Q. I want to thank you for your web-site as it has been an immense help to me. I was wondering if you could go into more detail about defending the pre-trib rapture against those who want to throw up the last trump defense. I’ve seen you touch on it and I’ve read a good rebuttal somewhere in the past but I can’t for the life of me remember what all it included. In summary, in 1 Cor. 15:52 is this last trumpet the same as in Rev.11:15? Thank you and may God bless your ministry.
A. There’s no Biblical requirement that the Rapture of the Church spoken of in 1 Cor. 15:52 has to occur in conjunction with the 7th Trumpet judgment of Revelation. In fact only the coincidental use of the word trumpet connects them. Beside that how can you have a secret Rapture be the last in a series of predictable and identifiable events?
There are other trumpets mentioned in Scripture and in Jewish tradition. For instance the trumpet that closes the Feast of Trumpets is called the Last Trump. Does that mean the Rapture has to happen on the Feast of Trumpets? Or that the Trumpet judgments will occur during the Fall Feasts?
The 7th Trumpet judgment is never called the last trump, by the way, and is associated with the judgment of Earth, not the Rapture of the Church. Nor is it ever called the Trumpet Call of God as in 1 Thes. 4:16.
But there is an interesting connection between 1 Thes. 4:16 and Exodus 19:13, and both involve the Trumpet Call of God. In these two cases and only these two it’s the sound of the trumpet that’s important, not the trumpet itself, and in both cases the sound is said to be coming from God.
Some theologians say these two trumpets of God recall the two horns of the ram caught in the thicket when Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac. They call the Exodus Trumpet the left one, or First Trump, and say that God will call the Israelites back to the Land in the End Times by blowing the right one, or Last Trump. If this is the case then the Last Trump will most likely be blown at the close of the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39, placing the Rapture at the time of Ezekiel’s battle, as I believe it to be.
But the safest view is that Paul’s use of the phrase last trumpet in 1 Cor. 15:52 is simply to identify the trumpet call that accompanies the Rapture as the last one the Church will hear on Earth.