Acts 16:5; Eph. 1:19; Col. 1:11; Rev. 1:9

For the Lord to strengthen, uphold, and prosper the churches in every country in His recovery as the testimony of Jesus (Acts 16:5; Eph. 1:19; Col. 1:11; Rev. 1:9).

Acts 16:5—And so the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in number daily.

Eph. 1:19—And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength.

Col. 1:11—Being empowered with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy.

Rev. 1:9—I John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.


Ministry: Burning Christ as Incense

In the book of Revelation the incense altar is directly in front of the throne of God’s authority. According to Revelation 8, Christ as another Angel comes and adds His incense to the prayers of the saints. This incense then ascends to God at the throne of administration, and God answers the saints’ prayers. As a result, fire comes down to earth to execute the divine judgments recorded in the remainder of the book of Revelation. This is a picture of the incense altar being the administrating throne of God for God to execute His judgments in His administration. It is important for us to see that the execution of God’s administration is motivated by the prayers offered to Him from the incense altar. (Life-study of Exodus, p. 1615)

© Living Stream Ministry. Used by permission.


1 Pet. 4:12-14—Beloved, do not think that the fiery ordeal among you, coming to you for a trial, is strange, as if it were a strange thing happening to you; but inasmuch as you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice exultingly. If you are reproached in the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

1 Pet. 5:9-10—Him withstand, being firm in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being accomplished among your brotherhood in the world. But the God of all grace, He who has called you into His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself perfect, establish, strengthen, and ground you.


Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2; Heb. 13:17

For the Lord to supply the co-workers and leading brothers and grant them wisdom to lead and shepherd His people onward in these days (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2; Heb. 13:17).

Acts 20:28—Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has placed you as overseers to shepherd the church of God, which He obtained through His own blood.

1 Pet. 5:2—Shepherd the flock of God among you, overseeing not under compulsion but willingly, according to God; not by seeking gain through base means but eagerly.

Heb. 13:17—Obey the ones leading you and submit to them, for they watch over your souls as those who will render an account, that they may do this with joy and not groaning; for this would be unprofitable to you.


Ministry: Praying according to God’s Desire

Brothers and sisters, if we come to God and remain calm before Him, giving up our thoughts to enter into His thoughts, we will see the great need for prayer, we will see that God is waiting for us to pray about so many things, and we will see that everything around can become the subject of our prayer. In fact the whole earth can become the subject of our prayer. We should not pray according to our feelings. We must mingle our desires with God’s desires and allow God’s desires to become our desires, groanings, and yearnings for the universe. God’s desires cannot be released without first passing through man, and God’s desires, when expressed through man’s desires, will be opposed by the power of Satan. In order to fulfill God’s desire, we have to pray, and in order to remove Satan’s frustration, we have to pray. We have to exercise the authority of prayer and release what should be released and bind what should be bound. We should not pray according to our own desire; we should go to the Lord and pray according to the desire that He has imprinted in us. When God says that something is needed, we should say the same, and when He says that something cannot remain, we should also say the same. We should forget about ourselves and touch God’s desire and express His desire through our prayer. (The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 38, pp. 456-457)

© Living Stream Ministry. Used by permission.



1 Thes. 5:22-23; Rom 12:2, 4-5

For the saints to be preserved and sanctified in their tripartite being, to be separated unto God from common and sinful things (1 Thes. 5:22-23), and to not be conformed to this age but to be transformed and prove the will of God by living the Body-life (Rom 12:2, 4-5).

1 Thes. 5:22-23—Abstain from every kind of evil. And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom. 12:2—And do not be fashioned according to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.

Rom. 12:4-5—For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  


Ministry: Christ Interceding

The deepest type of the types in the Old Testament may be the incense altar in Exodus 30. If we consider this type even superficially, we shall see that it is related to prayer. Both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament incense offered to God signifies our prayer to Him. Therefore, in our reading of the Bible, we can realize that the golden altar of incense must in some way be related to prayer.

If we consider this matter in a deeper way, we shall see that actually the incense altar does not refer to our prayer. Rather, it refers to the prayer of Christ, for the altar itself is a type of the person of Christ. It is not a type of Christ’s prayer. The incense altar typifies Christ the person, not His prayer. It signifies Christ praying, Christ interceding. The individual Christ after His resurrection, and especially after His ascension, has become corporate. Thus, today before God not only is the individual Christ interceding, but the corporate Christ, the Head with the Body, is interceding as well. Christ the Head is interceding in the heavens, and the church the Body is interceding on earth. The intercessor, therefore, is not merely Christ Himself, but is Christ with His Body. If we realize this, we shall see that what is signified by the incense altar is something very deep. (Life-study of Exodus, p. 1625)

© Living Stream Ministry. Used by permission.



Col. 1:12; Eph. 3:8, 17-18

For the saints to fully possess their allotted portion of the all-inclusive, all-extensive Christ by being strengthened with power through the Spirit into their inner man that Christ may make His home in their hearts (Col. 1:12; Eph. 3:8, 17-18).

Col. 1:12—Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you for a share of the allotted portion of the saints in the light.

Eph. 3:8—To me, less than the least of all saints, was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel.

Eph. 3:17-18—That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are.


Ministry: Reduced to Ashes

If we come into the tabernacle, we cannot go directly to the incense altar. As we have already indicated, first we must go to the showbread table, then to the lampstand, and after that to the ark of testimony in the Holy of Holies. Only then shall we be ready to come to intercede at the incense altar.

Our conduct is versus Christ as life (the bread of the presence table, the showbread table). Our sight is versus Christ as our light (the lampstand). Our virtue is versus Christ as our incense to God (the incense altar). Our conduct, our sight, and our virtue together equal our natural being, which is versus Christ as God’s testimony (the ark). If we have become a heap of ashes, will we still have our natural conduct, our natural sight, and our natural virtue? Certainly not. A heap of ashes does not have any conduct, sight, or virtue. What does a heap of ashes have? It has nothing. To be reduced to ashes is to be reduced to nothing, to zero. (Life-study of Exodus, pp. 1629-1630)

© Living Stream Ministry. Used by permission.



Col. 2:6-7; Rom. 8:4; Eph. 4:15-16

For the saints to walk in Christ by the spirit in their daily life, to grow up into Christ in all things, and to be knit and built together as the Body of Christ (Col. 2:6-7; Rom. 8:4; Eph. 4:15-16).

Col. 2:6-7—As therefore you have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, having been rooted and being built up in Him, and being established in the faith even as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Rom. 8:4—That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.

Eph. 4:15-16—But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ, out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.


Ministry: The Two Altars in Our Experience

May the Lord have mercy on us that we may see that the proper and genuine prayer life is in God and requires that God be in us; that it is one with the resurrected and ascended Christ as our incense to God; and that it is linked to the crucified Christ by the blood, the fire, and the sweet savor. If we have this kind of prayer we shall be able to live a life that motivates God’s move. This kind of prayer governs God’s dispensation of grace and His administration of His authority. This means that the prayer offered at the incense altar governs the universe. This is a matter of great significance. May our eyes be opened to see it. (Life-study of Exodus, p. 1623)

© Living Stream Ministry. Used by permission.


Persevere in prayer.