The Fifth Seal: The cry of the martyrs
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
These souls were slain for the word of God which they delivered, and for the testimony which they held, even under duress. The word was sweet in their mouth, but when they delivered it, it turned bitter in their stomachs as the people rejected their message. But in the face of pushback they did not shrink back. The held to the testimony. They didn’t compromise. They believed what was truly true even in the face of great opposition and personal cost to themselves. Even unto death.
That’s the seal of the martyr. She doesn’t close her doors because she might get sick. She hugs and loves and embraces her brethren, and she continues to speak life until she has no more breath to speak it with.
Next in the vision each one is given a white robe and told to rest until the rest of the martyrs come in so that apart from us they will not be made perfect.
Jesus doesn’t start to eat the meal until everyone comes to the table. He’s preparing the banquet. The marriage supper of the Lamb. But He’s not going to eat a bite until we all arrive, until we all complete the work He’s assigned to us, and we arrive at the dining hall dressed in royal splendor for the party.
Why does God want John and the rest of us to see? When you’re going through the fire, it can be hard. But you need to know that you’re headed to your place under the altar. You’re not alone. If you’re faithful to the end, this is your end, joining the brethren under the altar. Your fellow servants, your brethren, receiving robes. They’re being prepared for the festal gathering of the marriage supper of the lamb.
Nothing you’re going though right now will ever compare to the joining of that crowd under the altar. No matter what you go through, no matter how much rejection, it doesn’t matter. Because there is a cloud of witnesses and a group under the altar that is waiting to receive you!
The seal in five opens the eyes