When is a Refinement not a Refinement?

– posted by meleti

“But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light That grows brighter and brighter until full daylight.” (Pr 4:18 NWT)

Another way to cooperate with Christ’s “brothers” is to have a positive attitude toward any refinements in our understanding of Scriptural truths as published by “the faithful and discreet slave.” (w11 5/15 p. 27 Following Christ, the Perfect Leader)

Jehovah’s Witnesses are led to believe that Proverbs 4:18 applies not to the spiritual development of the individual—which is the more obvious read—but to the means by which truth is revealed to the flock of God. Terms such as “present truth” and “new truth” were in vogue in the past to describe this process. More common today are terms such as “new light”, “new understanding”, “adjustment”, and “refinement”. The latter is sometimes modified by the adjective “progressive” since the tautology tends to reinforce the idea that these changes are always for the better. (See “Progressive Refinements” in Watchtower Index, dx86-13 under Jehovah’s Organization)
As our opening quote shows, JWs are told that by maintaining “a positive attitude toward any refinements” they are “following Christ, the perfect leader”.
There can be no question that any faithful and obedient Christian wants to follow Christ. However, the foregoing quotation raises a serious question: Does Jesus Christ reveal truth by means of doctrinal adjustments or refinements? Or to put it another way—a way that fits with the reality of the JW Organization: Does Jehovah reveal truths laced with falsehoods that He later strips away?
Before attempting an answer, let us first determine exactly what “a refinement” is?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the following definition:

  • the act or process of removing unwanted substances from something; the act or process of making something pure.

  • The act or process of improving something

  • the improved version of something

A good example of the refining process – one to which all of us can relate – is that which converts raw cane sugar into the white crystals we use in our coffee and pastries.
Putting all this together gives us a logical line of reasoning which virtually every Jehovah’s Witness will subscribe to. It goes like this: Since Jehovah (through Jesus) uses the Governing Body to instruct us, it follows that any changes in our understanding of Scripture are refinements which come from God. If we are using the term “refinement” correctly, then as is the case with sugar, each progressive scriptural refinement removes impurities (false understandings) to reveal more of the pure truth that was already there.
Let us illustrate this process graphically by examining the “progressive refinements” which have led us to our current understanding of Matthew 24:34. If the meaning of refinement has been properly applied, we should be able to demonstrate that what we now believe is either the whole truth or very close to it – having now stripped away most, if not all of the impurities.

Refinements to Our Understanding of “This Generation”

When I was a child of five or six I remember thinking that I did not have to worry about surviving Armageddon, because I would be able to get through on the coattails of my parents. So much in the forefront was our belief back then that Armageddon was just around the corner that a 1st grader like myself was actually concerned for his own survival. Clearly not something a young child normally thinks about.
Many children of that era were told they would never graduate from school before the end came. Young adults were admonished not to marry, and newly married couples were looked down on for starting a family. The reason for this overwhelming confidence that the end was near stemmed from the belief that the generation that saw the beginning of the last days[i] in 1914 was made up of people old enough to understand what was going on at that time. The general consensus then was that such ones would have been young adults at the time the First World War broke out and would therefore already be in their 60s by the mid-1950s.
Let us characterize this doctrinal understanding graphically by depicting it as dark brown sugar not yet fully refined.[ii]
[caption id="attachment_2576" align="alignleft" width="529"]BrownSugar Brown sugar with molasses impurities represents our doctrinal starting point.[/caption]
Refinement #1: The general starting age for members of “this generation” was lowered to any old enough to remember the events, which made it possible for preteen children to be part of the group. However, babies and infants were still excluded.

However, there are people still living who were alive in 1914 and saw what was happening then and who were old enough that they still remember those events. (w69 2/15 p. 101 The Last Days of This Wicked System of Things)

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.” Some of such persons “will by no means pass away until” all of what Christ prophesied occurs, including the end of the present wicked system. (w78 10/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers)

[caption id="attachment_2577" align="alignnone" width="529"]YellowSugar By the late 70s, some of the impurities are gone and the starting age is lowered to extend the time frame.[/caption]
By lowering the starting age from adults to preteens, we bought ourselves an extra decade. Still, the core doctrine remained: People witnessing the events of 1914 would see the end.
Refinement #2: “This generation” refers to anyone born in 1914 or before would survive to Armageddon. This helps us to know how close the end is.

