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MeetChristians.com / Forums / Biblical & Theological Issues

No. 0     Original Topic:  A Brief Response to a Critic of "Is Jesus Coming Soon?"   
By:  Kent56   Gender: M   Age: 53   on  Jan 29, 2010 at 9:37 AM   Viewed 30614 times     
Good article about furturist timing issues.

A Brief Response to a Critic of "Is Jesus Coming Soon?"

By Gary DeMar

I received an email from an AV supporter that was sent to him by his sister-in-law. My comments are in bold below:

“I read that book you gave me this morning. . . . He bases the whole book on the verse in Matthew that says ‘this generation will not pass away until all these things are fulfilled.’ He claims that was the generation when Jesus was alive.”

Your sister-in-law is wrong on several counts. I do not base Is Jesus Coming Soon? solely on Matthew 24:34. Keep in mind that it is a shortened version of a much comprehensive study of Matthew 24 found in my book Last Days Madness. Even so, understanding how “this generation” is used by Jesus is important and cannot be avoided. I notice that your sister-in-law does not do a comparative study of the phrase. Each and every time “this generation” is used in the gospels it ALWAYS refers to the generation to whom Jesus is speaking (Matt. 11:16; 12:41–42; 23:36; Mark 8:12; Luke 7:31; 11:30–32, 50–51; 17:25).

The use of “this” (a near demonstrative) refers to what is near. “The demonstrative[s] . . . are of two kinds: near and distant. The near demonstratives, as the name denotes, point to someone or something ‘near,’ in close proximity. They appear as the singular word ‘this’ and its plural ‘these.’ The distant demonstratives, as their name suggests, appear as ‘that’ (singular), or ‘those’ (plural).”[1] If Jesus had a future generation in view, He would have used the far demonstrative “that.” There is no getting around the meaning of “this generation.” By comparing Scripture with Scripture, “this generation” means the generation of Jesus’ day.

“If you back up a few verses Jesus says, ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig tree.… As soon as its twigs are tender and its leaves come out, know that summer is near. Even so when you see these things, you know the time is near.’”

Jesus uses an audience reference in Matthew 24:33: “when YOU see all these things, recognize that He is near, at the door.” It’s the “this generation” of Jesus day that would see “all THESE [plural near demonstrative] things.” The use of the second person plural (“you”) can be traced back to the beginning of the chapter (Matt. 24:2, 4, 9, etc.) and followed through to verse 33. The audience does not change. If Jesus had a future generation in view, He would have said “when THEY see all these things.”

“The fig tree has always been representative of the nation of Israel.”
The fig tree has NOT always been representative of the nation of Israel. I noticed that your sister-in-law did not offer any biblical support for her claim. If there is a tree that represents Israel, it’s the olive tree (Rom. 11:17, 24). It seems rather odd that Paul would choose the olive tree when, as your sister-in-law claims, “the fig tree has always been representative of the nation of Israel.” Notice that in the parallel account in Luke’s version of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus says, “Behold the fig tree and ALL THE TREES; as soon as THEY put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near” (Luke 21:29–30).

If the fig tree represents Israel, then there is the problem of what Jesus says about the fig tree earlier in Matthew’s gospel: “Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree [Israel] by the road, He came to it [Israel] and found nothing on it [Israel] except leaves only; and He said to it [Israel], “NO LONGER SHALL THERE EVER BE ANY FRUIT FROM YOU [ISRAEL].’” (Matt. 21:18–22). Notice that Matthew 24:32 does not say anything about fruit; it only mentions leaves. It was a “leaves-only” tree, the same type of tree that Jesus said would never bear fruit. So, if the fig tree represents Israel, then there is a contradiction. She can’t have it both ways (not Israel in Matthew 21 and Israel in Matthew 24).

Dispensationalists have been making the “fig tree”=Israel claim for some time (see the Scofield Reference Bible). This is beginning to change because dispensationalists see a number of exegetical, historical, and logical problems. Dispensational prophecy author John F. Walvoord wrote the following about the fig tree being Israel: “Actually, while the fig tree could be an apt illustration of Israel IT IS NOT SO USED IN THE BIBLE. In Jeremiah 24:1–8, good and bad figs [not trees] illustrate Israel in the captivity, and there is also mention of figs in 29:17. The reference to the fig tree in Judges 9:10–11 is obviously not Israel. Neither the reference in Matthew 21:18–20 nor that in Mark 11:12–14 with its interpretation in 11:20–26, gives any indication that it is referring to Israel, any more than the mountain referred to in the passage.

Accordingly, while this interpretation is held by many, there is no clear scriptural warrant. A better interpretation is that Christ was using a natural illustration. Because the fig tree brings forth new leaves late in the spring, the budding of the leaves is evidence that summer is near.”[2]

Mark Hitchcock, pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, is the author of 2012: The Bible and the End of the World. Hitchcock, like Walvoord, takes issue with the often used argument that the fig tree in Matthew 24:32 describes the reinstitution of the nation of Israel,[3] a point he also made in his book The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy.[4]

“The verses talk about when Israel becomes a new nation (twigs, tender leaves). Israel was already a nation when Jesus was alive. It was then destroyed in 70 AD and taken over by the Romans. The new nation of Israel happened in 1948 . . . so when Jesus said this generation, He was talking about the restored nation of Israel. A generation to the Jewish people is 70 years. We think of it as 100. If this generation of Israel will see the last days’ events, then they should happen sometime within 1948 and 2018 . . . that is 70 years.”

The above material makes this particular argument moot, since, as I’ve shown, the fig tree of Matthew 24:32 is not a reference to Israel becoming a nation again. I find it odd that all the weight of an argument rests on an analogy when the rest of the chapter is so particular (wars, famines, false Christs, etc.). The NT does not say anything about Israel becoming a nation again. You won’t even find it in Romans 11.

When Tim LaHaye attempted to calculate the timing of “this generation,” he began with 1917. In the first edition of The Beginning of the End, which was published in 1972, Tim LaHaye wrote, “Carefully putting all this together, we now recognize this strategic generation. It is the generation that ‘sees’ the four-part sign of verse 7 [in Matt. 24], or the people who saw the First World War. We must be careful here not to become dogmatic, but it would seem that these people are witnesses to the events, not necessarily participants in them. That would suggest they were at least old enough to understand the events of 1914–1918, not necessarily old enough to go to war.”[5]

A number of things changed in LaHaye’s 1991 revised edition of The Beginning of the End. The “strategic generation” has been modified significantly. It’s no longer “the people who saw the First World War”: “Carefully putting all this together, we now recognize this strategic generation. It is the generation that ‘sees’ the events of 1948. We must be careful here not to become dogmatic, but it would seem that these people are witnesses to the events, not necessarily participants in them.” The change from 1917 to 1948 gave LaHaye another fifty years before this new generation passes away.[6]

The 1948–1988 connection was all the rage in the early 1970s, especially with the publication of Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth (1970): “The most important sign in Matthew has to be the restoration of the Jews to the land in the rebirth of Israel. Even the figure of speech ‘fig tree’ has been a historic symbol [note that Lindsey does not offer any biblical support] of national Israel. When the Jewish people, after nearly 2,000 years of exile, under relentless persecution, became a nation again on 14 May 1948 the ‘fig tree’ put forth its first leaves.

Jesus said that this would indicate that He was ‘at the door,’ ready to return. Then He said, ‘Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place’ (Matthew 24:34, NASB). What generation? Obviously, in context, the generation that would see the signs—chief among them the rebirth of Israel. A generation in the Bible is something like forty years. If this is a correct deduction, then within forty years or so of 1948, all these things could take place. Many scholars who have studied Bible prophecy all their lives believe that this is so.”[7]

Chuck Smith, pastor of Calvary Chapel and founder of the worldwide Calvary Chapel system of churches, went a step further than Lindsey: “That generation that was living in May 1948 shall not pass away until the second coming of Jesus Christ takes place and the kingdom of God established upon the earth. How long is a generation? Forty years on average in the Bible. . . . Where does that put us? It puts us right out at the end. We’re coming down to the wire.”[8] He wrote this in 1976.
Your sister-in-law sees the problem, so she chose 70 years. When 2018 comes with no “rapture,” she will either switch to a 100-year generation or change the starting point to 1967 which was the year of Israel’s Six-Day War.

Endnotes:

[1] Cullen I K Story and J. Lyle Story, Greek To Me: Learning New Testament Greek Through Memory Visualization [New York: Harper, 1979], 74).
[2] John F. Walvoord, Matthew: Thy Kingdom Come (Chicago, IL: Moody, [1974] 1980), 191B192.
[3] Tim Error! Main Document Only.LaHaye and many popular prophecy writers see Matthew 24:32 as the key NT prophetic passage: “when a fig tree is used symbolically in Scripture, it usually refers to the nation Israel. If that is a valid assumption (and we believe it is), then when Israel officially became a nation in 1948, that was the ‘sign’ of Matthew 24:1-8, the beginning ‘birth pangs’—it meant that the ‘end of the age’ is ‘near.’” (Error! Main Document Only.Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, Are We Living in the End Times? Current Events Foretold in Scripture . . . And What They Mean [Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999], 57). The editors of LaHaye’s own Prophecy Study Bible (2000) disagree: “the fig tree is not symbolic of the nation of Israel” (1040).
[4] Mark Hitchcock, The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), 158.
[5] Tim LaHaye, The Beginning of the End (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1972), 165, 168. Emphasis added.
[6] Tim LaHaye, The Beginning of the End, rev. ed. (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1991), 1993. Emphasis added.
[7] Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, [1970] 1971), 53–54.
[8] Chuck Smith, Snatched Away (Costa Mesa, CA: Maranatha Evangelical Association of Calvary Chapel, 1976), 21.
No. 1     Reply: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Jeff74996   Gender: M   Age: 49   on  Jan 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM     
Kent56 wrote:

Good article about furturist timing issues.

