‘re-think’ No. 30
WHY 153 FISH IN ONE NET?Read all of John 21:1-14 After these things, Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples . . . They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not hat it was Jesus. . . As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, ‘Bring of the fish which ye have now caught’. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, AN HUNDRED AND FIFTY AND THREE: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples dare ask him, Who art Thou? Knowing that it was the Lord.
THE ACCURACY OF GOD
To understand the tremendous importance of this number, which was not a random count, one must first be fully aware of the value of numbers in the scripture. If you desire to understand numbers in scripture and where their meanings come from, we recommend that ‘re-thing’ No.43 be studied as it will certainly help in this more detailed account of one specific number . . .153! Keep in mind that Jesus ministered entirely on the Kingdom of Heaven/God.
In John 2:11 we read, This beginning of miracles did Jesus... The Greek word translated ‘miracles’ isSEMEION which means SIGN, MIRACLE, WONDER and TOKEN. It has a root word which means TO INDICATE. This opens up an intriguing journey through John’s Gospel. There are (8) miracle signs (SEMEION) recorded in this Gospel of John. There could have been more, but that was not God’s intention. There are (7) signs before the Cross and the climax sign-miracle after the resurrection. We now look briefly at this miracle, because it points towards God’s tremendous climax in His plan for us.?
There were (7) out of the (11) disciples chosen by God to witness this ‘miracle sign’ . . . in fact be a part of it! They had KNOWLEDGE & TESTIMONY that Jesus had been raised from the dead. They knew Jesus was alive from the dead, but that knowledge didn’t DO anything for them; it didn’t change their vision and expectation. So they were a little disappointed especially now that Jesus had not showed Himself again. They could only recall, ‘The things that I do, ye shall do also and greater. . .’ In the realm of the 100-fold experience of faith where we are not yet moving in, it is quite easy, because we are not hearing the Lord as clearly as we would like, to fall back onto DOING SOMETHING instead of RESTING in Him!!!
For many of us, we are active and efficient people and find it hard to ‘be still and know that the Lord, He is God’. Peter was in that clan and voices his frustration, “I’m going fishing”. That was at least something HE COULD DO! It sparked the same feeling in the others . . . so all (7) get in their ship centering their minds and their bodies on a different subject. Their efforts produced NOTHING even in an area where some of them were skilled! In the darkness of the night depicting their ignorance of the wrong choice of action, they were unaware of what God desired to teach them.A NEW DAY
‘In the morning’ — the beginning of a NEW DAY — with enlightenment dawning upon their circumstances and thinking, the resurrected Christ was there! In the daybreak Jesus was there on the shore but was not immediately recognized! Jesus speaks, ‘Have you any food?’ A corporate voice declares that they hadn’t caught anything. Their net had been hauled into the ship in frustration and probably disgust! Jesus was on ‘higher ground’ than they were as the beach or land is always higher than the water! From where He was (in heaven while on the earth!) He had a clearer vision than those disciples in their (fellow)ship. Jesus speaks and it comes over clearly as a command, ‘Put the net in on the starboard side’. The disciples heard the voice that had authority and obeyed without question, dropping the net overboard . . . AND the net was immediately filled with fish. Here is the insight in the spirit — out of the whole fish population of the Sea of Tiberias, just (153) fish HEARD HIS VOICE. The effect was that they came to the net and laid down their lives irreversibly. It is noted that these (153) were GREAT FISH . . . they were fully mature! John, because of the word from Jesus and the effect upon him of that word, recognised the Lord and declared who He was. Peter’s love was demonstrated — he grabbed his coat (‘guilty-conscience’) and quickly covered his flesh! Such magnificent timing by God . . . they were 200 cubits from the shore. ‘200’ in scripture means ‘insufficient with what you have’. Truly without the pertinent word for the moment from Jesus Christ, we too are 200 cubits from where He would have us be . . . where He is — on higher (resurrection) ground! Please note that the disciples did not put these ‘153’ fish into their (fellow)ship!!! They brought these mature ones to the higher ground where Christ was. Jesus already had some smaller ‘fish’ prepared for this occasion . . . no wonder, considering that He was the greatest ‘Fisherman of men’!
Now why does the record say so specifically that there were (153) fish — no more — no less! It was a precise count (I wonder if these fishermen were in the habit of counting their catch?).
The 8th. and last ‘miracle sign’ of John’s Gospel is climaxed with these 153 fish. As we have seen, the ‘’gematria’ (the mathematical value of a word)’ of the Hebrew phrase Beni Ha-Elohim which means SONS OF GOD, is 153. This phrase occurs a total of seven times in the Bible and one of them is in Job 2:1, where the sons of God are accompanied by Satan. God does not change; therefore His purposes outlined in the Old Testament are clarified and fulfilled in the New Testament. Here the Old Testament phrase is the key to revealing what God’s miracle-signs are pointing towards. Out of all the ‘Christian fish’ in God’s sea, there was only 153 who heard the voice of Jesus at that specific and important time. These fish were mature (that was why the record declares that they were great fish) . . . they were overcomers seeing that they hadn’t been caught by the nets of traditional bondage . . . they immediately responded to the voice of Christ and came to the net which is to fully embrace the word of the kingdom. The result would then be a full laying down of one’s old life, one’s old thinking.
