Saturday, June 9, 2012

Did Paul know about the 7th Trumpet in Revelation?

One of the arguments that is ongoing among differing rapture proponents is whether or not the last trump mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “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.” is the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15-18 “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. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. ” Added to those verses are 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “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.”

Pre-tribulationists say that it is not possible for Paul's last trumpet to be John's seventh trumpet, because Paul wrote his epistle long before John wrote Revelation, and therefore knew nothing of these trumpets. On the face of it with no additional information, that would seem to make sense if we delved no further. However even without any further information, is that still true? Who exactly did write the Scriptures, men or God? If we acknowledge, as most pre-tribulationists do, that the Word of God is inspired by God and every word has been placed there by God, then did God not know when Paul wrote his epistle what He would tell John to write in Revelation? When one looks at the Old Testament prophets, who wrote at different times and different locations, can one not see word for word in some cases the same exact prophecies? Why should it be any different between Paul and John? Yet this fact is not acknowledged by pre-tribulationists simply because it would be one more proof against their arguments and for their opponents viewpoint.

Before examining the verses, let us consider the problem. What on earth would the term last trump mean to Paul? Why would he use it? If it had no meaning to him, then to write it down would again mean that he was inspired by God to do so, and therefore it was not necessary for him to understand, as God had reasons for using the term. But if God is the one who told Paul to put it in, there must have been a reason, so that we would make a connection somewhere else down the road, as God always leaves us clues. So again we are back to the argument that it did not matter whether Paul understood it or not, as God knew what He was doing.

Now let us consider the other side of the coin. Did Paul know what implications the term had? In fact he did. When God gave the commandments at Mt. Sinai directly to the people, a trumpet was blown to call them to assembly. Exodus 19:16 “There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.” In Judaism it is taught that God blew one shofar or ram's horn at the giving of the commandments. The blowing of trumpets was a common occurrence in Judaism as they were blown to assemble the people, to call to battle, on holy days, on the first of the months, over offerings, etc. Numbers 10:3, 9-10 “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 ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.” These trumpets were to be blown as an ordinance throughout all time. Numbers 10:8 “And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.” So many horns have been blown and have yet to be blown over the course of time. However, it is taught in Judaism that the other shofar or ram's horn from the set that was first blown at Mt. Sinai will be the last trumpet blown, and it will be blown on the Day of Resurrection when the Day of Judgment or the wrath of God (Day of the Lord) on the world will commence. This has been taught from the beginning and would have been the teachings that Jesus would have known, as well as Paul and John. They all associated the last trumpet with the resurrection and the beginning of God's wrath. As the resurrection immediately precedes the rapture, the trumpet mentioned by Paul in connection with the rapture would also by his understanding be the trumpet that announces the resurrection and God's wrath, as well as a couple other things that will be mentioned later.

Before looking at the trumpets of Revelation, let us consider the feasts of God. The feast days were given by God to be a shadow of Yeshua's comings. The spring feasts were all about His first coming and the fall feasts are about His second coming. Yeshua has fulfilled the spring feast of Passover, so the ultimate Passover has occurred. Along with the spring and fall feasts there were some ordinances attached to the months. There was a blowing of the trumpets that announced the new moons or the beginning of the months. Each month was announced with the blowing of trumpets, but on the seventh month, it was more than just the announcing of the beginning of a new month. God designated a feast to begin this month. It was intended to be a memorial. The reason for this was due to the fact that this month, the seventh, contains the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement when the High Priest would go into the Holiest Place and put the blood on the ark of the covenant for the sins of the people for that year.

While this part of Yom Kippur cannot be carried out anymore, Yom Kippur is still observed by even secular Jews. From the first day of the month, when the trumpets are blown until the tenth of the month when Yom Kippur is observed, the people are to examine themselves and search for sins to make themselves right with God. This Day of Atonement represents Judgment Day, for they believe that during these ten days the books are opened and fates are decided. The belief is that the righteous have their names inscribed for another year in the Book of Life, the wicked have their names blotted out of the book of Life forever, and those in between have ten days to repent to make themselves righteous before the books are closed and their fates sealed on Yom Kippur, the Day of Judgment. The fall feasts are all about the Messiah being crowned King, the resurrection of the dead, the world being judged by God on the final Day of Judgment, a memorial of being in the wilderness, and a celebration of a wedding.

This feast at the beginning of the seventh month of Tishri is called the Feast of Trumpets. While it is called a memorial, it really does not come into its own as a memorial until after Daniel's 70th week is accomplished, for this feast will be a memorial to the trumpets of Revelation. Just as these trumpets of the Feast of Trumpets herald the approach of Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement for Israel, so the trumpets of Revelation will herald the Day of Judgment for the world.

