Rapture and Related Events, The
Topic 4—The Last Trump

Some teach that the “last trump” in 1 Corinthians 15:52, and the “trump of God” of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is not the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15. In fact, they will give many examples of trumpets: trumpets for prayer, trumpets for war, trumpets to signify events, etc. However, none of these examples has any thing to do with the last trumpet. They use the examples to claim that this trumpet is some trumpet other than the last one blown at the end of the age.

People who wish to advance the Any Moment Doctrine of the rapture and those who support the false position that all end time prophecies must take place after the rapture of the church are those who propound this teaching. These folks’ beliefs are in direct opposition to the statements of Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 concerning the rapture and the coming of Antichrist. They also oppose what the Revelation teaches about the timing of the rapture. These beliefs are based on the doctrine of Dispensationalism.

Dispensationalists hold that the Church and Israel are forever separate and that the events in Revelation do not apply to the church but to Israel. Thus, the seventh trumpet of Revelation applies only to Israel and has nothing to do with the church.

Dispensationalism, as propounded by Charles Ryrie, “the father of modern Dispensationalism,” seems based on a wrong assumption, namely, that the church and Israel are forever separate. There is no such separation of the church and Israel in the scriptures. In fact, the scriptures teach that the church is grafted in to the root of the olive tree. This root, according to Paul in Romans 11:16, is the firstfruits of God’s people, which are Israel. Only the blood of Jesus will save the world, including Israel, which has no different destiny than the church. To be saved, Gentiles and Jews alike must be saved by the blood of Christ. Unbelieving Gentiles and Jews are not saved.

They claim that the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 is a special trumpet, “a uniquely appointed trumpet designated for the end of the Church age” and not the last trumpet of the age, which is sounded by the angel in Revelation 11:15. This is to preserve the (incorrect) doctrine of the seven-year tribulation against Israel. The wrath of God is poured upon the whole unbelieving world, which includes unbelieving Israel.

They wish to prove that the seven year tribulation period is against Israel alone, and not against the anyone else. This teaching, which is prevalent among pre-tribbers, is that the church will be taken away, then antichrist will come and make a seven year covenant with Israel, then break it at 3½ years and then persecute Israel. Meanwhile the church will be in heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Again, this is what Dispensationalism teaches.

The amazing thing is that scripture gets in the way of this teaching. The marriage supper of the lamb takes place after the battle of Armageddon, which occurs after the marriage of the church and Christ and after their return to fight the battle. Let us take a look, once again, at the sequence of events in Revelation: The rapture occurs. The seven bowls of the wrath of God are poured upon the ungodly, consisting of both unsaved Jews and unsaved Gentiles. Satan gathers the kings of the world to Armageddon to fight against Christ. Heaven is opened and Christ appears and the armies of heaven appear with Him. These armies are the wife (the Church) dressed in white linen married to the Groom following Him on white horses. Christ desroys the armies gathered agains Him “shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming,” (2 Thes 2:8). The wedding feast occurs; the birds of heaven eat the flesh of the destroyed armies of the Dragon. The Beast and False Prophet are cast into the lake of fire. The Dragon is locked in the abyss for 1000 years. No, the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 is not a special trumpet, or any old trumpet, as the Dispensationalists claim, it is the one sounded by the angel in Revelation 11:15.

In 1 Corinthians 15:52, the word “last” is translated from the Greek word, εσχατη, eschatē, the adjective dative feminine singular superlative form of εσχατος, eschatos from which we get our English word, eschatology, or the study of the end times. The adjective modifies the word ‘trump’. The dative simply tells us that the word it modifies is the indirect object of the preposition ‘at’. Feminine tells us the gender, which is meaningless in English. The superlative degree means the highest form, for example in the words good, better, and best, best is the superlative. The superlative in this case indicates that this form of last is the uttermost last, or the absolute last with nothing further away. According to the Bauer/Danker/Arndt/Gingrich (BDAG) Lexicon, it can be understood as the place in the farthest corner.

Strong: 2078. εσχατος, eschatos, es’-khat-os; a superlative probably from 2192 (in the sense of contiguity); farthest, final (of place or time):–ends of, last, latter end, lowest, uttermost.

We can understand it as the absolute last, most final, farthest, and uttermost last trumpet of God. It is the last trumpet of the age and it is found in Revelation 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded [his trumpet]; 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.”

Let’s take a moment to recap what happens at the seventh trumpet in Rev 11:15-19:21. When the angel sounds the trumpet, the Heavenly hosts sing that the time of judgment is here, and the archangel shouts. Satan is cast out of heaven (Rev 12:9). The church is persecuted (which is tribulation but not The Great Tribulation) (Rev 12:17). The antichrist and his world government (AKA Babylon) arise (Rev 13:1-18). The 144,000 are sealed (Rev 14:1-5). The harvest of the earth occurs, which is the Rapture (Rev 14:14-20). God’s wrath is poured out (15:1-18:12). The beast’s world government falls (chapter 18). The gathering together of the saints and their preparaton for the wedding supper occur (Rev 19:6-7). Armageddon occurs (Rev 19:19-20). And in chapter 20, we have the Millennium.

After the seventh trumpet sounds, there are no others in this age because the age comes to a close (Revelation 20) shortly after it sounds. That means that this trumpet is the absolute last, most final, farthest, and uttermost last trumpet. There is no other trumpet in this age sounded after the seventh. The last trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 is the final trumpet of the age.

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