1Thessalonians 4:16-18 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
‘Shout’ – Command [Greek: keleuma] a cry of incitement; an order; command in war; the call of preparation for action. Not the same word where shout is mentioned the only other time in the New Testament (Acts 12:22). Here it is the shout of command for the dead to arise, as in the case of Lazarus (John 11:43). This will be followed by the shout of the archangel (Jude 1:9), and the trump of God, whose great and terrible blasts – like those on Sinai – grew louder and louder until the heavens and the earth shook (Ex. 20:18-19; Heb. 12:18-21, 26).
‘Trump of God’ – This is not the same as the 7th trumpet of Revelation 11:15-13:18. One occurs at the rapture of true believers before Daniel’s 70th week (4:16; 2Thess. 2:7; Rev. 4:1), and the other occurs at the rapture of the manchild in the middle of the 70th week (Rev. 11:15 – 13:18). One is the trump of God (4:16), the other the trumpet of the 7th angel (Rev. 11:15). One is to herald an event that will take place in a moment (1Cor. 15:51-58), the other is to herald many events which are days in duration (Rev. 10:7; 11:15-13:18). One is a trumpet of blessing (4:16-17), the other a trumpet of woe to men (Rev. 8:13; 11:15; 12:12). One is before the 7 seals and first 6 trumpets of Revelation 6:1-9:21, the other is after these (Rev. 11:15).
‘And the dead in Christ shall rise first.’ Ten qualifications for the rapture: To be in Christ (4:14, 16; 2Cor. 5:17-18). To be Christ’s (1Cor. 15:23; Gal. 5:24). To be blessed and holy (Rev. 20:4-6; Heb. 12:14). To be good (John 5:28-29). To be worthy (Luke 21:36). To be part of the body of Christ (1Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:4-6; 5:27; Col. 1:18, 24). To be pure (1Jn. 3:2-3). To be without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27). To live and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:19-21). To walk in the light (1Jn. 1:7; Col. 2:6).