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The Rapture of the Church

Part One    Part Two    Part Three    Part Four    Part Five    Part Six    Part Seven    Part Eight


Introduction

In Part One we looked at the definitions of the following terms: the Rapture, the Second Coming, the Antichrist, the Tribulation, the Great Tribulation, the Millennium, and the Church. We saw that prophecy is very important to God, and therefore we should not dishonor Him by considering Bible prophecy to be a waste of time or impossible to understand.

In Part Two we examined Daniel's "70 Weeks" prophecy, and we learned that 69 of those "weeks" (483 years) have already been accomplished. The 70th "week" is still in the future, and it will be the seven years of the Tribulation. When God put His 70 Weeks plan for Israel on hold after the Triumphal Entry, almost immediately He began a new and separate plan which we call "the Church." There is only one view of the Rapture which preserves this separation between God's 70 Weeks plan for Israel and His plan for the Church, and that is the pre-trib view. All of the evidence indicates that God has intended for those two plans to be kept separate and distinct from each other, with no mixing whatsoever. Therefore, it is unScriptural to claim that the Church will go through any part of the seven-year Tribulation period.

In Part Three we saw that there will be several blackouts during the seven-year Tribulation. We also looked at the Seal Judgments, the Trumpet Judgments, and the Bowl Judgments, and we saw that God's wrath will start to be poured out onto the earth with the very first judgment at the beginning of the Tribulation period. God is not pouring out His wrath during the present Church Age (e.g. through hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.). Since the Church was not appointed for God's wrath, and since the entire seven years of the Tribulation will be the time of God's wrath, this means that the Church will not go through any part of the Tribulation period. The pre-trib view is the only view of the Rapture which has the Church being raptured before God's wrath starts to be poured out at the beginning of the Tribulation, which fits all of the Scriptural facts.


In Part Four we'll examine what Paul meant when he said that the Rapture will take place "at the last trumpet."


Background Information about Trumpets

Throughout this series we have seen that 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 describe the Rapture:
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep [die], but we will all be changed--in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:50-53)
What trumpet was Paul referring to?

Consider that throughout history, armies have used trumpets to signal Advance, Retreat, Commence Firing, Cease Firing, Assemble, Recall, and so on. Here are some examples:
"Signal musicians [who were] used as an integral part of a military organization appear first in the Roman Legion. These musicians, called aenatores, utilized a wide variety of trumpets, and signals were sounded on these instruments which the Romans inherited from the Etruscans. The Etruscans were superb metallurgists and smiths, and must have been skilled in the making of bronze or silver trumpets. A collection of forty-three signals were used in the Roman Army." (History of the Bugle Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"Their times also for sleeping and watching and rising are notified beforehand by the sound of trumpets, nor is any thing done without such a signal; and in the morning the soldiery go every one to their centurions, and these centurions to their tribunes, to salute them; with whom all the superior officers go to the general of the whole army, who then gives them of course the watchword and other orders, to be by them carried to all that arc under their command; which is also observed when they go to fight, and thereby they turn themselves about on the sudden, when there is occasion for making sallies, as they come back when they are recalled, in crowds also." (Roman Imperial armies and camps, as described by Josephus Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"The order "to advance" or "to retreat" was conveyed by the general to the trumpeters (tubicines; cf. II. xx. 3; VII. xlvii. 1-3); their signal was taken by the horn-blowers (cornicines), of whom there was one to each maniple. The notes of the instruments could be heard above the din of battle much more clearly than the orders of the officers.
On the march the standard was at the front, in battle near the rear, of the maniple. From the immediate association of the manipular standards with military movements arose several idiomatic expressions. Such are: signa inferre, 'to advance;' signa referre, 'to retreat;' signa convertere, 'to face about;' signa efferre, 'to leave camp;' ad signa convenire, 'to assemble.'" (The Roman Art of War in Caesar's Time Offsite Link, emphasis added)

The ancient Jews also used trumpets in battle and for assembling:
"The LORD said to Moses: "Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. If only one is sounded, the leaders--the heads of the clans of Israel--are to assemble before you. When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out. At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the south are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out. To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the same signal. The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies."" (Numbers 10:1-9)

"Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them." (Judges 6:33-35)

"Abner called out to Joab, "Must the sword devour forever? Don't you realize that this will end in bitterness? How long before you order your men to stop pursuing their brothers?" Joab answered, "As surely as God lives, if you had not spoken, the men would have continued the pursuit of their brothers until morning." So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the men came to a halt; they no longer pursued Israel, nor did they fight anymore." (2 Samuel 2:26-28)

"Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them." (2 Samuel 18:16)

"Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bicri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each returning to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem." (2 Samuel 20:22)

