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FOUR problems with latest "GENERATION" teaching

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7 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

Isn't it a disfellowshipping offence to not believe that the gb is the faithful and discrete slave?

This is off topic. You can't be disfellowshipped for not holding beliefs. You get disfellowshipped for purposefully causing dissension.

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8 hours ago, JW Insider said:

"But the requirement of jws is to adhere to ALL teachings of wt unless you would like to lose your family or in the case of not having family, be expelled."

I don't consider that a requirement. I consider it an opinion of a few. It was an opinion of many more in the 1980's, of course, but this has been mitigated with the more recent explicit admissions of fallibility in both doctrine and in organizational decisions. Brother Jackson echoed this when he said, in Australia recently, that it would be presumptuous for the GB to consider themselves God's only mouthpiece.

This issue was addressed directly at a regional convention. People who struggle with serious doubt need not feel they have to abandon their faith. There was a whole talk about it. Some may struggle with doubt for years before receiving an answer.

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On 1/17/2019 at 3:14 PM, JOHN BUTLER said:

@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. 

I can't understand why people are so judgmental and less humble about understanding that interpreting Bible prophecy is difficult AND MADE SO ON PURPOSE. Scripture alone tells us that you can be a true prophet or even a true disciple and get prophecy WRONG! Daniel and Revelation both state that prophecy is sealed for a time. Until that time, EVERYONE, I MEAN EVERYONE, true Christian and false alike will get it wrong! Does that mean no Christian should ever try? Wouldn't that portray a lack of faith? Only people who specialize in ridicule wont see the distinction.

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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 ? 

Some of this is already address and @JW Insider has already stated that knowledge is imperfect all the time no matter what. We don't ahve perfect knowledge.

So why?  People are drawn to the TRUTH because They hear Jesus voice. Anyone who left Christendom like i did at 10 are looking for Jesus' voice they are not satisfied with the hypocrisy.  Would God use such an individual who is wrong, imperfect??? YES. Jesus purposefully said and did things to cause people to stumble. They were not his sheep!

(Acts 17:26, 27) 26 And he made out of one man every nation of men to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he decreed the appointed times and the set limits of where men would dwell, 27 so that they would seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us. . .

 

John 6:68 says: " Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." THey did not understand why jesus was speaking such "blasphemy."

JWs have gotten CERTAIN THINGS WRONG! Mainly prophecy which i believe I've demonstrated to be Scripturally possible for the Righteous to do. They don't give up however. For this reason it emboldens the wicked in their ridicule!

That is so idiotic! That is so stupid and unreasonable! But it is also Scriptural. God has his own reasons. We may not understand them all or know HOW God is going to save all his faithful sheep.

Read 1 Corinthians 1 (Yes take time to read it below)

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    Hello guest!
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    Hello guest!
For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
    Hello guest!
For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

    Hello guest!
Jews demand signs and Greeks search for wisdom,
    Hello guest!
but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
    Hello guest!
but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    Hello guest!
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

Wisdom from God

    Hello guest!
Brothers, consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth.
    Hello guest!
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
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He chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are,
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so that no one may boast in His presence.

    Hello guest!
It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.
    Hello guest!
Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”
    Hello guest!

I think the teaching regarding the Issue of Universal Sovereignty answers much of this but it may not be the complete answer. Despite all the pain, hardship, set backs, disappointments, persecution, confusion, God can find his sheep and his sheep will stick with him no matter what. If his sheep mess up his name it will  work out Big when he make the ridicule of the ridiculers magnify his Name. Throughout Scripture we see God come up against the impossible. God brings the proud low. I always say "God loves Red Sea events." Events that no one can see a way out of. It is at these times God magnifies himself. Babylon was impenetrable. It had double walls. But how did it fall? Seriously? The way Babylon fell in light of Nebuchadnezzar's boasts is hilarious! JAR DROPPING! Beyond REAL!  Sennacherib made big boasts about how God turned on Hezekiah. How NONE OF THE GODS have been able to save the nations out of his hands!  Hezekiah  has enemies from outside Jerusalem's walls but guess what??? Sennacherib when bowing to his god, could not save himself from his own children! He could not save himself from the persons he gave birth to!  HOw do you like that for big boasts? Babylon in prophecy sits as a Queen and will never see mourning. What is her end? God called A WHOLE NATION out of exile and restored them to their land. To critics this was OBVIOUSLY a FABLE, a myth they said! Impossible!  until they found archaeological evidence such as the Cyrus Cylinder. A WHOLE NATION! What are the chances! That alone would have wiped out the Abrahamic faith alone had it not happened! the fact they came out of exile is a Witness to us all!

