The Revelation of Jesus Christ: The Seal of the Living God
In the Bible, we find the breadth of what we are to become brought to view. The Word of God is to give us an experience that causes us to view the world, not as man sees it, because “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not”, but it gives us a much different perspective. A different perspective not only causing us to behold who God is, but in beholding who God is, to see the world in a most startling condition: to see the worldwith new eyes.
This experience of seeing with new eyes is to see what is not presently seen, because it is seen through the eyes of faith. This is only possible by being born again.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
A man cannot “see” the things of God unless he is “born again”. Even then, we do not “see” them with fleshly eyes, but with spiritual eyes we behold the things that God has prepared for those that love Him.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
Notice that although it hasn’t entered into the heart of man, it has been seen by the Spirit. That which is born of the flesh is fleshly, and cannot see nor discern spiritual things. Thankfully, those born of the Spirit can see spiritual realities. Many today claim that it hasn’t entered into our hearts what God has prepared for us, but neglect to share the very next passage, that He has revealed it to His Spirit-born children, yet it is abundantly evident from the apostle Paul’s next words that “the heart of man” refers to the carnal heart:
“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
The Scripture tells us if we receive the Spirit of God, the things of God’s kingdom He “hath revealed…unto us by His Spirit.” Therefore we behold the beauties of the things unseen by faith, for “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
It is the things not seen that the children of God are to steadfastly behold, and this is the principle of the Kingdom of God.
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
More than the eternal principle of God’s kingdom, it is the very principle God has desired for His people to always have, which is faith. By faith, we may clearly see the eternal God, who is invisible to mortal sight, even as Moses, who “endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27)
Now, what about this faith that causes us to see with the world with new eyes. This is nothing short of being born of the Kingdom of God. Now what does the Scripture say about how to receive this faith? “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) This same faith that comes by the Word of God is the very thing which brings us to a new birth experience, giving us this spiritual eyesight:
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
The Word of God is incorruptible, and that incorruptible seed contains all that we need to bring to full growth our spiritual maturity if we continue growing by that same spiritual seed, but the world is functioning on a different level. It is not the eyes of faith, nor is it able to perceive or know the things of the heavenly kingdom, and just the same, they cannot have a true conception of the invisible God unless they look to His revelation as revealed in Christ, and by us.
A NEW NAME
When we are born again though, just as we are given a new eyes to behold God’s character, we are given a new name. However, as we will see, those two things are intimately connected in our birth experience as children of God.
Moses made a request of the living God, and God said He would declare His name to Moses:
“And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; …And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD…and proclaimed, Yahuwah, Yahuwah God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;…”
The name of God has everything to do with His character. And the name which is given to us in the new birth experience is the very formation of His character in us. He takes from us that perverse character, like Jacob (who was a deceiver) and gives us the new name, like Israel (which means overcomer):
“And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:… rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”
It is evident that to be born again by the creative Word of God, that we must see something of God’s love for us, and to be turned from our sins. We must necessarily, to be born again, see something of God’s character: this is when we begin to see something of God’s heart, and when this something is more readily seen, we ourselves begin to see even as He sees the perfect wisdom of His ways, the vileness of sin, and the affairs of the world, and will walk in the ways of His Spirit.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down…and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower…: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
Only by God’s Word can we share in His thoughts, His ways, and that Word alone can be the seed of the Spirit, because His Words “are Spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) Moreover, the Bible likens the same verse of “Spirit” and “mind” to be the very same. In the book of Isaiah, it asks the question: “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord? Or being His counsellor has taught Him?” (40:13) Paul quoting this, it states “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counsellor?” (Romans 11:34) For this reason, His thoughts and ways are expressly said to be found in this same word which ministers to us His Spirit (His mind/thoughts), and is described as rain that comes, and which when that rain comes in contact with us, will cause us to prosper and grow. God refers to His own presence by the Holy Spirit as that rain that we might grow in the knowledge of the invisible God:
“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”
Now having a new name, which is God’s character, and new eyes, and a new Spirit, by that incorrupible seed which God waters with the revelation of His own presence, we are now “a new creation” in heart and mind in Christ Jesus as we walk upon this earth. By faith, we are the children of God, and in having the mind of the Spirit of God, those things not revealed to the hearts of men are now revealed to us more and still more, so fully that we will reveal the very things that are revealed to us:
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
TRUE LOVE REVEALED
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
The flesh cannot ever inherit the incorruptible character of God, and for good reason. The flesh can produce no love for souls. It cannot possibly produce the fruit of the Spirit that permeates the Kingdom of God in us.
