“If only there were someone among you who would shut the Temple doors, so that you could not illuminate upon My altar in vain.” (Malachi 1:10) Rashi explains that people were constantly asking how they would benefit from making offerings on the Altar. They were searching for illumination, but not with God’s Light, but with physical and tangible rewards.
The people perceived themselves as doing God a favor, “illuminating the Altar,” not lighting the fire, and they expected something from Him in return.
Does a person ask for money simply for lighting a candle? (Rashi never met a hotel bellhop!) God even acknowledges that they are illuminating the world. However the light can go no further than the Altar because their intentions are so lacking.
Our intentions, as we kindle the candles, determines how far their illumination will spread.