The Fifth Seal

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Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative | Inclination: promise | Seminary: none

Tribulation saints under the altar

Of all of the seals, trumpets and bowls, the fifth seal is the only one that does not cause any wrathful consequence upon the earth or human beings; it is solely a heavenly event concerning Believers as God's plan of judgment unfolds.

The apostle John saw the souls of Believers who were martyred because of their faith in and testimony of God during the Great Tribulation (Rev 7:13-14).

These saints were comprised of Messianic Jews, Gentile Believers, and new Believers who responded to the evangelism taking place during this time (Rev 7:9).

Upon their release from underneath the altar, the martyred souls were given a white robe (Rev 6:11), which represented the righteous acts of the saints (Rev 19:8). This clothing is reminiscent of Jesus' Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matt 22:1-14), which was worn by the wedding guests. After the gathering of saints (rapture), the wedding banquet actually takes place in heaven; but unlike the parable, the saints represent the bride (Rev 19:7-8)!

It is significant to observe that when the saints of the Great Tribulation (Rev 7:13-14) were given their white robes, they were told to rest "for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also" (Rev 6:11). This suggests that all of the remaining saints, who would die for their faith, will be killed soon.

In the first interlude just prior to the seventh seal, a "great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues" of tribulation saints are presented before the throne of God and before Jesus Christ praising both with palm branches (Rev 7:9-10).

At the end of the sixth trumpet, the apostle John reports that all of the survivors of the plagues were not repentant (Rev 9:20), which suggests that before the seventh trumpet is sounded, all Believers are likely dead.

Seal 5 (Rev 6:9-11)
Third Heaven (location of the Temple of God) Disembodied souls of Great Tribulation saints come from underneath the altar to receive their white robes
Fate of Believers Messianic Jews, Gentile Believers, and new Believers evangelize and continue to be martyred; but, most will not die for their faith. Before the seventh trumpet, Believers who would have died for their faith have passed away by the end of the sixth trumpet (Rev 9:20-21).

For deeper study:

The Fifth Seal

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Series: The Doctrine on Eschatology
The First Four Seals

Series: The Doctrine on Eschatology
The Sixth Seal

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