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Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1443

 For Then Shall Be Great Tribulation [Video]

For Then Shall Be Great Tribulation [Video]
This message is from the 2012 Olivet Convocation in Ohio. Travis Bennett expounded upon Matthew 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. Part 2 consists of follow-up commentary from Philip Haney and Phil Norcom.

 2013/8/4 20:59Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1989

 Re: For Then Shall Be Great Tribulation

One of the most basic principles for an accurate understanding of the Bible’s message is that Scripture interprets Scripture. The Bible is God’s holy, infallible, inerrant Word. It is our highest authority. This means that we cannot seek for an authoritative interpretation of Scripture’s meaning anywhere outside of the Bible itself. It also means that we must not interpret the Bible as if it dropped out of the sky in the twentieth century. The New Testament was written in the first century, and so we must try to understand it in terms of its first-century readers. For example, when John called Jesus “the Lamb of God,” neither he nor his hearers had in mind anything remotely similar to what the average, modern man-on-the-street might think of if he heard someone called a “lamb”? John did not mean Jesus was sweet, cuddly, nice, or cute. In fact, John wasn’t referring to Jesus’ “personality” at all. He meant that Jesus was the sinless Sacrifice for the world. How do we know this? Because the Bible tells us so.

This is the method we must use in solving every problem of interpretation in the Bible – including the prophetic passages. That is to say, when we read a chapter in Ezekiel, our first reaction must not be to scan the pages of the New York Times in a frantic search for clues to its meaning. The newspaper does not interpret Scripture, in any primary sense. The newspaper should not decide for us when certain prophetic events are to be fulfilled. Scripture interprets Scripture.

This Generation

In Matthew 24 (and Mark 13 and Luke 21) Jesus spoke to His disciples about a “Great Tribulation” which would come upon Jerusalem. It has become fashionable over the past 100 years or so to teach that He was speaking about the “end of the world” and the time of His Second Coming. But is this what He meant? We should note carefully that Jesus Himself gave the (approximate) date of the coming Tribulation, leaving no room for doubt after any careful examination of the Biblical text. He said:

Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place (Matthew 24:34).

This means that everything Jesus spoke of in this passage, at least up to verse 34, took place before the generation then living passed away. “Wait a minute” you say. “Everything? The witnessing to all nations, the Tribulation, the coming of Christ on the clouds, the stars falling . . . everything?” Yes — and, incidentally, this point is a very good test of your commitment to the principle we began with in this chapter.

Scripture interprets Scripture, I said; and you nodded your head and yawned, thinking: “Sure, I know all that. Get to the point. Where do the atomic blasts and killer bees come in?” The Lord Jesus declared that "this generation” — people then living — would not pass away before the things He prophesied took place. The question is, do you believe Him?

Some have sought to get around the force of this text by saying that the word generation here really means race, and that Jesus was simply saying that the Jewish race would not die out until all these things took place. Is that true? I challenge you: Get out your concordance and look up every New Testament occurrence of the word generation (in Greek, genea) and see if it ever means “race” in any other context. Here are all the references for the Gospels: Matthew 1:17; 11:16; 12:39, 41, 42, 45; 16:4; 17:17; 23:36; 24:34; Mark 8:12, 38; 9:19; 13:30; Luke 1:48, 50; 7:31; 9:41; 11:29,30,31,32,50, 51; 16:8; 17:25; 21:32. Not one of these references is speaking of the entire Jewish race over thousands of years; all use the word in its normal sense of the sum total of those living at the same time. It always refers to contemporaries. (In fact, those who say it means “race” tend to acknowledge this fact, but explain that the word suddenly changes its meaning when Jesus uses it in Matthew 24! We can smile at such a transparent error, but we should also remember that this is very serious. We are dealing with the Word of the living God.)

The conclusion, therefore — before we even begin to investigate the passage as a whole — is that the events prophesied in Matthew 24 took place within the lifetime of the generation which was then living. It was this generation which Jesus called “wicked and perverse” (Matthew 12:39, 45; 16:4; 17:17); it was this “terminal generation” which crucified the Lord; and it was this generation, Jesus said, upon which would come the punishment for “all the righteous blood shed on the earth” (Matthew 23:35).

All These Things

Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! (Matthew 23:36-38).

Jesus’ statement in Matthew 23 sets the stage for His teaching in Matthew 24. Jesus clearly told of an imminent judgment on Israel for rejecting the Word of God, and for the final apostasy of rejecting God’s Son. The disciples were so upset by His prophecy of doom upon the present generation and the “desolation” of the Jewish “house” (the Temple) that, when they were alone with Him, they could not help but ask for an explanation.

And Jesus came out of the Temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the Temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” 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 sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:1-3).

