3. a. When the Lamb ripped off the seventh seal
Heaven fell quiet— complete silence for about half an hour when the seventh seal was opened. Rev 8:1 MSG
b. Heaven fell silent in reverence while a large quantity of incense was offered along with the prayers of the holy people of God.
This was a preparation peculiar to the day of atonement. “On other days it was the custom of the priest to take fire from the great altar in a silver censer, but on the day of atonement the high priest took the fire from the great altar in a golden censer; and when he was come down from the great altar, he took incense from one of the priests, who brought it to him, and went with it to the golden altar; and while he offered the incense the people prayed (outside) in silence, which is the silence in heaven for half an hour.” See Sir Isaac Newton. via Adam Clarke
Interestingly, Josephus records a heavenly signs event that lasted thirty minutes. It occurred just before the feast of unleavened bread prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. “At the ninth hour of the night, there shone round about the altar, and the circumjacent buildings of the temple, a light equal to the brightness of day, which continued for the space of half an hour.” (quoted by George Holford in The Destruction of Jerusalem)
c. Heaven the prayers of God’s people
Then the Angel filled the (golden) censer with fire from the Altar and heaved it to earth.* It set off thunders, voices, lightnings, and an earthquake. Rev 8:5 MSG
*The word translated as “earth” means soil, country, ground, or land. Until the rapture teaching became popular in the 19th century, commentators like Adam Clarke considered this passage to mean “upon the land of Judea”.
Josephus, a Jewish historian alive at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction, relayed the following supernatural event involving voices:
“At the subsequent feast of Pentecost, while the priests were going, by night, into the inner temple to perform their customary ministrations, they first felt, as they said, a shaking, accompanied by an indistinct murmuring, and afterwards voices as of a multitude, saying, in a distinct and earnest manner, ‘let us depart hence’” (quoted by George Holford in The Destruction of Jerusalem)
This judgment could be the response to the martyrs’ cry asking, “How long?” (See Rev. 6:9)
4. a. Events announced by trumpets in scripture
- Prophecy of judgment on Jerusalem–Also prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24.
Sound the trumpet in Jerusalem!
Raise the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let everyone tremble in fear
because the day of the Lord is upon us. Joel 2:1 NLT
- Calling the community to assemble or signaling the breaking of camp
A supernatural, ear-piercing trumpet blast came from the mountain calling the people to assemble and meet with God. (See Exodus 19:14-17)Make two trumpets of hammered silver for calling the community to assemble and for signaling the breaking of camp. Numbers 10:2 NLT
- Military conquest
“Have seven priests carry seven ram’s horn trumpets in front of the Chest. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, the priests blowing away on the trumpets. And then, a long blast on the ram’s horn—when you hear that, all the people are to shout at the top of their lungs. The city wall will collapse at once. All the people are to enter, every man straight on in.” Joshua 6:2-5 MSG
- Calling believers who have died to rise from their graves.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 NLT
b. The trumpet blasts in this passage seem to announce judgment.
5. This passage doesn’t increase my sense of urgency.
I don’t think its purpose is to instill fear in believers. Its purpose is for reassurance.
We must be about our Father’s business, fulfilling our purpose while we are on earth; Keeping ourselves filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit so we are ready for the bridegroom.
I continue to ask the Lord of the harvest to raise up more laborers.