Q. I’m having trouble with the souls under the altar in Rev 6:9-11. This sounds so much like true believers waiting many years for the Lord to avenge our blood. If these souls were killed during the Tribulation wouldn’t they know that they wouldn’t have to wait much longer without asking ? Also why do you think John didn’t see or mention a multitude of people before the tribulation starts? I know many believe the 24 elders with crowns perhaps represent the raptured saints but why wouldn’t John make it more clear what was to happen to true believers before the tribulation ?
A. These souls have no connection to the rapture because if they were part of the Church they would have been resurrected at the time of the rapture and wouldn’t be under the altar. Therefore they have to be either from the Old Testament or are martyrs from the seal judgments, when many will die as wars will rage in 1/4th of the world (Rev. 6:8). The fact that God tells them to be patient until the rest of the tribulation martyrs are slain tells us they will be resurrected at the end of the Great Tribulation and are most likely the first martyrs of Daniel’s 70th Week. I see their cries for vengeance as being more of an impatient demand for swift justice than a lack of knowledge about their future.
I disagree that there are too many unknowns about the rapture to make the pre-trib view certain. Romans 5:9,1 Thes. 1:10, and Rev. 3:10 all agree that the Church will be rescued from the time and place of God’s wrath, which will have begun with the seal judgments (Rev. 6:16-17). Also, taken together Acts 15:13-18 and Romans 11:25 tell us the Church must be gone before Daniel’s 70th Week begins.