There Was Silence in Heaven
for About Half an Hour
When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
Today’s sermon is the most important, so please listen carefully. This short time was 30 minutes. This was half an hour, a very short time. It is the eve of the final judgment that will strike after a suffocating silence. Then, why did God give this half a hour of silence? It is for the saints to offer their final prayers and settle accounts. Though we must repent for sins committed knowingly and unknowingly, we must bear fruit. Without fruit, repentance is a lie. Currently, creation is waiting with bated breath, wondering, “How will the saints pray to save us from this suffocating pain?” The sons of God, who truly believe, are looking forward to appearing and liberating all of creation as the master of all creation after God is man. However, the devil now controls everything. God is longing and looking forward to hearing the prayers of the last saints. Please listen to carefully to today’s Word. There’s nothing more or less. God gives you one last chance. This is your last chance. All of creation is holding their breath and watching how God will respond to the prayers of the saints.
Romans 8:19-23 – “For the eagerly awaiting creation waits for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only that, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons and daughters, the redemption of our body.”
Creation is supposed to submit to the son of God. God, the master of all creation, gave all to man. Yet, it was taken away due to disobedience. Man was created in the image of God, but became distorted. The purpose of Jesus’ coming is to destroy the devil’s work (1 John 3:8, Heb 2:14). Revelation 8:1 in the NIV Bible records, “When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” God’s sovereign grace must be achieved quickly. Within that grace, if there is a beginning, there is also a progression and an end. The world is not here forever. Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians, “…the present form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor 7:31). There’s no pausing as God’s will cannot be delayed.
The end-time revelation in the Book of Revelation that will inevitably take place
The inevitable end that God showed Apostle John on the island of Patmos will be fulfilled. Now, we hear the voice of God through the Bible. In Revelation chapter 1, Apostle John saw the appearance of God who gave a revelation. This was Jesus Christ, the resurrected Lord of glory. In chapters 2 and 3, we see the reality of the churches that are established in the world that teaches about the final judgment of the world. This shows ahead through a revelation that the churches in the end times will be like those in Revelation 2 and 3. At the end, the revelation of the seven churches will come true. There will be no reduction. In chapters 4 and 5, we see the throne of heaven, the source of the Book of Revelation. In chapter 6, we see the plagues of the six seals that are symbols of persecution. In chapter 7, we see an amazing and glorious world for the saints who are determined to be saved, for the blameless and those untainted with women, and for the 144,000 clothed in white robes. The same goes for Chapter 14.
Who are the people clothed in white robes? It is those wearing linen, who do not partake in the world or are unclean within it. It is only those who preserved their spirits, souls, and bodies without blame as the spiritual bride of Jesus Christ. The Bible says to “preserve the spirit, soul, and body without blame until Jesus comes” (1 Thess 5:23; 1 Pet 4). It seems as though we will live for 1,000 or 10,000 years, but most of us live not even a hundred years. We don’t even live a hundred years, yet we commit all kinds of crimes, make God upset, and waste time, materials, and everything that God has given us in this world. Rather, we become stingy with God. When John saw the men in white robes, he was astonished and said, “Lord, who are they?” When asked, He said, “They are the ones who have fought and overcome sin, the world and all temptations, and those who are without blemish in spirit, soul and body, that is, those who have put on the clothes that were washed with the blood of Jesus on the cross.” These are the people who kept the fidelity of their faith to the end in the midst of many tribulations. They are on the throne of God’s glory. It surely is an amazing scene.
Chapters 8 and 9 show the warning symbol of the opening of the seventh seal and the plagues of the trumpet. The first tribulation has passed, and the second tribulation is coming. The second tribulation ends in Chapter 11, and the third tribulation comes, which is the final tribulation. It is said that at that time “twice ten thousand times ten thousand” would die altogether suddenly. “Twice ten thousand times ten thousand” is 200 million. One-third of the world’s population will die, and two-thirds of those remaining will also die. It is a frightening judgment. It is said, “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place (Matt 24:34).”
Whether we are poor or rich on this earth, won’t we all go before the throne of God? When we go before the throne of God, there is no end of age. There is no date or time; time lasts forever and ever. It is neither hot nor cold, so no clothes are needed. You do not need to eat nor does your body smell. Because you only intake the water of life each day, and fruit of life that is produced each month, you don’t need to defecate. Angels and cherubs are our messengers. It takes about 13.5 hours to fly to the US from Korea. However, in that kingdom, we can move instantly (Ezek 1, 10). In the heavenly kingdom, the moment you think, “I want to eat a banana,” a banana is already in your mouth. The moment you make up your mind to meet someone, that someone will answer. It is that kind of world. It is not a man-made world. Didn’t Prophet Isaiah describe this world in Isaiah 65:24? It’s an amazing world. In Revelation chapters 8 and 9, the plague of the seventh seal has already left, and the plague of the trumpet is coming. It is said, “They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads” (Rev 9:4). The world is like that now. Neutron bombs only kill people without damaging a single leaf of grass. Such weapons, as stated in the Bible, already exist today.
