Smoke of the Incense



Extracts and comments from Revelation Chaps. 8:4a,5 & 9:13a


Chap. 8 V.4 

And the (a)smoke of the incense, which came with the (b)prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.



And the angel took the censer, and filled it with (c)fire of the (d)alter, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. 


(a) "Smoke of the incense"; this is more profound than a quick reading suggests, as will be attempted to be shown and seen from the following. The incense is classed as "most holy", (Lev. 2:3), as opposed to "holy". It was introduced in Exodus 30:34-38, and described by Jehovah in verse 36 as "most holy". It was offered after atonement in the ceremonies of Tabernacle and Temple. The smoke (cloud) of which "may cover the mercy seat", (Lev. 16:13). After which the priest took the blood of the sin sacrifice, and with a finger sprinkled it on the "mercy seat eastwards"; and before the mercy seat seven times. It is notable that the “wise men", who brought gifts to Christ's nativity, "gold, frankincense and myrrh", the latter two are ingredients of incense, and priestly oil and ointment.



Chap. 9 V.13

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard one voice from the four (a)horns of the (b)golden alter which is before God.


(a) The alter has 4 horns, the number 4 denotes reference to material creation (App. 10), pertaining to earth, "to things under the sun", and things terrestrial. Its combination (3 + 1) and (2 + 2), 3 denoting "completeness", and also "resurrection"! One denotes "unity and commencement," which was illustrated in Genesis, and will be again in the future Ages. (2 + 2), 2 denotes difference if in disagreement.


However, if in agreement "testimony is conclusive", (App. 10). As it is obvious that the Father (Jehovah) and the Son (Christ) are in agreement, the one voice corresponds interestingly to the oneness of Zech. 14:9. Coming from the incense alter, (see next comment) adds huge force to the coming events.


So the earth number 4 (horns) on the incense alter, embodied for the Jews in the past the atonement, and in the future resurrection and new beginning. The fact that this alter was positioned in the Tabernacle and later the Temple "in the holy place", with the veil between it and the "most holy place", and also that incense was offered twice daily (frankincense and myrrh), (symbolic of the future death of Christ); and also that the "prayer of the saints", was intermingled with the incense (Rev. 8:4), illustrates graphically the sanctity to the Father of this whole symbol. It is a fact that the future Millennial Temple will not have an incense alter (Ezk.). 


It is also a fact that Christ and the Father (Jehovah) are together in the future Temple, "and their name shall be one", (Zech. 14).


Since Christ's death, the veil between the holy, and most holy place has been removed, which is still the condition of this Age in which we live, and in heaven, the golden alter is "before God"!


We see from V.13, that the voice from the horns is one, which the writers think is the voice of the Father and Son in unity. We see that from the following verses that instead of atonement, refuge and help, the horns (which also denote power)! are about to order an event!


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