Cecil N. Wright

Seven Seals
(6:1 - 8:6)
            Seven Trumpets
(8:7 - 11:18)
Seven Mystic figures
(11:19 - 14:20)
Woman (11:19-12:2)
Seven Bowls
(15:1 - 16:21)
Dragon (12:3-4)          
---------------------"1000 years"-------------- End of History Beyond History
Man Child (12:5-6)

Michael (12;7-17)
  Satan loosed a
little season and
then destroyed
Beast of the Sea
(13;1-10; cf.11:17)
Beast of the Earth

Lamb on Mount Zion

Angelic Messages
Beast and False Prophet
overthrown (19:11-21)

Last enemies
destroyed in
with general
and final
New Heaven and
new earth for the
righteous (21:1-8)

Bride of the Lamb
(the Holy City)
descending from
heaven (21:9-22:5)
Announcement of God's judgment (14:6-7)
Announcement of
Babylon's fall (14:8)
Babylon destroyed
(17:1 - 18:21)
Warning of wrath
on worshippers of
Beast (14:9-12
Satan bound, saints
reign with Christ (20:1-6)
Blessedness of dead who die in the Lord (14:13)
Call for harvesting the earth (14:14-16)
Call for gathering the grapes of wrath (14:17-20)


1. The seven seals seem to incorporate the seven trumpets, and the seven trumpets incorporate the seven bowls, so that even ten events of the seventh seal are not complete prior to the completion of the seventh bowl.

2. The seals, trumpets, and bowls are not necessarily consecutive, but may in part be simultaneous and represent simply different aspects of the same general events. There is a significant correspondence between the description of the trumpets and the bowls. There may even be overlapping of seals with other seals, or trumpets with other trumpets, and bowls with other bowls. But apparently the events of neither the seals nor the trumpets are complete before the completion of the events of the seventh bowl.

3. The seven "mystic figures" are involved in the events of the seals, trumpets, and bowls, and therefore are not to be taken as a chronological link between the seven trumpets and the seven bowls. One of the figures, the Beast from the Earth, is also called a False Prophet in 16:13; 19:20;20:10. His function as the latter, briefly described in 19:20 as almost identical with that of the Beast of the Earth, is more elaborately depicted in 13:11-18. These descriptions fit quite well the role of the pagan priesthood, particularly the officials of the cult of Emperor worship in the Roman Empire, and especially in the Roman province of Asia.

4. The effects of the seven bowls seem to continue through Chapters 17-20, and are not completes before 20:15. Not only do they consummate the destruction of Babylon and the overthrow of the Beast and the False Prophet – likely when "the kingdom of this world: (probably the Roman Empire) becomes "the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ" (11:15) – but they also include the binding and finally the destruction of Satan (the old Dragon), with an interval of more than "1,000 years" between the binding and the destruction. Then follow the general resurrection and the final judgment (of individuals as such) – if our interpretation is correct.

5. Understanding 11:15 as per above, as the victory of Christ, not at the end of history, but over paganism in the Roman Empire, and equating the saying of the four and twenty elders in 11:18 with 20:4-6, when the martyrs (including those of the Fifth Seal, 6:9-11) and other saints are vindicated and rewarded and their enemies destroyed in connection with, and as a result of, the fall of paganism in the Empire, we have a consistent literary, chronological, and historical progression not characteristic of any other interpretation, namely pagan (a) Chapters 6-19 describing in various and sundry ways the conflict with, and victory of 11:15 over, pagan Rome (Babylon); (b) 20:1-6 depicting the binding of Satan for "1,000 years" in connection with and a result of that victory; (c) 20:7-15 having to do with subsequent events at the end of history, when Satan himself and all other enemies are ultimately destroyed; and (d) Chapters 21-22 depicting the glories and blessings of the saints beyond history, free from enemies and suffering forever – as delineated in the above chart.