The Seventh Trumpet Plague, the Third Woe

Revelation 11:15-19

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. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 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.

19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

 
On face value the seventh trumpet seems to be an anticlimax.

 

There are some voices in heaven, the 24 elders worship YHWH, the nations are angry, the wrath is to come. Notice what else is revealed in verse 18 – it is the time of judging the dead so that the prophets and saints may receive their reward.
1 Corinthians 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.
This 7th trumpet, the final trump of the 7 trumpet blasts, announces the First Resurrection!

 
Revelation 11:7-12:

7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 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.
The Two Witnesses complete their three and a half year ministry (which runs concurrently with the Great Tribulation). They are killed by the beast from the bottomless pit. Their bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days. They are resurrected and ascend into heaven.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:

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.

 

These are the first of the firstfruits to be resurrected. After them come all the saints who have died in faith and finally those who are still alive at His coming.
Matthew 24:29-32:

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The seventh trumpet announces the end of the tribulation and the ingathering of the saints who are in First Resurrection. This event is the nearest you can find in the scriptures to the Rapture doctrine. It heralds the sighting of the Son of Man with all His power and glory. Also it announces the imminent pouring out of the wrath of YHWH on those who still defy him on the earth. It makes sense that YHWH would remove all his faithful servants from the earth before pouring out His wrath.

 
From its apparent innocuous description we find that the Seventh Trumpet is pivotal in the end time sequence.

 

The Seventh Trumpet blast announces

  • The end of the great tribulation
  • The return of Messiah coming in the clouds
  • The First Resurrection
  • The start of YHWH’s wrath on the world