bible study

Revelation:
7 Seals, 7 Trumpets, 7 Plagues

Revealed Prophecy




   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.)

7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 bowls / plagues

  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
            time.
  

                ** 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
                                    5 months


 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
                                    the earth


  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'.) 

                                       Four Horses

          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.)   


                            

          4 TRUMPETS

              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.


                                 

          4 PLAGUES

              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.
  & WITNESS

          5TH SEAL

              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.]   

          5TH TRUMPET

              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.

          5TH PLAGUE

              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'.

          6TH SEAL

              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
                   mountains.

              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.

          6TH 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
              upon Judah.

              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.
              Refer;
'200 MILLION' HORSEMEN - REVELATION 9:16

              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
              leaders!

              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.

          6TH PLAGUE

              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
              Satan.

              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
                    verse, and
                 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
                    mentioned.
  
              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
              profound meaning.  
 
              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
                         prize.

              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

          7TH SEAL

              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
              proclamations. 

          7TH TRUMPET

              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
                         of Israel,
                     :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
                                     Judg 7:19,22.
                                   - Jonathan against the Philistines
                                     1Sam 14:15,16,20.
                                   - Jehoshaphat against the people
                                     of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir
                                     2Chr 20:22-23.
                                   - Paul against Sadducees and Pharisees,
                                     Acts 23:6-9  

              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
                         were completed.
              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.  

          7TH PLAGUE

              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
              fallen.

              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.




Introduction

Matthew 24
Mark 13
Luke 21



7 Churches
1,000 Years
3 Angels
etc
Two Witnesses

Woman, Child
& Satan
Red Dragon
Beast - Sea
Beast - Land
False Prophet
New Heaven
New Earth
New Jerusalem


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