Seals, Trumpets and Bowls
By Dennis Huebshman
After the messages to the 7 Churches, John was shown a scroll with Seven Seals on it. The question was asked, “Who is worthy to open the Seals?” It appeared that no one was, and John began to cry. Just then, it was pointed out The Lion, Tribe of Judah and the Lamb that was sacrificed is worthy to open the scroll.
Before continuing, this is not an extensive study of the Book of Revelation as that would take much more space and time that is allotted here. My goal is to tell what each of the 21 Judgments were and briefly what they did. There are numerous other surrounding stories such as the 144,000 from the 12 tribes that are sealed by God, so they cannot be harmed; the two witnesses; the make-up of the anti-christ empire and many other messages that each one could be a lesson in itself. I know one pastor that went through Revelation verse by verse and it took almost a year to complete.
Therefore, starting with the first 7 known as the Seal Judgments, (Revelation 6) Jesus was the Lamb, The Lion of the Tribe of Judah that was worthy to open the Seals. (Revelation 5) It should be noted, this starts the tribulation not after the 6th Trumpet Judgment as some would have you believe. God’s wrath gets more and more intense as each judgment comes to play. None of it is pleasant, but at the end it’s downright unbearable for anyone who is left alive. In fact, if it weren’t for the “touch-earth Second Coming”, no one would have survived.
Starting with the First Seal in Revelation 6, when it is opened a rider on a White Horse appears. This is the releasing the final anti-christ on the earth. It should be noted, after Revelation 4, the Church is not mentioned again until almost the end of the book. This would give us encouragement that the Church has been removed, and will not suffer any wrath as promised in the New Testament. The anti-christ is directed by the prince of this world (satan) from the beginning. His purpose is to claim deity and cause the entire world to worship him and no other, and to persecute and martyr anyone who professes a belief in Jesus and all Jewish people. After the anti-christ is released, there will be a peace with Israel that is supposed to last 7 years, and when signed is the start of the tribulation period.
The Second Seal is a rider on a Red Horse. This judgment brings war to the earth. Jesus talked about wars and rumors of war and this judgment takes out the rumors and makes them real.
The Third Seal is a rider on a Black Horse. It is for famine and poverty where only the very rich are able to be comfortable. Other than that, food, clothing and shelter are priced out of range for the average person.
The Fourth Seal is a rider on a Pale Horse. This judgment causes death to over ¼ of the world’s population, or about 1.75 billion people. That’s significant because when the Rapture occurs, it’s estimated about 10% of the world population will disappear which is about 700 million. It says he brings death by sword (war), famine and disease, and by wild animals. No longer will animals have a natural fear of humans.
The Fifth Seal presents the souls under the altar which were martyred for believing in Jesus. They were given white robes and told to rest and to wait for their revenge to take place until the total number of martyrs will be killed. The number is known only to God.
The Sixth Seal is an earthquake, the sun darkened, the moon turns blood red, stars fall from the sky and mountains are moved. Each earthquake that takes place from here increases in intensity and damage inflicted on the earth. This is only the first one of four.
The Seventh Seal (Revelation 8) presents a “silence for 1/2 hour”, then a huge earthquake (#2) with massive thunder and lightnings. This one prepares the earth for the 7 Trumpets that are to follow.
The First Trumpet consists of hail, fire mixed with blood and 1/3 of all trees burned and all green grass is burned. Also, 1/3 of the earth is burned.
Second Trumpet is a “mountain of fire” thrown into the sea which 1/3 becomes blood; 1/3 of sea life dies and 1/3 of ships are destroyed.
Third Trumpet is a huge star burning like torch falling on rivers and springs of water and it is “wormwood”. People die from the poisoned waters.
Fourth Trumpet is 1/3 of the sun darkened, also the moon and stars.
Fifth Trumpet (Revelation 9) has the shaft of the abyss opened and locust-like creatures come out. They have the power of scorpions in stinging those without the seal of god for 5 months. They were not to damage remaining grass, trees or any plant life. People will desire death because of the stings, but it will not come. Angel of the abyss is their king and his name in Hebrew is Abaddon – Greek Apollyon.
Sixth Trumpet is the 4 angels that had been bound at the Euphrates are set free to kill 1/3 of mankind. Note, with Seal #4 killing ¼ of all mankind, now 1/3 of what’s left are killed leaving about 3.5 billion people. They controlled an army of 200 million, and the descriptions of the “horses” are very much like modern tanks. With all that has been done up to now, the people still did not repent. They went deeper into their depravity.
