Revelation Chapter 8:1

Revelation 8:1 – When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Revelation 6 ends with the Lord opening the sixth Seal judgment. Chapter 7 is an interlude that takes John back to a time before any of the seals are open after the rapture of the Church. In this chapter, John goes back to the main narrative of Revelation, when the Lord opens the seventh seal. This last Seal judgment is “silence in Heaven for about half an hour” and includes the seven Trumpet judgments.

“The Seventh Seal”: This seal includes not only an earthquake, but the 7 trumpet judgments (8:1-9, 21; 11:15), and the 7 vial judgments (16:1-21), with the vial judgments flowing out of the seventh trumpet and coming in rapid succession just before Christ’s return (see note on 6:1).

“Silence in heaven”: The silence of awe and anticipation at the grim reality of the judgments, God is about to unleash.

The significance of this silence is twofold:

(1) It is entirely opposite the usual sound pattern of heaven; and

(2) It is the result of the revelation by Jesus Christ to the angelic hosts concerning what is about to fall on the earth.

The opening of the seventh seal introduces the 7 trumpet judgments, which are all judgments of God sent on the earth. In these judgments, God is exclusively the sender and people are exclusively receivers. These judgments are so terrible that the angels stand breathless in wonder.

Do you think those who reject Jesus Christ so easily today would remain “silent” if they knew the horrible doom of judgment that is coming upon this earth and upon them because they are rejecting God’s Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ?

In the prior verses of Revelation, heaven is seen to be a joyous and worshipful place, with choruses singing, Trumpets blaring, celestial beings crying out, but suddenly there comes this ominous silence.

As horrible as the seal judgments were, the trumpet judgments will be worse.

Silence in Heaven is not the norm. Heaven is full of praise and worship from those who surround the throne:

Revelation 4:8-11 – The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”

Revelation 5:11-12 – Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

Those around the throne are able to stand in the Lord’s presence during times of praise and worship, but also during times of judgment:

Psalms 76:7-11 – You, Yourself, are to be feared; and who may stand in Your presence When once You are angry? You caused judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared and was still, when God arose to judgment, to deliver all the oppressed of the earth. Selah Surely the wrath of man shall praise You; with the remainder of wrath You shall gird Yourself. Make vows to the LORD your God, and pay them; let all who are around Him bring presents to Him who ought to be feared.

Silence is a show of reverence before the Lord:

Habakkuk 2:20 – “But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.”

Zechariah 2:13 – “Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!”

Those around the throne in the Lord’s presence are reverent in silence to His judgment during the “day of the Lord,” or the Tribulation period:

Zephaniah 1:7 – Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; for the day of the LORD is at hand, for the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests.

The Lord is not silent in His judgment:

Psalms 50:3-4 – Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people…

Isaiah 65:6-7 – “Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will repay – even repay into their bosom – your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together,” Says the LORD, “Who have burned incense on the mountains and blasphemed Me on the hills; therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom.”

Jeremiah 25:30-32 – “Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say to them: ‘The LORD will roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise will come to the ends of the earth – for the LORD has a controversy with the nations; He will plead His case with all flesh. He will give those who are wicked to the sword,’ says the LORD.” Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, disaster shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the farthest parts of the earth.”

Revelation 8:5-6 – Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Revelation 11:18-19 – “The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth.” Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

Revelation 16:17-18 – Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voicecame out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.

As mentioned earlier, silence in Heaven shows a reverence toward God due to impending judgment. This also shows that God has refrained from continuing judgment after the sixth Seal, during the time of silence in Heaven. The following passages support the notion that when God is silent He refrains from judgment or vengeance:

Psalms 35:22-24 – This You have seen, O LORD; do not keep silence. O Lord, do not be far from me. Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication, to my cause, my God and my Lord. Vindicate me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.

Psalms 83:1-3, 13-15 – A Song. A Psalm of Asaph. Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones…. O my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind! As the fire burns the woods, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire, so pursue them with Your tempest, and frighten them with Your storm.

Psalms 109:1-5, 7, 15, 20 – To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Do not keep silent, O God of my praise! For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful have opened against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers, but I give myself to prayer. Thus they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love…. When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his prayer become sin…. Let them be continually before the LORD, that He may cut off the memory of them from the earth…Let this be the LORD’s reward to my accusers, and to those who speak evil against my person.

Silence in Heaven lasts for a “half-hour.” Recall from Revelation 3:10, the “hour of trial” is the Tribulation period. This period will last for seven years. This 7-year time frame is laid out in Daniel 9:27, as discussed later in this section, and in Ezekiel 39:9.

