Friday, January 31, 2014

Is Paul's Last Trump, the Same as the Seventh Trumpet in Revelation?

Considering how much I have written on this subject, for those who read me on a regular basis, you might not want to bother with this article, as I have covered this topic before within my other posts somewhere. My reason for writing this is due to the fact that I want an article with this subject as its title, so that people who are googling this subject will find my blog and find more on the subject from this standpoint with my various posts.

The question about which many are arguing is whether the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord," are the same trumpets as found in Revelation 11:15-18 “And the seventh angel sounded; 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. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth,”

The first argument that naysayers will present against these being the same trumpet is that Paul knew nothing about the trumpet in Revelation for he wrote long before John did. Therefore they cannot possibly be the same trumpet. The answer to that dilemma can be found in my article here.

The second argument given is that the trump that calls up the Church is the last trump of the Church Age or Time of the Gentiles, but the last and seventh trumpet is the last trump of the end of the age before the millennium. Therefore there are two last trumpets. There are three problems with this. The first is that last means last. God knows what “last” means. There are not two “lasts.” The second is the following verse which is said to be the trump of the rapture before the 70th week commences: Revelation 4:1 “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” This verse does not say there is a trumpet blast, which is what is supposed to accompany the gathering of the saints. This clearly and unmistakeably says that a voice, which sounded as if it were a trumpet, in other words loud and blasting in sound, speaks to John. Note that it speaks. It is not a trumpet blast no matter how much one wants to make it be that. It is a voice. A very loud voice, but a voice nonetheless. A voice which speaks. It is not a trumpet. It is not a trumpet blast. Therefore it cannot be a last trump, because it is not a trumpet at all.

The third problem with this is that while they believe the Church is here until the Time of the Gentiles is fulfilled, they do not understand when the Time of the Gentiles ends. There are a couple Scriptures when put together make it clear as to when this occurs. The first is found in Luke 21:20-24 “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Notice the order of events in this passage. Jerusalem is surrounded. The abomination of desolation occurs. People flee Judea. The great tribulation commences. Jerusalem will continue to be trodden down until the Time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. But wait, didn't that end before the beginning of Daniel's 70th week? Not according to this passage. Let's look at another passage. Revelation 11:1-2 “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” This passage tells us that the treading (or being trodden) down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles, which according to Luke occurs after the abomination of desolation and is the culmination of the Time of the Gentiles, lasts for forty-two months. This also happens to be the length of time from the abomination until the seventh trumpet is blown. One can figure that out, because the two witnesses who are linked to this passage in Revelation 11 witness for 1260 days. Revelation 11:3 “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth” This puts the witnesses in the second half of the 70th week, because they are linked to Jerusalem being trodden under foot for the same length of time (1260 days is forty-two months) and we know from Luke that this must occur after the abomination. But why does that put the seventh trumpet at the end of the Time of the Gentiles? Because the seventh trumpet is blown when the two witnesses are killed. Revelation 12:7, 11-12, 14-15a, 18 “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them....... And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.....The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded; 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 the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” As the witnesses prophesy until the end of the Time of the Gentiles, and the seventh trumpet gets blown at the end of the two witnesses time on earth, that means that the seventh trumpet gets blown at the end of the Time of the Gentiles. But according to people who say there are two last trumps, the trump that Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is blown at the end of the Time of the Gentiles. So according to their own theology, that trumpet must be blown at the same time as the seventh trumpet. That is derived at by merely putting the Scriptures together and seeing the conclusion. If further evidence is necessary, it is said that the Church must be removed at the end of the Time of the Gentiles, for it is then that the Jews' eyes are opened and they finally accept their Messiah. I concur. Let's look at that.

