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The Sealing Of The Saints
he 7th chapter of Revelation speaks of a mysterious group, which is commonly called the 144,000. While various theological teachers and leaders contend with each other concerning the true identity of this body of people, the fact that they are to be sealed in anticipation of an impending destruction is frequently overlooked. It is that "sealing" which I wish to address.
The first item at hand is to recognize the concept of a sealing is to close, conclude, or even protect something from an external threat. It is also used to signify ownership. While sealing an envelope is very common, in ancient times, a king might imprint or emboss his insignia on the seal of a scroll (or parchment writing), in a fashion that denotes his authority.
I perceived an interesting analogy when I realized I needed to put a "sealer" on the deck of my mountain cabin, which is located deep in the rain forest of Oregon. Just like a coat of paint on the body of a car (which is painted on in order to protect the bare metal from rust), it's obvious I wouldn't want to seal my wooden deck after it started raining – a process that is somewhat analogous to closing the barn door after the horses have escaped. To put it plainly, the sealing should occur before the destruction begins.
Thus, in Revelation, we see a great devastation that is about to occur is put on hold until the LORD's ministering angel can seal His servants – presumably to protect them from what is about to happen:
"And I saw another angel….saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." (Revelation 7:2,3)
The Sealing Of The Ark Of Noah
It is self evident that those who are sealed have voluntarily agreed to receive this preserving covering of God, so to help us understand the dynamic of this prophesied series of events, we should look for a similar story in Scripture in which someone is sealed in order to survive a great judgment to come.
The book of Genesis has a rough analogy to this epic Sealing of the Saints, and it is seen in the fact that it was the LORD Himself who sealed Noah and his family in the ark. Predictably, this closing of the ark occurred just before the flood began to develop:
"In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark….they, and every beast after his kind….And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in." (Genesis 7:13,14,16)
Once we are able to recognize the parallel sequence where God warns of a great judgment, then provides a supernatural method of insulating His servants from the destructive event which follows, we can see that Noah is a prime example of the process we're describing. In fact, the book of Hebrews tells us that Noah's actions in response to the Lord's warning became a part of the cycle:
"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." (Hebrews 11:7)
Here we see some amazing things, for the Word of God not only tells us that Noah's acting in faith upon the knowledge he was given brought about the saving of his family, that same action had a part in activating the judgment that fell on everyone else. Note how the text says "by the which," a phrase which indicates his receipt of salvation also brought about the judgment of the world.
This principle tells us that when we receive the salvation that God offers, we simultaneously trigger the judgment that falls on all who refuse the redemption.
Two In The Field
Nowhere do we see this sharp separation between preservation and devastation more starkly than in Christ's warnings to the disciples concerning the events in the last days. Significantly, it is the story of Noah that Jesus uses as a parallel.
After His disciples asked him what conditions would be prevalent before His return, the LORD repeated the story of Noah:
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the son of man be. Then shall two be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other left." (Matthew 24:37-40)
Although the Rapture Cult has deceitfully manipulated this passage to twist it into a description of the fictional pre-tribulation Rapture, a simple reactive reading will show those who are left behind are those who were preserved. The comparison is simple, for in the story of Noah, those who "knew not" the flood was coming were those who were taken away.
Since Noah and His family knew the flood was coming, it is clear those who were "taken away" were those who died in the flood. In this most crucial prophetic understanding, this means when two men are in the field, and one is taken and one is left behind, the one taken is destroyed.
This clearly shows that the true Remnant body of believers is looking for a Spiritual preservation that will shepherd them through the horrible events that are prophesied to occur. Conversely, most members of the church are expecting to be evacuated through the so-called Rapture.
Because a concise analysis of the just cited Scriptural account plainly demonstrates the preserved are those who narrowly escape the judgment that sweeps away the wicked, those who refuse to acknowledge this truth are seeking to evade the tribulational events through the delusion that they will be physically removed from the earth.
The prophet Isaiah describes end time's "believers" who have deceived themselves through the cultic doctrine of the "Rapture." Isaiah describes this huge "Christian" multitude who tell themselves
"...when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves…." (Isaiah 28:15)
The Servants Of Our God
Because vast numbers of believers have refused the reproof of the Scriptures, and cling to the cultic tradition of physical Jewish Supremacy in God's prophetic plan, they have convinced themselves the 144,000 must be physical Israelites who come to Christ after the supposed Rapture. However, the New Testament adamantly tells us there is only one saved body of believers, and it is what the Apostle Paul calls "The Israel of God."
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision [physical Israelites] availeth anything, nor uncircumcision [physical Gentiles], but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." (Galatians 6:15,16)
In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul has already shown the only true Jew is an inner Jew, who has been born again in the Spirit, in Jesus Christ. Furthermore, Paul declares the physical Jews are no longer to be considered Jews at all, unless they are in Christ:
" For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly….but he is a Jew which is one inwardly…." (Romans 2:28,29)
There are many verses which plainly show the only genuine Israel standing before the LORD is the body of believers in Jesus Christ, for Spiritual Israel was born again into the glory of the LORD on a Spiritual level -- and a return to a physical (read racial) primacy is completely unscriptural. Thus, the real "chosen people" are the believers in Christ, and through this new birth in Jesus, Christians have become the only true Israelites -- both now, and forever.
Because the New Testament tells us "there is no male or female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus," (Galatians 3:28) it is inconceivable that God would suddenly contradict His own system of salvation, reverse course in Revelation, and place a pre-eminence on men among the 144,000. Thus, because Revelation's description of the 144,000 who are sealed tells us "these are they which...are virgins" (Revelation 14:4), the declaration of virginity is consistent with the Spiritual purity of the new life found in true believers.
Indeed, the Apostle Paul flatly states to those who have come to Christ under his mentorship,
"...I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (Corinthians 11:2)
Even Jesus Himself used the parable of the ten virgins to describe those who were waiting for His appearance, so the fact the 144,000 are seen as virgins within an Israelite appellation runs throughout the New Testament. Oddly enough, the false prophets of pre-tribulationism accept the premise of the virginal Bride of Christ who is joined to Him as the Bridegroom, yet they reject the truth of the Sealing of the Saints.
This is because God has sent them the "strong delusion" of the Rapture Cult that they should believe the lie. However, the only preservation seen in the Scripture is this supernatural anointing called a sealing and, just like the days of Noah, if we refuse to respond to the Lord's warning and enthusiastically embrace His Sealing of the Saints, we will be swept away in the judgment that is now at hand.
– James Lloyd
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