Seal or mark or sign.
205. Seal, mark or sign: There are people who live in fear that someday they will be ask to take a physical sign or mark that will keep them out of heaven once they have it placed on their body. If we search throughout the bible we find that God has used seals and such throughout the ages to distinguish His followers from the nonbelievers and there was never really a physical sign or mark actually placed on their physical bodies. The seal or mark does not denote a physical stamp placed on our bodies, instead the bible deals with a symbolic spiritual stamp placed on our souls that deals with how we behave and interact with others. Judaism: Song of Solomon 8:6 “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” Here a seal is being placed upon Solomon’s heart which can denote love in his heart for God, Song of Solomon 8:6 “for love is strong as death;” and a seal is being placed on his arm which is symbolic for the actions Solomon takes throughout his life. No real seal was placed on Solomon’s arm or heart, what these spiritual seals actually did is become apparent in Solomon’s behavior towards worshiping God and how he treated others. Deuteronomy 11:18 “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.” Exodus 13:9 “And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that The LORD’S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath The LORD brought thee out of Egypt.” Exodus 13:9 “a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes” how we act and think. God never had these people place physical marks on their bodies it was always about who they were and how they thought and acted that mattered to God and not some physical blemish on their bodies. So why will it be different in the future? If we follow the history and the writings of the bible, it won’t. Ezekiel 8:1 “And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of The Lord GOD fell there upon me.” Ezekiel 8:2 “Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.” Ezekiel 8:3 “And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.” Ezekiel 8:4 “And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.” Ezekiel 8:5 “Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.” Ezekiel 8:6 “He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.” Ezekiel 8:12 “Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; The LORD hath forsaken the earth.” Ezekiel 8:16 “And he brought me into the inner court of The LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of The LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of The LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.” Ezekiel 8:17 “Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke Me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.” Ezekiel 8:18 “Therefore will I also deal in fury: Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.” Ezekiel 9:1 “He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.” Ezekiel 9:2 “And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar.” Ezekiel 9:3 “And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;” Ezekiel 9:4 “And The LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” Ezekiel 9:5 “And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:” Ezekiel 9:6 “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Ezekiel 9:7 “And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.” Ezekiel 9:8 “And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?” Ezekiel 9:9 “Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and The LORD seeth not.” This prophecy given to Ezekiel in the sixth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity by the Chaldeans is a warning to Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem of the impending disaster that was soon to be unleashed on Judah and Jerusalem by the occupying Chaldean forces, which occurred in 586 B.C. In 586 B.C. Judah rebelled against Chaldean rule and King Nebuchadnezzar ruler of Chaldeans sent his armies to Jerusalem and had the city sacked and destroyed thereby, in the process, destroying both the city and the temple. Ezekiel 9:1 “Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.” All of this is part of history for anyone who cares to examine the history of Israel for him or herself. What is not found in the history books is the mention of a mark being placed on some of the inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem prior to the sacking: Ezekiel 9:4 “And The LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” And we know this marking process of the people of the city took place because the bible tells us it took place: Ezekiel 9:11 “And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.” What we don’t find in the history books, I must stress the point, is any mention of real physical marks being placed on the foreheads of some of the inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem. This, again, is an example of a spiritual mark being placed on the true believers in God and not an actual mark being placed on the foreheads of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. If this is the case, I must again ask the question, if no real physical mark, seal or sign was used throughout the whole bible to mark the people why would it be any different in the book of Revelations, which is essentially a spiritual, symbolic book; and the answer to this question is it wouldn’t be any different in the book of Revelations then it is in the rest of the bible. No real physical mark, seal or sign will be used to physically distinguish one believer in God from another or distinguish the believers from the unbelievers. It won’t be as simple as that: Christianity: Revelations 9:4 “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” Here not having a seal in their foreheads is considered a very bad thing which people are to be punished for, while having this mark is a good thing. Revelations 13:16 “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:” Revelations 14:9 “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,” Revelations 14:10 “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:” Revelations 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Here having a mark is a very bad thing which in this case leads to the torment and punishment of those people bearing the mark. So in contrast, having a mark is a bad thing. But the bible just said in Revelations 9:4 that not having a mark was the cause of the punishment for the people, Revelations 9:4 “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” This seems to be in direct contradiction to the other statement in Revelations 14:9 thru 11 having a mark leads to eternal punishment. Having a mark or seal in your forehead is either good or bad it can’t be both. If you don’t have a mark you are to be punished. If you do have a mark you are also to be punished. This is a situation where every one will be marked in some way, the God fearing and the people who could care less about God.
Maybe instead of beating our heads against a wall trying to figure out which statement is true and correct and which statement is false we need to go back to these two statements and see what these two statements have in common one with another. Revelations 9:4 “…..the seal of God in their foreheads.” Revelations 13:16 “receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads” Both of these statements are clear on one thing the mark or seal will not be placed on the body or on the forehead and hand, but in the forehead and in the hand. This will not be a physical mark on our physical body we can see and touch, these marks will be inside of us in our hearts and in our souls.
If this isn’t enough to test one’s resolve, the talk of signs, seals and marks are also found in the writings of the other religions of God; but is this really a surprise bearing the oneness of God and religion in mind.
ISLAM: 6. “As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.” 7. “Allah (God) hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 2)
Islam: 1. “Those who reject Allah and hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, their deeds will Allah render astray (From their mark).” “On their faces are their marks.” We see that Muhammad, in the Quran, uses terms like marked and sealed to warn the people of Allah’s impending punishment for their actions or His heavenly gifts for those who do good deeds.
