Today, Wednesday April 20
“Silence in Heaven” Revelation 8:1-6 “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He 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. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. 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.”
Today we will begin our study on Revelation 8 which means we are about one-third of our way through the Book of Revelation. Over the years I’ve heard many people say that when they read the Book of Revelation it scares them. Some have even said that they don’t read Revelation because they can’t understand it and it makes them fearful.
Well, my friend, there is no reason for the genuine believer in Jesus Christ to be afraid. Over and over again throughout the Scriptures whenever God was about to reveal His message that concerned future events we read the words, “Fear not”, or “Do not be afraid”. Abram was told this in Genesis 15:1 as God revealed His plan to him concerning his future family. Joshua heard these words on many occasions when he was told to lead the nation to victory in Canaan (Joshua 8:1). Gideon heard these words when he was told he was to deliver the people of Israel from their enemies. Zacharias, Mary and the shepherds were told not to be afraid as the Angel of God was unveiling the birth of Jesus to them (Luke 1:13, 30 and 2:10).
As God is unveiling and revealing His plans for the final days of the earth as we know it, we do not need to be afraid. I’m convinced the true follower of Jesus will be raptured before the judgments of the Seven Year Tribulation begin to fall on earth and its inhabitants. But if you are not sure about your salvation, you should have tremendous fear which should motivate you to get your heart right with God and make sure! Also, this fear is a good thing to prompt us to prepare for the coming of the Lord and cause us to think about the way we are living our life. This fear should drive us to make sure our family and friends know the Lord!
As we see the crisis and chaos in the world around us today, the Book of Revelation should assure us that God is in control, and He will take care of everything in His time. I am personally enjoying our study in Revelation and learning so much. For some reason it seems like the Lord is helping me to understand the book of Revelation in a way that I never have before. I think it is because we are getting very close to the end of this age and Jesus is coming soon!
In Revelation 6, we saw the first six seals of the seven-sealed book opened by the Lamb which gave us the beginning events of the Tribulation period. In Chapter 7, the 144,000 Jews that believe in the Lord by the preaching of the two witnesses (Revelation 11) are sealed and protected. They continue to share the Gospel to the multitudes that will get saved as a result of their preaching. Many or maybe most of these are martyred for their faith and John sees them in heaven standing before the throne rejoicing and praising the Lamb.
Now when we come to chapter 8, right after the rest of the hosts in heaven had joined them in this worshiped of the Father and the Lamb with a tremendous volume of praise (Rev. 7:10-12), the seventh seal is opened (8:1). But when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, heaven was silent for about thirty minutes. John does not tell us what caused the silence, but several possibilities exist. The scroll had now been opened completely, and perhaps even turned over; and all of heaven could see God's glorious plan unfolding. Perhaps the heavenly hosts were simply awestruck at what they saw was about to happen.
This silence is the lull before the storm of the seven trumpet judgments that are about to sound! Maybe this is the time we should be silent and let the Lord speak to our hearts about what we should be doing to prepare for His coming!