All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
January 22, 2010
The Last Trump
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2010 by Merle E. Koepke
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The Scriptures speak of the time when "...the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9). As we continue toward the second coming of the LORD, we will receive greater knowledge of the Word of God.
As we enter the latter times here on earth, there will be many who will not receive the revelation that comes forth. Many who have been taught by men will not change what they believe. It goes back to what Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." God wants to bring us out of the teachings of men into the teaching of Holy Spirit.
Jesus made mention of this in John 6:45, saying, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." This was written in the prophets, but it could not come to pass until after Jesus was glorified (John 7:38,39). As we listen to the Holy Spirit from within our spirit, He will teach us all things, and bring to our understanding those things which were hidden in the beginning (1 Cor. 2:7-14).
In 1 Corinthians 15:51,52 it says, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep (koimao), but we shall all be changed...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."
The Greek word "koimao" used here is used many times concerning those who have died in Christ. They are dead physically, but not dead spiritually. This is the same word used in 1 Corinthians 11:30, where it says, "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (koimao)."
This is the same word used for Lazarus in John 11:11, where Jesus said to His disciples, "...Our friend Lazarus sleepeth (koimao); but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep."
Acts 17:26 says, "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." There is an appointed time for each one, individually, to leave this earth. Lazarus' time was not up.
Many Christians have died on this earth, went to heaven, and then came back alive in their natural body and continued to live until their time was fulfilled. They did not come back in their "resurrection body," but in their natural body.
When a person who is "in Christ" dies physically, they are not dead, but referred to as "asleep in Christ." Christians need a better understanding of what this means.
With God, all things are known from the foundation of the world. God is eternal, and knows all things, for all things were finished from the foundation of the world. God makes things known to His people at a time when He so desires. The Scriptures are the wisdom of God revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, when God reveals them to us.
Even though what is written in the Scriptures has been there for thousands of years, it is up to God when He will reveal it to us. Just as it was with the disciples of Jesus at the time of His resurrection from the dead. Jesus' disciples were told of Jesus' death and resurrection a number of times. Jesus spoke of it to them many times. Yet, they did not believe, for their understanding was not opened by the LORD that they could understand what was already written in the Scriptures.
When the appointed time had come, it says in Luke 24:45, "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures." Today, things are being revealed in the Scriptures, that have been there of centuries, but have not been understood. For the things of the Spirit must be spiritually discerned. In 1 Corinthian 2:14 it says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
The Last Trump
of the Trumpet
What is God telling us concerning the last trump of the trumpet? What does it mean when the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51,52, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep (koimao), but we shall all be changed...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 is speaking of the time in the life of a person who is in Christ, when they leave their mortal body and go to be with the LORD. The time will come when a person in Christ will be changed. Concerning this change it says, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality...So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15:53,54).
What does it mean by "...this corruptible must put on incorruption...?" When sin entered into the human race, our souls became corrupted, and our mind and thoughts did not agree with God. Our thinking changed to that of this world, by the thoughts that came from the demonic spiritual realm. Mankind became a slave to Satan and his demons through the knowledge of good and evil. The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil brought sin and death upon mankind.
Man began to operate according to the knowledge of good and evil. The minds of people were corrupted by the thoughts from the demonic realm. The spirits of this world began to control the thoughts of people.
Man no longer thought the way God thinks. Man's ways and man's thoughts were no longer in agreement with God's ways and God's thoughts (Isa. 55:8,9).
In the garden of Eden, the LORD God started a process of restoration of man (bringing man back to a sinless state). The sin that came upon mankind needed to be destroyed, so that God and man could dwell together in perfect harmony. The image of God that man was created in needed to come into its fullness.
This could only come about by the death and resurrection of God's only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Only those who are in Christ can be restored to perfect harmony with God. Only those who are in Christ can live forever with God in eternity.
Yet, God always lives in the now. God is always alive and living, and declares to us His foreknowledge, His power, and His glory. The difference between those who are asleep in Christ and those who are not asleep in Christ is "the resurrection from the dead."
Those of the resurrection of the dead are not dead. Death has no power over them. Death has lost its victory over those who are alive in Christ. In the resurrection, this corruption will have put on incorruption. Those who have attained unto the resurrection from the dead, are alive. For God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Jesus made mention of this to the Sadducees in Matthew 22:31,32, saying, "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying...I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Jesus declared to those Sadducees that, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not dead, they were still living.
