Subject: Re: Four Lessons From Jonah by Jack Kelly
From: "Tom Bigbee"
Date: 5/28/2015 1:35 PM
To: "'Steve'"

Regarding the homework:


I applaud and support anyone who is calling people to repentance.  We have little time left.  But Jack's message has some wrong details and again makes it look like we don't have to change our behavior after meeting God to be ultimately saved.


First, let's get some details straight.


"Then the Lord summoned a great fish to rescue Jonah and He spent three days and three nights in the belly of the fish while contemplating the folly of his ways."


Jack has swallowed the G rated Sunday school version of this historical "fish tale" and is repeating it without thinking.  True, verse 1:17 says Yonah was in the fish 3 days & 3 nights and 2:1 says he prayed inside the fish – but the following verses tell the whole story that is a bit strong for kindergartners.


Verse 2:2 tells us what happened immediately after praying – he died and went to Sheol, Hades, and the pit of Hell!  Then he recounts the order of events until 2:6 which tells us again where he went:


I went down to the bottoms [Qetseb = base, extremity] of the mountains; the earth with her bars [Beriach = jail bars] was about me forever [Olam = everlasting]: yet have you brought up my life from corruption [Shachath = pit], O YHWH my God.


God arranged for Yonah to be killed and preserved his body in the belly of the fish.  His soul went to Sheol for 72 hours.  In Hebrew this is obvious but even in English if we look twice we will see it.  Then he resurrected him and had the fish puke him on shore.  If we think about it this has to be the details of what God designed as the prophecy for Jesus.  God arranged for Jesus to be killed and preserved his body in the heart of the earth.  Jesus went to Sheol for 72 hours and preached to the OT souls in Abraham's Bosom and then set the captives free per David's prophecy that Peter recounted in Acts.


BTW, after seeing how God keeps using the moedim over and over, it is my opinion that Yonah died on Passover and was raised on Firstfruits.


"According to Jonah 3:3 a visit to Nineveh required 3 days just to see it all."


Not quite right.  Yonah said he travelled for one day into the city (3:4).  But before doing this he tells us the size of the city by using an ancient method to describe it.  It would take someone three days to walk the circumference of the city.


"And everyone of them from the greatest to the least obeyed the King’s directive."


This phrase in English makes us think he said from the richest to the poorest but this is a Hebridiom meaning "the oldest to the youngest".


"We don’t know of any who were saved through faith in the coming Redeemer."

"One generation of Ninevites was spared a terrible judgment and allowed to die in peace, but as far as we can tell they all went to Hell anyway."


Hold on Jack, it does not tell us either way – but this is a horrid assumption and I take exception to it!  If any lived out their lives in repentance why could they not have gone to Abraham's Bosom and then heard the gospel when visited by Jesus before being escorted to heaven?  Read Ezekiel 18:21-24.  God loved the OT sinners just as much as today's sinners.  The idea that all people before the cross (with a few exceptions like Enoch and Noah) went to damnation is unbiblical and the complete antithesis to universalism.


"When the people of Nineveh heard the voice of Jonah they responded immediately and although Nineveh’s destruction was foreordained, their generation was spared. The same is true today, but the appropriate response is different. Instead of being external, physical and national it’s internal, spiritual, and personal."


Sorry, I disagree.  All the Ninevites were saved as a city (national) in the physical but each were judged at death as to which compartment of Sheol they went to on a personal level.  If they only repented on the outside and returned to sin they would not be saved ultimately.  If we today hear the gospel and change our mind only and continue in rebellion and sin we will not be saved.  True, we don't have to fix our lives before coming to God but he expects obedience afterward as the Spirit leads.


This idea of God looking only at the outside in the OT and only looking at the inside in the NT is a lie that has given us today's American Laodicea.


Tom Bigbee



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