Bible Study Guides – The Seal of God

July 19, 2009 – July 25, 2009

Key Text

“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 9:4.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 207–216; The Great Controversy, 653–661.


“Although the nations are mustering their forces for war and bloodshed, the command to the angels is still in force, that they hold the four winds until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 221, 222.

1 In contrast to those entrusted as guardians of God’s temple, what was Ezekiel shown? Ezekiel 9:1–4.

Note: “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 G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1161.

2 How does the seal of God relate to faithful Sabbath keepers today? Revelation 14:1; Exodus 31:13, 14.

Note: “Those that overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, will be the favored ones who shall receive the seal of the living God. Those whose hands are not clean, whose hearts are not pure, will not have the seal of the living God. Those who are planning sin and acting it will be passed by. Only those who, in their attitude before God, are filling the position of those who are repenting and confessing their sins in the great anti-typical day of atonement, will be recognized and marked as worthy of God’s protection. The names of those who are steadfastly looking and waiting and watching for the appearing of their Saviour–more earnestly and wishfully than they who wait for the morning–will be numbered with those who are sealed.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 445.

3 Discuss the seriousness of the sealing message. Ezekiel 9:10. How does this message relate to the third angel of Revelation 14:9–12?

Note: “Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 212.

“The most fearful threatening ever addressed to mortals is contained in the third angel’s message. That must be a terrible sin which calls down the wrath of God unmingled with mercy. Men are not to be left in darkness concerning this important matter; the warning against this sin is to be given to the world before the visitation of God’s judgments, that all may know why they are to be inflicted, and have opportunity to escape them.” The Great Controversy, 449, 450.

4 What should cause us to think soberly about the sealing message? Jeremiah 25:33.

Note: “Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the seal of the living God or be cut down by the destroying weapons. Already a few drops of God’s wrath have fallen upon the earth; but when the seven last plagues shall be poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation, then it will be forever too late to repent and find shelter. No atoning blood will then wash away the stains of sin.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 212.

5 When the destroying angel goes forth, who suffers first and why? Ezekiel 9:5–7.

Note: “Here we see that the church—the Lord’s sanctuary—was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus ‘Peace and safety’ is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 211.

6 What is especially offensive to God? Ezekiel 9:8, 9.

Note: “The abominations for which the faithful ones were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed. The great Searcher of hearts knoweth every sin committed in secret by the workers of iniquity. These persons come to feel secure in their deceptions and, because of His long-suffering, say that the Lord seeth not, and then act as though He had forsaken the earth. But He will detect their hypocrisy and will open before others those sins which they were so careful to hide.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 211, 212.

7 What will come upon the whole earth as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads? Revelation 16:1.

Note: “The angel with the writer’s ink horn is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel follows this angel.

“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. In deed it has begun already, the judgments of God are now upon the land, to give us warning, that we may know what is coming” “Ellen G. White Comments” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1161.

8 How did several prophets describe the destruction that is coming upon the world? Isaiah 26:21; Jeremiah 25:31; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 2.

Note: “When He [Jesus] leaves the sanctuary, darkness covers the inhabitants of the earth. In that fearful time the righteous must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. The restraint which has been upon the wicked is removed, and Satan has entire control of the finally impenitent. God’s long-suffering has ended. The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old.” The Great Controversy, 614.

“In the mad strife of their own fierce passions, and by the awful outpouring of God’s unmingled wrath, fall the wicked inhabitants of the earth—priests, rulers, and people, rich and poor, high and low.” Ibid., 657.

9 What was shown to John the Revelator? Revelation 7:2–4. How must we prepare to receive the seal of God?

Note: “Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth—these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity.

“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.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 216.

10 What is promised to those who receive the seal of God? Malachi 3:17; Revelation 21:7.

Note: “The day of wrath to the enemies of God is the day of final deliverance to His church. The prophet declares: ‘Strengthen ye the weak hands, And confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: Behold, your God will come with vengeance, Even God with a recompense; He will come and save you.’ ‘He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.’ Isaiah 35:3, 4; 25:8. And as the prophet beholds the Lord of glory descending from heaven with all the holy angels, to gather the remnant church from among the nations of earth, he hears the waiting ones unite in the exultant cry: ‘Lo, this is our God; We have waited for Him, And He will save us: This is the Lord; We have waited for Him, We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.’ Isaiah 25:9.” Prophets and Kings, 727, 728.

“Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand.” Maranatha, 241.

Additional Reading

“‘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.]