Before we continue on the incorruption, let us see what it means in 1 Corinthians 15:53, where is says, "...this mortal must put on immortality." The word mortal pertains to the physical body of man that has death resident in it from the day that Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When sin entered into the human race "two deaths" became resident in mankind. There was first, what is commonly called "spiritual death." Whereby the soul of man took upon itself sin, and was condemned to eternity in hell with Satan and his demons. Spiritual death became resident in mankind, but it does not complete its course until a person is cast into the lake of fire, which is called the Second death. This does not take place until after mankind experiences the first death (that is, the death of the physical body). When a person becomes born again into the body of Christ, eternal death is overcome by eternal life in Christ (John 5:24).
Mortality is the condition of man's physical body, which has death reigning in it, but does not complete its course until a person dies upon this earth. Upon death of the physical body of man, the spirit leaves the body, and the body turns to dust (Ecc. 12:7).
When physical death comes to those who are in Christ, "this mortal puts on immortality," and they leave their natural body and go to be with the LORD in their spiritual body. For it says in 1 Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." When a person who is "in Christ" leaves their physical body "for the last time," they are resurrected from the dead, and go to be with Christ in eternity.
The last trump of the trumpet is when a person takes their last breath, or their heart beats its last beat. That is the day of "their resurrection." That is the day of judgment for them, when they appear before the LORD and their whole life is displayed before them. They will see what was written in the books concerning their life here on earth. They may see things going all the way back until the day they were first born into this world, and continue until the day they took their last breath, or their last heart beat.
In this judgement, each person will be reminded of all the things they have done which are not pleasing to God. All the things that are written in the books that are opened.
For those who are "in Christ" on that last day of their life here on earth, they will be reminded of all that was not "repented of," therefore, it remained written in the book of Life. That which they repented of will not be found in the book of life, for what is repented of, God does not remember any more (1 John 1:9, Heb. 8:12; 10:17).
This is also done, so that no man can say, it is because of his good deeds, or good works that he is saved. No man can be justified by his works of righteousness. Only by what Jesus Christ did for them can anyone be saved. We cannot enter into eternal life in Christ Jesus because of our good works or good deeds. Only by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, can we enter into eternal life in Christ Jesus.
Our resurrection from the dead is dependent upon our being "in Christ" on that last day (when we leave this physical body here on earth the last time). All who are "in Christ" shall be made alive, and death will not have any power over them. On that day, they will enter into eternity with Christ. Their mortal body will be left behind and they will ascend into everlasting life in their spiritual body.
In 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 it says, "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption...It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power...It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
Born again Christians already have a spiritual body in Christ Jesus. This spiritual body enables them to go places in the spirit while still living in this world. This is not uncommon, but not too well known among many Christians.
But the spiritual body we have now is not our "resurrection body." The resurrection body of a Christian is similar to the body of Jesus when He arose again from the dead. The resurrection body can go through walls and doors without opening them.
When Jesus appeared to His disciples the same evening that He arose from the dead, they were in a room with the door shut in fear of the Jews (John 20:19). Jesus came and stood among them and talked with them, and ate fish and honeycomb in front of them (Luke 24:36-43).
In the resurrection body, Christians can appear before others, and talk to them, and show themselves to others, just as many saints did on the same day that Jesus arose from the dead. It tells us in Matthew 27:52,53, "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose...And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." These saints most likely were in their resurrection bodies, when they appeared to many the same day that Jesus arose again from the dead.
Christians do not wait until the last day of this creation to receive their resurrection body. When they pass from this life here on earth, they receive their resurrection body, a body which is immortal, and lives forever in eternity.
The resurrection body is a "celestial body" like unto the angels. It can appear in a physical body of flesh and bones, and it can disappear in the twinkling of the eye. A celestial body does not need air to breathe. Our natural body that we received when we were born of the flesh is a "terrestrial body." Our terrestrial body needs air to breathe, and cannot appear and disappear at anytime. Our terrestrial body cannot ascend into the heavens and return to earth at any time. Whereas, celestial bodies can go anywhere in God's creation at any time. They can ascend into the third heavens and descend down to the earth at anytime God so desires.
