Revelation 6:9 “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had held.”
This prophecy in Revelation 6 is about the end times generation and predicts terrible tribulations to come. And in the midst of these trials we see a vision of the souls who were slain because of the word of God and for their testimony that they had maintained.
Though every word of God is pure (Proverbs 30:5), the world hates the word because it exposes their evil deeds; and those who maintain the testimony of Christ by the word of God live as candles by which the light of God’s word shines brightly in the world. As tribulation begins to unfold upon the world, they will come to a point where they can no longer tolerate the convicting testimony of God’s saints upon this earth and they will kill those who hold the word of God and keep His commandments with the testimony of their life.
We need to hear this verse clearly: “slain for the word of God and for the testimony (μαρτυρία) they had held (εἶχον)”
ἔχω / εἶχον (echō / eichon) – maintained or held; “to hold fast” or “uphold”
μαρτυρία (marturia)- Testimony; “the evidence given”
There will be a remnant of believers who will uphold the evidence of godliness and life that they have received by the Holy Spirit and they will be a testimony that the world cannot ignore, so the world will seek to extinguish the light of their testimony from upon the face of the earth.
This is going to be a trial unlike any seen upon the face of the earth before. It will test the love every believer has for God to see whether or not we love our lives more than Him from whom we have received life!
John 16:2 “They will put you out of the [churches]. Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he is offering a service to God.”
I believe a time may be coming swiftly upon us when persecution will arise from within the brotherhood! Yes, the Muslim’s are putting Christians to death thinking that they offer their god a service, but I believe this is speaking about those from within who will put us out!
Matthew 24:9-14 “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. And you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. Then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will rise and will deceive many. Because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
We are seeing a shift within Christianity away from the word of God towards personal revelation, signs and wonders, and hostility towards God’s word.
“They will hand you over” – Muslim’s do not hand Christians over because they are not from within; their persecution is invasive. They come from without and intrude into the holy services of God to put to death His children. Neither do oppressive regimes “hand Christians over to be persecuted” – they also bring invasive persecution to the doorstep of the Church. I believe it will be of our own brotherhoods who have not received a love of the truth implanted in their heart that will hand us over to be persecuted.
“Many will fall away and betray one another” – in this terrible and treacherous falling away there will be much heartache, much more than just the pains of death.
But who could possibly bring such tragedy into the Church?
I cannot answer this question. It is beyond my powers of comprehension to imagine what darkness one must enter to believe that handing one’s own brothers and sisters over to be persecuted could be a service to God; but I know that this terrible deception will come in “accordance with the working of Satan with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all deception of unrighteousness among those who perish because they have not received the love of the truth” (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10).
2 Timothy 3:1-5 “Know this; in the last days perilous times will come. Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, slanderers, unrestrained, fierce, despisers of those who are good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Turn away from such people!”