Questions about specific scriptures

ID #1020

1 Corinthians 15:52 talks about the resurrection and rapture at the last trump. Is this in your view the same as the 7th trumpet, or is this something else?? What is the last trump, or trumpet in this verse?

I have had this come up a few times. The last trumpet is spoken of in 1 Cor. 15:52...

1 Cor 15:51 (NIV) Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, 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.

The preterists and post-tribulationists have used this scripture to identify this "last trumpet" with the seventh trumpet of Revelation - which is the last trumpet judgment of God's wrath. Therefore they show that the rapture happens at the end of the 70th week of Daniel.

I have a couple problems with this. First, it is taking a single two-word phrase and building a doctrine around it - without any other evidence. And, there is only assumption to connect this trumpet with the 7th trumpet of Revelation. So, we must first look at what we DO know about this last trumpet.

This last trumpet does seem to coincide with the trumpet in 1st Thessalonians...

1 Thess 4:16 (NIV) 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.

and with Matthew...

Matt 24:31 (NIV) And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

So, it seems safe to say that this last trumpet IS the trumpet call when the rapture will take place. But, the 7th trumpet of Revelation has no correlation to the dead begin raised. It does say that the time for judging the dead has come and for rewarding God's servants. Therefore, the only connection between these two is that it is called the "last" trumpet.

The nature of the two trumpets are completely different. One is the trumpet call signifying the salvation of God's people at the rapture. The other is a trumpet blast of judgment initiating terrible wrath upon those who have rejected God. Because of this difference, it is my belief that the "last trumpet" of 1 Cor 15:52 is "last" only in the sense that it is the last trumpet for God's people. God's people will not be on the earth for the 7th trumpet of Revelation because the scripture declares...

1 Thess 1:10 (NIV) and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

1 Thess 5:9 (NIV) For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, this will be the "last trump" for God's people because they will not be here for the 7th trumpet of Revelation.  We need to be careful about letting a single scripture that is unclear in it's exact interpretation decide the interpretation of many other passages that are clear in timing.  

I understand perfectly how you can identify the "last trump" with the 7th trumpet of Revelation.  After all, the last trumpet recorded in the Bible is that 7th trumpet.  At the time of writing of 1 Corinthians the book of Revelation had not been written yet and therefore the revelation of the trumpets was not known.  Now I will be the first to tell you that God is no respecter of time.  He has connected prophecies before that were written at different times.  The possibility here is that either this trumpet IS the 7th trumpet of Revelation or it is not.  The timing of the writing just adds credence that Paul may have been writing about the rapture trumpet, the last trumpet for God's people, without concern for the judgment trumpets of Revelation.  If it is not the 7th trumpet of Revelation it is still the "last trump" that God's people will experience so this does not contradict what Paul wrote.  

My biggest problem with the connection of these trumpets is what it does to the timeline of prophecy.  After the 6th seal is broken, the sign of the Day of the Lord appears and the proclamation is made Rev 6:16 (NIV) They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" (emphasis added) 

When the 7th seal is opened the trumpet judgments begin.  Therefore, I consider them clearly God's wrath and so do most prophecy scholars in all camps.  Therefore, if the rapture happens at the 7th trumpet, God's people are left to endure His wrath.  This is clearly excepted in verses like:  

Romans 5:9 (NIV) Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! (emphasis added)  

1 Thess 1:10 (NIV) and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (emphasis added)  

1 Thess 5:9 (NIV) For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (emphasis added)  

Rev 3:10 (NIV) Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. (emphasis added)  

Luke 21:36 NIV) 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. (emphasis added)  

Some try to separate the trumpets from the bowls and see only the bowls as God's wrath.  These judgments are almost the same judgments except the trumpets affect 1/3 of the earth while the bowls affect everything. 

For more on this go to my newsletter on "The last Trump."


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Last update: 2012-04-17 04:38
Author: Elbert Charpie
Revision: 1.2

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