When Silence In Heaven Gives Way to The Sounding of Trumpets

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and more specifically, begins with the first verse of the eighth chapter, and continues through to the twelfth verse of the ninth chapter. When the eighth chapter of this prophetic book opens, it does so with the opening of the seventh seal which was upon the scroll that was found in the hand of the One who sat upon the throne. Upon the opening of this seventh and final seal, the apostle John records how there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. I have to admit that this particular verse has often perplexed, and even confused me. Within the first three chapters of this prophetic book you will find the voice of the Son of God speaking unto the apostle John, and you will find an individual letter written to each of the seven churches within the province of Asia. The entire second and third chapters of this prophetic book are dedicated to the voice and words of the Son of God concerning and regarding these seven churches—the revelation of Himself, the revelation of the individual church, the call to overcome, and the call to hear what the Spirit was speaking unto the churches making up each of these letters. As you come to the fourth and fifth chapters you will find anything but silence ensuing, as the apostle John was ushered into and given a vision of the throne room of heaven, and the tremendous worship that was found in the midst of it. The entire fourth chapter describes the worship of the four and twenty elders, the four living creatures, and the entire host surrounding the throne. The fifth chapter describes the scroll that was found in the right hand of the One who sat upon the throne, and the Lamb which had been slain coming forth and taking the scroll from His right hand. It was and it would be the Lamb of God alone who would be qualified to not only take the scroll from the right hand of the Father, but also to break and open the individual seals, as well as reading the contents contained therein. When the Lamb took the scroll from the right hand of the One who sat upon the throne, the apostle John heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders worshipping the Lamb of God who was slain.

FROM WORSHIP TO SILENCE! As I read the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ I am absolutely and utterly captivated by the tremendous amount of noise that is found in heaven. Within the second and third chapters of this book we find the voice of the Son of God speaking unto the seven churches in the province of Asia, while in the very first verse we find the Son of God speaking directly to the apostle John. In the fourth and fifth chapters we find an overwhelming description of worship that took place before and around the throne—worship that not only included the myriads of angels, but also the beasts and the elders which were before and around the throne. In the sixth chapter of this prophetic book we find the first six of the seven seals being opened, and the ensuing events that would take place as a result. When each of the first four seals were opened, the apostle John heard a voice from before the throne calling forth that which had undoubtedly been prepared for that specific time and purpose. When the fifth seal was opened, we aren’t confronted with the voice of angels, or the voice of the living beasts, or even the voice of elders alike, but a completely different voice. When the fifth seal was opened we find the souls under the altar—those souls which were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held—crying out with a loud voice unto the Lord to avenge their blood which had been shed upon the earth. Perhaps the next sound that was heard in heaven after the apostle John heard the worship that took place before and around the throne was the voice of these souls calling for the avenging of their blood. When the sixth seal was opened, the sound that was heard was not any sound in heaven, but rather a sound in the earth, as the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in dens and in the rocks of the mountains calling for the rocks of the mountains to fall on them, so they would be hidden from the face of Him that sat upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.

Upon coming to the seventh chapter of this prophetic book you will find four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. The apostle John continued to look and saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God—this angel which cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. The sound which we find at the beginning of the seventh chapter is a voice instructing these four angels to not hurt the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees until the servants of God were sealed in their foreheads. The ninth verse of this same chapter marks a powerful transition between the opening of the first six seals, and the seventh seal, for between the opening of the sixth and seventh seal there is a powerful and distinct sound that was heard in heaven. Consider if you will the sound which the apostle John recorded was heard within heaven after the sixth seal had been opened:

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I sad unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:9-17).

In the fourth chapter of this prophetic book we find an account of worship taking place in heaven—worship that proceeded forth from the four and twenty elders, as well as the four living creatures which were before the throne of God day and night. In the fifth chapter we find an account of worship taking place in heaven—worship that would include the four and twenty elders, the four living creatures, and all the angels of heaven. In the seventh chapter we find another account of worship taking place in heaven—this worship, however, would include a great multitude, which no man could number of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, which stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robs, and palms in their hands. THE WORSHIP OF THE FOUR AND TWENTY ELDERS AND OF THE FOUR LIVING CREATURES! THE WORSHIP OF THE FOUR AND TWENTY ELDERS, THE FOUR LIVING CREATURES, AND THE ELDERS OF HEAVEN! THE WORSHIP OF GREAT MULTITUDE OF NATIONS AND PEOPLES BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD IN HEAVEN! Essentially there were three distinct accounts of worship in heaven which were recorded for us within the first seven chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, with this third account being centered upon the nations, the tongues, the people, and the kindred of the earth who worshipped before the throne of God in heaven. The apostle John goes on to include in this great worship procession the angels which stood round about the throne, and about the elders, and the four beasts, and how all these fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God. THERE’S A WHOLE LOT OF WORSHIP GOING ON IN HERE! THERE’S A WHOLE LOT OF WORSHIP TAKING PLACE UP HERE! Within the first seven chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find three separate accounts of worship taking place in heaven, and directly connected to that worship was the taking of the scroll from the right hand of the Father, the opening of the seven seals, the the Revelation of the contents contained therein. There was also heard in heaven four distinct cries calling for each of the four horsemen of the apocalypse to come forth in order that they might fulfill their role and purpose in history upon the earth.

