This year marks the 175th anniversary of the Great Disappointment after October 22, 1844. Led by the Holy Spirit, faithful Adventists searched the Scriptures and discovered the message of a heavenly sanctuary. They understood that the investigative judgment had begun, as foretold in Daniel 8:14 and described in the earthly sanctuary service. The Spirit also led them to understand the connection between the investigative judgment and the final warning message against receiving the mark of the beast of Revelation 13 and 14.
Jesus referred to this sign, the mark of the beast, in the context of His second coming as the “abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15) spoken of by the prophet Daniel. And He added: “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” Matthew 24:33, 34. Through these words, Jesus indicated that the same generation that would witness the “abomination of desolation” sign, would see the unfolding of all Earth’s final events.
Notice the following inspired statement: “Jesus, looking down to the last generation, saw the world involved in a deception similar to that which caused the destruction of Jerusalem.”
The distinctive characteristics of the last generation are pointed out in Revelation 14:4, 5, 12: “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes,” and “they are without fault before the throne of God.” “Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”
How can this be possible? The Lord gives us the answer: “I will give you a new heart…. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes…. I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses.” And He adds, “Then they [the nations] shall know…that I am the Lord!” Ezekiel 36:26–29, 38.
Each generation that has lived since 1844 could have been the final generation. Oh, may we pray and yearn to be that final generation; may we follow the lamb wherever He goes!
1Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy (1911), p. 22.