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. Some of them “will by no means pass away until all things occur.”—Luke 21:32.
(w84 5/15 p. 5 1914—The Generation That Will Not Pass Away)

[caption id="attachment_2578" align="alignnone" width="529"]WhiteSugar All impurities are gone. With the starting age reduced to date-of-birth, the time frame is maxed out.[/caption]
Altering our understanding that members of the generation did not have to “see” the events of 1914 but merely had to be alive during that time bought us yet another decade. At the time, this “refinement” made sense because many of us were members of the “Baby Boomer” generation, whose membership stemmed simply from being born during a given time period.
Please remember now that according to our teaching, each of these “refinements” comes from our perfect Leader, Jesus Christ. He was progressively revealing truth to us, stripping away impurities.
Refinement #3: “This generation” refers to opposing Jews in Jesus day. It is not a reference to a period of time. It cannot be used to calculate how close we are to Armageddon counting from 1914.

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 make up a generation, but by thinking about how we “count our days” in bringing joyful praise to Jehovah. (Psalm 90:12) Rather than provide a rule for measuring time, the term “generation” as used by Jesus refers principally to contemporary people of a certain historical period, with their identifying characteristics.
(w95 11/1 p. 17 par. 6 A Time to Keep Awake)

So the recent information in The Watchtower about “this generation” did not change our understanding of what occurred in 1914. But it did give us a clearer grasp of Jesus’ use of the term “generation,” helping us to see that his usage was no basis for calculating—counting from 1914—how close to the end we are.
(w97 6/1 p. 28 Questions From Readers)

“What did Jesus mean by “generation,” both in his day and in ours?
Many scriptures confirm that Jesus did not use “generation” with regard to some small or distinct group, meaning only the Jewish leaders or only his loyal disciples. Rather, he used “generation” in condemning the masses of Jews who rejected him. Happily, though, individuals could do what the apostle Peter urged on the day of Pentecost, repent and “get saved from this crooked generation.”—Acts 2:40.
(w97 6/1 p. 28 Questions From Readers)

When, though, would the end come? What did Jesus mean when he said: ‘This generation [Greek, ge·ne·a´] will not pass away’? Jesus had often called the contemporaneous mass of opposing Jews, including religious leaders, ‘a wicked, adulterous generation.’ (Matthew 11:16; 12:39, 45; 16:4; 17:17; 23:36) So when, on the Mount of Olives, he again spoke of “this generation,” he evidently did not mean the entire race of Jews throughout history; nor did he mean his followers, even though they were “a chosen race.” (1 Peter 2:9) Neither was Jesus saying that “this generation” is a period of time.
13 Rather, Jesus had in mind the opposing Jews back then who would experience the fulfillment of the sign he gave. Regarding the reference to “this generation” at Luke 21:32, Professor Joel B. Green notes: “In the Third Gospel, ‘this generation’ (and related phrases) has regularly signified a category of people who are resistant to the purpose of God. . . . [It refers] to people who stubbornly turn their backs on the divine purpose.”
(w99 5/1 p. 11 pars. 12-13 “These Things Must Take Place”)

[caption id="attachment_2579" align="alignnone" width="529"]NoSugar All the original "truth" of the doctrine has been refined away by the mid-1990s, leaving our vessel empty[/caption]
It would seem that the past “refinements” were not from Jesus after all. Instead, they were the result of speculation on the part of “Jehovah’s people”. Not the faithful and discreet slave. Not the Governing Body. No!  The fault rests squarely at the feet of the rank and file. Realizing that the calculations were all wrong, we completely abandon our former doctrine. It does not apply to the wicked generation of the last days, but to the opposing Jews who lived in Jesus’ day. It has no relation to the last days, and it is not intended to serve as a means to measure how long the last days will be.
Thus we have refined away everything and are left with an empty vessel.
Refinement #4: “This generation” refers to anointed Christians alive during 1914 whose lives while anointed overlap with other anointed Christians who will be alive when Armageddon comes.