What causes the eighth chapter of this prophetic book to be so incredibly intriguing is that when the seventh seal was opened, something happened in heaven that we find nowhere within the previous seven chapters. While walking upon this earth Jesus spoke of the angels in heaven rejoicing when one soul makes the decision to follow and serve the Christ, and to be born of the Spirit and of water. There is very little indication within Scripture concerning silence in heaven, for we are regularly confronted with the sound and noise of worship being heard before and around the throne. The first verse of the eighth chapter, however, presents us with a completely different picture, as when the seventh seal was opened, there was silence in heaven which lasted about the space of half an hour. I find this to be absolutely and incredibly curious and intriguing, for what would cause heaven to become silent? What would cause all the angels of heaven to be silent rather than continue to engage in their worship of the true and living God? What would cause the four and twenty elders before the throne to be silent for the space of half an hour? What would cause the four living creatures, as well as the great multitude of kindreds, tribes, people and nations to be silent in heaven for the space of half an hour. We know about and have experienced silence upon the earth—especially considering that between the Old and the New Covenants there was a period of four-hundred years, which were known as the “four hundred silent years.” It’s one thing for silence to be heard within and upon the earth—it’s something else altogether for there to be silence in heaven. The fact that there was silence in heaven—especially for the space of half an hour—is rather peculiar, for the text would seem to suggest that all worship of the One who sat upon the throne, and all worship of the Lamb which was slain appeared to have stopped. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder what that silence would have been like, and what that silence would have felt like. What was it like—perhaps the better question is what will it be like—when all of heaven is silent for half an hour? The seventh seal which was found upon the scroll which was once in the right hand of the One who sat upon the throne would bring about silence in heaven for the space of half an hour.

The more I consider this concept of silence in heaven—especially for the period of half an hour—the more I can’t help but consider the fact that this silence was essentially a form of preparation for what was about to take place upon the earth. THE SILENCE BETWEEN THE SEALS AND THE TRUMPETS! When we come to the second verse of this chapter we transition away from the seven seals which were upon the scroll to the seven trumpets which would be sounded by individual angels. Once the seven seals were broken and opened, both heaven and earth would find themselves preparing for the sounding of the seven trumpets. It would be the sounding of each of these trumpets that would unleash and bring upon the face of the earth further judgment of the Lord. Is it possible that the silence which ensued in heaven was preparation for the sounding of seven trumpets? WHEN THE SILENCE OF HEAVEN GIVES WAY TO THE SOUNDING OF TRUMPETS! Scripture is certainly unclear the reason, the cause and even the purpose of this silence in heaven, but what Scripture is clear about is the sounding of the seven trumpets immediately following the opening of the seventh seal, and the silence that ensued as a result. Immediately following the opening of the seventh seal, the seven angels which stood before God were given seven trumpets, which were to be sounded according to the divine will, plan and purpose of the Lord of hosts. What I can’t help but wonder if whether or not the silence in heaven was intended to give way to the sound of the trumpets, or whether the silence of heaven was intended to prepare heaven for the sounding of these seven trumpets. Immediately following the silence in heaven, there would be seven trumpets that would be sounded in heaven—each sound which would correspond, correlate and bring about a direct manifestation of the judgment of God upon the earth. I will admit that the silence which I read about in heaven is perhaps one of the most intriguing and captivating realities within the entire prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ, for the text seems to provide no indication as to why the silence ensued, or even what happened in the midst of the silence. What I will say is that if heaven is silent—even if it is silent for the space of half an hour—it has to be for a really good reason, for something was about to unfold and take place that would dramatically alter the course of human history.

Within this particular passage of Scripture we not only find the seventh seal being opened, but we also find another angel coming down and standing before the altar, having a golden censer in his hand. Unto this angel was given much incense that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. The smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. This particular angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thundering, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. Immediately following the silence in heaven upon the opening of the seventh seal we find seven angels being given trumpets with which they were to sound according to the word and will of the Lord. Before these seven angels could sound the trumpets given unto them, there was another angel who would come forth and offer incense, along with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. It’s actually quite interesting to consider the fact that this altar was before the throne of God in heaven, for this was the pattern that was found in both the Tabernacle and Temple. If you study the layout and patter of both sanctuaries, you will discover that immediately before the Holy of holies, and before the veil which separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was the altar of incense. I can’t help but find within this particular set of verses the original layout and pattern for the Tabernacle and Temple which was found among the people of God in the earth. This particular angel came down with a golden censer, and was given much incense that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. THE THRONE AND THE ALTAR! Before and around the throne continual worship took place both night and day as the four and twenty elders, the four living creatures, the whole angelic host, and the myriad upon myriads of nations, tribes, tongues and people gave themselves to worship the King of kings and the Lord of lords. What we read here in this passage is incense being offered before the throne of God in heaven—incense which was indeed and was in fact the prayers of the saints.