Trumpets were also used by the Jews for rejoicing and praising the Lord, as in the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of Trumpets:
"Every morning of the feast [of Tabernacles] there was a joyous procession to the Pool of Siloam, with music, headed by a priest with a golden pitcher (a little over 2 pints). At the same time there was a procession to the Kidron Valley to collect willow branches which were made into a canopy over the altar of burnt offerings. As the sacrifice proceeded, the priest returning with the water entered through the Water Gate (named for this event). With a threefold trumpet blast he poured the water into a silver receptacle on the altar. ... At the end of the first day of Tabernacles, the worshippers congregated in the Court of Women where a great illumination took place. Four huge golden lamps or candelabras, each with four golden bowls were filled with oil by four youths of priestly descent. They had to use four ladders for this task. According to the saying, "There was not a court in Jerusalem that was not lit up by it". Around the lamps a sacred dance was conducted by hassidim (saints) and prominent leaders with flaming torches in their hands. This was accompanied by Levites playing harps, lutes, cymbals, trumpets and "instruments without number" standing on the fifteen steps leading up from the Court of Women to the Court of Israel, according to the "songs of Degrees" in Psalms." (Sukkot - the Feast of Tabernacles Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"Sukkot (Tabernacles), along with Shavuot (Pentecost), and Passover (Pesach), were known as the pilgrimage festivals (Deuteronomy 16:16). There would be a signal and the priests would step out with their left foot, and then step to the right, swinging the willows back and forth. Meanwhile, a third group of priests, headed by the high priest (Cohen HaGadol), went out the gate known as the Water Gate. They had gone to the pool known as "Siloam" (John [Yochanan] 9:7,11), which means "gently flowing waters." There the high priest had a golden vase and drew the water known as the living water (mayim hayim) and held it in the vase. His assistant held a silver vase containing wine. Just as the priests in the valley of Motzah began to march toward Jerusalem (Yerushalayim), so did the priests in Siloam. As they marched toward the city of Jerusalem (Yerushalayim), the willows made a swishing sound in the wind as they approached the city. The word wind in Hebrew is Ruach. The word spirit in Hebrew is also Ruach. Therefore, this ceremony was symbolic or representative of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) of G-d coming upon the city of Jerusalem (Yerushalayim). As each of the party reached their respective gates, a trumpet (shofar) was blown." (Sukkot The Feast of Tabernacles Offsite Link, emphasis added)

""Say to the Israelites: 'On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts [the Feast of Trumpets]. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.'" The LORD said to Moses, "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire."" (Leviticus 23:24-27)

"Also at your times of rejoicing--your appointed feasts and New Moon festivals--you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the LORD your God." (Numbers 10:10)
As we can see, the Romans and Jews used trumpet blasts for a variety of purposes. This background information will be helpful in determining what Paul meant when he said that the Rapture will take place "at the last trumpet."


The Military Analogy

Here's 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 again, in which Paul described the Rapture:
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Bible scholars and teachers have pointed out the "military" nature of Paul's description of the Rapture. Notice that there will be a loud command, then there will be the voice of the archangel, then there will be a trumpet call, and then all Christians will rise to meet the Lord in the air. If you have ever watched a war movie which was set in times past, you'll easily recognize the military analogy in Paul's statement. In times past, the general gave a command during the battle (such as the command to Recall or to Assemble), then the command was repeated by an officer, then the bugler blew the signal (a specific series of notes), then the troops responded to the signal by assembling back to camp, or by returning home (as in 2 Samuel 20:22, above), etc.

With that in mind, let's look at the Rapture in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 again:
"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
In the above passage, the apostle Paul told the Corinthian Christians that the Rapture will happen "at the last trumpet," but notice that he didn't explain what he meant by "the last trumpet." Since Paul didn't feel that it was necessary to explain this, then either he had already said something to the Corinthians about it, or else he was referring to something which they were familiar with.

In the previous chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul used the imagery of military trumpet signals when he said, "if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?" (1 Corinthians 14:8). In battle, the first set of trumpet signals would be the call to arms (as in 1 Corinthians 14:8), and the last set of trumpet signals are for signaling the Recall and Assembly when the battle is over. So the last trumpet signal is not for doing battle, but instead it is for gathering the troops when the battle is over.

Since the Bible says that the Church is currently engaged in battle against the devil and his forces (see for example Ephesians 6:10-18, 1 Peter 5:8-9, Philippians 2:25, 2 Timothy 2:3-4, Philemon 1:2, 2 Corinthians 6:7, 10:3-4, 1 Timothy 1:18), it would be reasonable if there is a "call to Assemble" when the Church's time of battle is over. When our Sovereign issues the command, and the command is repeated by the archangel, and the trumpet signal is given, then we will be recalled and assembled to be gathered with the Lord and taken Home. Later in this series we'll see why we will be taken into heaven at the pre-trib Rapture.

According to the pre-trib view, the spiritual battle will still be raging down on earth, but the Church will not be involved in the earthly battle after we are raptured. For example, the Bible says that it will be Jesus alone who defeats the Antichrist and his armies (see Revelation 19:15, 21, Isaiah 34:2, 63:4-6).

Since the Jews and the Romans commonly used trumpet signals in this way, this easily explains why Paul didn't need to tell the Corinthian church what he meant when he used the expression, "at the last trumpet," as part of a military analogy. Remember, he had earlier used a military analogy when he said to the Corinthian church, "if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?" (1 Corinthians 14:8).

If Paul had this military analogy in mind when he mentioned "the last trumpet," then this by itself doesn't give us enough information to determine whether the Rapture will be pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib. All it tells us is that when the Rapture takes place, it will be preceded by a trumpet signal.


The Prophetic Fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets

Again, Paul didn't feel that it was necessary to explain to the Corinthian Christians what he meant by "the last trumpet." Therefore, it's likely that he was referring to something which they were familiar with.

