We are going to do some practical application of what we have learned so far, going to the Book of Yochanon (John). In John 1.19, we learn that the Jewish leadership has sent priests and Levites to Yochanon, asking who he is. We know that Yochanon is of the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1.17). His commission can be found in Isa 40.1 through Isa 66.24. In John 1.20-21, they ask if he is Elijah, and he answers “I am not.” There is no such thing as reincarnation for one thing. Secondly, he is cut from the same cloth as Elijah, but that doesn’t make him Elijah. They ask if he is the “Prophet” out of Deut 18.15, like Moses. He again answers “No.” What we do have is an allusion to the Two Witnesses. The Torah (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) as seen in Rom 3.21. The Two Witnesses during the Birth-pains will come in the spirit and power of Moses and Elijah. He tells them that he is “the voice” of Isa 40.3 (John 1.22-23). They ask him why he is immersing, and Yochanon begins to to tell them that one is standing among them that will be the Messiah (John 1.24-28). John 1.29 says, “The next day” which means that the events in v 19 through 28 happened on the previous day, which we will call Day 1, and v 29 is Day 2. John 1.35 begins Day 3 and John 1.43 begins day 4.
Let’s do a timeline in accordance with Jewish eschatology. The Jewish Encyclopedia has an article called “Eschatology” and you will see “A World Week” and it will talk about how there are 7000 years in the Jewish concept of time. There are 6000 years to the time period called the “Olam Ha Zeh” or “This Present Age.” The last 1000 years is called the “Atid Lavo” or “The Future Coming/Age.” This was the Jewish belief in the first century (2 Pet 3.8-10) based on Psalm 90.4. This time period called the Olan Ha Zeh (6000 years) is divided into three sections. The first 2000 years is called “Tohu” meaning “Desolation” (Gen 1.2 says the world was desolate “in the beginning” of God creating. The second 2000 year period is called “Torah” meaning “Instruction.” The third 2000 year period is called the “Yom’ot Mashiach” or “Days of the Messiah.” That period started around the year 4000, or four days.
We believe in two comings of the Messiah. While Messiah came at the end of the 4000 years, he went back into Heaven. Now, Heaven is an interesting concept. The Hebrew word for Heaven is “Shamayim.” It combines two other Hebrew words. “Sham” means “there is” and “mayim” means “water.” Putting these two words together means “there is water.” The Hebrew word “gal” means “circle” or “wheel.” It can mean “to roll.” When Israel crossed the Jordan to enter the land (where Yochanon was immersing), they were circumcised and the reproach of Egypt was “rolled away.” So, the place was called “Gilgal.” Gilgal became the place where the kingdom is “renewed” again during the time of David (1 Sam 11.4). Yochanon preached there when the Kingdom of Heaven came (John 1.28), and “Bethabara” means “desert house” (Josh 15.61). Gilgal has the same root as “Golgatha” where Yeshua was crucified, opening the way for the circumcision of the heart, and where the reproach of sin was “rolled away.”
In Ezekiel 1 we have what is called the “Ma’aseh Merkavah” meaning the “Account of the the Chariot” (the throne of God is called a chariot. The vision of God seated on a throne is also seen in 1 Kings 22.19; Isa 6; dan 7.9; Rev 4.6-7. We see the “wheels” called “Ophanim” which is a type of angel. There are also Seraphim and Cherubim. An “Ophan” is a “wheel within a wheel.” In Dan 7.9 the wheel is called a “galgal” and this is the same type of angel as the “Ophan” in Ezekiel 1. In the northern part of Israel we have the Galilee, and you can immediately see the “gal” in the word. The name means “the circuit” and you can also see the allusions to the message of “to roll” and the “wheel.” So, let’s go back to John 1.43.
