For many years I have noted the similarities between the themes of the Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets and Seven Bowls of the Revelation. Here are some of the parallels:
1 - The First Seal reveals the False Messiah who will rule the earth. The First Trumpet and First Bowl are directed against the earth.
2 - The Second Seal signifies war involving the “sea of humanity” (Isaiah 57:20). The Second Trumpet and Second Bowl are directed against that sea.
3 - The Third Seal tells of famine. Without water, crops will fail and there will be famine. The Third Trumpet and Third Bowl are directed against the rivers, which supply much of the water needed for food production. Picture the Nile River.
The fourth position in these series of seven events should be the Servant Lamp position of the Menorah or Golden Lampstand. The similarities are more evident in these fourth events, but are opposite. It is as if it signifies the rebellion of the Last Days.
4 - The Servant Lamp position is normally represented by the Lord and His Son Jesus, who represent light and life. The Fourth Seal tells of death. This fourth position is the opposite of the Servant Lamp. The Fourth Trumpet announces the Sun, Moon and stars being darkened; the opposite of the Servant Lamp. The Fourth Bowl results in the Sun being disruptive and burning men. The series of fourth events are opposite to the Servant Lamp position.
5 - Five is the number of Satan. Please picture the five-pointed inverted star, the pentagram of Satan. The Fifth Seal tells of the martyrs of Satan. The Fifth Trumpet involves demonic locusts who are told to attack men without the seal of God, or those who follow Satan. The Fifth Bowl is poured out on the throne of the Satanic Beast from the Sea.
6 – Upon the opening of the Sixth Seal there is an earthquake, the Sun and Moon are darkened and the sky recedes like a scroll. The Sixth Trumpet announces 200 million Euphratean horsemen. The Sixth Bowl is poured on the Euphrates River to prepare the way for the “Kings of the East.” All of these occurrences indicate the approach of a major event.
7 – The Seventh Seal, Trumpet and Bowl are indications of that major event, absolute finality. In the Seventh Seal an angel threw a censer filled with fire upon the earth. The Seventh Trumpet announces “the kingdoms of this world have become (past tense) the kingdoms of our Lord . . . and He will reign forever.” With the Seventh Bowl it is simply stated, “It is done.” These all indicate the finality of the Lord’s judgements on earth and His sovereign rulership.
I have come to the conclusion that these series of seven parallel events form the structure for what is generically called the Tribulation, more accurately called The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7) I believe these seven events describe the Wrath of God as directed by the three components of the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Seven Seals are all opened by the Lamb, Jesus. The Seven Trumpets were given to the angels who stand in the presence of God. (Revelation 8:2) The implication is that they were given the Trumpets by God.
After seven angels who were given the last plagues in Seven Golden Bowls came out of the Temple in Heaven, the Temple was filled with “smoke.” It is possible that this “smoke” represents the Holy Spirit, and the last plagues were directed by the Holy Spirit.
Interspersed with these seven parallel events, are the things the Apostle John saw and recorded. Some are obviously prophetic, but are probably not chronological. John recorded the events as he was shown them, but they are not, I believe, in chronological order within the scenario of The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Several visions described by John are clearly historic. Most of the remaining visions, I believe, occur before the final three and one-half years of what we call the Great Tribulation.
Next, we will look at these events which I believe occur early in The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Until then, praise the Lord for giving us His divine Revelation of events to come, to assure us that He is and will be in control.