The Generation Atop The Skyscraper

by TD 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • Open mind
    Open mind


    You've lost me. (Not hard to do.)

    Please humor me for a moment while I share a year in the life of "Average JW Joe".

    1935: The Great Multitude is identified and "Average JW Joe" now has the hope of eternal tiger petting on earth since he hopes to survive Armageddon which is coming real soon.

    1936: "Average Joe" gets hit by a bus and dies before Armageddon, but he no longer had a heavenly harp-playing hope since Rutherford talked him out of it in 1935. So what did they say at Average Joe's funeral? He has the hope of eternal tiger petting, on earth, through a post-Armageddon resurrection.

    There have easily been 3 classes of "good guys" since 1935. (1.) The harp-players who get "raptured" at the instant of their death, (2.) the great trib survivors and (3.) the poor schmucks who die B4 Armageddon, but will be resurrected to tiger petting status in the New Order, presumably in reverse order of death if we believe WT speculation.

    What am I missing in your post?


  • TD

    Hi Open Mind

    Maybe a little background would help.

    When the great crowd was identified in 1935, it was thought that the great tribulation had already started but had been "cut short" and would resume again in the near future. Therefore it was thought that the Jonadabs had already "come out" of the great tribulation in fulfillment of John's vision.

    In the early 1970's the great tribulation was relocated entirely to some unspecified point in the future as the prelude to armageddon. This adjustment made it necessary to clarify exactly what had happened in 1935.

    Subsequent JW explanations relied upon the supposed proximity of the end. These ones were "prospective" members of the great crowd, because they had the prospect of surviving it. (i.e. It would occur in their lifetime)

    This joined the great crowd doctrine to the the pre 95 generation doctrine like a siameese twin. For example, in JW theology, no one could have been a member of the great crowd in the year 1700. No one has any prospect of surviving an event they will never live to see.

    So the JW's are not yet free from the ticking clock. As time continues to pass, and it becomes increasingly apparent that no one is left alive from 1935, the great crowd doctrine will have to be modified

    You made an interesting observation:

    3.) the poor schmucks who die B4 Armageddon, but will be resurrected to tiger petting status in the New Order, presumably in reverse order of death if we believe WT speculation.

    Currently, this third group does not comprise a third distinct class of Christians in JW theology. They exist only by "quirk of fate." In other words they are simply prospective members of the "great crowd" who had the misfortune of dying too soon.

    If this third group is ever formally recognized as a class of Christians, it will cause problems. Why be a Christian at all, if your destiny is to grow old and die and be raised up to a (celibate) life just like everyone else who wasn't a Christian?

  • Awakened at Gilead
    Awakened at Gilead

    I hear what you're saying, TD.. Turns out these prospective members of the Great Crowd will merely be of the "other sheep" when they are supposedly ressurected...following JW ideology.

    The Judge declared in 1935 (when the grand number of about 800 people stood up at the historic 1935 convention), "behold, the grand multitude"...

    TD, you're right, they must all be dead now...

    [email protected]

  • TD

    [email protected]

    Turns out these prospective members of the Great Crowd will merely be of the "other sheep" when they are supposedly ressurected...following JW ideology.

    Yes, eventually they are going to have to say something like this.

    JW theology is already weird enough because it divides Christians up into two classes. The only reason they can pull this off at all is because of their unique interpretation of Revelation 7 and 14.

