The Seal of God
We have looked at who will be sealed by God. But what is the Seal of God? Let's first look at some representative uses of the terms seal, sealing and sealed in the Bible.
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 and 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. 28:11,12)
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. (Exod. 28:21)
"Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD. Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. It 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. 28:36-38)
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. Then they fastened a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban, as the LORD commanded Moses. (Exod. 39:30, 31)
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, to 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. (Deut. 29:12, 13)
Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him. (Isa. 8:16, 17)
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." Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6:27-29)
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? Even 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. (1Cor. 9:1, 2)
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2Cor. 1:21, 22)
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, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession --to the praise of his glory. (Eph. 1:13, 14)
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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph. 4:29 - 5:2)
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." (2Tim. 2:19)
We can 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 dedication to the Lord. God's people are called to be priests.
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. (see 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.
The former or early rain was considered to be the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. 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.
As we have read and will study further, we will see that these wonders in the heavens will be manifested just prior to the coming of the great day of the Lord.
This latter rain will be a time of spiritual refreshing for God's people. Their struggles to overcome every sin in their lives will be replaced with a deeper understanding of God's love and forgiveness, of 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.
Some have claimed, and with some good evidence that the seal of God is the seventh-day Sabbath. The evidence for this comes from the way a seal or signet is structured. The seal or signet of a leader or authority contains the leader's name, title and domain. For example, the seal of the President of the United States says, "Barak Obama, President of the United States of America." Caesar's seal would say, "Caesar Augustus, Emperor of the Roman Empire." Within the Ten Commandments, written by God's own finger, we find His signet or stamp.
Hence, if God had a seal or signet, it would bear the inscription, "Jehovah, God of Heaven and Earth". And God did stamp the Ten Commandments with His signet. It was right in the middle of the Ten Commandments, in the one that memorializes Him as the Creator.
However, it should make good sense to the reader that the seal of God is not given automatically to those who observe the 4th commandment Sabbath. If so, just keeping the seventh-day Sabbath would give one a reserved ticket to heaven. Sabbath-keeping Jews would have no need of Jesus Christ as their Savior if this were true. But the seal of God requires much more than that. It requires a trusting loyalty in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ AND as a result of that loyalty and love, an obedience to all of God's commandments.
And it follows that obedience to God's commandments includes obedience to the 4th commandment which is disobeyed by most of the world, including most professed Christians. We will look more at this when we look at the mark and image of the Beast. But for now, we need to answer the pressing question, "what happens at the end of the sealing process and what is meant by the throwing down of the censor?"
Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Many thanks go to Zondervan.
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