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The Seals (6 of 9)
Revelation 6:9-11 (NASB95)
The Fifth Seal-Martyrs
9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
Let's go ahead and pick up where we left off…
You're recall that the first four seals were opened,
and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse went out…
one being a false sense of peace, one being war, one being famine,
and the last one being death and the grave.
Now, in verse 9, Jesus breaks the next seal…the fifth seal,
and John then sees the souls of those slain because of
the Word of God, and their testimony…
So who would these 'souls' or saints be? Well, …
Upon our initial reading of these verses,
we might try to see them as including all of God's followers
who have ever been martyred for their belief and their testimony from Old Testament times through the Tribulation.
There are some who have put this idea forth in their teachings and commentaries.
But, while the Old Testament saints possibly could be classified as martyrs
and be included in the picture, in actuality, the real emphasis here
by John is on New Testament believers.
The saints are described here as those who have been persecuted for
their witness for Christ, according to Rev. 1:9.
Plus, the use of the word, 'slain', seems to also indicate
that John had ONLY literal martyrs are in mind,
rather than being m ...
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