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12.2 Sealed for Heaven
The Sign of Faithfulness in the Final Conflict
In the upcoming crisis of worship, the faithful people of God will not succumb to worldly pressure. They will be sealed by the Holy Spirit and remain steadfast by adhering to God’s law and authority. In ancient times, seals served as marks of authenticity for official documents. As the final conflict revolves around worship and God’s authority, as revealed in His law, we would expect God’s seal to be embedded in His law.
Read Exodus 20:8–11. What elements of a seal are included in the Sabbath commandment?
In the Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20:8–11, we find three important elements of a genuine seal:
  1. The Name: The seal belongs to the LORD our God.
  2. His Title: He is the one who made – the Creator.
  3. His Domain: Heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.
These elements of a seal are at the heart of the Sabbath commandment. The Sabbath is not only designated as a day of rest but also as a holy day that reminds us of God’s creation and reaffirms His sovereignty over the universe.
In the Bible, seals are sometimes also referred to as signs. These two terms are interchangeable. The Sabbath as God’s sign or seal is at the center of the final conflict over worship (Ezekiel 20:12, 20; Revelation 12:17). Observing it acknowledges God’s authority over our lives and serves as a reminder that He is our Creator and Lord.
Compare Revelation 7:1–3 and 14:1 with Revelation 13:16–17. Where are the seal of God and the mark of the beast received? Why do you think there is a difference?
In Revelation 7:1–3 and 14:1, the seal of God is placed on the forehead. The forehead symbolizes the mind and signifies a conscious decision. This indicates that those who receive the seal of God make a clear and conscious choice to submit to God’s will.
In contrast, the mark of the beast in Revelation 13:16–17 is received either on the forehead or on the hand. This suggests that people are intellectually convinced and of their own accord accept Satan’s lies or adapt to false worship to avoid being killed. It means that they either follow the beast and its false system in their thinking or in their actions.
The difference in the placement of God’s seal and the mark of the beast reflects the different states of the heart and decisions of people. Those who receive God’s seal do so from a clear understanding and a conscious dedication to God. They are firmly anchored in their faithfulness to Christ and hold fast to God’s commandments and the faith of Jesus. On the other hand, those who accept the mark of the beast do so either out of conviction or adaptation to the threats of the beast’s system.
Overall, the Great Controversy reaches its climax when the dragon (Satan) wages war against the faithful remnant, “those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). Despite the pressure and temptations, they remain steadfast in their faithfulness to Christ and steadfastly hold to God’s commandments.
Why is daily faithfulness to God the key to being prepared when the final crisis begins?
Daily faithfulness to God is the key to being prepared when the final crisis begins for several reasons:
  1. Strengthening of Faith: Through daily communication with God, prayer, and the study of His word, our faith is strengthened. A strong faith is crucial to withstand the challenges of the final crisis.
  2. Recognition of Truth: Through regular study of the Bible, we come to know God’s truth and distinguish it from the deceptions of the world. This enables us to remain firmly anchored in truth when lies and false teachings abound around us.
  3. Character Strengthening: Daily faithfulness to God helps shape our character according to God’s standards. It helps us develop virtues such as patience, love, faithfulness, and self-control, which support us in times of crisis.
  4. Communion with God: Daily relationship with God allows us to sense His presence and experience His guidance in our lives. This close relationship gives us peace and security, even amidst the greatest challenges.
  5. Preparation for Spiritual Warfare: Daily faithfulness to God strengthens us in spiritual warfare against the powers of darkness. When the final crisis begins, we will need spiritual armor and resilience to withstand the attacks of evil.
Overall, daily faithfulness to God is crucial to being prepared when the final crisis begins because it strengthens us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, giving us the endurance and steadfastness needed to courageously face the challenges of faith.

The daily faithfulness to God, as depicted in the Sabbath commandment and in the conflict over the seal of God and the mark of the beast, has a direct connection to our daily lives and our faith.
  1. Sabbath Commandment and Daily Life: The Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20:8–11 emphasizes the importance of the Sabbath as a holy day that reminds us of God’s creation and His authority over our lives. The elements of a genuine seal contained in the Sabbath commandment are at the heart of this commandment. The Sabbath is not just a day of rest but also a day on which we consciously remember God’s creation and His authority over our lives. This recognition shapes our daily lives by permeating our actions and decisions, reminding us that God is our Creator and Lord.
  2. Faith and Decisions: Revelation describes how the seal of God is placed on the forehead, while the mark of the beast is received either on the forehead or on the hand. This distinction reflects the states of the heart and the decisions of people. Daily faithfulness to God is the key to being prepared for the final crisis. This faithfulness is sealed by the Holy Spirit and gives believers the strength to resist worldly pressure. This affects their daily lives, decisions, and relationship with God.
  3. Conflict over Worship and Daily Life: The conflict over the seal of God and the mark of the beast shows how faith is rooted in our daily lives. Daily faithfulness to God is the key to remaining steadfast in this crisis. This faithfulness is sealed by the Holy Spirit and gives believers the strength to resist worldly pressure. This affects their daily lives, decisions, and relationship with God.
Overall, the connection between the Sabbath commandment, the conflict over the seal of God and the mark of the beast, and our daily lives shows that daily faithfulness to God is crucial to remaining steadfast in times of crisis. It influences our mindset, decisions, and actions and strengthens our faith by reminding us that God is our Creator and Lord, whom we should faithfully follow.

Daily faithfulness to God is the key to being prepared when the final crisis begins, as it strengthens us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, giving us the endurance and steadfastness needed to courageously face the challenges of faith.

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