Roy A. Huebner
I. From Introductory Comments on Revelation 6
The image that you get here is of a roll that was put into the hands of the Lamb in the previous chapter. It appears that it had 7 seals along the edges. As you take off a seal it partially opens, and you take off another seal and it opens up further. Finally, with the 7th seal, you open up the whole book – which is written on both sides.
This would appear to be a book of judgment. And the Father has committed all judgment into the hands of the Son because He is the Son of Man.
It also appears that the opening up of the seals takes up the first half of Daniel’s 70th week. Those are more providential judgments. You know, the opening up of seals is a quiet thing compared to trumpets blowing and bowls being poured out. It has a little different character than that which commences in the middle of the week when Satan is cast down. This is more of a providential thing that takes place in the first half of the week, which Matthew 24 calls the “beginning of throes.”
Then, in Matt. 24 you come to a central point when it says in vs. 15 – “when therefore ye shall see the abomination of desolation, which is spoken through Daniel the prophet, standing in what is a holy place” – so that would be the setting up of the image of the beast by the false prophet. And that commences in the middle of the week. So this (Rev. 6) seems to precede all of those things, and certainly, they take place before the trumpets.
Now, different expositors have perhaps some different thoughts about the interweaving of some of the matters, but it seems to me that the seals are opened, and then the trumpets begin, and then the trumpets blow, and with the sound of the 7th trumpet, it comprehends with it everything that follows – and it speaks about “the time of the dead” which is after the Millennium. So that the 7th trumpet sounding, comprehends within its sounding, everything that takes place after that, so that out of it issue the 7 last plagues, and it does say that these bowls are the 7 last plagues. So that if there are plagues in the trumpets, and these are the ‘last ones’, there cannot be any overlap — they have to be the last. So it seems to me that the seals, the trumpets, and the bowls are sequential. However, that does not mean that they are not equally spaced in time — the 7 bowls seem to be poured out very rapidly at the close — one right after the other.
II. From Introductory Comments to Revelation 12
The action in Revelation 11, which has at its center the testimony of the two witnesses, brings the action forward up to very close to the end — you notice in vs. 15 that we were at the point where the 7th angel sounded. It seems to me that the seals, the trumpets, and the vials are sequential.
Out of the 7th seal, which when broken, opens the book of judgment which is in the Lamb’s hands, and it is fully unrolled at that point (and all judgment is in His hands as the Son of Man) — that brings the action up to the middle of the week, and opens up the trumpets — the 7th trumpet then brings you close to the end, and out of the 7th come the seven last plagues. That is an important point that it says the seven ‘last plagues,’ because there were some plagues already mentioned with the trumpets.
In chapter 11, the action brings you to the 7th angel sounding. And just to say a word about the 7th trumpet. There are reasons to believe that the sounding of the 7th trumpet embraces everything within it that follows right on until the Great White Throne because, within it, it speaks of the ‘time of the dead.’ The reverberations sound out. It pours out the vials, the coming of the Lord in judgment, the setting up of the kingdom, the judgment on the nations, and finally the final judgment at the Great White Throne. It is all comprehended within the blasting of the 7th trumpet.