"Prayers for Judgment"
Revelation 6:9-17

“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.” [Rev 6:9]

At first glance this fifth seal seems unique in that it doesn’t administer any sort of judgment. “And they cried with a loud voice saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’” [Rev 6:10, emphasis mine] No judgment per se, but notice their cry! These souls are in fervent prayer for judgment. It is similar to the imprecatory psalms; psalms calling upon God to judge our adversaries. Psalms 64:7-9 and 79:10 are examples.

In this time of grace and mercy, we may not embrace these kinds of imprecatory prayers, but in the midst of the Tribulation, imprecatory prayers will be partnered with the Lamb administering judgment.

The focus of the fifth seal is not martyrdom, “because martyrdom could not be judgment from God.” [MacArthur] It embraces the context of furthering God’s wrath and judgment through prayer. The fifth seal is a loosening of the prayerful force behind the acts of Judgment administered by the Lamb.

These prayers of martyred Tribulation Saints are a spiritual potency by which the 7th Seal of judgment is fueled. Just as the prayers of the Saints today [during this time of Mercy] partner in the work of salvation; so will be the prayers of those “souls under the altar” partner in the work of vengeance [during the Tribulation].

The Seals of judgment depict Jesus in a different manner. His posture is one of authority and Judge, no longer Intercessor. And from this position, He will restore all things. Dr. Barnhouse said it well:

“There are four things out of place in the universe:

  1. The church is out of place; she ought to be in heaven.
  2. Israel is out of place; she ought to be in the Land sworn to her and possess every part of it.
  3. The devil is out of place; he ought to be in the lake of fire but he is still roaming free.
  4.  And Christ is out of place; He should be through with intercession and seated on His throne, reigning, instead of upon His Father’s throne interceding.”

This Day, however, is fast approaching when Jesus will put all things in their rightful place.