The First Resurrection And The Rapture, Are They The Same?


Many Christians have been led to believe that the first resurrection and the rapture are not the same. But is this what Bible actually teaches? Is the first resurrection really the rapture? I believe that they are the same, and after you read this, you’ll know why.

I’m going to take you to the Bible and prove that the first resurrection and the rapture are in fact the same. I’ll also answer a couple questions along the way…

In order to establish an accurate conclusion here, we need to take a look in the Bible. The Scriptures are the foundation for everything Christians should believe. If what we believe causes doubt when compared to other scriptures, then we should be open to change.

It has to be the Spirit of God who convinces us of truth. And when He does that, we need to stand on that truth. It’s not wise to be carried about with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14), but making corrections to our beliefs when needed is wise.

Let’s get started and see if there’s anything we need to change…

Where is the first resurrection in the Bible?

The phrase the first resurrection is only found twice in the whole Bible. The two times that it is mentioned are both in the same chapter of the Book of Revelation. In fact, they are back to back occurrences. These scriptures alone are enough to prove that the first resurrection and the rapture are the same, but we’ll look at another just in case you have any doubts.

Revelation 20:4-6: And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

(I put our words in bold so that they are easy to spot.)

As you can see, the phrase first resurrection is mentioned in verses five and six. The concept here is to identify those who take part in this resurrection. It’s important to note that the Bible says, “This is the first resurrection.”

I interpret Scripture literally, so when it says that this is the first resurrection, it means there hasn’t been one prior. These people where obviously dead. They were martyred for their faith in Christ during the great tribulation. These tribulation martyrs were dead in Christ!

Getting the Context

Here are some events that have happened up to this point:

  • The great tribulation is now past, wherein the Saints were killed for the testimony of Christ (Matthew 24:21-22; Revelation 6:9-11, Revelation 7:9-14, Revelation 14:12-13).
  • God has successfully poured out a portion of His wrath upon those who refused to receive Christ in faith (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9).
  • Jesus Christ has already returned and destroyed the nations in the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-17).
  • The beast and the false prophet were both cast alive into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:19-21).
  • The devil was cast into the bottomless pit until after the millennial reign of Christ (Revelation 20:1-3).

The millennial reign of Christ is a thousand year period where Jesus Christ is expected to sit on His throne and rule and reign. It’s clear from our scripture in verse six, that there will be people who actually reign with Him. If we look at verse four, we can identify who those people are.

Revelation 20:4: And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Revelation 20:4 speaks of people who died for their faith in Christ. These individuals were literally resurrected. They were also given a body so that they could live and physically reign with Christ. It would be impossible for this to be without a bodily resurrection.

It’s commonly believed and accurately taught that at the rapture, there is a bodily resurrection of the Saints. This brings us back to our question about the first resurrection and the rapture. Are they the same?

Is the first resurrection the same as the rapture?

The first resurrection and the rapture are in truth the same. Many people teach that they aren’t, but Scripture and sound reason prove otherwise.

Let’s recap…

We know that Revelation 20 speaks of the first resurrection, we know that those who took part in this resurrection were dead, we know that the first resurrection was a resurrecting of Saints, we know that these Saints were martyred during the great tribulation period, and we know that they were bodily resurrected to live again and physically reign with Christ.

The First Resurrection And The Rapture Are The Same!

Adversaries to this Bible truth use a scripture found in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians to try and prove that the rapture is a different event than the first resurrection. They say that the rapture happens first. However, the rapture is when Jesus Christ gathers Believers to Himself that are alive on Earth at His return.

I’ll prove using Thessalonians, that their theory is inaccurate…

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: 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: 17 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.

When the Bible says, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,” it is referring to the time after the dead in Christ have risen. The dead in Christ will rise first. This is the first resurrection of the dead. Therefore, the tribulation Saints of Revelation 20 must have part in this resurrection. Otherwise, the resurrection in Revelation 20 could not be the first resurrection.

The truth is the first resurrection and the rapture is the same. Some people do not like this because it contradicts their theology, or it contradicts what they were taught. The dead in Christ shall rise first, so this is the first resurrection. The rapture and the resurrection both happen after the great tribulation. It goes in order: the first resurrection of the dead, and then the rapture of the living. These two things happen in one event.

*Do you agree or disagree? I would love to hear your thoughts! You can post your comment below.

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21 thoughts on “The First Resurrection And The Rapture, Are They The Same?”

