Hi Truthseeker. Thanks for expressing your thoughts here.
I have noticed for some time that the events Jesus spoke about did not happen all at once and Jesus gave no demarcation between one tribulation and the next.
If you read each account of the events leading up to the tribulation you will notice there are no definite references to future generations, only the one generation whom Jesus referred to.
We know from historical accounts that Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD and after that life carried on, but if you read the scriptures it appears that Jesus said a whole lot more would happen and this did not come to pass.
Perhaps Jesus himself did not know? I have no answers.
The only thing he said to his disciples was that Jehovah himself knew the times and the seasons.
This is a Biblically incompetent response, however, because:
1. Luke clearly never mentions any "great tribulation" or "Daniel" and Luke is the only one that mentions the destruction of Jerusalem. Luke also very clearly notes as the Jews are led out of Jerusalem in exile, that that would continue until the end of the "APPOINTED times of the nations." Meaning? That chronology was a factor of Jesus' sermon that cannot be ignored.
2. Luke 21 clearly sets the destruction of Jerusalem before the events that begin the last generation. Note:
10 Then he went on to say to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs. 12 “But before all these things....
Thus BEFORE you have the first sign of the last generation, which is "nation vs nation and kingdom vs kingdom" meaning a world war, the fall of Jerusalem would occur and the "appointed times of the nations" would occur. The second coming and the "last generation" associated with it, only occurs after the "appointed times of the nations" are over and the Jews have returned. The illustration of the blossoming fig tree if considered a reference to the new state of Israel after the end of the gentile times would mean that the second coming does not occur until after the state of Israel is set up. That is incompatible with anything having to do with the fall of Jerusalem. But again, most miss the fact that Luke does not consider the trajedy associated with the fall of Jerusalem in the same terms as the "great tribulation" mentioned in Mathew and Mark and associated with Daniel. Keeping in mind as well, that that tribulation is a one-time event, "that never happened before nor would ever happen again." So what's going on in Luke with the fall of Jerusalem is contextually and specifically a different reference than the events associated with beginning with a world war that would lead to the eventual end of the appointed times of the nations within a generation of that world war, as is clearly noted..."But before all these things..."
Now on that note, Luke does provide some insight into the parallel of the "disgusting thing in a holy place" by noting the Roman Army that causes "desolation" becomes the disgusting thing. What desolated "Judea" (the people of Judah, regardless of their location) was the Germans. They are the ones who exterminated two-thirds of the Jews as prophesied in scripture (Zech 13:8). So it was similar and parallel to the fall of Jerusalem, but not that one time event "that never happened before nor would happen again."
3. Especially if you're a Jehovah's witness there is no doubt precisely when the second coming would occur since it has a specific chronological date in relation to at least two definitive events: 1) The fall of Jerusalem, and 2) the Restoration of the Jewish state. #1 is 45 years after #2. If there is any confusion, therefore, it's only because of issues of credible history for the precise date for the fall of Jerusalem, i.e. either in 607 BCE, 587 BCE or 529 BCE. But all three of those dates place you into the 20th Century! (1914, 1934, 1992). So "this generation" must occur within the 20th century. Period.
So the CONFUSION here is only not knowing about Luke 21:12 that allows us to separate the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE (actualy 73 CE, but that's another long debate) from the "generation" of the "great tribulation." The fall of Jerusalem in 70-73CE happens beforethe "last generation" signs begin. The times of distress associated with the fall of Jerusalem are not specifically that one-time "great tribulation" that was to occur slightly before the end of the "appointed times of the nations"; further Luke clearly indicates the "appointed times of the nations" would continue on into the future after Jerusalem was destroyed. Per the Bible the 'great tribulation" essentially occurs at the very end of the "appointed times of the nations." It is "Immediately after the tribulation of those days..." that the "sign of the son of man" appears, and that the new Jewish state begins to blossom, which did not happen until 1947.
So your level of confusion does not follow the available scholarship: "The only thing he said to his disciples was that Jehovah himself knew the times and the seasons."
