Wednesday, November 01, 2017

God's seal--our identification and protection

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Revelation 6:1-17

TO CHEW ON: “Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’” Revelation 6:2,3

What does the forehead seal in Revelation 6:2-3 remind you of? The forehead seal from the dark side? “He [the beast] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, slave and free, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads’” - Revelation 13:16,17.

The seal of Revelation 6 is not that seal. It is God’s seal of identification and protection on those who are His. My Bible’s study notes explain:
“Those sealed by the Holy Spirit are God’s possession, in dramatic contrast to those who bear the mark of the beast - Revelation 13:16,17)” Earl Wesley Morey, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1827.

God placing a seal on those who are His occurs in other places in the Bible as well.
  • In Ezekiel it marks those who are troubled by and grieve over Israel’s idolatry - Ezekiel 9:4.
  • Paul mentions a seal on Christ-followers several times in his letters. He sees this seal as the Holy Spirit:
“God … who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” - 2 Corinthians 1:22 (all emphases added).
In Him … also having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise - Ephesians 1:13.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption - Ephesians 4:30.
  • Then we have these believers sealed in Revelation by God against the apocalyptic events to come.
“He who overcomes, … I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God the New Jerusalem … And I will write on him My new name - Revelation 3:12.
  • Scorpion-like locusts are released by an angel but not allowed to harm any with the seal of God on their foreheads - Revelation 9:4.
  • Those 144,000 sealed in Revelation 6 (our passage) appear with the Lamb before God on Mount Zion “… having His Father’s name written on their foreheads” - Revelation 14:1.
  • Finally, John in his Revelation vision sees God’s servants, the sealed, assemble before God in the New Jerusalem: “They shall see His face and His name shall be on their foreheads - Revelation 22:4.

What a grand thread to follow today! May we all rest secure in our identification with the name of Jesus and its power and protection, stamped on us by the indwelling Holy Spirit!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, though I only understand imperfectly this concept of being sealed by You, help me to enflesh what I do understand of it. Thank You for Your powerful name and Your Spirit and how You have sealed me. Amen.  

MORE: All Saints’ Day

Today the church celebrates All Saints’ Day. The day’s liturgy begins with this prayer:

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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