  1. I agree the “rapture” is post trib. However, I see a pre-trib event also. Luke 17:22-37 says it is pre-trib because life is normal (eating, drinking, planting, etc.). It will be hell on earth post-trib. There is a flash of light, believers are taken and leave their flesh on earth (verse 37). I don’t see a resurrection in this pre-trib event.

    • It will not be “hell on Earth” for unbelievers until God’s wrath is poured out, which happens after the rapture. Believers aren’t in darkness, so we wait and watch for the return of Christ; we are awake and alert. However, this is not the case for unbelievers; they are not expecting the return of Christ, but we have the blessed hope.

      • Thanks for the reply Travis. So, it looks like we believe the same thing. One pre-tribulation rapture without a resurrection and one post-tribulation rapture with a resurrection? I believe the resurrection is for earth, not heaven.

        • No, not entirely, I only believe in the first resurrection for life, and a thousand years after, a resurrection of death. I do not believe the Bible teaches a rapture with no resurrection. I think you should read over this again. 🙂

  2. If rapture and end of tribulation are the same. Where is the surprise of Christ’s return? From what I have read on post tribulation Christ returns at end of tribulation then that would be 1260 days after the abomination of the desolation which will surely be a notable day. Abomination of desolation plus 1260 days is an exact date.
    I am trying to understand . Whereas the pre tribulation rapture can happen anytime prior to tribulation . Not an exact date.

    • First, the rapture and the end of the tribulation are not the same. The rapture is the first resurrection, but it is not the tribulation. The tribulation, according to Jesus, represents a time of persecution inflicted upon Saints. The rapture is a time of deliverance from tribulation, which happens when God pours out His wrath. (There is a difference between God’s wrath and the devils.)

      Secondly, I’m not suggesting the day or hour Christ will return, for I don’t know when that time will come, but I’ll try to watch and be ready. Now you should know that God has not left His people in darkness concerning that time; the Scripture says, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Yet Christ will come as a thief in the night.

      If you believe what I see the Bible clearly teaches, then you don’t know the time of the rapture beyond the light given of God. However, we expect it, wherefore it is called the blessed hope. If you are pre-trib, then you believe it happens before the first resurrection, which is an unbelievable time, for the Scripture does not teach it.

  3. that the first resurrection/the rapture is same? what I understanding between different the Rapture and the Resurrection because who those were martyred in the Tribulation will be take out of prior the great tribulation . In Revelation 6:10 the Fifth Seal Saints are killed is not the first resurrection because didn’t to took the beheaded but in 20:4 are beheaded is come from the first resurrection. the two different primary, my thought is to do more details later on either someone could help us to know more about the first resurrection. (interestingly, anxious to learn more)

    • The Bible does not teach those who are martyred in the tribulation will be raptured prior to the great tribulation. The taking out of Christian Saints happens before God pours out His wrath upon the Earth.

  4. Those that are alive during Daniel’s 70th week or the Tribulation period which is 3.5 years will go thru the whole 3.5 years unless they die by the grave whether they are saved or not. The Christians that have already died are already with the Lord. Paul said to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord. That’s why we can’t precede them, because they are already with the Lord. The remains of a human body is nothing but dust. Why would you want a corruptible body. There is no reason to resurrect dust, for flesh and blood cannot enter heaven. We must put on in-corruption and this mortal (means liable to die soul) must put on immortality. We have a much better glorified spirit body to look forward to. At the last Trump (7th Trump) all flesh is done away with and we go into the 1000 year reign of Christ, which is the Lord’s Day for teaching and spiritual correction.

  5. What’s your thoughts on the day of the Lord. It’s at the end of the tribulation. Pours his wrath out. But my question is how long is the day? Is it a literal 24 hours. In Isaiah 34:8 it speaks of the day of the Lord vengeance, for 1 year. Shalom. Ron

    • I think the Day of the Lord is a time when the Lord alone will reign, which is also in Isaiah. I think it begins when God pours out His wrath upon the world and possibly goes til the last judgment. There are different events that happen within the Day and last for a certain time.

  6. This is wrong. The problem is the assumption about what counts as a resurrection. The harpazo is believers both the ones dead and the ones alive alive meeting Christ in the air. When Jesus rose from the dead he didn’t just get a new body he was on the earth. The harpazo is being with Christ but those believers are not on the earth yet. Then at the end of the trib you have all the judgement of day of the Lord and then all the believers including those brought back to life from the trib come down to earth and that is the first ressurection because it is the first time all those believers are alive on the earth. That keeps consistant the no one knows passages and deals with what is being said in this article.

