How can you say the "last trumpet" and the "seventh trumpet" are not the same when they both are the last and final trumpet?
How can you say the "last trumpet" and the "seventh trumpet" are not the same when they both are the last and final trumpet? There is absolutely nothing in Paul's teachings to ever suggest a departure from what Jesus taught in His Olivet Discourse. We either "Believe Him... or not!" See what I have written here:
I will comment on some of the statements that you have made on your web pages.
<< Because a "pre trib rapture" can be found nowhere in the teachings of Jesus, most pre-tribbers believe it was not taught by Jesus, but was given to Paul instead as a "special revelation" just for the church. >>
I do not believe in a pre-trib rapture, nor do I teach it anywhere at my website. I teach against it. But a pre-trib rapture event is not the only other possibility besides a post-trib rapture event.
<< If we were to assume that the "last trumpet" were to occur "before" the tribulation even begins, then this "last" trumpet of Paul's could not be the last one >>
Obviously, pre-tribbers are incorrect in thinking that the "last trumpet" will sound before the 70th Week (or "tribulation") even begins. Likewise, post-tribbers are incorrect in forcing the "last trumpet" to be the "Seventh Trumpet" (Revelation 11:15) at the end of the 70th Week. This is because they do not understand the connotation of the phrase "last trumpet." The "last trumpet" is an eschatological term connected with Rosh haShanah or Feast of Trumpets, the Hebrew civil New Year.
Jesus fulfilled the first four Hebraic feasts/festivals, in the spring of the year, at His first coming: death on Passover, interment during the first few days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, resurrection on the Feast of Firstfruits, and the giving of the Holy Spirit on the 50th day thereafter on Shavuot or Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). As such, He can be expected to fulfill the last three Hebraic feasts/festivals, in the fall of the year, upon His second coming.
On the Feast of Trumpets, a series of trumpets (that is, ram's horn shofars) are sounded (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1) over a period of one or two days. These have nothing to do with the Seven Trumpet Judgments in Revelation, which will be sounded over a period significantly longer than one or two days. (The Fifth Trumpet Judgment alone will transpire for five months—Revelation 9:5,10.) At some point in the future, the Pre-wrath Rapture will take place on the Feast of Trumpets, evidently upon the sounding of the last trumpet blown during that festival.
Jesus' appearance in the clouds, to catch His saints up and away, will take place on Rosh haShanah or the Feast of Trumpets: the first Fall feast. Perhaps these trumpets will be blown in Israel, since that mainly is where the festival is celebrated. The final trumpet sounded on this day will indicate the last chance—thus, the term "last trumpet"—for people to be removed from the earth, prior to God's wrath and vengeance being dispensed upon the earth.
Jesus' second advent (bodily descent) to earth will take place on a Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement, on which day the "great trumpet" will be blown (Leviticus 25:9; Isaiah 27:13). It is this "great trumpet" (not the "last trumpet") that is the "Seventh Trumpet" of Revelation 11:15. Then representatives from the nations will go to Jerusalem to worship Jesus the King, beginning five days after His return, during Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-19).
<< Jesus Himself only taught a single "post tribulational second coming" with His teaching and eschatology in Matthew 24:29-31 >>
Matthew 24:29, with the darkening of the sun and the moon, along with the perception of the falling of the stars, is parallel to what is described in Revelation 6:12,13, soon after the opening of the Sixth Seal. So Matthew 24:30,31, which will follow soon thereafter, cannot take place at the very end of the 70th Week (that is, post-tribulational).
This is because after the observed alterations in the sun, moon, and stars, there is yet the Seventh Seal to be opened (Revelation 8:1) and the seven Trumpet Judgments to take place, with Jesus descending to earth, to rule and reign, in association with the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 11:15-17). There is no recorded description of the sun turning black, the moon turning red, and stars appearing to fall immediately prior to the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet.
When the signs in the sun, moon, and stars take place after the Sixth Seal is opened, everybody will see the face of Jesus sitting on His throne (Revelation 6:16) in the clouds of the sky (Matthew 24:30). Yet, there is no mention of Jesus descending to earth at this point.
No post-trib rapturist ever has given me a logical explanation why, allegedly, raptured believers have to be caught up to be with Jesus in the clouds, only to return immediately with Him to earth. They believe this will happen primarily because they feel that all of this "must" transpire during one 24-hour day.
What will happen, at the sounding of the last trumpet of Rosh haShanah, is that the spirits/souls of the deceased elect believers will be gathered from heaven and brought with Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:14) into earth's atmosphere to be united with their resurrected, imperishable, immortal bodies, while the elect believers who are alive will be gathered, in their glorified bodies, from all over the earth (Matthew 24:31). Altogether, these changed believers will be assembled in the clouds to be with Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). Then all of these glorified saints will return to heaven with Jesus to await the time when they will return with Him at His second advent back to earth.