The 7-year time frame is also supported in numerous prophetic parallels found throughout Scripture, as shown below. It is important to note that parallels and patterns should never be used to determine doctrine, but rather to support what has been already been revealed by the Holy Spirit through the clear teaching of the Word. (Click here to skip parallels and continue with commentary):

 

    • Type = Laban gave Jacob trouble when he deceptively gave Leah to him as wife. Jacob had to wait 7 days before getting his beloved Rachel as wife (Genesis 29:27-30).Parallel = The time of “Jacob’s Trouble” is another name for the Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:1-7). After the 7-year Tribulation, in the Millennium, God will annul His divorce and restore His marriage to Israel, His chosen people (Jeremiah 3).

 

 

    • Type = God did not heal the waters until 7 days after He struck the Nile River with blood (Exodus 7:19-25).Parallel = God will spring forth healing waters from Jerusalem after the 7-year Tribulation (Ezekiel 47:1-9).

 

    • Type = God commanded Israel to eat unleavened bread for 7 days, before eating a feast for the Lord after the Passover (Exodus 13:6-7).Parallel = It will take 7 years for Israel as a nation to accept the sinless “unleavened” bread of life (John 6) as their Messiah (Jeremiah 31:31-36, Zechariah 12:10, Romans 11:25-27) before they join the marriage supper of the Lamb as guests at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 19:9).

 

 

    • Type = God warned Israel He would punish them 7 times for their sins with famine, pestilence, wild beasts, and the sword (Leviticus 26); the four severe punishments of God (Zechariah 6:6-7).Parallel = The fourth horsemen of the apocalypse arrives near the beginning of the Tribulation, bringing the four severe punishments from God (Revelation 6:7-8). The consequences of this judgment will surely continue through the 7-year Tribulation and become compounded by later judgments.

 

    • Type = God plagued Moses’ sister Miriam with leprosy for 7 days and she was shut out of the camp until she was healed and considered clean again (Numbers 12). Also of note, a person that had abnormal spots on their skin had to wait 7 days for a priest to declare them clean (Leviticus 13:1-37), a woman bearing a male child was unclean for 7 days (Leviticus 12:2), and a person defiled by touching a dead body was not considered clean for 7 days (Numbers 19 & 31).Parallel = God will shut Israel as a nation out of the marriage during the 7-year Tribulation (Matthew 25:1-13). God will then cleanse them of their iniquity (Jeremiah 33).

 

    • Type = A garment covered in a mold or fungus was isolated 7 days before either the priest considered it unclean or ordered it burned in the fire (Leviticus 13:47-59)Parallel = At the end of the 7-year Tribulation, those who reject Christ remain as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and are sent to torments to await the final judgment (Matthew 13:24-30). Those who accept Christ as overcommers will receive white robes (Revelation 3:56:117:919:14) and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus, the High Priest according the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7 & 9).

 

    • Type = Every 7 years was the “year of release”; debts were to be cancelled, the land was to rest in Sabbath, and God commanded that the Law be read before Israel during the Feast of Tabernacles in the same year (Deuteronomy 15 & 31).Parallel = After the 7-year Tribulation, the Feast of Tabernacles will celebrate the beginning of the Millennium, which begins God’s eternal rest (Hebrews 3-4), where Gods’ people will be prosperous (Isaiah 65) and have His Law written on their hearts (Jeremiah 31).

 

    • Type = On the 7th day of marching around Jericho, the men in Joshua’s army marched around the city 7 times (Joshua 6:4).Parallel = There will be a 7-year Tribulation at the dawn of the 7th Millennium (Click here for the “creation week” patterns).

 

    • Type = It took 7 years for Joshua to conquer the Promised Land (calculated from Joshua 14:6-15).Parallel = After 7 years of God’s wrath, Jesus will return and conquer the world (Revelation 19), setting up His earthly Kingdom in the Promised Land (Ezekiel 40-48).

 

 

 

    • Type = The Philistines had the Ark of the Covenant in captivity for 7 months. God plagued the Philistines and destroyed their idol (1 Samuel 5-6).Parallel = Near the end of the 7-year Tribulation, the Ark of the Covenant is seen in Heaven, right before God finishes the plagues of His wrath in the Bowl judgments, taking His rightful place as the one and only true God and King, exalted above all other gods that He will destroy (Revelation 11:19Jeremiah 10:10-11).

