Thirty minutes of silence in heaven. Imagine that!
A Pause in Heaven, with thirty minutes of silence, while God waited.
This was one of those ah-ha moments that helped click things in place, when I was starting to write the Children of Light, now a series. Initially, it was going to be a single book. After a little over two years, I thought I’d better split it in two… well, now it looks to be a series of five plus a prequel, but I am getting away from the ah-ha moment.
I was struggling with the timeline for the book. If I am honest with myself, I really didn’t want to write an end-time book, mostly because the subject frightened me. Not for myself, but I have family members who don’t know the Lord, and I am terrified for them. But the story kept shaping up that way, and I still struggled with the timeline. While I write, I still study anything that will help me get a better understanding of my subject and to stay in God’s word.
Well this day, I was reading Revelations 8, dealing with the seventh seal. However, it was the very first verse that caught me off guard.
1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (NIV)
Pause in Heaven
John recorded that after Jesus broke the seventh seal, there was a period of about 30 minutes of total silence in heaven. Imagine that, no angels praising God, no angelic messengers going back and forth, absolutely nothing. Total silence. I had to find out what this was all about, so I started doing some research. Turns out, nobody really knows the significance of this divine pause. As both Chuck Smith and Dr. Jeremiah state, when the scripture is silent, so should we be. So I will not begin to postulate any meaning there. However, there was a pause, a period of quiet, where everybody waited for the next event. It seems to be a time of ‘waiting’.
Does God wait?
The next question that popped into my mind… was God waiting? Does God wait? Yes, of course he does! Look at his children and their disobedience, yet God waits for us to get our acts together. He has immeasurable amount of patience. But, this was not my ah-ha moment.
It was this… there was a period of time where nothing seemed to happen… at least from John’s perspective. It’s as if God was waiting… as if in this time of waiting, he was dispensing his mercy upon the world under judgment. Giving the poor souls below a moment to breathe, before the next round of judgments was upon them.
Then, I started thinking, are there other times in the Bible where God seemed to wait. It didn’t take long for me to find one example that is on topic. Daniel’s Seventy Weeks. I won’t go into detail, but Daniel prophesied a period of 70 weeks of events upon Israel. Sixty-nine of those weeks have taken place, with the last one ending at the time of Christ’s rejection by the Jews.
And then what?
Nothing. There is a pause. An indeterminate amount of time, before the seventieth week, will begin. That week is the Tribulation week. We know it will come and happen because all the other events of the prior sixty-nine weeks have already happened. When one considers prophecy to see if it is genuine, the prophet generally called for something to happen in the near future, to give validity to a prophecy in the distant future. We can be certain Daniel’s prophecy of the seventieth week will take place.
My ah-ha moment.
Well, here it is. I have wondered how quickly things transpire between the rapture and the start of the tribulation. Many scholars teach one will follow the other in quick succession. But, the Bible is silent on the timeline. There is no measurement, but it speaks to signs that will signal when things may happen.
I believe that the tribulation comes after the rapture of the church. But how quickly. Well, that is my ah-ha moment. I believe there will be a PAUSE. A period of time, when God will give mankind time to comprehend what has just happened and get their acts together before the last week begins. Some scholars, like Dr. Thomas Ice, believe there is a time lag.
Time-Line Dilemma Solved
That right there, solved my huge time-line dilemma. There is a lag between the rapture and the start of the tribulation. Plus several things are to happen before the start of tribulation and after the rapture. The biggest thing is that there will be a massive invasion of Israel by a coalition of forces from the north. The invasion will fail because God will protect Israel, and a seven-year peace treaty with Israel will be signed by the remaining countries. (I am really paraphrasing this, sorry.)
So, this now gives me a position for the Children of Light. In my series, I am proposing a period of seventy years between the rapture and the tribulation. This is after all speculative fiction, and there were 70 years between Christ prophesying about the destruction of the temple and when it was destroyed. The period of 70 years allows for the development of the Light-gifts and the evolution of the Light and Dark parts of the world, etc.
So, my dilemma was solved by Revelations 8:1. God is so good!
Have a blessed day.
 Jeremiah, David. Escape the Coming-Night.