Sunday, January 29, 2023

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HomeCalvinism"Sealed unto the Day of Redemption” Ephesians 4:30

“Sealed unto the Day of Redemption” Ephesians 4:30 [podcast]

Sealed? Are You Sure?

Excerpt from the book Lie of the Ages

The Bible never says that “sealed” means un-sealable. Let’s explore.

When God’s Word uses the word “sealed” what does that really mean? What does it not mean?

No one said anyone saves themselves and yet the only One who can save requires that one repent and believe on Him for initial salvation AND also abide/remain/continue with Him to the end or perish (John 15:5; Luke 8:13, etc.). OSAS is a lie. Not biblical. It’s the cross-less counterfeits who balk at the divine truth that salvation is conditional and not un-conditional. What does “sealed” really mean as opposed to how it’s been misrepresented? SEALED? ARE YOU SURE?

BEWARE OF THE SEALED SCAM SAINTS: We are sealed but what does that really mean and what does it not mean? Jesus’ tomb was sealed, right? Are you saying He wasn’t raised from the dead because that seal couldn’t be un-sealed? Matthew 27:66 – SAME Greek word as sealed in Ephesians.

Define “sealed” from Ephesians … same Greek word as Matthew 27:66 where Jesus’ tomb was sealed and yet it was UN-sealed when He raised from the dead. So, “sealed” is not an unbreakable seal. To seal simply means to stamp.  

Have you opened a sealed envelope lately? You’ve been duped to believe that “sealed” in the Bible means that the seal cannot be undone. YET, the same Greek word is used in Matthew 27:66 when it says Jesus’ tomb was “sealed.” Was that seal broken? Yes, and Jesus was raised from dead without which no one can be saved.

The Bible word “sealed” has been completely redefined by false teachers to attempt to prove Satan’s OSAS lie. What does “sealed” really mean? Can a seal be broken? Yes it can – Jesus’ tomb was sealed and we know that seal was broken when He rose from the dead. Matthew 27:66 False teachers have redefined the Bible word “sealed“…. and are misleading others.

What does “sealed” really mean? Why do deceivers continue to impose false definitions on Scripture other than that they are a cross-less “ungodly men” who refuse to die to self and so are constantly looking to make excuses for their sin instead of truly trusting God to grant them His grace to overcome it? (See Philippians 3:18-19.)

“If you don’t believe that you can live in victory over sin, you’d better cross omnipotence off your calendar.” – Leonard Ravenhill

It’s interesting how these wolves tout the grace of God as if it’s a license to sin and automatically covers all their sin without their personal engagement, involvement. Yet they have NO faith in the grace of God to grant them power over sin through the crucified life (Romans 6:3-14). Are we beginning to see why they push this perverted definition of grace?

To a man who said that those who are born again are sealed and they cannot possibly lose their salvation, the following response was given:

Not true. SEALED cannot possibly mean that the seal is unbreakable. You’ve followed false teachings. JESUS’ tomb was unsealed (Matthew 27:66) and He was raised from the dead. It’s the same Greek word as “sealed” Ephesians 1:13; 4:30. Case closed. Jesus’ tomb was sealed then unsealed and He was raised from the dead. Anyone who doesn’t believe Jesus rose again is not saved (1 Corinthians 15:17). OSAS/eternal security is a lie from hell.

We see yet again in Revelation that a “seal” in God’s Word is never defined as something that is automatically permanent.

“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.” Revelation 20:3

In the verse above, we see that Satan will be cast into the bottomless pit and a “seal” will be set upon him for a thousands years and then that pit will be unsealed to release the Devil.

Steven Marandola notes: “Seals are broken all throughout the Bible…the Holy Spirit is the seal but one can quench the Spirit after willful unrepented sin (Ephesians 4:30). Every official letter in those days had a seal that was meant to be broken.”

Grieving the Holy Spirit after being sealed is possible, otherwise there’d be no warning of such (Ephesians 4:30).

It’s just one more example of how we know that no honest sane person believes OSAS. It’s just another example of deceit and dishonesty to deny personal responsibility in obeying Jesus (Matthew 7:21). It’s ALL about THEM, totally self-serving and they could care less about knowing and obeying the Savior they claim as LORD and yet deny Him the honor of truly knowing, serving, worshipping, and obeying Him. Paul says they are “abominable” (Titus 1:16).

IF A SEAL IS PERMANENT JESUS COULD NOT HAVE RESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD BECAUSE THE SAME EXACT GREEK WORD IS USED IN MATTHEW 27:66 CONCERNING HIS SEALED TOMB AS IS IN EPHESIANS 1:13 AND 4:30.

The OSAS false teachers are always seeking to find yet another way to prove their father Satan’s first lie. They are constantly grasping for straws.

The attempt of eternal securists to make the definition of “sealed” confirm their lie, is pitifully weak and completely fraudulent. Heresy. Foolishness. Sealing in the Bible does not mean permanence. It’s typical scam theology attempting to fortify a lie.

Some will say “but how can one become un-sealed after being saved and sealed?”

Simple: The question is not whether you can become un-sealed – that’s a moral coward approach. The question is WHO ever said the Bible definition of “sealed” meant that seal can’t possibly be broken? The same exact Greek word for sealed is used concerning Christ’s tomb which we all know was UN-sealed (Matthew 27:66). So “sealed” in Ephesians can’t possibly mean that the seal is unbreakable.

Don Deskins writes: “The Bible shows that guaranteed eternal security does not come on earth and that the essence of the seal is the name written in the Book of Life or the broken seal being the name blotted out of that book.”

To say that something SEALED can’t be un-sealed is to say that JESUS DID NOT RISE FROM THE DEAD! (Matthew 27:66)

Though so many wish it were true, there is no guaranteed eternal position with God until you are actually with Him, because you are responsible to “endure to the end,” to “abide”/remain in intimate relationship with Christ, or you will be thrown into the fires of hell (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; John 15:6). Those who believe they are un-conditionally eternally secure are following false teaching. he fact that Jesus’ tomb was unsealed clearly establishes that something sealed CAN be unsealed.

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 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 1:11-14 

One will find that the “sealed” teaching is prevalent among those who participate in and seek to justify the perversion of the grace of God using His very words, just as Jude warned us (Jude 4). Their teaching on being “sealed” is quite the occasion to privately interpret, twist and misuse the Scriptures. Those who are “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness” find much opportunity to exaggerate what the Bible states and does not state about being “sealed with that Holy Spirit.” Upon a closer, more thorough and sober look at the word “sealed” and in the context it is written, and of the whole of the Word of God, quite a different perspective should emerge.

It’s interesting how these wolves tout the grace of God as if it’s a license to sin and automatically covers all their sin without their involvement. Yet they have NO faith in the grace of God to grant them power over sin through the crucified life (Romans 6:3-14). Are we beginning to see why they push this perverted definition of grace?

Notice those who try to use the 2 “sealed” Scriptures in Ephesians don’t even want to know about this Bible verse below which gives definition to those who are truly “sealed” – as in they “depart from iniquity” instead of making excuse for it, instead of hiding behind sin-justifying false doctrine.

Joseph Gorscak writes: “Put it together people: ‘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)

Note in Ephesians 1 the Holy Spirit is speaking of those who have “obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” or word. His Word is His will and the fullness of His recorded Counsel reveals that the Almighty beforehand destined (predestined) that all be saved and live according to His truth and holiness. Yet, He never forces any person to believe or obey Him. Is it not the “purpose” of God and the way that has been predestined and not the person? The LORD told us clearly that He wills all to be saved and come to repentance and that none (not one) should perish in hell (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9). In light of this fact of Scripture, we know the LORD would not choose some to be saved and some to be lost. According to His own Word, He clearly has not predestined some to go to Heaven and some to hell. God so loved the “whole world” that He gave His only begotten Son to pay the full price for the sins of all of mankind – not just some (Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 2:2). Only those who appropriate His gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, by meeting the conditions He set forth, will spend eternity with Him and His family in Heaven (Isa. 1:19-20; Jn. 1:12; Col. 1:23; Heb. 3:12-15; 10:26-39; Rev. 2-3).

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to ALL men.” Titus 2:11

“Sealed” comes from the Greek word sphragizo which is defined this way:  to stamp with a signet or private mark for security or preservation. (Lit. or fig.) by implication. To keep secret, to attest: – seal up, stop.

A seal can be broken. A sealed envelope can be opened. It is conditionally sealed. This Greek word, sphragizo, is the same word translated “sealing” concerning the tomb in which Christ was laid after He died on the cross for the sins of the world.

“So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, SEALING the stone, and setting a watch.” Matthew 27:66

Christ’s tomb was sealed and we all know that the seal of Jesus’ tomb was broken, and He rose again. It was not a permanent bond that could not be broken just as the sealing work of the Spirit of God in the believer is not necessarily a permanent bond. The LORD wants it to be, yet will not force any saved person to continue to meet the conditions to be ultimately saved into His holy presence.

The seal of Jesus’ tomb was broken and so we know that the seal spoken of in Ephesians cannot possibly mean unbreakable.

As it is that the Father in Heaven alone could have broken the seal and raised Christ from the dead, so only God can break the seal He has formed. From His Word we learn that He will break the seal and loose the person who was once saved from His kingdom, if that person departs from the faith (Ezek. 33:12 -13; Acts 1:25; Gal. 5:19-21; Rev. 2:5; 3:16).

SEALED? Phil Kassees writes:

“Do not break the seal of your salvation thus becoming reprobate (fitted for destruction). There will be many that at one time who walked with the Lord, fell from grace and shipwrecked their faith. It’s not only that someone has come to the Lord at one time, but that they continue to abide in Him for all time.”

From the whole of Scripture, we can conclude that it is the divine intention that the subject be sealed all the way until the day of redemption and yet no individual’s free will has been removed or diminished. If one begins to rebel, the seal is in jeopardy. The term “sealed unto the day of redemption” in no way negates what the rest of Scripture clearly states. Those who take this to seed, take it out of context, do so to their own destruction.

Every believer is “sealed” when they initially get saved yet this does not prevent that believer from sinning which grieves the Holy Spirit of God who is their seal and brings forth spiritual death (Ezek. 18:4, 30; 33:13; Rom. 6:23; 8:13; Eph. 1:13; 4:30; Rev. 21:8, 27).

The person who believes in “once saved always saved” will say “When one is saved he is sealed by the Holy Spirit and no power in Heaven or earth can break God’s seal!”

One things for certain: If you die in sin, your doom in hell is sealed because the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” Ezekiel 18:30

“Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. 13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. … 18  When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.” Ezekiel 33:12-13, 18

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will …” Ephesians 1:3-5

The saints of the Most High God are “blessed … with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” We also read here that “He hath chosen,” not forced, us “that we should be holy and without blame before him.” Those who are “chosen” and choose to live unto the LORD are made “holy” by Him. If one is not being made holy, it is clear that he has no part with Christ (Jn. 13:8; 2 Tim. 2:19; Tit. 2:11-14; Heb. 12:14; Rev. 21:8, 27). God’s choosing of us who have trusted in Christ does not automatically determine that the individual believer will answer His call to continue to trust Him. According to Revelation 17:14, Christ will soon return with those who are “called, and chosen, and faithful.” God unfailingly does His part and the individual must do his part in which he will always be granted the enabling grace of God to perform (Phil. 2:12-13). The human will must never be factored out of the picture or there will be misunderstanding. Jesus told us that “many” are “called” yet few “chosen” due to the fact that only a few choose to be “faithful” to the LORD (Matt. 7:13-14; 20:16).

“Without faith it is impossible to please him” and those who “draw back unto perdition (destruction),” not choosing to “believe to the saving of the soul,” will lose out eternally (Heb. 10:26-39; 11:6).  

Teddy Caldwell writes:

“OSAS is a dangerous false doctrine. I’m not saying that those who teach it deliberately promote sin, but I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve personally heard it taught that Christians can sin in any way they want, as often as they want, and it won’t affect their eternal destiny. These people actually think that being sealed unto the day of redemption means that Christians can murder, fornicate, commit sin, etc, and they’ll lose rewards, but will still be admitted into heaven. But not all OSAS supporters buy into that saved in sin trash. They insist that such an individual was never saved to begin with. False converts are a reality, so that’s true in some instances. But that’s not always the case.”

To this position, Jeff Paton writes:

“There is no Scripture verse in Heaven or Earth that says that we cannot break God’s seal! Must they prey on the ignorance of their readers to get them to believe something the Scriptures never say in order to prove their point? Ephesians 4:30 warns us not to grieve the Holy Spirit, the very One who is our Seal. That is a warning that serves no purpose if there is no danger! Maybe they should take off their theological glasses long enough so they can stop seeing things that are just not there!”

It should be remembered that the Greek definition, no matter the scholar rendering it, is never more authoritative than collating the Scriptures in English on any particular subject matter (Isa. 28:9-10; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16). This must be realized or there is the distinct vulnerability to deception by leaders who use Greek and Hebrew to their own advantage.

Concerning this text (Ephesians 1:13-14), Donald Stamps, in the Life in the Spirit Study Bible, writes:

“‘Holy Spirit…the earnest.’ The Holy Spirit is an ‘earnest’, i.e., a first installment or down payment, guaranteeing our inheritance. In this age the Holy Spirit is given to believers as a down payment of what we are going to have in great fullness in the future. His presence and work in our lives is a pledge of our future inheritance (cf. Rom. 8:23; 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5).”

Let’s look at the last part of this text in Ephesians 1, verses 12 through 14.

“…who first trusted in Christ. 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 1:12-14

Here we observe that in this context, the writer of Ephesians speaks of those who “first trusted Christ” and this they chose to do after they “heard the word of truth.”  Trusting Jesus and His full payment for our sins is volitional (left as a choice to each individual). Those who believe, trusting Christ, are then said to be “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” The whole context here is that these who are “sealed” are trusting in the LORD. The text says nothing of those who “depart from the LORD” which is a clear possibility according to the Word (Heb. 3:12-14). The Bible has much to say of this and how all who leave the LORD by not continuing to follow and obey Him to the end of their earthly lives, will perish. Those who depart from Christ after knowing Him will have a worse time in hell than if they had never believed and been saved in the first place (2 Pet. 2:20-22). In this text, the sealing is clearly connected to one’s trust or trusting in the LORD. Carefully notice that the word “trusted” appears ahead of (prior to in sequence) the word “sealed.” In the divine economy, trusting Christ fully precedes and is a prerequisite to the sealing of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures teach that a believer can stop believing, that sin can separate him from God, and that he can fall from grace (Isa. 59:2; Lk. 8:13; Gal. 5:4; 19-21; Heb. 12:14-15; Rev. 21:8, 21).

According to Ephesians, the presence of the Holy Spirit is the earnest, down payment or deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession. This however does not promise or automatically conclude that the one blessed to be chosen and redeemed will continue in the grace of the LORD and be ultimately saved. The individual’s ongoing choice to love and serve God are controlled by himself and no one else. God will not force the free will of men (Gen. 6:3; Deut. 30:19; Isa. 1:19-20; Gal. 6:7-9; Rev. 2-3).

Let’s look at an equally divinely inspired passage of Scripture – equal in divine authority as Ephesians 1. And we know that the divine Person of the Holy Spirit would never contradict Himself in His Word. This will also help to balance and account for the whole divine counsel so that we might apprehend the mind of Christ in this matter. To see that departing from Christ after trusting Him is possible, let’s look at Hebrews 3:6, 12-15:

“But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end…Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you (brethren) an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” Hebrews 3:6, 12-15

Being “sealed” in no way exempts the one who has “first trusted in Christ” from maintaining obedient faith. He must “hold” his “confidence (in Jesus) stedfast unto the end” and not “depart from the living God.” The one who endures to the end must remain in the grace of God, not possessing “an evil heart of unbelief,” and becoming a “castaway.” A “castaway” is a biblical word for one who is cast away from God into eternal hell after being with Him. The very apostle who wrote these words in Ephesians did not believe that he was indelibly sealed into salvation in Heaven with no possibility of departing from the LORD (1 Cor. 9:27; Heb. 3:6, 12-15). 

“Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.” 2 Corinthians 1:10

No Scripture states that the child of God is locked into salvation. Paul says here in 2 Corinthians 1:10 that the great LORD has “delivered us…doth (presently) deliver us” and will “yet deliver us.” Those born again are presently saved, are being saved, and as we continue in His grace will be saved. This verse 10 must be taken in context (with the text) including the words which precede this verse. Here the apostle of Christ is speaking of those whose lives are truly in Christ. The words of verse 9 are the following – “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Cor. 1:9). Those who are saved, must continue in grace and if they do they will ultimately be saved into eternity with the Alpha and Omega (Rev. 21:6-8; 22:13). According to God’s Word Christ must reign in the lives of those who will be His now and forever (also see Rom. 6; Gal. 5:24). In relationship with Christ and by His grace and our own free will, we must sentence to death the deeds of the body that the resurrection life of Jesus might dwell in our mortal bodies (Rom. 6; 2 Cor. 4:10-12).

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24

In Ephesians 4:30 we are instructed to “grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” 

Grieving the Holy Spirit is obviously possible or such a warning would not appear in God’s Word. In no place does the Bible hint that the seal cannot be broken. The grace-corrupters assume such with no Scriptural authority.

The Bible truth that one can depart from Christ after believing makes it self-evident that God’s sealing does not mean that one who initially believes is automatically locked into or forced to remain a child of God and go to Heaven. This truth must supersede the conclusion drawn by those who insist upon a “once saved always saved” theology and therefore seek to make the sealing of the Holy Spirit a permanent thing without the consent of the individual.

There are those who vainly believe they are “sealed” in such a way as to exempt them from personal accountability or responsibility for their sins. This many times leads to gross irresponsibility. What the Word of God is communicating here in Ephesians 1 concerning sealing is that the Holy Spirit’s presence is in the one who has trusted and is trusting Christ. The presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer is the “earnest” or divinely-given down payment until final salvation has occurred when that person is in Heaven (Eph. 1:13-14). One must “believe to the saving of the soul” and be “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation to be an overcomer and receive the heavenly crown (Heb. 10:39; 1 Pet. 1:5; Rev. 2-3). There is no hint of an unconditional eternal security in this Ephesians 1 text where the Bible uses the word “sealed,” yet when dishonest men are bent upon convincing themselves and others of something, they will twist and spin Scripture until they accomplish this. While violating the text and intentionally excluding the whole counsel of the Word of God, these men make up their own doctrine and are leading many astray. These who corrupt the grace of God for their own purposes, vainly imagine that they are “sealed” in a way the Bible never describes or validates. The “sealing” they speak of is a sham – a sin-justifying lie, placing their souls in danger and at ease in Zion – “Woe unto them” (Amos 6:1).

The OSAS proponents are assuming something without proper biblical authority. They run with the sealing doctrine and yet cannot prove what they teach – Beware!

Be not deceived when men attempt to hold the Greek over you as if they have some superior position of understanding with the LORD. This is where they supposedly prove their error from the Greek. God gave us His Word in our own language as He promised (Ps. 12:6-7). Knowing the Greek and Hebrew is far inferior to knowing the full spectrum of Scriptures in our own language. Collating the Word in our own language – line upon line – is said to determine the divine verdict on any given subject (Isa. 28:9-10; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16). The LORD Himself clearly breathed His Word to us and had it transmitted to us in our own language from Genesis to Revelation. Numerous clearly revealed truths in the Bible overwhelmingly nullify the misuse of the “sealed” doctrine peddled among the deluded. In utter defiance of volumes of scriptural warnings, some convey by what they teach and do not teach that there should be no thought of eternal danger for the believer who strays into rebellion.

Philippians 1:6

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Some believe that this verse proves an unconditional eternal security. The promise to be kept and that God will continue to perform His “good work” in us does not negate the conditions cited in the New Testament to remain in His holy grace. One must walk out his love for the LORD by abiding in Him and His Word and walking in His light (Jn. 15:1-7; 1 Jn. 1:6-10; Jude 21; Rev. 3:15-16). The Word tells us that if one sows to the flesh (sins) he will reap corruption (Gal. 6:7-8).

Philippians 1:6 must be observed in the context of the whole book of Philippians and all of Holy Writ. In Philippians 2:12 we discover that these believers are those who have “always obeyed.” The promise of 1:6 that the LORD will continue doing His good work in these true believers was written to obedient disciples and not to the lukewarm who will be rejected by Christ in the end if they do not “open the door” to a real relationship and “repent” before it is too late (Rev. 3:15-16, 1920). This glorious promise of the keeping power of Jesus was being made to these true believers at Philippi who had actually obeyed God to the point of suffering for Christ (Phil. 1:29-30). This reveals to us why Paul was so “confident” that God was going to continue to “perform” His “good work” in these beloved saints.

Paul possessed confidence in these disciples due to their lives which bore witness to the possession of saving faith. These saints at Philippi were bringing forth “fruits meet for repentance.” Their works proved or were consistent with real change of life – genuine repentance and saving faith (Matt. 3:7-8; Acts 20:21). These believers who were promised that Christ would keep them were not some group who had embraced some easy believism, thinking in vain that they were “eternally secure.” Jesus taught that men are known by the fruits of their lives (Matt. 7:15-23). The apostle Paul said that these authentic disciples at Philippi were the only ones who financially supported his ministry at that time! (See Phil. 4:10-19.) We know from the historical data given in this record that their actions were congruent with their profession. These believers at Philippi whom the Holy Spirit gave this promise to in 1:6 actually lived the Gospel, unlike so many today who have made a profession of faith and yet have no visible fruit in their daily lives which is the result of obedient faith. There is no biblical promise of security given to those who are not rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ (Jn. 15:1-6).

Okay, as should be our custom, let’s look at more of the immediate context of this verse (1:6). This is essential to gaining a full understanding of the promise of verse 6 of chapter 1. We are going to now read Philippians 1:4-6:

“Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:4-6

Notice here that Paul says he prays for these believers who are actually in fellowship or partnership in the Gospel with him – “from the first day until now.” Note the words “until now.” Their partaking of the Gospel with Paul was current. They were presently living by faith. These people were authentic disciples, continuing to believe and even to suffer for the Gospel of Jesus which he promised would be the result of truly following Him (Jn. 15:20; Phil. 1:29-30; 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet. 4:12-14). They were the real deal and it is to them that the divine promise is given that God will continue to “perform it (His saving work) until the day of Jesus Christ.”

It is only the person that possesses a preconceived notion about an unconditional eternal security who could manipulate Philippians 1:6. This they do while isolating it from the very text it is divinely set in.

Romans 8:29

“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 8:29

Those who choose to believe are predestined to be conformed to Christ’s image. Romans 8:29 says NOTHING about anyone being predestined (pre-selected, before determined) to salvation. God so loved the “whole world” and He intends for all to come to salvation and not just a select few (Jn. 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 Jn. 2:2). The Almighty loves all men. Jesus died for all men, not just some men. The Bible says that Christ died “for the sins of the whole world” (1 Jn. 2:2). Any godless teaching that even hints of the erroneous notion of Christ dying for a certain few is false and should be blatantly exposed as such. When taken synthetically as a whole, Romans 8:29 reveals that the way is predestined and not the person. The LORD has predestined all who would repent and believe upon Christ to be conformed to His holy image while on earth and spend eternity with Him. Repentance and faith in Jesus Christ brings salvation to all who believe upon Him (Jn. 1:12; 3:16; Acts 3:19; 20:21; Rom. 10:9-13). Those who will be with Jesus Christ in eternity are “called, and chosen, and faithful” (Rev. 17:14). God does the calling and choosing and when men are faithful to His plan they appropriate all of His rich blessings. He calls all men to be saved yet only those who answer His call will be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). Those who will be with Christ in eternity are said to be “called, and chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14 reveals the consistent pattern to be observed throughout God’s Word. God made man with the ability of choice. Throughout Holy Scripture we see the initiating grace of God and the need for the one who will be saved to repent and believe upon the Savior and then to continue to be “faithful” to Him alone who is worthy of all praise. The LORD calls but each person exercises choice in response. In order to be eternally saved men are required to receive Christ as LORD and then be “faithful” to the end in order to partake of the salvation of the LORD.

Misusing Ephesians 1:13, there are those who vainly believe they are “sealed” in such a way as to exempt them from any accountability or responsibility for their sins. What the Word of God is communicating here in Ephesians 1 is that the Holy Spirit’s presence in the one who is currently believing, is the “earnest” or divinely-given down payment until final salvation has occurred when that person is in Heaven (Eph. 1:13-14). One must “believe to the saving of the soul” and be “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation to receive that heavenly crown (Heb. 10:39; 1 Pet. 1:5). There are conditions to be met here and there is also no hint of an unconditional eternal security in this Ephesians 1 text in which the Bible uses the word “sealed.” Yet when dishonest men are bent upon convincing themselves and others of something, they will twist and spin the truth until they accomplish it (Rom. 1:1825; 2 Cor. 2:17). While violating the text and intentionally excluding the whole of the Word of God, these men make up their own doctrine and are leading many astray. These deluded men are “sporting themselves with their own deceivings” and mock in the face of a holy God who counted their depravity and sins so vile that He came in person to live a perfect life and pour out His own life’s blood to redeem them (Matt. 26:28; Jn. 19:30; 2 Pet. 2:1-22). They vainly imagine that they are “sealed” in a way the Bible never describes or validates. The “sealing” they speak of is a sham – a sin-justifying lie, placing their souls at ease in Zion and leading millions to damnation – “Woe unto them” (Amos 6:1). Also, don’t be deceived when men attempt to utilize the Greek to supposedly prove their error (to prove their “sealing” doctrine, etc.). God gave and preserved His Word for us in our own language as He promised (Ps. 12:6-7). Looking into the Greek is not nearly as important nor authoritative as collating His Word in our own language –  line upon line – to determine the divine verdict on any given subject (Isa. 28:9-10; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16). Regardless of how sure of himself he may sound or what the so-called seminary scholar seeks to propagate, the Greek is not going to change what the LORD Himself clearly communicated to us in our own language from Genesis to Revelation. Numerous clear truths in Scripture completely invalidate the misuse of the “sealed” doctrine among the deluded who seek to prove that there is no eternal danger for the believer who strays into rebellion. Here are but a few:

  • Jesus told us that only those who obey His Word in a practical and literal sense know Him and will be in Heaven (Matthew 7:21; 25:1-46).
  • No person who dies outside of holiness with the LORD can see Him in Heaven (Heb. 12:14; Rev. 21:8, 27).
  • Jesus promised the 7 churches of Asia that only those who overcome sin, the world, and the devil through a real relationship of obedience with Him, will be clothed in white robes of His righteousness and in Heaven (Rev. 2-3).
  • The names of those who do not overcome are blotted out of (removed from) the book of life (Exodus 32:3233: Ps. 69:28; Rev. 3:5; 22:18-19). Note that someone’s name has to be in the book of life in order to be blotted out of it.

There are several lists of sins in the Bible with the warning that anyone living in such sin reveals that they are not in right standing with the LORD and will not enter the kingdom of Heaven unless they repent and return to Him (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-9; Rev. 21:8, 27).

While the Bible in no place assures that all who have truly been born again will automatically persevere to the end, I fully believe that the seal of the LORD includes His undying desire and His work to restore a wayward, prodigal son.

More from John Wesley:

“‘Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.’ Nothing under heaven can be more sure than this; ‘for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ And ‘though heaven and earth pass away, yet His word shall not pass away.’ As well therefore might God fall from heaven…(Heb. 12:14; Mic. 4:4; Matt. 5:18).

No one who is not saved from sin here can be saved from hell hereafter. No one can see the kingdom of God above, unless the kingdom of God be in him below. Whoever will reign with Christ in heaven, must have Christ reigning in him on earth. And yet as sure as this is, and as clearly as it is taught in every part of the Holy Scripture, among all the truths of God, there is probably none which is less received by men.”

Beloved, “the fear of the LORD is clean” and the “great peace” of God given to those who love His Word is priceless. He gifts those with His unspeakable blessings in acknowledging things just the way the LORD has laid out to us in His Word (Ps. 19:9; 119:105, 130, 165).

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10-11

PRAYER: LORD Jesus, right this moment, take fresh hold of my life. Consume me and keep my heart from being led astray by any false notion of men and devils. Fill me. Heavenly Father I lay my life unreservedly into Thy holy hands afresh. You must increase LORD Jesus and I must decrease. I am crucified with Christ. I love You my Master and LORD Jesus. I this moment choose to forget those things which are behind me, to reach forth unto Thee, and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus! Amen.

More on the Biblical definition of sealed here.

Can a Believer be Cut Off After being Saved? [podcast]

Can You Forfeit Salvation by Living in Sin? [podcast]

Rooted or Booted? Why Do People Fall Away? [podcast]

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