Often those who don’t believe in the pretrib view point at the last trumpet in 1 Cor. 15:51,52, and say, “Look God tells us exactly when the rapture is.” Those who believe in the pretrib view look at the last trumpet and say, “that could mean anything, there are a lot of last trumpets”.
The last trumpet issue isn’t just a surface, flippant reference. There is a lot to it. Let’s take a look:
Paul tells us when the rapture (1 Thess. 4:17 catching up) takes place (1 Thess 5:3, as a thief in the night). Peter tells us when it takes place in the timeline (2 Peter 3:10, as a thief in the night). Paul also tells us when the rapture takes place 1 Cor. 15:51,52. “I tell you a mystery… at the last trumpet.” John writes in Rev. 10:7, when the seventh trumpet is sounded, “the mystery of God will be finished, as He as declared to His servants the prophets.” this is the only time that the word mystery is used in light of end time events in the New Testament. But it doesn’t end there…
At the last trumpet, the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our God, and He rules and reigns forevermore Rev. 11. this is the end of the first prophesy that John was told about when he was told he would ‘prophesy again’… Rev. 10:11. The first prophesy ends at the end of chapter 11. You can’t have Jesus ruling and reigning forevermore and then the beast ruling in the next chapters. There are two separate prophesies. Let’s look deeper. Have you had the pleasure of seeing the documentary video called, “The star of Bethlehem”? It’s a very popular around Christmas and is shown in many denominations. It is a well done video concerning the star and shows the signs in the heavens and how the wise men followed the star and knew what to look for. Although it is exclusively about the star of Bethlehem, (you can get it on amazon for around 6-10 bucks). It shows that the sign in the heaven Rev. 12:1 is one in the same as the star of Bethlehem. The woman clothed in the sun with the moon at her feet… The second prophesy that John writes in Rev (Rev. 12-16). is an overlay of the first (Rev. 6-11). It give us the exact beginning, the star of Bethlehem. These signs in the heavens do not repeat themselves unless you actually believe the Earth is millions and millions of years old. So to understand the overlay of the two prophesies the trumpets and bowls are one in the same. Yes one gives amounts concerning an event, and the other just lists the event, but overlay them and you will see the similarities. The 5th seal martyrs are one in the same as those who don’t take the mark of the beast. You can now see the clear separation between the judgments (trumpet and bowl) commonly thought of as the wrath of God and the tribulation (wrath of man). This clear distinction also brings light and clarifies the confusion that the great tribulation and God’s wrath cannot be one in the same.
So in understanding this we understand that the trumpets and the bowls are one in the same and that the last trumpet in not in the middle, but the end, we see the exact same placement of the rapture declared by Paul; at the last trumpet, and at the last bowl, Rev. 16:15 “I come as a thief”. So you see, “at the last trumpet which is the 7th trumpet is the rapture and it’s not the only verse that declares it. We see this declared In Rev. 16:15 at the parallel sister prophesy of the bowls, “I come as a thief…” at the same timing. Even if 1 Cor. 15:51,52 hadn’t declared the timing of the mystery of the last trumpet, the bowls prophesy declares the exact timing anyways.