“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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:51-54.
One of the greatest mysteries and debates about the Rapture is the reference to “the last trump.” In the passage above, the Apostle Paul reveals that the translation of the church from mortal human flesh to glorified, immortal bodies will occur at “the last trump.” This is one of the greatest prophetic events described in Scripture – the Rapture of the church. But just what is the “last trump”? Is it the 7th trump of Revelation 9? Is it the trumpet of Rosh Hashanah? This article will explain that it is neither of those events and show from Scripture what the last trump actually is.
Why The Last Trump Is Not The 7th Trumpet Of Revelation 10
The kingdoms returns to Jesus Christ once Old Testament prophecy is fulfilled. One of the common interpretations of the last trump is that it is the 7th trumpet that is sounded in Revelation 9:
“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. 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.” – Revelation 11:15-19.
There are several reasons that this event is often viewed as the last trump. For one, the Book of Revelation clearly states that there are seven angels designated to sound seven trumpets – each one unleashing a judgment on Earth from God. Thus it makes sense on its face that the seventh and final trumpet would be “the last trump.”
Additionally, in Revelation 11 we read that after the sounding of the seventh trumpet there is an announcement that “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Thus it appears that this would be the time of the Rapture as all the Earth has been turned over to Christ.
However there are several flaws with this interpretation. For one, the book of 1 Corinthians was written in ca. 53-54 AD when Paul was in Ephesus. The Book of Revelation was written in approximately 96 AD. If Paul was indeed referring to the seventh trumpet of Revelation, it would be over 40 years before any reader would have any idea as to what he was talking about. Additionally, there is no basis in Scripture for Paul knowing about the Revelation John received decades later. Paul was killed in ca 70 AD – well before the writing of Revelation. This would be the only instance in Scripture when one divinely inspired writer references a prophecy of a vision of another writer that had not even taken place yet.
Additionally, the reason that the kingdoms of the world are turned over to The Lord Jesus Christ at the seventh trumpet are not because of the Rapture of the church. Assuming for a moment that the church was raptured at the seventh trumpet – how would that event automatically mean Jesus Christ now reigns over every nation on Earth? There is no logical connection. Letting Scripture interpret Scripture, we can look to Revelation 10 for the answer:
“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.” – Revelation 10:7.
The mystery of God was that salvation would come to the Gentiles and then the Jewish remnant in the end times. This group of believing Jewish people will be supernaturally protected during the Day of The Lord (also known as the Great Tribulation). It is their coming to a saving faith in Jesus Christ as the prophesied Messiah of The Old Testament that will fulfill all of the remaining Old Testament prophecies. This is how Jesus Christ wins rightful dominion world back to Himself from Satan.
The fulfillment of prophecy was a critical part of Jesus’ mission in His first incarnation on Earth:
“And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;” – Matthew 4:13-15
“When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” – Matthew 8:16-17.
“All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” – Matthew 13:34-35.
All the messianic prophecies had to be fulfilled before the death of Jesus Christ. In fact there was even one prophecy remaining on the cross:
“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” – John 19:28-30.
The drinking of vinegar fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 69:21. It was not until this final prophetic fulfillment that The Lord uttered “it is finished” and died. The same fulfillment of prophecy is required at The Lord’s Second Coming. And there are many, many prophecies yet to be fulfilled, that predict Israel returning to God and believing upon The Lord Jesus Christ. We go into detail about the end times reconciliation of Israel in our article: “All Israel Shall Be Saved! The End Times Salvation Of Israel.”
When the believing remnant calls upon Jesus in the end times – realizing that He truly is The Son of God and Messiah – the mystery of God’s plan of salvation will be complete. This is when Christ wins over the kingdoms of the world. Even though at that time the Antichrist and his minions will still be physically controlling earth, from a divine legal standpoint, the deed to the planet will be returned to Christ Jesus.
The final reason the seventh trumpet is not the last trump is that we do not see the raptured Church anywhere in Revelation chapter 11. If that was the Rapture, where is the church? Why is there no mention of it? It does not make logical sense.
