Revelation Chapter 8 – The Seventh Seal

“When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for what seemed like half an hour” (Revelation 8:1).

‘The Lamb’ breaks the seventh seal and there is silence in heaven. Silence is found 49 times in the Bible (CJB Version). According to a dictionary definition of silence, this would mean a complete absence of sound in heaven. The Hebrew word for ‘silence’ is dmama and has the same three-letter root as ‘adam‘ adom’ and ‘blood,’ dam. This could allude to the idea that now the ‘bloodlife of mankind’ would be judged. Some scholars also suggest that the word ‘silent’ could be translated mourning because it comes from the same three root letters – dalet, mem, mem (דממ).

Hebrew Word Picture

Silence dmama – דממ

Dalet is a ‘door’ and means ‘pathway’

Mem is ‘water’ and means ‘mighty’

Mem is ‘water’ and means ‘mighty’

Dmama means ‘mighty mighty pathway

All of the elders, living beings, angels and those dressed in white robes mourn because they know the life of man is going to experience the wrath of Elohim. They have seen what has come to the world from His Hand with the previous six seals, and with the seventh, there is nothing more to say or do except grieve. The judgment of Elohim will happen, it is impending.

Silent is found 58 times (CJB Version) and is used for Elohim’s silence when He waits to judge His enemies. His ‘silence’ is not inaction, but a period of time before He acts mightily. With the first 6 seals, the earth judges mankind with war, famine, wild beasts and earthquakes. With the seventh seal, Elohim remains silent, relenting for a short period of time, giving those who would repent time to repent before His anger rages.

“God, whom I praise, don’t remain silent!” (Psalm 109:1)

“Why are you silent when evil people swallow up those more righteous than they?” (Habakkuk 1:13).

“Our God is coming and not staying silent. With a fire devouring ahead of him and a great storm raging around him, he calls to the heavens above and to earth, in order to judge his people” (Psalm 50:3-4).

According to Yochanan, the silence seemed to last a half an hour. When my children were young, we decided to see how long God’s time is on earth. For example, if a day is like 1000 years for God, how long is an hour, a minute, and a second? We learned that a second is about 4 days, a minute about 9 months and an hour is about 40 years or a generation. With judgment being imminent, it doesn’t seem that a half hour in heaven would equate to 20 earth years.

In Revelation 3:10, the Congregation of Philadelphia is going to be kept from the ‘hour of trouble’ coming upon the whole world. This ‘hour of trouble’ is also called ‘time of Ya’akov’s trouble,’ and the Great Tribulation. From the prophecy in Daniel, this time is know as a seven-year period of Elohim judging the earth in order for Messiah to set up his Kingdom. ‘Hour’ in this sense is not a specific time, but a period of time just as ‘Day of the LORD’ is not a specific 24-hour day, but a period of time. It would seem that the silence in heaven is also a ‘period of time,’ that seemed to the human being Yochanan to be about half an hour.

“Another angel came and stood at the altar with a gold incense-bowl, and he was given a large quantity of incense to add to the prayers of all God’s people on the gold altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense went up with the prayers of God’s people from the hand of the angel before God. Then the angel took the incense-bowl, filled it with fire from the altar and threw it down onto the earth; and there followed peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Revelation 8:3-5).

The Altar of Incense was in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle/Temple along with the Golden Menorah and the Table of the Presence. It was at this Altar that Zechariah stood when the angel appeared and told him that he and Elizabeth would have a son. The prayers of the people of Isra’el were offered at this altar in the Tabernacle. According to Psalm 141:2, prayers rise like incense to the nostrils of Elohim, like the evening sacrifice.

Before the messengers sound their shofars, the prayers of the people are combined with a massive amount of incense in a golden bowl. The smoke from the incense and prayers go up to Elohim from the hand of the angel. Then, the angel fills the bowl with fire from the Altar and throws the bowl down to the earth. It would seem with this action that the prayers of these people have been rejected. After all, the faithful who have come out of the Great Tribulation are already standing silent in the presence of Elohim watching this event.

Why would Elohim reject prayers? There are several reasons. The first is perhaps they aren’t really honest prayers. How often do people says, ‘give good thoughts’ or ‘send positive messages’ when they should be saying, “Please pray!” These well-intentioned sayings are just that, sayings. They aren’t prayers from the soul; they are thoughts from the mind. They are the multiple ways people suggest ‘praying’ without giving honor to the One who answers prayer.

Secondly, Proverbs 28:9 states that if someone won’t obey Torah, their prayers are an abomination to Elohim! There are many today in the kingdom of church who teach and believe that the Old Testament was removed from the Bible when Jesus died on the cross. This leaves many in Christiandom without Elohim’s teachings and intructions. They live without the foundation of their faith which is not just the apostles, but also the prophets of whom Moshe is the greatest.

“Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened.  So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).

Even Yeshua taught that he did not come to abolish or remove the Torah or the prophets but to fulfill them. In rabbinical terminology that means ‘to interpret them properly.’ So Christians who don’t obey Torah either willfully or ignorantly and pray, their prayers become an abomination to Elohim. While there may be a time of grace and mercy in this present world, it appears there will come a when their rejection of Elohim’s Kingdom rules has a very serious consequence. They become ‘least in the Kingdom’ or their prayers return to them as peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Thirdly, there was a time when Elohim tells Jeremiah to no longer pray for the nation of Isra’el. Why? Because they have embraced their false gods and goddesses to the point of complete rejection of the God of their fathers. Specifically, Isra’el embraced the Queen of Heaven and Tammuz, both associated with Ishtar (Easter). Sha’ul (Paul) teaches the Corinthians, a non-Jewish group of believers, that everything written for Isra’el was written for us to learn important truths. When any nation or people claiming to know Elohim no longer heeds the warnings of the prophets, especially when it comes to ‘other gods,’ they will receive the same judgment.

“These things happened to them as prefigurative historical events, and they were written down as a warning to us who are living in the acharit-hayamim [last days]” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

Fourth, there is coming a time when the mind of Elohim will not be changed. A time is coming when His judgment is at hand and there will be no stopping it.

“Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven shofars …. Now the seven angels with the seven shofars prepared to sound them” (Revelation 8:2,6).

Seven messengers who stand before Elohim are given shofars. The shofar is symbolic of many events in Isra’el’s history from the binding of Isaac and Avraham finding the ram in the thicket (the allusion to the coming Messiah) to the giving of Torah to the mixed multitude at Mt. Sinai to the destruction of the Temple to the return of the exiles from foreign lands. Earlier in Revelation the voice of Yeshua sounded like a shofar. Now, the shofar will be the voice of Elohim’s judgment on earth.

“The first one sounded his shofar; and there came hail and fire mingled with blood, and it was thrown down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up” (Revelation 8:7).

When the first messenger blows the shofar, hail and fire mixed with blood appeared. This mixture was thrown down upon the earth. When yod hey vav hey sent the seventh plague of hail and fire on Egypt, He judged the gods of Egypt.

“Moshe reached out with his staff toward the sky, and Adonai sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. Adonai caused it to hail on the land of Egypt — it hailed, and fire flashed up with the hail; it was terrible, worse than any hailstorm in all of Egypt since it became a nation” (Exodus 9:23-24).

The judgment of the seventh plague is against Nut, the Egyptian goddess of the sky and heavenly bodies.  Depicted as wearing a dress covered with stars, her body arches over the sky protecting earth.  She is given credit for bringing order out of chaos in the heavens. As the hail and fire beat the earth, she has no power to protect Egypt from the chaos coming from the skies.

The worship of gods and goddesses today are not as obvious as the worship of mankind or humanism even though pagan worship still exists. As we live in a nation that worries about global warming and protecting ‘Mother Earth,’ Elohim proves through this judgment He is still Creator and still wields power over the universe. This plague of chaos doesn’t happen just to Egypt, but to one third of the earth, one third of the trees, and one third of green grass that burn up.

The mixture of hail and fire includes blood. In Genesis 4, two sons of Adam and Eve defile the earth with murder. Cain kills Abel and his blood cries from the ground as does the blood of all those from that day onward who have been innocently murdered with no justice.

“Adonai said to Kayin, “Where is Hevel your brother?” And he replied, “I don’t know; am I my brother’s guardian?” He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood at your hands” (Genesis 4:9-11).

“Their feet run to evil, they rush to shed innocent blood, their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness, their paths lead to havoc and ruin” (Isaiah 59:7).

“For he [sins of Manasseh, Y’hudah] had flooded Yerushalayim with innocent blood, and Adonai was unwilling to forgive” (2 Kings 24:4).

