It is of great importance that we completely understand what the Rapture is all about, therefore, we are using certain passages repeatedly or reanalyzing events which support this teaching from different perspectives. Remember the apostle Paul’s writings to the Philippians: “…To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe” (Philippians 3:1).
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: “‘ (1st Thessalonians 4:16a). This verse deals with three important aspects:
1) THE LORD HIMSELF
Because of its immense significance, we highlight the point that the Lord “Himself” will come. It might be worth mentioning some occasions in the Bible that illustrate the significance of God Himself directly in contact with man.
• The Lord came down to see the Tower of Babel.
• Abraham spoke to God as a friend.
• Moses spoke with God face to face.
• Elijah saw the “Lord pass by.”
• Ezekiel saw the likeness of the glory of God.
Our Lord Jesus must come, Himself, to meet His Bride. He will not come to earth, but we will meet Him in the clouds of Heaven.
After the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, He will come back to Israel, and His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. Israel will then experience national salvation and the nations of the world will be judged.
2) WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL
After having looked at the first event, “the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven,” we now turn our attention to the words “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel. ”
Whether the “shout” belongs to the Lord Himself or to the archangel is not clear in this verse. Luther translates the phrase as “with a field command.” Other translations confirm this although the word “shout” is somewhat underemphasized in the King James translation. In any event, the source of the “shout” is not the issue. In this study, we want to reveal the deeper meaning of the “voice of the archangel.” The next few points will clarify its identity, purpose, and result.
Who Is Michael The Archangel?
In the King James translation, Michael is the only being who carries the title “archangel.” His name means “Who is as God?” In the book of Daniel, he is called “Michael, one of the chief princes.” Incidentally, this indicates that he is not the only one but obviously one of others (Daniel 10:13). In Daniel 10:21, he is identified as “Michael your prince” which is proven in Daniel 12:1, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people….” These verses make it unquestionably clear that Michael the archangel, the great prince, can be considered the guardian of God’s earthly people: Israel.
Only one time throughout the Bible do we find a name attached to the title of archangel. In Jude 9 we read, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”
Moses’ body was protected for a special purpose. Later he would appear on the Mount of Transfiguration, accompanied by Elijah, to talk with Jesus about His death, “And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem”‘(Luke 9:30-31).
3) WITH THE TRUMP OF GOD
In the King James version, the “last trump” is found in 1st Corinthians 15:51-52 where the apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, speaks about the events of the Rapture, “Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” This trump is referred to as the “trump of God.”
This trump of God is identified as “the last trump.” Keeping this in mind will help us to better understand the uniqueness of the last trump of God in comparison with all of the other trumpets mentioned in the Bible.
What Is A Trump?
A trump is an instrument manufactured from a variety of metals designed to amplify sound. During early history, the trump was an effective means of communication.
Today, our news media are the trumpets. Modern trumpeters can instantaneously proclaim messages around the world.
Unfortunately, the trumpeters in our day often send confusing messages. If we constantly heeded the news media, we would have to change our habits frequently. For example, we were once warned of the danger of eating butter and eggs; recent reports tell us that these foods are now good for our health.
Airbags installed in new cars were initially heralded as the ultimate safety precaution; now auto manufacturers give consumers the option of switching off the airbag device because of the danger that young children could be killed by the bag.
For every claim presented in the media, there are dozens of counter claims. The debate and confusion continues, particularly in regards to politics.
The first mention of a trumpet in the Bible was when the children of Israel gathered at Mt. Sinai and God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. This trumpet is significant because it does not relate to the other trumpets in the Bible.
Exodus 19 speaks of God’s people gathering to hear His command.
Apparently, the trumpet that the people heard was not a trump made by man, but it was the trump of God.
In the last book of the Bible, the first three chapters of Revelation address seven churches in Asia Minor. These churches represent what we believe to be all churches throughout the dispensation of the Church age, even until today.
We believe this because after addressing each local church, John states, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:22). That means that the warnings, and/or praises uttered to each of the seven churches apply to all churches at all times.
