The Lamb Breaks the Fifth Seal – Prophecy 69 – The Slain Martyrs, Revelation 6:9-11
THE DRAMATIC MOMENT HAS ARRIVED:
God’s book – the book of Destiny, the great book of history, the book that spells out the future of the world is now being opened.
- There is only one Person who is worthy to open the Book; it is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
- The book is so secretive, it contains such important subjects, that God has had seven seals tied around it.
- No one has ever seen the contents of the book.
- No one has ever seen the events that are to happen at the end of the world.
- But now, in the most dramatic of moments, Jesus Christ has stepped forward to the throne of God and taken the book out of God’s extended hand.
- Standing around the throne with pounding hearts burning with anticipation were all the heavenly hosts and John the apostle to whom God was giving this vision.
- Then the most astounding thing happened. When Jesus began to break the seals in order to open the book, John and the heavenly hosts were witnessing events that were actually happening in the future. Remember, these events are all in the future so John and the host of heaven were seeing the events of the future.
- Note a significant fact. Christ has not yet opened the book or scroll; He is breaking the seals. What John and the heavenly hosts are witnessing are the events that are to happen before the end time, the period of history that Jesus Christ called “the beginning of sorrows.” Again, the events are preliminary to the end time. They are coming upon the earth BEFORE THE END TIME.
- The seals have to be broken — their breaking open has to take place before the book and its events can be seen. Four seals were broken in the previous studies. When they were, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse came forth and executed their wrath upon the earth.
- Now it is time for the dramatic breaking of the fifth seal, time for another astounding event to travel across the scenes of history.
- The souls of the martyrs are to be seen under the altar (Revelation 6: 9).
- They are the slain for God’s Word and testimony (v. 9).
- They are crying out for justice (v. 10).
- However, they are given white robes (v. 11).
- Also, they are assured of justice (v. 11).
So, the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, breaks the fifth seal. When He does, the souls of all the martyrs of the world are seen under the altar. However, this could be a picture of all the martyrs who have died for the Lord Jesus Christ down through the ages. It tells us where their souls are located.
However, this particular reference is probably to the martyrs of the end time. The fact that they cry out for justice against those who killed them and that judgment falls in the sixth seal points to the reference being to the end time martyrs.
However, what John and the heavenly host see is probably the collection of all martyrs, for the souls of all are no doubt living together before God. This is a most precious thought: the martyrs of God are very special people TO God, and because of their strong testimony and sacrifice for Him, they hold a very special place before Him.
The slain martyrs are under the altar. Remember what Scripture teaches about the tabernacle; the furnishings of the tabernacle were only patterns of the worship center in heaven (Exodus 25:8-9, 40; Numbers 8:4; Hebrews 8:5; 9:23).
This means that there is a perfect altar of sacrifice in the throne room of heaven. What is the altar of sacrifice or what is called in the Bible the brazen altar? It was the altar where the animals were sacrificed. The blood was poured out at the foot of the altar, symbolizing that the animal was being sacrificed for the person offering it.
The Brazen Altar in the Courtyard
1. The facts:
- It was 7 1/2 feet square and 4 1/2 feet high.
- It was made of acacia wood covered in brass.
- It was a hollow box-like structure with a brass grate across its top.
- There were four horns, one arising from each corner, for tying down the sacrificial animals.
2. What the altar taught:
- Substitutionary sacrifice is necessary for the forgiveness of sins.
- There is no forgiveness without the shedding of the blood of a sacrifice.
- There is no way to approach God to be saved other than through the death of a substitute.
3. How Christ fulfilled the symbolism of the brazen altar:
“[I] give my life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb for the slaughter, and as a sheep before shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14).
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:2-3).
God is Holy and so the believer is to be Holy (I Peter 1:15-16).
“…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5).
The picture of the altar is an important reminder of the lives of the martyrs; their blood has been sacrificed and poured out for God.
Note 7 things:
- The martyrs have offered their lives up for God.
- They paid the supreme price.
- They literally sacrificed all they were for God.
- They offered up their lives upon the altar of sacrifice for God.
