THE LAST TRUMPET

 

 

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THE LAST TRUMPET

THE END IS NEAR  – Chapter 5

 

To hear the song,  Click on the link to youtube.

WHEN WILL THE RAPTURE OCCUR?

AT THE LAST TRUMPET CALL

In Matthew 24:31, Jesus said He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect (His chosen ones) from the four winds, from one end of the universe to the other. (Amplified Bible)

Apostle Paul identified this trumpet as the last one. The rapture will take place at the last trumpet call.

1 Corinthians 15:52 Amplified Bible

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead in Christ will be raised imperishable (free and immune from decay), and we shall be changed (transformed).

At the sound of the last trumpet Jesus Christ will return to rescue his people at the end of the great tribulation; before the wrath of God is inflicted on this evil and violent world. At that moment, God’s chosen ones will be transformed into imperishable, indestructible and immortal people. What a day that will be!

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 English Standard Version

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

In this passage Apostle Paul reiterated that the rapture will occur with the sound of the trumpet of God.

AT THE SEVENTH TRUMPET

Revelation 10:5-7 (ESV)

 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven  and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay,  but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

AT THE SEVENTH TRUMPET

Revelation 11:15

 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”

 

The book of revelation identifies when the LAST trumpet sounds. There are seven trumpets which sound in the book of revelation and the last one is very different from the first six.

Revelation 8:6-12

The Seven Trumpets

Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.  The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.

Revelation 9:1-21

 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit.  He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth.  They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.  They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone.  And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.

Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God,  saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”  So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.  The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number.  And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions' heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths.  By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths.  For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.

  The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,  nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Revelation 11:15-19

The Seventh Trumpet

Then the seventh angel  blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

     who is and who was,

for you have taken your great power

    and begun to reign.

The nations raged,

    but your wrath came,

    and the time for the dead to be judged,

and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,

    and those who fear your name,

    both small and great,

and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”

 Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

 

Summary

The First trumpet - fire and hail burning up a third of the earth.

The Second trumpet – a third of the sea creatures and ships will be destroyed

                                           by an object as big as a mountain.

The Third trumpet - a great object from the sky pollute sources of water.

The Fourth trumpet – there will be about 33% reduction in brightness of Sun,

                                          Moon and stars.

The Fifth trumpet - the appearance of locusts causing harm to humans

                                     for 5 months.

The sixth trumpet – a war near Euphrates river involving a huge army killing a

                                       third of mankind.

 Trumpets one to six describe the events leading up to and during the great tribulation and the seventh trumpet is when the rapture takes place.

At the seventh trumpet;

1.   The kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of Christ

2.   The Judgment of the dead is at hand

3.   The reward of God’s servants is at hand.

4.   Time to destroy those that destroy the earth.

The seventh trumpet is the last trumpet mentioned in the Bible. Since the Bible did not mention the existence of an eight trumpet, we can conclude that the seventh trumpet is the last trumpet. At the sound of the seventh trumpet the kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 24:31, Jesus mentioned that his angels will gather his chosen ones with a loud trumpet call. The gathering of his people is the rapture and it is when the kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of Jesus. So, the rapture will happen at the seventh trumpet which is the last and final trumpet. The rapture of the saints cannot occur until the last trumpet is sounded and it has to be after the great tribulation. 

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (ESV) Behold! I tell you a mystery. 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 imperishable, and we shall be changed.

 

This passage confirms that the rapture will take place at the last trumpet

 

Jesus said the last trumpet is after the tribulation in Matthew 24:29-31

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

 

 

WHEN IS THE RAPTURE?

·       At the last trumpet

·       The seventh trumpet of Revelation is the last trumpet

·       It is after the great tribulation

·       The rapture, the second coming of Christ, and the close of the age is after the great tribulation.

 

Implications of the timing of the rapture

The timing of the rapture is an extremely important issue and I am sure very emotional too. It is important because it is definitely a life and death issue. It  could also determine your eternal state. Those who hold to the pre-tribulation position could end up unprepared for the horrors of the great tribulation. The resultant outcome is martyrdom, starvation or pledging allegiance to the Beast (by taking the mark of the Beast in order to buy food).

If you have already looked into this issue, you may have your mind made up. I urge you to reconsider. In the previous chapter, I issued a challenge to anyone to find a verse or passage in the Bible that states the rapture will occur before the great tribulation.  You will be surprised to discover that there is none.

You will also discover that Bible passages offered by pre-tribbers (those who believe in pre-tribulation rapture) require much explanation and questionable interpretation. You will discover that the theory of pre-tribulation depends on preconceived assumptions and principles and not on the direct Word of God. They will not be able to produce one specific, direct, stand-alone verse or passage from the Bible.

It does not matter what so-called Bible scholars say, you are personally responsible to study the Bible for yourself and to seek illumination from God the Holy Spirit. He will guide you into all truth.  We live or die by what we believe. I would rather stake my life on the words of Jesus than on the words of men or women. Listen again to what our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 24:29-31:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

English Standard Version (ESV)

In the context of Matthew chapter 24, the tribulation mentioned in the passage means the great tribulation. Verse 31 states that Jesus will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call to gather his elect (chosen ones). This is the rapture and it will happen after the great tribulation as Jesus said.

