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todd
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Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
California

 Matthew 24:34

Matthew 24 seems to be a very famous chapter concerning the end times. In it, Jesus warns of false Christs, wars and rumors of wars, nation rising up against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, earthquakes, tribulation, falling away, hate, false prophets, lawlessness, the abomination of desolation, the sun being darknened, the moon not giving it's light, the stars falling from the sky, the tribes of the earth mourning, the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory, the angel with the great trumpet to gather, and other such things that, it seems, most people still think haven't occured yet.

But then, in verse 34, after talking about all these things, Jesus says, "Truly I say to you, [i]this generation[/i] will not pass away until [i]all[/i] these things take place."

Earlier in the chapter we discover that Jesus was talking to his disciples here. He tells them that their generation, the one alive at that time, will not pass until all of the things he just told them about take place.

Why, then, are we still looking for these things to take place? Jesus said [i]that[/i] generation, the one alive around 30 AD, would see [i]all[/i] of those things come to pass, right? Is it possible that we've missed something here?

 2006/8/16 16:54Profile
MSeaman
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Joined: 2005/4/19
Posts: 772
Michigan

 Re: Matthew 24:34

Hi Todd,
Some people think it means the generation when Israel was made into a nation again. Meaning the generation in 1948.


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Melissa

 2006/8/16 16:57Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

There is a an earlier passage in Matthew which may give some clues too.“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.”
(Matt 16:27-17:2 KJVS)Was this their first glimpse of the king in his kingdom?


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Ron Bailey

 2006/8/16 17:53Profile
todd
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Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
California

 Re:

Melissa,
I've never heard that before but I don't see how it could be understood that way when Jesus said "this generation," referring to the one that was alive back then.

Ron,
To answer your question, it does seem to me that it could have been their first glimpse. But, then again, I guess it could have been when He turned water into wine and began to "manifest His glory," right? But does this help us with the question at hand?


 2006/8/16 20:20Profile
JFEdgar
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Joined: 2005/10/21
Posts: 133
Wellington, Ohio

 Re:

It is pretty clear He was speaking of the generation that see's those signs that he speaks of in the previous verses. In other words, when these things begin, it means that it will be within that generation that the end will come.

"This generation shall not pass until all of these things take place"

The generation that sees the first signs will not pass before the Lord comes in all of His glory.

At the end of this chapter and the beginning of the next chapter, He gives a very stern warning to all those who call themselves His disciples, who are not prepared for His coming.


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Joe E

 2006/8/16 20:49Profile
JFEdgar
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Joined: 2005/10/21
Posts: 133
Wellington, Ohio

 Re: Matthew 24:34

Something else:

Scofield:

Quote:

Gr. "genea," the primary definition of which is, "race, kind, family, stock, breed." (So all lexicons.) That the word is used in this sense because none of "these things," i.e. the world-wide preaching of the kingdom, the great tribulation, the return of the Lord in visible glory, and the regathering of the elect, occurred at the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, A.D. 70. The promise is, therefore, that the generation--nation, or family of Israel--will be preserved unto "these things"; a promise wonderfully fulfilled to this day.



Regardless of which of these is true (though ive always interpreted as the generation that sees the signs, or sees the 'fig tree when the branch is yet tender and and it putteth forth leaves' - that generation will not pass till the Lord comes in His glory) it is clear to me that the Lord has not come with Great glory (a second time) in the clouds to gather His people.

Matthew 24:30-31 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. 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.

If this has already happened then you and I are not christians. We are not his elect. We are not part of the bride. The bible does not apply to us, because it was written to the elect.

The good news for us is the nations of the earth have never mourned together because they saw the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, the stars have never fallen from the sky, the powers of the heavens have never been shaken, there has never been a mass dissappearance of the Christian church. It is a good thing too... it means we are His bride, we are the elect (if you have truly been born again), we are His church. We are those who wait for the return of the Bridegroom for His bride so we can appear with Him at the great wedding feast. We have not missed the feast... it did not occur in 70 AD, His bride is still on this earth waiting for His return.


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Joe E

 2006/8/16 21:12Profile
todd
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Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
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 Re:

Joe,
Thanks for your post. You have helped me see how people have traditionally understood this verse.

That Scofield reference is interesting, though do you think it could be biased? My Zodhiates lexical aid says:

"Genea: a coll. noun whose original meaning is generation, i.e., a multitude of contemporaries. In N.T. [Greek] [i]genea[/i] literally means space of time, circle of time, which only in a derived sense signifies the meaning of a time, a race; then generally in the sense of affinity of communion based upon the sameness of stock... The connection alone must decide whether the sense is limited to the state of society at a certain time or whether the word refers simply to race or stock."

Zodhiates then says, "The word [i]genea[/i] in Mt. 24:34 meant the type of Jew with whom Jesus was conversing during that particular time. He was telling them that this generation or type, such as the Sadducees and Pharisees of that day, would not pass away until all these things occured and until His coming again"

But how does he know that for sure?

After reading that stuff from the lexical aid, here's my initial thoughts. First, it seems he's saying that the most natural meaning of the word is "generation" meaning "a multitude of contemporaries." And that only in a derived sense it could maybe signify stock, kind, or race. But then he seems to claim with authority that Matt. 24:34 is referring to the derived sense. But my question is, what if it isn't?

In rereading the chapter, I noticed something interesting. In verse 3 it says, "And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sing of Your coming, and of the end of the Age?"

Jesus responds to them, "See to it that no one misleads [b]you[/b]."

He goes on throughout the chapter, in answering their question, saying to them "you." For example, in verse 6 He says, "And [b]you[/b] will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that [b]you[/b] are not frightened..."

And in verse 15 Jesus tells His disciples, "Therefore when [b]you[/b] see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION..."

And in verse 33 He tells them, "even so [b]you[/b] too, when [b]you[/b] see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door."

Why would Jesus warn His disciples to be careful that nobody misleads them if all the things He was talking about weren't going to take place for 2000 years? Why would He tell them that they would hear of wars and rumors of wars, tell them not to be frightened, tell them they would see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION- that [i]they[/i] would see all those things?

Doesn't it seem like the clearest, most natural reading and interpretation of this chapter is that Jesus is talking to His disciples and telling them that they and their generation will see all these things?

I wonder if we haven't tried to fit this chapter into our understanding so that we can feel ok about it. Because, it might seem to us at first glance, that if Jesus really did mean that His contemporary disciples and that generation would see all those things come to pass, then He was wrong. But what if we simply haven't interpreted and understood all those things correctly, and they really did all take place before that generation passed? Could that be possible?

I'm wondering if men's intentions have been good in that they refused to believe that Jesus was wrong and tried to help other people understand. But what if these good-intentioned people have been wrong, and that this traditional understanding is wrong? What if?

 2006/8/16 23:17Profile
Christinyou
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Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3707
Ca.

 Re:

Mt 24:34
Verse 34. This generation, etc. This age; this race of men. A generation is about thirty or forty years. The destruction of Jerusalem took place about forty years after this was spoken. Cmt. on Mt 16:28.
Till all these things, etc. Till these things shall receive a full accomplishment. Till events shall take place that shall be a complete fulfillment, if there were nothing farther intended. He does not mean to exclude here the reference to the judgment, but to say that the destruction of Jerusalem would be such as to make appropriate the words of the prediction, were there nothing beyond. So when death was threatened to Adam, the propriety of the threatening would have been seen, and the threatening would have been fulfilled, had men suffered only temporal death. At the same time, the threatening had a fulness of meaning, that would cover also, and justify, eternal death in hell. Thus the words of Christ, describing the destruction of Jerusalem, had a fulness of signification that would meet also the events of the judgment, and whose meaning would not be filled up till the world was closed.

By Albert Barns, notes on the bible.

IN Christ: Phillip


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Phillip

 2006/8/17 2:49Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Ron,
To answer your question, it does seem to me that it could have been their first glimpse. But, then again, I guess it could have been when He turned water into wine and began to "manifest His glory," right? But does this help us with the question at hand?

Todd
I was taken with the contextualisation of Matthew's account. He counts six days from the promise of 'seeing the Son of man in his kingdom' to the experience of the transfiguration. Why would he start the count-down from that point? It seems that in Matthew's recollection and understanding there was some kind of connection between these two events.

The transfiguration is curious because Moses and Elijah both appear and are recognisable to Peter, James and John. In what 'body' did they appear? Moses was buried and Elijah never died but here they are together. Strange things happen when eternity touches times and sometimes different time scales operate at the same time.

I was reading Jeremiah this morning and reflecting on God's ways with time. “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”
(Psa 90:4 KJVS)

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
(2Pet 3:8 KJVS) Suppose we had two maps, one to a scale of a thousand miles to the inch and another to a scale of half a mile to the inch. In our finite capacity we could work at one scale or the other. We would use the larger scale for a panoramic view and the smaller scale to trace a narrow footpath. Human beings are wonderful but we are very much either/or creatures. (Hence the conversations we have on these forums. ;-)) But God is able to think and work to both scales at the same time. To Him a thousand years are as a day and a day as a thousand years AT THE SAME TIME.