We understand that in mentioning "this generation," Jesus was referring to two groups of anointed Christians. The first group was on hand in 1914, and they readily discerned the sign of Christ's presence in that year. Those who made up this group were not merely alive in 1914, but they were spirit anointed as sons of God in or before that year-Rom. 8:14-17.
16 The second group included in "this generation" are anointed contemporaries of the first group. They were not simply alive during the lifetime of those in the first group, but they were anointed with Holy Spirit during the time that those of the first group were still on earth. Thus, not every anointed person today is included in "this generation" of whom Jesus spoke. Today, those in the second group are themselves advancing in years. Yet, Jesus' words at Matthew 24:34 give us confidence that at least some of "this generation will by no means pass away" before seeing the start of the great tribulation. This should add to our conviction that little time remains before the King of God's Kingdom acts to destroy the wicked and usher in a righteous New World.
(w14 01/15 p. 31 “Let Your Kingdom Come” But When?)

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.
(w10 4/15 p. 10 par. 14 Holy Spirit’s Role in the Outworking of Jehovah’s Purpose)

By the start of the 21st century nothing remains of the original doctrine, nor of the 1990s doctrinal reversal.  The members of the generation are no longer the wicked living during the last days, nor are they the opposing mass of Jews during Jesus' time.  Now they are only anointed Christians. Moreover, they consist of two distinct yet overlapping groups. We have completely reinvented the doctrine so that we can meet our goal of conditioning the rank-and-file with a sense of urgency. Most regrettably, to accomplish this goal, the Governing Body has succumbed to making stuff up.
To illustrate, I was 19 years old when my grandmother died. She was already an adult with two children when the First World War began. If I were to go from door to door and preach that I am a member of the generation that suffered through World War I, I would be taken for a fool at the very least. Yet that is precisely what the Governing Body is telling 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses to believe. To make matters worse—far worse—absolutely no scriptural evidence has been given in support of this new “refinement”.
[caption id="attachment_2580" align="alignnone" width="529"]FakeSugar The fabrication of this new doctrine can best be illustrated by replacing refined sugar with artificial sweetener.[/caption]
If you refine sugar, you would not expect to end up with a sugar substitute. Yet in effect that is exactly what we have done. We have substituted a truth, clearly stated by Jesus Christ, with something fabricated by men to achieve a purpose never intended by our Lord.
The Bible speaks of men who use “smooth talk and complimentary speech [to] seduce the hearts of guileless ones.” (Ro 16:18) Abraham Lincoln said: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
Perhaps with the best of intentions, our leadership did fool all of its people for some of the time. But that time is over. Many are waking up to the fact that words like “refinement” and “adjustment” have been misappropriated to cover up gross human error. They would have us believe fabricated doctrine as scriptural refinements of truth from God.

In Conclusion

Let us return to our opening quotation:

Another way to cooperate with Christ’s “brothers” is to have a positive attitude toward any refinements in our understanding of Scriptural truths as published by “the faithful and discreet slave.” (w11 5/15 p. 27 Following Christ, the Perfect Leader)

Everything about this sentence is wrong. The idea of cooperating with Christ’s brothers is based on the premise that the rest of us, the so-called “other sheep”, are a separate group that is required to cooperate with an elite group for our own salvation.
Then, with a title like, “Following Christ, the Perfect Leader”, we are given to understand that Jesus reveals truth via a refinement process. This is completely inconsistent with Scripture. Truth is always revealed as truth. It never contains impurities which have to be refined out later. The impurities have always been introduced by men, and where there are impurities there is falsehood. Therefore the phrase, “refinements in our understanding of Scriptural truths” is oxymoronic.
Even the fact that we are to have a positive attitude toward such refinements published by “the faithful and discreet slave” is itself an impurity.  Our latest “refinement” of Matthew 24:45 requires us to accept that the Governing Body is the embodiment of “the faithful and discreet slave.” This introduces a nifty little bit of circular reasoning. How are we to have a positive attitude toward any refinements in our understanding of Scriptural truths as published by the faithful and discreet slave if the identity of the faithful and discreet slave is itself part of a refinement?
Rather than obey this directive from those who have taken upon themselves the title of “faithful and discreet slave”, let us obey instead the directive of our true leader, Jesus Christ, as expressed by faithful Bible writers in such passages as follows:

“. . .Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·ni′ca, for they accepted the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” (Ac 17:11 NWT)

“. . .Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1Jo 4:1 NTW)

“. . .Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.” (1Th 5:21 NWT)

From now on, let us view the use of words such as “refinement”, “adjustment”, “undoubtedly”, and “evidently” as red flags indicating that it is again time to pull out our Bibles and prove for ourselves the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:2
[i] There is now significant reason to believe that the last days did not begin in 1914. For an analysis of this topic as it relates to the official doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses see "Wars and Reports of Wars-A Red Herring?"
[ii] Admittedly commercial brown sugar is made from white refined sugar to which molasses has been added. However, naturally occurring brown sugar is a result of unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content. This is termed "natural brown sugar". However, for purposes of illustration only and due to availability we will be using commercially purchased brown sugar products. We ask only that some literary license be granted us.

Archived Comments

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  • Comment by miken on 2015-01-01 07:22:43

    Just a little? refinement missed, which is a reversal back to what was believed in 1927.
    See Watchtower Feb 15, 1927, Interesting Questions, page 62.
    “As a class, these anointed ones make up the modern-day ‘generation’ of contemporaries that will not pass away „until all these things occur‟. This suggests that some who are Christ's anointed brothers will still be alive on earth when the foretold great tribulation begins.”
    The Watchtower February 15 2008, page 24

  • Comment by bobcat3 on 2015-01-01 08:50:47

    Good use of illustrations to make your point. The passage of time has made the "this generation" foolishness of the WT fully apparent.
    Just to add to miken's comment regarding the 1927 2/15 WT. That "new light" said that the "anointed" starting from 33 AD made up "this generation," a 1900+ year long generation, some of whom "will still be alive on earth when the foretold great tribulation begins."
    Another irony to add to this is that the 144,000 (which the WT equates with "the anointed") are, in the context of Rev 6 & 7, described as "their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed." (Rev 6:11; see here & here) I could see Jesus asking the GB, "Are you sure you want to belong to this group?"
    I'm just as amazed at myself that I bought (and taught) this rubbish for so many years.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2015-01-01 09:02:17

      Thanks to both Miken and Bobcat for adding this clarification. I think most of us are now amazed that we bought into this silliness for so many years.

  • Comment by kev c on 2015-01-01 10:03:44

    This generation teaching is just so obviously wrong. Looking at it now. Personally I never really bought it. But put it on my list of may bes. I looked at the question this morning what will be the sign of your presence and the conclusion of the system of things. Jesus immediate answer was LOOK OUT NO ONE MISLEADS YOU? Somehow we have missed that warning. but one more good article Meleti. Any thinking person reading it would have to agree that this generation teaching has been wrong and now it's clearer than ever. Thanks kev

  • Comment by BeenMislead on 2015-01-01 10:27:36

    Thanks Meleti!
    I loved the substitute sugar analogy.
    The following quote from the 1941 Watchtower, is talking about the children at the assembly in St. Louis receiving a free copy of the book “Children”. And notice it said then in 1941, that there was just months before Armageddon.
    “Never was there a more moving sight in these "last days". Many, including strong men, wept at the demonstration. Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or play thing for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon.” – (Watchtower 1941, 9/15, Pg. 288, THEOCRATIC ASSEMBLY AT ST. LOUIS)
    My Mother was one of the children (about 10 years old) asked to move to the front row to receive a free copy of the book “Children” at that 1941 convention.
    She died at 82 years old. Armageddon was imminent, and just around the corner her whole life. She would always say “it’s got to be so close now”. She wasted her whole life in servitude to a man-made organization out of fear of dying at Armageddon. She was misled.
    In 2010 when they came out with the “overlapping” generation teaching, I finally woke up and said enough is enough, these guys are obviously just guessing, and started researching.
    I like how you put it:
    “Many are waking up to the fact that words like “refinement” and “adjustment” have been misappropriated to cover up gross human error. They would have us believe fabricated doctrine as scriptural refinements of truth from God.”
    Also in regards to Prov. 4:18:
    The Watchtowers application is classic Eisegesis, as opposed to Exegesis.
    - The interpretation of a word or passage by reading into it one's own ideas.
    - Is the antonym for exegesis, which means reading into a text something that simply is not there.
    - A systematic process by which a person arrives at a reasonable and coherent or true sense of the meaning and message of a biblical passage.
    - The investigation and study of Sacred Scripture through tradition, history, archaeology, and criticism, to find the true meaning.
    There “the light gets lighter and lighter” analogy is self-defeating because:
    When you don’t know you are in darkness, when you truly are in darkness, then you can never possibly know you are out of it.

    • Reply by Mailman on 2015-01-01 10:41:12

      My search about the "truth" included reading Proverbs 4 and 4:18 several times on different occasions. When reading it without any influence from WT publications, the spirit would lead you to understand the real context that has nothing to do with refinements or adjustment in teachings. Yet not a year passed without using this popular verse and applying it to suit and defend our teachings.

  • Comment by Mailman on 2015-01-01 10:32:36

    Got a question my dear brothers: How would you reconcile the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ has given us the signs before his coming (hence, clues to guide us figure out that his coming is near or close) yet his another illustration about the thief in the night is clear that he will come unexpectedly? Your answers might just shed light on why the Watchtower has always emphasized the year 1914 as the starting point in defining the generation that Jesus was referring to.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2015-01-01 11:01:03

      I think that research shows that many of the "signs" we point to as marking the alleged 1914 presence of Christ are in fact nothing of the sort. See this article for a detailed analysis.
      The sign of Christ's presence is contained in Mt 24:29-31. When those signs appear, the thief in the night metaphor applies. We have misinterpreted the question and Jesus response to support the idea that the signs reveal an invisible presence when in fact the true signs shows his imminent arrival.

    • Reply by kev c on 2015-01-01 12:03:29

      Mailman i was thinking of this question just this morning . Jesus said take heed that no man decieves you for many shall come in my name saying im the christ .and shall decieve many you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars see that you are not troubled for all these things must come to pass but the end is not yet . I think its quite possible that jesus not only warned us of false prophets but also told us of thier message .Have we not consistantly had these signs wars .ect highlighted as a proof that jesus prescence is here when it is not . Notice how the text flows from many being decieved to reports of wars . As meleti said real sign is the sign of the son of man . Thats the way i see things anyway . Kev c

  • Comment by life2come on 2015-01-01 10:42:25

    Seems we all fell into the trap of Colossians 2:8
    Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. --New Living Translation

  • Comment by donotforgetus on 2015-01-01 12:06:19

    Christians have been changing for thousands of years. The Catholic Church has undergone great change and it seems another modification may even be happening today. The Reformation brought change to Christians around the world. The 19th century brought further changes when Brother Russell and others started publishing the truths in the Bible.
    Protestants are happy that change came with the Reformation but Catholics were not happy with the changes. Protestant churches continue to change today and there are Christians who are not happy with recent changes in their church. I suppose most churches have since their inception made changes, refinements and adjustments. So too Jehovah's Witnesses.
    But I do understand what you are saying, recent changes in the Organization have been hard on many. Times are difficult right now in the Organization.
    With respect,

