What is the Seal of the 144,000?

Just as there is speculation about what the Mark of the Beast is, there is also speculation about what the seal of the 144,000 is:

Revelation 7:3 — Don’t harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the servants of our God on their foreheads.

In a previous post, I debunked the SDA theory that the Mark of the Beast is Sunday-Keeping. At the same time, I should have covered a side belief that goes along with this one. If someone believes that the Mark of the Beast is (sinful, pagan) Sunday worship, it’s natural that they believe that Sabbath-keeping is also mentioned in Revelation, but in a positive way.

One such teaching is that the seal given to the 144,000 is “keeping of Adonai’s appointed Sabbath”—even though the Sabbath is not mentioned anywhere in connection with them let alone the entire Book of Revelation.

Torah Required On Everyone Today?

Where does this idea come from then? Just like the Sunday Mark idea, it comes from an underlying assumption that the Sabbath is required today. In fact, not just Sabbath, but that all of the Torah is required on everyone. Here’s a few verses used to support this assertion:

Matthew 5:17-19 (NKJV) 17 Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Revelation 12: 17 (NKJV) And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Because Jesus said the Law and Prophets would not pass away until the earth does, some people read this as saying that the Torah has never stopped being required as well, down through history after the Old Covenant was broken. Additionally they believe it expanded its jurisdiction beyond the people it was given to, ancient Israel, to everyone. Naturally, under that understanding putting these two verses together makes it seem like the commandments that the righteous (as represented by the Woman and 144,000, cf. Rev 14:12) are keeping in the end times are the Torah, including Sabbath.

What Are the Commandments of God Today?

The problem with this thinking is this. Matthew 5 refers to the Millennial Kingdom of Heaven when the Torah will be taught to all and all will keep it (Isa 66:23; Zech 14:16). But that’s future and the Torah has not been taught or commanded by a prophet of God since before the exile of Israel and Judah. Even in Jesus time the leaders did not teach and keep Torah but their own religion (John 7:19).

Further, if the commandments of God referred to in Revelation 12 are Torah, then we’re all in trouble because the Torah was an all or nothing proposition with punishments when it was given and will be again (Zech 14:17-19).  Today we can’t keep most of it (with no judges, priests, Levites, temple, altar, etc.) and like Judah and Israel would be guilty and punished for noncompliance.

Instead, what best fits the “commandments of God”  in context is the commands that apply to a person in that time; in this case, the end times. What are the commandments of God we have today? They are expressed in the last six of the Ten Commandments included in the Torah, or “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:36-40). This was Jesus’ teaching on how to have eternal life (Lk 10:28), which was not the purpose and mission of the Torah was (i.e. wisdom, national greatness – Dt 4:6-7). By loving your neighbor for God, you are loving and pleasing God.

By the way, these commandments are the same ones that existed and were taught long before the Torah listing them was ever given to ancient Israel. And they never went away like the Torah for Israel when they broke the covenant. Further, unlike the Sabbath commandment, you are made aware of their necessity to this day by just being alive in a society of people. Not just from the government authority, but people around you are quick to teach you when you violate them (steal, kill, bear false witness, adulterate, disrespect elders). You don’t need a Torah or a Bible to learn how to love your neighbor. You can deduce that doing this must please God who made and loved them first, without a Bible. (Although a Bible can be needed in our times now to counteract such commonly taught errors such as Evolution.)


With that out of the way, it’s easy to see the correct interpretation of what the seal of the 144,000 is. The seal of the 144,000 is something that the angels do (for protection). It’s definitely not something the 144,000 are doing to be protected, and certainly nothing in the text says they are keeping Sabbath. (Yes, they must be righteous to be sealed, but the Woman is also righteous and not sealed in the same way.)  It even tells us what it is: God’s name on their forehead.

Revelation 7:3 (HCSB)  Don’t harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the slaves of our God on their foreheads.

Revelation 14:1 (HCSB) Then I looked, and there on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with Him were 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads.

11 thoughts on “What is the Seal of the 144,000?”

  1. Hi Tim,

    bill here. The problem that I have with your line of thinking is that Yehoshua / Jesus and the apostles all kept the Sabbath and YHWH’s Holy Days … Passover, Pentecost, Trumpets … Tabernacles …

    And they kept on keeping the commandments even after the resurrection. Sabbath and Holy Days – Leviticus 23. Remember our Savior is Lord of the Sabbath and He means it to be kept.

    YHWH’s Holy Days were during the second temple period being reckoned by the Sanhedrin – new moon witnesses would testify before the Sanhedrin that they had seen the first sliver of the new moon … which begins the month to this day. Incredible as it may seem the Sanhedrin and Gamaliel the elder were correctly reckoning YHWH’s Holy Days during the second temple period … the very same days that were kept perfectly by Yehoshua even as a youngster when Mary and Joseph took Him to services. bill

    Check out 2018 blood moon video link below.


    • Jesus and the apostles kept all those things not because they were required or to show us to, but because they were all Jews living in a culture that mixed Biblical festivals with other traditions. For example, you also see Jesus at the temple during the Feast of Dedication (Chanukah) but you would not say that’s required. The question is what did they teach Jews and Gentiles, not what did they do. Acts 15 tells us that when Jewish believers came and said Mose’s Torah including circumcision was required, the apostles disagreed and said Gentiles only need to do a few things that was it to “do well.” See http://www.gci.org/acts/decree1 http://www.gci.org/acts/decree2 If you teach otherwise, then you are putting a yoke on people that they cannot bear (Torah keeping which the fathers of Israel failed at), just as James said about the Judaizers he confronted (Acts 15:10)

  2. Tim,
    If you look closely, the three things that Peter asked of Gentile believers were as follows:

    Acts 15:
    19Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

    20But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

    21For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.

