Reasons for believing the Seals and Trumpets are Simultaneous
The church is raptured at the last trumpet (1Cor 15:51-52)
The last trumpet is when the Mystery of God is accomplished (Rev 10:7)
The Last Trumpet is when the Kingdom of this World becomes the Kingdom of our Lord and his Messiah (Rev 11:15)
The Last Trumpet is when it is time to judge the dead and reward the prophets and those who revere God's name (Rev 11:18)
The Last Trumpet is when God pours his wrath out on the Nations (Rev 11:18)
The last seal is also associated with these events
God's wrath follows the sixth seal (Rev 6:17)
God's wrath is not poured out until after the Church has been raptured (1Thes 5:9)
The Great Multitude appear in heaven when the rapture occurs (Rev 7:9-17) just before the seventh seal is mentioned
The Little Scroll is presented open just before the seventh trumpet (Rev 10:1-11)
The Little Scroll is the same scroll that the Lamb has been opening, one seal at a time
This scroll is almost certainly a chapter of the Book of Life which contains the names born again believers
(There is another chapter of the book of life which is opened at the end of the Millennium when it is time to judge non-believers)
It is fitting that the rapture of the Church should occur when the seventh seal on the scroll is opened
After all, creation has been waiting in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed (Rom 8:18-24)
The rapture is mentioned in several places in Revelation; Revelation is not entirely sequential
The rapture of the church, followed by God's judgement of the nations, is also mentioned in Revelations 14:14-16:21 and Revelation 19:1-21
The rapture of the Church is followed by God's wrath on the Nations, both of which seem to occur at the seventh seal and the seventh trumpet
Thus there is good reason for believing that the seventh Seal and the Seventh trumpet are concurrent events in heaven.
In fact, the rapture appears to occur in the twinkling of an eye at the beginning of the seventh trumpet (Rev 10:7). The rapture would also appear to occur the instant that the seventh seal is opened (Rev 8:1) and then there is silence in heaven for half an hour.
The implication is that the other trumpets (trumpets 1 to 6) precede the seventh seal (as the seventh trumpet is concurrent with the seventh seal)
Could then the other trumpets correspond to the other seals?
Coud seal 1 be coincident with trumpet 1, seal 2 coincident with trumpet 2, seal 3 - trumpet 3 and so forth?
If this were true then when Christ opens a seal, an angel sounds a trumpet.
For those who are watching, this would serve as a warning that Christ’s return is becoming more imminent.
What would it look like if the seals and the trumpets were aligned?
Are there any events that cannot go together or would clash?
Comparing the Interlude between the Sixth and the Seventh Seal and the Interlude between the Sixth and the Seventh Trumpet
In describing the events associated with the opening of the seven seals, John seems to take a break between the six and the seventh seal, the so called interlude, where he seems to describe two apparently unrelated visions. The vision of the 144000 who were sealed from the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev 7:1-8) and a vision of a Great Multitude from every tribe and language who had been through the Great Tribulation and appear in heaven (Rev 7:9-17).
Similarly, when John is describing the events associated with the seven trumpets, he takes a break between the sixth and the seventh trumpet, another interlude, and describes two further visions that seem somewhat unrelated. The vision of the angel and the little scroll (Rev 10:1-11) and the vision of the Gentiles trampling the Holy City for 42 months and the two witnesses prophesying for 1260 days. (Rev 11:1-14)
Post tribulationists (believe the rapture is post-tribulation) say that the second coming of Christ to rapture the church takes place at the beginning of the last trumpet which coincides with the seventh seal. The Wrath of God is the seven bowls which are part of the seventh trumpet.
Pretribulationists (believe the rapture is pre-tribulation) say that the second coming of Christ to rapture the church occurs at or just before the seventh seal but the trumpets, being the wrath of God, follow the seals and are not concurrent with the seals as suggested by post tribulationists.
It is, therefore, interesting to see if there is any correlation and concordance between the events mentioned in the two interludes between the sixth and the seventh seals and the sixth and the seventh trumpets.
John was given a vision of a scroll with seven seals which nobody was worthy to open but the Lamb of God who was slain and with his blood purchased for God people from every tribe and nation people and language. In the ensuing chapters, the Lamb begins to open the scroll which can only be the Book of Life. Once the Book of Life is opened, the Children of God are revealed and the Lamb Christ returns to redeem his people. It, therefore, makes sense that the rapture should take place at or just before the seventh seal is opened.
The last trumpet is also linked to the rapture of the church. (1Cor 15:51-52) It is at the seventh trumpet that the Kingdom of this World becomes the Kingdom of our Lord. (Rev 11:15) It is at the Last trumpet that God judges the nations and pours out his wrath. (Rev 11:18)
The Angel that appears in the interlude between the sixth and the seventh trumpets is holding a Little Scroll which has been opened. (Rev 10:2) This Little Scroll would appear to be the same scroll that the Lamb has been opening. Thus by the time the seventh trumpet sounds, the Book of Life has been opened.
