SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW)

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Chapter 7

1-3 (ch. 16:13-16; see EGW on ch. 5:11; Ephesians 4:30). Probationary Time Running Out—Already kingdom is rising against kingdom. There is not now a determined engagement. As yet the four winds are held until the servants of God shall be sealed in their foreheads. Then the powers of earth will marshal their forces for the last great battle. How carefully we should improve the little remaining period of our probation (The Review and Herald, November 27, 1900)! 7BC 968.10

Just before we entered it [the time of trouble], we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four angels cease to hold the four winds. And I saw famine, pestilence and sword, nation rose against nation, and the whole world was in confusion (Day-Star, March 14, 1846). 7BC 968.11

Everything in the world is in an unsettled state. The nations are angry, and great preparations for war are being made. Nation is plotting against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. The great day of God is hasting greatly. But although the nations are mustering their forces for war and bloodshed, the command to the angels is still in force, that they hold the four winds until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads (The Review and Herald, January 28, 1909). 7BC 968.12

2, 3 (see EGW on chs. 13:16, 17; 14:9-12). Angels Read the Mark—What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption. The intelligent mind has seen the sign of the cross of Calvary in the Lord's adopted sons and daughters. The sin of the transgression of the law of God is taken away. They have on the wedding garment, and are obedient and faithful to all God's commands (Letter 126, 1898). 7BC 968.13

(Exodus 12:7, 12, 13; Ezekiel 9:4; 20:12, 20.) The Signature of God's Appointment—The Israelites placed over their doors a signature of blood, to show that they were God's property. So the children of God in this age will bear the signature God has appointed. They will place themselves in harmony with God's holy law. A mark is placed upon every one of God's people just as verily as a mark was placed over the doors of the Hebrew dwellings, to preserve the people from the general ruin. God declares, “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” (The Review and Herald, February 6, 1900). 7BC 968.14

(Exodus 31:12-17.) God's Special Possession—Every soul in our world is the Lord's property, by creation and by redemption. Each individual soul is on trial for his life. Has he given to God that which belongs to Him? Has he surrendered to God all that is His as His purchased possession? All who cherish the Lord as their portion in this life will be under His control, and will receive the sign, the mark of God, which shows them to be God's special possession. Christ's righteousness will go before them, and the glory of the Lord will be their rereward. The Lord protects every human being who bears His sign. [Exodus 31:12-17 quoted.] 7BC 969.1

This recognition of God is of the highest value to every human being. All who love and serve Him are very precious in His sight. He would have them stand where they are worthy representatives of the truth as it is in Jesus (Letter 77, 1899). 7BC 969.2

Natural Traits Must Be Transformed—How few bear in mind that the tempter was once a covering cherub, a being whom God created for His own name's glory. Satan fell from his high position through self-exaltation; he misused the high capabilities with which God had so richly endowed him. He fell for the same reason that thousands are falling today, because of an ambition to be first, an unwillingness to be under restraint. The Lord would teach man the lesson that, though united in church capacity, he is not saved until the seal of God is placed upon him.... 7BC 969.3

The Lord has a work for us all to do. And if the truth is not rooted in the heart, if the natural traits of character are not transformed by the Holy Spirit, we can never be colaborers with Jesus Christ. Self will constantly appear, and the character of Christ will not be manifested in our lives (Letter 80, 1898). 7BC 969.4

Without Spot or Wrinkle—Missionary agencies are greatly needed in every branch of God's work. Our institutions need converted, devoted men, who will make the Lord their dependence. God will reveal through such workers the power of His grace. His servants are to be distinguished from the world by the seal of the living God; their words and their works are to reveal that they are laborers together with God. 7BC 969.5

God can use the human agent just to the extent that he will be worked by the Holy Spirit. To men who accept positions of responsibility as presidents, ministers, physicians, or workers in any line, I am bidden to say: God will test every man who enters His service. He does not ask, Do they possess learning and eloquence? Have they ability to command and control and manage? He asks, Will they represent My character? Will they walk in humility, that I may teach them My way? The soul temple must not be defiled by any loose or unclean practice. Those whom I will acknowledge in the courts of heaven must be without spot and wrinkle. 7BC 969.6

