Is the 7th Trumpet of Revelation the Last Trump of the Rapture?

Is the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15 the “last trump” spoken of by Paul?

angel_trumpet

When this question is asked, there will be three primary responses given.  “I don’t know”, “no” and “yes”.  The first response of “I don’t know” requires no examination as it is evident in what it is saying.  It is the second and third response that we will focus on.

One of the most critical mistakes that people make in studying the Bible is circular reasoning.  What exactly is circular reasoning?  It is the process of making an obvious connection, and accepting that connection as de facto truth absent further examination.  So, the question presents itself:

“You said obvious connection – does that not mean the connection is correct?”

No, it does not.  Here is why.  To embrace an obvious connection requires that what you are seeing is the ONLY obvious connection available.  Likewise, it requires a full knowledge of the subject material so that you may determine the actual strength of the “obvious connection”.

In this case, a full knowledge of the Bible is required.  However, such an understanding is not possible by man.  As we are imperfect creatures, we will be learning new and exciting things all the days of our lives.  If we walk rightly with the Lord, we will pass into eternity still learning the mysteries of Almighty God.  On the other side of eternity we shall discover just how little we actually knew.

Absent a full knowledge of the Bible, the second best position we can occupy is the continuous study of the Word, guided by the Lord Himself.  I see many believers that set out on reading plans and study plans, determined to reach a preset goal of their own accord.  While there is certainly nothing wrong with reading the Bible through to the end, many people will turn from specific studies that the Lord has laid on their heart to accomplish their goals.

Stated differently – the Lord may not be calling you to read through the entire Bible at this time.  He may be calling you to the study of a particular subject critical to His calling for your life.

What does circular reasoning look like?  I had a gentleman recently use the term multiple times on a response I wrote to something he was teaching.  He would list the points he disagreed with, and declare them to be circular reasoning.  However, he never could demonstrate how exactly my words were circular reasoning.  He simply decided to take the argument off the table, as it had been used against him in the past – with good reason.

In the case of the question of the last trump, it looks like this:

“The Bible tells us that the dead will be raised and the living caught up at the last trump.”

“The seventh angel in Revelation 11:15 sounds the seventh trumpet.”

“The seventh trumpet is the last trumpet in the Bible”.

“The trumpet blown by the seventh angel is therefore the last trump.”

Looks like a lock, right?  It’s called circular reasoning because you go in a “circle” to arrive at a conclusion.

Here is the thing.  How you respond next will be the most accurate indicator of your walk with the Lord, and whether or not you are seeking His knowledge for His purposes – or yours.

Are you seeking His knowledge for His glory, or are you seeking confirmations to the things that you want to believe?  Here is what I mean.  When you made the connection with circular reasoning, did it stop the process of searching – or did it take your search further?  This will be the very best indicator of false doctrine and man’s efforts as well.  Here is why:

If you are reading the scriptures in an effort to find the answers that you want to find, to find confirmations to what you want to believe – then the answer provided by circular reasoning will stop your search.  In other words, you will make the connection with circular reasoning and declare that you have “found the truth”, and that “no other answer is possible!”

This is a critical error.  It is critical as we have already spoken on the continuous nature of the revelations of the Lord to us.  The learning never stops.  It does not matter how much we think an issue is settled.  The Lord will always increase our understanding if we allow Him to do so.  Once you declare a matter settled and close your heart to further possibilities, you cut off the Lord from giving you more information.

This is why so many believers seem “stuck” on the same three or four false arguments for any given doctrine.  They were looking for answers to confirm what they wanted to believe, not what the Lord wanted them to know.  Circular reasoning is the process by which the flesh justifies the answers it wants to embrace.

However, for the believer that is seeking the understanding of the Lord for His purposes, circular logic brings a different response.

“OK – I see how that looks like the answer, and it may well be.  Are there any other obvious connections that I do not know about.  After all, the Bible is a large source of information.

Does the Bible address this very thing any where else?”

From there, the believer seeking the Lord’s answers will begin to question the conclusion and submit what they know to the Lord for His guidance.  They will then adjust the “picture in their head” based on what the Lord shows them.  In fact, their “picture” becomes subject to the understanding of the Lord, changing as the Lord provides fresh insight and understanding.

For the believer that seeks to justify their own understanding, the picture that circular logic confirmed now becomes the standard by which all scripture is judged.  Scripture must now fit “that picture in their heads”, as that picture cannot possibly be wrong.

The first thing that must be asked is whether or not the word “last” is a chronological designator for all trumpets, or the designator for the conclusion of a particular series of trumpets.  Here is why.  The circular reasoning that so many use to declare the seventh trumpet as the last trumpet requires the word “last” to be a designator for all trumpets in the Bible.  There is just one problem with this.  The seventh trumpet is not the last trumpet sounded in the Bible, nor is it the last trumpet sounded in connection with the tribulation period.

Indeed, the Bible gives several indications in the Books of Joel and Matthew of trumpets yet to come, long after the seventh trumpet is sounded.  This is one of the sticking point that post-trib supporters will use in defense of their position.  By the time we have completed this presentation, their position will be equally erroneous.

I have seen attempts to reorder the Book of Revelation to fit all of the trumps into the seventh trumpet of judgment.  Here is the problem with that as well.  The Lord placed several chronological markers in the Book of Revelation that prevent this from being possible, and as a proof of false doctrine.  Likewise, He placed matching markers in Joel, Matthew, Mark and Luke to do the same.  When the markers are lined up, the proper order for the Book of Revelation emerges, and it is chronological.  In other words, the seventh trumpet does not come at the end of Revelation.  It comes in the middle, just as the Bible declares.

