Monday, May 18, 2015

Goofy JW interpretation of Rev 12 then and now (Pope is Michael)

Here is how the Jehovah Witnesses interpreted the book of Revelation in 1917/1918 under their founder Charles Taze Russell in the book, The Finished Mystery. Here are some excerpts:

12:1. And there appeared a great wonder.—Sign, Greek.—Rev. 1:1.
A Woman.—The early Church, Nominal Zion, (D. 591), originally a chaste Virgin.—2 Cor. 11:2; Matt. 9:15; 22:2; John 3:29; Eph. 5:25, 32.
12:2. And [she] being with child.—As a result of the Mystery of Iniquity which was working within her.—2 Thes. 2:7.
And pained to be delivered.—Desired to get rid of the loathsome thing from which, by the machinations of Satan, she was at the time suffering. In a sense the birth of the Antichrist from the early Church was a counterfeit of the birth of Christ from the virgin Mary, the one a manifestation of the power of God, the other of Satan.—John 16:21, 22.
So far we see that the woman=church, who is unchaste, and the child in here the "mystery of iniquity," and a 'counterfeit' of the Virgin birth. In verse 5 of the commentary, we learn exactly who he think the "child" is:
12:5. And she brought forth a man child.—The papacy.—Z. '79-12-2.
Yet, despite bearing this "mystery of iniquity" Russell says

12:6. And the woman.—The true Church of God.
This is strange, since if the woman is the Church, and the woman is no longer a virgin, and the child is the "mystery of iniquity" who is the father? Is it Christ? Or did she commit adultery or was raped? If the father is Christ, then why is the child the "mystery of iniquity"? If the woman committed adultery, then why is she still called the "true church of God"? If rape, why no mention? When he said the birth in this chapter was a "manifestation of the power....of Satan" was he called Satan the father of the child? Perhaps, we are expecting to much from Chaz Russell!

Continuing on, with the same verse
Fled Into the wilderness.“Error, always more popular than truth, when exalted to influence and power, hunted down, proscribed and made disreputable the truth, and all who held it. This was the time when the true Church (woman) fled into the wilderness—into solitude—an outcast because of her fidelity to the truth, and to the true Lord and Head of the Church.”—B. 329.
Where she hath a place prepared of God.“The secret place of the Most High.”—Psa. 91:1.
That they.—The antitypical ravens that fed the Elijah class, the unknown, “faithful men” who, in secret, broke the bread of life to those that hungered for righteousness.
Should feed her there.—As Elijah was fed in the wilderness.—Rev. 2:20.
A thousand two hundred and threescore days.1260 years, from A. D. 539 to 1799.—Rev. 11:2, 3.
So the "true Church" is the woman (despite not being called a virgin and bearing the wicked child), and she is safe til 1799 in the wilderness--1799 being date the JW's have now discarded.

This next section is by far the most interesting and absurd interpretation of Russell:
12:7. And there was war in heaven.—Between the two ecclesiastical powers, Pagan Rome and Papal Rome.
Michael.“Who as God,” the Pope.—B. 275; C. 62.
And his angels.—The Bishops. The following is the reply given in the Catholic catechism to the question, “Who are the successors of the Apostles?” Ans. “The bishops who are rightly consecrated, and are in communion with the head of the Church, the Pope.”
[Fought against] TO WAR WITH the dragon.—Attempted to get the temporal power away from the civil rulers.—Rev. 2:12.
And the dragon.—Imperial Rome.—B. 288; Rev. 12:3; 20:2.
Fought and his angels.—Did everything possible to circumscribe the growing power of the papacy, but all in vain.—Rev. 2:12.
Hilariously, the Jehovah Witnesses claimed "Michael" is the Pope, and the angel are Bishops! So far Ruselle said that the "child" is the Papacy, then says Michael is the Papacy! This is strange considering how the Watchtower today uses this verse to "prove" Jesus and Michael are the same person.

Some more ludicrous interpretations:
12:10. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven.In the Roman Catholic Church.
So far the child, Michael, angels, and now heaven are all the Catholic Church! Interesting also how "heaven" changes within this chapter from one thing to another!

Interestingly, Charles Russell seems to think there can be Christians in the Catholic Church!
And went to make war with the remnant of her seed.—The true saints in the Roman Catholic communion or wherever otherwise found,—always objects of hatred and oppression by ecclesiasticism.—Rev. 13:7.
This shouldn't be too big of a surprise since many groups, despite being anti-Catholic need to show how they've always been around, I've see Adventists, Baptists and other obscure groups tie themselves to hiding in the Catholic church in the old days.

If we continue on to the next chapter, he says the papacy/Catholic Church is not only the "child," "Michael," the "angels," "heaven," but also the "beast" of Revelation 13:1.

To "prove" the Pope is the antichrist, Russell repeats the "vicarius Filii Dei" lie, a term never used by the Popes, and only can be found in the "donation of Constantine"--and then just of Peter himself. There is no evidence it was ever written on the Papal tiara.

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