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Times Appointed Part 3

20th August 2009, hej

 

8) The Olivet prophecy of the Generation

Yeshua gave two 'times' in this prophecy, both of a generation. An analysis of the 3 records shows Matthew and Mark focus on the generation ending 70AD.

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 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. Matt 24:32-35 (similar to Mark 13:28-31)

The context Matthew and Mark record is,

The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.”(Matt 24:29 Mark 13:24-25)

Yeshua is speaking of the Jewish world of AD 70. At that time the Jewish “Sun” the political structure was eliminated, and the religious order was removed including the temple, so there was no Jewish “light” at all. In addition all the minor rulers, the Sadducees and Pharisees were removed or dispersed, the “stars” that “fall”. Their fear that the Romans would take away their “place and nation” (John 11:48) was realised.

Luke gives some detail of the destruction in AD 70 and summarises it as “great signs from heaven”, but then goes on to focus on a second generation,

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-24)

Luke tells us that Yeshua said that when Jerusalem was in Jewish hands there would be distress of nations. The era of protests began in 1967. This year paved the way for the controversy over Jerusalem that even now is bringing all nations to war.

Luke adds a parable of the fig tree.

Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. (Luke 21:29-33)

Matthew and Mark's parable speaks of the branch being “tender”and the putting forth of the leaves, however, Luke speaks of “all the trees” and when they all “shoot forth”. Matthew and Mark do not mention the sign relates to the kingdom of God. Luke says that when all the trees shoot forth that the kingdom of God is nigh. This second Generation that sees the end of the “times of the gentiles” rule over Jerusalem “shall not pass” but would see, not the destruction of Jerusalem, but rather the coming of the kingdom of God.

According to Matthew's account Yahshua says the “sign of the Son of man” precedes his actual return. This matches Luke's record.

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

Therefore, at the time of the “sign of the Son of man” there are “signs” in the sun and moon and stars. The same “sun” that was “darkened” or politically extinguished in AD 70, must be in existence and “shining” again. The “sun” darkened in AD 70 was the Jewish nation. Therefore as Israel exists, the Jewish “sun” is “shining” again. This matches Luke's account that Jerusalem would cease to be in the nation's or Gentile hands before Messiah returns.

The “sign of the son of man” is therefore the re-establishment of Israel as a nation. This “sign” was such a great sign that many called it a “miracle”. Israel was a remarkable miracle, as no other nation has been voted into existence in the United Nations. Truly this “sign” or miracle occurred in “heaven” or the place of rule by the National powers. There were 19 years after the “sign of the son of man” was in place until Jerusalem was again in Jewish hands ending 'the times of the gentiles'.

Table comparing the accounts to show all of Yeshua's words in order

Matthew (Marks variant) only in Matthew

Luke (key alignments in bold)

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (Mat 24:29)(Mar 13:24-25)

But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. (Luk 21:9)

Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luk 21:10-11)

Luke 's record adds what Yeshua said regarding the wars and earthquakes but Luke does not write of the sun being darkened- he lumps this together as the “great signs”.


(Luke here gives a lot of detail about what would happen in Jerusalem from v12-24)

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-24)

Break in Yeshua's prophecy that history has shown as spanning nearly 2000 years

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: (Mat 24:30)

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (Luk 21:25-26)

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.(Mat 24:30) (Mar 13:26)



And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (Luk 21:27)

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 the uttermost part of the earth) from one end of heaven to the other.(Mat 24:31) (Mar13:27)



And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 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.








Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

(Mat 24:32-35) (Mar 13:28-31)

And he spake to them a parable;


(Luke notes Yeshua spoke a parable which from Matthew and Mark we know is the “Parable of the tender branched fig tree” but he did not record it)


Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 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. (Luk 21:29-33)

The difference in the parable of the fig tree. Matthew and Mark are almost word for word. But Luke uses different terms entirely. Matthew and Mark speak of the branch being “tender”and the putting forth of the leaves, but Luke speaks of the “shooting forth” or of a rapid growth. These are distinctly different terms. Matthew and Mark say that Yahshua said “Now learn” but Luke says Yashua said “behold the fig tree”. Luke is always precise. The simple explanation is that the full parable had two iterations. In the second iteration Yeshua adds “and all the trees” and that “when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Neither Matthew or Mark mention other trees or use the term “kingdom of God”.

Therefore there are two generations. One sees the end of Jerusalem (when the tree of Israel was weak and tender) and the second that sees a strong growth of the tree of Israel with other nations also sprouting forth sees the coming of the Kingdom.


Related

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This may be one of the most misunderstood passages of the Bible. Paul is notorious for long sentences of connected thoughts, and this is part of a complex wide ranging thought which lasts 2 chapters, and includes what seems opposite advice:

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1 Cor. 5:11-13)

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