I am clever.
No, in fact, thinking that one is clever is not the same as someone being clever, which, I have said, you have not been here. I don't need your vote to so conclude though; I am responding to what you said in your post and am here responding subjectively to what you have said. If you were aiming for "clever," well, you missed, but my hope is that opportunities to be such will emerge and you will be clever at that time. Someone else may be of a different opinion than I am about your cleverness, and that's fine, but, I am presentness not convinced that you even know what is even involved in being clever.
I am informed and have educated myself since exiting the Jehovah's Witness mind control cult. I am NOT grieving the holy spirit (as you put it) because Jehovah's Witnesses are NOT inspired by holy spirit. I intentionally have not attended meetings for almost 7 years because I disagree with the unjust policy's and beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses. Thus I will not falsely promise householders at the doors a promise of a paradise - when it isn't real.
You have educated yourself, but how do you mean? In what way do you consider yourself to be "educated"? I don't say that your characterization of Jehovah's Witnesses as a "mind control cult" is mistaken, for how can I possibly tell anyone that what they should opine about Jehovah’s Witnesses is not an accurate testament to what they truly believe to be true? I’m sure you know what things you believe and what things you do not believe.
At Luke 23:42, 43, Jesus mentioned "Paradise" to a man that was about to die, a Jewish man that knew only that there had been a Garden of Eden, the original paradise that existed here on earth back in the year 4026 BC. Do you believe that Jesus was lying to the man as to his being resurrected in the future when Jesus had finally gotten into his kingdom? If this is what you believe about Jesus, that's ok. I believe Jesus though.
You know Abraham’s wife, Sarah, wasn’t inspired by holy spirit either when she told her husband, Abraham, that Ishmael was not going to become an heir with Isaac. Do you remember that in the Bible where Sarah tells Abraham, "The son of this slave girl is not going to be an heir with my son, with Isaac!" (Genesis 21:10) that Jehovah approved of what she said to her husband? "Listen to her voice," Jehovah told Abraham, "because it is by means of Isaac that what will be called your seed will be." (Genesis 21:12)
Jehovah has used imperfect men and woman in the past to accomplish his will and He continues to use imperfect men and woman today, and even though Jehovah's Witnesses do not receive divine revelations "under inspiration" from Jehovah, they are guided by what things "the spirit says to the congregations" through His word, the Bible (Revelation 2:7). While I do realize that you do not believe there will be an early paradise, but the "great crowd," who listen to what the spirit says, will, in fact, enjoy an earthly paradise where they will drink from "a river of water of life" and will find healing from "the leaves of the trees" alongside it. (Revelation 7:9, 10, 13-17; 22:1, 2)
You say Jehovah's Witnesses are a "mind control cult," and all cults have human leaders, but Jehovah's Witnesses do not have a human leader. Now you say that you would fancy yourself to be a false prophet (to loosely paraphrase your words) were you to promise the householder eternal life in a paradise earth, because you do not believe the work that Jehovah's Witnesses do to be inspired by holy spirit.
You believe that you would be regarded by some as being a false prophet because you happen to be of the belief that Jehovah's Witnesses are holding out to the householder a false hope of eternal life, a false promise of a paradise earth because no one has ever been able to convince you that this is what the Bible teaches, that eternal life on earth under paradisaic conditions is what Jesus Christ taught would come to pass under the administration of his heavenly kingdom. That’s fine and maybe no one will be able to convince you that these things are actually taught in the Bible, which kinda reminds me of Jeremiah, who in his prayer at Jeremiah 20:7-9 had momentarily forgotten that he was a prophet for Jehovah, that when he spoke to others, he was really speaking God's message to the people.
O Lord, you misled me, and I allowed myself to be misled.
You are stronger than I am, and you overpowered me.
Now I am mocked every day; everyone laughs at me.
When I speak, the words burst out. "Violence and destruction!" I shout.
So these messages from the Lord have made me a household joke.
But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name,
his word burns in my heart like a fire.
It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!
When Jeremiah got discouraged, did you notice who he was thinking about. "Me," he said. "They are holding me in derision," the NWT says, "Everyone laughs at me," the NLB says, "the word of Jehovah became for me a cause of reproach and for jeering," the NWT says, "So these messages from the Lord have made me a household joke," the NLB says.
