Fred Said: The Mustard Seed
Here is something interesting. Its about the parable of the “mustard seed” as interpreted in the days of the Watchtowers key Prophetic interpreter, the inimitable Freddie Franz. Its from the book: MANS SALVATION OUT OF WORLD DISTRESS AT HAND (1975) And is gleaned from pages 206 – 209. The exposition commences by talking about Christendom:
QUOTE “Her growth to her present numerical proportions should not be surprising, for it was foretold by Jesus Christ himself. In the midst of a series of prophetic illustrations or parables, he gave pictures drawn from everyday life to foretell Christendom's growth. For example, He said: "The kingdom of the heavens is like a mustard grain, which a man took and planted in his field; which is, in fact, the tiniest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the largest of the vegetables and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and find lodging among its branches."-Matthew 13:31, 32” In this parable, Jesus Christ was referring to "the kingdom of the heavens" with its counterfeit in mind."
Well, Im blowed. I always thought that parable was about Christs Kingdom. Still Freddie knows best. Freddie knows that Jesus didn’t mean what he said, When Jesus said “The Kingdom of heaven” he was actually talking about the opposite, and meant “The Counterfeit Kingdom of heaven”. Not only does Fred know what Jesus actually Meant, he also knows WHO planted this mustard seed :
QUOTE “So Jesus Christ well knew that true Christianity, "the kingdom of the heavens," was not to become a figurative "tree," on the branches of which the birds could lodge or under which they could find ample shadow. In the earlier parable on the four types of soil upon which the fine seed, picturing the "word of the kingdom," is sown, Jesus brought birds into the picture. Whom did he explain those "birds" to be like? "The wicked one," "the Devil." That is to say, the earthly agents of the wicked Devil….. Reasonably, then, birds mentioned in the same context, in the same series of parables, would picture similar things. So the birds that find lodging in the mustard tree would picture the agents of the "wicked one,"
So Satan the Devil planted the mustard seed. Not only this, but by what can only be divine inspiration Freddie knows exactly WHO was used of Satan to plant it, and WHEN :
QUOTE "Outstandingly in the fourth century C.E. Satan the Devil planted or specially cultivated this symbolic "mustard grain" of contaminated, adulterated, imitation Christianity. He did so by then using a man who became the leading politician of the Roman Empire, namely, Constantine the Great. In 312 C.E."
And… HOW and WHERE it was planted:
QUOTE "As Pontifex Maximus, Emperor Constantine acted as if he were the visible head of the Christian Church and called a council of so-called "bishops," the presiding overseers of congregations of professed Christians, at Nicea, Asia Minor, in 325 C.E. At that Council the Pontifex Maximus Constantine settled the episcopal wrangling over who and what God is by taking the trinitarian side and decreeing that God is a triune God, a God in three indivisible persons, namely, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit."
Freddie, thru a direct link to the Divine Mind, thus clearly sees exactly what the “mustard tree” IS:
QUOTE "To this day the unscriptural doctrine of the "Trinity" is the fundamental doctrine of the sectarian churches of Christendom. To this trinitarian mustard "tree" all the trinitarian "birds" flock to roost thereon."
The symbolic “mustard tree” is the doctrine of the trinity, and the figurative roosting “birds” are the priests of Christendom cawing and crowingf this false doctrine to the eternal doom of their flocks.
“Trinitarian Mustard Tree”??? Jeezuusss.
I always thought that parable was about Christs Kingdom.
Yes, R.F., you would be right in thinking it did apply to the Kingdom that Christ established. Chapter 13 of Matthew's gospel records a series of Jesus' parables, namely The Parable of the Sower, The Parable of the Weeds, The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast, The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl, and finally The Parable of the Net. In each case, Jesus commenced the telling of the parable with the words, "The kingdom of heaven is like........" Actually his words in introducing the final parable were "Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like....."
So there is nothing in God's Word to indicate by the words, anything other than that Jesus was referring to his kingdom, not a counterfeit.
Many thanks for that. Youve convinced me that your interpretation is the correct one.
I hope you are feeling better brother.
