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FOUR problems with latest "GENERATION" teaching


JW Insider
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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

When people think in polarized terms, it's difficult to get anywhere.

Polarized thinking impedes progress. Unfortunately, it is now the order of the day.

I even think it is exacerbated by the self-deceptive phrase ‘critical thinking’ and its corollary of avoiding ‘cognitive dissonance.’ It’s a concept worthy of a pamphlet, perhaps, but no more.

Not only is it possible to hold two contradictory ideas in one’s head at the same time, but it is surely the mark of a dogmatist to refuse to do it. Often you put something promising but incomplete on the shelf until you can reconcile it with other ideas.

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And here lies the crux of the matter. This is exactly what the gb wants of the rank and file, for them to believe exactly what we are talking about. You may or may not be the exception and I would be naive to think there are not others who hold the same thoughts, but the fact of the matter is that this is exactly what the gb and the wt wants. They want no one to question their view and not to speak about it to others who may have the same feelings, because then there might be a change that was n

I don't think that title is a bad mantra at all. If you are looking for perfection, that's great. If you are expecting perfection, then you will be without any kind of brotherhood at all, and Christianity requires a brotherhood. Everyone will be different. For me, it's not so difficult. Just review all the topics that you are sure of, at least sure enough so that you can express agreement. Emphasize these. On all other topics just say to the study or householder that 'among Jehovah

I appreciate that. And I held the same view for many years. But we should all share our opinions if our intent in sharing is right. "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." And, as Witnesses, we have put ourselves under a certain obligation to share publicly and not hold back, willing to defend our beliefs to anyone who asks. (Matthew 13:51, 52) . . .” 52 Then he said to them: “That being the case, every public instructor who is taught about the Kingdom of the heavens is like

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21 hours ago, JW Insider said:

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

Just another small point on #4 before moving on to point #3.

There have also been many times when our publications stated that for several decades in advance of 1914, Russell and his associates predicted that in 1914:

  • Jesus would return as King,
  • or would begin his presence,
  • or that his presence would begin invisibly in 1914,
  • or that the "time of the end" or "last days" would begin in 1914,
  • or that 1914 would be the beginning of a time of great trouble on the earth.

None of those statements are true. And for the last couple decades, these false statements have no longer been repeated in our publications. The only remaining prediction that can rightly be stated as having been predicted several decades in advance is this:

  • 1914 would mark the "End of the Gentile Times"

All the latest publications only focus on this one point now, since it is generally admitted that, long after 1914, we still taught that:

  • Jesus had returned as King in 1878,
  • had begun his presence in 1874,
  • that the invisible presence in heaven had begun in 1874 and the visible effects upon the world would begin to be seen just after 1914,
  • and that the "time of the end" had begun in 1799,
  • and that 1914 would be the END of the great trouble on the earth, not the BEGINNING.
    • (About a decade before 1914, this last idea was adjusted to push the time of trouble before 1914 to a time beginning in October 1914 and ending around or just after 1915.)

But now that the teaching is better grounded in the idea that the prediction was that 1914 would be the "End of the Gentile Times" it would be good to know if we are talking about the same belief.

It's not the same.

The End of the Gentile Times referred to the fact that Palestine would see an Israeli government beginning in 1914 because the governments and institutions of the Gentile kings and governments would all collapse during a period of several months beginning in October 1914 with some likely holding on until the end of 1915.

The expression End of the Gentile Times, was the equivalent of saying that the non-Gentile Kings have had their day. The U.S. government was therefore set to collapse within months of October 1914. The government of Great Britain would also collapse. There would be no more Russian government, no more Chinese government, no more Mexican or Canadian governments. No League of Nations, no United Nations, no more banks, no more "Wall Street." This all collapses in the 1914 time period, because all gentile governments and institutions would collapse with only a blessing on the Israeli government in what is now Palestine. 

In Russell's view the blessings on the earth would come through the fact that true Christians would make up Christ's bride and rule simultaneously from heaven while the Israeli government ruled from earth out of the city of earthly Jerusalem.

It was a true Zionist movement, which is why the primary magazine was called Zion's Watch Tower.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

It was a true Zionist movement, which is why the primary magazine was called Zion's Watch Tower.

Russell's view was clearly stated in "Studies in the Scriptures" Volume II, (The Time Is At Hand) under the heading:

STUDY IV      **     THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES   **    What are Gentile Times?

