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Opening of the Seals IX

By Greg Rangel 

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

(Revelation 6:9). 

Whenever one of the first four seals was opened one of the four living creatures would tell John to come and see. Each seal brought a different judgment through the horsemen mentioned. But now when the fifth seal was opened, no living creature cries out or tells John anything. 

As soon as the fifth seal is opened John said that he “…I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God…” (vs. 9b) 

We are now brought to these individuals that were slain for the Word of God. Who are these individuals? These individuals are those that will become believers during the Great Tribulation Period. We know that because the Rapture of the church already took place (see Revelation 3:10, Isaiah 26:19-21, Zephaniah 2:1-3). And these things mentioned are end time events. 

The next thing that we should notice is that the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God are under the altar (Revelation 6:9). Why not to the side of the altar or in front of the altar? 

As previously mentioned, the interpretation to the book of Revelation has already been given in Scripture. So why are the souls of the martyrs under (in Old Testament is “bottom”) the altar? To get a good understanding of how blood was offered at the bottom of the altar whenever there was sin through ignorance please read Leviticus 4:1-7, 13-18. Please remember that that the Old Testament Tabernacle was a shadow of the heavenly (see Hebrews 8:5). 

The late Dr. Henry Morris’ wrote on this innocent blood and on the saints that are underneath the altar the following, “The blood was innocent blood, spilled in substitution for those who deserved to die, foreshadowing the sinless blood of the Lamb of God, crucified by those whom He came to save. The souls under the altar likewise had offered their lives in testimony for the sake of their Savior, their bloodshed by those whom they sought to lead to salvation.” 

The fifth sign that Jesus gave us in Matthew 24 was the sign of Martyrdom (see Matthew 24:9). And these tribulation saints will be losing their life, not for a lie, not for a career, not for money, but “…for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held” (Revelation 6:9).

Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-26, “…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

I believe that today’s Christians have a grave misunderstanding of what true Christianity is and should be. We as Christians are called to die. Our life is no longer ours but Christ’s. In order for us to live, we must be willing to die. We are here to live and to die for Christ. Christianity is not a social club, but a death club. It is a group of people that are living to die for Christ. That is what we see in Scripture, and that is what we see that the early church understood. It was for that reason that many suffered and died for Christ.

Church history is filled with the blood of people that died at the hands of the wicked. Persecution against true Christians has occurred from the beginning and it even still exists today. And no, persecution is not breaking a nail.

These Christians that have died for the Word of God and for their testimony were not like many of today’s Christians that are seeking a church that will entertain them, or have them hanging from a chandelier in order to make them feel good. You can bet that they did not follow the false doctrines of the “name it and claim it” movements, nor were they throwing themselves to the floor while barking like dogs, or seeking “gold fillings.” Can you imagine Paul the Apostle doing that? I don’t think so. The martyrs were people that were committed to the truth of the Word of God.

Greg Rangel
Borderland Calvary Chapel
www.borderlandcc.org

 

 

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