Do The Seven Seals Occur Before The Seven Trumpets?
Welcome to Bible Question and Answer, our bi-weekly series where we provide Bible verses, answers and advice to the questions and concerns you have. During the course of the last two weeks readers have submitted their questions and today we are going to answer one of them.
Question: While enjoying your studies immensely, the statement that the silence in heaven being mid week has always caused a disagreement within me. Going to scripture while keeping everything in order within the 8th chapter…….
And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
(so we see the 7th seal opened, the last one, and then the silence starts)
And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
(we see here the trumpets are handed out in preparation for them to sound, didn’t sound yet)
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
(to me the 3 above verses describe a solemn act, type of reverence, silence, done before the throne in offering prayers of saints and the effect)
Rev 8:6 (this verse sets the timeline)
And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
(the angels have the trumpets, are prepared to blow, but still have not sounded yet. verse 7 is the first trumpet to sound.)
If the silence happens at mid week, Satan is booted, Satan is already here, the political beast transforms to the religious beast and he has total control. The clay kings give their authority to the iron kings and Satan. Clay and Iron won’t mix.
Keeping with the teachings that Satan comes either at the 5th – 6th trump, depending on how you view it, going back to Revelation 8:1, the silence happens BEFORE the trumps are even handed out.
My take on this is we are putting the cart before the horse.
What light can you shed on my logic of the silence.
In Christ, Ron
Name: Brandon T. Ward
Answer: Ron, thank you for the question and for studying with us. You are trying to understand, I love that, but we have some work to do here.
Readers, Ron is most likely referencing our Bible study, “The Silence In Heaven And The Two Witnesses“.
First and to ensure we are on the same page, Satan arrives at the beginning of the final week, the seventieth week of Daniel, not mid-week. The final week is the Tribulation, the original seven year period of time that was shortened down to five months, (see: The Hour Of Temptation).
Now for your question.
It appears that you do not quite understand the difference between the Seals, Trumpets and Vials or when they become actionable. I will explain that shortly, but I want to discuss your scenario here.
When we study Scripture, we must ensure we evaluate our conclusions against themselves and understand what those conclusions mean for the rest of Scripture and Prophecy. We must become logical thinkers, while allowing the Holy Spirit to lead the way.
In your scenario, you have the Seven Seals occurring before any of the Seven Trumpets can sound (that is incorrect). That would mean the Silence in Heaven occurs before a single Trumpet ever sounds.
That dramatically changes the order of events in Prophecy and does not align, but if it were true, it would mean the Silence would occur:
- Before The First Trumpet Sounds
- Before The Conflict Between The Ram And The He Goat
- Before The Release Of The Four Winds
- Before The Saints Are Sealed
- Before The Hour Of Temptation When Satan Is Cast Out
That conclusion is not Biblically accurate, the Silence in Heaven would serve no purpose, nor would it align properly with the rest of Scripture. We have to rightly divide the Word of Truth and ensure all of the events line up properly in order to understand them.
The Sixth Seal
Further, let us look at the Sixth Seal.
12 “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;”
13 “And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”
These events are documented in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 as well.
The “stars” we just read about are not literal. Common sense tells stars do not “fall” and a single literal star would destroy the earth and us right along with it. So we have symbology here, and “stars” in many cases are symbolic for the Heavenly Host of people, (Job 2:1, 38:7, Isaiah 14:13, Daniel 8:10-11).
The “stars” in this verse are Satan and his angels who are cast from Heaven to earth by Michael and his angels and do not forget about the false fig harvest referenced in this verse (Revelation 12:7-9).
These events transpire at the Sixth Trumpet and we are only at the Sixth Seal. So we have a big contradiction already if we think the Seventh Seal transpires before the First Trumpet. We know there are no contradictions in the Bible, so it means we have misunderstood the Scriptures.
14 “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
Notice, everyone mountain and island were moved out of their place. This should bring our mind to the Seventh Trumpet and Vial which are the final events that take place, (Revelation 11:15-19; 16:17-21). Verse 14 just documented to you what occurs when Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior Returns, (Zechariah 14:4).
It should become clear, the Sixth Seal covers events just before the Tribulation to the very end of it.
15 “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;”
16 “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:”
Notice, the people of the earth now see Jesus Christ coming, He is the Lamb, they would rather die than face Him. The thought they were deceived by Satan the Antichrist is far too great for them to bear.
