Keith Hunt - This GENERATION shall not pass away! Restitution of All
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This GENERATION shall not pass away!

They will see ALL fulfilled

                    THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS AWAY


"TRULY I SAY To You, this generation will not pass away until all
these things take place" (Matthew 24:34 Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32
NKJV). 

     During the last l00 years, this has been one of the most
controversial passages in Bible prophecy. Many prophecy teachers
have used it to explain when they believe God will fulfill the
prophetic events of the Olivet Discourse. What are the various
views?


EXAMINING THE VIEWS 

The Fig Tree View

     One major view is that "this generation" refers to those who
see the rebirth of the nation of Israel, which occurred in 1948.
This view teaches that within a generation (40 years) of Israel's
becoming a nation again, the Lord would return. Adding 40 to
1948, the proponents of this view erroneously came up with 1988
as the year of Christ's return. More recently, others have
suggested using 1967 (when Israel took full possession of
Jerusalem) as the starting date.

(AND THEY WERE WRONG ALSO! IT IS NOW 2009. The book from whence
this article comes was written in 2004. They are all wrong on
their date setting. Yes, I well remember many "fundamental"
prophets in the early 1980s writing articles and whole books,
teaching Jesus would return by 1988 or at least the Great
Tribulation would start by that year - folly of the
fundamentalists - Keith Hunt)


     This is based upon the belief that "the fig tree" in Matthew
24:32 is a symbol for the reconstitution of Israel as a nation.
Thus, the generation that saw Israel become a nation would also
see the second coming. Unfortunately, this view has several
problems. 
     First, Jesus never indicates that the fig tree actually
represents Israel. In Luke 21:29, Jesus refers to "the fig tree
and all the trees" in the same illustration.
     Second, this view takes Christ's illustration of the fig
tree a step further than Jesus intended. In other words, Jesus
used the appearance of leaves on a fig tree as an illustration
about the signs of that time. Some have taken that illustration
and turned it into a prophecy. The context clearly indicates that
Jesus only intended to use the fig tree as an illustration and
not to provide additional prophecy.

(THAT IS VERY TRUE - Keith Hunt)



The Preterist View

     Gary DeMar (pp.66-67) says, "The generation that was in
existence when Jesus addressed His disciples would not pass away
until all the events that preceded verse 34 came to pass." In
contrast with fellow preterist Kenneth Gentry, DeMar believes
that this passage requires that all of Matthew 24 and 25 must
have been fulfilled in some way by A.D.70 through the Roman
invasion and destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. DeMar (p.
68) says, "Every time 'this generation' is used in the New
Testament, it means, without exception, the generation to whom
Jesus was speaking." But the phrase "this generation" does not
have to refer to those who are alive at the time the term is
used. For example, "this generation" in Hebrews 3:10 clearly
refers to the generation of Israelites that wandered in the
wilderness for 40 years during the Exodus.

(Yes, guys like DeMar are WRONG! - Keith Hunt)


FINDING THE CORRECT VIEW - The Context

     But how is it that almost all of the other New Testament
uses of "this generation" are considered to refer to Christ's
contemporaries, whereas the usage in Matthew 24:34 is not? We
determine this by examining how each is used in its context. For
example, Mark 8:12 says, "Sighing deeply in His spirit, [Jesus]
said, 'Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to
you, no sign will be given to this generation.'" Why do we
conclude that "this generation" in this passage refers to
Christ's contemporaries? We know this because the referent in
this passage is to Christ's contemporaries, who were seeking for
a sign from Jesus. Thus, it refers to Christ's contemporaries
because of the controlling factor of the immediate context.
DeMar and many preterists incorrectly interpret the phrase "this
generation" in Matthew 24:34 to mean exactly the same as it does
in Mark 8:12. However, each passage must be studied individually
as well as in comparison with other texts. Context is the most
important factor in determining the exact meaning or referent
under discussion. That is how one is able to realize that most of
the other uses of "this generation" refer to Christ's
contemporaries.
     Matthew 23:36 says, "Truly I say to you, all these things
will come upon this generation."