 

These themes run throughout the Bible. If you think the ridicule is high now. It will get even worse.

2 Peter 3:3, 4 says: 3 First of all know this, that in the last days ridiculers will come with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.”

Psalm 92:7 says:  7 When the wicked ones sprout as the vegetation And all the practicers of what is hurtful blossom forth, It is that they may be annihilated forever.

Hab 2:3 says: " For the vision is yet for its appointed time,And it is rushing toward its end, and it will not lie. Even if it should delay, keep in expectation of it! For it will without fail come true. It will not be late! "

God has a sense of humor. he loves puns and he will pun the devil and all his enemies to death! They will be fools sick to their stomachs! But his righteous ones will get away safe!

Psalm 119:165 says: 165 Abundant peace belongs to those loving your law, And for them there is no stumbling block.

 

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5 hours ago, Jaocb said:

I don't think it is appropriate on a public forum where anyone can read. I don't think it is wrong who can be sure? But I do think it is unwise.

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 a man, the master of the house, who brings out of his treasure store things both new and old.”

I do see a problem in trying to share our concerns in the congregational setting, where it could cause division, but the Internet is already full of comments from all angles on this topic, and adding my own opinion here merely allows someone to evaluate it without the need to concern themselves about whether the opinion need to be given a second thought, unless they are also concerned. For all anyone really knows, this opinion of mine could have come from an opposer, an elder, an apostate, a Bible study, the wife of a GB member, a complete outsider, a newspaper researcher, a "Russian" trying to interfere with a US election, or a concerned publisher.

If anyone wishes, my opinions can be challenged, as they ought to be. If they are worthless, someone can point that out. If they are only partially worthwhile, and partially worthless, someone (like you) can help filter it. To me, if an answer to these objections is obvious from anyone, then any other person's opinion about it is welcome.

  • (Proverbs 27:17) 17 As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens his friend.

The public forum of course is as old as elders and judges who were found discussing issues and concerns at the city gates, or the Areopagus in ancient Greece. Having found a public forum here, it doesn't mean I think that a Christian should just publicly expose the sins of others, or constantly tear down. All matters such as these doctrinal issues should be made a matter of serious prayer first, even on a forum such as this.

  • (Ecclesiastes 3:2-7) A time to plant and a time to uproot what was planted;  3 ... A time to tear down and a time to build up;  4 A time to weep and a time to laugh; ...  5 A time to throw stones away and a time to gather stones together;... 6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away;  7 A time to rip apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak;

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6 hours ago, Jaocb said:

Now my view is that they should have provided numerous possible interpretations and we just watch and see which seems to be more true. This is my contention.

I agree that this would be a much more humble and discreet, much less presumptuous than proposing a specific belief without real scriptural support, and then just asking everyone to accept it as the solution.

6 hours ago, Jaocb said:

I think the brothers focus on "This generation" because of Jesus' own words: " Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen." (Mt 24:34). What do they mean?

The brothers don't actually focus on "this generation," they focus on the correctness of 1914 and then just keep changing, stretching and twisting the interpretation of "this generation" so that it doesn't interfere with the correctness of 1914. 

But we actually have no problem at all understanding the actual meaning of Jesus' words. They meant exactly what Jesus said, that the group of people he was speaking to would actually see this "parousia" (visitation) or "synteleia" (destruction) on Jerusalem. It would happen within the lifetimes of at least some of them. There are many scriptures, and even history itself, that bears out this fact.

It's only a modern-day interpretation of these words, when attached to Jesus world-wide parousia, that we have difficulty with. That's another topic of course.

7 hours ago, Jaocb said:

I have no problem with the 1914 doctrine, but anyone with a brain should at least question our understanding of this generation.

