In the recent several gatherings，how to welcome the Lord’s return had been a hot topic. Thesaid, “And then shall appear the sign of 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. 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” (Matthew 24:30–31). Everyone at the meeting had a different understanding of “a great sound of a trumpet” in this verse, and they started a heated discussion.
In the meeting, Brother Wang said with confidence, “The Lord Jesus told us that when He returns, a trumpet will sound in heaven to gather together His elect. When that happens, it means that we believers will be raptured. That day will be a joyful day. Now is the last days, and the Lord will come back soon. So, we should watchfully wait for His return.”
When Brother Wang finished speaking, Brother Chen furrowed his brow and said seriously, “I think there is a mystery in these prophecies, so we can’t interpret them literally, nor can we welcome the Lord’s arrival by waiting for the sound of a trumpet. There are still many passages in the Bible that prophesy the Lord’s return. Just as it is written in the Book of Revelation, ‘Behold, I come as a thief’ (Revelation 16:15). ‘As a thief’ means coming secretly, quietly. If we go by our understanding and say that a trumpet will sound in heaven at the Lord’s return, there must be a big commotion. Then isn’t there a contradiction within these verses? Moreover, we have all been longing for the moment when the trumpet sounds. However, after so many years have passed, disasters are becoming more and more intense, many of the prophecies of the Lord’shave basically been fulfilled, and even the scientists predict that great catastrophes are imminent, so it stands to reason that the Lord should return. But why haven’t we heard the sound of the trumpet? What does ‘the sound of a trumpet’ actually refer to? Is it really the sound made by a trumpet? I can’t understand it.”
After hearing these words, the brothers and sisters jumped into a lively debate, but they couldn’t give clear fellowship. Halfway through the meeting, it just so happened that Brother Lin returned from a trip to hear sermons. After knowing everyone’s confusion, he said with a smile, “Thank the Lord! On this last trip, I was fortunate to discuss this matter with several brothers and sisters, and their fellowship was very enlightening. Let me share my harvest with everyone. These verses you are discussing are what the Lord Jesus told His disciples about what will happen when He returns, that is, they are prophecies. As is known to us all, God’s prophecies are all mysteries and it’s not easy for people to fathom them. So we can’t go by a literal interpretation of them, otherwise we’ll very likely understand them wrongly. Take the Pharisees for example. They made such a mistake in awaiting the Messiah. They saw the biblical prophecies: ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever’ (Isaiah 9:6–7). And so, based on their understanding of the literal meaning of these prophecies, they believed that since the Messiah would come to power, He would certainly be born to a wealthy family. Further, He would be like David and become the King of Israel, leading them to break away from the rule of the Roman government. However, when the prophecies were fulfilled, the fact is that the Lord Jesus was born in a manger, not a prominent family, and neither did He become the king of the Jewish people to come to power, but instead He lived amongst men as an ordinary Jew. The Pharisees judged and convicted the Lord Jesus’ work based on the literal words of the Bible, and finally crucified the Lord Jesus, thus offending God’s disposition and incurring God’s curses. It can be seen that we must not interpret God’s prophecies literally. Jehovah God said, ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, said Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’ (Isaiah 55:8–9). We are just tiny created beings, so how can we fathom God’s wisdom? We should gain enlightenment from the lessons of previous failures—God’s work isn’t in line with our conceptions, and therefore we can’t define God’s arrival within the literal words of the Bible or our imaginings, but instead we should treat God’s work with an attitude of seeking. Only in this way can we welcome the Lord’s coming.”
The brothers and sisters all nodded their heads.
Sister Li said, “Brother Lin, your fellowship is quite illuminating. It’s indeed unreliable to interpret prophecies according to their literal meanings. So what does ‘a great sound of a trumpet’ in the verse actually refer to? Brother Lin, please fellowship with us.”
Brother Lin went on, “With regard to this issue, let’s read this verse carefully, ‘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’ (Matthew 24:31). Here it says that in the last days God will use a great sound of a trumpet to gather together His elect, that is, they will gather from every direction when the trumpet sounds. But apart from this verse, there are still many places in the Bible that prophesy how the Lord will gather His elect at His return in the last days. For example, the Lord Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me’ (John 10:27). ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me’ (Revelation 3:20). And in the Book of Revelation there are also several mentions that ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2–3). The Lord Jesus clearly told us that when He returns in the last days, He will proclaim His word to bring His sheep before Him. In other words, when the Lord comes back and issues forth His voice, His sheep will one by one come before Him because of hearing His voice. Just as when the Lord Jesus came to the world to express the truth, Peter abandoned his fishing nets to follow Him when hearing His calling; because the Lord Jesus revealed her secrets buried in her heart, the Samaritan woman recognized that He was the coming Messiah and thus followed Him. Both of them recognized that the Lord Jesus was the coming Messiah because of what He did and said. Through the above prophecies, we can see that ‘a great sound of a trumpet’ refers to the truth expressed by the Lord when He returns in the last days. So, we have to listen out the Lord’s voice to welcome His appearance and work.”
