Matthew Chapter 24
“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the presence [Greek parousia] of the Son of Man be.” (Matt 24:37)
Here Jesus’ “presence” (parousia) is compared to Noah’s 120-year presence prior to the Flood.
Of course Noah lived for more than 120 years prior to the flood, 600 to be exact, however the comparisons was only to the 120 years in which Noah lived prior to the flood. It was then that the Lord warned Noah that, the end of all flesh had come before him (Gen 6:13).
“And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh (mortal: corrupt, corruptible); yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Verse 3 NKJV)
“Then Jehovah said, "My Spirit must not forever be disgraced in man, wholly evil as he is. I will give him 120 years to mend his ways."(Verse 3 TLB)
The generally accepted interpretation of this text as explained by most translations is that it refers to the time limit or life-span God imposed upon man, a generation as was suggested in an earlier post, however there is another thought on this which we would consider that the Lord was not speaking about what the generational limit would be but rather was saying that that present age of mankind had but 120 years remaining before He would destroyed them from the face of the earth. Noah, then warned his scoffing contemporaries of this 120 years in advance of its occurrence, which of course they chose to ignore.
The brethren (Bible Students) have generally entertained various views upon this Verse and its implications. One such is the following exert taken from “Patterns for the Last Days”.
“This statement has interested some of the brethren in recent years, and as the harvest became extended beyond *the first 40 years, 1914, and then the next 40 years, 1954, it naturally is queried whether we may have here an indication of a third 40 years, making 120 years in all since the Lord commenced the harvest work at His return in 1874 A.D.” But of course things did not transpire as expected 40 years later in the autumn of 1994.
(*It was originally perceived that the Gospel Harvest would parallel the Jewish Harvest in duration, however this was an unwarranted assertion.)
“Our experience of recent history makes us only too well aware of the suddenness and unpredictability of important events. But the Lord's people have learned to be cautious about any date anticipating the end of the Church's course on this earth. It has never been to the advantage of the saints to know the day or hour of their change, and, earlier in the age the prospect of so long a wait for that blessed hope may well have proved discouraging. Nevertheless, it would appear that Noah received a precise warning, not only of the judgment impending, but also the date of its arrival (viz. 120 years from the time he was first warned by the Lord and instructed to build the Ark, Gen 6:13, 14).”
Likewise, during this harvest period the message of the returned invisible Lord continues to sound a warning of the future figurative flood or great Time of Trouble that is to immediately precede the inauguration of the Lord’s kingdom, and once again only the very few heed the warnings the rest like those in Noah’s day are either found scoffing at the news or just completely ignoring the issue altogether, but even so it is written:
“Knowing this first: that scoffers will come IN THE LAST DAYS, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His presence? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Pet 3:3, 4)
It’s not so much the world that scoffs at the message, most of the world is in complete ignorance of the issue, no it’s the so-called professed people of God, the professing church which scoffs, mocks and derides the message of the returned Lord. They have their own ideas and plans for the Lord’s return and are not willing to heed the Word of the Lord on the matter, this unfortunately to their own loss.
In our next post we will take a further look at Luke’s account.
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