Now if we are finding God's message is hard to share with people, maybe it's because at the moment we're thinking of ME. We should think of the message, think of the people, think of their future, think of our great God, the great issues that are at stake. The Devil has said that you'll never serve Jehovah. Was he right about you? When we remember that we are God's prophets, that we are speaking God's message to the people. That those inspired words we read in the Bible are God's, and not our words. Then the issue becomes more clear-cut.
You spoke in your post here about the unjust policies and beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, but what about our beliefs have you found to be unjust? Are you talking about the shunning "policy"? Since you brought it up, I will address the matter.
I know that many former Jehovah's Witnesses abhor the shunning policy, but I am also aware that many Jehovah's Witnesses forget that those who are disfellowshipped for a lack of repentance are dedicated servants of God that are being disciplined by Jehovah, not directly, but indirectly through the congregation by imperfect men that cannot read anyone's heart, and whose own imperfections may cloud their judgment. The elders voting to disfellowship are being tested even as those disfellowshipped are being tested, but no one is required to treat or should be treating disfellowshipped ones as if they had been struck with leprosy. The purpose is that those trained by such discipline might yield the fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)
Many of Jehovah's Witnesses do not have a balanced viewpoint of disfellowshipping, as not everyone that is disfellowshipped "engage in activity promoting wrongdoing, opposing the truth and endeavoring to deceive others into following the wrong course that led to their disfellowshiping." Now if after being disfellowshiped a person tried to justify his immoral conduct before others and sought to sway others to his perverted way of thinking, then that individual would "actually [be] rejecting the teachings of the Bible," that same as would an apostate. In promoting apostate views, make no mistake about it: You would, as the Bible puts it, be grieving the holy spirit (Ephesians 4:30), due to one becoming wrathful with Jehovah for His permitting imperfect elders to administer discipline in the congregation to those they might believe merit such discipline.
So while the elders could be wrong in their judgment, your becoming wrathful with Jehovah over their imperfect decisions by your intentionally not having attended any meetings for almost seven years can prove to be damaging to you, for if they are still the ones 'keeping watch over your soul' -- and they are! -- then your attitude toward the elders may prove to be a test of your loyalty to Jehovah and to His way of ruling. (Hebrews 13:17) [w74 8/1 "Divine Mercy Points the Way Back for Erring Ones," paragraphs 23, 24, pp. 465, 466]
In context, 2 John 10, 11 is referring to apostates, but I am one of those Jehovah's Witnesses that believes the wider application that has been given by the WTS to John's words here should not be applied as it is being applied now, such that those disfellowshipped for reasons having nothing at all to do with apostasy -- many disfellowshipped ones attend meetings just as regularly as they did before their disfellowshipment -- are treated as lepers. Also, 1 John 2:18, 19, which refers to "antichrists," that "went out from us" has been applied to those disfellowshipped for reasons other than for apostasy.
In fact, there are cases, too, where the elders may feel that certain ones in the congregation could be an aid in the rehabilitation of a disfellowshiped one, perhaps owing to their having been instrumental in originally aiding that one to come to a knowledge of Bible truth.
Under the subheading, "Benefits of a Balanced Viewpoint," Jehovah's Witnesses are urged not to minimize the scriptures nor to read into the scriptures something that they do not say, which is a real problem which is hard to teach in congregations where those being disfellowshipped are related to one another, with family members treating their own relatives that were not expelled for apostasy as if they expulsion was the kind of offense that 2 John 10, 11, addresses.
Of course, whether our fleshly relation or not, one would not say a greeting to anyone that promotes apostate views, but many disfellowshipped persons are store retailers, doctors and nurses, lawyers and accountants, persons with whom we might attend school or work everyday. Our interactions with disfellowshipped ones turns on the questions: Are we treating them as we would our spiritual brothers and sisters, or are we treating them as the Jews would treat tax collectors? (Matthew 18:17) Are we seeking to have voluntary association with such disfellowshiped persons or is such association incidental to things part from the spiritual association we formerly had with them?
"We will ever keep in mind the reason for disfellowshiping, to keep the congregation pure and approved by God, free from corrupting influence." But our having balanced viewpoint will help us to help disfellowshipped ones to want to return, so that they will "feel no reason to be hesitant or doubtful as to the way their efforts to return will be received. They will not fear being rebuffed in coldness or indifference."
This certainly cannot be done by treating those with whom we have incidental association publicly as lepers, for those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses will view our shunning them as coldness, as indifference, as anything but loving. If someone disfellowshipped still requires a ride to the Kingdom Hall, then we will continue to give them a ride, but a ride to the meetings is not an occasion for spiritual association while the disfellowshipped one is being disciplined by Jehovah.
The elders will helpfully show these individuals what they need to do to regain an approved standing in God's congregation, and where elders have real reason to believe that some disfellowshiped ones are ignorant of such provisions, "they may feel it advisable to communicate this information to them." [w74 8/1 "Maintaining a Balanced Viewpoint Toward Disfellowshipped Ones," paragraphs 24-26, pp. 472, 473]
You would only benefit yourself to return to us, that you might, if nothing else, build up your faith in Jehovah. If you don't want to preach, then don't preach. Wait until you are ready to do so, if ever. I elaborate a bit more on this point about shunning below, but I want to say one more thing here about cults.
Now while it is true that the Lord Jesus Christ was a human being, he is no longer such, for he is now an immortal God, and, therefore, is no longer a human being (John 20:28), and Jehovah's Witnesses today are followers of Jesus Christ, for he is the one that Jehovah's Witnesses recognize as being their Lord. Jim Jones of the People's Temple and David Koresh of the Branch Davidians sect were both cult leaders, but let me ask you this, @flipper:
What if you were completely cut off from Jehovah's visible organization, what if you were living as someone that was totally cut off from the spiritual leadership or spiritual guidance of any sort provided by Christ through the congregations by the WTS: Would this change of circumstance cause you to stop putting faith in the a new heaven and a new earth according to God's promise in which righteousness will dwell (2 Peter 3:13)?
Would this change of circumstance cause you to stop putting faith in the ransom provided by Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins? Might this change of circumstance cause you to start a new "Christian" religion so that you would yourself become the leader of a cult, or would you perhaps become a disciple in connection with some other "Christian" religious group begun by someone else, a cult led by some other human being?
I have asked you these questions because, during WWII, there were Jehovah's Witnesses numbered among those interred in Hitler's concentration camps, totally cut off from the spiritual leadership or spiritual guidance provided to the entire association of brothers by the local congregations, let alone from the governing body in Brooklyn, New York, and at all times it is clear that their leader was the Christ, and as for those that died in those camps, they died for the sake of the good news and not for the sake of any human leader.
And one question- How do YOU know Jesus didn't mean a 25 to 30 year period when he predicted a " generation wouldn't pass away " ? In 70 C.E. the fulfillment of his words came true when Jerusalem was destroyed- 37 years after he made that prediction. So it DID come within that generation. That was the ONLY fulfillment of his prediction. To say otherwise or claim you or other witnesses have divine inspiration to predict a longer time period is just plain stupid and makes a mockery of the English language usage of the word " generation ". It's also supremely arrogant thinking you've [got] the time period figured out.
You are correct when you say that what occurred in 70 AD was the "ONLY fulfillment" of Jesus' words at Matthew 24:34 with respect to the "great tribulation" that came upon the entire Jewish system of worship at which time the Romans destroyed the temple at Jerusalem as well as all of the genealogical records pertaining to the 12 tribes of Israel. Most Jehovah's Witnesses know that what occurred in 70 AD was a minor fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy as to the judgment period that marked the "last days" of the Jewish system of things and adversely affected that "generation," but this 37 years you mention does exceed the 20 or 23 years that folks typically consider to be a "generation" by a minimum of 14 years correct?
In the minor fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy, we know now that by "this generation" Jesus didn't mean "a 25 to 30 year period," but he actually meant a 37-year period. We know this now, but the Christians living back there in the first century AD during this 37-year period didn't know what they came to know after Jerusalem's destruction by the Romans. They came to know only after 70 AD that when Jesus used the word "generation," he was referring to a period of time, and not just 20 or 23 years.
Jehovah's Witnesses today now understand after having wrongly understood the major fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy to have been referring to the lifetime of the generation of people that were living during the "last days" of our present system of things, which "last days" had begun back in the year 1914, that Jesus was likewise referring to a period of time, but obviously not to a 37-year period. IOW, we know that the "last days" began in 1914 and we also know that the "last days" didn't end 37 years later in1951. It is important to keep in mind that Jesus specifically stated at Matthew 24:30 that no one would know the day or hour when the end is going to come, which was the case during the last days of the Jewish system of things and is just as true today during the last days of our own system of things, but as was the case then, so now, Jehovah's Witnesses remain vigilant in "[keeping] on the watch" since no one knows when the Lord Jesus Christ is coming. (Matthew 24:42) We do have faith that Jesus is definitely coming.
From the WTS Jehovah's Witnesses receive direction from the governing body, who are not infallible men, not inspired by God, do not possess the gift of revelation or the gift of knowledge as did the early disciples (1 Corinthians 14:6) Look at the many operations of holy spirit that we don't have today:
For example, to one there is given through the spirit speech of wisdom, to another speech of knowledge according to the same spirit, to another faith by the same spirit, to another gifts of healings by that one spirit, to yet another operations of powerful works, to another prophesying, to another discernment of inspired utterances, to another different tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues. But all these operations the one and the same spirit performs, making a distribution to each one respectively just as it wills. (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)
If Jehovah's Witnesses today had discernment of inspired utterances we would not be having this conversation, for many folks would be flocking to Jehovah's organization in droves out of fear that we know things about the Bible that other Christian groups do not, but Jehovah wants folks to come to Him out of faith and love, and not due to a fear of the unknown. While the WTS is a spiritual hub for Jehovah's Witnesses, Jehovah's Witnesses themselves are ardent Bible students that devour the Scriptures in search of the truth is contains, and based upon what things we have already discerned from many, many years of our studying the Bible, and examining world events as they unfold, Jehovah's Witnesses have come to know the meaning of many of the Bible's prophecies that other Christian groups do not discern.
Thus, someone in Malaysia, Belgium or Germany will write the WTS seeking clarification on something on which they were unclear or maybe someone in Costa Rica, Great Britain or Alabama, USA, will point out a discrepancy in something that we are teaching at the time that seems to contradict the Scriptures, and from such letter and telephone communications decisions are made by the governing body based on what they have concluded and based on what the holy spirit says (that is to say, based on what God's inspired word, the Bible, says), and letters are sent out in response to the letters and phone calls resolving the issues raised and what adjustments need to be made in our understanding are then published in the Watchtower and in other WTS publications so that we will all teach and speak in agreement as a united group. (1 Corinthians 1:10)
This is what occurred in connection with our previous understanding of "this generation" at Matthew 24:34, for whenever we should discover that something we believe and teach others to be is discord with the Scriptures, we abandon that teaching and embrace what we have now come to discern to be the truth, and in this way we "go on acquiring power in the Lord and in the mightiness in his strength" as we "make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine." (Ephesians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:21)
What we do today in discussing current topics in the light of God's word is exactly what was done in 49 AD when the matter of whether Gentile Christians needed to be circumcised in order to be saved had to be decided by the first century governing body. (Acts 15:1, 2) Those Christians that had been pushing this issue had formerly been Pharisees that had become believers and there were those who were subverting the faith of some although the governing body hadn't as yet given anyone any instructions in this regard. (Acts 15:5, 24) There was lots of input given to the discussion, but eventually the matter was decided by the governing body to the effect that Gentile Christians did not need to be circumcised.
So today the blood issue, shunning and how we should understand Jesus' words "this generation" at Matthew 24:34 are issues with which the governing body must struggle and must clarify, but all such matters are serious and will take time to resolve. Such matters cannot be decided in haste, and prayer is an essential ingredient in deciding all such matters. The impact of disfellowshipment on families is well known, but it would be wrong to run ahead of the organization or to leave us as if your leaving Jehovah will harm anyone else but you. (Proverbs 26:12; 11:2; Psalm 37:34; Hebrews 12:5, 6) Azariah the priest has to tell Uzziah (at 2 Chronicles 26:18):
It is not your business, O Uz·zi´ah, to burn incense to Jehovah, but it is the business of the priests the sons of Aaron, the ones sanctified, to burn incense. Go out from the sanctuary; for you have acted unfaithfully, and it is not for any glory to you on the part of Jehovah God.
The man died as a leper, my point here is that Jehovah's Witnesses need to learn to leave organizational matters to those that are taking the lead in such matters, and have faith that things like shunning and the blood issue will eventually be addressed.
Now Jehovah's Witnesses have recognized for some time that what occurred in 70 AD was not going to be just the "ONLY fulfillment" of Jesus' words at Matthew 24:34, that the "great tribulation" (Matthew 24:21) that occurred at the end of the last days of the Jewish system of things was a minor fulfillment, but that what is destined to occur during the "great tribulation" to come at the end of the last days of this system of things in our day is a major fulfillment of Jesus' words as applied to the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21) and to "this generation."
The only thing that has been tough for Jehovah's Witnesses is trying to figure out is "the season," that is, the period of time that Jesus had in mind when he used the word "generation" at Matthew 24:34. Of course, Jesus didn't give us the "day or hour," so it would be absurd to expect Jehovah's Witnesses to be predicting Armageddon. We already knew that a "generation" could not be a 20- or 23-year period, we already knew that a "generation" could not be a 37-year period, we now know that a "generation" cannot be 85 or 86 years in length when someone (age 10) would be able to appreciate what was taking place in the world in 1914, and we now know that a "generation" cannot be 96 years in length when someone was a mere infant.
As Jehovah's Witnesses have struggled over the years to understand the meaning of the words "this generation," other matters of concern have had to be addressed as well, but there were things that had been considered in the past that were thought at that time not to fit the time frame that we now know, in hindsight, do make sense, for what if a "generation" corresponded to the start of the "last days" and the end of the "last days"? Then it now seems more likely that Jesus was referring to the sign itself as being the "generation" that would not "pass away" or come to an end "until all these things occur." Thus, the lives of Jesus ' anointed brothers would overlap during this period of time. Also, as occurred before the "great tribulation" in 70 AD, the expectation is that some of the "anointed" contemporaries of the sign will be alive when the "great tribulation" occurs in our day.
So why exactly do Jehovah's Witnesses believe that there is going to be a major fulfillment of Jesus' words at Matthew 24:21 regarding the "great tribulation"? At Matthew 24:29-33, in which Jesus describes the "season" for the sign of his presence, he provides a significant detail that will affect us today:
Immediately after the tribulation of those daysthe sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in lamentation, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send forth his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity. "Now learn from the fig tree as an illustration this point: Just as soon as its young branch grows tender and it puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. Likewise also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors.
The words "[i]mmediately after the tribulation of those days" refer not to the tribulation that occurred in 70 AD, but to the tribulation that was destined to occur in our own "last days," for "then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven" and "they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." The parallel account at Luke 21:26, 27, states that men would become "faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth" for "then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."
So while the minor fulfillment of Jesus' prediction at Matthew 24:34 did come true, as you say, this wasn't the "ONLY fulfillment" of Jesus' prediction. There is going to be a major fulfillment of Jesus' prediction at Matthew 24:34 as well though. It is important to keep in mind that the question that Jesus was asked by his disciples was twofold. At Matthew 24:2, Jesus' disciples had just approached Jesus in order to show him the buildings of the temple, and at Matthew 24:2, Jesus had told them as to the temple at Jerusalem, "Do you not behold all these things? Truly I say to you, By no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down."
It was later that Jesus disciples approached Jesus privately and asked two questions at Matthew 24:3, the first question being, "When will these things be," and the second question being, "What will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?" The first had to do with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem,band the second having to do with the sign of Jesus' invisible "presence," that is, his second coming, which would be indicative of "the conclusion of the system of things." The destruction of the temple that occurred in 70 AD was the minor fulfillment while the composite sign that Jesus gave them, including world war, famine, pestilence and food shortages, that would indicate Jesus' invisible presence which has yet to occur was the major fulfillment.
Not one of Jehovah's Witnesses claims to have divine inspiration, but as we read the Bible it is our endeavor to follow where the holy spirit leads us, and our current understanding of what Jesus meant by "this generation" at Matthew 24:34 is that "this generation" refers to a period of time which began in 1914 and extends until after the great tribulation when "the sign of the Son of man" appears in heaven and "this generation" comes to end.
Jesus' anointed brothers would be living contemporaneous to "this generation" that began in 1914, and during "this generation" of the sign, Jesus' anointed brothers would witness the events of the composite sign that began in 1914. The lives of some of Jesus' anointed brothers that witnessed the events of 1914 would overlap the lives of some of Jesus' anointed brothers that would witness the events that are destined to occur in the future when the great tribulation begins during "this generation" of the sign. I see no "mockery" being made of the English language, nor do Jehovah's Witnesses torture the English language in pointing out a "generation" to be a period of time.
In that what we read in our English language Bible translations is what the inspired words of Matthew and Luke read in the Greek language, and it is clear that Matthew 24:34 isn't the only instance in the Bible where a generation is defined as a period of time, such as at Exodus 1:6, where the life of Joseph, who lived for a period of time that amounted to 110 years, is referred to as a "generation." Jehovah's Witnesses did you add the text of Exodus 1:6 to the Bible, but it is exactly what the holy spirit says. When you read Exodus 1:6, the holy spirit will say the same thing to you as well. Jehovah's Witnesses just weren't aware before this year – 2010 – the significance of Exodus 1:6 as what it says is what helps up to discern the meaning of Jesus' words at Matthew 24:34, "this generation."
None of this is arrogance at all; this is the product of intense Bible study on the part of Jehovah's Witnesses and the WTS didn't figure any of this out on its own, the governing body didn't figure any of this out of its own, but this was a joint effort of many of Jehovah's Witnesses in the world!
How in the world you stretch your argument comparing the International Astronomical Union with the Jehovah's Witness " generation " thingie is stretching a bit- you think ?
Actually, I wasn't comparing the IAU with any "Jehovah's Witness ' generation' thingie." What I was saying in referring to the change of definition given to what constitutes a planet since the change of definition was made by the IAU vote in 2006 is that no one in the world today is griping over the fact that Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet and no longer one of nine planets in the planetary system as it used to be back in 1930.
Therefore, with this change of definition in 2006, we are now back to the pre-1930 definition of a planet, when Pluto wasn't considered a planet at all! Note that Pluto didn't suddenly appear out of nowhere, but it just wasn't recognized as a planet until Tombaugh declared it so on February 18, 1930, and for 76 years Pluto was considered to be a planet. IOW, this change of definition regarding Pluto is analogous to the adjustment in understanding that Jehovah's Witnesses have made with respect to the meaning of "this generation" at Matthew 24:34.
Look - If you [Google] or [Wikipedia] the Millerites - you will find that Charles Taze [Russell] wasn't anything special. He stole and evolved his " last days " and " Gentile Times " ideas from the Adventist church which predicted 1844 would be " the end ". This is nothing new.
I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses and, as such, I am quite familiar with the pre-history of Jehovah's Witnesses under the then-president of the WTS Charles Russell, but this business of Russell having stolen the phrases "last days" and "Gentile Times" from the Adventist church or any church for that matter is ludicrous since these phrases are taken from the Bible at Acts 2:17, 2 Timothy 3:1 and 2 Peter 3:3 ("last days") and Luke 21:24 ("times of the Gentiles").
In fact, the "Gentile times" to which Jesus refers to Daniel's prophecy at Daniel 4:23, which you may or may not know, and Jehovah's Witnesses has never taught that Pastor Russell was the first to discover these phrases that have been in the Bible since the book of Daniel was first written in 536 BC and the book of Luke was written in 56 AD; alsos since the book of Acts was written in 61 AD, the second letter to Timothy was written in 65 AD and Peter's second letter in 64 AD.
