Teacher’s Choice – Conclusion of Study in Matthew 24: “This Generation Shall not Pass, till all These Things be Fulfilled”

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Conclusion to our Multi-part Study with Matthew 24: “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled”

[Study Aired March 16, 2020]

What must be fulfilled in the generation that God is judging is described within the verses of Matthew 24, written for the sake of God’s elect who are the generation that Christ is referring to (Mat 24:34)

Like all scripture it “is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. What must be “fulfilled” in this generation is described for us in (Col 1:24) and accomplished by our hope of glory within who can give us the ability to drink the cup of his suffering (Col 1:27). Matthew chapter 24 just expands for us what that affliction is and tells us what we can expect to see unfold in the lives of those who God is working with both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Php 2:13).

A tree is known by its fruit (Luk 6:43-45) and if we are connected to the vine (Joh 15:5-7) and blessed to continue in His word to become disciples indeed who bring forth much fruit (Joh 8:31, Mar 4:20) then we must be “This generation [that] shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled”.

“This generation” is speaking of those who are predestined to be judged first in this life (1Pe 4:17, Eph 1:12, Joh 15:16, Rom 8:28-30), and that judgment is expressed through parables which hide God’s purpose and meaning from those who are not meant to understand these things which are hidden from the world at this time by God’s design (Mat 13:10-11).

The chapter culminates in pointing to the readiness required of God’s servants, the sacrifice of our life and time required in order to be that blessed servant who is providing spiritual meat in due season when our Lord returns (Mat 24:45-47).

With that in mind, I want to end with an FAQ Mike wrote at least 10 years ago, answering a former Jehovah’s Witness who was grappling with Truth of which we have been discussing on various Monday studies since May 2019.

“Conclusion to our Matthew 24 series: an FAQ from Mike.
When Will Matthew 24 Be Fulfilled?

[Excerpt from the question section]

Hi T____,

Thanks for sharing with me your story.

It is only natural, and it happens to also be spiritually healthy, to share with others what has been our journey in coming to know Him who is the Truth. This is done at all of our Bible conferences, and having heard the stories of many from all around the world over the years, it has become clear that while the details may vary, the essential elements of all of our stories are exactly the same.

In your latest e-mail, you ask:

If Ecc 9:2-3 refers only to death, then Christ was lying when He said this:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

… and this:

Mat 24:32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
Mat 24:33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

If Ecc 9:2 refers only to physical death then Christ was also lying when he said this:

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Rev 22:7  Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Rev 22:8  And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Rev 22:9  Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

All who are in Christ and are truly our fellowservants, “Keep the sayings of this book, and the things written therein.” In the end “all things come alike to all.”

Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; [and] he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
Ecc 9:3  This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

It makes good sense to say that the “one event” includes a life of “all things… written therein.” However, it makes no sense at all to say that the one event of death, includes “all things… written therein” which all men are commanded to “keep.”

“Keeping the sayings of the prophecy of this book” is “one event” which will, in the end, be common to all men, but there is no logical way to describe death as “all things… common to all men.”

Not one person yet has ever been brought to hunger for a deeper knowledge of our Lord, and a closer relationship with Him, without first passing through the “furnace of iron” that is our fiery experience in Egypt and in Babylon.

1Ki 8:51  For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt,  from the midst of the furnace of iron:

“The furnace of iron” and “the valley of the shadow of death” are both part of the “all things… one event” which we all must endure, if we are ever to “know Him and the fellowship of His sufferings.”

Psa 23:4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Php 3:10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

If you see “dying with Christ” as a daily process, then yes, that “one event” is death, but only in this Biblical sense:

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7  For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Rom 6:8  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Rom 6:9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Rom 6:10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Rom 6:11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

That is the “one event” in which “all things come alike to all”. All men will, in their own appointed time, “reckon themselves to be dead indeed to sin but alive unto God.” To think of this “one event to all” simply as physical death is to completely miss out on the summation of the “many things I have yet to tell you ” of Matthew 24, which “many things” are later given us in the revelation of Jesus Christ, which we are all plainly told to “read, hear and keep.”

