Commentary On Revelation – Chapter 8

When He [the Lamb] broke open the seventh seal, there was silence for about half an hour in heaven.” Rev 8:1.

What is this half an hour of silence in heaven at the time the seventh seal is opened? Let us take time to ponder on it. First of all, if the Barley Group or Elect are “killed” just before the first phase of the Second Coming, i.e. slandered, as we read in Rev 11:7, by the NWO, in order to silence them and they lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days, then how does this half an hour of silence fit in? I believe it has a direct bearing on God’s chosen people, the Elect, in this last segment of time who must also pass a test to prove to the Universal Council or Heavenly Council that humanity can, like Christ, become perfect in character. Just as Jesus had to drink the cup so also will they. Notice: “Soon after they had commenced their earnest cry, the angels, in sympathy, desired to go to their deliverance. But a tall, commanding angel suffered them not. He said, ‘The will of God is not yet fulfilled. They must drink of the cup. They must be baptized with the baptism.” Early Writings, 272. The Elect must go through a Gethsemane experience of their own, as Jesus did. And this has a direct relationship to the silence in heaven, mentioned in Rev 8:1, under the 7th seal. As I was thinking on this I remembered reading about a time when the angels did not play their harps and there was silence in heaven.

It happened in Gethsemane when Jesus prayed that He not have to drink the cup. Three times He prayed, “O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” The LB reads: “My Father ! If this cup cannot go away until I drink it all, your will be done.” The author of the most famous book on the life of Christ evidently saw the Saviour in vision suffering beyond anything ever before witnessed. “Three times has He uttered that prayer. Three times has humanity shrunk from the last, crowning sacrifice. But now the history of the human race comes up before the world’s Redeemer. He sees that the transgressors of the law, if left to themselves, must perish. He sees the helplessness of man. He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission. He will become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer now breathes only submission: ‘If this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.’ Having made the decision, He fell dying to the ground from which He had partially risen. Where now were His disciples, to place their hands tenderly beneath the head of their fainting Master, and bathe that brow, marred indeed more than the sons of men?”

“The Saviour trod the wine press alone, and of the people there were none with Him. But God suffered with His Son. Angels beheld the Saviour’s agony. They saw their Lord enclosed by legions of satanic forces, His nature weighed down with a shuddering, mysterious dread. There was silence in heaven. No harp was touched. Could mortals have viewed the amazement of the angelic host as in silent grief they watched the Father separating His beams of light, love, and glory from His beloved Son, they would better understand how offensive in His sight is sin….In this awful crisis, when everything was at stake, when the mysterious cup trembled in the hand of the sufferer, the heavens opened, a light shone forth amid the stormy darkness of the crisis hour, and the mighty angel who stands in God’s presence, occupying the position from which Satan fell, came to the side of Christ.” Desire of Ages 693.

If the book of Revelation is a guide book for the last segment of time, the last 7 years of this age, then what John wrote is what we need to know right now. Because we are right there on Mt Carmel again with Elijah. At the end of the 7th seal there is another earthquake, Rev 8:5, which I believe is the same earthquake John reports as taking place in Rev 11:13. The events are also parallel in that it is the time of the first phase of the Second Coming of Christ or the Barley Harvest of the Elect. Notice that there is the silence in heaven which takes place at the time the Two Witnesses are killed. Then the seven trumpets follow the seven seals and are actually parallel to them in time, that is, transpiring in the same time frame.

My friend, if you read what has been written regarding what the final Elect will have to go through, to pass the test before they are translated, there is a striking parallel. “The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger–a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God—how few know what it is!” GC 621.

