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The First Resurrection of Revelation 20 proves a post Tribulation Rapture


The pre-Tribulation Rapture theory contradicts Revelation 20:4-6, which clearly states that the First Resurrection includes the souls of those who have been beheaded for refusing to worship the beast or take his mark. Only a post-Tribulation Rapture is possible in light of Revelation 20.  


Revelation 20 tells us what will occur before the First Resurrection


“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God, and those who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6.


The First Resurrection takes place after the antichrist comes to power and the mark of the beast is instituted. These events occur after the first half of  the Tribulation, contrary to the pre-Tribulation rapture theory that the Church will be gathered up before the Tribulation begins. The beheading of Christians here corresponds to the beheading of Christians during the Fifth Seal.   


Only the Church is a Kingdom of Priests


Revelation 20 describes the Church reigning as priests of God, the same description as the Seven Churches who are a kingdom of priests (Revelation 1:6) as well as those purchased by Christ out of all nations to be a kingdom of priests (Revelation 5:10). According to Peter, the Church is a royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9), so the First Resurrection can only be talking about the Church.



The Resurrection of the dead in Christ of I Thessalonians 4 is one and the same as the First Resurrection of Revelation 20


According to the Apostle Paul, the First Resurrection is the Resurrection/Rapture at the Coming of Christ.


For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.  I Thessalonians 4:16.


But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of  those who are asleep... But each in his own order; Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming. I Corinthians 15:20,23.


There can obviously be only one First Resurrection


Revelation 20 states that the First Resurrection will take place after believers suffer persecution under the Beast. This could not possibly be called the “First Resurrection” if the vast resurrection of the dead in Christ of I Thessalonians 4 happens before. The resurrection of the Church at the coming of Christ cannot be called anything else but the First Resurrection as well, so these two passages must certainly be describing the same event.


Scripture after Scripture describes the persecution of the Church by the beast during the Tribulation


“I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” Daniel 7:21-22.


“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name... But immediately after the tribulation of those days...they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with great power and glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24: 9, 29-31.


When the Lord broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the alter the souls of those who had been slain because of the Word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained... and they were told they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. Revelation 5: 9,11.


...a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and the Lamb... “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation...” Revelation 7: 9, 14.


And they (brethren) overcame him (the dragon) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives even when faced with death... So the dragon was enraged with the woman and went off to wage war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus... It was also given to him (the beast) to make war with with the saints and to overcome them... Revelation 12:11, 17, 13:7.


“But when you see these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28.



The First  Resurrection of Revelation 20 is more Biblical proof of the Post-Tribulation/Seventh Trumpet Rapture


There cannot possibly be a pre-Tribulation Resurrection/Rapture because that would completely contradict what Revelation 20 states about the First Resurrection occurring after events of the Tribulation period have taken place. That leaves room only for a post-Tribulation rapture of the Church, since the Church will certainly be here to resist the mark and image of the beast during the second half of the Tribulation. Revelation 20 also proves Premillennialism, a thousand year Messianic age between the First and the Second Resurrections, which Preterists and other anti-literalists deny.




Revelation 20 states that the First Resurrection will take place after the rise of the Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast is instituted, which will happen only after the Tribulation is under way. The Apostle Paul describes the First Resurrection occurring just before the Church is Raptured at Christ’s appearing. Many Scriptures describe the Church  (saints, elect, brethren, great multitude) under persecution during the Tribulation period. This clearly, simply proves that a pre-Tribulation Rapture contradicts the Scriptures and only a post-Tribulation Seventh Trumpet Rapture agrees with what the Word of God actually says.   



 © Daniel Speck 1.26.17