“This Generation” – Tying Up Loose Ends

– posted by meleti

  • Who is Jesus referring to at Matthew 24:33?

  • Does the great tribulation of Matthew 24:21 have a secondary fulfillment

In our previous article, This Generation – A Modern-Day Fulfillment, we found that the only conclusion that was consistent with the evidence was that Jesus’ words at Matthew 24:34 applied only to a first century fulfillment. However, for us to be truly content that this application is accurate, we must be assured that it harmonizes with all relevant texts.
That said, there are two texts that appear to cause us problems: Matthew 24:21 and 33.
However, we will not follow the pattern of the publications of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. That is to say, we will not require the reader to make unfounded assumptions, such as creating a dual-fulfillment scenario where some parts of the prophecy are fulfilled in a so-called minor fulfillment, while other parts correspond only to a later, major fulfillment.
No, we must find our answers in the Bible, not in the conjecture of men.
Let us begin with Matthew 24:33.

Who Is Near at the Doors?

We will start by reviewing the immediate context of verse 33:

“Now learn this illustration from the fig tree: Just as soon as its young branch grows tender and sprouts its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 Likewise also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors. 34 Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.” (Mt 24:32-35)

Most of us, if we come from a JW background, will jump to the conclusion that Jesus is speaking of himself in the third person. The cross reference the NWT gives for this verse certainly supports the conclusion.
This creates a problem however, because Jesus didn’t appear at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. In fact, he has yet to return. This is where the Watchtower’s dual-fulfillment scenario was born. However, a dual fulfillment cannot be the answer. For the past 140 years since the days of C.T. Russell down till now, we have tried over and over to make this work. The latest effort of the Governing Body is the stretched-beyond-all-credulity overlapping generations doctrine. How often do we have to cobble together a new understanding before we get the message we are on the wrong track?
Remember, Jesus is the Master Teacher and Matthew 24:33-35 is his reassurance to his disciples. What kind of a teacher would he be if the assurance was so couched in obscurity that none could figure it out? The fact is, it is all quite simple and obvious and all the clues are in the text. It is men with their own agendas who have introduced all the confusion.
Before talking about the destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus alluded to Daniel the prophet with the warning words: “Let the reader use discernment.”
If you were listening to his words back then, what would have been the first thing you would have done when the opportunity presented itself? You would likely have gone to the synagogue where the scrolls were kept and looked up Daniel’s prophecy. If so, this is what you would have found:

“And the people of a leader who is coming will destroy the city and the holy place. And its end will be by the flood. And until the end there will be war; what is decided upon is desolations….And on the wing of disgusting things there will be the one causing desolation; and until an extermination, what was decided on will be poured out also on the one lying desolate.” (Da 9:26, 27)

Now compare the relevant part of Matthew:

“Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place (let the reader use discernment),” (Mt 24:15)

Jesus’ “disgusting thing that causes desolation” is Daniel’s “leader who is coming…the one causing desolation.”
Given the exhortation that the reader (us) should use discernment in this application of Daniel’s words, is it not reasonable that the “he” who was near at the doors would be this one, the leader of a people?
That clearly fits with the facts of history and does not require us to jump through any speculative hoops. It just fits.

An Alternative to "he"

One alert reader in a comment pointed out that many translations render this verse with the gender neutral pronoun "it".  This is the rendering the King James Bible gives.  According to the Interlinear bible, estin, should be rendered "it is".  Therefore, an argument could be made that Jesus was saying that when you see these signs, know that "it"—the destruction of the city and the temple—is near at the doors.
Whichever rendering turns out to be the most faithful to Jesus' words, both support the idea of the nearness of the City's end being apparent by the visible signs for all to see.
We must be wary of allowing personal bias to creep in causing us to ignore Bible harmony in favor of personal belief, such as evidently happened for the translators of the New Living Translation: "In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door"; and the International Standard Version: "In the same way, when you see all these things, you'll know that the Son of Man is near, right at the door.

What Is the Great Tribulation?

Do you see what I’ve just done there? I’ve introduced an idea that is not in the text of Matthew 24:21. How? By simply using the definite article. “The Great Tribulation” is different from a great tribulation, is it not? Jesus doesn’t use the definite article at Matthew 24:21. To illustrate how critical this is, consider that the war of 1914-1918 was called “The Great War”, because there had never been another like it. We didn’t call it World War I back then; not till there was a second one even greater.  Then we started to number them.  It was not longer The Great War.  It was just a great war.
The only difficulty that arises with Jesus’ words, “for then there will be great tribulation”, comes when we try to link it with Revelation 7:13, 14. But is there any real basis for that?
The phrase "great tribulation" only occurs four times in the Christian Scriptures:

“for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.” (Mt 24:21)

“But a famine came upon the whole of Egypt and Caʹnaan, even a great tribulation; and our forefathers were not finding any provisions.” (Ac 7:11)

“Look! I am about to throw her into a sickbed, and those committing adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.” (Re 2:22)

“And in response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” 14 So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one that knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Re 7:13, 14)

It is self-evident that its use in Acts 7:11 and Re 2:22 bears no relation at all to its application in Mt 24:21. So what about its use at Re 7:13, 14? Are Mt 24:21 and Re 7:13, 14 linked?  John's vision or Revelation occurred long after a great tribulation that came upon the Jews.  He speaks of those who are yet to come out of a time of tribulation, not those who already did, as was the case with the Christians who escaped in 66 C.E.
John’s vision is not of “great tribulation” as used at Mt 24:21 and Re 2:22, nor is it of “a great tribulation” as recorded at Acts 7:11. It is “the great tribulation.” The use of the definite article is only found here and imparts the idea of a uniqueness attached to this tribulation separating it from all the others.
Therefore, there is no basis for linking it to the tribulation that came upon the city in 66 C.E., the one that was cut short. Doing so, creates a long list of irreconcilable complications. First of all, we must accept that Jesus’ words had a dual fulfillment. There is no Bible basis for this and we get into the murky waters of types and antitypes again. For example, we then have to find a secondary fulfillment for the destruction of Jerusalem, and another for the generation. Of course, Jesus only returns once, so how do we explain Mt 24:29-31? Do we say there is no secondary fulfillment for those words?  Now we're cherry picking what is dual fulfillment and what is one time only.  It is a dog’s breakfast which, frankly, the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses has created for itself. Confounding matters further is the recent admission that types and antitypes (which a dual fulfillment clearly comprises) which are not explicitly applied in Scripture (which this is not) are to be rejected as—to quote David Splane—“going beyond the things written”. (2014 Annual Meeting Discourse.)
If we are committed to avoiding the errors of the past, we must conclude that the weight of historical and Scriptural evidence leads to the conclusion that Jesus’ reference to “great tribulation” applies only to the events surrounding and involving the destruction of the temple, the city, and the Jewish system of things.

Something Still Pending

While it seems that all the loose ends relating to our application of Mt 24:34 have been tied up in a way that does not conflict with Scripture nor involve wild speculation, some serious questions remain. The answer to these in no way affects our conclusion regarding the identification of “this generation.” However, they are questions that beg for clarification.
These are:

  • Why did Jesus refer to the tribulation that befell Jerusalem as the greatest of all time? Surely the flood of Noah’s day, or Armageddon did or will surpass it.

  • What is the great tribulation that the angel spoke of to the apostle John?

For a consideration of these questions, please read Trials and Tribulations.

Archived Comments

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  • Comment by GodsWordIsTruth on 2016-01-13 12:36:40

    Hey Meleti ,
    The only thing I can say is that I love to watch the Spirit at work! I love you dear brother and thank you for slaving for the brotherhood in the that you do . Chains are constantly being broken with the spirit and you certainly have proven to be an asset to the body of Christ . JW brethren need to be herded from this pen ( trap) to Christ. Unfortunately JW's only listen to JW's . I am sure that God can make the stones cry out if he needed to . But does he really need the stones if he has faithful brothers who are committed not abandoning the JW's so that they receive the Gospel of Christ. I am not sure about the whole secret agent aspect in staying in the Org. But where would I be Meleti had not God allowed our paths to cross ?
    It is little jewels like these that help me realize that my people or tribe will always be JW. I respect the work you are doing . I can't help but to respect because I can see the Spirit clearly at work.
    Thank you for finally "killing" this weird "this generation" doctrine for me. I have learned that not not only JW's subscribe an overreaching interpretation of this scripture but Christendom as a whole too..
    Much Love,

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-13 16:52:20

      Thank you so much Shannon for your kind and encouraging words.

      • Reply by jabez on 2016-01-14 12:18:03

        in mat 24:33 many have inserted he but it should be it refering to the judgement of the jewish age at the doors used in a similar way in James 5:9 and nothing to do with any timing to do with jesus

        • Reply by Menrov on 2016-01-15 10:56:58

          Good point. Did not know that. I checked:
          33 G3779So G2532also G1473you, G3752whenever G1492you behold G3956all G3778these things, G1097know G3754that G1451it is near G1510.2.3 G1909at G2374the doors.
          33 G3779 ουτως THUS G2532 και ALSO G5210 υμεις YE, G3752 οταν WHEN G1492 (G5632)ιδητε YE SEE G3956 παντα ALL G5023 ταυτα THESE THINGS, G1097 (G5720)γινωσκετε KNOW G3754 οτι THAT G1451 εγγυς NEAR G2076 (G5748)εστιν IT IS, G1909 επι AT "THE" G2374 θυραις DOORS.
          And most others on here (studybible.info/compare/Matthew%2024:33) also have IT. However, I understand this can also be translated with HE or SHE (in addition to IT). I also see that sometimes it (G2076 [G5748]) is not translated. I guess it depends on (the agenda of) the translator.

  • Comment by Vincent Gomez on 2016-01-13 12:54:11

    Your article was very well written. The big thing that I took away from this article, is, never assume ANYTHING. I am still trying to get the mastery over this. We assume so much, that we don't even realize we are doing it, like in your example of the great tribulation. So I appreciate your break down of scripture. We need to look at things as if we never seen it. It really takes alot of conscious effort to do this. It can be painstaking, but worth the effort.

  • Comment by Willy on 2016-01-13 14:30:38

    Always looking forward to the next article unwrapping the marvelous gifts of the spirit, which untangle the web of JWdoctrine in our lives. Thank you for being who you are Meleti
    Love from your sister in Christ

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-13 16:53:13

      Thank you so much, Willy.

  • Comment by Anonymous on 2016-01-13 15:35:07

    This is explained in a book written in 1921 by Philip Mauro called "The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation". He was writing when Russell was alive and writing all his pyramid and parallel dispensation stuff. He spoke out against dispensationalism, calling it "modernism".

  • Comment by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-13 15:52:07

    There is another possible explanation. One that reconciles both a first century and great tribulation fulfilment.
    The word generation, (Greek = genea), carries more meaning than what is generally assigned to it. In the context of Jesus' words at Matthew 24:32 it refers to an, age or eon, a duration of time. A SPAN OF TIME THAT WOULD BE CHARACTERIZED BY A PREVAILING PERVERSE SOCIETY THAT HAS CONTINUED TO REJECT THE SON OF MAN.
    This generation first appeared in Jesus' day and has continued to exist until our day. Because there has been a constant rejection of the son of man over a period of time. Therefore, everyone that rejects Christ is part of that wicked generation.
    When understood in this way all the apparant problems disappear. The key is in understanding what the word generation truly means in this context, an age or eon, duration or time span.

    • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-13 16:37:07

      Mark 8:31, 38 provides the answer.
      In verse 31 the generation is identified, the Jewish religious leaders.
      In verse 38 the timing is given. Jesus says he will reject those who reject him, WHEN HE COMES. This includes all perverse society that have continued to reject him since he walked the earth as a man.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-13 16:44:16

      I thought that as well for a time. Check out "This Generation" - Getting All the Pieces to Fit. If you scan the 17 articles in the "This Generation" category, you'll see that I've failed many times to come up with an explanation that fits all the facts.
      The reason was I was always being influenced by JW thinking that there was a modern-day fulfillment. Even when I thought I had abandoned all my bias and preconceptions, they clung to me, like old cobwebs.
      It was only when I learned to approach the subject with no preconceptions that the pieces all fell into place.
      I thought I came closest with the idea of a multi-millennia generation, but there were still missing pieces. First and foremost is the fact that Jesus is giving this disciples a reassurance. There is no other reason to speak as he did. They were not concerned that the people who reject the son of man would still be around when he returned. They wanted to know when all these things were going to take place. All the things related to the destruction of Jerusalem, and in that context he gave them the generation reassurance, and it worked.
      All Christians following the destruction get no reassurance, not way to measure time. We have to be faithful until he arrives, whenever that may be.

      • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-13 17:01:00

        Hi Meleti,
        As always thank you for your observations. I tried to keep my comment pithy, short and sweet. So I have not gone into all the evidence for the comments I made.
        Please believe me when I say that I don't use the WT position as my starting point, I reject their interpretation. I divorced myself from that mindset long ago.
        I have done the hard yards on this subject and I am very conversant with it. I wrote an article explaining the position I stated above. But it would be very difficult to incorporate it on this forum.
        That's why sometimes piecemeal chatting like this can be very frustrating. It's nobodys fault, it is simply the nature of the beast.
        You simply can't amplify you reasoning without writing a book as it were.
        I am happy to explain my position if and when the need arises. What I found through hours of research is worthwhile considering and most compelling.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-13 17:28:14

          I do understand and thank you for not trying to do that here in the comment section. Apollos and I are hard at work trying to set up a forum for controlled discussions on specific subjects. By controlled I mean strictly moderated to keep the discussion on track so that it can be fair and yet cordial. I will be asking for suggestions on topics to handle in this way with a view of arriving at a consensus. Keep this topic in mind so that when the time comes, if you like, we can make it one of the ones we'll discuss.
          I appreciate your insights very much, and although we don't always agree, our goal is to move ever closer to a meeting of the minds, or more specifically to a meeting of our minds with that of the Christ.

          • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-13 17:38:02

            Hi Meleti
            Sounds good. That is all one can ask for.

      • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-13 17:11:15

        Hi Meleti,
        One more point.
        I have found that at times all the pieces don't seem to fit because all the other WT teachings need to be ratified in ones mind. Some rejected out right and others simply fine tuned.
        This matter of the generation is connected with so many other WT teachings. It is these other teachings that cloud the issue.

  • Comment by 1984 on 2016-01-13 16:16:35

    Thank you Meleti, this is outstanding reasoning. I came to the conclusion some time ago that "this generation" was entirely fulfilled in the 1st century based on history and scripture - but I still had some loose ends which you have tied up in this article, so I am absolutely thrilled!
    Regarding your last two questions, I look forward to the next article. My gut feeling on is that Jesus' words at Matthew 24:21 refer exclusively to the dedicated Jewish nation (as the context and their fulfilment suggest) which did not exist in Noah's day and ended in 70 AD so cannot apply to Armageddon.
    I also think Rev 7:13, 14 is referring to the entire system (perhaps the entire history of humans from Adam on) hence the use of the definite article. It may refer to a specific future tribulation, perhaps even Armageddon itself, or maybe at the end of the millennial reign? I'm open to these and other possibilities I can't wait to hear your own conclusions.
    Mostly I am so grateful to have this forum for discussion. I tried to work many of these things out for myself, in silence, as an active JW, unable to discuss them with anybody, and always fighting against the tide of indoctrination. It's so refreshing to be able to discuss these things openly and honestly, with no other agenda than truth seeking and worshipping the true god. It's also refreshing to see the integrity of God's word shine through. The ludicrous interpretations Watchtower has come up with over the years has at times made me doubt even the validity of the bible.
    Thank you!

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-13 16:49:54

      Thank you, 1984. I feel very much as you do. I'm glad you didn't let the "ludicrous interpretations" (and there have been some doozies) of the WT get to you. Alas, so many have fallen by the wayside, even becoming atheists as a result of WT-based disillusionment.

  • Comment by Kevin Flynn on 2016-01-13 16:33:38

    Bklyn Kevin • 5 months ago
    Nowhere in the bible does it say or indicate that the time, times, and half a time as said by Daniel in 12:7, as well as Johns 1260 days or 42 months "should last one hundred or more years,"but that's what the watchtower would have you believe.
    Again I say there is no textual proof in the context of these prophecies to indicate or prove that these 3 1/2 year period should last a hundred or more years .
    This 3 1/2 year time period is the "short period of time" which John brought to our attention in Revelation 12:12 when he said"
    On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a "short period of time".
    And this short period of time is a literal 3 1/2 years when Satan the devil is hurled down to the earth in the near future and then the one hour test begins but not for the two witnesses because they would have already been accepted into the kingdom of GOD.
    And this is the generation that Jesus is speculating about at Matthew 24:34 when he said"Truly i say to you that this generation by no means pass away until all these things happen.
    Now Daniel as well is clearly speaking about that same generation concerning that "short period of time" when Satan is cast out of heaven.
    Daniel clearly said it will be for a appointed time, appointed times,and half a time, which is the equivalent of 3 1/2 literal years.
    Daniel gives no indication that this great tribulation should last 100 or more years, However he does clearly tell us it will last for a 3 1/2 year time period Which is a relatively "short period of time" in the scheme of time.
    If one closely scrutinized the end time prophecies concerning this false parousia as put out by the watchtower they will soon come to realize that the watchtowers 1914 scenario is a deluding influence
    put forth by the man of lawlessness who dwells among Christ brothers. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.
    However when Jesus does arrive in his authentic parousia ,
    That generation will most certainly witness the simultaneous fulfillment of all the prophecies that Jesus had spoke about in the book of Matthew Within a 3 1/2 year time period, 'cause that's what the scriptures allude to,
    Unlike the watchtowers 1914 false parousia which has been ongoing for more than 100 years without any scriptural proof or justification .
    In view of the scriptural evidence, it's obvious the watchtower is spiritually intoxicated / drunk On their own truth and have fallen asleep and are misleading many others by claiming that the kingdom had already came back in 1914, when in fact we had not yet seen the complete fulfillment concerning the prophecies of Matthew .
    Don't be misled, the 1 hour test is imminent. Revelation 3:10. Matthew 24:36
    So make sure of all things as john instructed us when he said "
    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: also read 2 Thessalonians 5:21

  • Comment by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-13 18:06:31

    One possible difficulty with applying the generation of Matthew 24:34 only to the first century is that much of what is described in Matthew chapter 24 with connection to the that generation clearly did not occur in the first century. Specifically Matt 24:29-31.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-13 19:20:24

      Actually, I wrote two articles explaining why that isn't an issue. You can read the first here.

  • Comment by Anonymous on 2016-01-13 20:56:54

    "In Revelation 7:9–17 is described the vision of a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues, of whom it is said that These are they which came out of great tribulation (or out of the great tribulation) and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. There is nothing in this passage to show that the tribulation referred to is yet future, or to justify the expression, commonly heard in some quarters, tribulation saints. What John is here permitted to see is, not a future tribulation, but the future blessedness of those who, while on earth, were in great tribulation. The time when the tribulation occurred is not indicated at all.
    We do not identify the tribulation of Matthew 24:21 with that of Revelation 7:14. The former is a specific event in history, and one that pertained strictly to the Jewish people The latter is general and indefinite. There were people out of every nation, kindred, tongue and tribe, involved in it. The probability is (though at present we cannot express a decided opinion about it) that the company referred to (whose blessedness is precisely the same as that of all the redeemed as described in (Revelation 21:3–4) embraces all those who have suffered for the truth’s sake, during all the centuries of persecution under imperial Rome and papal Rome. That tribulation, being of quite a different sort from the concrete tribulation which befell Jerusalem in AD 70, does not come into comparison with it. There was to be nothing of that sort to exceed it.
    There is no good reason for doubting that the AV gives the true sense in saying, These are they which came out of great tribulation, which words do not specify a special class of sufferers, who passed through some special period of affliction. We utterly reject the idea of a separate company of tribulation saints, segregated from the main company of the redeemed, and appointed to some inferior sphere of blessing."
    - Philip Mauro (The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation)

  • Comment by Father jack on 2016-01-14 04:40:46

    Hey i enjoyed the artice . Thanks for the common sense approach to biblical interpretation . This sounds as though it could be correct . The illustration of the fig tree and its application may only apply to the first part of the questiin raised tell us when the destruction of the temple wiil be . Makes sense really .

    • Reply by Father jack on 2016-01-14 04:50:41

      So its possible there are no definitive signs of his second coming until it is upon us . In the sign of the son of man in the heavens . For if there were , we would be expecting it . And this in in contrast to what jesus said , if the householder had known at what time he would have stayed awake . And at an hour you think it not to be the son of man is coming . Also he is coming as a thief in the night . Interesting again makes sense really

      • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-14 21:47:39

        Join the discussion more rational thinking thank you......

  • Comment by Menrov on 2016-01-14 06:26:39

    When taking into account the scenes where Jesus used the term "this generation" He was always referring to the people alive at that time:
    Mat 11:16 “To what should I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to one another,
    Mat 12:41 The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them – and now, something greater than Jonah is here!
    Mat 12:42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon – and now, something greater than Solomon is here!
    Mat 12:45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so the last state of that person is worse than the first. It will be that way for this evil generation as well!”
    Mat 23:36 I tell you the truth, this generation will be held responsible for all these things!
    Mat 24:34 I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
    Mar 8:12 Sighing deeply in his spirit he said, “Why does this generation look for a sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to this generation.”
    Mar 13:30 I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
    Luk 7:31 “To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like?
    Luk 11:29 As the crowds were increasing, Jesus began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it looks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
    Luk 11:30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a sign to this generation.
    Luk 11:31 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon – and now, something greater than Solomon is here!
    Luk 11:32 The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them – and now, something greater than Jonah is here!
    Luk 11:50 so that this generation may be held accountable for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world,
    Luk 11:51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation.
    Luk 17:25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
    Luk 21:32 I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
    And I agree with the statement from Anonymous (Jan 13, 2016 8:56 pm) regarding tribulation.

