Christ the Minister of the Sanctuary.
We are now shown the third vision of the Lord in His High office as Mediator of the Covenant. A mediator not only brings reconciliation between two parties but also applies retribution on the guilty.
This is a solemn time and this is shown by the `silence in heaven.` The Judgment scroll has been opened and revealed what is to come and thus there is a silence before the actual judgments take place.
`When He (Christ) opened the seventh seal,
there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.`
(Rev. 8: 1)
Angels are now prepared to sound the trumpet judgments to come, however they have to wait for the Lord to give them the authority to begin.
`And I saw the seven angels, who stand before God,
and to them were given seven trumpets.`
(Rev. 8: 2)
God`s Mediator is now revealed as the High Priest of the heavenly sanctuary. He is shown in angelic form before the golden altar. This indicates the ceremony of the Day of Atonement for Israel.
`And another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar.
And he was given much incense,
that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints
upon the golden altar which is before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints,
ascended before God from the angel`s hand.`
(Rev. 8: 3 & 4)
The High Priest would take the blood from the outside altar and bring it to the golden altar, mix it with incense and fire. Then he would take it into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood and fire before the Ark of the Covenant.
This is a pictorial drama of what the Lord has already done and about to do. He has shed His blood as the sacrifice for the sins of the nation of Israel; He has offered His pure life as a fragrant offering, (incense); and now is about to cast the `blood and fire` to the ground in judgment upon the rebellious.
`And the angel took the incense,
filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth.
And there were noises, thundering, lightnings, and an earthquake.`
(Rev. 8: 5)
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