Ha Dor Ha Acharon -The Last Generation - Prophecy In The News Magazine - Dec 2005


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Ha Dor Ha Acharon -The Last Generation - Prophecy In The News Magazine - Dec 2005

  1. 1. Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews .com Is This Generation the Last Generation? llaDorllaAcharon (The Last Generation) By Gary Stearman The New Testament's Olivet Discourse holds a vel)' special place in the hearts of Christians everywhere. lis setting on the Mount of Olives places a dramatic vista in the mind of the reader, as Jesus answered His disciples' questions about the future. As He talked, He made a remark that has Slimulated a number of conjectures over the years. He said, "This generarion sholl not pass. rill a/l these things be fulfilled" (Matthew 24:34). His pronouncement refers to what has been called "the lasl generation." This is the generation that witnesses events leading up to the Great Tribulation. Is ours the gen- eration that Jesus spoke of? To answer this question, we shall examine several biblical expressions that use the lenn. There is a Hebrew expression that is usually translated in the Old Testament as, Just t o your [eft of the "Chureh of All Nations" (above) are 2,OOO-year-o[d olive trees. "rhe generation to come. " This idiom is taken from some form of ho dor haachoron the completed development would only It's safe to say that from the day He made [JlinHn ",n]. The most direct translation last about a year before being completely this pronouncement, right down to the of this phrase is, ''the last generation." destroyed by the Roman forces of Titus and present day, men have not ceased trying 10 As we shall see, the meaning of Jesus ' Vespasian in A.D. 70. precisely understand what He was saying. prophecy is greatly clarified by an under- As lesus addressed the inner circle of His standing afthis phrase and its common use followers, He spoke of future world wars, What Did Jesus Say? in the Old Testamenl. A bit later, we will re- famines and diseases. In this context, He Today, those of the preterisl persuasion turn to this expression to show how it points mentioned the latter-day rebirth of Israel, teach that He was referring to the genera- forward to the period of the latter days. something the disciples could not have un- tion then alive. The longest-lived among His As He spoke to His disciples, Jesus was derstood at the time. He commented upon disciples was John, who lived until the end well aware that the meaning of a "genera- Daniel's prophecy of the antichrist in the of the tirst century. Under this premise, one tion" would be something of a mystery to Temple. He used the term, "greattribula- could stretch Jesus ' prophetic words to that his hearers. But He spoke in a context that tion, " to describe the events surrounding time. So the wars, abomination, famine, had meaning to them. One imagines them Israel 's regathering. He even spoke of His earthquakes and great tribulation all took sealed in the shade ofan ancient olive tree, Second Coming in the clouds of glory. place in that time period. InSlead ofinlerprel- as they gazed across the Kidron Valley It was at this point, that He spoke one of ing His propbecy as a global phenomenon, loward the magnificent complex of wn- his most famous parables: they make all His prophecies fil into the locaJ courses, stairways, porticos, palaces and "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; settiDg oftirst-century Jerusalem. courtyardq. The centerpiece of their alten- When his branch is yet tender, and pulleth It is true that lsrael is the centerpiece of tion was the Temple, itself. forth {eaves. ye know thai Slimmer is nigh: Ihe prophecy, but its context must agree Construction on this huge project - con- "Sa likewise ye, when ye shall see 011 these with all other New Testament prophecy, the sidered one of the wonders of the ancient things, know that it is near; even althe doors. book of Revelation in particular. There, the world - had begun some fifty years earlier ! "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall prophccy is global in scope. At the time Jesus spoke, it would still be not pass, rill allthcse rhings befulftlled Nevertheless, His reference to Ihe key almost twenty years before the completion "Heaven and earth shall pasj away, bUI my prophetic generation of the entire Bible of the whole Temple complex. Tragically, y,-ords shall nol pass awtry" (Mallhew 24:32-34.) is given in the image of a fig tree. This Find us on the Internet _www.propheeylnthenews.com
