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“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13). Here, Paul says that the seal of God is the Holy Spirit. But why do some say that the seal of God is the Sabbath?
Both views that explain the seal of God are 2 sides of one coin- internal and external. Paul is talking about the internal work of the Holy Spirit while the other view is showing the external sign to the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart.
What Is the Seal of God?
The Lord said, “I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them” (Ezekiel 20:12). And He added, “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth” (Exodus 31:17). God gave us His Sabbath as a glorious sign of His power to create and His power to sanctify (convert and save) us.
In the Bible, the words seal, sign, mark, and token are used interchangeably (Compare Genesis 17:11 with Romans 4:11 and Revelation 7:3 with Ezekiel 9:4).
A seal is what makes a document official, and it normally contains three characteristics: Name, Title, and Territory. An example would be “Cyrus king of Persia” in Ezra 1:1. God’s seal is found in the Sabbath commandment because it is the only commandment that contains all three elements of a seal: (1) “The Lord”–His name, (2) “made”–His title as Creator, (3) “heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is”–His territory. Let’s read that commandment
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).
The Internal and External Evidence of the Holy Spirit
God’s sign, the Sabbath, represents His holy power to rule as Creator and Savior. Revelation 7:1-3 teaches that His law will be written upon the minds (Hebrews 10:16) of His children. And Hebrews 4:4-10 says that people enter His rest and receive salvation. That is, when they keep His seventh-day Sabbath holy as a symbol, or mark, of salvation.
So, when the Holy Spirit works on the hearts of men to believe and submit to God. This is the internal work in the heart. The external evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work is shown in obedience to God’s law (Exodus 20:3-17).
For more on the Sabbath, please check (Lessons 91-102) of our Bible Lessons.
In His service,