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“Generation”, Matthew 25, and Deuteronomy 28-30

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by gospelfer, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. gospelfer

    gospelfer Newbie

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    The purpose of this discussion is to remove a point of confusion and possible cause for doubt on an important prophetic Matthew.

    In Matthew 24:3 the disciples ask Jesus, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” In verses 4-33 Jesus describes the many aspects of the age which must come to pass before the end of the age. Then, in verse 34 he says, “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” So the question is what does he mean by “generation”? It is not a small question, and a quick or unthinking answer could lead us to either doubt the truth words of Christ or scripture's overall prophetic vision.


    If we take “generation's” meaning to be that of ordinary use, prophecy is done, finished; scripture is false; and the hammer of destruction lies in Matthew 25 itself – not in one verse, but rather many. In verse 10 Christ says, “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.” This is part of the current “generation”, the current “age”. But this was simply not the case, for the generation of Christ's arrival was one of incredible growth and expansion for the gospel, not retreat. The gospel's retreat is the mark of the 19th and 20th centuries, not the 1st century.


    In verse 14 Christ says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Again, this is the mark of the 19th and 20th centuries, not the 1st century.


    In verse 15 Christ says, “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) ... ” There is simply no believable abomination of desolation in the first century. Scripture paints the abomination of desolation as a construction symbolizing a powerful and persistent hostility to God and Gospel. It is erected by the power that causes many believers to apostasize – Daniel says the power erecting the abomination of desolation will “wear out” belief. The actual historical fact is that Rome more or less collapsed in the face of the Gospel's assault, and the first century was the time of the Gospel's rollicking spread. Assigning verse 15 to the first century is absurd.


    In verse 21 Christ says, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” This is so pointed and specific that, even if we admit that prophecy sometimes poetically exaggerates, any attempt to assign verse 21 to the first century is preposterous.


    In verses 29-30 Christ says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” This describes a serious disruption in the atmosphere, followed by a rain of meteorites (or some such), and attended by a very widespread (all the tribes of the earth) grief. Again, there is no record of this in the first century.


    All of these events are to be seen by “this generation”. Individually these passages are each sufficiently strong to push the end of the “age” outside the bounds of the first century; together, their strength is overwhelming. There remains only two possible conclusions: either prophecy and scripture are false, or Christ is using the word “generation” in an unusual way. I believe it to be the latter because scripture contains strong and rational evidence that Christ is using the word “generation” in an out-of-the-ordinary way.


    The first hint to the solution of our dilemma lies at the start of the discussion: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” ask the disciples. This should raise an immediate question in our minds: exactly what system of “ages” (or epochs) exists in the minds of the disciples that enables them to formulate such a question? It is an important question, and the answer is both simple and critical to our understanding of all prophecy. But to answer it we have to go back to Deuteronomy 28-30 where Moses sketches the entirety of Israel's future history. In these chapters, Moses divides Israel's history into three ages: he titles these “the blessing”, “the curse”, and the “return”. The blessing (Deuteronomy 28:1-14) covers the period of judges and kings. The curse breaks down into two historical stages: the first part (Deuteronomy 28:33-57) describes Babylon's conquest up through the Roman destruction, while the second part (Deuteronomy 28:58-68) describes Israel's long, suffering, homeless exile. In Deuteronomy 29 Moses then takes some time to warn Israel against disobedience, and reiterates that its consequence will be the curse he just described. In Deuteronomy 30 Moses then resumes his history, asserting that both the blessing and curse will come to pass, and then goes on to describe (Deuteronomy 30:2-10) Israel's subsequent return to God's favor, which undoes all the effects of the curse and brings greater blessing. If we are any doubt of Israel's return (it is stated conditionally in Deuteronomy 30), we can turn to Deuteronomy 4:34-31 where it is stated as being certain.


    Thus, here we have the answer to what Israel's “ages” are: the blessing, curse, and return, and we now know what was in the minds of the disciples when they asked the question. They knew they were in the midst of Israel's second “age”, the “curse” (long subjection to foreigners is part of the curse), and they were asking both when Christ would return and when the age of the curse would end and Israel's reconciliation would commence.


    Our next question is why Christ used the word “generation”. Strangely (or not so strangely), the answer to this is also in Deuteronomy 28-30. In Deuteronomy 29:22-24 Moses warns the Israelites against disobedience, saying, “And the next generation, your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land, will say, when they see the afflictions of that land and the sicknesses with which the Lord has made it sick—the whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger and wrath— all the nations will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land? What caused the heat of this great anger?’”


