Something I thought might be relevant since we are studying the God's Kingdom book. Not long ago, in a WT article, it was mentioned in reference to the "Kingdom being preached in all the inhabited earth" that this will not mean that literally everyone on Earth would have heard about the Kingdom before Armageddon starts.
When one does a bit of mathematics (not my forte) and calculates the percentage of current Jehovah's Witnesses in comparison to the World's population we arrive at 0.1%. This is a very small percentage indeed. (8 million JW to 8 billion population)
If we were to assume some averages, and use the United States as a fair example, then we can assume the ratio of 1 publisher to roughly around 400. This seems a fair number since "only a few are the ones finding the road to life". However, as we know, there is practically a non existent ratio when it comes to India and China, two of the world's countries with a population of over 1billion each (the majority of whom have never heard of the Bible, never mind Jehovah's Witnesses). If we would assume the same ratio of 1:400, then this would immediately create over 3 million Witnesses in each of the two countries, i.e. over 6 million in India and China alone, bringing the total of JWs to over 14 million. If we were to also add 650 thousand in Indonesia, 485 thousand from Pakistan, and 402 thousand from Bangladesh that adds another 1.5 million bringing the total to over 15 million, almost doubling the Witnesses today.
If we go by the fact that all people are equal in Jehovah's eyes, and that no nation is above another when it comes to salvation, and that all people are basically the same, then we have to assume that there are people in those countries who, if given the chance, would embrace the truth and put themselves on Jehovah's side and create that ratio of 1:400.
With that in mind, it is evident that either there is going to have to be a lot of preaching done, verging on the miraculous, in order to bring in over 7 million new Witnesses within the allotted time of the "Generation", or, Jehovah will judge their hearts and allow nearly HALF of the people, (agnostics or believers in false Gods) entry into the new world without them even needing to know him.
Or, is "this Generation" a lot longer than we think.....
Any scriptural thoughts?
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.)
By JW Insider
There are evidently FOUR basic problems in the latest explanation of the "GENERATION" teaching. Of course, this is the teaching based on Jesus' words in Matthew 24:34 where he says that "This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur." The latest update to the explanation is that Jesus was referring to two groups of anointed persons: the first group who could discern the meaning of the sign they witnessed in 1914, and a second group of anointed persons, whose lives overlapped with that first group.
#1. It creates a set time limit for Armageddon to occur. #2. It is based on the idea that the date 1914 was predicted in the Bible. #3. It is based on a false definition of the word "generation." #4. It is based on a false premise about a supposed belief in 1914 that didn't even exist in 1914. If we're serious about:
paying constant attention to ourselves and our teaching, (1 Tim 4:16) handling the word of God aright, having nothing to be ashamed of, (2 Tim 2:15) not paying attention to false stories, (1 Tim 1:4-7) making sure of all things, (1 Thess 5:21) knowing that teachers will receive heavier judgment, etc., (James 3:1) then we would not be very good Christians if any of us taught something that we were not sure about.
On this forum, participants have already dealt extensively with #1 and #2 above, but there has not yet been a thorough discussion and focus on points #3 and #4.
We can not nullify scripture. Each and every thing Revelation tells us about the Great Crowd, is how the chosen priests are described in other scriptures. We must accept the Bible's own interpretation of who the Great Crowd is.
Let us consider only one of the many descriptions of them....Rev.7:15
"and they render sacred service day and night in his temple".
The "Temple" in Revelation is not the physical "shadow" of the reality to come (Col.2:17; Heb.8:5). The "temple" in Revelation symbolizes the anointed 144000 priests, among whom God dwells (1Cor.3:16; Eph.2:21,22; Rev.7:15 D).
If you read Heb.10:11; 8:1,2; Num.18:5,6,7; 2Chron.23:6; 1Chron.23:3,4,5,24,28,30,32; Eze.44:5,9,15,16
("day and night" Rev.7:15; 1Chron23:30)
you will see that the Bible says that the only ones permitted to "render sacred service...in the Temple" are God’s priests (2Chron.23:6).
They are the only ones allowed to do this (Num.18:7).
Rev.7:9 tells us that these include those who were not his people (physical Gentiles), but these have now been "shown mercy" and made priests....
physical "Gentiles" made into spiritual Jews and Holy priests (1Pet.2:10,9; Rev.5:9,10)
by means of spiritual circumcision of the heart (Rom.2:28,29; Col.2:11).
These who serve in God's temple, cannot be spiritual Gentiles (uncircumcised in heart by spirit) who never received the circumcision of the heart (Eze.44:7). Only anointed, spiritual "Jews" and priests receive this circumcision by spirit (Rom.2:28,29) and may enter the temple to render acceptable sacred service (1Pet.2:5; Rev.7:15).
Those born in the flesh as Gentiles, but who receive a circumcised heart by spirit, become spiritual Jews. (Eph.2:11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21; Eph.2:22; Eph.3:1,2,3,4,5,6]
The Great Crowd can be included in God's priestly group who stand for truth (symbolic meaning of 144000) when that number is regarded as not so much literal and numerical, but as those who testify to truth. There can be a group of Testifiers to Truth ("144000"), later joined by more who Testify to Truth. Although the group increases, the label of that number's meaning, remains the same.
Yet a distinction is made in Rev.7, between the 144000, and those who appear "afterward" (Rev.7:9).
We are told in Rev. ch.20, that the 144000 reign with Christ during the Thousand years (Rev.20:4-6). (which began when Jesus ascended into heaven) It is after the "Thousand Years", that Satan is released, and the Great Tribulation ensues (Rev.20:2-3,7) (Satan's "short time" of release Rev.20:3; 12:12,17).
During the "Thousand Years", Satan is restrained. Those who rule with Christ during that time, are not overcome by Satan's Beasts and their slave mark (Rev.20:4). After Satan's release, he empowers the false prophet and it's Beast, with powerful deception (Rev.16:13-16; 13:4,11; 20:7-8; 17:14; 20:9; 11:3,5; Jer.5:14; 23:29; Matt.10:20) (2Thess.2:9,11,8; Rev.2:16).
Initially, the Great Crowd are overcome (Rev.13:7; Dan.11:31-33; Rev.13:10 <Col.2:8; Luke21:24; Rev.11:2; Matt.5:13). Of these, a remnant of those who face the Great Tribulation, will be saved (Matt.24:24-25,21-22; Dan.12:1; Jer.23:3; Mark13:26-27). These survivors, are the Great Crowd.
Therefore, the experience of the Great Crowd, differs from the previous faithful priests.
The previous 144000 had never accepted the slave mark of the Beasts (Rev.20:4) who are unleashed during the Great Tribulation (Rev.13:1,11). The remnant (remaining ones of the seed -Rev.12:17,15) are overcome (Rev.13:7), and must be rescued (Jer.31:11; Isa.48:20; 51:11). These are required to repent of their soiled identity, and be given white robes (Zech.3:3-4,8; Rev.3:18; Isa.1:18; Eze.18:27; Rev.19:8; 7:9,14).
Not all, repent (Rev.2:21-22; 9:20-21; 16:9-11) (1Kings8:46-50; Mal.3:6).
The previous group of 144000 were in the Lamb's book of life during Christ's "Thousand Year" reign ("first resurrection"). The "second death"--
(being overcome by death again, after having received redemption from Adamic sin and "first" death
-Rom.5:12; John6:63; 5:24; 1Cor.15:45; 1Pet.1:23)
--"has no hold" on those previous "144000" (Rev.20:6; Luke10:19).
Yet for a time, the "sting" of the agents of death (1Cor.15:55,26; Rev.20:5,14), gains a hold on the remnant (Rev.9:10) during Satan's release and Great Tribulation.
When the Chosen who are living after the Thousand Years, are overcome by the released Satan and the resources of his abyss; they are overcome once again by death, having lost their slave mark of God (Deut.11:18), (being slave-marked by the laws of the Beast -Rev.13:16)
(Rev.13:7; 9:4-6,10; 7:3)
Yet there will be those who repent, are saved, and are added to those who receive life (Rev.3:3,19; 20:6,5) "after the thousand years have ended".
This is why the "144000" and the "Great Crowd" are depicted by scripture, as two different groups.
Yet in the end, the survivors of the Great Tribulation, battle for Truth (Rev.12:10-11; Luke 12:8; Rev.6:9-11; Mark 8:35; Rev.11:8), alongside Christ at Armageddon (Rev.17:14; 19:14,8), and are united with the previous "144000", in the Lamb's scroll of life (Zech.3:7-10; Rev.3:5).
pearl doxsey 4womaninthewilderness
By Jack Ryan
*** w74 6/15 p. 376 par. 8 Serve with Eternity in View ***
8 This kingdom, the means by which eternal life is possible for us, is a heavenly government. Jesus himself is the chief Ruler, and he is to have 144,000 corulers who have been chosen from mankind and called by God to heavenly life. (Rom. 8:16, 17; Luke 22:29; Rev. 5:9, 10; 14:1) The paramount importance of this kingdom is seen in the emphasis that God put on it in the Bible. It was the chief subject of Jesus’ preaching. (Matt. 4:23) Also, it is to the spirit-anointed Christians who will rule in that kingdom that most of the Christian Greek Scriptures is directed, including the promises of everlasting life.
*** w06 6/1 p. 24 par. 12 Jehovah Tells “From the Beginning the Finale” ***
12 The foreordination of the 144,000 does not mean that certain individuals were predestined to serve God faithfully in this way. Indeed, the admonition in the Christian Greek Scriptures was written primarily to guide and strengthen anointed ones to maintain integrity and keep themselves worthy of their heavenly calling. (Philippians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 11; 2 Peter 1:10, 11) Jehovah knows in advance that 144,000 individuals will qualify to serve his purpose. Who they prove to be depends on how those invited individually choose to live their life, a decision that each one of them must make personally.—Matthew 24:13.