I don't know what you already know about the 1914 doctrine, but if you can see reasons to question our understanding of "this generation" I'm guessing you would see at least ten times as many scriptural reasons to question the 1914 doctrine.

7 hours ago, Jaocb said:

I think it is significant that WWI started in 1914. Its a major coincidence and the world acknowledges that the world as we know it changed.. . . The world changed in 1914.

I absolutely agree that the world changed in 1914. But what does that have to do with the Bible? What does that have to do with Russell's or the Watch Tower's predictions about 1914?

Let's say that I had seen the Brooklyn Bridge construction start in 1869 and then predicted that in 14 years (1883) all that construction would finally be abandoned as a complete failure and it would be crushed into oblivion within a matter of months. But 14 years later it was completed and opened for traffic and has been in use for well over 100 years now. Does this mean I can claim that I predicted 1883 just because SOMETHING happened with the Brooklyn Bridge that year? I guess it's true that, if I were very dishonest, I could claim I was correct all along because it "started" to deteriorate in 1883.

What happened in 1914 was very close to the opposite of what Russell predicted. And, besides, there is nothing Biblical about the date 1914.

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8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

If these are not the last days what is the purpose of the sign??? if the prophecy pertains to any ol' time period, how do we know that he is near at the door?

I have no problem understanding that these are the last days. Paul warned Timothy that Timothy that (because he was in the last days) he would have to deal with critical times, people who only loved themselves, people who were disloyal, people with no natural affection, etc., and this helped Timothy realize the times he was living in, and what to expect. I have no problem with the idea that many things have gone from bad to worse since that first century, and that this system doesn't seem like it can go on any longer. And all these evidences of the last days make us hope and pray for a new system that ever so much closer.

By the way, when you mention the question "how do we know he is near at the door?" you might realize that you are inadvertently exposing one of the inconsistencies of our interpretation of Matthew 24. In our interpretation, Jesus is already present, and THEN the signs supposedly arrive over the next 104-plus years.

The topic of the "sign" is another one for another discussion. Many persons, including Russell himself, read Matthew 24 to prove that Jesus was warning the disciples that they should NOT look for any advance signs on earth because none would be given. Jesus said that wars and earthquakes, and famine, and pestilence and persecution etc., would continue to go on just as it always had (for the last 18 centuries, per Russell), but that these are NOT signs of the end, and not to be quickly shaken by such things. Russell seemed to ignore, however, that the warning also included not to start listening to people who look at these as signs and will therefore say that Jesus is here or there, but just not visible to them right now. Because when the parousia occurs, it will actually be without any extra warning; it will come as a thief in the night, and it won't be invisible, but suddenly and brightly, as visible as lightning that shines from side of the heavens all the way to the other side. In other words, Matthew 24 is the opposite of a "composite sign."

The actual sign, would appear in the heavens when it was too late to escape. Here is where Russell and Second Adventists, especially, went wrong. They thought that they could already see those signs in the heavens. They saw them in 1780 and 1833, which perfectly fit the belief that the last days had begun in 1799. The rest of this post will be excerpts from Studies in the Scriptures, Vol 4, to show how easy it is to lock in on "signs" and how strongly entrenched these beliefs were, so that the WTS was promoting these specific teachings even until the 1930's. I have skipped about a dozen secular references that Russell quotes to show just how widely recognized these "signs" were from other authorities, much like our more current references to how secular authorities recognize how the world changed in 1914:

And they were given into her power, and she wore out the saints of the Most High for a time, times and a half time--1260 years--until A.D. 1799. And this long persecution, in which "many were purified and made white and tried," and in which the Mother of Harlots was "drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus" (

    Hello guest!
) ended as we have already shown, practically in 1776 and actually in 1799 when the Pope and his authority were humiliated before the World.*


Understanding clearly, then, that it is signs that will follow the tribulation "of those days" that our Lord refers to, we inquire respecting the very definitely described signs--the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars. . . .