Many Christians have been confused by the teachings of men. Many have not understood what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:13,14, where it says, "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." It does not say, that those who are asleep in Jesus are waiting until the second coming of the LORD before they receive their resurrection body. They already have their resurrection body. It says, when the LORD comes on the last day, "God will bring them with Him." They are already with Him in their resurrected body. They received their resurrected body when they took their last breath, when their heart beat for the last time here on earth.
Then in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 it says, "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."
The words "...and the dead in Christ shall rise first..." does not mean, they will arise from the dead at that time. The Greek word "anistemi," translated "rise," means "stand up." Those who are asleep in Christ are already with the LORD, but they will return with the LORD, and those who are still alive on this earth will meet them in the air and be forever with the LORD.
The saints that walked around Jerusalem the same day that Jesus arose again from the dead most likely appeared in their resurrection bodies. They had physical bodies and showed themselves to many.
We do not wait until that last day of this earth, which some call "the white throne judgment day" mentioned in Revelation 20:11-15, to receive our resurrection body. We receive our resurrection body the day that we leave this earth for "the last time." When we take our last breath, or our heart beats its last beat. That is the day we are changed. "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" (1 Cor. 15:52). Therefore, we can say along with 1 Thessalonians 4:18. "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
Time or Eternity
God is eternal. With God, in eternity there is no time. Time is only used concerning this earth, and the things of this earth. Many times when time is mentioned it is only speaking of this earthly time. Beyond this earthly realm, there is no time.
There are many times in the Scriptures that things are mentioned concerning time. When these things are mentioned, we must see it in light of God's point of view, which is eternal. It takes the whole Bible from Genesis through Revelation to understand time in the Scriptures.
Concerning mankind, and life and death, we need to see this from God's point of view, not man's point of view. The Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit when they were written. What the Holy Spirit inspired came from God, not from man.
(Some men have changed what was inspired to bring things into their natural understanding. This is not good, for it then no longer says what God inspired. We need to stay with what God inspired, not what man changed).
In John 1:1, Genesis 1:1 and Proverbs 8:22-30 it is speaking of before this world was created. Genesis 1:2 through 2:25 speaks of the creation of this world we now live in. Everything in Genesis 1:2 through 2:25 happened during the first seven days of creation of this world.
Many places in the Scriptures, it makes mention of this creation, being created by the Son of God, whom we know as Jesus Christ. All things were created by Him and for Him (John 1:2,3 Col. 1:16-18).
Yet, there are many places in the Scriptures that speak of things in view of eternity, not always earthly time. This is important to understand. For God speaks things in the now, without respect to time. For God, all things were finished from the foundation of the world. God speaks to us in the Scriptures from His foreknowledge of things before they happen in the natural.
In Revelation 13:8 it is revealed that "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world." That means, the sins of mankind were already paid for before Adam was created. That included that the resurrection of the dead was already declared as done before the foundation of the world. That also declared that Sons of God were already established before the foundation of this world. From God's point of view, it was already finished.
When we see things, the way God sees things, we can understand the Scriptures much better. When Abel was slain by Cain, his blood cried out to God from the ground (Gen. 4:10,11). At that same time, Abel was already in heaven, for he had passed from this life unto eternal life.
When Enoch was taken, he did not see death, for God took him (Gen. 5:23,24). That is when Enoch received his eternal life and has been with the LORD from that day forth. When Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gave up the ghost, they entered into eternal life in heaven (Gen. 25:8, 35:9, 49:33).
Therefore, Jesus said to the Sadducees, "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying...I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living" (Matt. 22:31,32). Jesus was making it clear that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had already received their resurrection of the dead. These where already in heaven with the Father when Jesus spoke to the Sadducees in Matthew 22:31,32. Moses and Elijah had also already received their resurrection bodies before they appeared to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration (Mark 9:1-8).
When Jesus went to the cross and died for our redemption, He said to one of the thieves on the cross "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). Jesus was speaking of that day, which was the last day on earth for that thief on the cross. There will never be another day for that thief. When that thief died on the cross, he passed from this life unto eternal life with the LORD.
Whenever someone who believes the Word of God and the LORD Jesus Christ, dies upon this earth, they pass into heaven. This includes Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, etc. Every one of them lived and did not experience eternal death. They passed from physical death unto eternal life with God the day they left this earth for the last time. With Enoch and Elijah, they did not leave their bodies here on earth. They were translated and received their resurrected bodies when they left this earth.
