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FOUR problems with latest "GENERATION" teaching

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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.

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

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.

This is all above me, so i only have one group of questions.

Are you saying that the GB are telling lies ? Are making mistakes ? Are not guided by God's Holy Spirit ?

Are you saying that the information that Witnesses go out on the ministry with is false information ? 

Are you saying that you disagree with the GB on this matter ? 

 

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  • #4. It is based on a false premise about a supposed belief in 1914 that didn't even exist in 1914.

The simplest Watchtower explanation of the teaching is found here:

*** ws14 1/15 pp. 30-31 pars. 15-16 “Let Your Kingdom Come”—But When? ***

  • Jesus said: “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen.” (Read Matthew 24:33-35.) When Jesus mentioned “this generation,” we understand that he was speaking about two groups of anointed Christians. The first group was present in 1914 and understood that Christ began ruling as King in that year. Those who made up this group were not only alive in 1914, but they had also been anointed by holy spirit in or before that year.—Romans 8:14-17.     All those in the second group included in “this generation” were not simply alive but were anointed with holy spirit during the time that some members of the first group were still alive on earth. So not every anointed person today is included in “this generation” whom Jesus spoke about. Today, those in the second group are getting older. Yet, Jesus’ words at Matthew 24:34 make us confident that at least some of “this generation will by no means pass away” before seeing the start of the great tribulation. This convinces us even more that soon . . .

It only makes sense that this first group must have discerned the sign as it was occurring in 1914. Especially because the phrase in the Watchtower was "readily discerned." The above was from the Simplified version of the 2014 Watchtower. The version from the main Watchtower, where slightly different, is included below:

*** w14 1/15 p. 31 pars. 15-16 “Let Your Kingdom Come”—But When? ***

  • Jesus was referring to two groups of anointed Christians. The first group was on hand in 1914, and they readily discerned the sign of Christ’s presence in that year.   . . The second group included in “this generation” are anointed contemporaries of the first group. . . . This should add to our conviction that little time remains . . .

The Simplified version of the Watchtower said that the first group understood that Jesus Christ began ruling as King in 1914.

The regular version of the Watchtower said that the first group discerned the sign of Christ's presence in 1914.

But that first group did not actually discern either event in 1914. In 1914 that first group of anointed still only "discerned" that Jesus had begun his reign as king in 1878. They continued to believe that Jesus had begun his presence in 1874. Nothing changed in 1914 regarding the discernment of either event.

In fact, it was until 1943 that the Watchtower continued, officially, to teach that Christ's presence had begun in 1874:

*** ka chap. 11 pp. 209-210 par. 55 “Here Is the Bridegroom!” ***

  • In the year 1943 the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society published the book “The Truth Shall Make You Free.” . . . Naturally this did away with the year 1874 C.E. as the date of return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the beginning of his invisible presence or parousia.

But, the teaching about when Jesus became King is a little different. Years after 1914, the Watch Tower Society was still publishing that Jesus began his reign as King in 1878. And they continuing promoting that date in literature campaigns until 1933 or so. By 1922 there were already statements, not 100 percent explicit, but hints that the official doctrine might change, perhaps even as early as 1919. By 1925, the doctrine had officially changed that Jesus became King, not in 1878, but in 1914.

To review, today the official doctrine is as follows:

  • 1914: Jesus' presence began
  • 1914: Jesus' Kingdom reign began

From 1879 to 1922, and 1933, and even 1943, the teachings  were:

  • 1874: Jesus' presence began - (changed in 1943)
  • 1878: Jesus Reign as King began - (changed between 1922 through 1933)

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5 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Are you saying that the GB are telling lies ? Are making mistakes ? Are not guided by God's Holy Spirit ?

I would say that the GB are making mistakes. I don't know why this should be so surprising; they have admitted to dozens of mistakes over time, and some are more obvious than others.

This does not mean they are not guided by Holy Spirit. Even the apostles, who were more obviously guided by Holy Spirit made mistakes. Paul mentions some of them rather explicitly in the first two chapters of Galatians, and mentions more examples of the same types of mistakes in both First and Second Corinthians.

Being guided by Holy Spirit does not mean inspiration or perfect knowledge, but it should always move us in the right direction. Not all decisions are guided by Holy Spirit. Even if they are absolutely correct, it does not mean that Holy Spirit guided them. Some are just common sense business decisions. Some decisions accepted by the WTS have even been outsourced to worldly companies. It doesn't make them wrong, and it doesn't make the decision to outsource them wrong.

5 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Are you saying that the information that Witnesses go out on the ministry with is false information ? 

