Lately, I have been blogging on the various false prophecies and teachings of Ellen White. Because of this many SDA have said to me that since Jonah was also a false prophet that means it is okay for Ellen White to be a false prophet too. This gives her a pass I guess in the eyes of some. In this post I am going to demonstrate from scripture that Jonah was a true prophet.
I would recommend before proceeding with reading my blog post on this that you take a moment to read the book of Jonah. It is one of the shortest, it shouldn’t take you more than ten minutes.
Most have heard the story, even those with no Christian background. There are a lot of messianic themes that most seem to gloss over. But the story itself is well known.
“Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,; Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.; But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:1-3 KJV
There are two questions I intend to ask and then answer later as we analyze this book.
- What did God mean by “cry against it”?
- Why did Jonah flee?
To summarize the rest of chapter 1 and 2, Jonah is thrown into the sea during a storm. A great fish of some kind swallows him up and then spits him out later on to dry land. There is also a beautiful prayer that Jonah gives while in the belly of the beast that is worth taking a look at in Chapter 2.
At the start of Chapter 3 we see that the story resets back to God’s original command to his prophet.
“And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,; Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.” Jonah 3:1-2 KJV
Here we see “cry against it” is reiterated with the words “preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee”. This is important to understand. Jonah was commanded to speak God’s words to Nineveh. Not his own words, so we can expect his words to the Ninevites to be those commanded by God for Jonah to speak.
“And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.; So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.; For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.; And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:; But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.; Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” Jonah 3:4-10 KJV
“and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown”
Above we see that Jonah pronounces an ominous warning of doom upon all inhabitants of Nineveh. Don’t miss God’s purpose in speaking those very true words to Nineveh. For this is not unlike the doom that Paul preaches upon all of us today.
“They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.; Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:; Their feet are swift to shed blood:; Destruction and misery are in their ways:; And the way of peace have they not known:; There is no fear of God before their eyes.; Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.; Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Rom 3:12-20 KJV
Jonah is doing the same thing as Paul, he is preaching the Law to call sinners to repentance. This is the same call to all of us today, except instead of the destruction of a city the threat of hell and damnation presides.
This is a call for repentance which God used the king of Nineveh to proclaim to the entire city from fear of destruction.
“For word came unto the king of Nineveh”
“cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands”
“Who can tell if God will turn and repent”
“and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not”
Do you not think that God knew the King of Nineveh? Did he not create and place his king for for the very purpose of these events? The point is that God had his divine purpose in sending Jonah to preach a message of damnation. That is, to preach the law and move the people to repentance as their wickedness is revealed to them. What is done is an act of mercy and grace ordained by God. And it is this mercy that Jonah knew about and doesn’t much care for in this particular instance. Jonah is a sinner too just like the rest of us.
“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.; And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.” Jonah 4:1-2 KJV
Based on the above passage it would appear that Jonah had the same knowledge of God’s mercy that Jeremiah did.
Jonah knew from the beginning what was going on, this is why he ran away. He wanted Nineveh to be destroyed, he didn’t want them to hear the law and repent of their sins. He knew God would save them because that is and has always been his promise. Read the rest of the chapter, you will see that God uses the illustration of a plant to convey the love and mercy that he has for the people of Nineveh.
What we see in the book of Jonah is a conditional prophecy. It is the same one we see throughout all of the Bible. The teaching is that God’s wrath has come to bear upon you for transgressions which you stand guilty of. If you do not repent and place your trust in him this wrath will remain upon you (John 3:36).
So we can see that when put in the context of the historic narrative we have a lesson with regards to repentance of sin and salvation from being damned. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah is type and shadow of the Judgement of God, Nineveh is type and shadow of God’s mercy through the preaching of law and gospel. This is why Jesus Christ places his stamp of approval on Jonah as a true prophet and likens his mercy to that which is brought to the world in antitype fulfillment.
“But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:; For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.; The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.” Matt 12:39-41 KJV
If one is going to be obstinate and ignore the council of scripture to twist a false prophecy out of context then you must also have to reject Jesus. For his standard on a prophet is absolute perfection (Deut 18:21-22). The word of the prophet must come true or they are no prophet. Jesus recognizes Jonah as a prophet, therefore his word did come true. I find it so sad that SDA will be willing to go so far as to reject Christ on this to save their Ellen White.
The rabbit hole doesn’t end their either. If your confession is that a prophet is allowed to prophecy falsely then what grounds does one have to reject prophets of other religions such as Joseph Smith or Mary Baker Eddy?
I very strongly caution those SDA that go the route of unjustifiably attacking the Bible to keep their false prophet. The Bible says we are to test all things. In order to fulfill that command it must be possible to falsify things that are untrue. Ellen White is simply one of them. She is just one of the many false prophets Jesus warned us about (Mark 13:22), nothing more nothing less.