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Q105 : The Last Trump

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Q105 : The Last Trump

I was reading over your notes on the rapturea. I know you have more than likely addressed many people before on this subject. You used several references regarding the time of what is called the rapture. You used a reference in 1Cor. 15:52 saying indirectly it speaks of what you call the rapture. The point of reference I speak of is the following:

7. The rapture will take place instantaneously (1 Cor 15:52).

In this reference it speaks of the last trumpet as follows:

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 only trumpets that I read of within the scriptures regarding the last days start in Revelation 8b. The last trumpet sounds in Rev 10:7 which is after the tribulation and at the very end of things.

So my question to you is this: in 1Cor. 15:52 it says that the dead (first resurrection) shall be raised at the last trumpet, how do you say it will be before the last trumpet since the last trumpet sounds at the very end after the tribulation?

I only read of two resurrections in the scriptures, the resurrection of the just and of the unjust: Acts 24:15 and Rev. 20:4-6.

There is another question also I have regarding the end-times. I have heard that the years that Christ ministered was for 3.5 years, and that the length of his ministry of 3.5 years ties into the end-time situation, and the 7 years of tribulation. Is that the case in general and what you teach?


A105 : by Andy Woods

Last in 1Cor. 15:52 refers to last in a series rather than last ever. If I say first I went to the store and last I went to the laundry I do not mean that I will never go to the laundry again the rest of my life. Rather I only went to the laundry last in relation to going to the store.

This is how last trumpet is used in 1 Cor 15:52. It will be the last trumpet of the church age rather than the last trumpet ever in God's entire program. 1Cor. 15:52 is last not in the sense of a series of trumpets but rather it is the last event of the church age. In other words, it is only last in relation to the other events of the church age (such as Pentecost, the apostasy, the reaching of the full number of Gentiles, etc.).

Note the differences between the trumpet of 1Cor. 15:50-58 and the last trumpet of Revelation 11:15. Many confuse the last trumpet 1Cor. 15 with the last trumpet in Revelation 11.

Pentecost corrects this confusion by observing the numerous differences between the two.

1 Corinthians 15:52 Revelation 11:15
Before wrath During wrath
Trump of God Angelic trump
Singular trump Series of trumps
Resurrection Before resurrection
Glory Judgment
Instantaneous Duration (Rev 10:7)
Church Israel/Gentiles
No earthquake Earthquake
Last trump of the church age Last trump of a series
— J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Comea (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1958), 189-91.

Even the last trumpet in Rev 11 is not the last trumpet ever in God's program since a subsequent trumpet will be sounded at Christ's Second Advent (Matt 24:31).

Also, it is true that Scripture describes two great resurrections (Dan 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15). However, Paul revealed the mystery (new truth relating to the church age) that the first resurrection unto life is divided into three phases. They include Christ's resurrection, the rapture for all church age saints, and the resurrection for all Old Testament saints and tribulation martyrs at the beginning of the millennium. This order is alluded to through the analogy to Israel's harvest cycle (1Cor. 15:20,23) that took place in three phases as well as Paul's allusion to the regiments in a Roman parade (1Cor. 15:23), which also took place in various phases. Since Paul gave all new truth related to the church age, in 1Cor. 15, he simply explains how the resurrection relates to the new and unforeseen age of the church. Then the second resurrection unto damnation takes place after the millennium before the Great White Throne Judgment.

Also, it does seem that Antichrist will imitate Christ in many ways right down to the length of Christ's ministry. However, I do not want to push this argument too far since I am not sure Christ ministered for exactly 42 Jewish months. To determine the exact duration of Christ's ministry, see Hoehner's Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christb.


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