Are you saying that you disagree with the GB on this matter ? 

Yes, for me it is wrong. For me, I disagree with the GB on a couple of such matters. Doesn't make me better or 100 percent certain that I am right and they are wrong. Personally, I just think it means that there are strongly entrenched things. I don't insist on these issues in a congregational setting because there are easy ways to find agreement and speak in agreement. I just don't THINK in agreement all the time. For example, I have no trouble teaching that we are living in the last days, because Hebrews 1:1 and the letters of John show that we are in the last days since the first century. I don't have any problem with the idea that Jesus was in power as King in 1914, because I believe he was already King of Kings in the first century (because of 1 Tim 6:15, Revelation 1, etc.). The list could go on.

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@JW Insider Thank you for your answers.

I cannot understand why God would allow His "chosen faithful slave" to make so many mistakes. It makes no sense to me.

If you were teaching a child any subject, you would teach them properly, give them true good advice, give them accurate information. 

Why would you let them get it all wrong ? What purpose is there in even having an Organisation that carries your name, if you give that organisation false information or allow it to use false information ?  There is no sense, and, there is no LOVE in doing so. 

God is LOVE, I cannot see that He would allow such misguidance in an organisation that HE would have His own name on. 

Yes we know how God allowed the Nation of Israel to go astray etc, but according to some on here, we are so very close to the END that there is no time for all this misinformation and 'mistakes'. 

Some would say it's a testing, but for what ?  Why would anyone want to stay in an organisation that cannot be trusted to teach truth ? 

And, how can anyone go into the ministry with lies, or mistakes ?  Do you think that is really what God wants ? 

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I cannot understand why God would allow His "chosen faithful slave" to make so many mistakes. It makes no sense to me.

I'm not judging you, but these questions sound legitimate with an element of true concern for people.

1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Why would you let them get it all wrong ?

But you still, in my opinion go overboard with expressions like "so many mistakes."  How many is "so many"? Or, for example, when you speak of them getting "it all wrong." Is it really ALL wrong? When people think in polarized terms, it's difficult to get anywhere.

I think it's easiest get this point of view if you think of what was going on in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Revelation. We don't know what all these doctrines and sectarian views were that were being picked up in various congregations, but there were several, as we also know from the letters of John and letters to Timothy, Titus, etc. -- and this was right back there when the last of the apostles hadn't even died yet. (It's also of interest that there is no mention of a GB of any kind in Revelation, but that each of these congregations appears to be taking on their own responsibility in front of Jesus as judge.)

Some of these congregations had it right, and some wrong, and some partially wrong. I assume that they had the major things right, but it must have been easy to get several things wrong.

  • (1 Corinthians 11:18, 19) . . .. 19 For there will certainly also be sects among you, so that those of you who are approved may also become evident.

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But, the teaching about when Jesus became King is a little different. Years after 1914, the Watch Tower Society was still publishing that Jesus began his reign as King in 1878. And they continuing promoting that date in literature campaigns until 1933 or so. By 1922 there were already statements, not 100 percent explicit, but hints that the official doctrine might change, perhaps even as early as 1919. By 1925, the doctrine had officially changed that Jesus became King, not in 1878, but in 1914.

How in the world could the gb and the wt make this determination? If the Bible is our guide, as it should be, then you cannot wish away the words written in them. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 " And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."    How can ALL authority be given both in Heaven and Earth and this not be the King?

And I agree with your supporting scriptures (1 Tim 6:15 and Rev 1), the only caveat is that Rev is what John saw in the future. 

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9 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

And I agree with your supporting scriptures (1 Tim 6:15 and Rev 1), the only caveat is that Rev is what John saw in the future. 

John saw the future, but Revelation 1 is not yet writing about visions of the future. In fact it is about the past, present and future. In the introduction to Revelation, it is about how the revelation had just been given to John who would write it down. In fact it clearly states that Jesus Christ was ALREADY the Faithful Witness, and was already the "Firstborn from the dead" and therefore already the Ruler of the kings of the earth. In other words, King of Kings. Therefore, he had already made Christians to be a kingdom (v.6). The introduction is to show the current authority of the one who gave him the visions, not his future authority. And I agree, of course, that he was already given "all authority" according to Matthew 28.

  • (Revelation 1:1-6) . . .A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. And he sent his angel and presented it in signs through him to his slave John, 2 who bore witness to the word God gave and to the witness Jesus Christ gave, yes, to all the things he saw. 3 Happy is the one who reads aloud and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who observe the things written in it, for the appointed time is near. 4 John to the seven congregations that are in the province of Asia: May you have undeserved kindness and peace from “the One who is and who was and who is coming,” and from the seven spirits that are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, “the Faithful Witness,” “the firstborn from the dead,” and “the Ruler of the kings of the earth.” To him who loves us and who set us free from our sins by means of his own blood— 6 and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—yes, to him be the glory and the might forever. Amen.

 

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23 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

 And I agree, of course, that he was already given "all authority" according to Matthew 28.

 

How does the wt get away with postponing this until 1874/1914/1919/1925 or whatever? 

How can regular witnesses not see this for themselves? 

I think this is intellectual dishonesty on the part of the gb and strips Jesus of His role to the jws in general. This isn't anything new, but this is bold of them to do it like this. 

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Quote " I'm not judging you, but these questions sound legitimate with an element of true concern for people." 

Thank you @JW Insider You are probably one of the very few here that feel that way. I am very concerned.

We should be willing to give our lives for others. But i don't see that love in the JW Org. 

And yes i do go OTT with expressions about 'all those mistakes' but there seems to be BOOKS that have been withdrawn, not just simple sentences or paragraphs, whole books.

Has the Revelation book been officially withdrawn now ?  Wherein it states on page 9

"It is not claimed that the explanations in this publication are infalible" 

Well, I think that says it all for me really. How many times did we study that book, three times cover to cover i think.

And does it prove now to be false teachings ? How far wrong am I  ?

Would you judge me worse than those that pretend to be God's 'Faithful slave' ?  

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    • One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that six thousand years of man’s existence will soon be up, yes, within this generation! Here authors said how some "fulfilled Bible prophecy" showed something. This would mean how WT Society knew at that time what was already fulfilled or it will be. Is this claim really correct? Because they made interpretations about human events and projected their expectations, explained them as Bible prophecies. This was common practice. Another thing, let me remind please what was explanation of "generation" in 1968?  But they knew "something" about 70., what was more important for them :)) .... and it seems how "instructions" (gave from Jesus, and not Jeruzalem GB)  showed themselves as reasonable even from human standpoint. :))
    • After today's WT study I was reminded of how much simpler and clearer we have become. There are still some speculative elements there, but overall its nothing compared to some past WT studies, and although this might be slightly off topic here (but still on topic with regard to "difficult doctrine") I would just like to post one example from 1968. (WT 68/8/15)  Either people were more patient and studious than they are now, or even back then, perhaps only a handful were able to wrap their heads around this study. I will be bold enough to say many may have just heard "end in 1975", and that's it. Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? 1, 2. (a) What has sparked special interest in the year 1975, and with what results? (b) But what questions are raised? WHAT about all this talk concerning the year 1975? Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible. Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam’s creation. The nearness of such an important date indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited possibilities for discussion. 2 But wait! How do we know their calculations are correct? What basis is there for saying Adam was created nearly 5,993 years ago? Does the one Book that can be implicitly trusted for its truthful historical accuracy, namely, the Inspired Word of Jehovah, the Holy Bible, give support and credence to such a conclusion? 3. Is the date for Adam’s creation as found in many copies of the Bible part of the inspired Scriptures, and do all agree on the date? 3 In the marginal references of the Protestant Authorized or King James Version, and in the footnotes of certain editions of the Catholic Douay version, the date of man’s creation is said to be 4004 B.C.E. This marginal date, however, is no part of the inspired text of the Holy Scriptures, since it was first suggested more than fifteen centuries after the last Bible writer died, and was not added to any edition of the Bible until 1701 C.E. It is an insertion based upon the conclusions of an Irish prelate, the Anglican Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656). Ussher’s chronology was only one of the many sincere efforts made during the past centuries to determine the time of Adam’s creation. A hundred years ago when a count was taken, no less than 140 different timetables had been published by serious scholars. In such chronologies the calculations as to when Adam was created vary all the way from 3616 B.C.E. to 6174 B.C.E., with one wild guess set at 20,000 B.C.E. Such conflicting answers contained in the voluminous libraries around the world certainly tend to compound the confusion when seeking an answer to the above questions. 4. What have we learned in our previous study, and, hence, what are we now prepared to do? 4 In the previous article we learned from the Inspired Writings themselves, independent of the uninspired marginal notes of some Bibles, that the seventy years of desolation of the land of Judah began to count about October 1, 607 B.C.E. The beginning of this seventy-year period was obviously tied to its ending, that is, with the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C.E. So with 607 B.C.E. as dependably fixed on our Gregorian calendar as the absolute date of 539 B.C.E. we are prepared to move farther back in the count of time, to the dating of other important events in Bible history. For instance, the years when Saul, David and Solomon reigned successively over God’s chosen people can now be dated in terms of the present-day calendar. 5. What history-making events took place in 997 B.C.E.? 5 At the death of Solomon his kingdom was split into two parts. The southern two-tribe part, composed of Judah and Benjamin, continued to be ruled by Solomon’s descendants, and was known as the kingdom of Judah. The northern ten tribes made up the kingdom of Israel, sometimes called “Samaria” after the name of its later capital city, and were ruled over by Jeroboam and his successors. By our applying the prophetic time period of 390 years found in Ezekiel 4:1-9 with regard to Jerusalem’s destruction the death of Solomon is found to be in the year 997 B.C.E. This was 390 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. ISRAEL’S ERRORS CARRIED 390 YEARS 6, 7. What time periods are referred to in Ezekiel 4:1-9? 6 Notice what is said on this matter by the prophet Ezekiel: 7 “And you, O son of man, take for yourself a brick, and you must put it before you, and engrave upon it a city, even Jerusalem. And you must lay siege against it . . . It is a sign to the house of Israel. And as for you, lie upon your left side, and you must lay the error of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you will lie upon it you will carry their error. And I myself must give to you the years of their error to the number of three hundred and ninety days, and you must carry the error of the house of Israel. And you must complete them. And you must lie upon your right side in the second case, and you must carry the error of the house of Judah forty days. A day for a year, a day for a year, is what I have given you. . . . And as for you, take for yourself wheat and barley and broad beans and lentils and millet and spelt, and you must put them in one utensil and make them into bread for you, for the number of the days that you are lying upon your side; three hundred and ninety days you will eat it.”—Ezek. 4:1-9. 8. When did the carrying of the “error” of the southern kingdom end? 8 This chapter 4 of Ezekiel, was not recounting past historical events but was prophecy of future events. It was telling of the time in the future when the glorious city of Jerusalem would be besieged and its inhabitants taken captive, all of which occurred in 607 B.C.E. So the forty years spoken of in the case of Judah ended in that year. The “error” of the northern kingdom, said to be carried for 390 years, was nearly tenfold greater when compared with the error of Judah carried for 40 years. When, then, did these 390 years end? 9. What indicates the “error” of the northern kingdom also ended in 607 B.C.E.? 9 They were not terminated in 740 B.C.E., when Samaria was destroyed, for the simple fact that Ezekiel enacted this prophetic drama sometime after “the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin,” which would make the termination not earlier than 613 B.C.E., that is, 127 years after the destruction of Samaria by Assyria. (Ezek. 1:2) Since this whole prophetic drama plainly pointed forward to the destruction of Jerusalem, and since both the house of Israel and the house of Judah were in reality one inseparable covenant-bound people, the remnant of whom would not be a divided people upon their return from exile, there is only one reasonable conclusion, namely, the errors of both houses ran concurrently and terminated at the same time in 607 B.C.E. In this way the 70 years of desolation of the land of Judah ended 70 years after the termination of carrying the error of both houses, so that thus a remnant of both houses could return to the site of Jerusalem. 10. So when did the “error” of Israel begin? 10 If the “error of the house of Israel” ended in 607, its beginning, 390 years prior thereto, was in 997 B.C.E. It began the year that King Solomon died and Jeroboam committed error, yes, great error, in that Jeroboam, whose domain was ripped off from the house of David, “proceeded to part Israel from following Jehovah,” causing them “to sin with a great sin.”—2 Ki. 17:21. DATE OF EXODUS, 1513 B.C.E. 11, 12. What other event in man’s history are we now prepared to date, and with the aid of what key text? 11 Looking back into the distant past we see another milestone in man’s history, the never-to-be-forgotten exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, under the leadership of Moses. Were it not for Jehovah’s faithful Word the Bible, it would be impossible to locate this great event accurately on the calendar, for Egyptian hieroglyphics are conspicuously silent concerning the humiliating defeat handed that first world power by Jehovah. But with the Bible’s chronology, how relatively simple it is to date that memorable event! 12 At 1 Kings 6:1 we read: “And it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv, that is, the second month, after Solomon became king over Israel, that he proceeded to build the house to Jehovah.” 13, 14. (a) On the Gregorian calendar, in what year did Solomon begin to reign? (b) In what year did he begin the building of the temple? 13 With this information one has only to determine what calendar year Solomon began building the temple, and it is then an easy matter to figure when Pharaoh’s army was destroyed in the Red Sea. 14 “And the days that Solomon had reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel were forty years.” (1 Ki. 11:42) This means that his last full regnal year ended in the spring of 997 B.C.E.* Adding 40 to 997 gives 1037 B.C.E., the year that Solomon began his peaceful reign. He did not begin the temple building, as the account says, until the second month of the fourth year of his reign, which means he had ruled a full three years and one month. Thus subtracting 3 years from 1037 one gets 1034 B.C.E., the year that the building work began. The time of the year was the second month Ziv, that is, April-May. This, the Bible says, was “in the four hundred and eightieth year” after the Israelites left Egypt. 15. (a) Explain the difference between a cardinal and an ordinal number. (b) So when did the Israelites leave Egypt? 15 Anytime we put a “th” on the end of a number, for instance on the number 10, saying 10th, the number is changed from a cardinal to an ordinal number. When one speaks about playing baseball in the tenth inning of the game, it means that nine full innings have already been played, but only part of the tenth; ten innings are not yet completed. Likewise, when the Bible uses an ordinal number, saying that the building of the temple began in the 480th year after the Israelites left Egypt, and when that particular year on the calendar is known to be 1034 B.C.E., then we add 479 full years (not 480) to 1034 and arrive at the date 1513 B.C.E., the year of the Exodus. It too was springtime, Passover time, the 14th day of the month Nisan. HOW LONG SINCE THE FLOOD? 16. How far back in history have we now penetrated, and what are the prospects of probing even deeper? 16 Already with the help supplied by the Bible we have accurately measured back from the spring of this year 1968 C.E. to the spring of 1513 B.C.E., a total of 3,480 years. With the continued faithful memory and accurate historical record of Jehovah’s Holy Word we can penetrate even deeper into the past, back to the flood of Noah’s day. 17. In recounting Israel’s experiences, to what events and to what time period does Stephen refer? 17 Stephen, the first martyred footstep follower of Jesus Christ, referred to what Jehovah said would befall Abraham’s offspring. “Moreover, God spoke to this effect, that his seed would be alien residents in a foreign land and the people would enslave them and afflict them for four hundred years.” (Acts 7:6; Gen. 15:13) Stephen here mentions three of Israel’s past experiences: As alien residents in a foreign land, as people in slavery, and as people afflicted for four hundred years. 18. What argues against the conclusion that these events were separate experiences following one another in consecutive order? 18 It would be a mistake to assume that all three of these experiences were of equal duration, or that they were separate individual experiences that followed one another in consecutive order. It was long after their entrance into Egypt as aliens that they were enslaved, more than 70 years later, and sometime after the death of Joseph. Rather, Stephen was saying that within the same 400-year period in which they were afflicted, they were also enslaved and were also alien residents. 19. How do we know the Israelites were “aliens” before entering Egypt? 19 Please note that, when Stephen said they were “alien residents in a foreign land . . . for four hundred years,” he did not say and he did not mean to imply that they were not alien residents before entering Egypt. So it is a mistake to insist that this text proves the Israelites were in Egypt for four hundred years. It is true that, upon entering Egypt and being presented before Pharaoh for the first time, Joseph’s brothers said: “We have come to reside as aliens in the land.” But they did not say nor did they mean that up until then they had not been alien residents, for on the same occasion their father Jacob, when asked by Pharaoh how old he was, declared: “The days of the years of my alien residences are a hundred and thirty years.” And not only had Jacob spent his whole lifetime as an alien resident before coming to Egypt, but he told Pharaoh that his forefathers before him also had been alien residents.—Gen. 47:4-9. 20. When did these 400 years end, and when did they begin? 20 Since the affliction of Israel ended in 1513 B.C.E., it must have begun in 1913, 400 years earlier. That year would correspond to the time that Isaac was afflicted by Ishmael “poking fun” at him on the day that Isaac was weaned. At the time, Isaac was five years old, and this was long before the Israelites entered Egypt.—Gen. 21:8, 9. 21, 22. Were the Israelites 430 years in Egypt exclusively, and how do certain ancient manuscripts shed light on this point? 21 Well, then, how long were the Israelites down in Egypt as alien residents? Exodus 12:40, 41 says: “And the dwelling of the sons of Israel, who had dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came about at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it even came about on this very day that all the armies of Jehovah went out of the land of Egypt.” 22 Here Ex 12 verse 40 in the Septuagint reads: “But the dwelling of the sons of Israel which they [and their fathers, Alexandrine MS] dwelt in the land of Egypt AND IN THE LAND OF CANAAN [was] four hundred and thirty years long.” The Samaritan Pentateuch reads: “IN THE LAND OF CANAAN and in the land of Egypt.” Thus both of these versions, which are based on Hebrew texts older than the Masoretic, include the words “in the land of Canaan” together with the word “Egypt.” 