|Revelation 6:9-11 |
9 When he had 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 that they held.
10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"1 [From the Word of the Lord within: "Those slain for their testimony will be avenged when the persecutions have ceased; those slain are quickly compensated."]
11 And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said to them that they should rest for a little while yet, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers, who would be killed as they had been, was fulfilled.
1 they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" From the Word of the Lord within: "Those slain for their testimony will be avenged when the persecutions have ceased; those slain are quickly compensated." Those slain in past persecutions of the saints were compensated quickly with their reward in heaven, but they have not yet been avenged. When the true church comes out of the wilderness to become public, the false church will begin persecutions anew; when those persecutions are finished, those slain in all persecutions for their speaking the word of God as ordered will be avenged.
Perhaps it would be helpful to review how and why the Jews paid in their time:
The severity of Rome's destruction of Israel stemmed from The Great Revolt of the Jews against the Roman Empire in which Jewish rebels defeated the XII Roman Legion, killing 6,000 Roman troops and wounding many more — it was one of the worst defeats in Roman history, a humiliating defeat by a Jewish rag-tag group of rebels, and with loss of the legion's aquilla or Eagle, (Rome's standard); and because the Eagle symbolized Rome, (Eagle lost, honor lost; honor lost, all lost), Rome was insulted, shocked, outraged, and resolved to inflict severe retribution on the Jews. The end of the Jewish Kingdom was in 70 A.D. In the first of several Jewish rebellions against Rome, most of the Jews were massacred and the temple in Jerusalem was completely destroyed by the Roman Prince, Titus, in 70 AD. Titus, who later became emperor of Rome, was the son of the Emperor Vespasian. Josephus, a first century historian, wrote that 1.1 million Jews died and hundreds of thousands were forced out of the country and into exile and slavery.
In a later Jewish rebellion against Rome in 135 AD, the Roman Emperor Hadrian further destroyed Jerusalem and Israel. Cassius Dio, a second century historian, counted 580,000 Jews killed, 50 fortified towns and 985 villages destroyed, and all the remaining Jews exiled to countries throughout the Roman Empire and eventually scattered and re-scattered throughout the world.
Israel was literally wiped off the map, (and according to the Word of the Lord within, the 65-year old state of Israel is very temporary). Everyone was either killed or sent into slavery, scattered throughout the world. Yet the number of prophets murdered by the Jewish authorities on record is relatively small:
- Isaiah was sawn into with a wooden saw by Manasseh, the son of King Hezekiah.
- Jeremiah was stoned by exile Jews in Egypt because he rebuked them for worshipping idols.
- Micah was slain by Joram, the son of King Ahab.
- Nahum was sought to be killed for prophesying the Babylonian invasion, but he fortunately escaped their plans.
- Elijah was sought to be killed by Jezebel, the Queen of Israel, who had previously killed all the prophets of the Lord she could find. Fortunately Elijah survived.
- Habakkuk was stoned in Jerusalem.
- Ezekiel was slain by the chief of the Jews who was in the land of the Chaldeans because he rebuked him for worshipping idols.
- Zechariah the son of Berachiah, the priest, was from Jerusalem. Joash the king slew this (prophet) in the temple, between the steps and the altar, and sprinkled his blood upon the horns of the altar; and the priests buried him. From that day God forsook the temple, and angels were never again seen in it.
The Jews rejected the demonstration of the greatest power of God ever witnessed in Israel; Jesus healed entire cities and raised the dead with many eyes watching.
Even with wondrous power demonstrated, the overwhelming majority of the world will either reject the true gospel because: 1) the Spirit of Christ will strongly oppose Christianity as Babylon, and religious people will say they are the works of Satan, just like they did Jesus' works, or 2) they are too busy with their life's pursuits to care and be motivated to carry their cross to the death of their selfish, sinful nature. Many people will find it completely unbelievable that today's Christianity could possibly be detested by God; instead they will scream antichrist at any who condemn Christianity for having been Babylon for the last 1700 years, just as they screamed similarly when the early Quakers pointed out Christianity's deficiencies. Yet as John said 2000 years ago: "many antichrists have come, they went out from among us, it is the last time." 1 John 2:18-19. William Penn writes on how this occurs in his No Cross No Crown:
True it is, those who are born of the flesh hate and persecute those who are born of the spirit, who are the circumcision in heart. It seems they [really born of the Spirit of God] cannot own nor worship God according to the Whore's inventions, methods and prescriptions, nor receive for doctrine her vain traditions, any more than they can comply with her corrupt fashions and customs in their conduct. Thus, the Whore is not only a false apostate, but has become a persecutor of true Christians, [drunk with the blood of the saints]. It is not enough that she herself declines from ancient purity, she forces others to impurity also. She gives no rest to those who will not participate in her degeneracy, or receive her mark. Are any wiser than she, than mother church? No, no: nor can any make war with the beast she rides upon, those worldly powers that protect her, and vow their maintenance against the cries of her dissenters. Apostasy and superstition are ever proud and impatient of dissent; all must conform or perish. Therefore the slain witnesses, and blood of the souls under the altar (Rev 6:9), are found within the walls of this mystical Babylon, this great city of false Christians, and are charged upon her, by the Holy Ghost in the Revelation. Nor is it strange that she should slay the servants who first crucified the Lord: but strange and barbarous too, that she should kill her husband and murder her savior; titles she seems so fond of, and that have been so profitable to her; and that she would recommend herself by, though without all justice. But her children are reduced so entirely under the dominion of darkness, by means of their continued disobedience to the manifestation of the divine light in their souls, that they forget what man once was, or they should now be; and know not true and pure Christianity when they meet it; yet pride themselves upon professing it. Their measures are so carnal and false about salvation, they call good evil and evil good, they make a devil a Christian, and a saint a devil. So that though the unrighteous latitude of their lives is lamentable, as to themselves it is of destruction; yet that common apprehension, that they may be children of God while in a state of disobedience to his holy commandments; and disciples of Jesus though they revolt from his cross, and members of his true church, which is without spot or wrinkle, notwithstanding their lives are full of spots and wrinkles; is, of all other deceptions upon themselves, the most disastrous to their eternal condition. For they are at peace in sin, and under a security in their transgression. Their vain hope silences their convictions, and overlays all tender motions to repentance; so that their mistake about their duty to God is as mischievous as their rebellion against him.
When the persecutions of the Spirit of Christ begin again, some will be slain for their testimony and for speaking the Word of God as they hear it; but great is their reward in heaven, and from the Word of the Lord within: "those slain will be quickly compensated." When the persecutions cease, the saints will be avenged, Babylon falls, all sin will be purged from the earth, and (from the Word of the Lord within:) "the saints will spread and populate the entire face of the earth."