SPIRITUALITY (OPINION FOR THOUGHT) – Signs Of the Last Generation
SIGNS OF THE LAST GENERATION
Sunday Olusola Faluyi
Many generations of humanity had expected Jesus Christ to come during their lifetime. For instance, Paul the Apostle was expecting the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to occur before his death. In His letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote about the mystery of the first resurrection/rapture:
51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (I Corinthians 15:51-52).
In this passage, Paul was counting himself to be among those who were going to be alive at the coming of the Lord. This is a good example of how to live as a believer in Christ Jesus. We have to live with the expectation of the coming of the Lord. To be wise is to live our lives as if today is the last day. To be wise is to be ready to meet the Lord everyday of our lives. Therefore, today is the day of salvation, tomorrow may be too late.
Paul died about two thousand years ago without witnessing the coming of the Lord and many generations of Christians had lived their lives with the expectation of experiencing the coming of the Lord. Yet The Lord has not come. However, no other generation, in the history of humanity had met the requirement that identified them as living in the last days like our own. For a generation to be labeled as the Last Generation, such a generation must witness the restoration of the Jews to their original land – the land that God promised to give to Abraham and his descendants; the land that the Lord showed to Moses. Since 1948, humanity had witnessed the establishment of the state of Israel and about 50% of the predicted last day events, making us a unique generation qualified to be labeled as the last generation. Let us pay attention to the parable of the fig tree as written in the gospel of Matthew chapter 24. This parable identifies the generation that will
witness the coming of our Lord.
The Parable of the Fig Tree
32“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24: 32-35).
Fig tree is symbolic in the scriptures and it refers to the nation of Israel. Three great prophets of God in the Scriptures; Jeremiah, Hosea and Joel refer to Israel as God’s fig. For instance, Jeremiah divided the children of Israel into two camps; the good figs and the bad figs.
3Then the LORD said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad, very bad, which cannot be eaten, they are so bad.” 4 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. 8 ‘And as the bad figs which cannot be eaten, they are so bad’—surely thus says the LORD—‘so will I give up Zedekiah the king of Judah, his princes, the residue of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt. (Jeremiah 24: 3-5, 8)
Prophet Hosea clearly claims that God likens the nation of Israel to a fig tree.
“I found Israel Like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season” (Hosea 9:10).
Prophet Joel in his lamentation regarding to the end time invasion of the nation of Israel refers to Israel as God’s fig tree.
“7He has laid waste My vine, and ruined My fig tree” (Joel 1:7)
By paying attention to Biblical prophets, we know that the nation Israel is God’s fig tree. In this parable, Jesus is advising us to pay attention to God’s fig tree which is the nation of Israel. An essential lesson for us to understand is that the nation Israel is God’s prophetic clock and highlights God’s prophetic timetable. In addition, Matt. 24:34 identifies a particular generation that will witness all the prophetic end time events from beginning to end. The truth of the word of Jesus Christ cannot be overemphasized. A particular generation would witness everything that the Lord Jesus Christ highlighted in Matthew chapter 24.
The generation that sees the beginning of God’s endtime prophetic calendar shall surely see the end of it. In 1948, with the establishment of the State of Israel, the last generation was launched. This generation had witnessed about 50% of God’s end time prophetic events and we are well situated to witness the
remaining 50%. I hope this article will help you to reflect on your priorities and how to run the race that is set before you.
By taking Matt. 24:34 out of context; it appears that Jesus Christ is referring to men and women that were there listening to him: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” It is as if Jesus was telling the audience present then that they would not pass away until all those things were fulfilled. However, if we pay attention to verse 33, “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!” When you see all the things that Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:5-31 coming to pass then you know that the end is imminent. In fact, the generation that sees the beginning shall see the end. This generation is referred to as the Last Generation. We are the last generation and we are rushing aggressively towards the end.
Maybe you are saying, “Wait a minute pastor, Jesus made a similar promise to another group of people but did not keep it”. Yes, Jesus made a similar promise somewhere else in the scriptures but he kept it. Please pay attention to the Word of Christ to his disciples regarding his second coming.
27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matt. 16:26-28).
In this passage, Jesus made a promise to some of his disciples that they would see him in the glory of His Father and Kingdom while they were still alive. What a great promise? To see the Lord in His glory before one dies is a great honor. This prophecy was literally fulfilled six days after it was given.
1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light (Matt. 17:1-2).
THE LAST GENERATION
The last generation starts with a notable end time event. Since Israel is God’s prophetic clock, there is no clock or time table or guidance for endtime prophesies until God’s prophetic clock is restored. The first event that must happen for us to begin the countdown towards the end is the restoration of the nation Israel as foretold by the prophets of old.
In 70 AD, Jerusalem fell into the hand of Roman soldiers under the command of General Titus who later became Roman’s Emperor Titus. During this war, the second temple was destroyed, fulfilling the Word of Jesus Christ 37years earlier as written in Matthew 24:1-2.
1Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matt. 24: 1-2).
The Jews continued to mourn the destruction of both the first and the second temple annually on the 9th day of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar known as the fast of Tisha B’Av. This is regarded as the saddest day in Jewish history. The month of Av always falls on either July or August in our modern calendar. It is amazing to note that the first temple, Solomon’s temple and the second one, were destroyed exactly on the same day, although 656years apart. The next fasting of Tisha B’Av is set for July 19, 2010.
Eventually, the Jews were scattered from their land to fulfill the prophecy of Moses given in 1423BC; about 1,493years before it happened.
47“Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. 51And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you. 64“Then the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other
gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known—wood and stone”(Deuteronomy 28: 47-51, 64).
Though the Lord would punish his people because of their sins and scatter them throughout the world, in the latter days, the Lord promised to bring them back to their land again, to plant and establish them so that they will never again be destroyed out of their land.
In the next edition of this magazine we will look closely at the first event that announced that we are the last generation, that is, the restoration of the state of Israel that took place on May 14, 1948.
Till that time, remain blessed in Christ Jesus.
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(Rev (Dr.) Sunday Olusola Faluyi of the Methodist Church Nigeria is currently based in Far Rockaway, New York, USA)
Contact E-mail – email@example.com
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