RV 6:9 And when the Lamb opened the Fifth Seal I saw underneath the Altar souls slaughtered because of the Word of The God and their testimony. RV 6:10 They cried out with a great voice, saying: “Holy and True Master, until when are you not judging and not avenging our blood upon those inhabiting the earth.” RV 6:11 And each one of them was given a white robe. They were told to rest for a little while until the completion of their fellow slaves and brothers, those about to be killed just as they were. [21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures - NCMM]
Not only have the masses of mankind suffered - as the horsemen in the first four Seals predict -- but history bulges with the accounts of the untold numbers of Christian martyrs which exceed all those deaths in the Holocaust. These Christian martyrs, many of them Jewish, sealed their confessions of Christ with death by imprisonment, torture, or execution. Fox’s Book of Martyrs recounts many of these. This ongoing persecution of Nazarene Saints has continued unabated down to our own time. Even in these enlightened years in the first part of the 21st century, Christians are still martyred for their faith in one place after another around the globe. The greatest Christian Holocaust lies ahead in the future Great Oppression.
With this Fifth Seal the Lamb’s Small (Apocalyptic) Bible covers those many centuries since the enthronement of Christ down to our own day. From here on in the Small (Apocalyptic) Bible or the Apocalypse, the main subject under consideration in the various visions will be those Christians alive in those critical years before the Return of Christ. There is yet a Great Oppression which will be the single greatest example of a Christian Holocaust without parallel since the days of Nero!
The Fifth Seal (Revelation 6:9-11) has the blood of the martyrs crying out for vengeance much as Abel’s blood called out to God. Genesis 4:10 records this: “Listen! Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground.” [NWT] And Paul alludes to the same verse at Hebrews 12:24, “Jesus, to a mediator of a New Covenant - and to the blood of sprinkling which speaks in a better way than Abel.” [NCMM]
Some feel the martyrs are here resurrected to their place in heaven. However, the word “rest” generally means an unconscious sleep in death waiting the resurrection. (Daniel 12:13; John 11:11-14; 1 Corinthians 15:6, 18, 20, 51) In Revelation 6:11 these martyrs are told to “rest” until the final tally of all others who would seal their faith with death, ‘Rest a little time until the number is fulfilled of your fellow slaves and brothers about to be killed as you.’ There is to be many more martyrs, and judging from Revelation 13:5-10 many of these Saints will perish in the Great Oppression. [From Nazarene Apocalypse 2000©]
It is clear that this cry of the Christian martyrs throughout the Gospel Age occurs before the Sixth Seal. The Sixth Seal includes the celestial darkness and the approach of the Day of Wrath of both Yehowah and the Lamb. What is to happen before this celestial phenomenon? The receiver of the Revelation, Jesus the Nazarene, is consistent with himself, for he taught that after the Great Oppression the Son of Man would Return visibly to gather all the Saints through the Church Age. Matthew 24:29-31 [and related verses] records the truth of Christ’s prediction:
Matthew 24:29 But immediately after the oppression of those days ‘there will be signs in sun and moon and stars: the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from the heaven and the heavenly dynamics will be shaken. Luke 21:25And upon the earth anguish of nations in perplexity (noise of an agitated sea) men fainting from fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth. Matthew 24:30 ‘And then there will appear in the sky the sign of the Son of Man. Then all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in lamentation. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and much glory.’ Luke 21:28 But as these things start to occur rise and look upward ‘because your deliverance is drawing near.’ Matthew 24:31 And the Son of Man will send off his angels ‘with a great trumpet and they will gather his Chosen Ones from the four winds Mark 13:27(from the extremity of earth to heaven’s extremity) from one extreme of the sky to another extreme.’ Mark 13:28 But learn from the fig tree, and all the trees, this parable: when the branch becomes tender and the tender leaves begin to sprout you know that summer is already near. Mark 13:29 So, also, when you see these things you will know that he is near at the doors. Luke 21:31Know the Kingdom of God is near!” [NCMM]
The 5th Seal describes the cry of the Christian martyrs throughout the Gospel Age. They scream for vengeance against those who persecuted them. This 5th Seal occurs before the 6th Seal. The 6th Seal will describe the final moments of the end-time as far as the Saints are concerned. The celestial phenomenon occurs as a “sign” that the King is about to return. The entire globe is aware and frightened of this approach of the Day of Wrath of God and the Lamb. However, what might break forth immediately is suspended for a moment when the four angels are constrained. There must be a period to “seal” the remnant of the twelve tribes of Israel - the 144,000. They are described as a Large Crowd of survivors of the Great Oppression and this is outlined in Revelation 6:12-7:17. Chapters 11-14:5 will go on to describe this worst holocaust of all time and the final triumph of the end-time Saints who experience these times of horror.
Nazarene Commentary 2000© by Mark Heber Miller
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