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Opening Question

In what ways would someone know you are a Christian if you never told them?


The lesson today should have taken more time to speak about the Seal of God, and instead spent a bit of time on Christian history; helpful history, but not directly in the text of the Bible. We’ll ask more questions about Revelation 7 and the sealed saints today.

Revelation 7

When we read Revelation 7, we see angels holding back the four winds of heaven waiting for God’s saints to be sealed. They are said to receive God’s seal on their foreheads only, as opposed to the beast’s mark, which could be received on either the forehead or hand. What is this seal of God? How are God’s people sealed, and what is the result? Will we recognize who has God’s seal and will only 144,000 receive His seal?

In the Old Testament, the law was given to put into people’s minds. Read the following texts, then consider how the seal of God may be similar:

Exodus 13:8-16 – The Passover of Israel was a “reminder on your forehead, that the Law of the Lord may be in your mouth.”

Exodus 28:36-38 – the gold plate over Aaron’s forehead was a reminder of God’s law

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 – the Law of God was again meant to be in their foreheads

Isaiah 8:16 – again, the Law of God was to be sealed among God’s people.

Ancient seals contained the name, rank and territory of their owner. Our presidential seal at WWU contains just such a seal. God’s seal is found specifically in the 4th commandment – His name (Yahweh), title (Creator), and territory (heaven and earth).

Why do you suppose the seal of God and the commandments of God are pictured as being only in the forehead? Why not the hand indicating action?

Who are sealed?

The 144,000 are sealed from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. But Dan and Ephraim are left out, most likely because of their historical apostasy. The specificity of the numbers—12,000 from each of the 12 tribes—seems symbolic. This contention is further suggested by the fact that the New Testament teaching on Israel is that believers in the Jewish Messiah Jesus are Israel (see Romans 2, Galatians 3, and 1 Peter). The church is not a replacement of old Israel, but the continuation of it. Jesus, the perfect Israelite, invites us by faith to become partners with Him. When we accept Him through belief that transforms, we become “Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the covenant.”

Further, John only hears the number that is sealed. When he turns to look, he sees a great multitude made up of people from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people. All ethnic divisions are erased in Christ. God’s seal is granted to anyone who follows the Lamb and comes through the great tribulation.

How have you understood the 144,000—as a literal or symbolic number? What difference does it make for you?

Sealed by His Spirit in a New Covenant

The New Testament confirms in several places that the Seal of God is given in relation to the Holy Spirit (see 2 Cor. 1:21-22, Eph. 1:13, and Eph 4:30). The Holy Spirit seals us for that time by changing us into Christ’s image. This is the verity of the New Covenant found in Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews 8. God will write His law in our minds, sealed by the Holy Spirit, and preparing us to stand in times of difficulty and religious persecution. Only with the power of God’s Spirit will the 144,000 stand for Him.

Is the Holy Spirit important to you? What promises does Jesus make in John 14-16 regarding the promise of the Holy Spirit?

Describe what happened to the early Christians in Acts 1-4 when the Holy Spirit came on them. Is that needed today?

Closing Comments

The Seal of God is a gift given to those who place their trust fully in Him, who refuse to bow their knee to human objects, and worship only the Creator and His Son who redeemed us!

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