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Altars In The New Testament

The word “altar” (Greek thysiasterion) occurs, with few exceptions, in the New Testament only in the translation of the Old Testament. Why is altars so important in the Old Testament? Here are several reasons: Altars were used to sacrifice animals and other items to God. They were built from a variety of materials. There was a specific layout for the altar. These factors contributed to who built the altars, why they were built and what those who used them believed about God.

A lot of people ask, “What do altars have to do with Jesus Christ?” The answer is that your life can be a spiritual altar. It may be hard to see the connection at first, but there’s really no better way to explain it. You may need help identifying the similarities. Allow me to assist with this topic!

Characteristics of Altars In The New Testament

1. Purposeful

Altars in the New Testament were built with specific intentions in mind. Whether it was for sacrifice, worship, or seeking God’s presence, altars were constructed with a clear purpose in sight.

2. Symbolic

Altars often had symbolic meanings attached to them. They were used to represent a covenant relationship with God, a place of remembrance, or a physical representation of spiritual principles.

3. Reverent

Altars were treated with reverence and respect. They were seen as holy places where believers could encounter the presence of God and offer their worship and sacrifices.

4. Sacrificial

Many altars were used for making sacrifices to God. This act of giving something valuable up was seen as a way to show devotion and obedience to God.

5. Spiritual

Altars were considered to be spiritual focal points where believers could connect with the divine. They were seen as places where heaven and earth met, and where prayers could be offered up to God.

6. Set Apart

Altars were often set apart from the rest of the world. They were built in special locations or designated areas that were considered to be sacred and separate from everyday life.

7. Communal

Altars were often used in communal worship settings. Believers would gather around the altar to offer sacrifices, prayers, and worship together as a community.

8. Forgiving

Altars were also places of forgiveness and reconciliation. In the New Testament, altars were seen as places where believers could come to seek forgiveness for their sins and be restored in their relationship with God.

9. Transformational

Altars were believed to be places of transformation. Believers would come to the altar with their burdens, sins, and struggles, and leave changed and renewed by God’s presence.

10. Everlasting

Altars were built to stand as lasting reminders of God’s faithfulness and presence among His people. They were seen as symbols of God’s eternal love and commitment to His followers.

Scriptures About
 altars in The New Testament

Altars have been significant in religious practice throughout history, and this is true in the New Testament as well. In the New Testament, altars are often mentioned in the context of sacrifice, worship, and prayer. Here are 12 Bible verses that shed light on altars in the New Testament:

1. Matthew 5:23-24

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

2. Hebrews 13:10

“We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.”

3. Luke 1:11-12

“Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.”

4. Revelation 8:3-4

“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.”

5. 1 Corinthians 10:18-21

“Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar?”

6. Mark 12:33

“To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

7. Matthew 21:12-13

“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'”

8. Romans 12:1

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

9. Acts 17:23

“For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.”

10. 1 Peter 2:5

“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

What Is The Spiritual Significance of Altars

In our hearts, He now resides (1 Corinthians 3:16). In the Old Testament, people’s relationships with God were based on tangible altars, physical representations of God, and platforms made of a variety of materials, including wood, stone, gold, and bronze. God was quite serious about altar affairs.

It really came down to life or death. It was the difference between poverty and prosperity, between success and failure, and between blessings and curses. The altar was the pinnacle of relationships with God or the devil in the Old Testament. These are a few examples of how altars are mentioned in the Bible.

You are to sanctify and make atonement for the altar for seven days. The altar will also be quite sacred. Holy things must come into contact with the altar. Exodus 29:37.

The altar of the burnt offering and all of its utensils must be anointed and consecrated by you. The altar is going to be quite sacred. – Exodus 40:10.

Then Noah erected an altar to the Lord, presented burned sacrifices on it, and collected all of the clean animals and birds. – Genesis 8:20.

“You are to construct an altar out of acacia wood that is five cubits in length and five cubits in width. It must be square in shape and three cubits high. Exodus 27:1.

