Seals

There are different kind of seals in the Bible. Here's a brief overview of the most important ones.

The Sabbath is the seal of God, and the Sunday is the mark of the beast.

To receive the seal (or mark) means to "agree with it", or to "accept it".

A seal, a mark, and a sign are synonymous.

Seal of God

A seal was something that was very common to all of the Biblical writers, for it was something that was repeatedly used in ancient times. In order for a king to make a law, he would have the law written and then put his seal upon the law so that all would know that he had indeed signed it into law. It was like putting his signature or fingerprint upon it. When his subjects saw the seal, all knew that they had to obey it and that it was an authentic seal.
- Cody Francis



The Bible confirms this use of a seal.

Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.
- Esther 8:8 (KJV)

A seal has a name, a title, and a territory.

For example "Donald Trump President of the United States of America" is an official seal:

ComponentDonald Trump
TitlePresident
TerritoryThe United States of America

The Ten Commandments have such a seal as well. It's the Sabbath commandment.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
- Exodus 20:8-11 (KJV)

In the same way:

NameThe Lord
TitleCreator
TerritoryHeaven and Earth

In many ways the Sabbath commandment is like a signature commandment that points directly at God.

It [the Sabbath] is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
- Exodus 31:17 (KJV)

The Sabbath commandment seals the law.

Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
- Isaiah 8:16 (KJV)



God doesn't change, and nor will His law.

Keeping the Sabbath is a sign that you agree with all of God's Law (the Ten Commandments).

The sign of obedience is the observance of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. If men keep the fourth commandment, they will keep all the rest.
- Ellen White, Letter 31, 1898

Sealed With the Holy Spirit

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
- Ephesians 1:13-14 (KJV)

Please note that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit when we believe.

There are different measures of the Holy Spirit that can be given:

  • Deposit (when we first become Christians)
  • With some different measure (like with the apostles at Pentecost, or the Latter Rain)
  • Without measure (like with Jesus)

The sealing of the Holy Spirit has everything to do with a person's character.

As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ.
- Ellen White, Signs of the Times, December 26, 1892



For the wax to take the seal (and become a reflection of it) it must be in the right condition (willing to be moulded).

The sealing of the Holy Spirit is a process, and may take some time.

Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads - it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved - just as soon as God's people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come.
- Ellen White, Manuscript 173, 1902

The phrase "cannot be moved" is very similar to "be not moved" or "not be moved" (see below).

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.
- Colossians 1:23 (KJV)

I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
- Psalms 16:8 (KJV)

If you are a Christian you are already being sealed.

To be sealed with the Holy Spirit means to be sealed with the character of God (as reflected in His Law, the Ten Commandments).

Here's how that works. Let's say you are reading your Bible which says that you shouldn't lie. You think about it, and you come to the conclusion that God is right. We shouldn't lie. So you change your mind and you stop lying. Now your character has become more like that of God, e.g. you have been sealed with God's character if you will. This is of course a process that can take many years.

I sometimes call this "sealed with the Ten Commandments". (This is more my understanding of it though)

The idea of God' character written in our foreheads can also be found in the verse below. (Name = character)

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
- Revelation 14:1 (KJV)

And then we're in God's image and likeness again.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
- Genesis 1:26-27 (KJV)

James White puts it like this:

The Sabbath is the seal, and the Holy Spirit is the sealer.
- James White, Advent Review, 1:57, September, 1850

Sabbath keeping is an external sign, that the Holy Spirit is sealing (sanctifying) us on the inside.

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
- Exodus 31:13 (KJV)

The sabbath is the seal of God. When you are being sealed with that seal, God's character (as reflected in the Ten Commandments) is impressed upon your soul.

The seal can also be seen as a sign of ownership.

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
- 2 Timothy 2:19 (KJV)

Again, the Sabbath commandment comes with all the other commandments, so it's not just about the Sabbath. It's about God's Law as a whole.

The sign of obedience is the observance of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. If men keep the fourth commandment, they will keep all the rest.
- Ellen White, Letter 31, 1898

Seal of God (Judgment)

This seal is very much about judgment and ownership. A seal of approval if you will.

An example of this is given here:

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.
- Revelation 7:2-3 (KJV)

This is an instant sort of sealing, and not a process as described above. I'm guessing it's the last phase of the sealing process.

What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption.
- Ellen White, Letter 126, 1898

Those with the seal of the living God are protected in the time of trouble.

Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.
- Ellen White, Early Writings, p. 71

I think this happens just before the close of probation. After that all cases are decided.

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
- Revelation 22:11 (KJV)

Summary

The three seals described above are closely related, and together form the sealing process.

Here are the three components to the sealing:

  • Keeping of God's law (including the Sabbath)
  • Transformation of character by the Holy Spirit
  • God's approval

So our obedience and the Holy Spirit will transform our character which will eventually be tested by God.

There can be only two classes. Each party is distinctly stamped, either with the seal of the living God, or with the mark of the beast or his image.
- Ellen White, Last Day Events, p. 215

The time of testing is at the door.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
- Revelation 3:20 (KJV)

Now is the time to prepare.

Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God - candidates for heaven.
- Ellen White, Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 216