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In Mark 9:1 it says

“And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."” (Mark 9:1, NETfree)

Very similar is Matthew 16:28 and Luke 9:27

The question is:

Is Jesus refering here to the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 25:8?

“He has put an end to death for ever, ...” (Isaiah 25:8, BBE)

Or there will be other reason that these people will not taste death without the requirement of this prophecy to fulfill? Or what does he means by saying not experiencing death?

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  • I am interested in this topic. Theorizing....Perhaps Jesus is speaking only of death of flesh and corruptible seed. He knew many of the disciples would be receiving the incorruptible new seed and therefore could not have a spiritual death. Sleeping as he says.... Oct 13, 2022 at 15:23
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    Many suggest that the fulfillment is in the next chapter - the transfiguration of Jesus Christ.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 13, 2022 at 21:40
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    @nigel Yes but that answer leaves much to be desired... Its basically fills the need for some type of answer... thats about it. Oct 14, 2022 at 0:59
  • Jesus did not say that some would not experience death. He said that some would not experience death prior to a certain event happening. The Bible states that "the wages of sin is death" so all sinners must receive their due wages for their sin. The exception was Christ who gave himself over to physical death despite never having sinned, which is why Death could not hold him. This is a profound matter.
    – Anne
    Oct 14, 2022 at 16:21

4 Answers 4

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Change your perspective to the first audience perspective. Jesus was speaking to His disciples in the 1st century AD. His words are truth! He told His disciples that some of THEM would still be living to see His coming with the kingdom. A coming of the lord was a day of judgement (Isa. 13:9-11; Zeph. 1:14-18; Jer. 46:10; Ezek. 30:3-4, etc)

Jesus promised a 2nd coming in that same generation that saw His first coming / manifestation (Heb. 9:28). The only generation that could see His 2nd appearance was the same generation that saw His first appearance. No other generation but that generation of the 1st century AD saw His first appearance.

Therefore, His 2nd coming was the judgment upon Jerusalem and that animal sacrificial temple in AD 70 at the hands of the Roman army. That temple became profane once Jesus' sacrifice became the last blood sacrifice God would ever again accept for forgivness of sins. He came in judgment upon those who pierced Him (Rev. 1:7) And, some of His disciples were still living when that temple was destroyed!

See the posts at ShreddingTheVeil.org:

Signs of Revelation - Part I: The Time of His Coming here

It's Not The End of The World - Part I here

Perspective here

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    I briefly looked into partial and complete preterism...However, I always comeback to Matthew 24 which describes events that I don't think have happened yet. Oct 13, 2022 at 15:29
  • @ReadLessPrayMore - Matt 24 subject is the fall of the temple. His disciples asked Christ what would be the signs of that temple falling. It fell in AD70, so ALL of the signs Jesus told them to watch for has already happened. See: shreddingtheveil.org/2022/01/24/…
    – Gina
    Oct 13, 2022 at 21:36
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It might happen that the generation of Jesus thought that the second coming would be in their life time, and thus they might linked it with the verse in Isaiah.

But after the generation passed away, they got deeper understanding of what Jesus said, and with this new understanding, there is no relation to the verse in Isaiah, that will be fulfilled in the future.

One way to interpret what Jesus said is for not experiencing "spiritual death", and this interpretation follows jewish tradition, that the wicked are called dead even when they live, and the righteous are called alive, even after they die.

רשעים בחייהם קרויים מתים וצדיקים נקראים חיים גם לאחר מיתתן (idea taken from tractate Brachot 18)

So certain people he talked with will not experience "spiritual death" because of their righteousness and their faith.

Disclaimer: I am not a Jesus follower, and this answer does not reflect my own opinion, but I think for those who believe in his prophetic abilities, this can be a good answer.

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Consider the context of this verse.

He was talking to a large group of people:

Then Jesus called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them …
— Mark 8:34

He made the prediction:

And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."
— Mark 9:1

And in the very next verse, only a week later, three of those people (Peter, James, and John) saw a vision of the Kingdom:

… And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiantly white, more so than any launderer in the world could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared before them along with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
— Mark 9:2–4

But Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about it yet:

As they were coming down from the mountain, he gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
— Mark 9:9

The three disciples did not experience death before seeing this vision. But, Jesus himself did experience death before he could become part of the reality of that vision.

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  • This is very interesting and a possibility, but somehow I have a the impression that he said it literally. But since this prophecy appears in 3 books, and these book were written 70-100CE where many people who witness Jesus probably died, If it would not have been fulfilled, they could just remove this text from the canon. If they included it in the canon, it means they thought it was fulfilled, as you said.
    – Kapandaria
    Oct 14, 2022 at 13:23
  • There is the story of prophet Eliyah which was taken by chariot into the sky, or similar story in "Sefer Hayashar" about Enoch. They entered into heavens with their body. This is one way of not experiencing death. Could it be related somehow?
    – Kapandaria
    Oct 14, 2022 at 13:29
  • @Kapandaria Acts by Luke ends in the early 60s CE, he wrote his Gospel account before and he used Mark as a source. When Mark wrote his account, many companions of Jesus were still alive.
    – Jeschu
    Oct 15, 2022 at 12:10
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Ray has already given you the right answer. All I can do now is to add a handful of verses to back it up.

Yes, Jesus was talking about His transfiguration. Both Matthew and Mark blink at you while they tell you that it happened on the seventh day. They hyperlink to Genesis 2:1-3 and the never-ending reality of the rest with God. Luke tackles it from a different angle and portrays the event as the new beginning, the eight day. All three gospels have Peter proposing to built three sukkas for Jesus, Moses and Elias which is another rabbit hole. Jesus' appearance on the mountain was the foretaste of the kingdom given to Peter, John and James before their death.

1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. Matthew 17

5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be (not only quantitive but also qualitative). Genesis 15

2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12

43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 13

39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15

23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. Revelation 21

16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. Revelation 22

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