Jesus reiterated this in Mark 13:24-27:

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. (ESV)

INCONVENIENT TRUTH

Post-tribulation rapture is an inconvenient truth. Humanly speaking, most people would prefer to believe in pre-tribulation rapture. The basic idea is that God cannot allow the church to suffer so it will escape before the great tribulation begins, leaving the world in chaos for the antichrist to take over. According to this theory, which is relatively new (non-existent before 1830 AD), 7 years after the great tribulation, Jesus, together with the raptured- Christians, will return again a third time to rule the world.

PROBLEMS WITH THE PRE-TRIB THEORY

1.     This theory will require the second coming of Christ in two stages; first, Jesus returns secretly and silently for the church (rapture) and second, Jesus returns openly with the church. Is there any direct and specific Bible verse or passage that supports this theory? I am sure there is NONE.

2.     The second major problem with this theory is that they confuse the  ‘great tribulation’ of the saints inflicted by Satan with the ‘ wrath of God’ inflicted on unbelievers.

3.     Our Lord Jesus Christ said the rapture is after the great tribulation, not before (Matt 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-27). Again, would you rather believe in the teaching of men or in the teaching of Jesus?

If you believe in pre-tribulation rapture, the study of End Time prophecy may become just another interesting and academic exercise. It has no practical or spiritual use since the rapture can occur at any moment. Why should you be interested in prophecies?

It also sets the pre-tribbers up for deception because when prophesied events such as the ‘Gog- Magog War’ and the ‘mark of the Beast’ occur and they are not raptured yet, it may be rather difficult for them to recognize what is really happening.  If the pre-tribbers are correct, I will be very happy because I will not have to endure the great tribulation.   But if they are wrong, I will be prepared for it. The pre-tribbers will not be prepared.

All of the arguments for a pre-tribulation rapture are based on reading into the Scripture with preconceived ideas. If you are a recent believer reading the Bible with an open mind, would you conclude that the rapture is before the tribulation?

Here is an example of how pre-tribbers read into the Scripture with preconceived ideas:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

This passage is quoted by pre-tribbers in support of their preconceived idea that the rapture is both silent and secret.

You can clearly see that the rapture is not silent and is not secret. The Lord Jesus  will come with

1.     a cry of command

2.     the voice of an archangel

3.     the sound of the trumpet

and meeting his loved ones in the clouds.

In fact the rapture is very loud and is visible to all.

The only way the pre-tribbers can justify their position is to say that certain section of the above passage is symbolic; the cry, the voice and the sound of the trumpet are all symbolic and only the rest of the passage is literal. They cannot pick and choose that certain part is symbolic and that certain part is literal. Either the whole passage is symbolic or the whole is literal. If the whole passage is symbolic, then they cannot say that this passage describes the rapture. Then, it has to be symbolic of something else.

The theory of pre-tribulation rapture does not square with the straightforward reading of Scriptures.  I challenge anyone to just read Matthew 24:1-31 and see the clear teaching of Jesus that the elect (chosen ones) will be gathered to meet him in the clouds with a loud trumpet call, after the tribulation.

The weight of scripture should all point in the same direction.  Scripture reinforces scripture.  Those who argue for a pre-tribulation rapture use circular reasoning, obscure verses and unbiblical principles to prove their position.

An example of unbiblical principle: Noah and the Ark

The pre-tribbers say that God rescued Noah and his family by providing them the Ark before the great flood. They say similarly God will rescue His people before the great tribulation. Therefore, according to them, the rapture has to occur before the great tribulation.

Let us take a closer look at the passage concerning Noah and the Ark.

Noah and the ark

Genesis 6: 9-22 (ESV)

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.  And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.  And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.  Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.  And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.  Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive.  Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.”  Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

In the passage above, God instructed Noah to build the ark and by faith Noah did as commanded. Notice that God did not provide him with a ready-made ark. Noah and his family took many years to build the ark. Also, God told him to store up food for his family and the animals. That would have involved plenty of preparation.

Yes, God warned Noah about the impending great flood and Noah had to prepare for it. God did not provide the ark as the pre-tribbers say. To survive the great flood, by faith, Noah and his family built the ark. Those who were not prepared perished in the great flood.

Similarly, today, God warned us of the impending great tribulation and we have to prepare for it. As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. This means that the servants of Jesus Christ will be informed of the season of His return and to be prepared for the great tribulation. Those who are not prepared will not survive the great tribulation.

The example of Noah and the ark should be quoted in support of post-tribulation rapture rather than pre-tribulation rapture. The pre-tribbers do not see the need to prepare because they think they will escape before the great tribulation. Like Noah and his family the post-tribbers believe they have to prepare for the great tribulation.

The ‘principle’ used in applying the historical story of Noah to the pre-tribulation theory is faulty. In fact, the story of the flood is more in support of the post-tribulation rapture; it shows the need to prepare.

I would like to conclude by urging you to reconsider if you are a pre-tribber.

The rapture will occur at the last trumpet call and it will be after the great tribulation.

Our Lord Jesus will return in the clouds and we will meet Him in the air to welcome Him.

 

You are invited to listen to the song “I’ll see you in the rapture”:

 

Looking forward to meet you in the rapture,

Dr Philip Cheong

D.Min, B.Sc, Dip. Ed.

 

| posted 05 May 2012 |

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