    • Reply by F J on 2016-01-15 03:03:19

      Good reasoning thanks menrov interesting thought though in the context of matthew 23 v36 where jesus says they slew zechariah . Blaming those whom he was talking to for an event that happened many years before .

      • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-15 08:37:32

        An excellent point and one that actually supports the idea that the wicked generation he was referring to was a generation in the traditional sense.
        “so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zech·a·riʹah son of Bar·a·chiʹah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” (Mt 23:35, 36)
        In verse 35 he refers to "YOU" meaning not just them, but their kind, the seed of Satan, going all the way back to Cain. They were being called to account for their sins and the sins of their forefathers. This is in line with verse 32:
        “Well, then, fill up the measure of your forefathers.” (Mt 23:32) The forefathers didn't pay for their sins, but this generation (before Jesus) would.
        Notice that in this context, Jesus doesn't us the word "generation." He doesn't say "which your generation murdered" when referring to Zachariah and the other prophets. Instead he says that all these sins from Abel on down will be called to account upon "this generation". The ones who murdered the prophets did not pay for their sin then and there. Even Cain did not die (a life for a life) after killing his brother. But all those sins were going to be paid for collectively by this generation before Jesus.
        This also makes sense in another way. For Mt. 24:34 to make sense, "this generation" had to have a measurable temporal span. If it merely applies to all people throughout time that share a common trait, it loses all meaning as a reassurance. The context of Jesus words is that his disciples shouldn't lose hope, because everything he'd just predicted would happen (the destruction of the temple and the city) was to occur before "this generation" (the generation he'd just condemned, the generation present before them) died off.
        If he's only referring to people with a shared trait, then how could that be reassuring. Here we are 2,000 years later and all we can say is that there will still be wicked people on earth when Jesus comes. Well, dah! Isn't that a given. I don't need the Lord to make that prediction, any of us could. Yet if we take his words at Mt 23:35 and 24:34 to refer to a group of people throughout time that share a common trait or attitude, then the meaning we are left with is that Jesus was reassuring us not to worry, that he'd come back before all the wicked people were gone. Without a time frame, his words lose meaning. He could come a thousand years from now and his words would still apply, because there would still be wicked people. How would knowing that there is no way of measuring a generation's length be any source of reassurance to us?
        We cannot know how close he is to returning, yet his disciples could read the signs to know how close Jerusalem's end was. Given this, the only application that fits is that Mt 24:34 is referring to a generation that existed in the first century.

        • Reply by Father jack on 2016-01-15 17:29:31

          I may be wrong ,but im not sure why a later generation would have to pay for the sins of thier forefathers .not the way i tend to read ezekiel 18 anyway .

          • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-16 07:39:58

            The forefathers will still be held accountable, individually, but collectively, as a generation (people all living at the same time) the punishment could only be meted out once. There would only be one end of the Jewish system of things. If the generation of Jesus day had repented in sackcloth as did the ancient Ninevites, then perhaps their doom could have been postponed, as was the destruction of Ninevah.

  • Comment by Vincent Gomez on 2016-01-14 09:06:29

    The Watchtower has always struggled with this generation stuff. This one scripture has been the basis for how people lived. The meaning of it always changing to the point that explaining it in a Watchtower was meaningless to me. Prior to 1993, I personally was getting concerned about the generation of 1914. I was so concerned that I sent a letter to the society asking if this doctrine will change. My motive was good. I didn't want people in the "world" to view us as fools. During the mass "remodeling" of Luke 21, Matt 24, and Mark 13, I always wondered why the society did not see the easy way out of this dilemma they created. Maybe they will see it in the future. At the time, I always felt that the explanation lied in the immediate words in context. (Not saying it is true, but it would take the stress off) When I read Luke 21: 25-32
    Matt 24: 29-34, Mark 23: 20, 24-30, I always understood it as the generation that was experiencing the great tribulation or at least the celestial events, powers of the heavens being shaken, roaring of the sea, and eventually the "sign of the Son of Man".
    Jesus said "unless those days are cut short, no flesh would be saved". And so THAT generation will not pass away. When they see these events, know that he was near at the door. Whereas, seeing wars, food shortages, etc, doesn't feel like he is near at the door. But the latter would be like he just "drove up on the driveway". Anyway, maybe I should write again, telling them that this will save them after 2075 when the "overlapping generations" expire?

    • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-14 21:34:25

      excellent! I agree with your thinking, I have long sought the same thing and scriptures do support this concept. I will look forward to be reading more of what you have to say concerning this matter.

    • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-14 21:53:39

      Join the discussion and the watchtower will always be struggling with it, 'cause the bottom line is their just plain wrong about their generation scenario.

  • Comment by Vincent Gomez on 2016-01-14 12:41:21

    I just wanted to add to my last comment. Although I am open minded, I firmly believe this is what Jesus was talking about. It maintains the simplicity of what "generation" means. In addition, it really makes sense that the people experiencing all this unnatural trauma would not pass away. I will not repeat what I said in my last comment, but I do believe the pieces fit. I have told people this for years. But only since I read this article did I decide to research what others have said, and if they understand it the way I do. Well, to my amazement, I found this detailed pdf. Here is the link: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.gty.org/resources/pdf/sermons/2372&ved=0ahUKEwigyZuC6KnKAhVCLmMKHQJtDMIQFggdMAE&usg=AFQjCNH015uIxrtEgf0H8Y6_FEVkGweYdg&sig2=A_c4srw7XJ1GIOZ9E3ehPg

  • Comment by Anonymous on 2016-01-14 22:44:40

    After his ouster from heaven the maddened Devil will then be allowed an interval of time equivalent to the duration of the earthly ministry of Christ, during which time he will use his revived earthly political beast to terrorize the world into total submission, with the express intent of causing the chosen ones to betray their Lord. Did not Jesus foretell that men would become faint with fright in dread and foreboding during the dark night of the conclusion and that no flesh would even survive the ordeal unless God would cut the tribulation short?
    the wild beast of revelation emerges from the abyssAs an indication of the change that will take place in the political system, the 13th chapter of Revelation depicts a two-horned lamb that emerges from the bowels of the earth, as if returning from the dead. And which then begins to speak as a dragon in ordering mankind to create and worship an image of the resurrected beast. (The dragon is Satan the Devil according to Revelation 12:9)
    Notably, the lamb is also a symbol of Jesus Christ. The two-horned lamb out of the earth symbolizes the Anglo-American duo after they recover from their now-impending crash. The lamb-like beast is an appropriate representation since both nations have ostensibly been “Christian” nations, espousing freedom and democracy and Christian values and are locked in a Special Relationship alliance; hence, two horns. Its speaking as a dragon denotes the tyrannical nature the beast will assume during the symbolic one-hour the eighth king is allowed to terrorize the world.

    • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-15 12:42:19

      more wonderful insight thank you......

  • Comment by F J on 2016-01-15 03:37:37

    Luke 13 is interesting meleti when compared to your thoughts on the verses in matthew 24 v32 jesus says learn the lesson from the fig tree . We know that jesus cursed the fig tree on his way to jerusalem . For it had no fruit . But he says learn from the parable of the fruit tree this parable is at luke 13 and the tree itself seems to me to be refering to jerusalem and its people who lacked godly fruit .

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-15 08:11:33

      An interesting insight. Thank you.

    • Reply by F J on 2016-01-15 11:43:49

      Although a lesson contained in the verse is about what happens to a tree in autumn using it as a sign .

      • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-15 12:38:21

        It's an excellent insight thank you.....

    • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-15 23:43:00

      The ax is already lying at the root of the trees. Every tree, then, that does not produce fine fruit is to be cut down and thrown into the fire.
      Matthew 3:10.
      And the same rule of thumb will apply it to the watchtower.

  • Comment by Anonymous on 2016-01-15 12:15:17

    I appreciate this alternate perspective, thank you Meleti.
    My personal view is that the society is not far off the mark. I believe we ARE living in the last days of this system of things and that the great tribulation of Matthew 24 is still ahead of us. Dual fulfillment makes sense to me, even Jesus used events long in the past as a comparison, a model, the days of Noah being an example of Jesus applying an ancient event to his day. So too today we can find alignments with Jesus prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem with the future destruction of false religion (you can almost smell it, people are becoming more and more disgusted with religion), the mother of religious harlotry which I believe is primarily those religions claiming to worship the God of Abraham as ancient Jerusalem also claimed.
    ( A side note: Where the Watchtower is in error is thinking only Jehovah's Witnesses will be blessed with passing through armageddon this is not supported by the biblical standard of repentance and forgiveness so often seen in the bible record. Nineveh being a prime example of God declaring punishment for sin but then turning his own word about to forgive when repentance is shown. Everyone can repent including the leaders and people associated with harlot-like religions! )

    • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-15 12:55:43

      Join the discussionThe Watchtower has been the source of a deluding influence, first over the so-called Bible Students, and now over Jehovah’s Witnesses. There is no possible way to break the grip it has on the minds of the many for the reason that it is “an operation of Satan” that Jehovah himself has allowed.
      What is the purpose of it? The apostle explains:
      “That is why God lets a deluding influence mislead them so that they may come to believe the lie, in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.”
      God lets a deluding influence mislead Jehovah’s Witnesses as a prelude to the judgment. Anointed, other sheep — makes no difference. They are, one and all, laboring under the delusion and believing the lie. The judgment is what will commence when Christ returns and begins his presence.
      The context of Paul’s remarks reveal that the deluding influence, although it is “an operation of Satan,” emanates from an earthly entity known as the man of lawlessness —a.k.a. the son of destruction. This agent of Satan promotes a fake parousia. That is why Paul warned the brothers not to believe authoritative proclamations announcing that the presence has begun and the day of Jehovah is here. However, the significance of the promulgation of a lie concerning the parousia having already begun is that it is a necessary prelude to the actual parousia. And it is the manifestation of Christ that will do away with the man of lawlessness and those who faithlessly follow him after the real presence begins.
      Now as regards today’s text. The aforementioned “lie” is right there. Here it is again, isolated below in case you did not detect it:
      Thus, the parable finds its fulfillment in our time and is part of the sign that Jesus is present and ruling as King.
      On the one hand the Watchtower claims that Jesus’ presence began in 1914. But over the past few years all the parables (except the wheat and the weeds and the dragnet) that previously had been declared to have been fulfilled back in 1918 have now been moved forward, to a future day of fulfillment. But in order to retain the 1914 delusion the Watchtower has been compelled to teach that even though the principle that judgment starts with the house of God first is well established in the Scriptures, Jesus is coming again, supposedly during the tribulation, to settle accounts with his slaves.
      Of course, the Watchtower also teaches that Christ came in 1914 as the messenger of the covenant and judged the house of God then too. But Bethel is safe, for now —at least as far as their deception being found out. Their legerdemain is unlikely to be discovered by Jehovah’s Witnesses, unless someone is especially discerning.
      But what is the truth? Does Jesus judge his slaves at the beginning of the parousia —as the Watchtower used to teach —or at the end, during the globe-rocking holocaust known as the great tribulation? And does it make any difference?
      The answer is: Jesus settles accounts with his slaves when he returns and begins his presence with them. That is evident from reading the 12th chapter of Luke, which is a much more detailed discussion regarding the faithful and unfaithful slaves, which, by the way, the WT seldom cites. But in that discussion with his disciples Jesus stressed the importance of their staying awake and in expectation of the coming of the master. And those whom the master finds to be ready and wakeful Jesus said: “Happy are those slaves whom the master on coming finds watching! Truly I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at the table and will come alongside and minister to them.”
      As the WT has explained the Greek word “parousia“ literally means “being alongside.” And in the illustration regarding the coming of the master Jesus plainly said he “will come alongside” and minister to his slaves — that is, if he finds them watching. Yet, the Watchtower attaches no significance whatsoever to this passage.
      So, in answer to the last question posed: does it make a difference? Absolutely! The 1914 delusion has insured that Jesus’ coming will be totally unexpected. Or, as the Lord himself went on to say: “But know this, if the householder had known at what hour the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also, keep ready, because at an hour that you do not think likely, the Son of man is coming.”

      • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-15 13:32:10

        Hi Anonymous,
        May you have peace.
        Every Christian has much to learn and to repent over, myself included.
        If you love God we are brothers.
        If you love Christ we are brothers.
        If you love your neighbor we are brothers.
        If you love truth we are brothers.
        Your sincere efforts to grasp truth, to see beyond the mist of mans' religious rule which always results in dishonoring God, is the beginning of a life closer to God and Christ.
        You have made the jump out of your JW religion and kept your faith!
        Your brother,

    • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-16 02:41:06

      Hi Joshua
      The error that many people make is to refer to a dual fulfilment. The first fulfilment having taken place in the first century the second yet to take place in the future.
      This somewhat muddies the waters. There are not two fulfilments, one minor, and the other major. This terminology is very imprecise.
      It is better and more accurately expressed as follows:
      The first century Jews partially experienced, what is in effect an ongoing fulfilment yet to be brought to its terminus in the future.
      This more accurately expresses the concept.
      All the best.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-16 08:05:02

      Hi Joshua,
      When I began to study, I too thought that we were only a little off the mark. As the months turned into years, I came to see that with regard to “the times and the seasons” we are just about wrong about everything. For example, dual fulfillment is based on creating an antitypical relationship that doesn’t exist in the Bible. True, Jesus created one with regard to Noah’s day, but we are not Jesus and therefore have no right to create typical/antitypical relationships not found in Scripture. This isn’t only my view but is the official view of the Organization. (See “Questions from Readers” in the March 2015 Watchtower; also read Going Beyond What Is Written)
      If we get rid of all the antitypical applications we’ve made that are not found in Scripture, then all—ALL—our dual fulfillments go away.
      Then there is the issue of the last days. Since 1914 is wrong, and the World War I is no marker of the start of the last days, then what are the last days. If we cannot make up antitypical fulfillments and if Peter’s words at Acts 2:16-21 are to be believed (they are, after all, part of the inspired record) then we have been in the last days since the first century. (See the Category: Last Days.)
      If you care to read the three articles on “This Generation”, you will see that Mt 24:34 only has a first century fulfillment. Parts of that prophecy are actually warnings, parts were fulfilled in the first century and parts have yet to be fulfilled. There is no dual fulfillment nor is there a centuries-long generation. (Please read This Generation – A Fresh Look followed by This Generation – A Modern Day Fulfillment)

      • Reply by Father jack on 2016-01-16 09:39:35

        Yes i agree . Just thinking about this anti typical fullfillment where jesus said as in noahs day so the coming of the son of man will be . To me it was only a simple comparison jesus was making the point being that A ) either people took no note , or b ) they did not know . They just carried on as normal until the day came upon them . Like i say why use these terms of dual fullfillment ect . When it was just a simple lesson from history . Peter made the same point in his letters .

      • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-16 16:46:54

        Thank you for the response Meleti.
        The current Governing Body has made many changes some good but many not so good. They appear to believe today's Witnesses are not capable of absorbing deep material or do not need to. We are being starved to death while an endless stream of vacuous but smartly presented videos lull us to sleep.
        I disagreed with their decision to remove almost all prophetic patterns or types not obviously found in the Bible.
        I do not believe 1914 marked Christ's invisible presence but I do believe the first world war did mark a significant change, a sign post of rapid world change. (In my opinion, the beginning of the political and social chain reaction of events that will lead to mankind's realization that without God he is doomed, the beginning of the conclusion of the system of things.) The significance of 1914 is recognized by many in the secular world. One famous authority, and author, on the Great War, Barbara W. Tuchman, in her famous Pulitzer Prize winning book "Guns of August" (1962), describes the 1910 funeral of Edward VII of England when the sovereigns of Europe gathered to pay their respects (many of them relatives), a splendid gathering of kings, queens and ambassadors. After briefly describing this scene she writes, "The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history's clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a blaze of splendor never to be seen again."
        From Britannica online:
        "World War I, also called First World War or Great War...The war was virtually unprecedented in the slaughter, carnage, and destruction it caused.
        "World War I was one of the great watersheds of 20th-century geopolitical history. It led to the fall of four great imperial dynasties (in Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey), resulted in the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, and, in its destabilization of European society, laid the groundwork for World War II.
        "The casualties suffered by the participants in World War I dwarfed those of previous wars: some 8,500,000 soldiers died as a result of wounds and/or disease. The greatest number of casualties and wounds were inflicted by artillery, followed by small arms, and then by poison gas. The bayonet, which was relied on by the prewar French Army as the decisive weapon, actually produced few casualties. War was increasingly mechanized from 1914 and produced casualties even when nothing important was happening. On even a quiet day on the Western Front, many hundreds of Allied and German soldiers died. The heaviest loss of life for a single day occurred on July 1, 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, when the British Army suffered 57,470 casualties."
        From PBS "The Great War", http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/thenandnow/
        "The after shocks of the earthquake we call the Great War are still being felt today, in the 21st century
        "In countless ways, World War I created the fundamental elements of 20th century history. Genocide emerged as an act of war. So did the use of poison gas on the battlefield. The international system was totally transformed. On the political right fascism came out of the war; on the left a communist movement emerged backed by the Soviet Union. Reluctantly, but unavoidably, America became a world power. The British Empire reached its high point and started to unravel. Britain never recovered from the shock of war, and started her decline to the ranks of the second-class powers. At the peace conference of 1919, the German, Turkish, and Austro-Hungarian empires were broken up. New boundaries were drawn in Europe and the Middle East, boundaries -- as in Iraq and Kuwait -- which were still intact at the end of the century.
        "Just as the war was ending, German Nationalists like Hitler gathered millions who rejected the peace and blamed Jews and Communists for their defeat. The road to the Second World War started there."
        (end of quote)
        It would not be hard to find other secular sources which also recognize that WWI heralded a new world of global uncertainty and change. The two state solution which the world is still today very much grappling with, the middle east national boundaries which were set by Europeans not Arabs, the seeds of WWII and its the horrors, the start of the rapid rise of new war machinery and the spread of other implements of war such as mustard gas, and much of today's political problems were birthed in WWI. (See PBS article)
        Here is a paradox: There has been a strong effort to discount the Society's claim that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607BC because it is not supported by SECULAR SOURCES which point to 587 as the date of destruction. Yet, when a discussion about the significance of 1914 and WWI arises SECULAR SOURCES are not held to be as reliable. Then former brothers (on exjw sites) have claimed, there has always been wars, kings have always fought, pestilences are nothing new, world war one was just a war like all wars.
        It seems that on the one hand, when secular sources contradict the society they are viewed as authoritative though they originated thousands of years ago. On the other, when secular sources agree with the Society's claim that 1914 was a significant year those secular sources are NOT viewed as authoritative though they are based on historical evidences much greater than ancient celestial charts.
        The Society is not always right but neither is it always wrong. I believe most of our major teachings have more right than wrong. But like the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day the Governing Body has placed itself where it should not be. They cannot rule over our consciences, they must allow the friends to exercise their minds, to build up their spiritual muscles by being free to ask questions and to openly but respectfully discuss and even perhaps to respectfully disagree.
        They, the Governing Body, must trust in Jehovah's ability to safeguard his sheep. And we, Jehovah's Witnesses, the publishers, must be ready to see beyond the mist of the opinions of men whether in the Organization or out. We must make up our own minds, follow Christ as he leads, and recognize that there has NEVER been a religion or religious people entirely free from error. We, Jehovah's Witnesses, are not free from error but we do have good things enough perhaps that Christ will, after we have repented, smile on us.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-16 17:32:08

          You make a good point. I too believe we are near something. The population growth, by many estimates, will reach critical levels within the next 50 years. However, I also am mindful that "at a time we think it not to be, the Son of Man is coming."

          • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-16 17:35:59

            I absolutely agree, Meleti.

    • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-16 16:10:20

      Hi Joshua,
      I would not be quick to dismiss a generation, age or eon that spans centuries. It is a line of reasoning well worth considering it fits very well.
      Numerous bible translations use the word age instead of generation to convey more accurately the idea of a time span. It is a period of time characterized by something in particular. Much the same as we might refer to the Bronze Age, or Iron Age. In this case it is an age of perverse society.
      You can check these translations for yourself on Biblehub or one of the many sites where you can compare translations. This will give you a better sense of what Jesus meant.
      I hope this helps, and gives you a fresh perspective to consider.
      All the best.

      • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-16 17:21:38

        Hi again Joshua,
        A number of sources you may find helpful. There are many others of course but time and circumstance do not permit listing them all here.
        "(Gk genea) This is traditionally rendered "generation" in Matt. 24:34, Mark 13:30. And Luke 21:32. However, based on the Hebrew word dor as meaning "age", the meaning of the Greek word genea as used by Jesus concerns a class of people - a set of humanity with common characteristics - generally a perverse society. " KGV p. 488
        According to The NIV Theological Dictionary of New Testament Words p. 244, "Lk. understood genea as a class of people, not as a generation in the first century."
        "1) a generation
        2) (by implication) an age (the period or the persons)"
        MCT and Strong's Exhaustive Concirdance of the Bible.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-16 17:41:14

          I had understood that you were going to shelve this discussion until you've had the opportunity to attempt to prove your point in the DiscussTheTruth forum. Since I've gone to great lengths to prove my point in a series of article it is discourteous to say the least to enter here as a guest and promote a different view without first showing how the prevailing understanding is wrong. Most sites would not give you the opportunity to do that, but ours will, if you can just be patient while we set up the forum.

          • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-16 19:10:54

            Hi Meleti,
            You understood correctly. So, I will make one final comment because the impression you gave Jason regarding Biblehub search on generation is not strictly correct. If research is done on a superficial level then yes generation at first glance appears to be the word most bibles use. Deeper research in the varies notes and commentaries gives an amplified view. Just one example, the much respected NET Bible in its notes on Matt. 24:34 states:
            "This is one of the hardest versus in the Gospels to interpret. Various views exist for what generation means. (1)! Some take it as meaning race and thus as an assurance that the Jewish race (nation) will not pass away. But it is very questionable that the Greek term genea can have this meaning. To other options are possible. (2) Generation might mean "this type of generation" and refer to the generation of wicked humanity. Then the point is that humanity will not perish, because God will redeem it. Or (3) generation may refer to "the generation that sees the signs of the end" (V. 30), who will see the end its self, in other words, once the movement to the return of Christ starts, all the events connected with it happened very quickly, in rapid succession."
            As you may have noticed the NET Bible virtually dismisses the possibility of generation in the context of Matt. 24:34 as referring to the Jews. The Greek word genea simply doesn't allow for this here.
            So of the only other two possible options advanced both are applied to humanity as a whole.
            I can understand why my comments may be uncomfortable for some. There is a virtually inexhaustible supply of references to support the view that generation refers to a time span over centuries and includes all perverse society.
            I would not like to be labeled as "discourteous" so I will desist from making further comment on this subject. On one proviso, that you extend the same courtesy to me, by not feeling the need to shut me down every time I make a comment. Which by the way are not my views, but are well documented and supported by respected sources.
            I'm sure you will agree, courtesy works both ways. It is implied in courtesy that both sides have equal billing. If you feel the need to respond to every comment I make, then courtesy dictates you allow me the same opportunity.
            In my original comment to Joshua I purposely avoided the generation issue. I spoke only of duel fulfilment. So I kept my promise to you
            On the other hand in your parting comments to Joshua you felt the need to close the door on the generation issue. There was no need to do this in light of the direction in which I took this thread. Knowing my view, In effect, and I say this with all respect you incited a response.
            I'm happy to play by the rules as long as the rules of courtesy apply to everyone.
            Thanks again.

            • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-16 21:54:07

              If you wish to play by the rules, then why do you raise a new point? You leave me with two options: 1) Answer the point to show the flaw in your reasoning. But that just extends the thread inviting yet another response from you. 2) Say nothing so that the thread does not continue and leave the point unaddressed and by silence, concede it.

            • Reply by Menrov on 2016-01-17 13:25:11

              I agree that the Greek word often translated as generation can also mean race, family, age etc. The context or objective will need to be taken into account to determine a translation that justify the meaning of the speaker [Jesus] , the audience and objective. If I follow that approach, I believe Jesus was addressing the generation or people alive at that time. Any othrr view would mean Jesus was addressing his audience with a message that was not relevant to them. I cannot believe Jesus would even consider that approach : addressing a crowd with a message that is not relevant to them.

        • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-16 19:33:37

          Hi Antoninvs,
          I appreciate the information, brother.
          I believe we have the concrete historical precedent that Jesus meant a literal generation because those who heard him speak were among those who witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem's Temple. So, in my opinion, that precedent dictates the general time period Jesus was referring to.
          Obviously, we cannot yet identify that generation (that is,if we believe there is a second fulfillment or application) nor should we attempt to do so. When God reveals it we will, in my opinion, all know just as lightening in the night sky cannot be hidden, we will all see the obvious evidences and rejoice that he is near at the door. Until then like the ten virgins we wait.

      • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-16 17:35:47

        If you go to Biblehub.com and enter Mt 24:34, you'll find that all the Bible translations render it "generation" not "age, epoch, or era". If you then scan every reference in the Hebrew and Greek scriptures of the word "generation" and consider whether the context supports the contention that the word means "age or era" rather than a group of contemporaries living at the same time, you'll arrive at a simple conclusion. Perhaps, in rare instances, it can mean "age" but that hardly justifies ignoring the context and the scriptural harmony.

        • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-16 19:36:28

          Thanks Meleti.

    • Reply by sopaterofberoea on 2016-01-16 20:04:58

      Just to add my perspective:
      Luke 23:34 says: "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."
      Jesus was referring specifically to the Roman soldiers at the crucifixion , but also to all the Jewish religious leaders and sects of the Jewish religion that mocked and blasphemed him.
      Acts 3:17 says: "Now fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders."
      1 Cor 2:8 adds: "None of the rulers of this age (aion) has understood, for if they understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."
      The Pharisees did not believe Christ was the Messiah, the son of God. Had they believed, they would certainly not have acted as they did.
      Moreover, neither the leaders or members of the Jewish sects could have blasphemed the holy spirit, because they never confessed Christ. Only one legitimately called that has confessed Christ is capable of blaspheming the holy spirit
      They could never have been "dis"owned by Christ (Matt 10:33) as they were never owned by him. They did blaspheme the Son of God, but this sin is forgivable (Matt 12:31).
      Jesus prayed that those who were misguided and ignorant be forgiven, even those responsible for his death. How much more so is God's mercy available to those who, regardless of what particular religious group they may associated with, regardless of how their leaders misinterpret scripture out of ignorance and misguide their members.
      Has the leadership of JW ever come near blaspheming the Christ? Do they claim his powerful works came from the Devil? Do they deny that he came in the flesh? (2 John 7)
      Are they only guilty of ignorance in certain interpretation of scripture?
      I agree completely with you that all religious leaders can repent, and as I see it, even if they don't, their sins can be forgiven as part of the "wicked" (adikos) in the resurrection (Acts 24:15). If they were never owned by Christ, if they never legitimately confessed the Christ, they are lovable and forgivable.
      I do feel it is righteous on Jehovah's part to destroy unbelievers at Armageddon (Matt 7:13,14). But I do not subscribe the Society teaching this is the second death. On this note, I agree with C.T. Russell's view.
      I believe the second death is reserved for judgment at the end Judgment Day, and only one formerly "owned" by Christ could have sinned against the holy spirit and suffered the second death. This in my opinion, is an extremely small number of humans.
      For God "desires all men to be saved (the resurrection)....... and [then] come to an accurate knowledge of truth." (1 Tim 2:4)
      "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world (including all religious leaders and the GB), but that the world (including the GB and all religious leaders and all they lead) might be saved through him."
      Warm regards,

      • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 09:34:14

        Good morning, Sopater.
        We are in agreement brother.
        With the exception of all unbelievers being destroyed at Armageddon, I agree with your well stated post.

    • Reply by Godswordistruth on 2016-01-18 08:02:41

      For those who subscribe to the dual fulfillment way of looking at prophecy, do we have an example of this in the Bible? An example One prophecy in the Bible fulfilled in two different ways in two entirely different eras of time,with two entirely groups of people involved? What reason do we have for examining prophecy this way?
      Why are we hijacking already fulfilled Jewish prophecies and applying them to Gentile Christians?

      • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-18 11:42:37

        The Bible is filled with many prophetic parallels, people and events that have such close similarities they are identified with one another or give a punch in clarification. Elijah being one, in function at least, who reappears both in the first century and Revelation. Dual applications, prophetic parallels, are not a Witness or Bible Student invention. Christians have sought understanding of the times through second applications since Christianity began. The Bible itself sets the precedent for this.
        Prophetic parallels of separate events and individuals is the way the Bible teaches. A stream of events in the Hebrew scriptures had parallels, or second applications, in the first century. We cannot understand the Greek scriptures without the previous patterns recorded in the Hebrew. Jesus is not the second Adam if there had not been a first, selection of 12 Apostles have little meaning without the prophetic parallel of the 12 sons of Jacob and the 12 tribes that descended from them, a new nation, reflected in a prophetic parallel. Christ can be found in reflected light from the Hebrew scriptures, prophetic parallels.
        The Lamb of God dying on the Passover is a prophetic parallel of events which took place long before and can only be understood through that reflected light, that mirror.
        I believe before Christ returns we will experience events that in hindsight will be found to have been a prophetic parallel of Matthew 24.

  • Comment by Jill on 2016-01-16 22:52:40

    I enjoyed the article. But I did notice a lack of references. It is one thing to make statements, it is another thing to prove them. I would like to see proof that's all I'm saying.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-17 07:18:04

      Hi Jill,
      I'm not sure what you are referring to specifically. Which points do you feel lack references?

      • Reply by Jill on 2016-01-17 15:54:14

        Sorry what I meant was you don't use any outside sources to back up your conclusions. It would be nice to see such an important subject well supported.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-17 16:42:22

          I understand now. But then who would I use? Some scholar that happens to agree with me. There are scholars who would disagree with me as well. So I would have to pick and choose my scholars. And what would be my basis for accepting this one and rejecting that one? Then I would be like the Scribes who spoke without authority, always referring to some previous learned man.
          Our Lord taught us otherwise:
          “...And they became astounded at his way of teaching, for there he was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mr 1:22)
          Our authority comes not from outside scholars but from the same source as Jesus used, God's own word.
          God rejected the wise and intellectual ones of the first century in favor of babes, and he has not changes his method today. (Mt 11:25, 26)
          All we need is the holy spirit and a freedom from pride. The Bible has all the evidence we need to arrive at a conclusion. I don't ask you or anyone else to believe because I say so, or some scholar with higher learning says so. I only ask that you examine God's word to see for yourself what it teaches.
          Your brother,

          • Reply by Jill on 2016-01-17 17:40:15

            I understand but then we only have your interpretation of what the bible says. Wouldn't that be like saying I don't need anybody else I can work it out for myself and you can take what I'm saying as being right.

            • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-17 19:13:14

              No, you don't want to trust my interpretation. Then you are just following men again. You don't want to take the interpretation of anyone. A human can help you understand something, but you must read the Bible for yourself and make sure that what the human is saying is correct. Read and analyze the Bible. I'm not saying that a human can't help. My understanding of the role of women came because I read someone else's treatise on the subject and learned some facts I didn't know. But those are facts, not interpretation. For example, in my article I revealed some facts that are right in the Bible, but you have to determine how those facts fit into the whole. The only time--THE ONLY TIME--that you should rely on the interpretation of men is when the men show credentials that they speak for God. And what would those credentials be? Splitting the Red Sea would be a good start. :)

  • Comment by sopaterofberoea on 2016-01-16 22:58:15

    From my research, I have yet to find any support for the GB’s “generation” teaching in any scholarly work. I think it’s fair to say this teaching is “outside” the realm of biblical possibilities. It can exist only in the minds of those loyal to JW Broadcasting and WT publications.
    Do we blame such a teaching on “ignorance?” The religious leaders of the Pharisees and Sadducees were ignorant. (Acts 3:17)
    Interestingly, the greek word translated “ignorance” (agnoia) in Acts 3:17 also carries the idea of “willful” blindness, or “willful” ignorance. This adds clarity, as it is often the case that an ignorant person is not simply unaware.
    The definition of willful is: deliberate, intentional, premeditated, planned, conscious.
    Further, one who acts willfully shows a stubborn and determined intention to do as he wants, regardless of the consequences or effects. He is headstrong, obstinate, stubborn, pigheaded, recalcitrant, uncooperative, unmanageable, balky.
    Wow, how well this describes the attitudes of those who sat in the chief seats in the synagogues in Jesus’ day. Does it not also describe the attitudes of high minded religious leaders today, specifically when they teach doctrine they personally know is flawed, using a biased, inaccurate translation to support their incorrect interpretation of scripture?
    Putting on our Beroean caps, do we not have a duty to examine the teachings of the religious leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
    Here’s a question:
    Can one who has legitimately confessed the Christ be “willfully” ignorant? (John 4:24)
    Are the GB ignorant, or, willfully ignorant? Well, they do have a very comprehensive resource (library) to conduct research. If they don’t avail themselves and act diligently in studying theological, cultural and historical works, they are choosing to remain ignorant. If they diligently research but refuse to correct “tradition” teachings, they are willfully ignorant. Tradition teachings such as:
    1. The “times of the nations” beginning in 607 BCE
    2. The 2520 years beginning in 607 BCE ending in 1914
    3. The No Blood doctrine
    4. The identity of the other sheep
    It is not for me to judge, but in that these tradition teachings remain to this day, I vote the GB is guilty of willful ignorance. In such case they need to prayerfully consider their standing before God as they read Paul’s counsel to the Corinthian congregation at 1 Cor 11:27-31.

    • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 00:08:03

      ANSWER: Although 1st century Christians were called out of worldly darkness into the wonderful light of truth there were many things, particularly matters related to prophecy and the second coming of Christ, that they did not understand. In fact, their unenlightened condition was the reason Paul and the others wrote them letters of counsel, which letters now comprise what we call the Greek Scriptures.
      But even at that, in his letter to the Corinthians Paul said that until the coming of Christ we can only see in a “hazy outline,” as if peering at a metal mirror. So, being called into God’s wonderful light should not be thought of in terms of a singular event, but rather a process and a promise of an eventuality. (Not to be confused with the Watchtower’s ‘the light keeps getting brighter’ axiom.)
      Also, on the matter of prophecy, take for instance the book of Daniel, which the angel explained to the prophet was to be sealed up until the time of the end. And although the other prophecies do not explicitly say they are sealed up until a certain time, it is certainly implied to be the case.
      And during that time – the time of the end – when Jehovah’s judgments are revealed, then that is when the righteous will shine as brightly as the sun in God’s kingdom. What does that indicate if not a sudden change of condition from relative darkness into the wonderful light of the one who now dwells in the unapproachable divine light? So, the prophecies allow for a comparatively unenlightened condition up until the day of Christ.
      The prophecy of Isaiah has as an underlying theme the blindness and deafness of God’s people – a blindness and deafness that will only be remedied by the illuminating presence of Christ. For example, the 32nd chapter of Isaiah refers to the king reigning for righteousness and his princes – the princes are the sons of the kingdom (not Christian elders as the WT teaches) at the time they are said to shine as brightly as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
      Isaiah goes on to say: “And the eyes of those seeing will not be pasted together, and the very ears of those hearing will pay attention. And the heart itself of those who are overhasty will consider knowledge, and even the tongue of the stammerers will be quick in speaking clear things. The senseless one will no longer be called generous; and as for the unprincipled man, he will not be said to be noble; because the senseless one himself will speak mere senselessness, and his very heart will work at what is hurtful, to work at apostasy and to speak against Jehovah what is wayward, to cause the soul of the hungry one to go empty, and he causes even the thirsty one to go without drink itself.”
      Presently the “senseless ones” are the leading men of the Watchtower Society.
      Assuming that there are some who are not bent on outright deception, they just can’t seem to figure out that the reason they have to periodically adjust and re-adjust their interpretations of prophecy is because Christ did not begin ruling in 1914. Despite the fact that they have now disavowed much of what was once thought to have been fulfilled (such as the beginning of the tribulation in 1914, men becoming faint with fear, the separating of the sheep and goats, the appointment of the faithful slave over all the master’s belongings, etc.) it is still unimaginable for them that there could be another world war, global pandemics, etc., and that the sign of Christ could more authentically display itself in the future. In that respect they are truly senseless.
      Surely that will offend and likely shock the sensibilities of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But it is not my opinion. It is God’s exalted point of view. To put things in perspective keep in mind that after Jesus was resurrected he appeared to a few of his disciples on one occasion and rebuked them for being senseless and slow in heart to believe the prophets. So, the senselessness of the Governing Body on the matter of prophecy does not necessarily disqualify them as individuals from being Christ’s faithful slave. (See article: Who Is Blind?)
      But for that matter, the rank and file of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been “overhasty” in concluding that Christ has already arrived and set matters straight. So, Jehovah’s Witnesses are inline for rebuke as well, just not to the same degree as those in charge. (See Luke 12:48)

      • Reply by sopaterofberoea on 2016-01-17 00:28:04

        Joshua, was the above your reply?
        Just wondering.
        Excellent post my brother.

        • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 09:16:49

          No, brother, that was not my post.

      • Reply by sopaterofberoea on 2016-01-17 01:04:26

        In further reading posts, I see that you are not Joshua.
        I re-read your post, and I agree that specifically on misinterpretation of prophecy they could be viewed as senseless.
        But in 4 items I mentioned, none apply to mistaken interpretation of prophecy.
        Items #1 and #2 deal with using the erroneous 607 BCE date. This is an intentional rejection of secular and sound, widely accept historical evidence. I see this as more than senseless. They cling to this myth to support flawed doctrine.
        #3 The no blood teaching relies upon the erroneous premise that a blood transfusion is the same as putting blood in a glass and drinking it for food and nutrition. They cling to this myth to support the flawed doctrine.
        #4 (other sheep) teaching has no scriptural support in the New Testament. They cling to this myth to limit the number of anointed, in fear that if everyone partakes it will undermine their authority and control.
        I agree with much of your post, but feel strongly that they can not teach the above and be claiming to teach truth.
        If they are knowingly teaching untruth, how can their confession be valid?

        • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 02:11:14

          Please keep in mind there is a wicked slave and a faithful slave and they are both present up until the judgment when Jesus comes in is authentic pariousia.
          'Prior to the July, 2013, Watchtower, Jehovah’s Witnesses believed that the slave had been appointed over all the master’s belongings and an evil slave was put out of God’s spiritual house back in 1918. Now, though, the Society teaches that the master comes in the future and the appointment of the slave over all his master’s belongings has to do with the chosen ones receiving their heavenly reward. This is the correct view.
          However, it should be noted that there are two appointments. The first appointment is when the master assigns his slaves to feed the domestics their food at the proper time. Obviously, that appointment comes first. The second appointment is a reward for having faithfully carried out their original assignment to feed the household.
          Hence, when Jesus posed the question: “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics…?” – The answer is, it will not be apparent whether the slave has been faithful or unfaithful until the master unexpectedly arrives like a thief in the night. That is when one a faithful slave and an evil slave will be distinguished

          • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-17 03:29:13

            Actually there is only one slave mentioned in the parable of the faithful and discreet slave.
            The slave is pronounced either faithful or wicked upon his master's return.
            The slave is given an assignment to carry out during his master's absence. When his master returns and evaluates the slave's performance of his duties, then and only then does he pronounce him faithful or wicked.
            The account is quite clear on this.

            • Reply by Menrov on 2016-01-17 13:05:09

              It "s a parable, not.a.prophecy....a lesson not a true event.

              • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-19 00:27:15

                It is a parable, but there is much in scripture to suggest it has a very real application.

            • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 17:31:35

              If there is a faithful slave that would certainly imply there is a wicked slave.
              A son of destruction like Judas Iscariot Luke 22:3-4.
              Then that slave who understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do what he asked* will be beaten with many strokes.
              But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him Luke 12:47-48
              “For it is just like a man about to travel abroad who summoned his "slaves" and entrusted his belongings to them.+ 15 He gave five talents* to one, two to another, and one to still another, to each according to his own ability, and he went abroad. 16 Immediately the one who received the five talents went and did business with them and gained five more. 17 Likewise, the one who received the two gained two more. 18 But the slave who received just one went off and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.*
              19 “After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.+ 20 So the one who had received the five talents came forward and brought five additional talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I gained five talents more.’+ 21 His master said to him: ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things.+ Enter into the joy of your master.’+ 22 Next the one who had received the two talents came forward and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me; see, I gained two talents more.’+ 23 His master said to him: ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’
              24 “Finally the slave who had received the one talent came forward and said: ‘Master, I knew you to be a demanding man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not winnow.+ 25 So I grew afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 In reply his master said to him: ‘Wicked and sluggish slave, you knew, did you, that I reaped where I did not sow and gathered where I did not winnow? 27 Well, then, you should have deposited my money* with the bankers, and on my coming I would have received it back with interest.
              28 “‘Therefore, take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.+ 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.+ 30 And throw the good-for-nothing slave out into the darkness outside. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be.’ Matthew 25:

              • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-17 22:26:49

                You missed the point entirely.
                With reference to the parable of the faithful and discreet slave of Matthew 24 and Luke 12, there is only one slave.
                Different scenarios are presented depending on how the master judges the slave's conduct during his absence, once he returns the master makes his assessment.
                As for the parables of the talents, the minas, the virgins etc, there is no argument, multiple slaves are involved and clearly some act wisely and others wickedly.
                However, with specific reference to the parable of the faithful and discreet slave, only one slave is involved. A different scenario is poised here. It does not strictly parallel the other 3 parables mentioned above. Jesus was illustrating a different point here. The emphasis was focused on a different aspect.

                • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 23:58:28

                  It's about the big picture ,the overall projection of the scriptures on a whole, however it appears no matter what I say you obviously want to be found right, so be it.
                  But a physical man does not accept* the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually. 1 Corinthians 2:14.
                  However thank you for the conversation and may you be in peace.

                  • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-18 01:10:09

                    Dear brother,
                    It's not about being right. It's about getting it right. Technically your statement was incorrect. That is all I was trying to point out. If we make a point we should endeavour to be precise, for the sake of the reader.
                    Your comments suggest you don't like any kind of correction. That's fine I will not make any further comment on your remarks. But if two people can't have an exchange of ideas without one of them taking it personally, then I really must wonder who the physical man is.
                    All the best.

