Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Revelation 4:1-2 comments: the translation (rapture) of the church

1 ¶  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Verse 1 of Chapter 4 is often linked with the doctrine known today as the rapture which Biblically is called the translation, as the word rapture is not found in the Bible. Translation means to transport something from one place to another. John, a type of the church, is removed to Heaven in his spirit, not bodily, as he was still on Patmos and died on earth a human death. Nevertheless, in our time, when does the translation happen? This will be a question that must be answered. Rapture comes from a form of the Latin verb rapto, to seize violently and carry away, as in the Latin Bibles in;

Matthew 11:12  And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

MAT11.12 a diebus autem Iohannis Baptistae usque nunc regnum caelorum vim patitur et violenti rapiunt illud.

  (2012-02-03). The Latin and English Parallel Bible (Vulgate and KJV) (Kindle Location 74453). Latus ePublishing. Kindle Edition.)

The Greek word harpazo for take it by force is also the word used in 1Thessalonians 4:17 as shall be caught up.  This removal, a translation, happens once and is called the first resurrection.

Revelation 20:5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Note: the second resurrection is when the unsaved dead appear at the Great White Throne at the end of the Millennial Reign of Christ, that thousand years just mentioned.

Revelation 20:11 ¶  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

It is important to note that doctrine exists even if the majority of people do not understand or believe it. If it is true, it simply is, regardless of opinion. As an example, the early church was premillennial, in that they believed in chiliasm (kill e as um), believing that Christ would return to rule physically on earth for a thousand years. Historical writers like Will Durant, in his epic eleven volume The Story of Civilization, noted this.

“The apostles were apparently unanimous in believing that Christ would soon return to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.” (35)

With this belief came the understanding that the church itself, the people, would be removed or translated from the world before Christ’s return, based on several verses in the Bible beginning with the example of Enoch being physically removed without dying. See Genesis 5:24;

24  And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Three times this translation of Enoch is mentioned in one verse;

Hebrews 11:5  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Three times; in Proverbs 25:7; Revelation 4:1; and 11:12 the phrase come up hither, here, is used;

Proverbs 25:7  For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

Revelation 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Revelation 11:12  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

However, these three mentions of translation in one verse or three ‘calls up’ cannot mean three translations of the believers, for as previously stated, there is one resurrection of the believers, but they do reinforce the doctrine that God’s people are going up. There are three events of note regarding this in history. Christ’s resurrection, the resurrection of those who have died in the Lord and who are alive at that translation, and the unsaved dead at the end of the Millennium. Here is Paul’s statement.

1Corinthians 15:20 ¶  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Jesus speaking in Luke 17:34-36 and the passages in Matthew 24 are often used as evidence of a rapture;

Luke 17:34  I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35  Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36  Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Paul said;

 1Thessalonians 4:13-17;

13 ¶  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. 14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15  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. 16  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: 17  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. 18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

In the next letter Paul warns the Thessalonians that something has to happen before this. First there is a great falling away in the church, away from Christ, then the Beast is revealed. Ask yourself why some Christians say we will not see the Beast when we are told merely that we will not experience God’s wrath? [The word Antichrist is not found in the book of Revelation.]

2Thessalonians 2: 1 ¶  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

3 ¶  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [Jeremiah 37:13-a betrayal, a going to the enemy camp]  first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Notice John the Baptist’s apocalyptic warning to the Pharisees and Sadducees and the Jews.

Matthew 3:7 ¶  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

And note Paul’s declaration to the church.

1Thessalonians 1:10  And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Then, Revelation which is filled with statements of God’s wrath.

Revelation 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them…18  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Further evidence is supplied by the following verses. We shall not all sleep with sleep being used as a reference to death as in the narrative of Lazarus’ resurrection by Jesus in John 11. The time of the rapture or translation of the church is specifically said to be at the last trump, the sound of the last trumpet.

1Corinthians 15:51 ¶  Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Back to Revelation 11 and the timing of this at the last trump before the vials.

Revelation 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

There is a period of time in there where the translation or rapture occurs and the marriage supper of the Lamb and then the return of Christ with the glorified believers, both Jew and Gentile, all the church.

Hebrews 12:23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,…

Remember that Paul is talking to Gentile Christians in 1Corinthians and in 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. In fact, there is little reference to anything Jewish in these books, especially in the Thessalonians letters. From what Paul said in 2Thessalonians 2.

5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

These things must have been understood by early Christians as John’s writings completely agree with Paul and Peter as long as one doesn’t try to make connections that aren’t in the text.