So believers—those whose bodies have been resurrected from the dead and those who are alive at the time and who will be changed instantaneously (1 Corinthians 15:51,52)—will be caught up, altogether, to be with Him in the clouds on their way to heaven, not to return right back to earth. Soon after the pre-wrath rapture of believers (Matthew 24:31) takes place, this great multitude of believers will be in heaven loudly praising God (Revelation 7:9,10). Then, once the Seventh Seal is opened, this loud praising will become silent as the seven angels are given their trumpets (Revelation 8:1,2). This will commence the seven Trumpet Judgments on the "day of God's wrath," which everyone left behind on earth will be dreading (Revelation 6:16,17).
This "day of vengeance" will not be merely one 24-hour day in length but, evidently, a year in length (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4). The Fifth Trumpet Judgment, alone, will last for five months (Revelation 9:1,5,10). It is this "day" (year) of God's wrath from which believers will be protected (1 Thessalonians 5:4,9,10), via the pre-wrath rapture. Then, upon Jesus' second advent to earth on His white horse, the glorified saints will return with Him as the armies from heaven to earth (Revelation 19:11,14).
In His Olivet Discourse, Jesus was speaking to His disciples, who were representative of all elect believers. The event that His disciples and all believers were and are looking forward to is the transformation of their corruptible, mortal fleshly bodies into imperishable, immortal spirit bodies, along with their unification with Christ (1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:7). That transformation and unification, taking place at the rapture, will be the final event in an ordinary existence for believers throughout the ages, to whom Jesus was speaking on the Mount of Olives.
After this transformation, everyone else will have to face God's wrath, to commence shortly thereafter. Jesus did not relay the details of this wrath to believers in His Olivet Discourse, since they will not experience this wrath. He described events leading up to the pre-wrath rapture (Matthew 24:31), but no further.
<< Jesus said He will sound the trumpet to gather His elect "immediately after the tribulation" [Matthew 24:29]. >>
At the beginning of that verse, the word "great" is understood: "Immediately after the [great] tribulation of those days..." (Matthew 24:29a). The assumption of most post-trib rapturists is that the great tribulation will encompass the entire final 3˝ years of the 70th Week, at the end of which the changes in the sun, moon, and stars will take place (which is not the case, as I previously have explained).
Jesus said that the days of the great tribulation will be shortened for the sake of the elect (Matthew 24:22), who will be raptured out of it (Revelation 7:14). Otherwise, nobody would survive Satan's wrath (Revelation 12:12) or man's inhumanity toward man unless God intervened with the onset of the day of His wrath (forewarned by the events of the Sixth Seal), which will cut short the time of great tribulation. This "day of vengeance" (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4), evidently a year in length, will be God's response to the cry from the slain saints for God to avenge their blood (Revelation 6:10). It will continue until Jesus returns to earth at the end of the 70th Week.
<< There is absolutely nothing in Paul's teachings to ever suggest a departure from what Jesus taught in His Olivet Discourse. We either "Believe Him... or not!" >>
That much is true.
<< This is His one and only Second Coming! >>
The underlying, fundamental foundation on which post-tribbers build their theory is that every description of Jesus' appearance or return must refer to His second advent (bodily descent) back to earth. Since this will take place during a 24-hour day, then they believe that day is the "day of the Lord" and that all of the trumpet and bowl judgments must take place on that one day. They adamantly want that to be true, so they have made it to be "true" in their minds, at the exclusion of all other reasonable explanations.
However, if that single foundational tenet that trumps everything else is made of sand, and I am fully convinced that it is, then many of the things built on top of it are shaky and inevitably must collapse. The underlying notion that the Second Coming must be one event on one day places a blinding veil on the eyes of post-tribbers, causing them to force and cram numerous passages into their very narrow and flawed theory.
Isaiah stated the following:
For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. (Isa. 34:8—KJV)
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. (Isa. 63:4—KJV)
Isaiah was indicating that God's "day" of vengeance would be a year of recompences or retribution for unbelievers. At the same time, it will be a year of redemption, via the rapture, for believers.
