Revelation Seal Mark
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33. Revelation Seal Mark
Revelation 7.1-8

"After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or the sea or any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given the power to harm the land and the sea, '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.' Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000." (Revelation 7.1-8)✞

Document Sealing

Ancient Wax Signet Ring SealA seal mark or document seal mark identifies and protects its contents. A broken seal indicates a leak of the information. Document seals appear on wills, title deeds, or even people. Some commentators suggest that this may be an invisible seal, but that is doubtful because it often reveals a person's name. The wax impression of one's signet ring or stamp also indicates that the contents are confidential and belong to that person. The Book of Daniel 12.4 tells us about seals on scrolls, "But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge."

Owner's Stamp

In the Roman Empire, an owner's stamp seals each ceramic amphora used for wine or oil. Over two hundred different amphorae have unique identifying inscriptions. The word "amphora" comes from a Greek compound word, "amphi" or "on both sides" and "pherein" meaning "to carry." An amphora is a ceramic container with handles on both sides used to carry a liquid. The stamped top of the amphora contains information on the production, content, ownership (often by the Emperor,) and subsequent marketing. In the same way, God places his seal mark on his faithful followers' foreheads, identifying them as his and guaranteeing his care over their souls.

Baptism and Circumcision

Jesus Baptism WatersAs circumcision is the seal mark for the loyal Jew, and as baptism is the seal mark on the Christian, so the seal mark in the end times signifies and protects God's faithful followers. Our physical bodies may be beaten, maimed, or even destroyed, but nothing can remove the seal on our souls by God. We are protected because we are supremely valuable to him.

Identifying Followers

Alpha seal markA parallel to the "Revelation seal mark" is found in the mark of the beast in Revelation 13.16 which reads, "It (the beast) also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or their foreheads." The mark of God and that of Satan places the people in two very distinct camps, those who are subject to, love, and serve Jesus Christ and those who are owned by Satan.

Israeli Tribal Seals

NumbersThe number of those sealed with the Israeli tribal seals is twelve thousand per tribe, totaling one hundred and forty-four thousand. Each of the twelve tribes of Israel has its tribal seal. Probably the best known is the tribe of Judah and the Lion. Mike Klage, studying in Israel, gives us a helpful listing. "The 12 tribes of the House of Israel are the descendants of the Patriarch Jacob and his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and his two concubines, Zilpah and Bilhah. Leah had six sons — Reuben, Simon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Each of the other women had two sons. Rachel's were Joseph and Benjamin; Zilpah's, Gad and Asher; and Bilhah's, Dan and Naphtali." The number of those with the Israeli tribal seals is "one hundred and forty-four thousand," twelve by twelve by one thousand, which in itself is a unique number symbolizing completeness. All God's followers with seals will be brought safely to him, and no one will be overlooked or left behind. The twelve Israel tribes sealed do not correspond with any of the eighteen lists of the twelve tribes in the Old Testament. This list is followed by "there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb." God in Revelation 7.7b includes all of God's faithful followers in this "great multitude."✞

Levites Rewarded

Star of David of IsraelJudah from the tribe of David is listed first. The Levites are priests of God in the Temple and possess no tribal allotment, but here they are rewarded for their faithfulness by being included as a tribe. The list omits the tribe of Dan no doubt because of its unfaithfulness as affirmed by Genesis 49.17, "Dan will be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider tumbles backward." They may have omitted Dan because it adopted pagan practices. The most famous Danite was Sampson. This new Israel embraces the faithful from every nation, race, people, and tongue - an army of true believers and Israel tribes sealed for God's service.

"Revelation Seal Mark"
by Ron Meacock © 2020

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