In order to support the ongoing 1914 fallacy, the Watchtower's new teaching for “this generation” had to revolve not only around
this date, but also, quite surprisingly, Fred Franz’s life! In order to make this "teachable", the date of the birth and death of Franz's life was used as an example by GB Splane as he resorted to a chart for the sheep to make sense of it.
The comment was made that Franz was baptized in 1913, which would have made him 21 years of age. It
was stated by GB Splane’s video that by 1914, Franz understood the meaning of “this generation” as he was then “one of the Lord’s anointed”.
“As one of the Lord’s anointed in 1914, he saw the sign and he understood what the sign meant”
In 1914, when supposedly Franz understood
the sign of “this generation” what was the teaching by the Watchtower on this subject? I thank jwfacts.com for summarizing these historical teachings from the Watchtower publications.
1897 - "Other uses of this Greek word (genea) prove that it is not used with the significance of race, but in reference to people living contemporaneously.... In other words, the signs mentioned will occur within a generation
- epoch in the close of the age. Studies in the Scriptures Vol 4 pp.602,603
I am sure the young man, Franz was in expectation that the world would end as was predicted
for the year of 1914, and was under the influence of the 1897 understanding of “this generation”.
"But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is
not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble. Zion's
Watch Tower 1894 Jul 15 p.226
"… the battle of the great day of God Almighty …
The date of the close of that "battle" is definitely marked in Scripture as October 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874." Zion's Watch Tower 1892 Jan 15 p.23
So, what is David Splane referring to when he said, “he saw the sign”
and understood its meaning? Was it this 1897 meaning, or since 1914 did not bring about the “close of the age”, what really did Franz understand about this sign? It is conjecture on Splane’s part that he understood anything, considering the upheaval of failed prophesy in that very year.
The change or “new light” appeared
in 1927, where the shift in understanding moved from a “people living contemporaneously” to the anointed ones:
"The irresistible conclusion therefore is that Jesus referred
to the new creation [the anointed] when he said: “This generation shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled.” This then would be a strong indication that some members of the new creation will be on the earth at the time of Armageddon.”
Watchtower 1927 Feb 15 p.62
Once 1914 was thrown into the picture as the ushering in of "earthly phase of God's Kingdom", “new light” was once again
needed in 1957 causing any truth in the above quote to be washed away. The “new creation” was no longer part of the fulfillment:
"The actual meaning of these words
is, beyond question, that which takes a “generation” in the ordinary sense, as at Mark 8:12 and Acts 13:36, or for those who are living at the given period. So it was on “this generation” that the accumulated judgments
were to fall. (Matt. 23:36) This therefore means that from 1914 a generation shall not pass till all is fulfilled, and amidst a great time of trouble." Watchtower 1951 Jul 1 p.404
With 1914 still solidly fixed within the minds of the GB, the understanding continued that contemporary masses were the generation starting with 1914 who would receive judgment for following "blind guides".
"Jesus was not departing from his established use of the term “this generation,” which he consistently applied to the contemporary masses with their “blind guides” who
together made up the Jewish nation. ... Jesus refers principally to contemporary people of a certain historical period, with their identifying characteristics." Watchtower 1995 Nov 1 pp.14,20
Within a mere thirteen years, “new light” focused the perspective back to the anointed ones:
"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." Watchtower 2008 Feb 15 p.24
Just two years later, further clarification
is made through an “overlapping” of lives based on an initial group of anointed living in 1914, until the start of the great tribulation.
"He evidently meant
that the lives of the anointed who were on hand when the sign began to become evident in 1914 would overlap with the lives of other anointed ones who would see the start of the great tribulation." Watchtower 2010
April 15 p.10
Evidently not. “This generation” now refers to two groups; those anointed before 1914, and their contemporaries anointed after
1914. The break-off point is 1992, using the example of Fred Franz's death. All anointed after 1992 are not part of “this generation”.
GB Splane - “Do you
know of many who were anointed in 1914 and outlived Brother Franz? Brother Franz was the last of that last group of anointed ones, that is the group of anointed ones who were anointed in 1914, who saw the sign and then continued serving faithful”.
I believe the only “sign” seen in 1914 by any anointed one was the signal of disappointment over an unfulfilled prophesy.
"October, 1914, will witness the full end of Babylon, "as a great millstone cast into the sea," utterly destroyed as a system." Watch Tower 1911 Jun 15 p.190
Through the stubborn determination to continue with the lie of 1914, the organization has spun a web of nonstop lies to keep it afloat; and within this web, which is powerful enough to trap any who come close, blood is shed, death
Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth,
when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
when it has taken nothing? Amos 3:5
"Let their own table before them become a snare;
and when they are at peace, let it become a trap". Ps 69:22
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Eph 4:29
“Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “ Rev 22:15