Have you ever been driving (of course, this would be pre-GPS days), looking for the sign, street or exit, or name of place or building; and drove right passed it as you read the very sign you were looking for? Sometimes it’s because the signs are not well lighted or marked. Sometimes it’s because we forget to slow down, sometimes feeling pressure from the traffic behind us other times our own frustrations at not knowing where we are going. Let’s face it, our ability to know the lay of the land makes a huge difference. In this world we have flaws, signs that don’t direct accurately. I can’t tell you how many times we have entered a GPS location and it took us to the wrong place, a place that no longer existed and even more frustrating; the right place but in a neighborhood behind or around the actual location; not to the entrance. Even GPS has flaws. Our eyes have flaws, light and it’s location makes the difference between seeing out ahead and at the last minute. We won’t begin to talk of the pride of our hearts that often keep us from asking for directions or signs at all. Yet in this world we have less pride to do small things like ask for directions to a place. When Yeshua (Jesus) came, all we wanted was to ask for signs.
Please, something new! If you are God, something BIG! We’re sick of what we’ve had so far. Show us something that will make us believe!
Forgetting the “BIGGNESS” of creation itself, that alone should be enough. Yet then, delivery from Egypt, the splitting of the sea, the cloud by day, fire by night, the manna falling, water from plain rock flowing. The handwriting of His own finger on stone tablets, the voice of Him on the mountain, the detailed instructions that would keep us loving, kind, true people, healthy, wise and just. The water stopped in the Jordan, the giants slain, nations conquered, land given. Chance after chance after chance to repent, turn, do tishuva (complete directional turn around back to Him). The great deeds through and in King David, King Solomon, the temples. The safe keeping of Daniel in the lions den, and Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego from a fire pit. The rebuilding of the temple, walls of Jerusalem. All the wonders through the prophets…and then there is Jonah. This sign that Yeshua says is the only sign given to a wicked and adulterous generation. (That’s us too, by the way). Since He said it, people have been driving right passed this sign or ignoring it all together. Not just this sign though. Yeshua was frustrated because there are so many signs in the Torah, Prophets and Writings that were the Good News/Scriptures at that time, it was ridiculous they asked for more signs at all. Not to mention the signs He’d given so far, healing, feeding, calming storms, expelling demons. All these were signs in the Scriptures already and then before their very eyes, within their reach He was fulfilling them. Fulfilling every word of it! All the directions of God, every part of it, the heart of God He did and still does. Every sign God gave along the way, there Yeshua, the Son of God stood and with human eyes, flawed as they could be, we could see Him! So then, why Jonah? It’s just the tale of a stubborn Jew that was told to go to Nineveh, preach and he didn’t so God dumped him into the sea, had a whale swallow him, spit him out three days later, so he goes, preaches, the city repents, Jonah pouts, God talks to him…end of story – right? So okay, we see the correlation now. Sort of. They didn’t then, Yeshua still hadn’t been crucified yet, when He said this to those around Him. But really? Why this sign? I mean why not Abraham and Isaac? This seems more “fitting” don’t you think? To be clear, that by pointing at Jonah, Yeshua wasn’t dismissing all the rest of the Word that pointed to Him! Yet this sign doesn’t “seem” to be as well lit or laid out to so many. Then it made no sense at all to those who were already ignoring the Word of God already given. Even His disciples still didn’t understand the whole “death part” to their Messiah. A cloud of apathy had grown on those hearts like glaucoma on the eyes of the blind. They had waited and waited…they just didn’t know what they believed anymore. What was being done before their eyes they could believe, but they couldn’t see beyond it.
I will give the highlights of my study here. Taken from a hebraic perspective. Yet, I will make very clear, truth revealed in your heart will only come from studying for yourself. Especially now, with all the resources available to us to aid our study of God’s Word, we in these last days – acharit-hayamim – will stand MORE accountable than they who stood in Yeshua’s hearing at the time He said this.
Jonah – Yonah means vexed or dove depending on the Hebrew definition you decide to adopt. In Hebrew verb form it’s vexed, in noun form it’s dove. If I was to cross connect this to Yeshua, I’d adopt both, meaning a ‘vexed dove’. The Holy Spirit being symbolized by a dove throughout scripture, I think it’s safe to say, Jonah vexed the Holy Spirit. Yet if you take each letter of Yonah’s name in Hebrew and break it down by each meaning linked together; Yonah means: The Work (Yud) that Secures (vav) and Continues (nun) to Reveal (hey). This meaning, I think, reveals much more as to why Yeshua pointed us in this direction.
There are 12 signs given within the text of the book of Jonah.
♢ Sign 1 – verse 1 – right off the bat, God sends His Word. The first sign in the Bible is the exact same sign.
♢ Sign 2 – verse 3 – the urge to do it our way.
♢ Sign 3 – verse 4 – God went after Jonah. He didn’t just let Jonah decide to abandon His plan.
♢ Sign 4 – verse 5 – We fall asleep in disobedience and others suffer.
♢ Sign 5 – verse 12 – Confession and repentance.
♢ Sign 6 – verse 13 – Told what to do, we try harder our way.
