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

by xelder 34 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Perry
    I think the whole situation illustrates the tightrope that Christian religions seem to walk when it comes to a question of the extent to which a reward is tied to faithfulness.

    No tightrope to it TD. You only think this way because of the WT fiction that the whole purpose of God's plan is to prove that a least a few people love him. This is tied to the "works" theology of the WT. It is not biblical.

    Ps. 14: 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Is. 64: 6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;

    God says that on your best day your righteousness (notice NOT your sins) are like filthy rags. Additionally, rewards are critical to Jesus' message.


    All are judged ... believer and unbeliever:

    ...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: - Hebrews 9: 27

    But they are not all judged at the same place or for the same reason.

    At the Judgment Seat of Christ, unlike the Great White Throne Judgment, this judgment is for rewards, not condemnation. The rewards are based on how faithfully believers served Christ the King (2 Timothy 2: 4, 5). The things believers will likely be judged on are how well they obeyed the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), how victorious they were overcoming sin (Romans 6:1-4), how well they controlled their tongues (James 3:1-9), etc. Speaking to born again believers, Paul makes this point clear:

    If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
    If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? - 1 Corinthians 3: 14 - 16

    So, for the born-again believer who has the spirit of God living inside him as a deposit of the full perfection to come, he might suffer loss of rewards, yet clearly he himself will still be saved. This teaching removes (well-founded) fear between man and God and paves the way for God to perfect the believer. (1 John 4:18 - Rom. 8:29) Furthermore, the Bible speaks of believers receiving crowns as rewards for different things based on how faithfully they served Christ:

    an incorruptible crown - 1 Corinthians 9:25
    crown of joy - Philippians 4:1
    crown of rejoicing - 1 Thessalonians 2:19
    crown of righteousness - 2 Timothy 4:8
    crown of life - James 1:12
    crown of glory - 1 Peter 5:4
    hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. - Rev. 3:11

    That last scripture above indicates that believers can lose crowns (rewards); but no man can take their salvation. (Compare with John 10: 28) While the scriptures do not elaborate on exactly what the crowns entail, we can be sure that when the Creator of the universe gives a reward, it will not be a cheap gift.

    So good works, while utterly insufficient to avoid punishment, do provide evidence that a person has actual faith and is born again. (James 2:18) Real works show evidence of the existence of salvation in a person, but are not the vehicle to salvation. Isn't it interesting that no where in the scriptures are people told that they should "clean up their lives" before they can get saved and then baptized? Cornelius the Roman army officer wasn't told this, the woman at the well wasn't told this, and neither was the Ethiopian eunuch. When a person tries to clean up their life "good enough" to merit life, the best they'll be able to do is to construct some sort of illusion of personal righteousness.

    In short ,works provide the basis for rewards from the Lord in his Kingdom, but never for salvation.

    ... by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Gal. 2: 16

    But for a believer, working for a reward after salvation is not only right, but wise as well as biblical.

  • yadda yadda 2
    yadda yadda 2

    The Society abandoned its long cherished "generation" interpretation in 1995, when that "generation" became older than 80 years. For a long time prior to that change there was an unspoken belief that the 1914 "generation" would be 80 years maximum.

    It's now 74 years since 1935. Only 6 more years until Judge Rutherford's "Behold, the Great Multitude!" generation is 80 years old, if you count newborn babies in 1935.

    It is evident that Judge Rutherford was wrong. If the Great Crowd is an earthly class that survives Armageddon it cannot have existed in 1935. It is most likely that everyone at that 1935 convention who identified themselves as having an earthly hope are dead.

    Rutherford was obviously wrong to say "millions now living will/may never die!" in the 1920s and he was wrong to say "Behold, the Great Multitude!" in 1935.

    As we get further away from 1935 with each passing year, another nail gets hammered into the coffin of Rutherford's speculative chronological predictions and peculiar creeds. With each passing year, more and more JW's are going to start thinking about this, particularly if the numbers of the anointed keep increasing while the increase of the "great crowd" dries up.

    Might we expect some "new light" on the Great Crowd in 5 or 6 years, by which time 80 years since 1935 will have elapsed? Funny how that will coincide with 2014/15. 2015 is probably going to be a very interesting year in JW history.

  • TD


    The "tightrope" metaphor is not intended as derogatory. It's meant to imply a straight and narrow path that requires a certain finesse to stay on and avoid pitfalls. And there are some obvious pitfalls here. When it comes to this particular theological question, you've acknowledged that the JW's have strayed from that path and plunged into what many Christians view as a works based theology. I would agree. The nuances of the relationship between faithfulness and salvation have been discussed by Christian thinkers for centuries and I think you've done a good job of explaining mainstream evangelical thought.


    Would it be possible to include those born in 1935 in this instance? (Anything is possible with a theology were facts mean nothing I guess...) I know, from an eyewitness (Who has since passed away) that those who stood up at the convention were not children. They were all old enough to have a definite opinion on whether they were "fully consecrated" or not.

  • yadda yadda 2
    yadda yadda 2

    TD. Obviously those who stood up at that 1935 Convention were not children. Perhaps there were a few mature teens at best.

    Persons born in 1935 of course shouldn't be included in the "great crowd" generation of 1935, but that's exactly what JW's did with their pre-1995 generation interpretation; they counted babies born in 1914 as being part of that generation. Why wouldn't they do the same for the 1935 "great crowd" generation?

    In 2007 they finally admitted that the calling of the anointed class did not end in 1935 (and there is no way babies or children were anointed in 1935), so why don't they admit that the "great crowd" class did not begin in 1935 since there is no way babies and children were of the great crowd in 1935?

    Here's my proclamation about all this in 2009: "BEHOLD, THE WATCHTOWER IS FULL OF CRAP!"

  • quietlyleaving

    well this means that we were all anointed ones and were stumbled by Jehovahs witness theology and now a millstone needs to be put around the neck of the FDS and they need to be cast into the sea. Doesn't this also mean they have sinned against the holy spirit?

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