Tag: silence in heaven
Scripture reading for December 17th: Revelation 8:1-13
As the Lamb opened the seventh seal on the scroll, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour! (Revelation 8:1) The number ‘seven’ is a special number to the Hebrew people. It represented completion and fullness. It was the number of rest from the story of creation and the day of rest for the people of God, Israel. This silence signified rest, completion, and anticipation of the opening of the scroll by the Lamb.
After the silence, seven angels appeared before the throne and they were given seven trumpets. John then noticed another angel, “who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8:3-5)
This description from before the throne of God helps us as saints to understand how our prayers ascend before God. God loves to hear from His children. Their prayers are a sweet fragrance to Him, symbolized by the incense offered. John knew that the golden altar of incense in the temple was right before the veil. It was there that the priests offered daily prayers and burned incense. He was now seeing the reality of this in heaven!
In response to those prayers from earth, heaven shook the earth with fire from the altar! Prayers are powerful and release power from heaven to bring help and assistance in the battle against evil and sin. We must always pray and not faint. God’s delight is to help those who call on Him in trouble! (Psalm 50:15)
The silence in heaven was broken by the sounding of the seven trumpets. As each one sounded, judgments fell on the earth. These all seem to come in response to the prayers going up before God! Four angels sounded trumpets and then John saw an eagle flying in midair and calling out: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels.” (Revelation 8:13)
Scripture reading for December 26th: Revelation 8-9
As Revelation chapter 8 begins, the seventh seal was opened in heaven by the Lamb. I heard a questionable story about that. The person said that we can know for sure that no women will be saved! This is because there is silence in heaven for half an hour–no woman could keep quiet for that long!
This seal reveals seven angels who have seven trumpets standing before the throne of God. Another angel, who had a golden censer, stood at the golden altar right in front of the throne and was given incense to offer. We are told that this incense was the prayers of the saints. Our prayers come before God’s throne in heaven. They have the fragrance to the Lord like sweet incense. Our cries, worship, adoration and thanksgiving have a special place close to the seat of all power in the universe!
The response to these prayers is instructive! The angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the golden altar and then hurled it to the earth. This act produced thunder, lightning and an earthquake. Prayers have the power to move God to shake the earth! We must never take the privilege of prayer lightly!
Then the angels with the trumpets began to sound them one by one. With each trumpet blast, there was a corresponding reaction on earth that brought judgment and destruction. As John watched the first four angels and the events on earth, an eagle that was flying in midair spoke in a loud voice. “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the last three angels.” (Revelation 8:13)
The fifth trumpet sounded and John saw a star that had fallen from the sky. This star was some sort of angel for he was given the key to the Abyss. When he opened it smoke rose and darkened the sky. Out of this smoke, creatures like locusts with the sting of a scorpion covered the earth. They were instructed to sting only those without the seal of God. Their sting brought horrible suffering but not death, although death was desired by the bitten!
The sixth trumpet brought the release of four angels of death who were bound by the river Euphrates. These angels brought death to a third of mankind. They loosed what looked like an army of mounted troops numbering two hundred million. These troops killed the third of mankind with plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur. Even this display of mighty power did not cause any of the rest of mankind to repent of their demon worship, idolatry, murder or sexual immorality!
These trumpet judgments were inflicted on the unsaved of the earth. They were so hardened in their sins that they refused to repent! These chapters of Revelation show us the power of prayer and the protection of the seal of God on those who are saved. They warn us of the power of sin to blind and harden us. Check your heart today!