We believe the Bible describes two classes of redeemed; namely, the great multitude, which began with Adam and goes through the close of probation, and a group of 144,000 in number.
The sealing work of the 144,000 began with the proclamation of the third angel’s message. Through their obedience to the Ten Commandments, they demonstrate their faithfulness. They distinguish themselves by their observance of the Sabbath, which represents the seal of God. We believe the sealing work will continue until the close of probation. Spiritual Israel will be gathered from all nations, kindreds, and tongues. Revelation 7:2-8; 14:1-5.
The seal of God is a sign of redemption. All who choose Jesus Christ as their Saviour and place themselves under His guidance will experience a change in their characters. They receive His righteousness; and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they become more and more like Christ and bring forth fruits of obedience. One of these fruits is the observance of the holy Sabbath, which is referred to as the seal or sign of the affiliation between God and the believers. Ezekiel 20:12, 20.
The sleeping sealed ones, through a special resurrection shortly before the return of Christ, will be united with the living sealed believers. Together they will hear the voice of God proclaim the covenant of peace with His people. As “first fruits” of redemption, they will witness Christ’s second coming, see the great multitude resurrected, and ascend with it to be received by Christ. Daniel 12:1, 2; Revelation 1:7.
“The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation…
“The mark of the beast is the opposite of this-the observance of the first day of the week.” -Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 117.
“The fourth commandment alone of all the ten contains the seal of the great Lawgiver, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.” -Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 350.