The Bible and False Prophecy
About New Testament Prophecies?
HUMANIST'S CLAIMS: New Testament Prophecies
applying the Bibles test for identifying false prophets, the conclusion
is inescapable that Jesus was one of them. For example, he was wrong in predicting
the world would end within the lifetime of his followers.
Matthew 16:28, Jesus tells his disciples: There be some standing here, which
shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
The people who were standing there all died eventually, and they never saw Jesus
return to establish a kingdom.
Jesus is depicted at Mark 13:24-30 as listing signs that shall accompany the end
of the world. These include the sun becoming darkened, the moon not giving any
light, the stars of heaven falling, the son of man coming in the clouds with great
power and glory, and angels gathering the elect. Then Jesus announces: Verily
I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be
done. His generation passed away long ago without the predicted events occurring.
important question: is Matthew 16:28 talking about the same thing as Mark 13:24-30?
I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste
death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. - Matthew 16:28
is the last verse of chapter 16 in Matthew. What comes next? The transfiguration.
This is a statement Jesus makes right before His transfiguration on the Mount
of Olives. Jesus makes this same statement in Mark 9:1, right before Mark's description
of the transfiguration.
was saying to them, Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are
standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after
it has come with power. - Mark 9:1
I don't know if putting
these two verses in the humanist quote one after another was intentional, but
those two verses are not related to each other. The were spoken at two different
times, so we need to address them separately.
Greek word (Strong's 932) translated as "kingdom" also has the meaning
of "sovereignty," "royal splendor" or "royal power."
In both Matthew and Mark these words of Jesus are not said in a end
times context, but in the context of teaching his disciples, and others, about
the cost of following Him. You could say that it was somewhat of a depressing
lesson. "Deny yourself, and take up your cross." You'd have to be living
during that time to understand the serious level of pain Jesus is talking about.
Then Jesus goes on to say they will die: "whoever
wishes to save his life will lose it." This is tough news for His
followers. But then He offers encouragement... some of them will see the Son of
Man coming in His kingdom (His royal splendor). And the prophecy is fulfilled
just six days from then. Some -- Peter, James and John -- witnessed the glory
of His kingdom and His royal splendor at His transfiguration.
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon
will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the
powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man
coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels,
and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end
of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.
Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender
and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. Even so, you too, when
you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things
31-33: Heaven and earth will pass away,
but My words will not pass away. But of that day or hour no one knows, not even
the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Take heed, keep on the
alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.
key question here is, who does "this generation" refer to?
can get that answer by starting with another question. Why is Jesus telling His
disciples these things? Because they asked:
us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things
are going to be fulfilled?- Mark 13:4
by talking to the people who will be alive during the times He is describing.
No one knows when that time will come. As far as the disciples were concerned,
it might be within the next couple of years. As far as we are concerned, it could
be within the next couple of years. No one knows. Later in Mark 13 Jesus says,
"But of that day or hour no one knows, not even
the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."
as the time for His return approaches there will be definite signs. So Jesus is
telling the people who will see those signs, whoever they may be, what the signs
are. Anyone who starts seeing those signs will know the time is near... and THAT
generation will not pass away until those things come to pass. In other words,
Jesus is saying... "Once you begin to see these signs, My return is very
So "this generation" refers to the people Jesus is
talking to... the people who will see the signs that portend His return. So this
is a prophecy about the future that has not yet been fulfilled.
you know what these verses are talking about, they make sense. The prophecy in
Matthew 16 has already been fulfilled and the one in Mark 13 will be fulfilled
as the return of Jesus draws near.
also erred in predicting the amount of time he would be in the tomb. At Matthew
12:40 he teaches: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whales
belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of
the earth. Mark 15:42-45 shows that Jesus died on a Friday afternoon. But
Mark 16:9 and Matthew 28:1 tell us he left the tomb sometime on Saturday night
or Sunday morning. Either way, the amount of time was less than three nights.
days were counted in Jesus' day is very similar to the way we count days today.
Think of taking a "three day hike." What
does that mean? Click here.