8 – The Seal of the Living God

8 – The Seal of the Living God2016-11-27T17:36:43+00:00

Sabbath, November 24, 2012

Memory verse

“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.” Ezekiel 9:4.

The seal of God

1. What promise is given in the Bible as an assurance to those who accept Christ as their personal Saviour?

Ephesians 1:13 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.

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

“We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, but unless we prepare ourselves for its reception, of what avail are our works? Are we striving with all our power to attain to the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for His fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us–the perfection of His character? When the Lord’s people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit, they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, ‘It is finished.’ ” –(Review and Herald, June 10, 1902) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1118.

Sabbath observance–God’s sign

2. What commandment contains the seal of God?

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.

Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.

3. If we receive God’s sign of Sabbath observance and its spiritual blessing, how will we regard the other commandments?

Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

James 2:10, 11 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

“Thus He unites with Himself by a new inspiration of grace all who will come unto Him. He puts upon them His seal, His sign of obedience and loyalty to His holy Sabbath.” –(Manuscript 104, September 28, 1897, “Condemned by the Jews”) The Upward Look, p. 285.

“The sign of obedience is the observance of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. If men keep the fourth commandment, they will keep all the rest.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 981.

“While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other, choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.” –The Great Controversy (1911), p. 605.

The seal and character

4. What is the relationship between God’s seal and a person’s character?

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

“The seal of the living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character.” –(Review and Herald, May 21, 1895).

“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 Signs of the Times, July 18, 1911) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 970.

“Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God’s professed people.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 266.

5. How is one prepared to receive the seal of the living God?

Revelation 14:4, last part, 5 … 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.

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

“Now is the time to prepare. 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. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 216.

“The mighty power of the Holy Spirit works an entire transformation in the character of the human agent, making him a new creature in Christ Jesus. When a man is filled with the Spirit, the more severely he is tested and tried, the more clearly he proves that he is a representative of Christ. The peace that dwells in the soul is seen on the countenance. The words and actions express the love of the Saviour. There is no striving for the highest place. Self is renounced. The name of Jesus is written on all that is said and done.” –(Review and Herald, June 10, 1902) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1117.

144,000, the sealed people

6. How many will be sealed among Israel? Does this imply physical Israel or spiritual Israel?

Revelation 7:4 And I heard the number of them that were sealed, a hundred and forty and four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel.

Romans 2:28, 29 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Romans 9:6-8 But it is not as though the word of God hath come to nought. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel: neither, because they are Abraham’s seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed.

7. Who are the spiritual people of Israel today? What are their characteristics?

Ezekiel 20:12 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.

Ezekiel 20:20 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 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.

“I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God’s dear, waiting saints.” –Life Sketches (1915), p. 101.

“I pray that my brethren may realize that the third angel’s message means much to us and that the observance of the true Sabbath is to be the sign that distinguishes those who serve God from those who serve Him not.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 251.

8. How will the lives of those who observe the holy Sabbath be transformed? Is the seal of God visible to human sight?

Ezekiel 20:12 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.

“To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character. And the Sabbath is the sign of obedience. He who from the heart obeys the fourth commandment will obey the whole law. He is sanctified through obedience.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 350.

“What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption.” –(Letter 126, 1898) Maranatha, p. 243.

For review and meditation

• What relationship exists between the seal of the Holy Spirit and the seal of the living God?
• What evidence is there for the belief that the Sabbath is the seal of the living God?
• What preparation will make it possible to receive that seal?

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