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The End of The World: The Jonah & The Whale Syndrome

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I laugh each time I read the account of Jonah and his warning to Nineveh.  It is funny when we can look from a safe distance back in time, and are removed from the immediate circumstances.  But, Jonah had very real feelings about what God had told him to do, and most of us today have those same feelings.  I really marvel at God’s loving patience.

It took Jonah three days to travel to Nineveh after being spit out by the great fish. (We don’t know that it was a whale, as the Bible does not say what kind of fish.)  Then, once Jonah arrived at Nineveh, it took another day to walk into the city itself.  (Jon. 3:1-4) 

Nineveh was a large city of it’s time with over 120,000 people whom God described as not knowing their right hand from their left hand (Jon. 4:10).  Though we casually use these words today to describe very uneducated, ignorant people, that does not necessarily agree with history’s description of the trained and skilled people of Nineveh.  

The people of Nineveh made several contributions to the progress of mankind including locks and keys, paved roads, the first postal system, the first libraries, the first plumbing, flushing toilets and aqueducts, and a few other inventions.

So, God’s most likely was speaking of young, innocent children; ones who had not yet learned the difference between their right and left hands.  It’s probably best not to assume that the 120,000 people was indicative of the total population.  Most likely the population was many times larger.

Located about 250 miles north of Babylon, on the eastern bank of the river Tigris, Nineveh was known in the ancient world as the center of the idolatrous worship of the fertility goddess Ishtar (Astarte).  They practiced “sacred prostitution” and employed the use of drugged wines and other intoxicating herbs in their rituals. (See link at further reading below. See also Nahum 3:1-5) 

Sennacherib would later make Nineveh the capital city of Assyria, about 705 BC. 

But, Jonah’s mission to Nineveh occurred most probably during the reign of Jeroboam II, king of the northern tribes of Israel from 793 – 753 BC.  This places God’s warning to Nineveh about 150 – 180 years before Nineveh fell to the Babylonians and Medes about 612 BC.   

They were a brutal people, whose kings insured peace by violently punishing rebellions.  Descriptions of the consequences are upsetting, including flaying and skinning their prisoners and nailing the skins to the walls of the city, posting their heads before the gates of the city to rot, cutting out their eyes and tongues, bleeding them dry, crucifying them, and walling them up alive to slowly die.

We are looking at the biggest bully of the local neighborhood, a corrupting influence upon the surrounding nations, one of which was Israel.  Jonah had cause to dislike and even hate Nineveh.  They were murderers, thieves, idolaters, practicing much wickedness.  Jonah knew they were deserving of death and he wanted justice to prevail.

We can bring this closer to home with a simple analogy.  Suppose you live on a nicely appointed street, your neighborhood is civil, your neighbors kind, and most are living in peace.  But, down the street a new family moves in, and they turn out to be drug dealers, with all the violence and prostitution it brings.  There are cars parked along both sides of the street, and people going in and out at all hours of the day and night. 

Soon, your children begin displaying signs of drug use.  Soon, others go missing.  Then, police are constantly raiding the house, and the neighborhood is descending into chaos.  You just want your children and your neighborhood to be safe again, and you want the police or the authorities to get rid of that family who is destroying your children and your peace.  You want to see them go to jail and to be punished.  Right?

While some commentators speculate that Jonah’s reluctance to go to Nineveh was due to fear of the king and his violent military generals, I believe Jonah’s anger is a more prevailing indicator of his attitude.  He just did not want God to have mercy upon those very wicked people.  He would rather that God had struck them down.  He even told God, in so many words, that he had predicted the outcome. 

Jon. 4:1-3, ” But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!” “  (NKJV)

Paraphrasing…..  See, I knew this would happen!  I told you so.

Jonah was so angry that God had shown mercy upon those wicked people who were deserving of death, that he went out of the city to sulk and pout.

God created a plant to provide shade for Jonah while he sulked and pouted.  Some translations say a “gourd plant”, others a poisonous castor bean plant.  While there might be some merit in the contrast of Jonah’s benefiting from a poisonous plant, the real point to consider is his reaction to its withering away.

