We have been in a series over the past year regarding the body and how it compares to the body of Christ.
We have spent time comparing each part and we have seen how each part works individually but also as a unit so that the body can live and grow.
Today I want to speak on the one part of the body that I have the most experience with – fingerprints.
In 1901, Scotland Yard established its first Fingerprint Bureau. The following year, fingerprints were presented as evidence for the first time in English courts. In 1903, the New York state prisons adopted the use of fingerprints for prisoner identification, followed later by the FBI.
Today we have The Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS), which enables law enforcement officials around the world to cross-check a print with millions of fingerprint records of anyone who has ever been fingerprinted around the world.
Take a look at your fingers.
Fingerprints are the tiny ridges, whorls, and valley patterns on the tip of each finger. In Law Enforcement they are referred to as loops, whorls, and arches.
They form from pressure on a baby’s tiny, developing fingers in the womb. No two people have been found to have the same fingerprints they are totally unique. In fact the possibility of having only one fingerprint that matches someone else is 1 in 64 Billion.
Fingerprints can change over time, due to damage or outside effects from work or your daily activities. These changes add to the uniqueness.
The only exception to this rule is in the case of mirrored twins, not identical twins. The term “mirror image” is used because the twins, when facing each other, appear as matching reflections. They have the same physical features but some are opposite. Their fingerprints may be mirror images. We have a set of mirrored twins here in Atchison County that some of you may know. The Paris twins are mirrored and the prints on the left hand of one exactly match the right hand of the other. We found this out when they both came in for prints.
Once the first was printed AFIS would not accept the other.
Like I said, there’s only a 1 in 64 billion chance that your fingerprint will match up exactly with someone else’s. As of 2018, there are only 327 million people living in the US and only 7.53 billion people in the world. It is hard to determine since complete early records have never been kept but some historians agree that since creation (Adam and Eve), or should we say the birth of Cane, there have only been 108 Billion people born on earth.
Fingerprints, everybody has them.
Does God have fingerprints?
I think that, at least figuratively, we have to say that He does.
Let me give you a few more facts about fingerprints before we get into the message today.
In about 2000 BC, Babylonians put fingerprints in soft clay to protect against forgery of important documents.
In ancient China impressions of fingerprints or (chop) were used as signatures of those who couldn’t write.
Fingerprints first appear on a fetus about four months into a pregnancy. So when someone tells you that these children are not people you can say that they already have a unique identity and they are people.
Each of you has a unique identity, take a look at your thumb, guess what you are all Thumbbody, and God knows you.
Scripture tells us in Psalm 139:13-16: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Even before you were born you had an identity and God knew you.
So now, back to fingerprints, what does a fingerprint do? Well, they positively identify a person.
A “latent” fingerprint, the image left behind by someone’s touch, (barely visible, but can be developed for study) is positive physical evidence that a person has been at a given location, or came in contact with an object.
So now, back to my original question, “Does God have fingerprints?”
To answer that question, let’s look at some of the body parts we over the past year have mentioned in scripture.
God has a face: Rev 6:16 says, “calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,”
God has a hand: In John 10:29, Jesus teaches, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
God has arms: Deuteronomy 33:27 reveals, “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
God has fingers: In Exodus 31:18, the Bible tells us, “And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.”
Let’s look back at this Scripture, the 10 Commandments were written by the “finger of God.” This not only gives a personal touch, but we could possibly make the argument that, in a way they are an example of the fingerprint of God.
Friends we are the Body of Christ. Ephesians 1:22-23, makes this clear. “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
The church is his body; we are the church so this tells us that as a body then we must have fingerprints.
So let me ask, does the Bible speak about fingerprints? I believe we can go to Job 37:7 and give a yes to that question.
Job 37:7 says, He seals up the hand of every man, that all men whom he made may know it.
(He Seals) I want you to remember that!
Now let me give you some definitions of some of the words from this Scripture.
Seals: A mark, seal, stop up, close up, make an end.
Hand: Among many other things, it is a thumb.
Know: To discover, to know by seeing. To know by sight.
Work: Action (good or bad), activity.
Now to help me make my point I want you to open your Bible to Revelation 7:1-8 and place the word “fingerprint” each time the word “seal” or “sealed” is used in the following verses.
Revelation 7:1-8 says, “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: 5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad, 6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh, 7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar, 8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.”
Again, let’s look at verse 3: Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.
Side Note here: I want you to think about nature, the land, sea and trees.
Can anyone tell me straight that they can look at the Earth, the Sea and the Trees and not see God’s fingerprints?
I myself have seen wonderful sites all over the world, oceans and mountains.
Andy, and the rest, can tell you when we were driving through the waste land of Kenya, dry and brown, I will tell you that to me it was a lovely site and I could see God’s fingerprints.
Let’s return to the message.
A “seal” or fingerprint is a mark placed on something to mark it as private, personal, or for security and preservation.
An example of a mark of security or preservation is found in Exodus 12:1-14, in speaking of the Passover. Verse 13, specifically says,
13 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 no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
When we bring Passover up into the New Testament we find Jesus speaking in Luke 22:20 where He & His disciples were at their Passover feast. He said, “This cup is the New Testament in My Blood which is shed for you.”
Again do you see the fingerprint?
So, what is this seal or fingerprint that I’ve been talking about?
In my study I believe that it’s a combination of two things.
First: A fingerprint, if you will, is placed on our foreheads in the Blood of Christ at the time of our salvation. Think of it like this. At the exact time of our salvation, the time that we actually surrender our lives to Christ, God dips His thumb into the shed blood of Jesus Christ and places that fingerprint on our forehead (spiritually) as a mark of security. When He looks at us in the future, that mark is what He sees.
We spend our life asking if we will be in the book, when we get to heaven, in this case we must ask will the fingerprint of God be seen?
Second: The Holy Spirit who was sent to earth by Christ at His ascension into Heaven, is to protect us, teach us, and to represent Christ on this earth until His return.
John 14:16 says, I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.
As we continue in Scripture, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says, And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal (or as we are now saying Fingerprint) on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Again I say:
Think of this a seal or fingerprint, as God’s mark of ownership. The Holy Spirit, who guarantees that we’re the genuine article, protects us and teaches us.
For those of you who get my email, you know we have been hearing from Ephesians and how we are new. I want to continue here in Ephesians chapter 1, verse 13, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed (fingerprinted) with the promised Holy Spirit.”
If you remember my last sermon it was on the restoration of an old car. With that idea, think of the paint on a car.
If the paint is applied without the clear coat, it’ll begin to fade and pick up impurities from its exposure to the weather, or in our case the world.
The clear coat seals the paint and keeps it pure and free from impurities, maintaining its original luster.
God’s fingerprint is our clear coat.
My friends you leave spiritual fingerprints on everyone you come in contact with. Ask yourself, whose prints am I leaving, those of Jesus Christ or those of Satan?
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 says, “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
We are God’s fingerprint for all to see.
Brothers and sisters, I want you to hear this, as a Christian (a part of the Body of Christ which we have heard about all year), you need to “know” that you have God’s seal (His fingerprint) on your forehead & that this seal is your security, not only from Satan, but from God’s judgment.
It’s also a mark showing God that you are genuine, the real thing.
In Law Enforcement a fingerprint is excellent evidence that you were at the scene. Only you no one else can leave your fingerprint.
As a Christian you must always remember that you leave a mark (fingerprint) on the life of everyone you come in contact with, and the mark you should leave is the mark (fingerprint) of Christ.
The Journey letter for today is J for Jesus, who left his mark on us so that we could leave his mark on others.