I have always loved and envied the way in which artists (painters, scuptors, writers) are able to freeze a moment in time to give us chance to examine it. There is a thousand years in one day we just don't aren't able to slow the tape down... or to speed it up to see the passage of a thousand years in a single day.

I like to think of the scriptures in this way too. We have macro revelation where the whole flow of history unveals the character and purpose of God and the unit of measurement is in millennia. But the scriptures is such that every 'jot and tittle' are vital. At different times in our understanding we think in one scale or the other. This is the relative advantage of translations and paraphrases; they both have their place.

When eternity touches time of the earth-time axes time seems to get disjointed, as we would view it. There is another example of this in...“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”
(Matt 27:50-53 KJVS) This unit of time stretches from the cross to the resurrection but almost reads as if it happened all at the same time. And which resurrection is this we are reading about? If we read the passage carefully we discover it was 'after his resurrection'. What happened to these people? They appeared to 'many' in Jerusalem. They appear briefly on the radar and then no more! Some say they were around until the ascension but my Bible doesn't say so. Did they get their own private rapture? or did they experience the same rapture that we identify in 1 Thess 4? Have they already experienced in the past what has not yet happened from the perspective of we who still await his coming?

Curious things happen when eternity touches time and we have to be able to hold different scales of time in our hearts at the same time to even begin to grasp what is happening. That is what I was hinting at in my post.

Peter, James and John glimpsed an 'eternal moment' where time no longer holds things in ordered rows. If Moses was seen in the body he must have experienced resurrection but then Christ is the firstfruits, how could Moses have risen before Christ's resurrection. He didn't. In 'time' his resurrection is yet to be but in this glimpse of the king in his kingdom all 'times' have flowed into an eternal present moment.

Do you understand what I mean?

...me neither. :-D


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Ron Bailey

 2006/8/17 8:48Profile
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Joined: 2006/7/15
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 Re: Matthew 24:34

Quote:
Why, then, are we still looking for these things to take place? Jesus said that generation, the one alive around 30 AD, would see all of those things come to pass, right? Is it possible that we've missed something here?



Todd, the theological viewpoint that you have brought to bear on this thread would be called either "partial-preterism" or "preterism." Partial-preterists believe that the events of AD 70 (the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple) historically fulfilled the Tribulation, but they don't believe that Jesus has come back yet. Full Preterists believe that everything including Christ's return has been historically fulfilled in AD 70.

I disagree with both viewpoints based on these reasons. (1) I believe that the prophecies of the end-times in Matthew 24 are given by the Lord in chronological order as to how they will be fulfilled. (A) The Lord prophesied of the destructioin of Jerusalem and the temple from Matthew 23:38 - 24:2. This prophecy was literally and historically fulfilled in AD 70. (B)The Lord prophesied of "birth-pangs" that would [i]deliver[/i] to tribulation in Matthew 24:4-8. (C) The Lord prophesied about the characteristics of the tribulation in Matthew 24:9-14). (D) The Lord prophesied about the Great Tribulation (the great wrath of Satan - see Revelation 12:12) and the revealing of the Antichrist (which Titus of AD 70 doesn't match in Scripture - see 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10) in Matthew 24:15-28. (E) The Lord prophesied about the Day of the Lord (the wrath of God - which is what we are promised to be saved from) and His return in Matthew 24:29-31.

The events of AD 70 fulfilled the Lord's first prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and His Parable of the Landowner in Matthew 21:33-44.

(2) I believe that the parables of the end-times from Matthew 24:32 - 25:46 teach several elements about the return of the Lord. (A) We can't know the day and the hour but we can know the season - Matthew 24:32 Jesus used a fig tree as the illustration but Luke 21:29 says, "Behold the fig tree [i]and all the trees[/i]." I submit to you that Jesus wasn't talking about Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 but He was talking about the birth-pangs, tribulation, and great tribulation being precursors to the Day of the Lord and His return. (B)When this happens it will result in the judgment of the world. (C) There was going to be a delay of the Lord's return - "Now while the bridegroom was delaying" (24:5) and "Now [i]after a long time[/i] the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them (25:19). In His prophesies the Lord wasn't delaying after the tribulation - "Immediately after the tribulation of those days" - so for the events of AD 70 to fulfill the tribulation - Jesus would have already come and already established His millenial reign. The world wouldn't be as it is today if that were so.

This is why I am still looking for these things to take place. I pray that this makes sense.

Grace and peace
Olan


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Olan Strickland

 2006/8/17 10:38Profile





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