144,000 and the Seal of God, Pt. 2

Scripture: Exodus 20:8-11, Revelation 7:1-10, Revelation 14:1-5
Date: 02/22/2017 
Who are the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation 7 and 14? What is the "Seal of God"? This group is called to bring a revival to the church, but they are not the only ones saved. Part 2 of 2

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If you've ever been to Arlington National Cemetery, you have probably seen a sharp-looking sentinel guarding the tomb of the unknown soldier. Every detail of this honor guard service is flawlessly executed. And it's filled with symbolism too. Only a fraction of soldiers who try out for this position are accepted. Candidates must meet strict qualifications and pass both written and proficiency tests. Those who make the cut are Held to a very high standard. The guards which are changed every 30 minutes in the summer and every hour in the winter have been patrolling the tomb 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, continuously since April 6, 1948, in all kinds of weather including hurricanes. For them, guarding the tomb is not just an assignment. It's the highest honor a serviceperson can receive.

Did you know the Bible teaches that God has a memorial to be remembered in his word? It's found in the fourth commandment. And it memorializes God's creative and sanctifying power, honoring Him as our creator and redeemer. Let's take a few minutes now and explore from the Bible this memorial found in God's word.

Tonight, our presentation is going to be dealing with the subject of the 144,000 and the seal of God. Let's start with the 144,000 in chapter 7 of Revelation and you can begin with verse 1, chapter 7, verse 1, "After these things I saw four angels holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, or the sea, or any tree." Until something happens, it's going to blow eventually. Those winds of strife are really... They're kind of summarized in the seven last plagues. "Then I saw another angel ascending from the East, having the seal of the living God. And He cried with a loud voice... Saying, 'Do not harm the earth, or the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.'"

And, sort of, with that as an introduction, let's go through some of our questions now that talk about the 144,000 and the seal of God. First question, so what is the seal of God? It says there in Ephesians 4:30, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, wherewith you are sealed for the day of redemption." there's a seal of the Holy Spirit that happens inside. But there's something that is more tangible than that that can be seen in the life, and you'll find that in this verse, Isaiah 8:16, "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples." Can the law be sealed in the heart? So the law of God, in a sense, is the seal. What's the new covenant? "I'll take My law and write it in their Hearts." But we're going to go a step deeper to find out what is that seal and the law. "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 not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male servant or your female servant, nor your cattle or the stranger who is within your gates."

Now hear, watch carefully, "For in six days, the Lord," Jehovah His name, created, "made," His office, He's the creator and sustainer "the heavens and the earth, and the sea." there you have the name of God, the title of God, the territory of God. In the middle of the law of God is this seal.

And what we're going to be talking about now is the Sabbath commandment and why it is an important issue in the last days because it talks about resting in the Lord. It talks about having a relationship, it talks about having the father's name. Is the father's name in that commandment? Jehovah, "the Lord made the Heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them, and He rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and He hallowed it," that means He made it holy.

God, when He created the world, He created and sanctified a quality time to nurture our relationship with Him. And if you love God... If you know God, you'll love Him. If you love Him, you'll obey Him. The devil is trying to destroy the quality time and the love relationship between people and God, and He is especially attacking the Sabbath.

Did God make the Sabbath only for Israelites? No. Well, let's think about it. How far back does the Sabbath go? Jesus said, Mark 2:27, He said unto them, 'The Sabbath was made for Jews.'" and... for man. Well, you can spell Jews several different ways. One way is m-a-n. Is that's what it says? Does it say Jews? That word there is talking about anthropos, everybody, humanity, the Sabbath was made for man, mankind.

Quick test, how many Here are related to Adam and Eve? All of us. Sabbath was made for man. When was that? Way back in the beginning. Jesus said that. It's not made for Jews. The Bible's really clear, it's for everybody. "also, the sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, everyone," the stranger, the gentile, "that keeps the Sabbath day from polluting it, and takes hold of my covenant, even them I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer."

What does He promise to everybody that remembers His commandment? Joy. It's to be a blessing. He didn't curse the day, He blessed the day, right? So when did God establish the Sabbath truth, the seal that we're studying? Way back in the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, after God made everything in six days... How many days in the week? Seven. Do you know there's seven days in the week when we went to China? And they're technically an atheistic country. Karen and I went to Russia right after the Iron Curtain fell. Seven days of the week in Korea, Japan, everywhere we've been, Australia, seven days a week. Why?