“The second angel sounded his shofar, and what looked like an enormous blazing mountain was hurled into the sea. A third of the sea turned to blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed” (Revelation 8:8-9).

When the second messenger blows the shofar, an enormous blazing mountain appears and is hurled into the sea. Now one third of the sea turns to blood, one third of all sea creatures die and one third of ships are destroyed.

The blood judgment, the first plague in Egypt was against Hapi, the Egyptian god of the Nile. The Nile River was the source of life for Egypt.  Turning the water of the Nile River into blood was not only a judgment on the god of the Nile, but a sign to Egypt that Elohim controls their water supply, their lifeline.

Today, most of the world’s commerce is done in and through the sea. From commercial fishing to barges with shipping containers, everything in the global market from food to material goods is transported using the oceans and seas. By destroying ships with everything else in the ocean, global commerce halts.

The mass destruction comes with a blazing mountain hurled into the sea. Taken literally, a giant mountain on fire will be thrown into the ocean. Geologically, a fiery mountain is a volcano, however, the eruption of this volcano has to be large enough to destroy one third of the ocean, sea creatures and ships. There are some who suggest a great earthquake will set off a certain volcano in the Canary Islands and the resulting tsunami would destroy life on the coasts where it hits. Because the mountain is hurled into the sea, the ‘mountain’ could also be a meteorite, but I believe the event may be more supernatural than natural, heavenly more than earthly that destroys one third of the earth’s salt water.

“The third angel sounded his shofar; and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky onto a third of the rivers and onto the springs of water. The name of the star was “Bitterness,” and a third of the water became bitter, and many people died from the water that had been turned bitter” (Revelation 8:10-11).

When the third messenger blows his shofar, a great star blazing like a torch, falls from the sky and turns one third of the earth’s fresh water to bitter. Still Elohim is dealing with water – water that man himself has polluted almost to the brink of it being deadly. He just completes the process and many people die from the bitter water.

In the wilderness, the Israelites encounter bitter water (Exodus 15:25). It is made ‘sweet’ from a piece of wood. Unfortunately, there is no piece of wood for this plague to change the water from bitter to drinkable, but there is a lesson to be learned. Adam and Eve were given a choice between two trees, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life.   Their choice was between obedience to Elohim’s command or rebellion; a choice between life or death.  In Judaism, the etz represents the Tree of Life or Torah which brings life (Genesis 2:9 and Revelation 22:19). 

The spiritual difference between ‘living’ water and ‘bitter’ water is the line between life and death; truth and deception. When the Truth of Elohim’s Word becomes distorted with other ideologies, it breeds deceptive theologies. The refreshing drink that people should receive from the Word of Elohim becomes bitter and even poisonous when viewed with an eternal spiritual life. Elohim tells His people they must do what is right and pay attention to His commands.  By turning one third of the world’s waters bitter,  Elohim judges the world for their disobedience, to their rejection of His Word and ultimately His salvation, Yeshua.

The bitter taste comes from a star called ‘Bitterness.’ The Greek word is apsinthos or absinthe. From this plant a bitter oil is extracted that is very toxic to the human nervous system. Some versions of the Bible call the star “Wormwood” because the oil from the absinthe plant was used to kill intestinal worms. Intestinal worms come from eating meats that are undercooked and mostly from meats that Elohim considers ‘unclean.’ The flesh of the pig has numerous parasites that grow into intestinal worms; the tapeworm also invade the brain. Writing this during the coronavirus 19 outbreak that possibly came from the wet markets in Wuhan, China, I am once again reminded that Elohim desires His people eat those animals He created to be food. Eating unclean animals only leads to disease and death and many people die from this judgment of ‘bitter,’ deceptive waters.

The star falls like a blazing torch. There are 19 Biblical references that use ‘torch,’ but there are a couple with ‘blazing torch’ that peaked my interest. The first is Isaiah 62:1, “For Zion’s sake I won’t keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I won’t sit still until her righteousness shines out like a light, and her salvation blazes like a torch.” Just moments before, there had been silence in heaven, a silence that spoke of Elohim waiting before sending forth the trumpet judgments. It is for Zion’s sake that He could not remain silent and it is for Jerusalem that He could no longer wait. He wants the righteousness of Jerusalem to shine like a light in the darkness of the world and for salvation or Yeshua to ‘blaze like a torch.’

