The mark of which I’m speaking is one a growing number of scripture enthusiasts are looking beyond in their attempts to go directly to the end goal of becoming one of the 144,000 servants of God. A prideful sense of entitlement has gripped some in the church who openly discuss their anticipation of serving as one of these translated beings, or, in Isaiah’s terms, seraphs. Although the scriptures, including the words of Isaiah, foretell the ministry of these endtime servants of God, the aspiring seraphs seem to equate familiarity with these scriptures with an obsessive expectation of attaining that high and holy spiritual calling.
Don’t they know that God translates no one except on the same basis he translated his servants of old? The backstories of those scriptural heroes show that far more than desires to save men’s souls led to their transition from mortality to semi-resurrection. The fact that these modern seraph seekers voice their ambitions, and even appoint one another, tells us a lot. In other words, if I had desires of serving God within such a calling, I would keep it a secret between God and me. I would ask that if that was indeed his will I would offer to pay whatever price was necessary to fulfill it, knowing full well that God would require it of me.
In fact, to ascend Isaiah’s spiritual ladder to the seraph level, we aren’t talking about only one mark these aspirants are looking beyond. “Making sure one’s calling and election” is a preceding level some have been fixated on. But after all their preoccupation with these things, I know of no one who has attained, or even could attain, these goals by making them their focus. On the contrary, that kind of looking beyond the mark has been taking many out of the church—as if God had provided a shortcut to heaven just for them. Why, we could learn more from the heroes and heroines of fairytales than from that kind of misplaced zeal!
Those I know who have had profound experiences such as seeing our Savior rarely voice those things openly on account of their sacredness. And that would be only a prelude to translation, which lies a long way beyond it. Their focus is typically on offering themselves as a living sacrifice after the pattern of him who redeemed us. The laws of God’s covenants that spell out what God requires of us on each spiritual level are their preoccupation and mine. If there are shortcuts, they lead downward, not up. In my experience, the signs that accompany spiritual breakthroughs seem always to come at times I’m not expecting them.