Pastor Russell had formerly been associated with the Congregational Church, and was an associate of Jonas Wendell, had been associated with the Second Adventist Church; Nelson H. Barbour, who had been associated with the Millerites Adventists; George Stetson, who had been associated with the Advent Christian Church; Henry Grew, who had been associated with the Orthodox Church; and George Storrs, who had been associated with the Methodist Church. All six of these men taught in their respective churches about the last days and the Gentile Times. None of these things evolved, for all of these Christian denominations taught these things, and no one "stole" anyone's doctrine away from someone else. These phrases you mentioned come directly from the Bible, so I don't follow you here at all.
Mind control religious cults ( including Jehovah's Witnesses ) have been deceiving members with false promises of dates of an alleged "Armageddon" for years ! So here in the year 2010 - the WT society is just doing what ALL mind control cults have done for centuries - use false promises of " the end " or " Armageddon " to keep it's members under control through fear and guilt.
While I do not agree that Jehovah's Witnesses are a "mind control religious cult," Jehovah's Witnesses do teach the Bible concept of 'making over one's mind,' allowing our mind to be transformed from the ways of the world alienated from God that we may prove to ourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2) No one is controlling our minds, but we decide for ourselves that we want to do God's will.. That is why we devote time for Bible study and don't forsake the gathering of ourselves together at congregation meetings, since it is through such regular meeting attendance that we learn how to be better Christian ministers, how to love our brothers and sisters from the heart, and how to put up with one another's shortcomings, including the shortcomings of the elders that are taking the lead in the local congregations.
Jehovah's Witnesses to do want to be fashioned after this system of things, but desire to reflecdt like mirrors the glory of Jehovah. (2 Corinthians 3:18) We want to put away the old personality that confirms with our former course of conduct and which is ever being corrupted by the deceptive desires of our hearts (which only serve to corrupt us morally, to make debased entertainment more acceptable and to warp our thinking) in order that we might be made new in the force actuating our minds and put on the new personality that is created according to God's will in true righteous and loyalty. (Ephesians 4:20-24)
Contrary to what you believe, for Jehovah's Witnesses, Armageddon is not a concept designed to scare people or to keep them in fear of losing their lives. Armageddon is no "alleged" event. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God's day of judgment is both real and imminent, and that this expression of God's wrath will remove all wickedness from the face of this planet and usher in a new world where only righteousness will dwell. (2 Peter 3:13)
Jehovah's Witnesses want to be better people and to produce better families that are united in worship of the only true God Jehovah. That is why we preach the urgency of folks escaping from Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion, for we know that everyone that is not gathered to God's side as one of His dedicated servants gathers to Satan, who accepts all good deeds and the loyalty that folks have to people and things as worship not based on truth, and no false worshipper will escape the executional forces of Jesus and his angels. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9) Is a desire on our part to help folks escape divine judgment the work of a mind control cult?
Look, @flipper: Jehovah's Witnesses want to live by spirit and want to walk orderly by spirit so that we might have the "mind of Christ." (Galatians 5:25; 1 Corinthians 2:16) What wrong with the pursuit of such spiritual goals in our lives? If our desire to live in peace with our neighbor with godly devotion in view makes Jehovah's Witnesses a "mind control cult" in your mind, then so be it.
You my friend are under that same control. You just don't realize it- as you are mind controlled to dismiss any doubt.
I am NOT mind controlled as I have broken free to allow my mind to think clearly and have access to information OUTSIDE the WT society's writings. You have not allowed yourself to do that- so your source of information is very limited - if not skewed from just one perspective that- the world outside of Jehovah's Witnesses is evil - and you are not because you're a witness.
You belong to the world and the world is fond of those who are its own (John 15:19), whereas I, on the other hand, belong to Jehovah and have a very different world-view than you do, but that's ok; I understand this. You are really disregarding God, who put His holy spirit in us, for Jehovah's Witnesses no longer belong to ourselves, but we have dedicated ourselves and now belong to God. (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 1 Thessalonians 4:8)
You are just as entitled as I am to make your choices in life, and on what things you will believe and not believe, as well as on how you choose to live. I don't begrudge you that right, but it is a dangerous for you to be preaching the "gospel" that I hear you preaching here of break free from the WTS' writings, when what you are really saying is do not believe what things the Bible teaches about Armageddon.
