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Sunday: The Prayers of the Saints — 10 Comments

  1. The first few verses of Revelation 8 provide a little preface to the seven trumpets and maybe the message for this passage is not a big apocalyptic prophetic interpretation, but just a little reminder to us, the living saints, about our prayers.

    Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. Rev 8:3

    I once went to hear a "prayer warrior" preach and he told a story about how he was looking for a place to park in a crowded city location and he prayed that God would find him a parking space. Immediately a car pulled out in front of where he was and he parked his car in the newly vacated space. He breathed a prayer of thankfulness. I have to admit that I was a bit naughty and at lunch afterward, I asked if, seeing he had the ear of God on the matter of a parking space, had he prayed an intercessory prayer for the people was trying to share the Gospel with at the same time. Fortunately our "prayer warrior" was also a man of good humour and understood what I was driving at.

    The prayers of the saints that are the focus of this little interlude in Revelation 8 are not our little prayers for lost keys, passes in exams we have not studied for, or other rather selfish wants. Rather they are the prayers we pray for one another about our spiritual condition, our prayers for the needy, our frustration for those unjustly treated, and our active prayers to help those that are suffering as the result of sin. These are intercessory prayers. And we may need to ask ourselves whether we are praying enough to fill the heavens with their sweet influence, or are they just an ephemeral whiff on the breeze?

    And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Rev 8:4

    Maybe, if we get the matter of prayer right, the rest of the message may be more meaningful.

    • Maurice Ashton. It's said that Christianity is the only force in which soldiers kills their wounded fellows in the battlefield instead of lifting them home. How well do you agree with that in light of your contribution herein?

      • Could be Otieno; but on the other hand, I have seen some wonderful Christian "ambulance drivers", who have not only helped their wounded but have even worked to save the enemy soldiers.

    • Maurice, please explain how this portion of the Revelation an "interlude"(given the definition of the word)? What is the purpose of it? I view it as no different than Rev 1, 4 & 5, setting the scene for the Trumpets, and though brief, is filled with truth we need to know and understand in the events which follow.

      Isn't this "interlude" a vital part of the presentation of the trumpets, which is why it is included as it is? This scene is the setting we must view the trumpets within, or we might easily misunderstand them. It takes us to and reminds us of Ex 34:6,7, John 3:16, 2 Cor 5:19, etc. No judgment will fall without the gospel invitation first. God entreated the world for 120 years before the flood finally came. Jericho had 6 extra days(plus the previous 400 years) to repent and believe, as Rahab and her family did and were spared. God is not willing for ANY to perish, yet He "will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation".

      • I don't see the word "interlude" as disjunctive. I used the word "preface" earlier in the comment. In any discussion, prefaces and interludes add to the understanding and are not a diversion. Other commenter's use similar terminology. I agree with the rest of your comment.

        • Thank you for your explanation. Perhaps the definitions I found are not the only use of the word? What I found defined it as "something to fill in during an intermission at a play in between acts". Seemed disjunctive as I understood it, yet I don't see that in any prophecy. I realize it is widely used in many commentaries of the Revelation, but I have never agreed with it.

          I take it you don't mean it in that way, and yes, prelude could be understood as a more reasonable description of this important passage. This passage leads me to see the trumpets also as warnings to alert sinners to repent, yet we see that some "repented not", which supports the idea of the trumpets having also a redemptive intention.

  2. The trumpets reveal the disastrous effects of rejecting the LORD's Principles of Life on Creation. Trumpet affect
    1) earth
    2) sea
    3) rivers and springs
    4) sun, moon, stars
    5) locusts
    6) man
    7) kingdom
    Trumpets obscure light, foul the air, destroy vegetation, darken sun, moon, stars, kill creatures of sea, kill men and undo Sabbath rest. The acts of Creation are being undone symbolically just like the Flood literally undid Creation.

    • Being symbolic, what do they actually mean? These are judgments upon sinners. God is in these events keeping the wicked from destroying the righteous, allowing the gospel work to continue until the 7th trumpet, when probation closes. The final trumpet includes the 7 plagues, also symbolic.

  3. As in the scenes presented before the letters to the 7 churches, and the opening of the 7 seals, this opening scene is important in regard to the trumpets about to blow. Scripture teaches that the “messenger of the covenant” would come to His temple, whom we understand is Jesus as our mediating High Priest. This messenger(malak: “angel”) is given “much incense that he should offer WITH the prayers of the saints...” So the incense is not the prayers, but is offered with the prayers of the saints(sanctified ones). This messenger of the covenant offers nothing less than the merits of His own righteousness for all who “receive Him, and believe on His name”. This is in response to not only their faith, but to counter the accuser who accuses them before God “day and night”. This will only last so long as we then see the censer, now empty of incense, filled with fire and cast into the earth. Notice what follows this casting down of the censer. This takes us to the 7th trumpet and more directly, to the 7th plague. Probation ends in the 7th trumpet, where the 7 plagues fall upon the wicked. Reminds us of Joshua marching around Jericho 7 times on the 7th day doesn't it?

    So what we know from this is that Jesus will be interceding for sinners throughout the first 6 trumpets, then close His work at the sounding of the 7th trumpet. There is only the 7th trumpet yet to sound, as our study should show the other 6 have already sounded. We are now living in the time of the 7th church, the opening of the 6th seal, and soon the sounding of the 7th trumpet. Our time is short. What are we doing with our time, means, and influence at this late hour?


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