Yes, Jehovah knows the "times and seasons" of specifically when the kingdom would begin to rule int he EARTH. But the date the kingdom begins to rule in the HEAVENS, the time Satan is kicked out of heaven and the event of the second coming are "times and seasons" that the Bible provides via chronology. Thus by all means let us SPECIFICALLY not confuse the date of the second coming as something in reference to things said to be among the things only Jehovah himself knows and withholds from us. Let's to to Acts and read this specifically, VERY IMPORTANT you don't misquote:
6 When, now, they had assembled, they went asking him: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them: “It does not belong to YOU to get knowledge of the times or seasons which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction;
Note what is being specifically asked about. About the "restoring of the kingdom to Israel." In the specific context of when Armageddon will occur versus when the second coming occurs, we know that the second coming occurs first and Satan is cast to the earth. The kingdom is set up in heaven but Satan is still allowed "a short while" on the earth while Christ gathers and seals the anointed. After that is when Armgeddon comes. But Armageddon is synonymous with when the kingdom is restored to Israel. That is, when the heavenly kingdom begins to rule in the earth. So the disciple may as well have been asking: "When is Armageddon going to come and destroy the political elements so the kingdom can begin ruling in Israel and the millennium starts?" It is THAT that is within Jehovah's own jurisdiction. When Armageddon comes and when the millennium begins. That has nothing to do with the second coming, which is cross-referenced by three different chronology prophecies, including the "7 times" prophecy the WTS is familiar with which dates the second coming specifically 2520 years after the fall of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
So it is highly important you realize that, yes, Armageddon and the date of the millennium are something Jehovah is keeping to himself. But the date of the second coming, even the "hour" (7 year period) of the great tribulation (Holocaust) and the end of the "apointed times of the nations" are all chronologically linked to specific dating that has to be fulfilled. 1947 fulfills the 70th Jubilee Week, for instance. Every time the Jews are freed from bondage it falls on a Jewish jubilee...
http://www.geocities.com/siaxares/jcovwk1996G.GIF (Jewish Covenant Week Chart)
So as I noted, your position is Biblically incompetent, with all due respect because:
1. You apply Acts generally to all events associated with the generation of the second coming, when it only refers to Armageddon and when the millennium will begin as far as being only in Jehovah's jurisdiction.
2. You fail to appreciate the chronology limitations put on when these things occur; i.e. the specific year of the second coming is exactly 2520 years from the fall of Jerusalem by the Babylonians so we can clearly limit that "generation" to within 100 years of that event at the very least even if there is confusion over the specific true date of the fall of Jerusalem by Babylon.
3. You don't realize that Luke, the only reference that mentions the actual fall of Jerusalem in 70-73 CE clearly indicates this event would be "before" the events of the last generation.
Biblically applied dating is on page 9 and you're still thinking we can only go as far as page 2. You have to UPDATE. You can't apply "only in Jehovah's jurisdiction" to the second coming, only to Armageddon. And while "Nobody knows the DAY nor HOUR" does apply to the second coming, the DAY and HOUR does not exclude the Bible providing the MONTH and YEAR, which it does when you cross-reference the prophecies that must be fulfilled in connection with chronology...
12 “Happy is the one who is keeping in expectation and who arrives at the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days!
Read DANIEL 12. The end of the "dashing of the holy ones to pieces" ends the 1290 days. That is, the Holocaust ends the 1290 days and then the Jews were to be restored. The official Jewish exile was part of that punishment. Technically, the Holocaust didn't last 7 years ending in 1947, but the Bible explains to us that the "days were cut short or else no flesh would be saved." That is, as Zech 13:8 points out, "two thirds" of the Jews during this tribulation would be exterminated and one third restored to Israel. Two thirds out of 9 million Jews in Europe were killed by late 1944, so WWII ended early--"the days were cut short". Had Hitler conquered the world then certainly he would have killed more Jews. It was his intent to rid the world of all Jews and half Jews. So the "days" were cut short as far as the actual extermination. But the official end of the "trampling of Jerusalem" and the "appointed times of the nations" would not end until 1947.
