SET ME AS A SEAL
Song 8:4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please. 5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee. 6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
This passage contains one of the most powerful testimonies of the love for God by the true church, represented by the Shulamite, the beloved of King Solomon. She not only testifies of the difference between her love and its relation to the daughters of Jerusalem, but she also gives the king notice that the love within her heart is the very same powerful love that he has for her! And she contends with him to set herself as the very seal of his great heart!
First we realize that the Hebrew word translated, “stir up,” and “awake” in verse four is the same word translated, “raised thee up” in verse five. So she is clearly instructing those mere church members that it was she, and not them who raised up the king’s attentiveness. And we see that this is true as pertains to the true, elect church of God! For it was the Holy Spirit, on behalf of the true church that raised up our Lord Jesus. Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Therefore she insists that the seal upon his heart, like the seal upon his arm, bear her image! The insignia of the royal king should be of her. Isaiah 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. Haggai 2:23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.
Dear Reader, THAT is a powerful prayer! But it is not without warrant! For she goes on to describe the powerful love that dwells within her heart; so powerful that it requires the king’s absolute commitment to her alone. For it contains the pure and holy jealously which she has for him which will not permit him to diminish from her a single degree! For the Father’s love for the church is the same as the eternal love for the Son! John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
But we must not overlook the import of her warning to the daughters of Jerusalem. For the true church is the only voice of the Spirit that the Harlot church has available to warn her of the dangers of putting one’s hands to the plow and looking back! So she warns them not to attempt to raise up the Lord by their own natural inclinations and emotions.
All attempts to involve ones self with God, who IS love (1 John 4:8), by the desires and energies of the religiously trained emotions will expose themselves to the worst shame and fate! 1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
For religion only deals with morality. And cleansing ones self of immoralities, with only a legal reformation, without the Spirit’s power of regeneration will cause one to be filled with more of the devil than before! Matthew 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Such matters as this will only attract demonic activity! James 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
One cannot deal with holy, spiritual things in the energies of the flesh and with selfish motives without dreadful effect. 1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Learn from the following example: Acts 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
One cannot repeat some religious phrase and think to awaken love, casting out the forces of darkness! One must POSSESS love, not just know and repeat the religious terminology in order to deal with the depths of God’s effectual love within the heart of mankind! For only Christ within the heart can speak of the love that is stronger than death! For Christ alone is sovereign over sin, Satan, and all the forces of darkness! 1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. Christ alone is Lord! Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Bride, as has been stated, is experiencing such a power of pure love that she seeks the Bridegroom to set her as the seal upon his great heart. For the awareness of God is manifest by seeing the elect believer as they abide in God’s love. Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The supernatural love within the heart of the believer sets forth, in clear evidence, both the experience of the spiritual birth and the manifestation of the Being of God himself! One cannot see God. But one can see the characteristics of God’s love expressing himself through the actions of the believers.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Religionists can accomplish many impressive things in only the energies of the flesh. But without God as being the love within their hearts, it is all to no profit! For we have read in 1 Corinthians 13:3, listed above, … it profiteth me nothing. For those who have opportunity to invest themselves in the furthering of Christ’s kingdom, but have not love to do so, shall have everything taken from them. Matthew 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Therefore one can have gifts without the love of God, spending their entire lives in religious efforts, to no profit! But one cannot exhibit the characteristics of God, who is love, without knowing that there has been a spiritual birth. For these expressions never come from Adam and the natural birth, no matter how religious. They are exclusively manifested by the Holy Spirit dwelling within the heart. Regenerating grace applied by the Holy Spirit into the heart of man causes him to become a new creation! For as the natural birth made him to be a physical human being, so the spiritual birth creates him a spiritual being!
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 8 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.
2 Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And the actions of a being are derived and expressed from his nature. 1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
If you turn a bumble bee and a buzzard loose in a pasture, the bee with fly to the nearest flower. But the buzzard will seek out a dead carcass! And they both do so according to their nature. For all activity is but an expression of the nature of the being! Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
The greatest assurance that God dwells within the heart of the believer is the manifestation of the characteristics of God’s love being expressed from within them in their daily lives! 2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. No other religious activity can fully assure, either it’s performer, nor those who witness these activities that anything of God himself is manifest therein. Neither baptism, nor confession, nor any good works can offer any assurance that God dwelleth therein. For these matters may be counterfeited by the angel of light (Satan). But the one and only thing he cannot mimmic is the godly love expressed from the renewed heart.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 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.
Pastor Gene Breed
March 3, 2017