Not only that, but these markers are what I refer to as “hidden in plain sight” – meaning this.  They are obvious, once the Lord removes the blinders and allows you to see them.  Understand, when I say obvious – I mean facepalm “I can’t believe I missed that” obvious.  They are so prominent that I still struggle with the fact that so many “experts” walk right over them.  Yet, Paul teaches that those who lean to their own flesh and understanding will do just that.  The Lord has blinders on all of us, and pulls them back as we are ready for the next piece.  If a believer refuses to surrender their understanding to the Lord, the blinders will never come off.  I cover these markers on three different pages on this website, and will soon add a page that graphs how to study and build a timeline for the events of the tribulation for yourself:

http://tribulationrisingcom.fatcow.com/matthew-24-and-the-rapture/

http://tribulationrisingcom.fatcow.com/scriptural-evidence-of-a-pre-tribulation-rapture/

http://tribulationrisingcom.fatcow.com/addendum-2-proof-of-a-seven-year-tribulation/

There is another consideration here.  There are no accidental or errant words in the Bible.  Every word is specific, and specifically placed.  When looking at the last trump and the seventh trump, it must be understood that the Bible gives a clear indication of a difference.  The seventh trumpet is the trumpet of an angel, blown by an angel.  The last trump is the Trump of God, and nowhere in the Bible are angels and God EVER confused for each other.

“Well, the isn’t the trumpet of an angel really a trumpet of God?”

No.  This response implies an ownership issue.  Here is the problem – God is the owner of “everything” already.  The trumpets, the angels, the heavens, the earth – all of it.  There is a reason He is called “King of the universe”.  As with everything else in the Bible, the title does not indicate an ownership – it defines the function.

As we just stated, there is a BIG difference between God and an angel.  Not only this, but the angels that bring the judgments of the Lord are not angels in the sense that we typically see them.  They are men, believers in Christ that now serve the Lord’s purpose in Heaven.  That is another study that is (or will be soon) detailed on another page on this website.

Also, we have all heard that the Bible defines itself.  Such is the case with the seventh trumpet, and the last trump.  The seventh trumpet is defined as a trumpet that brings judgment.  The last trump is defined as a trump that calls an assembly of living and dead saints.  As we will see in a moment, this in no mere “semantic distinction”.  It is central to the reasoning for the trumpets, and is clearly defined in the original language.

A moment ago, we spoke of the word “last” and whether or not it was a designator that is applied to all trumpets in the Bible, or just a certain series of trumpets.  This presents several additional questions that must be addressed when circular reasoning indicates that the last trump and the seventh trumpet in Revelation are the same thing:

Are there any additional references to trumpets in the Bible?

Are there any other “last trumps” found in the Bible?

If so, are any of those last trumps associated in any way to end times prophecy?

The short answer is “yes” to all three questions.  This requires an examination of the other examples of trumpets in the Bible to determine their relevance to prophecy.  Also, this requires an examination of the differences of the seven trumpets of judgment in Revelation and the last trump used to call the saints to the Lord.  This is not an easy task, nor is it a quick task.  It is certainly not a task for the faint of heart, nor one that those seeking after their own understanding are willing to engage in.

It was not meant to be.

Proverbs 25:2-3 KJV – It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable. ~

Indeed, the Prophet Isaiah said it best:

Isaiah 28:9-13 KJV – Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. ~

First, we must identify every known instance of trumpets in the Bible.  If you have always known that the last trump and the seventh trump are not the same – yet you never understood how others were willing to declare it so – you are about to find out why.  It takes a tremendous prayer filled effort to dive into such a study.

In the Bible, trumpet has four primary variations that are found:

Trumpet, trumpets, trump and trumpeters.  There are several instances where “trumpets are trumpeting” or “trumpets will trumpet” are used as well.  Each of these variations have a different connotation, use and tense.

Each of these variations combine for usage in no less than 118 verses in both the Old and New Testaments.

In each of the 118 verses are found 10 specific Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic words.

Each of the 10 specific words will have 40 different variations, depending upon the use and intention of the idea being presented.  In the study of the differences between the construction of the last trump and the seventh trump alone requires the examination of the 40 different forms of “trumpet”.

Strong’s Greek 4536 – 11 Occurrences

σάλπιγγα — 1 Occ.

σάλπιγγας — 1 Occ.

σάλπιγγες — 1 Occ.

σάλπιγγι — 2 Occ.

σάλπιγγος — 5 Occ.

σάλπιγξ — 1 Occ.

Additional Entries

σαλευθήσονται — 3 Occ.

σαλευθῶ — 1 Occ.

σεσαλευμένον — 1 Occ.

Σαλήμ — 2 Occ.

Σαλμών — 2 Occ.

Σαλμώνην — 1 Occ.

σάλου — 1 Occ.

σάλπιγγα — 1 Occ.

σάλπιγγας — 1 Occ.

σάλπιγγες — 1 Occ.

σάλπιγγος — 5 Occ.

σάλπιγξ — 1 Occ.

ἐσάλπισεν — 7 Occ.

σαλπίσῃς — 1 Occ.

σαλπίσει — 1 Occ.

σαλπίσωσιν — 1 Occ.

σαλπίζειν — 2 Occ.

σαλπιστῶν — 1 Occ.

Σαλώμη — 2 Occ.

Σαμαρείᾳ — 2 Occ.

Think of the differences in these terms.  Take the word “chicken”.  First of all, we can see chicken used in the greater context of a species of bird:

Chicken, sparrow, turkey, crow, parrot, buzzard, hawk and eagle.

It can also be used in terms of general categories of food:

Chicken, beef, fish, pork, venison.

In terms of food, it can be parsed down to a specific usage:

Fried chicken, grilled chicken, roast chicken, raw chicken.

From there, we can take one form of the above – grilled chicken – and speak to its specific usage:

BBQ chicken, chicken sandwich, chicken salad, chicken wraps and chicken soft tacos.

By now you get the point.  This same understanding is applied to the meaning and use of trumpet, as well as every other word and concept found in the Bible.  Some words have fewer variations, and others will have seemingly unlimited variations.  Trumpet falls nicely in the middle.  While this is not an easy task at times, it is absolutely critical to understanding the meaning behind what the authors of the Bible were attempting to convey.

It is absolutely invaluable to understanding the truth of the doctrine of the rapture.

We stated earlier that there were 118 scriptures that used a direct variation of trumpet.  While most are not directly related to prophecy, the only way to ascertain which scriptures are relevant is to look at each and every one.