A Brief Response to a Critic of "Is Jesus Coming Soon?"

By Gary DeMar

I received an email from an AV supporter that was sent to him by his sister-in-law. My comments are in bold below:

“I read that book you gave me this morning. . . . He bases the whole book on the verse in Matthew that says ‘this generation will not pass away until all these things are fulfilled.’ He claims that was the generation when Jesus was alive.”

Your sister-in-law is wrong on several counts. I do not base Is Jesus Coming Soon? solely on Matthew 24:34. Keep in mind that it is a shortened version of a much comprehensive study of Matthew 24 found in my book Last Days Madness. Even so, understanding how “this generation” is used by Jesus is important and cannot be avoided. I notice that your sister-in-law does not do a comparative study of the phrase. Each and every time “this generation” is used in the gospels it ALWAYS refers to the generation to whom Jesus is speaking (Matt. 11:16; 12:41–42; 23:36; Mark 8:12; Luke 7:31; 11:30–32, 50–51; 17:25).


I would take issue here. In every case, the word generation is used to describe a specific group of individuals rather than merely the generation in existence at the time. Moreover, if the word, generation meant those alive in the 1st Century, then it should naturally include everyone in that particular generation. The context, however, does not support that. Let's have a look.

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,
11:17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.
But wisdom is justified of her children.


The word, generation, as used by Jesus in that passage does not include everyone alive at that time. There were specific individuals and groups who said those things about Jesus and John. Everybody who was a part of that physical generation did not take part in that kind of activity.

It is more likely that Jesus used the word, generation in much the same way as in Proverbs:

Proverbs 30:11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
Pro 30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
Pro 30:13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
Pro 30:14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.


Those words are reflective of Christ's description of the Scribes and Pharisees. I believe generation, as used by Christ goes far deeper than a time period spanning one lifetime.

Let's have a look at the next verse listed:

Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
12:39 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:
12:41 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.
12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.


Again, it appears that Christ is focused. He is speaking to the scribes and Pharisees: the generation addressed in Proverbs.

This is not a blanket statement covering the generation of humans alive at that time. Neither the men of Nineveh nor the queen of the south are going to rise up in judgment against those in that generation who accepted Christ.

But since the men of Nineveh repented, and since the queen of the south acted on faith: they are not a part of the generation, or seed that spawned what would become the scribes and Pharisees. They will rise up in judgment against that generation.

Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.


Obviously the scribes and Pharisees did not kill Abel, nor did they have any part in the blood of Zacharias. Yet by their character, and what they were about to do to Jesus, they demonstrate to which seed, or generation they are connected. This is not a time period here. It is a class distinction of a spiritual order.

Mark 8:11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
8:12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.


This is a repeat of the Matthew passage above. The Pharisees were of the generation that would receive no sign. Obviously there was another generation, or seed, that would receive signs:

Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.


It is good to be a part of the generation that believes. Amen?

Luke 7:31 is the same as Matthew 11:16. Jesus is specific. The word, generation, is focused toward those who do not believe. The context disqualifies the notion that Christ simply meant those who were living at that time.

Luke 11:30-32 is the same as Matthew 12:38-42, and is addressed above.

Luke 11:50-51 is the same as Matthew 23:33-36 and is addressed above.

Luke 17:25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

Everyone in that generation did not reject Him. Yet, there was a generation (or seed) that did. And that generation is still with us today. And it will not pass away until all is fulfilled.


The use of “this” (a near demonstrative) refers to what is near. “The demonstrative[s] . . . are of two kinds: near and distant. The near demonstratives, as the name denotes, point to someone or something ‘near,’ in close proximity. They appear as the singular word ‘this’ and its plural ‘these.’ The distant demonstratives, as their name suggests, appear as ‘that’ (singular), or ‘those’ (plural).”[1] If Jesus had a future generation in view, He would have used the far demonstrative “that.” There is no getting around the meaning of “this generation.” By comparing Scripture with Scripture, “this generation” means the generation of Jesus’ day.


That entire argument falls apart at the meaning of the word, generation.

“If you back up a few verses Jesus says, ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig tree.… As soon as its twigs are tender and its leaves come out, know that summer is near. Even so when you see these things, you know the time is near.’”

Jesus uses an audience reference in Matthew 24:33: “when YOU see all these things, recognize that He is near, at the door.” It’s the “this generation” of Jesus day that would see “all THESE [plural near demonstrative] things.” The use of the second person plural (“you”) can be traced back to the beginning of the chapter (Matt. 24:2, 4, 9, etc.) and followed through to verse 33. The audience does not change. If Jesus had a future generation in view, He would have said “when THEY see all these things.”


Here is an interesting point: the use of YOU. This is probably the strongest argument for the more immediate return of Christ. Worth a study.

“The fig tree has always been representative of the nation of Israel.”
The fig tree has NOT always been representative of the nation of Israel. I noticed that your sister-in-law did not offer any biblical support for her claim. If there is a tree that represents Israel, it’s the olive tree (Rom. 11:17, 24). It seems rather odd that Paul would choose the olive tree when, as your sister-in-law claims, “the fig tree has always been representative of the nation of Israel.” Notice that in the parallel account in Luke’s version of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus says, “Behold the fig tree and ALL THE TREES; as soon as THEY put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near” (Luke 21:29–30).

If the fig tree represents Israel, then there is the problem of what Jesus says about the fig tree earlier in Matthew’s gospel: “Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree [Israel] by the road, He came to it [Israel] and found nothing on it [Israel] except leaves only; and He said to it [Israel], “NO LONGER SHALL THERE EVER BE ANY FRUIT FROM YOU [ISRAEL].’” (Matt. 21:18–22). Notice that Matthew 24:32 does not say anything about fruit; it only mentions leaves. It was a “leaves-only” tree, the same type of tree that Jesus said would never bear fruit. So, if the fig tree represents Israel, then there is a contradiction. She can’t have it both ways (not Israel in Matthew 21 and Israel in Matthew 24).

Dispensationalists have been making the “fig tree”=Israel claim for some time (see the Scofield Reference Bible). This is beginning to change because dispensationalists see a number of exegetical, historical, and logical problems. Dispensational prophecy author John F. Walvoord wrote the following about the fig tree being Israel: “Actually, while the fig tree could be an apt illustration of Israel IT IS NOT SO USED IN THE BIBLE. In Jeremiah 24:1–8, good and bad figs [not trees] illustrate Israel in the captivity, and there is also mention of figs in 29:17. The reference to the fig tree in Judges 9:10–11 is obviously not Israel. Neither the reference in Matthew 21:18–20 nor that in Mark 11:12–14 with its interpretation in 11:20–26, gives any indication that it is referring to Israel, any more than the mountain referred to in the passage.

Accordingly, while this interpretation is held by many, there is no clear scriptural warrant. A better interpretation is that Christ was using a natural illustration. Because the fig tree brings forth new leaves late in the spring, the budding of the leaves is evidence that summer is near.”[2]

Mark Hitchcock, pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, is the author of 2012: The Bible and the End of the World. Hitchcock, like Walvoord, takes issue with the often used argument that the fig tree in Matthew 24:32 describes the reinstitution of the nation of Israel,[3] a point he also made in his book The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy.[4]

“The verses talk about when Israel becomes a new nation (twigs, tender leaves). Israel was already a nation when Jesus was alive. It was then destroyed in 70 AD and taken over by the Romans. The new nation of Israel happened in 1948 . . . so when Jesus said this generation, He was talking about the restored nation of Israel. A generation to the Jewish people is 70 years. We think of it as 100. If this generation of Israel will see the last days’ events, then they should happen sometime within 1948 and 2018 . . . that is 70 years.”

The above material makes this particular argument moot, since, as I’ve shown, the fig tree of Matthew 24:32 is not a reference to Israel becoming a nation again. I find it odd that all the weight of an argument rests on an analogy when the rest of the chapter is so particular (wars, famines, false Christs, etc.). The NT does not say anything about Israel becoming a nation again. You won’t even find it in Romans 11.


I believe the fig tree is more a reference to the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with its leaves. It also happens to be the tree that Jesus cursed: all leaves, no fruit.

When Tim LaHaye attempted to calculate the timing of “this generation,” he began with 1917. In the first edition of The Beginning of the End, which was published in 1972, Tim LaHaye wrote, “Carefully putting all this together, we now recognize this strategic generation. It is the generation that ‘sees’ the four-part sign of verse 7 [in Matt. 24], or the people who saw the First World War. We must be careful here not to become dogmatic, but it would seem that these people are witnesses to the events, not necessarily participants in them. That would suggest they were at least old enough to understand the events of 1914–1918, not necessarily old enough to go to war.”[5]

A number of things changed in LaHaye’s 1991 revised edition of The Beginning of the End. The “strategic generation” has been modified significantly. It’s no longer “the people who saw the First World War”: “Carefully putting all this together, we now recognize this strategic generation. It is the generation that ‘sees’ the events of 1948. We must be careful here not to become dogmatic, but it would seem that these people are witnesses to the events, not necessarily participants in them.” The change from 1917 to 1948 gave LaHaye another fifty years before this new generation passes away.[6]

The 1948–1988 connection was all the rage in the early 1970s, especially with the publication of Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth (1970): “The most important sign in Matthew has to be the restoration of the Jews to the land in the rebirth of Israel. Even the figure of speech ‘fig tree’ has been a historic symbol [note that Lindsey does not offer any biblical support] of national Israel. When the Jewish people, after nearly 2,000 years of exile, under relentless persecution, became a nation again on 14 May 1948 the ‘fig tree’ put forth its first leaves.

