After listening to Revelation over a 100 times on a tape player, at work I started to understand it. The problem with revelation is that it is a series of disconnected visions. They are given to you in the order that it was revealed to the author. But from the context of what is said in the visions, you can see that they are not in chronological order. A vision at the beginning of the book might refer to something that will happen in the middle or the end of the period in question. [The period in Revelation that is prophesied about is the last 7 years till the end when Jesus returns with an army of angels to take over the world by force at the battle of armageddon.] A vision in the middle of the book might refer to something at the beginning of the period in question. Etc. From the context of what is written, the 7 seals, trumpets, and vials, all go to the end of the 7 year period. They overlap one another. If you try to think that the events in Revelation are in the proper chronological order as they will happen it will seem like there are contradictions, so I believe that is not the proper way to understand it. You need to note where one vision ends and another begins. Any true interpretation should not have contradictions. I will give you an example of what I am saying. Seals: Revelation 6:12 And 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; Revelation 6:13 And 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. Revelation 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Revelation 6:15 And 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; Revelation 6:16 And 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: Revelation 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? The sixth seal goes all the way to the return of Jesus and the day of His wrath, from the context of what is written there. The seals go all the way to the end of the tribulation period. Note: the great earth quake. Trumpets: Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. At the sounding of the seventh trumpet the end comes. It happens also at the end of the tribulation period like the seals do. Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. Revelation 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Revelation 11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. note the earthquake. The trumpets also go to the end of the tribulation period, from the context of what is said. vials: Revelation 15:1 shows the vials to be the last plagues. Revelation 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. Revelation 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great. note the earthquake The vials also go to the end of the tribulation period, from the context of what is said. At the end of the tribulation period you have a great earthquake. The same earthquake is mentioned 3 times, at the end of the seals, trumpets and vials, because they all end at the time of the earthquake. So, from the context of what is written, the seals, trumpets and vials go all the way to the end of the tribulation period when Jesus comes back. So, they must overlap each other in the chronology of how the events are going to happen. John gave the separate visions in the order that the visions were given to him. You need to look at the context of what is said in the visions to fill in the chronology of when the events are going to happen. If you try to see it as actually happening in the order that it is written there will be contradictions. Contradictions always show that the interpretation is wrong. True interpretations have no contradictions.