Why Yahshua Gave the
Sign of Jonah -
A Study of Judgment
By Helena Lehman of
Pillar of Enoch Ministry
The following is an excerpt from Chapter Eleven of Helena Lehman’s copyrighted book “The Language of God in Humanity,” first published in 2007. This excerpt can be freely distributed provided it is not altered or abridged and Helena Lehman’s name and Pillar of Enoch Ministry web site address remain at the beginning of the article.
During the time of Yahshua
and John the Baptist, most of the Jews in Judea yearned for a strong military
leader - one who could lead the Jews who remained in
Yahshua was given the
gargantuan task of reaching people who did not know or understand that their
God - Yahweh - is a God of love and forgiveness. Instead, the Jews wanted God
to act in vengeance, and pour out His wrath on the hated Gentiles in their
midst - just as He did during the Israelite conquest of
This is why Yahshua did not
come to be a military leader during His First Advent. He came instead to preach forgiveness to the Lost
Sheep of Israel, to
work miracles, to announce the coming of the
“Therefore understand that the LORD your God (Yahweh your Elohim) is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.” - Deuteronomy 9:6 (NKJ)
Yahshua came to change the
hearts of these stiff-necked people descended from Jacob, and show them that
there is a God in heaven who loves them, but who also loves all people.
Yahshua came to show them that they had a mission to reach out in love to the
Pagan Gentiles that they hated. He came to show them that they were subject
to a Covenant with Yahweh that called them to be spiritual lights to the
Gentiles, and to show them the all-surpassing love of the one true God for mankind.
But like Jonah, the Israelites refused to love their enemies, and
wanted them to perish without knowing the love and joy that only God the
Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit can give them. Sadly, this is why many
unrepentant Jews perished, or were sold into slavery in 70 AD - when the
“…Circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. For the LORD your God (Yahweh your Elohim) is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God… who shows no partiality…” -Deut. 10:16-17 (NKJ)
Though the Scripture above contains the words of Moses, the Spirit of Christ in Moses inspired them. In addition, Yahshua also uttered similar words during the course of His ministry, such as this powerful passage:
“Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” - John 7:37-38 (NKJ)
Here, Yahshua was offering the gift of His spiritual wisdom to anyone who thirsts for it, not just the Jews. This shows that Yahshua was impartial like His Father. He also indicates that He is the source of the living water that flows out of saved people’s circumcised (i.e. spiritually open) hearts. This circumcision of the heart allows believers to love the unlovable, wicked sinners around them, and to show them the love of God so that they may repent, and be saved. Sadly, however, though some Jews listened to Yahshua, and were saved, many others did not. Instead, like many of the Israelites of Elijah’s day, they rejected the prophet and Savior that God had sent them, and thereby lost their privilege as God’s only chosen people.
Consequently, those who
circumcised their hearts, and were baptized with Christ’s Spirit became God’s
chosen people by adoption - the chosen people who will forever dwell in His
Kingdom of Love and Grace. This Kingdom is filled with believing Jews and
Gentiles united in love. They are the
Another strong analogy can be drawn between the prophet called Jonah and Yahshua our Savior that is revealed in the Star Gospel, as well as the Bible. In fact, when Yahshua referred to the Sign of Jonah as the only sign He would give to the Jews, He was alluding to the many aspects of His ministry symbolized in the adjacent Zodiac signs of Pisces and Aquarius. Before we explore this truth, however, let’s examine the basic biblical meaning of the Scriptures where Yahshua refers to the Sign of Jonah:
“Then some of the… Pharisees answered,
saying, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ But He… said to them, ‘An
evil… generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given… except the
sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and
three nights in… the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and
three nights in the heart of the earth.
The men of
“And while the crowds… gathered together, He began to say, ‘This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the Sign of Jonah… For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.’ ” - Luke 11:29-30 (NKJ)
Note that, in the first Scripture quoted here, Yahshua severely rebuked his hearers, saying that these Jews would not be part of the First Resurrection. Instead, they would rise at the Last Judgment, and be condemned by the Ninevites, who repented before God at the preaching of Jonah. This is because some of those Jews ultimately rejected the words of their promised Messiah, who was a prophet far greater than Jonah. The preceding Scriptures also clearly shows that “the Sign of Jonah” was the three day period between Christ’s death and resurrection, in mimicry of the three days that Jonah was in the belly of the big fish. This was the only sign He intended to give to the Jews, whom He called “a wicked and adulterous generation” (Matthew 16:4). But did Yahshua allegorically suggest more when He used this analogy? From the context, could it be that this Sign of Jonah was a rebuke to the Jews who, like Jonah, despised the Gentiles? This is highly probable.
