The Sign of Jonah
And the Three Days
By Pastor F. M. Riley
July 16, 2014
“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from Thee.
But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and
and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah:
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,
The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”
This week (July 6ththru 12th) has been a most amazing week where Bible prophecy is concerned. Those readers who pay attention to world events occurring should already know that the ancient city of Nineveh and Jonah, the prophet which the Lord God sent to warn Nineveh of coming destruction, were back in the world news this week. I will give the details of this momentarily in this study, but the question that came to me when this news was reported was, Why Nineveh and Jonah? and, Why now at this specific time in history?
Now our readers know the subject matter of this study. Let’s begin…..
The Story of Jonah
Nearly every individual you speak to, both lost people and believers, are familiar with the story of Jonah recorded in the Bible. The account of Jonah is one of the Bible stories which fascinates people, both young and old, and having heard the story they always remember it. I have no way of knowing, but I would suggest that the story of Jonah is one of the best known stories in the Bible, likely second only to the story of Christ Himself.
Therefore when the world news media focuses attention on the story of Jonah in real life in modern history, it ought to be important enough to require the careful attention of God’s people. Significantly, there have now been two recent major events which have drawn attention to the story of Jonah.
First, on May 8, 2010 a magnificent, great white whale suddenly appeared in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel. These great white whales are presumed to be capable of swallowing a human being whole, and therefore are presumed to be the species of whale which swallowed Jonah. Such great white whales had not been reported in either the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea since the 1700’s and therefore were presumedto be extinct in either body of water. It is needless to say, that the sudden, unexpected appearance of this great white whale revived interest in the subject of Jonah and the whale again. But there was more to follow…..
Second, this very weekthe ISIS Muslim terrorists fighting in Iraq, having captured the city of
MOSUL [ancient Nineveh], went to the burial tomb of Jonah, and, taking sledge hammers, began to destroy Jonah’s Tomb. This was reported on briefly by the major news media outlets all over the world, and was carried as “big time” prophetic news on the Internet. So let’s begin this study by re-acquainting our readers with the prophet Jonah.
The Character of Jonah
If our readers will carefully read the Book of Jonah in the inspired Word, it is glaringly obvious that Jonah, in refusing the Lord’s request to go to Nineveh, was something of a rebel, somewhat similar to Samson, who had lived centuries before Jonah, as recorded in the Book of Judges.
As God’s people study the Book of Jonah, the backgroundbehind God’s call of Jonah by the Lord should be recognized and kept in mind. The inspired Word tells us that Jonah first appeared in God’s Word in the days of Jereboam, the son of Joash, who ruled over the northern kingdom of Israel for 41 years, 2 Kings 14:25. This Scripture also reveals that Jonah was of the city or village of “Gath-hepher.” If our readers will consult their Bible maps, Jonah’s home town was located in the northern Israelite Kingdom of Samaria a short distance west of the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. Jereboam was a very evil ruler, and took the children of Israel ever deeper into sin and wickedness and ever farther away from God. The result of their wickedness was that the Lord God raised up the Kingdom of Assyria to invade Samaria as judgment for Israel’s wickedness in turning away from the Lord God of Israel. The Assyrians totally destroyed Samaria, the northern kingdom of Israel.
Jonah had likely been an eye-witness to all of this carnage, and no doubt was forced to flee to the southern kingdom of Judah in order to save his own life. Jonah may have even seen his own home and family and loved ones destroyed by the invading Assyrian army. There is little question that Jonah had been an eye-witness to the merciless brutality of the invading Assyrian armies upon his people. He might have seen Israelite women and girls brutally and repeatedly raped and murdered, some of them made to serve as prostitutes for the Assyrian soldiers, and little Israelite children brutally and senselessly killed without mercy, homes robbed, looted, and burned, and all the treasures of the Kingdom of Samaria carried away into Assyria along with thousands of Israelite captives which were forced to serve as slaves in Assyria.
As our readers study the Book of Jonah, keep these things in mind. Jonah had come through all of that traumatic experience of seeing his own people mercilessly destroyed before his eyes. This is the experience that shaped the character of Jonah. How would such a traumatic experience make any reader feel towards the enemies who had perpetrated such cruelty upon your homeland and your own family, loved ones, and friends? Well…???
And now the Lord God was calling Jonah to go and preach to the Assyrians in Nineveh. Nineveh was the capitol city of the Assyrian Empire. If any reader feels that I have overstated the emotional impact upon Jonah, I suggest you carefully study the inspired description of Nineveh in the Book of Nahum, and other places in God’s Word. Jonah, being a true believer in the God of Israel, knew, as he clearly stated in Jonah 4:1-2 that if he went to Nineveh and preached, and the Ninevites repented and turned to God, that the Lord God would be merciful to them and spare their lives, for Jonah knew that the Lord God of Israel is merciful and compassionate and long suffering, and has no pleasure “in the death of the wicked,” Ezekiel 18:23; 18:31-32; 33:11. After what Jonah had personally experienced and witnessed in the invasion and destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel, Jonah had nothing but hatred and enmity in his heart for the Assyrian people. Before any reader harshly judges Jonah, think about how you would feel towards the enemies of your people under the same set of circumstances. Well…??
When the Lord God then called Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh, and “…cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before Me,” 1:2, Jonah refused to obey the Lord’s command. It was not a case of Jonah not wanting to obey the Lord. There is little question from the context of this book, that Jonah knew and loved the Lord God of Israel. But Jonah also hated the Assyrians, and,
humanly speaking, with good reason. Jonah disobeyed the Lord for the exact reason he stated in 4:1-2. Would any reader, having experienced and been an eye-witness to the same traumatic experience that Jonah had suffered, done any better? Be careful how you answer, for the Lord God is listening!
The Lord God, who knows the hearts of all of mankind, knew that Jonah was not mentally or spiritually prepared to fulfill the call the Lord had given to him. Therefore the Lord God set about preparing Jonah to fulfill his call. Isn’t this true of every one of us who are believers? When we were first saved, most of us were of no use to the Lord whatsoever. But across the years the Lord graciously and kindly caused us to grow spiritually in His Word, and shaped and formed our lives by the trials and troubles and heartaches that He permitted us to experience. Glory to His Holy Name!
The Lord God permitted Jonah to board a ship going to Tarshish. In ancient times Tarshish was considered to be “the ends of the earth.” It was a great trading nation whose ships came from “the uttermost parts of the earth” bringing many trade goods, and purchasing goods from the Middle Eastern nations to carry back to Tarshish. Have our readers ever seriously considered who is being spoken about when the nation of Tarshish is mentioned in the Bible? Let me give our readers a couple of clues.
First, over and over again the “ships of Tarshish” are mentioned in the Old Testament Scriptures. So there is no doubt that the people of Tarshish were ship builders, building sea worthy sailing vessels early in human history, capable of traversing thousands of miles across the seas in order to carry on commerce by sea. Today, there is only one nation’s navy in the whole world whose sailors are still referred to as “Tars.” What nation is that? Hello!
Second, in Isaiah 60:9, the Lord God prophesied the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland. The inspired Word explicitly says that they will return on “the ships of Tarshish first.” Read it for yourself. For over 400 years the Ottoman Turks had possession of the holy land, and no Jew was allowed to even enter that land. But the Ottoman Turks were defeated and driven from the holy land in the First World War in 1917. The holy land was then placed under British Mandate [control] and in 1918 the very first Jews were allowed to “legally” return to their ancient homeland. The very first Jews were brought back to the holy land on a British ship. So what nation, often mentioned in God’s Word, was the ancient nation of “Tarshish?” Glory to God! How great and gracious is our God!
However, back in Jonah’s day, the men of Tarshish sailing the ship Jonah was on, were not at all happy with Jonah. The Scripture states that “the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken,” 1:4. Compare Nahum 1:3. The men on that ship were pagans, yet they had a superstitious fear that some of their “gods” had brought this storm upon them, and they prayed and cast lots to see who was the guilty party against whom this judgment had come? The lot fell upon Jonah, 1:7.
The men then took Jonah and cast him into the sea, “and the sea ceased from her raging,” 1:15. Were all of these events just “coincidence?” Sure! When donkeys fly! The God who created the earth and mankind upon the earth, is able to intervene in human history and the affairs of mankind at any time and place that He so desires! How big is your God?
