- They called out in “a loud voice,” not “loud voices.” Individuals speaking with one voice indicate that Heaven is a place of unity and shared perspective.
- The martyrs are fully conscious, rational, and aware of eachother, God, and the situation on Earth.
- They ask God to intervene on Earth and to act on their behalf: “How long…until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” (v. 10).
- Those in the Heaven are free to ask God questions, which means they have an audience with God. It also means they need to learn. In Heaven, popped desire understanding and pursue it.
10.People in the present Heaven know what’s happening on Earth (v. 10). The martyrs know enough to realize that those who killed them have not yet been judged.
11. Heaven dwellers have a deep concern for justice and retribution (v. 10). When we go to Heaven, we won’t adopt a passive disinterest in what happens on the earth. On the contrary, our concerns will be more passionate and our thirst for justice greater. Neither God nor we will be satisfied until his enemies are judged, our bodies raised, sin and Satan defeated, Earth restored, and Christ exalted over all.
12.The martyrs clearly remember their lives on Earth (v. 10). They even remember that they were murdered.
13.The martyrs in Heaven pray for judgement on their persecutors who are still at work hurting others. They are acting in solidarity with, and in effect interceding for, the suffering saints on Earth. This suggest that saints in Heaven are both seeing and praying for saints on Earth.
14.Those in Heaven see GOd’s attributes (“Sovereign…holy and true”) in a way that makes his judgment of sin more understandable.
15.Those in Heaven are distinct individuals (v. 11 each with a white robe). There isn’t one merged identity that obliterates uniqueness, but a distinct “each of them.”
16. The martyrs’ wearing white robes suggests the possibility of actual physical forms, because disembodied spirits presumably don’t wear robes. The robes may well have symbolic meaning, but it doesn’t mean they couldn’t also be physical. The martyrs appear to have physical forms that John could actually see.
17.God answers their question (v. 11), indicating communication and process in Heaven. It also demonstrates that we won’t know everything in Heaven—if we did, we would have no questions. The martyrs knew more after God answered their question than before they asked it. There is learning in the present Heaven.
18. God promises to fulfill the martyrs’ requests, but says they will have to “wait a little longer” (v. 11). Those in the Present Heaven live in anticipation of the future fulfillment of God’s promises. Unlike the eternal Heaven—where there will be no more sin, Curse, or suffering on the New Earth (Rev. 21:4)—the present Heaven coexists with and watches over an Earth under sin, the Curse, and suffering.
19.There is time in the Present Heaven (vv. 10-11). The white-robed martyrs ask God a time-dependent question: “How long, Sovereign Lord…until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” (v. 10). They are aware of time’s passing and are eager for the coming day of the Lord’s judgment. God answers that they must “wait a little longer” until certain events transpire on Earth. Waiting requires the passing of time.