Like Jonah, the Jews held the Gentiles in contempt, and saw them as unclean - like swine. The Jews therefore did not want to reach out to the heathen Gentile nations, and share the “light” of the Torah with them. This is why Yahshua kept telling people not to tell anyone about the miracles they had seen Him work. He was showing by example how the Jews had hidden their lamps “under a bushel,” and failed to shout of Yahweh’s miraculous power from the rooftops to the surrounding Gentile nations. They had failed in their primary mandate, which was to be food, and light in a starving, darkness-filled world.
This is why Yahshua said He came to show the Jews only one sign. It was a sign proclaiming their powerlessness to secure salvation - despite their zealousness for the Law. Though the Jews of Judea had kept the material requirements of the Mosaic Law, they had failed to fulfill its main spiritual requirements, which were to show mercy and forgiveness. How did they neglect to do this? By not sharing the wealth of their spiritual enlightenment with everyone, including their heathen enemies! They had therefore failed to invite the wicked, and spiritually deprived to share in the rich blessings of Abraham. In addition, many Jews had come to disdain their God, and His wisdom, and had adopted the customs of their heathen neighbors. This is what Yahshua meant when He said:
“And… the Pharisees… said to His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with… sinners?’ When Jesus (Yahshua) heard that, He said… ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’ ” - Matthew 9:11-13 (NKJ)
In the above Scripture, Yahshua quoted from the following section in the Old Testament book of Hosea the prophet:
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Like Adam, they have broken the Covenant - they were unfaithful to me there.” - Hosea 6:6-7 (NIV)
The pre-incarnate Yahshua
inspired Hosea to reveal a vital fact in this Scriptural passage. For their
unforgiving hatred of the Gentiles, and their blatant disobedience of God’s
commandments encouraging love for one’s neighbor, the descendents of
The only hope the Jews of Yahshua’s day had to make amends to God was by showing the repentance Jonah did despite his continued hatred of the Ninevites. As Jonah lay there dying in the belly of the fish, he finally relented of his refusal to preach to the wicked Ninevites. He then prayed, and asked Yahweh to give him another chance to preach to the Ninevites, and tell them of their impending destruction by Yahweh because of their wickedness (Jonah 2:1-9).
Yahweh accepted Jonah’s
prayer of repentance, and subsequently the big fish vomited Jonah up onto the
shore (Jonah 2:10). After he recuperated, Jonah obediently went to the
heavily populated city of
The repentance of the
Ninevites made Jonah extremely angry (Jonah 4:1), and he probably wondered:
“How could Yahweh reach out in love to, and spare the most wicked enemies of
By analogy to the life of Jonah, the Jews were being shown how they had to change in order to find salvation. They needed to die to their old way of life, and then learn to do as Yahweh had asked them to do. They needed to reach out to a starving world in love, and mercifully preach the Good News to the spiritually lost and hungry. They had to love their enemies by sharing the Path to Salvation with them despite their hatred of the unrighteous Gentile way of life. So, besides paying for their guilt, Yahshua came to fulfill the divinely given mandate of the Jews. He did so perfectly by loving, and proclaiming the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, and by becoming the Light of the World to all nations.
Before, and during the Tribulation, the Jews who accept Yahshua as the Messiah will be able to atone for their sin of ignoring the mandate given to Jonah. After the Rapture, they will likely do so by becoming part of the 144,000 Tribulation Witnesses from the Twelve Tribes of Israel who will be called to give the Sign of Jonah to their generation. That is, they will be called to preach to all the heathen Gentile nations - especially the Muslims, who can be viewed as the modern day Ninevites (Revelation 7:3-4). These Israelite witnesses, and many other saints who are reckoned as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, will be called to warn all the unrepentant nations of the Earth. Like the original prophet Jonah, these modern-day Jonahs will preach that Yahweh loves all people. But, because of His righteous anger against their wickedness, many of them will perish if they do not repent of their sins like the Ninevites did, and accept Christ as their Savior.