On May 19, 1780 (still "in those days," the 1260 years of Papal power, but after that power had begun to wane and the brunt of the tribulation had passed) a phenomenal darkening of the sun occurred, for which scientists of that time and since have never been able to account. That this was no ordinary occurrence is sufficiently established by the following competent testimony--

The noted astronomer Herschel, says:

"The dark day in Northern America was one of those wonderful phenomena of nature which will always be read of with interest, but which philosophy is at a loss to explain."

Webster's Dictionary, 1869 edition, under the head of Vocabulary of Noted Names, says:

"The dark day, May 19, 1780--so called on account of a remarkable darkness on that day extending over all New England. In some places, persons could not see to read common print in the open air for several hours together. Birds sang their evening songs, disappeared, and became silent; fowls went to roost; cattle sought the barn-yard; and candles were lighted in the houses. The obscuration began about ten o'clock in the morning, and continued till the middle of the next night, but with differences of degree of duration in different places." . . .


The Falling Stars

Half a century passed before the next sign appeared, the falling of the stars from heaven, as when a fig tree casteth her unripe fruit when shaken of a mighty wind. Our Lord's words found a fulfilment (though not their complete and only fulfilment, as we shall see later) in the wonderful meteoric showers of the early morning of Nov. 13, 1833. Those inclined to quibble by urging that "the fixed stars did not fall" are reminded that our Lord said nothing about fixed stars falling, and that fixed stars could not fall: their falling would prove that they were not fixed. The Scriptures do not distinguish between stars and meteors as is commonly done in our day.

Shooting stars, and even meteoric showers are not uncommon every year, and some years more than others. It is computed that 400,000 small meteors fall to our earth annually. But these are nothing in comparison to the great shower of Nov. 13, 1833, in which millions on millions fell.

 

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8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

Daniel 12: 4 says: “As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end.

    Hello guest!
Many will rove about,
    Hello guest!
and the true knowledge will become abundant.”

Of course, Daniel says the meaning is sealed up until the time of the end. Revelation makes reference to this and says it was now (in the late first century) the time for the sealed meanings to be revealed, and the sealed books to be opened up. This could mean that Revelation is now revealing them, per the name of the book. Or it could mean that they are revealed in a later "time of the end" thousands of years later when Jehovah reveals the meanings again to a faithful and discreet slave class. 

Although, as Witnesses, we generally prefer that last interpretation, it seems meaningless if, as you say, we are still hitting dead ends and not worried about being ridiculed for it.

8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

JEhovah's pitiful Witnesses are not afraid of the ridicule. They believe that God will grant understanding and they press on. They simply have faith that God will vindicate them for their efforts and expose those who lack faith in God's Word!

I'm more concerned that our speculation about the "times and seasons" is what indicates a lack of faith in God's Word. Always needing something tangible to hang onto rather than walking by faith is what Jesus and the other Bible writers were warning us about when they said things like:

  • (1 Thessalonians 5:1) . . .Now as for the times and the seasons, brothers, you need nothing to be written to you.
8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

I do believe Jehovah's WItnesses are approaching the end of their rope. If Jesus doesn't come soon, it will be the end of our religion!

This is an unfortunate set of circumstances to bring upon ourselves so unnecessarily. I talked to an elder in 2004 who started saying that he just knows the end has to happen within 10 years, and if it doesn't happen in 10 years he'll go from door to door telling people we were wrong. That 10 years has passed, and he's a bit "shaken" in his faith. (Reminded me of my own grandmother who once said: "If 1914 is wrong, then we're in the wrong religion.") The real problem is that the religion need not be tied so closely to a specific range of time. This is the problem I put in the #1 problem with the "generation" doctrine in the very first post here.

 

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8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

#1 is not a problem with the doctrine unless you mean it is unwise. Being unwise may be a concern but it doesn't make the doctrine untrue.

I'm more concerned that it is un-Christian, not just unwise.

8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

#2 This is only a problem if 1914 is not predicted. You presuppose your conclusion.

Actually, evidence has already been presented in the past, here on this forum and many other places, showing that 1914 was not predicted. Not biblically, not historically, not even by the Watch Tower Society. I'd say the evidence against 1914 is overwhelming, but this is of course just an opinion.

8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

#3 What is your more correct definition of a generation? Can you establish your belief Biblically? (Those are two different questions. I'm not trying to make it hard to answer. I'm simply wondering whether you have a definition whether it is based on Scripture or not. But if it isn't what is your complaint?)