Again, we must take careful note that Jesus was not speaking of something that would happen thousands of years later to some future temple. He was prophesying about “all these things,” saying that “not one stone here shall be left upon another.” This becomes even clearer if we consult the parallel passages:

And as He was going out of the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another which will not be torn down” (Mark 13:1-2).

And while some were talking about the Temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, “As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down” (Luke 21:5-6).

The only possible interpretation of Jesus’ words which He Himself allows, therefore, is that He was speaking of the destruction of the Temple which then stood in Jerusalem, the very buildings which the disciples beheld at that moment in history. The Temple of which Jesus spoke was destroyed in the fall of Jerusalem to the Roman armies in A.D. 70. This is the only possible interpretation of Jesus’ prophecy in this chapter. The Great Tribulation ended with the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70. Even in the (unlikely) event that another temple should be built sometime in the future, Jesus’ words in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 have nothing to say about it. He was talking solely about the Temple of that generation. There is no Scriptural basis for asserting that any other temple is meant. Jesus confirmed His disciples’ fears: Jerusalem’s beautiful Temple would be destroyed within that generation; her house would be left desolate.

The disciples understood the significance of this. They knew that Christ’s coming in judgment to destroy the Temple would mean the utter dissolution of Israel as the covenant nation. It would be the sign that God had divorced Israel, removing Himself from her midst, taking the kingdom from her and giving it to another nation (Matthew 21:43). It would signal the end of the age, and the coming of an entirely new era in world history — the New World Order. From the beginning of creation until A.D. 70, the world was organized around one central Sanctuary, one single House of God. Now, in the New Covenant order, sanctuaries are established wherever true worship exists, where the sacraments are observed and Christ’s special Presence is manifested. Earlier in His ministry Jesus had said: “An hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father. . . . But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and truth” (John 4:21-23). Now Jesus was making it clear that the new age was about to be permanently established upon the ashes of the old. The disciples urgently asked: “When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Some have attempted to read this as two or three entirely separate questions, so that the disciples would be asking first about the destruction of the Temple, and then about the signs of the end of the world. This hardly seems credible. The concern of the immediate context (Jesus’ recent sermon) is on the fate of this generation. The disciples, in consternation, had pointed out the beauties of the Temple, as if to argue that such a magnificent spectacle should not be ruined; they had just been silenced with Jesus’ categorical declaration that not one stone there would be left upon another. There is nothing whatsoever to indicate that they should suddenly change subjects and ask about the end of the material universe. (The translation “end of the world” in the King James Version is misleading, for the meaning of the English word world has changed in the last few centuries. The Greek word here is not cosmos [world], but aion, meaning eon or age.) The disciples had one concern, and their questions revolved around one single issue: the fact that their own generation would witness the close of the pre-Christian era and the coming of the new age promised by the prophets. All they wanted to know was when it would come, and what signs they should look for, in order to be fully prepared.

Signs of the End

Jesus responded by giving the disciples not one, but seven signs of the end. (We must remember that “the end” in this passage is not the end of the world, but rather the end of the age, the end of the Temple, the sacrificial system, the covenant nation of Israel, and the last remnants of the pre-Christian era). It is notable that there is a progression in this list: the signs seem to become more specific and pronounced until we reach the final, immediate precursor of the end. The list begins with certain events which would occur merely as “the beginning of birth pangs” (Matthew 24:8). In themselves, Jesus warned, they were not to be taken as signals of an imminent end; thus the disciples should guard against being misled on this point (v. 4). These “beginning” events, marking the period between Christ’s resurrection and the Temple’s destruction in A.D. 70, were as follows:

1. False Messiahs. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ: and will mislead many” (v. 5).

2. Wars. “And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (VV. 6-7a).

3. Natural disasters. “And in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs” (w. 7b-8).

Any one of these occurrences might have caused Christians to feel that the end was immediately upon them, had not Jesus warned them that such events were merely general tendencies characterizing the final generation, and not precise signs of the end. The next two signs, while they still characterize the period as a whole, do bring us up to a point near the end of the age:

4. Persecution. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name” (v. 9).

5. Apostasy. “And at that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. And because lawlessness is increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved” (VV. 10-13).

The last two items on the list are much more specific and identifiable than the preceding signs. These would be the final, definitive signs of the end — one the fulfillment of a process, and the other a decisive event:

6. Worldwide evangelization. "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come” (v. 14).

At first glance, this seems incredible. Could the Gospel have been preached to the whole world within a generation of these words? The testimony of Scripture is clear. Not only could it have happened, but it actually did. Proof? A few years before the destruction of Jerusalem, Paul wrote to Christians in Colossae of “the Gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing” (Colossians 1:5-6), and exhorted them not to depart “from the hope of the Gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in ail creation under heaven” (Colossians 1:23). To the church at Rome, Paul announced that “your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8), for the voice of Gospel preachers “has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world” (Romans 10:18). According to the infallible Word of God, the Gospel was indeed preached to the whole world, well before Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70. This crucial sign of the end was fulfilled, as Jesus had said. All that was left was the seventh, final sign; and when this event occurred, any Christians remaining in or near Jerusalem were instructed to escape at once:

7. The Abomination of Desolation. “Therefore when you see the Abomination of Desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak” (w. 15-18).