The inspired Word then tells us that the “Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights,” 1:17. Even many believers today who read this, really do not comprehend that Jonah’s time spent in the belly of that great fish was the Lord’s way of preparing Jonah in order to prepare the hearts of the citizens of Nineveh to listen to Jonah’s preaching when Jonah would finally arrive in Nineveh.
How many of our readers have ever seriously meditated upon and thought about this? I have been in the Lord’s ministry for 60 years and preached all over this country. I could today go to any large city in this nation and began preaching practically the same message Jonah preached, and the people would think I was crazy and likely have me locked up and put away. Isn’t that so? Think about it!
But that is not what happened when Jonah entered Nineveh! When Jonah entered that city, the
entire population of Nineveh “believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them,” 3:1-5. Even the king ruling over Nineveh “arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him [self]with sackcloth, and set in ashes,” 3:6. And being in the position of ruler over the city, he commanded the entire population of the city, along with their beasts, their herds and flocks, to fast and be covered with sackcloth, “and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands,” 3:7-9.
Folks, there are still a few good “hell fire and brimstone” preachers today, but none of them have this kind of power in their preaching. They can only wish that their preaching had such power to bring about this kind of conviction among those to whom they preach. What was so different about Jonah’s preaching that it provoked such a reaction among the inhabitants of Nineveh? I’m so glad you asked!
Jonah in the Fish’s Belly
I am appalled at how many “professing Christians” today, including many preachers and pastors, when discussing Jonah, tell everyone who will listen, loud and long, about the great miracle performed by the Lord in keeping Jonah alive in the belly of the great fish for three whole days and nights. Such shallow Bible study on the part of those claiming to be true “Christian believers” makes me want to weep with Jeremiah, for it is a shame to God’s people.
Without apology to any reader, the Lord God of Heaven DID NOT keep Jonah alive in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights. Don’t some readers even pay attention to what they read in the wonderful word of God?
In 2:1 it is explicitly stated [in the present tense] that Jonah prayed to the Lord “out of the fish’s belly.” But then in 2:2 [in the past tense] Jonah refers to a prayer that he had previously prayed “out of the belly of hell [sheol].” Sheol is the place in the underworld where the spirit or soul of the deceased went while humanity was still living under the Old Covenant. Further, Jonah described in detail exactly how he had died after being cast into the sea.
Jonah plainly stated that “The waters compassed [encircled] me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head,” 2:5. It should be obvious to any reader that water does not enter into our soul, unless we have drowned. When any reader takes a bath or a shower, the water is used to cleanse the skin or outward surface of our body. There is no way we could honestly say that the water entered into our soul, unless we possibly slipped in the bathtub, knocked ourselves unconscious, and drowned in the bath water. Notice that Jonah further said, “the weeds were wrapped about my head.” If the sea weeds were wrapped tightly about Jonah’s head, he would have suffocated. Whether Jonah drowned or suffocated, Jonah died in the belly of the fish. PERIOD!
In 2:3 Jonah explicitly stated that the Lord had cast him “into the deep” [abyss…bottomless pit]. Compare the wording of this Scripture with what is prophesied about the Lord Jesus Himself in Psalm 42:6-7 and 88:1-18. Jonah was a type of Christ! This is clearly set forth by the Lord Himself in Matthew 12:40-42. Now let’s see this truth demonstrated…..
When Jonah was swallowed by the “great fish,” body and soul, Jonah’s body spent three days and three nights in the belly of that fish, while Jonah’s soul went down into sheol in the lower parts of the earth. Any reader who has ever studied even a little bit about the digestive system of living creatures should know that the digestive system breaks down the food received into the stomach by means of small amounts of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. I think the stomach of a great white whale would contain much more hydrochloric acid in it, than the stomach of a mere human being. For three days and three nights the hydrochloric acid in the stomach of that great white whale burned the body of Jonah. While the Lord kept the body of Jonah from being destroyed, nevertheless Jonah’s body was seared with the stomach acid of that great fish. Think about it!
After “three days and three nights” in the belly of the great fish, Jonah was finally “vomited out” by the fish, 2:10. The Lord God had brought Jonah’s soul back into his body and restored life to Jonah’s body, 2:6. Now there is the great miracle that needs to be associated with Jonah, the miracle
of the resurrection. Which is greater, keeping Jonah alive in the belly of the fish, or resurrecting Jonah’s dead body back to life? Well…??