In Leviticus 23, God commanded the Israelites to observe seven holy feasts, which are described at Feasts of the Lord Offsite Link. As this website describes (and other websites and books as well), on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan (called "Abib" in Exodus 13:4) the Jews observed Passover. The next day (Nisan 15) began the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was "a picture of freedom from the slavery of sin" (according to the above website). The following day (Nisan 16) was the Feast of Weeks or Feast of Firstfruits. On Sylvan 6-7 was Pentecost. From Tishri 1 through 10 was the Feast of Trumpets. Tishri 10 was the Day of Atonement, which was a "Picture of Messiah's second coming" (according to the above website). Tishri 15 began the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles. These are the holy feasts in the order in which they fall on the Scriptural Jewish calendar. Did the Corinthian Christians know about the Jewish feasts?

These holy feasts were foreshadowings of several significant future events. For example, here are some things that Jewish Christian ministries say about the seven feasts of Israel. Pay particular attention to what they say about the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hoshanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur):
"First of all, we should briefly review the very meaningful first four feasts of Israel given in Leviticus 23. Passover occurs on the fourteenth day of the first month and Unleavened Bread during the next seven days. The Sunday of that week is First Fruits, and fifty days after First Fruits is Pentecost. Christians are familiar with this schedule and especially thrill to the fact that our Lord fulfilled each feast in the appropriate manner: He was crucified on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread, raised on First Fruits, and sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. (The Lord will go on fulfilling the feasts with the Rapture on the Feast of Trumpets, the Second Coming on the Day of Atonement, and the setting up of the kingdom on the Feast of Tabernacles. This elegant and important Bible study is available in our book The Seven Feasts of Israel.)" (Zola Levitt Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"Passover brings to reality the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus through the truth of the Matzah Tash and the four cups. The Feasts of Unleavened Bread and the First Fruits are manifested and fulfilled on Easter Sunday morning!
These first three feasts proclaim Jesus' first coming while Shavuot (Pentecost) unveils the coming of the Holy Spirit
. In fact, compare Ezekiel 1, which is read today in synagogues during Shavuot, and Acts 2 for proof of this amazing truth.
Therefore, if the first three feasts were realized in the first coming of Jesus and the middle feast is proof of the Holy Spirit's arrival, then would it not seem obvious that the final three feasts might have something to do with Jesus' triumphal second coming? The Feasts of Trumpet (aka Rosh Hoshanah), Yom Kippur, and the Feast of Tabernacles are fall feasts. The Feast of Trumpets, specifically, is known for two items - the blowing of the Shofar and the reading of Genesis 22 regarding the binding and sacrifice of Isaac. The Shofar is blown to announce the arrival of a new year and the reading of Genesis 22 to remind the listener of the eternality of the Abrahamic Covenant.
The blowing of the Shofar brings to mind the promise of 1 Thessalonians 4 in which we are told that Jesus himself shall descend when the trumpet blows. The reading of Genesis 22 is not only another prophetic realization of Jesus' sacrifice but also reminds us that His second coming is not about death but about the fulfillment of the covenant promises of Genesis 12, 15, 17, and especially 22." (Tzedakah Ministries Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"The Feast of Trumpets is a major festival. The three major festivals are Passover, Pentecost and Feast of Trumpets. We know Passover represents the sacrifice of Christ, and Pentecost represents the coming of the Holy Spirit, so it stands to reason that the Feast of Trumpets represents a very special time.
The trumpet was the signal for the field workers to come into the Temple. The high priest actually stood on the southwestern parapet of the Temple and blew the trumpet so it could be heard in the surrounding fields. At that instant the faithful would stop harvesting, even if there were more crops to bring in, and leave immediately for worship service
(Levitt 1979, 12). The Feast of Trumpets could be either the Rapture or the Second Coming of Christ. You’ll have to study and decide for yourself." (Messianic Significance of Rosh Hashanah Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"The forty-day season called Teshuvah (return or repentance) starts thirty days before the Feast of Trumpets, and is a shadow of God’s prophetic plan. The entire ten days from the first day of the Feast of Trumpets through the Day of Atonement are known as the Days of Repentance or Days of Awe. The days between may be a picture of the tribulation. The days between the Feast of the Trumpets and Day of Atonement reflect the seven-year period of Jacob’s Trouble. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it (Jer. 30:7). One theory divides the days as follows:
- The thirty days of the month of Elul —the Church
- The Day of the Feast of Trumpets—the Rapture
- The days between the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement—Tribulation
- The Day of Atonement—the Second Coming
"
(Messianic Significance of Rosh Hashanah Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"In fact, what is traditionally called Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, is also called in the Scriptures Yom HaTeruah, which means the "Day of the Blowing of Trumpets." ... This feast points forward to a time when Israel will be gathered back to the land (Isaiah 27:13). Also, it points to the time when the Body of Messiah will be gathered to her Lord in the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51,52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). ... Although resurrection is a concept taught throughout the Scriptures (Dan. 12:2), there is an aspect of the resurrection heralded by the Feast of Trumpets. The mystery is known as "The Rapture of the Body of Messiah." It is a reminder that one day the trumpet of God will sound, and we should always be ready to respond." (Word of Messiah Ministries Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"But while some Jews believe in an annual day of accounting for one's actions, for us the blast of the shofar [trumpet] at Rosh Hashanah is not just a call to repentance, but a reminder of Jesus' return. "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Messiah will rise first" (1Thessalonians 4:16)." (Jews for Jesus Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"[the Day of Atonement will] be fulfilled by the seven years of Tribulation" (A Review of The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, p.58, emphasis added)