No one in whom the spirit of Christ dwells wants to either add to or take away from his part from the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Rev 22:18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Rev 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly [into the life of every man of every generation who “reads, hears and keeps the things written therein”] . Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Every word of God’s Word confirms that this, too, your story as a Jehovah’s Witness convert, is “common to all men,” whether a Jehovah’s witness or a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal or Catholic. We all are brought to see our need for a Savior while still serving our the Egyptian taskmasters, which are the lusts of our flesh.

Exo 1:13  And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
Exo 1:14  And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

Exo 2:23  And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.
Exo 2:24  And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
Exo 2:25  And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

When did He do this? Here is when He comes to us:

Eph 2:4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

So we all cry out to God to deliver us from our own flesh, and we come with an innocent heart, seeking to know God and His peace. Here is how this stage of our walk is described in the book of the revelation of Jesus Christ, which revelation we are to “read, hear and keep.”

Rev 2:2  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Rev 2:3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

We all come to God as babes in Christ, desiring to serve Him but with no “root in ourselves” as yet, and we come to Him while we are yet in the churches of Babylon, looking to those we love and respect to guide us in our new walk. Here is how Christ describes this part of our walk which is common to all men.

Luk 11:52  Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

When all of this is taking place we are no more aware that we are in the grip and influence of the great whore than a child is aware that he cannot yet eat strong meat. Anyone who has reared children knows that all children think they are qualified to do the things they see their parents doing long before they really are able to do so. This is as true in spirit as it is in this temporal life. We are living our lives at this time, with all the false doctrines with which we have been reared from our youth still firmly implanted in our minds, and in that part of our walk God answers our prayers “according to the idols of our hearts.”

Eze 14:4  Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

When I was in the Pentecostal church, God answered my prayers according to my Pentecostal idols of the heart. Later, as a World Wide Church of God member, my prayers were answered according to those doctrinal idols.

When I lived several years of my life believing the doctrines of the Concordant Publishing Concern, my prayers were answered according to those doctrinal idols. You were raised up as a Jehovah’s Witness, and God answered you according to those heart’s idols, for several years. If now you have lain aside all doctrinal and denominational biases, and have come to His word with a heart that wants only to inquire of the Word of God, then God will answer you accordingly.

It is good that you realize that you have indeed been being sustained by “the milk of the word.” While there is ‘milk’ in the churches of Babylon, it is all poisoned milk and will never lead you to know the true God of scripture. The orthodox churches all would have us believe that our heavenly Father will burn all sinners in eternal hell fire, if they do not repent and serve Christ now in this life. Many of the supposed cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Seventh Day Adventists, and at one time, the Worldwide Church of God, all believed in a heavenly Father who would merely annihilate all sinners. None of this is in accord with the scriptures which teach that is it is through figurative fire that all in Adam will be saved in Christ.

Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1Ti 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

1Ti 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us- ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1Jn 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

What I pray you will come to see is that universal salvation may seem like the strong meat of God’s Word, but it is really nothing more than milk. This is made clear when we consider that even though the apostles never once taught either eternal hell fire or eternal annihilation, they did teach the doctrine of “eternal judgment,” and that doctrine of “eternal judgment,” is the teaching that  it is through judgment that aionios (eonian) judgment leads to life for all men. This is but a milk doctrine, and so it is listed.

Heb 5:12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb 5:13  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Heb 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3  And this will we do, if God permit.

(Skipping down to the next section on the resurrection…)

You are right in saying all of the elect [are] (in the first resurrection) and then the rest of the dead at the second resurrection. The time-line is laid out in Revelation 20, and all the rest of scripture verifies that time-line.

Rev 20:1  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; andthey lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Rev 20:7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 20:8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Rev 20:10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Rev 20:11  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Look at verse 9.