    Notice Moses use of the word “generation”. The “next generation” is the generation of the curse – the generation of the burnt out, abandoned land. And they are the “generation” after the current one, which is the “you” that is about to go into the land – the “generation” of the blessing. It is perfectly clear that Moses is using the word “generation” in the sense of age, or epoch. Moses' title for these “ages” is “blessing”, “curse”, and “return”, but when presenting them as a noun, he uses the word “generation” – he never calls them and “age” or “epoch”. Furthermore, Moses assignes to the curse a duration (and events) longer than an ordinary generation might contain (amongst other thing he assigns it an Egyptian magnitude).


    Thus, Christ, in speaking of end of the current “age” (the curse), reverts to the word used by the man (Moses) who first described Israel's ages. It is the same word used the same way in the same context. It is as simple as that. This agreement between Moses and Christ should not surprise us, and this solution to our puzzle is both simple and perfectly rational. Also, it believably harmonizes scripture – we no longer have to pretend that the contents of Matthew 24 fit into the decades immediately following Christ's first arrival.


    If, however, we insist on the ordinary meaning of “generation” in Matthew 24, it creates enormous problems – first, there are the incoherencies within Mat 24. After that we have to throw out Moses' prophetic structure. Then there are all passages in the prophets (the same guys who prophecized Christ's first arrival) which tell of Israel's return after its long exile; then there is the historical stuff like the temple mount being split in the three, etc, etc – the problems are endless and they render prophecy incoherent. In fact, we are forced to throw out significant chunks of prophecy (in effect rewriting the Bible), rendering prophecy and the Bible unbelievable. Why create unnecessary problems for ourselves when there is a simple and rational explanation that causes all prophecy to cohere with itself and history?


    Q.E.D.


    The intended audience of this is twofold. First, it is addressed to those new to prophecy, and who, taking it seriously for the first time, have found themselves confused or in doubt about Christ's use of “generation” because it cannot (apparently) be squared with actual history (or the rest of prophecy).


    The second intended audience is, of course, our preterist brothers. When it comes right down to it, Christ's use of “generation” is the only prop for their position. All the other preterist arguments are easily dispatched. Take away “generation” and the preterist position utterly collapses under the weight of prophecy and historical contradiction.


    In spite of the fact that the preterist wanders about throwing away parts scripture, I want to be sympathetic, and I think I can. The preterist is enamored by the new covenant's universality. God promised Abraham a universal blessing for all the people of the earth, and its actuality arrived in Christ and his message, and it is a very great gift and a very great new truth. To the extent that the preterists perceives this and is awed by it, the preterist does well and is, in fact, correct; we should all rejoice in it, and in the spiritual equality that God grants in the new spiritual “Israel”.


    But the simple fact is that the same prophets (including Moses) who say the Jew will fail miserably and go into exile, also say the God will reclaim the Jew and make him useful again. My guess is that the root of the preterist objection to much prophecy is that he perceives the Jew's return to be an offense against the universality of God's message and the new Israel. But it is not. The Jew's story is one of historical differentiation, not spiritual. There should be no real offense in the Jew's return, because it is not a return of spiritual distinction, but rather of spiritual unity within a historically differentiated new Israel. God says that in the millennium the Messiah will re-join the staff of Judah and Ephraim and wield them in unity. It is a picture of a united spiritual Israel, but one which contains a complex historical expression.


    It is even possible to see humor in this. The Pharisee could not understand out how “one” God could have different parts – it contradicted his conception of God's unity. Likewise, the preterist cannot understand how a unified Israel can be historically complex. But this historically complex Israel is what scripture describes – a latter day Judah redeemed from its errors, stupor, and great failure. Tragically, the complex God was a stumbling block for many Jews, and equally tragically, it seems likely that a complex Israel may be a stumbling block to some Christians – despite Paul's rather pointed warning. Thus, in the same way that a doctrine prevented most Jews from seeing that the eruption of belief amongst gentiles was the beginning of the promised Abrahamic universalism for the blessing of all mankind, likewise some Christians will fail to recognize the millennium's start because they have failed to subsume elements of Israel's prophetic story into their view of history. Thus, the Jew failed to understand the story of Israel's curse and the suffering servant, saw no need for it, and simply ignored it. Likewise the preterist does not understand the story of the Jew's return, sees no need for it, and simply ignores it. But both stories are there, and both are undeniable; in fact, the story of the Jew's return is far more prevalent than the story of the suffering servant. This, of course, does not absolve the Jew of his failure to penetrate scripture; but what is our excuse? – especially when we have the Jew's disastrous example as our warning? If we are not careful their past failure will become an accusation against us.