The Old Testament text Christ referred to is in Daniel 9:26-27, which prophesies the coming of armies to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple: “The people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. . . . And on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out upon the desolate.” The Hebrew word for abomination is used throughout the Old Testament to indicate idols and filthy idolatrous practices, especially of the enemies of Israel (e.g., Deuteronomy 29:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 7; 2 Kings 23:13; 11 Chronicles 15:8; Isaiah 66:3; Jeremiah 4:1; 7:30; 13:27; 32:34; Ezekiel 5:11; 7:20; 11:18, 21; 20:7-8, 30). The meaning of both Daniel and Matthew is made clear by the parallel reference in Luke. Instead of “abomination of desolation,” Luke reads:

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; because these are the days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled (Luke 21:20-22).

The “abomination of desolation,” therefore, was to be the armed invasion of Jerusalem. During the period of the Jewish Wars, Jerusalem was surrounded by heathen armies several times. But the specific event denoted by Jesus as “the abomination of desolation” seems to be the occasion when the Edomites (Idu-means), the agelong enemies of Israel, attacked Jerusalem. Several times in Israel’s history, as she was being attacked by her heathen enemies, the Edomites had broken in to ravage and desolate the city, thus adding greatly to Israel’s misery (2 Chronicles 20: 2; 28:17; Psalms 137:7; Ezekiel 35:5-15; Amos 1:9, 11; Obadiah 10-16).

The Edomites remained true to form, and their characteristic pattern was repeated during the Great Tribulation. One evening in A.D. 68 the Edomites surrounded the holy city with 20,000 soldiers. As they lay outside the wall, according to Josephus, “there broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, with continual lightning, terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake. These things were a manifest indication that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and any one would guess that these wonders fore-showed some grand calamities that were coming.” This was the last opportunity to escape from the doomed city of Jerusalem.

Anyone who wished to flee had to do so immediately, without delay. The Edomites broke into the city and went directly to the Temple, where they slaughtered 8,500 people by slitting their throats. As the Temple overflowed with blood, the Edomites rushed madly through the city streets, plundering houses and murdering everyone they met, including the high priest. According to the historian Josephus, this event marked “the beginning of the destruction of the city . . . from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs.”

The Great Tribulation

But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days! But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath; for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall (Matthew 24:19-21).

Luke’s account gives additional details:

Woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people, and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:23-24).

As Christ pointed out in Matthew, the Great Tribulation was to take place, not at the end of history, but in the middle, for nothing similar had occurred “from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.” Thus the prophecy of the Tribulation refers to the destruction of the Temple in that generation (A.D. 70) alone. It cannot be made to fit into some “double-fulfillment” scheme of interpretation; the Great Tribulation of A.D. 70 was an absolutely unique event, never to be repeated.

Josephus has left us an eyewitness record of much of the horror of those years, and especially of the final days in Jerusalem. It was a time when “the daytime was spent in the shedding of blood, and the night in fear”; when it was “common to see cities filled with dead bodies”; when Jews panicked and began indiscriminately killing each other; when fathers tearfully slaughtered their entire families, in order to prevent them from receiving worse treatment from the Romans; when, in the midst of terrible famine, mothers killed, roasted, and ate their own children (cf. Deuteronomy 28:53); when the whole land “was all over filled with fire and blood”; when the lakes and seas turned red, dead bodies floating everywhere, littering the shores, bloating in the sun, rotting and splitting apart; when the Roman soldiers captured people attempting to escape and then crucified them — at the rate of 500 per day.

“Let Him be crucified! Let Him be crucified! His blood be on us, and on our children!” the apostates had cried forty years earlier (Matthew 27:22-25); and when it was all over, more than a million Jews had been killed in the siege of Jerusalem; close to a million more were sold into slavery throughout the empire, and the whole of Judea lay smoldering in ruins, virtually depopulated. The Days of Vengeance had come with horrifying, unpitying intensity. In breaking her covenant, the holy city had become the Babylonish whore; and now she was a desert, “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Revelation 18:2).

D. Chilton

 2013/8/5 8:22Profile

Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1443

 Re: references and feedback

Dear savanah,

You should put a note before quoting another source so that the reader knows that they aren't your own words. It is also worthwhile to include a link to the source.