Jonah would then have been absolutely grotesque in appearance. All of Jonah’s hair would have been burned from off his body by the stomach acids of the fish. He would not have had a hair left on his body anywhere. Even his eyebrows would be gone, causing him to look totally different from other men. Jonah’s flesh, from the top of his head to the soul of his feet, would have been seared by the stomach acids of the fish, so that parts of Jonah’s body would have appeared as deep bloody red, other parts deep bruised purple or blue, deep ghastly green, or some parts snow white. Jonah’s appearance would have been absolutely hideous to the men of Nineveh. He would have literally looked like a monster of a man who had been to hell and back, and had returned from the dead. At that point in human history, I would suggest that the body and face of Jonah appeared, similar to the Lord Jesus Christ after him, “marred more than any man,” Isaiah 52:14. Remember that the Lord Himself set forth Jonah’s whole experience as a type of the experience of Christ, Matthew 12:40-42. The Lord God had prepared Jonah to preach to the inhabitants of Nineveh, so that Jonah’s very appearance would compel the citizens of Nineveh to listen to him.
Jonah in Nineveh
When Jonah then entered into the city of Nineveh, with a little sanctified imagination, I can even imagine that the little children playing in the streets, upon setting their eyes upon Jonah, ran screaming to their mothers and fathers in absolute terror of Jonah. Then when Jonah opened his mouth and began preaching [crying out] to the citizens of Nineveh, “yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them,” 3:5. It is obvious that the Lord used both the Word preached by Jonah and the appearance of Jonah as a powerful message to instill Godly fear in the people of Nineveh. Again, remember that Jonah was a type of Christ.
After the resurrection of Christ, the Lord appeared numerous times to His disciples. Time after time it is recorded in the Scriptures that even His disciples fell on their faces in fear and trembling before Him, not because of any grotesque appearance of the Lord, but rather because they realized that they, still dwelling in a corruptible body of sinful flesh, were in the presence of absolute Holiness, Purity, and Righteousness, Acts 9:3-9; Revelation 1:17. And so shall we New Covenant believers bow before Him when we see Him for ourselves at the resurrection and rapture. Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
As Jonah preached in Nineveh, the entire city of Nineveh repented of their wickedness and turned to the Lord. What a soul winning revival occurred in Nineveh at that time! I can almost envy Jonah for the power of God set forth in his preaching. Preachers, true men of God, would it not be wonderful to preach with such power that an entire city would turn to the Lord? You know it would!
Yet Jonah was not the least bit happy about it. And Jonah’s unhappiness is what led to…..
Jonah’s Death in Nineveh
Yes, men have often discussed what happened to Jonah after he had preached to the inhabitants of Nineveh. I have been told many times that God’s Word does not tell us about the remainder of the life of Jonah or his death, and Biblical history only speculates about what happened to Jonah after his experience in Nineveh. I beg to differ!
Jonah is the classical example of a believer who becomes mad at God. I have met Christian people across the years who for some reason had become mad at God. What utter foolishness! What a futile waste of time and energy.
But Jonah was not just mad at God. Jonah was absolutely outraged at God for having shown such mercy to the bitter enemies of Jonah and his Israelite people. In 4:1-2 Jonah told the Lord why he had fled from Him when the Lord first commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh. Then in 4:3, Jonah asked the Lord, “Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech [beg] Thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah, on this occasion, was a perfect example of the hypocritical inconsistency of men. Jonah, being cast into the sea and swallowed by the fish began begging God to spare his life.
And God did! But then Jonah became so angry with God, that he begged God to take his life. D-u-u-h! The Lord at that time mildly rebuked Jonah, asking Jonah if he was doing well in being angry, 4:4. At that time Jonah did not answer the Lord, but rather went out of Nineveh and built himself a “booth,”[Succoth]. The “booth” may or may not be an indication of the time of the year on the Jewish calendar that this took place. I don’t know the answer to that question.
