By JW Insider
Even before C.T.Russell was born, commentaries on Bible prophecy included dozens of potential dates. Nearly 200 years ago, a couple of them even included 1914 as potentially significant time period. The "1914 presence" doctrine, however, is only about 75 years old.
All the ideas behind the Watch Tower's version of the 1914 doctrine have already been discussed for decades now, and all of them, so far, have been shown to be problematic from a Scriptural point of view. Since the time that the doctrine generally took its current shape in 1943, the meanings and applications of various portions of Matthew 24 and 25 have already been changed, and the timing of various prophesied events and illustrations have changed. Most recently, the meaning and identification of the "faithful and discreet slave" has changed. And the definition of "generation" has changed about half-a-dozen times. This doesn't mean that the current understandings are impossible, of course, only that it has become less likely from the point of view of reason and reasonableness.
Besides, for most of the years of teaching this doctrine, we have had the flexibility of extending the "1914 generation" from a possible 40 years, up to 70, then 75, then 80 years. And this has been applied to teenagers who saw 1914, 10-year-olds who saw 1914, then even newborns who saw 1914. With every one of these options already tried and stretched to their limits, we finally were forced to convert the meaning of generation from its most common meanings and give it a new "strained" meaning that has no other Biblical parallel. (See Exodus 1:6; Matthew 1:17; 16:4; 23:36; Luke 11:50)
But that flexibility is still seen as the last reason for hope that the Watch Tower Society might have still been correct in hanging on to 1914. Since the Bible says that a lifespan is 70 or 80 years and 1914 + 80 = 1994, the "generation" doctrine in its original form (1943) could remain stable until about 1994. Of course, a lifespan could technically reach to 120 years or more, and Gen 6:3 even gives vague support to the idea that the "1914 generation" could last 120 years, until 2034.
The current alternative solution is to make the generation out of the length of two lifespans, which technically could be double 120 years, or nearly 240 years from 1914. That would have had the potential to reach to the year 2154 (1914+240) except for the caveat that it can, by its new definition, only refer to anointed persons who discerned the sign in 1914 and whose lives overlapped (technically, by as little as one second) with the lifespan of another anointed person representing the second group. If persons from each group don't really discern their own "anointing" until age 20, for example, this would effectively remove 40 years from the overall maximum. 1914+120-20+120-20 = 2114. We could also assume a possible lifespan of more than 120 years, but otherwise, the new two-lifespan generation could potentially make the generation last 200 years. This "technical maximum" is not promoted currently, because for now we look at examples like Fred Franz who was part of that original generation already anointed and who saw the sign, and the typical example of an anointed brother who was apparently "anointed" prior to Franz' death in 1992 would be someone like Governing Body member, Brother Sanderson, who was born in 1965, baptized in 1975, and was already a "special pioneer" in 1991. His is currently 52.
However, the generation problem is just one more problem now which we can add onto the list of all the other points that make up the 1914 doctrine. Here are several points related to 1914 that appear problematic from a Scriptural point of view:
All evidence shows the 1914 date is wrong when trying to base it on the destruction of Jerusalem. (Daniel 1:1; 2 Chron 36:1-22; Jer 25:8-12; Zech 1:12, 7:4; Ezra 3:10-13) Paul said that Jesus sat at God's right hand in the first century and that he already began ruling as king at that time. (1 Cor 15:25) Jesus said not to be fooled by the idea that wars and rumors of wars would be the start of a "sign" (Matt 24:4,5) Jesus said that the "parousia" would be as visible as lightning (Matt 24:27). He spoke against people who might say he had returned but was currently not visible. (Matt 24:23-26) Jesus said that his "parousia" would come as a surprise to the faithful, not that they would discern the time of the parousia decades in advance. (Matt 24:36-42) Jesus said that the kingdom would not be indicated by "signs" (Luke 17:20, almost any translation except NWT in this case) The "synteleia" (end of all things together) refers to a concluding event, not an extended period of time (Matt 28:20) Jesus was already called ruler, King and even "King of Kings" in the first century. (1 Tim 6:15, Heb 7:2,17; Rev 1:5; 17:14) Wicked, beastly King Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and humiliation does not represent Jesus as the "lowliest one of mankind." (Heb 1:5,6; 2:10,11; Daniel 4:23-25; cf. Heb 2:7; 1 Pet 3:17,18) The demise of a Gentile kingdom cannot rightly represent the time of the rise of the Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 4:26,27) The Gentile kings did not meet their demise in 1914. (Rev 2:25,26) The time assigned to the Gentile Times that Jesus spoke about in Luke 21:24 is already given as 3.5 times, not 7 times (Revelation 11:2,3) The Devil was already brought down from "heaven" in the first century. (1 John 2:14,15; 1 Pet 5:8; Luke 10:18; Heb 2:14) The Bible says that the "last days" began in the first century. (Acts 2:14-20; 2 Tim 3:1-17; 1 Peter 3:3-5; Heb 1:2, almost any translation except NWT in this case.)