23. (a) So how long were the Israelites actually in Egypt, and how does Paul confirm this? (b) Explain the difference between the 400 and the 430 years mentioned in the Scriptures. 23 From the time that Abraham entered Canaan until Isaac’s birth was 25 years;* from that time until Jacob’s birth, 60 more years; and after that it was another 130 years before Jacob entered Egypt. All together this makes a total of 215 years, exactly half of the 430 years, spent in Canaan before moving in to Egypt. (Gen. 12:4; 21:5; 25:26; 47:9) The apostle Paul, under inspiration, also confirms that from the making of the Abrahamic covenant at the time the patriarch moved into Canaan, it was 430 years down to the institution of the Law covenant.—Gal. 3:17. 24, 25. The Flood began in what calendar year, and how long was this before Abraham entered Canaan? 24 By adding this 430 years to the 1513 it puts us back to 1943 B.C.E., the time when Abraham first entered Canaan following the death of his father Terah in Haran, Mesopotamia. It is now only a matter of adding up the years of a few generations to date the Flood correctly. The figures are given in Genesis, chapters 11 and 12, and may be summarized as follows: From start of Flood To Arpachshad’s birth (Gen. 11:10) 2 years To birth of Shelah (11:12) 35 “ To birth of Eber (11:14) 30 “ To birth of Peleg (11:26) 34 “ To birth of Reu (11:18) 30 “ To birth of Serug (11:20) 32 “ To birth of Nahor (11:22) 30 “ To birth of Terah (11:24) 29 “ To death of Terah in Haran, and Abram’s departure to Canaan at age of 75 (11:32; 12:4) 205 “ Total 427 years 25 Adding these 427 years to the year 1943 B.C.E. dates the beginning of the Deluge at 2370 B.C.E., 4,337 years ago. 6,000 YEARS FROM ADAM’S CREATION 26, 27. (a) How long before the Flood was Adam created? In what year? (b) What indicates that Adam was created in the fall of the year? 26 In a similar manner it is only necessary to add up the following years involving ten pre-Flood generations to get the date of Adam’s creation, namely: From Adam’s creation To birth of Seth (Gen. 5:3) 130 years To birth of Enosh (5:6) 105 “ To birth of Kenan (5:9) 90 “ To birth of Mahalalel (5:12) 70 “ To birth of Jared (5:15) 65 “ To birth of Enoch (5:18) 162 “ To birth of Methuselah (5:21) 65 “ To birth of Lamech (5:25) 187 “ To birth of Noah (5:28, 29) 182 “ To beginning of Flood (7:6) 600 “ Total 1,656 years 27 Adding this figure 1,656 to 2,370 gives 4026 B.C.E., the Gregorian calendar year in which Adam was created. Since man naturally began to count time with his own beginning, and since man’s most ancient calendars started each year in the autumn, it is reasonable to assume that the first man Adam was created in the fall of the year. 28. How does this chronology differ from Ussher’s in regard to Adam’s creation? 28 Thus, through a careful independent study by dedicated Bible scholars who have pursued the subject for a number of years, and who have not blindly followed some traditional chronological calculations of Christendom, we have arrived at a date for Adam’s creation that is 22 years more distant in the past than Ussher’s figure. This means time is running out two decades sooner than traditional chronology anticipates. 29. Why be concerned with the date of Adam’s creation? 29 After much of the mathematics and genealogies, really, of what benefit is this information to us today? Is it not all dead history, as uninteresting and profitless as walking through a cemetery copying old dates off tombstones? After all, why should we be any more interested in the date of Adam’s creation than in the birth of King Tut? Well, for one thing, if 4,026 is added to 1,968 (allowing for the lack of a zero year between C.E. and B.C.E.) one gets a total of 5,993 years, come this autumn, since Adam’s creation. That means, in the fall of the year 1975, a little over seven years from now (and not in 1997 as would be the case if Ussher’s figures were correct), it will be 6,000 years since the creation of Adam, the father of all mankind! ADAM CREATED AT CLOSE OF “SIXTH DAY” 30. What may occur before 1975, but what attitude should we take? 30 Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man’s existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. If these two periods run parallel with each other as to the calendar year, it will not be by mere chance or accident but will be according to Jehovah’s loving and timely purposes. Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth. It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovah’s seventh creative “day.” Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the “sixth day,” which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adam’s 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or “day” ended, and how long Adam lived into the “seventh day.” And yet the end of that sixth creative “day” could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam’s creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years. 31. What do the first two chapters of Genesis disclose? 