Russia was delivered from WW2 by the lend-lease generosity of the United States – but instead of thanking God, the Soviets have glorified their own people and Stalin. Yet Stalin – in the midst of persecuting the church – paused momentarily as German tanks invaded the Moscow suburbs – just long enough to let the priest offer up prayers to God for deliverance.
And when Russia was delivered they gave God no thanks. They plundered the churches and imprisoned the believers.
Now Russia has been given respite from Communism, but hasn’t learned to glorify God. Putin has opened Muslim mosques and persecuted the Bible-believers.
The Bible prophesies that Russia (and Iran) will very soon lose WW3 to the United States and United Kingdom – and they will force them into the New World Order.
” And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan,
which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth,
and his angels were cast out with him.”
You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers It may be the coming of the Judgment Day. It’s a sign there’s no doubt of the trouble that’s about So I say my friends you’d better start to pray. They’re a terrifying sight as they fly on day and night It’s a warning that we’d better mend our way. You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers, It may be the coming of the Judgment Day. Many people think the saucers might be someone’s foolish dreams, Or maybe they were sent down here from Mars. If you’ll just stop and think you’d realize just what it means, They’re more than atom bombs or falling stars. And though the war may be through, there’s unrest and trouble brewin’ And those flying saucers may be just a sign, That if peace doesn’t come it will be the end of some, So repent today, we’re running out of time. When you see a saucer fly like a comet through the sky You should realize the price you’ll have to pay. You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers, It may be the coming of the Judgment Day.
Another shooting hoax, of course.
- Where are the bodies?
- Another superhuman death-toll
- FBI immediately on the scene
- immediate news media orgy
Funny how there is a direct correlation between the increasing number of alleged school shootings and the increasing number of “active shooting drills” that the FBI is conducting! Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
The FBI is now running non-stop “active shooter drills” in schools all over the country — this needs to be audited to find out what is really going on. They are obviously being used as a guise for staging these false-flag shooting hoaxes.
… the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012 … permits the U.S. attorney general—at the request of appropriate state or local law enforcement personnel—to provide federal assistance during active shooter incidents and mass killings (defined by the law as three or more people) in public places. The attorney general delegated this responsibility to the FBI. (FBI Jurisdiction in Active Shooter Incidents)
How did the local authorities in Houston know to call the FBI instantly and how did the FBI mobilize hundreds of agents to descend on this school within a few minutes?! Makes no sense – unless it was a hoax.
This Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seriously compromised or incompetent – he is allowing crisis actor shooting hoaxes to continue!
” I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.” Hosea 12:10
Christ’s parables do not create false analogies. They are true to such an extent that they can be deeply meditated upon and considered in exact detail and will remain completely authentic.
In Revelation chapters 2 and 3 the Christian church is presented as 7 stars on candlesticks shining from Christ’s right hand. The prophetic vision named real churches in 7 Anatolian cities, but they must be representative of the entire Christian church since they are the only ones in Christ’s right hand.
Hence Church history and the churches match the analogy of a right hand. Therefore by studying the concept of a right hand carefully even the details will match – and so we can appreciate more of the truth of what Jesus was describing.
The fingers of a hand do resemble candlestick holders, but there are not 7 fingers, only 5.
Likewise, in the description of the 7 churches, 2 of them are not on candlesticks – the first one and the last one. First Christ says of Ephesus he “will remove thy candlestick out of his place” (Rev 2.5) and last to Laodicea he says “I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Rev 3.16).
So the location of five of the stars is on fingers, but these two stars have to be put elsewhere: the wrist and palm.
Now consider how features of the locations of the hand will be analogous to the descriptions of the various churches:
- Ephesus – The First Church: It’s moved to the wrist because that is where the hand starts, it is where Christ’s nail-print was, and hence the first early church is here. The witness of the church in Christianity’s home of Palestine and Syria was likewise moved away by Islam. The wrist is very strong, the entire hand relies upon it, just as we all rely upon the real Apostolic church of the first century that gave us the Bible. The wrist is at the base of the hand with no raised finger on it, so Ephesus is described as hating the lying false apostles, which is called the sin of the Nicolaitans, those who exalt themselves as religious lords over the laity.
- Smyrna – The Persecuted Church: matches the Pinky finger. It’s the smallest and weakest part of the hand, adds almost no strength to the grip, and it is most susceptible to injury. Likewise the Persecuted church was weak and crushed by the world. But a pinky-ring is an ostentatious sign of great wealth, and likewise this church is promised riches and a crown. The oil sprinkled in Leviticus 14 is done by the “right finger”- the right-most finger is the pinky.