Rather, the Scriptures here most certainly indicate that this event in the life of Jonah occurred during the spring or summer growing season, for the Lord caused a gourd vine to grow up over the head of Jonah to shade Jonah from the heat of the Sun. Notice carefully that Jonah “was exceeding glad of the gourd,” 3:6. A little serious Bible study will reveal that this “gourd” is a type of the future anti-christ, under whose shadow Israel and the Jewish people will rejoice for a season, John 5:43. Notice that the Lord caused this “gourd” to come up “in a night, and [it]perished in a night,” 4:10. This is exactly what is prophesied in God’s Word about the anti-christ coming on the world scene. The anti-christ will be revealed in the first half of the Tribulation, and will perish in the last half of the Tribulation, which are the two darkest hours of this world’s night, Revelation 3:10. For further insight into this subject, feel free to request my study entitled The Two Hours.
Then in 4:8 the inspired Word explicitly states that Jonah “wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.” Once again, the Lord asked Jonah, “Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd?” Jonah then answered the Lord, “I do well to be angry, even unto death.” Notice this statement carefully. The word “unto” as used in both the Old and New Testaments literally means “into the very state of.” In other words, Jonah was so angry with God that he willed himself into the very state of death. And Jonah died! Right there in the city of Nineveh.
Even many Christian people are not aware that Jonah, at the conclusion of his ministry to Nineveh, died in the city of Nineveh and was buried there. Read Jonah 4 again, and this time pay careful attention to verse 3, and verses 8-9 and remember that you are dealing with the Divinely Inspired Word of God. Jonah had become so enraged over God showing such mercy upon the bitter enemies of Israel and the Jewish people, that Jonah had no desire to even live any longer, and willed himself into the state of death. The exact cause of Jonah’s death is not stated in the Scriptures, but Jonah was so emotionally enraged at God that he likely went into cardiac arrest and died, and this time the Lord God did not see fit to spare his life.
Jonah’s Tomb in Nineveh
Even while Jonah was raging in anger against God for sparing the Ninevites, the people of Nineveh were rejoicing and thanking God for sending Jonah to them. The citizens of Nineveh at that time, were so grateful for the grace and mercy of God poured out upon them by Jonah’s preaching, that they built a beautiful tomb for Jonah’s burying place and buried Jonah right there in the heart of the city of Nineveh. I have now seen video pictures of Jonah’s tomb in the city of Nineveh. The casket or sarcophagus was made of stone and the lid or top was covered in a beautiful green glazed mosaic of some sort. It must have taken much effort and money on the part of the citizens of Nineveh to build such a beautiful tomb for this wild looking prophet of the Lord whose preaching had resulted in the salvation of the entire population of Nineveh, and kept them and their city from being destroyed by the anger and righteous judgment of the Lord. Jonah may have been a poor prophet of the Lord God during his life time, but the citizens of Nineveh back then saw to it that he was buried in a rich man’s tomb. Another vivid type of Christ! Read Matthew 27:57-60. Hello! Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
That should have ended the story of Jonah, but it didn’t! The experience of Jonah was continued in:
The Experience and Resurrection of Christ
In Matthew 12:38-42 it is recorded how the scribes and Pharisees came to the Lord Jesus Christ asking for Him to show them a “sign” as proof that He was their long awaited promised Messiah. The Lord God replied to them by telling them that no “sign” would be given to them except the “sign of the prophet Jonah,” 12:39. A careful study of this account will be a blessing to any true believer.
Basically, the Lord pointed out that what had happened to Jonah would also happen to “the Son of man” [Christ Himself]. And it did!
Just as Jonah spent three days and three nights in Sheol [the place of departed spirits in the underworld], so likewise Christ would spend “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,” Matthew 12:40. Compare Psalm 16:9-10, 18:1-6, 86:12-13, 88:1-8, Acts 2:25-32 and Ephesians 4:9.
Then just as Jonah was resurrected back to life and vomited out of the fish’s mouth as the three days and three nights he had spent in the fish’s belly came to an end, so the Lord Jesus Christ was bodily and visibly resurrected as the three days and three nights ended that His body had been in the tomb. Glory to God!