This event is also the Seventh Trumpet in action. So while the events we read of are explained within the Sixth Seal, they do not actually transpire until their respective Trumpet and Vial.
17 “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?“
The answer to the question is provided in Revelation 7. The 144,000 will stand and they are Sealed before the Tribulation, before a single Trumpet sounds.
All of this documents without a doubt, the Seals are not actionable, rather the Seals are an explanation of events that will transpire.
Understanding The Seals, Trumpets and Vials
The Seals, Trumpets and Vials do not occur one right after another.
It is not:
Seal 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and then Trumpet 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and then Vial 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
The Trumpets and Vials certainly overlap one another and are very closely related, but the Seals are a completely separate animal.
The Seals are the playbook.
A playbook is simply the plan, then the plan must be put into action. The Trumpets and Vials are the action.
- Seals = The Plan
- Trumpets and Vials = The Plan In Action
A seal is placed on a letter in order to conceal a message until it is time for it to be opened by a specific individual. When it is time, you open the letter breaking the seal to reveal the message and understand what it means.
With respect to the Seals in the Bible, we are expected to understand the message contained within the Seal in order to understand the final events of this age.
Where did these Seals come from?
1 “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.”
God is the One on the Throne holding the Book that is Sealed with Seven Seals. Verse 5 tells us, only “the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
If we continue reading Revelation 5:6-9 we find “the Lion of the tribe of Juda” is the ‘Lamb who was slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood‘. There is only One who fits that description and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who shed His Blood for our sins.
Only Christ was able to open the Book with the Seven Seals.
The word “Seal” is Strong’s G4973 and it means,
Probably strengthened from G5420; a signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); by implication the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness), literally or figuratively: – seal.
As Satan has a mark, so does God in the form of a Seal.
The Seals are marks, they are stamps that are impressed into our mind to protect us from “misappropriation” which means “to apply wrongfully or dishonestly“. The Seals lock in the Word, they reveal to us the order and how the final events will unfold up to Christ’s Return to ensure we properly align Scripture.
Remember, the 144,000 from Revelation 7 must be Sealed with His Word, including the Seven Seals before the Four Winds can be released, before a single Trumpet can sound. If one does not have the Seals, they do not have the battle plan. The Seals not only reveal the plan, but keep the Saints from being deceived by Satan.
A trumpet was used during war to signal troop movement. Troops out of sight from the lead officer would listen for the sound of the trumpet to know when to attack enemy troops. It is simply a call to action.
The same applies to God’s Word. When the Trumpet sounds, that means the action has now started.
Where did the Trumpets come from?
2 “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.”
The word “Trumpet” is Strong’s word G4536 and it means,
Perhaps from G4535 (through the idea of quavering or reverberation); a trumpet: – trump (-et).
We are simply talking about a sound. The sound of a trumpet causes a “quavering” which is “to utter sound in tremulous tones” or “reverberation” which is “an effect or impact that resembles an echo“.
This sound is essentially a battle cry, it initiates the events contained within the Trumpet being discussed. If the First Trumpet sounds, it means those events literally begin to unfold and so on.
A vial does not need much explanation, it is simply a container, a large shallow cup to be specific.
What is in the container is the question?
Where did vials come from?
7 “And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.”
The Vial, the container is full of the Wrath of God. When we are told the Vials are poured out, we are reading of God’s Wrath being unleashed on Satan, his kingdom, angels, children and those who follow him.
The word “Vial” is Strong’s word G5357 and it means,
Of uncertain affinity; a broad shallow cup (“phial”): – vial.
When we hear the word Vial we typically think of a test tube in a science lab. Yet the word actually means “a broad shallow cup“, think of a shallow saucer. The idea here is to understand when the Vial is poured out, the Wrath of God comes out all at once.
We should now understand, the Seals are simply the plan that will unfold during the Tribulation, not that they unfold before the Trumpets and Vials.
On the other hand, the Trumpets and Vials are the plan in action, they are the events unfolding as we read them.
Before one goes into battle they must already know the plan. They must be Sealed with that plan which means the Seven Seals have already been opened in the mind of that individual so they know what comes next. If you are still trying to figure out the plan while in battle, your demise will soon be met.
The Tribulation is a battle, it is The Epic Battle of the Saints.