Posted in bible, boat, galilee, truth

Jesus taught from the boat

Jesus taught from the boat…

Water carries sound and it amplifies it. The crowds were so crushing that in order to even have space, Jesus launched into one of the sailboats (not a dinghy as depicted above, lol) and He spoke to the crowds. Note, He was sitting, they were standing, indicting His important presence, as was the custom of the day.

Were they thirsting for the truth from the Living Waters? Or were they rubberneckers hoping for a personal miracle? Both. We know the end of the story, most people turned out to be rubberneckers only out to see the latest thing in Galilee. Most of these same people eventually rejected Him. (Mark 6:4-5).

What a momentous occasion on that shore! To be present and taught directly by God Himself. We are blessed, we believers in this present Church Age. We have the Holy Spirit in us to teach us these things. This Spirit will never leave us.

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

The blessings from our Lord are manifold, beginning with our indwelled Spirit, and His word which was later written down at the inspiration of His Spirit. Study His word today, worship Him by praising Him for those words, and bless Him by being obedient to them. He is a gracious and magnificent God, who taught His sheep from the boat.

Posted in bible, boat, galilee, truth

Jesus taught from the boat

EPrata photo

Jesus taught from the boat…

Water carries sound and it amplifies it. The crowds were so crushing that in order to even have space, Jesus launched into one of the sailboats (not a dinghy as depicted above, lol) and He spoke to the crowds. Note, He was sitting, they were standing, indicting His important presence.

Were they thirsting for the truth from the Living Waters? Or were they rubberneckers hoping for a personal miracle? Both. We know the end of the story, most people turned out to be rubberneckers only out to see the latest thing in Galilee. Most of these same people eventually rejected Him. (Mark 6:4-5).

What a momentous occasion on that shore! To be present and taught directly by God Himself. We are blessed, we believers in this present Church Age. We have the Holy Spirit in us to teach us these things. This Spirit will never leave us.

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

The blessings from our Lord are manifold, beginning with our indwelled Spirit, and His word which was later written down at the inspiration of His Spirit. Study His word today, worship Him by praising Him for those words, and bless Him by being obedient to them. He is a gracious and magnificent God, who taught His sheep from the boat.

Posted in end time, fish, galilee, prophecy

More on the fishing ban in the Sea of Galilee

Most prophecy serves a dual purpose, a near-fulfillment and a future fulfillment. Like the two floors on a double decker bus, the same prophetic utterances in the bible can have two fulfillments far apart in time. One example is in the fulfillment of a Messiah for the Jews. Prophecies said that the Messiah would be both a suffering servant and a conquering king. The Essenes, a strong sect during John the Baptists’ day, interpreted the prophecy incorrectly, believing that there would be two Messiahs, since the Torah had described such diferent (seeming) Messiahs to fulfill the prophecy.

John the Baptist asked in Luke 7:20 “Are you the One or are we to expect another?’ just to clear up the Essenes’ misunderstanding. That is also why the 12 Disciples thought Jesus was there to conquer Rome and overthrow the Jews’ oppression by that nation-state, since 483 years of the predicted 490 had passed in Daniel’s prophecy as to when the King would arrive. Little did the Disciples know that there would be a two-thousand year pause in the proceedings for the Jews! But Jesus has/will come twice, first as the suffering Servant and then again as the Conquering King. Zechariah 9:9-10 spoke of a humble messiah speaking peace to the nations, but in Zechariah 14:3-4 it tells of a King who defeats nations in war and makes the earth tremble. Two Kings? No, one King, two fulfillments, spaced apart by two thousand years.

Hosea prophesied. Many of his prophesies are dual but some may be single. It takes study and prayerful appeal to the Holy Spirit to correctly discern which are past prophesies and which are dual and which are single only. For example, Isaiah 17:1 says that Damascus will be destroyed, completely cut off from being a city. Since Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, that prophecy obviously has not been fulfilled yet. Hosea 3:4-5 speaks of the Second Coming, which again, obviously has not occurred yet: “For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king.”

In another Hosea prophecy, Chapter 4:1-3 tells of  God’s controversy with Israel. It begins:

Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
         For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
         Because there is <sup class="xref" value="(C)”>no faithfulness or kindness
         Or knowledge of God in the land.
There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery
         They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns,
         And everyone who lives in it languishes
         Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky,
         And also the fish of the sea disappear

The curses go on for quite a length of time, but you get the idea.

