QB43 The Seals Trumpets and Bowls (Part 2)

In our quest to determine where the sequences of seals, trumpets and bowls fit into the end time narrative, I have laid an important chronological marker in stating that the sixth seal and seventh trumpet converge on the Day of the Lord, when Jesus comes as the Son of Man to gather His Elect as in Matt 24. I proposed in Quick Bite 41 the wrath of God will not yet have been unleashed up to this point. That’s because the wrath of God is reserved until after the rapture and will be poured out in the seven bowls. We’ve dealt with objections to this position already from the progressive view in Quick Bite 42, but now we must respond to challenges from the simultaneous view, which believes the sequence of seals, trumpets and bowls are either concurrent or even describe the same event but from a different perspective, if that were so, then the bowls would not follow the trumpets. The simultaneous view compares the details depicted in the three sequences and observes the similarities between them. For example the first trumpet and first bowl both relate to the earth (Rev 8:7, 16:2), the second trumpet and second bowl relate to the sea (Rev 8:8,9, 16:3), the third trumpet and bowl relate to rivers and springs (Rev 8:10,11, 16:4), and the fourth trumpet and bowl both relate to the sun (Rev 8:12, 16:8,9). Now whilst the similarities are clearly observable, the resemblance is not enough to claim them as happening at the same time or indeed that they are the same event. An example that undermines the reliability of the simultaneous view is the comparison of the earthquake mentioned in all three sequences, namely the sixth seal, the seventh trumpet and the seventh bowl. Listen carefully to the description of the earthquake in each.

Rev 6:12-14 NKJV – 12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.

After the seventh trumpet we read Rev 11:19 NKJV – 19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

Then in Rev 16:17-20 NKJV – 17  the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

In each sequence there will be an earthquake. And because the devastation caused will be so great, especially with the sixth bowl and seventh seal earthquakes, the simultaneous view sees these as the same event, since such colossal damage can only happen once. The argument goes like this: “If the sixth seal earthquake causes every mountain and island to be removed, then that’s a final, unrepeatable process. The earthquake in Rev 16:20 which records every island to flee away and every mountain to not be found must therefore be describing the same event.” On the face of it, that would seem to be a good point. However, as always, let’s go back to the text and see what it’s actually saying and what it’s not. Here’s the sixth seal earthquake again in Rev 6:14 “Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” The Greek word for ‘moved’ is kinéō (ke-neh-o) and means to be moved, set in motion, to remove. It also means: to excite, disturb, to throw into commotion, or to wag. Wag meaning to shake back and forth as in a dog wagging its tail. This word kinéō (ke-neh-o) is used to describe the riot of the Ephesians against Pauls preaching in Acts 21:30 which reads “And all the city was disturbed” other translations “The whole city was rocked” or “Then all the city was stirred up”. I suggest what Rev 6:14 is describing in the sixth seal is not a disappearance or removal, but a shaking of the mountains as one would expect with an earthquake, but what it isn’t describing is a complete disappearance as in the earthquake at the time of the seventh bowl in Rev 16:20 Which reads “Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” Incidentally, the word ‘fled’ in Greek means ‘to escape safely out of danger, to shun something abhorrent, to flee, seek safety by flight’. But what isn’t in this verse is the word kinéō (ke-neh-o) as it was in Rev 6:14.

In summary then, I have proposed the seventh trumpet and sixth seal converge on the day of the Lord when the Lord will come on the clouds as the Son of Man with His angels to gather His Elect. The wrath of God has been withheld until this point as we learnt in Quick Bite 41, and as I will cover next time, the wrath of God is poured out in the seven bowls. Since this viewpoint does not conform to either the progressive or simultaneous view, I have responded to objections proposed by both. Now that we have done so I can confidently continue laying out this Bridal perspective on the unfolding of future events.