • Let’s  start with Moses. See Exodus 20:22-24
      • “Then the Lord told Moses, “This is what you are to say to the Israelites: You have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven. Do not make gods of silver to rival me; do not make gods of gold for yourselves. “Make an earthen altar for me, and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your flocks and herds. I will come to you and bless you in every place where I cause my name to be remembered.
      • God is instructing them on how to set up a place that allows for Him to come and when He comes, He is coming with blessings

Want More?

If you enjoyed this episode, then you may also enjoy the episode of the show about the fear of success and how it hinders purpose or this episode detailing what to expect when operating in your purpose.

Resources Mentioned

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