Hearing this, the brothers and sisters all felt immeasurably excited. Brother Chen said happily, “Thank the Lord! Brother Lin’s fellowship made me think of what the Lord Jesus once said, ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come’ (John 16:12–13). We can see from these two verses that, when the Lord Jesus comes back, He will proclaim His word to humankind again. As long as we hear what the Holy Spirit says to the churches, that means we hear ‘a great sound of a trumpet.’ This is a new light. So now we should focus on hearing where the voice of God is, for only by hearing God’s voice can we welcome the Lord’s return.”
Brother Lin said, “Thanks be to God! You’ll understand things better after reading a passage which says: ‘How does one explain the “holy trumpet”? What is your understanding of this? Why is it said to be holy and already sounded? This should be explained from the steps of My work and understood from My work method. The time when My judgment is announced publicly is when My disposition is revealed to all nations and peoples. That is the time the holy trumpet is sounded. That is to say that I often say that My disposition is holy and unoffendable, which is why “holy” is used to describe the “trumpet.” It can be seen from this that “trumpet” refers to My disposition and represents what I am and have. It can also be said that My judgment is in progress every day, My wrath is being released every day, and My curse befalls every single thing that does not accord with My disposition every day. Then it can be said that the time My judgment begins is the time the holy trumpet is sounded, and it is sounding every day, without halting for a moment and without stopping for a minute or second.’
“This passage speaks very clearly about what the ‘holy trumpet’ is. We can see from this that the time when the Lord begins expressing words to do the judgment work in the last days is the time when God’s trumpet is officially sounded. That is, ‘a great sound of a trumpet’ refers to God’s words of judgment in the last days, not the sound made by a trumpet. These years I have been waiting for the sound of the trumpet in heaven, but I haven’t made it. Seeing that the church is increasingly desolate, I’m incredibly anxious and always feel like I have been abandoned by the work of the Holy Spirit. On this last trip, some brothers and sisters testified to me that the Lord has already returned to express the truth and perform the work of judgment, which fulfills the biblical prophecies, ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17). ‘And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:47–48). Only then did I know that ‘a great sound of a trumpet’ has started. They also fellowshiped to me that the returned Lord has expressed the truth and revealed the essence and truth of mankind’s corruption. Meanwhile, He has told us how to get rid of our corrupt dispositions, and has made public His will and requirements for man. God’s inherent disposition and what God has and is have been expressed within His words. These words are God’s way of judgment and His words that purify mankind. Hearing God’s voice means hearing the sound of God’s trumpet and seeing God’s appearance. They also read a passage to me. Allow me to read it to everyone! ‘This is the holy trumpet sounding! Lend an ear. That sound, so sweet, is the throne uttering voice, announcing to every nation and people, the time has come, the final end has come. My management plan is finished. My kingdom openly appears on earth. The earthly kingdoms have become My—God’s—kingdom. My seven trumpets sound from the throne, and what wonders will occur! People at the ends of the earth will rush together from every direction with the force of an avalanche and power of thunderbolts….’ ‘I joy to see My people, who hear My voice, and gather from every nation and land. All people, keeping the true God ever in their mouths, praise and jump for joy endlessly! They witness to the world, witnessing the true God with a sound like the sound of thundering waters. All people will crowd into My kingdom.’ Brothers and sisters, this passage mentions that the holy trumpet has already sounded, and that people from every nation and land are gathering together to listen to God’s voice and witness God’s appearance. When hearing them read this passage, I felt that it is the Holy Spirit speaking to us. The Lord really has returned.”
Hearing these words made the brothers and sisters extremely excited. Brother Chen emotionally said, “These words are so authoritative and they are not something that can be spoken by an ordinary person. It turns out that ‘trumpet’ refers to God’s word. In the last days God expresses the truth to cleanse our corruption, and so hearing God’s words in the last days means hearing the sound of the trumpet. We should earnestly seek and investigate.”
Brother Wang suddenly sprang to his feet and said, “Right! Apart from God, who can speak as the Creator? These words are no ordinary words. Brother Lin, where did they come from? Can you tell us about it? I’d also like to investigate.”
The brothers and sisters were all transported with joy and were ready to seek and investigate God’s word and work of the last days with Brother Lin.