Message NotesFor Jews Request a Sign – Part 2 Page 1
Sunday August 14th 2016
For Jews Request a Sign…..
1). Ge 1:14 ¶ Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 "and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. [He made] the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
We had seen last week how on day 4 of the restoration of the ruined creation seen in Genesis Chapter 1 ‘God made two great lights’ and ‘set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’ – these 2 great lights of course being the sun and the moon.
a).But we had also seen that the light which would divide the day from the night was spoken into being on day 1 of the restoration - Ge 1:3 ¶ Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
And that which we had particularly noted here is that night and day [evening and morning] took place before the sun and moon were made. And this transition from evening to morning continued to take place for another 2 days before the sun and moon were ‘made’ - Ge 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
Ge 1:13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
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b). What we learned from this is that the passage of night and day was
not dependent upon the sun and moon, but was already taking place through
the introduction of light on day 1. The sun and the moon then were made to be
bearers of the light, or witnesses to the light from day 1, not the producers of
c). And we will remember from last week that the light on day 1 of the
restoration of the ruined creation is the re-introduction of the glory of God
that must be present if rulership anywhere in God’s universe is to be in view –
Ps 104:1 ¶ Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You
are clothed with honor and majesty, 2 Who cover Yourself with light as with a
garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. 3 He lays the beams of His
upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on
the wings of the wind, 4 Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of
Mt 17:1 ¶ Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led
them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before
them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
d). So, if the sun and the moon are not necessary to the production of
light to give us day and night, which from the evidence of scripture they are
not, then why did God make them? Well if we read the appropriate verse the
scripture tells us - Ge 1:14 ¶ Then God said, "Let there be lights in the
firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for
signs and seasons, and for days and years;
They are then firstly physical markers by which the natural eye can follow the
transition of night and day – we can see the physical sun set, marking the end
of the day and we can see the physical sun rise marking the beginning of the
day. And between these two points the physical moon shows the progress of
e). And secondly, inseparably connected to their physical presence, they
are for signs and seasons and for days and years. We will get back to signs in a
moment – it is then the apparent physical movement of the sun and moon
through the sky that God has given and used to mark the passing of time – 6
days and a 7th day, 6000 years and a 7th 1000 years – remembering that time,
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as we understand it, is peculiar to God’s restoration of a ruined creation
whether the material creation or Man. And again it is the apparent movement
of the sun that determines seasons - Ec 3:1 ¶ To everything there is a season, A
time for every purpose under heaven:
We are not just talking then about Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter per se, but
in the passing of these seasons we find the time when seed is to be sown and
the time when the harvest is to be gathered in – a profound cycle of events
that speaks directly to our own spiritual experience - Mt 13:3 Then He spoke
many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to
sow……………………..37 He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is
the Son of Man. 38 "The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the
kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 "The enemy who sowed
them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the
Ga 6:8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who
sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Here then from the physical world that surrounds us in each 24 hours
throughout the year is a constant declaration of spiritual truth that we should
not ignore – Ge 8:22 "While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and
heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease."
And we should also not ignore the truth that all things will not continue as
there are doing in perpetuity; whether it be our own physical life, the present
world system or the present heaven and earth. God’s purpose set out in
Genesis Chapter 1, declared with each sun rise, will be fulfilled, and inevitably
we will all find ourselves within the scope of that fulfillment – but exactly
what that looks like for each of us as always is dependent upon the choices we
make to faithful obedience while we are in a season to choose.
f). Each sun rise not only declares the certainty of God’s purpose but
also tells us we are one day closer to it; we have one day less in our race of the
faith, but another opportunity to be faithfully obedient as we see the day
approaching - 2Pe 1:19 ¶ And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which
you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns
and the morning star rises in your hearts;
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2). And so, let’s get back to ‘signs’ – the sun, moon and stars are for ‘signs’ and
as we had noted last week, signs are for the Jews alone - 1Co 1:22 For Jews
request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;
And this is something we can also demonstrate from 3 other signs given in
scripture - Ge 17:9 And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My
covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10
"This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your
descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11
"and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign
of the covenant between Me and you. 12 "He who is eight days old among you
shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in
your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your
descendant. 13 "He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your
money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an
a). This of course is the sign of circumcision given to demonstrate the
everlasting covenant made with the descendants of Abraham through Isaac
and Jacob - Ro 9:7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of
Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called."
