Thursday, April 19, 2018

153 Fish

"Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn” (John 21:11). What do the 153 fish signify? Scholars have long suspected a hidden numerical significance (Gematria). Whatever cryptic meaning the number might have communicated to John and his readers has been long lost and forgotten, but that does not stop teachers and interpreters from speculating.
In his commentary on Ezekiel 47, Jerome linked the miracle of the 153 fish with the prophet’s vision of a river of life flowing out from the Temple in the Messianic Era. According to Ezekiel’s prophecy, the river will flow into the Dead Sea, turning the salt water fresh:
And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many. (Ezekiel 47:10)
Jerome believed that the miraculous represented the apostles bringing all nations into the kingdom. After all, the disciples were to be fishers of men: “The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind” (Matthew 13:47). In that day, “Their fish will be according to their kinds … very many” (Ezekiel 47:10).
Jewish scribes responsible for copying sacred texts routinely searched for numerical patterns in the scrolls they copied. They counted the words and letters of a scroll to verify the consistency of new copies. The numerical relationship the scribes had with the written text resulted in a whole field of mathematical exegesis, and scribes, or even authors, may have considered triangular numbers as especially significant.
Augustine noted that the number 153 is a triangular number, the triangle of 17. (In fact, 153 is the seventeenth triangular number in the series of triangular numbers.) A triangular number is the sum of dots in an equilateral triangle formed from and filled by equally spaced dots. A triangular number is also the sum of all the natural numbers from 1 to the triangle of the number:
One scholar perceived a coded numeric-relationship between the numbers 17 and 153 and the Dead Sea locations mentioned in Ezekiel 47:10 where fishermen will cast nets during the Messianic Age. The numerical value for the word gedi (גדי) in the name “Engedi (עין גדי)” adds up to 17. The numerical value for the word eglaim (עגלים) in the name “Eneglaim (עין עגלים)” adds up to 153. Coincidentally, the Hebrew word gedi (גדי) is the one-hundred-and-fifty-third word of Ezekiel 47. These relationships might be coincidental, but the Ezekiel 47 imagery of the river of life flowing from within the Temple informs other important passages in John:
From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)
One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. (John 19:34)
(End of the 153 article.  Randolph writing below.)

Yes, Jesus had raised from the dead, and Peter had gone back to fishing.  Well, Jesus had instructed them to go to Galilee, so Peter was back home, and fishing in the Sea of Galilee.  When Peter realized it was Jesus on the shore, he put on his clothes and jumped into the water and swam or waded to shore.  Sometime later they traveled to the mountain where the disciples worshiped Jesus.

I think they may have gone to Mount Herman, scene of the transfiguration and likely scene of the temptation where Satan showed Jesus the kingdoms of the earth.  There was the Roman kingdom at Caesarea Philippi clearly visible at the foot of Mt. Hermon, and the Phoenician Kingdom at Tyre and Sidon to the west, and the Syrian kingdom at Damascus to the North-East.  

So it is likely that Jesus and His disciples returned to the scene of the Transfiguration, and we are not told what happened there, except the disciples worshiped Him.  Perhaps it was here, looking out at the kingdoms of the world, that Jesus said "All authority has been given to me in Heaven and on Earth." 

Acts 1 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

1   He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”  

Matthew 28 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Resurrection

28 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

The Great Commission

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
From the mountain in Galilee the disciples returned to Jerusalem, where they met with Jesus, and accompanied Him to the Mount of Olives for His final words and ascension into heaven. They waited in Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost, and the coming of the Holy Spirit.  The gospel was preached that day, and three thousand were added to the number of God's people.  And from there the gospel spread like a stream flowing down into the Dead Sea, giving life where it was received.  
And that is the connection between 153 fish caught in a net in Galilee, and the vision of Ezekiel 47.  Just as Jesus promised, "I will make you fishers of men."

Image result for 153 fish and sea of galilee 
John 21, 153 Fish

Randolph Oran Gonce
CEO, Dead Sea Vision LLC
276 Co Rd 56
Stevenson, AL 35772 USA
Phone: 256 437 2687

Friday, April 13, 2018

Yeshua, Name Above All Names

Image result for bowing before christ

Every Knee Shall Bow
There is something about that name!  Name above all names. Beautiful Savior!  Glorious Lord!

Jesus is an anglicized Greek translation of the Hebrew name of our savior.  Yeshua is a more accurate Anglicized rendering of His name.

This is the same name as Joshua who lead Israel across the Jordan river into Canaan, and the same name as the High Priest at the time the Temple was rebuilt following the Babylonian captivity.  

A Vision of Joshua the High Priest

Zech 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.
And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. 10 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”

Yes, the Branch signified by Joshua the High Priest is Yeshua, our High Priest and Savior.  After giving His life as an offering for sin, being buried, and raised on the third day, He appeared to His disciples and gave them their marching orders.

The Great Commission

Matt 28:16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The prophet Isaiah set the stage for the coming King, Yeshua. 

Isaiah 45:20 
“Assemble yourselves and come;
    draw near together,
    you survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge
    who carry about their wooden idols,
and keep on praying to a god
    that cannot save.
21 Declare and present your case;
    let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
    Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the Lord?
    And there is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
    there is none besides me.
22 “Turn to me and be saved,
    all the ends of the earth!
    For I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn;
    from my mouth has gone out in righteousness
    a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
    every tongue shall swear allegiance.’
24 “Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
    are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
    all who were incensed against him.
25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
    shall be justified and shall glory.”

Yes, it is Yeshua who justifies the offspring of Israel.  

Isaiah 53:7

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Apostle Paul shows that Yeshua is Lord, and pictures the judgment scene.

Rom 14: For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
    and every tongue shall confess to God.”
12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Yes, Paul said that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Yeshua Messiah is Lord. 

Philippians 2 

Christ's Example of Humility

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Yeshua promised He is coming soon.  Each generation has expected His coming.  And each person has gone to meet Him just as they are when they die.  Only death separates us from our meeting with our Savior.  So for each of us Yeshua is coming soon.  

Rev 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Image result for lord of lords king of kings