VISITORS to the Watchtower Society’s internet site may find themselves more confused than normal as they find two conflicting versions of the same doctrine being taught on its pages.
Regular Concern readers may recall that in 1995 the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses decided to reinterpret the meaning of “generation” as spoken by Jesus in reference to the “last days.”
Instead of the time-worn explanation offered to millions of Armageddon-anxious devotees, that the time we are living in since 1914 marks a “generation” (chronologically speaking, 70 or 80 years) of people that would survive Armageddon, it was necessary to define “generation” as spoken by Jesus (Matthew chapter 24) as, not a time frame, but a group of wicked opposers to Jehovah and his purposes (meaning all who were opposed to the Governing Body and their big organisation).
This latest definition of “generation” can be found on pages 10 and 11 of the May 1st 1999 issue of the Watchtower magazine.
Now you would think that the Watchtower might periodically throw out, delete or modify “old light” (previous understandings now considered untruthful).
But then again, their past record indicates a similar pattern: “old” and “new” light is often put on the table simultaneously, due to ignorance or another anticipated change.
Time will tell which option the Governing Body will take. Check their site periodically by the links below to see how long the stale food will remain (or perhaps it will be “reheated” for mass consumption).
The following is an excerpt from the web page entitled, “God’s Purpose Soon to Be Realised”:
15 Likely you are familiar with the events of the 20th century. You know the chaos that has arisen. Some 100 million people have been killed in wars. Hundreds of millions of others have died from hunger and from sickness. Earthquakes have taken countless lives. Disregard for life and property grows. Fear of crime has become part of everyday life. Moral standards have been shoved aside. The population explosion poses problems that are not being solved. Pollution is spoiling the quality of life and is even endangering it. Truly, we have been in the last days since 1914 and are nearing the culmination of Bible prophecies involving our time.
16 How long a time period would these last days prove to be? Jesus said regarding the era that would experience the “beginning of pangs of distress” from 1914 onward: “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” (Matthew 24:8, 34-36) Thus, all the features of the last days must take place within the lifetime of one generation, the generation of 1914. So some people who were alive in 1914 will still be alive when this system comes to its end. That generation of people is now very advanced in years, indicating that there is not much time left before God brings this present system of things to an end.