"The entire ten days from the first day of the Feast of Trumpets through the Day of Atonement are known as Days of Repentance or Days of Awe. These days are possibly a picture of the Rapture (Feast of Trumpets), the Tribulation (days in between), and the second coming (Day of Atonement)." (Messiah in Yom Kippur Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"The "last trump" refers to the Feast of Trumpets and the Jewish practice of blowing trumpets at this feast each year. During the ceremony, there is a series of short trumpet blasts of various lengths, concluding with the longest blast of all, called the tekiah gedolah: the great, or "last trump." Judaism connected this last trump with the resurrection of the dead, and so does Paul. So, Paul's point here is that the Rapture will be the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets." (A Review of The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, p.58, emphasis added. See also Maranatha Our Lord, Come, Dr. Renald Showers, p.264)
Those of us with a Gentile (non-Jewish) heritage tend to miss some of the nuances in the Bible because we don't have a strong grasp of the Jewish background of Scripture. Since we're now looking at the Messianic significance of the seven Jewish feasts, it's helpful to listen to ministries which understand the Jewish background of Scripture and know Jesus as the Messiah.

What we consistently find is that the first four feasts on the Scriptural Jewish calendar were fulfilled by Jesus in the order that they appear on the calendar, so it's reasonable to think that the remaining three feasts will also be fulfilled in the order that they appear on the calendar.

According to the Jewish Christian ministries above, the Rapture is the likely fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets ("at the last trumpet," as Paul said). In addition, these ministries say that the seven-year Tribulation period (ending with the Second Coming) is the likely fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.

Again, the first four feasts were fulfilled by Jesus in the order that they appear on the Scriptural Jewish calendar. The Feast of Trumpets takes place before the Day of Atonement on the Jewish calendar, which strongly indicates that the Rapture will take place before the seven-year Tribulation begins.


The Last Trumpet Ever?

When Paul said that the Rapture will take place "at the last trumpet," people sometimes interpret this as, "at the last trumpet ever."

However, this is an erroneous interpretation. Consider that all views of the Rapture (pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, etc.) recognize that the Rapture will take place before Jesus sets up His thousand-year kingdom on earth (the Millennium, as we saw in Part One). Passages such as Zechariah 14:16-19 indicate that the Feast of Tabernacles (the seventh holy feast of Israel) will be celebrated during the Millennium, and earlier we saw that there are trumpets associated with this feast.

Therefore, there will be trumpets after the Rapture, no matter when the Rapture happens. So when Paul said that the Rapture will take place "at the last trumpet," he did not mean, "at the last trumpet ever."


The Seventh Trumpet Judgment

In Part Three we examined the 21 judgments of God's wrath which will be poured out onto the earth during the seven-year Tribulation period (the seven Seal Judgments, the seven Trumpet Judgments, and the seven Bowl Judgments). Those who hold the post-trib view tend to argue that when Paul said that the Rapture will happen "at the last trumpet," he was referring to the seventh Trumpet Judgment.

However, there are at least three major problems with this post-trib argument. For one thing, when we looked at all of the judgments of God's wrath in Part Three, we saw that those 21 judgments will take place consecutively, one after the other. This means that after the seventh Trumpet Judgment there will be seven Bowl Judgments which need to be carried out before the Second Coming will take place. Therefore, the Second Coming will not happen at the seventh Trumpet Judgment, so this post-trib argument is erroneous.


Another major problem with this post-trib argument is that in the first century, trumpet blasts had a number of different purposes, as we saw earlier. For example, this passage describes trumpet blasts for the purpose of gathering people together:
"To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the same signal." (Numbers 10:7)
This passage describes trumpet blasts when going into battle against an enemy:
"When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies." (Numbers 10:9)
So one purpose for trumpet blasts was to gather people to an assembly, and another purpose was for going into battle against an enemy.

With that in mind, take a look at the Rapture again:
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
In Part Three we saw that before Jesus returns at the Second Coming, He will bombard the devil's kingdom by means of the Seal Judgments, the Trumpet Judgments, and the Bowl Judgments. This means that the Trumpet Judgments are for the purpose of doing battle against an enemy. In contrast, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (above) shows that at the Rapture, all Christians will be gathered to an assembly where we will meet the Lord in the air.

Therefore, the trumpet at the Rapture has a different purpose than the trumpets during the Tribulation (the Trumpet Judgments). This means that the "last trumpet" in Paul's description of the Rapture is not the same as the seventh Trumpet Judgment in the book of Revelation, so again, this post-trib argument is erroneous.


Here's another major problem with this post-trib argument. Paul said that on earth we only know things "in part" and we only prophesy "in part" (1 Corinthians 13:9, 12), which means that Paul himself did not receive a full revelation of prophecies to come. Paul never described the 21 judgments of God's wrath, but instead these were revelations that were given to John in a vision, which John wrote down in the book of Revelation. Revelation is the only book in the entire Bible which describes the Seal Judgments and Trumpet Judgments and Bowl Judgments.