The Last Trump is Not The Trump of Rosh Hashanah
This argument is simpler. There is no ‘Rosh Hashanah’ (“head of the year”) in the Bible. This may come as a surprise to many because it is frequently referred to as a “Biblical feast day.” Yom Teruah, the Biblical feast Rosh Hashanah is based on is described in Leviticus 23:
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 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. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.” – Leviticus 23:23-25.
Numbers 29 describes the burnt offering, meat offering and drink offering that was to be made to The Lord on this day. No purpose is given in Scripture for this feast.
It was through rabbinical tradition that this feast day was turned into “New Years” on the Jewish calendar. The New Year in the Bible was the first day of the month of Nisan (the same month of the Passover feast). Thus all the traditions regarding the month of Tishri being the New Year and its many rituals were added traditions and found nowhere in the Bible. [B&E: Even some of our ministry’s articles reflecting this had to be revised. And we apologize for our doctrinal error.]
When Jesus Christ fulfilled the feasts in His first Coming to Earth they happened on the exact day in rapid succession. Jesus was crucified on Passover. He was buried during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and resurrected on the Feast of First fruits. The outpouring of The Holy Spirit occurred on the Feast of Pentecost. Thus it stands to reason that the 3 remaining fall feasts will be fulfilled at His Second Coming directly by The Lord Jesus Christ on their precise days rather than at the beginning of the Great Tribulation 7 years before His return.
The Last Trump Revealed – The Silver Trumpets of Numbers 10
The Last Trump is a reference to the silver trumpets God instructed Moses to craft in Numbers 10:
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. 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.” – Numbers 10:1-3; 9.
Note that the trumpets served two purposes: the gathering of the nation and an alarm. But the alarm was no normal trumpet blast. It was a call for God to supernaturally intervene and fight Israel’s enemies for them. An example of this occurred in 2 Chronicles when the wicked idolater King Jeroboam went to war against faithful Abijah, the faithful King of Judah. Abijah warned Jeroboam that by attacking the southern kingdom of Judah he was risking a battle against God Himself:
“And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the Lord God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.” – 2 Chronicles 13:12.
God did in fact supernaturally intervene in this battle:
“And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the Lord, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hand.” – 2 Chronicles 13:14-16.
This is the “last trump” Paul refers to. Note that the word “last” in Greek is eschatos where we get the word “eschatology” (the study of the end times) from. Thus the last trump is an end times trumpet, rather than the final trumpet in a sequence.
This alarm trumpet is mentioned in direct connection with The Day of The Lord – the Biblical term for the final years before the Second Coming of Christ. As explained in our article: “The Day of The Lord – The Event The Starts The End Of The World” one of God’s main purposes at this future event is the protection and reconciliation of Israel to Himself. The believing remnant of Israel will come to a spiritual awakening that will lead them to sound the alarm:
“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;” – Joel 2:1-3.
A second reference is found in the same chapter of Joel:
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:
But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.” – Joel 2:15-20.
The context of this entire chapter is the end times. And God promises to: 1) gather the Israelites and 2) fight for them – the Biblical purposes of the Day of The Lord. Note all the end times references as the chapter closes:
“And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions…And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.” – Joel 2:27-31.
Zephaniah 1 makes the same connection between the end times Day Of The Lord and the trumpet of alarm of Numbers 10:
“Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.
The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.” – Zephaniah 1:7-8; 14-16.
The Last Trump – God Turns His Face Back To Israel
When Israel sounds the trump of alarm in the end times it will truly be the “last trump” for the church – as we will be raptured to Heaven to be with The Lord. But it will simultaneously be the time God turns His attention back to Israel and initiates its national reconciliation to Him. This all happens at the start of The Day of The Lord which occurs at the 6th seal of Revelation chapter 6. Israel will find itself under attack by the Gog-Magog coalition, sound the alarm trumpet of Numbers 10 and God will supernaturally intervene to defend the nation. And through seven years of end times judgments a remnant of believing Jewish people will be supernaturally protected from the Antichrist waiting for their Messiah to return to Earth.