The following are excerpts from this chapter in the book:

  • During this interval, the dominion of earth was to be exercised by Gentile governments; and Israel, both fleshly and spiritual, have been and are to be subject to these powers until their time is expired. . . . . . . Thus, while Israel was waiting and hoping for the promised dominion of earth, . . . the desire for universal empire became general among other nations. . . . It will be established gradually, during a great time of trouble with which the Gospel age will close, and in the midst of which present dominions shall be utterly consumed, passing away amid great confusion.

The above was written at a time when Russell still taught that the time of trouble would completely END in 1914, and 1914 initially was seen as the first year of peace "the end of the time of trouble" following the great chaos and confusion of the trouble as the Gospel age closed in 1914.

In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that that date will see the disintegration of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove:

  • Firstly, That at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, "Thy Kingdom come," will begin to assume control, and that it will then shortly be "set up," or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions.
  • Secondly, It will prove that he whose right it is thus to take the dominion will then be present as earth's new Ruler; and not only so, but it will also prove that he will be present for a considerable period before that date; because the overthrow of these Gentile governments is directly caused by his dashing them to pieces as a potter's vessel (
      Hello guest!
    ; 
      Hello guest!
    ), and establishing in their stead his own righteous government.
  • Thirdly, ...
  • Fourthly, It will prove that from that time forward Jerusalem shall no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles, but shall arise from the dust of divine disfavor, to honor; because the "Times of the Gentiles" will be fulfilled or completed.
  • Fifthly, It will prove that by that date, or sooner, Israel's blindness will begin to be turned away; because their "blindness in part" was to continue only "until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (
      Hello guest!
    ), or, in other words, until the full number from among the Gentiles, who are to be members of the body or bride of Christ, would be fully selected.
  • Sixthly, It will prove that the great "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation," will reach its culmination in a world-wide reign of anarchy; and then men will learn to be still, and to know that Jehovah is God and that he will be exalted in the earth. (
      Hello guest!
    ) . . .  But the Lord's Anointed and his rightful and righteous authority will first be recognized by a company of God's children while passing through the great tribulation--the class represented by m and t on the Chart of the Ages (see also pages 235 to 239, Vol. I); afterward, just at its close, by fleshly Israel; and ultimately by mankind in general.
  • Seventhly, It will prove that before that date God's Kingdom, organized in power, will be in the earth and then smite and crush the Gentile image (
      Hello guest!
    )--and fully consume the power of these kings.
    Its own power and dominion will be established as fast as by its varied influences and agencies it crushes and scatters the "powers that be"-- civil and ecclesiastical--iron and clay.

So, the Watch Tower's view of "The End of the Gentile Times" referred to the crushing and scattering of all "powers that be" both governmental and religious powers BEFORE October 1914, fully consuming the power of the kings of the earth so that FLESHLY Israel's rulership from Jerusalem could quickly fill the void and fill the need for order in a time of complete world-wide anarchy. Fleshly Israel would, of course, be helped and guided by blessings flowing from the heavenly portion of God's kingdom government, and his approval and blessing upon the government of fleshly Israel. 

Recognizing God's lease of power to these worldly or Gentile governments, we know, not only that they will fail, and be overthrown, and be succeeded by the Kingdom of Christ when their "times" expire . . . . Christ's Kingdom cannot take the control, though it will be organizing and preparing to do so in the few years which close the Gentile Times, while these kingdoms will be trembling, disintegrating and falling into anarchy. . . . 

In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished near the end of A.D. 1915. . .

Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" (

    Hello guest!
), which will end in A.D. 1915, with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced.

It should also be noted that the emphasis on Jews returning to Palestine was a big part of Russell's teaching as the Watch Tower, right up until 1914 was making statements like this:

Another thing we have been expecting is the return of the Jews to Palestine. There is more and more now being said about the Jews returning to Palestine, and more interest is being aroused in the matter. When we first began to draw attention to this subject of the return of the Jews to the Holy land, there was no movement at all of this kind. It has all come since.

Rutherford continued in support of the belief in the Zionist movements in Palestine up until about 1930, notably with the book: "Comfort for the Jews" in 1925.

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It should be clear that the anarchy of World War I had nothing to do with the predictions about an end of the Gentile Times.

This is why we regularly need to quote a worldly newspaper that misquoted the prediction instead of quoting our own Watch Tower publications when we speak about what was predicted "decades in advance."