Within the calendar of feasts of the Lord during the year, we find that from the time of the Passover until Yom Kippur there are six new moons or trumpets sounded. As Passover occurs in the first month of Nissan, the trumpets that follow the Passover would be the trumpets sounded in Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Elul, and Tishri, the last being the Feast of Trumpets. This means that six different set of trumpets are sounded from Passover to Yom Kippur, the Day of Judgment. On the seventh month it is a more important event. Leviticus 23:24 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.” If this is a pattern for us to observe, just as the springs feasts and fall feasts have and will have a far greater fulfillment, then we should see a larger fulfillment of there being six trumpets between the ultimate Passover and the ultimate Yom Kippur or Day of the Lord, the Day of Judgment, God's wrath. Keep this in mind for a moment.

Now we find a most important ordinance. On most years (49 to be exact) there will no more trumpets sounded until the eighth month in the calendar after Yom Kippur has occurred when they resume the normal monthly trumpet blowing to announce the new month, but on the year of Jubilee, every fiftieth year, there is a special trumpet sounded on the day of Yom Kippur. Leviticus 25:9-10a “Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you.”

When Yeshua began his ministry he stood up in the synagogue and read from Isaiah. Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” The acceptable year of the Lord is considered the Jubilee year. Yeshua was telling them that the ultimate freeing of the captives and healing the brokenhearted, the ultimate Jubilee was at hand, if they would accept Him as their Messiah. And while it may or may not have been a formal Jubilee year in the Jewish calendar, the ultimate Jubilee year did occur for the world in that Yeshua did set the captives free and healed the blind, bruised, and brokenhearted. We have been given the opportunity to be freed from our captivity to sin by accepting Him as our Savior. What Yeshua did not do that day was to finish reading the passage. He did not finish the passage, because the second part of the passage has to do with His Second Coming, not His first. The entire passage in Isaiah 61:1-2 says “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.

As can be seen, the entire passage ends with God's wrath. So the acceptable year of the Lord, a Jubilee year is also the time for God's vengeance or wrath. When Yeshua returns the second time it will again be a Jubilee year, when God's wrath will be poured out. Now that does not mean that if we count how many years from the time of Yeshua's ministry we can figure out when the Jubilee year will occur, for when Israel was cast out of the land, Jubilees ceased to occur. They have not been observed since the destruction of the temple and will not begin again until Yeshua returns. Even though the modern state of Israel may have celebrated a Jubilee year, that is not the same as God's Jubilee year. The people all have to be in the land, in faith, and observing God's ordinances for God's Jubilee to be celebrated, and these requirements have not been met. Just as the people did not observe the ordinances and one of the consequences was the Babylonian captivity, so the ordinances are not being observed now, including God's Jubilee year. It is not an automatic fifty years whether or not Israel is in the land or in the land but not in faith. When they are in the land, in faith, the counting of years will begin again.

As the Scriptures show that the time of God's wrath is the Jubilee year, and the Second Coming of Yeshua is also at that time, we now know that the Yom Kippur of that last year of Daniel's 70th week will be a Jubilee year, and that the last trumpet, the one that Judaism says will be sounded at the time of the final Yom Kippur or Judgment, will be sounded. It will be the seventh and last trumpet of that year and of the age. So the last trump, the trump that will sound for the resurrection of the dead, the coming of the Lord, and the beginning of God's wrath will be sounded at that time.

Now that the pattern that foreshadows those last seven trumpets of Revelation have been shown in the new moon trumpets between Passover and the Day of Judgment, we can see why there are six trumpets (in Revelation) between the ultimate Passover of Yeshua's death and the ultimate Yom Kippur, the Day of God's wrath, the seventh and last trumpet being sounded when the Day of the Lord commences.

When we look at the trumpet judgments in Revelation, we see that six of them are described, but then there is a break in the narrative separating the first six as being different from the seventh trumpet. At that time we see something else happen. We see the angel (Yeshua) plant His feet on the sea and land and make some declarations. Revelation 10:1-7 “And I saw another mighty angel come 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 of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: 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.”

What is the mystery of God? It is when the seventh angel sounds that this mystery is finished. The Scriptures give us an idea of what this mystery is.

Romans 11:25 “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Romans 16:25 “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.

1 Corinthians 2:7 “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”

1 Corinthians 15:51 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.”

Ephesians 1:9 “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.

Ephesians 3:3-4 “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words. Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).”

Ephesians 3:9 “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:32 “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

Ephesians 6:19 “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.”

Colossians 1:26-27 “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints. To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Colossians 2:2 “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.”

Colossians 4:3 “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.”

