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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
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.
||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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
2 Corinthians 1:22
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."
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:
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.
For they persecute him whom you have wounded. They tell of the sorrow of those whom you have hurt.
Charge them with crime upon crime. Don't let them come into your righteousness.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
... 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. The 144,000 sealed are 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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