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URL:https://www.bible.ca/jw-1914-generation.htm
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Title:JW: incridible flip-flop of landmark "1914 generation" doctrine
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Body:The incredible change in the trade-mark "1914 generation doctrine."

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This 1968 picture says it all!

"Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur. " (Matthew 24:34 NWT) From: The Truth that leads to Eternal Life 1968

Today, the Governing Body rejects the original "one generation" view. And refines the generation by removing any time element whatsoever. This was done to escape catastrophic failure of their "prophet". The new teaching means that Christ may not come for even 500 more years! If ever there was proof that the organization was involved in blind speculation, this is it! This information is so new, that most Jehovah's witnesses don't even fully comprehend the change their "prophet" is making!

This new light from the organization is an intentionally vague teaching that will let the "generation" be alive for centuries while still allowing the Jehovah's Witnesses to teach the end will come SOON!

How long is a Generation?

Before 1952 a Generation was 40 years:

Why is 1952 the cut off time when the organization got "new light" from God?

The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD happened 37 years after Jesus' death. 1914 + 37 = 1951

"By keeping the people ignorant they led them into having Jesus killed on a torture stake at Calvary. Thirty-seven years later this willfully cultivated ignorance led to its fatal consequences, the destruction of the city of Jerusalem with an enormous loss of human lives, just as Jesus had predicted, and the breaking up of the Jewish nation till this day. And now in this "time of the end" the revived nation of Israel with capital at the modern city of Jerusalem chooses to go on in the steps of its forefathers . . ." (Watchtower, Sept. 1 1950 p 277; see also Nov. 1 1950 p 407)

"The length of time is indicated by him when he said, "Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur." (Matt. 24:34) The actual meaning of these words is, beyond question, that which takes a "generation" in the ordinary sense, as at Mark 8:12 and Acts 13:36, or for those who are living at the given period." (Watchtower, July 1, 1951, p. 404)

"Counting from the end of the "appointed times of the nations" in 1914, we are 37 years into the "time of the end" of this world. (Luke 21:24, Dan. 12:4) During these crucial years Jehovah's witnesses have sought shelter and strength in him, and they can confess for themselves that he is a "well-proved help in trouble". If it were not for this, they would not be here today nor increasing in numbers. But we are entering the most serious and trialsome years of this "time of the end". The final conflict of Armageddon draws near." (Watchtower, Feb 15, 1951 p 179)

"WHEREAS the "appointed times of the nations" ended in 1914, it is now 37 years that we have been in the "time of the end" of Satan's world." (Watchtower, April 1 1951 p 214)

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Generation revised in 1952 to equal 70-80 years

The year after 1951, the organization was forced to revise its definition. God came through just in time and gave them "new light"!

"Webster's unabridged dictionary gives, in part, this definition of generation: "The average lifetime of man, or the ordinary period of time at which one rank follows another, or father is succeeded by child; an age. A generation is usually taken to be about 33 years." But the Bible is not so specific. It gives no number of years for a generation. And in Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30 and Luke 21:32, the texts mentioning the generation the question refers to, we are not to take generation as meaning the average time for one generation to be succeeded by the next, as Webster's does in its 33-year approximation; but rather more like Webster's first-quoted definition, "the average lifetime of man." Three or even four generations may be living at the same time, their lives overlapping. (Ps. 78:4; 145:4) Before the Noachian flood the life span was hundreds of years. Down through the centuries since, it has varied, and even now is different in different countries. The Bible does speak of a man's days as being threescore and ten or fourscore years; but it assigns no specific number of years to a generation. - Ps. 90:10." (Watchtower, Sept. 1 1952 pp 542-543)

"To try to say how many years before its end would be speculative. The texts merely set a limit that is sufficiently definite for all present practical purposes. Some persons living A.D. 1914 when the series of foretold events began will also be living when the series ends with Armageddon. All the events will come within the span of a generation. There are hundreds of millions of persons living now that were living in 1914, and many millions of these persons could yet live a score or more years. Just when the lives of the majority of them will be cut short by Armageddon we cannot say." (Watchtower, Sept. 1 1952 pp 542-543)

The Creator's promise: "...the Creator's promise of a new order of lasting peace and true security within our generation." (Awake! January 8, 1975)

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1988: a generation is 75 years!

(1914 + 75 = 1989)

"J. A. Bengel states in his New Testament Word Studies: "The Hebrews . . . reckon seventy-five years as one generation, and the words, shall not pass away, intimate that the greater part of that generation [of Jesus' day] indeed, but not the whole of it, should have passed away before all should be fulfilled."" (Watchtower April 8, 1988 p14; [It was not a coincidence that this book had not been quoted by the Watchtower Society earlier, and would not be quoted after 1989 had passed!])

"It is not reasonable to expect that present favorable conditions for preaching the good news will continue indefinitely. Besides, did not Jesus say that this generation will not pass away until all things are fulfilled? A generation, according to Psalm 90:10, is from seventy to eighty years. The generation that witnessed the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 does not have many more years left." (Watchtower Dec 1, 1968, p715)

"From a purely human viewpoint, it could appear that these developments could hardly take place before the generation of 1914 disappears from the scene. But fulfillment of all the foretold events affecting the generation of 1914 does not depend on comparatively slow human action. Jehovah's prophetic word through Christ Jesus is: "This generation [of 1914] will by no means pass away until all things occur." (Luke 21:32) And Jehovah, who is the source of inspired and unfailing prophecy, will bring about the fulfillment of his Son's words in a relatively short time." (Watchtower, May 15, 1984 p6, bracketed "[of 1914]" in the original)

Watchtower President begins to hedge in 1991:

"But we are as strong for it as we ever were, and we are appreciating it all the more the longer we have to wait for it. It is something worth waiting for, even if it required a million years." (Watchtower Dec 15 1991 p11; late president, Fred Franz)

Generation revised in 1995 (1914 + 80 = 1994)

The year after 1994 (the outward limit of the 80 generation position , the organization was forced to revise its definition. Again, God came through just in time and gave them "new light"! The Watchtower organization has the nerve to blame all misunderstandings on the Witness on the street. Witnesses, blindly following the organization, accept the blame for their "prophets" blunders! What you see below is an organization that has run out of options. They are literally forced into this position. There are no known definitions of "generation" left to use.

