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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 70

The Seal of God
 

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Welcome to the section «Choices and Destinies»! Let’s pray:

Our Father,

Now that we have identified the servants of good and the servants of evil as described by Your prophetic Word, we wish to know what will determine our belonging to one of these two groups, so that we may be able to make good choices from now on.

This is why we humbly ask You to guide us through this very important lesson.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.




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Luke 11:23

[Jesus said,] «He that is not with Me is against Me.»

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Joshua 24:15

And if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

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As we live in the last days, each one of us will have to actively choose to follow God and to serve Him.

All those who won’t make that choice, either by rejecting God, or by wrongly believing that they can stay neutral, will automatically be numbered among the servants of evil.




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Revelation 14:9,10

If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation.

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Prophecy presents here such a critical choice, as each one of us will have to choose either to receive or not to receive the mark of the beast.

It is very important to identify this mark, because the punishment meted out upon those who receive it will be eternal destruction.

But first, we need to understand another essential subject: the seal of God, which is the subject of this lesson.




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Revelation 7:1-3

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.

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, saying,

«Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.»

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The mark of the beast is in direct opposition to the seal of God, because both must be put on men’s foreheads.

By understanding the seal of God, we will discover the nature of the mark of the beast.




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Ezekiel 9:4-6

And the Lord said to him,

«Go through the middle of the city, through the middle of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the middle thereof.»

And to the others He said in my hearing,

«Go you after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have you pity. Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man on whom is the mark.»

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According to the Bible, the mark of God is put on the foreheads of those who refuse to take part in abominations, in practices going against the will of God.

But the Bible is even more precise...




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Deuteronomy 6:6,8

And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart. (...)

You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

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After giving the Ten Commandments to Moses, God clearly indicated that these commandments must be a mark on the hand and the forehead, thus meaning that we must keep them in mind (mark on forehead), and put them into practice (mark on hand).

But this mark put on the hand and the forehead also reminds us of another mark...




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Exodus 13:9

It shall be for a sign to you on your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth.

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Revelation 13:16

And [the beast coming up out of the earth] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.

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The law of God is placed as a seal on the hands and foreheads of His servants.

The mark of the beast, which we will study soon, is also placed on the hand and the forehead; it is, therefore, opposed to the commandments of God.




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Hebrews 8:10

«For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,» said the Lord.

«I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people.»

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Under the Old Covenant, God had engraved His Ten Commandments on tablets of stone.

Under the New Covenant, He engraves them directly on our hearts, as a seal identifying us as His people. God thus indicates that He gives us the power we need to keep His law.

But how does He grant us this power of obedience?




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Ephesians 1:13

In [Christ] you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.

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Ephesians 4:30

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption.

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After we accept salvation in Jesus Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

This seal certifies that we belong to God’s people.




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2 Corinthians 1:21,22

Now He which establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God; who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

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2 Timothy 2:19

Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, «The Lord knows them that are His.» And, «Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.»

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Once sealed, we rely on the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, to «establish us in Christ», and help us to «depart from iniquity».




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Once sealed, we must remain faithful to God and obey Him:

«Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you. (...)

Therefore shall you lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign on your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. (...)

For if you shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to join to Him; then will the Lord drive out all these nations from before you.» (Deuteronomy 11:16-18,22,23)




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Ephesians 4:30

Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption.

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Revelation 7:3

Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

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Each servant of God has been sealed by the Holy Spirit (action in the past).

But the faithful believers who live in the last days will receive an additional seal which will distinguish them from the rest of the world (action still to come).




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Revelation 7:2-4

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, saying,

«Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.»

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

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In fact, shortly before the release of the destructive winds, the seal of God will be put on the 144,000.

As we have seen in the lesson «The 144,000 and the Great Multitude», this group symbolizes the remnant Church, that is, the believers who will live through the last hours of history.




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Revelation 14:1,12

And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him a hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. (...)

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

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Marked with the seal of God, the 144,000 stand in clear contrast with all other people, and even more so after the coming of the mark of the beast.

Their foreheads are marked with God’s name because they reflect God’s character, since they «keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.»




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1 Kings 21:8

So [Jezebel] wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters.

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Esther 8:8

Write you also for the Jews, as it likes you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring.

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A king’s seal authenticates a document written by the king or in the king’s name.

Likewise, the seal of God, which will identify His people in the last days, authenticates a document written by God Himself.

This document is the law of God, His Ten Commandments, written with His own finger.




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Exodus 31:18

And [the Lord] gave to Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him on Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

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Exodus 32:16

And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven on the tables.

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In fact, the Ten Commandments are of such great importance in God’s eyes that He decided to write them Himself, with His own finger!




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Esther 8:8

The writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.

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Besides, to be official, a legal document must bear the seal of the legislator. The three components of a seal are:

  1. the name of the legislator;
  2. the title of the legislator;
  3. the territory covered by his legislation.

Now, what is the seal of God’s law? Where can we find it?




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Among the Ten Commandments, the fourth contains a seal’s three components




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Romans 4:11

[Abraham] received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had.

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According to the Word of God, a seal can also be a sign.

Is the fourth commandment, the seal of God’s law, also a sign?




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Exodus 31:13,17

Truly My Sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the Lord that does sanctify you. (...)

It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever.

