Gospels Decoded—Prophetic Pictures of End Time Events (Pt 11)

In this video, Nathan explains the end time prophetic implications of Yeshua the Good Shepherd gather his lost and scattered “sheep” together, the Parable of the Two Sons and how it relates to modern Jews and Christians, and Yeshua clashing with the religious system of his day and how that is a model for true end time believer Truth seekers to do the same.


The Gospels Decoded—Prophetic Pictures of End Time Events

In this episode, we will discuss the end time prophetic implications of the Parable of the Laborer’s Penny, Yeshua’s encounter of the woman at the well, Yeshua healing the nobleman’s son and the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard

Matthew 20:1–16, In this parable, Yeshua likens the kingdom of heaven to one who owns a vineyard and who hires laborers to work in his vineyard. During the course of the day the owner agrees to pay all of his workers a day’s wages regardless of when during the day they were hired. When pay time arrives, those hired at the beginning of the day murmured against those hired at the end of the day, since the owner paid them all the same wage. When accused of unfairness by those hired at the start of the day, the owner insists that they all agreed to the terms he offered and that they had no right to complain.

Prophetic Points to Analyze

  • verse 1— owner of the vineyard
  • verse 1— vineyard
  • verse 1— hired laborers
  • verse 2— their wages
  • verse 16— the last shall be first, and the first last

One possible interpretation of this parable is that the owner of the vineyard is YHVH, while the vineyard is a metaphor for Israel which is comprised of the house of Judah and the house of Israel (Isa 5:7). The vineyard can also be a metaphor for this world, which is like a field in which Yeshua’s saints have been called to work (Matt 13:38; 9:37; John 4:35).Salvation is the reward or wage that everyone receives regardless of when during their lifetime YHVH called them to work in his spiritual field. 

During the course of time, YHVH has “hired” laborers to work in his vineyard whether it is to help gather the lost sheep of the house of Israel, or to preach the gospel to the world in general. Those hired at the beginning of the day to tend his vineyard will receive the same reward (eternal life) as those hired just prior to the advent of YHVH’s millennial kingdom at the return of Yeshua. Our Lord speaks of this when he declared that on resurrection day when he hands out the gift of eternal life, many who were first shall be last and many who were last shall be first (Matt 19:30). That is to say, all the saints will be resurrected at the same time and will receive the same reward of everlasting life regardless of their length of service in YHVH’s spiritual field regardless of how long they have been serving him. 

This parable is reminiscent of the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, where the prodigal son was given the same honor by the father as the son who had stayed faithful all along. It is possible to view the prodigal, in the most general sense, as a representing the house of Ephraim (the Christians), who went into a far country and joined himself with the citizenry of that country where he wasted his inheritance on heathen living and then ended up eating the leftovers from pigs just to stay alive. 

Truly, this parable could apply to many of Judah, as well, who have traded their spiritual inheritance for what the world has to offer, and who also turned away from the Father in heaven by rejecting the Messiah. 

Not withstanding, a remnant of Judah who has remained faithful to their Torah-roots (and who believe in Yeshua the Messiah as well) may feel slighted when those who have recognized Messiah Yeshua, though they have lived like the world, including the eating of swine and other nonkosher foods, finally return to the Hebrew roots of their Christian faith and become Torah-obedient only to find that their reward in the world to come (olam haba) is neither greater nor less than the returning prodigals (or those Christians who have only recently embraced the Torah). 

There may be other, even more precise, allegorical interpretations to this parable that are yet to be discovered.

Yeshua Talks to the Samaritan Woman at the Well

John 4:3–42, This is the account of Yeshua stopping in his travels at a well in Samaria for a drink of water. There he encounters the Samaritan woman and discusses with here physical versus spiritual water, her marital status, his Messiahship, that salvation is of the Jews, and about the importance of worshipping the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yeshua then preaches the gospel to the Samaritan city of Sychar for two days.