Before my grandmother, Oolah Clemons, died, she told my mother, “Daughter, I have been through the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus.” She was in Mercy hospital in Indianapolis with cancer of the stomach. They gave her cobalt treatments which caused a terrible burning sensation which was extremely painful. Her stomach swelled up so much they had to make incisions on each side to keep her abdomen from bursting. The pain she endured was beyond description. Mother saw how much Grandma had suffered and could not stop crying. She would come home and just break down with uncontrollable sobbing. I remember that time so vividly to this very day even though I was only 6 years of age in 1944. I have often wondered why God’s saints have to suffer so much in times like that. If Grandmother said she had gone through Gethsemane with Jesus then this must have been part of a final perfection process she went through before she died. Besides that, as in the days of Job, the Heavenly or Universal Council was watching Job to see if he would “curse God.” But Job did not curse God, as Satan claimed that he would, proving Satan a liar and a false accuser. “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Job 1:22. Thus Job vindicated God’s character as Jesus did on the cross. And every person like my grandmother also vindicated the character of God. I believe that the angels who guarded my grandmother and my mother have now been sent to guard my sister and her family as well as myself and my family. As the angels watched my grandmother being perfected this gave them courage and faith that we also can be perfected before Jesus comes. It may be that this is part of their training in order to help this last generation. And I am quite sure the Universal or Heavenly Council was also watching my grandmother as well as us today. So, we have the privilege of vindicating the character of God in our day as Jesus did while He was on earth.

As the prophetic scroll continues to rolled out before us we will understand more fully and more clearly the meaning of the seals, the trumpets and the whole book of Revelation. In Rev 8:2 John tells how he saw seven angels who stood before God, “And to them were given seven trumpets.” If the one half an hour were to be calculated on the basis of the year for a day principle then 30 minutes would be equal to one week. The silence in heaven when Jesus was in the Garden did not take one week. Furthermore, if we are going to be consistent in calculating each day as one 24 hour period then the 30 minutes silence would be just that….30 minutes. Until we have a better explanation I think we should stick with that. The fact that the seven trumpets are getting ready to begin blowing their trumpets right after the 30 minutes of silence in heaven is significant. The 144,000 were sealed just before the half an hour of silence in heaven. There are various theories about what takes place during this half hour of silence. Is it when the 144,000 are being tested? Remember that after Jesus was selected to be the Lamb of God He was put on trial as all the angels, good and evil, watched to see if He would pass the test. In fact, the entire universe was watching. There is the Time of Jacob’s trouble which the 144,000 must endure during the wheat harvest, which takes place in 40 days.
I am now impressed to make a comment regarding prayer, its importance and effectiveness in this end time scenario we are now in. In my initial research in the NT I did not find many of the writers admonishing their readers to pray for them or asking them to pray for him. But in Paul’s writings I found that in almost every one of his epistles and letters he tells them that he is praying for them and asks and thanks them for praying for him. “God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to the one I serve with all my might, telling others the Good News about His Son.” Rom 1:9. LB. And in Rom 10:1 he tells how he prays for Israel, “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”

“But I plead with you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf.” Rom 15:30. In Col 1:3 Paul tells the church at Colosse “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” And in 4:2 he admonishes them to continue in prayer. And in Phil he says: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.” Philippians 1:3, 4. 4:6 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for His answers.” James’ one admonition to prayer is in his instruction on prayer for the sick, James 5:14, 15, 16. In the epistles of John I found no request to pray for him or that he was praying for any of his readers as Paul did in almost every letter. Jude 20 says: “But you, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.”

In contrast, the other New Testament writers barely touched on the topic. For example, Peter admonishes his readers to “Be sober and watch unto prayer,” I Pet 4:7. But he did not ask them to pray for him or tell them that he was praying for them as Paul did. Paul’s letters are much more personal and passionate in their tone and content. At first this puzzled me until I remembered Paul’s personal conversion history. Although Paul had been a strict Pharisee, his dramatic and very personal encounter with Christ Himself and the rejection he received from his own fellow Jews, had a purging and cleansing effect on him from the inside out. Paul also had a tremendous amount of guilt because He had allowed himself, through pride and ambition in the Jewish religion, to be so deluded by the evil leaders of his nation, that he became the worst persecutor of this new Christian sect. This had the beneficial side effect of causing him to be both humble and grateful. It also obviously was a strong motivation for him to become the world’s greatest missionary of his time. These are some of the reasons I believe he was so loving and passionate to spread the good news of the gospel because those who have been forgiven much love much and why he realized the necessity and power of prayer in his life as well as those of his converts.

