2 Questions on Prophetic Subjects

The Shout of the Lord, the Voice of the Archangel, and the Trump of God

Explain why the voice of the archangel and the trump of God are connected with the shout of the Lord at His coming.

The Passage in question reads, "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" (1 Thess. 4:16-17)

The descent of the Lord to raise the dead in Christ and to change the living in Christ and to catch them up together to Himself will have far reaching consequences; they will extend in fact to the whole of mankind; for it will be the initial movement of that power by which He will subdue all things unto Himself.

Mankind is divided in the New Testament into three circles, namely, the Church, Israel, and the Gentile nations; in connection with each the Lord is to have a special glory. We would suggest that each of these is comprehended in this passage.

The shout of the Lord has to do specially with His Church, and those who died in Old Testament days, who will share in some measure in her heavenly part. All these will answer instantly to His assembling shout, and in the twinkling of an eye will appear, radiant and glorious, in the presence of the Lord.

The voice of the archangel would have reference to Israel, for Michael, the archangel, has his place specially in regard to that nation (see Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9). We do not mean, of course, that Israel will be immediately gathered into blessing, for she will have to be brought through sore tribulation and repentance before she is ready to receive the Lord, while the church is already "made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" (Col. 1:12); but the wheels of events to that end will be immediately set in motion at that time.

The trump of God would have in view all mankind, for He will judge men and the world (Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:16; 3:6). Here again, the nations of living men will not instantly appear before Him for judgment, but events will be set in motion that will infallibly bring them there on the appointed day.

The whole of God's purposes in regard to the earth are held in abeyance until the church is taken out of it, but when that event takes place all things will move swiftly to their fulfilment.

The Parable of the Marriage of the King's Son (Matthew 22)

Does the city which is burned up refer to the world? And if so why is the invitation sent out afterwards to others?

This whole parable when spoken by the Lord was prophetic of the gospel period. The gospel is really an invitation from God to men to come and share in His delight in His Son. This invitation was sent first to Jerusalem; for the disciples had to begin there (Luke 24:47); and it is to the Jew first (Rom. 1:16). But they did not want God's pardoning and enriching grace, and in the city which had been guilty of the blood of God's Son, in whom He delighted, Stephen and others were martyred. Consequently, God in His wrath allowed the Roman armies to come up in A.D. 70 to execute His word against JERUSALEM. God calls them His armies, for they carried out His judgment, and the murderers were destroyed and their city burned up. Jerusalem is the city in question, "They which were bidden were not worthy" (v. 8), and Paul takes up this very word in Acts 13:46 as he turns from the Jews to the Gentiles.

After that, the gospel went out into the highways, i.e. amongst the Gentile nations; and the Christian profession has been formed; the wedding has been furnished with guests. They have been brought in by the servants, and many have been brought in who are only there in profession, and who have neither felt nor owned their need of a righteousness which is not their own; they trust in themselves. But the King, who will make no mistakes such as His servants have made, is coming to view the guests. Then there will be discrimination and division, only those who have discarded their own merits and have Christ for their righteousness will abide at the marriage. The rest will be cast out into outer darkness. This coincides with the Lord's solemn word to Laodicea, "I will spue thee out of my mouth," and it will take place at the close of the day of grace.