Here are the scriptures which contain one of the four forms of the word trumpet:

Exodus 19:13, 16, 19, 20:18

Leviticus 23:24, 25:9

Numbers 10:2, 4, 8, 9, 29:1, 31:6

Joshua 6:4-6, 8-9, 13, 16, 20

Judges 3:27, 6:34, 7:8, 16, 18, 20, 22

1 Samuel 13:3

2 Samuel 2:28, 6:15, 15:10, 18:16, 20:1, 20:22

1 Kings 1:34, 39, 41

2 Kings 9:13, 11:14, 12:13

1 Chronicles 5:13, 13:8, 15:24, 28, 16:6, 42

2 Chronicles 5:12-13, 7:6, 13:12, 14, 15:14, 20:28, 23:13, 29:26-27

Ezra 3:10

Nehemiah 4:18, 20, 12:35, 41

Job 39:24-25

Psalms 47:5, 81:3, 98:6, 150:3

Isaiah 18:3, 27:13, 58:1

Jeremiah 4:5, 19, 21, 6:1, 17, 42:14, 51:27

Ezekiel 7:14, 33:3-6

Hosea 5:8, 8:1

Joel 2:1, 15

Amos 2:2, 3:6

Zephaniah 1:16

Zechariah 9:14

Matthew 6:2, 24:31

1 Corinthians 14:8, 15:52

1 Thessalonians 4:16

Hebrews 12:19

Revelation 1:10, 4:1, 8:2, 6, 13, 9:14, 18:22

Now that we have identified the scriptures that deal directly with trumpets, let’s lay out those several scriptures that clearly speak to the rapture:

Hebrews 12:19 KJV – And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

1 Thess. 4:16 KJV – 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:

1 Cor. 15:52 KJV – 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 first thing that bears mentioning is that most do not realize that Hebrews 12:19 speaks of the rapture.  However, we will cover the full context given with each of the three scriptures above.  The correlation between 12:19 and the rapture is beyond stunning.

Next, we need to identify the scripture showing the seventh trumpet in Revelation:

Revelation 11:15 KJV – 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.

This scripture is accompanied by 11 additional scriptures that speak of the angels, their trumpets and the sounding of the various judgments.

In order to understand the differences in the trumpets, we must first examine the original language of four specific scriptures that reveal the difference between the trumpets of angels and the trumpets of God.

Here are the four scriptures:

Revelation 1:10 KJV – I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet

Revelation 4:1 KJV – 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.

Hebrews 12:19 KJV – And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

Matthew 24:31 KJV – 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.

Each of the above scriptures use a form of the Greek word for trumpet, “salpinx” – σάλπγε, Strong’s Number 4536, which means the “natural instrument”, or a trumpet that each of us would recognize.  However, there is a difference in the form of the word salpinx used in the above scriptures, which denotes the unique nature of the “trumpets” used above.

The context of these four scriptures reveal an interesting distinction.  The trumpet is connected to the voice of God, indeed it may be the very voice of God according to the scriptures.  This is an obvious and distinct difference from the purpose of Revelation 11:15, and of all seven of the trumpets of judgment.

Here are the forms of the word “trumpet” used by the four scriptures in question:

Revelation 1:10, 4:1, Hebrews 12:19 and Matthew 24:31 use the form σάλπιγγοϛ, denoting the divine nature of the trumpet, as the “voice of God”, which is confirmed by the full context of the scriptures with each of the above verses.

Matthew 24:31GRK: αὐτοῦ μετὰ σάλπιγγος μεγάλης καὶ – INT: of him with a trumpet call great and ~

Hebrews 12:19 – GRK: καὶ σάλπιγγος ἤχῳ καὶ – INT: and trumpet to sound and ~

Revelation 1:10 – GRK: μεγάλην ὡς σάλπιγγος – INT: loud as of a trumpet

Revelation 4:1 GRK: ἤκουσα ὡς σάλπιγγος λαλούσης μετ’ – INT: I heard [was] as of a trumpet speaking with ~

Revelation 4 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

4:1 – After these things I saw, and lo, a door opened in the heaven, and the first voice that I heard [is] as of a trumpet speaking with me, saying, `Come up hither, and I will shew thee what it behoveth to come to pass after these things;

However, the seven trumpets of judgment each consist of two separate forms of the word trumpet.  The first being a form of “salpinx” which is the instrument, and the second being the word “salpizo” – σάλίζω, Strong’s Number 4537, which means “to sound a trumpet, or announce with a trumpet”.  This is an obvious distinction as the various verses speak first to the angels possessing the trumpets, then to them sounding the trumpets.

Here are the forms of trumpet found in the possession of the angels:

8:2 – σάλπιγγες (salpinges) – 1 Occurrence – Revelation 8:2 – GRK: αὐτοῖς ἑπτὰ σάλπιγγες – INT: to them seven trumpets ~

8:6 – σάλπιγγας – σάλπισωσι // σαλπίσωσιν (salpisōsin) – 1 Occurrence – Revelation 8:6GRK: αὑτοὺς ἵνα σαλπίσωσιν – INT: themselves that they might sound [their] trumpets ~

σάλπιγγας (salpingas) – 1 Occurrence – Revelation 8:6GRK: τὰς ἑπτὰ σάλπιγγας ἡτοίμασαν αὑτοὺς – INT: the seven trumpets prepared themselves ~

8:13 – σαλπίζειν (salpizein) – 2 Occurrences – Revelation 8:13GRK: τῶν μελλόντων σαλπίζειν – INT: who [are] about to sound [their] trumpets ~

9:14 – σάλπιγγα (salpinga) – 1 Occurrence – Revelation 9:14 – GRK: ἔχων τὴν σάλπιγγα Λῦσον τοὺς – INT: had the trumpet Release the ~

Each of the four scriptures listed refer to multiple angels with multiple trumpets.  Here are the scriptures containing the individual angels sounding the individual judgments:

Revelation 8:7, 8, 10, 12, 9:1, 13, 11:15 – each of these scriptures use a form of the word “salpizo”, denoting the “sounding” nature of each verse – έσάλπισεv.