    These verses mention two and only two groups. Therefore during the Christian era, the "Other sheep" and the "Great crowd" are one and the same:

    Finally, in 1935 the other sheep living during the time of the end of this system of things were recognized as being the great crowd seen in vision by the apostle John. (Isaiah's Prophecy II p. 255)

    But on May 31, 1935, in a discourse given at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., it was Scripturally explained that the "great crowd" ("great multitude," King James Version) refers to the "other sheep" who live during the time of the end. (The Watchtower February 15, 2003 p. 19)

    Those of the other sheep gathered in the time of the end will make up the "great crowd" destined to survive "the great tribulation," with the prospect of living forever on a paradise earth. (The Watchtower February 1, 2002 p.21)

    In a stirring talk on "The Great Multitude," delivered to about 20,000 conventioners, J. F. Rutherford presented Scriptural proof that the modern-day "other sheep" are identical with that "great crowd" of Revelation 7:9. (John 10:16) (The Watchtower May 15, 2001 p. 15)

    Who are marked on the forehead by that "man"? "Other sheep," ones who have the hope of living eternally on a paradise earth. (John 10:16; Psalm 37:29) In 1935 this group of "other sheep" were discerned to be the "great crowd . . . out of all nations" seen in vision by the apostle John. (Revelation 7:9-14) (The Watchtower January 1, 2000 p. 12)

    There just isn't a third group in scripture for them to work with

  • bluecanary

    TD, since you brought this up on Tuesday's thread, I wanted to add my understanding. For as long as I was in the JWs (the last twenty years) I was taught that there is currently no Great Crowd. Dubs on earth today who aren't anointed are Other Sheep. The Great Crowd does not exist until after armageddon. Using this reasoning, there is no need for the end to come within in anyone's particular lifetime.

    That may contradict what's in print, but that's what the R&F are being told.

  • TD

    Hi Bluecanary:

    I've heard that thought before, but unfortunately (For the JW's) it does contradict what is in print.

    The identification of the Great Crowd in 1935 is still considered to be a, "Bright flash of light" and is regularly pointed to as a milestone in JW literature and the quotes I gave from JW literature above were all fairly recent (Within the last 10 years)

    More importantly (IMO) it also contradicts Christian theology at a very basic level: Christians don't serve God specifically for a reward, but at the same time, without a reward, Christianity is entirely futile. (1 Cor 15:19)

    Since JW's believe that virtually everyone regardless of whether they were "good" or "bad" will be resurrected and given a second chance in Paradise, allowing for the existence of "Other Sheep" in the Christian era who are not "Identical with that "great crowd"" removes the reward.

    In practical terms what would this mean? Early Christians were willing to face death in the arena rather than worship one of the Roman gods. They were willing to do this because they believed that their salvation was at stake.

    Consider what happens if we remove that reward: What if those that refused to worship the Roman gods are treated no different than those that did? What if those that died in the arena are simply resurrected to life on earth just the same as those who escaped punishment by burning incense to the Emporer's diety? What reason would there be for dying in the arena at all? --None whatsoever. Remove the heavenly reward and you remove the reason to be faithful.

    The situation is virtually the same in a modern setting. Why convert to the JW faith? Why go to all the meetings, go out knocking on doors, refuse to celebrate holidays, etc.? JW's do this because they, like the early Christians, believe that their salvation is at stake. For non-anointed JW's that salvation is described at Revelation 7:9-10.

    What happens if we remove that reward? What happens if JW's simply grow old and die and are eventually resurrected to life in paradise just like everyone else who never bothered with the JW faith at all? What reason would anyone have for being a JW? --None whatsoever.

    Take for example, a fictional JW family. The grandparents were baptized as adults in the late 1930's and never considered themselves to be anointed. They were the only members of their respective families to become JW's. They've been dead for 20 years now. How is their fate any different than all their "Unbelieving" brothers and sisters and cousins that never bothered with the JW faith? In JW theology, there is no difference. They're all going to be resurrected.

    Any way you look at it, an "Earthly hope" is not a doctrine that can be taught longer than about a generation or so. It's only the proximity of the end and the prospect of not having to die that makes it viable. Remove that reward and you remove any reason to be faithful.

  • DanaBug


  • yesidid

    Missed this first time around.

    Thanks TD. Excellent reasoning, but that's what we've come to expect from you.

    You are a great asset to this board.

  • bohm


  • 00DAD

    And then after lunch, a nap:

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