1995 generation change

by Gorb 60 Replies latest jw friends

  • TD
    TD

    Slim,

    There were already people who don't fit into either the great crowd or the 144,000 in Revelation, such as Lazarus and John the Baptist for example

    Both of those two gentlemen passed away before Pentecost and what JW's consider to be the formal start of the Christian Era. So like Able, Enoch and Noah, they fall into the broader category of "other sheep"

    So I’m not really sure what your objection is.

    It's really very simple:

    JW's teach that Revelation 7 & 14 describe two hopes for Christians

    a. The prospect of ruling with Christ in heaven (i.e. The heavenly hope)

    b. The prospect of surviving the Great Tribulation (i.e. The earthly hope)

    There is no other option. There is no third group. You either fall into one category or the other.

    JW literature has been clear on this from day one.

    From 1935 until 1970 they believed the "great tribulation" had already started and that these people had already come out of that tribulation and from 1970 onward, they tied the idea of a human lifespan to the doctrine for the reasons I've already explained:

    JW literature has been clear on that point too:

    "Other loyal servants of God, too, will be on hand to witness the events of that great day. Especially beginning in 1935, when the identity of the “great multitude,” or “great crowd,” was clearly understood, large numbers of these began to manifest themselves.....God’s infallible Word depicts this group as ‘coming out of the great tribulation,’ being survivors of it, living right on into God’s New Order without ever having to die. (Revelation 7:9, 10, 14; John 11:26) The early members of this group are now in their 60’s or 70’s or older. Jehovah did not allow the ingathering of this group to begin too soon. The “great crowd,” including many of the earliest members thereof, will survive into the “new earth.”

    So I’m not really sure what your objection is

    My original point on this thread was that the "prospect" of surviving the "great tribulation" is dependent upon the pre-1995 understanding of a "generation" and is therefore completely incompatible with the the changes they have made. Especially the overlapping generation nonsense

    At this point, I guess I'm objecting to the equivocal use of the term, "other sheep." The term describes everyone throughout the whole of history who JW's believe will live on "paradise earth" including those who lived long before Christ, but as it relates to the Christian Era and the Christian hope, it is virtually synonymous with the term, "great crowd."

    Here is a small sampling:

    ---

    "In a stirring talk on “The Great Multitude,” delivered to about 20,000 conventioners, J. F. Rutherford, president of the Watch Tower Society, gave Scriptural proof that the modern-day other sheep are identical with that great crowd of Revelation 7:9" Revelation - Climax pp 121-122

    "At first the position of these other sheep was not well understood, but with the passing of time, things became clearer. In 1932 anointed Christians were encouraged to urge other sheep to share in the preaching work—something many other sheep were already doing. In 1934 other sheep were encouraged to submit to water baptism. In 1935 they were identified with the “great crowd” of Revelation chapter 7." The Watchtower July 1, 1995 p. 15

    "Who are marked on the forehead by that “man”? “Other sheep,” ones who have the hope of living eternally on a paradise earth. (John 10:16; Psalm 37:29) In 1935 this group of “other sheep” were discerned to be the “great crowd . . . out of all nations” seen in vision by the apostle John. (Revelation 7:9-14)" The Watchtower January 1, 2000 p. 12

    "In a stirring talk on “The Great Multitude,” delivered to about 20,000 conventioners, J. F. Rutherford presented Scriptural proof that the modern-day “other sheep” are identical with that “great crowd” of Revelation 7:9." The Watchtower May 15, 2001 p. 15 (Reiteration of quote from Revelation book...)

    Jesus’ disciples entertain one of two hopes. First, a “little flock” numbering 144,000 has been gathered—anointed Christians of both Jewish and Gentile backgrounds who are “the Israel of God” and have the hope of ruling with Jesus in his heavenly Kingdom. (Luke 12:32; Galatians 6:16; Revelation 14:1) Second, in the last days, “a great crowd” of “other sheep” have manifested themselves. These have the hope of living forever on a paradise earth. Before the outbreak of the great tribulation, this multitude—whose number is not foreordained—serve alongside the little flock, and both groups form “one flock” under “one shepherd.”—Revelation 7:9, 10; John 10:16. Isaiah's Prophecy II pp 241-242 (2001)

    "Those of the other sheep gathered in the time of the end will make up the “great crowd” destined to survive “the great tribulation,” with the prospect of living forever on a paradise earth. The Watchtower February 1 2002 p. 21

    "But on May 31, 1935, in a discourse given at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., it was Scripturally explained that the “great crowd” (“great multitude,” King James Version) refers to the “other sheep” who live during the time of the end. The Watchtower February 15, 2003 p. 19"