    God is not returning Judah to glorify the Jew, but rather to glorify himself. It was foreseen, stated from the beginning. It is not safe to oppose God's plans. How serious a sin preterism is can be debated; I think it very much depends on the preterist's motives and knowledge. At best, it may be entirely innocent – a thing told by one's father and unthinkingly accepted, believed, and never examined. At its worst it is the profession of a vision willfully contrary to what scripture clearly states, an attempt to erect a God congenial to one's own purpose and will – a form of idolatry, in fact. Each one of us has, at some point, to decide which we love more: God, or some theory of God (or prophecy). If we love God more, we will accommodate ourselves to scripture. If not, God has his answer, and his book has done its job.


    We should all be able rejoice in Israel's universality and equality; likewise we should also be able to rejoice in its strange complex historical expression. God's fulfillments of prophecy's often have unexpected twists to them; they are surprises which should delight and amaze, but if we are not careful to align our doctrine to scripture's full prophetic story, they can become stumbling blocks (large or small).
     
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  2. KrAZeD

    KrAZeD Newbie

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    overall well said, creates a different approach that's not always used. Though I think the second half might deter some if their "new to prophecy", since some shy away from material that negates other schools of thought. Great write up though.
     
  3. TPeterY

    TPeterY But seek first the Kingdom of God....

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    Generation in the bible has two meanings. In Deut 29:22-24, that generation is all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively. Age group, peer group.

    In Matthew 23:36 & Matthew 24:34, Christ was prophesying the length in time at which the events would take place. Generation here means 70 years.


    .
     
  4. AlasBabylon

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    I believe it is the 70 year generation beginning in 1945.

    70 years being the Biblical average life-span... or as much as 80 years if there is strength. Psalm 90:10

    But like the feet of Babylon's image, this generation is weak... not strong... so I count 70 years.


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  5. AlasBabylon

    AlasBabylon Mystic

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    Generation comes after the analogy of the fig tree...
    which may be meaningful if generation is racial.

    Olive, not fig, is the symbol for Israel. Fig could symbolize
    the Edomites who had converted in the 2nd century BC


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  6. Bible2

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    Matthew 24:14a will be fulfilled in our future, when the gospel will be preached to all nations during the future tribulation (Revelation 14:6). So "the end" in Matthew 24:14b refers to the end of the future tribulation of Matthew 24 and Revelation chapters 6 to 18.

    That's right.

    Regarding the "abomination of desolation", Daniel 11:31 was typically fulfilled by the abomination of desolation in 1 Maccabees 1:54, which occurred in the holy place (the inner sanctum) of the 2nd Jewish temple in Jerusalem in the time of Antiochus IV. But per Jesus' statement in Matthew 24:15, the church will see the abomination of desolation in Daniel 11:31 fulfilled (antitypically) in the future, when the church will see the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place (of a 3rd Jewish temple in Jerusalem). This future abomination of desolation could be a standing, android image of the Antichrist (Revelation 13:15) which his followers ("they") will put in the holy place of the temple (Daniel 11:31) to be worshipped (Revelation 13:15), after they have stopped the daily Mosaic animal sacrifices which the ultra-Orthodox Jews will have restarted in front of the temple (Daniel 11:31). This image will pollute the holy place of the temple (Daniel 11:31).

    The Antichrist will then fulfill Daniel 11:36 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4 by sitting himself (at least one time) in the temple and proclaiming himself God. By the power of Satan (the dragon, Revelation 12:9), the Antichrist (the individual-man aspect of Revelation's "beast") will then rule and be worshipped by all the nations of the earth for 3.5 literal years (Revelation 13:4-18), and will physically overcome Biblical Christians (not in hiding) in every nation (Revelation 13:7-10, Revelation 14:12-13, Revelation 20:4-6, Matthew 24:9-13).

    Also, from the day on which (antitypically) "the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1,335 days" (Daniel 12:11-12, Revelation 16:15). Also, because the Antichrist will fulfill Daniel 11:31 antitypically (Matthew 24:15) and will fulfill Daniel 11:36 for the first (and only) time, then he will also fulfill all of Daniel 11:21-45 (the first part of it antitypically, and the rest for the first and only time) when he arises on the world stage, for that passage refers to the career of the same man. And since the Antichrist will fulfill all of Daniel 11:21-45 when he arises on the world stage, then just preceding his arising on the world stage, Daniel 11:13-19 could be fulfilled antitypically by an Iraqi Baathist General completely defeating and occupying Israel and Egypt with a huge Iraqi Army (Daniel 11:15-17; in verse 17 the original Hebrew word translated as "daughter" is "bath").
     