The flesh is corrupt “because of sin” (Romans 8:10), but “the fruit of the Spirit is love…” (Gal. 5:22). The Scripture shows that the flesh and the Spirit “are contrary to one another” (Gal. 5:17) “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
(Rom 8:13) And if we claim to be born of God, having inherited His character, which is His name, we must clearly manifest love, for “God is love”.
The principles of love are to be so fully be manifested in us that we are to reveal this revelation of God’s glory, that Moses asked to see, to the whole world (See Rev. 18:1). What is love? The Scripture says love “does not rejoice in iniquity, but it rejoices in truth”. Neither does love “seek it’s own”, not
being selfish, and “thinks no evil”, but sees the true nature of sin, that instead of thinking evil of another soul, it sees that they are victims of sin, holding the very same perspective between the soul and the sin that holds it’s victim captive that is found in the heart-wrenching cry of Christ at the cross, “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing!”
This is the love we are to reveal to the world: it’s the Father’s character of love. We are told that this Spirit of love that causes us to have the mind of God toward mankind is nothing less than the thing “whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30), and when that day of redemption approaches, a special work is given to the ensure this seal is full and complete with the Father’s character impressed upon us before Christ returns to take all of the redeemed home.
“And 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 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. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
The plea of the intercession of Christ is to hold back the judgments from coming upon the earth until the number of His kingdom is made up: 144,000 being “sealed…in their foreheads”.
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”
Now, what is the seal? It is the Spirit. More expressly, what is the seal? It is the Father’s name, His character, impressed upon our hearts. Moreover, it is the law of God which the Spirit writes upon the heart of the redeemed child of God who stands with Christ upon Mt. Zion:
“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples…Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.”
And how is this character of the love of God manifested in our lives? “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”
If the seal is the Father’s character, it is also true that it is the mark which is placed upon those that sigh and cry by reason of the abominations that are being done amongst God’s professed people. The character of God is to hate sin but love the sinner, and love “rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.” These souls that are living in their abominations we are to recognize as not having “received the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thes. 2:10) and how can we rejoice if they are not in a saved condition? Do we sense the magnitude of the sin whose fruit brings forth death? The angels are to see the Father’s character in us, just as it was in Christ, hating iniquity as He hates it. It testifies that His thoughts towards both sin and the sinner are our thoughts, and that His ways are our ways. Truly to love the sinner but abhor the sin for which the sinner will inevitably die if he
does not repent. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11) Anything other than this character must be carefully examined in the light of the law of sin and death at the cross of Calvary and left “as a curse for My Chosen” that we “might be made the righteousness of God” in Christ.
“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”
Yet the terrible fate of the professed people of God who had not this love in their heart was judgment. They did not have the seal of God’s Spirit, and that special mark of God’s character was not impressed upon them, so that angels of God passed them by, and they were left to the inevitable judgments brought upon by neglecting so great a salvation.
“And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity…”
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”
Ezekiel, in seeing the slaughter that was happening by vision in Jerusalem, manifested that very same character of Christ at the cross, and should we expect to manifest anything less in these last days when considering the fearful danger of sin and it’s consequences of shutting it’s victims out of heaven?
“And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.”
THE CLOSING SCENE
That judgment is long deferred by the intercession of the High Priestly ministry of Christ. Whether pleading at the conception of sin with Adam & Eve, to the intercession at the cross, to the cry to hold the four winds until the servants of God are completely sealed with the character of God, Christ desires to see souls saved from sin at last, “not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9) Anciently, the Levitical high priest wore a golden crown, inscribed “Holiness unto Yahuwah”. This was nothing less than the Father’s name inscribed upon that crown which he wore, and if this was the forehead of the high priest upon the earth, how much more the High Priest from heaven whose priesthood has no end? Moreover, the sons of the high priest served as priests in the temple, yet we are “the children that are with” our High Priest, “a royal priesthood” “after the Order of Melchizedek”. Should the character of our intercession and pleadings be anything less than reflecting the holiness we’ve inherited in connection with Christ’s priestly ministry? And when this glorious sealing of God’s character has crowned us, then the intercession will have served it’s purpose and be finished.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book…”
When the work is done. We see Christ taking the kingdom as a Lion to the wicked, but as a Lamb to the redeemed, standing upon Mount Zion and ruling with a rod of iron:
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed…Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion…You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Every case has now been decided. The decisions made are ratified in heaven and in every soul made firmly fixed and definitely fixed; the numbering of the redeemed among men is final and there are no second chances. Every character is firmly impressed upon the soul, either for blessing or cursing, life or death. It is at this time the decree of Christ the priestly King declares at the ceasing of His intercession for man: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”
Therefore, may the living God, whose name is love, mercy, justice, and truth, sanctify us wholly with His Spirit and cause us to stand faithful and true with the Lamb on Mt. Zion.