Prophetic Points to Analyze

  • verse 3— left Judea and departed again into Galilee
  • verse 4— needed to go through Samaria
  • verse 5— Sychar
  • verse 5— Jacob’s well that he gave to Joseph
  • verse 7— give me to drink
  • verse 9— the Jews have no dealings the Samaritans
  • verse 10— the gift of Elohim
  • verses 13–14— living waters
  • verse 18— five husbands
  • verse 22— salvation is of the Jews
  • verses 23–24— spirit and truth
  • verse 35— four months of harvest
  • verse 39— many Samaritans believed on him
  • verse 40— two days

In this Gospel account, Yeshua takes the good news (or the gospel) to the mixed people-group (Israelite and Gentile) called the Samaritans. Historically, the Hebrew Scriptures record that the Northern Kingdom or Ephraim became intermixed with the Gentile nations (Hos 7:8; 8:8) into which it had been dispersed at the time of and subsequent to its deportation into captivity. The Samaritans are one aspect of the fulfillment of this prophecy. The story of Yeshua’s encounter with the Samaritans has many prophetic implications pertaining to evangelizing the people of the nations as we will now see.

John records that Yeshua stayed with the Samaritans for two days (verse 40), which prophetically and allegorically represents the 2000 year time span between his first and second comings, which is commonly known as the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). During this time, Ephraim (most generically speaking, the Christian church) will recognize their Messiah (Jesus), while most of those of Judea (the Jews) would be blind to Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.

Here is an analysis of some key prophetic points in Yeshua’s brief encounter with these mixed-race Gentiles:

verse 3— left Judea and departed again into Galilee. Yeshua left Judea departing for Galilee (the region of the former Northern Kingdom) passing through Samaria where the Samaritans lived, who were a mixed racial group comprised of Israelite ancestry and that of the Gentiles or people of the nations.

verse 4— needed to go through Samaria. Yeshua had to go through Samaria. He could not overlook these rejected mixed people who were basically scorned and rejected as second-class citizens by most respectable Jews. They too needed to hear the gospel message and had a place in YHVH’s kingdom.

verse 5— Sychar. Yeshua stopped at the Samaritan city of Sychar, which derives from the Hebrew word shekar meaning “strong or intoxicating drink, fermented or intoxicating liquor.” According to Lightfoot, Samaria, during the first temple period, was the name of a city, and during the second temple period, it was the name of a country. Its metropolis at that time was Shechem, which the Jews derisively referred to as Seckar based on the words of Isaiah, the prophet, in Isaiah 28:1 that states, “Woe to the drunken Ephraimites….” 

It is interesting to note that the Samaritans as a mixed people also had a mixed religion. They had the Torah, and yet followed a YHVH-type religion that was also mixed with some pagan traditions. 

Prophetically speaking, is this not the religious state (i.e., religious Babylon) out of which YHVH is calling his people in the end times (Rev 18:4)? Can it be denied that the Christian religion contains many non-biblical traditions that are totally antithetical to the truth of the Scriptures? This is not even counting those doctrines, beliefs and traditions that derive from overt pagan sources. To be sure, mainstream Christianity is a mixture of truth and error, and is part of spiritual Babylon (meaning “confusion” or “mixture”). 

Indeed, religious Babylon has made all nations drunk on the wine of her (spiritual) fornication;that is to say, all have committed spiritual harlotry with her by following many of her pagan and idolatrous traditions. All have had their spiritual senses and inhibitions dulled to the truth of YHVH by her sensual overtures. 

Sychar is either the historic city of Shechem or near Shechem, which is situated between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal (where the Torah promises and curses were pronounced upon the Israelites upon entering the Promised Land under Joshua, Josh 8:30–35). Shechem is also the historic entry point of the Promised Land by the Israelites. That is why Joseph requested to be buried there as an act of his faith. Many other notable Jews are also buried there.

verse 5— Jacob’s well that he gave to Joseph. This event occurred at the well that Jacob gave to Joseph. This speaks of the birthright blessings Jacob passed on to Joseph’s descendants who would end up mixing themselves with the nations as Hosea the prophet had foretold (Hos 7:8; 8:8). 

