Christian Apologetics Study

THE FINAL GENERATION OF BIBLICAL PROPHECY

Oct
10

“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (Matthew 24:34 NKJV).

By analyzing the pre-flood patriarchal longevity, the post-flood patriarchal longevity, the biblical generation in the book of Matthew, the interpretations of biblical generations, and the timing of the final generation, students of prophecy could determine the approximate length of the final generation of biblical eschatology

Messiah Yeshua warned his followers by saying “assuredly, I say to you, this GENERATION will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled”(Matthew 24:34). The Bible does not give direct answers for questions about the exact length of a generation. Although students of prophecy can speculate on this issue based on biblical observations, The Holy Scriptures shows that the length of a generation varies, depending on the historical period. Early history of primeval humanity shows longer generations because people lived much longer.

The biblical term for “generation” usually refers to a community of people living during a particular time in history and the exact length of that time cannot be precisely determine, but the timeframe would fall within the reasonable limitations of a human lifespan. Additionally, Messiah Yeshua warned his followers that the final generation of human history would reflect the days of Noah’s generations (Matthew 24:38). Noah’s generation was characterized by violence (Genesis 6), technological advancement (Genesis 4), and primeval human longevity (Genesis 5). From 1914 to present, the inhabitants of the world have experience two major global wars and many regional wars in between, advancement in science and technology, and a significant increase in human lifespan. Thus, if we are living in the final generation of human history just before Messiah returns, then the final generation should be about 100 years long because more people today are living to be 70 to 100 or mores years. Therefore, this narrative shows students of prophecy how to determine the length of the final generation of biblical eschatology by analyzing the pre-flood patriarchal longevity, the post-flood patriarchal longevity, the biblical generation in the book of Matthew, the interpretations of biblical generations, and the timing of the final generation.

PRE-FLOOD PATRIARCHAL LONGEVITY

Analysis of the biblical generations during the era of pre-flood patriarchal longevity revealed that the life span of the 10 generations from Adam to Noah averaged near 900 years each (Genesis 5:5-31; 9:29). For example, Adam lived 930 years, Jared lived 962 years, and Methuselah lived 969 years. Additionally, during the pre-flood era, every generation was probably either 165 years or 200 years in duration because the pre-flood era lasted for exactly 1656 years (NKJV) or roughly 2000 years (LXX) long according to the chronological records in Genesis chapters 5 and 11. Bear in mind, the final generation of biblical prophecy may equal Noah’s generation in some areas of technology, health, and human longevity. In other words, future scientific breakthroughs may increase the life span of modern man to the point where people can live to be 140 to 160 years old. Although this would be for short of Noah’s generation, increasing human lifespan is a sign that we are living in the final generation of human history.

POST-FLOOD PATRIARCHAL LONGEVITY

Analysis of the biblical generations during the post-flood patriarchal era indicated that after the Noachian Flood, primeval humankind’s lifespan decreased significantly to about 70 years. For example, Noah lived 950 years, Salah lived 433 years, Peleg lived 239 years, and Abraham lived 175 years (Genesis 25:7). Moses lived for 120 years (Deuteronomy 34) and before his death, he wrote that people will live for 70 years on average and they will reach 80 years because of their strength (Psalm 90). Today, as it was in the time of Moses, people who are living under favorable conditions on average live for 70 or 80 years before physical death, fewer people live to be older than 100 years. This was probably due to drastic climatic transformations in the Earth’s post-flood environment. Some creation researchers argue that the collapse of the Earth’s pre-flood vapor canopy of water or a significant thinning of the Earth’s pre-flood ozone layer may have exposed Earth’s life forms to more deadly radiation from outer space that increases genetic mutations and chromosome changes which may have been responsible for shortening animal and human lifespan worldwide.

BIBLICAL GENERATION OF MATTHEW’S GOSPEL

Analysis of the biblical generations written in the book of Matthew showed a biblical generation equals 50 years because 50 years represented the average human lifespan in Matthew’s generation. Matthew wrote that there are 14 generations between Abraham and David, between David and captivity to Babylon, and between Babylon and Messiah’s birth (Matthew 1). This history equals 42 generations between Abraham and Messiah. It is suggested that there are about 2,100 years between Abraham and Messiah. 2,100 divided by 42 equals 50 years per generation. According to some prophecy scholars, the final generation began in 1948 when Israel became a nation again. If the final generation began in 1948, then everything should have concluded by 1998. However, history shows that Messiah never returned at the battle of Armageddon in 1998. Other prophecy scholars argue that the final generation began in 1967 when Israeli soldiers captured the Holy city of Jerusalem in 1967. Therefore, if the final generation began in 1967, then Messiah Yeshua may return to fight at the battle of Armageddon in 2017.

