The Seal of God

Seals are the impressions left by solid objects, usually made of gold, with the proper engraving of the authority executing the process.  

Kings would usually carry an engraved ring, and this signet ring would be used in the process of sealing important documents.

Esther 8:8
Now you write to the Jews as you see fit, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's signet ring; for a decree which is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's signet ring may not be revoked.

Kings seal a document with a ring.

The engravings in the ring were done in order for them to be replicated when the document was sealed.  The intricate details of the engraved signet ring would be left in the melted wax or clay used to seal the document.

In the book of Exodus there is an example of how stones were engraved similarly to the engravings of a signet ring.

Exodus 28:21
The stones shall be according to the names of the sons of Israel: twelve, according to their names; they shall be like the engravings of a seal, each according to his name for the twelve tribes.

Most of the objects that were sealed were scrolls.

In the past, letters, books, and other documents, were written in parchment, papyrus, or other type of paper that was rolled up like a scroll, and after being rolled up, it could be sealed.  The process of sealing the document signified that it was finished, and prevented the person carrying the manuscript from reading or altering its contents.  

Isaiah 29:11
The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, "Please read this," he will say, "I cannot, for it is sealed."

An example of a document that is sealed is The Book of Revelation.  It is sealed with seven seals, and only Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, has authority to open the seven seals of God.

Revelation 5:1
I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.

One of the reasons the Book of Revelation was sealed was to prevent it from being altered. Now that some of the seals are open, God says that you cannot add or take away from the Book of Revelation, because otherwise you will be cursed.

Revelation 22:18
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;

Revelation 22:19
and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the Book of Life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

The seal of God is placed on the 144,000.
Clay royal seal from Hittite king

In addition to scrolls, other items could also be sealed in order to ensure that the object was not tampered with. 

This is similar to the seal on the electric meter in most homes.  If the seal is broken by anybody except the right authorities, it means somebody else has tinkered with the meter.  Another example is sealed bottles of medication.  The seal is placed to prevent adulteration of the contents.

In the book of Daniel there is an example of a stone that was sealed.

Daniel 6:17
A stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing would be changed in regard to Daniel.

Another example in the Bible is in reference to the sealing of real estate deeds:

Jeremiah 32:14
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Take these deeds, this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, that they may last a long time.

Real estate deeds had two copies -- a sealed one and an open one.  To preserve them they were usually put in earthenware, similarly to what they did with the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Some of the instructions that God gave to his prophets were "sealed" meaning that the message would not be read for a period of time.  Some of them were written in scrolls and sealed.

Daniel 12:4
But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.

Daniel 12:9
He said, "Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time."

Now that we know what a seal is, what does the Bible mean by the Seal of God?  How is sealing a parchment scroll similar to sealing a person?  When you seal a human being, you prevent him from being altered, similarly to sealing a document.  This is because the person who is sealed has the Holy Spirit.

One example is given in the book of John: 

John 6:27
Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.

God not only put His seal on Jesus, but as the bible states, also on the apostles:

The apostles were sealed with the Holy Spirit
The apostles were sealed with the Holy Spirit

 

2 Corinthians 1:22
who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

How were the followers of Jesus sealed?

Ephesians 1:13
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 4:30
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Therefore, the seal is given by the Holy Spirit of God.

2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness."

By obtaining the "seal of God" we make sure that we are part of the group "who are His."

Revelation 7:2-4
And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads."  And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

God will seal the 144,000 -- the group of Israelite virgins that obey YHVH.  The sealing is done before the wrath of God is initiated. Those that have the seal of God will not suffer when God "harms the earth or the sea or the trees" during the "Wrath of God."  This is because the ones that are sealed by God have the Holy Spirit.  

The two groups -- the ones with the Seal of God and the ones without it -- are contrasted later on in chapter 9:

Here is a reference to the group that does not have the seal of God:

Revelation 9:4
They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do NOT have the Seal of God on their foreheads.

The seal of God is therefore the way that God identifies and protects those that belong to Him.  Another way is by writing their names in the "Book of Life."  If their names are not in the "Book of Life," they are lost.  

Psalms 69:26
For they persecute him whom you have wounded. They tell of the sorrow of those whom you have hurt.

Psalms 69:27
Charge them with crime upon crime. Don't let them come into your righteousness.

Psalms 69:28
May they be blotted out of the Book of Life 
And may they not be recorded with the righteous.

These above bible verses from the book of Psalms are the first mention about "the book of life," but the concept is older than King David who wrote Psalms. 

Psalms 69  is a prophecy about our Messiah Yeshua.  David prophesied how Yeshua was going to be rejected by His own people and how the leaders of the Jews would persecute Him, and how those Pharisees would be erased from the "book of life."

The idea of being part of the group inscribed in the book of life is still maintained by most Jewish congregations.  Every year during the annual feast of Rosh Hashanah, Jews greet each other with the expression "L’Shanah Tova Tikatevu."  "May you be inscribed (in The Book) for a good year," or with the expression: "L'Shana Tova Tikosaiv v'Saichosaim."   "May you be written down for a sweet and good year in the Book of Life."  

On Rosh Hashana we stand before Almighty God; our file is opened and we are weighed on the scales. 

If we are worthy, we are inscribed in the Book of Life for that year. There are 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur -- the "Ten days of Teshuvah."  The word "Teshuvah" means "returning," returning to God, to follow His laws.  During those 10 days we are supposed to correct any wrongdoings we have done to our neighbors because on Yom Kippur the book of life is sealed.  If we are unworthy, we are "erased" from the book.

In the Bible, there are several references to having the name written in the Book of Life: 

Philippians 4:3
Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

Revelation 3:5
He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

As you can see, people's names can be erased from the Book of Life.

There are also references to those who are NOT written in the Book of Life:

Revelation 13:8
All who dwell on the earth will worship him [the leopard-beast], everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life of the Lamb who has been slain.

Revelation 17:8
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the [scarlet] beast, that he was and is not and will come.

It is evident from the above examples that the ones that will worship the Leopard Beast or wonder at the Scarlet Beast are not inscribed in the Book of Life.  We therefore make the distinction that the ones that worship or admire these beasts  are neither inscribed in the Book of Life nor sealed with the Seal of God.  

Revelation 20:12
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

People who accept the mark of the beast are thrown in the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:15
And if anyone's name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. 

The lake of fire is the second death, from where there is no possible return to life.  This is where the Leopard Beast and False Prophet were thrown.

Revelation 21:27
... and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it [the holy Jerusalem], but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

The Book of Life is where the sealed group of God are inscribed.  They are a special group, a group composed of the people who are called the seed of Abraham and who obey God's commandments.  Not only do they believe, they obey, and for their obedience and adherence to Gods laws, they are rewarded.  This group is the one that will be saved in the rapture and granted exemption from the Wrath of God that is to come.

May you be inscribed in the Lamb's Book of Life before it is sealed.  Pray that Christ comes soon!

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