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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

58- The presence of the New Testament altar

 

[1] Saint Paul Mentions The New Testament Altar

(Heb 13:10) We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.

The tabernacle servants are the Jews… i.e. the Jews who remained as Jews, have no authority no write to partake of the Christian altar.

[2] The Book Of Isaiah Prophesied About The Christian Altar, Especially The Altar Of Egypt

(Isa 19:19-21) In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. {20} And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. {21} Then the LORD will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the LORD and perform it.

It is obvious that such altar to the Lord could not be a pagan altar

The emphasis of calling this altar “altar of God” was repeated at least 10 times through the chapter.

Also the prophecy concludes

(Isa 19:25) whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance."

This verse is aimed at the Christian altar of Egypt, which is not any way connected to any pagan worship.

It is also obvious that such altar could not be a Jewish altar

This altar cannot be Jewish, as the Jews were not allowed to offer a sacrifice nor have an altar outside Jerusalem.

(Psa 137:1-4) By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion. {2} We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it. {3} For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" {4} How shall we sing the Lord's song In a foreign land?

Also the Lord ordered the Jews out of Egypt to offer sacrifice and worship.

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St-Takla.org Image: Hegomen Father Arsanios Aziz Serry, praying the Holy Liturgy at St. TaklaHaymanot Church, Alexandria, Egypt

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: قدس أبونا القمص أرسانيوس عزيز سري، يصلي القداس الإلهي في كنيسة الأنبا تكلاهيمانوت، الإسكندرية، مصر

(Exo 8:20) And the LORD said to Moses, "Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water. Then say to him, 'Thus says the LORD: "Let My people go, that they may serve Me.

(Exo 9:1) Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, 'Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: "Let My people go, that they may serve Me.

Also Pharaoh promised;

(Exo 8:29) Then Moses said, "Indeed I am going out from you, and I will entreat the LORD, that the swarms of flies may depart tomorrow from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. But let Pharaoh not deal deceitfully anymore in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD."

So It was not feasible to have a Jewish altar in Egypt.

We observe that God commanded that no sacrifice is to be offered except in the place of His selection, which would be called after His Name.

(Deu 12:11) "then there will be the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the LORD.

(Deu 12:26) "Only the holy things which you have, and your vowed offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the LORD chooses.

(Deu 26:2) "that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land that the LORD your God is giving you, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide.

The Lord Has Selected Jerusalem.

(2 Chr 6:6) 'Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there; and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.'

(Zec 3:2) And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"

Hence we see that the prophecy of Isaiah is pertaining to the Christian altar of Egypt.

[3] Also Malachi Prophesied That God Will Reject The Jewish Sacrifice And Will Accept A Sacrifice From The Other Nations (the Gentiles).

(Mal 1:10-11) "Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you," Says the LORD of hosts, "Nor will I accept an offering from your hands. {11} For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations," Says the LORD of hosts.

This prophecy was fulfilled during the Christian era, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. Before Christianity there was no other godly worship other than the Jewish.

[4] The Lord Jesus Spoke About The Christian Altar

(Mat 5:23-24) "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, {24} "leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

The Lord Jesus did not limit His teaching to the Old Testament but also His teaching extends to the New Testament. Otherwise His words were only applicable for 3 and a third years.

[5] If the Preceding Four points, we prove the need for an Altar for the Christian faith, then We Shall Find That We Must Have A Priest To Serve This Altar.


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