The Lord will use humble men to do a great and good work. Through them He will represent to the world the ineffaceable characteristics of the divine nature (Letter 270, 1907). 7BC 969.7

(Chs. 14:1-3; 22:4; John 1:12.) An Honor to Bear God's Sign—Those who come out from the world, to stand distinct from worldlings in words and works, those who realize that it is an honor to bear God's sign, will receive power to become His sons. The Lord will have men who can be depended on. No one will enter the courts above who does not bear the sign of God. Those who in this sin-cursed earth bear this sign in holy boldness, looking upon it as an honor, will be recognized and honored by Christ in the courts above (Letter 125, 1903). 7BC 969.8

(Jeremiah 8:20; 1 John 3:3.) Will the Angel Pass Us By?—“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” In a little while every one who is a child of God will have His seal placed upon him. O that it may be placed upon our foreheads! Who can endure the thought of being passed by when the angel goes forth to seal the servants of God in their foreheads (The Review and Herald, May 28, 1889)? 7BC 969.9

Passport to the Holy City—Only those who receive the seal of the living God will have the passport through the gates of the Holy City. But there are many who take upon themselves responsibilities in connection with the work of God who are not wholehearted believers, and while they remain thus cannot receive the seal of the living God. They trust in their own righteousness, which the Lord accounts as foolishness (Letter 164, 1909). 7BC 970.1

The Mark of Distinction—Those who would have the seal of God in their foreheads must keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. This is what distinguishes them from the disloyal, who have accepted a man-made institution in the place of the true Sabbath. The observance of God's rest day is the mark of distinction between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not (Manuscript 27, 1899). 7BC 970.2

Like Christ in Character—The seal of the living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character (The Review and Herald, May 21, 1895). 7BC 970.3

Image of Christ on the Soul—As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ (The Signs of the Times, July 18, 1911, reprinted from The Signs of the Times, December 26, 1892). 7BC 970.4

The Seal and the Commandments—Many will not receive the seal of God because they do not keep His commandments or bear the fruits of righteousness (Letter 76, 1900). 7BC 970.5

Bitter Disappointment in the Day of God—The great mass of professing Christians will meet with bitter disappointment in the day of God. They have not upon their foreheads the seal of the living God. Lukewarm and halfhearted, they dishonor God far more than the avowed unbeliever. They grope in darkness, when they might be walking in the noonday light of the Word, under the guidance of One who never errs (Letter 121, 1903). 7BC 970.6

2-4. See EGW on ch. 14:1-4. 7BC 970.7

4-17 (ch. 14:1-4; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Strive to Be Among the 144,000—[Revelation 7:9-17 quoted.] Those whom the Lamb shall lead by the fountains of living waters, and from whose eyes He shall wipe away all tears, will be those now receiving the knowledge and understanding revealed in the Bible, the Word of God.... 7BC 970.8

We are to copy no human being. There is no human being wise enough to be our criterion. We are to look to the man Christ Jesus, who is complete in the perfection of righteousness and holiness. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the pattern man. His experience is the measure of the experience that we are to gain. His character is our model. Let us, then, take our minds off the perplexities and the difficulties of this life, and fix them on Him, that by beholding we may be changed into His likeness. We may behold Christ to good purpose. We may safely look to Him; for He is all-wise. As we look to Him and think of Him, He will be formed within, the hope of glory. 7BC 970.9

Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand (The Review and Herald, March 9, 1905). 7BC 970.10

9 (chs. 3:5; 19:7-9; John 12:12, 13). The Palms and the Robes—The palms signify that they have gained the victory, and the white robes that they have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Thank God that a fountain has been opened to wash our robes of character, and make them as white as snow (Manuscript 66, 1895). 7BC 970.11

14. See EGW on chs. 3:18; 19:7-9; Matthew 22:11, 12. 7BC 970.12

17. See EGW on ch. 22:1, 2; Romans 11:33. 7BC 970.13