  2. 2. Find us on the Inlernet - wwwprophecyinthenews.com tree, symbol of national Israel, is depicted Following the Un ited Nat ions Mandate Currently - and remaining stable since "pulling forth leaves," as it would in the of 1947, Israel declared statehood on May 2002 - U. N. membership now encom- spring, when getting ready to bear fruit. 14,1948. passes 191 nations. The point is, tbe prophetic tree is growing, Me taphorically speaking, leremiah's Their rapid growth meets the biblical pre- not diminishing. description of the planting of figs corre- diction that they would "shootfonh. "Trees So, "this generation," is the 'jig tree" sponds wi th Israel's laborious restoration that had languished under the long winter of generation, and oOen goes by that name. of the Land. Through many difficulties, thedark ages, feudalism and colonialism are lbe fig tree is the symbol ofNatiooallsraeL wars, pogroms and the enormous obstacles now realizing modernization through inter- A key prophecy given by Jeremiah makes of weather, drought and financial need, the national banking and high-tech telecommu- this crystal clear: Jews converted the barn:n Land to remark- nications. Real-time satellite transmission "Thus saith the LORD, the GodofIsrael; able fertility. The first half of the twentieth and the lnternet have brought them into the Like these goodjigs, so willi acknowledge century saw the first planting of trees come cultural medium of the twenty-first century. them that are carried away captive of Ju- to fruition. By the year 1948, the leaves of As the angel told the prophet Daniel, "But dah, whom I have sent out ofthis place into the tree began to shoot forth. Expressed thOll, 0 Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the land of the Chaldeans for their good. differently, the tree of national Israel had the book, even to the time of the end: many "For I will set mine eyes upon them for grown to the point tbat it was recognized sholl run to andfra, and knowledge shall be good, and I will bring them again to this as viable and strong. increased" (DauieI12:4). land: and I will build them, and not pull Israel is placed in an international lust as Luke's Olivet text predicted, we them down; and I will plant them, and not context in Lu ke's account of the Olivet have now seen the latter-day multiplication pluck them up. Discoun;e: of nations erupting with unprecedented "And J will give them an heart to know "And he spake to rhem a parable; Behold speed. He added that when this phenom- me, that J am the LORD: and they shall be thejig tree, and oJ! the trees; enon was observed, "Slimmer is now nigh my people, and I will be their Ged:for they "When they now shootforth, ye see and at hand. " Summer, of course, is th e time shall return unto me with their whole heart" know of your own selves that summer is of harvesting the fruit of the trees. And (Jeremiah 24:5-7). now nigh at hand. Jesus, Himself, said, " ... the harvest is the Here, the good figs are the leaders of Is- "So likewise ye, whenye see these things end of the "'Or/d. " Here, He refers to the rael. Their wholehearted return to the land come to poss, know ye that the kingdom of completion of the "age," from the Greek ofisrael is not the ncar fulfillment witnessed God is nigh at hand. word aian. In context, He is speaking of in the Israelite re turn from Babylonian "Verily I say unto you, This generation the grain harvest as a metaphor of the final captivity. It is their final return, when they shall not poss away, till ali be fulfilled" judgment. It should be remembered that shall receive a new heart and revival in the (Luke 21:29-32). suauner is the season when both grain and Spirit of the Lord. Here, the text adds an additional note froit are harvested: Jeremiah says that they will be planted of clarification. Not only are we to watc h "Thejield is the world; thegoed seed are and not pulled down. They were, in fact, the 'jig tree" (national Israel), but we are the children of the kingdom: but the tares pulled down in A.D. 70, and again in A.D. to watch other trees, as well. If Israel is are the children ofthe wicked one; 135, following the revolt led by Simeon represented by the fig tree, the other trees "The enemy that sowed them is the devil; Bar Kochba. In the final regathering, they would be the nations that rise up at rough ly the han'est is the end ofthe world; ondthe wiH be pennanently replanted. And what do the same time Israel became a nation. reapers are the angels. you get when you plant a fig? You get a fig Recent history reveals precisely this kind "As therefore the lares are gathered and tree! This is the generation to which Jesus of development. At the midpoint of the burned in lhejire; so shall it be in the end undoubtedly referred. twentieth century, most of the current "na- of this world" (Matthew 13:38-40). tions" were tbird-world enclaves of tribal There arc many expressions of the har- Wheo Was the Fig Tree Planted? illiteracy. In the last fifty years or so, they vest as judgment in the Day of the Lord. The dark years following Israel's first- havc rapidly grown (both in