<< The pre-wrathers believe (as the post tribbers do) that All Christians will go through the Great Tribulation --- BUT that they will avoid having to face His wrath, by believing that they'll be immediately raptured to heaven. (But that's NOT what the scriptures say - 1 Thes. 4:16-17) >>
Since you said it, let's look at 1 Ths. 4:16,17:
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: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
So we will meet Jesus in the clouds of the air, and then we will be with Him forever. But what happens when we meet Him in the clouds? Since the faulty post-trib foundation forces the rapture and second advent to occur on one 24-hour day, then the assumption is that the Lord and raptured believers will return to earth immediately after they meet in the air. But there is nothing in 1 Ths. 4:16,17 that says this. So falling on that passage over and over again (as post-tribbers often do), to "prove" a post-trib rapture, is unsubstantiated.
Pre-wrathers assume that after raptured believers meet the Lord in the air, they will return to heaven with Him for a period of time, during which the 7th seal will be opened and the 7 trumpet judgments will be blown out. These raptured believers will be the armies following Jesus, the "Faithful and True," out of heaven when He returns to earth (Rev. 19:11,14).
Pre-wrathers point out passages in Revelation to show what happens after the rapture takes place. Rev. 7:9-12 shows multitudes of raptured believers praising and worshiping God before His throne. This passage repeatedly distinguishes between "God" and "the Lamb." Now, there is no doubt that Jesus, the Lamb, is God. But even Jesus Himself referred numerous times to "God," and in doing so He was referring to the "Father." In Rev. 7:9-12, the Father is on His throne, and this only can be in heaven, not on the earth.
In Rev. 8:1, after the opening of the 7th seal, it shows how there will be silence in heaven for about half an hour. The sound that is silenced, briefly, is that of the raptured believers who have been loudly praising and worshiping God in heaven. Following this will be the 7 trumpet judgments, with Jesus returning to earth at the sounding of the 7th trumpet. Post-tribbers typically are silent on the incredibly far-fetched notion that all 7 trumpet judgments will be "crammed" into one single day. This concept is particularly incredible when considering that the 5th trumpet judgment, alone, will transpire over a period of 5 months (Rev. 9:1,5,10).
Here is the return of Jesus, along with His armies (of believers), in Rev. 19:11,14:
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. ... And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Although these armies, coming from heaven with Jesus, may include angels, they certainly are previously raptured saints, as Jude 14 shows:
Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints....
Jesus and His armies of believers will be coming from heaven, which makes complete sense because believers will have been there with Him from soon after the opening of the 6th seal all the way until the blowing of the 7th trumpet.
<< The time of the "Great Tribulation" is brought about by the antichrist persecuting Jews and Christians and not by God's wrath. It has nothing at all to do with "God's wrath" (which comes immediately after the tribulation that begins the "Day of the Lord") but with "Satan's wrath". ... The opening of the sixth seal means that the "Great Tribulation" is over, cut short, by God Himself at His appearing (which also ushers in His wrath for the wicked) as is written many times over. It marks the "Day of the Lord"! ... It will be at the END of that Great Tribulation Period, when our Lord will "suddenly appear" and will be seen as poised to strike them that know not God nor obey the Gospel, that "we" will be caught up (after the "dead" in Christ are raised first) to meet the Lord in the air and forever be with Him. >>
All of that is absolutely true. The problem is that both pre-tribbers and post-tribbers have read something further into the text than what it actually says. They make the assumption that the entire final 3˝ years will be the "great tribulation," but this is an unfounded assumption. Nowhere in the Bible is the term "great tribulation" found other than in Jesus' Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:21,22) and in a revelation given to John by a heavenly elder (Rev. 7:13,14). In His Olivet Discourse, Jesus did not equate it to a full 3˝-year time period.
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
The notion of equating the great tribulation with a 3˝-year period is from the "time, times, and half a time" of Dan. 7:25, 12:7, and Rev. 12:14, which is the amount of time that Satan will be causing great trouble for the people of the earth, especially believers. But this does not preclude the idea that the bulk of believers will be raptured away before the full 3˝ years have transpired, at the pre-wrath rapture. Of the people left, some will become believers after that point, will be persecuted by Satan for the remaining time, and will be raptured at a smaller post-trib rapture on the day Jesus returns to earth at the end of the 3˝ years.
Only the portion of the final 3˝ years up to the opening of the 6th seal will be considered to be the "great tribulation." Now look at something else that Jesus said in Matt. 24:29:
Immediately after the [great] tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
This is a picture of some of the 6th seal events (Rev. 6:12,13). Pre-tribbers and post-tribbers have referred to the final 7 years as the "tribulation" period for so long that they erroneously refer to it with that name on a regular basis. Therefore, they have misled themselves into believing that the 6th seal would be opened at the end. But nowhere in scripture is the final 7 years called the "tribulation" period.
