The Open Scroll - The Sign of Jonah

The Sign of Jonah

By Bob Schlenker  (Prints about 3 pages) 4/12/01

I believe the sign of Jonah referred to in Matthew 16 is more than just the sign given for religious skeptics in the first century, but a sign that will be given in the twenty-first century as well. The sign is resurrection. It was a powerfully effective sign when Jesus arose and will be again when those after his kind arise in a glorified body to testify of the Lord of life.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.  Ecclesiastes 1:9

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, 'When evening comes, you say, `It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3 and in the morning, `Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.' Jesus then left them and went away.  Matthew 16:1-4
Signs had been given in abundance, and although everyone with eyes to see recognized them, the religious leaders being addressed were blind and could not interpret the signs of the times.

It's common knowledge that the sign of Jonah relates to the three days and nights Jesus was in the grave according to the pattern of Jonah being in the belly of the fish.
Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, 'Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.' 39 He answered, 'A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  Matthew 12:38-40
The sign is not just the being in the fish belly grave but from being spit out on dry land - resurrected. (See the Night Watch Report for a study of the dry ground / third day resurrection connection) It is the resurrection that limited the time in the fish belly grave to three days and that is the sign. The sign of Jonah will again be given to those who cannot interpret the signs of the present times. These are the religious leaders who compare in the present day context to the (Luke 12:39) 'owners of the house' church authorities and those who accept their doctrine as truth. What generation since Noah's day has been more wicked and adulterous than this present generation? Although oblivious to the present signs because they are asleep, resurrection will startle many into awakening.

The name Jonah means 'dove.' Dove is a symbol of the spirit and also of the Bride. The sign of Jonah is the sign of the dove, sign of the spirit and sign of the Bride. In each of these facets of the Jonah sign the resurrection is prominent.
'I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.' 17 The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.  Revelation 22:16-17
Resurrection is an underlying theme in the accounts of Jesus' baptism, associated with the spirit dove. Baptism symbolizes the process of death and resurrection. (See The Sign for the Church - Part I / Baptism Reveals Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement / The Sign of Jonah) Both the baptizing with water and the dove were directly stated as being signs, according to John 1:31 and 33.

As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.   Mark 1:10
In the Song of Songs, the Bride is referred to as the Bridegroom's dove in three places; 2:14, 5:2 and 6:9. As you look at the immediate context of each of those three dove mentions in the Song of Songs, the Bride Theft resurrection should be obvious. There's another sign of Jonah/Dove/Bride prophetic scenario relating to the Bride Theft resurrection in Genesis 8. When Noah was looking for dry ground to appear (a resurrection symbol) he employed a dove that gave him the sign he needed. After 7 days, a complete cycle of appointed time, (like the Pesah feast?) the dove returned to him in the evening with a freshly plucked olive leaf. As you may realize, the Bride will shortly return from this present mission with the olive leaf! Hallelujah! Natural branches will have been grafted onto the olive root as the 144k of Israel accept Y'shua as their Messiah! '... Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.' (Genesis 8:11) Noah knows how to interpret the signs! The sign of Jonah/Dove/Bride is the appearance of dry ground, new life, Roman's 11:15 acceptance of Y'shua and attendant resurrection.

Note this interesting insight, fellow watcher. Prior to sending a dove, a raven was sent. This unclean bird was sent as a symbol of a similar sign we now seek, the unholy spirit revelation sign of the Unclean Bird. This bird was sent out but not to see if the water had abated. The reader isn't told why the raven was sent out. We're not told about this bird's mission or whether it succeeded or failed. We just know that it continued to come and go until the water was dried up from the earth.

and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there [Lit went out, going and returning] until the water was dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; 9 but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.  Genesis 8:7-9 (NASB)
The name 'Noah' means 'rest,' so, those of you who are aware of the significance of passages where the meaning of a name is found in the immediate context of its occurrence should note the special emphasis upon the dove returning to Noah/Rest when she had found no resting place for the sole of her foot. Noah here represents Jesus, the real ark builder. The meaning of the name given another Jesus-type is 'treasury of the glorious rest.' (Genesis 41:45) I think this specially emphasized verse reveals something of the Bride's character. She finds rest in Him, even and especially while the Unclean Bird is flying to and fro, coming and going from the ark while the waters dry up. And look at the Dove's master's care of her. Coo Coo. :)

So, the sign of Jonah is all about resurrection being a sign. It relates to the the spirit - it relates to the Bride. It is a sign for skeptical religious people.

Have you ever asked why was Jonah in the belly of a great fish? What is the meaning of the fish symbol? Here's a clue. Go to the parking lot of your nearest church and examine the backsides of the cars. Then come back when you've received insight. The Bride comes out of the body of Christ in resurrection just as the fish vomited Jonah out of its belly onto dry land. Vomit? Yuckie! But isn't that how it has to be? I previously noted the meaning of the special name Pharaoh gave Joseph. The name of the Bride Pharaoh gave Joseph means 'I shall be hated.'

Now meditate on Jonah's prayer. It may feel familiar.
From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said: "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. 3 You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. 4 I said, `I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.' 5 The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. 6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. 7 "When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. 8 "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. 9 But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD." 10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.  Jonah 2
Verse 8's message is chilling. Oh! Do not forfeit the grace that could be yours, friend! Are there some you know who may yet be spared doing just that? Have you been sent to tell Ninevites to repent?

The upcoming Bride Theft sign of Jonah will be the sign given to those Christians who have not interpreted this present time. Convincing evidence is given in the verses that follow the passage I quoted from Matthew 16 earlier. The lesson about the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees should now be plain. Their teaching that no one will know the time, etc, will be exposed as a lie promoted blindly that served to cover their own ignorance and wickedness. The point Jesus makes about the bread is made by reference to understanding the feeding of the 5000 and the 4000. I have exposited The Feeding of the Five Thousand scenario at length, showing it to be a Bride Theft prophecy. Notice that this explanation took place as they had gone across the lake, the lake being a symbol of the week of years I call the famine week.

Again, the upcoming Bride Theft sign of Jonah will be the sign given to those Christians who have not interpreted this present time. That will be a sign many will recognize.