White Robed Martyrs
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White Robed Martyrs (Revelation 6.9-12a) Page 00

"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. 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?' 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, were killed just as they had been. I watched as he opened the sixth seal." (Revelation 6.9-12a)✞

Being Executed

Jerusalem TempleThe design layout and details for both the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the Temple in Jerusalem were similar and were described in meticulous detail. Their design features seem to have also been repeated in the future Temple in the New Jerusalem. Instead of animals' blood from the sacrifices running into the base of the altar, John saw the martyrs who had shed their blood for Christ and kept their testimony and the Word of God.

The Sovereign Lord

Christian Martyr being ExecutedThe Greek phrase for "their brothers and sisters," which is "adelphoi" refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God's family who were martyrs. The martyrs from the Greek word meaning "witnesses" were lifted up and each was given a white robe of purity and victory. God told them to wait as still more Christians would lose their lives for their belief in Christ. The Christian martyrs cried out from under the altar in heaven for vengeance on their murderers!

Begged for Vindication

Vision of the Souls of the MartyrsFrom the Temple, the martyrs begged God for vindication "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" But they were told to wait for God was holding back until a certain target number of martyrs was reached, that is, "until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters were killed just as they had been." He promised that those who suffered and died for their faith would not be forgotten but would be vindicated and honored soon.✞

Time for the Messiah

Jesus, the Messiah, seated on a ThroneThis waiting for the full number of martyrs corresponds with the Jewish belief that the coming Messiah called the "anointed one" or "Christ" would not come until a certain number of souls had been born. Of course, Christians know and believe that the Christ has already come in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The people of Israel however believed that God would not act until all this had taken place.✞

"White Robed Martyrs"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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