It's really strange when you think about it. It's understandable why all the nations of the world, even before the spread of modern civilization, had 360 to 370 days in their calendar for a year because that's... They could see, they could observe that's how long it took for the earth to go once around the sun, so it shouldn't surprise us that all the ancient civilizations had a year with about the same number of days. It shouldn't surprise us that they all had something like a month because it's the lunar cycle. That's where you get the word month, moon. And we all know it takes 24 hours for the earth to revolve once on its axis, but where in the sun, moon, and stars do you get a seven-day week? Nowhere.

The only place that the world can trace a seven-day week is to "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." It all goes back to the Bible. Why do we have seven and not six? He finished everything in six days, why do we have seven? He said, "I'm not done yet. You're not going to enjoy anything I made in these six days unless you remember the seventh because you need to rest with Me and to recharge your relationship, to go forth and do what I've created, to enjoy your paradise."

It's part of God's perfect plan. He made a day to nurture our love relationships with Him. "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them... And God blessed the seventh day, and He sanctified it because in it He had rested from all his work which God created and made."

Notice, there's several things that He did there. What day of the week is the Sabbath? And this is where some people are surprised. Is it the first day? Third day? The Bible says, and, notice back in creation, I'm repeating that verse here in Genesis 2 and I want to accentuate something. "And on the seventh day, God ended His work which He had made, and He rested on the seventh day from all of His work which He had made." and it says that God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it."

First time in the Bible God says something like this, a number three times. What number is it? Seventh day, seventh day, seventh day. Now you may think this is just caveman theology, but, for me, I think it's very interesting that there, in the beginning, in Genesis, God says, "Seven, seven, seven." You get to the last book in the Bible, it says, "You don't want the six, six, six." It's like one is the number of God, six, in the Bible, is the number of man. King Nebuchadnezzar makes a golden image 60 cubits by 6 cubits, probably 6 wide, 6 deep, 60 high, 666. He tells everyone, "Bow down." How has God demonstrated the importance of His holy Sabbath? It's not Pastor Doug's Sabbath. It's not the Jews' Sabbath, it's God's Sabbath. Notice He said, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and He hallowed it."

I was doing a meeting like this one time, and one of the individuals coming, and a lot of the people there, and this pastor was there, and he interrupted the meeting. He said, "Brother Doug," he said, "This is legalism. You're putting these people under bondage of works." I said, "Brother, I'm telling them to keep the Sabbath commandment. I'm telling them to rest. You're telling them not to. You're telling them to work. I'm saying rest." And he said, "We're no longer under the law." And so he and I kind of got into an exchange right during the meeting and, you know, I had to deal with it. I said, "So do you think we should keep the Ten Commandments?" He said, "No." Some of his members were there. They kind of gasped and looked at him because they never heard him say that. And then he said, "Well, yes." But that, of course, would include the fourth commandment. And then he said, "Nine of them." And so I said, "So what you're telling me is the one commandment you think we're supposed to forget is the only commandment that begins with the word remember." That didn't make sense to me.

Don't go anywhere, friends, we'll be back in just a moment with the rest of today's presentation. Are you weary of the never-ending 24/7 schedule in today's hectic world? Is this stressful grind really the way that life was meant to be lived? Or is there something better out there waiting for you? What if I told you that God had originally designed mankind to take regular, refreshing weekly break, and then in doing this, your life and even your health would improve?

It's a blessing called the Sabbath. And it can change your life forever. That's why Amazing Facts wants to send you a special free magazine, and it's called The Rest of Your Life. It's filled with vivid, colored graphics and fascinating facts that reveal the lost Bible truth and commandment known as the Sabbath. You'll discover the incredible physical and spiritual blessings of embracing the Sabbath as you explore the history from ancient times to the present, even to the future.

To get your free copy, call the phone number on the screen and ask for offer number 813 or visit the web address. And after you read this incredible resource, be sure and share it with a friend. Let's return now to today's presentation and learn some more amazing facts from the Word of God.

