‘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 shall sound, the dead will be raised imperishable and we will be changed.’ (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) What is the last trumpet? Some assume it to be the seventh trumpet mentioned in the book of revelation, but was Paul actually referring to it? The book of revelation was written in 96 AD, over 40 years after Paul had written his first letter to the Corinthians in 54 AD and therefore he obviously couldn’t be referring to the seven trumpets because prior to the revelation John received at Patmos, there weren’t any reference in Scriptures about the seven trumpets of judgement. Further adding to the doubt is the fact that John didn’t write about the resurrection of the dead in the context of trumpets just as Paul wrote in his epistle to the Corinthians, further proving that they both were referring to different events! ‘The seventh angel sounded his trumpet and there were loud voices in heaven which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and he will reign for ever and ever.” ( This is the mystery of God that was accomplished when the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, as sworn before God by an angel in Revelation 10:7) … Then God’s temple in heaven was opened and within the temple was seen the ark of the covenant.’ (Revelation 11:15-19) Further down we read: ‘Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues.’ ( Revelation 15:6) Since the judgements of God weren’t over with the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the dead in Christ were not resurrected yet but instead God’s judgement continued, culminating with the seven bowls of God’s wrath.
So if the last trumpet is not the same as the seventh trumpet, what then was Paul referring to? He was probably referring to the two trumpets in the book of Numbers. 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 community is to assemble before you … If only one is sounded, the leaders – the heads of the clans of Israel are to assemble before you … At the sounding of the second blast, the camps … are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out’ ( Numbers 10:1-6) Referring to these two trumpets, Paul wrote : ‘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.’ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) This is the first trumpet, signalling the setting out ( Rapture ? ) of the saints to heaven; those who were dead in Christ as well as those who are still alive. Then at his second coming, the second trumpet or the last trumpet, will sound and the tribulation saints will be gathered together with the Raptured saints. “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 / from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.]” (Matthew 24:30-31/ Mark 13:27) ‘And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.( The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. Second death has no power over them but they will be priests of God and of his Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.’ (Revelation 20: 4-6) Amen.