  7. Bible2

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    That's right.

    Matthew 24:29 can refer literally to clouds blocking the light from the sun and moon. And it can refer to what we still today call "falling stars", i.e. meteors, but ones which will also be meteorites, i.e. ones which will pass through the clouds and be seen before they land on the earth. So "heaven" in Matthew 24:29-31 can simply refer to the 1st heaven, the sky/atmosphere. Also, "the powers of the heavens" which will be shaken can refer to the literal, fallen-angelic "powers" who currently rule the unsaved world from high above the earth (Ephesians 6:12, Ephesians 2:2).

    Matthew 24:30 refers to Jesus' never-fulfilled 2nd coming, when he himself will appear in the clouds: "they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30). And this won't occur until immediately after the never-fulfilled tribulation of Revelation chapters 6 to 18 and Matthew 24 (Matthew 24:29-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Revelation 19:7 to 20:6). Matthew 24:30 will occur at the same time as the never-fulfilled Matthew 24:29 and Matthew 24:31.

    That's right.

    "... what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3).

    In Matthew 24:3, the original Greek word (aion: G0165) translated as "world" can indeed be translated as "age" (Ephesians 2:7, Colossians 1:26).

    It is sometimes claimed that the end of the age refers to the end of the Old-Covenant age in 70 AD. But the time of the letter of the Old Covenant Mosaic law ended not at the destruction of the 2nd temple in 70 AD, but decades earlier, at the moment that Jesus died on the Cross (Matthew 27:50-51a), and abolished the letter of the Old Covenant Mosaic law (Ephesians 2:15-16, Colossians 2:14-17, Romans 7:6; 2 Corinthians 3:6-18, Hebrews 7:18-19), which was the same moment that he brought the New Covenant into effect (Matthew 26:28, Hebrews 9:15-17, Hebrews 10:19-20, Matthew 27:51a). So there was no transition period, no overlap at all (Hebrews 10:9b, Hebrews 7:12), between the time of the letter of the Old Covenant Mosaic law and the time of the New Covenant.

    Also, while the apostles asked Jesus about the end of the age (Matthew 24:3), he didn't tell them that the end of the age would occur at the destruction of the 2nd temple, or (as is sometimes claimed) before the future tribulation, or even at the end of the future tribulation, i.e. at his (post-tribulation) 2nd coming (Matthew 24:29-31), or when the end of the age would occur, just as Jesus didn't tell the apostles many other things during his ministry (John 16:12). It wouldn't be until much later that Jesus would show the apostle John, through the vision in the book of Revelation (given about 95 AD: Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5:30:3c), that the end of the age, when all the unsaved will be cast into the lake of fire (Matthew 13:40, Matthew 25:41, Revelation 20:15), won't occur until over 1,000 years after Jesus' (never fulfilled) 2nd coming (Revelation 19:7 to 20:15).
     
  8. gospelfer

    gospelfer Newbie

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    I suggest that the assertions you make about Moses usage of "generation" simply don't fit his usage. Moses accurately describes Israel's period of blessing, and curse (subject then total exile). He implicitly calls the entire period of blessing a "generation", and explicitly call those living under the curse a "generation". Having recognized this, we are forced to the conclusion that "generation" can have a much longer duration that expected.

    Context and usage are everything. We don't get to bring a priori assertions about words to scripture; it is up to us to learn from how God uses words. My experience is that the closer we pay attention, the better prophecy harmonizes with itself and history -- which is what I would expect if scripture is true.
     
  9. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Many did indeed fall away, betray and hate one another in Christs generation. The Book of Jude is clear testimony to this fact.
    To assert that this did not happen is false.


    Paul disagrees with you on this:

    Colossians 1:5-6 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;

    Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

    Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

    Romans 16:25-26 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith;

    AD 66-70 was the greatest Day-of-the-Lord event in Israel's history, and was, unquestionably, the one Christ's followers spoke of mere decades before it transpired. This was the same Day of the Lord concerning which the apostles stated they would remain alive unto its passing (1 Thess 5:2-4,23; Phil 1:6,10; Heb 10:25,36-39; 1 Cor 1:7-8; 1 Cor 5:5). Due to the covenantal significance of the event, that Day of the Lord's vengeance (cf. Luke 21:20-22; Isa 61:2; Jer 46:10) can never be repeated. There is no equal to the level of devastation millions of Messiah-rejecting Jews endured as they were violently excommunicated out of covenant with God (Matt 21:40-45; Acts 3:22-24).