“The Sabbath is not introduced as a new institution but as having been founded at creation. It is to be remembered and observed as the memorial of the Creator’s work. Pointing to God as the Maker of the heavens and the earth, it distinguishes the true God from all false gods. All who keep the seventh day signify by this act that they are worshipers of Jehovah. Thus the Sabbath is the sign of man’s allegiance to God as long as there are any upon the earth to serve Him. The fourth commandment is the only one of all the ten in which are found both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It is the only one that shows by whose authority the law is given. Thus it contains the seal of God, affixed to His law as evidence of its authenticity and binding force.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307.

“Let us remember that while the work we have to do may not be our choice, it is to be accepted as God’s choice for us. Whether pleasing or unpleasing, we are to do the duty that lies nearest. ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.’ Ecclesiastes 9:10.

“If the Lord desires us to bear a message to Nineveh, it will not be as pleasing to Him for us to go to Joppa or to Capernaum. He has reasons for sending us to the place toward which our feet have been directed. At that very place there may be someone in need of the help we can give. He who sent Philip to the Ethiopian councilor, Peter to the Roman centurion, and the little Israelitish maiden to the help of Naaman, the Syrian captain, sends men and women and youth today as His representatives to those in need of divine help and guidance.” The Ministry of Healing, 472, 473.

“Our plans are not always God’s plans. He may see that it is best for us and for His cause to refuse our very best intentions, as He did in the case of David. But of one thing we may be assured, He will bless and use in the advancement of His cause those who sincerely devote themselves and all they have to His glory. If He sees it best not to grant their desires He will counterbalance the refusal by giving them tokens of His love and entrusting to them another service.” Ibid., 473.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive? Chapter 15

by Danny Vierra

Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive booklChapter 15 – The Counterfeit Seal of God

In Chapter 11 we learned what the seal of God is— the Sabbath. God’s seal is not a visible sign that can be seen by anyone, but only by the angels of Heaven, for it has to do with the moral character of the person and an evidence of whom he serves. Just as the seal of God is written in the foreheads of His true and faithful people, the name “Mystery, Babylon, the Mother of Harlots” is written upon the forehead of the whore, and fittingly, her followers, who are evidenced by whom they serve and worship and who accordingly will receive the mark of the beast in the forehead or in the hand. I will now quote from The Thunder of Justice, page 329, and show you what they teach is the seal of God: “Then as I listened he shouted, ‘Come here, you scourges of the city, and bring your weapons of destruction…. He called the man in white with a scribe’s ink horn in his belt and said, ‘Go all through the city, all through Jerusalem, and mark a cross on the foreheads of all who deplore and disapprove of all the filth practiced in it. ’ I heard him say to the others, ‘Follow him through the city, and strike. Show neither pity nor mercy; old men, young men, virgins, women, kill and exterminate them all. But do not touch anyone with a cross on his forehead. Begin at my sanctuary. ’ (Ezekiel 9: 1- 6).”

Please notice that the writers just quoted Ezekiel 9: 1- 6. I want you to take your Bible right now and open it to Ezekiel 9 and read verses 1- 6. Do you find the word “cross” in any of the verses? The Bible simply mentions to “set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry for all the abominations” (verse 4) and “slay utterly old and young… but come not near any man who has the mark” (verse 6). Do you see the word “cross” in the verses of whatever version of the Bible you are using? Well, why not? Because it is not there! How could anyone put any faith in the advocates of the Marian Movement, when they blatantly add words to the Bible that are not in the original?

The only explanation I can find for their conclusion is a footnote commenting on verse 4 in the New Catholic Version of the Douay- Confraternity Bible. The footnote for the verses referred to above says: “Mark Thau, thau or tau, is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and signifies a sign, or a mark: which is the reason why some translators render this place set a mark, or mark a mark, without specifying what this mark was. But St. Jerome and other interpreters, conclude it was the form of the letter Thau, which in the ancient Hebrew character, was the form of a cross.”

