Where in the OT is Paul getting his “last trump” and “twinkling of an eye”?
Paul knew the trumpet of Isa 27:12-13 (also Ps 47:5; Joel 2:1; Zeph 1:16-18) sounds at the same time the nation is being born “at once” / in “one day” in Isa 66:8 (with Ps 102:13; Eze 39:22; Zech 3:9; 12:10; 14:7). That is the same moment the AC is being destroyed in “one day” (Is 9:14; 10:17; 47:9) by the breath of the Messiah’s mouth / voice (Isa 11:4; 30:27-33; 31:8-9; 42:11-14; 66:6-8; Joel 3:16; Zeph 1:7, 14-18; Zech 9:14).
As Paul’s manifest use of the Septuagint’s translation of Isa 11:4 in 2Thes 2:8 makes clear, the AC is destroyed at the instant of the Lord’s return to judge the wicked, raise the dead, and assert His rod iron rule over the nations the “last trump” (1Cor 15:52; Rev 10:7; 11:15). It all lines up with the moment (“twinkling of an eye”) of His return like the lightning flashing across the sky (Mt 24:27, 29-31; Rev 1:7).
Obviously, the NT writers believe their OT, literally! They put the pieces together by the help and leading of the Holy Spirit. They are not advancing ‘new truth’ but unraveling the mystery of what stood written in the OT prophetic scriptures (Acts 26:22-23; Ro 11:25-29; 16:25-26; 1Pet 1:11). That’s the glory and compelling proof of the gospel, that it was all foretold!
But the timing of the resurrection and the last trumpet was NOT the mystery! Observe that Paul very plainly identifies that the post-tribulational resurrection of Isa 25:8 & Hos 13:14 is “brought to pass” (“THEN shall be brought to pass”) at the last trumpet (1Cor 15:51-55). So what is the “mystery” that Paul is showing us? I would suggest that it is the phenomenon of the “change” (compare Job 14:14 NKJV) into a new dimension of existence, with new powers and capacities for rule that Jesus says will be “like the angels” (Mt 22:30; Lk 20:36).
It is a dimension that will permit the everyday believer of this age to “know as they are known” (1Cor 13:12) with the capacity to “judge angels” (1Cor 6:3). Recognition of this “dimensional divide” helps to explain how the now glorified saints can, “like the angels”, exert a spiritual rule over that number from the nations who were not raptured, but survived to enter the millennium in their natural bodies.
Paul is giving us a resolution to a paradox (antinomy) that has perplexed many.
If our view of scripture commits us to take the scriptures of the OT in their plainly intended meaning. And if we believe that these can and should be harmonized with NT revelation, then Paul’s mystery of the translation becomes most helpful in making some crucial distinctions. For example, how do we reconcile the many OT scriptures that show Jewish and gentile survivors of the final tribulation entering the post-DOL millennial age in natural bodies, building, evangelizing, having children, etc.
How do we understand the nature of this cohabitation of the glorified redeemed and the un-resurrected, Spirit filled survivors of Israel on the millennial earth? Will the resurrected be visible to one another but not to the unresurrected. It would appear so from a number of scriptures (e.g., Isa 26:10; 60:12; Zech 14:16-19; Rev 20:7-9).
If the plain language and context of many OT scriptures be given due respect and weight, and if a reconciling harmony can be expected to exist without ignoring or neglecting the plain meaning of any text of the inerrant scripture of truth, then Paul’s revelation of this “mystery” leads to what we might call a “necessary inference” that serves to very satisfactorily explain this perplexity.
Not only will the DOL bring the separation between the righteous and the mark taking wicked, the last trump will also bring a ‘dimensional divide’ between those who were already “in Christ” at that time (1Cor 15:23, 52) and the penitent remnant of Israel who are just then receiving the transforming “revelation” (not mere physical sight) of Jesus at the moment of His return in the clouds of heaven (notably analogous to Paul’s sudden arrest on the Damascus road; compare Ps 102:13; 110:3; Isa 66:8; Eze 39:22; Mic 5:3-4; Zech 3:9; 12:10; Mt 23:39; Acts 3:21; Ro 11:26; Rev 1:7).
At this revelatory self disclosure of their long rejected “Joseph” (Mic 5:1-4; Zech 12:10; 13:1 with Mt 23:39; Rev 1:7), the penitent survivors of Israel “go apart to mourn” in deepest contrition (Zech 12:10). With every Jewish survivor now saved and filled with the Spirit, and with the assistance of earnestly seeking gentile survivors (Isa 14:2; 49:22; 60:9; 66:20; Zech 8:23), the broken and beautified, uniformly saved “Jewish” nation, begin their long trek back home across land and sea (notably across the dried up riverbeds of the great historic rivers of Nile and Euphrates; see Isa 11:12, 15-16; 19:4-8; 27:12-13; Zech 10:9-11; Rev 16:12).
My grace granted aim at this year’s conference will be to address the two inextricably related questions: “Why the Jew?” & “Why a Millennium?” What has God invested in a thousand years of open vindication and public demonstration of His everlasting covenant, not only in the sight of the nations, living and past, but of the principalities and powers who continually raise the question ,”has God really said?”, in their long war on the Word.