According to rabbinic interpretation, a well can be a metaphor for the Torah. Scripturally, water can represent both Torah or word of Elohim (Deut 32:1–2 cp. Eph 5:26) and the Spirit of Elohim (Joel 2:23). This well was located in the historic region of the tribe of Manasseh, the son of Joseph, while Mount Gerizim, to which the Samaritan woman refers later, is in the historic territory of Ephraim.

verses 7–10— Give me to drink. Yeshua asked this woman (who represents the spiritual “mixture” that is in the Christian church) for a drink of water. Spiritually speaking, as noted above, water is a biblical metaphor for both Spirit and Torah-truth. This woman did not understand what Yeshua meant. Once he explained it to her, she wanted the spiritual water (Torah and the Spirit) he had to offer. Likewise, how many Christians today understand the full ramifications of the Torah and the Spirit and how it applies to them? Many today, like the Samaritan woman of old, are hungering for more.

verse 9— The Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. The Samaritan woman was likely all too well aware of the literal wall of partition (or soreg) that had been constructed in the Jerusalem temple to keep non-Jews from entering therein. To a certain extent, such a wall still exists between those who insist that the Christian church is comprised of Jews and Gentiles, even though Yeshua came to break down that middle wall of separation and bring all the Gentiles into the nation of Israel (Eph 2:11–19), and to reunite these two estranged people groups (or the two houses of Israel) in himself, which Scripture now refers to as “the one new man” (Eph 2:15), where there is no longer Jew or Gentile (Gal 3:26–29). Additionally, let us never forget, there is no Gentile gate in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:12)!

verse 10— The gift of Elohim. What is the gift of YHVH to which Yeshua makes reference here? It is the loving gift of his Son, Yeshua, to redeem the world as John 3:16 states. It is the good news of the gospel message. It is the living waters of Spirit and truth (or Torah) that Yeshua would make available to those who thirst. It is all of these things and more.

verses 10— 13–14, Living water. The living waters springing up into everlasting life are none other than Yeshua the Written Torah and Yeshua the Living Torah, the Word or Torah of Elohim incarnate.

verses 16–18— Five husbands. The woman had had five husbands and was living in sin with another man at that moment. This speaks of the Christian church (the house of Israel) who has been cohabiting with the foreign and pagan spiritual lovers almost from its nascence in the second century (just after the death of the last apostle) by adhering to many pagan belief systems and customs. We see this by its heavy emphasis on and devotion to such blatantly pagan and nonbiblical traditions as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Lent, and Sunday observance and the like, all of which are rooted in paganism.

verse 22— Salvation is of the Jews. The Messiah was Jewish and the human foundation stones of the “church” and the authors of the Testimony of Yeshua—the twelve apostles—were all Jewish (Eph 2:22), and the Jews were the preservers of the oracles of YHVH (Rom 3:2); therefore, salvation was of the Jews.

verses 23–24— Spirit and truth. This is another way of saying Yeshua the Living Torah and Yeshua the Written Torah or Logos. Otherwise stated, it can be a reference to Elijah and the prophets and Moses and the Torah, the two witnesses of Ephraim and Judah, the Tanakh or Hebrew Scriptures and the Brit Chadashah or the Testimony of Yeshua, grace and law, mercy and judgment, and the spirit and the letter of the law. All these are different ways of saying the same thing.

verses 28–30, 39–42— Many…Samaritans…believed in Him. This prophetically speaks of the harvest of the lost sheep of the house of Israel beginning at the time of Yeshua’s first advent culminating with a great end time harvest that is yet to come when Ephraimites and the Gentiles, who have attached themselves to Ephraim, will come to faith in Yeshua the Messiah. He speaks of this harvest in verses 34–38.

verses 34–38— Four months and then comes the harvest. Yeshua’s encounter with the Samaritan women occurred around the feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) in May, and four month later the great fall harvest prior to Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) would occur. Between Shavuot and Sukkot are the summer months, or prophetically, the two thousand year period Yeshua refers to as “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24), when the gospel would go out to the people of the nations. Many Gentiles would be given those living waters to which Yeshua made reference. These four months represent the time period between Yeshua’s first and second comings.

verse 40— He stayed there two days. Yeshua stayed with this mixed group of people (Israelite and Gentile) for two days, prophetically representing 2000 years, or the two thousand years between his first and second comings. The phrase “two days” is used elsewhere in the Scriptures to represent 2000 years of Messiah’s work on earth prior to his second coming (e.g., Hos 6:2).

