Many have been incorrectly taught that the arrangement of the seven seals,
seven trumpets and seven bowls/plagues was as follows. (Where the 7th seal
is composed of 7 trumpets and the 7th trumpet is composed of 7 bowls.)
Such an arrangement therefore predicts 19 separate events (6 seals followed
by 6 trumpets followed by 7 plagues). Needless to say, this produces an
excessive level of prophetic detail.
In reality though, only four separate stages are being described.
1st Preliminary - 4 seals / 4 trumpets / 4 plagues
2nd 1ST Tribulation - 5th seal / 5th trumpet / 5th plague
3rd 2ND Tribulation - 6th seal / 6th trumpet / 6th plague
4th Resolution - 7th seal / 7th trumpet / 7th plague
When the seals, trumpets and bowls(plagues) are displayed alongside each
other it is apparent that either;
1) quite different descriptions are being utilized to
portray the same events, or
2) several different events are occurring at the same
** 7 SEALS ** ** 7 TRUMPETS ** ** 7 PLAGUES **
PRELIMINARY - White Horse - 1/3 of Vegetation - Sore on men(mark)
- Red Horse - 1/3 of Sea - All in the sea die
- Black Horse - 1/3 of Rivers - Rivers made blood
- Pale Horse - 1/3 of Heaven - Sun scorches
1ST TRIB. - Persecution of - Locusts torment - Throne of Beast
/ WITNESS the saints men without the in severe pain
seal of God for
2ND TRIB. - Great earthquake - Great army - Euphrates dried up
- sun became black - crosses the - Kings of the
- moon like blood Euphrates east cross over
- stars fell - 1/3 of mankind - gathering at
- sky receded die Mt Megiddo
- mountains moved
RESOLUTION - Multitude out - Kingdom of God - Great earthquake
from the trib. - Nations angry - Mountains not found
- Lamb reigns - Destroy those - Cities fall
who destroyed - Great hail
A great deal of symbolism is present within the descriptions of the seals,
trumpets and plagues; so it is necessary to explain further.
PRELIMINARY - This is a preliminary period of time.
(Described in Matt 24:8 as 'the beginning of sorrows'.)
4 SEALS / HORSES
Four horses and their riders. This common symbolism implies
these 4 horses should be considered together.
(NB: Individually the 4 horses do not correlate with each
of the 4 trumpets and plagues. Rather as a group the
4 horses correlate with grouping of the 4 trumpets
and the grouping of the 4 plagues.)
The four seals describe:
1st seal - white horse - false religion (beasts, verse 8)
2nd seal - red horse - spiritual war
3rd seal - black horse - spiritual famine
4th seal - pale horse - spiritual death
In Rev 6:8 it is stated these four are given power over 1/4
of the earth to kill. (This 1/4 is explained, in the context
of the plagues, as being a reference to the sea, ie 1 of the
4 elements of the spiritual earth.)
A fifth horse, of unknown color, is described in verse 8.
It's rider is Hades. It does not ride at this time, but
rather follows the 4th horse. (A theme further developed
in the 5th trumpet.)
In these verses we encounter the existing spiritual creation
(ie, people of God) being represented by the four elements;
vegetation, sea, rivers and sky.
The trumpets indicate 1/3 of the people in each of the elements
will spiritually perish during this period.
This appears to be typed by the third of Rev 12:4. In Rev 12:4
the third is representing those who fell in the wilderness
after leaving Egypt, ie the men twenty years old and above,
refer Num 32:11.
The first 4 plagues also depict the 4 elements of the
spiritual earth (ie land life, sea life, river life and
an element of the sky).
The plagues reflect a broad overview of events.
(ie - Those who accept false teaching are considered diseased.
- The flock/ministry who leave the faith perish in the sea.
- Polluted religious words are typified as rivers of blood.
- Light (ie teaching) which brings pain is presented as
descending from those dwelling in the sky/heaven (ie
those governing the flock).)
1ST TRIB This a period of final warning and also a period of trial.
The 5th seal presents a period of concluding witness.
The killing of the brethren represents their removal
from accepted membership, ie excommunication.
[NB: The witness at this time is directed against
the newly formed 10 horned image of the beast.]
This period will last for a symbolic five months,
refer Rev 9:5,10. (The length of time the waters
of the Flood prevailed upon the earth. Gen 7:24)
This trumpet describes a plague of symbolic locusts
arising out of the bottomless pit, which darken the
sun and heaven and are granted to torture those not
sealed by God. The symbolic creatures sting with
their tails and have long hair.
