If you study the breaking of silence in Revelation 8, by comparing the pattern to the rest of scripture, you find the description of a revival event that is very unique in all history. Since the revival at the beginning of the gospel day, I know of only one other revival of similar beginnings and impact to the one shown in Revelation Chapter 8. And that is the one recently happening in China.
There are those who believe the silence of Revelation 8 was broken in the USA somewhere in the mid 1900s. I was not there, so it is somewhat difficult for me to comment on something that I did not witness. I believe light and understanding into the seventh seal message of Revelation has come, but I caution that the breaking of the silence is no small event. The effect would be significant and broad in its influence. And I am concerned because I have never heard anyone clearly explain how and where the silence was broken that is in agreement with the full pattern shown within Revelation 8.
Revelation 8 shows the opening of the seventh seal and giving of seven trumpets: and then the breaking of the silence. It is very important to recognize that these are two separate events; although still related. I believe some understanding into the seventh seal has come to a number of people. But the pattern of breaking the silence is more closely reflected in the great revival that has been happening in China since around the 1970s.
Consider the scripture carefully to understand why I say this:
“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” ~ Revelation 8:1-6
The opening of a seal implies that another opening into the mystery of the Revelation of Jesus Christ has happened. But unlike the other seals, the initial result of the seventh seal opening is silence. What follows the opening and the silence, are behaviors that match that which the Israelites would do during the daily morning and evening sacrifice.
In the Old Testament they would daily sacrifice and completely burn a lamb. Coals would be carried from this altar of sacrifice to the golden altar where they would be used for burning incense before the Lord. This incense represents the intercessory prayers of the saints from a heart that is consecrated to the Lord’s will. And so in the Old Testament, those with a burden for prayer would be gathered in silent prayer while the High Priest would carry the coals and offer the incense. And, of course, the High Priest also would be praying as he offered the incense.
The physical temple was no longer in existence at the time Revelation was written. Consequently the angel standing at the altar to offer incense can only be the new testament High Priest, Jesus Christ. And the audience in prayer represents the prayers of all saints. Truly this is a critical event in the history of the Gospel day!
But it is important to note that both the morning and the evening sacrifice happened in exactly the same manner. The order of the event was the same. I have covered this in much detail in a previous post titled “How is the Half Hour of Silence Broken?”
The morning sacrifice clearly happened in the morning of the Gospel day as is also clearly typified by what happened on the day of Pentecost. Jesus instructed them to tarry in Jerusalem until they were anointed with the power of the Holy Ghost. Until that time there was a period of spiritual silence from the time Jesus was crucified until the day of Pentecost. During that time no spiritual lightning was striking the souls of the general populace in Jerusalem and no earthquake in the hearts. But that was soon to change!
“And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he , ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” ~ Acts 1:4-5
Jesus had already offered his High Priestly prayer in the garden of Gethsemane before he was crucified. In that prayer one of his most earnest pleas was:
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” ~ John 17:20-23
Then on the day of Pentecost, Jesus Christ, the true High Priest of God, took the coals of their consecrated sacrifice that they offered as one heart and soul. To their sacrificial prayer offering he added his incense to offer them both before God his Father. Then he took the fire from off the golden altar and cast it into the earthen vessels of the Apostles and Disciples. He sent the fire of the Holy Ghost into them!
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” ~ Acts 2:1-4
The result was the lightening of truth struck the souls of those in Jerusalem and an earthquake within their hearts followed!
“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” ~ Revelation 8:3-5
The resulting revival that followed the day of Pentecost eventually changed the course of the whole Roman Empire and many other nations. But today in the evening time of the Gospel day, has anything of a similar magnitude ever happened in the time of the seventh seal? I believe if we look at what has happened in China we would have to consider it a significant breaking of silence! And the whole course of the country of China is being impacted!