What You Can Do

As Yeshua walked along the road of life, he met many people in his day-to-day activities. He took every opportunity to sow spiritual seeds into the lives of those people, to meet their needs (both physical and spiritual), to ask them questions, to listen to them, and to build a relationship with them. Then when the time was opportune, he shared with them the gospel message and the truth of the Torah. For him, this was a lifestyle, a modus operandi

This should be our method of operation as well. Be a spiritual Johnny Appleseed by continually looking for fertile soil into which to plant the seeds of the Word of Elohim, the Torah, the gospel message, the life, hope and light of Yeshua the Messiah. In this way, we will be helping to advance the kingdom of Elohim one life at a time as we reach out in an effort to gather in a bountiful harvest of souls—the lost sheep of Israel.

Yeshua Heals a Nobleman’s Son

John 4:43–54, “Now after two days he departed from there, and went into Galilee. For Yeshua himself testified, that a prophet has no honor in his own country. Then when he had come into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast, for they also went unto the feast. So Yeshua came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Yeshua was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then said Yeshua unto him, ‘Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.’ The nobleman said unto him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’ Yeshua said unto him, ‘Go your way; your son lives.’ And the man believed the word that Yeshua had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, ‘Your son lives.’ Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to get better. And they said unto him, ‘Yesterday at the ninth [HRV, as found in the Old Syriac] hour the fever left him.’ So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Yeshua said unto him, ‘Your son lives,’ and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Yeshua did, when he had come out of Judea into Galilee.”

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Gospels Decoded—Prophetic Pictures of End Time Events (Pt 10)

In this video, discover the end times prophetic implications Yeshua’s healing the nobleman’s son, the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and Yeshua healing the sick man at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath.


The Gospels Decoded—Prophetic Pictures of End Time Events

The Faith of a Gentile Woman

Matthew 15:21–28, “Then Yeshua went away from there, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Master, Son of David; my daughter is grievously demonized.’ But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she cries after us.’ But he answered and said, ‘I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ Then came she and worshipped him, saying, ‘Master, help me.’ But he answered and said, ‘It is not suitable to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.’ And she said, ‘Truth, Master, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Yeshua answered and said unto her, ‘O woman, great is your faith. Be it unto you even as you desire.’ And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” 

Prophetic Points to Analyze

  • verse 21— coasts
  • verse 22— Son of David
  • verse 23— send her away
  • verse 24— I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel
  • verse 25— came she and worshipped him
  • verse 26— the children’s bread
  • verse 27— crumbs which fall from their master’s table
  • verse 28— made whole

The Canaanite woman in this story is a non-Israelite Gentile who recognized that Yeshua was the Messiah, Son of David. She, like Rahab of Jericho and Ruth the Moabitesse, had accepted the Elohim of Israel, and she even put her faith in Yeshua, Israel’s Messiah. 

In faith, this woman recognized that part of the Messiah’s mission was to exercise dominion over and eradicate from this earth every vestige of satanic influence, while simultaneously advancing the kingdom of Elohim. Indeed, we find prophesied in the Book of Revelation Satan’s demise, his removal from this earth and his confinement to the bottomless pit at the return of Yeshua and the establishment of Yeshua’s millennial kingdom (Rev 20:1–3).

At his first advent, it was Yeshua’s mission to preach the good news of the kingdom of heaven, and to begin establishing the kingdom of Elohim on earth (Matt 4:17)—a mission that his disciples were to continue after his ascension. 

Furthermore, the Scriptures teach us that Yeshua and his disciples preached that the “kingdom of heaven was at hand” (Matt 4:17), and that it was near because the sick were being healed and the demonized delivered (Luke 10:9; 11:20). The kingdom of heaven was “among them” (Luke 17:21) through the work and person of Yeshua, and through the fact that the saints are being “translated into the kingdom of his [Elohim’s] dear Son” (Col 1:13; 1 Thess 2:12). 

This is what Yeshua and his disciples taught, and what those who followed him believed including any formerly non-Israelites Gentiles, such as the Canaanite woman in this story. Upon acknowledging Yeshua as their Redeemer, these Gentiles are no longer strangers or aliens to the nation of Israel, but become grafted into the commonwealth of Israel and the blessed beneficiaries of the divine covenants of Israel (Eph 2:11–19.

