Revelation 6 Full number murdered


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Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters,[e] were killed just as they had been.​

e. Revelation 6:11 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 12:10; 19:10

We're all going to be killed. If we're still alive when Jesus begins to open the seals... and we aren't done in by the hate, disease and famine, or death, then we have to reach the "full number".

Back to the easy English this morning....

The seven seals divide into two groups of four and three. The first four were about the horses and riders. They were about what happened on the earth. With the fifth seal, the events moved from earth to heaven.

The Lord Jesus opened the fifth seal. John saw an altar in heaven. Under the altar there were the souls of those who had died. These people died because they believed in the Lord. They believed the word of God. They had been good servants of God.

John speaks about these souls being under the altar. When a priest made a sacrifice, he poured out the blood below the altar. The idea here is that these people were like a sacrifice. They were as a sacrifice made to God. In fact, they died on earth. But by their death, they offered their souls on the altar in heaven.

They spoke to the Lord because he has all authority. The Lord is holy. And he will do what is right. In the end, he must punish all evil actions. The Lord will punish the people who had caused their deaths. They knew this. These souls asked the Lord a question. They were asking, ‘How long must we wait? When will you punish those who caused our deaths?’

The clear answer was that the situation will become worse first. But, at the time when God chooses, he will answer their prayer. He will show his anger against the people who do not believe in him. That day of God’s anger will come upon the earth.

To each of these souls, the Lord gave white clothes. These clothes showed that they were clean from all sin. In other words, God accepted them as innocent. And he gave them honour. These souls under the altar were at rest.

God told them to be patient. They must wait a little time. People on the earth would kill more of God’s people. Then the time will come and God will act.

This might be where and the rest of the commentaries join up again. has been focused on the church as the first four seals were opened. According to this commentary, the pure church, the persecuting church, the corrupt church, and the dead church were all represented by the four horses.... and now it's all about the martyred church.

The 5th Seal: The Martyred Church. “Under the altar the souls…slain for the word of God.” Apocalyptic language teaches lessons and truths in pictures or symbols. God does not keep literal souls under a literal alter in heaven. During the middle ages, the Papal system had millions of people put to death because they would not renounce Bible truth. Here is pictured, in symbolic language, the many martyrs of all ages whose blood, like the blood of Abel (Genesis 4:8-10), cries out to God for justice and a vindication of the truths for which they died. The Bible teaches that the dead in Christ rise and put on immortality when He returns. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.​

The mean and hateful will murder the Christlike.

When I think of the souls under the alter.... I think of all the people that have been bullied and murdered over the centuries, saying something slightly different..... I hear them saying.... "Jesus.... how much longer are You going to let them get away with this?" Then, I hear Jesus respond "Sally, John, and some others haven't made their decision yet.... give me a minute".

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