♢ Sign 7 – verse 14 – Finally we do it God’s Way when things become impossible.
♢ Sign 8 – Chapter 2, verse 1 – Sign of hope, God is prepared, God makes a way out. He goes forth…
Jonah’s prayer in the belly of the fish. Lesson: In the belly of the fish God gets Jonah’s thinking right. The most note worthy lines of this prayer are at the end (though the whole thing is important). Read from the hebraic view, look at the “hidden” gem in verse 9.
Those who worship vain idols give up their source of mercy; but, I, speaking my thanks aloud will sacrifice to You, what I have vowed, I will pay. Salvation (YESHUA) comes from Adonai!
♢ Sign 9 – Chptr 2, verse 10 – Adonai compells, He drives all things. He spoke to the fish and it obeyed. Oh if only we would be like the fish!
♢ Sign 10 – Chapter 3, verse 1 – 2nd Chance! God doesn’t give up on His plan.
♢ Sign 11 – Chptr 3, verse 5-10 – God’s plan works, they believe and repent. He is proven trustworthy!
♢ Sign 12 – Chapter 4, verse 1 – Resentment of God’s ways. The rest of this book ends with God questioning why Jonah thinks he can complain. Jonah pouts and pouts big! God still shows compassion, but in the end we are left wondering if Jonah came around. Some particular scriptures came to mind here:
For everyone who has something will be given more, so that he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. As for this worthless servant, throw him out into the dark, where people will wail and grind their teeth!
Pay attention, then, to how you hear! For anyone who has something will be given more, but from anyone who has nothing, even what he seems to have will be taken away.
Now the servant who knew what his master wanted but didn’t prepare or act according to his will, will be wiped with many lashes; however, the one who did what deserves a beating, but didn’t know, will receive few lashes. From him who has been given much, much will be demanded – from someone to whom people entrust much, they ask still more.
You unfaithful wives! Don’t you know that loving the world is hating God? Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy! Our do you suppose the Scripture (Torah, Prophets, Writings – there is NO New Testiment at this time) speaks in vain when it says that there is a spirit in us which longs to envy? But the grace He gives is greater, which is why it says, “God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble He gives grace.” (Prov. 3:34) Therefore, submit to God. Moreover, take a stand against the adversary, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded people! Wail, mourn, sob! Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom! Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Now let’s go and see what Yeshua said. Remembering it takes two or more witnesses to confirm a truth.
Then some P’rushim (Pharisees) and Tz’dukim (Sadducees) came to trap Yeshua by asking Him to show them a miraculous sign from Heaven.
[Note: the Pharisees focused on the Torah – 1st 5 Books – and what it requires of ordinary people rather than on Temple ritual – ie: themselves. The Sadducees tended to be richer, more skeptical, more worldly and more willing to cooperate with Roman conquerors than the Pharisees.]
But His response was, “When it is evening, you say, ‘Fair weather ahead’, because the sky is red; and in the morning you say, ‘Storm today!’, because the sky is red and overcast. You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times! A wicked and adulterous generation is asking for a sign? It will certainly not be given a sign – except the sign of Yonah (Jonah)! With that He left them and went off.
The P’rushim came and began arguing with Him; they wanted Him to give them a sign from Heaven, because they were out to trap Him. With a sigh that came straight from His heart, He said, “Why does this generation want a sign? Yes! I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation!” With that, he left them, got into the boat again and went off to the other side of the lake.
Luke 11:16; 29-32
And others, trying to trap Him, demanded from Him a sign from Heaven.
As the people crowded around Him, Yeshua went on to say, “This generation is a wicked generation! It asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it – except the sign of Yonah. For just as Yonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be for this generation. The Queen of the South will appear at the Judgement with people of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Shlomo (Solomon), and what is here now is greater than Shlomo. The people from Nineveh will stand up at the Judgement with this generation and condemn it, for they turned to God from their sins when Yonah preached, and what is here now is greater than Yonah.
Yeshua is not soft on this point. Neither should we be. If the Queen of the South will go to the ends of the earth to hear Solomons wisdom, how much more should we dig upon the fertile ground of God’s Truth to find Yeshua’s? It’s a humble thought that the people of Nineveh will condemn those who miss the sign of Jonah. I say get out the maps, take the time off work, do whatever you have to to find this sign and understand its meaning. Yet, here we have a sign now greater than Jonah. This sign isn’t pointing to a church building every weekend. It’s a sign that’s been engraved and continues to be driven deeper into our hearts everyday – Yeshua! Yet we can still miss it. How? No one truly understand with the logic we possess. Why do I still hesitate to obey Him? Why do I doubt Him? It’s a mystery that only in relationship with Him, with a heart dedicated to Him more than anything else, can begin to unravel. Day by day. Keeping our eyes on Him!
I will stand at my watchpost; I will station myself on the rampart. I will look to see what God will say through me and what I will answer when I’m reproved.
Then Adonai answered me; He said,
“Write down the vision clearly on tablets so that even a runner can read it. For the vision is meant for its appointed time; it speaks of the end, ands it does not lie. It may take a while, but wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.
