When the Trumpets Sound!!!
Do you know when the 7 trumpets of the Book of Revelation will sound?
God’s late apostle, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong discussed these trumpets and their purpose on pg. 36 of his booklet, “The Book of Revelation Unveiled at last!”.
“These trumpets are PLAGUES which God shall send in physical punishment of the forces of evil in this world.”
The Bible reveals events pictured by these 7 trumpets occur prior to the return of Jesus Christ.
Mr. Armstrong pinpointed the timing of when these trumpets will sound, on pg. 37
“At the time of the sixth seal, described in the last of the 6th chapter of Revelation, it was announced that “the GREAT DAY OF GOD’S WRATH” was come. These symbolic TRUMPETS portray, then, THE DAY OF THE LORD—the day of GOD’S WRATH! The day God intervenes in world affairs to PUNISH this world for its EVIL.”
Mr. Armstrong placed events of the 7 trumpets as occurring during the Day of the Lord
The Day of the Lord is a short period of time, which immediately follows the great tribulation, once it has ended.
Current teaching within the Church of God
Notice how this teaching continues to be taught within the Church of God today (emphasis M24S).
The Philadelphia Church of God: “What Is the Feast of Trumpets?”
“The blowing of the trumpets represents God’s intervention in world affairs immediately after the people of the world experience the Great Tribulation and heavenly signs.”
The Living Church of God: “From Trumpets to Atonement”
“The seventh and last seal announces the beginning of seven trumpet blasts that are sounded over the course of the Day of the Lord.”
The Restored Church of God: “Revelation Explained At Last!”
“This earthquake represents the BEGINNING of the seven trumpet plagues, which begin the seventh seal’s fulfillment, and the Great Day of God’s Wrath.”
Is this teaching correct?
Do the 7 trumpets sound when Mr. Armstrong thought?
Does the Bible reveal when the trumpets of Revelation will sound?
Christ’s explanation of events
In Matthew 24:29-31, Jesus Christ specifically identifies (for eyes willing to see), when the 7 trumpets of Revelation will sound.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
These verses are Christ’s answer to the 3rd question posed by the disciples concerning events surrounding the end of the age (Matt. 24:3).
He explains to them the sequence of events pertaining to His 2nd Coming. Notice carefully, the timing of each event.
In verse 29, Christ lists the 1st of three events to occur “immediately after the tribulation of those days.” The tribulation is a 3 ½ year period described as “great tribulation” in verse 21.
Once the tribulation is over, the heavenly signs appear, which John also describes in Revelation 6:12-13. Compare John’s description with what is stated in verse 29.
“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.”
These heavenly signs are to occur “immediately after” the great tribulation is over.
Revelation 6:15, reveals the stark terror these signs will have on human beings who survive the great tribulation.
“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,”
The prophet Isaiah records this same reaction in Isaiah 2:12, 19.
“For the day of the LORD of Hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, Upon everything lifted up—And it shall be brought low—” “They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.”
The heavenly signs are a powerful prelude to the Day of the Lord. These signs occur before God begins His final punishment of this world. The heavenly signs will strike fear and terror in the minds and hearts every human being not under God’s protection.
Christ’s return on the clouds
In verse 30, Christ describes the 2nd event in this sequence, His descent on the clouds of heaven.
Christ does not initially descend to the Mt. Olives as described in Zechariah 14:3-4 following the heavenly signs. Prior to the Day of the Lord, Christ descends only on the clouds above Jerusalem (Rev. 11:11-12) to gather God’s elect.
Christ’s descent begins at the sound of the 7th trumpet as described in Revelation 11:15.
“Then the seventh angel sounded; And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
Paul writes about this same event in the first part of I Thessalonians 4:16.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.”
Jesus Christ will descend from heaven at the sound of the 7th trumpet and people around the earth will see His spectacular descent over Jerusalem once the great tribulation has ended.
Resurrection of “the elect”
In verse 31, Christ describes the 3rd event, which also is associated with the 7th trumpet. It is the resurrection of God’s elect.
Paul provides detail about this resurrection in I Corinthians 15:51-52 and confirms when this resurrection will occur.
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep (remain dead), but we shall 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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Notice, this resurrection will happen at the “last trumpet,” which is the 7th trumpet.
Paul leaves no doubt in I Thessalonians 4:16-17 about who will be in this resurrection and when it will occur.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
John identifies this resurrection as the 1st resurrection in Revelation 20:6.
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
Those in the 1st resurrection have been called by God to become part of His ruling family during this current age of mankind. These individuals accepted God’s calling and remained faithful to the end of their physical lives. The number of “the elect” in the 1st resurrection will total 144,000 (Rev. 14:1, 4).
The heavenly signs, Christ’s return on the clouds and the 1st resurrection of the elect all occur in brief span of time between the end of the great tribulation and the start of the Day of the Lord.
Trumpet, not trumpets
Notice that Christ did not say “immediately after the tribulation of those days” His angels would gather the elect at the great sound of trumpets.
He said He would send out His angels with the “great sound of a trumpet.” This trumpet is the 7th trumpet of Revelation 11:15, the “last trumpet” of I Corinthians 15:52 and the “trumpet of God” in I Thessalonians 4:16.
Christ does not speak about multiple trumpets sounding “immediately after” the great tribulation. He speaks of 1 trumpet only and that trumpet is the 7th trumpet, which signals His descent and the resurrection of God’s elect.
Christ specifies only 1 trumpet sounding after the great tribulation, not 7 trumpets.
If only the 7th trumpet sounds after the great tribulation, when do the previous 6 trumpets sound?
These trumpets sound during the final months of the great tribulation. Specifically, the last 6 months of the tribulation, beginning on the Feast of Trumpets. The Bible reveals events represented by the 7 trumpets occur in a chronological order. The sounding of the 7th trumpet “immediately after” great tribulation, means trumpets 1-6 occur before the great tribulation ends.
Christ’s words make it very clear the previous 6 trumpets cannot sound during the Day of Lord as Mr. Armstrong thought. Nor as ministers in the Church of God continue teaching today.
God’s Word is very clear that trumpets 1-6 sound during the great tribulation. While only the 7th trumpet sounds “immediately after” the great tribulation ends.
Ministers within the Church of God today who teach the 7 trumpets of Revelation sound during the Day of the Lord are incorrect in their explanations. Their teaching does not align with the Bible and misleads God’s people into believing things that are not true.
The diagram below illustrates when the trumpets of Revelation will sound.
Will you listen?
Members of the Church of God, the time for sounding these trumpets is drawing near!!!
Will you accept what the Word of God says about when they will sound and respond appropriately? Or will you continue to drift with the “lukewarm” majority of God’s Church?
Christ gave a sobering admonition to the final era of God’s Church in Revelation 3:19.
Read it and understand!!!
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be[come] zealous and repent.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.