About the generation that would not pass away before the Son of Man comes. It seems to me to be a simple truth that he was talking about those who would see the very things He was explaining; viz. the tribulation period of seven years, or Daniel’s 70th week. When they seen those things described and beginning in the tribulation just after the rapture the Lord said: “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near--at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (Matt. 24:33-34).

From the cross until AD 70 is recorded by Matt. 22:4‑7, and Lk. 21:12‑24. In Luke, where the Lord is speaking of the days before AD 70, He uses similar language to that which He used when He spoke about the last days in Mk. 13:5-26, and Lk. 21:8-11, 25-28. However, there are notable differences in Luke’s account (21:12-24).

Nothing is said as there as in Matthew and Mark about the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel as well as the Lord’s words (Matt. 24:15) about the time being so terrible, that except the Lord would shorten those days, no flesh would be saved (v. 22). That would have to be speaking of worldwide events in the last days preceding the Second Advent rather than the destruction of the single city of Jerusalem and surrounding calamities.

There is also a very distinct and irreconcilable difference in Matt. 22:7 where the Lord “sent His armies,” and in Matt. 21:40 when “the owner of the vineyard comes.” In AD 70, He sent His armies (the Romans, Matt. 22:7).In Matt. 21:40; Mk. 12:9; Lk. 19:15, He himself comes, which is the beginning of the “Day of The Lord,” or the “Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10).

Besides the above, there is in Luke’s account an unmistakable and definite statement of the time of which the Lord spoke. When the Lord was speaking of end time events starting in Lk. 21:8 He (v. 12) said: “But before all these things.” Here He clearly shows that the things in v.12 through v. 24 was before the end time things, and the same as in Matthew 24. The parentheses in Lk. 21:12-24 ends when the Jews would be led captive into all nations “until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” The Church was not mentioned then because it was yet a mystery. That going into captivity began in AD 70 and the “times of the Gentiles” is yet to come to an end, but will as recorded in Ps. 2:1‑12; Isa. 63:1‑6; Lk.21:24; Rev. 11:15; 19:11-21.

Neither did the end-time earthquakes, and other disturbance take place in Lk. 21:12-24 and Rev. 6:12-17, or as recorded in all the prophets when describing the last days just preceding the “day of the Lord,” in the tribulation. If the above needs more corroboration, consider the Lord’s words in Rev.1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all tribes of the earth shall wail because of him.” Also, before His coming, remember the Lord’s words in Matt. 17:11: “...Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” Has every eye seen Him, or has anyone seen Elijah?

In all three synoptic gospels the disciples had asked the Lord “when shall these things be?” and He gives a graphic description of events beginning at the start of Daniel’s seventieth week. When the Lord tells of end-time signs of disturbances in the physical heavens accompanied by earthquakes and such. Most Dispensationalists mistakenly place at least part of those signs in the latter part of the present church age. In Matthew’s account, the Lord said:

Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginnings of sorrow (Matt. 24:4‑8).

The Lord made it plain that what He was speaking of was the beginning of sorrows, i.e., the beginning of Israel’s birth pains in the tribulation (Daniel’s 70th week).The truth must be kept in mind that when the Lord spoke those words, the present church was as yet unrevealed.

All Jews were familiar with that time the prophets spoke of as a time of sorrows and pain just preceding the coming of the Messiah. A time likened to that of childbirth, Isaiah cried:

Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand! It will come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will be limp, every man’s heart will melt, and they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth (Isa. 13:6‑8).

It is the same time as the sowing and growing of the wheat and tares (Matt. 13: 36-43), and when the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom (Matt. 25:1), but He was delayed (v. 5). The delay is the seven years from when the kingdom message is first preached at the beginning of the tribulation, and when the Lord comes. The Lord clearly spoke of that time as not in the latter part of the church age but “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:8) or birth pangs for Israel that are synonymous with the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week.

That beginning of the last week of years is the hearing of wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom is when the beast on the white horse of the apocalypse “went out, conquering and to conquer” (Rev. 6:2). The beginning of his rise to world power reaches its pinnacle in Dan. 9:27; Rev. 13 when he claims for himself deity (Matt. 24:15; Mk. 13:14; 2 Thess. 2:3-4).

