5. John saw a man and Ezekiel saw another angel.
In each vision, the man/angel carried the seal of the living God. The man/angel spoke to the other angels, telling them to wait until he marked them with the seal of identification on their foreheads before they carried out judgment.
The angel or man could be Jesus or an angel. In either case, God sent him with a specific job to do and gave him the authority to do it. The Holy Spirit marks believers with a seal comparable to blood from the sacrified lamb at the original Passover.
Ezekiel 9 “Then the Lord (Yahweh) called to the man clothed in (white) linen who had the writing kit at his side 4 and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” ESV
Ephesians 1:13 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,” ESV
Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
I heard the number of them which were sealed—The number 144,000 included all the Jews converted to Christianity at that time before the city of Jerusalem was destroyed; 12,000 out of each of the twelve tribes. The numbers are probably symbolic showing God knew exactly who they were. (Paraphrased from Adam Clarke’s Commentary.)
Josephus estimated there were about 3 million Jews in Jerusalem when the siege took place during Passover. Titus withdrew when he learned Nero died. He later returned.
Judah is the first of the twelve tribes listed.
- Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, married Joseph who descended from the tribe of Judah.
- The land of Judah was the only part of the Promised Land remaining in the hands of the Jews. The Temple in Jerusalem was in Judah.
The prophecy over Judah in Genesis 49:10 says the scepter will never leave that tribe. The following verses leave no doubt it is a Messianic prophecy.
Matthew 1:3-6, 16 Matthew’s genealogy confirms Jesus as a legitimate descendant of David.
- The tribe of Levi is mentioned, although that tribe had no inheritance in Israel.
- Levi now belonged to the spiritual priesthood.
- The tribe of Joseph is added in the place of Ephraim.
- Ephraim and Dan, the principal promoters of idolatry, are left out.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary
Following the downfall of the Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple, no tribal records survived. This was the final population count for the tribes of Israel. However, only the Christians were sealed. Most of the non-Christian Jews died. As Jesus said, “And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.” Matthew 24:22 ESV
7. a. I have blessed assurance.
Through faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross.
I believe in Jesus Christ. John 3:16
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Do you believe that Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins and rose again from the dead (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21)? Do you trust Him alone for salvation? If your answer to these questions is “yes,” you are saved! Assurance means freedom from doubt. By taking God’s Word to heart, you can have no doubt about the reality of your eternal salvation.
Jesus Himself assures those who believe in Him: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28–29). Eternal life is just that—eternal. There is no one, not even yourself, who can take Christ’s God-given gift of salvation away from you.
b. Because I know I am marked with God’s seal, the great commission applies to me.
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
Such an exciting journey!