When the Book of Life is opened, the rapture and the first resurrection take place. A Great multitude appear in heaven. The Great Multitude appearing in heaven appears between the sixth and the seventh seals.
If the Trumpets are aligned with the seals, if they recapitulate the seals and are concurrent with the seals, then the interludes would also be aligned. The opening of the Little Scroll would be concordant with the Great Multitude appearing in heaven.
What about the other events that take place in the interludes between the sixth and the seventh seals and the sixth and the seventh trumpets?
As already mentioned, the seventh trumpet is when the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our lord. The Millennium is about to start. God just has to finish pouring out his wrath on the nations as the Seventh trumpet sounds.
What can be made of the vision of the Gentiles trampling the Holy City for 42 months (Rev 11:2) and the two witnesses prophesying for 1260 days (Rev 11:3) in the interlude between the sixth and the seventh trumpet?
The duration of the great tribulation will be 1260 days or 42 months which is 3.5 years. (Rev 12:6, Rev 12:14 & Rev 13:5-8) The point at which this vision is given, the great tribulation is about to end. It would, therefore, appear that the gentiles finish trampling the Holy City at the time the seventh trumpet sounds and the two witnesses also finish prophesying at this point too.
What about the 144000, when are they sealed? The 144000 taken from the 12 tribes of Israel are no doubt the Women who is pursued by the dragon in Revelation chapter 12. The woman is pursued by the dragon for 1260 days or times time and half a time. The 144000 would therefore have been sealed at the beginning of the great tribulation.
The 144000 being sealed and the woman being taken care of for 1260 days, the gentiles trampling the Holy City for 42 months and the two witnesses prophesying for 1260 days, all span the duration of the great tribulation but are not mentioned until it is almost over – just before the seventh seal or the seventh trumpet (assuming they are simultaneous).
These visions are, therefore, retrospective or recapitulations given the point at which they are mentioned.
The interludes between the sixth and the seven seal and the sixth and the seventh trumpets do appear to be concordant and concurrent with one another. The Little Scroll is opened just as the seventh seal is opened and as the seventh trumpet sounds and then the rapture takes place and a great multitude appear in heaven. Also, the 144000 are revealed having been sealed and protected for 1260 days. The Holy City has been trampled for 42 months and the two witnesses are about to finish 1260 days of prophesying.
Revelation paints a glorious picture with many elements that are described one at time rather than in time sequence.
Objections to Simultaneous Seals and Trumpets
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
This scripture appears after the sixth seal is opened and just before the seventh seal is mentioned and just before the Seven Trumpets sound. It is part of the Interlude between the sixth and the seventh seal. The other part of the Interlude being the rapture of the great multitude.
The four angels mentioned in the scripture above are considered to be the same angels as the those who hold the first four trumpets.
Pre tribulationists argue that this is proof that the seals and the trumpets cannot be simultaneous as stated by recapitulationists (post tribulationists), or at least the trumpets cannot precede the sixth seal. The seals trumpets and bowls, therefore, occur sequentially.
Pre tribulationists contend that the rapture is after the sixth seal when the Great Multitude appear in heaven just before the seventh seal is opened and certainly before the seven trumpets (which are considered to be the wrath of God).
Pre tribulationists consider the events of the first sixth seals are not part of the great tribulation. (Given that a quarter of the Earth’s population are killed when the 4th seal is opened, this is a bit hard to accept)
Post tribulationists tend to be recapitulationists, stating that various visions in revelation recapitulate and occur simultaneously with other visions in Revelation thereby adding to their meaning. Like pretribulationists, they place the rapture after the sixth seal immediately before the seventh seal is opened. The rapture is also linked to the seventh trumpet which is concurrent with or simultaneous with the seventh seal.
God’s wrath is then poured out on the nations; namely the seven bowls of God’s wrath which are also part of the seventh Trumpet.
How then do post tribulationists account for this scripture which suggests that the trumpet judgements follow the seals sequentially rather than occur simulatanously with the seals.
Rev 6:12 & 14
The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.
Here we see the ‘Woman’ (Israel) flees to the wilderness where she is taken care of for 1260 days – this is the entire duration of the Great tribulation! Could this ‘Women’ (Israel) be sealed and protected right from the beginning of the Great Tribulation, before any seals are opened or any trumpets are sounded?
This would mean that the vision of the 144000 being sealed from the 12 tribes of Israel does not occur in the same sequence that it is appears in Revelation. It is a self contained vision that happens to be placed in the interlude between the 6th and the 7th seal.