    That bears repeating with emphasis:

    Due to the covenantal significance of the event, that Day of the Lord's vengeance (cf. Luke 21:20-22; Isa 61:2; Jer 46:10) can never be repeated. NEVER. There is no equal to the level of devastation millions of Messiah-rejecting Jews endured as they were violently excommunicated out of covenant with God (Matt 21:40-45; Acts 3:22-24).


    In addition, we should not overlook the common Old Testament figure of speech Jesus is utilizing in Matthew 24:21: "ever was/nor ever shall be." Scripture tells us in 1 Kings 3:12 that there was "no king like Solomon before or after him." Such statements are then repeated in 2 Kings 18:5-6 of Hezekiah and in 2 Kings 23:25 of Josiah. Obviously, they can't all be the greatest King there ever was nor ever shall be. (And, of course, Jesus Christ surpasses even Solomon -- Matt. 12:42). Furthermore, this same Old Testament idea of "never will be again" is employed of various judgments that have already been fulfilled such as locusts in Egypt (Ex. 10:12-15; cf. Joel 1:1-4), a cry in Egypt (Ex. 11:6), and judgment upon O.T. Israel (Ez. 5:9; Joel 2:2). The Ezekiel 5:9 passage is especially instructive to us, for it states that the Babylonian conquest of Israel (sixth-century BC) would be the greatest judgment God had ever brought upon a nation, past or future. Therefore, we recognize that the expression "ever was/nor ever shall be" is a common Hebraic idiom meaning "very great" or "very much." Our Lord was simply saying in Matthew 24:21 that there would be very great tribulation. St. Luke's account of this great tribulation reads as follows:
    These are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. (Luke 21:22-23) ​
    Without question, Jesus promised his apostles that they would live to see Israel's great tribulation ("great distress in the land and wrath upon this people") and all those things come to pass in their generation (Matt 24:33-34; Luke 21:31-3


    As for that constitutes a Biblical generation:

    Matthew 1:17

    So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.


    Should be simple to do that math.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  10. gospelfer

    gospelfer Newbie

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    Not sure of your point. No part of my post suggests the possibility of mathematical calculation. The point of my post was that scripture itself uses the word "generation" in at least two ways; that one of them is contextually germaine to the discussion in Matt 24, and that this meaning harmonizes scripture better than the more usual literal sense. Thus, the length of Moses' three "generations" are the duration of the events of which they are comprised. So, I see no opening for mathematics.
     
  11. Danoh

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    Gosplefer, but for the beginning and end of your OP, it was very nicely laid out.

    For the falling away referred to was/is Israel's departure from Moses in their rejection of the Father's Moses based Word to them via their murder of their Prophets; then, their further fall from Moses in their rejection and murder of the Son, and lastly, in the height of their fall from Moses in their rejection of the Spirit's witness in the Twelve and their followers they began to persecute and kill off.

    In short, in their wholesale rejection of the gospel of the kingdom.

    In short, the universality of that gospel never really got far, where its Prophesied intent was concerned - just as the Lord had prophesied in Matthew 10, when He first sent out the Twelve.

    With said wholescale fall God temporarily set that nation aside and that Mystery or previously hid in God gospel was made manifest and through preaching committed to Paul was heard far and wide just as the Lord had intended when He separated Paul from Israel and sent him far hence unto the Gentiles with this Mystery gospel of Christ.

    We see both a wholescale failure as to the gospel of the kingdom and a wholescale success as to Paul's Mystery gospel of Christ.

    Both gospels are universal but each within their respective target audience and time.

    Loved your take on Deuteronomy - it was masterful.

    Now separate Moses from Paul and you have the correct, remaining, Premillenial, Futurist,
    balance of your puzzle.

    Consider reading the pdf mentioned in my signature line. Much of it fits in nicely with how beautifully you laid out those Deuteronomy passages.

    Man, you laid that part out so well - loved it!
     
  12. gospelfer

    gospelfer Newbie

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    Thanks for the compliments! I'll read Stam. From glancing briefly at it, I suspect I'll largely agree, and perhaps already do -- though my terminology may differ.

    I agree that the idea of a falling away could be applied to the 1st half of the curse (Judah's subjection through its national destruction). I'm not sure it fits as well I was I have put forward. The beginning of the curse (Babylon) starts the path to certain destruction -- Moses makes this clear. And a "falling away" suggests the loss of something already possessed. Thus, I would argue that it is more likely that Christ is speaking of the future falling away described in Revelation and Daniel (which attends the final beast kingdom). Obviously this says nothing against your other points.