Jesus said that this would indicate that He was ‘at the door,’ ready to return. Then He said, ‘Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place’ (Matthew 24:34, NASB). What generation? Obviously, in context, the generation that would see the signs—chief among them the rebirth of Israel. A generation in the Bible is something like forty years. If this is a correct deduction, then within forty years or so of 1948, all these things could take place. Many scholars who have studied Bible prophecy all their lives believe that this is so.”[7]

Chuck Smith, pastor of Calvary Chapel and founder of the worldwide Calvary Chapel system of churches, went a step further than Lindsey: “That generation that was living in May 1948 shall not pass away until the second coming of Jesus Christ takes place and the kingdom of God established upon the earth. How long is a generation? Forty years on average in the Bible. . . . Where does that put us? It puts us right out at the end. We’re coming down to the wire.”[8] He wrote this in 1976.
Your sister-in-law sees the problem, so she chose 70 years. When 2018 comes with no “rapture,” she will either switch to a 100-year generation or change the starting point to 1967 which was the year of Israel’s Six-Day War.


If we understand the word, generation, to carry the same meaning as in Proverbs 30, or as the word, seed as used in the parable of the wheat and tares, one will find that in a thorough study of Scripture, when all is said and done, that generation will truly pass away.

No. 2     Reply: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  John702   Gender: M   Age: 31   on  Jan 29, 2010 at 9:46 PM     
Hello all,
These passages that refer to "this generation" was meant for the hearers of Jesus speaking, and he wasn't refering to his return, but the Judgement of Isreal in 70 A.D. Jesus said the Temple would be totally destroyed, no stone left upon another, and this is what happened.
God Bless,
John702<><
No. 3     Reply: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Jeff74996   Gender: M   Age: 49   on  Jan 30, 2010 at 1:15 AM     
John702 wrote:

Hello all,
These passages that refer to "this generation" was meant for the hearers of Jesus speaking, and he wasn't refering to his return, but the Judgement of Isreal in 70 A.D. Jesus said the Temple would be totally destroyed, no stone left upon another, and this is what happened.
God Bless,
John702<><


Too dogmatic. You cannot speak with that kind of authority about a term whose meaning is debatable.

It has already been adequately demonstrated in Post 1 that the context of its use is directly focused on a particular group of individuals of common character rather than the whole unit of living beings (or hearers) at that particular time.

Not everyone who heard Him fell into the category of that generation.

Proverbs 30:11-14 provides God's definition of generation - as used by God manifest in the flesh.
No. 4     Reply: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Kent56   Gender: M   Age: 53   on  Jan 30, 2010 at 6:53 AM     
Jeff74996 wrote:

Kent56 wrote:

Good article about furturist timing issues.

A Brief Response to a Critic of "Is Jesus Coming Soon?"

By Gary DeMar

I received an email from an AV supporter that was sent to him by his sister-in-law. My comments are in bold below:

“I read that book you gave me this morning. . . . He bases the whole book on the verse in Matthew that says ‘this generation will not pass away until all these things are fulfilled.’ He claims that was the generation when Jesus was alive.”

Your sister-in-law is wrong on several counts. I do not base Is Jesus Coming Soon? solely on Matthew 24:34. Keep in mind that it is a shortened version of a much comprehensive study of Matthew 24 found in my book Last Days Madness. Even so, understanding how “this generation” is used by Jesus is important and cannot be avoided. I notice that your sister-in-law does not do a comparative study of the phrase. Each and every time “this generation” is used in the gospels it ALWAYS refers to the generation to whom Jesus is speaking (Matt. 11:16; 12:41–42; 23:36; Mark 8:12; Luke 7:31; 11:30–32, 50–51; 17:25).


I would take issue here. In every case, the word generation is used to describe a specific group of individuals rather than merely the generation in existence at the time. Moreover, if the word, generation meant those alive in the 1st Century, then it should naturally include everyone in that particular generation. The context, however, does not support that. Let's have a look.


Thanks Jeff, for giving some comments. But I still say you are making a generation waaaayyyy too long. Let's look at what our good brother Daniel Webster has to say about a generation.

Generation
GENERA'TION, n. The act of begetting; procreation, as of animals.

1. Production; formation; as the generation of sounds or of curves or equations.

2. A single succession in natural descent, as the children of the same parents; hence, an age. Thus we say, the third, the fourth, or the tenth generation. Gen 15:16.

3. The people of the same period, or living at the same time.

O faithless and perverse generation. Luke 9.

4. Genealogy; a series of children or descendants from the same stock.



It seems to me that you are chosing to use definition 4, while I see definition 3 as most fitting the normative Biblical idea of generation.

Jesus does not give a number of generations as in fourth or tenth generation. No, he says "this generation". I still agree with Gary on this, "this generation" means those living in that day. And Gary gives some pretty good support in other references.

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,
11:17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.
But wisdom is justified of her children.


And what shall I liken this generation to... Meaning those he was addressing, in that time frame. DW definition 3.

The word, generation, as used by Jesus in that passage does not include everyone alive at that time. There were specific individuals and groups who said those things about Jesus and John. Everybody who was a part of that physical generation did not take part in that kind of activity.


Again I think you are using the wrong definition of a generation. He was referring to people who that very day heard his talk, in that time frame. Not some future time frame, but that generation then, living that very day in fact. No, it doesn't include every body alive, just those seeking a sign. The context gives clarity to the group he is talking to.

It is more likely that Jesus used the word, generation in much the same way as in Proverbs:

Proverbs 30:11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
Pro 30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
Pro 30:13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
Pro 30:14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.


Possibly, but it still is speaking of a certain time frame, a certain generation, a certain age group. Today we might call these here the younger generation.

Those words are reflective of Christ's description of the Scribes and Pharisees. I believe generation, as used by Christ goes far deeper than a time period spanning one lifetime.

Let's have a look at the next verse listed:

Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
12:39 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:
12:41 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.
12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.


Again, it appears that Christ is focused. He is speaking to the scribes and Pharisees: the generation addressed in Proverbs.

This is not a blanket statement covering the generation of humans alive at that time. Neither the men of Nineveh nor the queen of the south are going to rise up in judgment against those in that generation who accepted Christ.

But since the men of Nineveh repented, and since the queen of the south acted on faith: they are not a part of the generation, or seed that spawned what would become the scribes and Pharisees. They will rise up in judgment against that generation.

Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.


Obviously the scribes and Pharisees did not kill Abel, nor did they have any part in the blood of Zacharias. Yet by their character, and what they were about to do to Jesus, they demonstrate to which seed, or generation they are connected. This is not a time period here. It is a class distinction of a spiritual order.


Yes, that generation of scribes and Pharisees that were alive then, did put the Messiah to death. That very generation. Any of say, 69 AD may not have, some in that later time may not have been alive in 30AD to be complacent in putting Jesus to death.

Mark 8:11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
8:12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.


This is a repeat of the Matthew passage above. The Pharisees were of the generation that would receive no sign. Obviously there was another generation, or seed, that would receive signs:

Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.


It is good to be a part of the generation that believes. Amen?


I think I missed something in this quoute...where is the word generation used? I'm afraid Jeff, this doesn't even come close to proving your thesis of the meaning of generation.

Luke 7:31 is the same as Matthew 11:16. Jesus is specific. The word, generation, is focused toward those who do not believe. The context disqualifies the notion that Christ simply meant those who were living at that time.

Luke 11:30-32 is the same as Matthew 12:38-42, and is addressed above.

Luke 11:50-51 is the same as Matthew 23:33-36 and is addressed above.

Luke 17:25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

Everyone in that generation did not reject Him. Yet, there was a generation (or seed) that did. And that generation is still with us today. And it will not pass away until all is fulfilled.


Jeff, does it not say that he came to his own and his own received him not? So yes, overall the religion of Judaizm rejected the Messiah Jesus. Yes, that very generation rejected him, setting the stage for his death, and the continued rejection of future generations of Jews.


The use of “this” (a near demonstrative) refers to what is near. “The demonstrative[s] . . . are of two kinds: near and distant. The near demonstratives, as the name denotes, point to someone or something ‘near,’ in close proximity. They appear as the singular word ‘this’ and its plural ‘these.’ The distant demonstratives, as their name suggests, appear as ‘that’ (singular), or ‘those’ (plural).”[1] If Jesus had a future generation in view, He would have used the far demonstrative “that.” There is no getting around the meaning of “this generation.” By comparing Scripture with Scripture, “this generation” means the generation of Jesus’ day.


That entire argument falls apart at the meaning of the word, generation.

“If you back up a few verses Jesus says, ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig tree.… As soon as its twigs are tender and its leaves come out, know that summer is near. Even so when you see these things, you know the time is near.’”