The gospel writers of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were like news reporters giving their eye witness accounts, except for Mark and Luke who received their information from others “eye witnesses and ministers of the word,” Luke 1:1-3. In these gospel reports of Christ’s life we learn that He spent a great deal of time in prayer as Paul notes: “In the days of His flesh He offered prayers and petitions with strong crying and with tears to Him who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His humble devotion to God. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience by what He suffered and when He was perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation.” Heb 5:7-9. When Jesus was resisted and rejected He resorted to prayer as in the case of the man with the withered hand in Luke 6:6-12. “And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Vs 12. No doubt He was praying for strength to endure the hatred and rejection as well as asking the Father to convert their hearts. This prayer was answered in part on the day of Pentecost when 3,000 were baptized in one day. “And the message of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem; and [besides] a large number of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:7. Amplified.

In contrast to serving the Lord out of love the pagans and Jews of the Old Testament served Him out of fear that He would hurt, torture and/or kill them if they did not offer numerous and specific sacrifices at the proper time and in the exact manner as prescribed by law. The idea of animal and human sacrifices with incense, etc was from the pagans who rec it from Satan…the idea that we must placate an angry deity, even our loving and wonderful Heavenly Father is a terrible insult, yes a blasphemy against His holy name and character. The true prophets of the Lord spoke out against this boldly as calling the Jews of his day “rulers of Sodom.” “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me, says the Lord. I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or he goats. When you come to appear before Me, who has required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me;” Isaiah 1:10-12. That’s the way this long book begins and here is how it ends on the same theme.” “He that kills an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrifices a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offers an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burns incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations.” Isaiah 66:1-4.

With the above truths in mind let us go back to Rev 8. In vs 2 John sees seven angels which he had not mentioned before. The word “angel” can also be translated “messenger” which means that these seven messengers could be translated human beings the same as the four angels John described in Rev 7:4. This very well could be since the Elect have already been translated and now could be an integral part of these final events. In addition to that altar of incense indicates this is a scene in the heavenly sanctuary itself. Just as the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom, at the time Jesus died on the cross, which opened up the way into the most holy place, so the casting down of the censer into the earth is a sign that Christ’s work as mediator has come to an end. The prayers of God’s true people, the Elected, chosen saints, have at last been answered. Furthermore, the Shekinah Glory (Holy Ghost) has at last found its dwelling place in her people. The curtain has been removed at last by the revelation of the truth about our Heavenly Father, that He no longer has to be approached with fear and trembling with long prayers and incense and sacrifices. Psalm 90:1. What does the “Golden Censer” and the “much incense” signify? Incense is odorless until it lit with fire and then it gives off its sweet smelling aromas. Until the Holy Ghost lights us with its fire of truth and love we are not giving off the fragrances of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.” 2 Cor 2:14, 15. Cf Eph 5:2. The glory (character) of God is going to revealed by those who are willing to manifest the true knowledge of God to the world which will be like a sweet savor to the whole world. And that is what the casting of the fire in the censer into the earth represents. As a result of this fire being cast into the earth 1/3 of the trees and all the grass was burnt up. Everyone is affected by this revelation of the knowledge of God for either good or evil. They either become converted or they reject the message and die. Listen: “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, says the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, the Lord is my God.” Zech. 13:7-9. The trumpet judgments and the “Fire off of the Altar.” Rev 8:5. In Isaiah 6 fire off of the altar, burning coals of fire, were placed on Isaiah’s lips to cleanse him for the special work the Lord had called him to do. So, the coals represent God’s fiery cleansing Spirit of love which will be given to the Elect to prepare them to conduct the wheat harvest in 40 days. They will select the 144,000 and be the Shepherd who will guide them through the seven last plagues.

The first earthquake mentioned in the book of Revelation is in Rev 6:12, under the 6th seal. The second earthquake takes place under the 7th seal. “And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of (from) the altar, and cast it into (upon) the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” Rev 8:5. The third earthquake is found in Rev 11:19 under the 7th trumpet, Rev 11:15-19. The 4th one takes place under the 7th vial or plague. Rev 16:18. “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” For Israel the trumpet was an instrument used to warn of an enemy invasion and to rally the troops. “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord comes, for it is nigh at hand.” Joel 2:1.