The question that I have to ask is whether or not the prayers of the saints which are mentioned here were the combined prayers of the saints throughout the centuries and millennia, or whether the prayers of the saints mentioned here were all the prayers of the saints at that time upon the earth. It’s worth noting and pointing out that the incense which was in the censer this angel carried represented the prayers of the saints which ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand, yet as this incense was still rising and ascending before the throne of God, this angel took the censer, filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth. The prayers of the saints along with fire of the altar caused the earth to experience thundering, lightnings and an earthquake. It was the silence of heaven, followed by the incense offered by the angel, as the prayers of God ascended before the throne of God that fire from the altar was cast upon the earth. This fire cast upon the earth would produce voices, and thundering, and lightnings, and would set the stage for the seven angles being prepared to sound their trumpets. The silence in heaven would ultimately be followed by fire being cast upon the earth, and thunders and lightnings being experienced upon the earth. There would be voices that would be heard and an earthquake that would be felt within the earth, as the earth was about to thrust into a period of the seven trumpets being sounded. The earth and the inhabitants thereof had just come out of the seven seals which were upon the scroll being opened, and now they were about to be thrust into a period of seven trumpets being sounded. SEVEN SEALS BEING OPENED! SEVEN TRUMPETS BEING SOUNDED! SEVEN VIALS BEING POURED OUT! There have been some who would argue that there is a direct correlation and correspondence between the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven bowls. It’s actually worth noting the presence of the number of seven within the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ—seven churches, seven Spirits of God, seven trumpets, seven seals, seven bowls, seven angels, etc. The prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. When we come to the eighth chapter of this prophetic book we encounter another set of sevens, for now we encounter seven angels and seven trumpets.

“The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up” (Revelation 8:7).

“And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed” (Revelation 8:8-9).

“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters because wormwood; and many men died of the waters because they were made bitter” (Revelation 8:10-11).

“And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound” (Revelation 8:12-13).

“And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death s hall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tailed like unto scorpions, and there were strings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two more hereafter” (Revelation 9:1-12).

Hail and fire mingled with blood—this was the first of the seven trumpets that was blown by one of the seven angels. A great mountain burning with fire being cast into the sea—this was the second of the seven trumpets which were sounded by the second angel. A great star falling from heaven, burning as a lamp, fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of the waters—this was the third trumpet which was blown by the third angel. A third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars—this was the result of the fourth trumpet being blown by the fourth angel. When the first trumpet was sounded, the third part of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. When the second angel sounded, the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life died, and the third part of the ships were destroyed. When the third trumpet was sounded, the third part of the waters—the waters of the rivers and fountains of waters—became wormwood, and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. When the fourth angel sounded, the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars, so that the third part of the day was darkened, and a third part of the night. I can’t help but read these words and see the Lord replicating upon the face of the whole earth that which in the Old Testament was limited to a specific area and geographical location. When you read the Old Testament book of Exodus, you will find the tremendous havoc and chaos the Lord unleashed upon the land of Egypt on behalf of the children of Israel, yet in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find a similar reality and manifestation taking place on a global scale. One of the most profound realities found within the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is that what we read about as taking place within a specific geographical location and region has now moved beyond the borders and boundaries of Egypt, and has broken out upon the whole world.

The prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ Brings us face with judgment on a global scale, as there are no longer borders and boundaries in which the judgment of the Lord operated. Outside of the great flood which consumed and covered the face of the whole earth during the days of Noah, there has never been a period in time when the judgment of the Lord covered and consumed the whole earth. When we read the prophetic book of the Revelation—with the exception of the judgment of mystery Babylon, and even the judgment of the beast, the false prophet, and the dragon—we find the judgment of the Lord coming upon the whole earth and touching many of the inhabitants therein. The prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ brings us face to face with the reality that there is coming a time when judgment will come upon, consume and cover the face of the entire earth. There is coming a point in time when the Lord won’t deal specifically and exclusively with an individual group of people, or even a nation, but will bring judgment upon the face of the earth. The book of the Revelation brings us face to face with the judgment of the Lord coming upon the face of the whole earth—and not just coming on the earth, but touching virtually everything man needs to survive and exist upon the earth. The judgement(s) of the Lord found within this book are judgments that can and will touch the face of the whole earth, and will completely and totally alter the course of man upon the earth. What a powerful warning is found and contained within this book concerning and regarding the days to come when the judgment of the Lord is going to completely and totally consume the face of the whole earth. IN all reality, this is one of the greatest realities that surrounds the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, for there is coming a day when the judgment of the Lord will completely cover and consume the face of the whole earth and threaten the lives of virtually every man, every woman, every child upon the earth.

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