FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER FOUR & FORTY– Part XIV
Four Angels of Revelation 7: Parenthetical Part of the Seven Seals
QUOTE FOR THIS ISSUE:
“If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
– Sun Tzu, “The Art of War,” Chinese General and Military Strategist
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain.” 1 Cor. 15: 57, 58, N.K.J.V.
The Bible clearly reveals four general yet overarching truths mankind should have long understood intellectually and spiritually if but for the nefarious work of deception and the woeful combination of pride, obstinacy, thus, sinful ignorance of the willingly deceived. Only then will much of what is intentionally enshrouded in mystery, resulting in confusion, prejudice, fear, hatred, and bloodshed in our world will be swept away. These four truths are: (1) the real nature of the great controversy, and what it was about (2) who the real enemy of both God and man is, and his main strategies (3) where the first of all wars took place; (4) the divine master strategy and solution, and the final and eternal outcome of this controversy.
Uriah Smith wrote in his classic Daniel and the Revelation, pp. 453-460, “The Seal of the Living God” ch. 7, (verses 1-3 quoted), delineating on Revelation chapter 7:
“The time of the work here introduced is established beyond mistake. The sixth chapter [of Revelation] closed with the events of the sixth seal [with the question, “Who shall be able to stand?” begging an answer] and the seventh seal is not mentioned until we reach the beginning of Revelation 8. The whole of Revelation 7 is therefore thrown in here parenthetically.
“Why is it thus introduced at this point? Evidently it is given for the purpose of stating additional particulars concerning the sixth seal. The expression ‘after these things,’ does not mean after the fulfillment of all the events previously described, but after the prophet [John] had been carried in vision to the close of the sixth seal, that the consecutive order of events as given in Revelation 6 might not be broken, his mind is called to what is mentioned in Revelation 7 as further particulars in regard to that seal.
“We inquire, Between what events in that seal is this work done?. It must be accomplished before the departing of the heavens as a scroll, for after that event there is no place for such a work as this. It must take place after the signs in the sun, moon, and stars, for these signs have already been fulfilled, and such sealing work has not yet been accomplished. [NOTE: these three signs historically took place as follows:]
“It [the sealing work] comes in therefore between the 13th and 14th verses of Revelation 6. There, as already shown, Is just where we now stand. [wow!].
“Hence the first part of Revelation 7 relates to a work the accomplishment of which may be looked for now [wow again!].
FOUR ANGELS. — Angels are ever-present agents in the affairs of the earth. Why may not be these be four of those heavenly beings into whose hands God has committed the work of holding the winds while it is God’s purpose that they should not blow, and loosing them when the time comes for the hurting of the earth?
FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH. –- This expression denotes the four quarters, of the four points of the compass, and signifies that these angels in their particular sphere have charge of the whole earth.
FOUR WINDS. – Winds in the Bible symbolize political commotion, strife, and war. [The very things unfolding before our very eyes today!] Daniel 7: 2; Jeremiah 25: 32. The 4 winds, held by 4 angels standing in the 4 quarters of the earth, must denote all the elements of strife and commotion that exist in the world. When they are all loosed [let loose or unleashed] and all blow together, it will constitute the great whirlwind just referred to the prophecy of Jeremiah [ ].
ANGEL ASCENDING FROM THE EAST. – Another literal angel, having charge of another specific work, is here introduced. Instead of the words ‘ascending from the east,’ some translations read, ‘ascending from the sunrising,’ which is a more literal translation. The expression evidently refers to [the] manner rather than locality, for as the sun rises with rays oblique and comparatively powerless, then increase in strength until it shine sin all its meridian power and splendor, so the work of this angel begins in moderation, moves onward with ever-accumulating influence, and closes in strength and power.
SEAL OF THE LIVING GOD. – It is the distinguishing characteristic of the ascending angel that he bears with him the seal of the living God. From this fact and the chronology of his work we are to determine if possible that movement [as with the angel of Revelation 18] is symbolized by his mission. The nature of his work is evidently suggested by his having the seal of the living God. To ascertain what his work is, we must determine what the seal of the living God is.
“A seal is defined to be an instrument of sealing, that which ‘is used by individuals, corporate bodies, and states, for making impressions on wax, upon instruments of writing, as an evidence of their authenticity.’ The original word in this text is defined, ‘A seal, i.e., a signet ring; a mark, stamp, badge; a token, a pledge.’ The verb signifies: ‘To secure to any one, to make sure; to set a seal or mark upon anything in token of its being genuine or approved; to attest, to confirm, to establish, to distinguish by a mark.’ With these definitions as a basis, we compare Genesis 17: 11 with Romans 4: 11, and Revelation 7: 3 with Ezekiel 9: 4, and find that the words ‘token’ ‘sign,’ ‘seal,’ and ‘mark’ are used in the Bible as synonymous terms. The seal of God brought to view in our text is to be applied to the servants of God. In this case it is not some literal mark to be made in the flesh [as Jesuit Futurism espouses], but some institution or observance having special reference to God, which will serve as a ‘mark of distinction’ between the worshippers of God and those who are not His servants, though they may profess to follow Him.
“A seal is used to render valid or authentic any enactments or laws that a person or power may promulgate. Frequent instances of its use occur in the Scriptures. In 1 Kings 21: 8, we read that ‘Jezebel ‘wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal.’ These letters than had all the authority of King Ahab. Again, in Esther 3: 12: ‘In the name of King Ahasuerus [known in secular history as Xerxes] was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring. So also in Esther 8: 8: ‘The writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.’