Writings of early church leaders, some of disputed authenticity, others of uncertain translation and background texts, that have come down to us expressing belief in the premillennial return of the Lord include writings attributed to Papias, Shepard, Irenaeus, Lactantius, Victorinus, Cyprian, Ephraim the Syrite, Commodianus, Origen, Tertullian, and Justin Martyr. While some of them also include implications and clear statements that the church will not see the wrath to come but will be removed beforehand others are ambiguous and uncertain in meaning. I took some of these quotes from a website called biblefacts.org in the first decade of the 2000s and others from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at www.ccel.org.

  • Shepard of Hermas (apocryphal writing) 150 AD
  • The writer, after escaping a huge terrifying beast with four colors on its head (white, red, black and gold), met a virgin in his vision. "like a bride going froth from a bride-chamber, all in white...I recognized from the former visions that it was the church." the virgin explained that she escaped destruction from the beast (the Great Tribulation) because of God's special deliverance. "Thou hast escaped a great tribulation because thou hast believed and at the sight of such a huge beast hast not doubted. Go therefore and declare to the Elect of the Lord His mighty deeds and say to them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation which is to come. If ye therefore prepare yourselves and with your whole heart turn to the Lord in repentance, then shall ye be able to escape it, if your heart is pure and blameless." After explaining to him that "the golden color stands for you who have escaped from this world," the virgin concluded her messages with, "Now ye know the symbol of the great tribulation to come. But if ye are willing, it shall be nothing."
  • Victorinus 240AD
  • Commentary on the Apocalypse 6.14 - "'And the heaven withdrew as a scroll that is rolled up.' For the heaven to be rolled way, that is, that the Church shall be taken away. "And the mountain and the islands were moved from their places." Mountains and islands removed from their places intimate that in the last persecution all men departed from their places; that is, that the good will be removed, seeking to avoid the persecution."
  • Commentary on the Apocalypse 15.1 - "And I saw another great and wonderful sign, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is completed the indignation of God.' For the wrath of God always strikes the obstinate people with seven plagues, that is, perfectly, as it is said in Leviticus; and these shall be in the last time, when the Church shall have gone out of the midst."
  • Cyprian 250 AD
  • Epistle 55 - The Antichrist is coming, but above him comes Christ also. The enemy goeth about and rageth, but immediately the Lord follows to avenge our suffering and our wounds. The adversary is enraged and threatens, but there is One who can deliver us from his hands." It is significant that he did not write about enduring the persecution of the Antichrist. Rather, Cyprian promised that Christ "is One who can deliver us from his hands." 
  • Cyprian Speaking of the immanency of the Rapture, he wrote, "Who would not crave to be changed and transformed into the likeness of Christ and to arrive more quickly to the dignity of heavenly glory." After telling his readers that the coming resurrection was the hope of the Christian, he points out that the Rapture should motivate us as we see the last days approaching. Cyprian says that "we who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible." Referring to his hope of the approaching Rapture, he encouraged his readers as follows: "Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent?" Cyprian concludes his comments on the translation of the saints with these words: "Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us hence, and sets us free from the snares of the world, and restores us to paradise and the kingdom" (Treatises of Cyprian - 21 to 26?).
  • Ephraim the Syrian 373 AD
  • On The Last Times 2 -  ...because all saints and the elect of the LORD are gathered together before the Tribulation which is about to come and be taken to the LORD...

Now, with regard to their looking for a future fulfillment of prophecy as found in the apocalyptic books of the Bible;

