Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
July 7, 1997
Last Updated :
March 21, 2018
We Are All Living Stones In God's Spiritual House Or Temple, Sealed And Bonded By The Mortar Of The Holy Spirit, Example Of Fruit Preserves, Preserved From God's Wrath Through Faith In Christ, Peace With God Through Christ, God's Wrath On The First Century Jews, Destruction Of King Herod's Temple and the 144,000, Firstfruits Of The Resurrection, Sealed For A Purpose, His Father's Will, A Sign Of Ownership, We Are All Bought With A Price, Jesus' Example In Garden Of Gethsemane, God's Will And Not Our Own, God The Father Protected Jesus Until His Hour Had Come, The Power Of Darkness, Sealed With The Holy Spirit, The Earnest Of The Spirit, Saved And Sealed And Healed And Filled, We Are Either Sealed By God Or We Are Damned Through Unbelief, Satan's Seal: The Mark of the Beast
As we concluded in part five, the Scriptures make it clear that Jesus is the one true Rock, Foundation, and Cornerstone of God's holy Temple who was rejected by the unbelieving Jews. Furthermore, as we learned in part two, as Believers, we are also living stones and pillars in that very same Temple or spiritual house. This brings us right back to our main discussion regarding the Holy Spirit. You see, if we are all living stones in the Lord's spiritual Temple, then in a sense, the Holy Spirit is similar to a sealant, mortar or bonding agent which binds us all together as one. In fact, you may recall from part two that the Apostle Paul describes us as a building that is "fitly framed together". Furthermore, in these next two verses, Paul discusses being "perfectly joined together" and the "bond of peace":
"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Ephesians 4:3, KJV
"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
1 Corinthians 1:10, KJV
We can say then that we are not only covered or cloaked by God's Holy Spirit when we accept Christ's Sacrifice, but that we are actually sealed by it as well. We are all symbolically glued together by the Spirit. That is why Christians can live literally thousands of miles apart, and yet still feel that same kindred spirit between us. Isn't it just amazing how God works?
What does the word "seal" actually mean? Well, it has several meanings. Let's consider one of them. If you're familiar with making fruit preserves, then you will know that after you add the sugar, the spices, the pectin, and whatever else you are going to put in there, you have to cook the fruit over the fire -- or on the stove -- in order to kill the germs. After you do that, you have to put it in sterilized mason jars and seal it with waxed lids. What is the purpose of doing this? It is to protect the fruit from germs so that it won't spoil too quickly. It is to preserve and save it for some future date, until you are ready to eat it.
In a spiritual sense, this is exactly what happens to us as well when we accept Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross. In other words, Jesus already passed through the fire for us when He gave His life on the Cross. So by believing in His Sacrifice, we are purged from our sins -- or germs -- and then sealed and protected. We are saved for some future use, as is deemed appropriate by God. Exactly what are we sealed and protected from? The following verse offers us one very clear answer:
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
John 3:36, KJV
There is no need to try to interpret the previous verse. It is as plain as day. Once we accept Jesus, we are saved and sealed -- or baptized -- by the Holy Spirit, and protected from God's wrath. As I explain in other articles, through our acceptance of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ as Atonement for our sins, we are in fact reconciled with God the Father, and we enter a peaceful relationship with Him. Consider the following verses which confirm this point:
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
John 14:27, KJV
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33, KJV
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"
Romans 5:1, KJV
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."
Ephesians 2:13-18, KJV
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:7, KJV
"For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:"
Colossians 1:19-22, KJV
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
Jeremiah 29:11, KJV
In contrast, and as I briefly mentioned earlier, because the vast majority of the ancient Jews did not accept Christ's Sacrifice, they were not only not saved, but neither were they protected or sealed from God's wrath. As the historical record bears witness, some forty years after Christ died on the Cross, during the seven-year First Jewish-Roman War, the Roman legions, under the leadership of General Titus -- who was the son of Emperor Vespasian, and also a future emperor himself -- came in and utterly destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple compound. Several ancient sources state that as many as one million Jews lost their lives during that seven-year war. The Lord prophesied that very event, as we see by the following set of verses:
"Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
John 4:20-24, KJV
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
Matthew 23:37-24:2, KJV
"And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
Mark 13:1-2, KJV
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
Luke 13:34-35, KJV
"And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down . . . And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."
