Revelation Censer Angel
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Revelation Censer Angel
(Revelation 8.5-6)
Page 142

"Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them." (Revelation 8.5-6)✞

Altar Coals

Hot Coals from the altarAngels are spiritual beings from before the creation who acted as messengers, ministers and guardians to Almighty God himself. This Revelation angel here took the censer, which was sometimes called an incense burner made for burning solid incense. The angel filled the censer with coals from the altar and dashed it on the ground. The altars in the Jerusalem Temple had, "three separate piles of wood on top of it. The largest of these was where all the portions of the sacrifices were burned, the second fire provided the coals for the altar of incense within the sanctuary, and the third was the "perpetual fire" which constantly burned on the altar." No sacrifice was placed on the incense altar, and no coals were taken from it.✞

Permanent Fire Burning

Altar of IncenseThe altar of incense existed solely to fulfill the commandment that there be a permanent fire burning in the Temple. As the Law stated in Leviticus 6.13, "The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously, it must not go out." There was no commandment regarding the type of wood to be used on the altar except that the Rabbis forbade the use of olive wood and grape vine wood, as these did not burn well and needed to be conserved because of their commercial value to the people.✞

Peals Thunder

Lightning BoltsThe casting of fire on the earth was the prelude to the "peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake" which were the introduction to more terrors. The picture was similar to the vision in Ezekiel 10.2, "The Lord said to the man clothed in linen, 'Go in among the wheels beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.' And as I watched, he went in." In Revelation, a man in a linen cloth, who may have been the same censor angel, took coals from between the cherubim or winged angelic beings and scattered them over the city. Fire and burning coals were associated in a vision in Isaiah 6.6, "Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar." The prophet's lips were touched with a burning ember from the fire so that he might speak for God.✞

Angels Presence

Angels representationThe Revelation censer angel brought coals to introduce new woes. "The prayers of the saints return to the earth in wrath," said the Biblical scholar, H. B. Swete (1835-1917). The idea in Saint John's mind was that the saints cried out to this angel for vengeance upon those who had tortured and killed them. "The seven angels," were known as the angels of the presence, and were sometimes thought to be the names of the seven archangels which were senior angels.✞

Archangel's Names

Angel Wood CarvingThe seven archangels names according to Enoch and the Apocryphal Book of Tobit 12.15 were traditionally known as "Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Saraqael, Gabriel and Remiel." Apart from their traditional names we know little about them except for the appearance of Gabriel and Michael in the New Testament. There were seven, a number symbolic of completeness mentioned in these old texts. The fact that they were called "the angels of the presence" meant that they enjoyed the special honor of being in close proximity to God himself. In an oriental court, it was only the most favored courtiers who had the right at all times to remain in the presence of the king. To be a courtier was a special honor. To be in the presence of the king not only meant special rewards but also immediate readiness to be dispatched on an errand or service elsewhere. We too should aspire to be "angels of the presence" on earth ready to go without a moment's hesitation!✞

"Revelation Censer Angel"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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