And every Jewish male circumcised the 8th day bears the sign of the covenant,
that which was promised to Abraham and his descendants concerning a land
and an inheritance within the Theocracy; a sign that points to Israel’s future
beyond the Tribulation when the promises given to Abraham and his
descendants will be fulfilled.
b). Ex 12:13 'Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where
you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not
be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
Here then is a sign given through the blood from the death of the Passover
lambs, an event that would secure Israel’s deliverance from Egypt for the
purpose of going to the land of promise within the Theocracy; a sign that
points to the death and shed blood of The Passover Lamb –
Joh 1:36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!"
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That will in that future day, beyond the Tribulation secure Israel’s deliverance
from the Gentile nations returning them to the land of promise to be at the
head of the nations within the Theocracy.
c). Ex 31:16 'Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to
observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17
'It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the
LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and
And here we find the sign of the Sabbath, v17 giving us the inseparable
connection with God’s purpose seen in Genesis Chapter 1; a sign pointing to
the coming 7th Day of rest which will be the Millennial Kingdom of Christ,
when the Theocracy will once again be established on the earth with Israel in
the land of promise, healed restored and forgiven, at the head of the nations.
d). As we might see then these ‘signs’ were given to Israel and all point
to exactly the same thing and exactly the same time – Israel ruling in the
Theocracy over the nations of the earth, fulfilling the promises given to
Abraham, in the 7th Day.
e). This being the case the sun, moon and stars given as signs, would
also be for Israel and would need to be pointing to the same thing as the other
signs. Which of course is exactly what we saw last week as we saw the sun,
moon and stars being used metaphorically rather than literally - Ge 37:9 Then
he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, "Look, I
have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven
stars bowed down to me."
Re 12:1 ¶ Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 Then
being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
In Genesis Chapter 37 we see the sun, moon and stars used as metaphors to
depict Joseph ruling over his family; a sign that points to the day when Jesus
will rule over the house of Israel – and that day is the 7th Day when the
Theocracy will have been established with Israel in the land covenanted to
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
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f). And Revelation Chapter 12 prophetically takes us in time to the
Tribulation depicting Israel as a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon
under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head – and once again the sun,
moon and stars are used metaphorically to show Israel in the place of
rulership on the earth, being the preeminent ruling authority with all other
authorities being subject to her; a sign that once more points to the Theocracy
in the 7th Day and the fulfillment of God’s purpose for His chosen people.
g). All of this I think should be pretty clear.
3). Let’s continue with the subject of ‘signs’ - Mt 12:38 ¶ Then some of the
scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from
You." 39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation
seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet
Jonah. 40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great
fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the
These verses we might remember follow the Lord healing a demon possessed
man who was both blind and mute and we see the scribes and Pharisees
requesting a sign beyond that which they had just seen. In consequence the
Lord tells them that no other sign will be given except the sign of the prophet
a). Our Lord’s earthly ministry is marked by ‘signs’ that He performed in
the presence of the people - Joh 2:23 ¶ Now when He was in Jerusalem at the
Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs
which He did.
And these ‘signs’ as we have already established were for the Jews and were
inseparable from the message brought to the Jews by their King –
Mt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand."
b). And within this context the Apostle John has something very
interesting to say - Joh 20:30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the
presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are
written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that
believing you may have life in His name.
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Within John’s gospel we will find 8 specific signs that ‘Jesus did’ which have
been singled out from the ‘many other signs’, which of course would beg the
question, ‘Why these particular 8 signs?’ - a question that we will answer
during the course of our study.
c). But before we go there let’s establish some significant things that we
can learn from the verses from John Chapter 20.
d). Firstly, let’s remember that ‘signs’ are for the Jews and the signs
recorded in John’s gospel are for a specific purpose, that ‘you may believe that
Jesus is the Christ the Son of God’, with a view to having ‘life in His name’. So
who are those referred to as ‘you’, the ones who are to believe that Jesus is the
Christ, the Son of God? Well the use of signs gives it to us – they are the Jews.
Therefore that said in John 20:30-31 has nothing to do with eternal salvation
for the Gentiles, but is all about having ‘life’ in the age to come for eternally
e). Which would have to place the writing of John’s gospel within the
period of time covered by the Book of Acts when the re-offer of the Kingdom
was being made by the Church to that same generation of eternally saved Jews
who were alive at Lord’s first advent. And this is something that we need to
keep in mind when we read John’s gospel.
f). With this in mind let’s remember what we find in Peter’s message to
these same Jews on the day of Pentecost - Ac 2:22 "Men of Israel, hear these
words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders,
and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also
This is essentially the same as we find in the verses from John Chapter 20.
g). But let’s note something about signs – the word is often used in
conjunction with ‘wonders’ and ‘miracles’ which could lead us to think that
signs, wonders and miracles are 3 separate things. However, given the nature
of the Greek language the words ‘wonder’ and ‘miracle’ describe the ‘sign’ –
The sign is a ‘wonder’ because it is something out of the ordinary, and it is a
‘miracle’ because it is brought about through supernatural power.
h). And in this we find the marked difference between the signs given to
Israel that we have looked at today – the sign of circumcision, the sign of the
blood and the sign of the Sabbath – these are signs given by God to the Jews,
not worked by God through another.
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i). We would also find a great many manifestations of God’s
supernatural power, such as in the burning bush that was not consumed and
the 3 Hebrews in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace. But these are examples of
supernatural power coming directly from God Himself. What is unique about
the Lord’s first advent is that individuals, apart from the Lord Himself, the 12
the 20 and the 70 were all empowered to work supernatural signs –
Mt 10:6 "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 "And as you go,
preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8 "Heal the sick, cleanse the
lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
and this of course carried over to the Apostles and those in the Church during
the Acts period as the re-offer of the Kingdom was made - Ac 3:6 Then Peter
said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of
Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." 7 And he took him by the right hand
and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8
So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them--walking,
leaping, and praising God.
j). And again, as we see these supernatural signs in the Book of Acts,
because of all that we have previously seen, we know for certain that both
Israel and the Kingdom must be in the picture, remove either of these two,
Israel or the Kingdom and supernatural signs such as those recorded in John’s
gospel and the Book of Acts cannot take place.
k). And really this is very easy to see by comparing scripture – look what
is said concerning Paul in Acts - Ac 19:11 Now God worked unusual miracles by
the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from
his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of
Now the re-offer of the Kingdom found it’s terminal point at the conclusion of
the Book of Acts - Ac 28:25 So when they did not agree among themselves, they
departed after Paul had said one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through
Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, 26 "saying, 'Go to this people and say:
"Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and
not perceive; 27 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are
hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their
eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and
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turn, So that I should heal them."' 28 "Therefore let it be known to you that the
salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!"
And beyond this point, the same Paul that God had given extraordinary
supernatural power records this - 2Ti 4:20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, but
Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.
There is only one reason why Trophimus was left sick in Miletus by Paul and
that is that supernatural signs of physical healing could not take place now
because the salvation of God [the salvation of the soul] had been sent to the
Gentiles – the Kingdom would still be in view, now being offered to the one
new man in Christ, but Israel was no longer in the picture and without both
Israel and the Kingdom in view supernatural signs at the hands of an
empowered individual would be completely out of place – even if we are
talking about the Apostle Paul.
l). However, once the Lord has completed His work of calling out of the
Gentiles a people for His name and, in the antitype of Rebekah and Ruth, the
Bride has been identified at Christ’s Judgment Seat God’s attention will once
again turn to Israel and the coming Kingdom during the fulfillment of Daniel’s
70th week, the final 7 years of the previous dispensation, that which we know
as the Tribulation. And because during this time Israel is in view and the
Kingdom is in view we would expect to see supernatural signs once again
through the hands of those empowered to perform them - Re 11:3 ¶ "And I
will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two
hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and
the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants
to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if
anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have
power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and
they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with
all plagues, as often as they desire.
And as always with supernatural signs, the signs are the credentials of those
performing them giving authenticity to the message that they bring –
Joh 3:2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that
You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do
unless God is with him."
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Mr 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with
them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
And to give us further confirmation of what we see here we can take this back
to a first mention principle seen in Exodus.
m). But this will have to wait until next time – if the Lord is willing.