Chapter 9 The Last Trumpet

The seventh trumpet is where the resurrection of God’s people occurs along with the final rapture. This “resurrection and rapture” event can be found by grouping events between the start of the seventh trumpet and the first bowl of God’s wrath, into one event. This event occurs at the seventh trumpet—which is also called the last trumpet.

Start with the announcement of the last trumpet. Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)

The statement, the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord—is from persons instantaneously raptured from earth into heaven. They are describing their experience by saying something like, “What was in front of us one moment was (the kingdom ofthe world—then what we saw instantaneously changed, became a view of heaven, which is the kingdom of our Lord.

Two harvests occur at the last trumpet. One of the harvests takes all the Gentiles who accept God’s salvation: Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped. (Revelation 14:14-16)

Paul also taught that there would be a resurrection of the dead, just prior to the rapture of believers at the last trumpet. Believers who are alive will be changed—given bodies that will thrive for all eternity. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) 

Paul further wrote about this last trumpet rapture being for those left-behind from the early rapture. In the following verses “and are left” refers to those believers who were left-behind on earth for the first 42 months. 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; NIV) 

Israel Harvested

At this point all Gentile believers are in heaven, having left earth through either rapture or physical death. The time for salvation going to the Gentiles ends at this halfway point in the final seven years. These unbelievers have taken the mark of the beast (Revelation 14:9–10). During the seven thunders, they will have heard of the very nature of God, yet still reject God. They respond, “Not now, not ever!” To be fully convicted by the Holy Spirit of your need to accept the Messiah and to reply “not now, not ever” is to consider yourself to be greater than the Holy Spirit. Jesus said such blasphemy would never be forgiven (Matthew 12:31-32).

In contrast, Israel will respond positively to the seven thunders. Paul foretold that the entire nation of Israel would turn to Christ following the conversion of the last Gentile believer. Concerning the condition of Israel at the time Paul wrote: a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:25b-26a).

Israel is the vineyard of the last trumpet: And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles. (Revelation 14:17-20)

Isaiah identified this vine: For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel (Isaiah 5:7a). Instead of being immediately taken up into heaven this nation, which rejected Christ for two thousand years, is harvested in God’s wrath. The violent nature of the Israeli harvest is because Satan will initiate intense persecution. In response, Israelis will demonstrate an uncompromised allegiance to God.