    ----

    The only place in JW literature where you could possibly get the idea that "other sheep" exist apart from the "great crowd" during the Christian Era is a Questions From Readers which makes allowance for accidents, illness and other forms of untimely death. (Which you have pointed out above.0

    If any of this has changed and 1935 has been discard, then I'm not seeing it. The most recent treatment of the subject I'm aware of was in a 2019 study article which positively gushes about 1935 and what exciting development this was:

    There's even a chart













  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    It is true that Watchtower have traditionally used the terms “other sheep” and “great crowd” interchangeably. But the two terms have always had distinct definitions. The “other sheep” are all the people with an earthly hope, whereas the “great crowd” are the subset of the “other sheep” who live through the great tribulation and emerge into the new system.

    You have not addressed the simple point I made, that there have always been modern members of the “other sheep” who would not make it to be part of the “great crowd”, because there were always going to be modern members of the “other sheep” would would not live long enough to emerge from the great tribulation as part of the “great crowd”. Now it looks as if none of the 1930s “other sheep” will live long enough to come through the great tribulation. This means Watchtower was wrong about the timing of the great tribulation, but it doesn’t affect the teaching on the “great crowd” being “other sheep” who live through to the new system.

    The mistake earlier Watchtower writers made was to assume that the “other sheep” who were around when the “great crowd” were identified in 1935 would still be alive to emerge from the great tribulation. So they confidently spoke as if the “other sheep” in the 1930s would live to be part of the “great crowd”, just as they were confident that Armageddon would come within the lifespan of those alive in 1914.

    Obviously time has moved on and they were wrong about that. But I don’t see any fundamental change or problem here. The “other sheep” have never been entirely synonymous with the “great crowd”. Even if/when there are none of the “other sheep” from the 1930s are alive any more, there are still millions of “other sheep” who will be part of the “great crowd”.

    The comment you quote about gathering the “great crowd” at the right time, and not too early has proven to be unfounded. Yet the basic definitions of “other sheep” and “great crowd” remain the same.

    TD I think you’re missing the basic point that “other sheep” who die before the great tribulation were never part of the “great crowd”. This isn’t a new category, there have always been such “other sheep” who will not be part of the “great crowd”. As time goes on more and more “other sheep” die and so the proportion of the “other sheep” who don’t live to become part of the “great crowd” gets bigger and bigger. Yet no matter how much time passes there will always be “other sheep” who will become the “great crowd” as they emerge from the great tribulation.

    As regards 1935: it used to be taught that the heavenly calling ended in 1935 (or occasionally 1932), and that later additions were only substitutions, however this belief was abandoned in the Watchtower in 2007 w07 5/1 p. 30-31

    “In 1935 the “great crowd” of Revelation 7:9-15 was understood to be made up of “other sheep,” Christians with an earthly hope, who would appear on the world scene in “the last days” and who as a group would survive Armageddon. (John 10:16; 2 Timothy 3:1; Revelation 21:3, 4) After that year, the thrust of the disciple-making work turned to the gathering in of the great crowd. Hence, especially after 1966 it was believed that the heavenly call ceased in 1935. This seemed to be confirmed when almost all who were baptized after 1935 felt that they had the earthly hope. Thereafter, any called to the heavenly hope were believed to be replacements for anointed Christians who had proved unfaithful.

    Without a doubt, if one of the anointed unrepentantly falls away, Jehovah does call another individual to take his place. (Romans 11:17-22) However, the number of genuine anointed ones who have become unfaithful is likely not large. On the other hand, as time has gone by, some Christians baptized after 1935 have had witness borne to them that they have the heavenly hope. (Romans 8:16, 17) Thus, it appears that we cannot set a specific date for when the calling of Christians to the heavenly hope ends.

  • punkofnice
    punkofnice
    With the change my doubts started.

    I was pretty steadfast in the cult. I have to say, this did make me stop and think. Ultimately, it wasn't this that made me leave but did make me start losing faith in the WBT$.

  • Longlivetherenegades
    Longlivetherenegades

    Why is this other sheep and great crowd doctrine this complicated, Or is it my own view of it?

    Is this statement correct "the great crowd of other sheep".


    I don't think the generation of born in in year early or late 1980 could fully grasp this generation doctrine. I only discovered this manipulative doctrine when the need to leave was already at the door but as at then I had a good laugh at the meeting when Mr splane was esplaining that a toddler is within same generation with a 70 or eighty years old.

  • TD
    TD

    Slim,

    Like with other conversations I think we might be talking about two different sides of the same coin.

    I actually had a grandparent at that convention in 1935, who passed away in the early 1970's of extreme old age. --Very nearly 100

    So yeah, I understand the doctrine is broken. I understand that things did not work out in real life the way the way they were predicted to on paper.