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Ezekiel 20:12,20

I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. (...)

Hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.

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Yes indeed, the Sabbath is a sign between God and His people.




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Notice the similarity between God’s fourth commandment and His warning




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Revelation 14:9,10,12

If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation. (...)

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

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God’s final warning clearly confirms our conclusion: it is by keeping the commandments of God, including the fourth commandment regarding the Sabbath, that we will avoid receiving the mark of the beast.




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Genesis 2:2,3

And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.

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Let’s look quickly at the importance of the Sabbath in the life of the believer.

The commandment says, «Remember the Sabbath day...» (Exodus 20:8).

In fact, the institution of the seventh day as the day of rest does not date back to Moses, but rather to Creation, when God blessed the seventh day, the Sabbath.

Now, when God blesses something, for how long is it blessed?




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1 Chronicles 17:27

For You bless, O Lord, and it shall be blessed for ever.

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Ecclesiastes 3:14

I know that, whatever God does, it shall be for ever.

Nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it.

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What God blesses is blessed forever.

So God blessed the seventh day, as early as the Creation of the world, so that we should keep it as the day of rest forever.

In fact, the Word of God shows us that the Sabbath continues through the ages, from Creation to the New Earth.




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The Sabbath is celebrated from the garden of Eden to the New Earth!

1. In the garden of Eden, as early as the first week of Creation:
    «[God] rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.» (Genesis 2:2)

2. In the days of Moses, after God had said to Israel: «Remember...»:
    «Truly My Sabbaths you shall keep.» (Exodus 31:13)

3. In the days of Ezekiel, when the traditions of men prevailed over God’s will:
    «Hallow My Sabbaths.» (Ezekiel 20:20)

4. In the days of Nehemiah, when the merchants profaned the Sabbath:
    «Before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut.» (Nehemiah 13:19)

5. In the days of Jesus, who gave back to the Sabbath its real meaning, because the many traditions had made the Sabbath a burden for the people:
    «As His custom was, [Jesus] went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.» (Luke 4:16)
    «It is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.» (Matthew 12:12)




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The Sabbath is celebrated from the garden of Eden to the New Earth!

6. After Jesus’ departure, in the early days of the Apostolic Church:
    «On the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made.» (Acts 16:13)

7. At the destruction of Jerusalem, in A.D. 70, as foretold by Jesus:
    «Pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.» (Matthew 24:20)

8. In the last days, shortly before the return of Jesus Christ:
    «My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that does this, and the son of man that lays hold on it; that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it.» (Isaiah 56:1,2)

9. On the New Earth, and throughout all eternity!
    «As the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, (...) from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me.» (Isaiah 66:22,23)




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Isaiah 58:12,13

And they that shall be of you shall build the old waste places: you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, «The Repairer of the Breach», «The Restorer of Paths to Dwell In».

If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable (...).

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Prophecy announced that, at the end of time, God’s people would rediscover the truth concerning the Sabbath, thus «raising up the foundations of many generations», since the Sabbath goes back to Creation.




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Isaiah 56:6,7

Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.

Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.

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Furthermore, the remnant Church will lead people from all nations, both Jews and «the sons of the stranger», to rediscover the Sabbath and to enjoy its blessings.




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Leviticus 23:32

From even to even, shall you celebrate your Sabbath.

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According to the Bible, a day begins at sunset: «And the evening and the morning were the first day.» (Genesis 1:5).

So, the Sabbath day begins at sundown on Friday night, and ends at sundown on Saturday night.

God’s blessing truly rests on these holy hours. All those who have had the experience of devoting this time to worshiping God, to learning to know Him better, and to serving Him, can testify to this very special blessing.




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Deuteronomy 5:29

O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

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1 John 5:3

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.

And His commandments are not grievous.

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In fact, the keeping of the Sabbath, just like the other commandments, does not aim at making our life on earth unpleasant.

On the contrary, Sabbathkeeping really gives us a foretaste of what eternal life will be.




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Isaiah 58:13,14

If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words: then shall you delight yourself in the Lord.

And I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.

For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.

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With such a promise, why wouldn’t we want to keep the Sabbath?




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Deuteronomy 4:2

You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

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Luke 16:17

[Jesus said,] «It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one pronunciation mark of the law to fail.»

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To sum up, the Ten Commandments, including the fourth, express God’s will for each one of us, and will never be changed or abolished.




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Ezekiel 36:27

I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments, and do them.

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Revelation 7:4

And I heard the number of them which were sealed.

And there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

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God gives us His Spirit, so that we may be able to keep His law.

In the last days, His Church, spiritual Israel, marked with the seal of God, will obey His Ten Commandments, including the observance of the Sabbath.




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John 14:15

[Jesus said,] «If you love Me, keep My commandments.»

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Ecclesiastes 12:13,14

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

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As we live in the last days, many people claim to love God.

But the genuine believer will prove his love for God by keeping His commandments, and this is how he will receive the seal of God.




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Let’s pray together:

Lord God,

In the last days, You will put a special seal on Your servants, showing that they belong to You and obey Your will.

Your seal is in the heart of Your holy Law: it is the fourth commandment, requiring the observance of the seventh day, the Sabbath, as the day of rest.

We really want to receive this seal, so that we may be numbered with Your people, and, moreover, enjoy the blessings of the Sabbath.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.


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