On the altar, there will always be a fire that never goes out. – Genesis 6–13.

Foolish and devoid of vision! Which is more important, the gift or the altar used to consecrate it? Matthew 23–19.
You have to put cleanliness, sanctification, and purity first in 2023. By doing this, you will dedicate your altar and become aware of God’s presence constantly: “You are to sanctify and make atonement for the altar for seven days.” The altar will also be quite sacred. Everything touching the altar needs to be sacred. Exodus 29:37.

I would like to declare to you that this New Year is for men of altars, believers who take seriously their fellowship and devotion with God via prayer and word study. We want to examine the qualities of an altar today. To find the solutions, we will examine the texts mentioned above:

The altar is a hallowed space. You have to put cleanliness, sanctification, and purity first in 2023. By doing this, you will dedicate your altar and become aware of God’s presence constantly: “You are to sanctify and make atonement for the altar for seven days.” The altar will also be quite sacred. Everything touching the altar needs to be sacred. Exodus 29:37. The altar of the burnt offering and all of its utensils must be anointed and consecrated by you. The altar is going to be quite sacred. – Exodus 40:10.

The altar serves as a site for offerings. Examine Romans 12:1-3. You have to martyr your flesh every day, present God with a strong sacrifice of thanksgiving, and contribute selflessly to God’s people and work while He supports you. “After that, Noah erected an altar to the Lord, collected all of the clean animals and birds, and presented burnt offerings on it.” – Genesis 8:20.

“We are to refer to it as the communion table, not the altar,” the preacher continues.

At a get-together outside, a churchgoer failed to clarify why it was a communion table rather than an altar. I had inquired about the community’s practice of outside worship and offered the location of an altar beneath a gazebo since I felt that the altar was essential to worship. It seems I was wrong. What does a Christian altar look like? Is the meaning of an altar in the Old Testament still relevant in worship? Does it still play a role in collective or personal worship of God?

What Is the Purpose of an Altar?

Church altars are utilized for sacred rites such as weddings, communion, and kneeling prayers. In the past, the altar served as a place where sacrifices were made to gods, sometimes in the form of animals or even humans. The word altar in Hebrew is mizbeah, which translates as “to slaughter.” The Greek term thusiasterion, which meaning “a place of sacrifice,” is the word for altar.

The dramatic account of God requiring Abraham to sacrifice his only child, Isaac, serves as an example of how the Hebrew and Greek words for “altar” literally translate. In their later years, Abraham and Sarah gave birth to Isaac. He was a miraculous child, the first step toward God multiplying His chosen people in fulfillment of the commitment He made with Abraham.

Abraham obeyed God’s instructions when Isaac was a small boy and placed his beloved son on an altar in the Moriah highlands. Abraham was prevented from lighting the fire for this human sacrifice by a Lord angel. “Now that you have not withheld from me your son, your only son,” the angel declared, “I know that you fear God” (Genesis 22:12). Abraham was greatly relieved to see a ram with its horns entangled in a bush’s branches when he looked up. Instead, Abraham offered God the ram as a sacrifice.

Everywhere Abraham and his family lived—they were nomads who migrated to different pastures—they erected an altar to God. This spiritual legacy was continued by Isaac and his son Jacob. The altar persisted as a unique location for prayer, thanksgiving, and keeping a close bond with the God of Israel.

Another early altar builder was Noah. To express gratitude to God for his family’s and the creatures’ safe arrival on dry land, he erected an altar. God liked the scent of the incense that Noah burned. God then promised Noah in the covenant of the rainbow that a flood would never again wipe out life on Earth (Genesis 8:20–22).

God commanded Moses to build an altar of incense later on in the Old Testament so that the Hebrew people would regularly remember their God. Twice a day, at dawn and twilight, and once a year for atonement, the priests offered an incense offering (Exodus 30:1–10). The altar in the tabernacle tent served as a spiritual bridge for the Hebrew people who had been wandering in the desert for forty years (and millennia after). The altar of incense was relocated from Moses’ tent tabernacle to the freshly constructed Jerusalem temple around 960 B.C.