    This corresponds to the following chapters in Leviticus:

    pollutions of idols: Leviticus 18 proper worship:

    from fornication: Leviticus 18:
    from things strangled, Leviticus 19:26

    and from blood: Levitcus 17:

    Then they talk about the law of moses being read every day in the synagogues.

    The Point I would like to make is this.
    Our salvation does not depend on keeping the law because that is impossible. The Mathew 5 reference makes a distinction between greatest and least in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus Christ is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. The rest of us including the apostles have failed in some way. Christ talked about taking the least spot at the marriage supper and maybe we would be asked to take a better seat. We should not think to highly of ourselves and try to take a better seat and then get embarrassed by being asked to move. We definitely do not want to be one who has no clothes. We a clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ through faith. And if we have faith then works will follow according to James.

    The torah is the way we live out loving God and Loving others. Though some things do not apply any more. Christ was the perfect sacrifice for Sin. That sacrifice is no longer needed…ever. In the millenium, there will be sacrifices.( I believe peace offerings.)
    The feast of tabernacles will be celebrated each year. As far as I know the other festivals that required representation in Jerusalem are not needed. I wont know for sure until the millenium gets here.

    The law is relevant even today. We should learn it and live it out as much as possible, but our salvation does not depend on it.

    • It’s not accurate that the four things came from Torah. See http://www.gci.org/acts/decree2

      But even if they did the clear message of several explicit statements in Acts 15 is that Torah/Moses Law/Circumcision were not to be kept by Gentiles for ANY reason, even if the original reason presented was “to be saved.” James plainly said Torah was a yoke that the ancestors failed at and would be a burden on the Gentiles, too. http://www.gci.org/acts/decree1

      If we do not have to keep Torah for salvation then the only other reason would be if we are in a nation God told to keep it so they are set apart/holy (Ex 19:6). Ancient Israel was told exactly this and had stonings and finally exile for not obeying. This will return in Millennium but it is not so today. There is no penalty, no incentive and no instruction on keeping Torah today. The bottom line is that no one can keep it today with no altar, judges, priests, Levites, temple, sacrifices, etc.. This matters because it has been an all or nothing proposition.

      In the Millennium they’ll get no rain just for not keeping Tabernacles. Obviously that is not the case today so again, there is no reason to say anyone “should” keep it. Acts 15 is very very clear on the heresy of saying that. If you want to learn it and practice what you can of it, that’s fine and there is benefit to that, no doubt. But I would never say anymore that “we should learn it and live it out as much as possible.” Acts 15 categorically disagrees with that.

  3. Hi Tim,

    What about where Yehoshua says “if you love me keep the commandments.”

    Also there is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Yehoshua addressed also the spirit of the law for He said that even if we look upon a woman to lust after her in that way we have already committed adultery in our heart and have broken the law whereas in past times it was considered a breaking of the law only if the act of adultery was actually committed. So to even look upon a woman to lust after her is a breaking of the commandment and thus one who looks upon a woman to lust after her has broken the whole law including the Sabbath day.

    You know the principle – break a single commandment and all the commandments are broken.

    Are the commandments still in effect today? Yes – Remember Ananias and Sophira who held back some of the price of the land that they sold. They sinned and dropped dead. bill

    • Sure “the commandments” are still required today. But there is much confusion among people as to what they are. Some think the whole Torah. Others just the Ten Commandments. But the set Jesus referred to was not either and frankly could not be anything exclusive to the Law of Moses like that which only Ancient Israel understood and could do. It had to be exactly the commands Jesus listed when the rich young ruler asked him how to have eternal life (no mention of Sabbath; which is not a moral issue).

      Do you understand what it takes in God’s eyes to become accountable to a command to the point of punishment like Israel had? Just being written in a dusty old book is not enough. That’s where we’re at today with the Torah. It’s only written down and not taught or even possible to keep, let alone understand without the prophets, priests, Levites, judges, etc. that went along with it the first time. Enough said on this.

  4. Tim, its OK.

    On understanding Torah,
    For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day. Acts 15:21.

    Like even today I can go to el shaddai ministries.US and get a messianic torah message from each Sabbath. Also, the Hebrew lessons from Monday Nights are outstanding. Also, the guest speakers are great.

    In my local town there are messianic congregations as well as Jewish congregations. Enough resources are around, that we are without excuse.

    So Tim, If we are to repent, what are we to repent from? Breaking Torah?

    And how do we understand it?

    James 1:5
    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

    – 1769 Oxford King James Bible ‘Authorized Version

    We are supposed to take up our cross daily.


    • Gregg, Acts 15:21 is certainly not saying what you think it is as that would contradict everything else said before that about the Torah being a yoke, to not burden the Gentiles with, do these 4 other things and you’re to do well, etc. The point of that verse is to explain why they had to say everything before that to refute the Jews telling people to keep Torah/Moses/Circumcision…”for”/because Moses was taught in all cities…causing questions and confusion just like these Jews’ divisive claims were.

      Bear in mind, regardless of what resources you have today, few people in history have been able to read, let alone understand, or keep Torah. Therefore it cannot be required for salvation or any other reason on men apart from the nation of ancient Israel (and for them it was only having to do with staying as God’s nation in the land of Canaan). HTH


    • Jeremiah, the vast majority of people in history have not heard or had the ten commandments. It was given to ancient Israel to follow, not to just anyone who happens to get a copy of what they were told, thousands of years later. For example, Sabbath is not required on anyone today. If it were, there would be an authority over them instructing them in it, warning them for violating it and later punishing them for disobedience.


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