The Shout, The Voice, The Trumpet
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” — I Thessalonians 4:13-18
The next great event on God’s calendar is the rapture of the church. This great event could happen at any time as there are no unfulfilled prophecies concerning the rapture. Though the word rapture is not found in the Bible, it comes from the Greek word harpazo and is derived from the words caught up in I Thessalonians 4:17 meaning “to grasp hastily; to carry off,” or “to snatch up.”
The purpose of the rapture is for the following reasons:
• To resurrect the dead in Christ, separating them from the wicked dead (I Cor. 15:51-55).
• To take the saints to heaven where our works will be judged in order to receive reward and to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb (II Tim. 4:8; Rev. 19:6-9).
• To transform the body of the saints from a state of mortality to one of immortality (I Cor. 15:53-54).
• To make the saints whole in spirit, soul, and body (I Thess. 5:23).
• To cause the saints to escape the great tribulation and the coming wrath and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).
• To remove the hinderer of lawlessness—the church (II Thess 2:7).
• To reveal the Antichrist (II Thess. 2:8).
As it regards the timing of the rapture, there are three schools of thought:
• Pre-tribulation rapture, which states that the church will be raptured before the great tribulation.
• Mid-tribulation rapture, which says the church will go through the first three and a half years of the great tribulation.
• Post-tribulation rapture, meaning the church must go through the entire seven years of the great tribulation.
Notice that there is no disagreement between the three schools of thought regarding the reality of the rapture, only the timing. We believe in a pre-tribulation rapture based on I Thessalonians 5:9.
When this great event happens, I Thessalonians 4:16 tells us that the occasion will be marked by three distinct sounds—the shout, the voice, and the trumpet.
The shout of the Lord will signal the great event to begin and include the resurrection of the saints both living and dead. The shout will declare three things:
• A command, which, in the Greek, actually means a “cry of command,” a loud, authoritative summons as by a general who cries out orders to his men. A command so powerful that the sainted dead will hear it and obey.
• A shout of victory, for the battle is over, and the lame, the blind, and the diseased will be instantly healed.
• A shout of power—power not only to raise the dead but also glorify the bodies of both the dead and the living, and it will do so instantly.
This refers to Michael the Archangel who is Israel’s watchman. He is referred to in Daniel 10:21 as the “prince” of Israel. This tells us that God has placed Michael in charge of Israel regarding protection. This voice will signal the conversion of Israel after the tribulation, as the shout will signal the gathering of the church.
Numbers 10 tells us that the blasting of the trumpet meant either a celebration or a call to war. When this trumpet sounds, it will mean a celebration for the child of God and the sound of war upon Satan as it will mark the beginning of the tribulation and Satan’s defeat at the battle of Armageddon.
As a Christian, my ear eagerly awaits the shout, the voice, and the trumpet, for I am ready to be with the Lord!
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