Why do you say that the seven trumpets are included in God's wrath when His wrath only will be expressed by the bowl judgments, following the seventh trumpet, as shown in Revelation 11:15,18 and 15:1,2?

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After the seventh trumpet sounds, it says that God's wrath "has come" in Revelation 11:15,18. The seventh trumpet is the trumpet blown in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and the last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15:52.

The last trumpet is not mentioned in the book of Revelation because it is assumed to be the same as the seventh trumpet. The seventh trumpet is when the rapture will happen, which will be on the Feast of Trumpets. Those taken away in the rapture at that time will be protected from the bowl judgments to come.

The seven last plagues or bowl judgments are shown to be God's wrath and the raptured saints are seen on a sea of glass in Revelation 15:1,2, to be protected from His wrath. So I do not understand why you include the seven trumpets as part of God's wrath and say that the rapture happens before the trumpets begin.

Also, when the seventh trumpet sounds, Jesus will not come immediately. There is a period of unknown time before Jesus' physical descent to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Jesus said that no man knoweth the day and hour of His return.

Ted’s Response:

The very first mention of the word "wrath" in the book of Revelation is seen in Revelation 6:16,17, not in 11:18 nor in 15:1. Immediately after the opening of the Sixth Seal, there will be a great earthquake (Revelation 6:12). This quake will shake the entire earth, since every mountain and island will be moved (6:14). People all over the earth will acknowledge that the great day of God's wrath has come (6:16,17).

In Revelation 15:1, though, it states that the seven last plagues (or Bowl Judgments) are "last" because, with them, God's wrath will be completed. This is because God's wrath already will have been taking place (with the Seventh Seal and the seven Trumpet Judgments), and the seven Bowl Judgments will complete or finish His wrath.

Going back a few verses before the Sixth Seal is opened, after the opening of the Fifth Seal it is seen that the souls of the slain saints will cry out to God to avenge their blood (Revelation 6:9,10). This is why God's "day of wrath" or "day of vengeance" will take place, because God will avenge the blood of His slain saints. God's wrath will be imminent after the Sixth Seal is opened; and, evidently, the "day of vengeance" will last about a year (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4).

Soon after the opening of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12,13; Matthew 24:29), terrified people everywhere will see the face of Jesus on His throne (Revelation 6:16), which is when He will appear in the clouds of the sky (Matthew 24:30). This manifestation will be the next time that Jesus is revealed to the world, and then His "day of wrath" or "day of vengeance" will commence.

During this "day" on which Jesus will be revealed, fire will rain down from heaven, just as it did on Sodom (Luke 17:29,30), which was a distinct outpouring of God's fierce anger and wrath (Deuteronomy 29:23). Likewise, near the beginning of the day (year) of God's vengeance, fire from heaven will be hurled down upon the earth, after the opening of the Seventh Seal (Revelation 8:5) and after the sounding of the First Trumpet, which will burn up a third of the earth (8:7).

The fire from heaven that will be flung down upon the earth will not be ordinary or natural; rather, it will be extraordinary and supernatural. This fire will be part of the first wave of God's wrath upon the earth, along with the widespread destruction and death caused by the ensuing Trumpet Judgments blown out by angels (Revelation 8:2 to 9:21). The second wave of His wrath will be the Bowl Judgments, with which God's wrath will be completed (15:1).

Before the Bowl Judgments are poured out, those standing there will be holding harps and singing the song of Moses (Revelation 15:2,3). A different group of people, a great multitude, was described previous to this. They were seen to be holding palm branches and praising God in a loud voice (Revelation 7:9,10).

The latter great multitude of people (Revelation 7:9,10) will be protected from the first wave of God's wrath, the Trumpet Judgments. They will be caught up to heaven in the Pre-wrath Rapture, after the opening of the Sixth Seal, when the world sees Jesus on His throne in the sky (6:16).

Notice that when the Sixth Seal is opened, there will be marked changes in the sun, moon, and stars (Revelation 6:12,13). The same event is described in Matthew 24:29, as these two passages are parallel. The next thing that will happen is the appearance of Jesus, the Son of Man, in the clouds of the sky, and those in the nations will see Him (Matthew 24:30; Revelation 6:16). Then a loud trumpet will sound (Matthew 24:31), and a great multitude of believers will be gathered, appearing next in heaven (Revelation 7:9,10).

