The fifth seal is opened.
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?"
(Revelation 6:9-10 NIV)
I want you to keep something in mind as we go ahead. Nothing is in this book we call the bible, is by accident, and this look into heaven, at this first set of martyrs is no different. Why would I be compelled to mention that? Because this insertion of slain saints between such horrors seems out-of-place.
Every previous seal has been filled with death, destruction, and deceit, and yet this seal gives us a look back into heaven at those who have been slain since some specific point-in-time. I like to think that the point is the catching away of the church. If this details a mid tribulation catching away, that of course negates the concept, pointed out in (1 Thessalonians 5:9 AMP)
For God has not appointed us to [incur His] wrath [He did not select us to condemn us], but [that we might] obtain [His] salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)”.
This passage dictates that there is a wrath to come aside from mere human cruelty, and that this wrath has a specific time period, seven-years and goes by multiple names, such as: Jacob’s troubles, or the tribulation, and it has a specific purpose. Those who choose to fight with me over this premise are failing to answer a couple of questions:
- If I am wrong, why a limited number of slain?
- Since John got a second glimpse at the martyred, why was that number uncountable?
- Why just focus on two reasons for their deaths: The Word of God, and the testimony which they held.Let’s be honest; many Christians have died merely going about the affairs of everyday life, but nothing sets them apart as belonging to the Lord. If you think your bumper sticker on your car sets you apart as God’s then you have not been cut off on the freeway, or flipped off by the driver of a car with a “christian” symbol on their car, as I have. So clearly that is not what these people have done.
They were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Maintained through what?
If they had been part of the church that had awaited Jesus return then they would not have been here. (I suppose you figured out that my point-of-view is one of pre-tribulation rapture.) So these people now come from every walk of life, and may even include that fifty percent that Jesus described in Matthew 25.
There was something distinctly different about these people and those yet to be martyred, and yet this difference was not there just minutes before the rapture of the church. No, prior to that day they did not understand, care, or because of deception were looking for answers in things that had no meaning.
I looked up some numbers on religious populations in the United States. Mormons number about 6.1 million; Jehovah’s Witness claim numbers equaling 7.65 million, none of this accounts for the obscure religious sects, and those in traditional religion that do not pursue God in a way that maintains the oil in their lamps. When you consider that every cult is based in some form of truth (that is the general premise in deception – draw them in with some form of truth.) then every cult has enough truth to send people toward Jesus Christ. Since that rarely happens then we should understand that scripture tells us that the god of this world has blinded them.
A light bulb suddenly turned on.
Whatever twisted message they have spread will change, as will the books they have carried. I strongly suspect that in the United States the Word of God will be declared illegal and yet these new believers will carry it proudly, knowing full well that this act will take them to their deaths. What would you do with the realization that the one you rejected for years was true and now you have this one last chance to declare your newly found love for him. They will do this regardless of the cost, because of His love.
Killed, as they were.
(Revelation 6:11 KJV) 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 fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Some have already died and more are to come. How do we justify a delineation in this time some call the great tribulation? On a personal level, how much greater does wrath have to get when it is directed at you?
Just to make a point, my Dake’s bible indicates that verse 12 of chapter 6 begins the wrath of God. I don’t see it, for wrath merely continues, and I will attempt to pursue that with the sixth seal.
They will come from every cult, religion, race and nation.
What if bible believers are right and Jesus is coming back for those who long for and await him. Then all those who practice a form of religion, having been deceived and turned against receiving the king of glory, Jesus Christ, now wake up. How that happens is not my business, but the Holy Spirit, through God’s word, tells me that it will. Falling on their knees they will ask the one they ignored for so long to forgive them, come into them, and accept them into his kingdom, which he will. Their numbers will be uncountable.
One of the fallacies about the time after the rapture, is that many believe that the Holy Spirit is taken away. What I believe we see is the power and drawing ability of the Holy Spirit as he continues to direct people to the kingdom. Who do you think it is that gives these people who never had a backbone before to now have one? Most will face horrendous tortures and death and I think they will quickly come to this understanding.