Revelation 6:9 ‘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.’
The previous verses of chapter six describes the infamous four horses of the apocalypse. The false and deceptive antichrist brings warfare; persecution; hunger and death in his wake.
The fifth seal brings us well into the great tribulation described by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse.
Matthew 24:21 ‘For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again.’
The fifth seal also brings a great word of encouragement. It is true that there will be a mighty wave of persecution and martyrdom during this time as the antichrist fights in anger.
Revelation 12:17 ‘Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
But yet the martyrs will be brought under the altar, close to Jesus. They will be safe in his presence. He has been true to his promise.
Revelation 2:10a ‘Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.’
Tomorrow we explore their call for justice.