Let us first factorize the 153 and observe the initial blessings; 153 = 17 X 9. The sons of God (153) have within themselves an unchangeable (9) victory (17). All the ingredients of this victory (17) are contained in the sons of God. We see this by adding up all the numbers from 1 to 17, and we find the sum = 153.THE NET’
Now we will touch upon the hidden 153’s that show up in the gematria of numerous phrases, etc., in the Word. THE NET which speaks to us of the vision of the Kingdom of God, has a value of 153 X 8 which translates in the spirit to this: that the sons of God (153) will experience resurrection life (8) when they have TRULY laid down their identities in the net of His Kingdom. This vision will bring us from the ‘right’ side of the boat to the higher ground of the King’s presence.
God’s great care of His people, coupled with His desire that all come forth into His Kingdom, is shown to us in numerous phrases. Here are just some of them that show the hidden 153’s declaring the nature of ‘SONSHIP’ within. Luke 9:13-the word ‘fishes’ =153 X 8. Mark 8:34-‘follow me’ = 153 X 12.
John 14:6- I am the Way = 153 X 8. WAY + TRUTH +LIFE = 153 X 8.
Luke 13:25-The Door = 153 X 6. John 10:7-I say unto..down to...of the sheep = 153 x 37.
Matthew 7:13-The narrow gate = 153 X 13. John 10:1 Entereth not by the.......sheepfold = 153 X 41. Mark 1:17- Fishers of men = 153 X 14.
Matthew 4:18- Casting a net into the sea = 153 X 20. (=sons bringing redemption) For they were fishermen = 153 X 4. Mark 1:18-Immediately......follow him = 153 X 41. Luke 5:6-ltitude of fishes = 153 X 16. John 21:6 - Cast the net......ye shall find = 153 X 27.
John 21:11-Drew the net...........fifty and three = 153 X 54.
Rev. 3:20- If anyone.......will come in = 153 X 39.
‘Joint heirs’ of Romans 8:17, the gematria = 153 X 7. The phrase declares that the sons of God (153) will attain completeness (7) in Christ and become heirs, inheritors of the Kingdom along with the Pattern Son, Jesus.
THE CREATION OF GOD of Revelation 3:14 has the value of 153 X 8 and shows the identification of the sons of God with the Son of God who came forth first in the New Creation. This same net-word has been placed before us saints many times as we have struggled in the darkness (ignorance) of the fact that Jesus is on higher ground calling to us with the vision and enabling for us to become a part of that ‘153’ fish company of sons! We are at the beginning of a ‘new day’; God’s timing for the coming together of His firstfruit sons into one ‘netted’ expression of Himself. At the voice of the Lord, lives become fully surrendered, brought to higher ground (thinking) where the resurrected Christ is waiting to clean us some more, add a touch of fire, so that we can be meat in the Master’s hand to feed the hungry.
‘8’ FOR DINNERThere were a total of eight dining together — a new beginning (8) manifesting resurrection life (8). It was also the third time Jesus had revealed Himself to them. We have met the resurrected Christ in our Salvation-Passover experience, then in our ‘baptism in the Spirit’- Pentecost, the down-payment of the fullness of His enabling power, and now this is the third feast that we experience, namely Tabernacles — the fullness of the Spirit (God), the harvest of the Seed - Christ Jesus sown in our earth. (Every seed brings forth after its kind). 153 BLESSED ‘SONS’
It is the purpose of God to bring His 153 - mature sons as the first wave of His endtime plan. It is not a literal number of mature firstfruits . . . this is showing the principle of God’s plan. By passing through His gentle but firm hands, they will be brought to corporate full stature of Christ and the effect of such a work will be that they will do the things that Jesus did — seeing that they will have the same power. ‘Wave upon wave’ - we’ll see the next order coming into that fullness until every man in his own order completes His plan.
One of the greatest insights concerning this number, show the 153 fish to be representing the 153 people mentioned in the four gospels that Jesus blessed during His walk on the earth. Each one of these, upon further study, shows amazing pointers to God’s ultimate purpose of having a corporate (harvest) son in the image of THE SEED, Christ Jesus.FIRST, WE HEAR HIS VOICE Oh, that each one of us would have ears to hear the Master’s Voice! Having heard His word, we would move from wherever we are in the lake of our daily living to the net that will take us to Christ. In this place of genuine, complete surrender, we will be fully teachable and thus usable. This net (the revelation of the Kingdom of God) can handle the 153 great fish without breaking. This net will cause the 153 to become corporate (John 17:21 ‘that they all may be one; as Thou Father, art in Me and I in Thee), whereby each one will lose his individuality. This process of the ‘net ministry’ in making us truly one, culminates with a further cleaning and with the baptism of fire (a part of or effect of the baptism in the Holy Spirit). They will then be meat in the Master’s hand. His plan is to feed the hungry and the feeding will not be limited. §