1930's Great Crowd - Still a "generation" problem?

by xelder 34 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TD

    The current position is that "Other Sheep" living during the "Time of the End" are the great crowd. I've been watching for any signs that this position may be weakening, but don't see any yet:

    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)

    The "As a group" caveat would only account for those who have died prematurely. They don't seem prepared to create a third distinct class of Christians yet.

  • hamsterbait

    The "Greatest Man" book says that Jesus meant that the End would come within the LIFETIME of those who saw ALL of the sign.

    Since the WT says the sign started with WW1, I am not surprised they let the book die a quiet one...

    Yet Jesus actually says NOT to be misled by wars famines pestilences and earthquakes.

    He says simply that at the end the "Sign of the Son of Man "will appear in heaven.


  • RubaDub

    At least we still believe in the horn-blowing in Cedar Point Ohio in 1922.

    Rub a Dub

  • Narkissos

    If the opening of a "second class" in 1934/5 is no longer justified theoretically because (1) the "first class" was fully booked then [*check*] OR (2) they were to be the last generation of the old 'system of things' AND the first generation of the new one [*check*], OR even politically because (3) the WT's authority over a large group was warranted by its 'representing' a smaller 'spirit-begotten' group (the FDS) -- now the GB by its own apostolic-like authority governs both "classes" alike [*check*] it has lost much of its interest. Even though, as has already been pointed out, very few JWs are actually able to step back and see the problem from such a perspective.

    However the WT cannot easily discard the two-class system, even though they don't need it as much as they used to, because it is directly linked to two of its characteristic beliefs aka appeal products: (1) the "last days" (even by a very vague definition) and (2) "paradise earth". What will probably happen more and more is that JWs will disconnect the notions of "earthly hope" and "never dying," and "choose" their "class" on their own personal inclination and fantasy.

    Side remarks

    (1) the description of the "great crowd" in the imagery of Revelation (white robes, cf. 6:9-11; 22:14) suggests the very opposite of "not dying," i.e. martyrdom.

    (2) Christianity as a whole survived its early conception of being the "last generation" ("we the living," etc.)

  • hamsterbait

    The WT has actualy twisted the apostolic teaching on the resurrection.

    The Jews believed in an earthly resurrection at the "Last Day" (as stated by the sister of Lazarus)

    The Christians taught a heavenly resurrection to Kingship with Christ.

    (Hence Paul aspired to the "earlier resurrection" to heaven. ) Yet in that passage, he acknowledges that some will not get the Christian resurrection to heaven, but the earthly to live in the land promised to the Jews (RO 11)

    As Jesus said "many are Called but few CHOSEN"


  • JWoods

    JW theology is actually in many ways more akin to Jewish fundamentalism (or at least the Talmudic versions) than it is to historical early Christianity.

    At the very center of this is their glorification of the war-god Jehovah and the diminution of Christ to a secondary position.

  • Narkissos

    HB: the WT interpretation of exanastasis (hapax NT) in Philippians 3:11 as "earlier resurrection" is utterly fanciful. Exanastasis and anastasis are actually synonyms. If anything the double prefix ex + ana emphasises the meaning of re-surrection from the angle of its origin, as being from the dead, tèn exanastasis tèn ek tôn nekrôn (as opposed to a figurative or "spiritual" notion of resurrection for instance) but it has absolutely no temporal nuance (as in "earlier resurrection"): this is an unwarranted extrapolation from the pattern of the first resurrection in Revelation, which has no real echo in Pauline writings.

  • Perry
    The Jews believed in an earthly resurrection at the "Last Day" (as stated by the sister of Lazarus)
    The Christians taught a heavenly resurrection to Kingship with Christ.


    For clarification, biblical "resurrection" means a reunification of a persons' spirit with their body just as biblical death is the separation of a persons' spirit from their body.... when believers are "absent from the body" they are "present with the Lord". However, they are not resurrected (united with their body) until Jesus returns at the Last Day - Rapture, when they meet the Lord in the air here on earth. There is no discrepancy.

    The 2nd resurrection will occur so that the damned can physically stand before the Great White Throne ...bodily, to receive judgment. "There will be a resurrection of both the (declared) righteous and the unrighteous. "

  • undercover

    Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive

  • ninja

    as led zeppelin said......"they talk a whole lotta pish"...aaah

    "they talk a whole lotta pish"...aaah

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