ARE YOU SEALED FOR GODíS KINGDOM?
Rhoda Grace V. Andrew
"And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God and he called with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads" (Rev.7:2,3).
Today this prophecy is being fulfilled--believers are saved by Jesus Christ when they hear the Word of God, convinced of their sins, repent, confess and accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. By their continual devotion, perseverance and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, they are sealed by God for the day of redemption. Believers are warned not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God (Eph.4:30). Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost; hence our lives should radiate His light and life. "Once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light" (Eph.5:8). Indulging in any sin, sin of unfaithfulness, lack of love, cruelty, hatred etc., grieves the Spirit of God; this interrupts the communion and fellowship with God who is holy, righteous, loving, caring, faithful, true and inflexibly just.
Seal Of Ownership
At the time of regeneration, all believers are sealed by God. Sealing is imperative on being chosen and set apart for God. Sadly some go astray even after re-birth, while some stick close to God by adhering to His commands and ordinances. In order to attain final salvation, we need to be in constant communion with God. Our goal is to be filled and controlled by the Spirit of God. We need to be totally surrendered to God by yielding ourselves to Him without any reservation. Those who confess their sins and surrender their lives to God are controlled by His Spirit. When the believers are baptised, they are sealed by the Holy Spirit.
We see in John 6:27 that Christ Himself was sealed as Messiah by God the Father. "God has anointed us and set His seal of ownership on us and put His spirit in our hearts as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come" (2Cor. 1:22). What a blessing and privilege for us believers to be sealed and guaranteed by God! The seal consists of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is guaranteed for the day of redemption (Eph.4:30). This sealing implies an ownership or title to the believer vested in God. "But Godís firm foundation stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His' and 'Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity'" (2Tim.2:19). It is a transparent truth that all who utter the name of Christ should be holy, perfect and blameless before God. As privileged believers, through this sealing our final salvation is sure, steadfast and guaranteed.
Believers are seated with Christ in the heavenly places by virtue of their union with Christ. As such, they have a share in His royal status and authority, and through intercessory prayers and evangelistic witness they have the resources to hasten Christís kingdom. Spiritually also their life is hid in Christ with God.
Further, the prerogatives of born-again Christians are many-sided: 1) Believers are united with Jesus Christ. 2) When Jesus Christ comes back believers are raptured. 3) Jesus has given the authority for believers to sit on His throne in His kingdom. 4) Though the prayers of these sealed believers, Godís kingdom is hastened. 5) Our lives are hid with Christ in God.
We need to keep ourselves holy and untainted by the world and look up to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb.12:2). Daily devotions, reading the Word, confessing known and unknown sins before God, filling our hearts and mouths with praise and adoration to God and being obedient to the Holy Spirit are most essential. Thus our lives are transformed into sweet smelling incense to God.
At the end of the age, the Lord Jesus sends His angels to the four corners of the world to mark all those who are chosen and set apart for God. A saint is called with a holy calling, lives in holy conduct and seeks to appear before God on the last day, "holy and blameless and beyond reproach" (Col.1:22).
God sees our devotion and faithfulness, and is pleased to set His seal on our foreheads as a sign of ownership. "Having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph.1:13). "And the Lord said to him, go through the city, through Jerusalem (now the world at present) and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it" (Ezek.9:4). Are we sighing, groaning and praying for the undaunted criminals who are perishing? Many who brought the Gospel to the Gentile (heathen) world are turning their backs to God. Is this the time to relax and relinquish? Should we not pray and work hard to bring back the perishing souls to Christ? Use whatever gift, talent or resource God bestowed on you. If you are a teacher, teach; if you are a helper, help; if you are a writer, write; if you are a singer, sing and tell the Gospel; above all, reflect the life of Jesus as light and salt of the earth.
The seal of God is a mark of security as well as forgiveness; when Cain pleaded for mercy, the Lord God forgave him, "and the Lord set a mark on Cain lest anyone finding him should kill him" (Gen.4:15). Moreover, the mark of God is a precaution against the wiles of the enemy (Satan). Satan cannot touch us or harm us; he shudders at the mark on our foreheads. Today Jesusí blood is marked on our foreheads and our bodies, which is a standard against the enemy as at the time of Passover when the Angel of Death passed over the houses which were sprinkled with blood (Exo.12).
Seal That Separates
When Jesus comes in His glory, He will separate His children from the unbelievers saying to them, "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt.25:31-34). Are we triumphantly anticipating the return of King Jesus? Are we washed and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb? To get an entry into Godís kingdom, we need to be sealed and marked by God through His angels. At the time of the end, God sends His angels to the four corners of the world to put His seal on His chosen ones (Rev.7:2,3). "They shall see His face and His name shall be on their foreheads" (Rev. 22:4).
During these challenging end times, we are witnessing Bible promises being fulfilled. One very early morning in March 2003, I felt the hush of angels coming close to me and putting a seal looking like an oblong placard on my forehead, pressing gently on my forehead with a click. I got up with amazement, divinely inspired that God had set a seal on me! It is awesome; I praise God for this incredible experience. Whether it was metaphorical or symbolical, "all the promises of God are in Him yes and amen" (2Cor.1:20). I am neither a Bible scholar nor a voracious reader, but a humble servant of the living God who, like Mary, has sat at Jesusí feet and learnt the Word from the age of six. Thanks to my parents who brought us up in Godís fear from our early childhood. "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Pro. 22:6).
Parents, beware! Today how many parents and grandparents are training and teaching their children in the way? Itís very essential in this catastrophically changing environment to teach our children who are growing up in the present devastating setup of life, to adhere to truth and the fear of God, thus keeping them from the snares of the devil and becoming a prey to his repugnant mark, i.e., 666 (Rev.13:18). May God endow us with His omnipotent grace to protect ourselves and our children from the taints and snares of the evil one.
Jesus said, "Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Lk.21:36). "The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hastens quickly; even the voice of the day of the Lord" (Zeph.1:14).
Jesus is coming very soon; letís be awake, watching and waiting for Him.