“A seal is used in connection with some law or enactment that demands obedience, or upon documents that are to be made legal, or subject to the provisions of law. The idea of law is inseparable from a seal.
“We are not to suppose that to the enactments and laws of God binding upon men, there must be attached a literal seal, made with literal instruments. From the definitions of the term, and for the purpose for which a seal is used, as shown before, we must understand a seal to strictly that which gives validity and authenticity to enactments and laws. This is found in the name or signature of the lawmaking power, expressed in such terms as to show what the power is, and its right to make laws and demand obedience. Even with a literal seal, the name must also be used as indicated in the reference given above. An instance of the use of the name alone seems to occur in Daniel 6: 8: ‘Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.’ In other words, affix the signature of royalty, which shows who it is that demands obedience, and what his right is to demand it. ‘
“In the prophecy of Isaiah 8 we read: ‘Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.’ This must refer to a work of reviving in the minds of the disciples some of the claims of the law which had been overlooked, or perverted from their true meaning. In the prophecy this is called sealing the law, or restoring to it its seal, which had been taken from it.
“The 144,000, who in the chapter before us are said to be sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads, are again brought to view in Revelation 14: 1, where they are said to have the Father’s name written in their foreheads.
WHAT IS THE SEAL OF God? – From the foregoing reasoning, facts, and declarations of Scripture, two conclusions inevitably follow:
1. The seal of God is found in the law of God.
2. The seal of God is that part of His law which contains [a] His name, or [b] descriptive title, showing who He is, the [c] extent of His dominion, and [d] His right to rule.
“The law of God is admitted by all the leading evangelical leading denominations to be summarily contained in the Decalogue, or the Ten Commandments. We have, then, but to examine these commandments to see which one it is that constitutes the seal of the law, or in other words, makes known the true God, the lawmaking power.
“The first three commandments mention the word ‘God,’ but we cannot tell from threes who is meant, for there are multitudes of objects to which this name is applied [including albino rats worshipped as “gods” in certain parts of India even to this time!] There are ‘gods many and lords many,’ as the apostle says. (1 Cor. 8: 5). We pass over the fourth commandment for the time being. The fifth contains the words ‘Lord’ and ‘God,’ but does not define them, and the remaining five precepts do not contain the name of God at all. [The “God’ referred to inscribed on the face of the American dollar, ‘In God We Trust,” is also unidentified. In fact, the Bible says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”1 Tim. 6: 10.] With that part of the law which we have examined, it would be impossible to convict the grossest idolater of sin. The worshipper of images could say, This idol before me is my god, his name is god, and these are his precepts. The worshipper of heavenly bodies could also say, Thus sun is my god, and I worship him according to this law. Thus without the fourth commandment [Which the Church of Rome changed to be the third!] the Decalogue is null and void, as far as it pertains to the definition of the worship of the true God.
“But let us now add the fourth commandment, restore to the law this precept, which many are ready to contend has been expunged, and see how the case will stand. As we examine this commandment, which contains the declaration, ‘For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is,’ we see at once that we are reading the requirements of Him who created all things. The sun then is not the god of the Decalogue. The true God is He who made the sun. No object in heaven or earth is the being who here demands obedience, for the God of this law is the One who made all created things. Now we have a weapon against idolatry. Now this law can no longer be applied to false gods, who ‘have not made the heavens and the earth.’ Jeremiah 10: 11.
“The Author of this law has declared who He is, the extent of His dominion, and His right to rule; for every created intelligence must at once assent that He who is the Creator of all has a right to demand obedience from all His creatures.
“Thus with the fourth commandment in its place, this wonderful document, the Decalogue, the only document among men which God ever wrote with His own finger, has a signature, it has that which renders it intelligible and authentic, it has a seal. But without the fourth commandment, the law is incomplete and unauthoritative.
“Thus the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is taken by the Lord as a sign between Him and His people, or the seal of His law for all time. [Ezekiel 20: 12, 20]. By keeping that commandment people signify that they are the worshippers of the true God. In the same commandment God makes Himself known as their rightful ruler, inasmuch as He is their Creator.
“In harmony with this idea, the significant fact is to be noticed that whenever the sacred writers wish to point out the true God, in distinction from false gods of every description, and appeal is made to the great facts of creation [counterfeited by the theory of evolution!], upon which the fourth commandment is based. (See 2 Kings 19: 15; 2 Chronicles 2: 12; Nehemiah 9: 6; Psalm 96: 5; 115: 4-7, 15; 121: 2; 124: 8; 134: 3; 146: 6; Isaiah 37: 16; 42: 5; 44: 24; 45: 12; 51: 13; Job 9: 8; Jeremiah 10: 1012; 32: 17; 51: 15; Acts 4: 24; 14: 15; 17: 23, 24.)
“Notice again that the same company who in Revelation 7 have the seal of the living God in their foreheads, are brought to view again In Revelation 14; 1, having the Father’s name in their foreheads. This is good proof that the ‘seal of the living God’ and ‘the Father’s name’ are used synonymously. The chain of evidence on this point is made complete when it is ascertained that the fourth commandment, which has been shown to be the seal of the law, is spoken of by the Lord as that which contains His name.”
(To be continued next week)