Rev. 8:7 is ὁ πρῶτος ἐσάλπισεν καὶ ἐγένετο – “the first sounded [his] trumpet and there was”.  The remaining scriptures are ἄγγελος ἐσάλπισεν καὶ – “angel sounded, and” – this includes Revelation 11:15, the key scripture in the discussion.

It should be noted so far, that the consistent nature of the original Greek form for trumpets denoting the voice of God is in stark contrast to the forms for the different angels and the judgments they bring.  Of the angels, only the act of “sounding” the judgments remains consistent, as it the exact same wording.  This stands as yet an additional evidence of the difference between the “trumpets of God” and the “trumpets of angels”.

This difference in consistency is further evidenced when we bring back into the discussion to two additional scriptures revealing the rapture:

1 Thess. 4:16 KJV – 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:

1 Cor. 15:52 KJV – 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.

Indeed, the form of the word “trumpet” used in these two scriptures is a form of the original Greek which indicates a connection to the very “voice of God”, which we discussed above – σάλπιγγοϛ.  In 1 Thess. 4:16 and 1 Cor. 15:52 above, we see the form of σάλπιγγι and σάλιγγί, with the latter being translated as the “last trump”.  We will see the distinction of the “last trump” come into play in a moment as well.  In these forms, we see an additional distinction added to “the voice of God”:

The trumpets of God are now used to summon the living and the dead in Christ.

σάλπιγγι (salpingi) – 2 Occurrences:

1 Corinthians 15:52GRK: τῇ ἐσχάτῃ σάλπιγγι σαλπίσει γάρ – INT: the last trumpet a trumpet will sound indeed

1 Thessalonians 4:16 – GRK: καὶ ἐν σάλπιγγι θεοῦ καταβήσεται – INT: and with trumpet of God will descend

Furthermore, both scriptures use a forms of the word for “sounding” which are likewise different than the forms of sounding employed by the angels.  In 1 Cor. 15:52, we see a form of “salpizo” that denotes the divine nature of the sounding – σάλίοει.  This distinction is highlighted even further in 1 Thess. 4:16 with a form used to denote the sounding of the actual trumpet of “the voice of God” with the full form “ἐν σάλπιγγι θεοῦ”.

We can evidence all of this further.  Here is the excerpt from Vine’s Expository Dictionary – long considered the gold standard in expository dictionaries, and the standard by which all other expository works are measured –  regarding the word “trumpet” as shown above:

~ “Trumpet” is used (1) of the natural instrument, 1 Cor. 14:8; (2) of the supernatural accompaniment of Divine interpositions,

(a) at Sinai, Heb. 12:19;

(b) of the acts of angels at the Second Advent of Christ, Matt. 24:31;

(c) of their acts in the period of Divine judgments preceding this, Rev. 8:2,6,13; 9:14; (d) of a summons to John to the presence of God, Rev. 1:10; 4:1;

(e) of the act of the Lord in raising from the dead the saints who have fallen asleep and changing the bodies of those who are living, at the Rapture of all to meet Him in the air, 1 Cor. 15:52, where “the last trump” is a military allusion, familiar to Greek readers, and has no connection with the series in Rev. 8:6 to 11:15;

There is a possible allusion to Num. 10:2-6, with reference to the same event, 1 Thess. 4:16, “the (lit., a) trump of God” (the absence of the article suggests the meaning “a trumpet such as is used in God’s service”). ~

Having covered the origins of the words used for trumpets, it is time to bring our three rapture scriptures back into the discussion, letting the Word of the Lord speak for itself, with the full context given – remembering that the original Greek speaks specifically to the divine nature of the trumpet in each:

1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Hebrews 12:18-24 KJV

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.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

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.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. ~

This was originally where this study was going to end.  Understanding the differences in the language is critical to any Bible study, and especially the rapture.  However, there was something that jumped out like a sore thumb when I was completing the work for this project.  As I was reading the definition and description for “trumpet” in Vine’s, I was struck by one of the final statements made by W.E. Vine:

There is a possible allusion to Num. 10:2-6, with reference to the same event, 1 Thess. 4:16, “the (lit., a) trump of God” (the absence of the article suggests the meaning “a trumpet such as is used in God’s service”). ~

This is a bombshell.  Here is why.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary was one of multiple works of scholarship produced in what can be thought of as “the golden age” of the Lord’s end times revelations.  This was a 70 year period from about 1850 to 1920 where the Lord really opened up an understanding of the things contained in the Bible – especially with regards to the end times.

This period of time not only gave us Vine’s, but also Strong’s concordance, Charles Larkin’s work on dispensationalism and his many famous illustrations and graphs of the ages of the church and the end times and tribulation, the birth of modern Zionism which declared exactly 50 years prior to 1948 that Israel would be reborn in 1948, the actual prophetic understanding that Israel must be reborn as a nation before Jesus can return, the return to understanding the move of the Holy Spirit, the greatest period of world evangelism since the 12 Apostles and Paul set the world on fire, and many other works too numerous to mention.

judgments

It was this time period that gave rise to all modern prophetic understanding, including a renewed understanding of the Hebrew origins of the faith.  It was the revelations and understanding that the Lord opened up during those years that allow us to understand prophetic issues such as the rise of Islam and signs in the heavens, such as the blood moons.  Without the return to the Hebrew origins of the Bible, none of what we see today would be understood in its prophetic context.

By contrast, there has been an opposite phenomena occurring as well.  In the past 15 to 20 years, a slate of new dictionaries, concordances and Bibles have emerged on the open market.  With all of them, there has been a push to declare that a particular version of these newer works is “better” than the original production.  When it comes to the expository dictionaries, each of the newer version all seem to lay claim to the label “Better than Vine’s”, or “More complete than Vine’s”, or “Equal to Vine’s with the latest understanding”.

These are instant red flags.

The same thing happens with Strong’s as well.  Here is the problem.  When Vine’s and Strong’s were produced, there was not yet an active spirit attempting to redefine the Holy Bible.  However, as it has been with sin, so has it been with the academic works of the faith.  I have made comparisons between the trusted standards born of the golden age of faith based academics, and the works touted as “the latest and greatest”.  What I have found is an intentional changing of fundamental definitions that are central to unlocking the original language and intent of the Bible.