Jesus uses an audience reference in Matthew 24:33: “when YOU see all these things, recognize that He is near, at the door.” It’s the “this generation” of Jesus day that would see “all THESE [plural near demonstrative] things.” The use of the second person plural (“you”) can be traced back to the beginning of the chapter (Matt. 24:2, 4, 9, etc.) and followed through to verse 33. The audience does not change. If Jesus had a future generation in view, He would have said “when THEY see all these things.”


Here is an interesting point: the use of YOU. This is probably the strongest argument for the more immediate return of Christ. Worth a study.

“The fig tree has always been representative of the nation of Israel.”
The fig tree has NOT always been representative of the nation of Israel. I noticed that your sister-in-law did not offer any biblical support for her claim. If there is a tree that represents Israel, it’s the olive tree (Rom. 11:17, 24). It seems rather odd that Paul would choose the olive tree when, as your sister-in-law claims, “the fig tree has always been representative of the nation of Israel.” Notice that in the parallel account in Luke’s version of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus says, “Behold the fig tree and ALL THE TREES; as soon as THEY put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near” (Luke 21:29–30).

If the fig tree represents Israel, then there is the problem of what Jesus says about the fig tree earlier in Matthew’s gospel: “Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree [Israel] by the road, He came to it [Israel] and found nothing on it [Israel] except leaves only; and He said to it [Israel], “NO LONGER SHALL THERE EVER BE ANY FRUIT FROM YOU [ISRAEL].’” (Matt. 21:18–22). Notice that Matthew 24:32 does not say anything about fruit; it only mentions leaves. It was a “leaves-only” tree, the same type of tree that Jesus said would never bear fruit. So, if the fig tree represents Israel, then there is a contradiction. She can’t have it both ways (not Israel in Matthew 21 and Israel in Matthew 24).

Dispensationalists have been making the “fig tree”=Israel claim for some time (see the Scofield Reference Bible). This is beginning to change because dispensationalists see a number of exegetical, historical, and logical problems. Dispensational prophecy author John F. Walvoord wrote the following about the fig tree being Israel: “Actually, while the fig tree could be an apt illustration of Israel IT IS NOT SO USED IN THE BIBLE. In Jeremiah 24:1–8, good and bad figs [not trees] illustrate Israel in the captivity, and there is also mention of figs in 29:17. The reference to the fig tree in Judges 9:10–11 is obviously not Israel. Neither the reference in Matthew 21:18–20 nor that in Mark 11:12–14 with its interpretation in 11:20–26, gives any indication that it is referring to Israel, any more than the mountain referred to in the passage.

Accordingly, while this interpretation is held by many, there is no clear scriptural warrant. A better interpretation is that Christ was using a natural illustration. Because the fig tree brings forth new leaves late in the spring, the budding of the leaves is evidence that summer is near.”[2]

Mark Hitchcock, pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, is the author of 2012: The Bible and the End of the World. Hitchcock, like Walvoord, takes issue with the often used argument that the fig tree in Matthew 24:32 describes the reinstitution of the nation of Israel,[3] a point he also made in his book The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy.[4]

“The verses talk about when Israel becomes a new nation (twigs, tender leaves). Israel was already a nation when Jesus was alive. It was then destroyed in 70 AD and taken over by the Romans. The new nation of Israel happened in 1948 . . . so when Jesus said this generation, He was talking about the restored nation of Israel. A generation to the Jewish people is 70 years. We think of it as 100. If this generation of Israel will see the last days’ events, then they should happen sometime within 1948 and 2018 . . . that is 70 years.”

The above material makes this particular argument moot, since, as I’ve shown, the fig tree of Matthew 24:32 is not a reference to Israel becoming a nation again. I find it odd that all the weight of an argument rests on an analogy when the rest of the chapter is so particular (wars, famines, false Christs, etc.). The NT does not say anything about Israel becoming a nation again. You won’t even find it in Romans 11.


I believe the fig tree is more a reference to the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with its leaves. It also happens to be the tree that Jesus cursed: all leaves, no fruit.

When Tim LaHaye attempted to calculate the timing of “this generation,” he began with 1917. In the first edition of The Beginning of the End, which was published in 1972, Tim LaHaye wrote, “Carefully putting all this together, we now recognize this strategic generation. It is the generation that ‘sees’ the four-part sign of verse 7 [in Matt. 24], or the people who saw the First World War. We must be careful here not to become dogmatic, but it would seem that these people are witnesses to the events, not necessarily participants in them. That would suggest they were at least old enough to understand the events of 1914–1918, not necessarily old enough to go to war.”[5]

A number of things changed in LaHaye’s 1991 revised edition of The Beginning of the End. The “strategic generation” has been modified significantly. It’s no longer “the people who saw the First World War”: “Carefully putting all this together, we now recognize this strategic generation. It is the generation that ‘sees’ the events of 1948. We must be careful here not to become dogmatic, but it would seem that these people are witnesses to the events, not necessarily participants in them.” The change from 1917 to 1948 gave LaHaye another fifty years before this new generation passes away.[6]

The 1948–1988 connection was all the rage in the early 1970s, especially with the publication of Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth (1970): “The most important sign in Matthew has to be the restoration of the Jews to the land in the rebirth of Israel. Even the figure of speech ‘fig tree’ has been a historic symbol [note that Lindsey does not offer any biblical support] of national Israel. When the Jewish people, after nearly 2,000 years of exile, under relentless persecution, became a nation again on 14 May 1948 the ‘fig tree’ put forth its first leaves.

Jesus said that this would indicate that He was ‘at the door,’ ready to return. Then He said, ‘Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place’ (Matthew 24:34, NASB). What generation? Obviously, in context, the generation that would see the signs—chief among them the rebirth of Israel. A generation in the Bible is something like forty years. If this is a correct deduction, then within forty years or so of 1948, all these things could take place. Many scholars who have studied Bible prophecy all their lives believe that this is so.”[7]

Chuck Smith, pastor of Calvary Chapel and founder of the worldwide Calvary Chapel system of churches, went a step further than Lindsey: “That generation that was living in May 1948 shall not pass away until the second coming of Jesus Christ takes place and the kingdom of God established upon the earth. How long is a generation? Forty years on average in the Bible. . . . Where does that put us? It puts us right out at the end. We’re coming down to the wire.”[8] He wrote this in 1976.
Your sister-in-law sees the problem, so she chose 70 years. When 2018 comes with no “rapture,” she will either switch to a 100-year generation or change the starting point to 1967 which was the year of Israel’s Six-Day War.


If we understand the word, generation, to carry the same meaning as in Proverbs 30, or as the word, seed as used in the parable of the wheat and tares, one will find that in a thorough study of Scripture, when all is said and done, that generation will truly pass away.



See if one uses your choice of definition (DW #4) of the word generation, there is nothing to be applied to anyone in the first century. Jesus was just talking abstracts to the people in that time frame. It could apply to anyone in the whole of the generations of man.

If one uses the more direct definition (DW #3) then it become clear who Jesus is referring to, those very people listening to him in the very day he delievered his talk.

Anyways, we have had this discussion before. You take one definition, and I take another. Perhaps this is where we must rest this discussion?
No. 5     Reply: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Kent56   Gender: M   Age: 53   on  Jan 30, 2010 at 6:57 AM     
John702 wrote:

Hello all,
These passages that refer to "this generation" was meant for the hearers of Jesus speaking, and he wasn't refering to his return, but the Judgement of Isreal in 70 A.D. Jesus said the Temple would be totally destroyed, no stone left upon another, and this is what happened.
God Bless,
John702<><


Thanks John,

With this I agree with you. I now see more than just one return of the Lord. I see him returning in 70AD in judgment on rebelling Israel. And I see him returning yet in our future for the final resurreciton of the living and dead, and the judgment of all men.

I think where the major problem is in the major futurist views of eschatology is in trying to put them all together is a return of Christ they call the "Second Coming". This phrase is not found anywheres in scripture. It is like the word "rapture" it was coined to express a doctrine. (Though the word "rapture" is dirived from the Latin for "caught up".)
No. 6     Reply: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Elijah674   Gender: M   Age: 77   on  Jan 30, 2010 at 7:44 AM     
Surely the 'key WORD of Christ' is seen in verse 21 of.. [OR EVER WAS ... NO, NOR EVER SHALL BE.' And in all my days I had found it very hard to see how these verses could fool anyone, let alone the Very Elect if possible? But it was Christ's TRUTH Prophesied, and it is now beginning to be done by some even on this site, huh! And although it breaks ones heart to see this, God knew in eternity that there would be these false teaching Judas ones.

And when the Holy Spirit leaves His Striving's, man will beliv'ism just about anything! Then toss in the satanic miracles of 2 Thess. 2:9-12, and we see that we are headed to the SECOND PHYSICAL COMING of the other ones True FAITH!

Matt. 24
[21] For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

[22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

[23] Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

[24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, [/s][and shall shew great signs and wonders;] insomuch that, [if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.]

[25] Behold, I have told you before.
[26] Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

[27] For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

[28] For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

[29] Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

[30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

--Elijah
No. 7     Reply: Re: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Jeff74996   Gender: M   Age: 49   on  Jan 30, 2010 at 10:49 AM     
Kent56 wrote:

John702 wrote:

Hello all,
These passages that refer to "this generation" was meant for the hearers of Jesus speaking, and he wasn't refering to his return, but the Judgement of Isreal in 70 A.D. Jesus said the Temple would be totally destroyed, no stone left upon another, and this is what happened.
God Bless,
John702<><


Thanks John,

With this I agree with you. I now see more than just one return of the Lord. I see him returning in 70AD in judgment on rebelling Israel. And I see him returning yet in our future for the final resurreciton of the living and dead, and the judgment of all men.

