i’m terribly pleased that you’re dialoging with me! it’s refreshing to disagree and still be able to discuss charitably! you are truly a credit to those who believe as you do. thank you.
[quote=EA_Man]The exegesis goes like this: there are three examples of petionary prayer in Revelations…but [nowhere] in 5:8 does John specify that he HEARD the prayers.
true, the specific mechanism of audibiltity is not long dwelled upon; the elders not having physical bodies, it’s not surprising. the fact remains, however, that those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth, and that’s impossible to get around. thank you for realizing this with your next paragraph.
[quote=EA_Man] But to be charitable, let’s SAY that this is how prayers are literally conveyed by the “saints” … If that’s true, then how do you know which saints have been enabled by God for this task? And if they all can then why doesn’t John specify that he saw all the inhabitants of Heaven with a bowl of incense?
you’re going to hate this answer: because the church says i can believe it, i know they can. to explain: the mechanism is there in scripture, the example is plain, the meaning obvious. the saints in heaven are aware of our prayers, and they bring them to God. only twenty-four are pictured that way, you say: revelations is extremely polyvalent, including numerical symbology along with the plain sense of the words. while i claim absolutely no knowledge about the full symbology of these numbers apart from the 12 tribes of israel + the 12 apostles, i believe they are symbolic of many, many more. i think this is a very credible position to take (and could try and explain more, if you would like), but i understand if you disagree. regardless, the church has told us dogmatically that while these are specifically pictured, these are not the only ones who God will hear - indeed, He will hear us all (though our efficacy is not equal), as we are all one in Christ Jesus, living or dead. i can believe this because the church, who dogmatically defined this, has been empowered with the credibility of God to bind and loose on all matters of faith and morals. told you you’d hate that answer.
[quote=EA_Man] Further, Catholics like to point to the woman in Rev 12 as being Mary, okay. Why then isn’t the woman portrayed with a bowl full of incense? Or with having any interaction with the Lamb or the Ancient of Days?
you’re right, mary isn’t portrayed as having a bowl of incense, but as having a crown of stars with the moon under her feet and as being the ark of the new covenant (end of rev 11) - i would say that’s a little better. and i would say that her giving birth to Him in rev 12 would be considered “something to do” with the Lamb. finally, because we know mary was at EVERY key moment of salvation history with her Son, and because it’s fortold in gen 3:15, we can know that she will be there with Him at the end of days, ever the queen mother, always guiding her children (rev 12:17) to her Son and commanding them to “do as He tells you”. it’s safe to say that she pleads for us, her children, to our eldest brother Jesus to have mercy on us.
[quote=EA_Man] And lastly, does the fact that an angel is holding the bowl of incense in chp. 8 mean that we can pray to angels too?
you bet! feel free! i’ll tell you what - pray to God and tell Him that you’re sorry if what you’re going to do offends Him, but you have to know if this really is what He desires of you. He will understand. From there, go to a catholic church, let the art and architecture cast your thoughts heavenly, and pray the rosary. Have a specific request in mind, and ask the blessed mother to bring your prayer to God. just as Jesus didn’t refuse His mother at Cana, He won’t refuse her if you commit your prayer to her. don’t be silly and ask for world peace, a million dollars, and a helicopter - ask for what you would reasonably ask God for, as this prayer will wind up with Him. be serious, and be specific. even if this is all houy, you can at least get the chance to see what the rosary is, and how it’s scripturally based and centered on Jesus. at the end, you can ask God for His forgiveness again if what you did offended Him. just be open to the possibility of it NOT offending Him! finally…wait and see!
[quote=EA_Man] As you correctly observed, these chapters do run together.
sorry about that. in re-reading, i notice that i was agreeing with you - i didn’t mean to agree so vigorously! HA!
may almighty God be with you, always,