Revelation 7:3

harm the earth, the sea, or the trees
See commentary on Revelation 7:1.

on their foreheads
Foreheads is μετώπων [metōpōn] , which is used to describe the location of the mark “of a branded slave.”1 The seal identifies them as belonging to God (Rev. Rev. 14:1+) and may be similar to the promise given to the overcomer in Philadelphia that Jesus would “write on him My new name” (Rev. Rev. 3:12+, Rev. Rev. 14:1+2 ). The picture of sealing for protection by marking the servants on their foreheads recalls a vision shown Ezekiel in which most in Jerusalem were practicing idolatry which God was about to judge. Prior to His judgment going forth, an angel was told to “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it” (Eze. Eze. 9:4). In the judgment which followed, those without the mark (seal) of God were killed (Eze. Eze. 9:5-6).

As blood was put upon the door of the houses of Israel in Egypt so that the angel of death would pass over these houses and strike only those which were not marked, so the seal of God is put upon the forehead of His own so that the angels of judgment, passing through the world, will know those who are God’s.3

As Master Imitator, Satan, through the beast, will mark those who are his, who are thereafter unredeemable (Rev. Rev. 14:9-10+). Rev. 7:3+), so also we read that Satan, by his angels, will set a mark in the foreheads of his devotees (Rev. Rev. 13:16+).”4 During the time of the Tribulation, it appears there will be three categories of people:
  1. Those who are sealed and protected by God for special ministry (Rev. Rev. 7:4-8+; Rev. 14:1+).
  2. Those who accept the mark of the beast (Rev. Rev. 13:16-18+) and are doomed (Rev. Rev. 14:9-10+). They are not written in the Book of Life.
  3. Those who refuse the mark of the beast, many of whom are martyred (Rev. Rev. 20:4+).
In the eternal state, God’s name will be on the foreheads of all the faithful (Rev. Rev. 22:4+ cf. Rev. Rev. 3:12+). See commentary on Revelation 13:16 and Revelation 14:1.

Notes

1 Frederick William Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 515.

2 At Rev. Rev. 14:1+, in contrast to the TR text, MT and NU texts indicate that the names of both the Father and the Son are written.

3 Donald Grey Barnhouse, Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971), 144.

4 Arthur Walkington Pink, The Antichrist (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1999, 1923), s.v. “The Antichrist will be the Son of Satan.”

Read Revelation 7:3