Dan. 9:3 So I set my face toward the Lord God to seek Him in prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Our Conduct, Sight, and Virtue
Furthermore, anyone who intercedes at the incense altar has Christ as his incense. He no longer has his natural virtue. With such a person, Christ is everything. Christ is his life supply for proper conduct, Christ is his light for genuine sight, and Christ is his virtue for him to have a sweet fragrance ascending to God. This is the kind of person who can pray at the incense altar.
Nothing that we pray at the first altar, the altar of burnt offering in the outer court, can be an intercession. But whatever we pray at the second altar, the golden altar of incense in the tabernacle, will be an intercession. At the second altar we do not pray much for ourselves. Instead, we pray for God’s economy, we pray for God’s dispensation, we pray for God’s move, we pray for God’s recovery, and we pray for the churches and the saints. We intercede in this way spontaneously.
It is very difficult to be outside of ourselves when we pray at the first altar. The prayer at this altar is full of ourselves. But by the time we come to the second altar, we have passed through the cross, the table, the lampstand, and the ark. Because we have experienced the table, we no longer have our natural conduct. Instead, we have Christ as our life supply. Because we have come to the lampstand, we no longer have natural sight. Instead, we have Christ as our light.
What the incense altar typifies is very deep. It indicates that if we would pray intercessory prayers at the incense altar, we must become ashes; that is, we must become nothing. If we have become ashes, we shall not have our natural conduct, our natural sight, or our natural virtue. We shall not have natural conduct replacing Christ as our life supply, we shall not have natural sight replacing Christ as our light, and we shall not have natural virtues replacing Christ as our incense. This means that we shall no longer be natural. Therefore, with us there will be no veil. In place of the veil, we shall have the ark, Christ as God’s testimony. As a result, we shall be qualified to intercede at the incense altar. Having traveled through the various stations of the tabernacle, we may now come to pray, to intercede, at the golden altar of incense. (Life-study of Exodus, pp. 1631-1633)