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Revelation 8:5 & meaning...


angel took the censer, and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it on the earth. There followed thunders, sounds, lightnings, and an earthquake.

Revelation 8:5


Revelation 8 [1.] When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer. Much incense was given to him, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. The angel took the censer, and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it on the earth. There followed thunders, sounds, lightnings, and an earthquake.

Revelation 8 [6.] The seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first sounded, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. One third of the earth was burnt up, and one third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.


  • The Angel and the Censer: 

The angel takes a censer and fills it with the fire of the altar. In the Old Testament, the censer was used by the high priest to offer incense as a sweet aroma to God (Leviticus 16:12-13). Here, the filling of the censer with fire symbolizes divine judgment and purification. The fire represents God's holiness and righteous anger against sin (Hebrews 12:29).

  • Throwing the Censer on the Earth: 

The angel then throws the censer filled with fire onto the earth. This action signifies the unleashing of God's judgment upon the world. Throughout Scripture, fire is often associated with divine judgment and purification, symbolizing the refining work of God's justice (Isaiah 66:15-16).

  • Thunders, Sounds, Lightnings, and an Earthquake: 

Following the casting of the censer, a series of cataclysmic events ensues. These include thunders, sounds, lightnings, and an earthquake. These phenomena are reminiscent of the manifestations of God's presence and power described in other passages of Scripture, such as the theophany at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16) and the visions of the prophets (Ezekiel 1:4; Zechariah 9:14).

Symbolism and Application: 

Revelation 8:5 is part of a larger apocalyptic vision in the book of Revelation, which describes the culmination of God's redemptive plan and the establishment of His kingdom. The opening of the seventh seal marks a significant turning point in this vision, signaling the final outpouring of God's judgment upon the earth before the return of Christ (Revelation 8:1).

While Revelation 8:5 describes events of cosmic significance, it also carries personal and practical implications for believers today. It serves as a sobering reminder of the reality of divine judgment and the urgency of living in faithful obedience to God's word. It calls us to examine our lives, repent of sin, and align ourselves with God's purposes as we await the coming of His kingdom (2 Peter 3:10-13).

In conclusion, Revelation 8:5 presents a vivid and symbolic portrayal of divine judgment as part of the apocalyptic vision described in the book of Revelation. It reminds us of the sovereignty of God over all creation and calls us to live in faithful anticipation of the coming of His kingdom. As we reflect on this verse, may we be stirred to greater devotion and obedience to God, knowing that He alone is worthy of our worship and allegiance. 

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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