    On the matter of Paul, I do not see his vision as being separate from Moses, and think it fits neatly into the hole of what is going on during the period of Israel's curse. Paul says some things which suggest he is aware of this. And Christ's "time of the Gentiles" also suggests the same. Now this may not really be a disagreement, but rather a matter of terminology. But I think both what Christ and Paul say fit Moses vision -- it is just that Moses did not fill in exactly what God would be doing spiritually during Israel's exilic curse.

    Although I am not totally sure what you mean by the dual universality of the two dispensations, I suspect we agree there. I suspect this involves the universality of God's promise through Christ to the world, being simultaneous to the course of history promised to Abraham (and his descendents) -- which was so clearly described by Moses (including the Jew's disaster).

    In any case, I'm open to new ideas.
     
  13. Danoh

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    Luke's is a reference to the times of the Gentiles POLITICALLY.

    Paul's is as to the times of the Gentiles SPIRITUALLY.
     
  14. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    The problem with this whole idea is it doesn't take into context "generation" as used in Matthew.

    In EVERY instance contextually it is those who Jesus is speaking to. To want to suddenly change what it means in Matthew 24 is to violate the context of Matthew 24...which is 70 AD.

    Moreover look at the context of Matthew 24:32-25
    32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near;
    33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
    34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
    35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.


    Jesus want the disciples (who asked the question in the first place) to be able to know when those things He said, would happen. He used the analogy of the time trees blossom as they way to tell, contrasted with all He had just prophesied.

    Basically when they saw "all those things" begin to happen...they would know.

    It's basically unwarranted to think Jesus is speaking of today. Jerusalem was surrounded by armies and the temple destroyed in 70 AD.

    NOT GONNA HAPPEN AGAIN!!!
     
  15. Brian45

    Brian45 Senior Member

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    The mount of olives prophecy of Matthew Mark and Luke is interesting in that they may not have been in the company of Jesus at the time and may not have been the actual listeners as Mark 13:3 seems to imply.

    Mark 13:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,
    Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

    So if Peter, James, John and Andrew were the actual hearers of what Jesus had to say and then passed on their information to Matthew, Mark and Luke at some later stage , then shouldn't we expect to see some inconsistencies in the writings of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21..?

    And of course we do see inconsistencies , neither Luke or Mark mention this "and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" , those words are only mentioned in Mathew.

    Interesting isn't it?....and it gets even more interesting...:)
     
  16. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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  17. Bible2

    Bible2 Guest

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    Note that Matthew 24:34 indeed refers to the fulfillment of "all these things", meaning all the events of the tribulation, and Jesus' 2nd coming and the gathering together (rapture) of the church "immediately after" the tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Revelation 19:2 to 20:6), which events Jesus had just finished describing in Matthew 24:2-31, and which he would later show in great detail in Revelation chapters 6 to 19. Matthew 24:34 didn't mean that the tribulation, 2nd coming, and rapture would be fulfilled during the temporal generation alive at the time of Jesus' first coming, for none of those things was fulfilled during that temporal generation.

    Instead, Matthew 24:34 could mean that the temporal generation which would see the 1948 AD reestablishment of Israel, which could be symbolized by the rebudding of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32-34, Hosea 9:10, Joel 1:6-7, Luke 13:6-9, Matthew 21:19,43), won't pass, i.e. won't die off completely, until the future tribulation and 2nd coming of Matthew 24 and Revelation chapters 6 to 19 are fulfilled. A temporal generation may not pass until 70 or 80 years (Psalms 90:10), or 120 years (Genesis 6:3).

    This doesn't require that the 2nd coming will occur right before, like one year before, that generation will pass: i.e. 69, or 79, or 119 years after 1948: in 2017, 2027, or 2067. And if the tribulation which will immediately precede the 2nd coming and rapture (Matthew 24:29-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Revelation 19:7 to 20:6) will last 7 years (Daniel 9:27), the tribulation's first year didn't have to be in 2011, and won't have to be in 2021 or 2061, but could be in a future year (e.g. 2020) earlier than 2021.

    Matthew 24:34 could also include the meaning that the figurative, all-times generation of the elect (Matthew 24:22, Luke 16:8b, Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4) won't pass away from the earth during the future tribulation of Matthew 24 and Revelation chapters 6 to 18, but that some of the elect will survive (Matthew 24:22) until Jesus' 2nd coming (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:21-23,51-53), immediately after the tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Revelation 19:7 to 20:6).

