THE SACRIFICIAL ALTAR
(Souls Under the Altar.)
When the Lamb had opened the "FIFTH SEAL," John saw under the "Sacrificial Altar," corresponding to the "Burnt Offering Altar," the "SOULS" of them that were slain for the "Word of God" and for the "testimony they held." The fact that their "SOULS" were under the "Sacrificial Altar" is proof that they had been offered as a "Sacrifice," that is that they were MARTYRS. But they were not the Martyrs of the Christian Church, for they had been resurrected and taken up with the Church. These Martyrs' are those who
will be killed for the "Word of God" and their "testimony" after the Church is caught out.
According to Christ (Matt. 24:9-14), a persecution will be brought about by the preaching of the "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM." When the Church is caught out the preaching of the "GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD" (Acts 20:24), which is being preached now, will cease, and the preaching of the "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" will be revived. It is the Gospel that John the Baptist preached, "Repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Matt. 3:1-2, and that Elijah the Prophet when he returns will preach. Malachi 4:5-6. It is to be preached in all the world for a witness; and then shall the "End," the End of this Dispensation, come. It will be preached by the Jews, and will be the announcement that Christ is coming back to set up His Earthly Kingdom, and rule over the affairs of men. This will be exceedingly distasteful to the Kings of the Earth, particularly to Antichrist and the Kings of the Ten Federated Kingdoms, and the outcome will be a "Great Persecution" of those who preach and accept such a Gospel, and the "SOULS" that John saw under the "Sacrificial Altar," are the souls of those who shall perish during that time of persecution. That there is no such thing as "Soul Sleep," and that disembodied SOULS are conscious and can speak and cry, is clear from what John saw and heard, for these "SOULS" cried with a loud voice--"How long, O Lord, Holy and True, dost Thou not judge and avenge our BLOOD on them that dwell on the earth?" The character of their cry is' further proof that they are not the Martyrs of the Christian Church, for they would not cry to be avenged, but like Stephen would say--"Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." Acts 7:60. Their cry is that of the Imprecatory Psalms (Psa. 35, 55, 59, 94, etc.) and indicates that these Martyrs whose SOULS are seen are mainly JEWS. This is still more likely when we consider that the "Gospel of the Kingdom" is to be preached to the NATIONS, and Israel has never been numbered among the Nations. Num. 23:9.
To these martyred "SOULS" white robes were given. This does not mean that they were resurrected, that is, given glorified BODIES, and then robed, but that they in their "Soulish" or "PSYCHICAL" bodies were given white robes, for while the "Spirit" of man loses its earthly, or FLESHY body, at death, it still has a body, its SOULISH body, that can see, hear, speak, etc., for how could a SOUL "cry" if it did not have a form and physical senses. For a full exposition of this see the Author's Book on "Dispensational Truth," the Chapter on the "Spirit World."
These martyred SOULS were comforted, and told that they should rest for a "little season," about 3½ years, until their fellow servants also, and their brethren (Jews) that should be killed, as they were, should be fulfilled. This promise is fulfilled in Rev. 20:4-6. These are the Saints of the Most High that Daniel foresaw would receive the Kingdom. Dan. 7:27.