(CONTEXT, yes context, as I give emphasis to on this Website, is
the correct way to go - Keith Hunt)

     DeMar: To whom does "this generation" refer? In this
context, this generation" refers to Christ's contemporaries
because of contextual support. "This generation" is governed or
controlled grammatically by the phrase "all these things," which
refers to the judgments that Christ pronounces in Matthew 22-23.
Each time the New Testament mentions "this generation," the
meaning is determined by what it modifies in its immediate
context.


The Grammatical Relationship

     DeMar insists that the near demonstrative pronoun "this"
always ties the time when something will take place to the
speaker's present moment. This is not the case. Greek grammarian
Daniel Wallace (p.325) says, "The near/far distinctions of
'outos' [this] and 'ekeinos' can refer either to that which is
near/far in the (1) context, (2) in the writer's mind, or (3) in
space of time of the writer or audience." Thus, Wallace notes
that speakers can use a near demonstrative pronoun in at least
three ways.

     Just because Jesus spoke the phrase "this generation" in the
first century does not mean that He always had His contemporaries
in mind, as preterists presuppose. Instead, the grammatical use
of "this" allows Jesus to speak in the first century but
prophetically look ahead to a distant time. The phrase "all these
things" governs the meaning of "this generation." Since the
evidence demonstrates that none of those things were fulfilled in
the A.D.70 destruction of Jerusalem, then Christ was pointing to
another time period.

(AND I FULLY AGREE! - Keith Hunt)


EXPLAINING THE CORRECT VIEW

     We know that "this generation" in Matthew 2434 (see also
Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32) does not refer to Christ's contemporaries
because the governing referent to "this generation" is "all these
things." Jesus is giving an extended prophetic discourse of
future events, so one must first determine the nature of "all
these things" prophesied in verses 4 through 33 to know what
generation Christ is referencing. "All these things" did not take
place in the first century, so Christ must be speaking of a
future generation. He is saying that the generation that
sees "all these things" occur will not cease to exist until all
the events of the future Tribulation are literally fulfilled.
Christ is speaking not to His contemporaries, but to the
generation that witnesses the signs of Matthew 24. Darrell Bock
(pp.691-92), in commenting on the parallel passage in Luke's
Gospel, concurs:

     What Jesus is saying is that the generation that sees the
     beginning of the end, also sees its end. When the signs
     come, they will proceed quickly; they will not drag on for
     many generations. It will happen within a generation.... The
     tradition reflected in Revelation shows that the
     consummation comes very quickly once it comes ....
     Nonetheless, in the discourse's prophetic context, the
     remark comes after making comments about the nearness of the
     end to certain signs. As such it is the issue of the signs
     that controls the passage's force, making this view likely.
     If this view is correct, Jesus says that when the signs of
     the beginning of the end come, then the end will come
     relatively quickly, within a generation.


     The preterist argument reverses the interpretative process
by declaring first that "this generation" has to refer to
Christ's contemporaries and then insisting that "all these
things" had to be fulfilled in the first century.
     "This generation" does not refer to first-century events,
nor is it related to our own day. Christ used that statement to
mean that the generation that sees the events of the seven-year


(NOW WE HAVE A MISTAKE. The Bible teaches no such idea as a 7
year Tribulation period. The book of Revelation tells of 42
months, 1260 days, a time and times and half a time - THREE AND A
HALF YEARS, which covers BOTH the Great Tribulation and the "day
of the Lord." Daniel 12 adds an extra month or so. The
"fundamentalists" get this idea of 7 years of Tribulation from
Daniel 9. Elsewhere on this Website you will find an in-depth
study of Daniel's 70 week prophecy. The "old" (2 and 3 hundred
years ago) fundamental Bible guys like Adam Clarke, Matthew Henry
and others, had the understanding of Daniel 9 correct! The newer
fundamental prophets have it all wrong! - Keith Hunt)


Tribulation period would be the same generation that sees His
second coming. This understanding fits the grammar and context of
the passage, and furthermore, harmonizes with the rest of
biblical teaching related to the events of the coming Tribulation
period.
(Yes I agree - Keith Hunt)

THOMAS ICE

......

Bibliography

Bock, Darrell L. "Luke 9:51-24:53." Grand Rapids: Baker Books,
1996.
Carson, D.A. "Exegetical Fallacies." Grand Rapids: Baker Books,
1984.

                       .............................


Entered on this Website March 2009


 
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