Is the Fifth Seal of Revelation Already Opened?

fifth seal

The opening of the fifth seal described in the Book of Revelation is a topic of much debate. Some believe the opening of the fifth seal has already occurred while others argue that it has not happened yet. In this article, I will provide insight about the fifth seal and answer whether it has already been opened.

Fifth Seal Overview

Revelation 6:9-11 details the events associated with the opening of the fifth seal. The passage describes a scene in Heaven where a group of souls are seen under an altar. The individuals gathered were martyred for their faith, and they cry out to God to avenge their deaths:

“(9) 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: (10) 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? (11) 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 fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. ” (Revelation 6:9-11)

As I said, some believe the fifth seal has already been opened. However, Revelation 20:4 provides strong evidence that the opening of the fifth seal remains unopened. The verse reveals that the fifth seal martyrs refused to worship the beast (the Antichrist) and refused to accept the Mark of the Beast.

“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.” (Revelation 20:4)

The reference to the Mark of the Beast and martyrs’ refusal to worship the Antichrist indicates that they will be martyred during the end times. When during the end times will we find martyrdom? Christ described an unprecedented time of persecution known as the great tribulation:

“(21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (22) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21-22)

Conclusion

Therefore, the fifth seal has not been opened yet. Instead, the opening of the fifth seal depicts the events of the great tribulation in the Book of Revelation. People will be martyred for their faith and for their refusal to worship the Antichrist during this time of unmatched persecution. The martyrs will be rewarded for their faith and loyalty with the opportunity to live and reign with Christ for a 1,000 years according to Revelation 20:4.

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5 thoughts on “Is the Fifth Seal of Revelation Already Opened?”

  1. Hi is it possible that the souls of the 5th seal are from the 1st seal.. The anti Christ persecution, as part of his going forth and conquering?

    There are yet more saints to be killed later which might be the revelation 13 saints?

    Thanks

      1. Wayne,
        You may be right on this one but I believe the 5th seal saints don’t come from the Tribulation. There’s no mention of the Great Tribulation, only that they have been viciously murdered for their testimony of God. But there’s no evidence in the narrative that they have triumphed over the Beast and his name or his image. This group could apply to past, present and future Christian martyrs before the Tribulation begins. Even now, there are believers around the world who are being murdered viciously for their testimony of Christ. I believe the group in Revelations 14 represent the rest of those who are killed in the same manner during the Great Tribulation. I believe the 5th seal martyrs represent the first fruits and an even larger number are harvested in the Great Tribulation.

        1. Revelation 20:4 states the martyrs did not take the Mark of the Beast or worship the Beast:

          “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.”

  2. Wayne,
    Your posts are highly researched and well reasoned. I’m glad you don’t resort to ad hominem attacks like many espousing the faith. I work in the software industry and one of the bloggers I respect the most has the byline “Use your noggin’!” We often over-complicate scripture by reading too much into what’s actually presented. With the 5th seal we can use reason. If the 1st seal hasn’t been opened, well there’s probably a 100% chance that the 5th seal hasn’t been opened either 😉 That said, I’m not sure if the 5th seal saints are martyred in the first or second half of the tribulation. They could very well be the first fruits of the Great Tribulation. Of all the assemblages in Revelation, this group doesn’t seem very happy. They are bent on vindication and revenge as if what’s happened to them is still fresh in their minds. I don’t think the 5th seal group represents OT saints.

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