Declaring the End from the Beginning

By David M. McNabb

Understanding the Prophetic Intent of the Scriptural Account of the Creation

Chapter 6: Fishers of Men

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morn­ing were the fifth day.” (Gen. 1:20-23)

On the fifth day, God did something new: He created the “moving creature that hath life.” The first living, oxygen-breathing creatures were formed on this day. The birds which fly through the air, and the fish which “fly” through the water, both have life.

The waters brought forth these creatures in abundance, and God commanded them to multiply and fill the earth and the seas. This foreshadowed the work of the fifth millennium: the ushering in of life.

Jesus, as I showed in the last chapter, was required by prophecy to be born in the fourth millennium, together with the other prophets. His birth did not mark the advent of the next millennium, however. In fact, it was a full twelve years after the birth of Christ that the fifth millennium of man began.

Jesus, even as a young child, had great insight into the Word of God, and God’s work. We know very little about the first thirty years of His life. Oddly, one event in Jesus’ youth is recorded. It is found in Luke 2:41-51.

It was Passover, and the young Jesus had turned twelve during the previous Feast of Tabernacles. Events in the world had signaled that the new millennium had begun, and that God would be beginning the next phase of His plan. Jesus knew how to read the signs of the times, unlike the religious leaders of His day. (Matt. 16:3, Luke 19:44) He therefore stayed at the temple to begin His Father’s work.

When His parents realized that He was missing from the caravan, they returned to Jerusalem, and found Him sitting in the temple with the Jewish teachers, astonishing them with His understanding. When Mary approached Him, asking why He was here, He replied, “How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?”

But, although the fifth millennium had begun, it was not yet time for Jesus’ ministry to begin, so He returned home and was subject to Joseph and Mary in all things.

One of the things that had to happen before the ministry of our Lord could really begin was the ministry of His prophesied fore­runner, John the Baptist.

When Jesus turned thirty, He went and was baptized by John. John, who had been preach­ing about “the Lamb of God” that was com­ing to take away the sins of the world, when he saw Jesus approaching, declared that this was He of whom he spake.

That Lamb ministered for the next three and a half years, ultimately offering Himself for our sins, where­by all that believe on Him obtain eternal life. From His death until now, God has called many souls to become “new creatures in Christ Jesus,” and enter into His abundant life. That life is symbolized by the living creatures created on the fifth and sixth days. Those two days signify the two thousand years of the Grace Age, from the days of Jesus’ min­istry until the day He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

The Gospels record when Jesus began to call His disciples thus, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two breth­ren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ ” (Matt. 4:17-19) “And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, ‘Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.’ ” (Luke 5:10)

Jesus spake nothing, except in fulfillment of prophecy, and this case is no exception. (John 12:49) He did not use fishing merely as a metaphor, but He was using a precept which God had spoken by His prophet, Jeremiah.

In Jer. 16:16, the Lord said, “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters...”

The work of the Lord on the fifth day was to create the fish. This foreshadowed His work of the fifth millennium: the gathering of the new creation - that which had life.

Even as the Lord commanded the fish to multiply, Jesus likewise com­manded His disciples, saying, “Go ye there­fore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” The disciples went forth fishing, and multitudes upon multitudes of believers were caught in their Gospel nets.

Today, many associate the fish with Christianity. Rightly so, but it is the Early Church who is represented by the fish. Nevertheless, we are now in the sixth day, and the second part of Jeremiah 16:16 will soon come to pass, as we shall see in the next chapter.

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.