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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 1

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    THE CERTAINTY AND DEFINITENESS OF OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE TIME

    Verse 28. “And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.”PREX1 160.2

    These things,” must refer to the signs he had just uttered: signs in the sun, in the moon, in the stars, etc. “When these things BEGIN to come to pass:” as though they would have a very marked beginning. The first sign in the sun was in 1780; and at the same time, a full moon did not give her light. The shower of meteors was six months previous. Thus sixty-two years and little over have passed, since the series of signs began. “Your redemption draweth nigh.” How near? As, when the trees put forth their leaves, the summer is soon to follow; so these signs shall immediately precede Christ’s advent.PREX1 160.3

    Verses 29-32. “And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig-tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away till all be fulfilled.”PREX1 160.4

    The kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” The Son of man is to come in a cloud, as in Daniel 7:13, 14, to establish this kingdom. But how near will it most certainly be, when these signs begin? Answer. Within one generation. “This generation” who see these things begin to come to pass, “shall not pass away till all be fulfilled.” It is certain: “heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” That this is the true import of the passage, is to my mind clear, from the fact that the events here specified, did not take place during the lifetime of those who heard him; and that to call it this race, whether Jews or Christians, and say they should continue on earth until Christ should come, would be no sign of his near or speedy coming. For it was as true 1800 years ago, that both races were on earth as it is now. But if it is understood of a generation of threescore years and ten, the age of man, and applied to those who saw the beginning of these signs, sixty-two years ago, then seventy years, or a generation, will not pass away before the last event will take place. About seven years more remain of the generation; but they cannot be fulfilled before Christ comes, without destroying his word of promise. For the budding tree is not so sure a precursor of summer, as these signs are of the coming of the kingdom of God.PREX1 161.1

    On the ungodly, after all these positive admonitions, that day will come as a thief, as did the flood on the old world, and the storm of fire on Sodom; but not so, God’s people; they will, like the disciples when they saw Jerusalem compassed with armies and fled, be found watching for the hour, and at every successive sign, lift up their heads and rejoice that their redemption draweth nigh. Reader, are you ready?PREX1 161.2

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