Seal of God
“After this (the end of the Philadelphia Church era and the sixth seal) I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. 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.” Rev. 7:1-3
Before the seventh seal is opened, something happens to the servants of God; they are sealed on their foreheads with the seal of God. Throughout history, an important document or letter was sealed shut with wax and the author or sender of the document would press a stamp or a signet ring into the wax to identify the origin and the authenticity of the document.
In Revelation 7 we see an angel has been sent to place God’s seal on his followers, in effect marking them as authentic and belonging to him. This seal will not be visible to the human eye, it is a spiritual seal: a setting apart, or separating, of those who follow God from those who follow the beast. But why does the Bible specifically say the seal will be placed on the forehead? Because that is where the mind is. With our minds we make the decision to follow God and his truth, no matter the consequences. “He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true.” John 3:33
But why is this so important? The mark shows which people are to be protected from the first five trumpets of God’s judgment. We see an example of this in Ezekiel, Chapter 9. God sent a messenger to Jerusalem to mark those loyal to him on the forehead, and then God sent five beings to kill everyone in the city who did not have the mark. This story will repeat itself at the end of time. We will be marked with the seal of God and the angels sent to execute the first five trumpets will pass us by.
“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… After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…”
Rev. 7:4, 9
Twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed and comprise the 144,000 mentioned here in Revelation 7. Some people believe this is a literal number of people from the literal country of Israel who will be converted to Christianity and saved at the end of time. Others believe this is simply a number signifying completeness and perfection of the saints at the end of time and is not to be taken literally. Yet still others believe this number may or may not be literal, but it does signify those who go through the end of time and suffer greatly. These saints all have different strengths and weaknesses correlating to the strengths and weakness of the twelve men and/or tribes mentioned. No matter what this number represents, our concern is that we be counted among the great multitude that stands before the throne and the Lamb when all this is over.