The Solemn Half Hour Silence (Part 1 of 3)

Half hour silence

The mystical “half hour silence”, what does this really mean? Our standard SDA teachings doesn’t tell us much about this important word of God. But the Lord’s word, through His Elijah prophet certainly does. It is indeed described as an extremely serious and disturbing event to take place within the S.D.A. Church. Please know that the following will happen, yet He loves each and every S.D.A member immensely. When we look at a specific prophecy describing Ezekiel 9 we notice a “pleading” is done before the act.

“For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.” (Isaiah 66:16)

Fire represents the Holy Spirit —  “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:11)  — “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” (Acts 2:3-4).

Sword can be the Holy Word of God– “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”(Eph 6:17)

So we add it up and we see that before the Lord slays he pleads with His people with the Holy Spirit and His word. But nevertheless His judgment comes once the pleading is over.

It is up to each one of us individually to surrender our pride and fall not asleep with the “peace and safety”message so prevalent in our church today.

The Spirit of prophecy writes, “I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to the earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfillment of some important event.” (Early Writings, p.277)

The “event” we shall look into, Scripture mentions as the “half hour silence” in Rev. 8:1,

“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”(Rev. 8:1)

This subject , we as SDA know, is very rarely discussed within our church, yet it will happen to be one of the most important and earth changing acts in mankind’s history.

To first get a little background surrounding this half hour silence we shall read,

In graphic demonstration that He will come to earth with all His angels to execute judgment upon the living, the Lord revealed Himself prophetically to Ezekiel as being brought enthroned to earth by four living creatures just before the slaughter of the hypocrites in the church takes place. And as each of the living creatures has the face of a lion, the face of a calf, the face of a man, and the face of an eagle (Ezek. 1:10), — the same judicial insignia as have the beasts who are before the throne in the heavenly sanctuary (Rev. 4:7) in the time of the judgment of the dead, — and as they descend to earth, they thereby symbolically show that the work of the mediatorial-judicial throne which convenes and presides over the judgment of the dead is extended to earth.

   This extension, so far as we are able to know now, must take place at the opening of the seventh seal (Rev. 8:1), for at that time the celestial voices, which opened the judgment of the dead, cease in the heavenly sanctuary and begin, after the half hour’s silence, to sound on earth. In other words, just as in heaven at the opening of the judgment of the dead, there were “lightnings and thunderings and voices” (Rev. 4:5), likewise on earth at the opening of the “judgment of the living,” there are “voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” Rev. 8:5.

   With the judgment of the dead, however, the work of separation takes place in the books in the heavenly sanctuary; whereas with the judgment of the living, the separation takes place among the people in the church as well as among their names in the books in the heavenly sanctuary, thus showing that both sanctuaries will finally be cleansed.

   Inescapably, therefore, the Lord’s coming to His temple (Mal. 3:1-3), His coming with all His angels (Matt. 25), and His coming enthroned above the living creatures (Ezek. 1), — all three representing the same event as has been shown, — take place at the beginning of the judgment of the living: the time in which the judicial activities of the heavenly sanctuary extend to the earthly sanctuary — the church. (Tract 3, p.46-47)

But when the seventh seal is opened, there is silence in heaven (the beasts hold their peace, also the “lightnings,” the “thunderings,” and the “voices” cease — Rev. 4:5) “about the space of half an hour.” Rev. 8:1.  The silence clearly  reveals that the first session of the Judicial  proceedings comes to a close, and that the second session commences after the silence is over.(Tract 15, p.17-18)

As we have seen, the silence divides the two pre-millennial Judicial sessions, the one for the dead and the other for the living, and the fire from the heavenly altar, the voices, lightnings, and thunderings, descend to earth.  These facts, along with a number of scriptures on the subject, besides the remainder of The Revelation, the chapters after the breaking of the seventh seal, prove that the Judgment of the living, the cleansing of the earthly temple, is something which takes place on earth, not in heaven only!

   “Behold,” declares the Lord, “I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple,… But who may abide the day of His coming?  and who shall stand when He appeareth?  for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.” Mal. 3:1,

   Yes, the work of the second Judicial session includes the earthly sanctuary, the church.  At that time the Lord’s “fire” is “in Zion, and  His furnace in Jerusalem.” Isa. 31:9.(Tract 15, p.65)

So we see that this silence is the beginning of the judicial judgment of the “LIVING”,  the dead session being completed. In other words it appears that when the judgment begins and extends down to the earth, and when the Lord begins to put His sickle upon the “earth”(Rev. 14:14-16), the SDA church purification begins. This, as we as present truth believers well know is–the Ezekiel 9 church judgment. It produces the “jewels” of God, the 144,000.

“And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”(Mal. 3:17)

This half hour silence is solemnly adhered too,  by the heavenly beings due to the fact that  the “great and dreadful” day of the Lord is taking place. It is also known as the Lord’s “strange act”and His “day of vengeance”.

“For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do his work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act.”(Isaiah 28:21)

“For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.” (Isaiah 63:4)

But let us ask the question–Why a “half hour”? What does this mean?