"Eager to see the end of this evil system, Jehovah's people have at times speculated about the time when the "great tribulation" would break out, even tying this to calculations of what is the lifetime of a generation since 1914. However, we bring a heart of wisdom in, not by speculating about how many years or days makeup a generation, but by thinking about how we "count our days" in bringing joyful praise to Jehovah." (Watchtower Nov 1, 1995 p18)

"Does our more precise viewpoint on "this generation" mean that Armageddon is further away than we had thought? Not at all! Though we at no time have known the "day and hour," Jehovah God has always known it, and he does not change." (Watchtower Nov 1, 1995 p20)

"Therefore, in the final fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy today, "this generation" apparently refers to the peoples of earth who see the sign of Christ's presence but fail to mend their ways." (Watchtower Nov 1, 1995 p19)

AWAKE! Magazine says it all!

Awake announces the "death wake" for the generation doctrine

In the Awake! magazine of November 8th 1995 the masthead of the magazine was significantly changed. This single change is perhaps the most significant and obvious. They have now totally rejected the original 1914 generation doctrine. Of course, most witnesses on the street, are not even aware of this yet because they are forbidden to read "apostate" material. What is apostate about this material? Did it not reveal truth to YOU??? Had you noticed the masthead change below in the Awake magazine?:

The death wake in the AWAKE or A wake in the AWAKE

Before November 1995

After November 1995

Why AWAKE! Is Published ...Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.

Why AWAKE! Is Published ... Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.

Offer your last respects to the deceased "1914 generation" doctrine! Join the wake!

Since the late 1940's AWAKE! magazine had been promising the "sure hope for the establishment of a righteous New World" on page 2 of each issue.

Then in 1964 it added the assurance that this would happen in this generation: "...reflecting sure hope for the establishment of God's righteous new order in this generation."

In 1975 it became a promise of God: "...the Creator's promise of a new order of lasting peace and true security within our generation." (January 8, 1975)

In 1982 the Watchtower Society changed the prophecy on page 2 of each AWAKE! issue to include the same thought about 1914. It was no longer a vague "our generation" that would see the world's end, but the generation that saw the events of 1914: "...the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure new order before the generation that saw the events of 1914 C.E. passes away." (January 8, 1982)

January 8, 1987, when AWAKE!'s statement of purpose was moved to page 4. Starting with that issue, the 1914 generation prophecy was dropped entirely, without explanation.

March 8, 1988 the statement was mysteriously reinstated, without explanation "...the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away"

November 8, 1995 Awake! "...the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things."

Date

AWAKE! Statement of Purpose

1940-1964

"...sure hope for the establishment of a righteous New World"

1964-1975

"...reflecting sure hope for the establishment of God's righteous new order in this generation."

1975-1982

"...the Creator's promise of a new order of lasting peace and true security within our generation."

1982-1987

"...the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure new order before the generation that saw the events of 1914 C.E. passes away."

Jan. 1987

the 1914 generation prophecy was dropped entirely, without explanation

1988-1995

mysteriously re-instated "...the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away"

Nov. 1995 +

"...the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things."

How old must they be in 1914???

Another interesting view of the slow but sure change in the "1914 generation" doctrine is to see how old the organization said that people had to be in 1914 to be part of the "generation".

Date

How old in 1914 to be part of "this generation"

1968

must be at least 15 years old in 1914

1978

Excludes babies born in 1914

1980

changed from 15 to 10 years old in 1914

1984

babies suddenly included in generation

1988

definitely babies born in 1914 are now part of generation

1995

no more speculation (finally)

Is this really an example of "new light"??? If you say so!

1968: those who were 15 years old in 1914

"Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the 'last days' began. ... Even if we presume that youngsters 15 years of age would be perceptive enough to realize the import of what happened in 1914, it would still make the youngest of 'this generation' nearly 70 years old today." (Awake! Oct 8, 1968 p13)

1978: Excludes babies born in 1914

"Thus, when it comes to the application in our time, the "generation" logically would not apply to babies born during World War I. It applies to Christ's followers and others who were able to observe that war and the other things that have occurred in fulfillment of Jesus' composite "sign."" (Watchtower Oct 1, 1978 p31)

1980: Revised to 10 years old in 1914

"As indicated by an article on page 56 of U.S. News & World Report of January 14, 1980, "If you assume that 10 is the age at which an event creates a lasting impression on a person's memory," then there are today more than 13 million Americans who have a "recollection of World War I."" (Watchtower Oct 15, 1980 p31)

1984: babies suddenly included in "generation"

"If Jesus used "generation" in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older. And others alive in 1914 are in their 80's or 90's, a few even having reached a hundred. There are still many millions of that generation alive." (Watchtower May 15, 1984 p5)

1988: babies born in 1914

"Likewise today, most of the generation of 1914 has passed away. However, there are still millions on earth who were born in that year or prior to it." (Watchtower April 8, 1988 p14) Another example of the "Generation" doctrine change

Old Light

New Light

"Millions Now Living Will Never Die" Rutherford, 1920.

"You can survive the end of this system of things" Watchtower 6/15/89, p7

"Millions Now Dead Will Live Again" Watchtower, May l, 1990

Never Die

will DIE & live again!

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