Yeshua on Day 4 (4000 years) wanted to go to Galilee. In John 1.44-45, Phillip goes to Nathanael and says, “We have found him, whom Moses in the Torah and also the Prophets (again the Two Witnesses) wrote, Yeshua of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph” (Ben Joseph). Now, Phillip didn’t mean Yeshua’s step-father Joseph, who was married to his mother Miriam. He didn’t even know who Yeshua was, let alone his family. Ben Joseph is a Messianic title, “Messiah Ben Joseph.” This character is taught about in the Torah and the Prophets, and there is nothing in the Torah and Prophets about who the Messiah’s father will be. There are many Scriptures, plus rabbinic commentary before the time of Yeshua that talks about Messiah Ben Joseph. Now remember, the Yom’ot Mashiach was supposed to begin around the year 4000 from creation. We see Yeshua acknowledged as the “Son of God” and the “King of Israel” on Day 4 (from John 1.19) in v 49.
What we seen in this picture is Day 1,2,3,4. What we won’t see is Day 5 and 6. Yeshua will be hidden for “two days” (Hos 6.1-3). We don’t see Yeshua again till Day 7, or “the third day” (after Day 5 and 6). John 21. says that there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Yeshua has “gone” and returned to his place in Hos 5.15, John 14.1 for two days, as seen in Hos 6.1-3. It says “he will revive us after two days (2000 years/Day 5 and 6) and he will “raise us up in the third day”, which will be the seventh day in our story in John. Yeshua is the Messiah and he is going to a wedding in the seventh day (day of the Lord, the Atid Lavo).
Now, let’s backtrack into something interesting. What caused Nathanael’s proclamation in John 1.49? It was what what Yeshua said in v 48, where he said, “When you were under the fig tree I saw you.” But what does that mean? We are going to look into that.
There was an expression in Hebrew thought that carries the idea of “Peace and security” found in the Tanak several times. In Micah 4.1-4 we see “under his vine and under his fig tree.” In 1 Kings 4.25 we see, “lived in safety, every man under his vine and his fig tree.” Zech 3.10 says, “every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and under his fig tree.” This is a term for one who has a place in the Resurrection of the Righteous and they are in the Messianic Kingdom, living in peace. Yeshua has already said that Nathanael was a “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile” in v 47 and this means he had no false impression or estimate of himself, a righteous man by faith. We also see this expression in Rev 14.5 about the 144,000. Nathanael then asks, “How do you know me” (that I am a righteous man). That is when Yeshua says that “I saw you when you under the fig tree.” What he tells Nathanael is “I saw you (in the future) resurrected and in the Messianic Kingdom.”
John 1.50-51 also has some wonderful information we might miss, not knowing the Jewish understanding of things. The phrase “the heavens opened” means a greater revelation about me is coming. This will include who Yeshua was, his person, his nature and his work in accomplishing the redemption. It will be much bigger that what they have just seen and experienced. The angels of God “ascending and descending” upon the “Son of Man” is a direct reference back to Dan 7.13 and “Bar Enosh.” This is an allusion to Gen 28.10-22 and Jacob’s dream on Mount Moriah as he spent the night, fleeing from Esau. This would be the future site of the Temple (Bethel-“House of God”).
Yeshua is the ladder, and a Torah scroll is like a ladder. The wooden spindles are called the “Tree of Life.” The Hebrew letter “aleph” stands for the Lord, and it is written like a ladder (“wisdom of the Hebrew Alphabet, Mesorah Publications, p 54). The Torah is seen as a “link” or connection to God. Angels are seen as entities that carry out the Lord’s will as they ascend and descend from Heaven. The Torah was given at Mount Sinai, which has the same numerical value in Hebrew as “ladder” (130). The rock which was anointed (Mashiach/Messiah) by Jacob is a picture of the Messiah. All of this means that there would be clear discoveries as to who Yeshua is and it would look like Heaven was wide open, and the angels are bringing more and fresh insights and revelation from from God to them on earth. So, what we have from John 1.19 through John 2.1 is a picture of the 7000 year plan of God and the two comings of the Messiah and the redemption.
In Part 33, we are going to bring out some information in John 1.29 that would not have made sense to a Jewish person hearing the verse as it is currently translated.