It says, "Remember the Sabbath." Notice it says, He blessed the Sabbath day." There's some things He did to that day. In a special way He rested, He blessed and He sanctified it. He made it holy, and He specified a certain day. He didn't say keep a Sabbath day, did you notice that? It doesn't say God blessed a day and you just pick where you want to paste that blessing like a stamp. God says, "I blessed the day. I'm going to meet with you." We don't pick our own day. It's a commandment. He doesn't say a seventh day, the seventh day.

Which day did Jesus keep holy? A Christian is a follower of Christ, right? Are we still together? Yes. It says, "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and, as His custom was," went to His hometown and is custom something you do once or twice or it's a way of life? Way of life. "as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and He stood up for to read the scriptures." Jesus regularly went to church... Synagogue or church, same word, gathering it means. On the Sabbath day, read His Bible, it's probably still a good idea for us to do what Jesus did.

Now can you tell me where Jesus said not to do it anymore? What about the apostles? Let's take Paul, for example. He wrote nearly half of the New Testament. What was Paul's custom regarding the Sabbath day? It says, "Paul, as his custom was, he went in to them and three Sabbath days he reasoned with them out of the scripture." Paul had a custom, he went in, not just when he was talking to the Jews, he also did it with the Greeks. It says, in Acts 18:4, He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks," meaning the Jews and the Gentiles. It was something that He did for everybody. So this, I believe, was a pattern you'll see all through the time of Christ with Jesus, with the apostles.

Did Jesus intend for His people to be keeping the Sabbath after He died for their sins down through history in the last days? You can look in that prophecy where Jesus, talking about the end of the world in Matthew 24, and He's talking about this time of trouble, and He said, "Pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the Sabbath day." Why if His people were not keeping the Sabbath anymore, then why would He say that? Except maybe He knew they would be keeping it.

If you look in Revelation 14, remember the 144,000 are in Revelation 14, if you look in verse 7, there the angel declares, "Worship Him who made the heaven and the earth, and the sea and the springs of the fountains of water." Do you know that's an extract right from the fourth commandment about the Sabbath? "for in six days, the Lord made the heaven and the earth and the sea." And then he's... the angel's saying, "Worship Him."

What do we do in a special way on the Sabbath? It is a special time of collective worship. By the way, I meet people and they say, "Oh, Pastor Doug, I believe you're absolutely right and I keep the Sabbath day. I don't do any work on the Sabbath day." You'd be surprised how many pastors have come up to me right here in Orlando. Next week, I'll be at what they call the NRB convention, National Religious Broadcasters convention, a lot of dear friends from other churches and pastors, we know each other, we're friends. They know me, they see our TV programs, they know where I stand. And they'll come to me secretly, I'm not going to betray any of them, they say, "Brother Doug, you know, you're right on that Sabbath business, and I want you to know I don't do any work on Saturday." I say, "Yeah, but do you gather for worship?" "Well, you know, my Sunday friends probably wouldn't understand if I did that."

But, you know, the Bible says, in Leviticus 23, "The Sabbath is a holy convocation." You know what a convention is? Convocation, assembly, a coming together, the people of God would come together to worship the Lord. It's a time to spend quality time with God. Does the Bible teach that God's end-time people would also be keeping the seventh-day Sabbath holy? It says, "The dragon was wroth with the woman," This is in Revelation chapter 12:17 "and he goes to make war with the remnant of her seed" and, here, the two outstanding characteristics, "which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

You can read, also, in Revelation 12:14, similar verse. “Here is the patience of the saints, Here are those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." So you can see that all through Revelation. Now everybody keeps some of the commandments some of the time. Most of you keep the commandments when you're sleeping. You go to prison, you're going to meet people that keep a lot of the commandments. God is looking for people that believe all of them and are, by the grace of God, going to do their best to not just be hearers but doers.

You know, the Bible says, "Whosoever therefore shall break one commandment, he is guilty of all." So if you go to the judge and you say, "I realize that I killed that person, but I keep all the other commandments." Is that defense going to work very well? No. You know, God says, "Look, you should do your best, by the grace of God, to keep all of them." That's right.

