Not 70th week martyrs.....but 70th week casualties. I do not believe that every believer that dies in the Tribulation is a martyr; only those that are killed specifically for their testimony (Revelation 6:9).
The description of these folks coming out of great tribulation perfectly describes the Tribulation martyrs having gone through famine (Rev 6:8), lack of water (Rev 8:8-11, 16:3-7) and the scorching sun (Rev 8:7, 16:8-9)
Revelation 7:16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat
The 144,000 show up in context with Tribulation Saints again in Revelation 14 as the last of the harvest is being brought in, they are raptured. I believe this shows that their work in finished.
Amy Van Gerpen
Lyle Cooper (31 Oct 2011)
"Amy VanGerpen (29 Oct 2011),"RE: Do the 144,000 Really Minister""
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
There is a myth that these 144,000 are to minister and evangelize. It is a myth, because the bible does not give us even a hint of this.
Amy posted Isaiah 61:6 right after Rev.7: 2-4 as if these 144000 were anointed by the Holy Spirit! This is certainly not even hinted at by John. We get this anointing by receiving the mighty baptism with the Holy Spirit. These are sealed in their forehead because they are NOT born again and have the seal in their spirits as we do. This sealing is NOT for ministry, it is for their PROTECTION. Since the 70th week will begin with the 7th seal, right after they are sealed, we can see that they are sealed for their protection during the trumpet judgments.
Just a little common sense: if they were born again at this time, just before the start of the 70th week, would they not then be caught up with the church? Would they not be a PART of the church? Of course they would! And they would not then be on the earth to do anything. But the fact is, they ARE on the earth during the trumpet judgments, then are caught up to heaven as firstfruits very near the midpoint of the week. John shows us clearly that they are in heaven when they are seen again. You cannot be before the throne and around the 4 beasts and 24 elders unless you are in heaven!
It is very possible that they DO get born again after they see the rapture took many saints to heaven, and THEY MISSED IT!
The rapture may very well be what turns them to Christ. Will they witness? If they get born again, surely they will. But John does not tell us this.
The scene changes when John sees the great crowd in heaven. There is nothing written that ties this scene to the sealing of the 144,00 at all. It is just that these two events, the sealing and the rapture of the church, MUST come to pass before the 7th seal officially opens the 70th week.
Yes, this great crowd John saw in heaven, around the throne, is the BRIDE of Christ, having just been raptured.
Please note, John has not yet even started the 70th week, MUCH LESS got to the second half of the week when those days of great tribulation Jesus spoke of will begin. So these are NOT 70th week martyrs! There is not one hint they are martyrs at all.
No, what John is telling us is that tribulation will get worse and worse, until people are DYING for their testimony around the world by the time we get to the rapture of the church. Can "tribulation" be any greater for those put to death for the Word of God?