The revelation of “the silence for half an hour” shortly before the plagues of the trumpet
Right before the opening of the trumpet plague, an introductory apocalypse appears. That is the scene from today’s text, Revelation 8:1-5. There was silence in heaven for half an hour, which is a very short time. Then, a golden censer appears. The angel had a golden censer and when John asked what it was, the angel answered, “I am going before the throne of God with the prayers of the saints of the end times.” Therefore, “a time of silence for half an hour” is a time of prayer. Even though Jesus is the sinless One, God Himself, He constantly prays for the sins of mankind, for our sake. He prays whenever He has time. Even now, at the right hand of God’s throne, He is praying without sitting, waiting for us. However, we don’t even know that and do whatever we wish. “I gave up my body for you and shed blood to make a ransom. Because I love you to the end, I cannot even sit down at the throne of God, but I stand at the right hand and pray for you” (Rom 8:26; Heb 8:9). We say that we believe in God, but what have we done for the Lord? Aren’t we busy with our work and our own families (Phil 2:21)? God asks, “When will you do my work?” Jesus said, “If you love your parents, children, and wealth more than Me, it is not worthy. You cannot be my disciple.” You should try to find out the hidden meaning behind it instead of taking it word for word.
The Pyungkang Cheil Conference Center in Yeoju is a place prepared for your soul. How many times can I make it out there? There is mineral water coming out from a rock, which is 260 to 300 m underground. A water pipe to last 200 years was put underground. The water is extremely clean. If you drink this water, even cancer will be cured. Yeoju Conference Center is a place where people come to pray. It’s not a place to hang out and play. Your soul must find real rest. Receiving grace, singing hymns, and praying is real rest.
The incense in the golden censer is the prayers of the saints
The incense in the golden censer is the prayers of the saints (Rev 8:1-5). If you pray, you will not perish. You, your husbands, wives, and children will be healthy. You will be able to have a good life of faith. Your children are not doing well because you do not pray. Children may listen to their parents when they are in elementary or middle school, but when they go to high school, they are no longer in your control. To their parents children may say, “yes,” but they’re actually thinking the opposite and won’t listen. We must pray for our children with an aching heart. Don’t think about amassing wealth to give to your children, but be faithful to God and pray earnestly for them without ceasing. Then, God will take charge. Please believe that the Holy Spirit will inspire and move the hearts of your children and prevent them from going astray. Children don’t act according to their parents’ wishes. So, please make them God’s sons and daughters.
What does gold signify in the golden censer? Gold is something that does not change even in the midst of stormy trials, pain, and suffering. It remains unchanged even as time passes. That’s why it’s “faith like gold” (1 Pet 1:7). Prayer must not change, fade away, nor disappear. Realize and pray as though “Prayer is my life, my all, my everything, and the purpose of my life.” This sermon is not a lecture or speech. It is to convey life.
When prayers are received, “half an hour” comes to an end
Angels take up the prayers of the saints and present it on the altar of golden incense in front of the throne in heaven. All prayers are received by God and the given time of half an hour comes to an end. Once it ends, verse 5 of today’s text follows.
Revelation 8:5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
As the sky darkens, the earth splits in all directions — to the east, west, north, and south — and as all the houses collapse, we hear the thunder, the voice of God, and the voices of the prophets of all generations. It’s frightening. Lightning strikes momentarily, and to make matters worse, earthquakes occur. People fall down 10 to 30 meters from their seat. Even with an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7, everything will collapse. Then, will there be anyone left on this earth? When our Lord speaks out once, everything under heaven will be destroyed. Heaven and earth stop all at once at the sound of our Lord’s voice. When heaven and earth stop, everything collapses. Everything is staying in its place because of the rotation, and if that stops, all will collapse.
Today, during this quiet, peaceful time, we must remind ourselves that “we are living in a very short time of half an hour.” During this time, the prayers of the saints from the world go up to God. Please pray. Confess all the times you haven’t prayed in the past, even if it’s been 10 or 20 years you’ve believed in Jesus. We must bear the fruit of prayer and the fruit of repentance. There are fruits of light in the lives of the saints. God desires for us to bear fruit. We should not become “a fruitless autumn tree that is uprooted and doubly dead” (Jude 1:12). God uproots and throws away everything which He did not plant. If He says, “Who planted this unknown thing in my field without permission? Pull it out.” No one can say anything. All grains planted without the owner’s permission are pulled out and thrown away.
Matthew 15:13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.
