Rev 8:1 And when he opened the seventh seal, there followed a silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
This is like taking the silent breath in and holding it for a moment. This is a poignant pause. We have seen significant happenings here. The sealing of the representative what have you from the tribes which in itself is its own mystery. How on Earth does anyone but God KNOW who these people are and from what lineages and whatever? Only God can do this. There is if you consider this to be like the curses of Deut chapt 28 a good reason for the pause, a time of grace unto repentance. Because when He continues the whole thing ramps up a considerable notch.
If we as believers are in this may we remember who has sent it and BE GRATEFUL.
Rev 8:2 And I saw the seven angels that stand before God; and there were given unto them seven trumpets.
This is the transition now to the next phase. Formerly we opened the scroll which will contain what? Prophesy Edicts or … could this be DANIEL’S REVELATION. Now I know we all can read the writings of Daniel who is not considered a prophet by Judaism because he did not preach. But he was told to SEAL it unto the time of the end. When we look at Daniel and at History leading from Alexander the Great through to Antiochus Epiphanes, a son of a Seleucid king who wound up be reared in Rome of all places, imbued with Roman culture and mythos and honoring Roman gods, not Seleucid or Macedonian/ Medo-Persian gods, who was extremely contemptible. But when we get to chapter twelve it’s almost as if someone stole out a page. Thus we have these verses which seem out of place with everything else. “Dan 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” ,and “Dan 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are shut up and sealed till the time of the end.” Ironically the texts involved seem to be dealing with the final pitched battle of Lucifer and Jesus as it were and the Great White Throne Judgment, or so it is called. That by the way doesn’t happen until after the millennia of rule and the second and final confrontation of Satan and God. Meanwhile the trumps are being distributed.
Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should add it unto the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand.
Now in this piece of action there are images that converge on each other that call to specific images in the Old and New Testaments. I want to point out first the altar. When Mary discovers that the gardener at the tomb is her Lord she is excited to see Him and I would suppose she might have either tried to detain or to touch Him. He warns her off saying He had not as yet ascended to His Father. Later on He has no problem at all being touched. One the Cross He cries the Greek word “teleo”(Strongs Greek 5055) which can be translated among other things as either finished, executed, complete or paid (Jn 19:30) but is it really? Is the completion of all the work of atonement complete? On the Cross He has taken our place and received unto Himself the out poured wrath of the Father as the sacrifice offered up; but in Hebrews He is the High Priest and the High Priest annually does one thing; he brings the blood to the Mercy Seat.(Heb 9:7) We are told to come boldly to the Throne of Grace to receive mercy and obtain grace in time of need. (Heb 4:16) Can you see the connection here? Jesus had to still come before His God (also His Father) as HIGH PRIEST and pour out that blood or essence or whatever it was HE offered up before the Throne of Grace. You see our atonement is IN His SHED BLOOD and that blood was poured out onto the ground from the cross, and from the whipping post. In that the ground had been our “kinsman redeemer” and was thus cursed for our sakes when His blood hit it, it was cleansed, for He has become our “Kinsman Redeemer” for all time. This is but a few aspects of all that He did for us on the Cross.
Now then In the Earthly tabernacle the golden altar of Incense wherein prayer was made stood before the veil to the Holy of Holies wherein was the ARK. In my opinion it would appear that the Ark and the Throne are seen as one and the same. For us the Ark holds the representations of Christ as Priest King and Apostle/Prophet. In this verse we see the real altar of which the Earthly Tabernacle is but a representation. Interesting, no?
The next image is the angel who pours out incense and “prayers of the saints” this would have to be all the prayers from of all time quite possibly or it could be those who are in the persecution or have been persecuted over the centuries, but whatever prayers it is once its offered up the censor is refilled. You see the prayer incense thing went up before God from the Angel’s hand.
Rev 8:5 And the angel taketh the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and cast it upon the earth: and there followed thunders, and voices, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
What is being cast to Earth now is a response. One heavenly censor of unknown proportions full of fire… and here is thunder voices lightening and an earthquake… wait didn’t we just have a massive quake? Well its either an aftershock or another or it could be that in the economy of the book itself certain things tend to wrap together. It could be that this is the quake of the seals that is so devastating. I tend to doubt it but no one got the Incarnation right so how are we to know the actual real time truth of this book? All that is in this study could be nothing more than pure speculation. I hope there is revelation instead. My thought is that this could be aftershocks. Remember a Tectonic plate shift on a global scale will most certainly have aftershocks and then there is the matter of a censor from heaven manifested as (what?) hitting the Earth from whatever angle and its spilling fire. Oh now that will most certainly cause yet another round of shaking. Scripture sits silent as to the things the voices said.
Rev 8:6 And the seven angels that had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Round two is about to commence.