Just as Jesus said to the thief "dying" on the cross, "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise," those who are in Christ, when they leave this earth, they will be with Jesus. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," they will be changed. "This corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality," and they will be with the LORD.
In earthly time, Jesus became "Christ," the head of the body of Christ, following His resurrection from the dead. In earthly time, Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. In eternity, it was already finished in God's view before Adam was created. Just as "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world," so was Christ raised from the dead from the foundation of the world.
It goes back to what Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." The Scriptures cannot be broken, what is written is written and it will stand forever. What men believe cannot change what God has already declared as done.
Jesus said in Revelation 1:8, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Without Jesus there would never have been a beginning. He was from the beginning and will continue forever.
Christians need to understand the Scriptures from God's point of view. In heaven there is no time. Time is only counted on earth. And when this earth is gone, time will be no more. For those who leave this earth to be with the LORD, time will be no more. But for those who do not receive the Word of God, and Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior, they will continue to experience death and torment forever in hell.
The teachings of men (trying to figure out spiritual things in their natural minds), have led many to believe many things which are not according to the inspired written Word of God. Therefore, it is important that Christians be "taught by God" (1 John 2:27). What God reveals to us is truth, and it will stand forever.
Sons of God
In Job 1:6 it says, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them." Who are the "Sons of God"? In Romans 8:14 it says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
Some have taught man's idea of who are "the Sons of God?" What they have not seen is God's plan for all of creation. God knew the end from the beginning. God has an eternal plan for man, whom the LORD God created in the beginning. Those who will follow God's plan in this life will reign with Christ for all eternity. It goes back to what Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
When the "Sons of God" came before the LORD in the book of Job, it is very likely that Abel and Enoch were among them. For all things were finished from the foundation of the world. What God planned for all eternity was already being fulfilled from the beginning. The number of "Sons of God" that will reign with Christ are dependent upon how many will deny themselves and be led by the Holy Spirit in this life?
In this life here on earth we are given an opportunity to become "sons of God." Those who are truly "Sons of God," will continue to reign with Christ forever. These are those who are "led by the Spirit of God," and are serving the LORD here on earth.
In Revelation 22:3, it says, "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him." Then in Revelation 22:5 it says, "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." By this we see that those who are led by the Holy Spirit and serve the LORD in this life, will reign with Christ forever and ever. This is a position that has been reserved for those who are "Sons of God," "led by the Spirit of God."
The Scriptures do not say that the "Children of God" will reign with Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it says, "...even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Therefore, all of those who are in Christ when they leave this earth will be in heaven.
There are "babes in Christ," "Children of God," and "Sons of God" within the body of Christ. These all have the very life of God within them. These are all born again in Christ Jesus. But God is looking for those who are "Sons of God," to reign with Christ for all eternity.
Eternity is forever and ever. There is no end to eternity. Those who will deny themselves in this life and be led by the Holy Spirit in this life, they will become "Sons of God," and will reign with Christ forever.
In this life here on earth, God has set before us "life and death," "heaven and hell," the choice is ours. In Deuteronomy 30:19 it says, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." This was not spoken just for the Children of Israel. It was spoken for Christians as well as the Children of Israel.
Heaven and Hell are before us. We must choose which way we will go? Will we deny ourselves and follow Jesus? Will we become "Sons of God" and be led by the Holy Spirit? Will we seek those things that are above over the things of this earth (Col. 3:1,2; 1 John 2:15-17)? If we will, then we will receive our inheritance with the saints in heaven.
Whatsoever you do in this life, it will determine where you will spend eternity. It is very important that we understand the things revealed to us in the Scriptures.
If you are reading this mini-book and have not personally made Jesus Christ your LORD and Savior, do as the Bible says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God..." (John 1:12) "Believe in your heart" and ask Jesus to come into your life and be your LORD and Savior. If you ask Him with a sincere heart, He will receive you, and you will become born again into the body of Christ.
It is our desire to see God manifest in your life by His love working in you and through you. We love the LORD our God, for He is love and He will manifest His love in the lives of those who love Him.
This is the first in a series of Mini-books on "The Last Trump." For more information, and a better understanding of this subject, go to our Web sites on the Internet. All books on our Web sites are free. You can download as many free books as you desire. Go to our Web sites at: