The Devil Locked Outside (Whole Article)
Conversion to Jesus Christ without a sovereign work of the Holy Ghost is utterly impossible. It is the Holy Ghost that is responsible for every aspect of our spiritual life, but nothing transcends the “sealing of the believer” at the moment of our new birth. This is one of those breathtaking ministries that is performed by this Sovereign person that has escaped definition in much of today’s theology. If you will put your life into the middle of this article, you will never be the same.
Let me list for you five unique things this sealing by the Holy Ghost reflects in your life. Before you read these five great ideas concerning this seal, note this passage of Scripture that places this truth in context. Part of this scripture is stated above, but now you see the whole truth perfectly stated. “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
(Ephesians 4:22-32) What a brillance revelation of our new life.
1. First, God’s eternal security program begins at this marvelous moment. While I am, at least, a partial Arminian and believer in the continuing free choice of man, choosing otherwise is impossible as long as this seal is secure. Apostle Paul described this securing seal and our responsibility to not offend the Holy Ghost that effects the seal. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30) This seal is like a signet stamped upon the Believer’s heart by none other than the restraining person of the Holy Ghost. This seal says to every alien power that might challenge your soul, “This is God’s property, keep your hands off.”
2. The devil’s primary action against your soul is to break that seal, because that seal bars him at the door. All the devil can do as long as the seal of the Holy Ghost is upon your life is to scream at you, cast fiery darts and attack this barrier that envelopes you like a spiritual fortress. No wonder Paul said, “Neither give place to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:27) The devil has no door into your life until the seal of the Holy Spirit is broken.
3. When you are sealed by the Holy Ghost, it protects the inner person, as well as the outer person. Apostle Paul told the Romans, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17) The Holy Ghost seal is not a distant act, but a personal act, whereby He actually seals your very spirit with Himself giving confidence and assurance of your secure salvation. This is the witness that satisfies the deepest need of security in the soul. This is why newborn believers are so full of joy and ready to testify to every person that will listen.
4. The Holy Spirit actually takes up residence inside the human spirit. Again Apostle Paul told the Romans, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:9-11) The Holy Spirit resides in you as the Spirit of Christ reflecting the finished work of the cross. Your spirit was dead in trespasses and sins, but the cleansing of the blood has changed that and now you are His possession. His seal would have no power in you unless He was there to enforce it. He not only seals you, but now He stands at the door.
5. The last effect of this seal is a matchless act. The Holy Ghost actually puts the identification of Jesus upon your conscience and will. The message to the Hebrews describes this clearly. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” (Hebrews 8:10-11) The seal of the Holy Ghost inscribes the laws of God upon your minds and your heart. A Godly life is the joy of every believer sealed with the Holy Ghost. The minister won’t have to badger the true believers with the commandments of God. The seal on the heart will reflect the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ and sin will become repulsive.
When I look at this fivefold work of this divine sealing, I understand why the early church turned the world upside down. Souls that are wrought upon by the Holy Ghost in this kind of finished redemption become saints of God, reflecting the life of Jesus Christ. “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6) This is not modern day religion, but total transformation.
The purpose of this sealing by the Holy Ghost is to preserve you defeat the enemy that would attack you, possess your spirit, take up residence, and write God’s laws upon your mind and heart. Salvation is more than a mental decision to follow the Lord Jesus leaving the person to fend for themselves. It is not just a theological system we accept as our life philosophy. Christianity is a brand new life. That is why the Lord Jesus chose the term, “Ye must be born again.” “Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:4-8)
The Born Again Life: What Happens?
The born again life is the supernatural work of the Holy Ghost. Everything that the cross accomplished the Holy Ghost creates in the believer’s life. There is not one act which the Holy Ghost reflects that Jesus Christ did not earn by His death. The Holy Ghost does nothing by His personal powers. He has chosen to totally deny His own will as He speaks, acts, and creates the work of Jesus Christ in our lives. The process of the new birth is totally supernatural and cannot occur except as the Sovereign work of this Divine person.
Before the Holy Ghost can put the seal or signet upon your heart and mind, there are other acts of Divine grace that must occur. The Holy Ghost can only apply this seal upon the heart and mind of that person that is born again. You do not become a Christian because you receive Him, you become a Christian because He receives you. The Scripture never suggests that you can receive Him by your acts alone, but rather that you surrender to Him, totally trusting Him to take complete charge of your life. It is a life and death commitment of the past, present, and future that He then receives from you and gives you the power to become His child. The gospel of John gives a clear description of this fact. “But as many as received (an intimate reception by someone) him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12) No one is saved by the single act of the individual receiving Jesus Christ.
The Holy Ghost must act as the Savior’s “vicar” or agent to work a divine miracle of redemption. He called this being “born again.”
Several things occur in this Divine transaction. Your sins are forgiven and removed from your eternal record. They are so utterly removed that the Father never remembers them again. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:16-17)
When He removes your guilt and sins, He imputes His righteousness to you so that your standing is as Himself standing before the Father. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Then, He renews your dead spirit that it might be able to receive the sealing of the Holy Ghost. Until you are born again, your spirit is like a completely dead battery, unable to be charged, revived, or to receive the truth of God. Apostle Paul said to the church at Ephesus, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:1-2)
When he renews your spirit by His Spirit, He adopts you into His family. You are no longer a vagabond, hopeless, and condemned to the death; you are now a child of God and fellow heir with all His saintly family. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)
What an incredible miracle. From death unto life, from the imprisonment of sin to the liberty of His family, from condemnation of eternal death to His gift of eternal life, you are a transformed creation. He does not leave this new creature to the wiles of evil and dark enemies from the kingdom of Satan, but He seals it and sets up a fortress of protection. You are sealed with the Holy Ghost of promise.
The Holy Ghost Is Our Comforter
The Holy Ghost was sent by the Father at the request of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus had said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son and He comes representing the trinity of God to comfort, defend, and preserve you unto the glory of God. Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23)
The seal of the Holy Ghost is the presence of God at the door of your heart. The Bible has so many wonderful things to say about the Holy Ghost and His ministry in your temple (body) and how He preserves and guides you in the glory of God. The Scriptures show us that it is the Spirit that quickeneth us with the anointing for victorious living. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)
In the little book of First John the Holy Ghost says, “This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” (1 John 5:6)
The Holy Ghost alone can bear witness for the Almighty God to human flesh. He was sent to be our helper and to lead us in every decision of our Christian experience. His one and only sword is His Word and He never departs or leads you into perimeters outside of that perfect Book. To even imagine that the Holy Bible was given to us by the inspiration of the Spirit and then suggest His departure from that Book is spiritual suicide. Apostle Paul stated, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
He is the Heavenly Porter of every obedient saint. Once you are born again and He seals the door of your heart, then He sets up watch over your life. Every entrance into your mind and heart must pass the Porter at the door. No wonder we feel uncomfortable when danger is lurking close by. The very presence of temptation will create a sense of alarm when His seal and presence is in control of your life. The Holy Ghost as your Comforter and Porter will not invade your will, but He will warn you with discernment.
This is an area of incredible Biblical truth. When the Father seals you by His Spirit, there is absolute victory in your Christian life. The devil is forever sealed outside the fortress that the Holy Ghost has established, unless you let the enemy break that seal. No wonder the Scripture teaches us to “grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30) Also, we are further warned, “. . . ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” (Acts 7:51). Again the Scripture teaches, “Quench not the Spirit.” (I Thessalonians 5:19) Such warnings should fill us with reverence and fear in our humble dependency of the keeping presence of the Spirit.
Nobody Has A Right To You, But The Sealer
The very moment you begin to move into a zone of spiritual danger the Holy Ghost will discomfort your spirit. If you ignore that feeling of danger, then you will weaken your sense of that voice in your spirit. If you hang around filth, people who have forsaken the way or follow false religions, then your sense of direction will slowly evaporate as the Spirit is grieved by your rejection of His voice. Our world is filled with professing believers that have absolutely no sense of this still, small (sometimes loud) voice.
The Holy Ghost never glorifies Himself. His total purpose is to magnify Jesus Christ in you. If you sense yourself becoming too taken up with the Holy Ghost instead of Jesus, then you had best look to see where the danger has entered your life. The Holy Ghost will not allow Himself to become the focus. Foreign spirits masquerading as the Holy Spirit will seek glory and emphasis on themselves and their activity. The Holy Ghost will not participate in any activity that directs the glory away from the cross and the Lord Jesus Christ.
With that clearly stated, we must remember that Jesus Christ is at the Father’s right hand. Everything He does to protect and aid us in finishing this race, He does by His Spirit that we understand to be the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. No believer has one reason to fear for His soul’s well being unless He has grieved away the Spirit and allows this seal to be broken. This seal is our security!