Romans 11:25 “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” Israel's blindness as to whom their Messiah is does not occur until the Time of the Gentiles or fulness of the Gentiles comes in. But Luke told us that this occurs after the abomination, and we know that it ends forty-two months after that, when the witnesses die and the seventh trumpet announcing God's wrath is blown. Zechariah 12:9-10 tells us that Israel's blindness departs when they see Him whom they have pierced and mourn as they realize their error. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” And when does this seeing and mourning occur? When the Lord returns at His Second Coming. Revelation 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.”

So according to all the above verses, the Time of the Gentiles goes until the end of the second half of Daniel's 70th week at which time the seventh trumpet is blown, the kingdoms of the world become the Lord's, He returns and every eye sees Him and Israel's blindness is lifted and they mourn Him, the dead in Christ are judged and given their rewards, and God's wrath (now is when God's wrath occurs, not at the beginning of the 70th week) is poured out in the vial judgments. The only conclusion that can be reached is that there is only one last trumpet and that is the seventh one.

The third argument presented is that God does not want a battered and bruised or marred bride, therefore He takes her out before all this begins, as she is pure and unadulterated and should not be put through this time. Therefore there must be a trumpet at the beginning of Daniel's 70th week. The first problem with this is that having to find a trumpet there is based upon an erroneous assumption. Scripture nowhere teaches a trumpet there. Secondly I have to seriously doubt that people who make an incredibly ignorant statement like the above even know what being a Christian truly means. Christ has for two thousand years allowed His bride to be martyred and persecuted and have all sorts of terrible things done to her. Are these people who advocate this belief saying that all these faithful followers are not acceptable to God because they are bruised and battered and marred? Really? Martyrdom is a sign of an incredibly faithful witness, and the only thing antichrist does to the saints is martyr them. (Unless he can deceive them, of course.) Being killed for Christ is the same, whether two thousand years ago or today. There is nothing in being killed for Christ that classifies as God's wrath. Note that the Smyrnans in the letters in Revelation 2 are martyred, and they, unlike other churches to whom letters were sent, are not condemned or chastised for any reason. God tells them they will endure tribulation ( Gr. thlipsis – which is the same exact word used in Matthew 24 in context of the great tribulation), be imprisoned, and killed. God has nothing against them. He is, however, allowing them to be martyred for His glory. One is only willing to die for someone whom they love very much. He does not reject them because of this but rewards them for their sacrifice.

Why is it that people have mistakenly believed that the worst persecution that Satan has ever inflicted upon the Church is God's wrath? Since when are Christians subject to God's wrath? In fact these same people will tell you that we are not subject to God's wrath. Persecution from Satan does not classify as God's wrath. God aims His wrath at unbelievers, not Christians. The assumption is erroneously made that persecution and martyrdom of the saints by antichrist is God's wrath. Does that even make logical sense based upon what Scripture teaches about persecution and tribulation? No it does not. Is Satan the author of persecution against the saints? Of course he is. And that is who is venting his wrath during the tribulation. And Scriptures clearly and overtly teaches this. It need not be assumed.

Revelation 12:12, 17, 11 “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.....And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.....And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” God has warned every church that they must be overcomers. He also warns five of the seven churches that they need a good purging to be worthy of Him. So to say that the Church is pure and in no need of some real chastisement is to be completely ignorant of the Scriptures. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” Daniel 11:31-35 “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end.” Luke 18:8b “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” 1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” God apparently thinks we need a good cleaning up, due to our apostasy. He is even wondering if He will find anyone who has faith when He returns.

God speaks warnings to seven churches which represent all the types of Churches and individual Christians in Christendom. Pay attention to what He says. Revelation 2:1, 5, 7 “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;....Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.......He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:8-11 “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”

Revelation 2:12, 16-17 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;.......Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” Revelation 2:18, 22, 26 “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;.....Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.......And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” Revelation 3:1, 3, 5 “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;.....Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.........He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:7, 11-12 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;....Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Revelation 3:14, 16-17, 19, 21 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;......So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (In other words these people are saying, we are pure and unadulterated and have no need of rebuke or refining. God does not want a battered and bruised bride. Sound familiar?) ....As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten .....To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

Notice in all of these passages that there is a lot of the same phrases that we find in the verses about the end times. “Behold I come quickly.....I come as a thief....know not what hour I will tribulation......repent.” These are all familiar phrases that are associated with Christ's return and all of the churches are expected to participate in it. They are told to be overcomers, just as they are said to overcome in Revelation 12.