By the way, the “three days and three nights” that Jonah was in the belly of the fish, and the Lord’s own statement about being “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,” in like manner to Jonah, not only confirms the truth about Jonah, but it also refutes the “false teaching” of the Roman church [religion] that Christ was crucified on Friday and raised on the Jewish Sabbath. Such a wicked claim is unadulterated HOGWASH! Remember that when comparing the Jewish calendar with our Gentile calendar, each new day on the Jewish calendar begins at Sundown the previous day. Christ Jesus our Lord was crucified on Wednesday, and His body was placed in the tomb by or before 6 p.m. that day when Wednesday ended and Thursday began. So in reference to the Jewish calendar, the body of Christ was in the tomb Thursday night, Thursday day, Friday night, Friday day, Saturday night, and Saturday day. Christ arose from the grave precisely as Saturday was ending and Sunday was beginning, Matthew 28:1. Exactly 72 hours!
Significantly, I have in my personal library a Greek Interlinear New Testament, Textus Receptus, Dr. George Ricker Berry’s edition. In Matthew 12:39 where Christ Jesus began speaking about Jonah, and extending through 12:41 where Christ last mentioned Jonah, the Lord used exactly 72 Greek words to make His Statement. Glory! Get a copy and check this out for yourself. In other words, the statement of the Lord harmonized perfectly with the 72 hours His body was in the tomb and His soul was in “the heart of the earth.” So much for the rotten theology of Rome!
The resurrection of Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord stands right today as the “sign” which sets Christianity apart from every other so-called “faith” of religious men on earth. Each man made religious system on earth today has its own “god” and system of worship, but true Bible believing Christianity is the only form of worship on earth today which has a risen living Savior. Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! The “sign of Jonah” lives today!
The History and Experience of Israel and the Israelite People
The Apostle Paul plainly states in the inspired Word that everythingthat happened to Israel and the Jewish people were “examples” [tupos…types] for New Covenant believers, and were “written for our admonition [instruction] upon whom the ends of the world [aion…age] are come,” 1 Corinthians 10:1-11. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that this inspired statement includes what happened to Jonah.
Being an Israelite himself, Jonah definitely represents Israel and the Jewish people. Therefore we should be able to see in Jonah a type of what happened to Israel. Let’s see…..
Before Jonah was cast into the sea and swallowed by the “great fish,” Jonah was in rebellion and disobedience against the Lord God. Likewise, before Israel and the Jewish people were cast into the sea of humanity they had become rebellious and disobedient towards the Lord God. Read Isaiah 57:3-19 and compare 1 Samuel 15:22-23.
Because of their rebellion against the Lord God, the Lord then cast the Israelite people into the sea of humanity, Isaiah 57:20-21; Revelation 17:15. Having been cast into the sea of humanity, the Israelites were then assimilated [swallowed] into the “world order” made up of the nations into which they had been scattered. The dispersion of the Israelite people began when the Assyrian armies came against Samaria some 2,700 years ago, but their final dispersion into the sea of humanity occurred in 70 A.D. when the Roman armies drove them from the holy land. Thus the Israelites as a people have been absent from their land more than two daysin God’s Great Week.
It is clearly stated in Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Therefore, in God’s Great Week in regards to Israel and the Jewish people, “three days and three nights” are equivalent to the 3,000 years that Israel and the Jewish people have been in the Sea of Humanity and in the belly of the Great Fish [the world order].
Jonah was cast into the sea and swallowed by the “great fish,” spending “three days and three nights in the fish’s belly,” Jonah 1:17. Likewise, the nation of Israel and the Jewish people were cast into the sea of humanity, and ultimately swallowed up by the wicked world order, which for centuries has been planning and working towards bringing into existence a whole “New World Order.”
The Resurrection of Jonah
But resurrection day for Jonah finally arrived! At the end of “three days and three nights” in the belly of the fish, Jonah was finally “vomited out” by the fish. Likewise, Israel and the Jewish people have now arrived at the “appointed time” [Acts 17:26] in human history to be “vomited out” by the planners of the New World Order.
Folks, look at the world situation carefully! Where does Israel and the Jewish people stand in the sight of the whole world order today? Practically the whole world order today despises modern Israel and the Jewish people. Why?
Because modern Israel is, consciously or unknowingly, following the agenda assigned to them by the Lord God of Heaven, and is refusing to conform to the desires of the United Nations and those world leaders promoting the New World Order. The modern nation of Israel makes the world planners sick to their stomach, just like Jonah sickened the great fish. It is time for Israel to be “vomited out” by the New World Order system, just like Jonah was vomited out by the great fish. Will this actually happen?
For the answer to this question, let’s look at Ezekiel’s vision of the “Valley of dry bones” in Ezekiel 37:1-14. A careful study of Ezekiel 37 reveals that Israel and the Israelite people are to experience a spiritual and bodily resurrection, just as Jonah experienced centuries ago. Read it for yourself in Ezekiel 37:12-14. But Jonah’s resurrection occurred at the end of “three days and three nights” in the fish’s belly. So when is Israel’s resurrection going to occur?
For the answer to that question, let’s go again in God’s inspired Word to Hosea 6:1-3. In this portion of Scripture we read,
“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up.
After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”
Do our readers see this truth? No! Then let’s do the math…..
Two thousand years ago, or two days in God’s Great Week, Israel rejected and crucified their promised Messiah and Savior, and were then swallowed up by the wicked World Order. During this past 2,000 years the Lord has been graciously dealing with the Gentiles, exactly as He poured out His mercy and blessings upon the citizens of Nineveh in the days of Jonah. If our Gentile calendar is even close to being correct, these 2,000 years are now past! We Gentile believers are now living in 2014. This is 14 years into the third day, and it is time for the Lord God to spiritually “revive” and “raise up” [spiritually resurrect] the nation of Israel again. Glory to the God of Israel, and to the God of us who are New Covenant believers.
Yes, we are living today in 2014; 14 years into the third day in God’s Great Week of Years. Quite significantly, “fourteen” is the Bible number signifying “salvation and/or deliverance.” “Three” is also the Bible number signifying “the resurrection and/or Trinity.” This is the year when the Lord’s New Covenant Church will be removed from the world scene by the resurrection and rapture, exactly as the scene in the Book of Jonah at the end of chapter Three shifts from the citizens of Nineveh back to Jonah himself; who was a typeof Israel and the Jewish people. Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise
the Lord! We New Covenant believers are going “HOME” to glory!
The Spiritual and Literal Resurrection of Israel
Before leaving Ezekiel’s vision of the “Valley of Dry Bones,” there is another important point in that vision I want to call to the attention of our readers. Notice 37:10, “So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath [spiritual life] came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”
This statement is the fulfillment of a number of prophecies about Israel in the Old Testament. If our readers will carefully read Jeremiah 51, it will be obvious that the chapter is a judgment against Babylon. But in this chapter, beginning in 51:15 Jeremiah begins to give praise to the Lord. The praise of Jeremiah continues right through 51:19. In 51:19 Jeremiah was inspired of God to say, “The portion of Jacob is not like them [Babylon]; for He [Christ] is the former [Creator; Maker] of all things: and Israel is the rod of His inheritance: the Lord of hosts is His name.”
Then in 51:20 the Lord Himself begins to speak of Israel, saying, “Thou art My battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee [Israel] will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms:
And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; [compare Revelation 6:1-8] and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;….” Compare Zechariah 6:1-8.
This judgment, using Israel as His “battle axe” continues to be spoken by the Lord right on through 51:35. Study this carefully and see this truth for yourself.
The Consequences of the Sign of Jonah Today
As previously mentioned in this study, two events have now occurred pointing to “the sign of Jonah.” First, the sudden and totally unexpected appearance of a great white whale in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel on May 8, 2010. And now, just last Thursday, July 11, 2014, the ISIS Muslim terrorists stupidly breaking into the Tomb of Jonah in Mosul [ancient Nineveh], and attacking Jonah’s tomb with sledgehammers in an attempt to destroy Jonah’s Tomb.
Why did these Muslim terrorists attack Jonah’s Tomb, and why right at this very time in human history? I am sure they wanted to erase every evidence of the Bible being true as set forth in the Book of Jonah. The Muslim religion has been Satanic from its very beginning, and is nothing less than an instrument in the hands of Satan to force the worship of the false God, Allah, upon all of mankind.