    • Reply by BeenMislead on 2015-01-01 14:26:55

      Hi Laura,
      Notice the following quotes from the Watchtower Organization where it encourages others to examine their Religion:
      “It is important, then, that you “keep testing whether you are in the faith,” as Paul declared. Keep checking to see whether the things you believe are in keeping with God’s Word. But the question is, Are you willing to put your religion through such a test? There is nothing to fear, because if you have the right religion you can only be reassured by the examination.” – (Watchtower 1958, 5/1, Pg. 261, Is Your Religion the Right One?)
      “We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God’s Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination.” – (The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life - Book, Revised in 1981, Pg. 13, Why It Is Wise to Examine Your Religion)
      OK, let’s take their advice. Let’s examine the evidence and/or facts to see if they support what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach.
      After all there should be “nothing to fear from such an examination!”
      The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that they are God’s channel of communication today. That between 1914 and 1919 Jesus inspected all religions and in 1919 found Jehovah’s Witnesses (known as the Bible Students at that time) to be the one true religion, the only religion that is God’s channel of communication.
      Wow! That is quite a claim to make! Any thinking person would NOT just blindly accept such a claim. It behooves one to do that same inspection that Jesus did in 1919.
      See the following quotes from recent Watchtower Magazines as proof that they make such a claim:
      “When did Jesus appoint the faithful slave over his domestics? To answer that, we need to go back to 1914—the beginning of the harvest season. As we learned earlier, at that time many groups claimed to be Christian. From which group would Jesus select and appoint the faithful slave? That question was answered after he and his Father came and inspected the temple, or spiritual arrangement for worship, from 1914 to the early part of 1919.* (Mal. 3:1) They were pleased with a small band of loyal Bible Students who showed that their heart was with Jehovah and his Word. Of course, they needed some cleansing, but they humbly responded during a brief period of testing and refining. (Mal. 3:2-4) Those faithful Bible Students were true Christian wheat. In 1919, a time of spiritual revival, Jesus selected capable anointed brothers from among them to be the faithful and discreet slave and appointed them over his domestics.” - (Watchtower 2013, 7/15, Pg. 23, Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?)
      “Just as anointed Christians do, alert members of the great crowd are sticking close to God’s appointed channel for dispensing spiritual food.” – (Watchtower 2012, 9/15, Pg. 26, You Know Neither the Day Nor the Hour, Paragraph 14)
      That being said it would be in keeping with the scriptural admonition of Acts 17:11 and 1 John 4:1 to examine what was being taught by the organization in 1919.
      “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thes•sa•lo•ni′ca, for they accepted the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” – (Acts 17:11)
      “Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – (1 John 4:1)
      In 1919 Joseph Rutherford was president and in charge of the organization. Here is just some of what he was teaching:
      - Millions now living will never die
      - Armageddon was coming in 1925
      - The faithful ones of old such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were going to be resurrected in 1925.
      - That the operation of the Holy Spirit ceased in 1918, and that he was being directed by holy angels.
      All of these things did NOT come true! They were all Falsehoods.
      Would Jesus appoint a slave that was teaching falsehoods?
      Here is proof from the Watchtower Organizations publications (Rutherford’s own writings) that they were teaching these falsehoods. I looked up these references myself. All these publications are available on the internet in PDF format. I encourage you to look them up for yourself.
      "The period must end in 1925. The type ending, the antitype must begin; and therefore 1925 is definitely fixed in the scriptures. Every thinking person can see that a great climax is at hand. The Scriptures clearly indicate that the climax is the fall of Satan's empire and the full establishment of the Messianic kingdom. This climax being reached by 1925, and that marking the beginning of the fulfillment of the long promised blessings of life to the people, millions now living on earth will be living then and those who obey the righteous laws of the new arrangement will live forever. Therefore it can be confidently said at this time that millions now living will never die." - (Golden Age, Jan. 4, 1922, Pg. 217, Rutherford at the Hippodrome)
      “Seventy jubilees of fifty years each would be a total of 3500 years. That period of time beginning 1575 before A.D. 1 of necessity would end in the fall of the year 1925, at which time the type ends and the great antitype must begin. What, then, should we expect to take place? In the type there must be a full restoration; therefore the great antitype must mark the beginning of restoration of all things. The chief thing to be restored is the human race to life; and since other Scriptures definitely fix the fact that there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful ones of old, and that these will have the first favor, we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth.” - (Book - Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, Pg. 89)
      “But when the Lord comes to his temple and gathers his approved ones into the temple, is there any further need for the office of the holy spirit as a helper or advocate? If not, then the
      advocacy of the holy spirit would there cease. Jesus, being in the temple and with his chosen ones, would act for them directly. It would seem there would be no necessity for the ‘servant’ to have an advocate such as the Holy Spirit because the ‘servant’ is in direct communication with Jehovah and as Jehovah’s instrument, and Christ Jesus acts for the entire body.” - (Watchtower, Sept 1st 1930, Pg. 263, Holy Spirit)
      “It was the holy spirit that operated upon the minds of men in the early church to take certain action; but now the Lord Jesus himself has returned, is in his temple, and, acting by and through his holy angels, puts it into the mind and heart of the remnant class to take positive action and to do a certain work; and this work has been going on, especially since 1922.” - (Watchtower, Sept 1st 1930, Pg. 263, Holy Spirit)
      Rutherford therefore believed that the bridge between Jehovah God, Jesus, and himself was no longer the Holy Spirit as helper, but rather direction from angelic messengers.
      Why would he think this unless he personally felt that he was being communicated to in such a way?
      And what kind of Angel was it that would direct him to all the falsehoods he preached?
      Rutherford was a False Prophet according to:
      Deuteronomy 18:20-22:
      “If any prophet presumptuously speaks a word in my name that I did not command him to speak or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. 21 However, you may say in your heart: “How will we know that Jehovah has not spoken the word?” 22 When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word is not fulfilled or does not come true, then Jehovah did not speak that word. The prophet spoke it presumptuously. You should not fear him.”
      The following scriptures also reinforce the fact that Jehovah and/or Jesus does not direct in falsehoods:
      “Into your hand I entrust my spirit. You have redeemed me, O Jehovah the God of truth.” - Ps. 31:5
      “upon the basis of a hope of the everlasting life which God, who cannot lie, promised before times long lasting,” - Titus 1:2
      “in order that, through two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to the refuge may have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope set before us.” - Heb. 6:18
      So as you can see the evidence does not support their Grandiose Claim of being selected by Jesus in 1919 as the one true religion, and the only religion that is God’s channel of communication today.
      In fact it is an insult to Jesus to say that he would select a religion preaching falsehoods.
      With respect,

