In Scripture, a "seal" is a device made of stone, jewels, metal or some other hard substance, with a raised or inset engraving. If pressed into a soft substance, like clay, wax or paper, a seal leaves an image, an impression, that identifies it with its owner and carries just as much authority as a signature.
In ancient times, for those engaged in business, a seal was more than an accessory; it was a necessity. The use of seals is still widespread today, like notary seals or corporate seals, to authenticate certain documents or authorize certain transactions. In Bible days, a seal was often worn on a necklace or mounted on a ring (called a "signet ring"). Notice the words "signet" and "signature" are very similar, because they fulfill a similar function. Seals of this nature are mentioned over sixty times in Scripture.
One of the most powerful passages about "the seal of God" is Ephesians 1:13-14 (NKJV):
"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."
Notice the first two phrases in this passage—"in Him" and "in whom." This reveals that being "sealed" is a positional inheritance, assigned to us by the Father because of our position "in Christ." Because we are surrendered to Jesus' Lordship and Headship, all that He is transfers to us. The reason we have received the seal of God is because Jesus, the firstborn Son, received the seal of God first, and we are "joint-heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17).
Only one verse testifies of this "sealing" in Jesus' life. A large group came to make Him King, primarily because He had just multiplied the loaves and fishes, and they had eaten their fill. He responded to the crowd of exuberant admirers with the following words:
"Do not work for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For God the Father has set His seal on Him" (John 6:27).
Remember, a seal is an emblem of authority, a validation of purpose, an indication of protection and the transfer of a unique image identifying the sealed object with the one who owns it. So at least five things are conveyed by the seal that was placed on Jesus:
- The authority of the Father passed to the Son
- The purpose of the Father revealed in the Son
- The protection of the Father surrounding the Son
- The union of the Father with the Son
- The image of the Father expressed in the Son.
This last point was so pronounced that He claimed, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).
And so it is, to a limited degree, for every sealed believer: Jesus has passed His authority to us, revealed His purpose in us, placed His protection on us and expressed His image in us. No wonder His choice people in these perilous last days are referred to in Scripture as "the sealed" who will apparently be protected in a time of great catastrophe (Rev. 7:4, Darby).
Regardless of what the future holds for any of us, one thing is certain: Those who are sealed will be carried through victoriously.
A product of the Jesus Movement Era, Mike Shreve has traveled evangelistically in the United States and overseas since 1970 with an emphasis on healing and the prophetic. His primary biblical teaching for over 35 years has been the spiritual identity of believers. This powerful insight is featured on his weekly podcast on cpnshows.com and his TV program—both titled "Discover Your Spiritual Identity." It is also the theme of his Charisma House book titled WHO AM I? Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ. The first three categories on his YouTube website expand on this amazing revelation: YouTube.com/mikeshreveministries.
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