Isn’t a mid-Tribulation Rapture inferred in Revelation?
Some people think so. They point first to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 which says the Rapture will occur at the blowing of the “last trumpet.” They then point to Revelation 11:15 where the seventh and last trumpet of the Trumpet Judgments is blown. Since this seventh trumpet appears to be blown in the middle of the Tribulation, after the Antichrist kills the two witnesses, the argument is that this must mark the time of the Rapture.
There are several problems with this argument. In the first place, there is nothing in the Bible that identifies the seventh trumpet of the trumpet judgments in Revelation as the “last trumpet” of 1 Corinthians 15. The assumption that the two are the same is just that — an assumption. It is a shaky assumption because the trumpets of Revelation are announcing judgments that are aimed at unbelievers. They don’t have any relationship to believers.
Now, there is a trumpet that the “last trumpet” of 1 Corinthians 15:52 can be identified with. It is the “trumpet of God” which 1 Thessalonians 4:16 says will be blown when the Rapture occurs. With that in mind, consider the fact that the last trumpet of the trumpet judgments in Revelation 11:15 is not identified as the trumpet of God but as the trumpet of an angel.
The second problem with the mid-Tribulation Rapture concept is that the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11 really doesn’t relate to the middle of the Tribulation at all. Its blowing triggers a flash-forward to the end of the Tribulation to the proclamation that “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
Another thing to consider is that 1 Corinthians 15 was written about 45 years before the book of Revelation. Thus, it seems logical that the reference to a “last trumpet” must refer to something in the Old Testament that the Corinthian church would have been familiar with. That would most likely have been the trumpet referred to by both Joel and Zephaniah — the trumpet that will be blown before the Day of the Lord’s judgment (the Tribulation — see Joel 2:1 and Zephaniah 1:16).