And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
In our times it appears that there will be many, many saints who will eventually give up their lives for their faith in Christ Jesus. The scriptures make it abundantly clear that martyrdom is the rule rather than the exception in the Last Days of this present evil age. During the opening of the Seven Seals in the Book of Revelation, we find a group of saints who had been martyred for their faith in Christ. This group then cried out to God asking how long until he to avenged their blood upon those that dwell on the earth. They are then told to wait upon the LORD until the rest of those who are to be martyred is accomplished. These saints have have been given a white robe, a sign of their salvation and victory over sin. We know that God answers prayer and will surely answer the prayers of those saints who have sacrificed their lives and loved their God more than their own lives. They will be be heard. Later in the seventh chapter of Revelation we find that these saints are complemented by another group of saints who come out of Great Tribulation (Rev 7:14). These saints seem to have a higher status than the first group because in addition to the the white robe, they are each given a palm1 in their hand. This is a contrast to the first group that did not have the palms. The first group (in chapter 6) is found under the alter whereas the second group is found before the throne. Here it would be wise to remember that once the mark of the beast is instituted there is a special blessing pronounced on those that die in the LORD from that time onwards.
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.
Here we can see that the Tribulation saints are accorded special status. It is interesting to note here that there is a blessing put not just on those that are martyred during the tribulation and the because they refused to take the Mark of the Beast, but on all who die in the tribulation. This is an important yet very subtle distinction. Those that are martyred before the tribulation and those that die (not just martyred) during the tribulation are two distinct groups of saints and two distinct sets of rewards are indicated.
Here we find a minor mystery solved in the Book of revelation as these two distinct groups of saints are a point of some contention. These verses were never meant to solve the problem of when the rapture (translation) occurs but rather were to show the fate of those believers who remained faithful to Jesus Christ unto death. The prayer of the first group is a very interesting clue as to the the fact that there are martyrs included in the second group of believers and the first group is told to wait until the rest of the saints are to be martyred BEFORE God will avenge their blood on those that dwell upon the Earth. Then you notice some interesting occurrences just after we see the second group of saints stand before the Throne of God.
And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
We see that the prayers of the saints are heard by God as the Angel brings the Censor to the altar. Once the prayers are officially handed over to God, he moves in with some frightening Judgments on the World in the form of the seventh Seal which Contain the Seven Trumpets. Now the seven trumpet Judgments contain the the Three Woes and the Seven Vials of God's Wrath.
These are all Judgments upon the world that Martyred God's chosen ones. God will avenge his saints with such a horrendous onslaught of judgment that our minds simply cannot completely fathom its nature (See Rev Chapter 9 for just one example of this). Thus it should cause us Christians who serve God, the only true and living God, that we will in all likelihood have to give our lives for Christ. There will not be very many Christians left on Earth during the time of severe persecution. Indeed, is this not what Jesus said, in clear and concise terms during the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24)?
First comes the Deceivers and false prophets,
Then comes wars and Rumors of wars,
Then Comes Persecution and martyrdom.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Notice Jesus said that they shall kill you, not might kill you or could kill you but shall kill you.
This explains a point of contention that many say is proof of a Pre-Tribulation rapture that being the sealing of the 144,000, the servants of God. Well, if you notice that these Children Of Israel are sealed at the same time all the saints come out of the Tribulation (see Revelation Chapter 7). God will have a witness on earth. The gentile saints (church) are gone, weather though martyrdom, war, natural disasters, or natural death. Thus God seals another group of very special believers to bear witness to the world. These are the first fruits of God, the 144,000. God will have a witness.
They will continue to bear the message of the Gospel and warn the world of its judgment, after the gentile saints are gone (not raptured see this article on the Rapture). These gentile saints will eventually be resurrected at the last trump.
Martyrdom is going to be the rule rather than the exception in the coming days for believers. Look for persecution to reach a fever pitch in the coming days and, I almost hate to say this, but I think it will the worst in America as I am convinced America is a key part of the Antichrist system in the last days. It will do the will of its father, the prince of darkness and kill and destroy the remnant of God.
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
Please take some time out and read these articles Is America Babylon and Babylon.
American Christians, beware the false sense of security you have. You are being watched tracked and monitored by the Beast until such time as GOD ALLOWS us to be persecuted and killed by the Beast system.
Of uncertain derivation; a palm tree: - palm (tree).