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 they are either;
1) different descriptions being utilized to
portray the same events, or
2) different events occurring at the same time.
Also, it is likely the seals, trumpets and bowls are looking at the
progression of events from quite different perspectives. For example
from a Jewish perspective, from a Christian perspective and from a
** 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 - deceptive faith
2nd seal - red horse - spiritual war
3rd seal - black horse - spiritual famine
4th seal - pale horse - spiritual death
The meaning of these 4 horses and horsemen, can be easily
determined by referencing Matthew chapter 24.
Matt 24:4 ... 'Take heed that no one deceives
:5 For many will come in My name, saying,
I am the Christ, and will deceive many.
:6 And you will hear of wars and rumours
of wars ...
:7 ... And there will be famines, pestilences,
and earthquakes in various places.
The first white horse has a rider with a bow, a crown,
and a destiny to conquer. While at first this rider may
seem to be Christ (refer Rev 19:11-15 - white horse, many
crowns and a sword from the mouth), when we link to the
above Matthew verses we can see that this rider comes with
a deceptive faith message. Even though he declares Jesus
as the Christ (or, depending upon interpretation of Matt
24:5, even himself as the Christ).
The entire Matthew 24 text is centred upon the fate of
the buildings of the temple at Jerusalem. It comprises a
glimpse of future events which would befall 'Jerusalem'.
The temple and Jerusalem are here being used to symbolize
the fate of the Jewish faith and in this respect it can
be seen that various forms of Christianity, in the form
of the white horseman, are prophesied to have an imperfect
religious impact upon the Jewish faith.
The rider of the red horse is given a great sword and
granted the authority to take away religious peace from
The third horse, the black horse brings famine. It is
interesting that modern Judaism focuses heavily upon the
first five books Genesis to Deuteronomy and apparently
does not place equivalent importance upon the other books
of the Old Testament.
The fourth pale horse appears to be linked to religious
corruption (spiritual pestilence). What normally brings
spiritual pestilence is the inclusion of uninspired
writings and thoughts into religious faith. The resulting
altered perspectives can then lead to spiritual death
and removal from the presence of God.
The 'killed' "fourth of the earth" is explained, in the
context of the Plagues, as being a reference to the death
of all in the 'sea' (Rev 16:3). Reference can also be made
to Rev 21:1 "... there was no more sea".
The 'sea; is 1 of the 4 elements of the spiritual creation
(refer the latter portion of Rev 14:7, which mentions
heaven, earth, sea and springs of water.).
[ NB: A fifth man named Hades, possibly riding a
fifth horse, is also described. He does not
ride at this time, but rather follows the 4th
Conclusion: The first four seals appear to depict the fate
of Judaism from the time of Jesus Christ up to the beginning
of the ordained 'end-time' events.
In these verses we again encounter the depiction of the
spiritual creation (ie, people of God).
- burned up trees and green grass - EARTH
- burning mountain thrown into the sea - SEA
(another faith bringing teaching)
- burning star falling upon rivers & springs - FRESH WATER
- sun, moon & stars struck - HEAVEN
The trumpet verses indicate 1/3 of the people in each of
the elements will spiritually perish during this period.
The 1/3 ratio is stated or implied in a few texts.
1) The Ezekiel text talking about Jerusalem.
Eze 5:1 And you, son of man, take a sharp sword,
take it as a barber's razor, and pass it over
your head and your beard; then take balances
to weigh and divide the hair.
:2 You shall burn with fire one-third in the
midst of the city, when the days of the siege
are finished; then you shall take one-third
and strike around it with the sword; and
one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I
will draw out a sword after them.
The first third is burnt with fire.
2) The similar, but different, Zechariah chapter 13 text.
Zec 13:8 "And it shall come to pass in all the land,"
Says the Lord,
"That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
But one-third shall be left in it:
:9 I will bring the one-third through the fire,
Will refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested. ..."
3) The demise of men 20 years and over during the 40 years
wandering in the wilderness.
Josh 5:6 For the children of Israel walked forty years
in the wilderness, till all the people who were
men of war, who came out of Egypt, were consumed,
because they did not obey the voice of the Lord
The 40 years of Israel wandering in the wilderness
is a type of the 40 jubilee years of Christianity.
(spanning the start of the Christian era to the
4) The Revelation 12:4 third of stars.
Rev 12:4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven
and threw them to the earth. ...
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.
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 is an interesting symbolic representation and
could be viewed from several perspectives.
The first point to consider is that there was a
command for these symbolic locusts to not harm
"the grass of the earth" or "any green thing"
or "any tree". This means they were commanded
not to harm any entity growing spiritually.
They were given permission to only torment those
who were not growing spiritually, ie those without
the seal of God on their foreheads (ie, 'minds').
So we therefore know that this is not a time
which those truly seeking the teaching and will
of God should be afraid.
The second point to consider is that this 5th
trumpet torment is symbolised as lasting for
'five months', Rev 9:5,10. The period of five
months is also mentioned in the Flood account.
The waters of the Flood prevailed (had 'mastery')
over the earth five months, Gen 7:24. This
suggests that this 5th trumpet is a time period
when the teaching and understanding of the Word
of God is dramatically increasing.
Hence, those dwelling in this spiritual dominion
and who lack proper regard for God's Word suffer
The beginning of the 5th trumpet prophecy initially
talks about a 'star' fallen from heaven. To him is
given the key to the bottomless pit. Then from this
pit came smoke and the tormenting locusts.
Who is the 'star'? Who are released from the pit?
Many start the discussion of the 5th trumpet by
referencing to either the casting down of the
Devil in Rev 12:9 or the binding of him in the
'bottomless pit' mentioned in Rev 20:1-3.
We know from Rev 1:18 that Christ is the one who has
the keys of Hades and Death. We also know Christ also
descended from 'heaven', John 3:13,17.
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 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 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'.
This king is likely the one described in Daniel 11:40
as, 'the king of the South (ie, spiritual Egypt)'
Dan 11:40 At the time of the end the king of the
South shall attack him (king of the North);
The ascension of the locusts out of the bottomless pit,
ie out of Hades, mimics 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) It seems the locusts are representing Jewish prophets
descending on the land of the king of the North (refer
Dan 11:40), ie Christianity, and consuming the words
of God. Using the Word of God to justify their own
false prophetic teaching.
2) Their 'king' is an entity that will bring a false
Jewish centric prophetic teaching. This teaching will
have a 'torture' effect.
3) The false teaching agenda will divert Jewish attention
away from God's end-time prophetic warning. As a result
God's required Judaic reforms will not occur. Leading
to God rendering His prophesied judgment against
4) This king is likely also the one referred to as the
5) The development of this end-time locust scenario may
occur as a result of the creation of an organisation
combining Jewish and Christian faiths (an 'image to
the beast' - Rev 13:14). As this would provide an
avenue for the invasion of Jewish prophets into
Christianity. It would result in the darkening of
the symbolic sun and heaven.
6) The grafting back in of the natural olive tree
branches is a prophesied event and it will seem as
though these branches had come back from the dead.
Refer Romans 11:11-25, 28-33. Particularly Rom 11:15.
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 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
sulphur 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.