“And the angel took the censer,
and filled it with fire…
and cast it into the earth.”
Have you ever heard someone say, “Wow, she was lit up!” about someone excited about something? Or how about, “Now that boy is on fire for the Lord!”
When I started writing this post on the opening scene to the seven trumpets, I was only going to write one sentence about Rev. 8:2-5. “God’s people pray and He answers.” Then I discovered some amazing clues about what might really be going on and I want to share them with you. Kids are way smart enough to understand this.
“And I saw the seven angels which stood before God and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer: and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” Revelation 8:2-5
What Does It Mean?
Is there more to this scene than that we pray and God answers? I used the Bible to find some clues.
- Incense = prayers of God’s people (Rev. 5:8; Ps. 141:2)
- The golden altar and golden censer are before God’s throne in heaven. (Exod. 40:5; Heb. 9:4, 11, 24)
- Fire = Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3-4)
Is God sending this fire to cleanse his people from sin and give them power to spread the gospel in the end times? Here are some clues:
- After Isaiah saw the King (God) in a vision and realized how Holy God is and how unholy he was, he confessed his sins. An angel took a coal from the altar and touched his lips, taking his sins away, and sending him to do a great work for God. (Isa. 6:1-8)
- Voices, thunderings, lightnings, earthquake remind us of when God spoke from Mount Sinai and when the seven lamps of fire, which are the seven Spirits of God, are sent to the earth in Revelation’s throne room scene (Exod. 20:18; Rev. 4:5; Rev. 5:6).
- Fire was sent down from heaven to the early church to give them power to spread the gospel. This fire was the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).
- Peter equated this event with the prophet Joel’s prediction of the last days when God will pour out his Spirit on his people. Some of the signs that would follow would be blood, fire, smoke and the sun and moon darkened. These are all mentioned in Rev. chapter 8 ( Acts 2:16-20; Rev. 8:4, 7, 12).
- The Bible gives us examples which we can apply to the end of the world (1 Cor. 10:11)
- The 144,000 in Chapter 7 are all prepared for battle. Do they need a final cleansing of sin and power from God’s throne to finish the work he has for them – which is to take the gospel to the whole world (Rev. 14:3-12)?
A Question for You!
So here’s the question. Are you on fire for God? Do you want your sins to be washed away and to have power to work for Jesus?
Jesus promises that if you ask for the Holy Spirit, He will send it and He will give you the ability to serve Him (Luke 11:9-10, 13; Heb. 9:14). That’s a promise! Jesus ALWAYS keeps his promises.
Ask Him today for the Holy Spirit and He will answer! I guess it is that simple.
“God’s people pray, and He answers.”