Revelation Chapter 4 begins, “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” (verse 1). In this context the trumpet is not an instrument of communication, but the trump itself speaks, “…a trumpet talking with me…”What did the trumpet say? “… Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”
This “talking trumpet” differs from the other trumpets we’ve read about in the Old Testament because it was not built by man; it is in Heaven!
In the fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation, John was confronted with the indescribable attributes of God. The next two chapters show the judgments which will come upon the earth as each of the seven seals of the book are broken. As a result, devastating catastrophes will take place.
Seven Angels And Seven Trumpets
The opening of the seven seals initiates the appearance of seven angels, “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets” (Revelation 8:2). These seven angels blow their trumpets one at a time from first to last.
Revelation 8 and 9 illustrate the result of the first six trumpets being blown. These destructive judgments do not result in repentance, in fact, quite the opposite takes place, “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:21).
Still missing is the seventh angel with the seventh trumpet. Before this final destructive judgment comes upon the earth, “. ..another mighty angel came down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars offire” (Revelation 10:1).
You can almost sense the coming climax revealed in Revelation 10:7, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”
The Resurrection Of The Two Witnesses
After being killed and dead for three and a half days, the Spirit of God will enter the dead bodies of the two witnesses and they will stand on their feet in view of the world’s news media. As a result, “…great fear fell upon them which saw them.” Then, we hear a great voice, “Come up hither!” (Revelation 11:12).
Undoubtedly, this is the same voice heard by John in chapter 4, where he testified, “…a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither….” The resurrection power is the same; it is the power that has defeated death and Hell.
The Seventh Trumpet
After all these events, we read in Revelation 11:15-17, “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.”
This verse reinforces the absolute power of the Lord and His ultimate visible victory over all opposition and clearly the seventh trumpet does not relate to the “last trump of God.”.
The Unique Last Trump
At this point, we must clarify some misunderstandings that are prevalent in the Church today. We are concerned with the event of the Rapture, so let us again read 1st Corinthians 15:51 -52 again, “Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
The conclusion that some have come to has been that the Rapture will take place “at the last trump.” Therefore, all we would have to do is look for the last trumpet in the book of Revelation to determine the time of the Rapture. However, the careful reader has already noticed that the trumpets mentioned in Revelation are not the same as the “last trump of God” we have already addressed.
Furthermore, we must reiterate that this “last trump of God” is not the trumpet described in Matthew 24:31, “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” This is simply “a great sound of a trumpet, “not related to the trumpets in the Old Testament, or the trumpets we just read about in the book of Revelation. Neither is it identical to the last trump of God.
The trumpet mentioned in Matthew 24 serves to gather His elect from the four corners of the earth and relates to the prophecy of Isaiah. Over 700 years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah, inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem” (Isaiah 27:13). This trumpet clearly signals the ingathering of the children of Israel to the Promised Land.
We must add that the fulfillment of the ingathering of the exiles is vehemently opposed by the spirit of the Antichrist. His policy states, in effect, “Under no circumstances must the prophetic Word be fulfilled!” Thus, the spirit of Satan, who guides the political leaders of the world in a united fashion, opposes the fulfillment of Bible prophecy!
God gave the Jews the Promised Land from the Euphrates River to the river of Egypt and has ordained Jerusalem as the capital city of the Jewish nation.
Not one nation on earth agrees with the Scripture. We see, once again, the absolute reliability of the prophetic Word, which so plainly states that all nations of the world will oppose Jerusalem!
Another reference to the ingathering of the exiles and the defense of Zion is found in Zechariah 9:14, “And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.”
In this case, we read that “the Lord God shall blow the trumpet.” According to our understanding of the Bible, this has never occurred before. In the end stages of the Great Tribulation, when it looks hopeless for Israel to continue her existence and the Jews have come to the end of their intellectual capacity and ingenuity, the Lord will supernaturally intervene, resulting in the conversion of the remnant of Israel!
(MAIN SOURCE: The Great Mystery of the Rapture – Arno Froese – 1999)