OPENING THE FIFTH SEAL
The fifth seal is the seal of martyrs. Here is the scripture.

"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 a
little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were,
should be fulfilled." (Rev. 6:9-11).

Houteff commented on the symbols of the fifth seal. ""The certainty that the souls cried from under the
altar, the place from which God's truth is dispensed, makes obvious that they were slain for their
firmness in the Word of God, and that for their faithfulness they were given white robes -- they were
accounted worthy of eternity. That they were the martyrs of the preceding period, the period of the
fourth seal, is clear from the fact that they were already dead when the fifth seal opened."

""Moreover, an altar denotes renewal of faith, reformation. That is what it meant to Noah, Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob in the instances they built their altars (Gen. 8:20; 12:8; 26:25; 35:14). The souls' being under the
altar, indicates that they sacrificed their lives for a cause similar to the cause of the martyrs during the
Protestant Reformation. And the question, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge?" also
the answer, "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," concretely prove that the persecution
and martyrdom of the fourth seal were to overlap the fifth seal..."" (V. T. Houteff, "To The Seven
Churches, The Breaking Of The Seven Seals, 1947, p. 52).

The fifth seal does not end until the final judgment. There are threats to the saints and persecution of
God's people until the destruction of Satan's last armies.

"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to
deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together
to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth,
and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of
heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and
brimstone..." (Rev. 20:7-10).

The saints under the altar were given white robes during the judgment of the dead, they were judged
worthy of eternal life; "white robes were given unto every one of them." They actually needed their white
robes, because they are all,
every one, to be raised into the Millennium Kingdom.

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and
I saw the souls of
them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not
worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their
hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
But the rest of the dead lived not again
until the thousand years were finished.
This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath
part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power
, but they shall be priests of God
and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:4-6).

Those martyrs raised in the first resurrection "lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." However,
they are laid to rest before Satan is freed again, "it was said unto them, that they should rest yet a little
season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be
fulfilled." Their salvation is assured and God Himself will welcome them, in their glorious youthful bodies,
as they rise again on New Earth. They are saints, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first
resurrection: on such the second death hath no power."

In New Earth, God dwells with mankind.  "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven
and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new
Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I
heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell
with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Rev.
21:1-3).

These martyrs were, are and will be Christian soldiers. Because of their faith, they do whatever God asks
of them. They do not fear death. They say of God, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him... He also
shall be my salvation." (Job 13:15,16).

Amo Paul Bishop Roden