Now, again, they're not the ten suggestions. And it says, "Blessed are those who keep His commandments, that they might eat from the tree of life, and enter through the gates to the city." That, again, is Revelation 22:14.

Will all of the saved be keeping the Sabbath in Heaven? Yes. Well, I think so. You can read here, it says in Isaiah 66, verses 22 and 23, "For as the new heavens and the new earth, that I will make, will remain before Me, says the Lord, so shall your name and your seed remain. And it will come to pass, that from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me." Is all flesh Jews? Or does all flesh mean everybody? Everybody. He's talking about, as the new heavens and the new earth, that's future, right? So if they kept it back in the Garden of Eden in the days of Adam, right?

If we know Moses and the Children of Israel kept it, and the people of God in the Old Testament kept it, and Jesus kept it, and the apostles kept it, and we're going to keep it in Heaven, why wouldn't we keep it now? Do we need rest now? Do we need quality time with God now?

You know, friends, this is just such a very important subject. Some people would be thinking, "Oh, Pastor Doug, you're making a big deal out of one commandment." It always strikes me as peculiar. And I didn't always believe these things. I just said, "Lord, I want to be in Heaven. I want to follow Your word. It's in the Bible. It may not be popular but I want to be faithful."

I know, from worshiping with my brethren and sistren, in all these different churches, that I could go to almost any church in town and I could stand up, if they invite me to preach, and I could preach a sermon on "Honor your father and mother" and you'd Hear "Amen!" "Amen!" They'd nod, fold arms, "Amen!" They'd look at their teenagers, "Amen!" I know because I've done it. I could go and I could preach a sermon on "Thou shall not steal" And the folks might squirm a little bit, they go, "Amen!" I could talk about "Thou shall not commit adultery," it gets quiet. But you'll Hear some amens. I could talk about "Do not have other Gods before me." "Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God." I could preach on almost any of the other nine commandments and everybody would say, "Amen!" But if you have the audacity to say, "Remember the Sabbath day, the seventh day is the Sabbath." People say, "Oh, no, no, we're not under the law, we're under grace."

People have no problem with the Ten Commandments until you present the one that they're all forgetting. Why did God say remember? Because He knew we'd forget. Yep. Yep. There's something... If you're going to be a biblically honest Christian, then at least say, "Pastor Doug, you know, keeping the Sabbath is going to be a real problem for me." All right, well, let's just be honest. Give it to God, but don't say it doesn't matter. Amen.

"Now this is a Revelation program prophecy program, why are you talking about this, Pastor Doug?" Follow my logic. See if it doesn't make sense. Daniel chapter 3, the king makes a law. Everybody's got to worship the image or they die. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will not worship the image because one of the commandments says, "Don't do it. Do not make images and bow down." Daniel chapter 6, King Darius makes a law, "I am to be your god for 30 days," just 30 days. Daniel says, "I am not going to close my windows and stop praying to Jehovah because one of the commandments says, 'Thou shall not have other gods.'" So he goes to the lion's den. But God saves him. God saves Shadrach and Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace. Revelation 13, "Whoever doesn't worship the beast and his image cannot buy or sell and will ultimately be killed."

If we don't understand how important the law is, then how are we going to have the faith of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the last days? We're going to be like all the other compromising, wishy-washy people who say, "Lord, Lord," but they're not really doing what God says. So, yes, it does matter, friends. And the devil's very clever. Back in the days of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, he said, "I'm going to see if I can make a law and get them to break the second commandment." And then, in the days of Daniel, with Darius, he said, "I'm going to try and get them to break the first commandment."

And here we are, at the end of time, he's going to say, "I'm going to get them to break the fourth commandment, but I'll be very clever. I'll say, 'Yeah, go to church, just don't go the seventh day.'" See, God, He keeps trying to... it's like with Daniel, yeah, you don't have to worship other Gods forever, just for 30 days. Just shut your windows and don't let your light shine for 30 days.

See, the devil, he's very clever, but a commandment's a commandment. Can we be certain that modern day, what we call Saturday, is the same Sabbath day that Jesus kept? People say, "Well, Pastor Doug, calendars change and how do we know which day it was?" Read in your Bible, it's pretty clear. Look in Luke, for instance, chapter 23, go to verse 54, it's near the end of Luke. It says, "The day when Christ was crucified was the preparation," what we commonly call Friday, they call it Good Friday "and the Sabbath drew on... And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment."

