At The Last Trump - Which Trump?
"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 'Make two SILVER trumpets for yourself, you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them FOR CALLING THE CONGREGATION and for directing the movement of the camps. When they blow both of them, all the congregation SHALL GATHER before you at the door of the Tabernacle of meeting.'" Numbers 10:1-3 This foreshadows the Rapture, the Harpazo, when the Lord will GATHER his saints and bring them to himself before the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth during the last 7-year period known as the Tribulation. Many reject the pre-tribulation Rapture position because they associate the last trump of 1st Corinthians with the Trumpets in the Book of Revelation. The seven Trumpets in the Book of Revelation are announcing the seven judgments of the wrath of God as they fall on an evil world. But the Trump of 1st Corinthians is not announcing the wrath of God. It's announcing gathering and transformation: "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMPET. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet." 1st Corinthians 15:51-52 Because they erroneously associate this Trump with the seven trumpets of the Book of Revelation, they believe that the Rapture takes place at the last trumpet in that Book. But those trumpets are the seven trumpets of ANGELS, and they are trumpets of JUDGMENT. As each trumpet sounds, horrific JUDGMENTS fall upon the entire earth. But the trumpet associated with the Rapture is not a trumpet of angels, it is "the trumpet of God," and it's not a trumpet of judgment, it's the trumpet call of resurrection and of GATHERING. "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with THE TRUMPET OF GOD. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18 Comfort one another??? If believers were to be Raptured only at the end of the Tribulation, or even if they were to be Raptured "pre-wrath" - how could we “comfort one another with these words?” The entire Seals, Trumpets and Bowls passages of the Book of Revelation are all announcements of the terrible judgments of God's wrath falling on an unrepentant, Christ-rejecting, evil world. But believers in Jesus Christ are not appointed to the judgments of God. They are appointed to meet Jesus Christ and be taken to be with him. That is "the blessed hope," with which we are told to comfort one another. "FOR GOD DID NOT APPOINT US TO WRATH, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ..." 1st Thessalonians 5:9 The Bride of Christ is not going to be on earth as the terrible judgments are poured out. The Lord isn't going to beat up his Bride and then take her to supper (the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.) How could the Scripture say "COMFORT one another with these words" if what we have to look forward to is the judgments of God? Anticipating that would certainly not comfort anyone. THE "THEY" AND THE "THE YOU" The wrath of God will fall upon "they." But it will not fall upon "you." Make that distinction and be sure you are not among "they," but that you are among the "you." "For when THEY say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and THEY shall not escape. But YOU, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this day should overtake YOU as a thief." 1st Thessalonians 5:3-4 The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the pattern for the Rapture: When the Trump of 1st Corinthians sounds, the dead in Christ will rise and we see a picture of this in the ascension of Jesus Christ, as he rose into the clouds. That's what the Rapture is: the dead are raised and we are gathered together with them in the clouds as we rise to heaven. NOW it makes sense to read, "Therefore, comfort one another with the these words." The Lord Jesus Christ will remove his Bride from the earth BEFORE even the first judgments, the seals, are launched. The Seals judgments are found in Revelation chapter 6, but the believers in Christ are in heaven in Revelation chapter 4. When the Lamb takes the scroll, the believers are in heaven before he breaks even the first seal. We have this "blessed hope," not a blessed fear of the judgments of God. "...we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ..." Titus 2:12-13 More: The Doctrine Of The Rapture