There is much more
allegorical symbolism in the Jonah story that is certainly no accident. Yah
made sure the symbols in the story of Jonah would speak to those who are
spiritually alive, revealing even deeper truths. For example, the fact that
Jonah was thrown into the water from a ship recalls the story of Noah’s
In both Noah and Jonah’s stories, the water symbolized three things: death, cleansing, and the potential for new growth. That is why we are baptized by full immersion in water - to symbolize the death of our sinful selves, our cleansing in the blood of Christ, and our rebirth, and future growth in the Spirit. Entering a symbolic womb through spiritual baptism (which can occur without any need for ritual immersion in water), Christians become “born again,” and obtain the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
The womb is filled with watery fluid, and while a fetus is still in the womb, it isn’t yet considered alive by many people. Though a fetus is a living being at the moment of conception, it is generally not recognized as a living person until it passes through the “water” of the amniotic fluid, slips out of the womb, and takes its first breath of air. Likewise, though Jonah did not necessarily die inside the fish, Jonah was considered dead until the big fish vomited him up onto dry land (Jonah 2:10).
The Sign of Jonah also identifies the saved, as many Christians proudly use the Sign of Jonah - the sign of a fish - today. Interestingly, we who are saved are like fish. We are safe swimming through the water of destruction because we can breathe in the wind of the Holy Spirit, and thus find life. This symbolism is beautifully portrayed in the Zodiac sign of Aquarius, where born again believers are depicted in the decan sign called Piscis Australis. This big fish is swimming through an inexhaustible stream of water being poured out of an urn. This urn is held in the arms of a man who, along with the urn, is symbolic of Christ - our Living Water, and the true (and only) source of the Holy Spirit in mankind. Since the fish/disciple seen in Piscis Australis is being baptized in the Living Water, there is also a connection between Aquarius and John the Baptist, though the connection is small. This is because John’s baptism was one of repentance through symbolic death to sin, not one of spiritual regeneration, and rebirth made in the Name of Yahshua. That only comes when we drink in the Living Water that Christ alone can give.
Similar in theme to
Aquarius in some respects, the Zodiac sign of Pisces is
represented by two fish tethered to the sea monster Cetus by a band. These
trapped fishes depict the many Israelites from the Two Houses, or Kingdoms of
Israel that are locked in a demonically inspired battle, or Tug of War. This is shown through their captor: the satanic
Cetus, and the Band that tethers
the fish of Pisces to it. In Pisces, therefore, we see
The historical facts confirming this celestial allegory are everywhere, since Jews and Christians have long been separate from, and antagonistic to one another - yet often forced to be partners against mutual enemies. This spiritual tug of war is also personified today in the hatred of radical Muslims (seen in Cetus) for both Christians and Jews (the fish of Pisces). Though both fishes of Pisces are in dangerous peril as Cetus’ helpless captors, the Ram of Aries is a Christ figure. Aries is severing the Band, or tether holding them to Cetus, which can be seen as a celestial depiction of Muslim Terrorists and other enemies of God. At the same time, Aries is trampling upon Cetus’ head in another allegorical enactment of Genesis 3:15! Thus, Christ is shown as a deliverer of His Two House Church in His role as the Lamb of God.
Still more spiritual truth
can be discerned in Pisces, since the fish depicting
“And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.” - Revelation 19:14 (NKJ)
With the fish of Ephraim riding on its back, Pegasus may also be a symbol of the Rapture of the True Church before the Great Tribulation, as well as the catching up into the air that will occur at the end of the Great Tribulation, which is the last of the three stages in the First Resurrection. The winged figures of Lyra the eagle shaped harp and Cygnus the Swan, or great Northern Cross may also depict the Rapture, and final stage of the First Resurrection, as shown in the illustration above.
The white, winged horse that Perseus rode to save Andromeda is just one more instance of the deception that temporarily destroyed mankind’s ability to understand the Gospel in the Stars. Sadly, the stories of Classical Mythology still delight and delude modern Pagans and apostates, yet hide the true Gospel revealed in the Bible and Star Gospel. Through these pictorial analogies, the Gospel in the Stars once again proclaims the truth of what is now occurring between Old Testament-centered legalists who believe in the slavery of Salvation by Works, and New Testament “liberals” who trust the Holy Spirit to lead them, and believe in the freedom of Salvation by Grace through Christ. Nonetheless, though these two schools of fish-like disciples are now in an enormous tug-of-war with Satan and one another (as the two fish of Pisces tethered together by the band to Cetus shows), they will one day be united. When that happens, many in both Houses of Israel will find everlasting life through the Spirit, and the Grace given by Christ. HalleluYah for that coming day!
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