Revelation Chapter 8:3
Revelation 8:3 – Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar.
Another angel, apart from the seven angels given trumpets, has a golden censer to offer incense on a golden altar before the throne. We see these same elements in the earthly tabernacle:
Hebrews 9:2-5 – For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
Exodus 39:33, 35-39 – And they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its furnishings… the ark of the Testimony with its poles, and the mercy seat; the table, all its utensils, and the showbread; the pure gold lampstand with its lamps (the lamps set in order), all its utensils, and the oil for light; the gold altar, the anointing oil, and the sweet incense; the screen for the tabernacle door; the bronze altar…
“Golden censer”: A golden pan, suspended on a rope or chain, that was used to transport fiery coals from the brazen altar to the altar of incense, in order to ignite the incense, symbolizing the prayers of the people (5:8; Exodus 27:3; Luke 1:8-9). This occurred twice daily at the time of the morning and evening sacrifices.
Verse 3 tells us this mighty angel stands before the heavenly golden altar of incense, which is before the Throne of the Almighty God. The prayers of all the believers are mingled with heavenly incense and offered up to God. These prayers contain the martyrs’ and the suffering saints’ cries for relief and justice. The answer to these prayers is the Seven Trumpets and Seven Golden Vials.
We must realize that the tabernacle in the wilderness (with its Holy place and most Holy Place), was a miniature of the arrangement in heaven. The altar constructed by Moses for Israel’s Tabernacle was copied from this one.
When Jesus died on the cross, His blood had to be carried to the mercy seat in heaven, just as the lamb in the temple had its blood sprinkled on the mercy seat in the most Holy place.
The very throne of God is the most holy place in heaven. Jesus is our High Priest forever, who intercedes for us at the throne of God.
This vessel had to be made of gold to be in the close proximity of God. Just as everything in the most Holy place in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness had to be pure gold, or pure gold overlay.
Some of the writers believe the word “censer” here should be frankincense. That is not a terribly important point. The “incense” (in verse 3), probably does indicate frankincense.
Notice that the prayers of the saints with their offering is upon the golden altar at the throne of God. Sometimes we feel our prayers go nowhere, but here we see them at the throne of God.
The golden altar as well, was in the very presence of God and thus had to be made of gold.
We were not praying to the angel. The angel’s only job was to transport them and keep them safe until they were received. We must never pray to an angel.
The important thing to see here, is that our prayers go to the throne of God, to the most Holy place.
We were not praying to the angel. The angel’s only job was to transport them and keep them safe until they were received. We must never pray to an angel. We pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. The important thing, to see here, is that our prayers go to the throne of God, to the most Holy place.
Note in the following passage and schematic below that the golden altar of incense within the holy place is different from the altar for burnt offerings at the door of the tabernacle in the outer courtyard:
Leviticus 4:7 – And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining blood of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
Note the parallels in the graphics above, between the earthly tabernacle and the heavenly tabernacle:
|Earthly Tabernacle||Heavenly Tabernacle|
|Ark of the Covenant||Throne of God|
|Altar of Incense||Altar of Incense|
|7-Branched Menorah||7 Spirits of God|
|Sea of Bronze and Altar of Burnt Offerings||Sea of Glass and Altar|
As a side note, the table of showbread bearing the twelve cakes, or loaves of bread, is not physically represented in the heavenly tabernacle, because in the earthly tabernacle it is a symbol of the covenant made between God and the twelve tribes of Israel:
Leviticus 24:4-9 – He shall be in charge of the lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the LORD continually. “And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it. Two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake. You shall set them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the LORD. And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, an offering made by fire to the LORD. Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the offerings of the LORD made by fire, by a perpetual statute.”
Frankincense was a priestly incense use in anointing oil and sacrifice. Frankincense was given as one of three gifts by the wise men to Jesus when He was born (Matthew 2:11), symbolizing His priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:6-10, 7:11-21). Jesus is also the “bread of life” (John 6:33-51), who offered the “new covenant” to both Israel and Judah, which include all twelve tribes:
Jeremiah 31:31-34 – “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
While the twelve tribes of Israel will not corporately come into this new covenant with the Lord until He returns after the Tribulation, Christ, our High Priest, offers it today to those He calls individually, both Jew and Gentile:
Hebrews 9:11-15 – But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
In short, the table of showbread was represented in the old covenant. It is no longer needed and is not represented in Heaven, because the “new covenant” has replaced the old covenant:
Hebrews 8:13 – In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
That said, similar to the memorial of the showbread for the old covenant, Jesus commanded the twelve disciples to take of the bread and the cup in remembrance of His broken body and shed blood that allows us to partake in the “new covenant”:
Luke 22:14-20 – When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
Revelation 8:3 – He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
The angel with the golden censor acts as a minister by offering the incense with prayers on the altar. While some have protested that an angel could minister in the manner of a priest, the following passages show that angels do serve as ministering spirits before the Lord:
Psalms 103:19-21 – The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
Hebrews 1:7 – And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire.”
Recall from Revelation 5:8, the elders had golden bowls that contained the prayers of the saints. While it is widely thought that these prayers in the gold bowls are all unanswered prayers of the saints, the following passage suggests that prayers with incense are prayers for justice and judgment on the wicked:
Psalms 141:1-5 – A Psalm of David. LORD, I cry out to You; make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies. Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.
This notion is supported in the next few sections, as God’s judgment resumes on the earth and its inhabitants, after these prayers are offered up with incense by the angel.
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.