Much of the confusion in understanding Revelation comes because people try their darndest to make it chronological. It is NOT! One way to demonstrate this is to ask ourselves when do certain events occur? If a single event occurs in various chapters then we must overlap the chronology, not make it sequential.
One example: When does God wipe away all tears?
Isaiah 25:8 prophecies that God will wipe away all tears when His victory is realized.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
No one suggests that this happens more than once. Everyone agrees that God wipes away all tears after the 1000 years; after the Judgment of the Great White Throne! And yet we find it occurring in Revelation 7:17 before the breaking of the 7th Seal! It says, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” It says it again in Rev.21:4. Must be the same event!
Seal #6 introduces “Great Tribulation”; and Chapter 7 displays those (the elect) who have suffered through Great Tribulation. Rev.7:14 says, “These are they who have come out of Great Tribulation” (Jew and Gentile) Note: The martyred ‘saints’ were already under the altar in Seal #5 prior to the outbreak of Great Tribulation!
The breaking of the Seventh Seal, Chapter 8:1 is the very next verse and brings silence in Heaven for a half hour. “When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”
I am convinced that Dr. Doug Ezell, “Revelations on Revelation, New Sounds From Old Symbols” is correct in suggesting that the seventh seal represents the End. It is the end of that vision and represents the end of recorded history, thus the beginning of our eternal dwelling. Dr. Ezell says:
“In the Apocrypha there are two references to silence. 2 Esdras 6:39 reads as follows: ‘And then the Spirit was hovering, and darkness and silence embraced everything; the sound of man’s voice was not yet there.’ This statement was made in the midst of a discussion on creation. Again, 2 Esdras 7:29-31 speaks of silence at the time of the revealing of the Messiah, new creation, and judgment: ‘And after these years my son the Messiah shall die, and all who draw human breath. And the world shall be turned back to primeval silence for seven days as it was at the first beginnings; so that no one shall be left. And after seven days the world, which is not yet awake, shall be roused, and that which is corruptible shall perish.’
“I am not… claiming that the Apocrypha is sacred script. I am trying to show that a first century interpretation of the end posited a belief that there was to be a silence before the new creation to correspond with the silence before the first creation.” -Dr. Doug Ezell
Revelation contains a series of seven eschatalogical visions. Each must stand alone. They do not run consecutively. The Seven Seals begin with the Cross/Resurrection Event and concludes after this order ceases.