I think where the major problem is in the major futurist views of eschatology is in trying to put them all together is a return of Christ they call the "Second Coming". This phrase is not found anywheres in scripture. It is like the word "rapture" it was coined to express a doctrine. (Though the word "rapture" is dirived from the Latin for "caught up".)


I find some agreement here. The early Christians remembered the words of Jesus and fled Jerusalem before it was leveled by Titus. And there is one Church Father who mentions Three comings of Christ. I believe he is Hippolytus, but it has been a while since I read it.

If AD 70 is the first, from my current understanding, then the rapture/resurrection event with Christ on the clouds will be second. After that, He will come through the veil of heaven torn open on a white horse with His armies. That would be third.

I admit this is highly speculative, but it is interesting.
No. 8     Reply: Re: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Jeff74996   Gender: M   Age: 49   on  Jan 30, 2010 at 11:55 AM     
To shorten the post, I have taken the liberty to omit much of what has already been mentioned. It can be referenced above in Posts 1 and 4.

Kent56 wrote:


Thanks Jeff, for giving some comments. But I still say you are making a generation waaaayyyy too long. Let's look at what our good brother Daniel Webster has to say about a generation.

Generation
GENERA'TION, n. The act of begetting; procreation, as of animals.

1. Production; formation; as the generation of sounds or of curves or equations.

2. A single succession in natural descent, as the children of the same parents; hence, an age. Thus we say, the third, the fourth, or the tenth generation. Gen 15:16.

3. The people of the same period, or living at the same time.

O faithless and perverse generation. Luke 9.

4. Genealogy; a series of children or descendants from the same stock.



It seems to me that you are chosing to use definition 4, while I see definition 3 as most fitting the normative Biblical idea of generation.

Jesus does not give a number of generations as in fourth or tenth generation. No, he says "this generation". I still agree with Gary on this, "this generation" means those living in that day. And Gary gives some pretty good support in other references.


My definition came from the Greek, not the English translation of it.

G1074
γενεά
genea
Thayer Definition:
1) fathered, birth, nativity
2) that which has been begotten, men of the same stock, a family
2a) the several ranks of natural descent, the successive members of a genealogy
2b) metaphorically a group of men very like each other in endowments, pursuits, character
2b1) especially in a bad sense, a perverse nation
3) the whole multitude of men living at the same time
4) an age (i.e. the time ordinarily occupied be each successive generation), a space of 30 - 33 years

Under definition 1, if we view Satan as the father, then the generation in question consisted of children of the devil. It seems likely in every instance that it is this generation which Jesus addressed. And it is timeless, applicable to any age.

Under definition 2, the definition applies in that these people are of the same stock. They are born of the same seed.

Under definition 2b, the metaphorical characteristic of that generation is fitting. It is particular fitting in definition 2b1

Under definition 3, this cannot be the subject, as the entire generation at that time did NOT fall under the condemnation addressed to the generation of Christ's focus.

Definition 4 is you choice. In every passage I covered, this definition is disqualified as the focus is limited to an evil generation, not those chosen by God, although some of God's chosen were living at that time.

I can give partial credence to your definition as it may apply to Matthew 24:34, because it follows verse 33 in context:

Matthew 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.


Because Christ's immediate audience is included as those who shall see in verse 33, the word generation can can apply to that particular time. This is not without problems, however. A partial fulfillment for those living at that time does not include all these things. So generation in that context might carry a double meaning, which is not uncommon in Scripture.


Kent wrote:
Jeff wrote:
The word, generation, as used by Jesus does not [necessarily] include everyone alive at that time. There were specific individuals and groups who [were being addressed]. Everybody who was a part of that physical generation did not take part in [these groups of individuals].


Again I think you are using the wrong definition of a generation. He was referring to people who that very day heard his talk, in that time frame. Not some future time frame, but that generation then, living that very day in fact. No, it doesn't include every body alive, just those seeking a sign. The context gives clarity to the group he is talking to.


And Jesus used the word, generation, as His identifier of that particular group. It is the same word used in Proverbs 30 below, if you have a Septuagint handy.

Proverbs 30:11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
Pro 30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
Pro 30:13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
Pro 30:14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.


Kent wrote:
Possibly, but it still is speaking of a certain time frame, a certain generation, a certain age group. Today we might call these here the younger generation.


I don't believe that to be the case. Carefully study each passage and context. Who is addressed? What Greek word was used for classification of those being addressed? Is it necessary to make it mean a specific time period, or is it something forced into the context by dispensationalists?


Kent wtrote:

Jeff wrote:
Mark 8:11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
8:12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.


This is a repeat of the Matthew passage above. The Pharisees were of the generation that would receive no sign. Obviously there was another generation, or seed, that would receive signs:

Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.


I think I missed something in this quote...where is the word generation used? I'm afraid Jeff, this doesn't even come close to proving your thesis of the meaning of generation.


Then you missed it. If Jesus did not give that generation a sign, as requested, and your interpretation holds any water at all, then no sign would be given at all to those living in that time period (that generation). However, since the word, generation, does NOT refer to a time period in that particular context of its usage, but rather to a particular group of individuals (per Thayer's Greek definitions), then SINCE Jesus did allow for signs, they were allowed for a DIFFERENT generation (though the particular word is not used): the generation of believers.

There is a connection in the word, generation to another word: genetics. Generation is also a process or product from something that generates so that a generation can be an ongoing race, or production of an originator, or manufacturer. Genome is a word used of late and is also connected. And when I use the word, seed, in connection with generation, it is quite accurate in the Scriptural context. Here is an example where the Bible is specific in this regard:

Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.


There are two generations, or seeds that have been sown in this earth. Jesus spoke of, and to an evil generation. The overall Biblical context in God's plan of redemption, as well as the immediate context of Christ's words prefers a definition more metaphorical and descriptive of a particular group rather than a time frame.


Jeff, does it not say that he came to his own and his own received him not? So yes, overall the religion of Judaizm rejected the Messiah Jesus. Yes, that very generation rejected him, setting the stage for his death, and the continued rejection of future generations of Jews.


This makes a good case. I can take that with Matthew 24:33-34. This is good stuff to ponder. Thanks for that.

No. 9     Reply: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Verbatim   Gender: F   Age: 57   on  Jan 30, 2010 at 1:31 PM     
I do not see where this issue lies.

The meaning of the word "generation" in the New Testament refers to a specific contemporary audience.
If you look closely, Our Lord often used the term to describe the 'evil' nature of the people He addresses!

Ephesians 3.21...
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

This verse in scripture can be summerized as: to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.

The Jewish people will be preserved until history's end.


Thank you,
Verbatim
No. 10     Reply: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Kent56   Gender: M   Age: 53   on  Jan 30, 2010 at 4:30 PM     
Thanks Jeff,

Now I understand you better on the use of generation.

Yes I can see where Jesus said to the "evil generation" No further sign will be given you but that of Jonah.

And prophsing to the believing generation, these signs shall follow...

With the prophecy of "this generation" for the fulfillment of the destruction of the temple to take place, add to that the time frame given by Daniel. We discussed this before in this context, and you then argued for the extended definition of generation there too.
No. 11     Reply: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Jeff74996   Gender: M   Age: 49   on  Jan 31, 2010 at 5:39 AM     
Kent56 wrote:

Thanks Jeff,

Now I understand you better on the use of generation.

Yes I can see where Jesus said to the "evil generation" No further sign will be given you but that of Jonah.

And prophsing to the believing generation, these signs shall follow...

With the prophecy of "this generation" for the fulfillment of the destruction of the temple to take place, add to that the time frame given by Daniel. We discussed this before in this context, and you then argued for the extended definition of generation there too.


So often it is the definition of one word that makes or breaks an idea or argument about a passage of Scripture. Even a word under one definition may be used in various ways depending on the surrounding context. When this is the case, and I am made aware of it, I cannot follow one man's interpretation without being open to the other possibilities. And until those are resolved in my own mind to my own satisfaction, they remain open.

But I am learning a lot from study resulting from arguments and reasonings together right here on this forum. I suppose it is that way for all of us who are willing to learn. And it is difficult to let go of something long held to be true once we learn that we were wrong all those years. But once we let it go and admit our error, it seems that there is power in that.

Nobody has all the answers, and we aren't going to get any real answers until we acknowledge our paradigms for what they are and be willing to let them go in exchange for real truth.

No. 12     Reply: Re: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Kent56   Gender: M   Age: 53   on  Jan 31, 2010 at 9:04 AM     
Jeff74996 wrote:

Kent56 wrote:

Thanks Jeff,

Now I understand you better on the use of generation.

Yes I can see where Jesus said to the "evil generation" No further sign will be given you but that of Jonah.

And prophsing to the believing generation, these signs shall follow...

With the prophecy of "this generation" for the fulfillment of the destruction of the temple to take place, add to that the time frame given by Daniel. We discussed this before in this context, and you then argued for the extended definition of generation there too.


So often it is the definition of one word that makes or breaks an idea or argument about a passage of Scripture. Even a word under one definition may be used in various ways depending on the surrounding context. When this is the case, and I am made aware of it, I cannot follow one man's interpretation without being open to the other possibilities. And until those are resolved in my own mind to my own satisfaction, they remain open.

But I have learned a lot from study resulting from arguments and reasonings together right here on this forum. I suppose it is that way for all of us who are willing to learn. And it is difficult to let go of something long held to be true once we learn that we were wrong all those years. But once we let it go and admit our error, it seems that there is power in that.