      • Reply by miken on 2015-01-01 16:02:48

        Captives of a Concept by Don Cameron The most important book ever written disproving Jehovah's witnesses claim that in 1919 they were appointed as the only representatives of God and Christ Jesus on earth. Cameron uses Watchtower publications and their own history and practices before, during and immediately after the 1919 period to disprove their 1919 claim. PDF download $7.00

  • Comment by Dieter G. on 2015-01-02 07:46:02

    Briefly, when there is nothing to refine.
    Please read the question the disciples asked after admiring the glory of the temple: What will be the end of THAT epoch/age (Strong's 165)? -Matthew 24:3.
    Luke 21:5-7 does not use World, Epoch, Age or system of things, Jesus just referred to the things they were beholding i.e. Israel's world, age, which was to be permanently terminated by whoever would soon be standing in the Holy Place, as the Romans undermined the wall. The Romans suddenly departed, chased by the Jews, allowing Christians to escape during the short breathing space before the Jewish fighters returned crying Victory and locking Jerusalem down tight.
    The Generation that saw the signs, experienced all that was prophesied by Jesus and the OT Prophets did not pass away until their whole way of life, the city and the temple including all genelogical records were destroyed. That was the curtain riser of the greatest tribulation ever to befall any people in the entire history of humanity, an unparalelled time of distress that is still continuing until Jehovah's anger and vengeance upon Israel is finally spent when the Christ calls the little flock of the anointed Israel of God to heaven for their 1000 year Kingdom governance.
    Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21; 29-31.
    The Insight Vol 2 Page 1127 initially agrees that Tribulation to be upon Israel, but then extends that to some future day upon all the earth. Daniel 12:1 ensures that time of distess to be Israel's, as did Jesus the Jew who had only come for Israel as their Messiah and was in the Fold of The Flock of Jacob Israel during his 33 1/2 years of life when he made his 'This Generation' statement.
    Biblical Generation matters have no need to be 'refined', for they began with Jesus' prophetic words and ended in 70 CE.

    • Reply by kev c on 2015-01-02 12:59:23

      I can see where your coming from dieter are you saying that the sign of the son of man and his prescence was experienced by those alive in judea in the 1st century or are you saying that its something seperate and still in the future to be fullfilled on literal israel in the future . Thanks kev

  • Comment by yobec on 2015-01-02 11:16:20

    Thanks for the wonderful illustration that puts it all into proper perspective.
    Would it be fair to say that just as physically refined foods causes fleshly cancer, spiritual refinements causes spiritual cancer

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2015-01-02 11:31:07

      At the risk of over-extending the metaphor, it sure fits with reality. :)

  • Comment by menrov on 2015-01-05 09:17:54

    Well done Meleti. This topic is often a key item when discussion the changes with other JW's.
    When comparing with business organisations, refinements or adjustments are essential in order to keep up with new developments and meet customer or operational requirements.
    When comparing to governments, it is a bit like with business organisations, although the speed to adjust is different and the drivers are not always the same. But in essence, a government will need to make refinements and adjustments in order to cope with the new realities.
    When comparing to Religious organisations, it is a bit of different stories. Looking at operational and even accounting matters, refinements or adjustments are good. t ensures compliance and efficiency.
    However, with regard to doctrines which are supposed to be on the bible, any refinement or adjustment from a previous view means actually a correction of that view. Because the source, the bible, has not changed.This would be acceptable as long as the organisation making these changes 1) admit that THEY were wrong and not blame God or Jesus for not providing the proper insight AND 2) when they would allow others to have a different view AND 3) when they would not punish others for not conforming with some of the official doctrines AND 4) not force its members to comply but allow for personal decisions.
    See for yourself how many of the 4 points are relevant for the WBTS.

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