Jon. 4:10-11, 10 But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?””  (NKJV)

Jonah had more compassion and pity for a plant that had provided him shade than for any of the innocent people in Nineveh.

And, isn’t that just what many of us are doing today?  So many people are calling for the end of the world; they are clamoring for God to do something to end the wickedness that surrounds us, and which seems close to overwhelming us.  So many people are turning their desire for justice and recompense into a call for God to come in judgment, even up to and including destroying the entire world in an “end of the world” scenario which is nowhere depicted in the scriptures.

They are waiting for God to bring world-wide destruction even though it would mean the death of many innocent people, and deprive God of souls that would otherwise turn to Him.  It is not only NOT God’s plan, it is very short sighted. 

God knows who His people are, and He knows who else may be coming along that are not yet here, and that we are not yet aware of, or those wicked who may yet repent and turn back to Him.

Ezek. 18: 23, Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”

John 10:2-4, ” But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.  4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.”

By praying for a final judgment to come, or praying for a nation to be destroyed, praying for a “second coming” end of the world, you are in essence assuming Christ’s role of judge.  Who are we to do so?

All of us will stand before Him.  All of the wicked are going to answer to Him for what they have done, even if it must wait for their death. They are not going to get away with anything.  He will take care of the nations that are wicked, and of those that will not repent of their sins.  We have the example from the Old Testament.

Jer. 12:16-17, “16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The Lord liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people.  17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the Lord.

If the United States and Israel continue in their sins, that is exactly what will happen to them both.

But, until God has determined that judgment, how many innocent lives will you deny in your thirst for His judgment to come?  How many are you willing should die and be denied the opportunity to answer the gospel call of Christ?

Would you consider, please, that the end-times teaching in which you may  have been indoctrinated, is from these very same wicked people who think of themselves as elite, intelligentsia, and more worthy than all the rest of us? 

Would you consider, please, that by following their teaching of some future Armageddon WWIII battle, that you are playing into their hands, and into their conspired and deliberate designs for death and destruction of a major part of the world population?

They have twisted the word of God into a future prophesy that God never foretold.  Revelation is not about the end of the world, and we are not in the last days.  The evil ones are using your fears against you.  The Bible does not teach about a reign of Christ on earth, and it does not teach about a rapture, and it does not teach about the end of the world. 

The proof from the scriptures that we are not in the “last days” are listed in the previous posts Daniel and The End Times, and in the series of It’s Not The End of The World, Part I – X; The Whore of Babylon; The Beast of Revelation; the eight parts of The Signs of Revelation and others at “more stories” above.  All posts are also at

Sources: KJV, Young’s, and the NKJV.  All bold emphasis is mine.

Further reading:

Ishtar of Nineveh

Nineveh, and Those Nasty Assyrians

Ancient Nineveh


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    • goastdale

      It is a biblical fact according to the bibles own figures that last days are the last 70 years of the number of years between BC596…to AD70 = 666 yrs the period of time outlined once as a MAN and once as a BEAST in Daniel Ch 2 & 7 respectively .as the time the 7 fold (7 seals/trumps vials) curse of the law of Moses was poured out on the physical seed of Israel purified until only a spiritual seed was left…

      This is also how we know slam dunk that Muhammad was a false teacher…just like most “bible teaching Christians”…….THE SECOND COMING Thou Fool! “I come quickly” so “Hold fast till i come”… NOT …“in another 2000 yrs I might be coming soon any time now, so hold fast”!?! …those that deny the second coming of Christ in that first generation are practicing a damnable heresy in denying the lord that bought them ( 2Peter 2:1-2 ;2Tim 4:8)…….Mat 7:23..”I NEVER KNEW YOU” …..Mat 10:33. But whosoever shall deny me before men……..sound familiar?…. ……. If I said I am coming to your house in this generation when these things happen but no one knows the day or hour what fool would think I might be coming in 2000 years latter!?!? ..2 Tim 4: 4. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be TURNED UNTO FABLES.