Jesus did indicate that the days of the great tribulation would commence with the onset of the final half of the 7 years. So it had to be the great tribulation (not the so-called "7-year tribulation") to which He was referring when He said "Immediately after the tribulation of those days" in Matt. 24:29a. Furthermore, He was clear that those days of the great tribulation would be cut short for the sake of elect believers (24:22). What He was insinuating was that if Satan's mayhem, persecution, and destruction were left unchecked, no one would survive.
But with the supernatural intervention of God in human affairs by the opening of the 6th seal, and with His wrath being poured out soon thereafter, the plans of Satan to destroy all human life will be interrupted and disrupted. At that point, elect believers will be caught up out of the great tribulation (Rev. 7:14), via the pre-wrath rapture, and persecution and suffering for them will end.
Soon thereafter, God's "day of vengeance" will ensue with the opening of the 7th seal and the blowing out of the trumpet judgments. From then until the end of the 3˝-year period, Satan's wrath will continue; but to a great extent, it will be kept in check by the distractions of God's vengeful wrath being dispensed upon the earth (in response to the cry from slain saints urging Him to avenge their blood—Rev. 6:10).
Therefore, by instructing His angels to blow out the destructive trumpet judgments of His wrath, God actually will be indirectly safeguarding much of mankind from Satan's complete destruction. Some of these will come to a saving knowledge and acceptance of Him and will be transformed at the final harvest of believers on the day of Jesus' second advent to earth (Rev. 14:14-16), at a post-trib rapture; however, that will not be the main rapture event.
<< Pre-wrathers agree that the 5th seal is one that marks the Great Tribulation - and they also believe the 6th seal is when they are raptured --- HOWEVER --- they leave all the trumpets and bowls yet to deal with. Post-tribbers also believe that we are not meant to suffer His "PERSONAL" wrath, and that His Personal Wrath doesn't come until His appearance at Armageddon >>
As a pre-wrather, I have not left "all the trumpets and bowls yet to deal with." I clearly have pointed out the multitude of raptured believers in heaven prior to the opening of the 7th seal, which commences the blowing of the 7 trumpets. To believe that none of the 7 trumpet judgments are God's "PERSONAL" wrath is utterly preposterous, since these judgments will be poured out upon an unrepentant world of non-believers.
For instance, the 5th trumpet judgment will be dispensed only upon those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (Rev. 9:4). Also, those not killed by the 6th trumpet judgment will not repent of their evil works (9:20,21), which means that none of these are believers, since believers will have been raptured prior to the opening of the 7th seal and, thus, will avoid God's wrath.
The idea of "His PERSONAL wrath" is an idea not grounded in scripture. It is something invented in the minds of post-tribbers because they mistakenly assume that God's wrath will be doled out personally by Jesus only after He returns to earth, since this is the only way His wrath can be force-fitted into their one-day time frame. (In fact, after He returns to Jerusalem, Jesus will dispense the bowl judgments upon the kingdom of the antichrist, ending with the battle of Armageddon; but the trumpet judgments will be blown out before He returns to reign, which will be at the sounding of the 7th trumpet—Rev. 11:15,17.)
Post-tribbers have to stick with the hypothesis that all of God's wrath will take place in one 24-hour day, which is a defective, primary foundational tenet of post-tribbers. Therefore, they have no choice but to declare that the 7 trumpet judgments (which obviously will take place over much longer than a one-day period) are not God's "personal" wrath. Yet, the angels blowing out the 7 trumpets initially are seen standing before God, who presumably is the One who will give them the 7 trumpets (Rev. 8:2) and, therefore, whose directive it will be for them to sound these trumpets of His wrath.
Furthermore, look at Rev. 6:17, as stated by terrified non-believers hiding from the imminent wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
This is a statement that the wrath of God is imminent and at hand; yet, this certainly is not when the battle of Armageddon takes place. There are numerous events that must happen between the opening of the 6th seal and the battle of Armageddon, all of which will be part of God's wrath, which the trembling non-believers will understand is looming at that point.
Post-tribbers appear to be in a "fog" about this. It's almost like they think there is some type of "time warp" between Matt. 24:29 (6th seal events) and the next two verses, Matt. 24:30,31, the latter which they erroneously believe to be the second advent of Jesus at the battle of Armageddon.
The restricted view of post-tribbers forces them to believe that Matt. 24:30,31 takes place when Jesus returns to earth—even though, similar to 1 Ths. 4:16,17, it says nothing about Jesus descending to earth at that point, only about Him appearing in the clouds. In decades of research of rapture views and in discussing the topic with post-tribbers, never have any of them explained to me how they can believe that the opening of the 7th seal with its associated events, plus the blowing of the 7 trumpets, plus the pouring out of the 7 bowls, all mysteriously and inexplicably are "wedged in" between Matt. 24:29 and 24:30. It is like trying to stuff a gargantuan whale into a thimble: an impossible fit.