Further, we now can look back and see how this is fulfilled! We can check our own exegetical presumptions. That is, did the state of Israel following a "great tribulation" event that had never happened in the world before get set up within 40 or 80 years after 1914? YES. The messiah was to appear very closely after the state of Israel would be set up and the end of the 1290 days. But it is specific. The messiah specifically arrives 45 years after the end of the gentile times, which ends at the 1290 days. But the "sign of the son of man" would begin to appear 43-1/2 years earlier nar the birth of the new second coming messiah, in which case, everything is fulfilled within that generation of 1914-1954.
Thus KNOW that the "END of the system of things" is NOT Armageddon. The END of the system of things is the end of the Jewish system of the gentile times or "appointed times of the nations" and thus the END did arrive already in 1947. The Bible says "this good news of the kingdom" would be preached worldwide before the end comes. Well the small group of Bible Students that started out in the late 1800s did become an international sect by 1947. So that was fulfilled. And so, YES, Jehovah's witnesses indeed are the ones carying this "good news" of the kingdom, even if the GB becomes apostate later. But that's all in the Bible too.
Finally, there is no way to absolutely use "this generation" to place the setting during Jesus' day. Clearly, if Jesus said "this generation would not pass away" it would be true absolutely until the last person of that generation actually died. In that case, it is a truth even for Jesus' current generation because.. 28 Truly I say to YOU that there are some of those standing here that will not taste death at all until first they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”
John we know for sure and others from the 1st century and thus part of that generation, would be granted to "survive down to the Lord's day" (1 Thess 4:15) along with Paul, who could be considered to be part of that generation of Jesus' day. So technically, though I don't believe so, if Jesus was making another cryptic remark about how some from his time would live down to the second coming some 1900 years later, then that works too. It's not contradicted in the reality, that is, indeed, some from Jesus' own generation would not pass away until the second coming and the state of Israel was reborn.
GREAT TRIBULATION NOT ARMAGEDDON!!!
To HELP you get this right and get past WTS rhetoric, FOCUS on the details of the "great tribulation" vs it being Armageddon!!! THINK, THINK, THINK!! The context of this "great tribulation" is that if God didn't cut the days short, "no flesh would be saved." This was always something that puzzled another anointed brother in my congregation who didn't understand this. But it basically says God went haywire and got so self-invovled with Armageddon he accidentally nearly wipes out all the "holy ones"!!! In fact, if he didn't stop it, all the holy ones would be killed!!! This at least means the majority of the holy ones are wiped out at Armageddon, right? Right. But that makes no sense. Why is Jehovah killing off the "holy ones" during this great tribulation/Armageddon? Aren't JWs suppose to survive Armageddon? Isn't it the wicked who are supposed to die at Armageddon and not the righteous? Of course. Therefore this ain't Armageddon in reference here! The "holy ones" are the Jews. This is still in the context of what would happen to them if they left God's covenant, which included exile and a sword being sent after them. This "great tribulation" is the climax of that prophecy. So it is the Jews who almost get wiped out during this "great tribulation" not the majority of Christians!!! The Jews are the target of the great tribulation and "desolation" of Judea, which is the Jewish people, not the actual land of Judah.
Second, this "great tribulation" is OVER even before the second coming! "Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days..." The WTS is CLUELESS about how this works out for Armageddon! They have flipped flop back and forth on who sees the "sign of the son of man" and then mourns over the messiah AFTER Armageddon!! In fact, it doesn't work so they twist this scripture to mean "after the beginning of Armageddon..." That is the sign appears DURING Armageddon at some point, with some people at the last minute I guess during Armageddon either being converted, or shocked by seeing the sign. Sometimes those who see the sign are the wicked whom Christ will destroy or Christ's followers who sympathetically recognize him and mourn over him; not that the WTS has any clues as to why Christ's followers would mourn when they saw him instead of rejoicing!!! Even so, this directly contradicts the scripture. The "sign" does not appear DURING the great tribulation, but AFTER. After it is all over. That does not fit Armageddon.