*** it-1 p. 135 Appointed Times of the Nations ***

  • It is a historical fact worth noting that, on the basis of the points and evidence above presented, the March 1880 edition of the Watch Tower magazine identified the year 1914 as the time for the close of “the appointed times of the nations” (and the end of the lease of power granted the Gentile rulers). This was some 34 years before the arrival of that year and the momentous events it initiated. In the August 30, 1914, edition of The World, a leading New York newspaper at that time, a feature article in the paper’s Sunday magazine section commented on this as follows: “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy. For a quarter of a century past, through preachers and through press, the ‘International Bible Students’ . . . have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914.”

 

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

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

I quote you "Actually, I think you are engaging in exaggerated thinking again. I am surely one of many who is very concerned."

What I was meaning was that you are one of the few that seem to think that i am concerned for others. Sorry for confusion. 

Yes I'm sure others are also concerned. 

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@TrueTomHarley  " Not only is it possible to hold two contradictory ideas in one’s head at the same time.. "

Do you mean to actually believe both sides, or do you mean to be considering both sides ?

Anyone that does not consider both sides of a discussion is rather foolish of course. But I would find it impossible to believe both sides, though I might be able to understand why others should believe the opposite to me. 

Polarized thinking = black or white. Right or wrong. True or false. 

I think Jesus showed us the way on these things. The Bible makes clear not to mix the false with the truth.

There is always a right way and a wrong way, everything else is just excuses. 

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@JW Insider  Am i right in thinking that you are proving Russell had no guidance from God on these matters.

Are you saying that Russell expected God to use the fleshly Nation of Israel to rule over this Earth. If so, why would God use the nation which He handed over to the Romans to destroy ? 

And where would it leave the preaching of the Good News Earthwide ? People from all nations etc. 

I do admit that it is all above me and I do wonder how much God actually expects us basic humans to understand.

Digging into scriptures, reading God's word, surely does not involve all this ? If it does then many with good hearts will surely fail. 

 

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2 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

  Am i right in thinking that you are proving Russell had no guidance from God on these matters.

I can't answer your question directly. But I will give my opinion that Jehovah did not direct Russell at all on these particular matters of chronology.

You can safely ignore the rest of this post, as it is just going to be my own ramblings about how I come to this particular conclusion and still have respect for what Russell did, without discounting Jehovah's ability to work through any person.

This is a question that I wish had come up under a different topic. Without a set of clear visible miracles, belief in guidance from God is a matter of faith. I believe that Russell had faith that he was guided from God. I don't believe we are supposed to have faith in people when it comes to religious matters. So you get right to the heart of the matter with your question.

Russell may have had guidance from God on several matters. It may be because of a certain type of guidance from God that he viewed traditional religion through a certain filter, looking for a more sensible and rational God. It may have the right time in the late 19th century to meet a religious demand for a more sensible and rational God. This motivation could have worked in either direction. He was a product of wonderment at the quick strides that apparently allowed science to overtake religion in the United States. Or, Jehovah needed persons like him to begin promoting something that would attract good-hearted Christians to coalesce at such a critical stage in history.

In either case, we know that Russell felt a motivation and an overall direction that might have led him to read the Bible, or listen to religious preachers and teachers with that certain "filter" that moved him to choose, not just one doctrine, but a set of unrelated doctrines that quickly shook up traditional Christianity.

He picked a lot of these doctrines from Second Adventists even though most of Adventism had been recently shamed and very few wanted to be associated with Adventism. He picked a lot of it from "Age-to-Come" doctrine, even though the Age-to-Come teachers rejected him. Adventists, having been shaken, disappointed, and embarrassed in the 1840's, 1850's, 1860's, and most recently in 1873 and 1874 had already been making themselves more and more unwelcome in traditional churches as they kept updating their constantly failing end-times beliefs. These end-time groups were more apt to look for alternative doctrines from the traditional churches, and many had become non-Trinitarian, and many had become non-Hellfire believers, non-Immortal Soul believers, non-combatants, etc. Adventists hadn't developed these teachings themselves, necessarily, but were also picking them up from rogue Baptists, rogue Episcopalians, rogue philosophers, etc. The way I read the stories of several semi-successful Adventists is that they had to include a strong non-chronology angle to their doctrines rather than merely promoting another date. (Seventh-Day Adventists are a good example.)

We might assume that, sooner or later, of course, one of these groups was going to hit on something that would attract some special, additional attention. (Kind of like the way a good idea, a song or video or even a false conspiracy can "go viral.") Or someone would soon hit on a specific eclectic mix of doctrines that would be seen as Truth. Or a set of these doctrines would merely land in the lap of a skilled orator, writer and promoter. Or some combination of the above.