I suspect that a great many post-tribbers secretly realize that such a concept is completely illogical and unfounded, which probably is why I never have read or heard one of them admit that they believe this. Rather, they avoid discussing this issue because, evidently, if they have any sense of realism at all, this has got to create a great big question mark in their minds that they simply cannot explain. Therefore, as far as I can tell, they remain in silence and in denial about it.
<< "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" - - - - If this be at the opening of the 6th seal (which marks the Day of the Lord) where we see our blessed hope appear, then it can only be referring to Rev. 19: 11-21, meaning that the blowing of the trumpets and pouring out of the bowls is OVER, and the battle at Armageddon is about to begin. >>
It sounds like what you are saying is that your presumed 24-hour day of the Lord, on which you believe the battle of Armageddon will occur, will take place as soon as the 6th seal is opened. But, as I have stated previously, this makes the irrational assumption that the 7th seal, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls all take place between Matt. 24:29 and 24:30.
Resolving this as something logical and sensible seems to be a hopeless dilemma for hard-core post-tribbers. At least, I have not yet heard a legitimate, justifiable explanation for it.
<< Revelation 14:14-16 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. >>
This is a traditional passage that post-tribbers use to demonstrate that the rapture will occur upon Jesus' second advent back to earth. Not only do I agree that this is a rapture depiction, I also agree that this is at Jesus' second advent. Shortly thereafter is when He will tread the winepress of God's wrath (Rev. 14:19,20), which will be on the earth. That is, I do agree with the idea of a post-trib rapture, but I disagree that it is the main and only rapture event.
Firstly, at the post-trib rapture, it is the Son of man, Jesus, who will do the reaping Himself after an angel instructs Him to do so (Rev. 14:15,16). But in Matt. 24:31, the opposite is true. The Son of man, Jesus, will send His angels, and they will be the ones to gather the elect at the pre-wrath rapture.
Secondly, the "grapes" in Rev. 14:15 are not typical believers. The word translated as "ripe" actually means "over-ripe" or "dried." These are people who have been on the "vine" (on the earth) until the last possible moment before being caught up and away to be with Jesus. They will have missed the pre-wrath rapture because they were not yet ready. They will be "stragglers" who will come to a saving belief and acceptance of Jesus during the "day"/year of vengeance. Mercifully, Jesus will catch them up and away before He descends to tread the winepress of God's wrath.
<< In and of itself the pre wrath doctrine is every bit as dangerous as is the pre-trib. doctrine, because they both point to a DIFFERENT ("false") Christ ... Jesus especially warns us of deceivers in the last days!!! Can one so deceived still be saved, especially concerning the last days??? If someone who believes in pre-trib or pre-wrath doctrine says they are not deceived, especially concerning their being here for the last days, then I would like them to study Matt. 24:24 and 2 Thes.2:10-12, and explain how they may not be? >>
Oh, OK. Although I disagree with my post-trib brothers on the timing of the rapture, I never would label their view as "dangerous," nor would I accuse them of being "deceivers" or question their salvation. Actually, those are rather serious, if not egregious, allegations.
I hold nothing against those who believe in a post-trib rapture; at least they have enough sense to understand that believers will have to undergo persecution. It also does not matter to me whether or not pre-tribbers and post-tribbers come to believe the way that I do (in a pre-wrath rapture). I think they should believe whatever it is that they wish and choose to believe about the rapture.
On the other hand, I cannot even count the number of pre-tribbers and post-tribbers who mock, degrade, or are even downright hostile and antagonistic toward those who do not believe the way they do, often by insinuating that these other people must be unsaved and, thus, must be going to hell. If that twisted mindset weren't so pitiful and deplorable, it might be comical. But it is far from amusing.
I know whom the real Jesus is. He is everything to me. I also am absolutely secure in my salvation, and nothing anyone else can say or insinuate to the contrary can threaten that or make me question it. Moreover, it is irrelevant to me if anyone else believes that I am saved or not. All that matters is that I know that I am.
In any case, what I think you should do is to hold fast to your theory that a post-trib rapture is the one and only rapture event, and I think that you should continue immersing yourself even deeper into it, since that is what brings you peace of mind and serenity of heart. It makes no difference whatsoever to me that you do not believe as I do, nor should it matter to you that I do not believe as you do. What's more, I can tell you, emphatically, that there is zero possibility that you will be able to convince me of the way that you believe about this topic. Ultimately, Jesus/God will reveal who is in the dark and who is in the light about the timing of the rapture event(s).
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