Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Prophetic Sermon, registered in Mathews 24 and 25 presented several pieces of information for those who give importance to His teaching about His return and the last days.
All the facts that He presents in His sermon, have a starting point.
A public fact known by all and which has trigged the alarm of the prophetic clock.
The returning of Israel to the land the Lord has given to them, thousands of years ago: the fig tree that blossomed.
And Jesus tells us that this generation, the one that witnesses this fact, will not pass until all these things are fulfilled.
All the things related to the judgment time that will come, preceding the return of Jesus, described in Mathews chapter 24.
By Jesus’ report concerning the events of the last days, many observers like me have realized that we are living the last days, and that we must prepare ourselves day after day even more than before to meet Jesus.
Moreover, from all the things that are happening in all the places, we still find possibilities to make approximated calculations for this date, all based on the understanding of the parable of the fig tree.
Now learn parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet to tend, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that to summer is nigh: Only likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is to near, even at the doors. Verily I say grease 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. But of that day and hour knoweth in man, in, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Watch therefore: know will be ye not what hour your Lord doth eats.
In this article, we have a specific and clear date concerning the fulfillment of the parable of the fig tree.
This date is the one that will initiate a period of time that we must consider, and that is also based on two prophecies given by God to Isaiah more than 700 years before Jesus:
Who hath heard such thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made you bring forth in one day? Or shall nation be born at once? The Zion will be soon travailed, she brought forth to her children.
He shall causes them that eats of Jacob you take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.
We can see here that Jesus was clearly referring to these two texts of Isaiah.
And what has happened throughout history has been so tremendous that you and I can prove.
Israel was outside their land, not existing anymore as a Nation, until 1947 when something happened.
The new-born United Nations Organization recommended the application of the Palestine partition plan, approved by the General Meeting of United Nations through Resolution 181, of November 29th 1947, considering the division of the country in two States, an Arab and a Jew one.
Its independence was only declared on May 14th, 1948.
Its roots were spread in one single day: on its independence day.
Just as Isaiah propheciesed.
Jerusalem was retaken in 1967, when of its victory in the war of the 6 days, it re-conquered besides Cisjordânia, the Gaza Strip, the Peninsula of the Sinai and the Gullet Hills.
It blossomed, it sprouted and it was filled with fruits.
From these events on, many of us have started to make calculations.
Two dates have been established to calculate a generation… the generation that will be here until all these things are fulfilled, that is, the end of the great tribulation, therefore before the beginning of the Millenarian Kingdom.
The great question has always been how many years a generation lasts.
Some calculate 40, others 48 and some 50 years, others 70 and others 80 years.
And the idea has always been to understand how many years we must add to one of these two dates, 1948 or 1967, to come to a definitive, specific date.
Thus, my objective here, is to consider another way of thinking, without disagreeing with those who have made calculations, because, also based on the teachings of Jesus, I am one of those who tries to understand the times and make calculations.
Then how can we calculate the generation that has passed?
How many years have a Biblical generation?
Which date must be used to come close to the day and hour?
Good, I want to consider something very different, but, for this, it will be necessary that you follow some Biblical texts to support my understanding.
For me, to count a generation, we would have to use only people above 20 years old.
I will tell you why.
Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore grease Abraham, grease Isaac, and grease Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the sound of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the sound of Nun: have will be they wholly followed the LORD. And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.
Only those above 20 could list themselves to offer due to their atonement.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
God has also established age bands to evaluate people aimed at doing remission vows to the Lord. He clearly made a cut of 20 to 60 years (as we have seen above in Numbers 32:11) let’s say, with certain difference regarding how much responsibility and/or productivity.
And if it be from five years old even grease twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and will be the female ten shekels. And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of to silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and will be the female ten shekels.
The ones that could leave to war were only the ones above of 20 years old.
And Moses and Aaron took these men which ploughs expressed by to their names: And they assembled all the congregation to together on the first day of the second month, and they declared to their pedigrees to after to their families, by the house of to their fathers, according you to number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by to their polls. The LORD commanded Moses, he numbered only them in the wilderness of Sinai.
So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of to their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able upward, all that were able you go forth you war in Israel.
See as follows, again, that, in terms of judgment, the Lord considered only the people who were over 20 years old at the moment they saw the wonders of the Lord in delivering the people, they saw the Promised Land, they had heard the stories about, and had decided not to believe. The Lord did not consider the ones under 20 years old!