Altars In The New Testament

The altar is an important feature in many cultures around the world. It has a long history, and its significance varies depending on where you are and what religion you practice. But one thing remains constant: it is a place where people gather to worship their gods and goddesses. You may also see altars used for prayer or for offerings of food and other items.

In the Jewish faith, there are three main types of altars: the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offerings, and the mercy seat or ark of covenant. These were all important parts of religious rituals during biblical times. In fact, they are still used today by some groups that follow this ancient tradition.

The First Temple was built by King Solomon after he married Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 3:1–14). It was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II during his invasion of Judah (2 Kings 25:8–17). After that catastrophe came to pass, King Cyrus gave permission for Jews to return home (Ezra 1:1–11). They rebuilt their temple but did not use any animal sacrifices because they had been banned during Babylonian rule (Ezra 6:16–22).

Introduction: The altar is a very important part of our worship in the New Testament. It is found in all of the churches, but it is not always used in the same way. What do we learn from these differences?

Background: In this lesson, we will look at how the altar was used before it was abolished from use by God. We’ll also examine what transpired when Jesus Christ changed the Old Testament law and how his death on the cross impacted our relationship with God. We will also see how Christians should use their altars today to worship God through praise, prayer and thanksgiving for all that he has done for us.

Main Points: 1) Pre-Christians were allowed to use an altar for sacrifices; 2) Jesus Christ changed everything on earth after his death; 3) Christians are not allowed to sacrifice any more because Christ already sacrificed himself once and for all time; 4) Christians are called upon today to offer up prayers and praises unto God through their altars; 5) There are other ways that Christians can offer up sacrifices unto God today besides using their own bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2).

tabernacle - Why did the temple in Ezekiel have stairs leading up to the  altar? - Christianity Stack Exchange

The altar is a significant symbol in the New Testament. It shows the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who was crucified on the cross for our sins. Every Sunday, Christians go to church and pray before the altar, which represents God’s sacrifice for us.

Place of sacrifice

An altar is a place of sacrifice. The first altar mentioned in the Bible is found in Genesis 8:20, where Noah built an altar on Mount Ararat to thank God for saving him and his family from the flood. Altars are also mentioned throughout the Old Testament, including references to altars built by Abraham (Genesis 12:7), Jacob (Genesis 31:52), Moses (Deuteronomy 27:5) and Solomon (1 Kings 8). Altars were used as places where offerings were made to God. For instance, when King David wanted to build a temple for Yahweh, he started with building an altar at Jerusalem’s threshing floor where Isaac had offered his sacrifice (2 Samuel 24).

Place of Prayer

In addition to the church, there are a number of places where Jesus prayed. He prayed in Gethsemane, in the temple, on a mountain and even on the cross. He also prayed at other times in more familiar spots, such as upper rooms and boats on the Galilee Sea.

Place of communion with God

What makes us different from animals is our ability to commune with God. Suppose you were a dog and you wanted to talk to me. You would bark at me, or maybe even try to bite me, if I didn’t pay attention. But as humans, we can talk about whatever we want with one another. We can share our thoughts and feelings with each other—and even more importantly, we can share ourselves with God! This is something that animals simply cannot do; only humans have this privilege because only humans receive it as a gift from God (1 Corinthians 11:23–32).

Place of Worship

Worship is a heartfelt attitude, not a religious activity. God wants our hearts and our entire lives! Worship is not simply singing songs or saying prayers; it’s a lifestyle of reverence for God and submission to his will. It’s an expression of love, adoration and praise because we love who he is and what he has done for us through Christ Jesus (Ephesians 5:2).

Place of meeting God

  • You can meet with God at an altar.
  • Altars are places where we can commune with God and he will appear to you if you ask him in prayer.
  • Communing with God is a powerful experience that will do wonders for your faith, so it’s important to make sure that your altar is clean and ready for him when he comes.

Altars in the New Testament are places where we can encounter God.

