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    THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS

    Verses 34, 35: “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Many suppose that our Lord here speaks of the generation then living, who listened to his teachings. That such are in error on this point, the following facts clearly prove:SCOC 49.1

    1. It is certainly true that what is embraced in the phrase, “all these things,” was not fulfilled in that generation.SCOC 49.2

    2. It could not be the generation living in the days of his flesh, for he said to them (Luke 11:29), “There shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonas, the prophet.”SCOC 49.3

    It is evident that our Lord refers to the generation who were to see the signs fulfilled, and who were to be instructed by the parable of the fig-tree. In this prophetic discourse, he leads the minds of his disciples down over the events of the Christian age, mentions the signs in the sun, moon, and stars, which were to appear in the last generation, and the declares that this generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled.SCOC 49.4

    In like manner, Paul carries his brethren forward to the resurrection, when he says, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.” 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52. Or, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The things here mentioned by the apostle did not take place in his day. They have not yet taken place. Notwithstanding, he speaks of them as though they would take place in his day, and he have a part in them.SCOC 49.5

    Also, in like manner is the mind carried backward in Psalm 95:10: “Forty years long was I grieved with this generation.” The generation here spoken of provoked the Lord in the wilderness, long before David lived. He goes back and speaks of it as though it were present. In this manner our Lord goes forward, and speaks of the last generation as though it were present.SCOC 50.1

    We do not believe that the phrase, “this generation,” marks any definite number of years. Some suppose that our Lord designed to teach that some who were witnesses of the dark days in 1780 would live to witness the second coming of the Saviour. But it is our opinion that the Lord designed to teach that the people who should live at the time of the fulfillment of the last sign (the falling stars of 1833), and should hear the proclamation of the coming of Christ, based partly upon the fulfilled signs, should witness the scenes connected with his coming.SCOC 50.2

    The proclamation of the coming and kingdom of Christ is given to the last generation. God did not send Noah to preach to the next to the last generation before the flood, but to the last. The very generation which was destroyed by the waters of the flood saw Noah build the ark, and heard his warning voice. So God has raised up men to give the solemn warning to the world at the right time to give force to the warning. And the very generation of men that live after the three great signs are fulfilled, and who hear and reject the warning message from Heaven, will drink the cup of the unmingled wrath of God. For such, the seven last plagues are reserved. And those of this very generation who receive the message, suffer disappointments, and endure the trials of the waiting position, will witness the coming of Christ, and exclaim, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.” Isaiah 25:9.SCOC 50.3

    With what emphasis our Lord gave utterance to this sentiment. It is a rebuke upon our unbelief. As we read it, God help us to believe it: “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.’ And as though this were not enough to lead us to unwavering faith, he adds these forcible words: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”SCOC 51.1

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