The Seal of the Living God
What is a seal? In Esther 3:12 we read: "In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king's signet ring." A seal indicates ownership and genuineness.
This literal concept is used figuratively in a beautiful way in The Song of Solomon, chapter 8, verse 6: "Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arms; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame." Marriage partners belong to each other and are as seals on each other's hearts and arms, feelings and actions. And the Song of Solomon itself depicts an even greater relationship between God and man.
The idea of proving genuineness is used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:2 - "If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord." The believers at Corinth, who were in the Lord because of the ministry of Paul, were a proof (seal) of the genuineness of his apostleship, which had been called in question by some.
A seal is intended to remove all doubt as to ownership. As we view the religious world around us, we are caused to wonder just who does belong to God! This may be confusing for us, but it is not confusing for God: "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and 'Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity'" (2 Timothy 2:19).
God set His seal on His Son, Jesus Christ: "Do not the labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him" (John 6:27).
When we are sanctified by Christ, God also sets His seal on us! "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a deposit" (2 Corinthians 1:21,22). From this passage we see that the seal is the anointing with the Holy Spirit, referred to in Acts 2:38 as the gift of the Spirit. This is the seal, the hallmark, of a Christian. This seal is not some superficial 'wowy' one-time experience; it is the abiding presence of God in one's heart. In his first letter, John tells us how we can know if we have it or not.
"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:13,14). Notice 'in whom'. It is only IN CHRIST that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and have the guarantee. We can examine the many passages which use the expression 'into Christ' and 'in Christ' to know whether we have the guarantee or not.
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30).
It is only the seal of God that saves us from doom because of our sins. "Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying 'Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads'" (Revelation 7:2,3).
And what about those who do not have the seal of God? "Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads" (Revelation 9:3,4).
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive