Can someone who has attended the DC tell me what the new understanding of the Generation is and how they explain it with help from the bible?
I did attend the recent "Remain Close to Jehovah!" District Convention and recently I re-posted the following notes (and I managed to detect and correct a typo that I didn't notice until this post!) that might be helpful to you.
Since the separation of sheep from goats doesn't begin until "immediately after" the great tribulation (Matthew 24:29), and Jesus specifically stated at Matthew 24:34 'this generation would not pass away until all these things [that Jesus mentions in Matthew 24 and 25] have occurred,' including the tribulation, then it would seem that just as Joseph's contemporaries were still living when Joseph died, then some of Jesus spiritual brothers would still be alive after the tribulation.
The fact that our current year of 2010 is 96 years removed from the year 1914 does not help one do any more than speculate as to the year when the end will come, for we arrive at the year 2024 when counting 110 years forward from 1914, for Joseph's siblings, Joseph's two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (who were born in Egypt) as well as Joseph's nephews and nieces lived during Joseph's lifetime, making all of them contemporaries of Joseph.
Now trying to prove Jesus' wrong when he indicated that no man knows "that day or the hour" is such a ridiculous exercise as trying the calculate the year when "the end will come," but it'll come when the good news will have been [satisfactorily] preached in all the earth, which is something that Jesus also said (Matthew 24:14), for if Jesus did know 'the day or hour' when he said this, why would he have lied?
Berating spiritual-minded members of the GB or other Christians for doing what they can to encourage Christians to stay awake and keep them from going to sleep when they need to be vigilant with a view to prayer is evidently the preoccupation of some, but remember just as the Law appointed men having weakness as high priests (Hebrews 7:28), Jehovah uses men today that are just as imperfect, who may at times have gotten it wrong and might even have said some zany things they we might wish they did not say. But most of us here know more of what things the Bible teaches [than] most the truth because of the work of such dedicated "men," both past and present, including Jesus, including Paul, that have been doing their best to 'keep watch over our souls.' (Hebrews 13:17)
Firstly, "the term 'generation' as used by Jesus [at Matthew 24:34] refers principally to contemporary people of a certain historical period, with their identifying characteristics." (wt95 11/1, p. 17, ¶6) Secondly, Jesus compared the generation in his day to the one in Noah's day at [Matthew 24:37-39], it seems clear that the people in Noah's generation paralleled the people in "this generation" which began when the sign of Jesus' second coming became manifest in the year 1914. (I would take note the use of the word "this generation" as they are used at Genesis 7:1.] Thirdly, even if though we are able to determine when "this generation" began, we would still be unable to calculate when "this generation" would come to an end since no one knows the "day and hour."
Having said this, should we give consideration to what Exodus 1:6 says regarding the death of Joseph, Jacob's/Israel's son, "and also all his brothers and all that generation," then based on how old Joseph was when he died -- 110 -- then his contemporaries would have been "all [of] his brothers" and Joseph's two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, who were both living when their father died.
Now looking at the dates, Jacob at age 84 marries both Leah and Rachel in 1774 BC (after his uncle Laban does a bait and switch) so that his 11th son, Joseph, is finally born to Rachel in 1767 BC. (Rachel dies when Benjamin, Jacob's most beloved son, is born some six years later in 1761 BC.) Joseph dies in 1657 BC at the age of 110. Those of Jesus' spiritual "brothers" that were alive contemporaneous with the "sign" that became manifest (or "born") in 1914 would correspond to those that became contemporaries of Joseph at his birth, which would include not only Joseph's 11 brothers, but to Joseph's two sons and to his nephews and nieces that were alive when Joseph died, all of these being "that generation" (Exodus 1:6). Thus, these contemporaries of Joseph's generation would correspond to Jesus' anointed brothers, who from 1914 until now were all contemporaries of the sign, they all of them bearing witness to the composite sign.
The clarification made in the article, "Holy Spirit's Role in the Outworking of Jehovah's Purpose," which might better be described as "increased light" instead of "new light," which has been the cause of so much confusion is this:
[Jesus] evidently meant that the lives of the anointed who were on hand when the sign began to become evident in 1914 would overlap with the lives of other anointed ones who would see the start of the great tribulation. That generation had a beginning, and it surely will have an end." ["" (w10 4/15, p. 10, ¶14)]
I'm pretty sure that he use of "overlapping lives" to illustrate what it was Jesus meant by "this generation" at Matthew 24:34 will be re-thought and refined later, but here's the point:
Nobody knows the "day and hour" when the end will come; Jesus even said so (Matthew 24:36). The sign has both a beginning and an end, and so following the "death" of the sign -- the great tribulation -- "this generation" will then have passed away, the end will come and "immediately after the tribulation of those days," some of the contemporaries of the sign, God's anointed ones, will be on hand to see "the sign of the Son of man [that] will appear in heaven," that is, when everyone in the world will discern "the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:29, 30)
It's unbelievable how anyone can sit and listen to this and swallow/accept it?????
What do you mean? You do not have to sit, listen, swallow or accept any of it. You do know that no one is forcing you to sit, listen, swallow or accept anything, right?
New Light = Any Generation that overlaps the Generation of 1914 or their contemporaries will not pass away before The End comes.
I think you're close. What Jesus did say was this:
Matthew 24:34, NWT:
Truly I say to YOU that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.
IOW, this generation of folks that were contemporaries of the composite sign would not pass away until all of the things that Jesus mentions would occurring as part of the sign in Matthew 24 and 25 had occurred, including the great tribulation.
Sorry, but this whole "invisible" parousia thing never made sense to me. Why would Jesus come invisibly? Just to confuse everyone? Same with the 1918 Judgement of religions, do tell, how does one PROVE that?? You can't, it's completely fabricated BS!!!!!
What do you find to be a fabrication? What do find to be confusing? Maybe you are thinking about other things on another topic, but I believe everyone else here in on the same page.
In asking these particular questions (as to what the Greek word _parousia_ refers, as to how during Jesus' second coming, he could actually come invisibly and how it is we can discern that God's people were judged in 1918 in accord with what the apostle Peter stated (1 Peter 4:17) and Malachi's prophecy (Malachi 3:1-5) -- for it was then in the year 1918 that Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus came to settle accounts with his slaves (1 Peter 4:17; Malachi 3:1-5; Matthew 25:19) -- you seem to be in a state of confusion, for one needs to be able to comprehend fundamental Bible doctrines before contemplating these things first. I might suggest a Bible study, except judging from what you say here, I think you're more interested in throwing darts a Bible teachings that you do not really want to understand.
I'll just mention here since you brought it up (and I suppose it's possible that I'm misreading the tenor of your post and you really, really want to know this!) that at Jesus' first coming, what was being preached was Jesus' resurrection (Acts 17:18), but now, during his second coming, what is being preached is God's heavenly kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ having been established "for a witness," and that very soon now the end of this wicked system of things will come. You see, some 3-1/2 years after the start of WWI in 1914 during which the loyalty of God's people, as represented by the "two witnesses" of Revelation 11:2-4, was tested for 42 months -- this was from December of 1914 to June of 1918 -- Jehovah God, accompanied by the "messenger of the covenant," came to His spiritual temple to judge "that evil slave" (Matthew 24:48-51) as well as those in Christendom that professed to be followers of Jesus, but, turns out, they were just "workers of lawlessness" (Matthew 7:22, 23); only the faithful slave was found to have been preaching the established kingdom of God and so Jesus went on to appoint this slave over all of his belongings." (Matthew 24:45-47)
I really said all of the above just to tell you that you're off-topic. We're not here talking about Jesus' _parousia_ or whether a judgment occurred in 1918 or not in this thread. Why not start a new thread?
@Olin Moyles Ghost:
"As a class, these anointed ones make up the modern-day 'generation' of contemporaries that will not pass away 'until all these things occur.'" ("Christ's Presence-What Does it Mean to You?" w08 2/15, p. 24, ¶15)
"The word 'generation' usually refers to people of various ages whose lives overlap during a particular time period or event." ("Christ's Presence-What Does it Mean to You?" w08 2/15, p. 25 [box])
In hindsight and for the sake of clarity, I would have recommended the following changes be made to the talk, "Remain 'in the Secret Place of the Most High'":
We just had a Watchtower lesson last week with some fine material about this verse. Matthew 24:34: "Truly I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away until all things occur." Of course, the accurate or proper understanding of that really underscores the fact that we're living deep in the time of the end and there's a need at this time as never before for us to have an increased sense of urgency. Of course, that generation consists of contemporaries of individuals living during the same time period that the composite sign would be manifest.
Now the 2008 Watchtower--the 2/15 issue, page 25, made this comment about the word "generation": it says the word generation usually refers to people of various ages whose lives overlap during a particular time period or event. Now we've got an example of that: Exodus 1, and verse 6. "Eventually Joseph died, and also all his brothers, and all that generation."
Just think about what's written there--it refers to Joseph and all his brothers as "that generation." Now ten of Joseph's brothers witnessed events before Joseph's birth and at least two of those brothers lived after his death. So while Joseph's contemporaries were of various ages, they were viewed as being a part of Joseph's "generation."
Now, correspondingly, the word "generation" there at Matthew 24:34 comprises anointed Christians who were on hand in the year 1914 when the sign of Christ's presence first became observable and those remaining anointed Christians that lived contemporaneous to the sign. Now in view of that, Jesus' words there in Matthew 24:34 indicate that just as some of the anointed will witness the beginning of the sign, some of the anointed would also witness the beginning of the great tribulation, so the length of the generation, while not specified as far as the number of years, is a limited period of time.
For some reason, the Society conveniently ignored the other references to generation in Matthew (such as Matt. 1:17, 23:36).
Actually, Matthew 1:17 doesn't use the word "generations" in the same way that Jesus does here at Matthew 24:34 in referring to "this generation," and as to this other verse you mentioned -- Matthew 23:36 -- the words "this generation" is used in exactly the same way that Jesus uses the words "this generation" at Matthew 24:34, except Matthew 23:36 refers to the folks who lived contemporaneous to the end of the Jewish system of things while Matthew 24:34 refer to the folks that lived contemporaneous to the end of the present system of things. The WTS didn't ignore either reference; Matthew 1:17 and Matthew 23:36 are just not relevant to the clarification it sought to make in the in the article, "Holy Spirit's Role in the Outworking of Jehovah's Purpose," which has become the source of so much confusion.
Were you being obscene with that remark? Why?
Poster Saphhy explained it best[:] Jesus evidently meant by generation, '' that the generation that saw the generation that saw 1914 will not pass away until all these things occur''
You shouldn't take @Saphhy or anyone that says this seriously, because saying this they cannot be.
My favorite point with this whole "Generation" teaching from the Society throughout the years is how they use the same Bible verse to "support" their definition of the word:
Insight on the Scriptures,Volume 1, page 917:
"A generation commonly refers to all persons who were born about the same time. (Ex 1:6)"
April 15, 2010, Watchtower:
"It usually refers to people of varying ages whose lives overlap during a particular time period; it is not excessively long; and it has an end. (Ex. 1:6)"
Two completely different takes on 'generation' using the same bible verse as support. In one occasion, it supports people "born about the same time", and then in another instance the same verse supports "varying ages whose lives overlap".
Please explain to me how what it is you read in the Insight book means something different to you than what it is you read in the April 15, 2010 Watchtower. If, say, I was born in 1990, and I should have seven siblings whose ages range from 2 to 17, the two-year-old was born in 2008, or 18 years after I was born, but, big picture, wouldn't you agree that we were "born about the same time" or not? I mean, wouldn't my two-year-old sibling's life "overlap" mine when he or she should become 53 years old, especially, in a "perfect" world, should I die at 70? Where do you find "two completely different takes" here? How exactly is it that Exodus 1:6, which says, "Eventually Joseph died, and also all his brothers, and all that generation," in conflict with either of these definitions of generation?
@St George of England:
The current 'Franz' generation is now 117 years long. No wonder people are disputing it.
What 's with this "'Franz' generation"? What is it? The WTS isn't talking about a Franz generation at all, but a single generation of anointed followers of Christ with some of them being alive when the time of the end of "this generation" began in 1914 and some of them still being alive and not having passed away, that is, not having finished their earthly course, when the time of the end of this same generation comes to an end.
When you stack up all those very reasonable explanations, and they all say completely different things, then it becomes nauseating.
Whether you feel nauseated or not, you are being given accurate knowledge as to what Jesus' words "this generation" at Matthew 24:36 meant, knowledge that you and I did not have before this clarification was brought to our attention. The brothers are not perfect men, but imperfect ones, and they may not get it right the first time or even the sixth time, but they are humble enough to announce it when they realize what they understood to be true in the past wasn't true. You want to be able to say to others that you believe you have the truth? Then pay attention and stay awake so that you do not find yourself in the same shape that that Samaritan woman was in, thinking that she was worshipping the true God, Jehovah, but in reality she was worshipped a god that she really didn't know since Jehovah had gone on to reveal so much more about Himself to the Jews in an additional 34 more books beyond the incomplete knowledge that she had about Jehovah in just the five that she had. In fact, this Samaritan woman was no different than one of those trinitarians out there that claim to be worshippers of the true God, but are really worshippers of a mysterious, unknown god in that her worship was not based on truth. (John 4:21-24)
"If Fred Franz had a 15-year-old father who also fathered the 'overlap' anointed when he was an old man, then those anointed would be 'the same generation.' That still doesn't allow me to say I am of the same generation of my grandfather or great-grandfather because our lives overlapped."
The WTS didn't say this. I'm not sure that anyone has said this but you.
pistoff makes what I think is a good point. It is not just that [there] is confusion created, or basis for argument for or against, but rather what was the reason for this "new light". It is because the previous definition, hatched by men under j's holy spirit just could no longer be supported. Time ran out on them. And that is the only reason for this new dafynytion. But instead of saying, whoops we got it wrong again, apparently we were not willing to listen carefully enough to the holy spirit. But be assured, this time we prayed double hard, even dropped the two thirds rule and insisted on 100%, so are sure we got it right this time.
Then you really haven't been paying attention. Over the years, the WTS is always making adjustments and candidly publishing these adjustments in the Watchtower and in other publications as well. You seem to think that God's holy spirit is a toy, a literary device of sorts to make a unprovable point, but God's holy spirit isn't some joke; it's very real and I because of holy spirit that I am able to say these things that I say to you now. Actually, I'm reposting something here that I posted the other day (in another thread) to @bennyk that I think will provide a suitable explanation for what holy spirit is. It is holy spirit that gives to the WTS, to all of us, the strength to do the things we do, even if you find that you cannot believe this. Since the Bible does point out that "faith isn't a quality that all people possess (2 Thessalonians 3:2), it may well be that you need to pray to God for more of it. I'd doubt that you could have studied the Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses and not have gained some faith in God's word.
I find that more often times than not, this question you ask is raised due to a failure on the part of those who have been baptized to comprehend what it means for someone to have God’s spirt in them or for God’s spirit to be operative upon them. At 1Thessalonians 4:3-8, the apostle Paul states that whomever it is that has God’s spirit in them "that shows disregard," even contempt, for what things they have learned to be God’s will, he or she is showing disregard, but not for man, not for the brother or sister from whom they came to learn the truth, but for God, since it was He that put His holy spirit in them. Everything that we read in the Bible is God-breathed, that is, these things were written down by some 40 men that were inspired by God to do so, and while there are many people today that have voiced many doubts as to whether God had anything at all to do with the passages we read in our Bibles today, for many of us that have studied the Bible for many, many years, we have no doubts whatsoever as to whose thoughts were written down by these men.
I know you remember the following words that Jesus uttered when praying on behalf of his followers back then that had been actively taking in knowledge of his Father, the only true God, Jehovah, and of the Lord Jesus Christ: "This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ"; these familiar words I've quoted from John 17:3. But focusing on the words "taking in knowledge," to what "knowledge" do you suppose Jesus was referring here? At John 17:17 refers to this "knowledge" of God and Christ as being "the truth: "Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth." When Jesus says what he does at John 17:3, he was referring to "the truth," and he left us in no doubt as to what the truth is, Jesus stating here that God's word "is truth."
The scriptural injunction placed on all Christians is that they should "go on acquiring power in the Lord and in the mightiness in his strength," and to"make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine." (Ephesians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:21) This requires that Christians take in knowledge of the Bible so that they are sure of what they say when they speak to others about the good news of God's kingdom. But do you speak to others about the good news? Ever? If so, what do you say?
I would note that earlier, by what Jesus says at John 14:16, 17, about "the helper" being with us forever, he refers to this "helper" as "the spirit of the truth," and says that while we ourselves would "know" the "helper" because the spirit of the truth "remains" with us and is also in us, the world cannot receive the helper because the world can neither "behold" or discern the truth, nor does it possess the knowledge that we have. Why?
At 1 Corinthians 2:13, 14, the apostle Paul tell us why, saying that "a physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him," and so Paul points out that this is why the world "cannot get to know them," since the things 'taught by the spirit of the truth' can only be "examined spiritually." But at 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Paul goes to say about those brothers that walk according to "the spirit of the world" with jealousy and strife, that they aren't walking as "spiritual men," but, rather, as "fleshly men," that they are walking as "babes in Christ," for unlike the physical man, these "fleshly" Christians have some knowledge the truth. Just as Jesus had God's spirit and sanctified himself by means of the truth for our sake by making himself "a vessel for an honorable purpose, ... useful to his owner," those that also have God's spirit have themselves been sanctified as 'vessels for an honorable purpose' according to God's will through the offering of Jesus' ransom "once for all time." (John 17:19; 2 Timothy 2:21; Hebrews 10:10)
So then whether one should be a spiritual man or woman or a fleshly man or woman, you have come to know the spirit of the truth, and this is not something that a physical man or woman in the part of the world that is alienated from God can say. Consequently, the reason you can understand at least some of what I'm saying here in this post is because some of God's spirit is in you; for example, were I to say to you that the account at Luke 16:19-31 about the rich man and Lazarus is a parable and is not to be taken literally, or that Jesus died on a Friday and rose on a Sunday, or even that 1 John 5:7 as rendered in the KJV Bible, your knowing these things proves the validity of what Jesus says at John 14:16, 17, about "the spirit of the truth" being with us forever, even if you should now blaspheme this same spirit by suggesting that God's spirit cannot operate upon a false prophet; of course it can.
I think the reason for this very uncreative lie, is that many of the "brotherhood" are almost pushing for an explanation.
What "lie" to you mean?