This conclusion is absolutely absurd, for if you research the origin of the word Thau or Tau, and the origin of the cross, you may be astonished at what you will discover! Quoting from Alexander Hislop’s book The Two Babylons once again, we find: “The same sign of the cross that Rome now worships was used in the Babylonian Mysteries, was applied by Paganism to the same magic purposes, was honoured with the same honours. That which is now called the Christian cross was originally no Christian emblem at all, but was the mystic Tau of the Chaldeans and Egyptians— the true original form of the letter T— the initial of the name of Tammuz —which, in Hebrew, radically the same as ancient Chaldee, is found on coins. That mystic Tau was marked in baptism on the foreheads of those initiated in the Mysteries [Interestingly, Catholic priests make the sign of the cross on the foreheads of infants at baptism], and was used in every variety of way as a most sacred symbol. To identify Tammuz with the sun it was joined sometimes with a circle of the sun; sometimes it was inserted in the circle. Whether the Maltese cross, which the Romish bishops append to their names as a symbol of their episcopal dignity, is the letter T, may be doubtful; but there seems no reason to doubt that the Maltese cross is an express symbol of the sun; for Layard [author of Ninevah and Babylon] found it as a sacred symbol in Ninevah in such a connection as led him to identify it with the sun. The mystic Tau, as a symbol of great divinity, was called ‘the sign of life; ’ it was used as an amulet over the heart; it was marked on the official garments of the priests of Rome; it was borne by the kings in their hand, as a token of their dignity or divinely- conferred authority. The Vestal virgins of Pagan Rome wore it suspended from their necklaces, as the nuns do now . The Egyptians did the same, and many of the barbarous nations with whom they had intercourse, as the Egyptian monuments bear witness…. It was worshipped in Mexico for ages before the Roman Catholic missionaries set foot there, large stone crosses being erected, probably to the ‘god of rain. ’ The cross, thus widely worshipped, or regarded as a sacred emblem, was the equivocal symbol of Bacchus, the Babylonian Messiah, for he was represented with a head- band covered with crosses. This symbol of the Babylonian god is reverenced at this day in all the wide wastes of Tartary, where Buddhism prevails….‘ The cross, ’ says Colonel Wilford, in Asiatic Researches,….‘ is exactly the cross of the Manicheans, with leaves and flowers (and fruit also, as I am told), is called the divine tree, the tree of the gods, the tree of life and knowledge , and productive of whatever is good and desirable, and is placed in the terrestrial paradise .’ ” (The Two Babylons, pp. 197- 199). Is there any question as to whether God would place the “T” for Tammuz as a mark or sign on the foreheads of his true and faithful people? “It was an essential principle of the Babylonian system, that the Sun or Baal [the god of nature] was the only god. When, therefore, Tammuz was worshipped as God incarnated, that implied also that he was an incarnation of the Sun.” (Ibid., p. 96).

Do you remember the words of Elijah when he faced Ahab and the four hundred “prophets of Baal” during the great contest on Mount Carmel: “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? [Elijah was a reformation prophet, a voice of one crying in the wilderness to rebuke sin and press back the tide of evil, and who sought to arouse Israel to repentance and to forgo their worship of idols and return unto the law of the Lord]. And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord [by violating the first and second commandments], and have followed Baalim…. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions ? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him . And the people answered him not a word.” (I Kings 18: 17, 18, 21). The story continues with Elijah slaying all the false prophets of Baal, because they refused to repent of their idolatrous practices and continued to worship the god of the sun— the object of creation, rather than the Creator Himself. The cross, or the “T,” is a sign or mark of the god of nature, Tammuz, or Baal, and therefore, of Satan— the false god who had the true God, Jesus Christ, hung on that pagan cross , or “T”, until he died! How many Christians, by their idolatrous practices of worshipping idols, whether in the form of images or statues, or of the “living dead,” such as in the form of the Virgin Mary or the Saints, are but halting between two opinions?— for they say they love the Lord with all their hearts, yet they worship these very idols which He has expressly forbidden in forceful and explicit terms!

Another modern, pagan practice adopted from the Mysteries is the Zodiac, which the Greeks derived from the Chaldees. And is this abominable sign displayed anywhere in the Catholic system? The solar wheel, or the wheel of the sun (for the system is built around astrology— the study of the sun, moon, planets, and stars to foretell the future— and dates back to the Chaldees and the Babylonians, whose very names came to mean astrologer) can be found not only on Buddhist temples and temples in India, but also on the altars and ceilings in the cathedrals of the Roman Catholic Church— at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, and the monastery of St. Ignatius Loyola in Spain. But, “unquestionably, the largest occult solar wheel on earth is located in the court of St. Peter at the Vatican in Rome . From the air, you can see the wheel within a wheel, with eight spokes, a common symbol of cosmic energy in paganism. Protruding from its center is an obelisk , the ancient symbol of Osiris, the solar phallic god of Egypt.” [Information obtained from the book, The (New, Illustrated) Great Controversy]. It should be noted also, that since astrology and the signs of the Zodiac deal with foretelling your future and whether you will have a “lucky” or “unlucky day” by “observing times,” they are, therefore, classified with those that are witches and have a familiar spirit and are, likewise, an abomination to God. (See Deut. 18: 10- 12; Lev. 19: 26). Friends, getting back to the seal of God, we obviously can see that it is not a tattoo of the pagan cross which will be engraved on the foreheads of the saints, but the law of God, His very own character, that will rightfully be written in their minds or foreheads. Specifically, it is the Sabbath, the fourth commandment, that is the sign or seal of God [see Eze. 20: 12 and compare Romans 4: 11 to confirm that “seal” and “sign” are used interchangeably in the Scriptures], because the Sabbath distinguishes them as His true people who worship “Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 14: 7). It is the one commandment that distinguishes God as the Creator, the only Being in all the universe who deserves to be worshipped, and His true people who keep the seventh- day Sabbath holy! Why are billions of people following the traditions of Rome, rather than a “Thus saith the Lord,” anyway? In the book of Deuteronomy we read the following: “That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all… His commandments…. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes .” (Deut. 6: 2, 6- 8).

