Summary: We're now in chapter 7 in our sermon series through the Book of Revelation. In this chapter we're looking at those that God places His seal upon the 144,000. We'll also look at the seal God places upon all those who are believers in Jesus Christ today.
The Book of Revelation
“Sealed by God”
It might be a good thing to review where we stand. Jesus is now holding the Scroll of Destiny, the Father’s Last Will and Testament for humanity and the universe. Last week we looked at the 5th and 6th seal revealing the martyred saints in heaven along with the earth and heaven are being ripped apart by the greatest earthquake to date, the sun becoming dark, the moon turning a blood red, a meteorite shower of unprecedented proportion, and the sky receding like a scroll.
But before the 7th seal is broken releasing the seven trumpet judgments, there’s a pause in heaven for the Lord to seal a special group of believers so they don’t experience God’s wrath that’s about to come.
Read Revelation 7:1-8
The first thing John sees after the 6th seal is opened and its judgments poured out are four angels placed upon the four corners of the earth holding the winds of judgment until these special servants of God are sealed.
This picture reveals that judgment is in in the hands of God’s, not Satan’s. And that’s comforting to know because not only is God a just judge, but He’s gracious and merciful too boot.
King David not only knew of God’s justice, but also His grace and mercy when he sinned in numbering the people, something God expressly forbid Israel from doing. So God sent Gad the prophet to tell David that he had a choice of three punishments – famine for seven years, three months of being defeated by their enemies, or three days of plague. David said,
“I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” (2 Samuel 24:14 NKJV)
God’s judgments are a lot less severe than anything that man can hand down, and they’re more merciful because God’s judgments have our redemption as their goal.
And so God sent a plague against Israel. What this reveals is that there are consequences to our sins, not only for us individually, but also corporately as others suffer as a result.
Our sins have a way of finding us out, and those sins we think we’ve hidden; God has a way of making them public. We try to hide them, but the guilt eventually eats us up and changes who we are, and it becomes noticeable.
Dr. Wilbur Chapman said, “It takes the look of joy from your face; it takes the peace from your heart; (and) it takes the power from your life.”
But there’s hope, and it comes through confession and repentance. To heal and bring resolution we not only need to confess our sins to God, but also to one another.
This scares us to death, because we don’t like for others to know our business, especially that which is embarrassing. But the very thing we run and hide from is the very thing that will bring healing. The Apostle James said,
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16 NKJV)
And if you are given this honor to pray for someone, make sure you are faithful and keep the trust.
Why pray and ask forgiveness? Because it’s far better to fall into the hands of a merciful God, than it is to fall into then hands of sinful man.
And so God holds back His wrath until this special sealing takes place.
What is this sealing? To understand this question is to understand what a seal is. A seal is a mark of possession, authority, and power. In ancient times when a document was sealed, wax was dripped upon the document and the author or owner’s signet ring was pressed into the wax. Whoever read that document knew who wrote it, and whose authority made the decree. Such seals also showed ownership on possessions.
So God seals these 144,000 with His very own name, which shows that they are the exclusive property of the Lord God Himself. This is revealed later in Revelation.
“Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads.” (Revelation 14:1 NKJV)
This seal upon their foreheads was God’s mark of possession and protection. These 144,000 would be protected from God’s wrath when it’s poured out upon the earth. We see this protection during the 5th trumpet judgment. God releases demonic locusts upon the earth to torment humanity for five months. It says,
“They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” (Revelation 9:4 NKJV)