Seventh Trumpet is rejoicing, and proclamations given in Heaven, but on earth mass lightning, roaring thunder and an earthquake (#3) and giant hailstorm.
Next come the Bowl Judgments. Number 1 is ugly painful sores on those with the mark of the beast. It should be noted that people where given the option of accepting the mark and be able to buy and sell; or not taking the mark and be martyred. Anyone who takes the mark is lost forever without any chance of redemption.
Bowl #2 is the sea totally turned to blood. All living sea creatures that are left will now die.
Bowl #3 is all rivers, springs – all fresh water – is turned to blood.
Bowl #4: The sun becomes so intense in heat it scorches people, yet they will still not repent, but blaspheme God.
Bowl #5 is darkness so intense people begin to bite their tongues. Never a darkness like it before, and is a prelude to the darkness of the Lake of Fire. Only in Heaven will there be light at the end.
Bowl #6: The Euphrates is dried up to allow the Kings of the East to cross. This is preparation for the final conflict of this 7-year session – Armageddon.
Bowl #7: Tremendous Earthquake (4th.) like never before. Babylon is split into thirds and all islands disappear. Mountains are leveled, and giant 100-pound hailstones fall on the people. Still they blaspheme God.
After this we go to Revelation 19 where Jesus physically returns to earth to shut down the tribulation. He brings His army with Him all dressed in white linen and riding white horses. This is not an army to fight, but to witness. Who does this army consist of? Most prophecy people believe it’s those who were Raptured.
Revelation 19:20, Jesus seizes the false prophet and the beast and casts them into the Lake of Fire. All the armies of theirs are killed by the “sword that extended from His mouth”. In other words, He said the word and the fight was over.
After this, there is the 1000-year reign with satan bound in the abyss by an angel from heaven. There is a judgment for all who did not take the mark of the beast and were martyred because of this. They are brought back to life to reign with Jesus for the 1000 years. (Revelation 20:4)
At the end of the 1000 years, satan is released and goes out for a “short time” deceiving the nations. We are not told how long this period of time is, but it is sad that he is able to amass a huge army to go against Jerusalem where Jesus is. Fire comes down from Heaven and devoured them all, and satan was thrown into the Lake of Fire with the beast and false prophet to be tormented FOREVER. (Revelation 20:10.)
This is followed by the final business with all unbelievers from the beginning of time on earth to this very moment. There is a Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15) and all who are there are judged according to their deeds, and then are thrown into the Lake of Fire with satan, false prophet and beast and the angels who followed satan as well. Just as there will be different rewards in Heaven for all who are there, there will be different degrees of punishment for those in torment. The worst part of the Lake of Fire or final Hell is that all there will be shown for all eternity what they could’ve done not to be there at all.
The New Heaven and Earth are formed, and a New Jerusalem comes down where Jesus will reign with the Father forever. The New Jerusalem has not temple as God and the Lamb are the Temple and also, they are the Light so there is no sun or moon.
There is a final warning in Revelation 22: 18-19 about adding to or taking away from the words of the prophecy of this book. All who do so will be punished severely.
Jesus’ final words – “Yes, I am coming soon!”. Amen, Come Lord Jesus.
Final points: after seeing all of this, who really wants to go through the Tribulation and all 21 of these judgments if you were to survive all the way to the end? Wouldn’t it be better to be removed from the earth before God’s Wrath hits?
There is no big secret ceremony, script to follow and it can’t be earned or bought. The way has already been paid for by “The Way, The Truth and The Life” in John 14:6. Your responsibility is to accept His sacrifice and tell Him you are a sinner and ask His forgiveness. Then believe He is the Son of the Father and therefore God Himself who came to earth for all who will accept Him. Talk to Him daily (prayer) and read His Holy Love Letter (Bible) He provided for us. That’s it! You will form a relationship with the Lion of the Tribe of Judah – the spotless Lamb that was slain. When the wrath starts with the 1st. Seal, you will be with Him and not here.
Oh yes, and it’s totally your choice. The Father will never force you to accept Him or His gift from His Son, but will gladly give it to all who truly ask. My suggestion is to not wait because we do not know the day or hour Jesus will call, but the signs are all pointing to His Soon Arrival!
Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus!