Ezekiel 9:1-11; Ezekiel 20:12, 20; Hebrews 4:9-11; Revelation 7:1-3; Revelation 14:9-10, 12
In the Old Testament, winds stand for destructive forces by which God executes judgments upon the wicked (Jer. 23:19, 20; Dan. 7:2). These destructive forces are being restrained by divine intervention while the sealing of God’s people takes place.
In ancient times, the primary meaning of sealing was ownership. The meaning of the symbolic sealing in the New Testament is that “ ‘the Lord knows those who are His’ ” (2 Tim. 2:19, NKJV).
God recognizes His own people and seals them with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13, 14; 4:30). At the end-time, the seal on the forehead is given to God’s faithful people, who keep His commandments (Rev. 14:1, 12).
It is not a visible mark put on one’s forehead, but as Ellen G. White states, it means “settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they [God’s people] cannot be moved.”—Last Day Events, p. 220. In contrast, those who ultimately side with the beast receive the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16, 17).
The faithfulness of God’s sealed people has been tested in every generation. However, the test of faithfulness in the final crisis will be the keeping of God’s commandments (see Rev. 12:17, Rev. 14:12). In particular, the fourth commandment will become the test of obedience to God (Rev. 14:7). As the Sabbath has been the sign of God’s people in biblical times (Ezek. 20:12, 20; Heb. 4:9-11), so it will be the sign of loyalty to God in the final crisis.
At the time of the end, the seal also functions as a sign of protection from the destructive forces of the seven last plagues (see Ezek. 9:1-11 for the backdrop imagery of Rev. 7:1-3).
Thus, the question raised in Revelation 6:17 receives the ultimate answer: those who will be able to stand protected on the day of God’s wrath are the sealed people of God (i.e. they receive the latter rain of the holy spirit because they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus). 🙌🏾🙏🏾
Points to note:
- Since the devil always has a counterfeit for God’s truths, he surely has his counterfeits for God’s commandments including the holy Sabbath.
- No-one has the mark of the beast today and surely the latter rain of the Holy Spirit hasn’t happened yet. But we will all firmly have to make decisions for or against God’s commandments before Christ returns and this will determine what mark we receive – the beast’s or God’s. The convenient choice, the common and wide path, will be that of the beast; the inconvenient, uncommon and narrow path will be God’s. 🍿💡
- The preparation to receive God’s end-time seal starts from now by accepting Christ as savior from the curse of sin (our justification); getting baptized in water and the holy spirit, studying and completely obeying the truth no matter how inconvenient, and transforming our character to be like Christ because without holiness no-one can see God (our sanctification). Each of us must fight our battles against self and heed the teachings of the Holy Spirit. If this is done, they will be repeated again and again until the impressions are as it were “lead in the rock forever.” 😇🙅🏾♂️
Source reference: SDA 1Q19 Quarterly