Luke 21:5-6, 20, KJV
I discuss related issues surrounding the tragic events of 70 AD in a number of other articles which you will find listed at the end of this current series.
Now, if you are still having a hard time accepting this idea regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit being similar to being sealed like fruit preserves, then consider that Jesus Christ is referred to as the Firstfruits of the Resurrection in the Scriptures. Not only that, but due to their faith in Christ, and their belief in the Resurrection of the Dead as a result of their faith in Christ, the First Century Apostles and Disciples likewise viewed themselves as the Firstfruits of God's great harvest of souls, as we can determine by the following verses:
"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body . . . For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Romans 8:22-23, 29, KJV
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."
1 Corinthians 15:19-23, KJV
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature . . . And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Colossians 1:12-15, 18, KJV
"To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,"
Hebrews 12:23, KJV
"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."
James 1:18, KJV
"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood . . . I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Revelation 1:5, 18, KJV
"These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb."
Revelation 14:4, KJV
In a literal sense, the firstfruits refers to the initial yield of the yearly harvest, which makes sense, if we stop to consider that ancient Israel was a very agrarian-oriented society. Concerning how fruit-filled mason jars are sealed with wax in order to preserve their contents, in the Gospel of John we discover that Jesus was sealed by His Father, as we see here:
"Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed."
John 6:27, KJV
But exactly what did Jesus mean in that verse when He stated that He had been sealed by His Father? As I said previously, in a sense, being baptized and being sealed are synonymous terms. However, the word "seal", as it is used in the Bible, has another meaning which can also be applied to what Jesus said in the previous verse. To understand this, let's look at a few more verses where Jesus expounds upon His mission on the Earth:
"But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able."
Matthew 20:22, KJV
"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."
John 4:34, KJV
"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true . . . But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me . . . "
John 5:30-32, 36-37, KJV
"For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 6:38-40, KJV
As you can see, just as fruit is sealed and preserved in a mason jar for a specific purpose -- that is, to be eaten at a later date -- Jesus was likewise saying that He had been sealed, or baptized with the Spirit, by His Father for a specific task. That task was to ultimately fulfill His Father's Will. You see, another meaning of the word "seal" is a symbol of ownership, just like in centuries past when kings would place the seal of their ring upon something to make it official or else to show that they owned it. Seals, or brands, are also used by livestock owners to show that certain animals belong to them. As we all know, God's Word repeatedly informs us that Jesus is our Great Shepherd, and we are His sheep. We belong to Him; He owns us; because He purchased us with His own Blood. He paid the ransom price in order to possess us. Following are some verses which demonstrate this point:
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28, KJV
"For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Mark 10:45, KJV
"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
Acts 20:28, KJV
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
"Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."
1 Corinthians 7:23, KJV
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
1 Timothy 2:5-6, KJV
Because of this fact; because Jesus was willing to pay the ransom price for us all; He can do with us whatsoever He pleases. As I explain in articles such as "So You Really Think You Are So Humble?", our job as Christians and sheep of His fold is to yield ourselves in humble submission, and to obey God's Will for our lives, whatever it happens to be. This is exactly what Jesus did on that dark night in the Garden of Gethsemane two thousand years ago. Consider the following verses which clearly emphasize this point:
"And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."
Luke 22:41-42, KJV
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 7:21, KJV
"For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."
Mark 3:35, KJV
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, THE LORD KNOWETH THEM THAT ARE HIS. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
2 Timothy 2:19, KJV
"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."
Isaiah 64:8, KJV
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Romans 12:1-2, KJV
"Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;"
Ephesians 6:6, KJV
"Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."
Colossians 4:12, KJV
"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
1 John 2:17, KJV
"For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."