Note: the basis of my knowledge of the revival in China has come principally from the accounts recorded in the following books:
1. The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway
2. Back to Jerusalem ~ Three Chinese house church leaders share their vision to complete the great commission. By Paul Hattaway, Brother Yun, Peter Xu Yongze, and Enoch Wang
China did have some evangelism work done for a number of years in the past. The result was reflected in a 1920 map of China showing a few Christians divided spiritually and geographically into various camps of denominations. A people divided into denominational sects will never produce a sacrifice that looks like the one first offered on the day of Pentecost! (The same is true of any people who claim to be the church, but still have a lukewarm divided worship. God will not accept that to break the silence either.) So in China, God used Communism to clear out the mess that sectish worship agendas had created.
One would wonder if God will not choose to do something similar to the western world where lukewarmness and divided groups have largely decimated that which contends to still be the church?
After many years of communist extermination, in 1970, the wife of Chairman Mao, the then communist ruler, told visitors “Christianity in China has been confined to the history section of the museum. It is dead and buried.”
“I believe God allowed the atheist government to destroy the old structure of the Chinese church so that he could rebuild it according to his own purposes.” ~ Bro Yun (one of the underground house church leaders)
The Chinese awakening started soon after Communist extermination. It started, in many cases, without a Bible or a preacher, since most all had been destroyed (although many bibles since have been smuggled in. ) It started mostly amongst the poor and less educated. And inspite of severe and brutal persecution, over the past 40 years it has exploded into millions being saved!
They worship in homes and in secret. Yet they still witness and bring many more to the faith daily. Just as in the morning of the gospel day, severe persecution only furthers their cause as the Holy Ghost anoints their sacrificial love with a power that cannot be quenched! A love that even reaches and saves many souls in Chinese prisons after house church leaders are imprisoned there.
But there is still something missing from the great Chinese revival to complete the breaking of silence, and that is a ministry that has the seven trumpets, and that is spiritually prepared to sound them out. In China they don’t yet have a complete understanding of the deceptions of Babylon, nor how to sound the alarm against them.
Sectism has already worked to divide the Chinese house churches, but so far the core of the revival has resisted this satanic trick. Will they be able to continue their success against the divisive interests of the religious western world? Time will only tell. Perhaps this is why later in Revelation 8 it states that seven angels prepared and sounded the trumpets in a manner to cover the same spiritual influences already revealed in the opening of the previous seals.
If the revival continues at the same rate as now, the Chinese government may eventually feel forced to do something more tolerant and reduce the persecution. The fallout may be a spiritual sleep starting to work its way back in, and the devil will then work to take advantage in a new way. Certainly a greater revelation of the mystery of iniquity will be necessary again to keep God’s people free in China!
I pray God will continue to greatly help them and further his cause through them. They have a true sacrificial revival purpose: to evangelize the rest of the most difficult parts of the world! They are ready to give their lives to reach the nations between China and Jerusalem. These are the countries under the strong arm of Islam, Buddha, and the Hindu religion.
The gospel started some 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem and mostly went west. They plan to take it the rest of the way back to Jerusalem from China. Consequently they call this purpose “Back to Jerusalem.”
“Back to Jerusalem” has nothing to do with any notion of millennialism or earthly kingdom building. The Chinese house church believes that through the severe persecution in China, God has prepared and called them to this difficult task. And they are not only willing to suffer, but to also die for that high calling.
Surely the silence of Revelation 8 has been broken in China! But they need help with the seven trumpets. There are further earthquakes that will still yet have to come!
May God send an earthquake to not only wake up these countries in the path of the back to Jerusalem effort. But also to awaken those who claim to be the church in the west! May we awaken out of our lukewarm “self preservation” mode, and get back to the sacrificial love evangelistic work that is our responsibility in the west!
What will it take for such an earthquake? Will it be severe persecution and suffering like in China? Only time will fully tell as God further opens up his revelation of Jesus Christ!
Do you agree with me? I would love to hear any comments that are based upon the light of scripture upon the meaning of “breaking the silence.”