One point of interest that I must make is that The Thunder of Justice claims that Christ gave the following message to Julka, Zagreb, in the former Yugoslavia: “This will be the Little Flock [those who make it through the ‘Great Tribulation’ of the last days] and I shall hover over it. In those days there will be one Shepherd and one Faith, that of the Roman Catholic Church , which I established when I walked visibly on the earth. After the distresses, which I am now permitting to come upon My obstinate people on the earth, there will arise a fair and pure race and the earth will abound with My gifts. My sons and My daughters will keep My Commandments , thus everything will live and grow with My Blessing for thirty years . Later on My people will again tend to evil and to sin. I shall send my messengers, Elijah and Enoch, from heaven to instruct the people in the true faith.” (The Thunder of Justice, p. 354).

Friends, do you see anything wrong in the paragraph above? First— Did Christ establish the Roman Catholic Church while on earth, or was it the result of apostasy as foretold by the apostle Paul? Second— The commandments here referred to are not the Ten Commandments as given by God, but the commandments of Rome, with the change of the Sabbath, the fourth commandment, to Sunday, as the third commandment. Third— Where in the Bible do we read about a thirty- year period at the end of time? Fourth— This false christ said he will send his messengers, Elijah and Enoch, who, by the way, were two seventh- day Sabbath- keepers , to instruct the people in the Roman Catholic doctr ines! Elijah and Enoch, both noted foes of apostasy, would never support the false doctrines of Rome! And, besides, would they not first need to be enlightened in regard to the Sunday- sabbath—“ the venerable day of the sun”— set up by the papacy as the new day they would worship God? Elijah would be facing the prophets of Baal all over again! How absurd!! But not so, if these “messengers” are, in reality, demons! Never forget what I am about to tell you: Satan will always mingle error with truth, because it is like disguising poison with healthy food. The poison then becomes more dangerous than ever before, because the person takes it unawares !

It should be noted, that those destroyed who have not the “mark,” or seal of God (see Ezek. 9: 4), are those that have been practicing the abominable idolatries recorded in the preceding chapter, Ezekiel 8. In Ezekiel 8, the prophet records some of the most atrocious practices of the “elders of Judah”— the priests that have offended the true God. Ezekiel sees in the entry, at the gate of the altar (in other words, in the church— a place dedicated to the worship of the true God), images of false gods, and one in particular that arouses His wrath—“ the image of jealousy.” (Verse 3). This image, in particular, provokes His high displeasure or “jealousy” because the Babylonian Madonna— the queen of heaven— reveals “the heinous character of that idolatry, to say that the child she holds forth to adoration is called by the name of Jesus.” (The Two Babylons, p. 88). And why is this so? Because the false “Madonna,” in the name of Jesus, God’s Son, is leading multitudes to perdition, when God, at such infinite sacrifice, has ordained that these same misled victims should be won instead to life everlasting through the priceless gift of man’s true Redeemer. What is happening is both sacrilegious and blasphemous! But one only has to notice that it is the idolaters themselves that are the victims of Ezekiel 9— including those of the Marian Movement who have perpetuated this lie that the seal of God is a cross on the forehead! Never forget, dear reader, that it is God’s own image, which man lost in Eden (see Gen 1: 26), that He wants to restore in us (see II Peter 1: 3, 4) through the agency of the Holy Spirit (see II Cor. 3: 18).

Go to Chapter 16 ⇒

All emphases in this article are mine.
Published by Modern Manna Ministries