Sealing of the Spirit. What does that mean?
This type of study (a simple word study) is my favorite type.
As discussed in the previous post, when I was a youngin’ and found out about Strong’s concordance, I well near flipped with the possibilities. Computers were not available to me at the time, and the hard cover Strong’s I had given to me was a treasure trove of data!
This second part of the study, we will review all the New Testament verses that include the greek word translated as “sealed”
New Testament References
In the previous post, we reviewed each Old Testament passage describing the concept of sealing. Now that we will venture into the New Testament to discover how the Lord Himself, and His apostles understood the concept of sealing, I feel it is only correct to compare similar concepts of sealing.
Therefore I used the Septuagint to find the greek word used in the New Old Testament translation of the Hebrew text , (which Jesus and His disciples used during their lifetime).
In this case, when the translators of the Septuagint came to Daniel 12:9 and saw the Hebrew term châtham, they used the greek word sphragizo.
Therefore I am going to continue with the study of “sealing” with the greek work sphragizo. The following verses use ether the verb or noun of the simple word, and one strengthened verb (prefix of kata)
Σφραγίζω sphragizō – (Verb form of the greek word)
So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
The intention of the seal was to ensure that no one disturbed the body. But we all know the seal was broken!
He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
Setting a seal is certifying something, or affirming something/someone to be correct or true. The metaphor of sealing is a common one for giving attestation (Robertson’s Word Studies).
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 .
It is interesting that in the previous verse, men affirm the Messiah’s testimony, and in this verse, the Messiah is affirmed by the Father.
As an aside, the verse could literally be read … for this one the Father sealed, God.
When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.
Paul went to Rome with the intent of imposing fruit (delivering cash!) to the believers in Jerusalem.
Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
F.F. Bruce, in his commentary on Ephesians, gives us a good insight into Paul’s usage here when he states, “An owner seals his property with his signet to mark it as his; if at a later time he comes to claim it and his right to it is questioned, his seal is sufficient evidence and puts an end to such questioning. So, the fact that believers are endowed with the Spirit is the token that they belong in a special sense to God…Other seals, literal or figurative (like circumcision, the seal of the covenant with Abraham), were affixed externally; the seal of the New Covenant is imprinted in the believing heart.
As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.
Paul is speaking of the inability of man to keep him from boasting of the churches in Achaia.
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,
Note the past tense of the sealing. Also that the sealing happened after the believing. Very interesting! Can you tell what type of soteriology I tend to?
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
The sealing is for the purpose of redemption. Those sealed have the mark of ownership on their lives, and that mark is the Holy Spirit of promise. The mark is easily seen by others, (or at least should be).
What is to be said about the Christian who shows no “mark of holiness” in their life?
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
The angel had to wait until the believers were identified. The “mark” is referred to often in the book of revelation and many times it is referring to believers! See below
Rev 7:4 – 8
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. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
John was instructed to keep from writing the message of the thunders. He was to “keep it” from us.
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
The one who had a seal set upon him, was loosed for a little season.
And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Consider Daniels message in previous post, where he was told to seal up the prophecy till the time of the end. Here John is told to seal not the prophecy since the time is at hand. Jesus is the seal breaker – He is worthy!
(Noun form of the greek word)
And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
Circumcision is a mark on the body signifying Abrahams faith.
If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
The Corinthian church was the mark of Paul’s apostleship. Amazing that they would commit mutiny as they did, questioning the apostles authority.
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.
A mark of identity seen by all in the believer’s life, is one who is departing from iniquity.
Rev 5:1 – 2
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
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,
And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
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.
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
Additional resources below are provided for your convenience.
From G4973; to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literally or figuratively); by implication to keep secret, to attest: – (set a, set to) seal up, stop.
1) to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal
1a) for security: from Satan
1b) since things sealed up are concealed (as the contents of a letter), to hide, keep in silence, keep secret
1c) in order to mark a person or a thing
1c1) to set a mark upon by the impress of a seal or a stamp
1c2) angels are said to be sealed by God
1d) in order to prove, confirm, or attest a thing
1d1) to confirm authenticate, place beyond doubt
1d1a) of a written document
1d1b) to prove one’s testimony to a person that he is what he professes to be
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G4973
Citing in TDNT: 7:939, 1127
The Complete Word Study Dictionary
sphragízō; fut. sphragísō, from sphragís (G4973), seal. To seal, trans.:
(I) To seal, close up and make fast with a seal signet such as letters or books so that they may not be read (Sept.: 1Ki_21:8; Isa_29:11; Dan_12:4). Hence, figuratively of lips, to keep in silence, not to make known, with the acc. (Rev_10:4; Rev_22:10; Sept.: Dan_8:26). Generally, to seal or set a seal for the sake of security upon a sepulcher, prison, with the acc. (Mat_27:66; Rev_20:3; Sept.: Son_4:12). Figuratively, to secure to someone, make sure, deliver over safely, in the mid. with the acc. and dat. (Rom_15:28 [cf. Deu_32:34; 2Ki_22:4]).
(II) Generally, to set a seal or mark upon a thing as a token of its authenticity or approvedness; used of persons, with the acc. (Rev_7:3); pass. (Rev_7:4-8). More often of decrees or documents, to attest by a seal (Sept.: Est_8:8, Est_8:10; Job_14:17). Hence figuratively, to attest, confirm, establish, with the acc. (Joh_6:27 [cf. Joh_5:36]), followed by hóti (G3754), that (Joh_3:33). So also of Christians whom God attests and confirms by the gift of the Holy Spirit as the earnest, pledge, or seal of their election to salvation. Mid. with the acc. (2Co_1:22); pass. (Eph_1:13; Eph_4:30).
Deriv.: katasphragízō (G2696), to seal closely.
Syn.: kleíō (G2808), to shut, close; asphalízō (G805), to render secure; sugkleíō (G4788), to enclose, shut up.
Ant.: anoígō (G455), to open; dianoígō (G1272), to open up completely; lúō (G3089), to loose.
From G2596 and G4972; to seal closely: – seal.
1) to cover with a seal, to close up, close with a seal
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G2596 and G4972
Citing in TDNT: 7:939, 1127
The Complete Word Study Dictionary
katasphragízō; fut. katasphragísō, from katá (G2596), an intens., and sphragízō (G4972), to seal. To seal up. Referring to a book or scroll (Rev_5:1; Sept.: Job_9:7).
Syn.: kleíō (G2808), to shut up; katakleíō (G2623), to shut down, incarcerate; asphalízō (G805), to render secure.
Ant.: anoígō (G455), to open; dianoígō (G1272), to open up thoroughly; apokalúptō (G601), to reveal.