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The context of all the tribulation and judgment of Revelation 6-20 is the worship around the Throne of Revelation 4-5. That is what is amazing. All the destruction ravaged scenes on earth during all those chapters are punctuated with the serenity of the songs around the Throne. What a picture of the security and peace that God alone can offer through any storm. Now scan with me this chapter and note the big picture. Chapter 5 opens with God the Father on the Throne. In His Right Hand is a seven-sealed scroll. Of all the chapters in the Bible, this is the one with the most references to this scroll. Look at v. 1-9, and note that there are 8 mentions of this scroll.
The word scroll is the Greek word biblion, from which we get the word–book. But in this time period, as John writes, a book is what we now call a scroll. Books as we know them as flat, square pages, bound together were called a codex. So what God is holding is what we would call a scroll.
Now skip down and look at the opening of chapter 6. This scroll has seven seals. When we see that scroll opened in chapter 6 it is representing the unfolding of the plan for God’s wrath to start pouring out in three parts: through the seven seals (Rev. 6-8), then the seven trumpets (Rev. 8-14), and finally the seven bowls (Rev. 15-19).
First, as each seal is loosed by Christ, the Lamb, the plan explodes into action. In chapter 6 there are six seals opened, and in chapter 8:1 the seventh seal opens to launch seven trumpets.
Second, the seven trumpets which cover chapters 8-14, where the seventh trumpet sounds in 11:15 it is the prelude to the final set of judgments known as the bowl judgments.
Finally, the bowls of wrath get poured out starting in Rev. 15:7 as they are introduced, and these seven bowls initiate the final events before Christ’s Second Coming in power and glory in chapter 19, and His final acts consuming all the rebels in chapter 20.
But this sequence of seals, trumpets, and bowls always makes me wonder. How can Revelation swing from Heaven and worship to Earth and horribly destructive judgment? We can see the answer by understanding the explanations God has given. First, we can see twice mentioned collected prayers of the saints. See them mentioned in Rev. 5:8 and again in 8:3? Revelation is showing us, God, as he finally launches:
The Answer to Centuries of Prayers