The Rapture and End Time Prophecies
Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21: 36
The Last Trumpet: Is the Last Trumpet the 7th Trumpet in Revelation.
Because Paul, in 1 Thes 4:16, said believers would be raptured at the sounding of a trumpet and in 1 Cor. 15:52 he said at the last trumpet many folks have tried to make it appear that the Rapture trumpet is the same as the 7th trumpet found in Revelation 11:15-18. While at first glance it is easy to associate the phrase ‘last trumpet’ with the 7th trumpet in Revelation being it is the last trumpet, when you compare them, you see they cannot be the same. The 7th trumpet in Revelation doesn’t match with what we are told of the last trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15.
1 Cor. 15:51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep(die), but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
1Thes. 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Because in 1 Thes. 4 v16 Paul mentions a trumpet call announcing the Rapture and in 1 Cor. 15 v52 says at the last trumpet doesn’t mean it is the same trumpet as the 7th trumpet in Revelation. You have to look at the context of both to see if they match, agree with what we are told concerning the Rapture. Of the Rapture Paul says there will be a trumpet call (before/with) the Rapture, (announcing) his coming for the Church, his bride, a command to come up here. In 1 Thessalonians 4 the voice associated with the sounding of the trumpet summons the dead and the living and consequently is heard before the resurrection.
In the book of Revelation, while a resurrection is mentioned (11:12) of the two witnesses, the 7th trumpet does not sound until after the resurrection, showing us that two different events must be in view. In 1 Thessalonians 4 the trumpet issues in blessing, while the 7th trumpet in Revelation issues in the finial judgments upon the Christ rejecting world, the 7 bowls/vials. In Rev. 11 where it is telling of the 7th trumpet there’s not any mention of a resurrection, a gathering or Jesus coming.
The trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thes. 4:16 sounds before the wrath of God descends, while, the chronology of the book of Revelation indicates that the 7th trumpet in Revelation 11:15 sounds toward the end of the time of wrath.
The 7th trumpet in Revelation is the pouring out of the last of the wrath of God. This here poses a problem for the assertion that the Rapture occurs with the 7th trumpet, for this view holds that only the 7th trumpet is the wrath of God. For we are told the Rapture must occur before the wrath of God. See 1 Thes. 1:10, 1 Thes. 5:9. We see with Rev. 15 that the wrath of God begins before the 7th trumpet.
Rev. 15:1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven (last) plagues, for in them the (wrath of God is (completed)). We see the 7th Trumpet is the last of the wrath of God, with the 7th Trumpet the wrath of God is completed, not beginning. The 7th trumpet is the third woe. The 5th trumpet is the first woe, the 6th trumpet is the second woe. Rev. 8:13, 9:12, 11:14. So, the wrath of God begins before the 7th Trumpet. And as I pointed out above, the 7th trumpet does not sound until after the resurrection of the two witnesses. But Paul has the trumpet associated with the Rapture before the resurrection, announcing his coming for the Church age believers.
The trumpet in 1 Thes. 4 is the trumpet call of God. The 7th trumpet in Revelation is a trumpet blown by an angel. 11: 15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, 1 Thes. 4: 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the (trumpet call of God). This is the call to, ‘come up here’. Rev. 4:1. In verse 14 Paul tells us that God the Father is involved, he sends Jesus for his bride. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep(died) in him. Look at what John says in Rev. chapter 1, 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet. Now look at Rev. 4, 1After this I looked, and there before me was a (door standing open in heaven). And the (voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet) said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” What we see next is the Church age believers before the Throne of God.
The book of Revelation chapters 6 thru 19 are laid out in a sequence of events most of which are the results of previous events. They all are part of the scroll you see Jesus opening in Rev. 6.
The 7th trumpet contains the 7 bowls/vials which occur over an extended period of time. The 7th seal contains the 7 trumpets and the 7 bowls, while the 7th trumpet contains the 7 bowls. That’s obvious from the fact there are no judgments associated with the 7th seal or the 7th trumpet like with the previous seals and trumpets. We see the 7th seal is the preparing of the 7 trumpets and we see the 7th trumpet is the preparing of the 7 bowls/vials. We see there’s 3 series of judgments each getting worse, like birth pains. Remember, there’s only 7 seals on the scroll Jesus is breaking open. So, the trumpets and bowls are part of the 7th seal.
