Author: Ron Graham
In our previous lesson we looked at the universality of God's promise, oath, and seal. Now, with two more of our 17 principles, we go into more detail on some aspects of that topic. The main idea of this lesson is that the seal of God is for everyone who is saved —everyone who believes and obeys Jesus Christ.
6th principle: The number sealed equals the number saved.
7th principle: All who are “in Christ” are sealed.
The number of the sealed is precisely as many as the number of the saved, no more, no fewer, and they are the same people. The number in John’s vision was 144 000. This number is symbolic, as is the term "tribes of Israel".
That number represents the heirs of the promise who are "as many as have been baptized into Christ" (Revelation 7:1-4, Romans 9:6-8, Galatians 3:26-29).
¶“1After seeing these things, I saw four angels. They stood at the four corners of the earth. They held back the earth’s four winds —so that no wind could blow on the earth, or the sea, or on any tree. 2Then I saw yet another angel rising from the east. This angel has the seal of God. He cried out loud to the four angels. Now those angels were granted power to harm the earth and the sea. But the other angel 3cried, 'Do not yet harm the earth, the sea, and the trees. Wait till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads” (Revelation 7:1-3).
¶“4I heard the number of those who were sealed. The number was 144,000, of all the tribes of the sons of Israel 5—Judah, Reuben, Gad, 6Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, 7Simeon, Levi, Issachar, 8Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. Twelve thousand were sealed of each tribe” (Revelation 7:4-8).
¶“6God has not failed to keep his word. Israel is not [defined as] all of Israel’s descendents. 7Nor do all of Abraham’s descendants equal God’s children. Rather, [God’s word promised to Abraham] 'In Isaac your seed shall be called' *. 8That means the children of the flesh are not the children of God. Rather the children of the promise [that Christ fulfilled] are counted as the descendants” (Romans 9:6-8, *Genesis 21:12).
¶“26You are all sons of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. You are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed —heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:26-29).
The next vision represents the number as "a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples..." (Revelation 7:9-10).
¶“9In the next vision I saw a multitude numbering so many that no one could count them. There were people of all nations, tribes, and tongues. They all stood, clothed in white, before the throne and before the Lamb. They held palm fronds in their hands. 10They all cried with loud voices, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!' ” (Revelation 7:9-10).
¶“11All the angels stood around the throne. So did the elders, and the four living creatures, who fell face down before the throne, worshiping God. 12They said, 'Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honour, power and strength, to our God for ever and ever, amen!' ” (Revelation 7:11-12).
¶“13Then one of the elders spoke to me. He asked me, 'Who are these people clothed in white robes? Where did they come from?' 14I said to him, 'My lord, you know.' So he told me, 'They are the people who come out of great troubles. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15That's why they are standing before the throne of God, and why they serve him day and night in his temple. And he who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16They will not hunger or thirst anymore. Neither sun nor burning heat shall fall upon them. For the Lamb, who is at the center of the throne, he will shepherd them. He will lead them to fountains of living waters. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.' ” (Revelation 7:13-17).
In these visions, the people who were sealed were no fewer, and none other, than all the saved. "The seal of the living God" (the gift of the Holy Spirit) is for all Christians.
There is a conclusive way to make the point that God has sealed every Christian —take a close look at the “in hims” of Ephesians chapter one:
The seal of God is found among the “in hims” of Ephesians chapter one. Paul writes to "the faithful in Christ Jesus" and goes on to list what they have "in him". Let's look at this list of "in hims" in Ephesians 1.
Now look at that list carefully. The middle six items on the list are true of everyone in the total number of the saved. We finish our lesson by asking this question as food for thought: If the middle six blessings on the list are true of every Christian, why should not the first and last blessings also be true of every Christian? We conclude that the promise, oath, and seal of God is for every one who is faithful in Christ Jesus.