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surahs 47 and 48)
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 55)
Islam: 29. “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. Thou (O Muhammad) seest them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads.”
(The Qur’an (Pickthall tr), Sura 48 – The Victory)
(Zoroaster, The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Yasna 51)
Zoroastrianism: 93. “I do not accept those libations that are drunk in my honor by the blind, by the deaf, by the wicked, by the destroyers, by the niggards, by the…., nor any of those stamped with those characters which have no strength for the holy Word.” Here Zoroaster comes right out and states that those being stamped or marked is not really a physical stamp or mark on their bodies, but that the characteristics of the people is what marks them. they are marked by their actions in this life, which is clearly the case found in the bible, the Quran and the other religions of God.
(The Zend-Avesta, Khorda Avesta – Book of Common Prayer pt. 1)
HINDUISM: “Two stamps there are marked on all living men, Divine and Un-divine.” “Krishna. Fearlessness, singleness of soul, the will Always to strive for wisdom; opened hand And governed appetites; and piety, And love of lonely study; humbleness, Uprightness, heed to injure naught which lives, Truthfulness, slowness unto wrath, a mind That lightly letteth go what others prize; And equanimity, and charity Which spieth no man’s faults; and tenderness Towards all that suffer; a contented heart, Fluttered by no desires; a bearing mild, Modest, and grave, with manhood nobly mixed, With patience, fortitude, and purity; An unrevengeful spirit, never given To rate itself too high;- such be the signs, O Indian Prince! of him whose feet are set On that fair path which leads to heavenly birth!” Here Krishna like Zoroaster warns that all are marked by their actions not physical marks placated on their bodies. It is our actions that God watches: “Two stamps there are marked on all living men, Divine and Un-divine; I spake to thee By what marks thou shouldest know the Heavenly Man, Hear from me now of the Unheavenly!”
Hinduism: 38. “The craving after sensual pleasures is declared to be the mark of Darkness, (the pursuit of) wealth (the mark) of Activity, (the desire to gain) spiritual merit the mark of Goodness; (each later named quality is) better than the preceding one.”
(Hindu, Laws of Manu chapter 12)
(Vedas, Rig Veda – Book 10)
BUDDHISM: 18. “In such a case, build yourself an island. Make the effort quickly and become a wise man. Cleansed of your faults and now without blemish, you will go to the heavenly land of the saints.”
“Free from the domination of words you will be able to establish yourselves where there will be a ‘turning about’ in the deepest seat of consciousness by means of which you will attain self-realization of Noble Wisdom and be able to enter into all the Buddha-lands and assemblies. There you will be stamped with the stamp of the powers, self-command, the psychic faculties, and will be endowed with the wisdom and the power.” “Stamped by the seal of ‘Suchness’ they entered upon the first of the Bodhisattva stages.” (Buddha, Lankavatara Sutra) Here, even Buddha speaks out about stamps and seals being spiritual traits or attributes found within the human soul or the actions we perform that makes up our personality.
SABEANISM: “In great radiance am I immersed and in steadfast light am I established. Its fastening is water, its wreath is light, its weapon the living word, and its seal the chosen, pure one. Every man who openeth it and readeth therein shall live, shall be whole and his name will be set up in the House of Life, in the name of the great Sublime Life from worlds (of light?).” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 63)
Sabeanism: “To it, and to that place, those souls That are called upon in this masiqta And signed by this sign, are summoned and invited. They shall behold the great Place of Light And the abiding Abode.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 68) Adam states the righteous who are signed by the sign will be called or invited into heaven.
Sabeanism: “Bound (secured) and sealed are the spirit and soul.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 74) Even from the very beginning God uses spiritual phrases to get His message across to mankind. “Bound (secured) and sealed are the spirit and soul.” Of mankind. “I am secured and sealed, and these souls who are descending to the Jordan and will be sealed by the seal of the Mighty Sublime Life,” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 15)
BABI RELIGION: “On that day will We set a seal upon their mouths yet shall their hands speak unto Us, and their feet shall bear witness to that which they shall have done.”
The Bab: (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 91)
Babi Religion: “By the aid of this chosen band of staunch and able supporters, Tahirih was able to fire the imagination and to enlist the allegiance of a considerable number of the Persian and Arab inhabitants of Iraq, most of whom were led by her to join forces with those of their brethren in Persia who were soon to be called upon to shape by their deeds the destiny, and to seal with their life-blood the triumph, of the Cause of God.”
The Bab: (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 271)
Then finally we have the latest religion from God on this earth also using terms like sealed, stamped, written etc… to get God’s spiritual message across to mankind: Baha’i Faith: “God grant that the light of unity may envelop the whole earth, and that the seal, ‘the Kingdom is God‘s.’ may be stamped upon the brow of all its peoples.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 11)
BAHA’I FAITH: “If any man were to meditate on that which the Scriptures, sent down from the heaven of God‘s holy Will, have revealed, he would readily recognize that their purpose is that all men shall be regarded as one soul, so that the seal bearing the words ‘The Kingdom shall be God‘s‘ may be stamped on every heart, and the light of Divine bounty, of grace, and mercy may envelop all mankind.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 259)
Baha’i Faith: “These are they who are blessed by the Concourse on high, who are glorified by the denizens of the everlasting Cities, and beyond them by those on whose foreheads Thy most exalted pen hath written: These! The people of Baha. Through them have been shed the splendors of the light of guidance.’ Thus hath it been ordained, at Thy behest and by Thy will, in the Tablet of Thine irrevocable decree.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 83)