Arnold Fruchtenbaum claims:
“[T]here is nothing in the context of the fifth seal to indicate [that the saints are martyred because they would not bow down to the Antichrist].”*
On the contrary, Fruchtenbaum omits an important cohesive tie:
“Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given. They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” Each of them was given a long white robe and they were told to rest for a little longer, until the full number was reached of both their fellow servants and their brothers who were going to be killed just as they had been.” (Rev 6:9–11)
The depiction and elaboration of the vindication of these fifth seal martyrs is developed here:
“I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand.” (Rev 20:4)
Two further comments. First, Fruchtenbaum ignores the exegetical evidence that the fourth seal suggests the actions of the beast and his system (see Kurschner, Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord, 49–51). Second, he fails to recognize that Rev 12:1—15:4 is a parenthetical interlude that goes back to develop events, especially of the beast’s persecution (see Kurschner, Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord, 182–87). Fruchtenbaum literalistically assumes that 12:1—15:4 is sequential. Any interpreters that fails to take into consideration this interlude narrative between the seven trumpets and the seven bowls will inevitably skew the chronology of Revelation.
* Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. “Is There a Pre-Wrath Rapture?” In When the Trumpet Sounds, edited by Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, 401