Nobody has all the answers, and we aren't going to get any real answers until we acknowledge our paradigms for what they are and be willing to let them go in exchange for real truth.



Jeff,

I agree with you. I find more benefit in open discussions. There are always things that a single person misses in their considerations of a topic or issue.

In our house church I found that the open discussions created a much better overall teaching than what I heard normally from the pulpits of the churches I attended previously.
No. 13     Reply: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Jeff74996   Gender: M   Age: 49   on  Jan 31, 2010 at 12:27 PM     
Kent56 wrote:

Jeff74996 wrote:

Kent56 wrote:

Thanks Jeff,

Now I understand you better on the use of generation.

Yes I can see where Jesus said to the "evil generation" No further sign will be given you but that of Jonah.

And prophsing to the believing generation, these signs shall follow...

With the prophecy of "this generation" for the fulfillment of the destruction of the temple to take place, add to that the time frame given by Daniel. We discussed this before in this context, and you then argued for the extended definition of generation there too.


So often it is the definition of one word that makes or breaks an idea or argument about a passage of Scripture. Even a word under one definition may be used in various ways depending on the surrounding context. When this is the case, and I am made aware of it, I cannot follow one man's interpretation without being open to the other possibilities. And until those are resolved in my own mind to my own satisfaction, they remain open.

But I AM LEARNING a lot from study resulting from arguments and reasonings together right here on this forum. I suppose it is that way for all of us who are willing to learn. And it is difficult to let go of something long held to be true once we learn that we were wrong all those years. But once we let it go and admit our error, it seems that there is power in that.

Nobody has all the answers, and we aren't going to get any real answers until we acknowledge our paradigms for what they are and be willing to let them go in exchange for real truth.



Jeff,

I agree with you. I find more benefit in open discussions. There are always things that a single person misses in their considerations of a topic or issue.

In our house church I found that the open discussions created a much better overall teaching than what I heard normally from the pulpits of the churches I attended previously.


I learned something yesterday, and because of that I corrected (modified) my post. Normally we look back on what we have learned and feel that we have been empowered by those things. We say I have learned this or that. An older friend corrected me. So rather than I have learned, I will begin practicing I am learning. This made sense to me since much of what I have learned had to be changed as I learned differently. So I am learning.
No. 14     Reply: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Kent56   Gender: M   Age: 53   on  Feb 1, 2010 at 2:11 AM     
Jeff,

I like the philosophical idea that the day we stop learning is the day we die.

You can take that to mean that we learn until the day we pass from this mortal coil. Or that when a person stops learning, ie. by closing their mind to instruction, that person in that day has died.

Personally I enjoy learning, stretching my mind with new ideas. I love reading science, but at times find I don't have the understanding to follow the discussions. When I was in the Navy I got interested in Einstein's theories, and found about a dozen books by him and about his theories of relativity. I found rather quickly that I didn't have the depth of knowledge in math to follow the discussion, as much of it was done in math.
No. 15     Reply:  A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Melchizedek   Gender: M   Age: 68   on  Feb 2, 2010 at 10:53 AM     
Kent56 wrote:

In our house church I found that the open discussions created a much better overall teaching than what I heard normally from the pulpits of the churches I attended previously.


The purpose of Sunday sermons in church is to allow one to catch up on lost sleep. :sleep:
No. 16     Reply: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Elijah674   Gender: M   Age: 77   on  Feb 2, 2010 at 11:24 AM     
Melchizedek wrote:

Kent56 wrote:

In our house church I found that the open discussions created a much better overall teaching than what I heard normally from the pulpits of the churches I attended previously.


The purpose of Sunday sermons in church is to allow one to catch up on lost sleep. :sleep:


Elijah here:
You best watch your home church bobber. Born Again Jeff (?) might just say you were hit on the head with a rock?

Ellen G. White Estate
Manuscript Releases Volume Eight [Nos. 526-663] (1990), page 323, paragraph 2
Chapter Title: MR No. 615 - Some Effects of Adam's Apostasy
Awake and see that at this time you must put on the beautiful robe of Christ's righteousness. 'Buy of Me,' He says, 'gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed.' What was the matter with Adam and Eve? They saw that they were naked. The covering of God was not enveloping them. God says, 'Buy of me.' Well, what? Buy of Me My righteousness. 'Buy of Me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed.' Are you clothed with it, or are you transgressing the commandments of God by your traditions and by the maxims of men? The righteousness of God never covers a soul all polluted with sin. John says, 'Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.' Will you let Him take it away? You cannot bear your own sin. Christ says He will take your sin if you lay hold of the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Christ came and suffered for our sins 'that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' Believe on Him as One upon whom the sins of the whole world are laid that man might have another trial. That trial we are having today. Shall it be that Christ shall not have died for us in vain? Shall we give to the world the evidence of the character of God

-324-

because of our rectitude in keeping His commandments? May God help us to be loyal servants of His.

--Ms 10, 1894, p. 10. February, 1894.)
Released June 21, 1978.
No. 17     Reply: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Jeff74996   Gender: M   Age: 49   on  Feb 2, 2010 at 12:16 PM     
Elijah674 wrote:


Elijah here:
You best watch your home church bobber. Born Again Jeff (?) might just say you were hit on the head with a rock?


Ellen was severely injured by a rock at the age of nine. From the description she was in a mild form of coma for three weeks.

Ellen G. White Estate
Manuscript Releases Volume Eight [Nos. 526-663] (1990), page 323, paragraph 2
Chapter Title: MR No. 615 - Some Effects of Adam's Apostasy
Awake and see that at this time you must put on the beautiful robe of Christ's righteousness. 'Buy of Me,' He says, 'gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed.' What was the matter with Adam and Eve? They saw that they were naked. The covering of God was not enveloping them. God says, 'Buy of me.' Well, what? Buy of Me My righteousness. 'Buy of Me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed.' Are you clothed with it, or are you transgressing the commandments of God by your traditions and by the maxims of men? The righteousness of God never covers a soul all polluted with sin. John says, 'Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.' Will you let Him take it away? You cannot bear your own sin. Christ says He will take your sin if you lay hold of the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Christ came and suffered for our sins 'that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' Believe on Him as One upon whom the sins of the whole world are laid that man might have another trial. That trial we are having today. Shall it be that Christ shall not have died for us in vain? Shall we give to the world the evidence of the character of God

-324-

because of our rectitude in keeping His commandments? May God help us to be loyal servants of His.

--Ms 10, 1894, p. 10. February, 1894.)
Released June 21, 1978.


I am not going to deny that EGW was never accurate in the things she wrote. But even a broken clock can be right twice a day. The problem is that she is a known false teacher and you are quoting her as if she were one in authority.

You would do better to take what is accurate, from whatever source, along with sound Scriptural support, and in your own words relay the information. Quoting EGW on a forum that has already made known they won't have it is not helping your case.
No. 18     Reply: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Verbatim   Gender: F   Age: 57   on  Feb 2, 2010 at 2:59 PM     
Elijah674 wrote:

Melchizedek wrote:

Kent56 wrote:

In our house church I found that the open discussions created a much better overall teaching than what I heard normally from the pulpits of the churches I attended previously.


The purpose of Sunday sermons in church is to allow one to catch up on lost sleep. :sleep:


Elijah here:
You best watch your home church bobber. Born Again Jeff (?) might just say you were hit on the head with a rock?

Ellen G. White Estate
Manuscript Releases Volume Eight [Nos. 526-663] (1990), page 323, paragraph 2
Chapter Title: MR No. 615 - Some Effects of Adam's Apostasy
Awake and see that at this time you must put on the beautiful robe of Christ's righteousness. 'Buy of Me,' He says, 'gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed.' What was the matter with Adam and Eve? They saw that they were naked. The covering of God was not enveloping them. God says, 'Buy of me.' Well, what? Buy of Me My righteousness. 'Buy of Me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed.' Are you clothed with it, or are you transgressing the commandments of God by your traditions and by the maxims of men? The righteousness of God never covers a soul all polluted with sin. John says, 'Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.' Will you let Him take it away? You cannot bear your own sin. Christ says He will take your sin if you lay hold of the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Christ came and suffered for our sins 'that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' Believe on Him as One upon whom the sins of the whole world are laid that man might have another trial. That trial we are having today. Shall it be that Christ shall not have died for us in vain? Shall we give to the world the evidence of the character of God

-324-

because of our rectitude in keeping His commandments? May God help us to be loyal servants of His.

--Ms 10, 1894, p. 10. February, 1894.)
Released June 21, 1978.



This is so 'bogus'...so what, anyone can write that!

There is not one word about repentance in there.


Verbatim
No. 19     Reply: Re: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Elijah674   Gender: M   Age: 77   on  Feb 2, 2010 at 3:23 PM     
Jeff74996 wrote:

Elijah674 wrote:


Elijah here:
You best watch your home church bobber. Born Again Jeff (?) might just say you were hit on the head with a rock?


Ellen was severely injured by a rock at the age of nine. From the description she was in a mild form of coma for three weeks.

