Revelation 8: 3-5 The trumpet judgment6s are initiated. The angel takes the holy censer, the incense holder, and gathers ashes from the holy alter of prayer before God, and throws the ashes to earth.
We can take a clue of what this signifies from Numbers 16 and the event of Korah’s rebellion and its consequences. Korah is from the priestly tribe of Levi. He was leading 250 other men of distinction into rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron by questioning what qualified them to be exalted leaders, as being “better’ than anyone else. Moses questions how the Levite’s involved could question the honor and importance God has already separated them and exalted them to as those who minister in His Tabernacle…no small thing!
Moses says to let the Lord decide. Each of the 250 leaders and Aaron are to take their censer and fill it with incense and fire from the holy alter and stand before the Tabernacle and God will choose His High Priest and leader. The glory of the Lord appears and intends to destroy everyone for their rebellion. Moses intercedes for the people and God says to separate the people each to their own tent and household. Moses also warns to get far away from the rebellious wicked households and not even touch anything of theirs. Then, he announces that by this all will know God’s choice…..if the rebellious die naturally after time, then Moses is wrong, but if they die instantly by another disaster, then God has judged. The ground opens up and swallows the households of rebellion and the wicked leaders are burned up!
The Lord commands the holy bronze censers be gathered and pounded flat to cover the alter. It is for a reminder against rebellion and that only the High Priest, currently Aaron, should offer and burn incense at the alter before the Lord.
Unbelievably, the next day, the congregation is mad at Moses for causing so many deaths! The Lord tells Moses to separate his and Aaron’s household and He is going to destroy them all due to their unrepentant hearts. A plague begins. Moses and Aaron again intercede and God instructs them that Aaron must get fire and incense from the holy alter and run it between the sick with the plague and the healthy. So, the plague is brought to an end.
Do you see the parallels here with Yeshua Jesus our leader and High Priest? The wicked desire to exalt themselves in pride above Him. That was also Satan’s original sin…pride and self exaltation. It can happen to even those who could have been His elect, appointed to minister in His presence. Yeshua Jesus is also the only High Priest before God on His throne! Those who do not believe, trust, and follow Him are destined for judgement as there is no other remission for sin. They will suffer the consequences of sin and rebellion which are death and hell. God’s people are to be separated into Him and not even touch the wicked or their things.
Consider why this is relevant here in Revelation before the 7 trumpet judgements! Same pattern. Same message. Who will people line up with? Will they choose Yeshua Jesus as God’s only Lord leader and High Prest, Savior, advocate, and Intercessor? The alter before God’s presence is an alter of prayer. Only Yeshua Jesus can light that fire to burn the incense of sweet fragrance to the Father. here, the angel throws down those ashes to the earth before the trumpets blow. Who will receive the ashes that will stop the plague? God’s grace is offered even during these judgements of rebellion, sin, and evil. I add my prayers that many see clearly and repent of evil to turn to Yeshua Jesus!