In this chapter, we want to map out the vision of the Angel that was given much incense, when we turn to Hazon [Revelation] chapter 8:
Yohanan saw seven angels who stand before YHWH Elohim, and seven trumpets were given to them. Yohanan saw another messenger [angel], who had a golden censer with the prayers of all Yah’s people.
The messenger took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the eh'rets. Then the seven messengers [angels] who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. The first messenger sounded his Khatzots'Rah [trumpet], and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up and a third of the trees were burned up.
The second messenger [angel] sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
After the first four sounded their trumpets, John heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice:
“Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the Khatzots'Rah blasts about to be sounded by the other three messengers!”
The seals deal with events in the human earthly realm, and Khatzots'Rah [trumpets] deal with events in the spiritual realm. The seals and trumpets are not chronological (otherwise it would just be the 14 or 21 seals), but the Khath'am [seals] and Khatzots'Rah [trumpets] seem to overlap each other and occur simultaneously.
The sixth seal begins the day of the Lord from the human perspective. (Revelation 6:16-17; They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” Here, as the Lamb opens the seventh seal, the day the Lord draws even closer and heaven is silent in great anticipation. The prophet Zephaniah said silence before Elohim Yahuah will occur as the day of the El'Elyon draws near.
Zephaniah 1:7 Be silent before the Sovereign Lord, for the day of the Lord is near. The Lord has prepared a sacrifice; he has consecrated those he has invited.
Messiah Yah'Ushua [Jesus Christ] is the Kohen ha'Gadol [High Priest] of the Hey'Kal [temple], having a golden censer, and much incense, gives us the picture of his glorious person. The seventh seal begins the day of Eloah, and the seven trumpets in the spiritual realm are complete now as well.
The silence in heaven is expressive of the fearful anticipation felt on opening the last Khath'am that was to close both the Khath'am [seals] and Khatzots'Rah [trumpets]; these are human and demonic events, for the winding up of the affairs for the man child and the systems of men.
“And I saw the seven messengers [angels] who stand before Elohim Yahuah, and seven Khatzots'Rah [trumpets] were given to them.” The seven Khath'am [seals] showed us events from the human realm, and now the seven Khatzots'Rah declare events from the spiritual realm, particularly the demonic.
The seven Khath'am concluded with the day of the El'Shaddai. We are not told the identity of the seven messengers. They appear to be seven specific messengers (some think archangels such as Michael, Gabriel or Raphael) distinguished among the legions of angels standing round the throne of El'Elyon. There is an interesting passage that speaks of specific messengers allowed to stand in the presence of YHWH both from the scrolls of Tobit, as well as in Luke.
Rev 8:3 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. “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.” The altar is the spiritual altar in heaven.
In Revelation, all references to the temple are spiritual. This is an analogy of the earthly temple service, but in heaven, the first angel brings in his golden censer fire from the brazen altar of sacrifice, and now “He was given much incense to offer”, by another angel, incense to burn at the golden altar of incense.
The comparison of prayer with incense is in accordance with Old Testament language. “May my prayer be set before you like incense” (Psalm 141:1-2).
Psalm 141:1-2 (NIV) I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
The incense was to be mingled with the prayers of the saints. The incense was added to give a fragrance to the prayers of the saints and cause them to be acceptable before God. The prayers are about to be answered.
An example of prayer would be from Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, when it was conquered in 638 AD by the Islamic caliph Umar. Sophronius wrote:
“The godless Saracens entered the holy city of Christ our Lord, Jerusalem, with the permission of God and in punishment for our negligence, which is considerable, and immediately proceeded in haste to the place which is called the Capitol. They took with them men, some by force, others by their own will, in order to clean that place and to build that cursed thing, intended for their prayer and which they call a mosque.”
Sophronius gave this prayer:
Episode #11: The Invisible Strategy