I don't think I have a "more correct" definition than the ones that the Watch Tower publications, and every Greek language resource, and all Bible dictionaries, and other scholarsly resources, already consistently give. So I am basing this "complaint" on the Watchtower's own definition of a generation. And yes it can be established Biblically.

However, we are still discussing point #4 first, which is the one I started with. And, as you can see, a few other side topics have arisen out of that discussion. We haven't got to this point #3 yet. It's imminent, though.

8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

Note: Apostates and skeptics always criticize something but they bring no solutions to the table. When they do those solutions are often superficial. It is easy to criticize. it is another to demonstrate an adequate alternative.

No need to concern ourselves about what apostates and skeptics do. The Bible gives plenty and perfect solutions and alternatives.

8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

#4 I don't think the new doctrine is based on any belief that people had at anytime. Related historical statements about what people believed or not may be inaccurate but it doesn't mean the doctrine is false. It simply means they provides supporting facts that were unfounded. The doctrine could be independently true.

Perhaps it isn't based on any belief that people had at any time, but for some reason the Watchtower says that it is. It states that the persons in group one had to have readily discerned the sign they were seeing in 1914. We can easily show that they did not, which shows that there is a crack in the reasoning, or that the teaching was not thought through very carefully before presenting it in public (as Brother Splane has done on JW Broadcasting). In fact, Rutherford published in a later Watchtower, explicitly admitting that they "did not discern" the sign at the time, using his own word "discern." We have already discussed that portion of the issue in a discussion here over a year ago. Perhaps I'll dig out that discussion and see if it adds anything to point #4 before moving on to point #3.

8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

I think you need to refine your complaint. It is quite ad hoc and not well thought out.

That is not intended as an insult.

That's quite all right. I'm always anxious to read well thought out responses to anything I say here.

8 hours ago, Jaocb said:

I'm concerned about your rejection of 1914 and that these are the last days!

I don't reject that these are the last days, and I don't reject that the changes in the world, especially since 1914, are of utmost concern. These concerns can and should be used in our ministry to help people see that God's Kingdom is the only real solution to mankind's problems.

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So why couldn't the GB / Watchtower Soc' just sometimes say 'We do not know' 

Wouldn't that be a more humble way, and wouldn't that be waiting on God to give them an answer ? 

It seems that the GB have to be proving themselves all the time. And often prove themselves wrong. 

As for @Jaocb 's idea that one should not criticise if one does not have an alternative answer. That is a very crazy notion. 

But each to their own :) 

What I'm reading on here is moving me further away from the JW Org, and certainly making me put less trust than ever in the GB. 

And i do find that, some people find it difficult to distinguish, between serving God as opposed to serving an Organisation. 

To me the plot thickens each day, and not for the better.

@JW Insider You seem the most balanced person on here. Keep up the good work.  

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JW members, both, former and present, often come to the conclusion that some WT doctrines are very important, and some are less important for everyday spiritual health and/or survival of Armageddon. For some doctrines they think how they are not so important for "survival", for faith, for personal relationship to JHVH, for own or congregational life. And they are right in such thinking. But, WT view on worldwide Unity of God's people aka JWorg is a little different about this idea/s. To support idea how is good to be in step with particular teachings, even not "so important" from members view, GB using some phrases as; "be faithful in small things", "obey every instructions from GB even you don't understand why", "trust GB because JHVH trust them" and similar.
That is exactly what happens with a "overlapping generation". This interpretation is certainly a great nonsense, which is the product of mind of one or several people who have had to defend the position of previous WT Bible scholars/Doctrinal Inspectors, GB/FDS members, and to defend the possible meaning/s about Jesus' words on the "X Generation" and the anticipated "End of the World."

The teaching of this type, is one of characteristically teachings for such a kind of religion that is largely (if not entirely) based on Armageddon and the Reward with eternal life. The religion/movement (Bible Students) began with the prediction that the end is near. So, all efforts was been putted for "warning" other people about need to accept Jesus and JHVH. And this efforts is also attribute for JW today. 