This locust symbolism is also represented in the
book of Joel 1:4,2:26, where the plague was intended
to bring a change in behaviour (Joel 1:14, 2:12-17.)
The symbolism is also used to depict the hordes of
Midian which once camped in the land of Israel and
consumed the fruit of the land Judg 6:4-5.
The comment 'stings in their tails' when compared to
Isa 9:15 ... the prophet who teaches lies,
he is the tail.
informs us that these locusts are 'prophets'.
The hair symbolism also implies a religious aspect.
(Samson had no strength when his hair was shaved,
Judg 16:19-20. A person under a Nazirite vow was
not permitted to shave his hair, Num 6:5.)
The 'great furnace' symbolism also is associated
with Egypt, the 'iron furnace', refer Deut 4:20,
1Kings 8:51 and Jer 4:11.
Spiritually speaking, Egypt represents the Jewish
faith; for as the children of Israel came out of
Egypt, so the first Christians were those who came
out of the Jewish faith.
The word 'bottomless' is in some other verses
rendered 'abyss', refer Luke 8:31 & Rom 10:7.
In Luke 8:31, it is a place where demons are sent.
In Rom 10:7 it is equated with the dwelling place
of the dead!
Rom 10:7 ... 'Who will descend into the
abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ
up from the dead).
The king mentioned in Rev 9:11 is;
Abaddon = 'destruction' or 'place of destruction'.
The notion of 'perishing'.
Rendered 5 times in the Old Testament
as 'destruction', Job 26:6,28:22,31:12,
Ps 88:11 & Prov 15:11, where it is mostly
associated with the 'place of burial'.
Apollyon = 'destroyer' or 'perisher'.
The related verb, Strong's '622', is
translated in the New Testament as both
'destroy' and 'perish'.
The angel of the grave, is the rider of the 5th horse.
Who is named in Rev 6:8 as 'Hades'.
[NB: He is also described in Daniel 11:40 as the
'the king of the South(ie, spiritual Egypt)'.]
These locusts ascending out of the bottomless pit,
ie out of Hades, mimic what is prophesied to happen
to those of the Jewish faith.
Rom 11:15 For if their being cast away is the
reconciling of the world, what will their
acceptance be but life from the dead?
NB: 1) The locusts are representing Jewish prophets descending
on the land of Christianity and consuming the words of
God in support of their views.
2) The creation of 'the image to the beast' (Rev 13:14),
an organisation which combines the Jewish and Christian
faiths, leads to an invasion of Jewish prophets into
the land of Christianity. Resulting in the darkening
of the Christian sun and heaven.
The fifth plague speaks of darkness and pain.
These result from the twin attacks of the witnessing
brethren (5th seal) and the Jewish prophets (5th trumpet).
2ND TRIB The the era of prophesied 'great tribulation'.
The sixth seal introduces two themes;
1) A disruption of the heavens and earth.
- sun becomes black, moon becomes like blood,
stars fall, sky recedes, a great earthquake
and every mountain and island moved.
2) The approaching wrath of the Lamb.
- hiding in caves and in the rocks of the
These two themes are also encountered in Joel.
Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood, Before the coming
of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
This helps us to understand that the reference to
'the wrath of the Lamb' in the sixth seal is what
is more commonly known as the 'day of the LORD'.
Since the sixth seal only mentions the approaching of
this time of wrath many have thought that the wrath
is poured out within the context of the 7th seal.
(As they worked on the premise that the 7th seal was
composed of the 7 trumpets, they considered the Day of
the LORD encompassed the 7 trumpets and the bowls.)
However, the sixth seal narrative does not force the
time of wrath into the 7th seal. The text merely makes
mention of the approach of the wrath and goes no further.
The actual description of the wrath of the Lamb is found
in the sixth trumpet.
The sixth trumpet begins with the mention of a voice
coming from the golden altar before God. As this altar
is also called the 'altar of incense', there is an
implication that this 6th trumpet event occurs in
answer to prayer, Rev 5:8.
