God designed Creation with generations as a fundamental aspect of history. Purpose is established in all that exists by Creation, and the generations are designed to allow the movement of Divine purpose through history.
To understand the ancient meaning of the word, “generations,” we begin with the pictorial expressions of the letters. The first letter is a tent door. The second represents movement, in or out or back and forth. The third represents the head of a man or man himself. The combination means “the movement of man.” Thus, history should understood as “the movement of mankind through the open generations.”
The generations remain open so purpose moves through history and becomes available to each succeeding generation. Purpose passes from one generation to the next. The generations remain open so that each generation receives an inheritance form the previous with the opportunity to bring that inheritance of purpose to greater fullness and fulfillment in their generation.
While the Greek mindset sees history as a timeline, marked by events, beginning points and ending points with little indication of purpose. The Hebrew sense of history pictures a series of circles, each circle being a generation, and each generation having the opportunity to bring the purpose they inherit “full circle.” Thus, inheritance becomes the very definition of history because it carries purpose forward from Creation to Fulfillment.
This concept of history serves as a presupposition of revelation. God deals with mankind generationally because inheritance is of singular importance to His strategy for the perpetuation of purpose.
God of the Open Generations
Because the generations are open, both recompense and restoration arrive to each succeeding generations by inheritance. Because a generation has the movement of mankind in it, open generations sets each generation into juxtaposition with the “previous and next.”
After spending 80 days and nights miraculously sustained in Glory, Moses asked God to introduce Himself: “I want to know You, to know Your Name. I want to see You.”
God answered: “You cannot see My face. It would be too much for you. I will hide you in a crack in a rock, put My hand over you, and lift My hand as I pass by so that you see My back.”
As God passed by Moses, He introduced Himself by declaring His Name. As a part of Who I Am, God says something about how He deals with mankind through open generations.
Exodus 20:6 tells us God visits or takes notice of the iniquities of fathers who turn against Him for up to four generations but continues to produce favor or covenantal loyalty to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.
So, recompense for a failure to produce purpose moves through the open generations, observable to God, who is watching history for a faithful generation who will deal with that iniquitous failure.
When you see this verse, you may think, “Oh no! Open generations allow recompense to move through history. We need to close the generations!”
But, that ignores the strategy of God, that each generation has mercy, the opportunity to bring that iniquity to the provision of redemption, to change the condition of history in their generation, reset purpose and bring it to greater fullness and fulfillment. Open generations allows redemptive action to restore what previous failures have invested into it!
Open generations allow mercy to flow through to a thousand generations!
Mercy means “time as opportunity,” so each generation – to a thousand – inherits purpose from the previous in whatever state of accomplishment those purposes arrive, and each generation has the merciful opportunity to reset those purposes for fullness and fulfillment! The generation are open, and mercy flows through them to this generation!
When God introduced Himself, He spoke of this generation and promised us that Who He is and His eternal purposes would arrive at our doorstep accompanied by Divine mercy, time as opportunity, so we could be successful as a generation in the eyes of God!
Order and Progress
The root word, dor, signifies order, and the concept of a generation, a circle to be completed so that order can reach fullness and a new order be established, signifies progress. Thus, in the word for generations we see the concept of “order and progress.” God invests pattern into history that promises progress for His purpose though open generations, inheritance, and time as opportunity, or mercy.
[The phrase on Brasil’s flag originates with Comte’s positivism, a philosophical point of view, but the idea of order and progress originates with Israeli culture. God intends to reset this aspect of kingdom generations though this culture, if Brasil can maintain the momentum of revival and Awakening.]
Generations, a Divine strategy to bring higher order and greater fullness to Creation, was written into this world. God is a God of abundance! He has a strategy for prosperity that always works! God assumes that eternal purpose can be fully restored, that any generation can move His purposes toward fullness and fulfillment, in the sphere of authority and responsibility that generation can function.
We can speak of a generation as individual, family, region, and nation, in terms of inheritance. In terms of how inheritance allows for opportunity, I can respond individually even if no one else does. People of a generation can respond as a family to purpose even if the entire culture in their region does not. People of a generation in any nation can respond to purpose even if all other nations do not.
Of course, whole families, regions, and nations in any generation can respond together, in their respective arenas of assignment, authority, and anointing to God’s purposes and history explodes with Divine purpose!
We speak of generations as 1) time or season God has designed a generation to live in, 2) people, the people alive at any given moment in Father’s seasons, 3) character or condition, a kind of people generated or produced in a season of history.
A generation must function in the season or time of history in which they are alive, considering their time of birth as Divinely ordered, not random or without intention. Jesus arrived in a generation specifically intended to receive Him, but that generation continued to operate in the recompense inherited from previous generations instead of accepting the preparation ministry of John the Baptist.
Generations do not always have specific markers for beginning and ending as the timeline assumes. The circles overlap. (The circles are metaphoric in their ability to explain open generations.) The people alive at any given make up a generation; our penchant to use “older” and “younger” fails to explain the word but speaks to the overlapping relationship that prepare inheritors to receive what a previous generation has produced in terms of purpose.
