Another important aspect to all of this is when you first enter into “The Holy Place.” Standing next to the high priest is the “Altar of Incense.” You are probably wondering what The Altar of Incense is, and what its purpose is. “It is located in front of the curtain that is above the Ark of the Covenant, in front of the Mercy Seat that is over the covenant, where I will meet with you.” The priest daily and nightly kept The Altar of Incense, by going and placing divinely made incense on top of the altar.
In addition, this specially made incense would make the smoke go straight up, for it was a sweet aroma made for God alone. The smoke rising up out of the incense would symbolize the prayers going up to God. This is why God made a separation of what is holy and what is profane. When someone was profane with what was holy, they were separated from their tribe and cast out permanently. This is why Exodus 30:9 clearly mentions: “You shall not offer unholy incense on it, or a burnt offering or a grain offering, and you shall not pour a drink offering on it.”
As the high priest offered incense, the smoke went straight up. Similarly, a person’s prayer goes straight up to God the father. In the book of Psalms chapter 141:2 David says, “Let my prayer be counted as incense before you and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.” In Addition, in the New Testament, John writes in chapter 5 of Revelation verse 8, “When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
Remember what God said in Exodus 25:22. “There I will meet with you and from above the mercy seat.” It was a personal experience for Moses. He met with God face to face. Numbers 12:8 says, “With him I speak face to face clearly, not in riddles; and he beholds the form of the Lord.” When Jehovah speaks to us like He did with Moses, He will not reveal Himself physically to us, as He did with Moses. That is until Christ comes to bring us home or when He comes entering the Eastern Gate in Jerusalem. Our Creator will speak to us firmly but also lovingly about what we have been praying about.
God reveals Himself to us through nature, prayer, praise and worship, and even through reading the Bible. For Him to act according to His will and to communicate to His children is an incredible thing to witness in our personal lives. This is called true love; the love He has for His children. Our Lord and Creator said that our bodies are a temple, and Paul agrees with God and says in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?” This is why the Messiah stressed so much that we should take care of our bodies and why we should not mark our bodies, such as tattoos. Jesus Christ even gave us guidelines about not drinking blood or eating anything that could harm us.
In addition, in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Paul wrote down, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person.” I believe a good comparison can be found in Matthew 21:12, 13, “Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. He said to them, ‘It is written My house shall be called a house of prayer but you are making it a den of robbers.”