The 1914 Generation Discarded

In 1995, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses bit the bullet.

“This generation” referred to by Jesus was untied from the generation of 1914! Continue reading

The 1914 Generation Contracts and Expands

generation truth book page 95

     The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life, p. 95

It all seemed so simple when Jehovah’s Witnesses explained the 1914 generation teaching to me in 1972.

The 1914 generation would by no means pass away until Armageddon came and Christ’s millennial Kingdom on earth would begin.

But then the Watchtower’s definition of “generation” kept shifting. Continue reading

“This Generation” Means the 1914 Generation

As I described in last week’s post, for some time after the 1925 debacle the Watchtower stopped proclaiming specific dates for the “last days,” preferring instead to tie them to “this generation.”

According to president Joseph “Judge” Rutherford, this meant everyone in the new creation—from Jesus’ original disciples down to Rutherford himself and all 20th century “anointed” ones.

At least some of “this generation”—the anointed—would be on earth when Armageddon came.

Once Rutherford explained that there are two classes of Christians—the 144,000 anointed and the great crowd of other sheep—it was no longer clear who the anointed were.

This amorphous concept was open ended and did nothing to fuel end times fervor. Continue reading

“This Generation” Means the New Creation

In 1931, Watchtower president Joseph Rutherford admitted that “God’s faithful people on earth emphasized the importance of the dates 1914 and 1918 and 1925. They had much to say about these dates and what would come to pass, but all they predicted did not come to pass.” (Vindication, Vol. 1, p. 146).

He further asserted that they had learned to quit fixing dates or making specific predictions.

There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah’s faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1914, 1918 and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time. Later the faithful learned that these dates were definitely fixed in the Scriptures; and they also learned to quit fixing dates for the future and predicting what would come to pass on a certain date, but to rely (and they do rely) upon the Word of God as to the events that must come to pass. (Vindication, p. 338-339)

In fact, after 1925, the Watchtower had a dilemma.

They wanted to continue growing by fanning the flames of the nearness of Armageddon, but they didn’t want to prophesy about another specific date and risk a repeat of the failures of its prophecies regarding 1914, 1918, and 1925.

So Watchtower president Joseph Rutherford focused on Jesus’ phrase “this generation.” Continue reading

Beth Sarim

Beth Sarim is not the name of a woman.

It’s the name of a house—a house that was built in San Diego by the Watchtower organization in 1929.

The Watchtower says that it was built for Watchtower president Joseph Rutherford’s use: “In time, a direct contribution was made for the purpose of constructing a house in San Diego for brother Rutherford’s use. Concerning this property the 1939 book Salvation stated: ‘At San Diego, California, there is a small piece of land, on which, in the year 1929, there was built a house, which is called and known as Beth Sarim.’” (Yearbook, 1975, p. 194)

But that’s only a half truth.

It was actually built for King David and the Old Testament patriarchs, whose return was expected at any time. Continue reading

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