Serving Jesus in Our Community

Bible Notes

Revelation 8:3-4 (26.05.20)

Revelation 8.3-4
[3] 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. [4] The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.

There were two altars in the original tabernacle, the bronze altar where the sacrifices were offered, and the golden altar where incense was burned, as a picture of the prayers and worship of God’s people. Here John sees the heavenly version of the altar of incense. The altar is mentioned several times in Revelation, and it is probably always this golden altar. The tabernacle of Exodus was a picture of heaven (see e.g. Hebrews 8.1-2 & 23-24), so why is there no heavenly equivalent of the bronze altar? Could it be because the final sacrifice was made at Golgotha, and therefore there is no more need of sacrifice in heaven, because Jesus’ work is finished?

Come blend your prayers with Jesus’ own
Before the Father’s throne,
And as the incense clouds ascend
God’s holy fire rains down.
Graham Kendrick

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