- Therefore, in heaven the martyrs have a very special place before God; they stand at the foot of the altar.
- They are a group of believers who are given a very special place near to God for all of eternity.
- This is a reasonable sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2).
THE STRONG LESSON IN THIS FOR ALL BELIEVERS OF ALL AGES
- God has a very special place for those who are faithful until death.
- It is a place that is close and dear to His heart and throne.
- This should stir us to be faithful every minute of every day (Colossians 3:1-4).
- What a precious and heartwarming thought this is!
- Believers will be close to His throne and presence, serving Him throughout eternity after having laid down their life for Him.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it“ (Matthew 16:25, emphasis added, KJV).
“And he said to them all, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me‘ “ (Luke 9:23, emphasis added, KJV).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2, emphasis added, KJV).
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is IN YOU, which ye have of God, and ye ARE NOT YOUR OWN? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:19-20, emphasis added, KJV.
“Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all” (Philippians 2:17, emphasis added, KJV).
(Revelation 6:9) – Martyrs – Witnessing – Word of God. The slain martyrs were slain for God’s Word and for the testimony they had borne for Christ. There are two things to take note of:
1. They were slain for the Word of God in the last days of human history. Some people will still love Christ and still believe the Holy Scriptures. They will love the Word of God.
*They will believe it. *They will witness to it.
*They will live by it. *They will teach it.
*They will read it. *They will preach it.
*They will study it. *They will pray over it.
*They will die for it.
2. This world will react against the Word of God and kill believers, especially those who teach the Bible. Why?
- The world will react because God’s Word demands that a person give his first loyalty to Jesus Christ.
- In the end time under the antichrist, the peoples of the world will be required to give their first loyalty to the state.
- The government will demand loyalty to the state first, then the people can have freedom of religion and worship whatever god they wish.
- The state will develop the idea of what could be called A STATE RELIGION, something close to what exists in some states today. Believers, of course, can only give their first loyalty to Christ; therefore, they will be killed [martyred], for they cannot deny the Word of God.
“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, saying, ‘ Did not we strictly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.’ Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘ We ought to obey God rather than men‘ ” (Acts 5:27-29, emphasis added, KJV}
The world will react because God’s Word demands that a person live a pure and righteous life. In the end time people will be as they have always been,unwilling to give up the reins to their lives. They will continue to rebel against God, to do what they want, their own thing, instead of living like God says to live. But in the end time rebellion against God will be intensified. People will:
*reject God more and more *neglect God more and more
*curse God more and more *disobey God more and more
*deny God more and more *disbelieve God more and more
*ignore God more and more
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:15-16, KJV).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2, KJV).
The point is this: The world in the end time will reject God’s Word. The world and its government will demand that believers give their first allegiance to the state and that they keep quiet about the righteousness proclaimed in Scripture. The government will be like so many governments that deny a personal God and they have a law against worshiping a personal God. The state will be atheistic and exalt itself as god.
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (I Thessalonians 2:13, emphasis added, KJV)
“ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16, emphasis added, KJV)
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a DOER, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:21-25, emphasis added).
Good question: Are You Obeying God’s will (James 4:15)?
“For that ye OUGHT TO SAY, If the Lord WILL, we shall live, and do this or that.” (James 4:15).
“If the Lord will” is not just a statement on a believer’s lips: it is the constant attitude of his heart. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work” (John 4:34). Often in his letters Paul referred to the will of God as he shared his plans with his friends (Romans 1:10; 15:32; I Corinthians 4:19; 16:7).
TEST YOUR LIFE AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD!
Please begin with John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:9-13 and ask if you have carried out God’s will for your life. In other words, have you truly asked Christ to be your Savior? Or, are you just playing some kind of game with God’s Word? If you have not truly accepted Christ as your Savior, why not?
If you are saved but have not been living like you should, look at I John 1:9, repent of your sins and ask God to forgive you and truly live by His Word. God will bless you richly if you follow His Word. Consider, Ephesians 1:3-7; Philippians 4: 13; 19; I John 5:4-5; I Peter 5:7-8).