Many people mistake the rapture as occurring during the Tribulation because of two different verses which they misinterpret the meaning of. Here they are:
“Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will 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 will be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:50-52)
“The Seventh Trumpet—Christ’s Reign Foreseen: “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,…” (Rev 11:15)
On the face of it, the two don’t look like they have much to do with each other, do they? And they don’t. But some people insist that they do, merely by virtue of the fact that in the 1 Cor, verse, there is mentioned a ‘last ump’ and in the Rev 11 verse there is mentioned a 7th trumpet of judgment being blown, which is the last trumpet of judgment in that series.
But of course the 7th Trumpet is NOT the Last trump. The only thing they have in common is that they are trumpets. You might as well tie Aaron’s trumpet into it, if you’re going to pick and choose trumpets. There are lots of trumpets in the bible. They:
- Regulate the journeys of the children of Israel.
- Call assemblies.
- Blow over the sacrifices on the feast day.
- Blow at all religious processions and ceremonies.
- Assemble the people to war.
- Sound for a memorial when the people went into battle.
- Proclaim kings.
- Give alarm in cases of danger.
- Announce miracles being performed
The trumpet of Revelation and the trumpet Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians have nothing to do with each other. Here’s one reason why. The Trumpet judgments are spread over Rev 8-9-10-11. Rev 8:6 begins them- “And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” Then Rev 10:7 tells us that when the last trumpet sounds, the wrath is DONE. Rev 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.” And Rev 11:15 declares that finish the woes with the 7th trumpet sounding: “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.'”
So first of all, the trumpets conclude the wrath, to which we are not appointed.(1 Thessalonians 5:9). It is not a mystery when the wrath begins, either. It begins with the opening of the seal judgments and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are released, at Rev 6:1. As the seals are opened we are told that so begins the wrath, ‘the wrath has come.’ (Rev 6:17). Again, because we are not appointed to wrath, we will not be here for it. And that includes since Rev 6:1 so obviously we won’t be here for the 7th Trumpet judgment which occurs much later.
There is a second reason the 7th trumpet judgment and the ‘Last Trump” of 1 Corinthians 15:52 are not the same. You notice in the above verses, Angels blow the trumpets. The angels all line up. They all have a trumpet. Them they all blow one in turn. “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets” (Rev 8:2). In the parallel rapture verse of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 it is the trump of God that is blown.
“15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,d that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For 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. 17Then 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. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
The last trump in 1 Thess 4:16 is the Trump of GOD.
“There are trumpets all over the bible. They were used for a variety of purposes. But there is one trumpet that is special. in Exodus 19 verses 16 to 19 a trumpet called the people out of the camp to meet God. It was a trumpet of assembly and it called them out of the camp to meet God. I believe this is a trumpet of assembly. In Zephaniah 1:16 and Zechariah 9:14 a trumpet was used as a signal of the Lord’s coming to rescue His people from wicked oppression. It was a deliverance trumpet. And I believe the trumpet on that day is an assembly trumpet and a deliverance trumpet. I believe when the trumpet blows it is to assemble the saints who have been called out of the graves to life with the living saints and it is also to call them out, to rescue them out from among those who oppress them, men and demons. There are many other trumpets associated with the end times, they tend to be trumpets of judgment, primarily as in Revelation 8 through 11.” (source gty.org)
I hope you can see that the verses are clear that the wrath begins in Rev 6, and we will not be here for it. That the 7th trumpet is stated to conclude the wrath, and again, we will be long gone. And finally, just because it says a trumpet in both verses, does not mean they are the same event. The angels raise trumpets for judgments to begin and God shouts the trumpet for us to assemble.
Take a look at the 40 second clip. I love how the rapture is depicted.