                    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2016-01-18 07:49:59

                      We have to be very careful evaluating each other's statements as accurate or inaccurate when there is so little to go by. You are each providing snippets of insight which are correct if taken one way and incorrect if taken another. This is where we should give each one the benefit of the doubt and not make a summary judgment.
                      Is the account of the faithful slave in Matthew and Luke a parable? Yes. But does it deal with true events? A parable is a form of illustration. Jesus used them sometimes to explain more easily a difficult truth, and sometimes to hide the meaning form those unworthy of understanding. (Mt 13:10-15) But every illustration he used had a practical application.
                      Was a slave appointed by Jesus to feed his sheep when he left. Yes. (John 21:15-19) So the illustration has a prophetic element.
                      Was a faithful and discreet slave appointed by Jesus. No. What was appointed was a slave with the potential to be faithful and discreet, but that determination is made only by the Master upon his return. Hence, the illustration's opening line, "Who really is the faithful and discreet slave?"
                      Is there only one slave? Yes, in a sense. The sense is that Jesus appointed one slave to feed. Is it a composite slave? It must be if it is still around centuries later when the Master returns.
                      However, the conduct of the individuals forming that composite slave result in a judgment that identifies four types of slave.
                      This has all been explained on this site already, so there really is no reason for us to be debating it unless you believe we are wrong in our understanding. (See the category Identifying the Slave) If anyone believes that to be the case, then I'd be happy to open a topic on the subject for discussion.
                      Your brother,

                      • Reply by sopaterofberoea on 2016-01-18 13:03:32

                        Well said brother, I concur with you thoughts and may I add:
                        From among his house servants (slaves), the master appointed one "steward" to be manager of the kitchen and dining room. The managing steward would be evaluated at the CONCLUSION of his assignment, NOT at the beginning.
                        At the time the slave was selected by the master to be steward, the slave was no doubt faithful and stood out from the other house servants. This seems only logical. (in actuality the apostles and early disciples certainly fit this description)
                        But...... the slave had not yet proven himself faithful to his assignment as a steward.
                        Here's an analogy: Say a business has a good and faithful employee, so they advance him from the a basic level to a leader of the department. Management tells him that after one year his performance will be evaluated. If he is found to have been diligent and does his job well, he will advance to being manager of the entire operation. The caveat is that if he drops the ball and doesn't perform well, he will be fired.
                        One more thing: How would management feel if during the year they keep hearing that he's been bragging about certain he is that he's going to get the big raise and promotion. That soon he'll be making the big bucks, sitting in a fine office and running the entire show.
                        You think management might be concerned about his being so self-assured and swagger? Not good management material.
                        Now, back to the parable.
                        1. Who determines if the steward is doing his job well, the steward? A. NO IT IS THE MASTER.
                        2. When does the master evaluate the steward's performance, while he is away? A. NO, IT HAPPENS WHEN THE MASTER RETURNS.
                        3. Is it wise for the steward to publicize in advance that the master is going to evaluate him as faithful and discreet..... before the master arrives? A. NO THIS WOULD BE PRESUMPTUOUS AND MISLEADING. IT WOULD DEMONSTRATE THAT THE STEWARD IS NOT DISCREET AND IS USURPING THE AUTHORITY OF THE MASTER.
                        New light has now trapped the GB. They now teach the "return" (erchomai) of the master at the time of judgment. They have abandoned 1919, and this presents a major conundrum.
                        Note comments in the w13 7/15 pp7,8
                        17. In the past, we have stated in our publications that these last four references apply to Jesus’ arriving, or coming, in 1918. As an example, take Jesus’ statement about “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Read Matthew 24:45-47.) We understood that the "arriving" mentioned in verse 46 was linked to the time when Jesus came to inspect the spiritual condition of the anointed in 1918 and that the appointment of the slave over all the Master’s belongings occurred in 1919. (Mal. 3:1) However, a further consideration of Jesus’ prophecy indicates that an adjustment in our understanding of the timing of certain aspects of Jesus’ prophecy is needed. Why so?
                        18. In the verses that lead up to Matthew 24:46, the word “coming” refers consistently to the time when Jesus comes to pronounce and execute judgment during the great tribulation. (Matt. 24:30, 42, 44) Also, as we considered in paragraph 12, Jesus’ ‘arriving’ mentioned at Matthew 25:31 refers to that same future time of judgment. So it is reasonable to conclude that Jesus’ arrival to appoint the faithful slave over all his belongings, mentioned at Matthew 24:46, 47, also applies to his future coming, during the great tribulation. * Indeed, a consideration of Jesus’ prophecy in its entirety makes it clear that each of these eight references to his coming applies to the future time of judgment during the great tribulation.
                        All that the GB can claim at this point is that they believe they are the steward. No more. To call themselves "faithful and discreet" at this point is premature and presumptuous. Christ makes that judgment upon his return.
                        When Jesus asked "WHO REALLY IS the faithful and discreet slave"' he's showing that at that time, the answer was not yet confirmed. Why? Because time had to pass for the "collective" steward (over centuries of time) to prove himself faithful and discreet.

                    • Reply by Jen on 2016-01-18 17:30:23

                      Although being many the 144,000 makeup The Composite slave.
                      Revelation 7:4
                      12 For just as the body is one but has many members, and all the members of that body, although many, are one body, so too is the Christ.
                      14 For, indeed, the body is made up not of one member but of many.
                      19 If they were all the same member, where would the body be?
                      20 But now they are many members, yet one body. /[ SLAVE]
                      27 Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you individually is a member. 1Corinthians:

                      • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-18 19:13:45

                        Whether the slave is composite is not the issue here. The slave of Matt. 24 and Luke 12 is one entity. Perhaps that is a clearer way of putting it.
                        Incidentally, the slave mentioned in Matt. 24 and Luke 12 is not the 144000 according to the current teaching of the WT. The salve is only the 7 men currently serving on the GB.
                        This illustrates the need to be precise with our wording.

                        • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-19 00:09:49

                          In the interest of being precise, I'll correct myself. I forgot to mention that according to current WT teaching the FDS is all the members of the governing body since 1919. Hence, not even Russell is considered part of the FDS.
                          Technically, the GB as an entity was established in the mid 1970's. Prior to this there was no GB as such. It does however, include all those who were filling a similar role from 1919 onward.

                      • Reply by BN on 2016-01-21 00:52:27

                        Many are called - as the slave - but few (144,000) is choosen. The slave splits into fathful and unfaithful ones, wheat vs weeds, virgins vs prostitutes, during the sifting by satan...which of course started in the first century. Matt 7:13, 14, 17-19; 13:30. Luke 22:31 'each one of you' . Rev 14:14-20 These called ones should during their lifetime be surching for truth and become footstepfollowers of the anointed Jesus, not leaders of any institutions. Matt 20:23, 27; Luke 9:23, 24; ; 1Cor 4:2; 15:34; Rom 1:25, 28; Rev 6:9-11.Matt 18:7.They should slave for each other, being members of the body as prophers, teachers, preachers, comforters etc 1Cor 12:18; Eph 1:4, 5, 10; 2:20-22; 3:17; 4:4, 11; Rev 14:5. Most of all should they love each other. John writes that if they do not, they are seen as murderer. 1John 1:2:6, 11, 21; 3:14, 15, 16; 4:7, 8, 17, 21. So a murderer is one who does not love one's brother; what then is a lawless one? Matt 7:21-23

                • Reply by sopaterofberoea on 2016-01-18 20:02:12

                  I share your view, that is, one steward and he's identified as faithful or wicked when the master returns. In that centuries are involved it would seem to be a collective group of Christians that are used in leadership roles over time.

                  • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-18 23:23:35

                    Thanks Sopater,
                    Just to clarify. I was not focusing on the composite nature of the slave. My focus was purely on the wording of Matthew and Luke that only speak of one slave. Whether the slave is composite is an entirely seperate issue, one I did not touch on.
                    I agree that the slave is composite, but it is however one entity, not multiple slaves (some good, others bad) as advanced by others in earlier comments. That was the only point I was trying to get across throughout my remarks.
                    Having said that the current teaching of the WT does not allow for a composite slave that reaches back to the first century. The current light says that the slave came onto the scene for the first time in 1919.
                    I don't accept this view. It completely disavows the apostles and generations of martyrs like Tyndale to mention but one. He gave his life to bring the Word of God to others. If that is not feeding, then what is?

                    • Reply by sopaterofberoea on 2016-01-19 10:37:24

                      Yes I agree a composite and one entity.
                      What arrogance to claim that the master went away for nearly 1900 years, then at that late date appoints the slave as steward? As I've said, who was managing the kitchen and dining room for 1900 years?
                      Did not Peter ask, "Lord are you addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?"
                      Jesus didn't answer Peter saying..... oh yes Peter, go and gather up everyone else, they are all involved. Rather, he finished the parable to just those present.
                      To presume and then publicize that the master picked you and not the very men who God used to pen the Bible is nothing less than disgraceful.
                      Then to presumptuously advertise that the master will be rewarding them with all his possessions when he returns?
                      Oh my, are they in for a big surprise.

                      • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-19 15:46:24

                        Hi Sopater,
                        It is quite unbelievable how these men have set themselves up.
                        The GB is at the lowest level it has ever been. There is not one scholarly mind among them or their helpers.
                        We are constantly being fed milk. The same themes are repeated over and one again. There is nothing fresh. I honestly can't remember the last time I learnt something new at the meeting, something I heard for the first time, and said to myself, wow! that was a good point!

          • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 10:18:32

            The Society's current FDS teaching is wrong, plain and simple.
            The current Governing Body (and their Helpers) continually praise the doings of the GB. I find it galling when they praise themselves by stepping on the heads of their predecessors, putting down or almost ridiculing what came before.
            But that is enough from me on that subject.

            • Reply by SopaterOfBeroea on 2016-01-17 12:48:00

              The former understanding left it "plausible" to believe the anointed from the first century forward could all be part of the FDS (the 144,000). But then, the remnant number kept growing (not declining) and they didn't consult with those partaking anyway, They didn't know their names, nor did they care to know them. So how could they be FDS?
              The new understanding (that the FDS didn't exist until 1919) leaves no one managing the kitchen for over 1,900 years. Who took care of feeding first century Christians?
              This teaching is so bold as to remove the Apostles from that role, which would leave the first century Christians without their guidance. So the Apostles didn't make the cut, but the older men in Brooklyn did? Oh my......
              We now teach the evaluation occurs when the master returns visibly in the future..... we no longer teach this occurred in 1919.
              So let's think this through. The master returns in 1919 to appoint them as the FDS. Wait a minute, the parable says the steward manages things WHILE THE MASTER IS AWAY. If Christ came invisibly in 1914, then appointed the FDS in 1919, did the master go away again?
              We must answer yes. The master has to be away for him to later arrive. If he isn't away, why tell the FDS to remain ready for his arrival?
              So here's how it works
              33 C.E. to 1919 - the master hasn't left yet
              1919 - Christ appoints the FDS, then goes away
              1919 to Present - the master is away, The FDS are awaiting his arrival
              Great Tribulation - the master arrives and evaluates their performance
              The fly in the ointment is 1914 is making this work with 1914.
              Oh what tangled webs we weave.

              • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 13:06:40

                Hi Sopater,
                The problem has been that since the inception of group rule in the Organization, the Governing Body actually governing, chaos has progressively increased to the point that today the GB appears to be unable to function.

          • Reply by SopaterOfBeroea on 2016-01-17 10:25:30

            My understanding of Matt 24:45-47 and Luke 12:41-44 continues to be refined, but the following is my best guess at this time:
            What has helped me to understand this parable is to first visualize a large house (like a southern plantation) that has a number of house servants (slaves). From within the group, the master (owner) selects a lead slave to manage the kitchen and dining room used to provide meals for house servants. His assignment is to make certain food rations are provided in a timely fashion, three healthy meals a day. Bear in mind, the steward is only in charge of preparing and serving food to the house servants. He has no other managerial duties (managing other possessions and affairs of the master).
            With this visual in your mind, the parable becomes pretty easy to understand.
            Jesus selected a single steward (or manager) in the parable, not two. It is the steward's diligence in performing his managerial duties that determines if he is faithful or evil (wicked).
            He is appointed to his managerial position BEFORE the master departs. For this reason, the true identity of the FDS must include the apostles and early disciples who Jesus appointed to take the lead. He was speaking the parable to them, they collectively became the manager of the kitchen and dining room in the master's house at that time.
            The new teaching of the GB (that the FDS was appointed in 1919) would require that no one managing the kitchen in the first century. No one providing three meals a day. Did the house servants have to fend for themselves, and prepare their own meals?
            Before the master leaves, he tells the steward that he will not reveal when he will return. He tells the steward to remain ever ready, that at a time he least expects, he will return. The caveat that the master could arrive at anytime was designed to keep the manager ever diligent and conscientious, not missing a single day of providing healthy meals on schedule for the house staff.
            Blessed (or happy) is that steward when the master arrives (erchomai) if he finds that the steward has done (and is doing) what the master assigned.... and doing it well.
            If when the master returns and evaluates the performance of the steward, he gives the steward a major promotion. The steward has proven himself trustworthy, so the master appoints him manager of all his possessions. Remember, up to this point, the steward managed only meals for the slaves. He would now manage all the master's possessions, the entire household, including the grounds, livestock, investments, silver and gold, etc.
            But what if the steward was not discreet? What if he felt his master's return was far off, so he acted indiscreetly? He partied, with excessive eating and drinking and getting drunk. His self-indulgence left him unable (and unconcerned) about meals prepared on schedule. This was treating the house servants abusively, as if beating them. They were left to fend for themselves. In his mind, the master's return was "delayed" (far in the future). Both Matthew and Luke depict a very bad outcome should the steward be found acting wickedly when the master arrived.
            The object of this parable teaches us that a disciple, particularly those in high position (such as the apostles and early disciples) will be richly rewarded if they remain diligent in caring for the physical and spiritual needs of Christ's disciples. And that those taking the lead should remain in constant awareness of the master's return.
            To those who believe the GB's new understanding I ask:
            Who was managing the kitchen and dining room from 33 C.E. (Jesus' death) forward to 1919? If the master refrained from choosing the steward before he departed (as the GB now teach) the servants then had to prepare their own meals for 2,000 years. What's wrong with this picture?
            The appointment of the FDS must have happened BEFORE the master departed (33 C.E.) It makes no sense otherwise. Surely the master doesn't leave his slaves without a steward to look after them. And, it makes no sense that the master would appoint the steward when he returns. Again, who was minding the kitchen while he was away for nearly two millenniums?
            Moreover, the performance evaluation of the FDS occurs when the master "arrives" (erchomai). Interestingly, the GB accept the detail that their is a difference between Christ's presence (parousia) and his coming. They now teach the master's coming is future (correctly so)
            Bottom line: In that the appointment of the FDS occurred BEFORE the master departed, and in that the performance evaluation occurs AFTER the master arrives......
            What the heck happened in 1919?

  • Comment by Tammy R on 2016-01-16 23:05:49

    Nice! ?

  • Comment by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 06:46:25

    The teaching of 1914 is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, no one else in the world believes 607 BCE is the date for the destruction of Jerusalem. Second, we have to believe that Satan, the accuser of our brothers day and night, was allowed in heaven for an extra 1800 odd years after Jesus had already proved his obedience to God. Thirdly, the "birth" of the Kingdom coincided with a heap of human bloodshed in World War 1, which is hardly "good news". Fourth, when the Kingdom was preached by Jesus as being "at hand", it actually wasn't (Mark 1:15 KJV). Fifth, the calculation for 1914 was withheld by Jesus from his apostles, and waited to be revealed to Nelson Barbour. Here are some interesting quotes from a Watchtower back in 1967.
    w67 12/15 pp. 753-758 What Now Distinguishes the Good News to Be Preached
    "What vital thing has now been added to the good news of the kingdom of God that Jesus Christ and his zealous apostles used to preach nineteen hundred years ago? This, namely, the birth of God’s Messianic kingdom in the heavens at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914. "
    "Jesus’ prophecy in Mark 13:10, “Also, in all the nations the good news has to be preached first,” has not been undergoing fulfillment during the past nineteen centuries. It is only since the second decade of our twentieth century that this prophecy has been undergoing fulfillment."
    "Not before the “appointed times of the nations” ended in the fall of 1914 could the good news be preached of the newborn, established heavenly kingdom of God and of his Messiah. This, then, must be the good news that Jesus Christ in his prophecy said had to be preached first in all the nations. (Mark 13:10) This generation of human society that has seen and experienced the world events since the Gentile Times closed in 1914—this is the “generation” that will not pass away until all the things foretold have happened, including the preaching of the good news first in all nations."
    "Since the publishing of that new, up-to-date understanding of the prophetic words of Jesus Christ more and more evidence has piled up in the world events and conditions and in the experience of the International Bible Students to prove that God’s Messianic kingdom was indeed born in the heavens at the due time in 1914 and that “this good news of the kingdom” means the fresh, brand-new information that tells of God’s established kingdom. No news of the day could surpass that for real goodness."

    • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 15:26:32

      There is no doubt that the Society's leadership was overconfident, too sure. They expected the end to come in their lifetime and thought themselves blessed with insight greater than their Trinatarian peers.
      And so, they attempted to apply every prophecy to themselves and their time. A mistake better seen in hindsight.

  • Comment by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-17 06:54:38

    You may recall a few months ago on JW Broadcast brother Splane went to great lengths to explain the current JW understanding of "this generation".
    He gave the following example. 'If a person dies 10 minutes before another is born, then they are not contemporaries. Or putting it the other way if a person is born 10 minutes after a person dies, again they are not contemporaries.' The implication being, they are not contemporaries because their lives did not overlap.
    If we accept this reasoning then, logically the opposite must also be true. If a person is born 10 minutes before another dies they are contemporaries because their lives overlapped, albeit briefly. Or again put the other way, if a person dies 10 minutes after another is born they are likewise contemporaries.
    Interestingly, brother Splane did not qualify this example. He made no statement to the effect that in order to be considered contemporaries two peoples lives must overlap to a significant or reasonable degree. Because the next question would be, what would constitute a reasonable overlapping time period? One year, five, ten, and so on?
    You can see the absurdity of this entire illustration. These men have no clue. In one hundred years the generation teaching has changed 6 times. Whose to say one, five, ten years from now it won't change again.
    Brother Splane also added, this new light brings the end of the system closer. If so, consider this. All the current members of the GB are said to be part of the generation. The youngest and newest member is 51 years of age. He could conceivably live till he is 85, 90, 95! Theoretically, the end of the system could be pushed out another 35, 40, 45 years or more.
    This whole teaching has bought them more time. Time to come up with another fanciful interpretation.
    What a circus!

    • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 11:24:03

      The Governing Body's overlapping generation is so weak, so full of holes, they will continue to reinforce and reinforce, until that time comes when this teaching MUST be let go.

      • Reply by Anonymous on 2016-01-17 12:01:42

        On JW broadcasting brother Kenneth Flodin called brother Splane's overlapping generation talk "masterful".
        I felt sorrow for brother Flodin. So many years in Jehovah's service only to find oneself having to pledge allegiance to men is, in my opinion, pitiable.

        • Reply by Father jack on 2016-01-18 07:37:42

          It would have to be masterful . To explain such an Artfully contrived story as peter would have called it .

        • Reply by ANTONINVS on 2016-01-19 02:04:20

          I'm not sure whether I would feel sorry for this guy. After all nobody at that level of the organisation can be that stupid, surely?
          I believe many of the top tier brothers see the inconsistencies, but they lead very cushy lives, they are adored by one and all, they really have to much to lose. Where else would they enjoy all that adulation and be kept by the hard earned money of others.
          It's the classic case of not rocking the boat because there is to much at stake personally for these men. This only makes them all the more culpable.

    • Reply by 1984 on 2016-01-18 02:26:43

      Personally I think it's only a matter of time before they claim that the FDS was actually appointed in 2012 as per their "new light" at the 2012 AGM. Maybe they could start “this generation” from then too and reset everything, but I don’t want to give them too many ideas! They could distance themselves from everything published prior to 2012 at the same time, such as the "apostate" teaching in the March 1st 1981 Watchtower (page 24) that the "slave pictures only the leading ones" aka GB. Wouldn’t that be a convenient flash of light?

  • Comment by This Generation – A Modern Day Fulfillment? | Beroean Pickets on 2017-09-22 13:13:49

    […] What is the great tribulation and how and when are, or were, the days to be cut short? We will attempt to tackle those questions in the next article titled, This Generation – Tying Up Loose Ends. […]

  • Comment by Putting Matthew 24 to Bed | Beroean Pickets - JW.org Reviewer on 2017-11-25 20:19:58

    […] Pickets – Archive, examining the meaning of “this generation” (vs. 34), determining who the “he” is in vs. 33, breaking down the three-part question of vs. 3, demonstrating that the so-called signs of verses […]

  • Comment by Jo Joel on 2019-02-10 22:03:30

    Could it be that "this generation" in the first century started in 2 BCE and anded in 70 CE? Lasting 71 years? "This generation" today if it started in 1914 is already some 104 years long! How appropriate! about 33 years longer than in the 1st century, considering the number of people being involved both before and now!

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-02-13 11:14:06

      All we can day for sure is that those alive when Jesus preached and when Jerusalem fell were part of the generation he referred to at Mt. 24:34. However, I do not see any evidence for a secondary fulfillment in our day.

      • Reply by Jo Joel on 2019-02-23 03:05:20

        I respect your point of view. But, please answer in all honesty: just because you do not see the evidence, does that mean that nobody else can see it and explain?

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