First, we have to take the Biblical understanding of time measurement to arrive at what a half hour of time would mean to us in real actual time. In the Bible, a day represents a year in prophecy, according to Ezekiel 4:6, “I have appointed thee each day for a year.” If we apply this prophetic yardstick, one half hour of time would be just about a week or seven literal days.

So we see that the actual work of Ezekiel 9 shall compromise about seven literal days in length. As we continue we shall trust that you are already aware of the solemn act of Ezekiel , as described in Scripture..

Let us look at one of the more popular understandings within the SDA (remember the vast amount of SDA do not know about the true Elijah message or it’s interpretations) concerning our subject.

They teach that this silence is concerning the Lord coming to the earth in the well-known “Second Coming.” But brother Houteff shows why this cannot be so.

The silence in heaven for about half an hour cannot be the second coming of Christ, as some have thought, for afterward the angel with the golden censer and incense, offered the prayers for the saints from the golden altar.  The altar is in the holy place, just opposite the throne that is in the most holy.  The two apartments were separated by a vail.  In the day of atonement, the vail or door of the earthly tabernacle was opened and the high priest went in. 

But let it be remembered that the door (vail) was left open while the high priest officiated.  Thus the two apartments became one.  For this reason the congregation were not permitted in the holy place on that day, as they were at other times, for the vail being lifted, the holy place also became most holy.  So while the door to the most holy was open, the entrance to the holy was closed. 

Therefore, the high priest alone used both apartments on the day of atonement. (See Lev. 16:17.)  Thus the golden altar before the throne, from which the angel offered the prayers of the saints, was, and is, used in both periods — before, and in the time of the judgment.  As the entire judicial tribunal (Judge, Advocate, Elders, etc.) were in the temple after the seventh seal had been opened, it is evident that the judgment was in progress, and probation had not closed at the time of the “silence.”  For after the judgment has ceased and probation closed, no man can enter the temple. (See Rev. 15:8.)

   Had the “silence” of “half an hour” pointed to the coming of Christ, at which time He takes his saints with Him, there would be no necessity for the angel to offer their prayers.  Furthermore, it would be unnecessary to “cast” fire, which is the Spirit of God, from the golden altar to the earth. 

Again, if the opening of the seventh seal means the coming of Christ, then only those under the six seals would have been considered in the judgment, and there could be no seventh seal, which would show lack of perfection and completeness of the judgment, and of the gospel.  It would also be contrary to the number of seals on the book.  As the six seals have reference to six periods in which the saints were sealed, the seventh must also apply to a sealing period; otherwise it cannot be called, seventh “seal.”(SRod, vol. 2, p.215)

Ok so now we have shown that this half hour silence is the Ezekiel 9 church judgment, which is to take about 7 days. But logically we can ask– Why seven days? If Ezekiel 9 is to be the church judgment, why does God extend the solemn act for 7 days instead of more  like, one and done?

Those are great questions and there appears good answers that we’ll show in part 2. Let us keep in mind that the main purpose of the Elijah message is to prepare us for the “great and dreadful day of the Lord”. So if this subject we are now studying is to truly be thorough we should cover every angle.

Let us know the Lord’s plans and be prepared. The Lord is soon to do His work and those who blindly skip along without taking pains to know His plans, shall fall under His word–

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:6)

“All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.’”(Amos 9:10) 

Those who are saying this Ezekiel 9 church judgment will not happen are saying “Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.”

Spirit of Prophecy illuminates this special work this way–

“Those who train the mind to seize upon everything which they can use as a peg to hang a doubt upon, and suggest these thoughts to other minds, will always find occasion to doubt. They will question and criticize everything that arises in the unfolding of truth, criticize the work and position of others, criticize every branch of the work in which they have not themselves a part. They will feed upon the errors and mistakes and faults of others, “until,” said the angel, the Lord Jesus shall rise up from His mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary and shall clothe Himself with the garments of vengeance and surprise them at their unholy feast, and they will find themselves unprepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb.”(Testimonies, vol. 5, p.690)

Did you catch when this surprise visit (Ezekiel 9) happens? During, not after, His mediatorial  work in heaven. That is in probationary time, because it is in during the  “unfolding of truth” period of time.

Ellen White well knew under Inspiration , the upcoming church purification was a real event.

“But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor.”(Testimonies , vol. 5 , p.80)

Next week we’ll look at the specific ramifications that occur and prophetic references explaining the immediate after effects that take place. We’ll focus on some specifics during the seven days. Remember this one act will truly shake the world and it starts the final event clock that ushers in the Loud Cry. As Scripture says it shall be “great and dreadful”.

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4 Responses to “The Solemn Half Hour Silence (Part 1 of 3)”

  1. wilfred. Says:

    this is an eye opener!i have always wanted to understand this topic but have had little material!wonderful i can now access the full material!

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    This truly is an important event brother. next week we’ll show the particulars of what we gleam from Scripture and the Elijah message, concerning those 7 days.

  3. Johannes Terinathe Says:

    Thank you, for the way you teach the subject very simple and easy to understand. I fully agree with you. May God bless you, for such a teaching is badly in need now among our people..

  4. godsloveandlaw Says:

    All glory and honor to our King! Glad this subject has been revealed to you in the simple manner, which the Lord has used this channel to communicate it. May He continue to “guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13)

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