As noted throughout this book, we see that Yeshua’s primary target group was the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Yet the good news message never precluded non-Israelite Gentiles from sojourning with Israel and becoming grafted into the nation and the covenantal promises YHVH made to them (Exod 12:48; Num 9:14; Eph 2:11–19; Rom 11:13–24).

Bread on the masters table metaphorically represents the Word of Elohim, the instructions, teachings or precepts of Elohim (i.e., the Torah) given to Israel to live by. It also points to Yeshua, the Living Torah-Word of Elohim (Matt 4:4; John 1:1, 14; 6:48–58). Yet there has always been a righteous “Gentile” remnant that has been attracted to the glorious light of the Torah-truth of Elohim (Isa 60:1ff). Such was the case with Joseph’s wife, Rahab, Ruth and the mixed multitude that left Egypt with the Israelites (Exod 12:38). Even in our day, many Christian (non-Israelite“Gentile”) believers have been feeding from the spiritual crumbs that have been falling from YHVH’s banqueting table, which David references in Psalm 23:5. These Gentiles have received salvation, deliverance and hope, yet, in a state of being somewhat detached from the Hebraic roots of their faith, they have not realized the fullness and richness of the gospel message. They have become grafted into the olive tree of Israel and are now Israelites in the eyes of YHVH Elohim.

Yeshua referred to this Canaanite woman from the area of Tyre and Sidon as a “little dog” (Matt 15:26). He contrasted this non-Israelite woman with the ten tribes of the lost sheep of the house of Israel (verse 24), which was his mission to regather (Matt 10:5–6). The woman, in great faith, replied that even dogs were allowed to feed from the master’s table and therefore benefit from the spiritual food, salvation and healing available through the Jews and the Jewish Messiah (verses 22 and 27). Upon seeing her great faith and perspicacity, Yeshua granted her the request that he heal her demonized daughter (verse 28).

Furthermore, Tyre and Sidon were cities of Phoenecia, and not part of geographical Israel. This woman of Canaan may have been an Israelite dwelling in the land of the Gentiles, or she may have been a non-Israelite Gentile. Whatever the case, she had a knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures and knew who the Messiah was and that his mission would be to heal the sick and to go primarily to Israel and not specifically to the non-Israelite Gentiles. 

What can we learn from this encounter between Yeshua and the Phoenician woman? First, there will be those of the non-Israelite Gentile nations who will have a heart for the Messiah and will seek him for spiritual healing. Second, some Israelites will want to keep Messiah for themselves and will hinder the non-Israelite Gentiles from coming to faith in Messiah. Third, Yeshua had a heart for and was willing to minister to those Gentiles who had faith in him. Fourth, some of those who are non-Israelite Gentiles will be demonized and need deliverance at the hands of the Messiah, the Anointed One. This whole story shows the loving grace of our Savior for everyone and that he is not willing that anyone should perish, but that all should come to him in repentance (2 Pet 3:9).

This Gospel account teaches us that the message of the gospel—a message of great hope, deliverance, salvation and life—is not confined to the biological nation of Israel alone, but is a message of hope for all peoples throughout the world. As such, all peoples everywhere are called to become part of Israel.

What You Can Do

Do you feel as if you have been feeding from the spiritual crumbs and leftovers in your spiritual associations? Have you wanted to be an Israelite, or felt a spiritual affinity with the people of Israel, but have believed what your spiritual teachers have told you—that you are a Gentile, and always will be one? Well, it is time to believe the Word of Elohim, which clearly states that if you are redeemed by the blood of Yeshua, you are no longer a Gentile, that is, one who is without Elohim and without hope (Eph 2:11–19). You are now a redeemed Israelite and a literal child or descendant of Abraham, and as such, you are entitled to the full rights and privileges of an Israelite (Gal 3:26–29). As such, you will enter the New Jerusalem through one of the twelve gates named after the twelve tribes of Israel; there is no gate labelled “Gentile” (Rev 21:12)! So now it is time for you to have faith like the Canaanite woman, and claim what is yours and what the Father wants to give to you!

Yeshua Feeds Four Thousand

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Gospels Decoded—Prophetic Pictures of End Time Events (Pt 9)

In this video, discover the end times prophetic implications of the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, and Yeshua’s discussion with the woman at the well as it relates to worshiping the Father in Spirit and Truth.