      Gal 1: 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

      The book of Revelation offers us an interesting Theological dilemma. It states Rev 22:16. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. Revelation also states it is “the true sayings” of Jesus and that it is “the testimony of Christ”. If this is not “the gospel of Jesus Christ” then what is it and should we consider it accursed testimony of an angel? If it is not to be considered accursed, then it cannot be some other gospel message then what was already given previously. However, this is the conundrum, for if this is the gospel message, then why do so few understand it? There is a possibility which few consider but is the overall thesis of this apology. The reason people don’t understand revelation is because they never understood what the gospel message was in the first place! In that case, where does that put those who claim it is not essential for salvation? Do you not find it quite curious that the most “Personally” given NT book By Jesus himself, is the least understood and given the least importance for Salvation in Christendom?….There are numerous preachers and bible exegetes but as Paul said “… I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” . Most who profess the name of Christ are feeding on doctrines of devils and the ignorant.. There are, without question, many “qualified” teachers and scholars with many years of “dedication” and “solid education”. However, teachers, no matter how well lettered or numbered in degrees; if obtained from others; who are just as equally ignorant in such matters, are just “ blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”………………

      Revelation the First Gospel of the Kingdom
      978-1-4907-0590-3 (ISBN)

      Those looking for a physical return of Christ and your physical body to “leave the dirt” resurrected (1Cor 15:36-37) you are carnal mined & or living in prov 26:12

      DAY OF THE LORD”/ YEAR OF THE LORD – does NOT last for 24 hours!?!..Also means the day of resurrection & judgment do not last for one hour or one day either! They only begin (NOT END) in a certain hour & on a certain 24 hour day ….”SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS to arise”…..NOT..”come & get (your new resurrected body) it while it is still hot, only 24 hours of solar power left”!?!

      The second coming took place already and Christ promised that only HIS PEOPLE would see him ….John 14:19. Yet a little while, and THE WORLD SEETH ME NO MORE;….. [2 Cor 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ AFTER THE FLESH, yet NOW HENCEFORTH KNOW WE HIM NO MORE….(here the Context of John 14 is his second coming)…..continued…..but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20. AT THAT DAY .. 21. He that hath my commandments, and KEEPETH THEM, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and WILL MANIFEST MYSELF TO HIM……(again taking note “as he is” or 1Jn 3:2)

      22. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, HOW IS IT THAT THOU WILT MANIFEST THYSELF UNTO US AND NOT UNTO THE WORLD? 23. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.( Rev 3:20) 24. He that loveth me not.. (1Cor 16:22)…. KEEPETH NOT MY SAYINGS: ( REV 9:16-20)

      REVELATION 1:7. Behold, HE COMETH WITH CLOUDS; and EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM, …. There is a parallel here with ………….Exodus 24:10. And THEY SAW THE GOD OF ISRAEL : and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 11. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also THEY SAW GOD, and did eat and drink………..But Christ said….. John 1:18. NO MAN HATH SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. A person can see with their understanding and or see with their eyes…. It can see “seen” for certain that everything that Christ described was seen by the folks of that day in His coming but do they perceive that was him? …So what Christ said is true every eye saw him but the world does not see him….. With the eye they and folks still today can see everything Christ described to have taken place, but they do not “keep” ( believe and understand) his words as such they do not see him nor shall they ever.

      The saints who have physical died faithful in the flesh (every man in his own order) are changed in the blink of an eye & caught up to sit on that Great white throne ( this congregation of the saints is the body of Christ that folks will answer to at the judgment and these saints will judge all men who cannot see Christ along with the rest of the world……Folks think they are waiting to see Jesus but they will NEVER see Jesus himself they will only see the body of Christ condemn them the saints judge the world (Rev 3:21; 1 Cor 6:2 et al) the saints are the body of Christ…that is the only part of Christ they shall see….only the saints shall see God face to face…..most peoples idea of the second coming & day of the Lord and the judgment is completely wrong


      978-1-4907-0590-3 (SC ISBN)

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