Ellen G. White Estate
Manuscript Releases Volume Eight [Nos. 526-663] (1990), page 323, paragraph 2
Chapter Title: MR No. 615 - Some Effects of Adam's Apostasy
Awake and see that at this time you must put on the beautiful robe of Christ's righteousness. 'Buy of Me,' He says, 'gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed.' What was the matter with Adam and Eve? They saw that they were naked. The covering of God was not enveloping them. God says, 'Buy of me.' Well, what? Buy of Me My righteousness. 'Buy of Me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed.' Are you clothed with it, or are you transgressing the commandments of God by your traditions and by the maxims of men? The righteousness of God never covers a soul all polluted with sin. John says, 'Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.' Will you let Him take it away? You cannot bear your own sin. Christ says He will take your sin if you lay hold of the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Christ came and suffered for our sins 'that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' Believe on Him as One upon whom the sins of the whole world are laid that man might have another trial. That trial we are having today. Shall it be that Christ shall not have died for us in vain? Shall we give to the world the evidence of the character of God

-324-

because of our rectitude in keeping His commandments? May God help us to be loyal servants of His.

--Ms 10, 1894, p. 10. February, 1894.)
Released June 21, 1978.


I am not going to deny that EGW was never accurate in the things she wrote. But even a broken clock can be right twice a day. The problem is that she is a known false teacher and you are quoting her as if she were one in authority.

You would do better to take what is accurate, from whatever source, along with sound Scriptural support, and in your own words relay the information. Quoting EGW on a forum that has already made known they won't have it is not helping your case.


Elijah here:
Help my case?? The post was for another! But it is satan and his false stuff that you constantly project that I also hate. Nothing personal as your [posts even slander] the dead by saying that 'she is a false teacher' with NO FACTS from scripture to back up the satanic 2 Cor. 4:2 claim.

And the false teaching that you project as Truth of maggots burning ETERNALLY IN HELL ALONG WITH [YOURSELF] it seems! And that is some kind of GOSPEL WAY OF THE MANY OF THE BROADWAY & REV. 17:1-5 tabulation & KNOWING of Truth??? Give God a BREAK, before He gives you one! Eze. 9:4-11

Along with your belittling of the Holy Ghost remark of being secondary to Christ that you still have not retracted or cleared up! :wub::headbang:

And NO, the 'generation that we are in at this time' (Matt. 24:33-34) will no doubt find who it is that are known open liars. Matt. 10;26

No. 20     Reply: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  PeaceLover   Gender: F   Age: 55   on  Feb 3, 2010 at 2:32 AM     
When 'generation' indicates a time span, it is commonly expressed-- either in a plural sense:

Matthew 1:17
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;..


Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:


Or in a singular sense:

Luke 1:50
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.


I look at it from the viewpoint of 'genea' meaning race of men. I cannot agree with the article's author that every instance of "this generation" in the NT refers to the listening audience.

I was reading a blogspot, and something from the pages seemed to agree with the same way I view "this generation" in Matt. 24, so I saved that paragraph for future reference. The blog writer quoted:

"Thus we find mention in the Scriptures of a “sinful generation,” an “evil and adulterous generation,” a “faithless and perverse generation,” a “generation that set not their hearts aright”; and on the other hand we have a “righteous generation,” the “generation of them that seek Him,” the “the generation of Thy (God’s) children,” etc. And as frequently is the word genea translated in this place of Matthew generation, used to express a nation, or the posterity of some individual." - Rev. Joshua W. Brooks

Adam represents one human race: one generation

Genesis 7:1
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

This surely speaks of a generation of men on the earth. No 40-year time/age constraints could apply there.

One generation under the old covenant: the Jewish nation taken out from Egypt

Psalm 95:10
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

The 40 years grief there, does not describe the generation. "This generation" is defined as a people...that do err in their heart.

One generation coming under the New covenant: First unrepenting Jews and consequently, unrepenting Gentiles

Matthew 23:36
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
;

This is speaking of an awfully long expanse of bloodshed [beginning at Abel]; reaching back to the forefathers, and much guilt-bearing. it seems obvious (to me) 'this generation' is not limited to those upon whom the ax fell via the Romans. God's saints and messengers of Christ continued being persecuted, and they still are--within the apostate church and by the world.

The problem I see is with both preterist and futurist timing issues. Was the second return of Christ meant to be dated by men? Matt. 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Acts 1
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.


The Master's coming is always 'imminent'. Otherwise, how can the faithful/hopeful remain keeping diligent and being fruitful if the 'end' is a done deal?
No. 21     Reply: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Kent56   Gender: M   Age: 53   on  Feb 3, 2010 at 3:14 AM     
PeaceLover wrote:

When 'generation' indicates a time span, it is commonly expressed-- either in a plural sense:

Matthew 1:17
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;..


Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:


Or in a singular sense:

Luke 1:50
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.


I look at it from the viewpoint of 'genea' meaning race of men. I cannot agree with the article's author that every instance of "this generation" in the NT refers to the listening audience.

I was reading a blogspot, and something from the pages seemed to agree with the same way I view "this generation" in Matt. 24, so I saved that paragraph for future reference. The blog writer quoted:

"Thus we find mention in the Scriptures of a “sinful generation,” an “evil and adulterous generation,” a “faithless and perverse generation,” a “generation that set not their hearts aright”; and on the other hand we have a “righteous generation,” the “generation of them that seek Him,” the “the generation of Thy (God’s) children,” etc. And as frequently is the word genea translated in this place of Matthew generation, used to express a nation, or the posterity of some individual." - Rev. Joshua W. Brooks

Adam represents one human race: one generation

Genesis 7:1
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

This surely speaks of a generation of men on the earth. No 40-year time/age constraints could apply there.

One generation under the old covenant: the Jewish nation taken out from Egypt

Psalm 95:10
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

The 40 years grief there, does not describe the generation. "This generation" is defined as a people...that do err in their heart.

One generation coming under the New covenant: First unrepenting Jews and consequently, unrepenting Gentiles

Matthew 23:36
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
;

This is speaking of an awfully long expanse of bloodshed [beginning at Abel]; reaching back to the forefathers, and much guilt-bearing. it seems obvious (to me) 'this generation' is not limited to those upon whom the ax fell via the Romans. God's saints and messengers of Christ continued being persecuted, and they still are--within the apostate church and by the world.

The problem I see is with both preterist and futurist timing issues. Was the second return of Christ meant to be dated by men? Matt. 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Acts 1
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.


The Master's coming is always 'imminent'. Otherwise, how can the faithful/hopeful remain keeping diligent and being fruitful if the 'end' is a done deal?


Thanks for this addition to the discussion.

As to Matt. 24 we know what generation it is, the one where the temple was destroyed. Which was that present generation, which was still around when the temple was destroyed in 70AD about 40 years after Jesus gave this prophecy.
No. 22     Reply: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  PeaceLover   Gender: F   Age: 55   on  Feb 3, 2010 at 9:55 PM     
Kent56 wrote:
PeaceLover wrote:
When 'generation' indicates a time span, it is commonly expressed-- either in a plural sense:

Matthew 1:17
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;..


Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:


Or in a singular sense:

Luke 1:50
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.


I look at it from the viewpoint of 'genea' meaning race of men. I cannot agree with the article's author that every instance of "this generation" in the NT refers to the listening audience.

I was reading a blogspot, and something from the pages seemed to agree with the same way I view "this generation" in Matt. 24, so I saved that paragraph for future reference. The blog writer quoted:

"Thus we find mention in the Scriptures of a “sinful generation,” an “evil and adulterous generation,” a “faithless and perverse generation,” a “generation that set not their hearts aright”; and on the other hand we have a “righteous generation,” the “generation of them that seek Him,” the “the generation of Thy (God’s) children,” etc. And as frequently is the word genea translated in this place of Matthew generation, used to express a nation, or the posterity of some individual." - Rev. Joshua W. Brooks

Adam represents one human race: one generation

Genesis 7:1
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

This surely speaks of a generation of men on the earth. No 40-year time/age constraints could apply there.

One generation under the old covenant: the Jewish nation taken out from Egypt

Psalm 95:10
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

The 40 years grief there, does not describe the generation. "This generation" is defined as a people...that do err in their heart.

One generation coming under the New covenant: First unrepenting Jews and consequently, unrepenting Gentiles

Matthew 23:36
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
;

This is speaking of an awfully long expanse of bloodshed [beginning at Abel]; reaching back to the forefathers, and much guilt-bearing. it seems obvious (to me) 'this generation' is not limited to those upon whom the ax fell via the Romans. God's saints and messengers of Christ continued being persecuted, and they still are--within the apostate church and by the world.

The problem I see is with both preterist and futurist timing issues. Was the second return of Christ meant to be dated by men? Matt. 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Acts 1
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.


The Master's coming is always 'imminent'. Otherwise, how can the faithful/hopeful remain keeping diligent and being fruitful if the 'end' is a done deal?


Thanks for this addition to the discussion.

You're welcome. But I'm afraid it just got in the door and...Whoosh!..right out the window!:laugh:

Kent wrote:
As to Matt. 24 we know what generation it is, the one where the temple was destroyed. Which was that present generation, which was still around when the temple was destroyed in 70AD about 40 years after Jesus gave this prophecy.

Ummm Kent, "we" don't know that. At least, I don't.
The people who perished or lived in 70 A.D. were but a portion of "this generation"--who did not 'pass away' as a race of people. Despite the period of time concerning the Roman seige, and all the atrocities and persecutions that followed through time...they remained a distinct people (with or without a temple or a city).

At Matthew 24:30, Jesus' discourse which was central to the government and judgment on Jerusalem/Israel is interrupted, and He addresses the government of God concerning Jew and Gentile, the world.

Matthew 24
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


Now some people view that as ministers of the gospel, and others view that as the heavenly beings who carry out God's commands. Either way, it has nothing to do with the seige itself.

