THE SEAL UPON THE HEART, a Devotion for 13 March 2019 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death.” (Song of Solomon 8:6; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
While living in Korea, I found it useful to obtain a seal by which I could certify documents executed on my behalf in civil administration. It was a handmade device that would differ from every other of all seals in Korea. It was a common way of signing documents in Korea in the 1960’s and is still in use there today. But do we not use seals today on important legal documents in America as well? We carry contracts to a notary republic who places his/her seals to the document to certify that we have made it.
College diplomas and military certificates bear the seal of the issuer. In fact, treaties and agreements executed by the United States bears the Great Seal of the United States. That Seal even appears on the reverse side of the U.S. one dollar bill. It demonstrates that it was issued under the authority and auspices of the United States Government.
Cambridge Dictionary defines a seal as a device that seals the edges of a container so that nothing escapes; but also as a symbolic and legal seal of authority which places the object sealed under the full legal protection of the issuing authority. Although both definitions above satisfy the terms of the Seal of God on our hearts, I will dwell primarily on the latter definition.
In the quoted verse from Song of Solomon, the maiden and her lover represent the Church and her Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. Their union is sealed in love and, I will remind you, there is no power on earth that exceeds love in power. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) The only virtue of your soul that survives death is LOVE. In order to be an authentic love, it must be concentrated in the very Author and Dispenser of Love – God. “8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love ……. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19We love him, because he first loved us. 20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” (1 John 4:8, 18-21)
In a strictly biblical sense, the Seal of God is a Seal certified, not by our love for Him, but HIS love for us, for without that primal love of God for us, we could not have returned His love as an echo. “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Real love can only be expressed in terms of eternity, for it never dies. Pretended love, or carnal love, will certainly perish with its carnal object; but divine love, which is the only true expression of love, will never die. Love may be the one property of our hearts which can claim divine properties since it came from God and will return to God.
The most powerful authority in the world at the time of our Lord’s crucifixion was the occupying power of the Roman Empire. They, too, had a seal that represented their power and authority over those nations over which they bore rule. On the night of our Lord’s burial, they used that seal to make sure the tomb of Christ: “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.” (Matthew 27:62-66)
I cannot resist the urge to comment on these religious leaders and scoundrels who, knowing who Jesus was, attempted to seal His tomb and prevent His resurrection. You may say that they did not know that Jesus was truly the Son of God. How could they not? They were well informed of the Old Testament prophecies. Those were all that they studied. They were first hand witnesses to all his miracles, healings, and raisings of the dead. They witnessed these because they followed Him everywhere. They witnessed far more than most of the disciples themselves. They KNEW! But they failed to observe the counsel of David – “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” (Psalms 118:8) These hypocritical imposters were accustomed to getting their way through political intrigue and religious intimidation. Surely, the Roman Proconsul, Pontius Pilate, would be a fitting accomplice to their dark intentions.
In a sense, the watch of approximately twelve Roman guards under the command of a Tesserarius, served as Honor Guard to our Lord while He lay in repose over the Sabbath Day. No vandals could violate the tomb, and the guards would bear witness at a later date of the strange event of the night. God makes provision for every detail, doesn’t He?
The seal of the Roman Empire was insufficient to forestay the resurrection of our Lord. The strongest powers of earth are but as dust and clay in the hands of the Sovereign of Heaven.
Each steadfast and faithful Christian of the faith has a Royal Seal of God upon their hearts. It serves as both a fortress and as a Temple. It serves as the Temple of the Living God in which The Holy Ghost has made entry and bears rule supreme there. There cannot be room enough in a reprobate for the Spirit. The Spirit will not abide the presence of wickedness. He will clean the dark corners and lift the unbecoming yoke from the shoulders of the soul of His elect. It serves as a Fortress in protecting the soul from the insidious attempts at entry by the world and her tinted charms.
The Seal could not be purchased or gained by reckoning – it is a gift of God through the workings of His excellent grace. The Seal is kept securely in place by the preserving love of God for His elect. The Seal is affixed to our hearts and minds. The mind is the doorway to the heart, and the heart is the teacher of the mind. Where does God position His Seal of Justification to the soul of the Christian? If we believed the false bibles of the modern age, we would think that there would be a great mark or seal placed ON our foreheads. This is where the comical depiction of the number of the beast is being placed as a UPC code ON the forehead of all people. That is unadulterated deception. Though the ESV, NIV, and others adhere to that false translation, the Received Text Bibles such as the King James make a different reference: “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, 3Saying, 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 (KJV) “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” (Revelations 9:4)
It is clear to me that the Seal of God is found IN the forehead (the frontal lobe of the brain) where resides the seat of logic, reason, and judgment. It is in this part of the brain where we are compelled to obey the Law of God or the conniving’s of the world and its devil.
Just as the Roman Army had night watches, so does the Kingdom of God. He seals our souls and sets a watch over us during the night watches as well as the waking hours: “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” Psalms 141:3 (KJV)
The Seal of God is not subject to cancellation. It is a sturdy seal that will not be broken. It is this assurance that the believing Christian has of the certainty of his salvation.”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) He KNOWS His sheep, and His sheep know His Voice!
The testimony of faith is a gift of grace. If you have received this testimony in true belief, you are on solid ground:
“He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.” (John 3:33)