TEXT: REV. 9: 4; EZE. 9:6
In Rev. 9:4, we see a star falling from heaven to the earth at the trumpet sound of the 5th Angel. To him was given the key of the bottomless pit. He opened the bottomless and behold smoke came out of it in such a manner that the sun and the air were darkened as a result of the smoke. And Locust came out of the smoke and they were given power that was equivalent to the power of the scorpion. These Locust were commanded not to harm any green things, nor the grasses of the earth, nor the trees, but these men without the SEAL of God on their foreheads. They were to be tormented for a specified period of time (5 months).
In Ezekiel 9:6, God revealed the situation of things concerning the city of Jerusalem to Prophet Ezekiel in a vision. In this, God boldly demonstrated to Ezekiel that the people of Judah were really deserving His divine judgment, if not for any other reason, their gross IDOLATRY. When we read from Chapter 8, we see that there were idols in the courtyard and the deepest recesses of the temple that was meant for the worship of the most High God. The ultimate decision of the Jews was that they could worship idols and still serve God.
The good news is that there were a certain set of people grieved and mourned over the detestable things that were practiced. God commanded the guards of the city of Jerusalem to appear before the altar with their weapons of destruction in their hands. There were six of them and the 7th man that joined them dressed like a priest. He carried the Scribe’s writing kit by his side. The writing kit of a Scribe normally was made of animal’s horn. It carried a slot for pens and a compartment designed to hold ink, often two different colours, black and red.
God commanded the Scribe to place a mark on the foreheads of those who were not part of the abominable things that were going on in the temple and he was to begin with the elders in front of the sanctuary. The reason for the mark was to distinguish the righteous from the unrighteous. Those with the mark were preserved. Those without the mark were destroyed. Hence, the topic of our sermon this morning.
This sermon aims at reminding us that God wants us to feel secure and safe in His love and power.
A careful study of the scriptures shows that there are 3 different means attached to the word “Seal”
- To lock an object up, closing it in. In the case of the tomb of Christ – Matthew 27:66
- Giving a sign of authenticity. In the case of Abraham’s circumcision – Romans 4:11
- Protection from the wrath of God coming upon the world
The point is that we the followers of Christ have all been sealed by God. God first placed this seal upon Jesus Christ as we see in John 6:27.
And the day we all heard the gospel and believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise – Eph. 1:13.
Since that day, we were no more strangers nor foreigners, instead, we became fellow citizens with the Saints – Eph. 2:19.
Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and the Prophets which Jesus Christ (who was given the seal of approval) is the Chief Corner Stone – Eph. 2:20.
This same foundation is what Paul told Timothy about, that it is solid, firm and secure – 2 Tim. 2:19.
It has a seal (on inscription) made up of two statement to demonstrate the purpose of the building.
This inscription sums up the two aspects of faith – Trust in God and departure from sin.
Paul also went on to describe the contents of this Great house so inscribed or sealed.
- Vessels for honourable use
- Vessels for dishonourable use
If anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonourable, he will be a vessel for honourable use, set apart as a holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work (Vs. 21).
God is sending this message to us today as a message of safety and security in God’s love and power. God sent the Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith, as an authenticating seal to validate our sonship and as a protecting seal to keep us out of destructive forces.
The great desire of God for those who believe in Him is that we feel secure, His love and power.
God has chosen us before the foundation of the world.
He has predestined us to be His children forever (the very reason for the seal).
He has redeemed us by the blood of His son and has put His Spirit in us as a seal and a guarantee.
Therefore, we will receive the inheritance and praise the glory of His grace forever.
Eventhough, we are not promised an easy life. In fact, through many tribulations, we must enter the kingdom – Acts. 14:22.
And in the midst of these tribulations God promises to spare us as a father would spare His children – Mal. 3:17.
Let us not seek security in anything except God.
UYO TOWN CHURCH OF CHRIST, 20 PAUL BASSEY STREET, UYO
SERMON PRESENTED BY MBUOTIDEM ARCHIBONG