” And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD:” Leviticus 14:16
- Pergamos – Orthodox Church: The church starts to “marry” the world after Constantine makes Christianity the state religion. This finger is the ring finger for wedding rings. Constantinople is the heart of Eastern Orthodoxy that this stage stands for. The finger is much taller than the pinky finger – and so this church is rebuked for having Nicolaitans, the false “apostolic” claimants who raise themselves up as grand religious leaders. As the fingers of a workman or farmer can be expected to get dirty doing the job, so this church is dirty. It’s accused of ensnaring the Christians into condemnation (by asceticism and legalism), sacrificing to idols (by Orthodox icons, Mary-worship, Eucharistic re-sacrifce) and fornication (by forbidding marriage by religious and divorced persons).
- Thyatira – Roman Catholicism: The middle finger is the highest finger, perhaps strongest of the 4 fingers, is in the middle of the hand, but with a tip that extends so far it is subject to injury. Likewise, the Roman church has become the most influential church, sits in the middle between Orthodoxy and the Protestant denominations, and has the highest Nicolaitan, the Pope, who will eventually be the antichrist and get smashed. This finger works hard but shares the dirty deeds of the Orthodox in idols and fornication. It is also the middle-finger for the infamous obscene gesture – and corresponds to the rebuke for Mariolatry, for which it is doomed to get a thrashing.
- Sardis – Lutheran/Reformed/Anglican. The pointing or index finger represents Protestantism, and likewise we arrive at the Church that points out with intelligence the correct doctrines that the Reformation restored. It’s nearly as strong as the middle finger, and so withstood and thrived despite the ravages of Rome’s persecutions. Yet it likewise is dirty in doing the work – and so mainline Protestantism has become today an unrepentant and filthy mess. It’s also raised up in height, but is lower than both the ring and middle fingers, showing that it’s leadership has somewhat less of a Nicolaitan problem. This finger acts together with the thumb in holding the pen for writing, and so it was the joint effort of the Anglicans and the Puritans to produce the King James Bible.
- Philadelphia – Puritans/Bible Churches/Baptists: The thumb is stronger than the fingers, but lower than any of them, and it actually opposes them. So the Bible churches have been in opposition to all the the other churches, rebuking them for their errors. When a man holds a Bible up in his hand before his face, the thumb is the digit he looks and sees holding it. The King James Bible has been held by these churches. As we appreciate our thumb, so this church is the best church, holding God’s word, productive, and without rebuke. It’s positioned away from the fingers so not exposed to the same dangers or dirt – and likewise this church is promised to be saved from the tribulation. “Thumbs up/down” is the rendering of judgment by Caesar – and this church has the victory over the Synagogue of Satan.
- Laodicea – modernistic apostate mega-churches. Christ says he spews out this church so its location is on the hand where one would spit, which would be in the middle of the hand, in the palm. The palm has no finger, and modern churches have the complete opposite of Nicolatians, they have ultra casual “Pastor Joe” types that look and act almost like bums. The palm is where coins and goods are held, and so this church is very wealthy and hoarding. The palm connects all the fingers, is in the very middle, and doesn’t oppose any of them. So Christ says they are neither hot nor cold, like the apostate ecumenical movement that has infected all the churches today.
The thumb and pinky are on either side of the hand and there are similarities between these churches in that both mention the Synagogue of Satan, both are without rebuke.
The wrist and end of the middle finger are both in the middle position yet opposites – and so the first church had the actual apostles and opposed the Nicolatian false apostles, while the Roman church became the worst example of this sin with the pope. Between them two is the palm – the Laodicean extreme without leadership and everyone doing whatever they feel like.
This study of the right hand shows that there are many fascinating corollaries between the design of the human hand and the history of Christianity as foretold by Jesus Christ in his letters to the 7 churches.
In closing, this study suggests that there are even more insights to be gained by the indication that the phrase “right hand” in the Bible is often code for the Church. The phrase appears in over 160 verses so there is a lot worthy of further consideration.
2 Samuel 3:10 “To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer–sheba.”
The northern kingdom was called “Israel” and was taken away:
1 Kings 11:31 “And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:”
1 Kings 11:37-39 “And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. 38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee. 39 And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.”
The Kingdom of Israel to cease:
Hosea 1:4 “And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.”
The Kingdom of the line of Judah cursed:
Jeremiah 22:28-30 “Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? 29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD. 30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.”
So the Kingdoms of Israel (750 BC) and Judah (606 BC) both taken by the Gentiles:
Lamentations 2:9 “Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.”
