B J Kotwall

(Investigator 21, 1991 November)

The Jehovah's Witnesses have been told unequivocally by the Watchtower Society (WTS) that:

"the evidence points to the 1914 generation as the generation spoken of by Jesus. Thus, ‘this generation will by no means pass away until all these things (including the apocalypse) occur.’" (The Watchtower WT 1986 February p. 5)

Awake! magazine (1968 October 8 p. 13) defines the generation even more specifically by saying:

"Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the 'last days' began… Even if we presume that youngsters 15 years of age would be perceptive enough to realize the import of what happened in 1914, it would still make the youngest of ‘this generation’ nearly 70 years old today."


"Thus, when it comes to the application in our time, the 'generation' logically would not apply to babies born during World War 1. It applies to Christ’s followers and others who were able to observe that war…" (WT 1978 October 1 p. 31)

Someone 15 years old in 1914 would be 91 years old this year. The "generation that will not pass away" was almost gone by the mid-1980s. The prophecy was about to fail like many previous ones. But rather than admit the failure the WTS began to indicate instead that the generation would include:

"those born around the time". (WT 1984 May 15 p. 5)

These babies previously specifically excluded were now to be included! By including the babies the WTS gained a further 15 years.

But soon "this generation" even though extended by 15 years will have elapsed!

So what does the WTS do now? The following incredible statement appeared in the WT:

"We have ample reason to expect that the preaching will be completed in our time. Does this mean before the turn of a new month, a new year, a new decade, a new century? No human knows, for Jesus said that 'even the angels of the heavens' did not know that." (1989 October 1 p. 31)

The above remarkable statement, that no one can say that the end would come within a given century, now rescinds their long-held teaching that the world, as we know it, will not survive this century. It’s quite shocking that the WTS could suggest this. Of course the above statement in the WT is true in a Scriptural way, but it cannot be true when the WTS anchors its prophecies to the generation of 1914.

In the WT of 1989 (January 1 p. 12) the claim was made that the missionary work of Paul laid the: "foundation for a work that would be completed in our 20th century."

However, in the bound volume of the 1989 WT this sentence is altered to read: "He was also laying a foundation for a work that would be completed in our day."

Why would the WTS publish the above remarkable statement in the WT of January 1 1989 and then alter the corresponding sentence in the bound volume?

The answer is plain. The chronological cornerstone (1914) of the Watchtower theology is crumbling along with the doctrines that rest on it. It is apparent that the WTS is laying the groundwork for dealing with the failure of the 1914 generation to see the end of the world.

Jehovah's Witnesses should think about this and look out in their publications for "new light" to emerge!

  [True to Mr Kotwall's prediction the JW Governing Body introduced "new light" in 1995 by redefining the meaning of the word "generation".  Ed.]

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