For those interested in D[avid] Chilton's views, you can find more here

 2013/8/5 11:53Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


savannah's chilton artical said : /////(The translation “end of the world” in the King James Version is misleading, for the meaning of the English word world has changed in the last few centuries. The Greek word here is not cosmos [world], but aion, meaning eon or age.)////

Lets compare Scripture with Scripture to better understand the phrase “end of the world” "aion"

the parable of the tares of the field

Matthew 13 : 38 The field is the world (((Kosmos))); the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the /end of the world/ (((aion))); and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the /end of this world/(((aion)));.


Matthew 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
49 So shall it be at the /end of the world/ (((aion)));.: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

the great commission

Matthew 28:20
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (((aion))). Amen.

Chiton is trying to equate The phrase /end of the world (aion)/ with the dispensational paradigm shift between the old covenant and the new covenant.

But the end of the (aion) is indeed the end of the (Kosmos) not the change of the "Kairos"

 2013/8/5 13:07Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1989

 Re: Regarding Jesus' prophecy of Great Tribulation in AD 70

Jeremy221 asked that I include a link to the source.

Here it is:

 2013/8/5 13:40Profile


Matthew 13 : 38 The field is the world (((Kosmos))); the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the /end of the world/ (((aion))); and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the /end of this world/(((aion)));.


Matthew 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
49 So shall it be at the /end of the world/ (((aion)));.: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

the great commission

Matthew 28:20
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (((aion))). Amen.

Chiton is trying to equate The phrase /end of the world (aion)/ with the dispensational paradigm shift between the old covenant and the new covenant.

But the end of the (aion) is the end of the (Kosmos) not the change of the "Kairos" proudpapa

I think this interpretation demonstrates the very point which Savanna was seeking to agree with in his post. Namely that we cannot interpret the past through a telescope. The meaning of words changes profoundly through time. To place a modern meaning to a word which was written over 2600 years ago is to change its meaning altogether.

The term kosmos is first used in the 7th century BC by the early greek philosophers. These men are called physical philosophers because they first used the term atom and regarded all reality to be physical in nature. It is the roots of pantheism, which asserts that God is not transcendent (set apart) from physical creation but rather is only God when fully comprehended and expressed thorough physical creation….Literally the atoms. The occult is the same in meaning precisely on this point. It is an understanding of the power of God by reason of comprehending physical reality. Again, it is literally the atoms. Jesus said that God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must do so in spirit and truth. This is the opposite of the occult and it is the opposite of greek philosophy and it is the opposite of pantheism.

If we come back to the word kosmos we will find that it is translated "world". It literally means the physical world or the earth itself. If does not mean the world system as distinct from the physical world itself.

ὁ δὲ ἀγρός ἐστιν ὁ κόσμος: τὸ δὲ καλὸν σπέρμα, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ υἱοὶ τῆς βασιλείας: τὰ δὲ ζιζάνιά εἰσιν οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ πονηροῦ Matthew 13:38

κόσμος Kosmos

Literally "the physical well ordered world". It has to do with acknowledging order and purpose of the physical realm by reason and observation yet without agreement with God who so ordered it. Hence why greek philosophy lies at the root of occidental occult thinking.

ὥσπερ οὖν συλλέγεται τὰ ζιζάνια καὶ πυρὶ κατακαίεται, οὕτως ἔσται ἐν τῇ συντελείᾳ τοῦ αἰῶνος Matthew 13:40

αἰῶνος Age

Literally the end of an outworking of moral or ethical purpose through time. The moment the moral condition being measured is brought to an end that measure of time is then called an age. So we have an age of wickedness or an age of rebellion etc. Age or aion however more fully speaks of all time as including all ages of the conduct of men. The reason why we perceive this word to mean a measure of time therefore is not because God has allotted an absolute measure for men to sin, but rather that God has determined the time when sin will be brought to an end or rebellion or disobedience.

The whole problem of arriving at a spiritual meaning to scriptures lies in the way we use words and believe them to have meaning. The word itself imputes its meaning once we have attached its meaning to the word. This too is occult methodology when the imputation is deliberately wrong.

To come back to Savanna's post I believe he is speaking or else agreeing with having our minds conformed to the intended meaning of words and not their present meanings. The Greeks formulated these words and gave them meaning long before the New Testament was written or the Septuaginta was written. When Matthew used these words he is being led by the Holy Spirit. If you want to claim that the words have no phonological reality in time and space and that the Holy Spirit did not intend these two word Kosmos and age to have distinct meanings then so be it. I do of course understand that you utterly reject dispensational theology and hence why you have to make your assertion. I hope you can see that they are two very different words and cannot posable carry the same meaning.

 2013/8/5 14:00

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936

 This Generation Shall Not Pass, Till All These Things be Fulfilled.