numbers and One of the clearest is found in Micah 7: century diaspora finally began to brighten capability) to become important players on "Woe is me! for I am as when they have in the year 1878, when a few Russian Jews the world scene. The following brieflook at gathered the summer fruits, as the grope- pioneered efforts to "make aliya" (go up to the U.N. membership roster shows just how gleanings ofthe vintage: there is no cluster the Land), and establish settlements in the rapidly their numbers have grown. to eat: my sou! desired the jirstripe fruit" stark deserts and swamps of a then-deso late On April 25, 194 5, representatives from (Micah 7:1). Israel. Their efforts, and the work of those 50 nations met in San Francisco at ' 'The Here, Micah expresses the same thought who followed them, raised the conscious- United Nations Conferenceon International as did Jesus in His famous discourse. He ness of world Jewry. In 1897, the first World Organization." They agreed upon a charter, speaks as the plaintive voice of national Zionist Congress was held in Basle, Swit- which was signed on the 25'" of June of IsrneJ at the titneofjudgment, when the tiny zerland." Plans were laid out to win back that year. nation faces the persecution of a massive Israel, then held by the Ottoman Turks. By 1948, membership had grown to world system during the Great Tribulation. World War One brought Israel into the 58. The following year, Israel became a When the nations spring forth as trees, the sights of British politicians and generals. member, bringing the tot al number of rep· harvest judgment is ne ar. This is the genern- The Balfour Declaration of 19 I 7 promised resented nations to 59. By 1960, member- tion of which Jesus spoke. Israel access to tbeir Land. But before that ship had grown to 99. Growth continued could happen, Jews of the diaspora were at a rapid rate. By 1970, 127 nations were HaDor HaAcharon forced to bear the ins ult s of World War included. In 1980 the number bad risen to This brings us back to the Hebrew ex- Two, the Holocaust and the ravages of 154.ln 1990, the number was 159. The year pression we mentioned at the beginning of international anti-Semitism. 2000 saw 189 nations in the roster. this article. It is ha dar ha acharon [11"IrT~,' 11 Prophecy Ilf tit" HIMI FInd us on the Internet - www.prophecylnthenews.com
  3. 3. Find us on the Internet - wwwprophecyln lhenews com '11>1]. It is first found in the book of Deu- "Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daugh - -1117], that we have identified as referring teronomy, in a prophecy that foretells the ters ofJudah be glad. because o/thy judg- to "the last generation." Note that the Lord dispersion of the Jews, as they are scattered ments. is miling an impassioned appeal to this to the four corners of the world. This phrase "Walk about Zion, and go round about last generation. is found in the following passage, where it is her: lell the lowers thereof He asks them to listen and understand transla ted, "Ihe generalion to come:" "Mark ye well her bulwarks, cOll!lider her the ancient words of Scripture. There, they "So thaI the generation to come ofyour palaces; that ye may tell it ( 0 the genera- will find "dark sayings . .. That is, they are children Ihat shall rise up afteryou, and the tion following. 10 search the Scriptures for the hidden, inner stranger that shall come fram a far land, "For this God is our God fo r ever and meanings that will illuminate God's plan for .rhall.ray, when they see the plagues ofthat el'er: he will be our gllide even lInto death '" Ihem. Chiefly, these would be Messianic land, and the sicknesses which the LORD (psalm 48: 11 -14). prophecies which have been hidden to Israel hath laid upon it; Here, Israel's leaders are urged to survey for many generations. "And that the whole land thereofis brim- tbe H oly Mountain, marking its chief fea- Now, in this "last generation," they are stone, and .ralt, and burning, thatlt is not IL!res and foundalions. This is exactly what urged to look deeply, so thai they will sown, nor beareth. nor any grass grDWeth modem Israelis have done, since the earliest be prepared for that which is shortly to therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and days that Israel was replanted in the Land. come. Gamorrah. Admah. and Zeboim, which But note the closing reference, which we Ihe LORD al'l!rthrew in his anger, and in have highlighted above. The Restoration of Zion his wrath: H ere, the phrase, "to the generation fol- There is yet another reference to the last "Even all natioll!l shall say, Wherefore lowing'"is a translation of the Hebrew I'dor generation, using the same Hebrew tenn. hath the LORD done thus unto this land? acharan [l,.m ~ ",'1). Again, we find the It is found in Psalm 102. Again, this Psalm what meaneth Ihe heal ofthis great