The frequent announcements of the nearness of the end and the presentations of "evidences" to supporting it, does not stop until today. Evidences are always of the same kind, expectations are also the same, .... the time that passes without the fulfillment of expectations and beliefs means nothing, because time is eternal. If it did not happened today, then it will happen tomorrow. You just have to wait, and to remember how "many faithful people from past waited also for the fulfillment but not meet promises. So, you as JW can comfort yourself with same logic - It will be tomorrow.

  
This meaningless "overlapping" thesis, serve only to put the patch on the doctrinal hole, and correcting, fixing past misconceptions .... and to bring new hope for travelers traveling on a WT boat on which water enters, more and more. To convince yourself that you do not serve God for eternal life, or because of the fast arrival of Armageddon, or how this "irrelevant explanation" of what the generation is, means nothing to you, is good, ...if you really believe that this means nothing to you !! But, is it good to "believe" and to preach to other around you, that this "Concept" is what "Jesus has meant while speaking" about generation, and how God approved all this "truthful" explanations from past to this day !? 

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37 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

So why couldn't the GB / Watchtower Soc' just sometimes say 'We do not know' 

Because they are Governing Body of all JW people. If they dare to say something like this, to whom JW people will go for water of truth???? :))))))  Well, they will never say, we do not know, but they will say, "some of us was thought", "in the past we believed" and similar general phrases.   

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38 minutes ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Because they are Governing Body of all JW people. If they dare to say something like this, to whom JW people will go for water of truth???? :))))))  Well, they will never say, we do not know, but they will say, "some of us was thought", "in the past we believed" and similar general phrases.   

Sometimes they say "we do not know." I believe they have said it with regard to the interior rooms, for example. Tell @JOHN BUTLER Someone find the quote, please.

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

As for @Jaocb 's idea that one should not criticise if one does not have an alternative answer. That is a very crazy notion. 

It's a brilliant notion. It is pretty much what everyone's mother used to say: "If you can't say anything nice, [constructive] don't say anything." We are too much of the '60 Minutes investigative reports' generation, ever imagining we have blown the cover off some scheme or other. 

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Dude you are a red herring! I agree with some of your most basic ideas, but listing all this stuff serves no basic purpose but to create noise. We were told to search for the sign in our day. That is what they were supposed to do. Poor and bad interpretations in the past have little to say about the credibility of the current interpretations!

7 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I have no problem understanding that these are the last days. Paul warned Timothy that Timothy that (because he was in the last days) he would have to deal with critical times, people who only loved themselves, people who were disloyal, people with no natural affection, etc., and this helped Timothy realize the times he was living in, and what to expect. I have no problem with the idea that many things have gone from bad to worse since that first century, and that this system doesn't seem like it can go on any longer. And all these evidences of the last days make us hope and pray for a new system that ever so much closer.

By the way, when you mention the question "how do we know he is near at the door?" you might realize that you are inadvertently exposing one of the inconsistencies of our interpretation of Matthew 24. In our interpretation, Jesus is already present, and THEN the signs supposedly arrive over the next 104-plus years. 

The topic of the "sign" is another one for another discussion. Many persons, including Russell himself, read Matthew 24 to prove that Jesus was warning the disciples that they should NOT look for any advance signs on earth because none would be given. Jesus said that wars and earthquakes, and famine, and pestilence and persecution etc., would continue to go on just as it always had (for the last 18 centuries, per Russell), but that these are NOT signs of the end, and not to be quickly shaken by such things. Russell seemed to ignore, however, that the warning also included not to start listening to people who look at these as signs and will therefore say that Jesus is here or there, but just not visible to them right now. Because when the parousia occurs, it will actually be without any extra warning; it will come as a thief in the night, and it won't be invisible, but suddenly and brightly, as visible as lightning that shines from side of the heavens all the way to the other side. In other words, Matthew 24 is the opposite of a "composite sign." 