That does not mean that every new work or translation of the Bible is automatically wrong.  There are always exceptions.  The ESV version of the Bible is one such example.  The Lord literally put two different ESV Bibles in my hand – a regular Bible and a study Bible.  I have found that between the King James and the ESV, I get the best possible rendering from the original languages.  I have never found a single instance where I could go to the interlinear and find a glaring discrepancy that either the KJV or ESV (sometimes both) would fall prey to.

The lesson is this – if you are going to consider a newer dictionary, concordance, Bible, etc., do a side by side comparison of key concepts.  Note the differences, and take them to the Lord.  If the newer work offers a fundamental difference to what you know to be truth – then you know that the work is compromised.

As a rule, I do not use any work that was first published after the year 2000 as a primary source.  Also, I have seen people argue a number of false doctrines from these compromised publications.  What makes this effective is that most believers are not well versed at original language studies, and a well spoken defense of false doctrine gains instant visual credibility when a source for original language studies is cited.  If you find yourself in such a situation, always take a moment and Google the work cited, and confirm the date of publication.

Also, the more commentary and less academic comparison you find in an expository dictionary, the bigger the red flag.  A number of the authors and editors of these newer publications have taken to disguising their doctrinal proclivities behind the veil of truth.

Having said all of this, it bears mentioning that there was still a great deal of work to do in the years that would follow the release of the original Vine’s.  Also, the many prophetic understandings that would be birthed from this period still had years before they would be fully realized.  When Vine’s originally made this statement, the connection between the rapture and the Hebrew origins of the Bible were not fully understood, or even known.

Here is the context of what Vine’s spoke in that final, critical statement:

Colossians 2:16-17 KJV –  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Hebrews 8:4-5 KJV – For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:

Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Hebrews 9:19-28 KJV – For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,

Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

First off, it is no accident that the Lord connects His return to the pattern of the things to come.  When you bring together all three blocks of scripture, a picture emerges that most have never seen, nor that W.E. Vine could have understood when he “made” and obscure connection on the word “trumpet”.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 KJV – The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 KJV – I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

What we see in Vine’s statement is an understanding that there are correlations between New Testament words in the Greek, and Old Testament ideas in Hebrew and Aramaic.  There is not always a word for word translation, yet there will be equivalent concepts that allow us to match up events in the OT and the NT.  The word trumpet is a fantastic example.

You take the context of the verse, and the construction of the NT word in Greek, and you build the concept it is sharing.  Once you have the concept, you can go to the original Hebrew and begin to pull the correlations between the two.  Once you have done this, you will have found the Old Testament picture for what is revealed in the New Testament.

Lets look again at Vine’s unknown revelatory statement:

There is a possible allusion to Num. 10:2-6, with reference to the same event, 1 Thess. 4:16, “the (lit., a) trump of God” (the absence of the article suggests the meaning “a trumpet such as is used in God’s service”). ~

What you are about to see will blow your mind.  We asked several question early on in this presentation.  Here again are those questions:

Are there any additional references to trumpets in the Bible?

Are there any other “last trumps” found in the Bible?

If so, are any of those last trumps associated in any way to end times prophecy?

We have already covered the first question in great detail.  There are many references to trumpets in the Bible.  However, we are about to make the connection to “last trumps” and end times prophecy – all the way back in the Law of Moses!  There is a reason for this.  Every last jot and tittle of the Law of Moses must be fulfilled.  In some cases a singular event fulfills multiple aspects of the Law.  The death and resurrection of Christ is one such example.  It fulfilled all blood and sin sacrifices.  They also occurred on the appointed days required to fulfill the Feast Days that were the shadows of these events.  However, there are three fall feasts and their appointed days that must yet be fulfilled.

Matthew 5:17-18 KJV – Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

There are three pieces to Vine’s statement that we must recognize:

There is a possible allusion to Num. 10:2-6,

with reference to the same event, 1 Thess. 4:16, “the (lit., a) trump of God”

the absence of the article suggests the meaning “a trumpet such as is used in God’s service”). ~

Let’s look at these three individual pieces:

Numbers 10:2-6 KJV – Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.

And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.

When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.

When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.

If there’s a last trump, then there is a first trump.

How many have wondered why Paul never actually explained what he was speaking about when he talked of the last trump?  The Bible defines itself.  Yet, Paul is revealing something in the last trump that seems to have never been mentioned before in the Bible.

Or had it?

When Paul wrote of the last trump, there had been no mention of seven trumpet judgments coming in Revelation.  Not only that, but there are no pictures in the Old Testament of seven trumpet judgments – save one – the fall of Jericho.  However, there is no reference given to a “last trump” in the account of Jericho, just as the Book of Revelation never declares the seventh trump as a “last trump”.

fall_of_the_jericho_s_wall-cropped

While the seventh trumpet is indeed the final trumpet to sound a judgment, the term “last trump” is specific in the Bible, and has a specific meaning.  In other words, it is not an accidental statement of chronology.  It is a prophetic statement which requires fulfilling.  More on this in a moment.

Joshua 6:15-16, 20-21 KJV – And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.

And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city.

So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

As we said earlier – if there is a last trump, there must be a first trump.  That is EXACTLY what we are seeing in Numbers 10:2-6.  Vine’s did the work and found the connection to the two silver trumpets used to call the assembly in ancient Israel.  Not only this, but the two trumps that call the assembly are given in the Law of Moses.  This requires that they must have a prophetic fulfillment.

The first trump was used to awaken the assembly, to get them ready to depart.  In Jewish tradition, this is known as the trump that “wakes the dead”.

The last trump was then blown to move the assembly.  It is known as the Tekiah ha-Gadol, “the longest and loudest trump”.

The reason Paul did not give an explanation of the last trump in a Bible that defines itself, nor had yet given the Book of Revelation, is that Paul and his readers already knew what the last trump was.  It is throughout the history of Israel.  It was likewise found in the Law of Moses.  Paul and every other Jew lived the last trump every single year of their lives.