    --

    The rebudding of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32) can refer to the 1948 reestablishment of Israel, just as Jesus' cursing of the fig tree (Matthew 21:19) was symbolic of his curse on unbelieving, Old Covenant Israel (Matthew 21:43). The Israel which was reestablished in 1948 is the same Old Covenant Israel which Jesus cursed at his first coming. For it still rejects Jesus and still considers itself to be under the Old Covenant. This Israel merely "putting forth leaves" again (Matthew 24:32) in 1948 was nothing more than a restoration to what the fig tree in Matthew 21:19,43 had been before it was cursed by Jesus and then destroyed in 70 AD: a tree with leaves, but without any fruit. And the unbelieving, Old Covenant Israel which was reestablished in 1948 may never bear fruit. For it could be destroyed before Jesus' 2nd coming, during a future war, by a Baathist army, just as it had been destroyed in 70 AD by a Roman-empire army.

    But Jesus' kingdom is still called "Israel" (John 1:49, John 12:13-15, John 19:19, Luke 22:30). And at Jesus' 2nd coming, he will sit on the earthly throne of David (Luke 1:32-33, Isaiah 9:7), and restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6-7, Acts 3:20-21). Jesus is, in his humanity, the son of David (Matthew 1:1, Matthew 21:15-16, Romans 1:3), of the house of David (Luke 1:69). So at Jesus' 2nd coming, he will restore the tabernacle, the house, of David (Isaiah 16:5, Amos 9:11) to its royal glory (2 Samuel 5:12), which it had lost (2 Kings 17:21a). And Jesus will fulfill the prophecy and prayer of 2 Samuel 7:16-29. And he will bring salvation to all the still-living, unbelieving elect Jews of the house of David. For they (along with all other still-living, unbelieving elect Jews) will come into faith in him when they see him at his 2nd coming (Zechariah 12:10-14, Zechariah 13:1,6, Romans 11:26-31). And so they will all become part of the church at that time, for now there are no believers outside of the church (Ephesians 4:4-6).

    After Jesus' 2nd coming (Revelation 19:7 to 20:3, Zechariah 14:3-5) will occur the millennium (Revelation 20:4-6, Zechariah 14:8-21), during which time the Gentile nations will come to seek the returned Jesus ruling the whole earth (Zechariah 8:22, Zechariah 14:9, Psalms 72:8-11) on the restored throne of David (Isaiah 9:7) in the earthly Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-4, Zechariah 14:8-11,16-19). And the physically resurrected church will reign on the earth with Jesus during the millennium (Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 5:10, Revelation 2:26-29). For the church is Israel (Romans 11:1,17,24, Ephesians 2:12,19, Galatians 3:29, Revelation 21:9,12; 1 Peter 2:9-10).
     
  18. Bible2

    Bible2 Guest

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    That's right.

    For Paul said:

    "Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles" (Acts 26:22-23).

    That is, the Old Testament foretold the death of Christ for our sins and his rising physically from the dead on the 3rd day (1 Corinthians 15:1-5, Luke 24:44-47). For his death for our sins was foretold in Isaiah 53 (cf. Acts 8:32-35; 1 Peter 2:24). His crucifixion experience was foretold in Psalms 22 (cf. Matthew 27:46,35). His not remaining dead was foretold in Psalms 16:10 (cf. Acts 2:31). His rising from the dead on the 3rd day was foretold in Hosea 6:2 (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:4, Luke 24:46, Colossians 2:12). That Christ's New Covenant gospel (Matthew 26:28) would go forth to save both Jews and Gentiles was foretold in Isaiah 49:6 and Isaiah 42:6 (cf. Acts 26:23b, Luke 24:47). For some other examples of how Jesus fulfilled Old Testament scriptures at his first coming: he fulfilled Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19 (cf. Acts 3:22-24, Luke 24:44), and Zechariah 9:9 (cf. Matthew 21:4-5), and Psalms 118:22 (cf. Acts 4:11), and Isaiah 9:1-2 (cf. Matthew 4:12-16), and Psalms 110:4 (cf. Hebrews 6:20).
     
