The seal of God or ‘God’s seal’ is a term that comes up enough in Scripture to take note. In fact, based on much of the published material about God’s seal, there is too often only one instance that seems to be taken as the primary or default passage. Unfortunately, forming an opinion (or worse, an entire doctrine) around one passage is nothing more than Scripture weighting, a dangerous and irresponsible practice when souls are at stake.

There are many places in the Bible that talk about a “seal” in various, general senses. However, this question is about God’s seal specifically and seeks to examine the instances in Scripture that might relate to God claiming those that are His. While Revelation 7 is as good as any place to start, it’s not the only place in Scripture that speaks of God’s seal.

how Scripture answers "What does the Bible say about God’s seal?"

Given all of the Scriptural references to God’s seal1,2,3,4,5,6,7, we must interpret God’s seal as a figurative mark for/on God’s own7. We might say, “God’s stamp of approval.” Just as God’s seal was on His Son2, it is on all who believe on Him3,4. In other words, His redeemed1.

We see this basic idea represented in various ways throughout Scripture. During Old Testament times, we see the physical seal of circumcision6 identifying God’s own chosen people. In the New Testament, we can pinpoint the transition of that physical seal to one of a spiritual nature5. A mark by God that is made at the point of conversion3, when believers receive the promise/gift of the Holy Spirit3,4. John’s vision assures us that God’s seal is sure and immovable for all that remain faithful1.

the answer above is based on and footnoted with the following Scripture Blocks
1
Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
Don’t harm the earth, sea or trees until we ave sealed the servants of God on their foreheads. And I heard the 144,000 that were sealed from every tribe of Israel.

In this portion of John’s vision, he sees God instructing (vs 3) four angels that had been given power to harm the earth.  They are made up of equal numbers (12,000) from each of the twelve tribes of Israel (vss 5-8) and appear to be the same great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (vss 9-10).  John sees the same 144,000 later on (

Revelation 14:1-3
).

How does it inform?

The sealed are “servants of God” as well as a “great multitude” from “every nation” and “from all tribes and peoples.” Furthermore, the broader context describes the same 144,000 as the “redeemed from the earth.”

!! study note: context is extra important here !!

Does it apply? Yes

2
Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.

Don’t work for food that perishes, but for the food that lasts eternally, which the Son of Man provides.  For on Jesus, God the Father has set His seal.

Jesus has just fed the large crowd (5,000 men) by performing a miracle and departed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee by walking on the water and calming the storm along the way. The next day, the crowd again finds him and a discussion contrasting physical and spiritual food ensues.

How does it inform?

Jesus says that God places His seal on all those that feed on spiritual food — effectively, on Jesus Himself, as He further states, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (vs 35)

Does it apply? Yes

3

And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.

For those saved (after hearing the gospel and believing), they are marked and sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the believer’s down payment to the eventual inheritance and full redemption.

Opening Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus and ending a long list of spiritual blessings that they have in Christ.

How does it inform?

All who believe in Christ are marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit – a deposit or “earnest money” toward the believer’s redemption by God the Father.

Does it apply? Yes

4
And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

God established a fellowship of the saints through Jesus and sealed it by the Holy Spirit, who was given in our hearts as a down payment.

Actually Paul’s third letter (13:1) to the church at Corinth, writing to them defending his apostleship and also rejoicing in their handling of the some of the issues/sin he dealt with in 1 Corinthians (his second letter).

How does it inform?

Paul giving the similar/identical thought3 regarding the Holy Spirit’s seal on believers.

Does it apply? Yes

5

For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy. And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,” then he says, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.”

The offering of Jesus perfected (completed) once and for all making holy [those that believe]. This new covenant is written on their hearts and their sins are remembered no more.

A letter emphasizing Jewish Christians to hold fast in their faith remembering all of the better things through Jesus Christ.  The writer here is linking the sacrifice of Christ to the words spoken by Jeremiah the prophet (

Jeremiah 31:33-34
).

How does it inform?

“Seal” is not mentioned here but a sort of “sealing” is described wherein God writes His laws on the hearts of those that are “made holy.”

Does it apply? Probably

6
He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
He [Abraham] received a seal of circumcision for his faith, all while he was yet uncircumcised.  The purpose was to make him the father of all that believe without being circumcised so they too would be counted as righteous.  This made Abraham the father of the circumcised [Jews] who are not merely circumcised [in the flesh], but who also walk in the same faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Paul’s argument begins back in

2:27-29
– making the point that obedience comes from the heart (inward), not from some outward symbol or act.

How does it inform?

Paul is reaching back to the “seal” that was established between God and Abraham (Genesis 17:10-11). A seal testifying to Abraham’s righteousness, but also all those that are “circumcised with a circumcision made without hands” (Colossians 2:11-12).

Does it apply? Yes

7
But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: The Lord knows those who are his, and, Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.
God’s firm foundation stands and bears the seal: The Lord knows those that are His, and Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord depart from evil.

In the midst of both warning Timothy about false teaching that was present and instructing him on how to confront (and having him instruct others to do the same), Paul makes these “truth” statements.  Regardless of whatever false doctrines or other distractions may occur for the Christian, God knows his own and Christians must continue to walk in righteousness.

How does it inform?

God knows those who are His.

Does it apply? Probably

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