(Read Part 28)
The Seventh Seal Judgment
The painful process of purging the Earth of evil begins with the first six seal judgments (Rev. 6:1-17). God inserts a parenthetical chapter (Rev. 7) before revealing the next set of more intense judgments (Rev. 8).
The Apostle John describes the sealing of a group of 144,000 Jewish male virgins who will survive the tribulation period (Rev. 7:3-8; 14:1-7). He then describes a very large group of individuals that suffer martyrdom during the tribulation (Rev. 7:13-17). Finally, John provides a description of great cosmic disturbances that will occur before the seventh seal is revealed (Rev. 8:5). In these next two blog articles, we will examine God’s parenthetical revelation between the sixth seal judgment and the astounding series of literal future events associated with the seventh seal judgment.
The Pangs of the Birthing Process Increase
Jesus states in the Olivet Discourse, one of the most important prophetic passages in Scripture, that the first judgments during the seven-year tribulation period constitute “the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:8). The “sorrows” refer symbolically to the birthing process. The first six seal judgments are compared to the opening pain associated with a woman in labor. The initial contractions during labor are very painful. However, as labor progresses, the birth pangs intensify, and the contractions occur closer together. God points out that the future tribulation period begins with very uncomfortable judgments, but the next sets of judgments, specifically the trumpet and bowl judgments, will increase in intensity and devastation.
Before God reveals the increasing labor pains associated with the seventh seal judgment, He tells us about two future groups of people in the tribulation period.
Part I of the Parenthesis: Protective Sealing of the 144,0000
John describes the first group as those God will “seal” during the tribulation period. The group is described as “one hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel” (Rev. 7:4). The Bible does not reveal the specific work of the 144,000, though scholars suggest that evangelism may constitute an aspect of their work.
Matthew reveals an extremely important truth regarding the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom” during the tribulation period.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:14)
There are those who teach that the gospel must be preached in the entire world before the rapture will occur based on Matthew 24:14. The passage is not referring to the church age, but very pointedly to the seven-year tribulation period. God may use the 144,000 to help spread the gospel across the world—though Scripture never states that potential aspect of their lives.
In the final analysis, Scripture clearly states that God will seal the 144,000 and bring them through the tribulation (Rev. 14). We will learn more about this next time.
Here we stand; we cannot, and must not, be moved from this distinctive dispensational doctrine.
(Read Part 30)
Dr. Richard Schmidt is the founder of Prophecy Focus Ministries, having previously served as a pastor and church planter. His love for the prophetic Scriptures resulted in writing a doctoral dissertation on a dispensational perspective on the mystery church age existing between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. Dr. Schmidt offers seminars on a variety of prophetic topics to local churches and conferences. We are very excited to involve him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.
Copyright © 2017 by Dr. Richard Schmidt. Used by permission of the author.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2006), p. 358.
 Ibid., p. 60.
 LaHaye, p. 358.