The Bible does have descriptors for generations. “This generation” speaks of the people alive at a time. A “chosen generation” speaks of the purpose or season God has assigned them, and “perverted generation” speaks of the character of a generation. The “generations of” speaks of the lineage of a kingdom leader through which God has chosen to release purpose.
Resetting Purpose in a Our Generation
The purpose of God cannot be destroyed or diminished by the failure of mankind to bring it to greater fullness or fulfillment. The purpose of God lives on!
No matter what you do, others do to you, or hell has done or is doing right now, the purpose of God cannot be destroyed. There is power in the Cross to redeem and restore the purpose of God. God always has a way set into place so that looking toward the Cross and looking forward from the finished work of the Cross, mankind has what is needed and necessary to inherit purpose and bring it to greater fulfillment in any generation!
God visits recompense of iniquitous fathers who are enemies of His order or purpose upon subsequent generation because of mercy. The generations are open so that a faithful generation can reset the purpose of God in their generation. The generations are open so God can restore and reset His purpose in faithful generations and catch up His kingdom people to where they should be in history.
At any given moment, the possibility of success or failure exists, a full restoration of purpose or a continuation of previous failures.
“After that generation died, another generation arrived who did not know the LORD or have memories of the mighty things He had done for Israel.” [Judges 2:10]
When a generation has little or no awareness of what God has done in a culture, a generation must arise to reintroduce that generation to the mighty works of God. We are that generation!
“And with many other words did He testify and exhort , saying , ‘Save yourselves from this untoward generation.'” [Acts 2:40]
The term for “untoward” here is “skolios“upon which we base the medical term scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. The base word is leg but the meaning is dried out like a dead tree limb, lacking life, unconnected to the tree. Hence, the basic idea is “separated from the root supply system of the tree.” The “untoward generation” cannot be the source of God’s purpose anymore, so we separate from them and expect to be a remnant who resets that purpose of God in our generation.
Jesus reset the kingdom of David. The disciples understood that He was resetting kingdom but they misunderstood the blueprint. They ask, “Will You restore the kingdom now to Israel?” That Israel didn’t have the kingdom was pretty much a given – and Jesus had received kingdom from His Father, giving kingdom to them. So, they went in search of answers He didn’t give them.
Beware of this tendency to expect or demand answers God isn’t giving you while pondering answers God has already revealed. Consider that your conclusion that “you need more information” before you proceed is simply disobedience you’ve relabeled “wisdom,” fear you’ve relabeled “caution,” and pride you’ve relabeled “excellence.” You just need to do it!
When a remnant generation begins a reset, they can only function by revelation because what remains of testimony has been lost to history and exaggeration. The previous moves of God didn’t mature, else a reset wouldn’t be needed! So, the reset remnant must depend upon revelation completely. Completely. Did I mention that the remnant generation must be prophetically mature? To mature the move of God we must mature prophetically.
Right now, a move of God is maturing in Brasil. Will this generation mature prophetically in order to mature the move of God, or will this generation tend toward institutionalizing that move of God in ways that short-circuit its fullness? To lead prophetically is to know the “what-God-wants” for your culture, prepare the Lord a people ready to respond in the new season, and to join the generations by the spirit and power of Elijah by turning the hearts of fathers and children toward one another. The “turning of the hearts” prepares for a “generation to generation” fullness so there can be a “generation to generation” fulfillment.
“David served God’s purpose in his own generation, then he died and was buried with his ancestors. He experienced death’s decay.” [Common English Version, Acts 13:36]
David was a reset leader, a true pioneer. Without any history or framework of experience, he introduced a kingdom that Jesus made eternal. Each step he took required him to do something for which there was no precedent in his life. He prepared to face a giant by facing bear and lion. He prepared to wield a sword by becoming expert with a sling. He moved from shepherd to warrior to general to ruler to kingship so he could move Israel into kingdom.
God put something into history through David that generations delivered to Jesus. Jesus delivers that kingdom through generations to us. Here we are, right now, in kingdom.
Beware of thinking that visiting a place where a move of God began will set you up to reintroduce this move of God. That move of God is over. You can learn from it – best practices and worst atrocities – what to do and what not to do, but that move of God is over.
What you are looking for is the inheritance of that move of God. Consider how a move of God moves through the generations, not how a move of God looked, sounded, smelled, manifested, or matured in another generation.
Consider that pioneers arrive at places that are bleak, empty, covered with the dust settled upon them by centuries of neglect. No one sees what the pioneer sees in those places or people. The pioneer appears “off his rocker” to invest time, passion, money, and heart in a wilderness, but the pioneer knows something about what’s coming next that others do not. The pioneer, in his generation, inspires as a dynamic of leadership. He inspires people by prophetic revelation: “here’s what’s coming next and we need to prepare for it.”
Generations depend upon maturing God’s purposes in their season, to move people and cultures toward God’s purpose as a means of fulfilling both personal and corporate destinies.
Moves of God get sidetracked into denominations, doctrines, and darkness when they are hijacked by human imagination rather than continuing to mature the prophetic revelations that birthed them.