I prefer the non-linear view
Time to start gathering comments. What is your view on how the seals, trumpets and vials fit together? I will share my understanding and we can see what we come up with.
I believe that these three sequences run non-linear, meaning that one does not come after the next, but rather they are going on simultaneously.
Here are some reasons for believing this. It appears to me that each for these sequences are a viewpoints from which the tribulation is seen. The seals are open as Jesus judges and takes back his creation. These seals are what happens to the men that are present in the tribulation.
- Seal of the White Horse: One world Leader
- Seal of the Red Horse: Overthrow of governments to gain control
- Seal of the Black Horse: A food shortage caused by the disruption of powers
- Seal of the Pale Horse: Death, death and more death
- Seal of Martyrdom: People are killed for not conforming to the new world order
- Seal of Judgement: The whole creation is shaken.
Here is one thought of consideration to the non-linear idea. The sixth seal seems to describe the end. To show this let’s compare Matthew 24:29-30 with the sixth seal.
29Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Here it tells us clearly that at the end of the tribulation the stars will fall, the sun is darkened and the men of the earth mourn at Jesus’ coming. Now compare this to Revelation 6:12-17.
12And 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; 13And 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. 14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15And 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; 16And 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: 17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
The seventh seal is a link to the first trumpet. So the seals are the tribulation from the viewpoint of humans. The trumpets may I suggest is the tribulation as seen from the fallen angels, the principalities, the rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). The seventh trumpet then links us to the first vial which is the tribulation as seen from the Temple of God in Heaven. So we have three layers; the bottom layer is events as seen by men, the middle are events as seen by the angels, the highest and last is events seen from Heaven.
One last thing that needs to be brought up here is we need to understand that the seals, trumpets, and vials are outlines of the events. In between each of these outlines are details that give more depth to what has been outlined.
Okay, let have some thoughts on the matter. All it take is for you to pray for wisdom and read your bible.