  • Papias 70-155
  • Fragment 6 - After the resurrection of the dead, Jesus will personally reign for 1000 years. He was taught this by the apostle John himself.
  • Justin Martyr 110-165
  • Dialogue 32 - The man of Sin, spoken of by Daniel, will rule two times and a half, before the second advent.
  • Dialogue 110 - The man of apostasy, who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us, the Christians.
  • Irenaeus 178 AD
  • Against Heresies 4.26 - Daniel the prophet says "Shut up the words, and seal the book even to the time of consummation, until many learn, and knowledge be completed. For at that time, when the dispersion shall be accomplished, they shall know all these things." 
  • Against Heresies 5.25 - In 2 Thessalonians the falling away is an apostasy and there will be a literal rebuilt temple. In Matthew, 24 the "abomination spoken by Daniel" is the antichrist setting in the temple as if he were Christ. The abomination will start in the middle of Daniel's 70th week and last for a literal 3 years and six months. The little (11th) horn is the Antichrist.
  • Against Heresies 5.26 - The Roman Empire will first be divided and then be dissolved. Ten kings will arise from what used to be the Roman empire. The Antichrist slays three of the kings and is then the eighth king among them. The kings will destroy Babylon then give the Babylonian kingdom to the beast and put the church to flight. After that they will be destroyed by the coming of the Lord. Daniel's horns are the same as the ten toes. The toes being part of iron and clay mean some will be active and strong while others weak and inactive and the kings will not agree with each other.
  • Against Heresies 5.27 - In Matthew 24, the two men one taken and the other left does not refer to the rapture but second coming. They are taken to never ending fire.
  • Against Heresies 5.30 - The Name of the Antichrist equals 666 if spelled out in Greek. Do not even try to find out the name until the ten kings arise. The Antichrist shall be from the tribe of Dan. That is why the tribe of Dan is not mentioned in the apocalypse. The fourth kingdom seen by Daniel is Rome. Titan is one Greek word that comes out to 666. The rebuilt temple will be in Jerusalem.
  • Against Heresies 5.35 - The resurrection of the Just takes place after the destruction of the Antichrist and all nations under his rule. Many believers will make it through the tribulation and replenish the earth. In the resurrection we will have fellowship and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings. The new heavens and earth are created and then the new Jerusalem descends. These are all literal things, and Christians who allegorize them are immature Christians.
  • Tertullian 190-210 AD
  • Marcion 3.25 - Millennial rain, resurrection, and the New Jerusalem are literal. In the resurrection we shall then be changed in a moment into the substance of angels
  • Marcion 5.16 - The Anti-Christ will be a real man and set in a real temple.
  • Treatise of the Soul 1.50 Enoch and Elias will come back to die. They are the two witnesses of Revelation.
  • Origen 230 AD
  • Against Celsus 2:49 - Quotes Paul about the antichrist, as a literal person who works false miracles. 
  • Against Celsus 6:45 - There is a literal future Antichrist coming. 
  • Against Celsus 6:46 - The prophecies in 1 Thessalonians and Daniel are real prophesies about the end of the world. There will be a literal rebuilt Temple.
  • Commodianus: 240 AD
  • 35 - Resurrection is at the end of the 6000 years.
  • 41 - Antichrist notes 
  • 43 - End of the age
  • 44 - The first resurrection. those who were not martyred under the antichrist will marry and have children during the 1000 years. no rains, snow, cold during the 1000yrs.
  • 80 - Resurrection of the body will be when six thousand years are completed, and after the 1000 years when the world has come to an end.
  • Lactantius 285 AD
  • Divine Institutes 7:14 – 6000yrs till millennium.  (Some do not think Book 7 was really written by Lactantius.)
  • Divine Institutes 7:16-17 – end times… very good…
  • Divine Institutes 7:19 – 1st paragraph anti-Christ 4 battles??
  • Divine Institutes 7:25 – 6000yrs, end of days is after the fall of Rome. The Sibyls agree.
  • Divine Institutes 7:26 – After 100yrs (7000yrs) at battle of Gog the sun stands still for 3 days. Righteous hid in the mountains then come out, all evil is gone. No more nations. 7 years the woods are untouched. Burn arms of the nations.
  • Epitome of  Divine Institutes 71 – the last times: - very good…
  • Epitome of  Divine Institutes 72 – literal 1000yr reign.

·         Hippolytus; Fragment 8:
And what am I to say with respect to men, when the very elements themselves will disown their order? There will be earthquakes in every city, and plagues in every country; and monstrous thunderings and frightful lightnings will burn up both houses and fields. Storms of winds will disturb both sea and land excessively; and there will be unfruitfulness on the earth, and a roaring in the sea, and an intolerable agitation on account of souls and the destruction of men. There will be signs in the sun, and signs in the moon, deflections in the stars, distresses of nations, intemperateness in the atmosphere, discharges of hail upon the face of the earth, winters of excessive severity, different frosts, inexorable scorching winds, unexpected thunderings, unlooked-for conflagrations; and in general, lamentation and mourning in the whole earth, without consolation. For, "because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." By reason of the agitation and confusion of all these, the Lord of the universe cries in the Gospel, saying, "Take heed that ye be not deceived; for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not yet by and by." Let us observe the word of the Savior, how He always admonished us with a view to our security: "Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ." 

  • Victorinus 240 AD
  • Commentary on Revelation 2 - Allow fornication on a "pretext for Mercy," the name written on the white stone is "Christian" granting "unlawful peace" over new forms of Prophecy.
  • Commentary on Revelation 4 - Rainbow above god's head is red and blue symbolize the judgments of water and fire. 24 elders are the 12 Apostles and 12 Patriarchs.
  • Commentary on Revelation 6 - Heaven withdrawing like a scroll is the church taken away.
  • Commentary on Revelation 7 - Angel ascending is Elijah. 7 angels (Shepards) are attack the antichrists kingdom. Babylon is the ruined Roman kingdom. Do not look to the order of Revelation, the vials and trumpets are the same events.
  • Commentary on Revelation 11 - great wings given to the woman are the two prophets and those who help her.
  • Commentary on Revelation 13 - 2nd beast is the false prophet.

