5th Seal – Martyrdom and Sorrow
There will be a time of religious persecution for believers in Christ.
Are we ready to die?
Rev 6:9 ¶ 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:
Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11 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.
There have been times when I thought all the saints and Israel would go through the one tribulation together, and then be rescued by Jesus as a group.
Then a time of wrath would follow, which was only for the wicked.
But, according to Revelation, there are 2 times of martyrdom, and only one is actually realized, or experienced, during the 5th seal.
The fifth seal indicates two times of martyrdom:
1. During the 5th seal itself, saints are killed.
2. A future time, when their brethren will be killed “as they were.”
Also, there is a “little season” between the 2 martyrdom events
The 6th seal that follows is described in Revelation gives the time of
the first martyrdom in relation to time of the return of Jesus:
Rev 6:12 ¶ And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
This 6th seal event matches the return of Jesus in the clouds described in Matthew, and marks the end of the tribulation (seals 1-5):
Mat 24:29 ¶ Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
So, if the first martyrdom precedes the return of Jesus, which is AFTER the tribulation (seals 1-5)……
Then, the second time of martyrdom follows it, which means there are still saints, or those who will become saints, on earth after the first tribulation.
This also means there are 2 “tribulation” periods with martyrdom in each:
1. the first Tribulation, and
2. what follows, which is the Great Tribulation, or time of Wrath, or Jacob’s trouble.
Those that remain for the 2nd martyrdom are the untested Church,
and natural, unsaved Israel.
The second, or Great Tribulation does not start until God’s servants are sealed.
Rev 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
The second group of martyrs are described as the first group:
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
The devil is cast down and directly persecutes the saints ( Jewish and Christian):
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Rev 12:13 ¶ And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child].
** the woman who brought forth the child is Israel, who is persecuted.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
** the untested Christians are persecuted.
How are saints martyred?
Here, in Revelation 20, it describes the martyrdom of the second group (time period), and possibly the first group.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Last Chance for Christianity
Until Jesus gathers all the saints from both groups, believers have a chance to take up their cross and follow Jesus.
God is not interested in prosperity messages, status in the church as deacon, pastor, prophet, apostle, book sales, or successful TV shows.
He is interested in a blood covenant with those who are willing to lay down this life for the next one.
The Lord died for us, our sins and our salvation.
Are we ready to die for Him, declaring allegiance to Him in faith?
Or will we deny Him, to save ourselves from persecution?
If we are not tested now, we will be tested later.
If we fail both tests, then our eternal destiny cannot be with Him.