No. 23     Reply: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Jeff74996   Gender: M   Age: 56   on  Aug 11, 2017 at 9:33 PM     
PeaceLover wrote:

When 'generation' indicates a time span, it is commonly expressed-- either in a plural sense:

Matthew 1:17
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;..


Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:


Or in a singular sense:

Luke 1:50
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.


I look at it from the viewpoint of 'genea' meaning race of men. I cannot agree with the article's author that every instance of "this generation" in the NT refers to the listening audience.

I was reading a blogspot, and something from the pages seemed to agree with the same way I view "this generation" in Matt. 24, so I saved that paragraph for future reference. The blog writer quoted:

"Thus we find mention in the Scriptures of a “sinful generation,” an “evil and adulterous generation,” a “faithless and perverse generation,” a “generation that set not their hearts aright”; and on the other hand we have a “righteous generation,” the “generation of them that seek Him,” the “the generation of Thy (God’s) children,” etc. And as frequently is the word genea translated in this place of Matthew generation, used to express a nation, or the posterity of some individual." - Rev. Joshua W. Brooks

Adam represents one human race: one generation

Genesis 7:1
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

This surely speaks of a generation of men on the earth. No 40-year time/age constraints could apply there.

One generation under the old covenant: the Jewish nation taken out from Egypt

Psalm 95:10
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

The 40 years grief there, does not describe the generation. "This generation" is defined as a people...that do err in their heart.

One generation coming under the New covenant: First unrepenting Jews and consequently, unrepenting Gentiles

Matthew 23:36
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
;

This is speaking of an awfully long expanse of bloodshed [beginning at Abel]; reaching back to the forefathers, and much guilt-bearing. it seems obvious (to me) 'this generation' is not limited to those upon whom the ax fell via the Romans. God's saints and messengers of Christ continued being persecuted, and they still are--within the apostate church and by the world.

The problem I see is with both preterist and futurist timing issues. Was the second return of Christ meant to be dated by men? Matt. 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Acts 1
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.


The Master's coming is always 'imminent'. Otherwise, how can the faithful/hopeful remain keeping diligent and being fruitful if the 'end' is a done deal?


Good point, Peace!
No. 24     Reply: Re: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Devaprakash   Gender: M   Age: 73   on  Aug 12, 2017 at 9:05 AM     
Jeff74996 wrote:

PeaceLover wrote:

When 'generation' indicates a time span, it is commonly expressed-- either in a plural sense:

Matthew 1:17
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;..


Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:


Or in a singular sense:

Luke 1:50
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.


I look at it from the viewpoint of 'genea' meaning race of men. I cannot agree with the article's author that every instance of "this generation" in the NT refers to the listening audience.

I was reading a blogspot, and something from the pages seemed to agree with the same way I view "this generation" in Matt. 24, so I saved that paragraph for future reference. The blog writer quoted:

"Thus we find mention in the Scriptures of a “sinful generation,” an “evil and adulterous generation,” a “faithless and perverse generation,” a “generation that set not their hearts aright”; and on the other hand we have a “righteous generation,” the “generation of them that seek Him,” the “the generation of Thy (God’s) children,” etc. And as frequently is the word genea translated in this place of Matthew generation, used to express a nation, or the posterity of some individual." - Rev. Joshua W. Brooks

Adam represents one human race: one generation

Genesis 7:1
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

This surely speaks of a generation of men on the earth. No 40-year time/age constraints could apply there.

One generation under the old covenant: the Jewish nation taken out from Egypt

Psalm 95:10
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

The 40 years grief there, does not describe the generation. "This generation" is defined as a people...that do err in their heart.

One generation coming under the New covenant: First unrepenting Jews and consequently, unrepenting Gentiles

Matthew 23:36
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
;

This is speaking of an awfully long expanse of bloodshed [beginning at Abel]; reaching back to the forefathers, and much guilt-bearing. it seems obvious (to me) 'this generation' is not limited to those upon whom the ax fell via the Romans. God's saints and messengers of Christ continued being persecuted, and they still are--within the apostate church and by the world.

The problem I see is with both preterist and futurist timing issues. Was the second return of Christ meant to be dated by men? Matt. 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Acts 1
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.


The Master's coming is always 'imminent'. Otherwise, how can the faithful/hopeful remain keeping diligent and being fruitful if the 'end' is a done deal?


Good point, Peace!
:2thumbs:
No. 25     Reply: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  Verbatim   Gender: F   Age: 64   on  Aug 12, 2017 at 10:29 AM     
Devaprakash wrote:

Jeff74996 wrote:

PeaceLover wrote:

When 'generation' indicates a time span, it is commonly expressed-- either in a plural sense:

Matthew 1:17
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;..


Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:


Or in a singular sense:

Luke 1:50
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.


I look at it from the viewpoint of 'genea' meaning race of men. I cannot agree with the article's author that every instance of "this generation" in the NT refers to the listening audience.

I was reading a blogspot, and something from the pages seemed to agree with the same way I view "this generation" in Matt. 24, so I saved that paragraph for future reference. The blog writer quoted:

"Thus we find mention in the Scriptures of a “sinful generation,” an “evil and adulterous generation,” a “faithless and perverse generation,” a “generation that set not their hearts aright”; and on the other hand we have a “righteous generation,” the “generation of them that seek Him,” the “the generation of Thy (God’s) children,” etc. And as frequently is the word genea translated in this place of Matthew generation, used to express a nation, or the posterity of some individual." - Rev. Joshua W. Brooks

Adam represents one human race: one generation

Genesis 7:1
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

This surely speaks of a generation of men on the earth. No 40-year time/age constraints could apply there.

One generation under the old covenant: the Jewish nation taken out from Egypt

Psalm 95:10
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

The 40 years grief there, does not describe the generation. "This generation" is defined as a people...that do err in their heart.

One generation coming under the New covenant: First unrepenting Jews and consequently, unrepenting Gentiles

Matthew 23:36
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
;

This is speaking of an awfully long expanse of bloodshed [beginning at Abel]; reaching back to the forefathers, and much guilt-bearing. it seems obvious (to me) 'this generation' is not limited to those upon whom the ax fell via the Romans. God's saints and messengers of Christ continued being persecuted, and they still are--within the apostate church and by the world.

The problem I see is with both preterist and futurist timing issues. Was the second return of Christ meant to be dated by men? Matt. 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Acts 1
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.


The Master's coming is always 'imminent'. Otherwise, how can the faithful/hopeful remain keeping diligent and being fruitful if the 'end' is a done deal?


Good point, Peace!
:2thumbs:



I too must agree...precisely, peacelover.
No. 26     Reply: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Brief Response to a Critic of   
By:  CAsandie   Gender: F   Age: 103   on  Aug 12, 2017 at 10:55 AM     
Verbatim wrote:

Devaprakash wrote:

Jeff74996 wrote:

PeaceLover wrote:

When 'generation' indicates a time span, it is commonly expressed-- either in a plural sense:

Matthew 1:17
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;..


Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:


Or in a singular sense:

Luke 1:50
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.


I look at it from the viewpoint of 'genea' meaning race of men. I cannot agree with the article's author that every instance of "this generation" in the NT refers to the listening audience.

I was reading a blogspot, and something from the pages seemed to agree with the same way I view "this generation" in Matt. 24, so I saved that paragraph for future reference. The blog writer quoted:

"Thus we find mention in the Scriptures of a “sinful generation,” an “evil and adulterous generation,” a “faithless and perverse generation,” a “generation that set not their hearts aright”; and on the other hand we have a “righteous generation,” the “generation of them that seek Him,” the “the generation of Thy (God’s) children,” etc. And as frequently is the word genea translated in this place of Matthew generation, used to express a nation, or the posterity of some individual." - Rev. Joshua W. Brooks

Adam represents one human race: one generation

Genesis 7:1
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

This surely speaks of a generation of men on the earth. No 40-year time/age constraints could apply there.

One generation under the old covenant: the Jewish nation taken out from Egypt

Psalm 95:10
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

The 40 years grief there, does not describe the generation. "This generation" is defined as a people...that do err in their heart.

One generation coming under the New covenant: First unrepenting Jews and consequently, unrepenting Gentiles

Matthew 23:36
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
;

This is speaking of an awfully long expanse of bloodshed [beginning at Abel]; reaching back to the forefathers, and much guilt-bearing. it seems obvious (to me) 'this generation' is not limited to those upon whom the ax fell via the Romans. God's saints and messengers of Christ continued being persecuted, and they still are--within the apostate church and by the world.

The problem I see is with both preterist and futurist timing issues. Was the second return of Christ meant to be dated by men? Matt. 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Acts 1
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.


The Master's coming is always 'imminent'. Otherwise, how can the faithful/hopeful remain keeping diligent and being fruitful if the 'end' is a done deal?


Good point, Peace!
:2thumbs:



I too must agree...precisely, peacelover.


And three thumbs up here, Peace Lover!

The crucifix of Christ must never be held in vain and the term futurist is in error (we live today in the Lord's Plan that keeps unfolding. Our hope is a promise believed, which is the destruction of all evil and death which clearly has not occurred yet. It is with blindness that anyone would suggest this has already occurred (although death was abolished for those in Christ, evil is clearly the world's way just as death still exists [but will be completely abolished]).

That is why Preterism is against Christianity (although it can be argued otherwise just as it can be argued that the earth is flat).

The Lord is not slow in His Plans and comes soon! <3