These extra-Biblical quotes do not prove, of course, that the doctrine is true but just that it is not a new doctrine, either the premillennial view or the translation of the church, but that these early church leaders, the viewpoint of the Apostles who knew Christ, and the Scriptures can point in this direction.

The dominant viewpoint of the Roman Catholic Church after Augustine was that there was no millennium, in that references to a thousand year reign were allegorical and that the Roman church was ruling the world in Christ’s place as his proxy. The Reformation called that into doubt. The dominant viewpoint in early America up to the turn of the 20th century among evangelical Protestants was called postmillennial, in that the church would rule the world with Christ reigning spiritually through it, as men became more righteous and more Christian in appearance and practice.

The American Theological Review, in 1859, said that postmillennialism, whereby a millennium would be set up and the religion of Christ would be everywhere and, “his spiritual reign would be universal,” and that would be followed by Christ’s physical return, was the, “commonly received doctrine,” in the 1800’s. While admitting that this was not what the early church believed, as the early church said and we believe, He will return first to rule and then the millennium, the thousand year reign, will come, the author goes on to say that the early church was simply wrong.(36)

Christians today who do not believe in the translation of the church, popularly called the rapture, will say that preacher of the early 1800’s, John Nelson Darby, invented the doctrine. He did popularize it in a world that regarded evolutionary progress as truth and that mankind and Christians in particular were headed toward a Golden Age of righteousness and peace.(37)

But, he obviously did not invent the doctrine, merely gave it his own twist. As John Reeve wrote  two centuries before Darby’s, in the 1600’s, “Then shall the Elect, by the Decree or Voice of Jesus Christ, the Archangel, first appear out of the Graves, and, in the twinkling of an Eye, with all the Elect that are then living, as one Man, with a glorious Shout, shall, with distinct immortal Bodies, like unto their God, ascend to meet the Lord in the Air, and with him and his mighty angels, as swift as Thought, enter into that vast new Heaven and new Earth above the Stars….(38)

My intent here is not to approve of any preacher’s particular doctrines or idiosyncrasies or even personal opinions or heresies but simply to show that the doctrine was not invented by Darby, as some would say. Only the timing of when it would happen, before what we call The Great Tribulation but Biblically is just called great tribulation mentioned in Matthew and Revelation, during, or at the end of it were in contention among those that believed in it. Although I have not read his work there is supposedly another pretribulation rapture commentator named Morgan Edwards from the century prior to Darby.

Other references to the idea of the church being physically removed are from such diverse preachers and commentators as Jesuit priest, Francisco Ribera, in 1590, Puritan Cotton Mather in the 1600’s, and John Gill in the 1700’s.(39)  In the first decade of the 1700’s Matthew Henry even uses the phrase, “rapture in the clouds,” in his commentary on 1Thessalonians 4:17 which is so commonly free on the internet I don’t need to give you directions here.

Again, the issue is when that happens and how close it is to the physical return of Christ to take control. Darby’s view was that it must take place before the return of Christ. The Bible states that there is then the thousand year reign of Christ and the general judgment of the unsaved follows.

My point in bringing all of this up is to only say that a doctrine can exist in the Bible and either be misunderstood, not be known by most believers, or that those against it or for it may misrepresent it to justify their own beliefs. The Jews believed that Israel would be restored to its past greatness, not seeing the Cross or the Resurrection of their Messiah. Many Christians believed they would turn the world over to Christian principles and values without Christ present. We must always remember that our understanding is incomplete until we stand before our Saviour.

 (35) Will Durant, “The Apostles: A.D. 30-95,”  The Story of Civilization: Volume 3, Caesar and  Christ (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1944), 575.

(36) Henry Boynton Smith, ”History of Opinions Respecting the Millennium,” The American Theological Review (Boston: Charles Scribner & Son, 1859), 642.

(37) J.N. Darby, “The Rapture of the Saints,” in The Heavenly Hope, or, What is the Hope of the Christian? What is the Hope of the Church? (Dublin: Dublin Tract Repository, 1844).

(38) John Reeve, “An Epistle to a Kinsman,” in Joyful News from Heaven (London: Francis Cosinet, 1658), 60.

(39) Mal Couch, ed., Dictionary of Premillennial Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996).

The voice John heard sounds like a trumpet, which is shortened to trump elsewhere. We can regard the trump as the sound of the trumpet.

1Corinthians 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1Thessalonians 4:16  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:

At this point there is no more mention of the churches, named as such, in the Book of Revelation until chapter 22, reinforcing that the warnings and prophecies are something to which Christians should pay close attention.

Revelation 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

 This voice is going to tell John of things that are coming about after the warning is given to the churches.

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