ESV - 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
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in regards to Matthew 24:34 it my belief that when Jesus said "this generation" that he meant "that generation" - When reading the bible it's critical to first try and understand it from a first century understanding or in other words what did it mean to the people who were listening to Jesus speak - example The book of revelation was written to seven churches - when the letter was read to the people did the pastor say to the people "I'm going to read this letter to you written from the John but after chapter 3 none of it will have any mean for you because it's written to some fellow Christians two thousand years in the future" It's my belief that the Christians in the first century that heard the letter written by John (revelation) understood every word from beginning to the end - Christ second coming came just as God said it would - Christ came in judgment against a prostate nation - He came and destroyed the old and gave birth to the new system of worship
It meant that those people would live to see all those things take place. The word generation here means what it does everywhere else in the Bible it beant those living at that time. Verses 5 through 34 talk about events that would take place before the destruction and after that Jesus talks about the end of time. If the verses 5-34 were talking about the end of time there would be no hope of hiding in the mountains. The disciples must have thought that with the destruction must mean the end of the world. It looks like that is why they asked the question the way they did. Jesus is actually answering two questions. Starting with verse 36 Jesus starts talking about the end of time and there will be no signs given of that event. Only the Father knows that.
To interpret "this generation" in Matthew 24 as "that generation" of a distant future is twisting scripture. A future generation cannot be what Jesus is talking about. Those people who believe it must be talking “the generation in which these events occur” MUST interpret “this generation” as “that generation” despite what the passage literally says in the original language, otherwise their position falls apart. Some say that some or most of Matthew 24 deals with “this generation” of those currently living and that Mt 24:29-32 is about a future generation and so there is a double-fulfillment. But the passage never makes that distinction. People who make that distinction are reading their own theology into the text. Mt 24:29-31 is NOT necessarily beyond A.D. 70. One has only to read Isaiah 13:10; Isaiah 34:3-5; Ezekiel 32:6-8, and Amos 8:9 to see the SAME imagery (sun and moon darkened, etc) used in the O.T., which the disciples would be familiar with, to know that those apocalyptic descriptions are about the destruction of Israel by Babylon, circa 587 B.C.. It says so right in those texts. Jesus used the same imagery that the disciples were used to reading in their Scriptures to show them that destruction was coming. It came in A.D. 70 when the temple was destroyed, Jerusalem was ransacked and destroyed, the Roman armies killed and tortured millions, and Christians fled from Jerusalem just like they were warned to do (Mt 24:16). Those who teach a pre-trib (Jesus will rapture the church before the tribulation) position teach a skewed view of eschatology that never was taught by Jesus, the disciples (including the Revelation written by John), or any other early church Fathers. It was made up out of pretty thin air by John Nelson Darby who may have been influenced by a "vision" a girl had during a seance'. Dispensationalists (those who propagate these views) want to refute this because it is poison to their system of theology. Theirs is a new view, made for these last days by the influence of Satan to perhaps "deceive even the elect". To say Jesus didn't know about the church at the time of the Olivet discourse is to deny Scripture. He had said way back in Mt 16 to Peter that He was going to build His church. The Church is not "plan B". Also, the Jewish historian Josephus, (if you would actually read his "Jewish War" writings instead of just what you may have just heard parts of about them) pretty much describes the events of A. D. 70 in terms recognizable as the events described in Mt 24. He describes a darkened sun and moon, and angelic armies of chariots and armor surrounding Jerusalem. He reports of those who heard angelic voices, possibly even the voice of God. There is certainly some sense in which Jesus came in judgment upon Jerusalem in A.D. 70 Now, all this doesn't mean that there might not be a double-fulfillment in part of Mt 24, in some sense. We know there will be a 2nd coming to earth in power and glory to establish His kingdom forever. But the rest of the N.T. Is clear, if you read it literally, that the church will go through at least part of the last tribulation. He hasn't spared the saints but He has always carried them through. Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, & 20 do not speak of a "quick happening of events once they start to occur. The Greek meaning is that these things will be soon - as in not very far away in time. Let the Bible mean what it says and do not add to or take away from the text: "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book" (Rev 22:18)
It seems we could use a different perspective to answer this question. The verse at hand is Matthew 24:34. It was Jesus’ response to His disciples in the context of His Second Coming, and “the end of the Age” (Matthew 24:3 NKJV and NASB). Jesus also spoke of “an evil and adulterous generation” in Matthew 12:39, in which He cites Jonah as a sign to that generation, but in the very next verse we see that the sign was Jesus’ descension into the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40). May I suggest that Jesus had a bigger picture in mind when He said, “This generation shall not pass away until all these things take place.” He was not thinking of the generation that will see the signs of the end times. He was thinking of a ‘generation’ in terms of the dispensation of the Church Age. You can see this in Matthew 11:16 where Jesus likens ‘this generation’ to children in a market place, calling out to other children. He is comparing the children to evangelist in this Age of the Gentiles. You can see in context that the Age began when John the Baptist came on the scene, followed shortly by Jesus (Matthew 11:17-19). It was the end of the Age of the Law and the Prophets, and the beginning of the Age of the Gentiles (Luke 16:16). ‘This generation’ began with the Church Age and will be here until Jesus returns. It is identified with the Church in Mark 9:17-18 and Mark 9:19 as a ‘faithless generation’. We saw that the first sign was given to ‘an evil and adulterous generation’ when Jesus descended into the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:39-40), and it will end when Jesus returns for Armageddon with His holy angels (Mark 8:38). It is then that we shall reign with Christ as a ‘royal priesthood’ – a ‘chosen generation’ (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV). We were chosen at the Foundation of the World (Eph. 1:4) that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love. That happens at the end of the Age of the Gentiles. Thus, ‘this generation’ in my opinion, refers to all those who will be saved for the duration of the Church Age, as well as those who will be lost. Remember, it was given as an answer to the disciples’ question of “What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3).
