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Rev. 6:9-11: “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 fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

 

   The closing of one seal and the opening of the other consumed a period of thirty years.  Thus the fourth seal closed in 1530 A.D., up to which period the pale horse rider was to have power.  Therefore, the reformation by Luther falls under the fifth seal; and after it was opened John was shown, “the souls of them that were slain for the word of God,” under the fourth seal.  “And it was said unto them [the slain], that they should rest yet a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”  The words show that although despotism had lost its power, the persecution had not altogether ceased, for their fellow servants and their brethren were yet to be killed under the fifth seal.  Says John: “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.”  Therefore, it was the Christians who were slain.

 

   The altar is a symbol as well, thus it also must be considered.  Altar is used for worship; and as the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God were under it, we know that it was an altar of true worship — the reformation by Luther.

 

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