Now, simply because John does not mention a trumpet in association with the Sixth Seal does not mean that one will not sound at that time—the same one heard in Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 15:52, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16. It also will be the same one prophesied in Joel 2:1, when everyone will be trembling in terror in anticipation of the day of the Lord's wrath (Revelation 6:15-17) that will be imminent.

The term "last trumpet" (or shofar), in Hebraic tradition, is an eschatological term connected with the Feast of Trumpets. Trumpets are blown on the days leading up to the Feast of Trumpets, during the season of Teshuvah. In ancient Israel, multiple trumpet blasts were heard on this new moon festival, commemorating a sacred assembly of the people (Leviticus 23:24); and if they were in danger, they would be rescued from their enemies (Numbers 10:7-10).

The blowing of the final trumpet on a future Feast of Trumpets will indicate the last chance—thus, the term "last trumpet"—for people to be rescued by being removed from the world, prior to God's wrath and vengeance being dispensed upon the earth. Shortly thereafter, a great assemblage of people will be gathered and caught up into the clouds at the Pre-wrath Rapture. This great multitude of believers will be seen, soon thereafter, praising God along with the angels in heaven (Revelation 7:9-12).

Another name for the Feast of Trumpets is Yom Teruah, which means "day of the awakening blast." A great number of people who will be caught up and away on this day will be those who have died in Christ. They will be "awakened" (that is, resurrected from death) by the sound of the last trumpet, will be raised imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:52), and will be joined by those believers who are alive to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).

The assembly of people in Revelation 15:2 will be protected from God's second wave of wrath: the Bowl Judgments. They will have come to a saving faith in Christ during the dreadful day (year) of vengeance. These people will be caught up from the earth in a Post-tribulation Rapture on the day Jesus returns to earth (Revelation 14:14-16). Then Jesus will continue down to earth to tread the great "winepress of God's wrath" (14:19,20, 19:15). In that "winepress" will be the enemies of Israel that will be attacking Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2,3).

There will be two main rapture events of believers:

  1. a great multitude at the Pre-wrath Rapture, when the last trumpet is blown on the Feast of Trumpets (soon after the opening of the Sixth Seal, when Jesus returns to earth's atmosphere but no further), and
  2. a smaller number at the Post-tribulation Rapture (at the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet, when Jesus returns all the way to earth to rule and reign).
Further differentiations between the "last trumpet" and the "seventh trumpet" can be found here: Many incorrectly believe that the Rapture events depicted in Matthew 24:31 and in Revelation 14:16 are the same event, but this is not the case. Notice that in Matthew 24:31, Jesus will send his angels to gather elect believers. However, in Revelation 14:16, it is Jesus Himself who will harvest the believers. See more about this here: Also, I have noted that the changes in the sun, moon, and stars taking place after the opening of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12,13) are equivalent to what Jesus described in Matthew 24:29. The very next thing that happens will be the appearance of Jesus in the clouds of the sky, at which time the Pre-wrath Rapture will occur (24:30,31).

On the other hand, the harvesting of the "over-ripe grapes" (Revelation 14:15,16) is the final catching up of believers, who will barely be rescued at the tail end of the harvest of believers. Had they not repented during the day (year) of vengeance (Trumpet Judgments)—the first segment of God's wrath on the earth—they would have been lost and, instead, trampled in the winepress of God's wrath by Jesus after He descends to earth (14:19,20). Fortunately, they will be saved and protected from the seven last plagues (15:1,6), or Bowl Judgments, which are the second segment of God's wrath, with which His wrath will be completed.

It has been pointed out by some that it is confusing whether the "wrath" of God mentioned in Revelation 6:16,17 and in 11:18 has come (is imminent) or came (already happened). Various Bible versions are inconsistent on the verb tense in these two verses. For instance, in the English Standard Version (ESV), it indicates that the wrath "has come" in 6:17 and "came" in 11:18.

However, the Greek word is the same in both cases. A literal Greek to English translation appears to equate with Came. Evidently then, the interpretation is up to whoever wrote the Bible version that is being read. In my opinion, in Revelation 6:17, the Greek term indicates that a taste of God's wrath is taking place at the time, while the worst and most devastating wrath is yet to come, via the Trumpet Judgments and the Bowl Judgments. In Revelation 11:18, the same Greek term indicates that the first phase of God's wrath, the Trumpet Judgments, already has come; while the second phase of His wrath, the Bowl Judgments, is imminent.