31 In regard to Adam’s creation it is good to read carefully what the Bible says. Moses in compiling the book of Genesis referred to written records or “histories” that predated the Flood. The first of these begins with Genesis 1:1 and ends at Genesis 2:4 with the words, “This is the history of the heavens and the earth . . . ” The second historical document begins with Genesis 2:5 and ends with Ge verse two of chapter five. Hence we have two separate accounts of creation from slightly different points of view. In the second of these accounts, in Genesis 2:19, the original Hebrew verb translated “was forming” is in the progressive imperfect form. This does not mean that the animals and birds were created after Adam was created. Genesis 1:20-28 shows it does not mean that. So, in order to avoid contradiction between Ge chapter one and chapter two, Genesis 2:19, 20 must be only a parenthetical remark thrown in to explain the need for creating a “helper” for man. So the progressive Hebrew verb form could also be rendered as “had been forming.”—See Rotherham’s translation (Ro), also Leeser’s (Le). 32. What indicates the sixth creative day did not end immediately with Adam’s creation? 32 These two creation accounts in the book of Genesis, though differing slightly in the treatment of the material, are in perfect agreement with each other on all points, including the fact that Eve was created after Adam. So not until after this event did the sixth creative day come to an end. Exactly how soon after Adam’s creation is not disclosed. “After that [Adam and Eve’s creation] God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a sixth day.” (Gen. 1:31) After the sixth creative day ends, the seventh one begins. 33. (a) How do we know the end of the sixth creative day came very soon after Adam’s creation? (b) How does Genesis 1:31 prove the sixth day ended before Adam and Eve sinned? 33 This time between Adam’s creation and the beginning of the seventh day, the day of rest, let it be noted, need not have been a long time. It could have been a rather short one. The naming of the animals by Adam, and his discovery that there was no complement for himself, required no great length of time. The animals were in subjection to Adam; they were peaceful; they came under God’s leading; they were not needing to be chased down and caught. It took Noah only seven days to get the same kinds of animals, male and female, into the Ark. (Gen. 7:1-4) Eve’s creation was quickly accomplished, ‘while Adam was sleeping.’ (Gen. 2:21) So the lapse of time between Adam’s creation and the end of the sixth creative day, though unknown, was a comparatively short period of time. The pronouncement at the end of the sixth day, “God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good,” proves that the beginning of the great seventh day of the creative week did not wait until after Adam and Eve sinned and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. 1975! . . . AND FAR BEYOND! 34. What has brought about a better understanding of Bible chronology? 34 Bible chronology is an interesting study by which historic events are placed in their order of occurrence along the stream of time. The Watch Tower Society over the years has endeavored to keep its associates abreast with the latest scholarship that proves consistent with historic and prophetic events recorded in the Scriptures. Major problems in sacred chronology have been straightened out either due to fulfillment of Bible prophecies or by reason of archaeological discoveries or because better Bible translations convey more clearly the records of the original languages. However, several knotty problems of chronology of a minor nature are not yet resolved. For example, at the time of the exodus from Egypt when Jehovah changed the beginning of the year from autumn time on the secular calendar to spring time on the sacred calendar, was there, in the Jewish calendar, a loss or a gain of six months?—Ex. 12:1, 2. 35. Why is this no time for indifference and complacency? 35 One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that six thousand years of man’s existence will soon be up, yes, within this generation! (Matt. 24:34) This is, therefore, no time to be indifferent and complacent. This is not the time to be toying with the words of Jesus that “concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matt. 24:36) To the contrary, it is a time when one should be keenly aware that the end of this system of things is rapidly coming to its violent end. Make no mistake, it is sufficient that the Father himself knows both the “day and hour”! 36. What helpful example did the apostles leave us in this regard? 36 Even if one cannot see beyond 1975, is this any reason to be less active? The apostles could not see even this far; they knew nothing about 1975. All they could see was a short time ahead in which to finish the work assigned to them. (1 Pet. 4:7) Hence, there was a ring of alarm and a cry of urgency in all their writings. (Acts 20:20; 2 Tim. 4:2) And rightly so. If they had delayed or dillydallied and had been complacent with the idea the end was some thousands of years off they would never have finished running the race set before them. No, they ran hard and they ran fast, and they won! It was a life or death matter with them.—1 Cor. 9:24; 2 Tim. 4:7; Heb. 12:1. 37. So what will you be doing between now and 1975? And beyond that, what? 37 So too with Jehovah’s faithful witnesses in this latter half of the twentieth century. They have the true Christian point of view. Their strenuous evangelistic activity is not something peculiar to this present decade. They have not dedicated their lives to serve Jehovah only until 1975. Christians have been running this way ever since Christ Jesus blazed the trail and commanded his disciples, “Follow me!” So keep this same mental attitude in you that was in Christ Jesus. Let nothing slow you down or cause you to tire and give out. Those who will flee Babylon the Great and this Satanic system of things are now running for their lives, headed for God’s kingdom, and they will not stop at 1975. O no! They will keep on in this glorious way that leads to everlasting life, praising and serving Jehovah for ever and ever!     