All of us are planted on this earth by God as He has a will and purpose desired for us. Please have some pride in your faith, saying, “I was planted by God!” What God has not planted will be uprooted. His Word is the Word of eternal life. Please don’t roughly pass through when reading the Scriptures. Imagine how desperately you would be looking for your lost child. This child, that child, may all look like my child. Please read the Bible with such a heart.
Isaiah 60:21 “Then all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
The time of silence for about half an hour is the “hidden time”
Why did God give a time of silence for about half an hour? This is the “hidden time” that God Himself claims in the progress of His plan of redemptive history. The psalmist records that there is the “grace stored up” to give to the saints just before the last tribulation. 1 Peter 1:13 also records that there is the “grace to be brought” in the last days. Half an hour signifies a hidden time.
Proverbs 15:23 A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word!
People find joy in answers. You may call out, “Hello, anyone?” and feel disappointed when someone doesn’t look back or respond to your call. These people don’t look back even at harsh words. The Scripture says, “How delightful is a timely word!” The Word becomes timely when long and believe in it. What would happen if we just eat, drink, and have fun without knowing when the Lord will come? The five wise virgins prepared lamps, oil, and fire, but the other five foolish virgins had lamps without oil or fire. This is why God repeatedly tells us, “So will be the coming of the Son of Man. Stay awake and always be ready.” The timely Word is the “hidden manna.” God gives the hidden manna for us to eat. Then, He will give each of us a white stone and our new names will be written on these stones.
Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.
We should not stay ignorant, not knowing what “a timely word” is and what it means to be “hidden,” while living in the world. Now that you have heard the proclamation of this Word, I am no longer responsible. Jesus is God Himself. However, He didn’t have a flashing light on His forehead like a police siren, nor was He flying around. He came as a man with humanity and was just as hungry as the people. Isn’t it written in the Bible that “Jesus was hungry?” He cursed the fruitless fig tree when He was starving. Men sinned, thus God came as a man to work. He came as the Son of Man. God works through people. Shouldn’t we receive the Word and prepare to receive the “timely Words” in the last days?
To the one who overcomes, He will give some of the “hidden manna” and “a new name written on a white stone.”
The prophecy of Revelation 2:17 must come true. The Scripture testifies that the hidden manna will be given to eat and a white stone with a new name written on it will be given; and no one will know the name except the one who has received it. Who would know what happened between a married couple except the two of them? Please do not just stop at the phrase, “the silence for half an hour,” but go forward to seek to eat the “hidden manna.” God hid it so that others would not know about it. Those who believe, who long for the kingdom of God, and who look forward to it become aware of it. The one who overcomes eats the hidden manna. The one who triumphs is the one who overcomes everything; one who overcomes sin, oneself, the world, temptation, and greed. The one who overcomes gives the best, even with his or her life on the line if it is for the will of God, and always prays and longs for the Word. I am not saying that you should not do your work in the world but come and live in church. We need to continue our lives in the world, but our core ideology must be different from the world. All the things we do, living with our husbands and wives and raising children, must all be for the glory of God. What can go wrong for the children who pray with such a heart? All afflictions are caused by the sins of not praying. Prophet Samuel said, “I will never commit the sin of ceasing to pray.” Not living a life of prayer is a sin.
In the last days, at the time of silence for about half an hour, I pray that all of you will clear up all the shortcomings in your lives of faith and repent for all the time spent in vain until now. I hope you will bear the fruit of thorough repentance, and newly bear the fruit of prayer and praise. God desires to receive the “fruit of lips” (Heb 13:15). If you praise without sincerity and without knowing the meaning, and just follow others by memorization, that is a big problem. When you farm, you must produce fruit. If there is no fruit, then there is no need for a scythe. The farmer would just set it on fire and burn it. However, the farmer would be disappointed and heartbroken by it. It is the same with our lives of faith. What are you going to do during the half an hour of silence? Have you read the Bible properly? Did you pray? Did you praise? Did you evangelize? Are you bearing fruit in your church service? God is love. Then, we who believe in God must also overflow with love. At this time, should we be saying such things as, “I like you, but not you,” or “Don’t tell that person what I said”? During this half hour, please get rid of all those things.
When the time comes, you need to make timely preparations.