Though God has forever blessed His people and their possession of the land, their enjoyment of the land is conditional on how well they obey. The forever covenant of the land is known as the Abrahamic Covenant, and the conditional covenant based on obedience is known as the Mosaic Covenant. The conditions of the covenant God gave to Moses for the People is outlined quite specifically in Deuteronomy 28. It is seen that God does withdraw His blessing. Indeed, the Tribulation is known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, and it’s the period when God deals with the Israelites. Many terrible things happen during that time to the Jews. They are hunted, overcome, invaded, killed, persecuted, ravished, and more. Zechariah tells of a future time, the Tribulation, when “I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.” So we can see that though Israel is forever blessed to possess land and to be His people, at times God curses them because of disobedience or to draw them back to Him. Hosea 5 finishes this way:

“I will go away and return to My place
         Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
         In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”

Does it surprise you to know that God does withdraw blessings of abundance from His people? That the Tribulation is totally about bringing the People to their knees in acknowledgement of His sovereignty over them? Back to the news I wrote of yesterday that the Sea of Galilee is closed to fishing. In Hosea 4:3 we read that as God withdraws His blessing on Israel their abundant fishing that has been so productive for so many years goes away. “And the fish of the sea disappear.” Is this a sign that The Time of Jacob’s Trouble is about to begin? Only God knows for sure, but we are commanded to watch, and to know the signs.

Posted in end time, fish, galilee, prophecy

Sea of Galilee closed to fishing

The fish from Galilee figures prominently in the ministry of Jesus. The early followers of Jesus were called followers of The Way, and were known by the symbol of the fish. Jesus called four of His disciples who were fishermen to His ministry as apostles. He told them they would instead be fishers of men. Jesus fed 5000 with two fish caught from the Galilean sea. He rebuked the sea of Galilee when it struck up a storm like to drown the men on the boat (though Jesus slept). He called Peter to His ministry by telling fishless and dispirited Peter to drop his nets on the other side of the boat and so he did and drew in many fish. He answered the question about temple taxes by telling Peter to get a fish and then extracted a coin from its mouth, using it to pay the temple tax. That fish has become known as St. Peter’s Fish to this day. He made His resurrected self known to His disciples by cooking them a supper of fish and ate with them on the shores of the sea of Galilee. Fish from the mosaic of a third or fourth-century church floor from Megiddo, only recently discovered in 2005

The importance of the fish in the bible and especially from the New Testament through the emphasis by Jesus and His use of the fish as a means of parable, work, food, and symbol cannot be overstated. Though the Sea of Galilee is only 33 miles in circumference, 13 miles long, and 8 miles wide, it has supported fishing in abundance for over 2000 years. The first-century historian Josephus was so impressed by the area that he wrote, “One may call this place the ambition of Nature.” Josephus reported a thriving fishing industry at that time, with 230 boats regularly working in the lake.

A preacher in the later 1800s, visiting the Sea of Galilee noted, “the density of the shoals of fish in the Sea of Galilee can scarcely be conceived by those who have not witnessed them”. That abundance has kept pace with the population increase through 2005.

Indeed, the Sea of Galilee yielded about 300 tons of fish in 2005. However, disaster has struck. The haul for 2009 was only 8 tons. The drop has been precipitous, and thus in a drastic move, now Fishing is banned on the Sea of Galilee “Fishing in the Sea of Galilee has been banned, Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture has announced, amid claims stocks have fallen to a dangerous low. …The decree ends a tradition which has continued virtually unchanged since Biblical times”

It feels sad, and also spiritually agitating. No more fish to catch! Anyone who knows that the call of a Christian to be fishers of men knows that this is a terrible loss, metaphorically speaking. The fish of the Sea of Galilee is such an important part of what Jesus did to show us His principles, that to lose the fish after so long and so unexpectedly almost feels like God is withdrawing His blessing on Israel. It feels like it is a signal … of something. I have no words. Except, pray for Israel.

UPDATE: I’m not sure exactly what the verses mean in relation to the story but I feel they do have relation to it.

“Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, Like creeping things without a ruler over them?” Hab 1:14

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea. It collected every kind [of fish], and when it was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good [fish] into containers, but threw out the worthless ones.” [Matthew 13:47-48]

UPDATE 2:
More here