-by Tony Warren

Matthew chapter twenty-four has been a difficult chapter for many Christians to understand, even for seasoned theologians. A frequently asked question concerning this chapter is Christ's declaration that a generation should not pass until all the things (which He had talked about) would be fulfilled. The question I hear a lot is, "how could all those things that Christ had spoken about, be fulfilled before that generation had passed?"

Matthew 24:33-34

"So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
The problem is, many people understand that this Chapter is speaking about later day occurrences, and so they are puzzled as to how the phrase, "this generation," fits the context. The confusion exists because the average Christian is unaware that there are several ways that this Greek word [genea], translated generation, is used in scripture. This is in contrast to extra-biblical or secular dictionary definitions. First of all it is from the root word [genos] meaning kindred or family. In conjunction with that, it is used three distinct ways within scripture.
1. It can be used to denote a physical family generation or bloodline.
2. It can be used to denote the spiritual family or generation of evil.
3. And it can be used to denote the spiritual family or generation of Christ.

These are three very distinct and Biblically justifiable applications of this word. The word generation is unambiguously used in the Bible in all three of these contexts, so that even those of Praeterit Eschatology will not deny this fact.

Another point that is worthy of note is that scripture has always dated itself by "Patriarchs" or founding father figures. Even to this day we date this way (probably without even giving it much thought). Whenever someone says that, "this is the year 1999," they are dating (though not accurately) by our Patriarch reference, Christ. In other words, we are saying that we are living 1,999 years after the birth of Christ (AD, anno domini, or the year of our Lord). He is the Patriarch reference by which most of the civilized world dates today. This is a biblical and historical practice that dates back to the beginning, and is explained in depth in my paper on the "The Biblical Timeline of Creation." The point being, the year we use is really a Patriarch Family reference.

There are three words translated "generation" in the New Testament. They are [gennema], [genos] and [genea]. And the root of all three refer to family or kin. By extension or by implication it can also mean a period of a family line, or even a Patriarch's offspring. For example, if someone declared that something occurred in the 4th generation, they would be telling us that it happened in the family period of the 4th child born. So it would be illustrating a "particular family relationship" removed by three from the Patriarch reference. Understanding this principle, we can see how God unambiguously uses the word generation in scripture to signify not only the Spiritual family of God, but also the spiritual family of His adversary Satan. These are of two contrasting and distinct seeds. Even as God Himself spoke of them in the garden as having enmity. The children of God and children of the Devil are two diverse and distinct generations or families from those two seeds. The family of God extends all the way back to Abel. And likewise, the family of Satan extends all the way back to Cain. Clearly, the way God uses the phrase, "the Generation of evil," makes it synonymous with the children (or family) of the Devil. It does not refer only to an immediate present family group. The Generation of evil refers to all the seed of the Serpent, throughout time, who are in that generation by their patriarchal relationship. Just as the children of God refer to the whole family of God, which is "a chosen generation" or family, that has existed throughout time. It's not just people who happen to be living at the time in which the phrase was written. God uses family relationships to illustrate those who are of the same spiritual kinship. e.g.

John 8:44

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
Jesus is clearly elucidating the truths that they were part of a particular spiritual family group, and He identifies their father as the Devil. So we see that Satan is the spiritual Patriarch reference for this generation or family. And he has many children, not just these whom Christ was immediately speaking to. All those under Satan's spiritual control are the generation or kindred of evil, which existed from the beginning. In Biblical terms, they are the spiritual offspring or generation of their Patriarch reference, that old Serpent, Satan. When Christ speaks of the "generation of vipers," He is identifying that seed or family group who serve their father Satan. He is not talking about everyone in that physical time period. Or all living in that physical generation timespan.
Matthew 12:32-35

"And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things."
How can a family of vipers, the children of the serpent, speek good things, when they speak from the heart, which is full of evil. This generation [gennema] (meaning offspring or kindred) that Christ references is the seed of the serpent, the children of vipers. And that clearly cannot be the Apostles, John the Baptist, Mary, Elizabeth, or any of the true Church of that time. They cannot commit the unforgivable sin. Of necessity it has to be only the unregenerate 'family' of evil, who cannot escape the damnation of Hell. Not a generation, which would mean all those in that particular time frame. Therefore, when Christ calls them the generation of vipers, he is not referring to all those people of that time (as people often understand generation today), but he is speaking only of the seed of the serpent, Satan. It is a family (generation) of evil that cannot escape the damnation of Hell. And Satan their spiritual Patriarch father.
Matthew 23:32-34

Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
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:"
It is self evident that if this word means that all this generation (as many understand the word to mean) was all a bunch of vipers, children of their fathers who couldn't escape the damnation of hell, then it would mean the Apostles also. Because the Apostles were of that generation "if" the word Generation really meant what Praeterits believe it means. But obviously, Christ is not talking about all that physical generation, He is talking about those who are a generation (family) of vipers.
Psalms 140:1-3

"Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;
Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah."
The adder is a viper, and this generation of vipers is the family of evil and wicked men. Men who, out of the evil in their hearts, bring forth wicked things. And so we see that there is not only precedence for the word generation not to be understood to mean the present time, but many times the context itself "demands" that it not be understood that way. Generation of vipers did not mean everyone there, so it could not mean that literal or physical time period generation. It is speaking about a spiritually wicked family [gennema], not what many believe to be that whole present generation that lived at this time.
And we should also not lose sight of the fact that, in order for the "All" to be fulfilled in that generation (which Christ spoke about in Matthew chapter 24), the time He refers to must be at the end of the world/age. And when we study the context of Matthew chapter 24, it becomes abundantly clear that "this end time period" is what God is referring to in the chapter.

Matthew 24:3

"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
Of course we are well aware of some of the claims that the end of the age was in 70 AD, but that is a Biblically untenable position. The proponents of this theory come to this conclusion by selectively interpreting age/world [aion], and then arbitrarily making the supposition that there was an end of the age in 70 AD. This, despite the fact that there is absolutely no Biblical warrant for declaring 70 AD as the end of an age. Not one single scripture makes that claim. And while they insist Matthew 24 (the end of the world) is a mistranslation of the word [aion] meaning age, they are still unable to coherently explain verses such as Luke chapter 18:
Luke 18:30

"Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting."
This is the exact same Greek word [aion], meaning world/age. If that present time Jesus spoke in, was before 70 AD when they received manifold more, and the age to come was eternal life for them, then obviously 70 AD being the next age (according to their theory), must have been the age of eternal life Jesus spoke of. Did eternal life come after 70 AD? Did life everlasting start after 70 AD? No, not at all, it started at the cross, and is consummated at the end of the world/age. So this theory is truly bankrupt and void of any solid scriptural foundation. Jesus is obviously speaking not about an alleged coming age in 70 AD, but about the end of the world/age when He would return, and "all" would be fulfilled. That is the world/age to come, when we would receive the everlasting life. That is what the Disciples asked in Matthew 24. When would this timing be?
The fact is, this 70 AD doctrine is convoluted on many fronts, because there was never any Biblical foundation for making a prophecy of a new age established in 70 AD in the first place. Biblical Theology must be established on biblical foundations, not on inconsistent and contradictory supposition and theory. Of necessity these theologians would have to place another age between the cross and the end of the world for this theory to be true. In effect, splitting the New Testament period into diverse ages. The New Testament age before 70 AD that was established by Christ's cross, and another age after 70 AD, because their position on 70 AD is untenable without it. However, it is also quite unbiblical with it!

But the question remains, what is Matthew chapter 24 really saying? Look at the context circumspectly. The overview of this chapter is that God is not only warning the disciples about false teachers, persecutions and, false Christs, but the Churches throughout time as well. The Bible isn't just written for those to whom any epistle or letter is addressed. It is for all the Church to consider. That is a basic and fundamental truth in understanding scripture. i.e., the book of Thessalonians is addressed to the Thessalonians, but is written to the Universal Church throughout time. The Book of Romans is written to the Romans, but is for all the Church throughout time. When Jesus told the disciples to do this in remembrance of Him (Communion), He was not merely giving "them" a commandment, but instituting this practice for the whole Church throughout time. This is just basic hermeneutical precepts essential for sound exegesis. Likewise, when Jesus said, "this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled," He was talking to all of the Church throughout time. He was talking about "the generation or family of evil," as the context shows. And true to His word, it has not passed. We will always have false prophets, we will always have wars, we will always have the wicked, because we will always have the generation of evil,until all is fulfilled!

So let's review the context of Matthew 24 for our answer to the question of how to understand how the Generation should not pass. Jesus is warning the disciples (and all of us) about the coming wickedness (and particularly, those who call themselves of Christ), and how they will thrive as wolves in sheep's clothing, as false prophets, as false Christ's, with all the signs and deception. He speaks of a deception so clever that it would deceive even the elect (chosen) if that were possible. He tells the Apostles (and us) to watch, for these are the signs that will alert us of His soon second coming. Supporting this, He says, "this generation shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled." Note carefully that He doesn't say some things might be fulfilled, but all these things must first be fulfilled. E.g., false Prophets, nation against nation, famines, pestilence and earthquakes in divers places. Things like these people delivering you up to be afflicted, and killed, and when you are hated of "all nations" for Christ's name's sake. Things like the abomination of desolation, the gospel preached to the entire world for a witness. Things like the great tribulation, the sun being darkened and the moon not giving light. Things like the stars falling from heaven, the powers of heaven being shaken, and the Son of man coming on the clouds of Glory, etc., etc. The only generation that shall not pass until all these things are fulfilled is "The Generation of Vipers," the family of evil. A physical generation will pass and indeed has passed, and we still have all these things. But the generation of evil is the generation that produces the false Christs. Clearly, the generation of evil is a family relationship that runs from Adam and Eve's son Cain, until the time of Judgment (when all shall be fulfilled). This generation comprises the span of the history of the world. As long as there is the seed of the Serpent, there is this Generation. This Family.