Rev 20:9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Verse 8 makes clear that all nations are deceived, and all nations are destroyed by the “fire from heaven.” I wondered for virtually all my life, how death could possibly be destroyed to comply with this verse of scripture.

1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

As long as human babies are being born in vessels of clay, also known as flesh, death will continue. Revelation 20:7-10 reveals that after the period of rule by God’s elect, God will bring the human race in flesh to an end.

Rev 20:7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 20:8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Rev 20:10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

While it is true that “fire from heaven” is symbolic of the means used to destroy death, the destruction of all flesh is essential to that goal, because death will never be destroyed as long as human babies continue to be born in bodies of sinful, corruptible flesh and blood.

1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

What do we see in the very next verse? We see the second resurrection at the great white throne judgment, which is the lake of fire which will purify all men. That fire is the Word of God, and the ‘lake’ is those in whom that Word resides.

Heb 12:29  For our God is a consuming fire.

Joh 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

These promises are only for those who understand that Christ’s Words never pass away, are lived in the lives of his elect in every generation since Christ, and are “the things written therein… the saying of the prophecy of this book” of the revelation of Jesus Christ within us.

Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Time and again, Jesus tells us that we are Him and that how this world treats us is how it treats Him.

Mat 25:31  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink?
Mat 25:38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]?
Mat 25:39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Mat 25:41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Mat 25:42  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Mat 25:43  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Mat 25:44  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Mat 25:45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

This is the truth of the gospel for all who are in Christ:

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Be sure to read the study What Is “The Christ”?

Absolutely! The details are important to identify the last days. That is Christ’s whole point! That is what this verse is all about:

Mat 24:32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh:
Mat 24:33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

As long as we refuse to believe that “this generation shall not pass till all these things shall be fulfilled,” then our understanding of what is ‘the last days’ is not in line with what is called ‘the end’ in scripture. These events found in Matthew 24 are the same imminent events found throughout the book of Revelation. Look at how the revelation of Jesus Christ is both introduced and how it concludes:

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Does “for the time is at hand” sound like this is prophecy is not to be fulfilled for another 2,000 years? Does “for the time is at hand” mean this book is only for the last generation before Christ’s return? That is what it means if you are a dispensationalist and you view all the sayings of this prophecy from that angle. However, in doing so you are denying that Christ’s words never pass away, and in doing so you are denying that Christ and His words are the first and the last and the is, was and will be He claims to be on twelve different occasions in this book alone. In doing so you are saying that the prophecy of this book has no personal application for any of God’s elect of any past generation and that these words are applicable only for those who happen to be standing on this earth at the time of Christ’s return. Nothing could be further from the Truth. It is He who tells us “I am the Truth” who concludes this prophecy with the same admonition with which He begins it.

Rev 22:7  Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

This prophecy begins and ends with the warning to all who read it that they are to “keep the things written therein,” and they are to “keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Both warnings say “the time is at hand… behold I come quickly.”

Like Christ in the 24th chapter of Matthew, these words are addressed to “whosoever reads” and not just to the last generation at the end of this age.

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand.

“The holy place” is the inner chamber of the temple of God, and the New Testament is abundantly clear that “ye are the temple of God and the spirit of God dwells in you.”

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

The abomination of desolation is not at the end of this age for those who are given eyes to see that “the end” spoken of by Christ here in Matthew 24 is the end of the age that comes upon every generation of God’s elect.

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

So don’t be upset with Jesus Christ. He was abundantly clear that His words would never pass away and that they would be fulfilled “in this generation.” Who we all ought to reject are our Babylonian teachers who have blinded our eyes to all these obvious truths which are consistent with words which are, were and will be true in every generation.

I have no problem with the length of your letter when the heart is sincere in searching for the Truth and is not filled with “idols of the heart.”

God bless your sincere search to know the mind of God and Jesus, whom He has sent to us to reveal to us the Father.

Mat 11:27  All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whomsoever the Son will reveal [him].

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Your brother in Christ,

Mike

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