    So I don't have any argument with your point.

    My observation was that I'm blown away that nothing has significantly changed. The most recent article I could find (September 2019) is "dumbed down" quite a bit, but it still states very clearly that the ingathering of the "great crowd" began in 1935 and that this group has the "prospect" of surviving.

    The teaching still rest squarely on Revelation 7 which does not describe a generic "earthly hope" JW's have taken to equivocating on that point, but that doesn't change what their own Bible says

    Other, more esoteric aspects of the teaching have never been retracted.

    -That the heavenly hope was the only Christian hope from Pentecost until 1935.

    -That the Ransom only directly applies to the 144,000 and the "great crowd"

    I don't share your optimism (?) that the growing number of people who believed their entire lives that they had the prospect of surviving and died of old age is not a problem. Dying of old age is not the hope JW's teach the Bible holds out for Christians.

    Why be a JW at all if that is the case?

  • waton
    waton
    -That the heavenly hope was the only Christian hope from Pentecost until 1935.
    -That the Ransom only directly applies to the 144,000 and the "great crowd" TD

    that would put almost all the partakers, billions of dead churchgoers into the "earthly resurrection of the unrighteous" , but still be better than the hapless jws, that never partook, John 6. but whatever happened to Peter's hope of a " ---- new earth?

    sorry, in wt weirdness, Jesus' ransom only applies directly, as a mediator, to the 144 000, not to jws now, the prospective members the great crowd.

  • Vanderhoven7
    Vanderhoven7

    The Recent Pen for “Other Sheep”

    "It is thus appreciated that the Fine Shepherd Jesus Christ did not proceed to bring in the “other sheep” of John 10:16 in the first century when the circumcised Samaritans began to be converted to Christianity. Nor did he do so when the Roman centurion, the uncircumcised Gentile Cornelius, was converted about 36 C.E. Well, then, when did the Fine Shepherd set out to bring together his other sheep? Many centuries later, yes, in this 20th century, according to the facts of the case.—Acts 8:4-17; 10:9-48." WT, 1984 2/15 pp. 17-18 par. 10

    .

    The WTS concluded that this “Great Crowd of Other Sheep” could not have started forming much before 1935 since many of these are described in Revelation 7 as surviving through the future battle of Armageddon.

    "Especially beginning in 1935, when the identity of the "great multitude" or "great crowd" was clearly understood, large numbers of these began to manifest themselves....God's infallible word depicts this group as 'coming out of the great tribulation,' being survivors of it, living right on into God's New Order without ever having to die. (Revelation 7:9,10,14, John 11:26) The early members of this group are now in their 60's or 70's or older. Jehovah did not allow the ingathering of this group to begin too soon. The "great crowd," including many of the earliest members thereof, will survive into the "new earth." Survival Into A New Earth p. 185

    Now if one does the cold hard math, and the average age of the Washington DC conventioneers in 1935 was only 25, they would be 110 years old today. Babies at the convention would be 85. Because there is an absolute zero prospect of "many" of these living till Armageddon, let alone surviving it, the current “Great Crowd” doctrine itself is going to have to change.


  • waton
    waton

    Because there is an absolute zero prospect of "many" of these living till Armageddon, let alone surviving it, the current “Great Crowd” doctrine itself is going to have to change.

    VdH, easy, the overlap of the anointed group does not happen in isolation, all living bneings overlap in sync, as they move through time. so:

    it is an universal overlap.

  • Vanderhoven7
    Vanderhoven7

    LOL...can't argue that logic.

  • TD
    TD

    Hallo, waton,

    sorry, in wt weirdness, Jesus' ransom only applies directly, as a mediator, to the 144 000, not to jws now, the prospective members the great crowd.

    As the mediator of the "new covenant," yes, that is what they teach.

    The "..washing their robes and making them white in the blood of the lamb" motif does tie directly to the Ransom though.

    What the JW's have actually said on this subject doesn't seem to carry a lot of weight anymore, but here is a quote for whatever it's worth:

    "Having suffered to the point of death, Jesus was able to provide the sacrifice needed to help others acquire a righteous standing. To whom does this righteous standing come? First, to his anointed followers. Because they exercise faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, Jehovah declares them righteous with a view to adopting them as sons and making them joint heirs with Jesus. (Romans 5:19; 8:16, 17) Then, “a great crowd” of “other sheep” exercise faith in Jesus’ shed blood and enjoy a righteous standing with a view to being friends of God and survivors of Armageddon.—Revelation 7:9; 16:14, 16; John 10:16; James 2:23, 25." (Isaiah's Prophecy II p. 211)




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