Revelation 7:3 Sealed
Revelation 7:3 Sealed? What does Biblical sealing mean? How does that relate to being saved? Do you have to be sealed to be saved? Is the sealing only for a special purpose?
Traditional Legal Model – Those sealed are distinguished as being in a special relationship to God – more consecrated, devoted to His service, protected etc and sometimes as having their salvation secured.
Biblical Healing Model – All the above may be true but people can also be sealed in terms of having characters ripe for harvest, fully reflecting the character of Christ.
The sealing is commonly seen as fitting into last-day events. Here is a passage giving an indication of where the sealing fits:
“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. 2 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, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev 7:1-3)
Just after this is the account of the end-time trumpets of Revelation chapter 8.
Revelation 7:3 What is a Seal?
A seal, as it has commonly been used through history, is a device such as a signet ring or stamp that is used to authenticate a document. It includes:
- The name of the person
- The office or title of that person
- The territory involved
|Heaven and earth
Note that God’s seal appears in the Sabbath commandment (Exo 20:11)
A seal can be an indicator of ownership or quality. Seals were also used to prevent tampering with manuscripts or items:
“Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.” (Esther 8:8)
“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” (Dan12:9)
“So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.” (Matt 27:66)
Adam Clarke’s commentary brings out another meaning:
“By sealing we are to understand consecrating the persons in a more especial manner to God, and showing, by this mark of God upon them, that they were under his more immediate protection, and that nothing should hurt them.” (Adam Clarke Commentary on Rev 7:3)
That comment suggests a select group in a special relationship to God.
Revelation 7:3 Who Gets Sealed?
“And he [Abraham] received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:” (Rom 4:11)
Sign and seal have similar meanings and being sealed is connected to faith.
We get more information about the sealed ones mentioned in Revelation 7 from later in Revelation:
“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.” (Rev 14:1-5)
Being described as “the firstfruits” implies they are ripe and ready for the harvest. The righteous are sealed with the Father’s name (Rev 14:1). “Name” represents character as in “He has a good name.” The suggestion is that God’s character is revealed in their lives. The sealing then could indicate a people who are settled in their relationship with God and having characters that reflect that of Christ.
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Eph 4:30)
How do the 144,000 Sealed Servants Serve?
The 144,000 are servants (Rev 7:3) because they serve God by doing His will to achieve a particular purpose as did Jesus:
“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34)
Jesus’ meat or work or purpose in life was to do this Father’s will which was to bring glory to His Father by revealing His character:
“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. … I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.” (John 17:4,6)
Jesus was sealed:
“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” (John 6:27)
“As thou hast sent me into the world [to do this work], even so [for the same purpose] have I also sent them into the world [to do the same work].” (John 17:18)
Here is a significant statement connecting the work of God’s servants (“the children of God”) with the work of Christ and putting it into an end-time context:
“It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy and truth. … Those who wait for the Bridegroom’s coming are to say to the people, “Behold your God.” The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them.” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p415-16)
With glory, character and name associated as they are, it makes sense that the 144,000 are sealed as Jesus was, to do the work He did – to reveal in themselves the Father’s character to others.
That experience is described (Rev 7:3) as being in the forehead as that is where character resides (in the mind).
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