Psalms 12:6-8

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted."
Preserve them from what generation [dowr], posterity or family? The people of David's day? No, not at all. From the generation Christ spoke of that shall not pass until all be fulfilled. Preserved for ever from the generation which is stigmatized as a generation of snakes and of evil. This generation will be on this earth until Christ returns on the clouds of Glory, and all is finally fulfilled. And it is "this generation" of evil that will be the family that shall be Judged of God. God spoke of this generation in Luke chapter 11.
Luke 11:50-51

"That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;"
From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.
Were all those people who were standing there (Generation, or all the physical people of that time) guilty of the blood of all the Prophets from Abel to Zacarias that they would be judged of God for those murders? God Forbid! The Apostles and the rest of those who believe who stood there won't have the blood of the Prophets required of them. That is quite obvious to anyone who knows anything about scripture, or of Christianity. So it cannot mean that age or time. God declares that every man is responsible only for his own sins, not the sins of others (Deuteronomy 24:16). So how is the blood of Abel and all of these Prophets required of "this generation" that Christ spoke of? It can only be because those who killed the Prophets, though they lived hundreds of years before Christ, were still all a part of that generation of which Christ spoke. Selah! All who are of the family of Satan "are part of the generation" that killed Abel. i.e., they are the seed of the Serpent.
Genesis 3:14-15

"And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
The two seeds speak of two distinct families. The seed or family that springs forth of Christ, and the seed of family that springs forth of the Serpent. Two distinct genealogies or families. That is why Christ spoke of the wicked as the generation [gennema] of vipers. That Greek word conveys or indicates offspring or progeny. Christ was very literally calling them the spiritual children of the serpent. That is the generation He spoke of. So when Christ said that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world will be required of "this generation," this could not logically, rationally, or Biblically mean everyone physically standing there at the time. So what it does mean should be self-evident. It refers only to the generation or kinship of evil. Those of the lineage or family of Satan, whom Christ called the seed or children of the Devil. Moreover, let's be clear that this phrase I use (Generation of evil) is not something that I privately dreamed up to support anyone's generation views, it is a phrase that was divinely inspired and inerrant in its usage.
Luke 11:29

"And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet".
This Greek word [genea] is likewise from the root word meaning kindred. It is the same word found in Matthew chapter 24 translated generation. Was Christ saying there would no sign be given to the wise men, the Apostles, or the 70 disciples that He sent out to witness two by two? Of course not. And yet they were physically part of the literal "time" generation of that day. But they were not part of generation that Christ was speaking of here. For Christ is not talking about the physical generation of that time anymore than He was talking about them in Matthew chapter 24. It is the evil and adulterous generation (or family) of the Serpent that shall receives no sign. None except that of Jonas the prophet (the scripture record). But the generation or family of Christ, He indeed has given signs (Mark 16:20, Hebrews 2:4). That should be proof enough for any logical thinking person that this generation was not referring to mmen of a time period. These are two distinct generations. If we're only to understand the word "generation" to mean those living there at the time (as some insist we must), then none of the Apostles, nor anyone else in that day or that generation could escape the damnation of hell. Because Christ had said that "that generation" couldn't. But the truth is a lot less complicated, and in total agreement will the whole of scripture. The generation of evil is the one that shall receive no signs, and that cannot escape the damnation of hell, because it is the children or family of Satan. It is the seed of the Serpent.
Luke 21:32-34

"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares."
Again, this word translated generation is [genea], same as it is in Matthew 24. It is often used to express family relationship or posterity. It is this family of evil that shall not pass away until all is fulfilled. This definition is also clearly demonstrated in the Septuagint, where in passages like Genesis 43:7 declaring, "The man asked us straitly of our kindred," the word Kindred is [genea]. Or in Numbers 10:30, "I will depart to my own kindred." Again, Kindred is the word [genea]. Likewise in Leviticus 20:18, "Both shall be cut off from their people." Here, the word people is [genea]. I quote the Septuagint only to demonstrate that clearly, the meaning of this word was clearly known of old, and used to denote "family." Thus it cannot be scholastically alleged that it must mean the term of man’s life in passages like matthew 24.
Luke 7:30-35