It is simply not possible to describe the picture in Revelation and maintain sequence without becoming very disorganized.
Revelation is like a picture and John describes the elements sequentially one at a time but not necessarily in time sequence.
Revelation is not like a scanner or a fax machine scanning a picture from one end to the other.
But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Just as there is an interlude between the sixth and the seventh seal, there is also an interlude between the six and the seventh trumpet.
The 144000 Jews are sealed and the great multitude appear in heaven in the interlude between the 6th and the 7th seal. The Holy city is trampled by the Gentiles for 42 months and the two witnesses prophesy for 1260 days in the interlude between the 6th and the 7th trumpet. (An angel with a little scroll also appears in this interlude)
The rapture of the Great multitude occurs in an instant and therefore could well take place at this point in the Revelation sequence just before or when the seven seal is opened.
The ‘Women’ (Israel) is protected for 1260 days. The actual sealing of the 144000 is therefore likely to have occurred substantially before the time that it is mentioned in the Revelation sequence. Indeed, it is more than likely that the 1260 days end at the point it is mentioned in the revelation sequence.
Just as the 144000 from the 12 tribes of Israel are sealed and protected for the entire duration of the Great Tribulation, the Gentiles will trample the Holy City for 42 months and the two witnesses will prophesy for 1260 days.
The visions of the Gentiles trampling the Holy City for 42 months and the two witnesses prophesying for 1260 days are in the interlude between the 6th and the 7th trumpet.
When the seventh Trumpet sounds, the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our Lord. We are at the conclusion of this age. That is it. There is no more 42 months to come and no more 1260 days to come. The 42 months and the 1260 days, therefore, end with the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
As with the sealing of the 144000, the place in scripture where they are mentioned corresponds to the end of the 1260 days or 42 months over which they occur.
In other words, the Gentiles started trampling the Holy City 42 months before the seventh trumpet sounds and the two witnesses prophesied for 1260 days up until the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
Similarly, the 144000 from the 12 tribes of Israel were sealed and protected 1260 days before the seventh seal was opened.
The Great Tribulation lasts 1260 days and begins with the revelation of the Antichrist when the first seal is opened. (2Thes 2:3)
This means that the 144000 Jews are sealed at the beginning of the Great Tribulation before any seals are opened and before any trumpets are sounded.
Thus even if the seals and the trumpets are totally simultaneous, there is no conflict with Revelations 7:2-3
He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
Therefore, these verses should not be a stumbling block to Post Tribulationists who believe in simultaneous recapitulating visions in revelation.
Simultaneous Seals and Trumpets
If the seals and the trumpets are concurrent, with an angel sounding a trumpet whenever a seal is opened, then seal one coincides with trumpet 1, seal two coincides with trumpet 2, seal three coincides with trumpet 3 and so on.
When first seal is broken, the Antichrist is revealed. The first trumpet sounds and then a third of the Earth's trees and grass is burnt up. When the second seal is broken, war is unleashed. The second trumpet sounds and a third of the sea turns to blood and a third of the sea creatures die and a third of the ships are destroyed. When the third seal is opened, famine is rampant. The third trumpet sounds and a star falls from the sky turning a third of the fresh waters bitter. When the fourth seal is opened, death abounds. The fourth trumpet sounds and a third of the sky is darkened blocking the light of the sun and moon. When the fifth seal is opened the martyrs cry out. The fifth trumpet sounds and locusts come out of the abyss to torment those with the mark of the beast for 5 months. When the sixth seal is opened, signs appear in the sky and earthquakes shake the Earth. Men try to hide from Gods impending wrath. The sixth trumpet sounds – 200 million mounted troops are released to kill one third of all mankind. Still man does not repent!
Next, there is an interlude:
Mention is made of 144000 Jews being sealed - but when?
The Woman - Israel (the 144000 who had been sealed) has been pursued by a dragon for 1260 days but is kept out of harms way
A great multitude appear in heaven - the rapture and the first resurrection
Jerusalem has been trampled by the Gentiles for 42 months
Two witnesses have prophesied for 1260 days
The Little scroll is presented open to John
When the seventh seal was opened, there was silence in heaven for half an hour.
The seventh trumpet sounds as the seventh seal is opened and the mystery of God is accomplished.
The time for judging the dead in Christ has come.
God pours out the seven bowls of his wrath as he leads an army of believers to strike down the nations. The nations are separated into the Sheep and the Goats.
Finally, the Kingdom of this world becomes the Kingdom of our Lord and his Messiah.
There are no clashes, in fact it paints a glorious picture that only God could have conceived.
It paints a picture with signs that could not be missed or mistaken for something else.
see Seventh Trumpet