Let’s look again at the second point that Vine’s makes:

1 Thess. 4:16-18 KJV –  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.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

By now, the connections should be clear, especially in light of the original Greek rendering for trumpet, and the difference between the two trumpets in question.  However, just in case a question remains, let’s bring in the companion scripture found in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 KJV:

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.

Now we can see why Vine’s made the connection between the rapture and the calling of the assembly.  When the original Greek language is examined, it revealed a critical difference in the purpose and the possession of the various trumpets.  It was a difference that had a clear link back to the Old Testament.  In fact, it is the only link that can be made with any of the trumpets.  Stated differently, there exists no link between the language of the last trump that connects it whatsoever to the initial purpose of declaring judgments of God.  Likewise, there exists no link between the seventh trumpet of Revelation (or any of the angels trumpets) and the calling of the assembly.

Stated differently, the seventh trump and the last trump are not the same thing.  They are not even the same Greek word.

The only link that exists in the Bible to the “last trump” is that of calling the assembly in the Law of Moses.

The only link that exists in the Bible to the “seventh trumpet” is that of the sounding of judgment on the City of Jericho.  Also, it should be noted that the judgment that fell on Jericho expressly REQUIRED the calling of the assembly FIRST.  Only after the assembly was called did the trumpets sound, the judgments fall – and the assembly went into the city!

However, there is yet another proof of the link between the last trump, the calling of the assembly, and the rapture.  We spoke of it earlier:

Hebrews 12:18-29 KJV –  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

For our God is a consuming fire.

At this point, it is clear that the last trump and the seventh trumpet of judgment are not the same.

That said, there are those that still require yet more proof.  They desire that one irrefutable picture that the rapture is found in the Bible.  Not only this, they will want a clear picture from the Old Testament, as there are many believers that now understand that if it happens in the New Testament, it is found first in the Old Testament.

So, the question becomes this: can we find a clear and undeniable picture of the rapture in the Old Testament?

The answer is “yes”.

There are a number of pictures, references and illusions to the rapture in the Old Testament.  Joel chapter two and Zechariah chapter three are two such examples.  However, for the hard skeptic these will not be enough.  Given that scoffing is born of the flesh, and the Bible clearly warns against it – we need to present that one, undeniable picture to close out this study.

Get ready to have your whole world set on a new path!

Exodus 19:16-20 KJV –  And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.

And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

This is an absolute bombshell!

There are many different points that can be made here, far too many for this scope of this study.  However, we can touch on a few to wrap this up, and eliminate any and all doubts as to what the last trump truly is, and why it is not the trumpet of the seventh trumpet.

Lets start with emphasizing a few of the obvious statements in the scriptures above:

“that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud;”

1 Thess. 4:16-17 KJV – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:

How about this:

“And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder,”

1 Cor. 15:52 KJV –  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 this:

“And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.”

1 Thess. 4:16-17 KJV – 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:

Let’s tie it all together now with this:

“And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.”

Hebrews 12:18-29 KJV –  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

For our God is a consuming fire.

There are more lessons here than we can possibly touch on.  That said, I want to bring in one more aspect found in Exodus chapters 19 through 24 – the gold trumpet of God, the assembling of the congregation, and what Mt. Sinai reveals about those who scoff, and those that will hear the voice of the Lord when it sounds as a trumpet.

I am going to share something here that I wrote for another page in the project.  This will complete our study on the last trump and the seventh trumpet in Revelation.

Here is the prior material I am adding in to this study:

  1.  At the appointed time, the first gold trump of God will sound to waken the congregation.

Overcomers will hear the trumpet, and know that the Bridegroom is coming.  They will know to rise, put on their “coats and shoes, fill the lamps with extra oil, light the wick” and head to the door, ready to depart.

Overcomers will be led of the Holy Spirit to speak together in one accord, on any medium possible.  They will declare to each other what they have heard, and likewise confirm the meaning with each other.  The time of this declaration will be extremely short.  It may last a few minutes, or it may last an hour.  It will not last beyond this however.

The world at large will see overcomers declaring the coming rapture in a sudden flurry of activity, with the biggest impact on social media.  However, very few will make the connection, nor come to terms with this unprecedented outpouring of declarations for the coming of the Lord.

It will be the “car wreck” phenomena – “did I just see what I think I saw?”  Most will not connect the dots in time to seek the Savior and repent.

Those that are believers, yet do not overcome nor believe in the Blessed Hope, will also hear the trump.  However, they will be in confusion – and even denial – as to the meaning.

Likewise, “strangers” in the congregation will also hear the trump, yet it will be as anything but the trump of God to their mind.

Those accounted as unbeliever will not hear anything.

It is at this point that we need to stop and address the trumps that sound to announce the rapture.  There is some confusion as to what exactly these trumpets are.  The common refrain from those that do not believe in the pre-tribulation rapture is that the last trump spoken of by Paul is the last of the seven trumpets sounded in Revelation 11:15.

However, this is not correct.  The last trump that calls the rapture is not the seventh trumpet – it is the last of the two trumpets given in the Law of Moses to call the congregation.  There are several ways that we know this.

First, the Bible defines every new concept it introduces.  There are any number of examples to this.  When Daniel declared the dream of the statue of empires to King Nebuchadnezzar, he likewise gave the interpretation.  When Zechariah saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, they were likewise defined immediately.  Also, when he saw the image of the two candlesticks, the Lord immediately provided the meaning.

We see this play out in the parables of Jesus and the Book of Revelation as well.  When we see the elders and creatures of heaven in chapter four, we are not left to wonder of their meaning.  It is given in chapter five.  Likewise, the 24 elders are also defined later in Revelation, and earlier in the New Testament – a point which is critical to what we will say in a moment.  Yet another example is that of the beast rising from the sea with seven heads.  Even the angels that pour out the judgments are made known to us as redeemed servants of God – just as John is.