The actual sign, would appear in the heavens when it was too late to escape. Here is where Russell and Second Adventists, especially, went wrong. They thought that they could already see those signs in the heavens. They saw them in 1780 and 1833, which perfectly fit the belief that the last days had begun in 1799. The rest of this post will be excerpts from Studies in the Scriptures, Vol 4, to show how easy it is to lock in on "signs" and how strongly entrenched these beliefs were, so that the WTS was promoting these specific teachings even until the 1930's. I have skipped about a dozen secular references that Russell quotes to show just how widely recognized these "signs" were from other authorities, much like our more current references to how secular authorities recognize how the world changed in 1914:

And they were given into her power, and she wore out the saints of the Most High for a time, times and a half time--1260 years--until A.D. 1799. And this long persecution, in which "many were purified and made white and tried," and in which the Mother of Harlots was "drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus" (

    Hello guest!
) ended as we have already shown, practically in 1776 and actually in 1799 when the Pope and his authority were humiliated before the World.*


Understanding clearly, then, that it is signs that will follow the tribulation "of those days" that our Lord refers to, we inquire respecting the very definitely described signs--the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars. . . .

On May 19, 1780 (still "in those days," the 1260 years of Papal power, but after that power had begun to wane and the brunt of the tribulation had passed) a phenomenal darkening of the sun occurred, for which scientists of that time and since have never been able to account. That this was no ordinary occurrence is sufficiently established by the following competent testimony--

The noted astronomer Herschel, says:

"The dark day in Northern America was one of those wonderful phenomena of nature which will always be read of with interest, but which philosophy is at a loss to explain."

Webster's Dictionary, 1869 edition, under the head of Vocabulary of Noted Names, says:

"The dark day, May 19, 1780--so called on account of a remarkable darkness on that day extending over all New England. In some places, persons could not see to read common print in the open air for several hours together. Birds sang their evening songs, disappeared, and became silent; fowls went to roost; cattle sought the barn-yard; and candles were lighted in the houses. The obscuration began about ten o'clock in the morning, and continued till the middle of the next night, but with differences of degree of duration in different places." . . .


The Falling Stars

Half a century passed before the next sign appeared, the falling of the stars from heaven, as when a fig tree casteth her unripe fruit when shaken of a mighty wind. Our Lord's words found a fulfilment (though not their complete and only fulfilment, as we shall see later) in the wonderful meteoric showers of the early morning of Nov. 13, 1833. Those inclined to quibble by urging that "the fixed stars did not fall" are reminded that our Lord said nothing about fixed stars falling, and that fixed stars could not fall: their falling would prove that they were not fixed. The Scriptures do not distinguish between stars and meteors as is commonly done in our day.

Shooting stars, and even meteoric showers are not uncommon every year, and some years more than others. It is computed that 400,000 small meteors fall to our earth annually. But these are nothing in comparison to the great shower of Nov. 13, 1833, in which millions on millions fell.

 

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On 1/18/2019 at 3:01 PM, Shiwiii said:

But the requirement of jws is to adhere to ALL teachings of wt unless you would like to lose your family or in the case of not having family, be expelled. This is the case even if you know in your heart that you are correct, to keep up with the gb chariot, one must believe what they say verses what the Bible tells them.  Again, the Bible warns against such things, juts as you pointed out at Matt 23:1-3. 

All you have to do is abstain from fomenting a coup. This gets so old. 

You don't have to endorse every expressed view. (unless, as @JW Insider mentioned, you have taken a position of representative that says you do...but that is the same with any organization) 

Of course they would prefer that you get your head around every expressed view. Who wouldn't? But all you really need do is refrain from grabbing the wheel of the bus.

When you start singing the Buffalo Springfield song, "Step out of line, the men come and take you away," it is evidence that you have drunk too much of the Kool-Aid yourself.

On 1/18/2019 at 6:42 PM, Shiwiii said:

And here lies the crux of the matter. ...then there might be a change that was not from the top down but rather from the bottom up. 

It is the crux of the matter. Jehovah's people have signed on for being "taught by Jehovah." That is almost certainly going to be "from the top down." Your preferred alternative, "from the bottom up" would be Jehovah being "taught by us."

This is not hard to understand. If the answer is "from the bottom up" then there is frankly no need for God at all.

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29 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Sometimes they say "we do not know." I believe they have said it with regard to the interior rooms, for example. Tell @JOHN BUTLER Someone find the quote, please.