Hebrews 10:36, KJV
"That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God."
1 Peter 4:2, KJV
As I explained earlier, the reason that we seal the fruit preserves in mason jars with waxed lids is to protect them from harm, so germs can't spoil them. In a symbolic sense, we can likewise say that when God the Father baptized and sealed Jesus with the Holy Spirit, He did so to make sure that the unbelieving Jews could do no more harm to Him than what was allowed until Jesus had fulfilled His Mission, and His hour had come. I am reminded of the following verses:
"Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."
Psalms 105:15, KJV
"The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
Psalms 34:7, KJV
"For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."
Psalms 91:11, KJV
"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come."
John 2:4, KJV
"Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready . . . Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come."
John 7:6, 30, KJV
"These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come."
John 8:20, KJV
However, when Jesus' hour finally did arrive, and God the Father lifted His cloak of protection from Jesus so that His Divine Will could be accomplished through the persecution, suffering, Crucifixion and Resurrection of His own dear Son by the unbelieving Jews, what did Jesus say at that time? Consider the following group of verses:
"When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness."
Luke 22:53, KJV
"Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin."
John 19:11, KJV
"Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"
Matthew 26:53-54, KJV
So then, just as Jesus -- who was the Firstfruits of the Resurrection -- was baptized and sealed by God to show that He not only belonged to God, but that He was sent to perform a specific task, we are likewise sealed and protected by the Spirit as well, once we believe in Jesus. As such, as long as we are pleasing in His sight, and fulfilling His Will for our lives, He will continue to protect us from the power of darkness of this present world. Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote:
"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"
Colossians 1:13, KJV
Notice that the Apostle Paul uses the same exact phrase in the previous verse; that is, "power of darkness". Earlier, while discussing how the Lord knows those people who belong to Him, the Apostle Paul used the phrase "having this seal". Just as the Christians of the First Century A.D. were sealed by God's Holy Spirit, and thus became the Firstfruits of the Resurrection, it is my belief, that in accordance with the following verses, we modern Christians are likewise sealed by the very same Spirit:
"Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."
2 Corinthians 1:22, KJV
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
Ephesians 1:13-14, KJV
"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
Ephesians 4:30, KJV
"He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true."
John 3:33, KJV
Please notice the Apostle Paul's reference to "the earnest of the Spirit". I discuss this topic in considerable detail in the article entitled "A Treasure in Earthen Vessels: God's Promise of the Spirit". Thus it seems that from the time that we are saved, we are likewise sealed and filled. Furthermore, one of these days we will eventually be totally healed of all of our bodily afflictions, when we are given new resurrected bodies, and translated into the Kingdom of God's Son. So we are saved and sealed and healed and filled. I like that! Don't you?
Continuing our discussion, in light of the evidence I have presented here, I hope that it has become, or is becoming, clear to you that true baptism has very little to do with being immersed in water. As we have seen, baptism signifies being saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit through our faith in the atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who is the Lamb of God, and the only true Savior of the world. Let's look at that verse in the Gospel of Mark once again, and substitute the word "baptized" with the word "sealed". By so doing, we see that it really does make a lot of sense:
"He that believeth and is baptized [sealed] shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Mark 16:16, KJV
Why will an individual be damned if they believe not? Quite simply, because they won't be baptized with or sealed by the Spirit of God. As we learned earlier, this means that they will not be recognized as belonging to God. They will not be members of His Kingdom or a part of His Royal Household. To the contrary, such people belong to and are sealed by Satan himself. They receive the Devil's mark instead of God's holy Seal. Tragically, this is precisely what we see happening to unbelievers in the Book of Revelation. Consider this group of verses:
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:"
Revelation 13:16, KJV
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh."
Revelation 19:19-21, KJV
Regardless of what theological perspective one adheres to concerning the previous verses, the point remains that we cannot belong to God and Satan at the same time. It is one or the other. We must all choose our path at some point in our life. We are either sealed by God, or sealed by Satan.
Please go to part seven for the continuation of this series.
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