In Daniel chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream of a great statue. A stone was cut, not by human hands, and it smashed the iron and clay feet of the statue and shattered them. The stone then became a mighty mountain and it filled the entire earth. According to Daniel’s interpretation of the stone, “the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will be indestructible. Its rule will never pass to another people. It will shatter other kingdoms. It will put an end to all of them. It will stand firm forever, just like you saw when the stone, which was cut from the mountain …” (Daniel 2:44-45). The mountain is the coming Kingdom that when thrown down to the earth begins to destroy earthly kingdoms and kings.

From the book of Sirach, “Then Elijah the prophet rose up like fire, and his word burned like a torch” (Sirach 48:1). Later in Revelation there are two witnesses who preach in Jerusalem. There are different guesses as to whether the two witnesses are groups of people or actual individuals. If individuals, Elijah is always believed to be one of them for he never faced death on this earth. As he ‘rises up’ from wherever the flaming chariot took him, the Words of Yeshua through him burn like a torch.

Finally, around the throne of Elohim, the seven-fold Spirit were like ‘flaming torches.’ Whether or not one of these spiritual aspects were thrown down to the earth to create ‘bitter’ waters and removing ‘living water,’ is just another possibility for the ‘mountain flaming like a torch’ that destroys the earth’s fresh water.

“The fourth angel sounded his shofar; and a third of the sun was struck, also a third of the moon and a third of the stars; so that a third of them were darkened, the day had a third less light, and the night likewise” (Revelation 8:12).

When the fourth messenger blows the shofar, one third of the heavenly bodies are darkened. One third of the sun, one third of the moon and a third of the stars create a third less light during the day and a much darker night.

The heavenly bodies created on the fourth day to be the signs for the moed’im ‘appointed times’ of Elohim will be dimmed by one third. No longer will the people of the earth enjoy the light from the the rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon, or the traveling of the constellations bringing for summer, winter, spring and fall. Every basic ‘law’ of the heavens and earth will be challenged as the original creation continues its demise. No longer will seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, day and night exist as it always has (Genesis 8:22).

Yet even with one third of the heavenly bodies darkening, they still remain as evidence of the Creator’s power over the sun, moon, and stars. They also remain to prove eternal the promise made to the nation of Isra’el. As the world and its remaining people are destroyed by 30% with each shofar blast, the 144,000 sons of Ya’akov remain sealed as evidence that Elohim’s prophecies and truths remain eternal.

“This is what Adonai says, who gives the sun as light for the day, who ordained the laws for the moon and stars to provide light for the night, who stirs up the sea until its waves roar — Adonai-Tzva’ot [The Lord of Heavenly Armies] is his name: “If these laws leave my presence,” says Adonai, “then the offspring of Isra’el will stop being a nation in my presence forever” (Jeremiah 31:35-36).

“Then I looked, and I heard a lone eagle give a loud cry, as it flew in mid-heaven, “Woe! Woe! Woe to the people living on earth, because of the remaining blasts from the three angels who have yet to sound their shofars!” (Revelation 8:13).

With one third of the heavenly bodies, the earth’s land, trees and grass, salt water, and fresh water destroyed, there are still three more shofar blasts. A lone eagle cries out as it flies in mid-heaven – ‘woe’ to the people living on the earth because of what is coming with the lasts three blasts. ‘Woe’ defined is great sorrow or distress. In Hebrew, the word is oy. In Greek it is ouai and means ‘uttered in grief or public condemnation.’

The eagle reveals heaven’s view of what will occur on earth. As an eagle flies higher than any other bird, it has a wider vision of what is happening below more clearly than any other creature. From an altitude of 1000 feet, an eagle can scan an area of nearly three square miles.

When Yeshua used the word ‘woe,’ it was always directed toward the hypocrisy of those who were considered the spiritual leaders (Matthew 23:13-36). This eagle’s view above the coming storm on earth prophesies the divine importance of honesty and truth. The ‘woes’ that follow the eagle’s warning will bring deep despair to those left on the earth, even to those who have been sealed by Elohim.

“For there will be trouble then worse than there has ever been from the beginning of the world until now, and there will be nothing like it again! Indeed, if the length of this time had not been limited, no one would survive; but for the sake of those who have been chosen, its length will be limited” (Matthew 24:21).

Revelation Chapter 9 – The Abyss

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Leave a Reply