In the narrative of the 6th trumpet we have a clear
historical reference back to when the Chaldeans crossed
the Euphrates and defeated the house of Judah. Refer
2Chr 36:15-20. In the book of Zephaniah, who lived in
the days immediately prior to the Chaldean invasion,
the Day of the LORD is clearly described as a day of
trouble for the land of Judah (note verses 1:4,7,10,
12,14-15,18, 2:1-3). Other nations are later mentioned,
but primary attention is given to the wrath directed
In the prophetic scene of the 6th trumpet that which
is being portrayed is the successful invasion of a
northern kingdom against a southern kingdom. In this
respect it depicts the 'time of the end' attack by
the king of the North against the king of the South.
Refer Daniel 11:40.
The kingdom from the north is described as having an
army of 200 million. It is a number which refers to
the great multitude of the spiritual house of Israel.
The breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue and
sulfur yellow of the horsemen equate to the breastplate
worn by the high priest.
Exod 28:15 You shall make the breastplate of judgment.
Artistically woven according to the workmanship
of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, blue,
purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven
linen, you shall make it.
Only in this case all the 200 million horsemen are being
presented as high priests, that is they are Christian
The power of these horsemen, 'fire, smoke and brimstone',
comes from the mouth of their horses (ie from their
congregations - the horsemen being ministers).
Their power also comes from the tails of their horses,
that is from their prophets (refer Isa 9:15).
Verses 15 and 18 mention these horsemen kill a third of
mankind. This third is a reference to the leaders of the
people representing one of the thirds into which the city
of Babylon would thereafter be divided (refer Rev 16:19
and Isa 19:24). It is a reference to the removal of the
leaders, ie horns, of spiritual Egypt.
The 6th trumpet is documenting the removal of the 3 Jewish
horns from the beast. This removal being done by the army
of the 7 horns (all Christian), of the image of the beast,
which are under the rulership of the little horn.
Refer Daniel 7:8,20,24.
The 6th bowl describes two aspects of this period of time.
Firstly, it provides (in a quite different symbolic form)
a confirmation of the upheaval of the heavens mentioned in
the 6th seal. (Note, the second stage of the 6th seal,
the wrath of the lamb, was confirmed in the 6th trumpet.)
Secondly, the 6th bowl discusses the closing events of this
period, ie the gathering of the nations, which is also
referred in Revelation chapter 20 following the release of
The 6th bowl initially mentions the drying of the Euphrates,
which results in the preparing of the path for the kings of
the east. This symbolic talk has led to much confusion and
speculation, but its meaning is simpler than it appears.
- The Euphrates -
The 6th plague, like the 6th trumpet, mentions the river
Euphrates. However, in this case the symbol is being used
quite differently. The drying of the river equates to
the drying of a river of protection.
2Thes 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already
at work; only He who now restrains will do
so until He is taken out of the way.
Dan 9:26 And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall
be cut off, but not for Himself; and the
people of the prince who is to come shall
destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The result of this lack of protection will be the arrival
of the man of lawlessness (2Thes 2:8). His appearance is
the event spoken of in Matthew.
Matt 24:15 ... the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken
of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the
holy place ...
[NB: As the Matthew text indicates this upheaval (which
takes place in the realm of Christianity) serves as
a warning sign to those of the Jewish faith of the
imminent northern invasion (6th trumpet).]
- Kings from the East -
Many have assumed that this is talking about three kings.
However, the text does not say there are three kings. This
concept seems to have been derived from;
1) the mention of 3 unclean spirits in the following
2) that at the time of Jesus Christ kings from the
east gave Him 3 presents (Matt 2:1-12). Notice
once again the actual number of kings is not
In the context of the 6th bowl the 'kings' are the 10 kings
of the beast which rise up and take power from the great
harlot, refer Rev 17:6. While these kings, representing the
leaders of spiritual Judah and Israel, in type had originally
approached the Promised Land from the east (the historic
crossing of the Jordan); the easterly direction has a more
The mention of the 'east' suggests the notion of the 'east wind'
and the start of the famine of the word of God.
Gen 41:27 And the seven thin and ugly cows which came
up after them are seven years, and the seven
empty heads blighted by the east wind are
seven years of famine.
[NB: The famine of the word mentioned in Amos 8:11.]
Job 15:2 Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge,
and fill himself with the east wind?
Ezek 17:10 Behold, it is planted, will it thrive? Will it
not utterly wither when the east wind touches it?
It will wither in the garden terrace where it grew.
Hos 13:15 Though he(Ephraim) is fruitful among his brethren,
an east wind shall come; The wind of the LORD shall
come up from the wilderness. Then his spring shall
become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up.