    Another fact, it is very clear in jeremiah 30 and Daniel 9, the ending of the time of the gentiles in Luke, the gathering of the jews in Ezekiel etc that the purpose of the trib is to correct israel and in Zechariah 1/3 of them will be saved. There is not one verse in the scriptures that says the church needs the trib for sanctification because 1 cor 3 says that believers sanctification is completed before the judgement seat of Christ.

    • Your thinking on this article is faulty, for it never says, as you say, “The church needs the trib for sanctification.” I don’t know where you got that…

  7. There are only two resurrections, the first are those who died in Christ and will rise prior to the rapture which takes place immediately after the first resurrection, all of us will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and return to earth with Him with our glorified bodies to reign with him. The second resurrection is the resurrection of those who dies in their sin and will received God’s judgment at the White Throne Judgment and then will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

  8. How can it be anything else?
    1 Thess 4:13-17 – can’t be “caught up” until after the first resurrection, says it twice.

    Then there is:
    we die, He makes us alive, each in order. Christ first, then His at His coming, then is the end
    1Cor 15:20-24 But now Christ has been raised from the dead ones; He became the firstfruit of the ones having fallen asleep. For since death is through man, also through a Man is a resurrection of dead ones; for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ, the firstfruit; afterward the ones of Christ in His coming. Then is the end, whenever He gives over the kingdom to God, even the Father, whenever He causes to cease all rule and all authority and power.
    Also, 1 Cor 15:51-53 Lo, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, suddenly, as in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, when it shall sound; and the dead will arise, without corruption; and we shall be changed. For this which is corruptible, is to put on incorruption; and that which dies, will put on immortality. At the last trumpet, Rev 11:15

    Thank you for this article,

  9. Love Your Post. Why is it that we do not expound upon that Resurrection that happened when Jesus died / or resurrected? A mass of people got up out of the graves…Wouldn’t this be a resurrection?

  10. Matthew 27:50-54 {50} And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. {52} and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. This was when He died… BUT the next verse says when he was resurrected {53} They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. Is this two different events?

  11. Just a bit of clarification: According to the 70 weeks of Daniel, as we know, only 69 have been fulfilled. This is only for Israel – the 70th week which translates into the 7 year period which we have called the Tribulation, will focus on the redemption of Israel. There will be people who will come to saving knowledge of Jesus, that’s why they are referred to as “saints” or the “elect.” The Church will be gone (rapture, as we call it) because
    1) God did not appoint us to suffer wrath (1 Thess. 5:9) It is plain that the 7 years will be a time of wrath – God’s wrath (Rev. 6:16).
    2) The Anti-Christ or Lawless One (2 Thess. 2:3-7) must come to power however he will not be able to unless the “one holding him back is taken out of the way.” Who is it holding back the Anti-Christ? Us – the Church. It would be a difficult, if not impossible task, to deceive the nations while the Church is still here.
    So, the “Rapture” cannot happen at the end of the 7 years, nor at the middle because even the beginning of the 7 years is called the wrath of God. The “Rapture” is not considered a resurrection, in my opinion, because it is “snatching away” those who are the Church. Throughout the Bible God snatched His people from destruction (the flood, Sodom, Red Sea) And the Church is called His bride. Why would He put His bride through the 7 years of His wrath?
    Will there be believers in the 7 years period? Yes. People will come to Christ in that period but they are never called the Church – only elect or saints.
    In my opinion, the first resurrection is related to the believers who were martyred during the 7 years period not the Church that is “Raptured” or “snatched away” before the 7 years begins and Israel becomes the focal point of prophecy.
    Certainly there is a lot more that can be said about this but I hope this gives you something to study.

    • Admittedly, I disagree with your explanation. Sudden destruction of God’s wrath does not come on anyone at the beginning of the seven years (1 Thess. 5:3). Sudden destruction is God’s wrath, not the Antichrist’s; and yes, I believe the rapture happens prior to God’s wrath. Now, if the rapture is not considered a resurrection, in your opinion, as you stated, then 1 Cor. 15:52 must not be a reference to the rapture, which clearly it is.

      I hope I made answers to your objections understandable.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • The Bible says Christians will not suffer the wrath of God in 1 Thessalonians 5:9. It says, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” However, it does say unbelievers will a few verses before in 1 Thessalonians 5:3: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” I believe the rapture happens before God pours out His wrath upon Earth.

      Thanks for your questions!


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