You preach that one should not believe the Bible, because it is a false guide and that Jehovah God is a liar, that the world is not a evil place. Your gospel is essentially, "Put your faith in me, @flipper, and live in the same way that I do, separated from God. Everlasting life is just an illusion and you are missing out if you throw away your life trying to be a better person in walking in modesty with God (Micah 6:8) by letting the Bible be your guide." That's your "gospel" and I don't have a problem with you preaching that gospel. On my part, I'm content with preaching "the good news of God" that folks might be saved and become sanctified with holy spirit. (Romans 15:16)
I feel sorry for you too my friend. Just open your mind up- there's a great big world of information out there waiting for you . So, yes- it has been a VERY smart move on my part to break free of the mind control of the WT society.
If you think you made a "smart move," then I suppose that you're comfortable with your choice. I, too, am comfortable with my choice. But, in conclusion, I wanted to point out to you that this all began when I posted to this thread that you started that the WTS had never published any concept that forced two generations into becoming one generation. I don't care what you meant to say; I was reacting to what you wrote, not to what you may have meant to write. I assume that you intend to post whatever it is you post, just as it is my intention to post whatever it is I might post.
It was clear to me upon reading your post that you definitely didn't understand the clarification that was being made in the article, "Holy Spirit's Role in the Outworking of Jehovah's Purpose":
[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]
First, you tell me I'm drunk. Then you tell me that I'm being misled by the WTS, as if you imagined that I was an illiterate, or a high school dropout or that I didn't obtain a university education. You want to, in effect, talk down to me, and that's fine, but, as I said, I don't regard you as being clever. In a word, I think you're interesting.
Next, you tell me that Jehovah's Witnesses is not a progressive organization, but a "regressive" one. Why you are telling me this, I don't know.
Then you tell me that the WTS changes the definitions of words, so I provide an analogy to the IAU vote stripping Pluto of planet status. You attack me because you didn't understand the analogy, but that's fine.
I reiterate to you that the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are progressive and not static, but you tell me that are you were hearing was static, indicating you didn't understand the meaning of the word "static" as I had used it, but that's fine.
Lastly, I tell you that you're grieving the holy spirit in becoming wrathful with Jehovah, to which you reply that you're not grieving God's holy spirit because Jehovah's Witnesses aren't inspired, which is a non sequitur. I cannot guess why you said this because it sounded like a stupid rejoinder for anyone to have made, even for someone "clever" to have made, so I concluded that you didn't understand what it means to 'grieve God's spirit.' I don't know everything either.
Now you decide in this last post to tell me how much you hate Charles Taze Russell, even accusing the man of being a thief. You suggested I use Google or Wikipedia, but I'm not someone fresh out of college that would ever need to rely upon Google or usually-not-well-researched-or-accurate uploads by computer users to Wikipedia. I was building a library long before the internet came into vogue as a resource. Plus, I was raised in a Christian household. I don't know why you are telling me because I never knew the man. (The man had been dead for decades before I was born.)
I covered a lot of ground in this post because there are many things I feel quite sure you wouldn't be able to understand were I to have posted this message without explaining in detail what it was I am saying to you. (You haven't attend congregation meetings with Jehovah's Witnesses for seven years, I believe was your admission.) I didn't mind, but I want you to know that personally I don't care if you hate Jehovah's Witnesses or hate the WTS or hate the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses or hate Jehovah. If I was in any doubt about such things about you, I am not now (in any doubt). I don't care if you now happen to be a Seventh-Day Adventist or a Mormon or a Buddhist or an atheist. You can hate me, too, but I don't know you and I've done nothing at all to you. I've only exchanged a few posts you here. I'm not here to insult you. I was just reacting to one of your posts, and now I'm reacting to one you posted in follow-up because (I guess!) you thought I needed to hear your point of view.
Well, now that I've heard it, <g> I'd like to get back to this thread that you started, which was about the meaning of "this generation" as recently elucidated in the above-quoted Watchtower article, and I was only attempting here to provide a bit of clarity for those that didn't quite understand the recent clarification regarding Matthew 24:34 that was made in it. I didn't come here to be attacked or to be berated by you or by anyone. I didn't come here to argue with anyone either.