A seal is a kind of signature that verifies the authenticity of a law. In a kingdom, a law wouldn’t be considered authentic unless it had the seal of the king. Here are some examples from scripture:
- In the name of King Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring (Esther 3:12).
- For the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse (Esther 8:8).
The seal of God is the stamp or authority of God. Like all other seals, the seal of God has three elements – the name, the authority, and the territory (dominion). God puts his seal to communicate his protection, ownership as well as validation.
The seal of the Holy Spirit
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. Eph. 1:13
The seal of the Holy Spirit can also be termed the seal of ownership. It is God’s mark of ownership on his children whom he has begotten through the atoning work of the cross. The seal is usually a “what” but in the verse above, it is a “who.” As Apostle Paul explains, God set the seal of the Holy Spirit on all those who believed the gospel. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to identify believers as God’s inheritance and that is why he is described as a seal. The Holy Spirit serves to demonstrate to both the Christian and any onlooker that they belong to God. This is typically done through the demonstration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which display God’s power as evidence that the person is empowered by God.
In Romans 8:15-16. Paul emphasizes this fact when he tells the Romans that they have received the spirit of adoption which bears witness that we are God’s sons. In Acts 19, Paul was not amused when he found a group of believers who had not received the seal of the Holy Spirit. As the believers confessed, they had only been baptized in water but didn’t even know there was something like the Holy Spirit. Paul wasted no time in laying hands on them and praying for them to receive the Holy Spirit. He understood that every believer needs to have this seal of ownership.
Seal of God’s word
Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. Isaiah. 8:16.
God’s seal is not only upon his people but also upon his word. This seal demonstrated the importance that God attaches to his word. The seal serves two main purposes; it conceals those things that he wants to remain hidden until the time is right, and it protects and preserves the word of God.
There are many scriptures that demonstrate God’s seal on his word. For instance, in Isaiah 55:10-12, God uses the metaphor of the rain to describe his word. He explains how the scripture is like the rain that waters the ground thereby causing it to produce. Similarly, God’s word never comes in vain but always produces results. The seal of God on his word makes sure of this.
Prophet Samuel experienced this firsthand in his ministry. The Bible says that God made sure that none of his words fell to the ground (1 Samuel 3:19). This means that every prophetic declaration that the prophet made came to pass. Even though this was written specifically for the prophet Samuel, God revealed to the Psalmist that every child of God can have a similar experience. Check it out:
My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Psalms 89:34
When Jesus began his public ministry, he was often accused by the Pharisees and Sadducees of violating the law of God. But Jesus understood that his father had put a seal on his word and that is why he said:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Mathew 5:17-18
From the above scripture, we can infer that God’s seal on his word is his guarantee that everything he spoke will come to pass.
Seal of Protection
And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt, not the earth, neither the sea nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. Revelation 7:2, 3
The seal that is described in Revelation is a seal of protection. God will put his seal upon his people during the tribulation to protect them from harm during these perilous times. As we see from the above scriptures, the angels of destruction were withheld from causing havoc on earth until God’s servants had been sealed.
God painted a similar picture in Exodus when he was taking Israel out of Egypt. Just before Pharoah agreed to release them, God struck the firstborns all around Egypt. However, the Israelites were required to slaughter a lamb and apply the blood of the lamb on their doorposts so that the angel of death would see and pass over their houses.
John the Revelator foresaw an almost similar experience during the tribulation where the people of God will be spared from the harm that will come on the earth. They will be preserved and protected thanks to the seal of God upon them.
In conclusion, God’s seal is placed on his people as well as on his word. His seal on his people is for ownership (the seal of the Holy Spirit) and protection (e.g. during the tribulation). His seal on his word denotes his ownership and authority. As a consequence, he watches over his word to perform it.