We can sum all of this up into a simple statement regarding the things we see in the Bible.  Every concept in the Bible is either explained when it is given, or it was explained in prior scripture.  This is true for every scripture without exception.  If you find something in a scripture that is confusing to you, yet there is no explanation given, it means that is was already defined.

Let’s examine the two prominent scriptures on the rapture and trumpets:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 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.

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.

Here is the issue with declaring that these are the seventh trumpet of Revelation.  Nowhere in 1 Thessalonians or 1 Corinthians does Paul ever define what the last trump is.  Understand, the Book of Revelation will not be written for another 40 years or so.  Paul does not know of the seven trumpet judgments as they have not been revealed to any man, nor are they found anywhere in the Old Testament, except in the picture of the fall of Jericho.

They are part of the remaining mystery of God, the mystery that is revealed with John, and fulfilled after the sounding of the seventh trumpet.  The mysteries of God finished after the seventh trumpet are those things which were not revealed fully in either the Old or New Testament (until Revelation – which rules out the last trump as the seventh trumpet), and as such, will not be fully understood until they are brought to pass.  This is why the seventh trumpet is the final mystery of God.  However, Paul clearly tells us that he is the one revealing the mystery of the last trump, and not the Book of Revelation.

Likewise, when you read through Revelation chapter 11, the seventh trump is not defined as the last trump to sound the rapture.  There is no definition given to the seven trumpets anywhere in Revelation – save one – they are the trumps of angels, not of God.  As I stated earlier, we see the picture of the seven trumpets of judgment in the fall of Jericho.  This also sets the definition of the seven trumpets to that of “judgment”, as opposed to calling the assembly.

Is it possible that God would not define such a critical foundation to prophetic scripture?  No, it is not.  As we have established at the outset, God changes not.  If he has defined every other concept in the Bible, then he also defined the last trump that Christ revealed to Paul on Mt. Sinai.  That leaves only one possibility.  The reason that Paul did not define the last trump is that he did not need too.  It was already well known in Israel, and it never had anything to do with seven trumpets of judgment (also a key to understanding this – the rapture is not a judgment for those called to heaven).

Stated differently, the last trump was already defined by God in the Bible.  It is found in the Torah – the Law of Moses.

Remember, the Apostle Paul was a member of the Jewish ruling class.  He was highly educated in the law, and knew the exact meaning behind the last trump as it was already an active part of religious life in ancient Israel.  Likewise, every Jew that heard Paul speak on the rapture also knew exactly what the last trump was, as they all abided by it through the religious and civil year.

Number 10:1-10 ESV – The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Make two silver trumpets. Of hammered work you shall make them, and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp.

And when both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the entrance of the tent of meeting.  But if they blow only one, then the chiefs, the heads of the tribes of Israel, shall gather themselves to you.

When you blow an alarm, the camps that are on the east side shall set out.  And when you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that are on the south side shall set out. An alarm is to be blown whenever they are to set out.

But when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow a long blast, but you shall not sound an alarm.

And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets. The trumpets shall be to you for a perpetual statute throughout your generations.

And when you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the Lord your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies.

On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings. They shall be a reminder of you before your God: I am the Lord your God.”

For the record, the tent of the meeting was the Tabernacle of God.  Later, this would transfer to the Temple of God.  There is more, however.  When Paul reveals the mystery of the rapture and the last trump, he gives us the key to understanding exactly what he is referring to.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 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.

The trumpet of God is what tells us that the rapture does not occur with the sounding of the seventh trumpet of Revelation.  Rather, it tells us that the answer to this question lies in the exodus from Egypt.  We find the answers to the last trump, and the trump of God in Exodus chapter 19.

Exodus 19:9-11, 13-20 ESV – When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”

On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.  Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly.

And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

In the interest of time, I am providing a link to a fantastic article that details the gold trumpet of God.  It is one of the critical points to understand in relationship to the message in the article.  However, there is another critical aspect that must be addressed.  It is on this point that we shall labor.  Here is the link to the additional article:

http://amos37.com/2011/07/27/a-golden-trumpet/

If the link takes you to the full blog, simply type in “golden trumpet” into the search bar.  It will take you to the proper posting.

As the article will mention, we see that the voice of God himself is as a trumpet, and also as the sounding of thunder.  Likewise, we see several times throughout the Bible that God Speaks, only those that are meant to hear his words will actually hear his words.  To all others it is as the sound of confusion, still to others it is the sounds of lightning, thunder and terror.  Ironically, it was Paul himself that experienced this first hand, and those that traveled with him on the road to Damascus.  When the Lord came to Paul and knocked him of his horse, it was Paul alone that could understand the words spoken by the Lord.

Still, some in the group believed the sounds to be those of angels.  Still others could not discern the meaning of the sounds, discerning only the sound itself.  Likewise, when we read the account of Moses and the ascension upon the mount of God, we also see the fear and trembling from the sound of the trump of God – which may in fact be the very voice of God himself!

The primary principle of what we are discussing is also found in Exodus chapter 24.  In 24, we see the congregation of Israel which is restricted to the base of the mountain.  This is the same congregation that turned to the worship of the Egyptian bull god when Moses was gone for 40 days.  They are the type and shadow of the body of Christ that has turned from God and sought their own ways.  They heard the lightnings and thunders of God, and they trembled for this was a fearsome sound!

Also in 24 we see Aaron and the elders of Israel.  Unlike the congregation, they heard the words of the Lord and were called to the mountain.  They were permitted to ascend the mountain and look upon God from a distance.  Likewise, they did eat and drink that day on the mountain.

Aaron and the elders are the type and shadow of the believer that is seeking God, yet something still remains from them.  They see God from afar, and even consume the bread of life and blood of Christ.  They are the picture of the three quarter Christian.  They seek Christ, yet something still keeps them from the full presence of God.  They have heard the voice of God, yet they have not the access to the Throne of God.  They can only look from afar as the next event takes place.

Lastly, we have Moses and Joshua, the type and shadow of those that seek God with a whole heart.  Unlike the elders of the congregation that could only hear God speak from afar, yet never truly approach him, it is Moses and Joshua alone that can proceed any further.  Furthermore, in Moses and Joshua, we see the type and shadow of the calling of the elect to the mountain of God, Mt. Sion.