THE DURATION OF THE BIBLICAL GENERATIONS

Analysis of why the duration of a biblical generation has many interpretations and they reveal that the average generation reflects the average lifespan of the population during that time in history. When human lifespan increases, so does the average length of generations. To illustrate the extent of how human lifespan changed in biblical history, the average lifespan of the pre-Flood patriarchs was about 900 years. The average lifespan from Shem to Peleg diminished to about 480 years, and from Peleg to Abraham, it diminished to about 200 years. The average generation from Abraham to David (Matthew. 1:17) was about 65 years, while the average generation for the other two groups was about 35 years. The time span covered by each generation is not the emphasis, but rather the focus was the passing away of the number of significant generations. Additionally, other speculations about the length of a generation include 100 years, 70 years, and 40 years. Prophecy scholars who argue for 100 years say the Israelites were slaves in the land of Egypt for roughly 400 years (Genesis & Exodus), which the bible refers to as equaling four generations. Bible scholars who argue that a generation is 70 years say that a generation only equals the lifespan of a man, which reflects Pslam 90. Other scholars argue that a generation is 40 years because that was how long the Israelites wandered in the wilderness.

THE FINAL GENERATION

Analysis of when the final generation of human history began reveals that the final generation commenced with the restoration of the Israeli nation in 1948. Messiah Yeshua said “now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.” In other words, when the fig tree’s branches begin to grow leaves this signals the final generation (Matthew 24:32). The prophet Hosea wrote “when I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the FIG TREE (Hosea 9:10). The Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures uses a system of symbolic imagery to reveal prophetic information. The “Fig Tree” represents the nation of Israel. Therefore, what Messiah Yeshua is saying is that restoration of Israel marks the beginning of the end of Gentile domination of the Middle East and the rest of the world.

In 70 AD the Roman Army invaded Jerusalem and drove the Jewish people out of Israel. For almost 2000 years, The Fig Tree (Israel) was Frozen in the dead of winter and Israel ceased to be a physical nation. Then on 14 May 1948, the fig tree came back to life again with the restoration of the nation of Israel. From 1948 AD to 1967, Israel came to life as a nation. She formed a democratic government, built an army and developed agriculture and industry. The spring season arrived and Israel puts forth her leaves when the six day war, ended on 12 June 1967 and Jerusalem was returned to Israel.

The summer season described here is when the Tribulation begins. In other words, when the apocalyptic events that Messiah Yeshua spoke about in the writings of Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13 dramatically unfold into existence, then Israel will be thrown into the burning heat of the summer season. And the intensity of the summer heat will cause the Messiah’s coming at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19).

While a few prophecy teachers believe that the final generation began in 1967 (when Jerusalem became part of Israel), many eschatology experts believe the “final generation” really began in 1948 when Israel became a nation again because careful analysis of Leviticus 26, Ezekiel 4, and Daniel 9 reveals the exact date for Israel’s restoration from Gentile domination and worldwide dispersion. The biblical word for generation means the lifespan of a man and during the writing of Matthew 24 many people were considered to be very old if they made it to age 50 because many people died before they reached 30 years. However, today many people live much longer than the people who were alive when Matthew wrote about the 42 generations from Abraham to Messiah. Today, many people reach ages 70, 80, and 90 years, while fewer people live to be 100 or more years. The weight of biblical evidence strongly suggests that the final generation of human history will be about 100 years in duration. Therefore, since the restoration of the nation of Israel in 1948 signifies the beginning of the final general of Gentile history, then Messiah Yeshua may return to Earth anytime before, during, or shortly after the year 2048.

MESSIAH YESHUA’S WARNING 

Messiah Yeshua warned His followers to “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthews 25:13). In other words, believing Christians should never set dates for Messiah’s return for His Church because there are no Signs preceding the RAPTURE EVENT. However, this does not mean that we will not know the final generation of biblical prophecy because the words in Matthew 25:13 are directed at the Church and not th

e fig tree generation of Israel. Additionally, the Christian community has endured many date-setting eras and those dates that were set have come and gone in Christian history. While history has proven throughout the course of time that believers who claim to know when Messiah will return to Rapture His Church, have all missed the day and the hour, the Holy Scriptures do not appear to warn against believers recognizing the season of the final generation of history.

RELATED SOURCES

The Holy Bible; The Bible by Jim Bell and Stan Campbell ;Learn The Bible in 24 Hours by Dr. ChuckMissler ;The Bible by Stan Campbell and James S. Bell, Jr ;The Last Days by Richard H. Perry ; and The Book of Revelations by Dr. Larry R. Helyer, PhD, and Richard Wagner; The Complete Guide to the Bible by Stephen M. Miller, The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy by Stephen M. Miller.

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