Gods plans are greater than our ability to totally understand. His desires have been the same from the beginning of time. The information from the bible, Old and New Testament are a guide for us. Jesus revealed many mysteries in His parables. When we try to use our reasoning we confuse Gods message. The generations are for every generation, generations that are gone and generations to come, till God decides the time has come for "all these things",which when they have taken place, this is when Revelations will be fulfilled. This is what Jesus was trying to reveal.
Consider briefly Matthew 24, which preachers sometimes pervert to get many of their false ideas. The temple in Jerusalem must have been a marvelous structure. It was so beautiful that even as many times as Jesus had seen it, His disciples, as they walked away from it, must have said to Jesus something like, "Just look; look at this wonderful building!" (verse 1). Jesus replied, "See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Matt. 24:2). The disciples wanted to know more, so they asked, "Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matt. 24:3)? The disciples might not have known it, but they asked two questions. Question number one (1): When would the temple be destroyed, and question two (2): What would be a sign of His returning and the end of the world. Jesus answered the first question in verses five through thirty-four. He answers the second question starting in verse thirty-six. Regarding the end of the world He said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24:36-37). Jesus gave signs of the coming of the destruction of the temple (question one), but no signs were given for the end of the world (second question) only the Father knows that (verse 36). This proves the signs in verses five through thirty-four refer to something besides the end of the world. All of those "signs of the times" were to take place before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. This destruction took place in A.D. seventy. Importantly, Jesus said in verse 34, "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Why do you suppose the disciples asked the questions the way they did? Why do you suppose they connected the destruction of the temple with the end of the world, which apparently they did? The reason is they thought that when the temple was destroyed surely that must mean the end of the world. So the word "generation" in that passage refers to those people living then. There is no legitimate reason to believe anything else.
What does Jesus mean when He is quoted as saying, in Matthew 24:34 and the same in Mark 13:30 and in Luke 21:32? Does He mean some of the people living during His time on earth were to live until He comes again? Absolutely not! These specific verses do not refer to His return. The ‘things to happen’ are not things related to His return. To understand this, let us get the context in which Jesus says this. To do this we must read Matthew 24:1-34 or Mark 13:1-31 or Luke 21:5-36. When we do, we’ll understand that Jesus is talking about two distinct things when these two verses come up in these gospels: the destruction of Jerusalem that took place within 40 years of His prophecy (in AD70 by Titus who later became a Roman emperor [AD 79-81]) and His second coming. What is more important here is that the verses mentioned above only refer to the former, and not the latter. This is supported by what Jesus says in Matthew 24:15-22. This is presented in almost the same way in Mark 13:14-20. These verses definitely talk about issues related to the destruction of Jerusalem and not His second coming. Let’s look at Luke 21:24. This is clearly the Roman overrun of Jerusalem because nowhere does the Bible tell us about there being Gentiles at the time of Jesus’ second coming – we’ll all be God’s children. Matthew offers indisputable clarity in Matthew 24:39-41. This clearly shows that the elect will be taken away. Therefore, if you are one of the elect, why would you worry about His coming? Why would Jesus pity you and ask you to pray that it should not be in winter or on the Sabbath when ‘you will be taken’? Even more strongly, why would God shorten those days as per Matthew 24:22 and Mark 13:20? From these questions, one can clearly see that Jesus is talking about two distinct events in the aforementioned chapters! There is nothing anybody will be able to do when He returns, while they had options to save themselves when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans as prophesied by Jesus and Daniel 9:25-27. How about Luke 17:30-35, you may ask? It’s the same thing. It’s not too clear on the face of it but if you compare verse 31, (where Jesus advises against getting into the house to get anything or coming back from the field, but, presumably, flee as quickly as they can), to verse 34, (which talks about two people in the same place one being taken the other being left) you can tell that these two events are separate because we know that when Jesus comes the second time there won’t be any chance of hiding or fleeing…and fleeing from what anyway? Why would the select want to flee from Jesus? It doesn’t make sense! If we take what Hebrews 9:28 says then the question becomes: why would those eagerly waiting for him want to hide? Here, Jesus is trying to tell us to be ready at all times: Matthew 24:4. He says something similar in Mark 13:33. Jesus is warning us as Christians to be on guard at all times. He is trying to tell us that as Christians we should never tell ourselves, ‘ok, let me just commit one more sin and then I’ll repent and follow Jesus’ because we don’t know when we’ll die or when He will come. This is very clear from how Matthew goes on to quote him talking about the house-owner and the thief: Matthew 24:43; the master who goes away assigning servants responsibilities: Matthew 24:45-51 and Mark 13:34-37; the parable of the ten virgins: Matthew 25:1-12 and the parable of the master who allocates talents to servants: Matthew 25:14-30. All these are about being prepared and responsible. In a way, by linking these two God is giving us a physical and a spiritual perspective of the need to be ready. His warning to the select to get ready for the destruction of Jerusalem so that they don’t get caught out being the physical one and warning all of us of His second coming being the spiritual one.
