A conversation with a JW on the Generation change

by google_mE 26 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • google_mE

    I don't post here much, so hopefully I put this in the right section. If not, let me know.

    I've emailed my aunt about the new generation change, just to see her reaction to it and what her mindset is. I tried to keep it simple and not attack her personally as she has a heart of gold and has been a JW 40+ years. It's interesting to see how the mental gymnastics take place.

    Here are the emails:


    Yes, they did give a talk to help us understand how long the generation is in Matthew 24:34. A generation can be "A period of people in varying ages whose lives overlap during a particular event." For example: "All of the anointed ones 'as a group' who witness the beginning and also the conclusion of this system." For instance, the first part of the group would be those anointed ones who were on hand in 1914 when the last days began; the second part being those who were anointed later but still living as contemporaries of some of the 1st group. Some of these later anointed ones will still be alive when the Great Tribulation begins. Remember we used to think the 'generation' was a traditional definition of 80 or 90 years? This new clarification shows it can be a little bit longer, but not a LOT longer because it's still only a definite period of time because the lives of the anointed as a group overlap and conclude 'as a group' only for a number of years, not indefinitely. Am I making sense? The Governing Body doesn't know the exact time the end of this system will come of course, but we do know the time period. We are very close and as I Thessalonians 5: 2 says 'Jehovah's day is coming exactly as a thief in the night.' We're aware of the 'time' when the thief will come so we're alert, but we don't know the exact hour. It's very exciting times because we're so looking forward to Jehovah's promised new system. People need relief in so many ways.


    Yeah, I find it odd when they explained it that way since no one uses the term "generation" in that sense. For instance, by the society's new definition, I would be considered a part of the World War 1 generation, simply because my life overlapped with someone who actually was alive during World War 1 . Which makes absolutely no sense. What are your thoughts ?


    The general use of the word 'generation' is usually limited to the average lifespan of an individual, and it's already been 96 years since the last days began, so it stands to reason that the word 'generation' in Matt. 24:34 isn't the commonly used definition. (Like another expression that Jehovah used at Isaiah 43:10 "You are my witnesses, is the utterance of Jehovah, even my servant whom I have chosen...". The word servant is used to classify all of his witnesses together as an 'individual servant'.) My point is that 'generation' can be used to unite all of the anointed together from the beginning of the last days until the end of the last days, as an individual class or servant who are preaching the good news as well as warning people that the end of Satan's system will soon be here in order for God's will to be accomplished on earth. The bottom line is that Jehovah has told us in the Bible that his will is for obedient people to live forever here on earth as his earthly children. Psalms 37:9-11, 29; Proverbs 2:20-22; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-5. This Bible term generation in Matthew is a prophecy applying only to the anointed, so it wouldn't be used in the same sense as you being part of the World War 1 generation. At Proverbs 4:18 Jehovah has recorded "The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established." Jehovah lets us know what we need to know as we get closer to Armageddon . There's not any real huge enlightenment, just refining what we already know.


    I appologize, I didn't realize they changed the meaning of generation again in 2008, I thought they were still under the 1995 change. As you mentioned, the society is apparently changing their definition from a literal generation to a figurative one now, in which case the term "generation" can mean anything (i.e. 2, 3, 4 overlapping groups).

    Here is the quote from the April 15th 2010 WT Para 14:

    " . . . the word “generation” : 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) How, then, are we to understand Jesus’ words about “this generation”? He 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."

    Here is what Jesus said (Matthew 24:34):

    "Truly I say to YOU that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur."

    How do they get the idea of "2 literal overlapping generations = 1 generation" from Jesus' simple words recorded at Matthew ? It's similar to the blood change they made where they now allow blood fractions to be used despite no scriptural evidence. What are your thoughts ?


    The part of the April 15th, 2010 Watchtower that you printed is talking about a specific time period called the last days. The generation is referring to that time period, so therefore all of the anointed ones alive at the beginning of the last days, along with the anointed thruout the last days and being alive when the great tribulation begins, are grouped together as one generation. How would you define generation in that scripture? The whole context is talking about the last days leading up to the great tribulation (vs. 21 & 22).

    Since this system hasn't ended yet, and it's lasted longer than a literal generation as it is commonly defined, and since the scriptures say that God cannot lie....how would you define 'generation' in Matthew 24:34? Some of our closest friends have come into the truth in the last 10 years and they are so happy that the end didn't come before then. I look at it as Jehovah's undeserved kindness that Jehovah isn't in a hurry to destroy what he's created.

    You also mentioned that the Watchtower Society has changed their view of blood fractions . Again the understanding of the blood issue is being refined because Jehovah said not to eat blood (or take it into our body in any way), but he didn't say we can't eat meat. He knows that when meat is properly bled there are still fractions of blood left in the meat, but it's okay to eat it. You can't wring out every fraction of blood. The fraction of blood isn't life sustaining for the animal or for ourselves. The command not to eat blood was that Jehovah doesn't want us to try to sustain our life by having blood transfusions . Blood is sacred to Jehovah because it represents life, and the ultimate sacrifice of blood was represented by Jesus' sacrifice. A fraction of blood in a serum isn't life sustaining.


    In regards to the generation, you asked me how I would define Jesus' word "generation". The answer is "I wouldn't" because I do not claim to be directed by God's spirit. However the governing body claims to be directed by God's spirit and that is the difference. They have changed their belief as to what "generation" is 6 times now and this latest change makes 4 of the previous definitions wrong. This means that either: a) God has purposely been giving the society the wrong information. or b) The governing body isn't directed by holy spirit. This is not simply human error or a case of human imperfection misinterpretting God's spirit direction. For example, in 1927 generation = only the anointed (Feb 15 WT), in 1995 generation = only the wicked ( Nov 1 WT), in 2008 generation = only the anointed again (Feb 15 WT). If God is directing them to write these "truths", why would he have them flip flop contradicting definitions ? Either way this definition will change again in the future proving this current truth to be old light and the cycle continues. My point is, if they don't know then they should stop guessing. In regards to blood, correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you may have confused a fraction of blood (i.e. small percentage of blood, not acceptable) with a blood fraction (i.e. hemoglobin, is now acceptable). But I will ask, what does God say about blood ? His opinion is the only one that matters and his statement is so simple. "You must abstain from blood." Simple as that. Remember when Jesus' followers asked him what the greatest command was out of all the thousands of laws the Pharisees had made ? He simply said Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself. Sadly, I see the parallel of the society taking Jesus' simple words and creating many complex, illogical laws. (i.e. you can't donate blood, but you can take fractions of blood from another person) It's like saying you can't eat ham sandwiches, but you can eat ham, cheese and bread seperately.


    The way I look at the Governing Body is that they aren't infallible and they admit when they were mistaken. Jehovah does use them as he did the Governing Body in the days of the apostles, and his holy spirit does direct them as a body. They give us our spiritual food at the proper time and if Jehovah sees the need to clarify the information in the future, he does. The purpose of the worldwide Christian congregation is to preach the good news and help interested ones to learn about Jehovah so they can bring their lives into harmony with his will and purpose. We do this out of love for Jehovah and his Son. No other organization on the earth is working so hard to reach everyone possible with the good news of God's Kingdom and the blessings it will bring. We also realize from the Bible that we're living at the end of the last days and we don't want to be distracted by lesser important things. The organization encourages us to simplify our lives. By going to the meetings we're encouraged spiritually and we remain united to do Jehovah's will. Satan would like to break up our unity so we'd become like his imitation christianity and then start teaching our own individual ideas. I'll stay with Jehovah's organization and trust him to direct us. I strongly feel as Peter and the apostles did at John 6:68, 'Whom shall we go away to?' I wish you felt the same way. What other organization on earth is preaching the good news and directing people to Jehovah God? Who do you believe has the truth?

    How would you comment to this last email ?

    EDIT: Sorry for the screwed up formatting

  • nelly136

    she has a heart of gold and has been a JW 40+ years

    maybe its just best to agree to differ and walk away before she starts getting the hump?

    it wont matter what you say, shes in defense mode.

  • Justitia Themis
    Justitia Themis

    What other organization on earth is preaching the good news and directing people to Jehovah God?

    Every Christian organization out there is directing people to Jehovah God. If Jehovah's relies exclusively upon JWs ONLY to spread the good news (the gospel of Jesus) then the body count at Armageddon will be horrendous.

    Who do you believe has the truth

    Almost every belief specific to JWs has been proven false. (date after date, heavenly calling is open, heavenly calling is closed, heavenly calling is open, heavenly calling is closed...) Everything they have "borrowed" from Christendom still stands. So...who has the truth? Besides the scriptures say that 'ALL those who call on Jesus name will be saved.' ....not 'all those who have absolute truth will be saved.'

    The most disturbing part is her so-called reasoning that the term "generation" MUST NOT be the general understanding because Armageddon hasn't come yet. There is another option: the generation to which Jesus was referring has not yet arrived.

    JWs have railed at other churches for having pre-drawn conclusions and trying to make the scriptures fit the conclusion instead of allowing the scriptures to lead them. This is precisely what she and the rest of JWs are doing.

    And John 6:68 is referring to staying with or rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. Just because other religions have differences regarding specifics in the Bible does not mean that they reject Jesus as the Messiah.

  • wannabefree

    I strongly feel as Peter and the apostles did at John 6:68, 'Whom shall we go away to?' I wish you felt the same way. What other organization on earth is preaching the good news and directing people to Jehovah God? Who do you believe has the truth?

    Answer: Jesus

  • garyneal

    and since the scriptures say that God cannot lie....

    Scripture may say that God cannot lie but it says nothing about men lying about Him.

    I strongly feel as Peter and the apostles did at John 6:68, 'Whom shall we go away to?'

    Peter was speaking directly to Jesus in that scripture. He also said, directly to Jesus, that He alone had sayings of everlasting life.

    What other organization on earth is preaching the good news and directing people to Jehovah God?

    All of Christianity.

    Who do you believe has the truth?


    I can't look up the scripture to back this up but it is out there. I'll leave that to Stephen, Chalam.

  • Think About It
    Think About It

    All of her replies are the WTS scripted JW defense mode replies. Tell her you love her and agree to disagree.

    Think About It

  • TD

    Who do you believe has the truth?

    "Truth" is not a tangible object that you can "have" or "be in." "Truth" is an abstract concept -- 'The state of being true.'

    This concept works fine when we're dealing with objective, verifiable facts. Since 2+2=4 is the 'truth,' any other answer is logically false by exclusion. Teachings are either "true" or "false" on this type of case by case basis.

    However referring to an entire structure of belief as "The truth" is different. It is a method of thought control that emerged early in the 20th century in totalitarian regimes. You might recall how the official mouthpiece of the Communist party in Russia was named, 'Pravda.' (The Truth) Anything that contradicted the ideology of that party was therefore rendered 'false' by exclusion. (i.e Not the truth)

    Words are the symbolic language of thought. Contol the definitions of words and you control the way people think. This works so alarmingly well that George Orwell wrote a book in 1949 as a warning of where this could lead and for many years, Nineteen Eighty-Four was required reading in American schools.

    So when you ask, "Who has the truth", I have to say that I'm not comfortable using this word in a way that dictionaries and grammars do not allow for. It smacks of the mental manipulation that has not historically been used by honest people. I see our asssociation as a sincere though fallible group of Bible students, don't you? You can take a snapshot at any point in our modern history and find things we were teaching that in retrospect, were not true.

    Calling our system of belief "The truth" and referring to that "Truth" as a tangible object that you can "Have" or "Be in" obscures that simple fact when honesty calls for a frank acknowledgment of it not just in word, but in deed as well.

    For example, we've taken firm stands on medical matters; presented those views as "The Truth" and people have made life or death decisions accordingly. Those views were later changed. Looking back, what did those people die for? Was it really the "Truth" or was it the viewpoint of a sincere though fallible Bible student?

    Are we acknowledging that fallibility in deed today, by desisting from dogmatism on treatments involving blood or are we continuing to obscure our own fallibililty with loaded language?

    Similarly, are we willing to tolerate a little plurality of thought on the meaning of difficult prophetic allusions (e.g. Matthew 24:34) or are we continuing to accuse anyone who does not immediately accept the interpretation de jour of apostasy?

  • The Oracle
    The Oracle

    I would just answer her questions honestly.

    Dear Auntie,

    Many different religions are preaching "good news" from the bible, but there are only a few other groups to my knowledge who are directing people to a god named "Jehovah". I feel that just because someone is directing others to a diety named Jehovah does not mean they have the truth or are good people for that matter. Do you think Robert King and his followers who advocate that Jehovah has become King and encourage everyone to follow Jehovah have the truth, and that we should listen to them - just because they are directing people to Jehovah? I don't think that is good enough, and I am sure you feel the same way Auntie ________.

    As for your second question, I haven't found that person or group yet. From what you are telling me, and from what I have learned on my own it would appear that the Jehovah's Witnesses aren't really teaching the truth. At least they weren't a few months ago. You have to admit that they change major teachings a lot. You would be disfellowshipped today for believing things that were considered truth just a few years ago. And if you went back in time 10 years ago and let it be known that you believe things that are taught today by the Watchtower (current teachings now believed to be the truth) you would be summarily disfellowshipped. That doesn't make any sense does it? But that is the reality when it comes to this organization. Please pause and think about this, and try not to be too defensive. It's important to carefully consider this point. Even though we both may feel there are a lot of nice things about the JW people, it is painfully obvious to any thinking person that they obviously cannot be teaching truth.

    Take care Auntie. I hope you come to your senses one day. I love you very much, and it hurts me to know that you are a victim of a mind control cult. Life is wonderful in the real world.

    Love google_mE

    The Oracle

  • Monkeyironfoot

    Quote:"I strongly feel as Peter and the apostles did at John 6:68, 'Whom shall we go away to?'"

    Actual scripture... John 6:68 "Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." She misses Peter's point entirely! Peter identified a PERSON (Jesus) as having "words of eternal life" NOT an organization.

    Quote: "Who do you believe has the truth?"


    John 14:6 "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

    I mean, Do they really believe Russell had the truth when he died? He died believing that Jesus died on the CROSS, that the pyramid in Egypt pointed to 1914 or 1925 (whatever it was), celebrated Christmas and birthdays, believed that Jesus began his Kingdom rule in 1874. A JW would be disfellowshipped today for believing these things. Yet, Russell is view today by JW's as a faithful follower of Christ and part of the 144,000.

    Quote: :What other organization on earth is preaching the good news and directing people to Jehovah God?"

    Answer: Jehovah's Witnesses. But does that matter? No! If one is a follower of Christ and has accepted him, he is part of the 'body of Christ'. The 'body of Christ' has been preaching the gospel for nearly 2,000 years, and they did it without Watchtower magazines. They are directing people to Christ, not to the Watchtower organization. Why?

    Acts 4:11,12 " For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.' There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

    Philippians 2: 9-11 "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

  • wasblind

    The body snatchers got her, let it go.

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