All we can see is the end result of Russell's eclecticism. And we might have faith that Jehovah took a specific interest in Russell's talents. He had a talent for speaking, writing, and used them to shake up traditional Christianity by promoting that collection of Bible doctrines that gave a very different, but refreshing look, to Christianity. Were these doctrines really random and the ones that made no sense would finally just "shake out" from the mix? Or did Russell just happen to have a good heart and a love for God that allowed him to read the Bible with a filter that helped him weed out many of the traditional doctrines that were not rational?

Depending on the significance we attach to some of the specific doctrines that Russell ended up promoting in tandem that no one else was promoting, we also might consider that Jehovah was guiding at least some of his decisions and efforts.

There are many ways, through faith, to look at the way Jehovah directs our efforts. We can't speak for others, but we know that we can rightly have faith in this "direction" even if it doesn't lead to a perfect outcome. People pray for a spouse, find one, and just know it was Jehovah's will at the time. People are about to make a terrible life choice and are steered in another direction. A driver of a car may swerve to avoid a person and hit a tree, unharmed. Not a perfect outcome, but it was still good "direction." When Russell moved away from some strongly entrenched traditional church doctrines, he may have steered into a few problems, too.

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3 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Are you saying that Russell expected God to use the fleshly Nation of Israel to rule over this Earth. If so, why would God use the nation which He handed over to the Romans to destroy ? 

In 1879, the Watch Tower wrote:

We believe that fleshly Israel will, in the near future, be recognized as the chief nation of earth, "Jerusalem be a rejoicing and her people a joy," and that ten men shall lay hold, out of all nations, of the skirts of one Jew, saying, we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. (

    Hello guest!
.)

Who else would have the right? In Russell's primary view, it was not just the 144,000 who would go to heaven, but ALL Christians, including the "Great Crowd." The difference was that the Great Crowd would be a secondary group who had not quite made it to the level of becoming part of Christ's Bride, and who would not rule as kings and priests. The chosen ones, the 144,000, would be spared the time of chaos that was originally expected to begin around 1910 and last to 1914. The rest of the Christians would live out their earthly life expectancy and die and go to heaven, also enjoying immortality just as the 144,000 do. About 10 years prior to 1914 that time of chaos was moved out to 1915, with Russell teaching that the 144,000 would all be called to heaven by that time.

Part of the reasoning behind changing their doctrine was that the Jews were not moving to Palestine fast enough, although they assumed God would speed it up in his own due time, just before October 1914. But remember that with all the Christians in heaven, the blessings on earth would come through a visible capital, Jerusalem, under invisible guidance from "The Christ." (In Russell's view "The Christ" included Russell himself, along with 139,999 others as the "body" of the Christ, plus Jesus himself as "head" of the Christ.)

The reason God would use a nation handed over to the Romans to destroy was, by this way of thinking, the Hebrew prophets had promised a literal restoration of the Messianic throne, and Jesus was the Jewish King and Messiah, who would fulfill the promise made to fleshly Israel, by being a king ruling from heaven as a government from Jerusalem in Israel distributed those blessings to the rest of the earth. Jesus would be the actual "king" sitting on David's throne, but from heaven, yet still in fulfillment of the promise to restore the throne of David so that all the nations of the earth would bless themselves. This way it would be fulfilled that the "nations would come streaming to Zion" and "ten men would take hold of the skirt of a Jew." (etc., etc.)

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3 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I do admit that it is all above me and I do wonder how much God actually expects us basic humans to understand.

Part of my reason for participating with these details is so that we can see that we are NOT expected to understand such things, because they are actually now admitted to be false teachings. It could never have been important to accept false teachings to be a true Christian. 

And a problem I have pointed out before is that Russell made elements of chronology a key part of the criteria by which someone was deemed to be included in the true Bride of Christ, the 144,000, or just an average Christian who is not so spiritual and merely makes it to heaven. That major point of distinction between those who could have been part of the 144,000 and those others he also considered "anointed" (but who didn't quite prove themselves worthy) was this: 

They had to accept that those who had heard about 1844 but gave up on chronology after its failure would not be allowed in the 144,000. They were likened to foolish virgins who let their lamps run out because they did not realize that a kind of call had gone out in 1844, but that the midnight cry was from Barbour's message beginning around 1859 to 1860, and that the Bridegroom actually showed up in 1874. If they had given up on chronology and not listened to Barbour, they missed the midnight cry, and had no oil in their lamps to meet up with the Bridegroom.

