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And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as ° they were, should be fulfilled.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

6:9 under the altar the souls. Like the blood of the sacrifices under the ancient altar in the tabernacle (Leviticus 4:18), the souls of those new believers slain in these early years of the tribulation are seen as under the altar in the heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 9:2-9).

6:9 slain for the word of God. Even though all believers will have been removed from the earth before the unleashing of these divine judgments on earth, there will still be an abundance of silent witness. Remaining on earth will be Bibles, Christian literature, Christian films and tapes, etc., as well as the eternal witness in creation and conscience, plus the testimony of the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-7), and the 144,000 sealed Israelites (Revelation 7:1-8). “When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9).

6:11 white robes. These “robes” for the “souls” of the slain tribulation saints are not the same as the “fine linen” garments for the resurrected saints comprising the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:8,14). The tribulation saints will not be resurrected until the beginning of the millennial age (see notes on Revelation 20:4). The wearing of these robes, however, does indicate that even souls in paradise have some form of pre-resurrection bodily “house which is from heaven” (see notes on II Corinthians 5:1).

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