Also, JWs long ago clearly also understood the budding of the fig tree meant the reestablishment of the state of Israel and the Jewish restoration to Palestine like so many others do. In fact, they were focussedly Zionistic with Russell speaking specifically to Jews about their role in events of our times and their restoration to Palestine a clearly significant prophecy to be fulfilled. But for some reason they dropped all references to the Jews or any significance whatsoever for the Jews fulfilling anything! JWs totally believe they are "spiritual Israel" and have completely replaced the Jews who are no longer recognized by Jevhoah. Of course, that completely contradicts scripture but what else is old? So you've got to be passed thinking the "great tribulation" is Armageddon!!! The "great tribulation" of Matthew and Mark was the Holocaust/WWII.
Now there is another "great tribulation" associated with Armageddon, but that clearly comes after the second coming. This "great tribulation" happens BEFORE the second coming and ends the "appointed times of the nations."
Sorry, this clearly means the WTS are the apostate Man of Lawlessness and False Prophet. But there is no other choice. What is important is that YOU know at this point that it's not that difficult to have Matthew's "generation" fulfilled, but you can't do it and claim the WTS still has any insight in the matter. You are going to have to make up your mind. The hard choice for JWs is as set out in Revelation where John began to bow down to the angel giving him the vision and he was told "Be careful, don't do that!!--
8 Well, I John was the one hearing and seeing these things. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel that had been showing me these things. 9 But he tells me: “Be careful! Do not do that! All I am is a fellow slave of you and of your brothers who are prophets and of those who are observing the words of this scroll. Worship God.”
This, unfortunately, is the hard choice for JWs!!! Because they are being tested as to whether they have begun to WORSHIP the angel that is giving them spiritual food. The Bible says even if an angel says something apart from what is in scripture, don't believe it! So now many in the WTS are worshipping the FDS!! So much so that they want to keep worshiping them even though it is clear Jehovah has removed them. They are confused about this. But now it's coming down to the wire. You can see they are no longer teaching the truth but that your own examination of the Bible is revealed to us. So you have no choice but to side with the Bible if you want life. It's no longer an option to follow the FDS God. The only reason for trying to accept a twisted concept of the "generation" now is to facilitate making being a JW relevant. That's the only reason. In the meantime, the WTS is trying to sooth everybody to keep that money coming in in the face of an impending economic disaster. I doubt the GB itself even believes their jive "extended generation" theory. It's the only thing they can come up with in the face that the reality doesn't fit what the Bible says!!! But again, they think "after the tribulation of those days"...means during, so what do you expect.
So the question is, TRUTHSEEKER. Are you going to "Get out of her my people" before it's too late or are you going to stay until the WTS is destroyed along with the Catholic Church and the other Illuminati/Babylon cult-driven organizations?
BROAD AND SPACIOUS IS THE ROAD LEADING TO DESTRUCTION (i.e. organized religion, the group plan). NARROW AND CRAMPED IS THE ROAD LEADING TO LIFE!!! So you have to leave the group plan to get life I'm afraid, eventually.
Look at the pyramid on Russel's grave. Go to You Tube and find out how many people are saying the WTS is connected with the Illuminati and Freemasonry. Look at all the "subliminal art" in the WTS publications; cryptic art is how Freemasons communicate. And look at the obvious false teachings!!! The WTS has become part of BTG, which is why the Bible says, "GET OUT OF HER, my people!!!"
Now I hate to bring this up, but on JUDGMENT DAY, if you don't get out in time, you can't say: "Geez! Nobody warned me or explained any of this to me, so I was fooled by the GB!!" "This womanly organization you gave me told me to eat the forbidden fruit!"
You were given your own individual copy of the BIBLE for a reason. It wasn't to hide it under the Watchtower and never open it.
The Bible is offering you LIGHT of understanding NOW. But if you ignore that light now, once Armageddon starts that light will be gone and the Bible will be a dark book with no light to guide you. You don't want that!!!