Sabbath, December 6, 2008
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angel to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” Revelation 7:2, 3.
• To be aware of the sealing work and its importance for us.
• To know when the sealing work began and when it will end.
• To prepare to receive the seal of the living God.
The seal of the living God
1. What is a seal?
Esther 8:10 And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed it with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries.
Daniel 6:17 And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
Exodus 39:30 And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
“A seal is defined to be an instrument of sealing, that which ‘is used by individuals, corporate bodies, and states, for making impressions on wax, upon instruments of writing, as an evidence of their authenticity.’ The original word in this text is defined, ‘A seal, i.e., a signet ring; a mark, stamp, badge; a token, a pledge.’ The verb signifies: ‘To secure to any one, to make sure; to set a seal or mark upon anything in token of its being genuine or approved; to attest, to confirm, to establish, to distinguish by a mark.’ ” –Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation, pp. 454, 455.
2. What order does the angel receive?
Ezekiel 9:3, 4 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
Revelation 7:2, 3 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
3. What characterizes the seal of the living God? What does the Holy Spirit engrave in the mind?
Ephesians 1:13; 4:30 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise… And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
Ezekiel 36:26, 27 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
“As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ.” –The Faith I Live By, p. 287.
“The angel is to place a mark upon the forehead of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel will follow….” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 505.
“Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth–these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity.” –The Faith I Live By, p. 288.
4. Where is the seal of God found? What are its elements?
Ezekiel 20:12, 20 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them… And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
Exodus 31:16, 17 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
“The seal of God’s law is found in the fourth commandment. This only, of all the ten, brings to view both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It declares Him to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and thus shows His claim to reverence and worship above all others. Aside from this precept, there is nothing in the Decalogue to show by whose authority the law is given.” –The Faith I Live By, p. 287.
“In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book. Jesus opened them, and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God. On one table were four, and on the other six. The four on the first table shone brighter than the other six. But the fourth, the Sabbath commandment, shone above them all; for the Sabbath was set apart to be kept in honor of God’s holy name. The holy Sabbath looked glorious–a halo of glory was all around it.” –Early Writings, pp. 32, 33.
“The Israelites placed over their doors a signature of blood, to show that they were God’s property. So the children of God in this age will bear the signature God has appointed. They will place themselves in harmony with God’s holy law. A mark is placed upon every one of God’s people just as verily as a mark was placed over the doors of the Hebrew dwellings, to preserve the people from the general ruin.” –The Faith I Live By, p. 287.
The sealing time
5. When did the sealing begin? When will it end?
Ezekiel 9:11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.
Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
“But we must now turn back to those who tenaciously clung to their confidence that prophecy had been fulfilled on October 22, 1844, and who with open minds and hearts stepped forward into the Sabbath and the sanctuary truths as the light of heaven illuminated their pathway….”
“I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven. An angel with a writer’s inkhorn by his side returned from the earth and reported to Jesus that his work was done, and the saints were numbered and sealed. Then I saw Jesus, who had been ministering before the ark containing the ten commandments, throw down the censer. He raised His hands, and with a loud voice said, ‘It is done.’ ” –Early Writings, pp. xviii, 279.
6. What work is presented in the prophecy as taking place in the end times? What events are related to the sealing?
Revelation 7:1-3 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Revelation 18:1-4 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
“Before the work is closed up and the sealing of God’s people is finished, we shall receive the outpouring of the Spirit of God. Angels from heaven will be in our midst.” –Maranatha, p. 212.
7. Who will be resurrected in the partial resurrection? Daniel 12:2. How many will be sealed? Revelation 14:1.
Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
“Graves are opened, and ‘many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth’ ‘awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.’
“The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet.” –Early Writings, p. 15.
Who will receive God’s seal?
8. Who will receive the seal of God on his forehead?
Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Revelation 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
“Love is expressed in obedience, and perfect love casteth out all fear. Those who love God, have the seal of God in their foreheads, and work the works of God.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 51.
“Those that overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, will be the favored ones who shall receive the seal of the living God.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 445.
“Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.” –Early Writings, p. 71.
9. What great privilege will the 144,000 have?
Revelation 14:1-5 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Revelation 15:2-4 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
“Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai.” –Early Writings, p. 15.
Who are shaken out?
10. What happens to the ones who do not have God’s seal?
Ezekiel 9:5, 6 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
“… Just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already. The judgments of God are now upon the land, to give us warning, that we may know what is coming.” –Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, p. 252.
“The numbers of this company had lessened. Some had been shaken out and left by the way. The careless and indifferent, who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation … did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their places were immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth….
“Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth and to cause them to waver.” –Early Writings, pp. 271, 43.
11. What will prevent a person from being sealed?
“The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God–candidates for heaven.…
“There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master’s will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works. These who were so familiar with prophecy and the treasures of divine wisdom should have acted their faith.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 216, 214.
“Some will urge that the Lord is not so particular in His requirements; that it is not their duty to keep the Sabbath strictly at so great loss, or to place themselves where they will be brought in conflict with the laws of the land. But here is just where the test is coming, whether we will honor the law of God above the requirements of men. This is what will distinguish between those who honor God and those who dishonor Him. Here is where we are to prove our loyalty. The history of God’s dealings with His people in all ages shows that He demands exact obedience.” –Historical Sketches, pp. 216, 217.
12. Therefore, what should we do?
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.
Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 10:37-39 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Hebrews 12:1, 2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.