Silence for about Half an Hour

(John 16:8; Revelation 6:9-11; 8:1)

Before the Holy Spirit was poured out in the early 20th century, there was “silence in heaven for about half an hour,” as described in Revelation 8:1.

This silence in heaven for half an hour refers to the silence of the martyrs who cried out in heaven in the fifth seal of Revelation 6.

The first four seals were four horses given “authority over a fourth of the Earth to kill with the sword and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the Earth.”1Rev 6:8 Europe was a fourth of the Earth and the extent of Christianity until the 16th century.

That brings us to the fifth seal, where the martyrs on thrones cried out “with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’”

The resurrection of the martyrs began when the saints escaped from the hand of the bishop of Rome, in 1471. They were “given a white robe and told to rest until the number of their brethren to be killed … was completed.”2Rev 6:11 Their deaths ended with the Thirty Years War, in which a third of the population of Germany died. The Peace of Westphalia was signed in 1648. After this, the martyrs stopped ascending to heaven, and “there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”3Rev 8:1

“An hour” is understood to be about 533 years, and half an hour, 267 years, which brings us from 1648 to 1917, when fire from the altar was thrown down to the Earth, as described in Revelation 8:5.

The fire poured out in 1917 was the same fire that Christ poured out on the day of Pentecost: The holy spirit sent to “convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.”4John 16:8

The outpouring of the holy spirit marked the beginning of the “hour of God’s judgment”5Rev 14:7 and answered the cry of the martyrs.