This "Old Light - New Light: Changes in WT Doctrine" thread deserves to be brought back because it is so important for new ones on this board to see for themselves, point by point, the changes in WT doctrine over the years.
Recently, I finished an article about the WT Society's interpretational changes of the separation of the sheep and the goats parable and it is found on Freeminds.org.
It might appear from a quick perusal of late WT literature that "peacedog" has the changes in interpretation correct, but looking at the old material, and for the sake of accuracy, the reality is that the changes were not quite as simple as "peacedog" presented. Yes, generally he's correct, but the changes were far more important than just when the Society said the separating event takes place.
Prior to 1923: The separating of the sheep and the goats is a future event taking place after the tribulation.
1923-1995: The separating of the sheep and the goats began in 1914 and is currently taking place.
1995-current: The separating of the sheep and the goats is a future event taking place after the tribulation.
The 1923 interpretation offered by the WT regarding the parable of the sheep and goats was one of the most important theological change in WT's history because it alone was the impetus for the "world-wide preaching work of JWs.
Prior to 1923: Russell taught that the "separating" would occur during the Millenium and yes, peacedog is correct, this is after the tribulation. Note this: Russell taught that Jesus did the separating of the Gentiles during his 1,000 year rule.
1923-1995: Rutherford taught the "separating" began in 1918, no matter if later Watchtower articles generalized and used the year 1914 as the starting date. Also, it would only be Christendom that would be separated. And, most importantly, Christians separated themselves by their reaction to the message they heard only from the Bible Students/JWs, who early on were all annointed so constituted "Christ's brothers." This work was the "judgment" that would continue until just prior to the start of the Millennial age. Jesus, through the angels, was pushing the worker messengers, who mainly were not annointed but supportive of "Christ's brothers" until just before the start of the great tribulation when goat-like Christians were determined by Jesus unworthy of receiving the trial for life that went on during the Millennium and which sheep-like Christians received.
October 1995: Jesus executes judgment when the entire wicked system has ended, right after the tribulation starts. And Jesus’ judgment includes people of all nations, (or as Russell called them the "Gentiles,"), just like the parable states, not merely Christendom. And, Jesus does the separating. This is what the Watchtower of Oct. 15, 1995 stated: "Jesus is the one who is appointed to render judgment. It is not for us to determine who are sheep and who are goats ."
What does the latest change mean: As I pointed out in my essay, Awake! editor, Harry Peloyan, told me, “Now Jehovah’s Witnesses believe just like Christendomhas for 2,000 years!” That in a nutshell is the most important part of the change of interpretation in 1995!
The following material was taken from my Freeminds article:
1. The earliest belief of Russell and associates—1879 onward
Zion’s Watch Tower , September 1881, p. 269, par. 5, 6:
A thousand years of such ruling and teaching! ... This thousand years is the time during which all the nations are gathered before the judgment seat of Christ. It is their judgment day—one thousand years.  During all that time, God’s truth, as a two-edged sword, will be quietly, … doing a separating work, dividing the sheep from the goats. Matt. XXV, 31-46. This article originally appeared in the September 1879 Zion’s Watch Tower, p. 34, and was expanded in Sept.1881.
Zion’s Watch Tower, March 15, 1905, p. 3528, par. 6:
The Lord refers to this other flock of sheep, and explicitly tells us about the gathering of those sheep to his favor under him as the great Shepherd. He definitely fixes the time and shows that the parable of the sheep and goats belongs not to the present age but to the Millennial age…
The Watch Tower , February 15, 1914, p. 5406, par. 7:
One parable at least tells about the future work of the kingdom, after the Church is completed and sits with Christ in his throne. This is the parable of the Sheep and the Goats… [par. 10] This dividing of the world, the Gentiles , will progress for a thousand years, and eventually will make a most complete separation…
2. 1923—Change In the October 15, 1923 issue of The Watch Tower, p. 308, par. 18, 21, the second president of the Watch Tower Society, Joseph F. Rutherford wrote:
(18) Our Lord’s throne, or judgment-seat, mentioned in the parable does not seem to be that of the Millennial throne which will deal with the living and the dead during his reign, but seem clearly to be the throne of court established to judge the things existing at the time of or during his second presence and before the beginning of restoration. (21) …that this judgment of the unrighteous things spoken of by St. Jude takes place prior to the beginning of the Millennial age judgment, which shall be in righteousness. Acts 17:31
Repetition for emphasis: Rutherford applied the judgment of everlasting destruction for goat-like people before the Millennium began and during Christ’s invisible presence, which was thought to have begun in 1874.
According to that same Watch Tower,the messageand how people react to that message about the day of God’s vengeance preached by God’s earthly representatives separates goat-like people from sheep-like people only in Christendom and not dividing or separating the gentile world as Russell taught.
But it is the duty of the church, as representing the Lord on earth, to proclaim the day of his vengeance against Satan’s unrighteous system and to call upon the people to separate themselves from the unclean thing and come apart and recognize and acknowledge allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords (p. 314, par. 61).
His [Jesus] words concerning the separating of one from another in this parable do not seem to relate to a general separation of the nations, but rather to the separation of the two general classes composing the nations of Christendom, one symbolized by goats and the other by sheep. (p. 310, par. 30).
3. The latest belief—1995
“The rendering of judgment on the sheep and goats is future. It will take place after ‘the tribulation’ mentioned at Matthew 24:29, 30 breaks out and the Son of man ‘arrives in his glory.’ Then, with the entire wicked system at its end, Jesus will hold court and render and execute judgment.” Watchtower , October 15, 1995, p. 23, par. 26.
In other words, Jesus executes judgment when the entire wicked system has ended, right after the tribulation starts. And Jesus’ judgment includes people of all nations, just like the parable states, not merely the Gentiles or only Christendom.
Nowhere in the 1995 articles does it enlighten readers that for some forty-four years previous to 1923 the Watch Tower Society taught that the parable of the sheep and the goats applied during the Millennium, but simply explains on page 25, par. 9:
The parable does not apply during the Millennium, for the anointed will not then be humans suffering hunger, thirst sickness, or imprisonment.
For a fact, that October 15, 1995 Watchtower, on p. 19, par. 24, and p. 22, par. 22 misleads the Witnesses by stating that it was long understood that the parable found application starting in 1914 when that was the second application the Society endorsed, the first being Russell’s teaching that application was during the Millennium. This should have been clarified. In addition, in the October 15, 1923 Watchtower, the year 1914 is never mentioned; rather, the Watch Tower explains that Christ came in 1918 for the purpose of judging, first the spirit-begotten saints, later, Christendom.
To recap, the new development in the Society’s understanding is that the other sheep are those who are preaching the good news with the anointed and do good towards them. Goat-like ones are those whose past actions were not supportive of the anointed and rejected the Kingdom message. And, most importantly, as explained in the Oct. 15, 1995 Watchtower, p. 26, par. 15,
Of course, in the final analysis, Jesus is the one who is appointed to render judgment. It is not for us to determine who are sheep and who are goats.