When it is said in Matt. 24:8, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Luke makes the same distinction and division in 21:12. In answer to the disciples about His coming (Matt. 24:3) the Lord had just begun explaining to the disciples the end-time events of the tribulation. Then He pauses and says: “But before all these things.” He then explains (Lk. 21: 12-24) events up until AD 70, because that was when the second offer of the kingdom expired (Matt. 22:7).

Because the church was undisclosed at the time the Lord made the remarks, as previously mentioned, from Lk. 21:12 through v. 24 has to be about the second offer and rejection of the kingdom instead of the present church. If v. 11 is joined to v. 25 there is an unbroken narrative of the end-time events beginning with Daniels 70th week and culminating in His second coming. That He is speaking of Israel is shown by v. 40, where that nation when he comes will bear the fruits of it (v. 43).

Though the Lord was not speaking of the latter part of the church age, it is probable that the things He spoke of will be so world shattering that there will be a foreshadowing discernibly visible to the church. That is seen in Paul’s remarks in 2 Tim. 3:1-5 speaking of what times will be like just preceding the rapture. From his remark in v. 5 about “having a form of Godliness but denying the power,” it seems that at least in part, he is speaking of the present church and beginning oftheir apostasy.

To further show that Peter was speaking of a remnant of Jews, he (1 Pet. 2:10) refers to Hos. 1:9-10 where God says that though Israel will cease to be His people for a time, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea. Paul uses the same passage from Hosea to prove that a remnant of Israel will be saved after this dispensation (Rom. 9:25-29). As Jewish believers who waited for the kingdom, Peter urges them (1 Pet. 2:12) to live honorably among the Gentiles.

It should be noticed, the date of Peters epistle was AD 63, some 16-17 years after the present church began, and approximately 30 years after Pentecost. Yet Israel is still the chosen kingdom of priests and holy nation of God. This dispels any nonsense about the church being Israel and their promised kingdom. With ordinary reason it can be seen that the present assembly of Christ is a completely separate order of things from the nation Israel.

Peter was one of the 12 Apostles to the circumcision (Gal. 2:7-8) who would judge (rule) over the 12 tribes in the kingdom (Matt. 19:28; Lk. 22:30). Whereas, the present church founded by Paul will with Christ judge the world and angels (1 Cor. 6:2-3). If it be said that Paul in Rom. 10:19 speaks of the church as a nation, he in fact speaks of the church as just the opposite; a “no nation” people.

What the Scriptures do say when speaking of Israel is that God will in the last days “set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left” (Isa. 11:11), which can only be speaking of a remnant of Israel. Is He going to gather the church a second time that He has never scattered? And where would He gather them to? We have no inheritance of land; our inheritance is in the heavenly Jerusalem (Phil. 3:20).

As with so many passages from the Lord’s remarks, and especially from the parables it seems that the spiritualizers have a habit of overlooking the very things which clarifies what they are confused about.

What Matthew said about wars and rumors of wars, and nation rising against nation is the beginning of that week of seven years, but the end is not yet. Matthew 24:6 is repeated by Mark 13:7. Luke 21:9 says:“the end will not come immediately.” It is the same as when the bridegroom was “delayed” (Matt. 25:5), when the virgins “slumbered and slept.”

May I make a suggestion for the reader’s consideration? Anytime that the Lord describes coming things, He is not speaking of the present assembly of Christ, or else Paul was wrong when he said that his gospel, the present church and the rapture were all mysteries until revealed to and taught by him.

My post about the division of the covenants was for the most part taken from my own book "Theological Heresies That Shaped World History." I will try to keep any other posts shorter. I was trying to make my case and the seriousness of the present division and the confusion it causes. As I am sure you know most sermons and teaching for the church is taken from what is called the gospels without distinction of which gospel; that of the kingdom for the Jews, or the gospel of grace by paul for this dispensation. Consequently, much that cannot apply to the present church is used.

In His grace

pilgrim