QUESTION – Dear Bill – the 2nd to the last sentence in your article dealing with the 40-year Egyptian Deportation, creates a nagging question in my mind that I need your help with. You make the following statement: “I could easily see humanity existing several more decades.” How does that fit in with the commonly held belief that Israel’s rebirth was the fulfillment of Matthew 24:32 and that Matthew 24:34 states that generation that sees all the things of the preceding 32 verses of Matthew 24, including Israel’s rebirth, will not pass away before Yeshua returns – 2nd Coming. (Read Egypt’s 40 – Years of Desolation)
ANSWER – Dear Brother Mark thank you for your question– Yes, I did conclude the article by writing; “I could easily see humanity existing several more decades.” However with that said, I believe Christians should be fervently watching for the Rapture and Psalm 83 to occur very soon.”
First let me state that I’m not sure of the expiration date of this present earth. All prophetic signs indicate the end is extremely near. However, many biblical prophecies are still forthcoming and they will require time to find final fulfillment. One event builds upon another like birth pangs with each subsequent event appearing to overshadow the prior.
Secondly, I believe you answered your “nagging question” with your own quote; “Matthew 24:34 states that generation that sees all the things of the preceding 32 verses of Matthew 24…will not pass away before Yeshua returns…”
This includes the “beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:7-8), the reestablishment of the nation Israel, the “fig tree” (Matt. 24:32) the rise of the Antichrist to perform the “abomination of desolation” (Matt. 24:15), the fleeing of the faithful Jewish remnant “to the mountains” of Bozrah/Petra (Matt. 24:16-20) the “great tribulation” period (Matt. 24:21) the deceptive “great signs and wonders,” probably akin to 2 Thessalonians. 2:9 & Revelation 13:13 (Matt. 24:24).
Many attempt to interpret Matthew 24:34 by attaching the length of a biblical generation to the fig tree prophecy of Matthew 24:32. I wonder what they are going to say if 2049 rolls around and the 40-year, 70-year, and 100-year generational interpretations no longer apply? Assuming that by then, “all these things take place,” which is actually what the NKJV text says.
I believe Matthew 24:34 is an event sensitive, rather than time sensitive, prophecy. The generation that can truthfully say the historical fulfillment of “all these things” above has “taken place,” will be the generation that “will by no means pass away.” This is because they are the generation that lives in Daniel’s 70th week and they are those who will witness the Second Coming of Yeshua.
In fact I was recently asked this question by Dr. David Reagan the founder of Lamb and Lion Ministries in one of his prophetic forums.
How do you interpret Matthew 24:32-35?
Below is the answer I gave to Dr. Reagan. The entire interview can be read in two parts at these links:
(Picture of Bill Salus and David Reagan)
Many respected Bible prophecy experts believe that these verses imply that the final world generation exists when Israel becomes reestablished as a nation. Generally, they tag 70-years, or 100-years on to May of 1948 when Israel was rebirthed, or June of 1967 when East Jerusalem was recaptured by the IDF, and suggest that’s when the world ends.
Unwittingly, this type of teaching date sets a Pretribulation Rapture. For instance, adding 70-years to May, 1948 means that May, 2018 could be the end of the world. But herein is the problem with this idea; the world as we know it can’t end until the Rapture occurs, and is sometime thereafter followed by 7-years of Tribulation. If May, 2018 was the drop-dead date for the end of the world, then the Rapture should have occurred before May, 2011 and the Tribulation should have already commenced. Since this commentary is being composed on May, 2012, and since the 7-years of tribulation have not yet begun, the end of the world won’t be in May, 2018.
This same example applies in every instance whether 1948 or 1967 is used as a start date. Pick any date for the end of the world by adding a biblical generation to 1948 or 1967 and move backward from that date 7-years. If there is a Pretribulation Rapture it must occur on or before that hypothesized date.
Conversely, I don’t believe these passages date set when a final generation exists; rather they simply inform us that a final generation will exist. After drawing attention to Israel as the super-sign of the end times in Matthew 24:32, Christ says in verse 34, “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.”
This beckons the question of “What things was the Messiah alluding to?” Certainly the main thing Christ alluded to was the nation of Israel as the parable of the fig tree, but the Lord didn’t say “When you see that sole thing, the final generation exists.” Christ alluded to everything that He had predicted throughout Matthew 24:2-29, 32.
The point I believe the Lord was making, is that some generation will be able to say, “Yes, everything that Jesus Christ predicted in the Olivet Discourse has found fulfillment with 100% accuracy.” That generation will be the Tribulation Generation that can say all the prophecies can be read about in the history books.
The final generation will be able to declare that “the Jewish temple was destroyed in 70 AD fulfilling Matthew 24:2, and it was rebuilt again and subsequently desecrated by the Antichrist fulfilling Matthew 24:15. Furthermore there were false Christ’s, rumors of war, World Wars (nation against nation), Middle East wars (kingdom against kingdom), and an abundance of earthquakes worldwide.”
The generation that can declare that all the Matthew 24:2-29, 32 prophecies have found final fulfillment will be able to say there is only one more main prophecy that we await, and that is the glorious Second Coming of Christ (Matthew 24:30). That final generation will have nothing else to watch for, or hope in, but the return of the Lord to remedy the heinous condition of mankind; and indeed He Comes!