Signed, Sealed, and Delivered
“We are living, we are dwelling in a grand and awful time.” We discern the face of the sky and surely we discern the signs of the times. Let’s not forget last year’s (2015) signs:
1. Gay Marriage standing where it ought not in the supreme court
2. The pope standing where he ought not before the legislative body of the US Congress
3. The Jade-Helm military drill standing where it ought not right here on US soil
4. A first month solar eclipse and 14 days later a blood moon lunar eclipse
But there is another kind of sign that is far more important to our ultimate survival that those portending global warming or even a doom-laden election outcome: God’s signs.
The “lights in the firmament” (Gen 1:14) were signs to mark time.
A leprous hand, a rod-turned-snake were signs for Pharaoh of God’s power. The plagues that followed were increasingly greater signs. “I will put a division between my people and your people,” He told Pharaoh, as “a sign” Exodus 8:23.
Gideon asked for a sign, and then another one! Judges 6:17.
Jonathan proposed a sign before taking the Philistine garrison. 1Sam 14:10
The man of God from Judah gave Jeroboam a sign, a prophecy against his altar. 1Kings 13:3
Hezekiah was given a sign of deliverance from Assyria: two land rest years in a row, a 7th sabbatical year (release from slavery) and a 50th jubilee year (restoring inheritance). 2Kings 19:29
Hezekiah was also given a choice of the sign for his healing. 2Kings 20:9
Ahaz was given a sign from “the Lord himself…a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” Isaiah 7:14
The angel of the Lord gave the shepherds a sign: swaddling clothes and a manger. Luke 2:12
The Pharisees sought from Jesus a sign from heaven...tempting him. Mark 8:11
Here in Mark he gave them no sign. But in Luke 11:30 he gave them the sign of Jonah. In John 2:19 the sign was three days.
Judas agreed to betray Jesus with the sign of a kiss. Matt 26:48
The disciples asked him for a sign when the the temple would be cast down. Mark 13:1-4
Jesus said, “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars…men’s hearts failing them for fear” Luke 21:25.
But even more important than the signs of God working in events and time, are the signs of God working in His people, signs which also a seal.
Romans 4:11: Abraham “received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness which is by faith” because Abraham received the sign before he had any evidence of the promise. What was the promise? That in him all the nations of the world would be blessed. Levi was in him; Isaac was in him; Jacob and David, and Jesus, the son of David, was in him. And it was Jesus, the promised seed of the woman, who would bless the whole world. Immanuel, God with us.
Years later the children of the children of Israel would ask, “why is this done?” Exodus 13:8. Why do we put blood on the door posts? Why do we eat unleavened bread for one week every year? The answer: “It shall be for a sign to you upon your hand (that you do what God says) and a memorial between your eyes (that you remember His words), that the LORD’s law may be in your mouth” verse 9.
It wasn't what they did that delivered them; but their trust in the God who could deliver them—not just from Egyptian slavery, but from a life of bondage to sin and habit and fallen human nature.
That night, after applying the sign to their door posts, they were sealed inside their homes all night long. And the following morning they were delivered. They were signed, sealed, and delivered in exactly that order.
The blood on Passover was a sign, but it was not the only sealing sign. “my sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the LORD that does sanctify you.” Exodus 31:13
“I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.” Ezekiel 20:11. That’s what Jesus said. “If a man love me he will keep my word,” my commandments, my statutes, my judgments; and I will love him “and my Father will love him and WE will come and make our abode with him” John 14:23.
Ezekiel continues: “I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctifies them. Ezekiel 20:12. And again in verse 20, “hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.”
40 years later the sign was repeated. “These words,” God said through Moses, “which I command thee this day, shall be in your heart…You shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes” Deuteronomy 6:6-9. “And you shall teach them your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them upon the door posts of your house, and upon your gates” Deuteronomy 11:18-20.
2 Timothy 2:19 “having this seal, the Lord knows them that are His.” Those who belong to God are identified by having His seal, His mark. We’re familiar with the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” The Father’s Seal is being “Accepted in the Beloved” Ephesians 1:6. Just as cattle are branded with the ownder’s unique sign, so we have the sign of the Beloved’s name. The verse continues: “everyone that names the name of Christ.” Christian, you have the seal, the Name which is above every name, the only name under heaven by which men may be saved. The Lord knows you, you are His.
There is a close connection between a name and a seal. Jezebel “wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal” 1Kings 21:8. Hamaan wrote letters to all the provinces “in the name of king Ahasurerus and sealed with the king’s ring” Esther 3:12.
The blood was a sign; the words commanded were a sign, circumcision was a sign, sabbaths are a sign, The Lord’s name is a sign and a seal. For the Son of God has his Father’s name in him. “I am come in my Father’s name,” he said in John 5:43, “for him has the Father sealed” John 6:27.
The name is in the forehead, between the eyes, as frontlets. It is the name of the Father. And Jesus, the Son of God, will write it there. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God,” he promises the church of Philadelphia. “And I will write upon him the name of my God.” Jesus will write His Father’s name, His character, His law (a transcript of His Character) in our hearts, our minds (Heb 8:10). “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.” This is the New Covenant, quoting Jeremiah 33 here in Hebrews 8.
Nehemiah 9:38, 10:1 The princes and Levites and priest made “a sure covenant” and were “sealed” by separating “themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God” vs. 28.
God’s words in their heart, their soul, between their eyes, in their mind, would be a sign. And it is a sign again today. A sign and a seal that we must have if we are to be “the servants of God.” Rev 7:3 “An angel ascends from the east having the seal of the living God” verse 2. Who is the living God? 1Thes 1:9...turning from idols we serve “the true and living God, and wait for His Son from heaven.” The living God has a Son; He is a Father.
And this angel cries to the four angels holding back the four winds, “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” The servants of God will be sealed with the Father’s name written in their foreheads, in their minds.
Because they have “sighed and cried for all the abominations that be done in the midst” of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 9:4), a mark, a sign, is set upon their foreheads. Their joy has been to keep the commandments of God the Father, and to live by the faith of the Son of God because they love Him who first loved them. Signed and sealed,they are protected from the slaughter weapons and ready for deliverance.
They are “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” Ephesians 1:13. It is “the holy Spirit of God, whereby we are sealed unto the day of redemption” Eph 4:30, the day of deliverance. The earth, the sea, the trees will receive the trumpet judgments (chapter 8) but those with the seal of the living God, the Father’s name written in their foreheads, will be spared (chapter 9:4). They have the sign, they are sealed, and they will be delivered.
Grace and peace be unto you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the Father in truth and love. 2 John 3