*** w13 3/15 p. 23 par. 16 Jehovah—Our Place of Dwelling ***

  • In what ways will Jehovah prove to be “a real dwelling” during that tumultuous time? We will have to wait and see. But of this we can be sure: Like the Israelites at the time of the Exodus, the “great crowd” will remain organized, ever alert to divine direction. (Rev. 7:9; read Exodus 13:18.) That direction will come theocratically, probably by means of the congregation arrangement. Indeed, the many thousands of congregations around the world appear to be linked to the protective “interior rooms” foretold at Isaiah 26:20. (Read.) Do you value the congregation meetings? Do you act promptly on the direction Jehovah provides through the congregation arrangement?—Heb. 13:17.

*** w09 5/15 p. 8 Where Should You Be When the End Comes? ***

  • Soon the end will come for Satan’s wicked world. How Jehovah will protect his people in the fear-inspiring ‘day of his anger,’ we do not yet know. (Zeph. 2:3) Regardless of where we are and what our situation is at that time, however, we can be sure that our survival will depend on our faith in Jehovah and our obedience to him. Meanwhile, we should cultivate a proper attitude toward what Isaiah’s prophecy refers to as our “interior rooms.”    
  • “Enter Into Your Interior Rooms”     “Go, my people, enter into your interior rooms, and shut your doors behind you,” states Isaiah 26:20. “Hide yourself for but a moment until the denunciation passes over.” This prophecy may have had its first fulfillment in 539 B.C.E. when the Medes and the Persians conquered Babylon. Upon entering Babylon, Cyrus the Persian apparently commanded everyone to stay indoors because his soldiers were ordered to execute any found out-of-doors.
  • In our day, the “interior rooms” of this prophecy could be closely associated with the more than 100,000 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world. Such congregations play an important role in our lives. They will continue to do so through “the great tribulation.” (Rev. 7:14) God’s people are commanded to go into their “interior rooms” and hide themselves “until the denunciation passes over.” It is vital that we develop and maintain a wholesome attitude toward the congregation and be firmly resolved to stay in close association with it.

 

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28 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Sometimes they say "we do not know." I believe they have said it with regard to the interior rooms, for example. Tell @JOHN BUTLER Someone find the quote, please.

Jesus wants us to stay watchful because of what we do not know and what we do know.

ws12 2/15 pp. 3-8 - The Watchtower (Simplified)—2012

WHO IS WE?? MEMBERS!

 

 As God’s people, we understand many things that we could not otherwise have known.

w03 8/1 pp. 14-19 - The Watchtower—2003

WHO IS WE? GB!!

 

There are some things that happen in the organization that we may not understand.

w57 5/1 pp. 279-285 - The Watchtower—1957

WHO IS WE? MEMBERS!

 

 

How big Jehovah God is as to his body we do not know.

w53 12/15 pp. 748-761 - The Watchtower—1953

WHO IS WE? WE ALL! :))))))))

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2 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

So why couldn't the GB / Watchtower Soc' just sometimes say 'We do not know' Wouldn't that be a more humble way, and wouldn't that be waiting on God to give them an answer ?@JW Insider

i can agree with that.

 

Quote

As for @Jaocb 's idea that one should not criticise if one does not have an alternative answer. That is a very crazy notion. 

But each to their own :)

Jacob did not say that. Go back and reread what @Jacob said! I said nothing about what someone should or should NOT do. I made an observation. Most of the time they don't have better solutions. When you grapple with somethng you find out how hard it is and the complexity of it and that brings a measure of humility and respect. I can criticize a ton of stuff until i actually have the job of doing it.

Most apostates are just hyperventilating on every topic and issue imaginable because it is quite ok to be have open season on JWs. their fellows don't even critique them because they are on their side. Very view if any would give any credit at all to JWs for anything.

I said nothing of constructive critiques. Much of what @JW Insider says is not constructive. he  is just blowing wind. I like him. I think he is trying to be honest, but he is like a person who likes to talk.

Quote

@JW Insider You seem the most balanced person on here. Keep up the good work.  

That is funny. Much of what he says is irrelevant or blind due to his own biases. I wonder why @JW Insider is still even a JW. Or is that just a ploy?

  @JW Insider

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