Gospels Decoded—Prophetic Pictures of End Time Events (Pt 8)

In this video, discover the end times prophetic implications of the coin in the fish’s mouth, and Yeshua’s teaching on marriage and divorce as it relates to his marriage to his saints.


The Gospels Decoded—Prophetic Pictures of End Time Events

This author believes that the earthly ministry of Yeshua had prophetic implications pertaining to end time events. In other words, I will now attempt to show the reader that behind, if you will, the literal events surrounding Yeshua’s earthly ministry including his miracles and teachings, there was an entire prophetic or allegorical subtext or message. Yeshua’s life was literally a walking prophetic shadow-picture. Understanding these divinely engineered, yet hidden clues from a Hebraic context will yield a literal treasure trove of understanding into end time events as prophetically prefigured in the fall festivals of YHVH.

For the record, let it be known that such a study in no way denies the historicity of the literal events surrounding Yeshua’s life. Both Jewish and Christian scholars have been interpreting literal biblical events in an allegorical light for thousands of years. This is not a new exercise. (For a discussion of this, please refer to our brief study of the Jewish rules of biblical interpretation at the end of this book.) Not only have the biblical exegetes derived understanding from the biblical record through this means of interpretation, but numerous examples can be cited from the apostolic writers themselves interpreting various scriptural passages from the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament) in this manner as well.

What is different about the following study is that it will allegorically examine the entire life of Yeshua—his ministry activities, the meaning of the geographical names of the places where he ministered and his parables for the purpose of deriving insights into end time events such as the great tribulation and wrath of Elohim periods, the resurrection, the second coming, the regathering and reunification of the exiled Israelites, the marriage of the Yeshua to his bride and the establishment of his kingdom on earth. It is hoped that the insights gained may clarify some of the difficult passages in the writings of the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the prophecies found in the Testimony of Yeshua including the Book of Revelation.

Yeshua’s Compassion on the Scattered Sheep

Matthew 9:35–38, “And Yeshua went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then said he unto his disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore that the Master of the harvest will send forth laborers into his harvest.’” 

Prophetic Points to Analyze

  • verse 36, scattered abroad
  • verse 36, sheep having no shepherd

Yeshua continued his ministry of healing the shepherdless sheep of the house of Israel and the house of Judah, who had been scattered, hurt, maimed and exploited by hypocritical, self-righteous and self-serving religionists (see Ezek 34). 

Yeshua commenced the mission to regather his lost and scattered sheep at his first coming, and his servants continue this mission to this day. At Yeshua’s second coming, he will culminate the work he started 2000 years ago of redeeming and (re)gathering the exiles back to the land of Israel in fulfilment of the land inheritance promises YHVH made to the patriarchs—promises which have yet to be fulfilled to their fullest extent, and which must be fulfilled if the Word of Elohim is true.

The Parable of the Large Net

Matthew 13:47–50, Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the age. The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Prophetic Points to Analyze

  • verse 47, like a net
  • verse 47, cast into the sea
  • verse 47, gathered every kind
  • verse 48, gathered the good…cast the bad away

This is another parable relating to the kingdom of Elohim, and correlates with the concept of Yeshua’s servants being fishermen or, more accurately, fishers of men, seeking lost Israel (the descendants of Ephraim, Manasseh and, by logical extension, the other tribes of the Northern Kingdom as well) whom Scripture likens to fish mixed throughout the sea of humanity (Gen 48:16). 

As we have already seen, this understanding corresponds with the rabbinic Jewish interpretation of Genesis 48:16 which says, “may they [Ephraim and Manasseh’s descendants] proliferate abundantly like fish within the land” (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach translation), or as the Aramaic Targum Onkelos translates it, “And like the fish of the sea may they multiply like the children of men on earth.” 

The descendants of Ephraim will be mixed in among the nations to become like fish of every sort and kind. As the spiritual net (that is, the message of the gospel) of YHVH is preached to these lost sheep, it will draw up every sort of fish (to mix metaphors). The angels will go forth just prior to the resurrection of the righteous to separate the good fish from the bad, the wheat from the chaff, the righteous from the wicked and the wheat from the tares (see Matt 24:31; 13:30, 37–41, 47–50; cp. 13:24–30). This will be a day of rejoicing for those who are gathered in, a day of anguish for those who are rejected because they failed to heed the gospel message and place their trust and obedient faith in Yeshua the Messiah.

