Do the seals, trumpets, bowls happen concurrently or do the seals occur first, trumpets second, and finally the bowls?
the full original article:
comes from Nelson Walters (for whom I have little criticism and much praise – his blogs at thegospelintheendtimes are generally awesome)
“There are seven seals, trumpets, and bowls pictured in the Book of Revelation. Do they happen concurrently or do they occur consecutively (seals first, trumpets second, and finally the bowls.) What we believe about the order of the seals, trumpets, bowls has profound impact on the timing of end time events.
One of the reasons that Revelation is difficult to outline is the organization of the seals, trumpets and bowls. There is great debate within the Church as to whether are concurrent (they happen at the same time or overlap) or whether they are consecutive (the seals occur first, the trumpets second, and the finally the bowls.)
A graphic of a sample concurrent theory follows:
The “concurrent” theory aligns seals, trumpets, bowls together (not one after the other) in many various patterns. This theory is most consistent with what is known as a Post-Tribulation Rapture and also to some degree it is associated with many Pre-Tribualtion Rapture teachers as well. This theory states that Jesus will return at the very end of 70th Week of Daniel, rapture his Church on that last day, and fight the battle of Armageddon. This theory of the Rapture requires that the seventh seal, the seventh trumpet, and the seventh bowl all occur at the same time or nearly at the same time (on the last day of the 70th Week) to explain the obvious sense of Scripture in Revelation (that the Resurrection and Rapture occur after the sixth seal, that the Day of the Lord (God’s Wrath) unfolds before the Battle of Armageddon, etc.) Most believers in a “concurrent” theory of the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls believe that the seventh trumpet is the last trumpet referred to by Paul in 1 Cor. 15 that accompanies the Rapture. We have discussed the last trumpet and its true identity in several previous posts as the last long trumpet blast on Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets. The Jewish idiom “the last trumpet” specifically refers to this blast on Yom Teruah. The seventh trumpet is blown by an angel whereas Paul refers to the Trumpet of God which Jesus blows.
The next graphic describes the consecutive theory:
The “consecutive” theory of Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls is consistent with a Pre-Wrath Rapture as is taught on this site. When the seventh seal is opened it reveals the 7 trumpet judgments. When the seventh trumpet is blown, it reveals the 7 bowl judgments. The seventh seal and seventh trumpet are like “nesting dolls” that contain the next series of events within them. I must thank Alan Kurschner[i] for his outstanding investigation into this issue which conclusively shows they are consecutive (they happen one after another.)
The simplest approach to understand this issue is to examine the Olivet Discourse. This teaching of Jesus presents the signs that our Lord said would precede his coming. The Discourse presents the Pattern of Seven Events in exact order:
|Pattern of Seven Events||Seal||Rev. 6 (Seals)||Matt. 24-25 Luke 21 Mark 13 (Olivet Discourse)|
|Deception by False Messiahs||First||Rider of the white horse (Rev. 6:1-2) “white horse” mimic Jesus “he had a bow” (False Covenant) “conquering and to conquer” (NIKAO meaning spiritual conquering)||False messiahs in Jesus’s Name (Matt. 24:4) Claim: I am He and The Time is Near (Luke 21:8)|
|Bloodshed, War, and Chaos||Second||Rider of the red horse (Rev. 6:3-4) “granted to him to take peace from the earth” “men would slay one another” “great sword” (nuclear weapons?)||Wars and Riots (Luke 21: 9) Kingdom against Kingdom (Luke 21:10) SEISMOS (nuclear weapons?) (Matt. 24:7)|
|Famine and Ecomonic Collapse||Third||Rider of the black horse (Rev. 6: 5-6) Sets food prices at unsustainable levels||Famine (Matt. 24: 7)|
|Abomination and Death||Fourth||Rider of the green horse (Rev. 6: 7-8) “given authority” Kills by the sword, pestilence, famine and wild beasts||Instruction for those in Judea to flee (Matt. 24:16) Abomination of Desolation (Matt. 24:15) Beginning of Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21)|
|Martyrdom and Apostasy||Fifth||Rev. (6: 9-11) “martyrs under the altar” Killed for their “testimony” and the “Word of God”||“they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name” (Matt. 24:9) Betrayal and falling away (Matt. 24: 10)|
|Celestial Earthly Disturbance||Sixth||Rev. (6:12-17) “sun became black” “moon became like blood and the stars of the sky fell” Men hid in caves||“the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky” (Matt. 24:29) “all the tribes of the earth will mourn” (Matt. 24:30)|
|Resurrection/Rapture and Wrath||Seventh||Rev. (8:1-2) The 7 Sealed Scroll is opened revealing the names of the righteous “silence in heaven” “angels given seven trumpets”||“they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS … And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect” (Matt. 24: 30-31) “like the days of Noah” the flood immediately followed Noah finding safety in the Ark (Matt. 24: 37-39)|
These seven events are the seven seals. The Discourse does not present the final event: wrath. This fact that it doesn’t present the Wrath of God is an enormous clue about Rapture timing. Jesus’s PAROUSIA (or coming) must precede the Wrath of God because Jesus does not give the Trumpets or Bowls as signs of his coming!
Think about that for a few seconds; by ignoring the Trumpets as signs of his coming, Jesus has chosen to not list the falling of fire and brimstone that burns 1/3 of the land and trees as a sign. He has chosen to not include a war that kills 1/3 of mankind as a sign. He has chosen to not mention the release of a horde of supernatural locusts whose sting causes men to wish for death. Rather he has chosen to stress lesser events from an earthly perspective like the rise of false messiahs. If Jesus’s PAROUSIA truly occurs on the last day as Post-Tribulation Rapture theorists would have us believe, Jesus chose to ignore these signs that must come prior to the last day and decided to stress less impactful events that might have been occurring “at the same time.” Those who hold this theory would have us believe that it was just chance that the six events Jesus did choose as “signs” prior to his PAROUSIA just happened to match events that occur upon the breaking of the seals!!
Rather I think what is absolutely logical is that only the seals are broken prior the PAROUSIA and Rapture. This happens at the end of the sixth year of the 70th Week at the breaking of the seventh seal. The seals break first, only then are the Trumpets blown. The Trumpets and Bowls don’t appear in the Olivet Discourse because they occur after the PAROUSIA and Rapture. Jesus was answering the disciples question as to what would be the sign of his coming (PAROUSIA). He was not asked what would occur after this.
Interestingly, not only does this logic disprove the Post-Tribulation Rapture, it also disproves the Pre-Tribulation Rapture as well. Jesus did not give a silent Rapture of tens of millions of saints as a sign of his coming. This would be the most obvious sign of all, yet it doesn’t appear in the Olivet Discourse either…”
There is much more commentary from Nelson Walters at his original post (link at top) but I wanted to pause here not only to encourage you to visit his blog but also to emphasize that neither Pre-Trib nor Post-Trib views have all the answers, much like Nelson’s analysis two weeks ago regarding the two witnesses demonstrated that the most likely time frame for the 3.5 year ministry of Elijah and Moses is not the first or second half of the final seven years (tribulation) but an overlapping period –
Which actually fits PERFECTLY with Daniel’s 1260, 1290, and 1335 days AND the timeline I established in End Times and 2019, reinforced in Antichrist 2016-2019, and (with no more loose ends, everything tied up perfectly) in: