392. Verse 3. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer, signifies spiritual worship, which is from the good of charity by the truths of faith. By "the altar" at which the angel stood, and by "the golden censer" which he had in his hand, is signified the worship of the Lord from spiritual love, which worship is from the good of charity by the truths of faith. With the sons of Israel there were two altars, one without the tent, and the other within it; the altar without the tent was called "the altar of burnt-offering," because burnt-offerings and sacrifices were offered upon it. The altar within the tent was called "the altar of incense," as also "the golden altar." There were two altars, because the worship of the Lord is from celestial love and from spiritual love; from celestial love by those who are in His celestial kingdom, and from spiritual love by those who are in His spiritual kingdom; concerning these two kingdoms, see above (n. 387). Concerning the two altars, see the following passages in Moses: concerning the altar of burnt offering see Exod. 20:24-26; 27:1-8; 39:38-39; Lev. 7:1-5; 8:11; 16:18, 19, 33-34; concerning the altar of incense see Exod. 30:1-10; 31:8; 37:25-29; 40:5-26; Num. 7:1. That altars, censers, and incense, were seen by John, was not because such things exist in heaven, these were only representative of the worship of the Lord there; the reason is, because such things were instituted among the sons of Israel, and are therefore often mentioned in the Word; and that church was a representative church, for all things of their worship represented and thence they now signify the Divine celestial and spiritual things of the Lord, which are of His church in the heavens and on the earth.
 The same is therefore signified by the two altars spoken of in the Word, in the following passages:
O send out Thy light and Thy truth, let them lead me to Thy habitation, and I will go to the altar of God, unto God (Ps. 43:3-4).
I will wash my hands in innocence; and so will I compass Thy altar, O Jehovah; and I will make the voice of thanksgiving to be heard (Ps. 26:6-7).
The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron upon the tablet of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars (Jer. 17:1-2).
God is Jehovah, Who enlighteneth us; bind the festal-offering with cords unto the horns of the altar (Ps. 118:27).
In that day shall there be an altar in the midst of the land of Egypt (Isa. 19:19).
"The altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt," signifies the worship of the Lord from love in the natural man.
The thistle and the thorn shall come up upon their altars (Hos. 10:8).
By this is signified worship from evil and from the falsities of evil. (Besides other places; as Isaiah 27:9; 56:6, 7; 60:7; Lamentations 2:7; Ezekiel 6:4-6, 13; Hosea 8:11; 10:1, 2; Amos 3:14; Psalms 51:19; 84:3; Matthew 5:23, 24; 23:18-20).
 Since the worship of the Lord was represented and thence signified by "the altar," it is evident that by "altar" here in Revelation nothing else is meant, and also elsewhere; as:
I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God (Rev. 6:9).
The angel stood and said, Measure the temple of God and the altar, and them that adore therein (Rev. 11:1).
I heard another angel from the altar, saying, True and just are Thy judgments (Rev. 16:7).
Since representative worship, which was performed chiefly upon two altars, was abrogated by the Lord when He came into the world, because He Himself opened the interiors of the church; therefore it is said in Isaiah:
In that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel, and not to the altars, the work of his hands (Isa. 17:7-8).