The Bible Sabbath and the Seal of GodSearch the Word | Vol. 27 No. 1 | Nov-Dec 2016
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy…. – Exodus 20:8-11
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
In biblical times, a king’s ring contained a seal, which was used to stamp and seal letters and decrees. The seal usually contained his name, title, and territory. Consider the seal for the American president:
Name: George Washington
Territory: The United States of America
In ancient Medo Persia, the king’s seal was of such great significance that when it sealed a decree, not even the king could reverse it. Esther 3:8–15, and chapter 8.
I. THE SEAL OF GOD
1. What is the seal or sign of God? Ezekiel 20:20
In Bible language, a seal and a sign are synonymous. Romans 4:11.
2. Identify the three characteristics that make up the seal of God in the Sabbath commandment. Exodus 20:8–11
The fourth commandment contains His name, “The Lord thy God”, His title, “Creator” and His territory, “heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.”
II. THE SEALING OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD
1. Who will receive the seal of God? Revelation 7:3
2. Where will the servants of God receive the seal? Revelation 7:3
The seal of God will be placed in the forehead. The seal is not a visible sign but a mind which has chosen loyalty to God’s law through the blood of Jesus; a mind which has become so settled in the truth that death would be preferable to sinning.
3. What will be written in the servants’ foreheads? Revelation 22:3, 4
In Bible times, people’s characters were indicated by the names they were given. 1 Samuel 25:25. It was quite common for a change of name to take place when there had been a change of character. Genesis 32:27, 28; Acts 13:9. The thoughts and feelings of the mind together make up the character. Therefore, the sealed ones will have the character of Christ written in their foreheads; they will have His perfect thoughts and feelings.
4. What will the servants of God do from the heart? Ephesians 6:5, 6
5. What is the will of God? Psalm 40:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:3
Only those whose hearts delight in keeping the commandments of God will receive the seal of God.
6. As we abide under the protection of His covenant with man, what has God promised to fulfill in us? Hebrews 8:10; Hebrews 10:16, 17
“Heart” and “mind” are synonymous terms used to describe the source of our thoughts and feelings. 1 Chronicles 28:9; Proverbs 23:7. God promises to write the law in our hearts so that His law might become our inmost thoughts and feelings, His thoughts become our contemplation, and His will becomes our choice. Therefore, we are able to keep all His laws, including the Sabbath commandment, from our heart and as our delight.
III. THE TIME OF THE SEALING
1. What will take place after the servants of God are sealed? Revelation 7:1–3
In prophetic interpretation, “winds” refers to strife, war, and trouble. Jeremiah 49:36, 37. The four winds represent worldwide trouble, which is referred to as “the time of trouble.” The earth, the sea, the sun, the air, and the wicked will be hurt by the plagues during the time of trouble. But the servants of God will not be hurt by the plagues because they will be sealed. The angels are holding back the wind, or the time of trouble, until the servants of God shall be sealed.
2. After the time of trouble, what climactic event will occur? Luke 21:25–27
Christ will come after the time of trouble to deliver His servants. Daniel 12:1.
IV. THE FIRST FRUITS AND THE HARVEST
1. What is the number of those who are sealed? Revelation 7:4
2. What are the characteristics of the 144,000? Revelation 14:1, 4, 5
The 144,000 will be so united with Christ that they are without fault before the throne of God. A perfect character is required of all those who will receive the seal of God. The 144,000 are called the first fruits, which means they are to possess a matured representation of Christ’s character.
3. What will take place after the fruit is brought forth? Mark 4:28, 29
4. At the Second Coming, what does Jesus have in His hand? Revelation 14:14, 15
The Second Coming is depicted as Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven. These clouds represent the myriads of angels that will attend Him as He comes back to the earth. The sharp sickle is symbolic of the harvest of the faithful of all ages who will return with Him to heaven.
V. THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE
1. Whom are we to worship according to the everlasting gospel? Revelation 14:6, 7
The first angel, who has the everlasting gospel, proclaims the message to worship God. True worship follows God’s specific direction regarding the special weekly day of worship He has chosen for us. The only true way to worship the God of creation is to worship Him on the Sabbath day. Exodus 20:10, 11.
2. What are we warned not to receive in our foreheads? Revelation 14:9
3. What will happen to those who worship the beast? Revelation 14:10, 11
The worshipers of the beast will receive the wrath of God during the time of trouble.
4. Who will have the victory over the beast? 1 John 5:4; Revelation 15:2
Those who have the victory will stand on the sea of glass and have the harps of God. Notice that the 144,000 have harps.
The seal of God is the Sabbath. To receive the seal is to keep all of God’s commandments, including the Sabbath commandment, through the faith of Jesus. God also gave us a promise that we may keep His law with all our heart. The sealed ones have reflected the character of Jesus fully, which is the final condition for receiving the seal. Only those who have fortified their minds with the law and the Word of God daily, will fully bear the likeness of Christ’s character.
The time of trouble will not come until the 144,000 are sealed. The servants of God will be protected during the fall of the plagues because they have been sealed. The seal will be placed in the forehead. The seal of God is not a visible sign but is a mind fortified in the truth of God. The harvest time, the Second Coming of Jesus to claim His people as His own, will come after the 144,000 are sealed.
Today I invite Jesus into my heart so that I can claim His promise to help me keep all the commandments, including the Sabbath commandment, which is the seal of God.
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