When the bible says: "All the inhabited earth " twice, obviously it means 2 completely different earths, right?By Jack Ryan
Luke 2:1 says: "Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus for all the inhabited earth to be registered." . Okay so this is interpreted to mean within the Roman empire..seems legit.
Yet at Matt 24:14, it says: " And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." And from this we have the impetus for the grand prophetic fulfillment / worldwide preaching campaign that JW's think will be accomplished before Armageddon.
By Edward J
Good Day friends
I've recently received a voice note of a brother giving a talk and mentioned that the governing body feels that the prophecy in Matt 24:14 has been fulfilled.
I'll try to attach the file
Please let me know what you think
Thanks in advance my dear brothers and sisters
By JOHN DAVIS
WHAT IS THE DISGUSTING THING THAT CAUSES DESOLATION IN OUR TIME AS RECORDED AT MATTHEW 24:15?
Has anyone wondered about this?
God’s Kingdom Rules! Page 230, par.19 & 20 says:
How to Prepare Ourselves
19 How can we prepare ourselves for the earthshaking
events that are to come? The Watchtower stated some years
ago: “Survival will depend on obedience.” Why is that so?
The answer is found in a warning from Jehovah to the captive
Jews living in ancient Babylon. Jehovah foretold that
Babylon would be conquered, but what were God’s people
to do to prepare themselves for that event? Jehovah stated:
“Go, my people, enter your inner rooms, and shut your
doors behind you. Hide yourself for a brief moment until
the wrath has passed by.” (Isa. 26:20) Note the verbs in this
verse: “go,” “enter,” “shut,” “hide”—all are in the imperative
mood; they are commands. The Jews who heeded those
commands would have stayed in their houses, away from
the conquering soldiers out in the streets. Hence, their survival
depended on obeying Jehovah’s instructions.
20 What is the lesson for us? As in the case of those ancient
servants of God, our survival of coming events will
depend on our obedience to Jehovah’s instructions. (Isa.
30:21) Such instructions come to us through the congregation
arrangement. Therefore, we want to develop heartfelt
obedience to the guidance we are receiving. (1 John 5:3)
If we do so today, we will be more inclined to obey willingly
in the future and thus receive the protection of our Father,
Jehovah, and our King, Jesus. (Zeph. 2:3) That divine
protection will allow us to witness ﬁrsthand how God’s
Kingdom will completely remove its enemies. What an unforgettable
event that will be!
Prior to those paragraphs, and in harmony with Matthew 24, it was made clear that the sheep and the goats will have already been judged, the sheep being marked for survival. Why would there be further need to follow some other instructions in order to survive? Matthew 24 does not indicate anything about additional instructions as a criterion for survival. In fact it says “then two men will be in the field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken along and the other abandoned.” This indicates that people will be in ordinary situations, when they are “saved”. The rest of the gospels focus on doing God’s will and following in Christ’s footsteps as the criterion for gaining salvation. "For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome" 1John 5:3. None of the Greek scriptures talk about any special instructions that will have to be obeyed during the great tribulation and Armageddon. It is only Isaiah that mentions this in relation to surviving the overthrow of Babylon, with similar references to the Passover in Egypt and perhaps also Noah entering the Ark.
I wonder why the Slave thinks that the same pattern will be followed when the ultimate destruction comes, as if Jehovah is not capable of saving individuals wherever they may be. Looking at it from a practical point of view, not everyone will be physically able to “go” or “shut” or “hide”. Think of the old and infirm. The scripture in Zepheniah 2:3 talks about doing specific things well before the day of Jehovah's anger. “Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, Who observe his righteous decrees, seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you will be concealed on the day of Jehovah’s anger”.
The paragraph that follows, (Par. 20) talks about us learning to obey the Slave now, so that when the time comes we will “obey” the Slave then, because our salvation depends on it. But the scriptures clearly show our salvation depends on lots of other things, one of them being enduring faithfully to the end. This was the symposium at this year’s Do not Give up convention as well. This included practical steps to “Run With Endurance”
· Run to Win! (1 Corinthians 9:24)
· Train Diligently (1 Corinthians 9:25-27)
· Let Go of Unnecessary Burdens (Hebrews 12:1)
· Imitate Good Examples (Hebrews 12:2, 3)
· Eat Nutritious Food (Hebrews 5:12-14)
· Drink Plenty of Water (Revelation 22:17)
· Obey the Rules of the Contest (2 Timothy 2:5)
· Be Confident of Gaining the Prize (Romans 15:13)
That pertains to everything we do now. And those are the things we will be judged on. That’s how we prepare ourselves surely? Not by obeying some last minute instructions as if Jehovah is not capable of saving each individual Witness wherever they may be, since the whole performance is going to involve supernatural powers anyway....Plus, it has been speculated that some may die at Armageddon, not by Jehovah's hand, but by other extenuating circumstances, even by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I will do some more research on this....
By The Librarian
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
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