The Last Trumpet

It is written:

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—. 52  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.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

Paul describes the coming of Christ with the phrase “the last trumpet.”

Interestingly enough, the “last trumpet” is tied back to an Old Testament holy day known as Rosh Hashanah, which is also known as the Feast Of Trumpets. During this yearly feast in Israel, the people would sound trumpets throughout the land. The trumpet blasts had many different meanings to the people, and therefore this holiday was given several names.

For example:

“Another name is the Festival of the Awakening Blast. This name is based on the following passage in Numbers: And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you. Numbers 29: 1 The Hebrew for the words “day of blowing of trumpets” is literally Yom Turah, the day of the awakening blast. Turah is an awakening blast from the shofar that would be the signal for an army to wake up and prepare for the day’s battle. Turah is also translated “shout.” The rabbis took this to mean this is the day of the resurrection of the dead. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in… LORD, in trouble have they visited Thee, they poured out a prayer when Thy chastening was upon them. Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in Thy sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. Isaiah 26: 2,16-21 Isaiah mentions the “gates are open” which refers to Rosh Hashanah.” (Ken Johnson, Ancient Messianic Festivals And The Prophecies They Reveal, 70 (Kindle Edition))

The Feast of Trumpets was also known as the Day of Judgment, and as the Feast Of The Last Trump:

“According to the Talmud, Rosh haShanah 16b, the resurrection of the dead will occur on Yom haDin, the Day of Judgment, also called Rosh haShanah. From very ancient times, the resurrection of the dead has been associated with Rosh haShanah. Archaeologists are discovering Jewish tombstones with shofarim etched upon them, indicating their belief in a resurrection of the dead with the blowing of the shofar. And in the poetic conception of our later teachers, it was the sound of the Shofar haGadol that will on the Last Day rend open the graves, and cause the dead to rise. The commentary in the Hertz Siddur says; Thus, the Messianic Hope, Resurrection, and Immortality of the Soul are intertwined with the message of the Shofar.[ 195] By the time of Yeshua, the subject of resurrection had become one of the most controversial topics, as evidenced in the gospels and the book of Acts. The Pharisees vehemently believed in the resurrection, while the Sadducees did not. The general public followed the teaching of the Pharisees in expectation of a resurrection of the righteous at the beginning of the Last Day (Messianic Kingdom). Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Yeshua said to her, I am the Resurrection, and the Life: He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto Him, Yea, L‑rd: I believe that Thou art the Messiah, the Son of G‑d, which should come into the world. Yochanan 11.24-27 Earlier, in chapter 6 of this book, it was stated that Se’adiah Gaon, a 9th-century Jewish scholar, wrote ten reasons for the shofar to be blown on Rosh haShanah. The tenth reason has to do with the resurrection of the dead. The tenth reason is to remind us of the revival of the dead, that we may believe in it, as it is said (Isaiah 18.3): “All ye inhabitants of the world, and ye dwellers in the earth, when an ensign [banner-symbolic of the Messiah] is lifted up on the mountains, see ye; and when the horn is blown, hear ye.”[ 196] According to Theodore Gaster and other Jewish scholars,[ 197] the day of Rosh haShanah involves the sounding of the Last Trump. Today one removed from an understanding of such Jewish concepts as the Last Trump tends to give his and everybody else’s guess as to what these terms might mean. In order to understand the passages in the gospels, epistles, and Revelation, we must place these books back into their original Jewish context, defining each term, phrase, and idiom the way the original writer in his Jewish mode of thinking expressed it. Note the use of the term Last Trump in 1 Corinthians in connection with the resurrection of the dead.” (Joseph Good, Rosh HaShanah and The Messianic Kingdom To Come: An Interpretation Of The Feast Of Trumpets Based Upon Ancient Sources, 119-121 (Kindle Edition); Nederland, Texas; Hatikva Ministries)

The “last trumpet” spoken of by Paul looks both backward and forward in time.

It looks backward to the day when God provided a sacrifice for Isaac. This reminds us of the sacrifice of Jesus, Who died for every sinner on the Cross of Calvary (1 Timothy 2:6), was buried, and arose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). This speaks of the salvation available to all who “will to do His will” (John 7:17) by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), repenting of sin (Luke 13:3), confessing Jesus as the Son of God (Acts 8:37), and being immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). It speaks of the continual cleansing for the child of God so that when he sins, God will pardon as the saint continues walking with the Lord in repentance and prayer (1 John 1:7-2:2).

The last trumpet looks forward to the Day when Christ will return. It is a day that is certain and known to God (Acts 17:30-31), and which could happen at any moment (2 Peter 3:9-13). While it will be a Day of Salvation for God’s people-both living and dead (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), it will also be a Day of Judgment (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

Are you ready for the Last Trumpet?

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