The mystery of which is spoken is that mystery about the Trinity, about Yeshua - His death , resurrection and Second Coming, the gospel message, and the Gentile world becoming His Bride. Further that mystery includes the rapture of that Bride and then the saving of all Israel. When the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, that is when the mystery of God, all the above things, will be finished. Some of those things are already past tense, we know about the Trinity, Yeshua did die and was resurrected, and the Gentile world has become Yeshua's Bride and the ones who have spread the gospel. The other things are yet to happen though. The Lord must return, rapture His Bride, and Israel will be saved at that time.

In Revelation 11 we get more information about the sounding of this seventh trumpet. Verses 15-19 “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. (The crowning of the King of Kings and Yeshua claiming the earth back as His) 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. (The millennium of Yeshua's reign is commencing) And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, (The Day of the Lord and God's wrath is commencing) and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; (the resurrection and rapture and Bema Seat Judgment of rewards) and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (God's wrath) And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”

So this passage in Revelation 11 tells us that when the seventh angel sounds, the things which are associated with the fall feasts – the crowning of the Messiah, the resurrection of the dead (which immediately precedes the rapture), the sealing of men's fates (those with the mark will perish and those who are sheep – both believing Israel and Gentiles who did not take the mark, but were not believers in Yeshua -will go into the millennium), the final Judgment or Day of the Lord, and a wedding – will occur. And notice that they occur at the last trumpet sounded in the Book of Revelation. They occur on the ultimate Yom Kippur.

Now, did Paul understand all of these things associated with the Jubilee trump or last trump of the final Judgment? Of course he did. God put all of these feasts and ordinances there for a reason. They foreshadowed the events to come. Paul was a Tanakh (Old Testament) scholar and would certainly have understood these things better than ever before, having now accepted Yeshua as the Messiah. Did he know the content of each of the trumpets and how they would play out? That is not known, but we do know that Paul said he was caught up into the third heaven (God's abode) whether in a dream, vision, or in body he did not know, but he was caught up. What did God reveal to him there? We do not know. Could God have revealed all that he told John to write? Possibly, but as it was not his job to write this down, we cannot know. We do know that he understood the feasts and ordinances and their meanings though, and that he understood what would be happening at that last trump. The one sounded at that last Yom Kippur, the final Day of Judgment.

So the answer is, yes, Paul was referring to that seventh and last trumpet mentioned in Revelation, even though it was written by John after Paul's death.

Now let us look at those verses that Paul wrote again which appeared at the beginning of this article. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “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.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “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.” We can see that in Revelation 11 it said that when the last angel sounds his trumpet (the seventh and last) that the time for the dead to be judged and for the saints to receive their rewards would come. We also know that when that angel sounds, the mystery (the church) would be finished. So it makes sense that Paul is speaking of the seventh trumpet of Revelation, for that is what happens at the sounding of that trumpet according to Scripture. 1 Thessalonians tells us that at the trump (the last one) the dead in Christ will rise, (as will the living be changed) and that this occurs at the time when the Lord returns. We know from Revelation 11 again that it is at this last trumpet that Christ or Yeshua is crowned King of Kings and the nations of the world revert back to His ownership and that Satan is finally put under His foot as his and antichrist's reign end at the end of the 42 months. But that leads us to another verse. Acts 2:34-35 “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool.” Yeshua does not make a secret comeback to rapture His people. He is to remain at the right hand of God until His foes (Satan and antichrist) are made His footstool. This only occurs at the end of Daniel's 70th week when Satan is bound and antichrist and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire. Is this idea that Yeshua must remain in heaven until the very end verified anywhere else in Scripture? Yes, it is. Acts 3:20-21 “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” When does God send Yeshua back? Heaven must receive Jesus Christ until the restitution of all things. What is the restitution of all things? When they revert back to Yeshua's possession. When does this occur? When the seventh trumpet sounds and the kingdoms of the world become the kingdoms of our Lord.

In delving into this subject, I think it has settled for me an uncertainty that I had as to when the 1260 days or 42 months of the second half of Daniel's week ends. I knew that it had to end around Rosh haShanah (or the Feast of Trumpets) or Yom Kippur, but I could not figure out which one it was exactly, as the trumpets sounding on the Feast of Trumpets had me confused. I now think that I lean toward the 1260 days ending at Yom Kippur, which always seemed to be more right as there is a 75 day period after that which brings people to a day of blessing according to Daniel 12. Hanukkah or the memorial for the restoration of the temple occurs 75 days after Yom Kippur. Would it not make sense, given that God reuses holy days that He would institute the commencement of the millennial temple on the day when the celebration for the restitution of the temple occurs? It makes sense to me.

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