After checking all of the Bible reference materials that I have at hand (which mention a date for the book of Revelation), here's what they say:
"The Apostle John was banished to the Island of Patmos, probably by the Emperor Domitian, a.d. 95 or 96, and the book, composed either during his exile, or, as is more likely, after his return to Ephesus, contains the revelation given him there in a series of visions." (Vincent's commentary, emphasis added)

"Only two dates for the composition are named, (1.) that always assigned to it by the ancient church, near the end of the reign of the Emperor Domitian, which extended from A. D. 81 to A. D. 96, and (2.) that which has been urged by certain modern critics, the latter part of the reign of Nero, about A. D. 65-68. ... In one of his letters Irenæus speaks to a fellow disciple of how intimate they had been with Polycarp and how often they had heard him tell of John the apostle, and how much they had been told of John by the aged saint who had once been under the instruction of the apostle. Hence it is apparent that Irenæus must have known from Polycarp the leading facts of John's history, and especially the circumstances connected with his exile to Patmos. This witness, whose opportunity for knowing the facts is unquestioned, declares, "Revelation was seen no long time since, but almost in our generation, towards the end of the reign of Domitian" (A. D. 96). With this plain statement agree all the church fathers who speak of the subject, not only of the second century, but for three centuries. "There is no variation in the historical accounts. All statements support the conclusion that St. John was banished to Patmos by Domitian (A. D. 81-96)--some writers placing the exile in the fourteenth of his reign--and all agree that the Visions of which Revelation is the record were received in Patmos." ... The historical conclusion is corroborated by convincing internal testimony. I condense from Godet's Bible Studies, second series, certain points which bear upon the question of Date: (1.) "The condition of the churches indicated" in the second and third chapters renders the early date improbable. These churches were not founded before A. D. 55-58. Paul wrote to two of these churches, Ephesus and Colosse, in A. D. 62 or 63; Peter wrote to all the churches of that region several years later still; Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, at Ephesus, probably as late as A. D. 67; in these letters there is no hint of John being in that section of the world, or of the spiritual decay revealed in the letters to the angels of the churches of Ephesus, Sardis and Laodicea; yet this theory requires us to believe that not later than A. D. 68 or 69, John found these churches spiritually dead. There is no reasonable doubt but that the second and third chapters of Revelation describe a condition which could only have arisen a generation later than the date of Paul's last intercourse with these churches. (2.) Godet notes the fact that an ecclesiastical organization reveals itself in the seven churches which did not reveal itself until about the close of the first century. In each church there is one man, "the angel of the church," through whom the whole church is addressed. There is no hint of any individual enjoying a distinction like this until about the beginning of the second [century]. (3.) The expression, "The Lord's-day," does not occur in the earlier apostolical writings. They always speak of the "First Day of the week" instead. The term used in A. D. 68 was "the First Day of the week," but the writers of the second century from the beginning use "the Lord's-day." This term, then, points to a period near the beginning of the second century as the date of Revelation. (4.) The expressions in Rev_2:9 and Rev_3:9 point to a complete separation between the church and the synagogue. This complete separation did not take place until the epoch of the destruction of Jerusalem. Such language as we find in these two places can only be accounted for by a fact so momentous as the overthrow of the Jewish state, and hence belongs to a later date. ... It might be of service to add that the persecution of Nero, as far as known, was local and confined to Rome; that death, instead of banishment, was the favorite method of punishment with him; that it is not probable that he would have put to death Paul and Peter and banished John; and that there is no evidence that John, as early as A. D. 68, had ever visited the region of the seven churches. On the other hand, the persecution of Domitian was not local; we know also that he sent other Christians into exile; we know also that the later years of John's life were passed at Ephesus, and in the region of which it was the center." (People's New Testament commentary, emphasis added)

"There are two chief theories, the Neronic, soon after Nero's death, the other in the reign of Domitian. Irenaeus is quoted by Eusebius as saying expressly that the Apocalypse of John was written at the close of the reign of Domitian. This testimony is concurred in by Clement of Alexandria, by Origen, by Eusebius, by Jerome. ... Hort, Lightfoot, Sanday, Westcott have argued strongly for the Neronic era. Peake is willing to admit allusions to the Neronic period as Swete is also, but both consider the Domitianic date the best supported. Moffatt considers any earlier date than Domitian "almost impossible."" (Robertson's commentary, emphasis added)

"As for the time of its writing this is not agreed upon on all hands; the place where, seems to be the isle of Patmos, which yet some question. Some think it was written in the times of Claudius Caesar (h), before the destruction of Jerusalem. In the title of the Syriac version, this revelation is said to be made to John in the isle of Patmos, into which he was cast by Nero Caesar. But the more commonly received opinion is, that he had this vision there, at the latter end of Domitian's reign (i) by whom he was there banished, about the year 95, or 96." (Gill's commentary, emphasis added)

"Place and Time of Writing. — The best authorities among the Fathers state that John was exiled under Domitian (Irenaeus [Against Heresies, 5; 30]; Clement of Alexandria; Eusebius [Ecclesiastical History, 3.20]). Victorinus says that he had to labor in the mines of Patmos. At Domitian's death, a.d. 95, he returned to Ephesus under the Emperor Nerva. Probably it was immediately after his return that he wrote, under divine inspiration, the account of the visions vouchsafed to him in Patmos (Rev_1:2, Rev_1:9). However, Rev_10:4 seems to imply that he wrote the visions immediately after seeing them." (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary, emphasis added)

"The book of Revelation was probably written about AD 95, at a time of conflict and persecution." (The History of Christianity, Dr. Tim Dowley, p.70, emphasis added)

"Most evangelical scholars affirm that Revelation was written in A.D. 95 or 96." (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord and Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, p.925, emphasis added)

"DATE: A.D. 96" (Scofield's commentary, emphasis added)
So a number of Bible scholars say that Revelation was written in 95 or 96 A.D., with the exceptions dating it as early as 65 A.D. Most of the above quotes can be found at BibleStudyTools.com Offsite Link or e-Sword.net Offsite Link.