But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like
They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
But wisdom is justified of all her children.
Were the Apostles the generation of evil, the children or seed of Satan, the family of the Devil? Most certainly not. God's word boldly declares that Christians are a chosen generation. So ask yourself a simple question. How can the people living at the time of Christ, be both called of God a chosen generation, and yet also be a generation that cannot escape the damnation of hell? The obvious answer is that they can't. For they are two separate generations or families that Christ spoke about. Would we say that "everyone" living there at the time must be part of the chosen generation just because someone arrogantly insists the word generation demands it? Not if we use common sense. The 'chosen generation' is the family of God, selected by God. It's not everyone living in that physical time period, nor is it only that time period.
1st Peter 2:9

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:"
Here we see the "truth" of the matter. Only the true believers are the [eklektos genos] or chosen generation. Not everyone at the time this was written, but everyone throughout time who were Predestinated to be of the family of God (Galatians 3:26-29; 1st John 3:9-10). Because we have two distinct generations coexisting in this world. A generation of evil that cannot escape the damnation of hell, and a chosen generation of God that will inherit heaven. Both these generations, or families, spans eons of time.
Philippians 2:15

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"
That Greek word that is translated "nation" is the exact same word [genea] that is translated generation in Matthew 24. It is illustrating the crooked and perverse people who are a "family" or generation of evil. This is that very same [genea] that shall not pass until all be fulfilled. Note that here in Philippians it is contrasted with "the sons of God," or the children of God, who shine as lights among them.
These generations aren't periods of time spanning ones life, they last until all is fulfilled at Christ's return. One generation shall not escape the damnation of Hell, and the other is a special people who shall (by Christ's blood) escape the damnation of Hell. The classic illustration of just this contrast, is found in the book of Luke, chapter 16:

Luke 16:8

"And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."
Again, this is the exact same word [genea] that is found in Matthew chapter 24. It speaks of the wicked in their generation being a family wiser than the "children of Light." i.e., it's illustrating that in this way, the seed or children of God are not as smart as the seed or children of the Devil. And again, it's impossible that this word as used here refers simply to a literal life span.
The generation or children of this world, is the generation that the Lord was warning the Church against in Matthew chapter 24. The family of this world are a generation of evil, and it shall not pass until "all" be fulfilled. Comparing scripture with scripture, it would be ludicrous for anyone to insist that the word generation meant a present day generation in these passages, considering all the pertinent scriptures that use the word. Yet there are many that choose to make such untenable arguments. Nevertheless, we know some things for certain:

Number one, While some make the claim that the end of the age was in 70 AD, there is not one single scripture that supports such a conclusion, and many scriptures that preclude it. There was instituted a new dispensation (age) when Christ died, was resurrected, and sent His holy Spirit that the Church go forth to witness with power. But there was no new dispensation or age instituted years later in 70 AD.

Number two, there is nothing in scripture that declares the word translated "generation" must always be understood to mean people physically present at the time, and much of scripture that precludes it (as I've clearly shown).

Number three, there is abundant proof texts in scripture that the entire New Testament period was (and still is) the end times, the last days, and the last age, "indicating" that there would not be any other age following this one. Except of course, "the age to come," which is Christ's return and consummation in everlasting life. That is when "all" will be fulfilled as required by Matthew 24, and indeed by all of scripture. That is when this evil generation shall finally pass. Selah! That is when the kingdom will be delivered up to the father. This will occur at 'The last Day.'

Revelation 6:11

"And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."
When will all be fulfilled? When this evil generation is no longer ruling with the prince of this world. In other words, when Christ returns. There is this age, and the age to come, and no age in between. That's the whole purpose of God using the term "last days" to signify that there are no more days after these New Testament days. There are no more dispensations. It is self evident that contrary to interpretive license, the age of the last days was instituted by the death and resurrection of Christ, not in 70 AD. And the age to come is at the end of "this age" when Christ returns. The generation that will not pass till all be fulfilled is the generation that the entire chapter of Matthew 24 so vividly warned against. In context, the false prophets, false teachers, deceivers, false Christs, abomination, tribulation, and all that this evil generation brings forth, will not pass until Christ's return. Then, and only then, will 'all' be fulfilled. Then and only then will this generation pass. Selah!

Copyright 2000 Tony Warren

 2013/8/5 23:07Profile

Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1443

 Re: A response to Preterism

Below is a link to twelve articles that respond to the Preterist view expressed by D. Chilton in savanah's post. The articles also address related views and the common errors of interpretation and underlying anti-Semitism.

 2013/8/6 21:53Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3393
East TN (for now)

 savannah's 7th Day Adventist "truths"

by Jeremy221

Dear savanah,

You should put a note before quoting another source so that the reader knows that they aren't your own words. It is also worthwhile to include a link to the source.

For those interested in D[avid] Chilton's views, you can find more here

Exactly, Jeremy!! I found the same quote under this title:

Bible Truth Versus Adventist Truth
The 144,000

Agreed that All sources should be provided.

God bless,


 2013/8/7 14:48Profile

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