THE MEANING OF "GENERATIONS"



The following is based on a dialog with a reader asking about the biblical meaning of the length of a generation, a question I have received on more than one occasion.

[Ed. note 5/4/2017 the unique political and economic upheaval in world affairs coming into manifestation this present year lends support to the importance of the generation of a 100 years as counted since the 1917 Balfour Declaration mentioned in this dialog though measurable impact on Israel remains to be seen. This commentary may be updated.]

 

------ Original Message ------

From: nurit

To: "littleflock@netzero.net"

Sent: 8/10/2007 7:16:31 AM

Subject: Generations

 

Hi Chris,

[]

Upon reading your last article  A Paradigm for Understanding the Final End Times [], may I be so bold to ask for clarification regarding a Generation.  I've studied through Bible College etc. and still do not understand what a generation encompasses or what are the years in a spiritual generation.  The 40 years in the wilderness, for example, was a generation? but the generation in their twenties and below were allowed to enter the Promised Land, so the 40 was split into two generations? etc. etc.  A generation is also the people my age? and then my mother's generation are her age?  I just can't quite put my finger on 'generation'.  Maybe I'm over doing it when the meaning and considerations are quite simple...

Your last article was very thought provoking because I had not considered Rev.12's manchild, the mind goes on overload, even though I read this book continually. The Manchild's birth is what others have said are the mighty men and woman walking the earth... too.  I wait on Him to open revelation to me on this book because as you say we can become overwhelmed not only with world events but also tying to understand all that is involved in this incredible book.  One can only consider this book in the light of His revelation for understanding.  By the way, I agree with your article, it's a zoo out there.

 

His blessing is upon you

Nurit

 

------ Original Message ------

From: "littleflock@netzero.com"

To: nurit

Sent: 8/12/2007 1:36:17 PM

Subject: Re: Generations

 

Nurit,

Your observations about the word "generation" are accurate, and show us that the term does not have a clearly measurable time frame before the fact usable to pinpoint the time of prophetic fulfillments. In general Bible usage, a generation can run anywhere between 40 and 100 years, and is usually, but not necessarily, keyed to a specific starting point event. 

40 is evidenced as you pointed out by the Lord's word in the wilderness. It is also seen in Yeshua's word regarding the destruction of Jerusalem ("this generation shall not pass away until....") Meanwhile, 100 is evidenced in the Lord's word to Abraham that his seed would return to the land "in the fourth generation" which correlates to the 400+ years Paul references.

Other significant time frames that can answer to "generation" are 50 and 70 (70 can be applied to the same people Yeshua referred to above--given that as his contemporaries, many were about 30 years old already). In the natural, 20 also applies (as you also observed.). Ultimately, in the natural, without a clear marked event for beginning measure, the meaning of generation will be different for every person. 

The bottom line question is, what does it mean from a prophetic perspective for our times and my use of it in the article?

In truth, I do not propose a firm timed answer nor can I. The word will have meaning in time keyed to certain starting timed events--on which there is disagreement. Most folk agree the Pre-Restoration of Israel is a critical timing event for measuring the time to the end, though even that event may be considered to have different beginning points. While 1948 is commonly accepted, 1917 may also be considered. Both of these timed points coincide with world wars that mark clear birth pang demarcations and so may serve as valid starting points for measuring the final generation.

But then we still have the question of "Is it 40? 70? 100?" from whichever starting point. (Obviously, it wasn't 40!) Consequently, the 70 and 100 marks from both 1917 and 1948 are times to consider. This points to significance in such years as 1987 (not!), 2017-18 (which is both 100 years out from 1917 and 70 years out from 1948) and 2048.

To add interest to the timed consideration is the Lord's word that "as it was in the days of Noah so shall it be in the days of the son of Man." An overlooked meaning to this word is that the Lord gave "Noah's generation" 120 years to repent before destruction. This could mean that the final birthpang (tribulation) and harvest of the last mortal generation is timed 120 years from some preceding event.

Finally is the consideration that the end of the mortal age is not timed 2000 years from Christ's birth, but from his death and the birth of the church, pointing toward significant transition about 2030+.

These are some of the timing-based variables we only can work with in a general way. Personally, I lean toward very significant prophetic change in the years of 2017-18 and 2030+ for gauging the living final generation.

But in truth, the word generation may have more spiritual meaning in God's eyes than timed meaning. That is, the term is keyed to the development of points of spiritual maturation in His people rather than time-measured events. And really, my article is using the term in this context. We are all in a spiritual harvesting process. Generations can be measured between points of development in that harvest, something not so exactingly timed. In any garden, some plants are ready for harvest before others.

In the overall development of salvation, there are key maturation points between which may be considered a spiritual generation, in which "some are ready" and others are not in being counted part of a certain generation. As we watch spiritual movements develop over time then, each of these may be said to be a generation (The pentecostal generation, the charismatic generation, the prophetic generation, etc.).

Yet everyone is not part of the same generation, though they live simultaneously in time. (Not all were part of the pentecostal movement, etc.) From this view, the "final generation" can be defined more accurately as those ready for translation together as determined by the Lord, regardless of whatever time that may be, and whether everyone is ready at the same time. 

So this is the extent of my understanding of the word. While it is not precise, I hope it provides some insight on which to build that may help resolve your own questions  

Many blessings,

Chris Anderson


First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship

http://www.firstloveministry.org

8/07



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