 

    • Type = God struck David’s child conceived in adultery with sickness because David broke the Law. David fasted for 7 days until the child died and then ate food (2 Samuel 12).Parallel = God will punish Israel in the 7-year Tribulation due to their transgression of the Law (Daniel 9:24). They will mourn the one they crucified at the end of the Tribulation (Zechariah 12) and then join the marriage supper of the Lamb as guests (Revelation 19:9).

 

 

 

    • Type = After Elijah had the prophets of Baal executed, he told his servant to go look to see if there was a cloud approaching. After the 7th time, a rain cloud was visible which turned into a full-blown storm (1 Kings 18).Parallel = God’s enemies, who continue after idols in the 7-year Tribulation (Revelation 9:20-21) will largely be destroyed when Christ returns on a cloud to battle them in Armageddon by the Word of His mouth, and a severe hail storm (Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26, Luke 21:27Revelation 16:21Revelation 19).

 

    • Type = Elisha prayed over a dead child to revive. The child came back to life and sneezed 7 times, before he opened his eyes (2 Kings 4:32-35).Parallel = God brought Israel back as a nation from the “valley of dry bones.” But there is no breath in them yet (Ezekiel 37:1-8). After the 7-year Tribulation, God will put His breath in them (Ezekiel 37:9-14), pour out His Spirit on them (Joel 2:28-32Zechariah 12:10), and open their eyes, removing the spiritual blindness (Romans 11:25-27).

 

    • Type = Elisha told the commander of the Syrian army to wash in the Jordan River 7 times to become healed of leprosy (2 Kings 5).Parallel = As the Tribulation saints arrive in Heaven throughout the 7-year Tribulation, they will wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb, which cleanses them from sin (Revelation 7:14).

 

 

    • Type = The evil queen Athaliah hijacked the throne to the Kingdom of Judah for 7 years, before Jehoash, the rightful heir, took the throne at the age of 7 years old (2 Kings 11).Parallel = After Jesus takes the 7-sealed scroll, giving Him the rightful ownership of the earth (Revelation 5), the harlot Mystery Babylon, the 10 kings and the beast will hijack His Kingdom for 7 years (Revelation 17).

 

    • Type = After a 7 day feast, King Ahasuerus’ anger burned because the queen refused to come (Esther 1).Parallel = During the 7-year Tribulation, God will pour out His wrath due to His wife, Israel’s disobedience (Jeremiah 3:20, Daniel 9:24).

 

    • Type = Job’s friends mourned for him 7 days because they did not recognize him and saw his suffering was great (Job 2:11-13). God delivered Job from his seven trials (Job 5:19): a raid, flocks killed by fire, servants killed by the sword, children killed in a wind storm, stricken by boils, mocked by his wife, and falsely accused by his friends (Job 1-2).Parallel = By the end of the 7-year Tribulation Israel as a nation will recognize the one whom they pierced as the Messiah that suffered and died for them and mourn for Him (Zechariah 12:10-14). God will deliver Israel’s remnant through the 7-year Tribulation (Micah 2:12, Isaiah 16:1-4Matthew 24:16-19, Mark 13:14-17Revelation 12).

 

    • Type = The Word of the Lord is like silver tried and purified in the furnace for 7 times (Psalms 12:6).Parallel = The Word of the Lord to Zechariah shows that God will bring a third of Israel through the fiery trial of the 7-year Tribulation to refine them like silver (Zechariah 13:9).

 

 

    • Type = Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were Jewish men God saved through the fiery furnace that was made 7 times hotter than normal (Daniel 3:8-25).Parallel = God will save the Jewish remnant through the fiery trial of the 7-year Tribulation (Zechariah 13:9).

 

    • Type = Nebuchadnezzar repented and accepted the God of Daniel after going through a trial period of “7 times.” After this trial, God restored his kingdom to him. (Daniel 4).Parallel = The people of the nations that accept Jesus as the Messiah during the 7-year tribulation will enter the Millennial kingdom (Matthew 25:33-40).

 

    • Type = The first thing Jesus did when He came to Galilee was heal a sick boy of a nobleman. The fever left the boy at the 7th hour (John 4:46-54).Parallel = After the fiery trial of the 7-year Tribulation, God will save and heal the Jewish remnant (Zechariah 13:8-9, Romans 11, Hosea 6:1-2).

Click here for more on prophetic patterns in numbers in Scripture.

God revealed through Daniel, that He gave Israel 70 weeks in which He would punish their transgressing of the Law before the Messiah would come to rule (Daniel 9:24). History has shown us that the 70 weeks are 70 “weeks” of years, or 490 years. There were 483 years from the time of the command to Nehemiah to restore and build Jerusalem after Israel’s exile, until Jesus died.