After checking all of the Bible reference materials that I have at hand (which mention a date for the book of 1 Corinthians), here's what they say:
"This Epistle was written at Ephesus while Paul was engaged in his ministry of three years in that city (Acts 19:1-41; Act_20:31; 1Co_16:8). The time when it was written can be determined with no little certainty to have been the spring of A. D. 57." (People's New Testament commentary, emphasis added)

"From Ephesus a.d. 54 Or 55" (Robertson's commentary, emphasis added)

"Authorities are generally agreed in placing the date of the epistle a.d. 57." (Vincent's commentary, emphasis added)

"The reason why Paul purposed to remain in Ephesus until Pentecost, was, the success which he had met with in preaching the gospel, 1Co_16:9. But after the riot excited by Demetrius, this hope was in a measure defeated, and he soon left the city. These circumstances serve to fix the time when this Epistle was written to the interval which elapsed between what is recorded in Act_19:22-23. This occurred about 56 or 57 a.d. Pearson and Mill place the date in the year 57 a.d.; Lardner, in the spring of the year 56 ad." (Barnes' commentary, emphasis added)

"It is thought to be written about the year of Christ 55, and in the first year of Nero, though some place it in the year 59." (Gill's commentary, emphasis added)

"At the time of writing Paul implies (1Co_16:8) that he intended to leave Ephesus after Pentecost of that year. He really did leave it about Pentecost (a.d. 57). Compare Act_19:20. The allusion to Passover imagery in connection with our Christian Passover, Easter (1Co_5:7), makes it likely that the season was about Easter. Thus the date of the Epistle is fixed with tolerable accuracy, about Easter, certainly before Pentecost, in the third year of his residence at Ephesus, a.d. 57." (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary, emphasis added)

"DATE: First Corinthians was written in A.D. 59, at the close of Paul's three year's residence in Ephesus." (Scofield's commentary, emphasis added)

"First Corinthians was written, probably in A.D. 54 or 55, to address these matters." (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord and Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, p.506, emphasis added)

"In 1 Corinthians, which gives probably the earliest description of worship in the Christian church, Paul constantly draws on the Old Testament. This letter, written about AD 55, ..." (The History of Christianity, Dr. Tim Dowley, p.123, emphasis added)
So a number of Bible scholars say that 1 Corinthians was written between 54 and 57 A.D., with the exceptions dating it as late as 59 A.D. Most of the above quotes can be found at BibleStudyTools.com Offsite Link or e-Sword.net Offsite Link.

Based on the Scriptural evidence, no-one knew anything about the Trumpet Judgments before John wrote about them in the book of Revelation. When Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, where he said that the Rapture will take place "at the last trumpet," it was years before Revelation was written. Paul was not referring to the seventh Trumpet Judgment because at that time no-one had ever heard of such a thing!

What it boils down to is that the Scriptural evidence does not support the post-trib view that the Rapture will take place at the seventh Trumpet Judgment.


Matthew 24:29-31

This passage is sometimes interpreted as describing the Rapture, accompanied by a trumpet (Paul's "last trumpet," perhaps?):
"Immediately after the distress of those days 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:29-31)
In context, the above passage takes place at the time of the Second Coming, as we'll see in Part Eight when we examine all of Matthew 24 and 25. So in the above passage Jesus was describing an event which sounds like the Rapture, and takes place at the Second Coming, and is accompanied by a trumpet call.

If we believe the post-trib view of the Rapture, then this would appear to be strong evidence to support our view. But recall that a few moments ago we saw that there are different purposes for trumpet calls, such as for battle or for gathering people to an assembly. When we studied the Trumpet Judgments in Part Three, we saw that they are for doing battle against the devil's kingdom through a series of judgments. In contrast, the trumpet call in the above passage is directly connected with gathering people to an assembly. The trumpet in the above passage has an entirely different purpose from the Trumpet Judgments, and therefore it is not the seventh Trumpet Judgment. Again, the seventh Trumpet Judgment does not fit with either the Second Coming or the Rapture.

But doesn't the above passage describe the Rapture? In that passage we see the Lord coming down from heaven at the Second Coming, and we see the clouds of the sky, and we see a trumpet call, and we see "his elect" being gathered. Notice that similar elements appear in Paul's descriptions of the Rapture:
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep [die], but we will all be changed--in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:50-53)
If we believe the post-trib view, then it would be tempting to stop here and assume that the similarities in Jesus' and Paul's statements are enough to provide strong support for our view.

But what about the differences in Jesus' and Paul's statements?

For example, Paul described a resurrection of the dead at the Rapture, but Jesus said nothing about a resurrection of the dead in the above passage. Paul described Christians being transformed from mortal to immortal at the Rapture, but Jesus said nothing about a change from mortality to immortality. Paul specifically said that we will be "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air, but Jesus didn't specifically say anything about being "caught up" or meeting Him in the air. If you recall, in Part One we saw that the Latin word for "caught up" is where we get the word "Rapture," yet Jesus said nothing which indicates being "caught up" in the above passage.

