Wednesday, May 9, 2012

LLM Question for 5-8-2012, and, THIS GENERATION of Matthew 24

First the Question: According to the Bible, worrying is as forbidden as theft. True or False?

Take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day

And now the answer to the LLM Question of 5-6-2012

Question: THIS GENERATION of Matthew 24:34-35 is the Nation of Israel. True or False?

Answer: TRUE! We believe that the best interpretation of the words, “THIS GENERATION”, is that it refers to the Nation of Israel surviving the DAY OF THE LORD which will be a day of the wrath of God upon planet Earth! THIS GENERATION (the Nation of Israel) will not pass away, until everything our LORD Jesus Christ described for the future takes place! Heaven and earth may pass away, but GOD’S WORD WILL NEVER PASS AWAY! Now, out of the 711 responses we received to this question, only 65% of you got it right! Therefore, NOW, let us take a look at,

"THIS GENERATION" of Matthew 24

In Matthew 24:34-35 we read these words from the lips of our LORD Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, “Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Bible teachers argue over the meaning of the words “THIS GENERATION”, The English word “generation” comes directly in sound from the Greek words. We believe that the best interpretation of the words “THIS GENERATION” is that it refers to the Nation of Israel surviving the DAY OF THE LORD which will be a day of the wrath of God upon planet Earth! Bible believers refer to it as the coming GREAT TRIBULATION. The Time of Jacob's Trouble, Jeremiah 30:7. Also, it appears that survival on the part of God’s people during the tribulation will be a major problem! In Matthew 24:21-22 Jesus said, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake (this refers to a believing remnant of Israel) those days shall be shortened.”

So, let's take a closer look.

1. The words can, maybe, refer to A PERIOD OF TIME.

The Jewish people in the wilderness for 40 years are referred to in Hebrew 3:10 as “THAT generation.” Some believe that it refers to a period of 40 years and debate over whether it should begin with Israel becoming a nation in 1948, (obviously this view is incorrect!), or with the taking of the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967 (again, obviously incorrect!). Others believe that it refers to a 40 year period between the time that Christ spoke these words and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (often called the “preterist view”. The Lion and Lamb Ministry do NOT agree with any preterist view). Some Bible teachers have argued that the length of a person’s life (stated to be 70 or possibly 80 years) is what is meant. This gives them a bit more leeway in trying to fit the words with their particular viewpoint.

2. The words refer to A RACE OF PEOPLE.

The Greek words certainly are used that way (both in the Bible and in extra-Biblical sources). The primary, (from the standpoint of history), view concerning a “race of people” is that it refers to the Jewish people to whom Christ was speaking. This view supports the idea mentioned above, that it was fulfilled in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem. The point that these words refer to the Jewish people is very likely the most adequate and accurate view. Matthew 23:36, in fact, uses the words “THIS GENERATION” in exactly that way! Those who believe that these words express some sort of change in God’s relationship with Israel and the Jewish people believe that the Church has now replaced Israel in God’s prophetic program due to their rejection of Yeshua as their Messiah. Added to this, in the passage in Matthew 16:28 which says, “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.” It would appear at first reading that the coming of God’s judgment is meant, and that those listening to Jesus at that time would not die until it happened!

However! The Greek text (which originally had no chapter divisions!) continues (Matthew 17:1) with the word “AND”. And the next few verses prove that the ones who would not die until they saw the glory of the Messiah revealed were Peter, James, and John...what we call the Mount of Transfiguration. In 2 Peter 1:16-18, Peter refers to this event and says that they were “eyewitnesses of His majesty” and says it was on the “holy mount.”

Therefore,

There are three classic reasons why we believe that the words “THIS GENERATION” refer to the Nation of Israel surviving the “time of Jacob’s trouble” or the “great tribulation”:

1. THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD - Romans 11:1-2 tells us that “God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew.”

2. THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD - Psalm 89 speaks powerfully of this attribute of God. He is faithful to His promises. In Psalm 89:30-32, God speaks of His punishment upon the children of Israel for their disobedience and sin. However, in Psalm 89:33-37 we read, “Nevertheless My loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My FAITHFULNESS to fail. My covenant will I NOT break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips. Once have I sworn by My Holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a FAITHFUL witness in heaven.” Remember this always, the promises of God and His covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants is based on His FAITHFULNESS, and NOT their performance!

3. THE FORGIVENESS OF GOD - Jeremiah 31:31-37 proclaims the terms of God’s “new covenant” by which He will forgive the iniquity of His people and remember their sin against them no more! In Jeremiah 31:36-37, it is clear that the Nation of Israel will continue to exist forever! THAT’S THE PROMISE OF GOD HIMSELF!

Therefore, THIS GENERATION (the Nation of Israel) will not pass away, until everything our LORD Jesus Christ described for the future takes place! Heaven and earth may pass away, but GOD’S WORD WILL NEVER PASS AWAY!

***

In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.

So There You Have it!

Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.

Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.

In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry

Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)

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