Crazy Freddie seems to have decided that Jesus was referring to the counterfeit Kingdom because there were BIRDS in the parable, and Birds were Bad Guys in the immediate preeceeding parable. Fred was insane, Im certain. I cant read those 70s study books without breaking out into riotous laughter periodically. So absurd his interpretations are. The guy is funnier than Robin Williams
Great post RF! This stuff is crazy! Freddie really had an over-active imagination, and an over-inflated ego it would seem. It may be fine to pontificate such interpretations in the privacy of ones own home, but to spout off such rubbish under the guise of "God's prophet" is really despicable! Thanks for pointing this out, I am going to dig up this book and read these pearls to my wife...she and I could both use a good laugh!! ;-)
By the way, do you know if they have 'adjusted' this interpretation of the mustard parable with any 'brighter light' since it was written in 1975?
To add insult to injury to Freddie, the mustard seed is not the smallest seed in the world:
: C ertain epiphytic orchids of the tropical rain forest produce the world's smallest seeds weighing only 35 millionths of an ounce. They are dispersed into the air like minute dust particles or single-celled spores, eventually coming to rest in the upper canopy of rain forest trees.
Since he was considered the "oracle" of Jehovah's Spirits (sic) Directed Organization(tm), one has wonder why NONE of the many, many books he wrote are in print today. It would be a lively debate to discuss just which of the the following three crackpots caused the most embarrassment to the society:
Correct me please, but haven't they ``flip-flopped'' on this point, as they have on whether the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah will be resurrected (a total of 8 reversals of opinion in this latter case, I believe)?
When I read Freddie's stuff, I get the sense that at least from the 60's, there was no one in the org with the clout to challenge him on anything doctrinal. Stuff he writes seems to get thru without editing, except perhaps editing for syntax and spelling. It is impossible to imagine that someone read those passages from the 70's, with an editorial eye, and said, "yup, that makes sense, print it!"
It is difficult to picture a group of serious, diligent men reading this crap and still believing they were promulgating the word of God.
By the way, as I read the excerpts, I got the sense that he claimed that the tree represents a counterfeit kingdom simply because the JWs have always been a small sect. The JWs could not fit into the parable if the tree applied to them.
Farkmeister. Not only did Freddie say it was the tiniest of seeds but JESUS Himself said it! (as you are doubtless aware) Still, the “Insight” book explains this apparent lack of Botanical knowledge on the part of our Lord:
QUOTE: “While some may argue that a mustard grain is not "the tiniest" of all seeds, orchid seeds being smaller, and that it does not actually become "a tree," it must be borne in mind that Jesus was speaking in terms familiar to his audience. As far as Jesus' listeners were concerned, the mustard grain was indeed among the tiniest seeds planted,”
Im sure you feel much more at ease knowing the reasons Jesus appeared to not know about orchid seeds.
As to Artful , 215 and Buster who all sense that the WT might have now flipflopped on their former interpretation, the only reference I could find on my WT CD that actually included the verses at Matthew 13 v 31,32 where the mustard tree illustration is recorded, was this one:
WT. 1/8/92. Article: HOW DID THE TRINITY DOCTRINE DEVELOP? QUOTE: “What did the gradual development of the Trinity idea represent? It was part of the falling away from true Christianity that Jesus foretold. (Matthew 13:24-43) The apostle Paul also had foretold the coming apostasy: "The time is sure to come when, far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then, instead of listening to the truth, they will turn to myths."-2 Timothy 4:3, 4, Catholic Jerusalem Bible. One of those myths was the Trinity teaching”.
It seems to be a passage of scripture they don’t talk about much. Actually, most of the references in recent WTs about these illustrations seemed to be about the “dragnet” illustration. The last one. The others seem to be regarded as secondary now
haven't they ``flip-flopped'' on this point, as they have on whether the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah will be resurrected
This is the "current" viewpoint, as quoted from the "Insight" volume:
*** it-1 1179 Illustrations ***
It is stated that the subject is "the kingdom of the heavens." As shown in other texts, this can refer to some feature in connection with the Kingdom (even those falsely claiming to represent it) and is not limited to the approved membership of that Kingdom.—Mt 13:47, 48; 25:1, 2.
It seems Fred's legacy lives on!
Im utterly confused now. Is the "mustard tree" (A) Gods Kingdom or (B)Satans counterfeit or (C) Both at the same time? (D)another understanding that I fail to grasp??