anger?"' term Dchoran [lrmx], meaning "Iasl of an refers to the restoration of Zion. No te (Deuteronomy 29:22-24). order," or simply, "last." This is a reference that it speaks of the very building blocks Here, we have a prophecy of latter-day to the generation tbat would return to Israel, ("stones"') in the ancient architecture of Israel, ravaged by sin and time, its people there to be charged with the responsibil- Zion. The rebuild ing of Zion is the heart dispersed and despised. The genera tion ity of surveying and rcstoring the ancieni of this prophe<:y: mentioned here is the generation that wil l Temple Mount. It is the "last generation." "Bur thou. 0 LORD, shalt endure for come back to restore the Land. As we have The poli tical obstacles to their task are ever; and thy remembrance unto all gen- seen, the first stage of this regathering has formidable, yet they have made a great erations. already begun. This passage must be refer- deal of progress toward the establishment "Thou shalt arire, and have mercy upon ring to "tbe last generation." oCthe Temple. (On l une 6'" of this year, the Zion:for the time to favour her; yea. the set It is most important toundcrsmnd that ha newly-refounded Sanhedrin even called for rime, is come. dar ha acharon [!,-m ~ i1 "'j'l can just as easily be tronslatedas, "the last generation," the preparation of a prefabricated Temple Ihal could be quickly assembled on the "For thy servants take pleasure in her slOnes, andfavour the dust thereof since the word acharan U" nK] means, Mount.) "So Ihe heathen shall fear the name of "hindmost, last in order, last of a series" or rhe LORD. and all the kings of the earlh simply, "last." It is clear that this prophecy Dark Sayings thy glory. is referring to the last generation - the one Psalm 78 offers another refe rence 10 "When the LORDshall buildup Zion, he that comes back to prepare Israel to bring the laSI generation, Here, it is given in the shall appear in his glory. in the Kingdom Age. context oflsrael's latter-day spiritual condi- "He will regard the p rayer of the desti- Other variations of this expression are tion. The Spirit of the Lord is shown giving tute, and not despise their prayer. also found within the framework of Israel's them guidance, in spite of Uleir continued "This shall be written f or the g enera- latter-day regathering. Psalm 48 offers an unbelief: tion to come: and the people which shall excellent example of the placement of the "'Give ear; 0 my people, to my law: in- be created shall praise the LORD" (Psalm "last generation" into a prophetic context. cline your ears to the words of my mouth. 102:12-18) This Psalm is focused upon Mount Zion, "/will open mymourh in oparable: / will It would be bard to find a prophecy as the Temple Mount. It opens upon a cho- Uller dark sayings of old: distinct and specific as this one. The re- rus of praise for Jerusalem and the Holy "Which we have heard and known. and building of Zion is the destiny set out ''jar Mountain: our fathers have told us. the generation to come. '" in other words, "'Great is the LORD, and greatly 10 be "We will not hide them from rheir chil- the last gcneration. When Jesus told His praised in the city %ur God. in the moun- dren, shewing to the generation fa come (he diSCiples, "This generation shall no/ pass rain of his holiness. praises of the LORD. and his strength, and away. till all these things befu/filled, .. He "'Beautiful for situation, the joy of the his wonderful works that he hath done, was speaking of the generation of the "fig whole earth. is mount Zion, on the sides "Far he estab/;.rhed a testimony in Jacob. tree," and " all the [fees." of the north. the city of the great King" and appoinled a law in Israel, which he lfthe leaves of the fig tree can be said to (Psalm 48: 1,2). commanded our fathers, that they should have sprung forth in 1948, then the genera- In these words, there can be no doubt that make them known 10 their children: tion is now fifty-seven years old. Of course, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are the "That th e g elteration to come might no one can be certain about the actual birth focus of the Lord's long-tenn redemptive know them, even the children which should date of the last generation. On the other plan. This Psalm opens with praise for the be born; who should arise and dec/are them hand, there is hardly any doubt that we are City of God, then closes with a command to 10 their children ,. (psalm 78: 1-6). witnessing the conditions surrounding the Israel. It uses a variation of the "last genera- In the verses above, we find two occur- initial restoration of Zion. We mllS!, there- tion" phrase found in Deuteronomy 29: rences of the phrase J'dor acharan [j'"1M~ fore , be in the last generation . • Find us on the Internet _www_ prophecylnth enew$.com Prophecy In lhe N~s 1J