Those who believe that a Post-tribulation Rapture will be the only Rapture event are faced with an inconsistency to explain. Matthew 24:29 depicts Sixth Seal disturbances in the sun, moon, and stars. If Matthew 24:30,31 is a description of the Post-tribulation Rapture when Jesus returns at the Seventh Trumpet (which it is not), it needs to be explained how all of the events of the Seventh Seal and the Trumpet Judgments can possibly be wedged in between Matthew 24:29 and 24:30, especially since Jesus said nothing about them. More about this can be read here:

Jesus will descend to earth at the end of the day (year) of vengeance, when the Seventh Trumpet is blown, to rule and reign (Revelation 11:15-17). It is not when the Seventh Bowl is poured out (16:17-21) that Jesus will return to earth. Jesus will be sitting as King in Jerusalem while the Bowl Judgments are being poured out and before the battle of Armageddon takes place. See the 30 days and Bowl Judgments sections in my Final Battles commentary for more information about this.

Incidentally, Jesus will not make His descent directly onto the Mount of Olives as He returns to earth. Initially, Jesus will return to Edom, which is in Jordan, and His garments will be stained red (Isaiah 63:1; Revelation 19:13). They will be red because He will be treading the winepress of God's wrath, and the blood of those He will slay will stain his robe (Isaiah 63:2,3,6; Revelation 19:15). Then, all the way to Jerusalem, He will annihilate the enemies attacking Israel (Zechariah 14:3); once He gets there, He will stand on the Mount of Olives (14:4). At that time, He will sit on His throne in Jerusalem/Zion as King over the whole earth (Psalm 2:6; Jeremiah 3:17; Zechariah 14:9).

Many believe that Jesus will return to earth after the Bowl Judgments have been poured out, but this is not the case. We know that He will return to reign on the earth in association with the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 11:15-17). At that time, He will destroy the hordes of Gog and Magog in a great bloodbath. This will not be the Battle of Armageddon, which will come 30 days later.

When He returns, Jesus immediately will direct the outpouring of the Bowl Judgments upon the kingdom of the Antichrist, who will know that Jesus is sitting as King in Jerusalem. Jesus will be ruling over the Antichrist and the kings allied with him with an "iron scepter" (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 19:15). The Antichrist and those with him will gather and conspire to come against Jesus the Lamb (Revelation 16:16) and will make war against Him, but Jesus will overcome them (17:14) at the battle of Armageddon. All of this is exactly what Psalm 2:1-12 describes.

Unlike what some believe, the timing of the day on which Jesus returns to earth will be known. Jesus' return will be after the 1,260 days that the two witnesses will be prophesying and bringing judgments upon the earth (Revelation 11:3,6), plus after the 3½ additional days that the two witnesses will be dead and then resurrected (11:9,11). Then the Seventh Trumpet will sound, and Jesus will return to earth (11:15-17). This will be on a Yom Kippur, as described here:

When Jesus said that "no one knows the day or the hour" (Matthew 24:36), He was speaking of the day of His appearance in the clouds to catch away multitudes of the elect believers (24:30,31), at which time the Day of the Lord will be imminent. Paul implied that this "day" would come like a thief—that is, unexpectedly—for those headed for destruction, but not for "brothers" or believers (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4) for whom God's wrath is not appointed (5:9). See more about this here: To the church in Sardis, the warning was that for those believers who do not "wake up," Jesus would come like a thief (Revelation 3:3). The inference is that for believers who are awake and alert, the day of Jesus' next appearance (in the clouds, but no further) will not catch them off guard. This day of His visible manifestation in earth's atmosphere will be on a Feast of Trumpets.

The Feast of Trumpets, which is Rosh HaShanah and the Jewish new year, also is a new moon. In ancient times, before methods were available to calculate the exact time of each new moon, no one knew precisely "the day or hour" when the new moon would appear. So two or more priests would look into the sky, night after night, until they detected the first visible slice of the moon. Then they would announce that the Feast of Trumpets had begun.

However, the Feast of Trumpets traditionally is celebrated on two consecutive days. Therefore, even though the Pre-wrath Rapture will happen on the Feast of Trumpets, we will not know in which year, nor on which day or hour of the Feast of Trumpets of that year, that Jesus' appearance in the clouds will be seen by all.

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