In the New Testament, altars are places where we can encounter God. It is in the altar that we meet with God, see God, and feel God’s presence. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20). Because of this, we occasionally need to attend large gatherings like church services and participate in small groups so that the Holy Spirit can guide us through these encounters with God at His altars.

7 Altars In The Bible

Text: Deuteronomy 11:18-21 

In the divine order of creation, families are the production factories for the society. Whatever we produce in our homes are what societies will become in the coming years.

Therefore, the most important work we will ever do in life is within our own homes.

It is therefore important that, when you raise your family with your spouse, it is essential that you create a culture that supports and establishes spirituality and God-consciousness in everything you do as a family. 

The family altar is important. Altars are where we encounter God and connect with Him at a deeper level. (2 Chronicles 7:14).

An altar is a place of sacrifice and a power point to draw spiritual and supernatural strength (Genesis 8:20-21). 

Altars are places of separation where we separate ourselves from God and from curses and generational traits.

Every genuine child of God must have a personal prayer altar and every genuine Christian family must have a corporate altar as a lifestyle. 

Family altars are altars raised to pray for the family. Your family altar is raised specifically to pray for your own individual family and for the needs of other people around you as you feel led and directed by the Spirit of God. 

Altars and what we do there have the power to shape and alter the destinies of families.

The family altar is a powerful place to prophesy over children and release them into their prophetic destinies in life, as done for Rebecca by her family (Genesis 24:58-60). 

Deliverance from evil, oppression, addictions and the salvation of loved ones occurs as we seek God at the prayer altar.

If our altars are not activated, we would hardly achieve the purposes of God for our lives and our families. (1 Samuel 7:2-10). 

Without an active family altar, the enemy would have his way in our families and in the lives of our spouses and children. 

If we don’t have a consistent family altar, generational sin, iniquity and transgression will follow our children (Ezekiel 18:2-4). 

Family altars are therefore important in shaping the destinies of families, as evidenced in Genesis 24:60. 

How to run a family altar:

You can start by dedicating a particular room or spot in your home for the spiritual significance and to engender the lingering presence of God there as you create an atmosphere that God can bless and reside in. (2 Chronicles 7:16).

Then endeavour to involve everyone at the altar. One person can lead the worship, the reading of the scriptures and the sharing of the word, etc. At the meetings, let each child pray a prayer, while others agree with him/her.  (1 Corinthians 14:26). 

Then teach and practice the significance of the faith that ties with your spiritual beliefs: sharing communion, anointing with oil, etc. 

Endeavour to teach doctrines and precepts of the faith; this must not be delegated to the children’s Sunday school class in church. Everyone in our families should know the basic doctrines of the Bible.

Everyone should be encouraged to share the dreams and visions they’ve been having and every other issue that may not emerge in the course of the daily grind.

Endeavour to pray through the gates of time at the altar. A good example are birthdays, because there is a reason the person was born on that day and that day marks the beginning of a new cycle in the life of the celebrant, so prayers must be offered on their behalf.

Families must continually reflect on how they started and where they are now in the journey of life and destiny. This should spark and stir the grace for gratitude and thankfulness.

You must be watchful, as the enemy will fight at the family altar. Starting may be easy and exciting but sustaining the constancy may be challenging. It is imperative to do everything within our power to keep the fire on the altar alive. 

What Is The Spiritual Significance Of Altars


After Abraham had arrived at Moreh and after God had reappeared to him, he built an altar (12:7). This was the first altar that Abraham built. In order to live by faith, we must first of all build an altar. In the Bible, an altar means that we are all for God and serve God. Building an altar means that we offer everything we are and have to God. We need to place all that we are and all that we have on the altar. Before we do anything for God, God will say to us, “Child, don’t do anything for Me. I want you. I want you to put all that you are and all that you have on the altar for Me.” This is real fellowship and real worship. The real worship of the called ones is to put all that we are and have on the altar.