There are far too many believers who think the Old Testament, especially the Torah (1st 5 Books) don’t apply to this following of Yeshua. But these are the Books that teach about appointed times and how to enter into them. In order to be prepared for His second coming. Every parable Yeshua spoke pointed to them, these He observed and obeyed without fail (thus fulfilled) in order to be ready to do what noone else could have or ever will be able to do; become our Salvation!
Here in these verses we see the importance of the Old Testament still today.
1 Corinthians 1:21-25
For God’s wisdom ( better than Solomon, yet found in it as well) ordained that the world, using its own wisdom, would not come to know Him. Therefore, God decided to use the nonsense of what we proclaim as His means of saving to those who come to trust in it. Precisely because the Jews ask for signs and Greeks (gentiles) try to find wisdom, we go on proclaiming a Messiah executed on a stake as a criminal! To Jews this is an obstacle (because they know Torah, and within it you find why its an obstacle), and to the Greeks it’s nonsense, (because they know neither the Old Testament and at the time this is written there is no New). But to those who are called, both Jew and Gentiles, this same Messiah is God’s Power and God’s Wisdom! For God’s nonsense is wiser than humanities wisdom.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; 15
For the Day will not come until after the Apostasy has come and the man who separates himself from Torah (notice it doesn’t say from the Bible both Old and New Testaments) has been revealed, the one destined for doom. He will oppose himself to everything that people call a god or make an object of worship (any religion of any form), he will put himself above them all, so that he will sit in the Temple of God and proclaim he himself is God. (Ezk. 28:2)
Don’t you remember that when I was still with you, I used to tell you these things? (the disciples and apostles spoke of and taught only thru the Old Testament and Yeshua’s Words and deeds) And now you know what is restraining, so that he may be revealed in his own time. (This verse directly points to the Torah and the restraining being spoken of here can only be found there) For already this separating from Torah is at work secretly (not now, but at the time this was written), but it will be secretly only until he who is restraining is out of the way. Then the one who embodies separation from Torah will be revealed, the one whom the Lord Yeshua will slay with the breath of his mouth (Is. 11:4; Job 4:9) and destroy by the glory of His coming. When this man who avoids Torah comes, the adversary will give him the power to work all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders. He will enable him to deceive, in all kinds of wicked ways, those who are headed for destruction because they would not receive the love of Truth that could have saved them. This is why God is causing them to go astray, so that they will believe the Lie. The result will be that all who have not believed the Truth, but have taken pleasure in wickedness, will be condemned.
Therefore, brothers, hold to the traditions you were taught by us, whether we spoke them or wrote them in a letter.
You see, that one may come to Salvation with only the Old Testament, now. It points to Yeshua. It points to all we must do to love Him. The New Testament is not disregardable, by no means! But the heart of God began with the Beginning, the Torah – which has terribly been translated to The Law, it means The Teachings /Instructions still holds the same value as before! The Prophets books are still prophesying relevant to this time! They are still giving signs for the coming days, which are rapidly drawing to an end. The Writings, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Ester, Daniel, Nehemiah, Chronicles both 1 and 2, these are still teaching, leading, guiding – Truth! To disregard so terribly as the church does today, is a grievous mistake and just like the Pharisees and Sadducees of Yeshua’s day (and more) those who call themselves followers of Yeshua but disregard the Old Testament will find themselves here:
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what My Father in Heaven wants. In that Day, many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophecy in Your Name? Didn’t we expel demons in Your Name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in Your Name?’. Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’ (Correctly translated: Torahlessness)
This rebuke is the same kind that Peter received from Yeshua, when He tried to suggest that what God had written (prophesied) that must happen to Yeshua in the Old Testament should not happen! Yeshua zealously adhered to all the Words God provided (indeed He, Himself had written) prior to His entry into His ministry. Without the Old Testament, Yeshua would not have had a ministry, mission at all! There are appointments that God has made for us to show up at, where we get to know Him, that can only be found in Torah! They are repeatedly pointed to and taught at a deeper level throughout the Old Testament. In the New Testament they are only alluded to. Not spoken directly about as they are in the Old.God meant for the two to become one! This is what Yeshua is saying about not abolishing the Torah, but filling it up! Finishing it!
We must keep our eyes on Yeshua, He showed up at the very Beginning and has made Himself known from then all the way through His Word to now. The signs – signals He gave for exactly how to do what the Father wants are all throughout the Word of God. These point to specific times He set up to meet, remember His people and they Him, so that we know Him and He us. It’s hard to know where to go on a road with no signs. God did not pave us a road like this. He says, keep your eyes on Me, then the signs will be seen, right on time, taking us exactly where He wants us to go, preparing us for exactly the place He is preparing for us! Without them, we will miss the Wedding, our lamps won’t be full, He will send out His invitation and we won’t be awake to hear Him.
He who has ears, let him hear!
For more information on these appointments click go to Youtube, search Mark Biltz Feast of the Lord. These are the best videos I’ve seen on the subject, they will send you to the Word of God with a renewed passion to study, act upon and live it!
🔯Grace and peace to you, in Yeshua the Messiah, He’s coming soon!🕎