What these dumb Palestinians and ISIS terrorists do not realize is that Almighty God is using them to set His own chosen people, Israel, free from their unbelief and sin. And when Israel is set free from their unbelief and sin, the Jewish people will be the mightiest force for good and for God on the face of the earth. Just as Jonah’s preaching converted the entire Gentile city of Nineveh to the Lord God of Israel, so the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish “remnant” will convert millions of Gentiles to Christ during the first half of the coming Tribulation period, Revelation 7:1-17. Glory to the God of Israel!
I point this truth out to emphasize that when Jonah, at the end of “three days and three nights” was resurrected from the fish’s belly, no one in Nineveh was able to resist and stand before Jonah’s preaching. And when Israel is resurrected and restored to God’s favor “in the third day” [the period of time we are living in RIGHT NOW] the nation of Israel will set forth the mightiest army ever fielded in the history of humanity. It likely will not be the biggest army, but it will certainly be the most powerful. During the Tribulation and following, the nation of Israel will literally become the “Superpower” nation of the whole earth, both spiritually and politically. Every nation on earth will ultimately submit themselves to the nation and people of Israel, or will be destroyed by Israel.
What these “willingly ignorant” Palestinian and Muslim terrorists are doing right now, is setting free the greatest fighting force, and the greatest evangelistic force, in human history, which will result in the total destruction of the Palestinians and the total eradication of the Muslim religion from the face of the earth. Little David is not yet through bringing down the Goliaths of this present evil world! From this time forth those who place their trust in the God of Israel can sit back and pray for Israel and
watch it all happen. All glory to the God of Israel! Praise the Lord!
There is so much more which I could write about in connection with this subject, but I must close. Folks, we are living in “the third day,” Hosea 6:2. The type of the “three days and nights” set forth in the Book of Jonah are concluded, and it is time for the Lord’s church to be removed and Israel to be resurrected and redeemed to her rightful position in the service of the Lord.
I don’t really care how many “prophecy teachers” want to place the coming resurrection and rapture in the yet distant future. This is the year of the resurrection and rapture of New Covenant believers, and if the appearance of “the sign of Jonah” on Thursday of this very past week is not convincing enough, the very near future will prove it so [like perhaps today, tonight, tomorrow, or REAL SOON].
The question I leave with every reader…..Are you ready? If the rapture was to occur today, tonight, tomorrow, next week, or even in the next thirty days, would you be ready? The Lord Himself told those He preached to during His personal ministry, “Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh,” Matthew 24:44. The Lord did not say, “Get ready,” as I am appealing to every reader in this study. The Lord said, “be ready!” Folks, when “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God,”1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, it will be too late to get ready in order to be taken in the rapture. Too late! Too late! Let those words echo through your heart, your mind, and your soul. Too late!
“…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” 2 Corinthians 6:2.
“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He willhave mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon,” Isaiah 55:6-7.
“For whosover shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Romans 10:13.
What more can I say? The Lord God placed a love for lost souls in my heart when I surrendered my life to His ministry. Yet my arm of flesh is limited. I have poured out my soul in this study in an attempt to warn God’s people [true believers] and the unsaved about where we are at on God’s Great Prophetic Time schedule for mankind. I know no more to do! Ignore this message at the risk of your own eternal soul.
I would truly like to meet every reader in glory, perhaps today, or if not, then within a few more days. Please, please, don’t disappoint me! Any reader who truly needs and wants spiritual help, may feel free to contact me. By the grace of God, I know I’m saved, and I know Him who is the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6.
Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.
Thank you again, beloved brothers and sisters in Christ and dear friends, who have enabled me to carry on this ministry by your prayers and gifts. May your rewards be great in glory, and may you be made to rejoice in glory with the souls that have been brought to Christ through the Word of God sent forth by this ministry.
Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can be contacted by email at:
Text: Jonah 1:17 – 2:10
The Experience of Jonah typified:
A. The experience & resurrection of Christ
B. The disobedience & blindness of Israel
1. Paul Acts 9:1-9
a. Blind for three days
b. The three days, Psalm 90: 4 2 Peter 3:8
2. Before the appointed time 1 Corinthians 15:8
3. A Pattern 1 Timothy 1:16
C. The resurrection & redemption of Israel
1. The Dry Bones Vision Ezekiel 37:1-14
2. The Revival of Israel Hosea 6:1-3