13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast. I don’t know about you, but as a young and even not so young Christian, these terms truly confused me, and in a way, scared me. So, for a long time, I just ignored them. Then, a few years ago I stumbled upon an eBook called The Seal of God: The Sign of God’s Approval by Carol Zarka. Now, let me be clear, I am not recommending this book. I did, however, read it, and to be honest, became even more confused.
So, I turned to more ‘well known’ authors to gain a better understanding. I suppose this is my process. I need to read, research, and draw conclusions. Since I’ve spent my life doing this in the medical setting, so why not approach my desire to understand God’s word in the same way.
What is the Seal of God & What is its Purpose?
You may be surprised to learn that there is more than one seal. Essentially, they break down to the Present Day Seal of God and during the Tribulation Seal of God. I know, that may seem strange, but or me, that is what it boils down to.
However, let’s begin, by what is the purpose of a seal. Historically, a seal proved something as being genuine. Think of the signet ring of a king. When he put his ‘seal’ on a document (placing an impression of the ring in melted wax), it proved it came from him and identified it as genuine. It also signified ownership. The document belonged to the king.
The Seal of God, therefore, identifies those who have it, as belonging to him, that we are the genuine article.
Present Day Seal of God
As a believer in Jesus Christ, having accepted him as your personal Saviour and Lord, you have been marked with him with a seal, and the seal is the Holy Spirit, who resides in you.
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (highlight is mine)
2 Corinthians 1:22
22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
God Placed a Seal on Jesus
Prior to us being sealed with the Holy Spirit, God placed his seal of approval on Jesus.
27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
I find this significant, for God placed a seal on his Son, which showed God’s approval of him. Then, after his death and resurrection, Jesus gave us his Holy Spirit, which acts as our seal, as our mark! So, God approved of Jesus who then gives us his spirit, which identifies us as being his. So, in essence, by being sealed, through the presence of the Holy Spirit with us, God approves of us.
Holy Spirit is our Seal
When we become believers and accept Christ, we are given the Holy Spirit, who resides in us. He has many roles, which I will discuss later (another post), but a significant role is to identify as being Christ’s. When we come before God, the presence of the Holy Spirit is what identifies us, as one of His Children. This seal also guarantees our eternal safety, especially for what is to come.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
For now, this mark or seal is not visible, at least not to us. God and his Son Jesus Christ may see a mark upon us. It may even be that Satan and his demons may see something on us that identifies us as belonging to Christ, but I have no proof of that.
Tribulation Seal of God
This will be a visible seal placed on the forehead. It will be placed on two different groups of people. First, it will be the 144,000 Jewish witnesses (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel), whom God will send to proclaim the word of God to all those who remain in darkness, who are unbelievers. They will spread the gospel of truth to an unbelieving world. The seal will not only identify them as belonging to God, but will provide protection.
3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. (Jesus Bible)
Then, there are those who come to faith during the Tribulation period, the Tribulation saints. They too will receive a mark or a seal upon their foreheads. It will be a visible mark that identifies them as being God’s. Although, I did not find a specific passage that states that there is a passage in Revelations 9:4 that allows me to believe that Tribulation saints will be identified as belonging to God.
4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. (highlight is mine)
So, I believe that we can infer God’s protection against some of the ravages of the Tribulation, upon those who believe in Him, who have been sealed by Him, and marked upon their foreheads with God’s and Jesus’s names. In addition, there are two scripture verses, where we are told that those who belong to God will not have to endure the same suffering as non-believers. It is my supposition that these passages may be extrapolated to the Tribulation saints.
1 Thessalonians 5:9
9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
Invisible and Visible Mark
Although today, our seal or mark is not visible on us, it will be visible on the Tribulation saints. That mark, or seal, will be the name of God our Father, and the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, imprinted on the foreheads of believers. It will separate them from those who follow Satan, and who are eternally dammed.
It will also allow the Antichrist to selectively persecute, torture, and kill the followers of Jesus Christ. On one hand, the seal protects the Tribulation saints from God’s wrath upon the earth, but it also identifies them for persecution and death, at the hands of the Antichrist.
Mark of the Beast
There is, however, one more mark or seal that we need to discuss and that is the Mark of the Beast. That mark seals its wearer to an eternity of damnation, for it identifies the wearer as belonging to Satan, as being a worshiper of Satan. That mark makes them his.
What is the mark of the Beast?
During the second half of the Tribulation period, also referred to as the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will demand that all people worship him (or his image) and receive his mark either upon their head or hand. Since Satan is a great copycat, always wanting what God has, he now replicates God’s seal with his personal mark.
The threat posed by the Mark of the Beast
However, his mark becomes a requirement for selling or purchasing anything, during the last three and half years of the Tribulation. It carries a threat of starvation if you do not possess it. However, it also carries a far greater, more profound threat. It signifies the wearer as belonging to Satan and carries the implication of being a Satan worshiper. Hence, forever damming the wearer to hell.
16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.
Just as God’s seal upon the foreheads of believers will be his and Jesus’ name, the mark of the beast will be the Antichrist’s name. In Scripture, it is only given as a number, which is 666.
Children of God Series and the Seal of God:
In the Children of Light books, I’ve taken the liberty in presenting the seal of God, as the light that shines in those we are the Children of God. This is seen by those who are lost in darkness.
NOTE: All scripture passages are from the Jesus Bible, New International Version.