Satan is not persecuting the people who follow the antichrist. They are not suffering persecution and death under his reign. Has that escaped people's intelligence? The time of great tribulation is aimed at the followers of God, not the followers of antichrist. God's wrath does not come until the seventh trumpet. (Rev. 11:15-18) Heaven does not announce God's wrath until then, and the angels pour out the vials of God's wrath then. The followers of antichrist will do just fine under his rule, for they will have taken the mark. They will not be suffering a lack of food and necessities, because they cannot buy or sell. The Bible tells us that they will be eating, and drinking, and giving in marriage, and having parties right up until Christ returns at His Second Coming. So the great tribulation is not a time of tribulation for them. It is a time of tribulation and martyrdom for the followers of Christ. For the Church and for those of Israel who have not been protected by God. And persecution and martyrdom has never been a product of God's wrath. It has always been coming from Satan. God's wrath, on the other hand, is aimed at the world. The world will lose their lives (and their chance at eternal redemption) when God's wrath is poured out. They will not be eating and drinking and giving in marriage at that time.

So as can be seen, to say that there are two trumps because Christ does not want His Bride to suffer is an absolutely ignorant statement and shows a great lack of understanding of what becoming a Christian means.

One last point is that the argument is made that there must be a trump at the beginning of Daniel's 70th week, because Christians are not subject to God's wrath. The ignoring of Scriptures and illogical reasoning used to try to defend this idea is ludicrous at best. First of all, logic dictates that if Daniel's 70th week was God's wrath (and it isn't) and if Christians are not subject to God's wrath, then NO Christians can be on earth during this time. I repeat, the verse 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” and this indicates that NO Christians are subject to God's wrath. There are not two sets of Christians, one that escape any persecution while the other group suffers God's wrath. The worst thing about this is that this divergence between the two groups is said to come not because one group is apostate and the other is not, but that one group believes in a pre-trib rapture and the other does not. Nowhere, I repeat, NOWHERE in Scripture does God ever, EVER make belief in a particular timing of the rapture a criteria for salvation or being a part of the resurrection/rapture event. That is arrogance at its height to be preaching this. This is a Laodicean attitude. If no Christian is subject to God's wrath, and Daniel's 70th week is God's wrath, then either God is a liar, because clearly there will be Christians in the great tribulation, or the 70th week is not God's wrath. Which makes the most sense? Obviously the only possible answer is that the 70th week is not God's wrath, for God is not a liar. If the 70th week is not God's wrath, and we saw that heaven announces God's wrath as beginning at the seventh trumpet, then why should Christians be removed seven years earlier? The answer is, there is no reason to do so, for nothing is promised about being removed from Satan's wrath. So there need be no imaginary trump at the beginning of the 70th week. The last trump of which Paul spoke is the seventh trumpet. Christians, all Christians, will be removed before God's wrath, for they will be removed at the seventh trumpet, before the vials of God's wrath are poured out. And we can see that this occurs in Chapter 14 of Revelation, just prior to the angels pouring out the vials. Revelation 14:14-19 “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (This is the rapture event. This is what is found in Matthew 24: 30-31) And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” This clearly puts a rapture just before God's wrath, as it should be. As what follows immediately upon this rapture are the vial judgments, which are called the wrath of God, and this occurs at the seventh trumpet, then this is the trump about which Paul spoke, and this is where the rapture occurs.

As can be seen, when one takes the Scriptures and lines them up in a logical and orderly manner, and takes them at face value, one can see that the last trump spoken of by Paul is clearly the seventh trumpet in Revelation. There is one, and only one, last trumpet.

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