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Chasing the Life Giver

The Cry of the Martyred Saints
The Fifth Seal
The Cry of the Martyred Saints
Pastor Harry 7/26/15

I was recently asked if I would write something on the fifth seal of Revelation Chapter Six. The fifth seal will be the close of the natural calamities on the earth for it is between the fifth and six seal that the rapture of the firstfruits will take place. The six seal will follow quickly and will be the beginning of supernatural calamities leading into the Great Tribulation. In order to understand the prophecies in the book of Revelation believers must be willing to lay aside their teachings, thoughts and opinions on this book. They must be willing to lay aside all that they think they know. There are principles that must be applied in studying this book like the principle of first mention and the principles of context and consistency. If we continue to study this book in the same old ways no matter how many times we read it we will still be confused. The opening of the seven seals by the Lamb occurs immediately after Christ ascension to the heavens. Through his incarnation, resurrection and ascension Christ became fully qualified to open the mystery of Gods economy, which is contained in the seven seals. In the book of Revelation Chapter Six we read of the four horsemen. Most believers think that the first horse and rider are either Christ or the antichrist but according to the principles of context and consistency both concepts are incorrect. The white horse is a symbol of the preaching of the gospel, which is clean, pure, just, and approvable both to men and to God. In studying these scriptures we must apply the principles of context and consistency. The second horse and his rider are undoubtedly war, the rider of the third horse is famine, and the rider of the forth horse is death. As you can see these are not persons but personification of things. Since the three horses and their riders are personification of things this tells us that the first horse must be a personification also. According to the principle of consistency, this rider must also be a personification of the preaching of the Gospel. The first four seals have already been opened; they were opened shortly after Christ ascension to the throne. From the beginning of the first century the gospel has been spreading throughout the world for the last twenty centuries and now into the twenty-first. Simultaneously, war has been raging among the human race. War always causes famine and famine always issues in death. War, famine and death are for the propagation of the gospel. All these things, the preaching of the gospel, war, famine and death will continue until the end of this age.

Now we come to the fifth seal. The fifth seal is the cry of the martyred souls from underneath the alter, the prayer of the martyred saints from paradise for vengeance, "And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the alter the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and because of the testimony which they had. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, how long, O' Lord, holy and true, will you not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? And to each of them was given a white robe; and it was said to them that they should rest yet a little while, until also the number of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed, even as they were, is completed (Rev. 6:9-11). The fifth seal shows Christian martyrs from the first century to the time near the end of this age. This probably includes the martyrdom of the Old Testament saints read Matthew 23: 34-36. While the preaching of the gospel as indicated by the first seal is proceeding, the faithful saints are continually being martyred even unto this day. First John 5:19 tells us that, "The whole world lies in the evil one." Both the preaching of the word of God and living a life of the testimony of Jesus stand against the satanic trend in the world today. Satan certainly hates this. So, whenever and wherever the saints preach the word of God and live the testimony of Jesus, Satan will stir up people to persecute them, even unto death. This fighting is not between believers and nonbelievers, but between Satan and God. The time will soon come when God will avenge the saints by exercising His righteous judgment over the earth, which is under Satan's evil influence. The altar is in the outer court of the tabernacle and the temple which in figure the outer court signifies the earth. So, "underneath the altar" is underneath the earth, where the souls of the martyred saints are. It is the paradise where the Lord Jesus went after His death (Luke 23:43). Matthew 12:40, shows us that it is in the heart of the earth, and is the comfortable section of Hades where Abraham is (Acts 2:27; Luke 16:22-26). Today, the martyred saints are in paradise underneath the altar, that is, underneath the earth. It is an error to say that these saints are in heaven. The original Scofield Reference Bible has a note on Luke 16:23 that indicates that paradise was under the earth before Christ's resurrection, but that with Christ's resurrection it was transferred from under the earth to the third heaven. However, on the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the Lord's resurrection, Peter said, "David did not ascend into the heavens" (Acts 2:34). In his book, "Firstfruits and Harvest" on page 54, G. H. Lang, a Brethren teacher says, "the Scripture nowhere declares" that after Christ's ascension paradise was transferred from under the earth to the third heaven, "but is wholly against it." He also pointed out the verse in Acts 2 where Peter said that David was not in heaven. This shows us clearly that all the martyred saints are still in paradise underneath the altar. Many Christians do not know that paradise is in Hades. The strongest proof of this is that of the Lord's own words to the saved thief on the cross in Luke 23:43, "Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise." Acts 2:27 and 31 reveal that after the Lord Jesus died He went to Hades. Matthew 12:40 indicates that Hades is in "the heart of the earth" where the Lord Jesus went for three days and nights after His death. The scriptures show us that in Hades there is a pleasant section likened to Abraham's bosom where Lazarus went (Luke 16:23). Using 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, some have argued that when Paul was "caught away into paradise" he was "caught away to the third heaven." But 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 does not prove that paradise is in the third heaven; rather, it proves the opposite. The word "and" at the beginning of verse 3 proves that Paul's being "caught away to the third heaven" and his being "caught away into paradise" mentioned in verses 3 and 4 are two different places. The Greek word rendered "caught up" in verses 2 and 4 may also be translated "caught away."
In this way, Paul received a full vision of the entire universe. Paul came to know the things on earth, the things in heaven, and the things under the earth (paradise). He had the greatest revelation of the universe ever given to man.

When the saved die, they become unclothed, naked, no longer having a body. For a human being not to have a body means that he is in an abnormal condition. No one can be in the presence of God in the third heaven, in this naked, abnormal condition. So, the dead saints are being kept in a pleasant place until the time of their resurrection when God will clothe them with a new and glorified body and they will once more be a complete person in a normal condition. Some may wonder about Philippians 1:23, where Paul said that he had a desire "to depart and be with Christ." Paul seemed to be saying, "If I die, I will be with Christ" but to be with Christ is not an absolute matter; it is a relative one. Even now we are with Christ. Wherever we are, we are with Him. Of course, while we are in this physical body we can never be as close to Christ as we will be when we die; passing out of this world and entering into the next. But this does not mean when the believers die they are taken to the heaven. Believers will not enter into heaven until the day of resurrection and rapture. Others may use 1 Thessalonians 4 to argue that the dead saints are with Christ in heaven. They say that when Christ comes back, He will bring the dead believers with Him, and that this proves that they must be with Him in heaven. But read this chapter carefully. It says that, "the dead in Christ shall rise first and those who are living and remain shall be caught up at the same time together with them in the clouds" (1 Thes. 4:16-17). According to 1 Thessalonians 4, the dead saints will be resurrected and along with the living ones will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. We all need to read the Bible more carefully and not follow today's traditional, superficial teachings. We must be clear that the saved saints are not in heaven but in a pleasant place the Bible calls paradise, the place where the Lord Jesus visited after He died on the cross. After waiting for a long time, near to the end of this age, the martyred saints will cry out for revenge urging the Lord to judge and avenge their blood "on those who dwell on the earth." Verse 11 says, "And to each of them was given a white robe; and it was said to them that they should rest yet a little while, until the number of their fellow slaves and their brothers who are about to be killed even as they were should be completed." The white robe here signifies that God has approved their martyrdom. Those "who are about to be killed" refers to those who will be martyred during the great tribulation (Rev. 20:4). According to the word, "yet a little while until the number...should be completed," shows that this cry of the martyred saints should take place near the end of this age. At the present time we are still in the first four seals, the fifth seal has not yet come. However, I do believe that we are very close to the time of the fifth seal. And when the fifth seal is open the sixth seal will follow quickly. The sixth seal is the answer to the cry of the martyred saints.
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