Author: Ron Graham
God’s Promise Confirmed and Guaranteed
—By God’s oath and seal
Having looked at the promise of God, we now consider how that promise was fortified by God
2nd principle: God’s promise is confirmed by God’s oath.
3rd principle: God’s promise is guaranteed by God’s seal.
1 God’s Promise
Before we look at the oath and seal, we should emphasise that a promise from God does not really need to be fortified. It stands by itself as utterly trustworthy and true.
As we shall see in this lesson, God’s promises cannot possibly be broken, because it is impossible for God to tell a lie. So his promise is “immutable” —it cannot be changed or cancelled.
As it says in the Psalm, "As for God, his way is perfect. The word of the Lord is proven. He is a shield to all who trust him... For who is our rock except our God?" (Psalms 18:30, 2Samuel 22:31). When God makes a promise, it is perfectly trustworthy and rock solid.
Yet God was willing to fortify his promise in two different ways...
2 God’s Oath
Although God’s promise is immutable (certain and unchangeable), nevertheless God has seen fit to confirm his promise with an oath.
¶“13For when God made the promise to Abraham, since God could swear by no one greater, he swore upon himself. 14 God said, 'Surely I will bless and multiply you' 15And so, after Abraham had patiently waited, he obtained the promise.” (Hebrews 6:13-15).
¶“16Now people swear by something greater than themselves. Moreover, in all their disputes an oath is the final confirmation. 17 So God desired all the more to convince the heirs of the promise that his purpose is unchangeable. So God guaranteed his promise with an oath. 18Thus, we have two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie. In the promise and the oath, we have strong encouragement to take a firm hold of the hope set before us.” (Hebrews 6:16-18).
¶“19This hope is our sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. This hope enters behind the curtain into the inner place. 19 Jesus has gone there as our forerunner, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:19-20).
This oath is confirmed in the Psalms. "The Lord has sworn, and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek" (Psalms 110:4).
In that verse, (Psalms 110:4), Melchizedek is likened to Christ. Melchizedek, was the king of Jerusalem long before the Israelites existed. Melchizedek was not only a king but also a priest of the Most High God.
Melchizedek blessed Abraham and received tithes from him, acting in both his priestly and kingly roles. This happened when God was making the promises to Abraham —especially the seed promise that one of Abraham’s seed (or offspring) would bless all nations and be King of kings. Melchizedek’s meeting with Abraham was symbolic in regard to the Messianic promise (Hebrews 7).
3 God’s Seal
Paul says that God’s promises are “yes” and “Amen”. That is to say, God's promises are affirmed and true on their own. When God makes a promise, it is impossible for God to lie. The promise by itself would have done. Yet, as we have seen, God wanted to guarantee his promise with an oath. But there's more! God has seen fit to further confirm and guarantee his promise with a seal.
¶“20For all the promises of God in Christ are the ‘Yes’, and in him the ‘Amen’. So through him we say our Amen to God for his glory. 21God is the one who establishes us with you in Christ. God has anointed us. He has also sealed us, and given us the pledge of the Spirit in our hearts.” (2Corinthians 1:20-22).
¶“13You also heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. You believed in Christ. Then, in him, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 14The Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance toward its redemption as our acquired possession. All this is to the praise of Christ’s glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
This seal is the third of the triad —promise, oath, seal— so not only do we have the promise or message of truth itself, not only do we have God's own oath to confirm that promise, but also we have this seal of the Holy Spirit given to us, as it were a deposit or downpayment.