See how God has left His own imprints on Christian history from time to time. It was not done by man. How many people live according to the times of God’s sovereign work? When the time of the Son of Man comes, we need to prepare. Who would not take a bath and put on makeup at a beauty salon if tomorrow was their wedding day? Isn’t it the happiest and most joyful day of your life? It is a day to wear the fine linen which you have never worn in your life. Now, God is speaking of “the time.” It is time to live our life of faith with caution as if we were walking on thin ice. Those who possess much should be like those who have none, and those who have none should not be discouraged about their lack but live gratefully and with content. The things of this world pass away in vain, thus God’s Word encourages the wealthy ones to participate in good deeds to help those who are in need and live all together. The “time,” which was kept as a mystery in God’s sovereign history, is something that we as men cannot understand. Please believe that we are now living in this time where heaven is silent for about half an hour. It’s an extremely short time. During this period, the angels hold the golden censer as they wait, saying, “The prayers of the saints should come up.” However, what if the prayers of Pyungkang Church members do not come up? The angels collect all the prayers in the golden censer and go before God to present them. They carry it before the throne. God is going to command to pour them out to see how much the saints prayed on this vast earth.
Dear saints, please be thankful. Be thankful for coming to believe in Jesus, receiving the Word, receiving grace, about confessing the Apostles’ Creed, and coming to Pyungkang Church where Jesus takes the lead in our lives of faith. You must pray like this, “I was idling time away while attending church. However, after hearing the Word, I was able to look back and repent and praise the hymn properly. Thank you.” “I sincerely prayed that I would bear fruits of repentance. Thank you.” When you put on the glasses of grace, everything is good. If you do not receive grace, there are people you hate and people you like. However, when you receive grace, all those things disappear. We must solve this in half an hour. What would you do? Isn’t this frightening? When the angel receives the last saint’s prayer, and goes up and pours it out before the throne of God, then it’s the end of the world. There will be thunder and lightning and earthquakes.
Let us look at the splendid and magnificent kingdom of heaven
On this earth, there are good clothes and bad clothes depending on the standard of living. However, in the kingdom of heaven, all are shiny linen cloth and its fragrance vibrates. The flowers of this world are nothing compared to them. There is no sorrow, no suffering, no tears, no laments, and no death in heaven. There are no worries. Every day is full of the sound of praise and it is forever and ever. God is everlasting. There is no end. Every day is a creation. If you look at the things of this world for over 5 minutes, you get tired of them no matter how good the creation was. However, the kingdom of heaven changes every moment. Everyday is full of creation. Everyday is new and it’s endless. Every moment is dazzling and amusing. God says He will take us to such a world, but would you desire to live committing sin in this limited world where you can’t even live for 100 years? Who would be foolish enough to stay? The fires of the world are extinguished when they are burned out, yet the fires of hell do not burn out. Even the maggots don’t die. It is a continuation of suffering where one would rather just die to end it. However, one cannot even die. The smoke of suffering goes on forever eternally (Mark 9:48-49). Then why do you want to go to such a place? We must believe in the Bible as if we welcome our children who come home.
During the period of Japanese rule in Korea, thick gold rings were given to the married couple. Gold was considered most precious. Nowadays, people don’t even look at the gold rings. You can boast when you have a diamond ring. Among diamonds, D color is the best, and goes down in the order of E, F, and G. Most of the rings people wear are G color diamonds, the VVS1 which has some blemishes. However in heaven, D color is nothing. It is an indescribable world. When you see someone wearing a diamond ring, don’t be envious saying, “How lucky and fortunate is that person to wear such a fine diamond ring?” Look at the jewels recorded in the Book of Revelation. God is teaching through the jewels of the earth because men do not understand. In heaven, both the earth and the walls are all diamonds. Going in and out is like having diamonds all over your body. Don’t be envious of the world’s diamonds, but be victorious with your unchanging faith, which is more precious than gold. During this time of silence for half an hour, please repent for not praying, not praising, not reading the Word, not loving others, not serving, not being filial to our parents, and not truly loving our friends as myself. I pray in the name of the Lord that we will sincerely pray before God, that our prayers will be contained in the angel’s golden censer, poured out before the throne of God, and that through the hidden manna and new name, we will honorably be recorded in the book of life in heaven as sons and daughters of God.
Pyungkang Day Thanksgiving Service Sermon by Rev. Huisun Abraham Park on October 27, 2006 (Fri)
The period when Rev. Huisun Abraham Park, the founder of Pyungkang Cheil Church and the author of the History of Redemption series, preached this sermon, was when he was suffering from shingles with both of his ears torn sore and was in severe pain as he described, “as if my head is cut with a knife and sprinkled red pepper powder.” However, despite the pain, he refused to be hospitalized but rather went to the construction site of Pyungkang Conference Center in Yeoju several times a week and spearheaded the construction until late at night. After preaching this sermon, Rev. Park said, “I feel like I’m on pins and needles as I know that my fellow ministers and staff are still working even at this very time” and then headed back to Yeoju. With the dedication of Rev. Park and all the saints, the Yeoju Pyungkang Conference Center was completed in 2007, and the first Summer Conference (World Missionary Conference) was held in the month of July.
*This post can also be read in 'Champyungan'. (http://champyungan.com/en/)