Christ is mentioned clearly in the Bible as 'The Son of the Living God'. When God speaks he does not speak only in 'Present Tense'. Because he holds the past, present and the future. Whenever God spoke to the prophets regarding something he is going to do, it was very specific about a place or people. But, Jesus Christ spoke only about the future Kingdom, judgement and eternity. So, when he spoke in Mathew 24: 34 and in other chapters such as Luke 21:32 he meant till the end of all generations. To make it more clear most of the parables were not understood by Christ's own disciples. He had to explain to them in private.. So even when he said 'This generation' it held a vast meaning..
Jesus said this generation will not pass away until all be fulfilled. When Israel came back into their land in 1948, it had been prophesied that this would happen. It was also given that there would be 2,000 years before Christ would come back. When Jesus was talking about this generation, He was talking about the generation from the time Israel came into their land. It has been 70 years. A generation. The rapture of the church, those who had the Holy Spirit given by faith in Christ, was not given until Paul preached it. First Corinthians 15:51-53 and first Thessalonians 4:13-18. The end of the church age of grace, before the 7 year tribulation. We are there. They are already planning the rebuilding of the temple where the anti Christ will rule and reign from. Trump declared the capital of Israel Jerusalem on the 14 of may exactly 70 years from the date they we declared a nation again. The sign in the heaven of Revelation 12 happened on September 23 2017. Lots of things are leading up to the end of the church age when Jesus comes back in the clouds, and we will meet Him in the air. At the end of the tribulation He will come back to the earth and we will come with Him. When we trusted Jesus as our savior we were given the Holy Spirit that seals us unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30. That is how Jesus knows us. Second Timothy 2:19. We have His seal, the promise of the resurrection. First John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know ye have eternal life.
Based on what Jesus knew of the Old Testament it was an accurate statement. He did not know the mystery and he had no knowledge of the church of the body of Christ because it was not revealed in the Old Testament. His knowledge of the Old Testament was based on the sufferings of Christ and the glory that was to follow. The book of acts illustrates how the first century church gradually learned the truth that the Gentiles would be joint heirs and of the same body. This was a completely new doctrine that was not taught during Jesus's life and ministry. So based on Jesus's knowledge of the Old Testament he expected that the glory to come would occur soon after the sufferings of Christ. The father revealed the truths regarding the age of Grace to him after the resurrection and he revealed it to the church through the apostle Paul.
The Parable of the Fig Tree that includes Mathew 24:34 is Jesus answer to the questions the disciples asked Him in Mathew 24:3. The problem is that Jesus merges all three questions the disciples asked into one context, with no clean division between events.
Why did Christ use the word "pass" instead of the clearer word "die?" Today the words "pass" or "pass away" are a euphemism for dying and presumably passing on to a spiritual realm, with the comforting thought that a person isn't totally dead, but exists in the afterlife. What it meant during Christ's time isn't quite clear to us. We know that Christ himself belonged to the generation he referred to, so since he is alive in heaven, we can say that "this generation" has technically not yet fully passed, since not all of its members are dead in the modern sense. Regarding ordinary people, a generation might be said to pass when all living memory of them has died and only records, if any, of the great men and great events of the generation may have survived. In other words, a generation has passed when it has no actual effect or influence on the present generation. So, I believe it is only because Christ lived during his particular generation that the generation itself will not pass away until all the events, including the end of the age, have transpired. More scholarship, if possible, is needed to resolve this linguistic question.
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