The vision of the time of the reigning Gentile Kingdoms was given to the King of Babylon and interpreted by Daniel:
Daniel 2:44-45 “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
Jesus was born to be the King of the Jews:
Matthew 2:2 “Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
Luke 1:31-33 “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Satan alleged that the power and glory of the world’s kingdoms had been delivered to him:
Luke 4:5-6 “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.”
Jesus said he would restore the kingdom of Israel:
Luke 22:30 “That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
His kingdom would include Gentiles:
John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
Matthew 8:11-12 “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
John 11:51-52 “And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”
The disciples asked him when:
Acts 1:6 “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
Jesus said he was King of the Jews, but his kingdom was not yet of this world:
Mark 15:2 “And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.”
John 18:33-34 “Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?”
John 18:35-37 “Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”
The Jews rejected their King, choosing instead Caesar and Barabbas:
John 19:14-15 “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Cæsar.”
Matthew 27:20-23 “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. 22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. 23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.”
John 18:39-40 “But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.”
The Jews accepted the guilt:
Matthew 27:25 “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”
Jesus will rule over the Jews with fury poured out:
Ezekiel 20:33-38 “¶ As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: 34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. 36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. 37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.”
Psalms 65:5 “By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:”
And over the Gentiles:
Psalms 98:2-3 “The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. 3 He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.”
Isaiah 52:9-10 “¶ Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”
Acts 13:46-47 “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.”
Isaiah 49:5-7 “¶ And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. 6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. 7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.”
The Kingdoms (plural) of this world all belong to Jesus Christ:
Revelation 11:15 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 ¶ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
And we shall reign with him forever:
Daniel 7:27 “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
Revelation 1:5-7 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
And not just on Earth, but over the entire universe:
Colossians 1:16-20 “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
Ephesians 1:20-23 “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
And Christ’s enemies shall perish:
Luke 19:27 “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”
Psalms 2:9-12 “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
Christ Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords:
Acts 5:31 “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
Galatians 6:15-16 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.”
1 Timothy 6:14-16 “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”
Revelation 17:14 “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
Incense is mentioned several times in scripture, and other than the fact that it makes smoke, I’ve been ignorant of what exactly it is and how it works. Instead of continuing to ignore it as something spooky and weird, I decided to de-mystify the topic by finally figuring out what it is exactly.
Incense was part of Old Testament Jewish rituals, representing prayer and the Holy Spirit, and so now that we have the true substance knowing Christ himself, it is no longer necessary that we observe such weak shadows of those things which were to come and have come already. Religious bells and smells are a poor substitute for the real thing.
That being said, it is interesting to find out how exactly incense works, and so to understand the intended typology better. Also, incense and censors are still mentioned in the Book of Revelation, so we can’t say it is something that has been prohibited or made completely inappropriate by the advent of the New Covenant.
Hebrews 9:9-10 “Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.”
Like anything else, it can either be good or bad depending on the intent and the context in which it is used. If it is used as “magic” then it’s just paganism, but if certain churches use it as part of the solemnity and order of their meetings, then I wouldn’t fault them just for doing it – rather I’d fault them for combining it with so much idolatry and religious nonsense that it is part of an elaborate outward religious system that substitutes for true Bible-Christianity, making people think they are saved without ever introducing them to Christ.
The Jews used incense in their worship of idols:
Jeremiah 44:17-18 “But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. 18 But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.”
Ezekiel 8:10-11 “So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. 11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.”
Incense is made of dried plant substances, like resin and bark. In the Bible only familiar types of “sweet” incense were allowed. The “perfume” mentioned in the following passage apparently describes the ingredients to be used for the incense:
Exodus 30:34-35 “¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight: 35 And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy:”
[“Apothecary” is an old word for pharmacist.]
In contrast, Chinese and Indian incense used in their heathenism has a wide variety of smells: spicy, pungent, woody (sandalwood), bitter, medicinal (camphor), floral, etc. Pagan incense is often mixed with combustible material into a paste, dried into a shape, then an edge is lit on fire, the fire is put out, and it is left to smoulder.
Bible sweet incense was not burned directly in that manner, rather it is placed on top of burning coals, like cooking, and the rising heat releases the aromatic resins as smoke. Charcoal is used because it burns clean without releasing any smoke or odour of its own.
The Temple’s incense altar was to burned upon twice daily and to be consecrated with blood once every year:
Exodus 30:7-10 “And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations. 9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. 10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.”
