Heaven's Glowing Coals
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Heaven's Glowing Coals
(Revelation 8.1-3)
Page 139

"When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them." Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God's people, on the golden altar in front of the throne." (Revelation 8.1-3)✞

Incense

Burning SunThis passage began with an intensely dramatic "silence in heaven" for about half an hour, before the woes that were to follow. This time of suspense must have been a shattering experience for John of Patmos after the trumpets, the singing and earthquakes of the previous minutes. Then followed the first of four trumpet blasts, each of which heralded a catastrophe.✞

Golden Censer

Glowing CoalsA golden censer which was a container for burning incense was brought by another angel. This censer could have been a floor model in which the incense was burned on the top like those used in Jesus' day. Today, we would think of a catholic "thurible" or chain censer designed for swinging. Burning incense has the connotation of prayer rising to the heavens. The censer is brought to the altar filled with the glowing coals as was used in the Temple worship in Heaven. Incense is an aromatic material which releases fragrant smoke when burned. Incense was poured on glowing coals, and the smoke drifted upwards, and as this ascended so did the believers' prayers it was believed. The word "incense" comes from the Latin "incendere" meaning "to burn." The smoke and the prayers of the saints are spoken of together and one is obviously not representative of the other. "The incense" may be as a reminder of the faithfulness of the multitude to the Lord God Almighty who alone is worthy to receive worship and prayer.✞

"Heaven's Glowing Coals"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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