Was Jesus referring to the Rapture in Matthew 24:29-31 (above)?

In order to answer this question, let's first try to determine whom Jesus was talking about ("his elect"). Here's how the word "elect" is used in the Bible:
"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth." (Isaiah 42:1-3, KJV)

"Because it is contained in scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: And he that believeth on him shall not be put to shame." (1 Peter 2:6, KJV)

"I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism." (1 Timothy 5:21)

"For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me." (Isaiah 45:4, KJV)

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." (Colossians 3:12-13, KJV)
We can see from these passages that Jesus is called "elect" (Isaiah 42:1-3, 1 Peter 2:6), and the holy angels are called "elect" (1 Timothy 5:21), and Israel is called "elect" (Isaiah 45:4), and the Church is called "elect" (Colossians 3:12-13).

Since the word "elect" has different meanings depending on the context, we can't simply assume that "his elect" in Matthew 24:29-31 (above) is a reference to the Church. According to the above passages, the "elect" might be Jesus, or the holy angels, or Israel, or the Church. Notice that in Matthew 24:29-31 (above), Jesus said that He will send His angels to gather "his elect," which means that Jesus is not the "elect" in that passage. And since the holy angels will be gathering the "elect" in some way, this means that the holy angels cannot be the "elect."

So "his elect" in Matthew 24:29-31 (above) is either Israel or the Church.

In order to determine whether Israel or the Church is the "elect" in Matthew 24:29-31 (above), let's consider the context around that passage. Jesus was speaking to Jews (the disciples) who were living under the Old Testament Law, and He mentioned the Jewish temple (Matthew 24:15), and Daniel's 70 Weeks prophecy concerning Israel's sins (Matthew 24:15), and "those who are in Judea" (Matthew 24:16), and the Jewish Sabbath (Matthew 24:20), and then He described the Second Coming and the gathering of the "elect." Notice that the entire context of these statements is Jewish in nature, and Jesus' audience of Old Testament Jews (the disciples) would have interpreted "his elect" as being the nation of Israel. They would not have interpreted "his elect" as being the Church because the Church did not yet exist, and there were not yet any Christians (because Jesus had not yet gone to the cross), and there was not yet any New Testament teaching which described Christians as being "elect," and so on. The only "elect" group of people on earth at that time was the nation of Israel. After the Church was born we still see the apostles assuming that only the Jews were the "elect," because they were shocked when God granted salvation to some Gentiles (Acts 10:44-11:18).

So all of the evidence shows that Israel is "his elect" in Matthew 24:29-31 (above), not the Church.

Throughout this series we have seen that the Rapture will only involve the Church. Since Jesus was talking about Israel and not the Church in Matthew 24:29-31 (above), this means that Jesus was not talking about the Rapture.

Then what did He mean when He said that His angels will "gather [episunago] his elect from the four winds"?

The Rapture will certainly be a "gathering" in which Christians will meet together with Christ in the air, but the Greek word for "gather" which Jesus used (episunago) is never used in the Bible in reference to the Rapture. Instead, the Greek word harpazo (which means "catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force)," according to Strong's Greek Dictionary) is used in reference to the Rapture, indicating that Christians will all be "caught up" off of the earth to meet Christ in the air.

Jesus said nothing about people being "caught up" in Matthew 24:29-31 (above), but instead He said that people will be "gathered" from the four winds. Throughout the New Testament and the Greek version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint), the Greek word for "gather" in Matthew 24:29-31 (above) is only used for earthly gatherings of people. In addition to Matthew 24:31, here are all of the other places where that Greek word is used: 1 Kings 18:20, 2 Chronicles 20:26, Zechariah 14:2, Matthew 23:37, Mark 1:32-34, Luke 12:1, 13:34.

But if "his elect" refers to the nation of Israel (the Jews), and if Jesus was saying that the Jews will physically be gathered together on earth "from the four winds" after the Second Coming, then what is the purpose for this gathering?

Here's some background for Jesus' statement. In the Old Testament, God scattered the Jews to the four winds of heaven because of their disobedience:
"Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations. Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again. Therefore in your midst fathers will eat their children, and children will eat their fathers. I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds. Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your vile images and detestable practices, I myself will withdraw my favor; I will not look on you with pity or spare you. A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword." (Ezekiel 5:8-12)

""Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north," declares the LORD, "for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven," declares the LORD. "Come, O Zion! Escape, you who live in the Daughter of Babylon!"" (Zechariah 2:6-7)
The above passages say that the Jews were scattered to the four winds of heaven. The majority of the Jews are still scattered among the nations of the world today.