So, I am reading in Matthew about how many generations there we're from the deportation from Babylon until the Christ, 14 generations. The way I do math 607 divided by 14 equals 43.3 years. This is how Scripture measures a generation.The way I see it since 1914 we have had 2 complete generations and are now working on a 3rd. According to Jesus shouldn't the end have come by now?
Why did Jack cry? Maybe it was because he realized the old will get young again....JWs do have the Truth...and soon everyone will see that.....
So if this is the basis for your belief, then probably what you'll want to do is first of all find out which bible book your foundational scripture is in. (It's Exodus by the way.)
Ex 1:6 - Eventually Joseph died, and also all his brothers and all that generation.
It's not a complicated scripture.
Let me ask you this. If you die in 2017 and all your brothers and all your generation also die at some point, what does "generation" mean if you don't impose any weirdness on the text? Do your precise birth and death times change the fundamental meaning of the word generation?
Of course there are overlaps in a "generation". The only possible way for there not to be overlaps would be for each generation to have a batch of children be born at the same minute of a certain year, and die at a simultanous minute of a later year.
But does your grandfather suddenly become part of your generation just because your life overlapped with him? Does that overlap of a few years between you and your brothers give latitude to distort the language to allow for President Kennedy to be of your generation even if your life overlapped with him?
By Outta Here
Since 2009 there has been a great deal of discussion around the concept of an "overlapping generation" in connection with Jesus words at Matt. 24:34.
I don't see anything particularly difficult about the idea myself.
I mean, you have a two stage relay. Start point: 1914 CE on one end. Finish point: the "great tribulation" on the other end. The track between is the stream of time.
As it is impossible for one team of runners to span the distance from the start, 1914 CE, to the finish, the "great tribulation", there are two teams of "anointed" Christians. Starting the race, those who saw the year 1914 eventually meet up with those (born later) who will see the outbreak of the great tribulation. The baton is passed and the race completed by the second group.
The entire group are seen as the (anointed) generation of the last days in Jesus prophecy. Not really rocket science is it?
But, in all the discussion around this, I see a phrase in Jesus words at Matt 24:34 I find intriguing. He said that "this generation will by no means pass away" (NWT)
Other translations render this differently, many saying simply "will not pass" or words to that effect. Why does the NWT render it in this particular manner?
I understand your answer perfectly, John, and it confirms what I posted, that according to the WTS there were less than 144,000 Christians in nearly 1900 years. As the reader J.A. from the Dominican Republic pointed out when he wrote to the Society about it, being one of the 144,000 was the only position open to Christians during all that time.
[wt 1/15/1952 QFR] Questions From Readers
● According to the article “Hated for His Name” in the September 1, 1951, Watchtower, hundreds of thousands of Christians died in the “ten persecutions” starting in Nero’s time, 144,000 dying in Egypt alone during one of the persecutions. How can this be harmonized with the Scriptural limitation of 144,000 placed on the number being in Christ’s body, and which position was the only one open to Christians during those centuries?—J.A., Dominican Republic.
And the Society's reply shows that the vast majority of those they mentioned in their article who were martyred for their faith as Christians were not real Christians at all, but only "professed Christians". It's kind of ironic that they would be thought to be examples for JWs today who face similar persecutions.
By The Librarian
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that exactly 144,000 faithful Christian men and women from Pentecost of 33 CE until the present day will be resurrected to heaven as immortal spirit beings to spend eternity with God and Christ. They believe that these people are "anointed" by God to become part of the spiritual "Israel of God". They believe the 144,000 (which they consider to be synonymous with the "little flock" of Luke 12:32) will serve with Christ as king-priests for a thousand years, while all other people accepted by God (the "other sheep" of John 10:16, composed of "the great crowd" of Revelation 7:9,14 and the resurrected "righteous and the unrighteous" ones of Acts 24:15), will be given an opportunity to live forever in a restored paradise on earth. According to the Witnesses, the first of the 144,000 were resurrected in 1918 (April) and others who die thereafter are immediately resurrected to heaven.
Individual Witnesses indicate their claim of being "anointed" by partaking of the bread and wine at the annual Memorial of Christ's death. In 2014, 14,121 Witnesses worldwide claimed to be of the anointed "remnant" of the 144,000.The members of the Governing Body who exercise teaching authority over Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide claim to be among the anointed 144,000, and also consider themselves as a group to be the faithful and discreet slave of Matthew 24:45 and Luke 12:42.
Jesus Christ is their "Mediator"
Did the first million or so professed "Anointed Christians" really just end up in Gehenna?
The Thrones of the 144,000 - 2014 Regional Convention Part
Relations between different numbers and their symbolic meaning regarding to the number 144000 - PDF
How do you prove from the Bible that 1935 was the year for the selection to heaven stopped due to being filled? What is the difference between a Catholic appealing to "what the organization tells him" about December 25 being the date of Jesus' birthday and a Jw' appealing to "what the organization tells him" about the date 1935? Is it not hypocritical when you chide the "poor deluded Catholic" that his faith cannot find a Bible passage to support it, when the same goes for you and 1935?
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