What You Can Do

What are you doing to support the spreading of the gospel, so that the lost sheep of the house of Israel can be brought in? To what degree are you using your divinely-given gifts or talents, as well as the time, treasures and resources heaven has placed at your disposal to be a fisher of men, or to support those who are doing that work? Let us not forget Yeshua’s Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 where he rewarded the faithful servants, but cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness.

Yeshua Feeds the Five Thousand

Matthew 14:13–21, “When Yeshua heard of it [about the death of John the Baptist], he departed there by ship [they crossed the Sea of Galilee, John 6:1] into a desert [wilderness] [up into a mountain, John 6:3] [to rest a while, Mark 6:31] place apart. And when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Yeshua went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things, Mark 6:33], and he healed their sick. And when it was evening [the day was now far spent, Mark 6:35], his disciples came to him, saying, ‘This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food.’ But Yeshua said unto them, ‘They need not depart; feed them.’ [“There is a lad here, which has five barley loaves, and two small fishes,” John 6:9] And they said unto him, ‘We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.’ He said, ‘Bring them to me.’ And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and broke, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled [satisfied, fulfilled]: [Yeshua said, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost,” John 6:12] and there was left over of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.”

Prophetic Points to Analyze

  • John 6:1— Sea of Galilee
  • Matthew 14:13— by ship
  • Matthew 14:13— desert (wilderness)
  • Matthew 14:14— great multitude
  • Matthew 14:14— moved with compassion
  • Matthew 14:14— healed the sick
  • Matthew 14:15— evening (the day was far spent)
  • Matthew 14:15— buy victuals
  • John 6:9— a lad
  • Matthew 14:17— five loaves
  • Matthew 14:17— two small fishes
  • Matthew 14:20— twelve full baskets

This account appears to be an allegory pertaining to end-time events—specifically, the regathering of the Israelite exiles, and is another allusion to the final redemption. 

John the Immerser (or Baptist), who came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for Messiah, had just been killed by the politico-religious system of his day. (It is interesting to note that the two end time witnesses or prophets, who will come in the spirit of Elijah, similarly will be martyred in Jerusalem just prior to the return of Yeshua [Rev 11:1–13].) In response to John’s murder at the hands of Herod, Yeshua and his disciples left the area to escape any possible backlash as a result of the wrath of Herod (who symbolically represents the devil). I take this to be a picture of what the Bible prophesies will occur to Yeshua’s bride (the saints) during the great tribulation just prior to his return (Rev 12:12–17). In this scenario, metaphorically the boat in which Yeshua and his disciples were sailing across the sea appears to point to the eagle’s wings of Revelation 12:14 that carried the woman into the wilderness, which is a place of protection and safety the first half of the wrath of Elohim period that is to fall upon the unsaved inhabitants of the earth. 

Once in the wilderness, “when the day was far spent…and now the time is far passed” (a prophetic reference to the end of the age just prior to the return of Yeshua), Yeshua fed the multitude five loaves and two fishes provided by a young boy. The five loaves can symbolically represent the five books of YHVH’s Torah or Pentateuch. This is because in Jewish thought the number five represents the Torah, and bread can be a biblical metaphor for the Word of Elohim (Matt 4:4). This points to Yeshua who, spiritually speaking, is the Bread of Life and the Torah-Word of Elohim made flesh (John 1:1, 14; 6:32–58). The two fish is a likely metaphor for the two houses of Israel (i.e., the houses of Judah and Ephraim). This is because, as we have seen before, Scripture likens the sons of Joseph (Ephraim and Manessah) to fish of the sea in Genesis 48:16 (or and who would “proliferate abundantly like fish,” according to The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach translation of Gen 48:16). At the same time, as we noted earlier, Yeshua called his disciples to become fishers of men (i.e., Jews, all Israelites and eventually all humans across the face of the earth (Acts 1:8). The fact that a lad provided the makings for the dinner shows us that the Torah-Word of Elohim is neither too difficult for YHVH’s people to understand nor to obey (Deut 30:11–14), for even a child is able to provide this food. Elsewhere Yeshua taught that we must become humble, simple and teachable as little children if we are to enter his spiritual kingdom (Matt 18:2–5).