Those who didn't accept 1874 could not be a part of the 144,000. This might have created the inertia to allow 1874 to still be taught in the Watchtower as the beginning of Christ's presence all the way up until 1943.

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@JW Insider So are you saying the God allowed these false teachings to be taught to those that were seeking truth ?

And does it then follow that God is allowing the Governing Body to teach false teachings to those who are seeking truth now ? 

One other point, that is, if there were to be a second type of spiritual person, not good enough for the 144,000, but still going to heaven, that would mean they would still have to die as a human. 

Then if fleshly Israel was to rule over the paradise Earth, would people still die to go to heaven, to be part of that second spiritual type  ? 

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

 So are you saying the God allowed these false teachings to be taught to those that were seeking truth ?

Yes. God allows false teachings to be taught to those seeking truth. There is no perfectly true knowledge for all teachings today. We will continue to grow and distinguish right from wrong. We will continue to refine dross from gold.

1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

And does it then follow that God is allowing the Governing Body to teach false teachings to those who are seeking truth now ? 

Yes. God is allowing the Governing Body to teach false teachings as far as we know. There are continuous changes, and therefore continuous admissions that what was previously taught was not completely true, therefore "false." The teachings are not as important as the desire to do God's will. The imperfect and flawed attitudes are not as important as the desire to do God's will. This is why Jesus could say:

  • (Matthew 23:1-3) . . .Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying: 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses. 3 Therefore, all the things they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds. . .

 

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    • By Anna
      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.
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    • 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)
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      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 Patrick J Delaney
      After much prayerful reflection on the Scriptures, I have come to the realisation that the true identity of the “generation” Jesus spoke of at Matthew
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may soon be revealed. There Jesus said, “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” I think the understanding Jehovah’s Witnesses currently hold on this scripture is incorrect. I believe that Joel chapter 2 will have a second fulfillment in the last days of this complete world system, just as it had a primary fulfillment in the last days of the Jewish system at Pentecost 33 CE. At that time true Christians were sealed with Holy Spirit. I believe that there will be yet another true spirit anointing or sealing in the near future. This is what John was referring to when he spoke of the sealing of the 144,000 in revelation chapter 7. The spiritual Israelite nation must be reborn. (Isaiah 66:8). The great crowd mentioned in the same chapter belong to the same group but are seen standing before the throne after Armageddon coming out of all nations. This sealing will result in a true restoration of pure worship as indicated by Ezekiel’s prophecy of the valley of dry bones. (Ezekiel 37). Jehovah blows his spirit into the bones and they live. The preaching work up to now could be compared to the work of John the Baptist. It is a baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. By their actions Jehovah’s Witnesses prove themselves to be true Christians having repented of their sins. Yet they are not spirit anointed. I believe Jehovah is preparing them for a true spirit anointing. Their understanding of scripture will be refined. (See Malachi 3:1) The great worldwide preaching work, in fulfillment of the the “angel flying in mid heaven with everlasting good news to declare” is yet future. (Revelation 14) The fulfillment of the prophecies in Matthew 24, and other related prophecies concerning the last days find their real fulfillment in the future. The last days have not yet begun. Jesus told his followers to “Learn from the fig tree when it’s branch grows tender and puts forth leaves.” (Matthew Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. -34). The fig tree represents Israel. I believe that this illustration could be a referring to the spiritual Israelite nation blossoming forth beginning with an outpouring of Holy Spirit. At least some of the generation of Christians that witness the birth of this new spiritual nation will be still alive on earth to witness the end of the age. This outpouring of Holy Spirit may occur in the very near future.  
       
       
    • By gfnslave
      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?
       
    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
      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.....
    • By PeterR
      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 PeterR
      You would be asking the wrong question Anna.
      You need to ask him whether someone could be disfellowshipped for NOT believing it after baptism.
      If he says no, he is either misinformed, forgetful, or lying.
      Now I grant you, not every elder will apply the letter of the law (although in a JC it's more likely because of the group dynamics). But that there are procedures in place to allow for DF'ing someone who refuses to believe in particular teachings is very real.
      Let me ask you Anna - if I could prove beyond doubt that this was true would you accept it, or would you continue to make light of it?
      If you are determined to see only what you want to see I have no agenda to change that. But I can assure you that I do not speak from a position of ignorance or partial information in this regard.
    • By Evacuated
      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?




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