The Holy Spirit


The Seal of God

by: Ed R. Meelhuysen

Students of prophecies pertaining to the end of time have found the sealing as prophesied in Revelation chapter 7 intriguing.

Rev. 7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land [or earth] or on the sea or on any tree. 2Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3"Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." 4Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

Later reference is made to a differentiation between those who have been sealed and those who have not been sealed.

Rev. 9:1 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

These passages bring up an intriguing series of questions. What is the seal of God? Who are those who are to be sealed? Who are the 144,000? What does it take to be sealed? What are we sealed from? and others. The answers to these questions are very important.

However, in this compilation on the Holy Spirit, we will limit our discussion to "What is the seal of God?" And we will attempt to find a Biblical basis from which to answer that question.

Let's first look at some of the ways the terms seal, sealing and sealed are used in the Bible.

The names of the tribes of Israel were engraved on stones worn by the high priest

Exod. 28:11 Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree settings 12and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the LORD.

Exod. 28:21 There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.

"Holy to the Lord" worn as a seal on the forehead

Exod. 28:36 "Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD. 37Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. 38It will be on Aaron's forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron's forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the LORD.

Exod. 39:30 They made the plate, the sacred diadem, out of pure gold and engraved on it, like an inscription on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD. 31Then they fastened a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban, as the LORD commanded Moses.

The covenant was sealed by an oath

Deut. 29:12 You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the LORD your God, a covenant the LORD is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, 13to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Isa. 8:16 Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among my disciples. 17I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.

God's seal of approval placed on Jesus

John 6:27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval." 28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" 29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

1Cor. 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? 2Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

God's seal of ownership

2Cor. 1:21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

We are marked with the seal of God, the Holy Spirit until our redemption

Eph. 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession --to the praise of his glory.

Eph. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Eph. 5) 1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

2Tim. 2:19 Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

We may observe the following from the above verses.

1) God's people are known clearly to Him.

2) The priests (those who minister to the Lord) were marked as "Holy to the Lord" on their foreheads a symbol of their commitment to the Lord.

3) God's seal of ownership, His sign of affirmation is the Holy Spirit. It is the sign or deposit "guaranteeing our inheritance" or salvation until "the day of redemption."

4) Our duty to "do the work of God" is to believe in Jesus Christ and to work for the salvation of other souls. This confirms or seals our discipleship of Jesus. Those who claim to accept the salvation of Jesus but refuse to share it are like the servant who took his master's talent and hid it in the field, rather than investing it so that the master might receive some gain from it. (Matt. 25:14-30)

The Holy Spirit is poured out on God's people in full measure near the end of time. Some have used the term "latter rain" to describe this event or process. This term comes from the book of Joel.

"Then be glad, sons of Zion, and rejoice in Jehovah your God. For He has given to you the early rain according to righteousness, and He will cause the rain to come down for you, the early rain and the latter rain in the first month." (Joel 2:23, The Interlinear Bible-Hebrew, Greek, English. The KJV also uses the term "latter rain")

The former or early rain was considered to be the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentacost. In his discourse to the people in Jerusalem at that time, Peter quoted from Joel a section that actually applies better to the end of time.

"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls." (Joel 2:28-32)

And as one studies the book of Revelation, one can see that these wonders in the heavens will be manifested just prior to the coming of the great day of the Lord (see Rev. 6:12; 8:12; 9:2; 16:8).

This latter rain will be a time of spiritual refreshing for God's people. Their struggles to confess and overcome every sin in their lives will be replaced with a deep understanding of God's love, His forgiveness, His approval, and that they are sealed with His signet, forever in His care. It prepares them for the time of trial shortly before them.

Let us seek to know God's will and to have the indwelling of His Spirit.