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Jonah and Purim

Mar 02, 2012

The Jonah theme appears to be coming up often these days. A few days ago news accounts published the discovery of a tomb in Jerusalem depicting a whale spitting out Jonah. Some have dubbed it "the lost tomb of Jesus." If so, then the tomb was decorated some time after Jesus spent a few days at that location. We know this, because the tomb actually belonged to his great uncle Joseph of Arimathea, and it is unlikely that it had been so decorated as a monument to himself.

I mentioned also yesterday how James 1:19 relates to the book of Jonah, in that James tells us to be "slow to anger." Jonah had accused God of being slow to anger as well (Jonah 4:2), and this was a significant contrast to Jonah's own anger at the extent of God's love and mercy.

In 1982, when I became angry with God for a moment, He reminded me of James 1:19. At the time, I had not made any personal connection with Jonah. But when I finally came out of that first "wilderness" experience in January of 1983, the first thing I did was to go on a week-long fast from Feb. 1-7.

On the fifth day of my fast, God led me to read the book of Jonah. The day after my fast, I was given the word from Jonah 3:4, "Yet 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown." At first, it made no sense, so I dismissed it as mental clutter. But as the revelation continued to flow, I finally realized that it was significant, and that the 40 days in question extended from Feb. 28 to April 8 (1983). This time frame had to do with a reconciliation trip that I was to make, beginning with my invitation to make the trip (Feb. 28) until the day I was to return (April 8).

So even in those early days, God was laying the foundations for the work that He had called me to do, relating to Jonah. Even so, it was not until about 1997 that my friend Ron pointed out that my name was Jonas. He saw this one day when coming to my office in Fridley, Minnesota. The office (at the time) was located downstairs in the basement of an office complex. Above me was a computer company called NetWorks, Inc. He saw me in the belly of the whale, but God had caught the whale in the Net.

He then discerned that I would soon have to come out of the belly of the whale in order to fulfill the second calling of Jonah to preach to "Nineveh." This occurred in 2003, if I recall, and we moved to our present location upstairs in the same office complex. A month later, NetWorks, Inc. moved also, having completed their calling to provide the Net.

All of this revelation was also linked to the 1985 Word given to me by my younger brother, "Call the New Net of Prayer to prayer." That Word was not fulfilled until 1993, when the call was issued to engage in the Jubilee Prayer Campaign. This was also coinciding with the rise of the Internet, known as "The Net," and as time passed, it became obvious that the Word would go out primarily through the Internet, as we see today.

The point is that my connection with Jonah goes back many years--long before I came to understand the concept of the two works of Christ that Jonah portrayed in his ministry. The first work of Christ was the death work that was prefigured in Jonah's time in the belly of the whale (Matt. 12:40). The second work of Christ is the living work of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to all parts of the world.

All of this is prophesied in the law. It is prophesied in the two doves needed to cleanse leprosy (a type of mortality, or death) in Leviticus 14. It is prophesied again in the two goats needed to make atonement for sin on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16. Christ is both doves and both goats, but each prophesies the two works of Christ.

Jonah means dove, and so, as a prophetic manifestation of the two doves in Leviticus 14, he told the story of the two works of Christ. With Jonah we see the added detail of the 40-day deadline for Nineveh to repent. This was also prefigured when Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness to be "tempted of the devil" before returning to do His ministry on earth. It prophesied of a 40-Jubilee cycle of the Pentecostal Age, after which time a new work would begin.

That 40-Jubilee cycle (40 x 49 = 1,960 years) began in 33 A.D. when the Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. The cycle ended at Pentecost, May 30, 1993. Immediately after passing that date, God began to reveal to us the necessity for the Jubilee Prayer Campaign to be held six months later from Nov. 21-29, 1993.

This prayer campaign lasted 13 years until October 2006. It was designed to overthrow Mystery Babylon and to set the people free. It took 13 years, because it was based on the prophetic type of the overthrow of Jericho. Israel marched around Jericho 13 times, blowing the trumpet (Heb. yobel, "Jubilee"). The battle of Jericho was their Jubilee Prayer Campaign.

As a result of the prayer campaign, the collapse of Mystery Babylon began to occur with the decline of the debt-usury economic system. It is currently being replaced by a new system brought in by "the Kings of the East" (Rev. 16:12).

We are now seeing the emergence of the Jonah sign with the discovery of the tomb decorated with the picture of Jonah and the whale. What does it all mean? I did not see any significance to this sign until writing yesterday's weblog, which reminded me of my own connection to Jonah.

It appears that in many ways we are seeing a repeat of the patterns established back in 1983 when I first came out of the wilderness. There are too many details to put in this blog. The most important, however, is that back in 1983 I made a reconciliation trip from March 10 to April 8, traveling as far as Washington State. I see it now as a parallel to Jonah's trip to Nineveh, which is Washington D.C.

Or Manassas, perhaps?

In 1983, I had three days in which to prepare for this trip: March 7-9. So this year we are instructed to hold a time of prayer from March 8 and 9, which, by Hebrew time, begins the evening of March 7. This brings us to the Purim connection, because Purim begins the evening of March 7 and ends two days later on the evening of March 9.

Purim means "lots" (Esther 9:24). Until last night, I had never connected this to the lots that were cast by the priest in Lev. 16:8 to determine the two goats on the Day of Atonement. The two goats portray the two works of Christ. In His first work, the soldiers cast lots for Christ's garments (Matt. 27:35). We are now seeing the second time for the casting of lots, but this time in relation to the second work of Christ.

I will post a model prayer prior to these days of prayer.

In 1983, my invitation to make the trip came on Feb. 28, and the 40 days ended April 8 with my return. But I did not leave until March 10 that year, so it was a 30-day trip in a 40-day period. It is interesting that Purim 2012 would fall on the same preparatory days from 1983. And April 8, 2012 is the wave-sheaf offering of BARLEY. (Passover is April 7.)

So we know that something important is happening from March 7-10. It is then directly connected to a completion of the cycle on April 8. This appears to be the background reason for the time of prayer next week. No doubt we will receive further revelation shortly.

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Dr. Stephen Jones

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