He shall plunder the treasury of every desirable
Jer 4:11 At that time it will be said To this people and to
Jerusalem, "A dry wind of the desolate heights blows
in the wilderness toward the daughter of My people;
not to fan or to cleanse;
:12 A wind too strong for these will come for Me; now I
will also speak judgment against them."
Refer also, Job 27:21, Ps 48:7, Isa 27:8(it=iniquity), 41:2,
46:11, Jer 18:17 and Jonah 4:8.
The term 'east' is in the Greek 'rising of the sun'. Some
have considered this to be an inference to Christ, but not
all references to the sun imply the presence of God.
Rev 7:16 They(the great multitude) shall neither hunger
anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not
strike them, nor any heat;
The ten kings only rule together for a short time, one hour
symbolically (Rev 17:12), before the arrival of the Satanic
eighth king (the little horn).
The reign of the 10 kings in religious affairs without the
great harlot (or superior substitute) is typed by the account
of King Uzziah who was struck with leprosy after trying to
perform a duty reserved for the priesthood, ie the burning of
incense on the golden altar, 2Chr 26:16-23.
With the removal of the great harlot a gap is created which
is filled by the entry of Satan in the form of the little
horn. Satan leads the 7 horns of Christianity (and its great
multitude) into a foreign belief system. Refer 2Thes 2:11,
Dan 7:25, 8:23-25, 11:36-39.
Toward the end of his allotted time Satan gathers the nations
of the spiritual earth in preparation for the final battle.
RESOLUTION Judgment against Satan and the nations
The 7th seal is very short.
Rev 8:1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was
silence in heaven for about half an hour.
It is almost impossible to discern the meaning of this message
without considering the texts of the 7th trumpet and 7th bowl.
The notion of silence in heaven is in sharp contrast to the
loud noises form heaven mentioned in the 7th trumpet and the
7th bowl. The half hour silence of the 7th seal therefore
suggests a period of silence in heaven between two loud
The 7th trumpet opens with loud voices in heaven saying that the
kingdoms of the spiritual world had become the kingdoms of the
Lord and his Christ.
The battle between the Satan led 7 horned beast and the servants
of God concludes in the following manner:
Ezek 38:19 ... Surely in that day there shall be a great
earthquake(a symbolic earthquake) in the land
:20 The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep
places shall fall, and every wall shall fall
to the ground.
:21 "I will call for a sword against Gog throughout
all My mountains," says the Lord GOD. "Every
man's sword will be against his brother."
Refer the historic examples of enemy powers raising swords
against each other:
- Gideon against the Midianites
- Jonathan against the Philistines
- Jehoshaphat against the people
of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir
- Paul against Sadducees and Pharisees,
The judging of the spiritual nations, which in God's sight are
considered 'dead'. (These all having been involved in rejection
of truth which led to the spoiling of the symbolic earth.) The
judging of the nations is portrayed in Matthew.
Matt 25:32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and
He will separate them one from another, as a
shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
:33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but
the goats on the left.
Following these events the temple of God in heaven will be
opened and people will be able to enter.
Rev 15:8 ... and no one was able to enter the temple
till the seven plagues of the seven angels
However, the result of this opening is the unleashing of
strong light and loud noises. It leads to a further great
upheaval and the pouring down of teachings which for some
resemble a plague of hail.
The 7th plague starts with what appears to be the declaring
of the end of the prior period of trial, "It is done!".
This completion, the great earthquake, is manifested in the
defeat of the 7 horned image of the beast power and the
division of the people of God into three major elements.
Isa 19:23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to
Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and
the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will
serve with the Assyrians.
:24 In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt
and Assyria; a blessing in the midst of the land,
:25 whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying,
"Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work
of My hands, and Israel My inheritance."
[ NB: - spiritual Egypt = Jewish faith
- spiritual Assyria = Christian faith
- spiritual Israel = Chosen of God ]
The demise of the beast power results in the fall of the
capital cities of the 7 spiritual nations/mountains.
Following the demise of the Satanic ruled organisation
there will remain the necessity to deal with the false
religious sentiments still present within the work of God.
For this reason great Babylon is again mentioned; even
though by this time she, as a religious organisation, has
Very heavy hailstones (teachings of God) fall from heaven
upon those who still refuse to repent of their spiritual
immorality, eg Zech 13:1-6.
The true teachings of God act as the means of ensuring
Babylon's smoke rises up forever and ever, Rev 19:3.