Read the rest of chapter 2 because it describes Jesus’ High Command army of Rev 19. The question the Lord has for you as you read this is this: Do you want to be a part of this army? Are you willing to pray and study and give your all to the Lord so He can use you in the days ahead? The time is near so think about it because the Lord is calling His people who will be His special agents during the next 3 ½ years.

The earthquake of Rev 16:18 is the final earthquake which will take place after the plagues fall which would be at the close of the second 3 ½ years at which time the one third of humanity is rescued by Jesus which will be the grape harvest. This will also complete the seven years and begin the 1,000 years. The three previous earthquakes signal 1. The close of Christ’s work in the Most Holy place and the translation of the Elect. 2. The opening of the Temple in heaven which would take place after the Elect are taken up to the throne for the beginning of the Marriage Super of the Lamb. The “Opening of the Temple” could very well be an expression which means that God’s Temple, i.e. the Elect, are now being openly display to the universe. And this temple or His new “Dwelling Place” Christ now returns to earth to begin the Wheat Harvest of the 144,000 which will be examined and discussed in Rev 14. This will be completed in 40 days plus 10 ending in the 50 days after Pentecost or the Jubilee. Then the final phase of the harvest will begin which will be the Grape Harvest which will take the rest of the 3 ½ years.

Because Revelation is a book of symbols it is natural that we would look for meanings of such things as “Hail” and “blood” and “fire.” There may be more than one meaning for each of these words. For example, the hail and fire mixed or mingled with blood could refer to the destructive effects of the plagues. This would be a literal interpretation. It could also symbolically refer to the blood of Christ which is covering and converting those who are being converted through the fire of the Holy Ghost during the time of the plagues. I say this because Zechariah 13:7-9 predicts that 1/3 will be brought through the fire in the final day. The blood would refer to the blood sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary. In Rev 8:7-11 we read about a great star that “fell” from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers,” etc. The word fall or fell can also be translated as “flew” or “Lighted” down as an angel flies down from heaven to the earth. The trees are symbolically people or human beings who are being (slain or killed) which means they are being converted, i.e. dying to their prideful carnal nature. Falling on the rock Christ Jesus and being broken. Matt 21:44. “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Being “burned up” or “killed” or “slain” is referring to the those who are “burned up” like Saul of Tarsus in His mini Lake of Fire. The result is that his carnal nature and pride and ego died and he died but was raised to newness of life in Christ, Rom 6.


REVELATION 1-3 – Christ’s Seven Messages To His Seven Churches
REVELATION 4 – The Open Door That Leads To God’s Throne
REVELATION 5 – The Sealed Scroll Only Jesus Christ Could Open
REVELATION 6 – The Opening Of The Seals Begin & Four Horses Appear
REVELATION 7 – The Progressive Sealing Of The 144,000 From 12 Tribes
REVELATION 8 – The Beginning Of The First Four Trumpets After 30 Min. Of Silence
REVELATION 9 – 200 Million Righteous Soldiers Come From The Wave Sheaf Of The Dead
REVELATION 10 – The Angel With The Open Book In Its Hand
REVELATION 11 – The Death Of The Two Witnesses Who Preach For 3 1/2 Years
REVELATION 12 – The Birth Of The Man Child Who Is Translated Up To Heaven
REVELATION 13 – The Rise Of The Two Beasts And Their Enforced Bio Chip Mark
REVELATION 14 – The New Song Of The 144,000 And 3 Messages Which Acquit The Father
REVELATION 15-16 – Who Brings The Seven Last Plagues? God’s Wrath Defined And Explained
REVELATION 17 – How The Lamb Overcomes The Ten Wicked Kings Of The Earth
REVELATION 18 – The Fall Of Babylon Caused By The Glory Of The Angel Of Rev 18
REVELATION 19 – The Arranged Marriage And The Suzerain Treaty And The Divine Family
REVELATION 20 – The 1,000 Years Begin: Satan Bound And The Saints Sit On Thrones
REVELATION 21-22 – The Restoration Of All Things Explained In Symbolic Detail