Say unto them, truly the I live, saith the LORD, ye have spoken in mines ears, will I of only you: Your this quivers shall fall in wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according you your whole to number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not eats into the land, concerning which I sware you make you dwell therein, save Caleb the sound of Jephunneh, and and Joshua the sound of Nun.
My understanding is that the people who saw Israel become a nation again in only one day, followed the beginning of a prophetic time without precedents in the history of mankind, as much as it was that moment in the life of Israel. They have seen a marker marking a time for the judgment.
This generation will not pass until all these things are fulfilled
And if my understanding is correct, what we need to do is to calculate the current age of the people who were 20 years old on that day, so that we can have an absolutely biblical time marker.
Jesus did not say that we should add the number of years of a generation to that date, but, yet, he said that this generation will not pass.
What I understand is that the ones, who were 20 in 1948, are today, at the moment I am writing this text, 83 years old!
Read the following text with me:
For we are consumed by thine to anger, and by thy wrath ploughs we troubled Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine to anger? Even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
We realize here that these people have already passed the biblical maximum limit for a life, that is, they have passed the barrier of 70 years. Some, for their robustness, have also beaten the barrier of 80 years, but, perhaps, they already live a life of tiredness and boredom. I emphasize that the context of this evaluation of the age of a generation, is to be underneath a time of judgment of the Lord. It says about a generation that is being consumed by the anger and wrath of God, a generation that has their iniquities laid in front of them. Something in common with the time we are considering at the light of the words of Jesus and each day more as time goes by.
So, what I want to propose is the understanding that until all the things that Jesus talked about happen among those who saw Israel become a nation again, we need that some are still alive till the end.
THIS GENERATION CANNOT PASS. NOT ALL CAN DIE.
For how long can these people still live? Will it be when they are 90, or a little bit more?
They cannot pass until everything is complete, that is, they will be alive during the tribulation time, during the wrath of God.
But bear this in mind….
Ssome of these people will be alive till the end, but, in theory, seven years before this date, the bride will be taken. And yet 3,5years before, the rest of the church will be taken away.
This highlight is important because it directly affects you and me who intend to be away from here before the end comes.
Yet , it is important to remember that even though these days are shortened by God, it will be even harder for people who are about 80/90 stand everything that is about to come.
It will be difficult to survive.
For me, it is clear that if we apply the beginning of the text to the date of 1948, my way of thinking reinforces the fact we are living the last days.
Regarding those who still use the date of 1967, I will disagree to some extent.
If we read what happened on the days of Salomon, who build the first temple, we are able to have a more prophetic understanding of the time cycle:
And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the house of the LORD, and his own house.
It was exactly what happened.
Prophetically, 20 years were enough for Israel to build their house. If we consider the beginning of the movement by the UNO in 1947, and the house of the Lord, reestablish his land or house, and afterwards regain the mount of the temple in Jerusalem.
But yet for those who understand that we can only consider the date of 1967, due to the conquering of Jerusalem, that I understand as beeing very important fact, I propose we apply the same criteria of 20 years, although the result is a little bit different.
If we consider the people who were 20 years old, we can see that they are 64 nowadays.
If we consider for those the biblical limit of 70 years old, they will be this age in 2017.
This will be the maximum biblical limit for a life in times of judgment!
I am considering 2017, due to my understanding that we are about to enter Great Tribulation period.
Can we consider the possibility that they will live up to 80, surviving the Tribulation?
We can think, considering my previous thinking, that those people, in this age band would find a great difficulty in staying alive till the end of the days of God’s wrath.
Besides, I agree that this year of 2017 is a year that has been considered by many as that of the limit of the possible deadline for the conclusion of these times, by the counting of the jubilees years, which I also agree with, and other date markers used as well.
All in all, my understanding, regarding the sermon of Jesus, is that with reference to the year of 1948, times fades away.
This generation is passing by and you and I can see in the press, in the media, and for many alive, that the words of Jesus are being fulfilled in our days.
My hope is that making these calculations clearly, as we read in Psalm 90, we are able to gain a heart of wisdom.
This is extremely important for these days because according to what Daniel received from God:
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever...”
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PS: Thanks to Leila Dantas Rovero, my favorite english teacher, for providing this english version!