First to be called to fellowship before the Lord was Moses, the type and shadow of the church.  It was Moses that was allowed to commune with God 40 days.  It was Moses that received the revelation of the Word of God, directly from God himself – just as the Apostles communed with Christ 40 days after his full revelation as the risen Son of God.  It was the Apostles that received the Word of God directly from the Holy Spirit in the second fulfillment of the High, Holy place – the upper room.

Second to be called was Joshua, the type and shadow of Israel, as it was Joshua – not Moses – that was permitted to cross over the river Jordan into the Promised Land.  Moses would stand afar, looking upon the Promised Land, knowing it was not to be his possession – yet desiring to be grafted in.  It would be the Gentile that would likewise stand afar off, finally being grafted into the covenant of God with Israel.  Joshua alone would lead Israel – himself also a type and shadow of the coming Jewish Messiah, and also the tribulations that would await Israel as they looked to coming of their future Messiah, and the moving to their promised possession.

This dynamic of Moses and Joshua would also be the type and shadow of the coming rapture of the church before the time of tribulation, and of the rapture of the sealed Jews before the time of Jacob’s trouble.  As Moses ascended the mount of God first, and would lead Israel into the wilderness first, it would be Joshua that likewise ascended the mount after Moses, and would lead Israel, after Moses, into the tribulations that befell Israel enroute to her promises.

There is another dynamic here that directly relates to the final orders that the Lord has now issued to the overcomers.  It is the dynamic of proximity.  Simply stated, the closer you are to God, the more you can hear his voice.  This is not a surprise to Christians, and makes logical sense to most. However, this holds true for EVERYTHING that the Lord says.

That includes the calling of the Great Assembly.  That means the gold trumpet of God.  That means both the first and last trumps.  That means the very voice of God that calls out “the Bridegroom cometh, go out to meet him!”

Some of you are getting the picture now.

In ancient Israel, at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles (they were likewise sounded for all the feasts), the two silver trumpets would be sounded to call the congregation to the Temple of God.  The first trump would sound to waken the congregation, and tell them to get ready and assembled at the door.  The last trump would sound, declaring that the time had come to leave the camp and head for the Temple.

However, there were several things worth noting here.  First of all, during the feast, all of Israel was to come to Jerusalem to celebrate.  That meant millions of tents and shelters spread all across the Judean countryside.  Now, if you were among the first to arrive, you pitched your tents right in front of the City of David, as close to the Temple Mount as possible.  Likewise, the later you arrived (usually from living further from Jerusalem, or further from God if you please), the further away your tent was pitched.

On the day of the feast, the first trump would sound.  Those closest to the Temple would have no problems hearing the blast.  Likewise, they would hear the clear and distinct tones of the different calls.  They would know what was being said to the congregation by the notes that were being played.  Notes that they could hear clearly, and with no issues.

It was a different story for those that had arrived later than they should have.

The further from Jerusalem that you camped, the less you could hear the blast of the trumpets.  This made distinguishing the notes much more difficult as well.  If you could not distinguish the notes, then you would not know what was being commanded.  You might just miss the last trump declaring that it was time to go.

This presented another problem.  Not only did the distance from the Temple (God) affect your hearing the blasts of the trumpets, it affected your ability to get to the Temple in time.  If you were delayed enough to miss the calling of the assembly, you were in direct violation of the Law of God.  However, there was a specific time for all of the ceremonies that would occur.  If you did not arrive at the appointed time – you were locked out!

There was yet another dynamic at play here.  Even amongst the congregation that was closest to the Temple there were strangers and foreigners.  Many would also be here for the feast days, seeking out business opportunities or whatever else caught their fancy.  These strangers to the land of Israel would hear the trumpets as clearly as the Jews heard them.  However, they would not understand what they meant.  They would not understand the notes or commands.  They would certainly inquire as to what they were hearing.  They could even attempt to gain some understanding.

In the end they were still strangers in a strange land.  They could be told what the trumpets were for, yet there would be no personal connection.  They would not understand the notes themselves, only what someone told them.  Likewise, they would not journey to the Temple.  Instead, they would simply watch as the congregation of Israel moved to the presence of God, leaving them behind.  Though they inquired of the meaning, though they would seek to understand, it did not change the fact that they were not part of the elect.  They could have converted to the faith of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Doing so would have ensured that they too would depart with the body.

It should also be understood that at a certain distance it would no longer be possible to hear the trump of God.  Those in Edom, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Egypt would neither hear the sound, nor have any knowledge that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was calling His children to the Holy Temple.

From this background we can see several prophetic meanings to the scriptures.  First, only those closest to God are going to clearly hear and understand the blowing of the first and last trumpets.  Second, there are many strangers among the Holy, and though they may have some understanding – they are still strangers.  They may even look the part, as was the custom in the ancient lands.  None the less, they will be left for they have not joined the congregation.

There will be many that believe, and hear the trumpets, yet they are further from God than they have the time required to travel.  Still, there will be those that are far enough from the Temple that they are not sure that they even heard the trumpets.  They may remain unconvinced that the first trump has blown.  They may not realize what has happened until they see the congregation off in the distance, departing for the Temple.  However, they are not ready.  They scoffed at the first trump and did not dress.  They scoffed at the first trump and did not fill their lamps.  They scoffed at the first trump and had not their shoes.

Now, it will take the shedding of blood to atone for their transgression as they have missed the feast.  They have realized their error, and tried to make the assembly.  But alas, the door was shut and locked when they arrived.  Now, the must repent before God for their failure.

Lastly, there are a great many foreigners in many different nations that do not know of the God of Israel.  They do not believe and do not hear the trumpets blown so far from them.

The trump of God – both first and last – will be a proximity event.  Stated differently, if you are far from God you will not make it in time.  If you are a stranger in the land you will not understand what you have heard.  If you are part of the congregation, yet far in distance from God, you may not believe the sounding of the trumpet.  If you should find yourself at too great a distance from God, or know not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, you simply will not hear anything.

In the name of the most blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

 


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