The 7th trumpet in Revelation doesn’t match with anything we are told of the trumpet in 1 Thes. 4 and the last trumpet in 1 Cor. 15.
Events at the Rapture are - "In the twinkling of an eye"
Events at the 7th trumpet could take several days, weeks or longer
Result at the Rapture is joy and transformation
Result of the 7th trumpet is "the third woe" (Revelation 11:14) The 7 last plagues
The Rapture is the resurrection of the dead in Christ and those alive in Christ taken up to heaven
The 7th trumpet – no resurrection, no translation of those in Christ mentioned
So, the last trumpet Paul refers to in 1 Cor.15 is not the 7th trumpet of the book of Revelation. It’s just what Paul used to describe how it will be at the Rapture not when the Rapture would occur.
When Paul was writing to the Corinthians, he specifically said "the" last trumpet. During the Feast of Trumpets, the Jews blew short trumpet blasts. They would end the feast with a long blast from what is called the last trumpet, which is blown the longest. Judaism has traditionally connected this last trumpet sounding with the resurrection of the dead. Paul also made the connection. For at the Rapture the dead in Christ rise first, then those that are alive will be caught up together with those that have just been raised from the dead (received their immortal glorified bodies) to meet the Lord in the air. For many Christians, the association between the Rapture and the Feast of Trumpets is so strong; they look for the Rapture to occur on this feast. The Feast of Trumpets is the only Appointed Festival that doesn’t have an explanation. It’s also the only one that doesn’t have a set day on the calendar. It begins with the sighting of the new moon. No one knows the exact day or hour. It is still a mystery to the Rabbis. See Leviticus 23.
You can find many different trumpets throughout the Old Testament. We see Trumpets were often used to assemble the people, to call them together. It will be the same with the Rapture. For example, in Numbers 10 there are trumpets being used in order to give commands to the people of Israel. A trumpet is used to assemble the people for their journey and another trumpet that signals the start of their journey. 7 To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the same signal. The last trumpet was the last for which it was associated.
Finally, Paul wrote the letter to the Thessalonians in 51 a.d., and 1 Corinthians in 55 a.d. John didn’t receive and write Revelation until 95 a.d., over 40 years later. So, Paul couldn’t have been referring to the 7th trumpet in Revelation. The revelation was given to John.
The contexts of 1 Corinthians 15:52 and that of Revelation 11 of the 7th trumpet are totally different from one another. About the only similarity between the two is that the word "trumpet" is used in both. The respective contexts are totally different. The trumpet Paul mentions is the last one for the Church Age. For the Church Age ends with the Rapture. That’s why there is no mention of the Church during the Tribulation. The trumpet in 1 Thessalonians is distinctly for the Church.
The last trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is the final command that Christ gives to His Church which sounds the signal to gather us together to meet in the air and return with him to heaven, to the Father’s house. Check out the Jewish wedding custom, a trumpet, trumpets were blown when the Groom was coming for his Bride to receive her and take her back to his father’s house, not when they were coming out of the bridal chamber as will be the case with Jesus’ 2nd coming. We see this with Revelation chapter 19. Also, the bride and groom were in the bridal chamber for 7 days. See the Bible Lesson, ‘The Jewish Wedding and the Rapture’.
So, the last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15 is not the 7th trumpet of the book of Revelation. From the scriptures we’ve looked at, the Rapture does not, cannot occur with the 7th trumpet.
Let me say one last thing concerning the Pre-trib Rapture and the timing of the wrath of God. With the pre-trib view it doesn’t matter when the wrath of God begins during the Tribulation. If it is only the 7th trumpet, the bowls, which I have just shown above that the wrath of God begins before the 7th trumpet, or if the wrath of God is only during the 2nd half of the Tribulation, doesn’t have any effect on a pre-trib Rapture, for the pre-trib Rapture would still be pre-wrath, before the wrath of God. It would just be 3 ½ years or 7 years before. You see, the Bible doesn’t tell us how long before the wrath of God the Rapture occurs. So regardless, the pre-trib Rapture would be pre-wrath.
Maranatha, Our Lord Comes.