There have been occasional debates in the past whether seals, trumpets
and vials happen sequentially or in parallel. I'd like to present my
thoughts on that topic too, and am interested in your feedback.
It seems that John has seen them in his vision sequentially, because
he clearly uses phrases such as "After that I saw...". However, seeing
things sequentially in a vision (and writing it down accordingly) does
not mean they could not happen in parallel later on execution. In fact
there is an overwhelming evidence that at least Trumpets and Vials
happen in parallel, as they share remarkable similarities (see
APPENDIX at the bottom).
The 7 seals happen in heaven (throne room of God), while Trumpets and
Vials mostly describe events happening on (or to the) earth. According
to my understanding, it does not look like Seals happen in parallel
with Trumpets and Vials. It more looks like:
The 7 Seals first (-> first half of Daniels 70th week?), followed in
parallel by Trumpets and Vials (-> 2nd half of Daniels 70th week?).
A possible explanation for that could be:
SEALS: will be witnessed by all those in heaven, possibly also the
raptured BRIDE of the lamb.
TRUMPETS: Gods judgement for the LEFT BEHIND on earth who change their
mind (possibly after the rapture) and become true believers. Many of
them will die as martyrs.
VIALS: Gods judgement for those who continue to blaspheme.
...let me know if that makes sense to you or not, thanks!
APPENDIX: SIMILARITIES OF TRUMPETS AND BOWLS:
1st Trumpet/Vial common denominator: "Upon the earth"
1st Trumpet event: Third part of Trees burnt up. (compare Psalm1:1-3
and Isaiah 40:6-7 to understand that trees and grass may symbolize
1st Vial event: noisome and grievous sore upon the men which have the
mark of the beast.
2nd Trumpet/Vial common denominator: "Into the sea"
2nd Trumpet event: The sea became blood
2nd Vial event: the sea became blood as the blood of a dead man.
3rd Trumpet/Vial common denominator: "Upon the rivers, and upon the
fountains of waters"
3rd Trumpet event: The water became bitter
3rd Vial event: The water became blood
4th Trumpet/Vial common denominator: "The sun"
4th Trumpet event: The sun was smitten and they day shone not.
4th Vial event: Men were scorched with great heat
5th Trumpet/Vial common denominator: -
5th Trumpet event: Strange creatures tormenting men
5th Vial event: Men tormented with pains and sore
6th Trumpet/Vial common denominator: The great river Euphrates
6th Trumpet event: A great and awesome war
6th Vial event: Battle of Armageddon
7th Trumpet/Vial common denominator: Lightings, voices, thundering,
7th Trumpet event: Plague of hail
7th Vial event: Plague of hail