Summary: One of the most familiar of images of Revelation is that in which the 144,000 Jews are sealed- - - 12,000 from each tribe.
The Mystery of the Mark of God
Giant Mysteries Series
May 18, 2014 Chester FBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A One of the most familiar of images of Revelation is that in which the 144,000 Jews are sealed- - - 12,000 from each tribe.
1 Revelation 7:2-3 (NASB) 2 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, 3 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."
a We find out more about these “sealed bond-servants” in Rev.14
Revelation 14:1-4 (NASB) 1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
b These elect-representatives of Israel’s Twelve Tribes are “sealed.”
aa It’s generally believed they are sealed/set aside for a certain/specific task that God has for them during the Tribulation.
bb Some believe they are God’s evangelists for a period in during the seven year Tribulation. (The Church is gone/raptured so someone has to be sent forth with the Gospel.)
2 These 144,000 are seen as redeemed, justified before God.
a Rev. 14.4, tells us they were virgins (symbol of purity & dedication).
aa They sing a special victory song that was specific to their work. Anthem!
bb In other words, they are chosen, sealed for a unique reason.
b One of their jobs will be to be a force against the Antichrist during the Tribulation.
B Why does the Bible go to such trouble to describe for us the sealing process when the meaning seems so obscure?
1 As always, the Bible has an answer to this question.
I The Seal of Identification
A In the ancient world, seals were used to indicate ownership, authenticity, and protection.
1 The seal, usually from a signet ring/cylindrical seal, was placed upon soft wax or clay proving that someone has spoken for them. (The seal made the document official.) (Image)
a Potter’s/Sculptures would put their “seal” on their jars or sculptures to prove that the item was their work. (Image)
b An unbroken seal on a scroll/letter showed that it had been violated. (Image)
aa When Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, it was sealed of by order of the king to ward off anyone who would try to save him.
bb Messiah’s tomb was sealed to insure the disciples wouldn’t steal Jesus’ body. . . to break the seal was to challenge the power of Caesar. (Image)
2 According to Scripture, Christians are “sealed” by the Holy Ghost.
a Ephesians 1:13-14 (HCSB) 13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.
aa Sealing indicates ownership and protection; it identifies the believer as belonging to the Lord.
bb When Jesus feed the 5,000, He spoke of His own spiritual sealing:
John 6:27 (HCSB) 27 Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him. -EMPHASIS ADDED
cc Jesus is linking His sealing with eternal provision; The Believer is assured that the Lord will always provide for them with things from heaven.
b Paul spoke of salvation & the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a “sealing”,
2 Corinthians 1:22 (HCSB) 22 He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.
aa Remember the “seal” over Christ’s grave (IMAGE.)
bb In Romans 6, Paul describes the Believer as being baptized into the death of Christ, assuring them that we will be raised from dead into a new life . . . the giving of the Holy Spirit is a kind of sealing.