Seventh Seal - Silence In Heaven
Revelation 6 begins with the opening of the seven seals.
Revelation 7 is a break from the destruction that has come upon the earth and will come upon the earth.
Revelation 8:1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand in the presence of God; seven trumpets were given to them. 3 Another angel, with a gold incense burner, came and stood at the altar. He was given a large amount of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the gold altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up in the presence of God from the angel's hand. 5 The angel took the incense burner, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it to the earth; there were rumblings of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. 6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
Revelation 8 begins with the opening of the seventh seal which results in thirty minutes of silence. All activities stop in heaven at the realization and awe of the magnitude of the upcoming judgments God will send to the people on earth.
The opening of the seventh seal reveals the seven trumpet judgments and after that the seven bowls of judgment.
The scene in heaven
There are seven angels standing before God and each angel receives a trumpet.
There is another angel holding a golden censer - Revelation 5:8 HCSB When He took the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
The golden bowl holds the "prayer of the saints." When we pray, our prayers don't float up into space somewhere they go directly to the throne of God.
The angel was given "much incense" which he put in the golden censer to mix with the prayers. The angel offers up the saints prayers at the golden altar before God. The "smoke of the incense" with the prayers of the saints ascends before God.
Psalm 141:1 NASB Lord, I call on You; hurry to help me. Listen to my voice when I call on You. 2 May my prayer be set before You as incense, the raising of my hands as the evening offering.
The prayers of the saints, believers, are not lost or ignored. The answer might be a long time coming or not as you expected but God will answer.
The lifted up prayers are in direct correlation to the fire or hot ash being cast down to the earth which is followed by "noises, thunderings, lightening, and an earthquake". These warn about and precede the coming judgments. Has hot ash been used to precede God's judgment before?
The Warning Before The Storm
Exodus 9:8 NASB Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Take handfuls of furnace soot, and Moses is to throw it toward heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 It will become fine dust over the entire land of Egypt. It will become festering boils on man and beast throughout the land of Egypt." 10 So they took furnace soot and stood before Pharaoh. Moses threw it toward heaven, and it became festering boils on man and beast. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians as well as on all the Egyptians.
God told Moses to throw ash toward heaven and when he did, it caused "festering boils" to come on all of Egypt.
Ezekiel 10:2 NASB The Lord spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, "Go inside the wheelwork beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with hot coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city." So he went in as I watched.
This ash was thrown upon a doomed city. God does not send judgment without warning.
Breakdown Of What Will Take Place
The first six seals are man warring against man. The earthly events will be deemed natural occurrences. They will be out of control normals. Today the natural events are becoming above what we have seen and are called apocalyptic, biblical, etc. to describe their out of the box destruction. But what is coming will be on a scale never experienced before or again.
Jesus describes it like this;
Matthew 24:21 NASB For at that time there will be great tribulation, the kind that hasn't taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again! 22 Unless those days were limited, no one would survive. But those days will be limited because of the elect.
The point is:
1. The world has never experienced anything like what will happen during the tribulation
2. Survival is not possible without the intervention of Christ
3. Christ intervenes because of those who are His
Most of the population will be not be looking or expecting any of this to happen. God is warning today judgment is coming and yet the world is trying to eliminate, replace, and live as if there is no God to judge them for their sins.
Why Does God Warn
He warns us and so this may take place.
Ezekiel 18:23 NASB Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?" This is the declaration of the Lord God. "Instead, don't I take pleasure when he turns from his ways and lives?"
Ezekiel 33:11 NASB Tell them: As I live"—the declaration of the Lord God—"I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked person should turn from his way and live. Repent, repent of your evil ways! Why will you die, house of Israel?
God wants repentance. He wants His free gift of grace to give faith in His Son, Jesus, to be received which results in forgiveness, eternal life, and no longer being a child of God's wrath. But today Jesus, God, is mocked, ridiculed, and represented as a servant to man which is the same as erasing Him.
However, the truth is;
Isaiah 40:8 NASB The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever."
Matthew 24:35 NASB Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
1 Peter 1:24 NASB All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.
Mankind is on a mission that will not only fail but will end in horrible misery.
There is no more silence in heaven once the prayers have come up into the presence of God and the censor filled with fire or hot ash has been cast to heaven. The earth is hearing the warning noises and experiencing an earthquake. The seven angels are ready to sound their trumpets of judgment.
Repent while there is still today for tomorrow maybe to late!