In fulfillment every detail of the Book of Revelation must come to pass. The difficulty in Historicism is scanning through history and finding “when” these things were fulfilled. When we examine the scriptures closely the first thing to realize is these things come upon the whole world, not just America, or the Middle East, or Europe but over the “Inhabitants” of the whole earth.
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken”. Luke 21 25-26
Since we know and understand that Christ has not returned the events of Revelation is still to be fulfilled. It is Christ who reveals the “beast” for the imposter he is and kills him at His return. (2 Thess 2.8) The beast rule is for forty two months. The last seven bowls of plagues are upon the kingdom of the beast and all those who took the mark, placing this all in our future.
It’s when we examine closely the details of the seven trumpets and seals it easy to see the details of these have not happened in our past. We know these are judgments that come upon the whole earth for her sin. The seven seals then as judgments reveal an overall process that concerns all people of the whole earth. As specific actions of judgment upon the earth by God and not the natural result of men actions.
“A white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.” – A one world government – Has never happened in history. The west has been divided from the East now for over two hundred years.
“Out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.” – The world is thrown into total Chaos. As some claim this is WWWII.
“a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. 6And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!” – Economic upheaval – This did not follow WWII.
This is where we get to the heart of it
“a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.”– When in history was one fourth of the Roman Empire killed by the sword, pestilence, and wild beasts? Or one fourth of the earth period. If anything we are NOW seeing the turmoil in the Muslim world which is one quarter of the earth population.
“The fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. – This period of the “saints” being killed matches reference to Revelation 7, 13 where we see the “beast” given authority over the saints to slay them with the sword. The fifth seal is the forty two months of the beast and false prophet.
“The sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. …. 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” – Is the time of the seven bowls of wrath being poured out on the beast and his kingdom?
So yes the seven seals can be seen as time periods that concern THE last days but as the events unfold we cannot see them unfolding over two thousand years. The seven seals then are judgments upon the creation.
“7The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. – When have we seen 1/3 of the earth burnt up? When we see the word “trees” and “grass” there is no figurative language being used.
“Something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” – 1/3 of the sea life died and a third of ships were destroyed; when in history did 1/3 of all sea life die as a direct judgment by God? Or the ships destroyed? Do we see assume it was unseen and unreported?
“a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11The name of the star is Wormwood.b A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.” –When have we seen 1/3 of the springs, and rivers, on the Earth become “poisoned”? Causing many people to die from it? When did we see a “great star” fall and cause the poisoning?
“a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.” – When in history did we experience such darkening of the light?
Are these things literal? Yes the language in the details tells us its literal judgment upon the creation.
The fifth angel, Locusts that torment the earth. The sixth, The River Euphrates dries up preparing for the army from the east, (Bowl 6) The seventh, is the return of Christ.
“15Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
These last three are at the same time as the “bowls” of wrath that end with the return of Christ.
What we see in scriptures is a series of judgments that come upon the whole face of the earth “in quickness” as one thing leads to another. I simply find it hard to separate these events and say this happened then, and then years later this happened as the historical interpretation requires speculation to see fulfillment.
I believe we are to see these events as they happen one after the other as a direct result of Judgment upon man and creation and we are to know they are happening.
 oikoumené: the inhabited earth Original Word: οἰκουμένη, ης, ἡ : oikoumené : (oy-kou-men’-ay)
Definition: (properly: the land that is being inhabited, the land in a state of habitation), the inhabited world,