Now Luke is a Gentile. Why would he say they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment if Jesus taught the disciples the Sabbath doesn't matter? How can anyone think that the disciples didn't think the Sabbath was important because it was so important to them that even after Jesus was dead and no longer speaking, they look at each other and they say, "Look, the sun is going down. We're not going to be able to finish embalming His body before the Sabbath, so let's just do our best to kind of wrap Him up. We'll put Him in the tomb. We will come back Sunday morning and finish. We're going to go home and keep the commandment."

So where did the disciples ever get the notion that it didn't matter to Jesus? It was so important to them and so important to Jesus, they would not even finish their labor of love because the Sabbath was approaching. Amen. And then on the first day of the week they came back to finish. Praise God, the angels had rolled away the stone, Christ rose, and that was the first day which was what? Easter Sunday.

So, there you've got it, friends, you've got Friday the preparation day, Sabbath is the day. Do you realize Jesus died just before the Sabbath and He rested from His work of saving man? He rose Sunday morning to continue His work as our High Priest. Jesus even kept the Sabbath in death. Yep.

What blessing is promised by the Sabbath commandment? Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are Heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

So every commandment of God, you've got the letter of the law and you've got the spirit of the law. We've talked about this before, right? Letter of the law says, "Don't commit adultery." The spirit of the law says, "Do not be thinking it in your Heart." Letter of the law, "Do not kill, do not murder," it actually says. Spirit of the law, "Do not be angry with your brother or sister without a cause." Letter of the law, "Do not bear false witness." Spirit of the law, "Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Be honest in your heart, in your communications." Some people lie with their body language. Jesus said, "Be honest." Letter of the law, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy. Spirit of the law, "Come unto Me and I will give you rest."

And, as people gather together to worship God every Sabbath day, there is a rest that comes. It reminds us that He's the God who created us. And you know what the salvation is all about? "I will create a new heart within you." The Bible says, "We will be..." "Old things are passed away, all things are made new. We are a new creation in Christ."

Do we still need a day of rest today? Do we still need a day of worship? Then did God tell us "I have set aside and blessed a particular day"? Should we say, God, it's not convenient to do it the day You've picked, I'm going to pick my own day"? Well, that depends. Who's your God, you or Him? Do we do what God says? Amen. He says, "I have made an appointment with you on the seventh day. If you love Me, prove it." "keep My commandments."

Now, before I go any farther, I know some people are hearing this and your minds are spinning. You know, there's a lot of things you could teach in a Revelation seminar, it's interesting trivia. People want to know, "Well, you know, Pastor Doug, so when does this age begin and what does this symbol in Revelation mean? And what does that symbol mean? Oh, that's very interesting, very interesting." But, you know what's different about this presentation? When people learn the Sabbath truth, they go, "Whoa! That would actually affect my time. That would affect my life. That would affect my schedule."

You know, my father, when I was growing up, he was a multi-millionaire, He had a lot of money. He was always busy. I wanted time with my father. And he'd say, "Doug, look, I'm busy. I've got a lot, I've got to do. Here's $5, go to the movie." It was easier for him to give me a tip than to give me his time. Wow. And, you know, sometimes you go, "Lord, yep, praise the Lord, praise the Lord." But when you start giving God your time, that means He's really your God. And that's why this subject is such a serious subject, because it really has to do with "Is He our God?"

Jesus said, "if you love Me, keep My commandments." and He wants to bless you, friends, amen? Amen.

Now, this is a commandment of God. He says, "Remember the seventh day," not "Remember a seventh day." This is the seal of God because there in the middle of God's law, you've got the name of God, you've got the word holy, you've got the context of worship, you've got time.

The Ten Commandments are divided in two parts, the first commandments deal with our love relationship with God. Second group, commandment chapter, number 5 on through 10 deal with our love for our fellow man. In the middle of God's law, the longest commandment, in the center of His law, the only commandment that begins with the word remember is very unique because it tells us that He not only has our minds, He's got our time.

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