God uses many different ‘signs’ in the Scriptures to reveal Himself, to direct people where they should go, and to establish His covenants with His people. Each ‘sign’ had a prophetic purpose and brought forth a response from the person or people to whom it was given.
“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).
God gave this ‘sign’ to shepherds at the time of Yeshua’s birth. They were in the fields at the Migdal Eder known as the ‘watchtower of the flock’ just outside of Bethlehem. Because these shepherds tended the sheep raised for the sacrifices in the Temple, they would have understood the prophetic significance of the ‘sign’ for recognizing the ‘Lamb of God’. As soon as they received the ‘sign,’ they went to find the Savior.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call him Immanu’el” (Isaiah 7:14).
The prophet Isaiah directed this prophetic ‘sign’ toward all young virgins in Israel. Many Jewish young women hoped to be the vessel for birthing the nation’s salvation through the Messiah. They placed their faith in this ‘sign’ that would bring forth the promised ‘Seed’. Miriam became the virgin who conceived and became the ‘sign’ to the world of Immanu’el.
Signs in the Heavens
“God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to divide the day from the night; let them be for signs, seasons, days and years…” (Genesis 1:14).
God created the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day as ‘signs’ for ‘seasons, days, and years.’ The sun ruled the day, sunset to sunset; the moon determined the months from one new moon to another, and the stars signaled the seasons of planting and harvest.
A week is comprised of seven days, each day numbered and rendered from evening to morning ending with the seventh day called Sabbath. The new dark moon started a new month and the counting of the days of the month. This counting beginning with the new moon establishes Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Feast of Weeks. Feast of Trumpets, the first of the fall ‘appointed times,’ occurs on the first day of the seventh month and a new moon. Once this day is established, the Day of Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles can also be set. The constellations governed the year as they moved around the heavens. Each year began with a new moon with the spring constellations as its guide.
Noach and the Rainbow
“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come. I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy life” (Genesis 9:12).
God gave Noah a ‘sign’ after the flood. The rainbow appearing and became the ‘sign of the covenant’ that He would never again destroy the earth and its inhabitants by water. When the rainbow appeared in the clouds, it would remind God of His promise. Rainbows still continue to appear in the clouds, a ‘sign’ from God that remains from the days of Noach and the worldwide flood.
Abraham and Circumcision
“I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner – those who are not your offspring” (Genesis 17:11, 10-12).
When God promised Avram that He would increase his descendants, He made a covenant with him and gave him the ‘sign’ of circumcision. The ‘sign’ in Avram’s flesh became the evidence of his faith in God’s promise that many nations would come from his loins. God changed Avram’s name to Avraham meaning ‘father of many nations.’ All of his male children, including Ishmael, along with his male servants entered the Avrahamic covenant through the ‘sign’ of circumcision. This ‘sign’ remains today in Jews and gentiles alike as evidence to the continuous fulfillment of God’s promise to Avraham.
“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised (the gentiles), in order that righteousness might be credited to them. And he is also the father of the circumcised (the Jews) who not only are circumcised (in the flesh), but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised” (Romans 4:11).
When El Shaddai made His covenant with Avraham, there were no ‘Jews’ because neither Isaac, Jacob nor Judah had been born. This ‘sign’ of the covenant was Avraham’s faith response. It was an outward ‘sign’ of the inward condition of his heart –– not a ritual conversion to Judaism which did not exist at this time. Because Yeshua was an offspring of Avraham through Isaac, Jacob, Judah and King David, he was circumcised eight days after his birth according to the command given to Avraham and his descendants. Because the ‘sign’ of the covenant, circumcision, occurred in Avraham’s heart before it was done in his flesh, anyone who puts their faith in the promises of God already receives the ‘sign’ –– circumcision of the heart (Ezekiel 36:24, Romans 2:26-27).
Passover and the Blood
“The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:13).
Through plagues of judgment, God began the Hebrews’ deliverance from a life of slavery in Egypt. The final judgment plague was the ‘death of the firstborn.’ Each Hebrew family sacrificed a lamb and placed it’s blood on the doorposts and lintel of their home. The blood would be the ‘sign’ for the Destroyer to ‘pass over’ that home. Families without the ‘sign’ of blood would mourn the death of their firstborn. To have this ‘sign’ on your home resulted in life; to reject the ‘sign’ brought death.
Sabbath and God’s People
“I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so that they would know that I, Adonai, made them holy. Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am Adonai your God” (Ezekiel 20:12-20).
God gave Israel a ‘sign’ that would set them apart from all other nations on earth. Observing this ‘sign’ would show the world that Adonai has a special relationship with His chosen people –– along with those who join with His people through faith in Yeshua. Keeping and guarding the Sabbath day is a ‘sign’ that yod-hey-vav-hey, the Creator of the Sabbath, is our God.
The Believer’s Testimony
“And these signs will accompany those who believe. In my Name [Yeshua] they will drive out demons, they will speak in new languages; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” (Mark 16:17,18).
Yeshua said that ‘signs’ will be a testimony of the power of God’s Spirit in a believer’s life. Laying hands on the sick making them well, driving out demons, being able to drink deadly poison, and picking up snakes are a few of the ‘signs.’ Do we have these evidence ‘signs’ in our walks of faith?
Speaking to Unbelievers
“Tongues are a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers …” (1 Corinthians 14:22).
Sha’ul (Paul) discusses tongues or speaking in other languages as a ‘sign’ for unbelievers. The purpose of ‘tongues’ is revealed in Acts 2 when Jews from every known nation gathered in Jerusalem for Shavuot. They heard the message of salvation (Yeshua) in their own language. These Jewish people needed to hear the message in their native ‘tongue’ so they could share the message they heard with their families and friends in their own nation. Because of the powerful event on Shavuot, Jewish people from around the known world became the first missionaries of Yeshua.
Sign of Authority
“For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of power/authority on her head to pray and prophesy” (1 Corinthians 11:10).
The woman’s head covering or veil is another ‘sign’ given in the Scripture. The reason a woman wears a head covering is ‘because of the angels.’ It is a ‘sign’ of authority or power when a woman prays or prophesies in the presence of these spiritual beings. Though few women wear them in western cultures, the ‘sign’ of the head covering has deep spiritual meaning. Women around the world who honor the ‘sign,’ accept God’s line of ‘authority’ to pray, prophesy, and have power when it comes to spiritual warfare.
Signs in Israel
“Here am I, and the children Adonai has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the Adonai Tzva’ot, who dwells on Mount Tzion” (Isaiah 8:18).
This verse was placed on a website of friends who live in Israel. They chose this verse because of its prophetic ‘sign’ to the end times when the Jewish people would be regathered back to the Land. Seeing men, women, and children making aliyah (meaning ‘to go up’) is a ‘sign’ that Adonai still presides over Mt. Tziyon.
‘Signs’ in Scripture connect us with our Biblical heritage. The rainbow ties us to Noach and the worldwide flood, an ‘older earth’ that experienced great judgment. Circumcision connects us to Avraham and his faith in the coming ‘Seed.’ It is evidence of what has happened in our own hearts as part of the new covenant promises. The sun, moon, and stars are ‘signs’ in the heavens the Creator gave to us to reveal His ‘appointed times’ and the prophetic revelation of His Son. Sabbath is a ‘sign’ that reveals to the world that we are Adonai’s people. Head coverings are a ‘sign’ that powerfully displays how the physical realm affects the spiritual realm. The virgin and the baby wrapped in cloths is the ‘sign’ that Adonai became flesh and lived among His people as Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel.
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