You are referring to Luke 10:17,18 "Then the 70 returned with joy, saying: “Lord, even the demons are made subject to us by the use of your name.” At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven".  But one of the cross references to Satan falling is Revelation 12:7-9   "And war broke out in heaven: Miʹcha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8  but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9  So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him". I wonder why, since as you say we are to understand that it referred to the power Satan had over Jesus and his disciples. In a way no, but I think we are meant to see that the world in general was brought into more of a turmoil than it had been before, with the world warring on a worldwide scale, with lethal weapons capable of total world destruction I am thinking rather than using the word "defeat" (because Satan won't be defeated until after the 1000 years) the purpose of the battle in heaven in 1914 was to cleanse the heavens of his evil presence. Then during Armageddon it will be to bind him and put him in "jail" for a period of time. So no, I don't think there are several stages of defeat.   We are to believe that what changed after the battle in 1914 was the world in general.   Yes indeed. But how fatal would it really be if we ignored Jesus words about not knowing the day or hour?
    • The music video for Lionel Richie's "Hello" directed by Bob Giraldi, attracts attention as it tells the story of a music teacher (played by Lionel Richie) who falls in love with his blind student. "Hello is it me you're looking for?" is quite an insensitive pick up line to use on a blind woman.   Ah, the 80s, when people thought teachers stalking their disabled students was romantic...    
    • Quote @b4ucuhear " For example, we realized that the “superior authorities” mentioned in Romans 13:1 are, not Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, but the political rulers " BUT the original teaching by the Bible Students was that the 'superior authorities' was the political rulers. It was fully understood in the first place. So, why was false reasoning used to give false teaching ? Obviously no Holy Spirit involved there. So you cannot say that it was new light or better understanding when it was originally known anyway 
    • “We Must Obey God as Ruler Rather Than Men”  This is something that not sound to me as doctrine. This sound as standpoint. Also we have to take context. Apostle responded with this statement as position on Sanhedrin's command that they must not preaching....about what? Peter and John answered: “We cannot stop speaking about the things we have seen and heard.”  Well, this is original context. Some other examples speaking about similar things where JHVH and Jesus' servants refused to do something or have done something. Life has got to be more complexe through centuries, so we have now more explanations and interpretations how should look like today's reality of "obey god rather than man". Even things about education come to be viewed through this sort of glasses. Advice to not going to higher education coming from "spiritual place" as god's instruction through GB. Not obeying counsel/advice/recommendation in this matter is considered as not putting god on first place in life. But contrary, own selfish ambitions. As consequence this could be understand that you listen/obey yourself and not god.  About what JW's of today can making claim as apostles did? What things JW today "have seen and heard"  that make their standpoint so firm to obey god as ruler? They have seen and heard only their faith and beliefs. Because they have not seen and heard nothing similar what apostles or first christians experienced.   And this is good way how system making doctrines that sounds like "the truth". And after some time you will read new articles with similar explanation :))) ... year after year. ● At times there are changes in viewpoint on Biblical subjects discussed in the Watch Tower Society’s publications. We speak of what we believe as “the truth.” But does “truth” change? Yes, it changes. Because you believe in new, advanced knowledge. "The Truth" should not to be knowledge, but Principle. Because Principle is older than this what we calling "the Truth". Even in JW understanding when they speaking about something that is so firm and deep, unchangeable, they using word "Principle" not word "Truth". Principles in Old Testament, for example, that stood behind some laws of Moses, are visible in New Testament too.  In that context we can talk about Moses Law as "The Truth". Perhaps old Israel people used same or similar wording to describe what they think and feel about God' Words. But this kind of "Truth" and their "Truth" are gone. (Not completely, because we have Israel of today.) So, "The Truth" was changed, even more, with time it had been abandoned gradually by new formed Jew congregations. "Old truth" became useless as sort of knowledge about what, how, when and why to be practiced in daily life. Principles stayed. Love God, love neighbor are most known.
    • ronan keating singing a song from the film notting hill   Keith Whitley - When You Say Nothing at All  
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