However, God promised that someday He will regather them from around the world. Here are some examples:
"As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will rule over you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered--with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. I will bring you into the desert of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 20:33-38)

"Then the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace. They are but the dross of silver. Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Because you have all become dross, I will gather you into Jerusalem. As men gather silver, copper, iron, lead and tin into a furnace to melt it with a fiery blast, so will I gather you in my anger and my wrath and put you inside the city and melt you. I will gather you and I will blow on you with my fiery wrath, and you will be melted inside her. As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her, and you will know that I the LORD have poured out my wrath upon you.'"" (Ezekiel 22:17-22)

"Gather together, gather together, O shameful nation, before the appointed time arrives and that day sweeps on like chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD comes upon you, before the day of the Lord's wrath comes upon you." (Zephaniah 2:1-2)
In the above passages, God said that He will regather the Jews from around the world, but notice that this gathering of Jews will be "before the day of the Lord's wrath comes upon you." In other words, it will be a secular regathering of the Jews (meaning that the majority will not be Christians), and it will take place shortly before the seven-year Tribulation period begins (the day of the Lord's wrath). Remember, the Tribulation is specifically the time when God will pour out His wrath onto the earth, and it is specifically the final seven years of Daniel's 70 Weeks prophecy in which Israel will finish its punishment for sin.

The Tribulation period has not yet started (it will begin when Israel signs a seven-year treaty with the Antichrist), but the regathering which was prophesied in the above passages is now taking place right before our eyes in fulfillment of end-times prophecy (see my article called Signs of the Times in End-Times Bible Prophecy).

This regathering is meant to take place before the Tribulation period begins, but in Matthew 24:29-31 (above) Jesus was describing a regathering which will take place after the Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation period.

So there will be a second worldwide regathering of Jews at the end of the Tribulation after they have fled from the persecutions of the Antichrist.

My article called The Second Coming shows that in the days just before the Second Coming, every Jew on earth (every Jewish survivor of the Tribulation period) will receive salvation. Then Jesus will return to the earth at the Second Coming, and He will send out His angels to bring all of the Jews back to Israel as He said in Matthew 24:29-31 (above). For example, in context the following passages describe a second worldwide regathering of Jews after the Second Coming, accompanied by the sound of a trumpet (as Jesus described in Matthew 24:29-31, above):
"The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a SECOND time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth." (Isaiah 11:1-12)

"In that day the LORD will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one. And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 27:12-13)
My article called Is Modern Israel a Fulfillment of Prophecy? describes the two worldwide regatherings of the Jews in more detail.

Again, some of the above passages describe the Jews being scattered to the four winds of heaven, and in Matthew 24:29-31 (above) Jesus said that the Jews will be gathered from the four winds. In Genesis 19:1-23 we see angels gathering Lot and his family away from Sodom and Gomorrah to Zoar, and in Matthew 24:29-31 (above) Jesus said that the angels will gather the Jews (to Israel) after the Second Coming. There was no Rapture when the angels gathered Lot and his family, and there is no Rapture described in Matthew 24:29-31 (above).

What it boils down to is that the "gathering of the elect" in Matthew 24:29-31 (above) is not a post-trib Rapture, but instead it is the final regathering of the Jewish survivors of the Tribulation back to the land of Israel after the Second Coming.


Conclusion

We saw that if Paul had a military analogy in mind when he mentioned "the last trumpet," then this by itself doesn't give us enough information to determine whether the Rapture will be pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib. All it tells us is that when the Rapture takes place, it will be preceded by a trumpet signal.

We saw that the Rapture is the likely fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets ("at the last trumpet," as Paul said). In addition, the seven-year Tribulation period (ending with the Second Coming) is the likely fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. The Feast of Trumpets takes place before the Day of Atonement on the Jewish calendar, which strongly indicates that the Rapture will take place before the seven-year Tribulation begins. There is only one view of the Rapture which fits this scenario, and that is the pre-trib view.

We saw that there will be trumpets after the Rapture, no matter when the Rapture happens. So when Paul said that the Rapture will take place "at the last trumpet," he did not mean, "at the last trumpet ever."

We saw that the trumpet at the Rapture has a different purpose than the trumpets in the Trumpet Judgments. This means that the "last trumpet" in Paul's description of the Rapture is not the same as the seventh Trumpet Judgment in the book of Revelation. Therefore, this post-trib argument is erroneous.

We saw that based on the Scriptural evidence, no-one knew anything about the Trumpet Judgments before John wrote about them in the book of Revelation. When Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, where he said that the Rapture will take place "at the last trumpet," it was years before Revelation was written. Paul was not referring to the seventh Trumpet Judgment because at that time no-one had ever heard of such a thing! Therefore, this post-trib argument is erroneous.

We saw that the "gathering of the elect" in Matthew 24:29-31 is not a post-trib Rapture, but instead it is the final regathering of the Jewish survivors of the Tribulation back to the land of Israel after the Second Coming. Therefore, the post-trib view of Matthew 24:29-31 is erroneous.

None of this information helps any of the mid-trib views. But the evidence continues to disprove the post-trib view, and it continues to support the pre-trib view.


All for Your glory, Lord Jesus!


Part One    Part Two    Part Three    Part Four    Part Five    Part Six    Part Seven    Part Eight
 
 
 
  Modification History  
 
 

  • 09/22/2009 - Moved the information about blackouts to Part Three. Added quotes from Jewish Christian ministries concerning the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. Added quotes from various Bible commentaries concerning the dates when 1 Corinthians and Revelation were written. Added some passages which show that there will be two worldwide regatherings of the Jews back to Israel. Added a link to my article called "Is Modern Israel a Fulfillment of Prophecy?" Modified the "Conclusion" section.
  • 03/05/2004 - Updated the section called "Matthew 24:29-31" in order to point out another big problem with the post-trib view of the Rapture.
  • 03/01/2004 - New article.