What should the Seal of God Protect from?
Beginning in chapter 7 of Apocalypse, “144,000” are Sealed with the Seal of God in their foreheads and hands, and they are not “harmed” by the forthcoming trumpets, which, at least at face value, unleash great temporal woes, such as fire from the sky, poisoned rivers, or locust creatures that torture all men not Sealed. Toward this end, we should ask, what should the seal of God protect from?
Does Christ promise to protect us from literal, physical harm (at any age in history)? By no means. For the Roman martyrs were tortured horribly, many times nailed to crosses, reduced to ashes at the stake, or torn apart by brute beasts. And where was the protection of Christ to the Rwandans who died of thirst a decade and a half ago? Were none of them Christians?
Or where was the Christ when so many Christian soldiers had limbs blown off in WWII? Or where was the Father when so many Christians and Catholics perished in the Black Plague? Or where was the Spirit when so many countless Irish Christians perished in the Potato famine?
Wherefore do some hypocrites think that the faithful at the end of the world shall not also suffer physical woes? What does the Catechism say, except that the Church herself will follow Her Divine Savior in the Passion?
But then, whatever this Seal of God is that protects its bearers from the Trumpets, it can in no wise be from physical harm, for Christ did not come to protect us from the physical Cross, or even the spiritual Cross of the dark night of soul.
However, I will tell you one protection that we know Christ always desires of His Disciples, and that is that they know His Truth in all its fullness in their intellect, which is joined to the human's brain, which in turn lies behind the forehead, which in turn is what is Sealed in the same apocalypse before the trumpets, Chapter 7.
For to the degree that men do not know, or worse, reject, some or all of Christ's truths, they are harmed in the worst possible way, by heresy, and the fruit of heresy progressively undermines a person's chances of being saved.
For, to misunderstand God is harmful. For, we were meant to love God and know Him. And to the degree that you misunderstand a person, so to the same degree will it be difficult to love them. But loving God is the source of salvation, for only those who "do the will of the One who Sent Me" shall attain eternal life, but doing the Will of the Father is none other than loving the Father.
Therefore, in any world God would create, His ultimate will after He incarnates Himself is to give some share of His Disciples a spiritual protection from all error in faith, so that they may not be harmed in what is truly harmful for a person.
But where, then, in this world, will one get a Seal that protects their intellect from the harm, or stain, of unchastity of heresy? Alas, in fullness, only in Peter. But therefore, the Seal should be, if sensible, not given to all the elect, but only to Catholics. Why? For, the elect will surely include persons who come from schism and heresy--even infidels or pagans. That is, some elect shall be what were on earth, merely material schismatics, heretics, infidels, or pagans. But none of these lesser classes have the fullest protection from error. Only followers of Peter, who listen to him in full, have this protection. But therefore, the Seal is Catholicism, and those that bear it are the ones who listen always, like little children, to the voice of the Church, in all her proclamations.
The Trumpets, the Church Proclaiming Truth, and Those who Resist
And on that note, when a Trumpet sounds, what is that except a proclamation? So also, the Trumpets can symbolize the greater proclamations of the Church, and the harm that follows the Trumpet comes on those who do not listen to them and heed them.
And the trumpets, are they merely the vague preaching of Mother Church in general? Well, the various attacks on the Church's development of doctrine are varied and many, hence, the variety of scenes in the Trumpets suggests a deeper meaning than just vague preaching, perhaps, even, if it were possible, the greater phases of the Church's development in her history, phases that bring deeper insight into the Deposit of Faith, and that yet also bring distress, whole portions of man that reject them, eg, Arians, Muslims, Orthodox, Protestants, Deists Rationalists, Atheists, Relativists, Materialists. For there are differences in the Trumpets' happenings, and, in fact, toward the end, there are very interesting and specific things that are more drawn out that are said. Whilst, I say the Trumpets convey something more specific about the Church's development of doctrine, which is much like the Illuminative way of her saints, where they contemplate the mysteries of God in their intellect and grow in love of Him, just as, also, the bearers of God's protection have the Seal in the same forehead, the gateway of the intellect of soul, that ponders and grows in knowledge of Divine Mysteries.
And this is also corroborated by the fact that whereas the voice of the Church is one and always one, nevertheless, the wellsprings of truth vary and are layered upon one another. For in one sense, the sources of truth are Five:
The Trinity and Incarnate God Himself
The Peterine Successor
The General Apostolic Successors
The Written Word of God
and even, Reason
The Two Witnesses, the Oral and Written Word of God
On the other hand, there are two great sources, the Oral Word of God and the Written Word of God, just like there are Two Witnesses at the end of the Trumpets. These Two Witnesses are attacked for a great period but escape death by harming their attackers in the very same method in which they were attacked, even as heresy is an attack on the Scripture and Tradition yet bringing its own intrinsic spiritual harm to the very same degree and manner as the heresy attempts to harm these Two great Lamp Stands and Olive Trees.
The Murder of the Two Witnesses, the Modern Era
On the other hand, at the conclusion of this greater phase of attempted harm toward the Two Witnesses, the Two Witnesses are actually "murdered" by the beast, not even afforded a burial, and over whose dead bodies the world celebrates that they have been delivered from their "torture". There is then a sense here that a far worse and dare we say worst attack on the Oral and Written Word of God in the concluding phase of their preaching, namely, a veritable total apostasy in nature, where NO life at all in the Witnesses is respected, eg, a situation in which no truths of God are recognized, not even Reason, has occurred. That is, there is a sense in which a person becomes so antagonistic to the Words of God, that they give them no attention whatsoever, not listening even to the conscience at all, which is a certain torture for the man who fears God in some sense. This is clearly our modern era: the Atheist has no God, and the relativist is his own god.
And this is really like the last 1700 years. For, for some 1650 years, since Constantine, there were many who attacked the Words of God from Mother Church but who still feared God in some sense, as in the Arians, the Muslims, the Orthodox, the Protestants, and even the deists and rationalists, who still felt that one has moral responsibility before God, even if, according to them, God does not reveal His will nor helps us supernaturally.
But what shall we say about modern man in the these societies today that were religious but are now not so? Are not the Words of God in all their sense dead to them? For, to the atheists and relativists, for all practical purposes, the Two Witnesses are dead, for the world has no conscience that would be tortured by some consideration of the Words of God.
The Mark of the Beast
And isn't this really like the opposite sign of the Seal of God? For what do we see in the apocalypse, after the Trumpets, except the Mark of the Beast, which should seem appropriately the opposite of the Seal. That is, if the Seal of God in the forehead is the fullness of protection from error in belief, should not the Mark, which first comes in the forehead as well, make its bearer a man who has no religious truth whatsoever, succumbing to the ultimate lies and harm, which is the false prophet, the fall, who cares not for God's truth in any sense, and who therefore does what he wishes in the works of his hand(s), which then likewise receives the mark, a mark on the other faculty of soul, the will, which is the author of the works of the hands!