Some have misconstrued this Scripture to mean that the Lord would appear the second time and give a great shout and wake up the dead. The word here translated shout means a message of encouragement. It implies a public message designed for the ears not of a few, but for a great number. The “shout”, the “voice of the archangel” and the “trump of God” are all symbols. Literally, it means that the appearing of the Lord will be at the time of or during the shout of encouragement; and this is in full harmony with the evidences heretofore examined that the presence of the Lord has been at a time when the people have been encouraged concerning their own rights. Christians have encouraged each other by passing the message of the Lord’s presence on to each other. The peoples have encouraged one another with reference to their liberties, rights, and privileges. The “voice of the archangel”, as used in this passage, means one with authority, the chief messenger, Christ Jesus himself. He comes with light and truth, illuminating the minds of men, leading them into greater light which has come upon the end of the age when the shout of encouragement for the rights and liberties of the people and the deliverance of Christians into the kingdom of the Lord has begun throughout the earth.
During this time, then, we should expect the resurrection of those saintly ones who died before the second coming of the Lord; and should expect that these would be awakened out of death and gathered unto the Lord, thus to be forever with him. And therefore those believers who were alive at his coming, when the time came for their death, would experience an instantaneous change from human to spirit beings. And finally, when all the members of the bride class shall have finished their course and all have passed from the human into the spiritual condition, with glorious bodies, they will enjoy peace and happiness for evermore. The Lord is taking unto himself his bride class, because the promise is that these shall be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ Jesus in his kingdom, and that they shall reign with him.—Romans 8:16,17; Revelation 20:6.
Before the foundation of the world God foreordained that he would have a kingdom and a royal family who would have charge of the kingdom. The kingdom necessarily embraces the royal house or royal family, as well as the dominion. Foreknowing the end of all things, God provided in his great plan not only for the redemption of the human race, but the selection from amongst men of a certain number whom he would transform into the image and likeness of his beloved Son. God provided also that these should constitute the royal family of heaven. The apostle Peter says of this class: “But ye are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a purpose, that you may declare the perfections of him who called you from darkness into his wonderful light; who once were not a people, but now are God’s people".—1 Peter 2:9,10. Diaglott.