From 1 Thess. 4:

16 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.

From Rev 6:

9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.


11 Then a white robe was given to each of them...

Are these passages both describing the same event?

Note this would make both prior to the sixth seal (Rev 6:12)

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    I edited the question in response to the vote to close it; if you don't like the changes or feel that they defeat the original intent of the question, I can roll them back. Jan 24, 2022 at 21:08
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    I think we should be suspicious of this suggestion because it is difficult to associate "souls under the altar" with "in the air". Why should/might they be the same thing?
    – Dottard
    Jan 24, 2022 at 21:53
  • Dottard - "Dead in Christ" equates to "souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held".
    – hank
    Jan 24, 2022 at 22:07
  • I mean, that's supposed to be all believers - dead to the world, hid with God, taking on the mind of Christ and thus headless (missing their own minds), and dressed in white. But you will get a ton of revelation interpretation and has that ever been useful to anyone?
    – Robert
    Aug 15, 2022 at 4:17

1 Answer 1


Let me first declare myself that I don't believe in the Rapture. So I am not going to use any kind of Rapture theory in my answer. I just analyse it literally by its word.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 Paul wrote that the dead in Christ will rise first before the living will see the Lord or Christ, whereas Revelation 6:11 wrote the souls under the altar were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. So the souls under the altar had not yet been risen. It leads to my conclusion that they are not describing the same event.

The first resurrection is seen in Revelation 20:5, before the millennium as they will reign with the Christ for a thousand years (Revelation 20:6). There is no further description about the living people in the millennium. So 1 Thessalonians 4:17 does not have a parallel verse in the Bible to compare.

  • Vincent - Rev 6:10 "How long ... until you judge ... 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them ..." I suggest that these souls "who had been slain for the word of God" Rev 6:9 are dead church believers already in Heaven that become part of the "great multitude" Rev 7:9 "standing before the throne and before the Lamb clothed in white robs with palm branches in their hands.
    – hank
    Aug 16, 2022 at 15:45
  • @Hank - Rev 7:14 told us the people in Rev 7:9 were coming out of the great tribulation. So they were dead in the tribulation, whereas Rev 6:9 are dead church believers as you said, and those were dead since the early church. So they belonged to different periods, but were amongst in the 1st resurrection (Rev 20:4) Aug 16, 2022 at 19:02
  • Vincent - Rev 7:14 "coming (2064) out (1537) of" Note - erchomai (2064) followed by ek (1537), from or out of the Tribulation Rev.7:14 "having escaped from {a.t.}". Also, Rev 3:10 "I will also keep you from the hour of trial." I suggest that these are the "caught up" "great multitude" brought by the Lord to His Father 1Th 3:13. Ref NKJV, Interlinear, The Complete WordStudy Dictionary New Testament, ISBN 0-89957-663-X –
    – hank
    Mar 6, 2023 at 15:10

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