During those 483 years, God punished Israel under the yoke of Gentile rule. After the cross, God turned away from Israel because they rejected His Son (Romans 11). It only took about forty years for the nation to crumble after God abandoned them. Seven more years are left of the 70 “weeks” of punishment. Today we live in the gap between the 483 years and the last seven years.

Daniel shows us that these last seven years will begin when Israel and the antichrist, or the “prince who is to come” confirm a covenant. The antichrist will break this covenant in the middle of the “week,” or half-way through the Tribulation by defiling the Jewish temple that will be rebuilt before that time:

Daniel 9:26-27 – ….And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”

Daniel gives us more detail about this coming “prince” and his defiling of the temple:

Daniel 11:21-24 – And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue. With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.

Daniel 11:30-31, 36-39 – For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. “So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation….” “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.

Jesus warned about the rise of the antichrist and what he would do to the temple. The Lord also urges the Jews in the future, who witness the antichrist’s abominable act, to flee to the mountains.

Matthew 24:15-16 – “Therefore when you see the ‘ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

Mark 13:14 – “So when you see the ‘ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

The mountains in eastern Jerusalem into Jordan are a desolate wilderness, which is where we see the Jewish remnant flee to later:

Revelation 12:6, 13-14 – Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days…. Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

The time frame that God protects the Jewish remnant in the wilderness is 1,260 days, or a “time and times and half a time,” which is 3 ½ years. This time frame is also 42 months, which is when the antichrist, or the beast reigns after he breaks the covenant in Daniel 9:27, in the “abomination of desolation”:

Revelation 13:4-5 – So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.

Since the “abomination of desolation” marks the midpoint of “Daniel’s 70th Week,” per Daniel 9:27, then the first half of this period is also 3 ½ years. Therefore, if the “hour of trial” is 7 years, then a half-hour would be 3 ½ years. This means the Seal judgments occur in rapid-fire succession at the beginning of the Tribulation, and the Lord withholds His judgment for the rest of the first half of the Tribulation after He breaks the seventh Seal. The Trumpet and Bowl judgments then occur in the second half of the Tribulation as shown below:

Half Hour of Silence
 

As discussed in Revelation 11:2-3, this time frame fits with the 42 months that the Gentiles trample Jerusalem, after the two witnesses arrive right before the middle of the Tribulation. This also makes more sense logically, in that the worst of the judgments occur in the second half of the Tribulation, which Jesus characterized as “great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world” (Matthew 24:21).

This view is in contrast to the popular belief that places two-thirds of the judgments in the first half of the Tribulation, with the last third of the judgments spread over the last half, which would leave the inhabitants of the earth without water for years due to the second and third Bowl judgments (Revelation 16:3-4). Surely “no flesh” could survive (Matthew 24:22) if the Bowl judgments are not reserved for the final days to weeks of the Tribulation due to their extreme severity. Pouring out the Bowl judgments in the final days of the Tribulation resolves this issue and fits with the “half hour of silence” covering the first half of the Tribulation, or “Daniel’s 70th Week,” with the Trumpet judgments covering most of the second half as shown below:

Sealed Scroll

 

Still, 3 ½ years with no judgment directly from God will not bring peace on earth. When God withdraws, He turns people over to their reprobate or “debased” minds and they self-destruct (Romans 1). We see the evidence of this in the rise of the “Mystery Babylon” religion and its subsequent destruction by the antichrist. People will turn their backs on God, and instead follow after a harlot religion to try to fill their religious void, while appealing to the flesh in mystic worship, which serves to satisfy their “vile passions” (Romans 1:24-26). In response, God gives them over to this harlot religion, which is later destroyed by the beast, or antichrist, who enslaves them (Revelation 17).

We find the same destructive pattern in the Old Testament, in the downfall of Israel. God gave Israel over to idolatry and allowed dictators to enslave and exile them. In fact, the punishment under Gentile rule for the kingdom of Judah constitutes 483 years of the 70 Weeks in Daniel, as discussed earlier. The last seven years will finish the transgression for the Jews (Daniel 9:24), and deal with the Gentiles’ transgression of the natural laws (Romans 2:12-16, Isaiah 24:1-6). God will be silent in judgment for 3 ½ years, as He gives the world over to their reprobate minds (Romans 1) in “Mystery Babylon,” and pour out the last two-thirds of judgment in the last 3 ½ years to destroy His enemies and the final Gentile kingdom of the antichrist, in preparation for His Kingdom.

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IMPORTANT
We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.

Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.

Please do not waist another a minute.

No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.

If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.

Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.

If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?

I implore you to do this without delay.

Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.

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