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Jehovah`s Witness/Overlapping Generations more please


Hi Robert,

I read your reply to another questioner about the current teaching of overlapping generations. I have heard of this but I can't get me head around how the WT presents this "new light" that so it comes across as reasonable and believable to the average Witness.

Could you explain how the WT/GB reasoned this overlapping teaching? I understand that you don't believe it. I just want to try to understand how it is reasoned to the average so JW so that they believe it.

I hate to say it, but the Watchtower is very skilled at deception – its writers having honed their craft of shading the truth and using ambiguity to beguile the unwary. Especially is this the case when it comes to propping up their 1914 invisible parousia doctrine.

But Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves bear some of the responsibility too for not reasoning more thoroughly on what the Watchtower teaches. But the way the organization is set up the elders are basically charged with enforcing the Watchtower’s 1914 delusion – the prevailing mindset being that anyone who questions the Society is not a spiritually-minded person. Or they may even be suspected of being an apostate at heart. So, there is a not-so-subtle form of coercion and tyranny employed from the top down.

The February 15, 2008, Watchtower article entitled Christ’s Presence – What Does It Mean to You?, which redefined the generation as being composed of overlapping generations of anointed individuals, evokes the mentality described above. Here is what the 15th paragraph states:

"Those without spiritual understanding today have felt that there has been no “striking observableness” with regard to the sign of Jesus’ presence. They reason that everything is continuing on as it did in the past. (2 Pet. 3:4) On the other hand, Christ’s faithful anointed brothers, the modern-day John class, have recognized this sign as if it were a flash of lightning and have understood its true meaning. As a class, these anointed ones make up the modern-day “generation” of contemporaries that will not pass away “until all these things occur.” This suggests that some who are Christ’s anointed brothers will still be alive on earth when the foretold great tribulation begins."

The Society implies that everyone who rejects their interpretation that the First World War and subsequent events like the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 constitute the sign are “without spiritual understanding.” But in reality, it is the leadership of the Watchtower that exhibits a lack of understanding in these matters.

According to the Watchtower’s own reckoning the sign of Christ’s presence is a composite sign, composed of the totality of things Jesus foretold would occur. The Watchtower has likened the sum of these events comprising the sign to a human fingerprint, in that no two prints are identical. In application, there can only be one generation that witnesses the sign when it displays itself.

In the paragraph cited above the Watchtower claims that the enlightened “John class” has recognized the sign and has understood its true meaning. But the Society elsewhere contradicts its own statement by acknowledging that many aspects of the composite sign are not in evidence. But, if that is the case how can it be that the so-called “John class” has recognized a non-existent sign?

The 2008 article even quoted Jesus’ statement: “When you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors.”

But, again, have we, or the exalted “John class” seen all these things? Not according to the Watchtower.

For example, the Society used to teach that the tribulation began in 1914 but that God cut it short back then. In 1970 they dropped that. The Watchtower used to teach that the disgusting thing in the form of the United Nations was already standing in a holy place. Not any more. That is to occur in the future. The Watchtower used to teach that men were becoming faint out of fright in fulfillment of the words of Jesus. Now they no longer teach that. The Watchtower used to teach that the sheep and the goats were being separated by the preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses. That has been discarded too.

The Watchtower up until recently taught that the master appointed his faithful and discreet slave over all of his belongings back in 1918-19. A couple of years ago they unceremoniously ditched that teaching too. The Watchtower used to teach that the wise and foolish virgins parted ways back in 1919, when the bridegroom arrived. That too has been reset to the future. (By the way, before the Watchtower’s latest revisions on the slave and the virgins the book Jehovah Himself Has Become King (2005) published what the Watchtower now accepts as truth.)

In view of the Watchtower’s own teachings, can any of Jehovah’s Witnesses honestly agree with the Watchtower’s statement that we have seen all the things Christ foretold? (Honestly being the key word.)

Besides not seeing all these things yet, the Watchtower has painted itself into a corner by claiming that there cannot be another world war. They claim that another world war would be nuclear and destroy the earth, which of course is within their power. But isn’t that exactly what is implied by the fact that the great tribulation would be so devastating that God will have to intervene to cut it short, or else no one would survive?

Although we have not seen all the things Jesus foretold, please keep in mind that the composite sign can become evident very quickly and develop over a short period of time. For example, in the event of war the entire global financial system is of such complexity and fragility that it can crash in ruins in a single day, bringing on food shortages, epidemics, great fear and persecution and the take down of longstanding and seemingly permanent political institutions. We may expect this in the very near future.

But while we have not seen the things Christ foretold yet, those with “spiritual understanding” can perceive in the predicament the Watchtower is in regarding having to define and redefine a concept as simple as the meaning of a generation, the extraordinary fulfillment of a number of prophecies. One notable prophecy is found in the 28th chapter of Isaiah, which describes the leaders of God’s people as being spiritually drunk and unable to discern where they stand. An more prescient, the 20th verse states: “For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the woven sheet is too narrow to wrap up in.”

The context reveals that the leaders of God’s people try to conceal themselves in a lie, but it is like they are trying to sleep on a bed that is too short, and trying to cover themselves with a blanket that is too narrow. That is the spectacle we are presently witnessing with the Society, thrashing around as it were, trying in vain to cover their 1914 lie.

Ultimately, and soon, the floodgates are going to open and sweep away their refuge.

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Robert King


I can answer general Bible questions or questions regarding the teachings of the Watchtower Society, and questions and issues among Jehovah's Witnesses. Special interest is in Bible prophecy and the return of Christ.


Have been a pioneer minister of Jehovah's Witnesses during the 80's and an appointed elder for about 10 years. Also, I was an approved "expert" on All Experts some years ago, but could not keep up with the questions. I was disfellowshipped for exposing the Watchtower's 10-year partnership with the United Nations and for publishing the book Jehovah Himself Has Become King.

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Self published a 500+ page book called Jehovah Himself Has Become King, which is an in-depth exploration of Bible prophecy.

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