Yeshua was moved with compassion toward the multitude because they were as sheep without a shepherd. In Ezekiel 34, YHVH rebukes the spiritual shepherds of Israel (i.e., the religious leaders) for not feeding his spiritual sheep,130 for not gathering those who were scattered and lost, and for not healing the wounded and sick. This was the spiritual condition of lost (Ezek 34:16) and scattered (Ezek 34:5) Israel, but YHVH, the Good Shepherd, promises to feed his sheep upon the mountains of Israel (Ezek 34:13–14), even as Yeshua fed the multitudes in the wilderness upon the mountains of Israel by the Sea of Galilee in the historic homeland of the house of Israel (or the Northern Kingdom). He not only fed the multitude, but healed their sick. This he also promised to do for the returning sheep of Israel in Ezekiel 34:4 and 16. 

Moreover, Yeshua would not permit the multitudes to return to the villages (symbolic of the churches or religious institutions of the Babylonian world system—out of which YHVH commands his people to come, Rev 18:4) to procure food even though it was becoming evening (or prophetically a reference to the end of the age—a time of spiritual darkness). After all, Yeshua is the Bread of Life (John 6:48–58) and he, as a faithful shepherd, will feed his sheep provender (Ps 23:1–2). He promises to nourish his people in the wilderness during the dark times of the great tribulation just prior to his second coming (Rev 12:14) by feeding Israel from his Torah (pictured by the five loaves). 

It is not until one comes away from the villages (a metaphor for the churches or religious systems of this world, which the Scriptures call Babylon or “confusion”[Rev 18:4]) that one becomes truly satisfied and fulfilled with the spiritual nourishment of both the Written Torah-Word and Yeshua the Living Torah-Word of Elohim. In fact, there was such an abundance of food in the wilderness by the hand of Yeshua that twelve baskets of bread were left over. 

The number twelve is a symbol of the twelve tribes of Israel, who Yeshua the Good Shepherd will feed once he gathers all his scattered sheep together (Ezek 34:5, 11–16). Twelve also speaks of perfect government. For example, in YHVH’s kingdom the twelve apostles will sit on twelve thrones ruling the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt 19:28). Eventually, only redeemed and glorified Israelites will inhabit the New Jerusalem, which has twelve gates named after the twelve tribes of Israel. There will be no gate labelled “Gentile” (Rev 21:12)! This will be the perfect governmental system of YHVH eternal kingdom.

What You Can Do

Have you left, or are you in the process of leaving Babylonian religious systems, which contain a mixture of biblical truth and pagan and humanistic teachings? This is the time when Yeshua is calling his people out of Babylon (Rev 18:4) and promises to feed and care for them in the wilderness, even as YHVH led the children of Israel out of Egypt and cared for them in the wilderness and prepared them for going into the Promised Land. 

In Hebrew, the word wilderness is midbar, which, interestingly, is the Hebrew name for the fourth book of the Bible, the Book of Numbers, which is B’midbar, meaning “in the wilderness.” This word contains the Hebrew word d’bar or debar (also devar), which literally means “word” as in “the word of Elohim”. In fact, the name of the fifth book of the Bible is Deuteronomy is also related to this word. It is the Hebrew word devarim (literally meaning “words” [of Elohim], which is the plural of debar (also devar). Finally, the most set-apart place (or the holy of holies) in the Tabernacle of Moses was alternately called the deveer, which is a Hebrew word meaning “oracle”. It was called this because it was there that Moses went to hear the word of YHVH. 

What is the point of this quick word study? Simply this. The Hebrew word for wilderness is related to the Hebrew word for the word of Elohim. What can we learn from this as related to Yeshua feeding the multitudes in the wilderness away from the cities of the Babylonian world system? Sometimes YHVH’s people have to leave the non or quasi-religious (Babylonian) systems of men, and go into the spiritual wilderness to hear the pure and undiluted word of Elohim. This is not easy for many people to do, but in the end times, YHVH is calling more of his people to do just that so that he can purify them spiritually, bring them into alignment with his Word and Spirit (Ezek 20:33–38), and then prepare and train them for their future destiny as leaders in his millennial kingdom in the spiritual Promised Land.