John the Baptist’s father Zacharias was the priest in the Temple performing that annual function when he encountered an angel:
Luke 1:9-13 “According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. 11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.”
A mound of salt is apparently often used as a base to hold the charcoal and to dissipate the heat.
All the ritualistic branches of Christianity use some incense, but the Orthodox church seems to be particularly enthusiastic about it, and as it was for Demetrius and the silversmiths of Acts 19:23-28, it’s a big business.
Incense is smoke so too much will trigger allergies and coughing, but I suppose we all enjoy the pleasant smell of something nice like pine and frankincense odours. Along with stain-glassed windows and organ music it certainly can add to the carnal delight of a religious service – a sensual experience. Being fleshly doesn’t make it necessarily bad, but it is if one mistakes the sensual for something spiritual.
If there is incense in heaven, I sure I will enjoy it, but here and now it seems a little bit creepy and paganish when used in religious ceremonies. I have a hard time thinking of smelly smoke-clouds as something “Christian” – it seems more like a bar with cigarettes.
For the enjoyment of burning-smells, I’d much rather praise the Lord over a wood fire or a steak on the barbecue.
Here’s an Orthodox video promoting incense:
Most Protestants and Baptists believe in the eternal security of the believer – because the person received the new birth and eternal life by faith in Christ.
The Pope is apparently now also preaching eternal security – a salvation that cannot be lost – but not based upon belief – rather based on the ritual of baptism – eternal life by having been sprinkled with some water as an infant:
… The images of the tomb and of the maternal womb referring to the font are in fact very incisive to express what a great thing happens through the simple gestures of Baptism. I like to quote the inscription that is found in the old Roman Baptistery of the Lateran, on which one reads in Latin this expression, attributed to Pope Sixtus III: “Mother Church gives birth virginally, through water, the children she conceives by the breath of God. Those of you reborn from this font, hope for the Kingdom of Heaven.” It’s beautiful: the Church that has us born, the Church that is womb, is our Mother through Baptism.
If our parents have given us earthly life, the Church has regenerated us to eternal life. We have become children in His Son Jesus (Cf. Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5-7). On each one of us also, reborn of the water and of the Holy Spirit, the celestial Father has his voice resound with infinite love, which says: “You are my beloved son” (Cf. Matthew 3:17). This paternal voice, imperceptible to the ear but very audible to the heart of one who believes, accompanies us throughout our life, without ever abandoning us. Throughout life the Father says to us: “You are my beloved son, you are my beloved daughter.” God love us so much, as a Father, and He doesn’t leave us alone. This from the moment of Baptism. Reborn as children of God, we are so forever! Baptism, in fact, isn’t repeated, because it imprints an indelible spiritual mark: “No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation” (CCC, 1272). The mark of Baptism is never lost! “Father, but if a person becomes a brigand, of the most famous, who kills people, who commits injustices, doesn’t the mark go away? “ No. To his own shame that son of God does those things, but the mark doesn’t go away. And he continues to be a son of God who goes against God, but God never disowns His children. Have you understood this last thing? God never disowns His children. Shall we repeat it all together? “God never disowns His children.” A bit louder, as I’m deaf and I didn’t understand: [They repeat louder] “God never disowns His children.” There, that’s fine.
Incorporated in Christ through Baptism, the baptized are, therefore, conformed to Him, “the first-born among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). Through the action of the Holy Spirit, Baptism purifies, sanctifies, justifies, to form from many only one Body in Christ (Cf. 1 Corinthians 6:11; 12:13). The chrismal anointing expresses it, “which is sign of the royal priesthood of the baptized and of his aggregation to the community of the people of God“ (Rite of the Baptism of Children, Introduction, n. 18, 3). Therefore, the priest anoints with the sacred chrism the head of every baptized, after having pronounced these words, which explain its meaning: “God himself consecrates you with the chrism of salvation, so that, inserted in Christ, Priest, King and Prophet, you are ever members of His Body for eternal life” (Ibid., n. 71).
The Pope is being perfectly logical, based on his erroneous idea that baptism in water imparts the “new birth” it must be eternal and can never be lost: however this is considered the Catholic heresy of “presumption.” It also ignore the fact that no Catholic can trust his baptism because he doesn’t know whether the priest that conducted it had the requisite “intention” in mind – and if that element was lacking the baptism failed and the Catholic remains damned in “original sin.”
In reality, salvation is not by a baptism ritual – it is by belief in Christ. Our baptism is spiritual “into Christ” not into water. The water is just an outward ritual. But having been saved by faith, you are given the new birth, and therefore eternally saved.