  19. Bible2

    Bible2 Guest

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    Note that the parallel verses of Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, and Luke 21:32 can be the only instance where "this generation" doesn't mean the temporal one alive at Jesus' first coming. For your argument is like the argument of full preterism, which claims that the "elements" in 2 Peter 3:10,12 can't be physical because all the other verses in the Bible where the original Greek word "stoicheion" (G4747) is used, refer to non-physical elements. The truth is that the "elements" in 2 Peter 3:10,12 can be the only place in the Bible where "stoicheion" is used to refer to physical elements, just as, for example, Revelation 6:6 can be (and in fact is) the only place in the Bible where the Greek word "choinix" (G5518) is used at all.

    Similarly, Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, and Luke 21:32 can be the only instance where "this generation" is used to refer to a future generation, which would see "all these things", including Jesus' (never fulfilled) 2nd coming.

    Note that just as the highly detailed tribulation events of Revelation chapters 6 to 18 find no historical fulfillment, so the tribulation events of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 find no historical fulfillment. For example, Luke 21:24 refers to the same future treading down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles as Revelation 11:2b, during the Antichrist's future, literal 42-month worldwide reign (Revelation 13:5-18), the details of which time period are shown from 4 different angles in Revelation chapters 11 to 14 (Revelation 11:2b-3, Revelation 12:6,14, Revelation 13:5,7, Revelation 14:9-13). The myriad details of these chapters have never been fulfilled. Similarly, Jesus' 2nd coming and the church's gathering together (rapture) in Matthew 24:30-31 (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) have never been fulfilled, but must occur "immediately after" the future tribulation of Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, and Revelation chapters 6 to 18 (Matthew 24:29-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Revelation 19:2 to 20:6).

    Also, the end of the 2nd temple building (also called Herod's temple building) in 70 AD didn't fulfill Matthew 24:2. For the stones of the 2nd temple's Wailing Wall (also called the Western Wall) still stand today one on top of the other, just as they did when Jesus spoke that prophecy. Matthew 24:2 included the Wailing Wall, for Matthew 24:2 wasn't referring only to the single, 2nd temple building which stood in the center of the Temple Mount and which contained the holy place and the most holy place, but was referring to "all these things", all the plural "buildings"/structures/oikodome (G3619) of the entire 2nd temple complex (Matthew 24:1). Indeed, Matthew 24:2 could even have been spoken just to the north and west of the Wailing Wall. For it was spoken just after Jesus had departed from the temple complex (Matthew 24:1), and one of the main temple complex exits (called Wilson's Arch and bridge by archaeologists) was just to the north of the Wailing Wall, and at the same level as the top of the Temple Mount (see the temple-complex map-insert in the December, 2008 issue of National Geographic magazine).

    Also, in Matthew 24:2, the "here" can include not just the entire 2nd temple complex, but every structure throughout Jerusalem. For the similar statement in Luke 19:44 applied to the whole city (Luke 19:41-44). Matthew 24:2 and Luke 19:44 could be fulfilled at the very end of the future tribulation of Revelation chapters 6 to 18 and Matthew 24, right before and at Jesus' 2nd coming (Zechariah 14:2-21, Revelation 19:7 to 20:6).

    While Jesus was originally speaking with the apostles in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, in his mind all believers of all times are one (John 17:20-21, Ephesians 4:4-5). So the "ye" in Matthew 24 doesn't require that Matthew 24 was fulfilled in the lifetime of the apostles. The "ye" will see "all these things" (Matthew 24:33-34), including the (never fulfilled) 2nd coming (Matthew 24:30-34). The "ye" must watch (stay awake, spiritually) for the 2nd coming (Matthew 24:42,44).
     
  20. TPeterY

    TPeterY But seek first the Kingdom of God....

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    You made the same mistake here as you did in your OP but in reverse order. You either didn't correctly read what I wrote or you just didn't understood. What you did in your OP in your attempt to understand Matthew 24:32-35 was drew a conclusion based on the historic event of the Jewish people when God established a covenant through Moses. The word generation is one of the most used word throughout the bible, 180 times. You could make the same case for generation with stories off the bible from the generations of Noah or Abraham or Issac or Jacob or Joseph or David or Solomon and up to the apostle John and still be in error because Christ frequently spoke figuratively. He was not talking about an actual generation. You won't find many writings of Moses in figurative language. That should be your step to understand their differences and is also a huge awareness of Christ when trying to understand His prophecies.

    John 16:25 (NKJV) “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. ​


    Matthew 24:32-35 are the easiest passages to understand of the entire Discourse. Again, you can compare the generation with narratives from other scriptures throughout the entire bible beyond Moses and still draw a complete blank unless you understand Christ never spoke about an actual generation. There are numerous scriptures throughout the bible that will tell you otherwise what generation means. It's just not where you think it is.





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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
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