This cannot be what is meant by the last trump [1Cor. 1Cor. 15:52]; at the time that I Corinthians was written, John had not written Revelation. The Corinthians would not have had any knowledge of the seven trumpets. The only knowledge they would have of trumpets are those spoken of in the Old Testament, especially those of the Feast of Trumpets. The last trump refers to the Feast of Trumpets and the Jewish practice of blowing trumpets at this feast each year. During the ceremony there are a series of short trumpet sounds concluding with one long trumpet blast which is called the tekiah gedolah, the great trumpet blast. This is what Paul means by the last trump.2
This seventh trumpet is the last of this series of seven, but not the last absolutely, and is not to be confused with the last trump of 1Cor. 1Cor. 15:52. Chronologically, the trumpet of Mtt. Mat. 24:31 must follow this seventh trumpet of Revelation, for it occurs after the Tribulation, at the open manifestation of Christs Second Advent (Mtt. Mat. 24:30), which in the book of Revelation is recorded in Rev. Rev. 19:11-16+, which is after the time expressed here. In the book of Revelation the seventh trumpet is never called last (Rev. Rev. 1:11+, Rev. 1:17+; Rev. 2:8+, Rev. 2:19+; Rev. 15:1+. Rev. 21:9+; Rev. 22:13+).3
The seventh trumpet covers an extended period of time, thus distinguishing it from the instantaneous (in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye event of the last trumpet. Instead of calling for the moment of the Rapture of the church, as the last trumpet does, the seventh trumpet calls for prolonged waves of judgment on the ungodly. It does not parallel the trumpet of 1 Corinthians 1Cor. 15:52, but does parallel the trumpet of Joel Joel 2:1-2: Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; surely it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness.4The seventh trumpet is typified by the seven trumpets of the conquest of Jericho by Joshua. See commentary on Revelation 8:2.
The use of the singular term kingdom of the world instead of the plural kingdoms introduces an important truth. All of the worlds diverse national, political, social, cultural, linguistic, and religious groups are in reality one kingdom under one king. That king is known in Scripture by many names and titles, including the accuser (Rev. Rev. 12:10+), the adversary (1 Pet. 1Pe. 5:8), Beelzebul (Mtt. Mat. 12:24), Belial (2Cor. 2Cor. 6:15), the dragon (Rev. Rev. 12:3+, Rev. 12:7+, Rev. 12:9+), the evil one (John John 17:15), the god of this world (2Cor. 2Cor. 4:4), the prince of the power of the air (Eph. Eph. 2:2), the roaring lion (1Pe. 1Pe. 5:8), the ruler of the demons (Mark Mark 3:22), the ruler of this world (John John 12:31), the serpent of old (Rev. Rev. 12:9+; Rev. 20:2+), the tempter (1Th. 1Th. 3:5), and, most commonly, the devil (Mtt. Mat. 4:1) and Satan (1Ti. 1Ti. 5:15).6The sounding of the seventh trumpet Mat. 6:10].7 The seventh trumpet is typified by Zadoks blowing of the horn when Solomon was anointed as King (1K. 1K. 1:39). The coming of the kingdom of God is connected with the overthrow of Satan (Rev. Rev. 12:10+) and involves the reclamation of the earth as the Lords, but now, Satan is god of this age (Mtt. Mat. 4:8-9; 2Cor. 2Cor. 4:4). See commentary on Revelation 20:2.
The sounding of the seventh trumpet signals Gods answer to the prayer, Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Mtt. Mat. 6:10). That answer sweeps through chapters Mat. 12:1-Mat. 22:1 as God finishes His mighty work of reclaiming creation from the usurper, Satan.8See commentary on Revelation 5:1.
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the Lords, and He rules over the nations. (Ps. Ps. 22:27-28).
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, and His enemies will lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles will bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts. Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him. (Ps. Ps. 72:8-11)
Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isa. Isa. 9:7)
And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. (Dan. Dan. 2:44)
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed. (Dan. Dan. 7:14)
And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be-The LORD is one, and His name one. All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamins Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananeel to the kings winepresses. The people shall dwell in it; and no longer shall there be utter destruction, but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. (Zec. Zec. 14:9-11)
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. (Luke Luke 1:32-33)Not one of the above passages finds literal fulfillment in the present day Church as the adherents of Replacement Theology, Dominion Theology, and Covenant Theology claim because the sounding of the seventh trumpet remains future to our time. These passages do not speak of an invisible spiritual kingdom, but a visible earthly kingdomthe Millennial Kingdom of Revelation Rev. 20:4-6+. See The Arrival of Gods Kingdom.9
All attempts to equate this glorious reign of Christ over the whole earth with any past event or with the church is utterly foreign and contradictory to the clear eschatological teaching of Scripture, including especially this passage. There is no way this text can be fulfilled except by the universal reign of Jesus Christ over the whole earthas the prophets had for so long predicted.10His Christ
I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to Me, You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potters vessel. (Ps. Ps. 2:7-9)See commentary on Revelation 2:27.
4 John MacArthur, Revelation 1-11 : The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1999), Rev. 11:15.
6 MacArthur, Revelation 1-11 : The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Rev. 11:15.
8 MacArthur, Revelation 1-11 : The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Rev. 11:15.
9 Concerning the future aspect of the kingdom: Ps. Ps. 110:1; Dan. Dan. 7:11-14, Dan. 7:21-22, Dan. 7:25-27 (cf. Rev. Rev. 19:20+); Mtt. Mat. 6:2; Mat. 7:21-22; Mat. 19:28; Mat. 25:31; Mat. 26:29; Mark Mark 14:25; Luke Luke 11:2; Luke 19:11, Luke 19:15; Luke 21:31; Luke 22:16-18, Luke 22:29; Luke 22:30; Luke 23:51; Acts Acts 1:6-7; 1Cor. 1Cor. 15:24; Heb. Heb. 2:8; 2Ti. 2Ti. 4:1; Rev. Rev. 3:21+; Rev. 12:10+; Rev. 11:15+, Rev. 11:17+; Rev. 19:20+ (cf. Dan. Dan. 7:11-14).
10 MacArthur, Revelation 1-11 : The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Rev. 11:15.
11 Frederick William Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 886.