According to the human viewpoint, people will say that we are foolish for doing this. They will accuse us of wasting our time and our lives. If they had been with Abraham, they would have said, “Abraham, what are you doing? Are you crazy? Why do you build such a low thing as an altar, put everything on it and burn it? Isn’t that foolish?” As called ones, whatever we do will be foolish in the eyes of worldly people. Many of our relatives will say that it is foolish for us to attend meetings so often, wondering why we do not stay at home and watch television with our family.

The worldly people cannot understand why we attend meetings several times a week. They think that we are crazy. They would say, “What are you doing there in that little building? Why do you go there on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, twice on Sunday, and even sometimes on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday? Are you people crazy?” Yes, according to worldly people, we are crazy. God’s appearance makes us crazy.

An altar means that we do not keep anything for ourselves. An altar means that we realize that we are here on earth for God. An altar means that our life is for God, that God is our life, and that the meaning of our life is God. So we put everything on the altar. We are not here to make a name for ourselves; we are putting everything on the altar for the sake of His name.

If you check with your experience, you will see that immediately after you were called, God appeared to you again, and you said, “Lord, from now on everything is Yours. All that I am, all that I have, all that I can do and am going to do is for You.” I can still recall what happened on the afternoon that I was saved. As I went out of that church building and walked along the street, I lifted up my eyes to heaven and said, “God, from today on, everything is for You.” That was a real consecration. In a spiritual sense, it was the building of an altar. I believe that many of you reading this message have had such an experience. When we received God’s calling, we were crazy, not caring about what would happen. Although we did not realize what it meant at the time, we promised the Lord that everything we had was for Him. When I said this to the Lord that day on the street, I did not realize what it involved.

When, after a few years, I found myself in some difficulties, the Lord within me said, “Don’t you remember what you said that afternoon as you walked along the street? Didn’t you say, ‘O God, from today on, everything is for You’?” When I signed the contract, I did not know what was involved. But it was too late to repent; the contract had already been signed. To tell the Lord that everything is for Him is the real building of an altar. We all can testify to how sweet the sensation is and how intimate the fellowship is whenever we tell the Lord that everything is for Him. At that time, we come deeply into the Lord Himself.

Although we may tell the Lord that everything we are and have is for Him, we may forget it a few days later. But the One who called us will never forget. He has an excellent memory. Often He will come to us and remind us of what we have said to Him. He may say, “Don’t you remember what you said to Me that day?” This is not a doctrine; it is a real experience. Unless you have not been called, you are not an exception. As long as you are a called one, I have the complete assurance that you have had this kind of experience. The Lord did reappear to you, and at that reappearing you were crazy, promising to give the Lord everything without considering the meaning of the involvement. You simply consecrated yourself to Him. You did not realize the meaning of what you promised. I thank God that we were not clear about this when we did it. We did not realize how much we became involved with God as a result of speaking one short sentence. It obligated us.

He is God. He is the calling One, and we are the called ones. It is all of Him. Even if we want to be crazy for Him, in ourselves we do not have the incentive to do it. But once He appears to us, we are crazy and say, “O Lord, everything is Yours. Take it. Lord, do what You want. I offer everything to You.” Such a time of offering ourselves to the Lord is like a dream. Later we wake up and begin to realize what it involves.

In the early days of my ministry I was burdened to help people to consecrate themselves. Although I gave a lot of teaching about consecration, I did not see much result. My teaching did not work very well. Eventually, I learned that you cannot help people to consecrate themselves by teaching them. It is not teaching that causes people to consecrate themselves to the Lord; it is the Lord’s appearing that motivates them to do this. If we can help people to meet the Lord and come into His presence, that will be sufficient. We do not need to tell them to consecrate themselves to God or to offer everything to the Lord on the altar. Once God appears to people, nothing can stop them from consecrating themselves. Spontaneously and automatically, they will say, “Lord, everything is Yours. From now on everything is for You.” Have you not had this kind of experience? Have you not laid everything you are and have upon the altar for God and His purpose?


Once again, we can see that the New Testament does not advocate nor instruct altar usage. Instead, the New Testament teaches us to preach the Gospel and to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

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