The Bible book of Ezekiel has been dealt with at length, on a number of occasions, by the Organization. The books THE FINISHED MYSTERY (1917). VINDICATION (1931). And THE NATIONS SHALL KNOW THAT I AM JEHOVAH (1971) spring to mind.
Examining these books I found their interpretations of Ezekiel chapters 1 and 2 interesting, especially the shifting focus of attention of the 3 books relative to these 2 Bible chapters.
FINISHED MYSTERY (1917) Ezekiel section. First paragraph:
QUOTE: “Christ promised that at His second advent He would raise up a ‘faithful and wise servant’…this one should be given charge of all the storehouse, the word of God, to bring out of it things old and new. The Prophet Ezekiel types this servant. As Ezekiel was among the Lords people in captivity in literal Babylon, this servant was among those in captivity in mystic Babylon”.
It then explains that Ancient Babylon was the major commercial centre back there and the antitype fulfilment of Ezekiel being in Babylon was Charles Taze Russells being involved in the world of commerce before receiving his Divine Commission. Its fascinating to see a book, published the year of the “captivity” that doesn’t have an inkling of a clue about the 1918 events so soon to take place. In verse 2 and 3 of Ezekiel 1, God appoints or Commissions Ezekiel as a prophet. About the antitype of this, the book says:
QUOTE: “Men do not raise themselves up to be great and honoured agents in Gods outworking of the Divine Plan of the Ages ... throughout the centuries Jehovah Himself has raised up Christian men to carry forward one step or another of His purposes. God made special use of St Paul, St John, Arius, Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther and Charles T Russell”.
In fact these 7 men are listed as being the 7 Angels to the 7 congregations in the book of Revelation. Pastor Russell is the final messenger, that sent to the End Times Church.
The book then goes on to describe the 4 Living creatures and the Chariot itself in glowing and flowery language before launching into Chapter 2 verse 1 of Ezekiel and the commissioning of him.
In verses 8 and 9 of Ezekiel 2 the Prophet is given a scroll to eat. About this, FINISHED MYSTERY says:
QUOTE: “The book therein is The Divine Plan of the Ages, present truth….. ‘the roll of the book’ contains hidden, deep truths, discernable only to those who have the holy spirit. It possesses features impossible for natural men, not anointed with the spirit, to perceive”.
And the man anointed with spirit and commissioned by God to deliver this Divine Plan of the Ages message is none other than Charles T Russell. In fact, the book the FINISHED MYSTERY interprets many verses from Ezekiel literally into the life of CT Russell, even down to the duration of time of the events. Their lives are portrayed as exactly paralleling each other as guided by a Divine hand. I think it fair to say that the focus of this book relative to Ezekiel 1 and 2 is upon the importance of CT Russell as an antitype fullfillment and divinely appointed prophet. In other words it is concerned with Russells right of Authority.
The focus of VINDICATION (1931) printed 13 years later, is quite different. Vindication, relative to these 2 chapters of Ezekiel is focused upon Parallelisms in time. These laboured parallels are fairly extensive. The book (on page 19) blathers relative to Ezekiel chapter 1 :
QUOTE: “ The year 617BC when Ezekiel was carried away captive, very well corresponds with the year 1914, the beginning of the World War. There was an effort made by Satans organization to commandeer all religious organizations for the purpose of winning the war…Not until 1919, 5 years after the beginning of the war, was the way open to freely witness the truth. The year 1919 therefore corresponds with the year 612BC which was the time that Ezekiel received the vision and was commissioned by the Lord “.
Page 27 develops this line of thought:
QUOTE: “ It was in 1919 that the vision spoke to the ‘faithful servant’ class and that class began to see the significance of the Elisha work. The ‘servant’ more fully saw in 1922 the meaning thereof……
Which parallels with 609BC which the Author chooses to ignore. As to the parallel of 606BC:
QUOTE: “The year 606BC would correspond to 1925, when ‘organized religions’ were plainly seen to be in bondage to Satan, a part of Satans organization, and to have been forever cast away from the Lord. Shortly thereafter the book Deliverance appeared, exposing Satans organization and particularly the hypocritical religion thereof”.
Etc. Clearly this book, relevant to the first 2 chapters of Ezekiel, is desperately attempting to construct Russellian time parallels around dates that they think significant. Clearly, to my eye, this is a church that to a degree is still floundering about seeking after a consistent doctrine 15 years after the death of their prophet. The organization at this point is desperately questing after logical justifications to explain the ongoing passage of time so as to establish a new right to claim Authority.
And what of the third book THE NATIONS SHALL KNOW THAT I AM JEHOVAH (1971)? The relevant passages of this book are focused upon Authority, Mystical Majesty and Heirachy of Command. Pertaining to organizational heirachy this paragraph on page 50 demonstrates aptly, with regard to the ‘Heavenly Organization’ :
QUOTE: “Jehovah, who created and organized all the universe visible to our eyes, has organized all these holy heavenly spirit creatures into one vast universal organization, over which he is the Universal Sovereign. Each one of them has his own place in the organization and has his God-given duties to perform. God rides them all as his chariot. He moves over them, in control of them, as he sends them, singly or unitedly, on any mission in any part of the universe, visible or invisible. There is no friction between parts in his organization. All parts function together smoothly and efficiently in perfection, being pervaded by his holy spirit, the perfect bond of union. The marvelousness of Jehovah's heavenly organization grows on us more and more, the longer we contemplate it…”
And there can be no doubt that such organizational perfection will be manifested within the Earthly organization in time. The Governing Body, doubtless, would like to see such total subservience and unquestioning obedience.
Pertaining to Authority, the quotations with regard to the Authority of the Earthly organization as Gods earthly agent are too numerous to quote, here are but a few. Page 66:
QUOTE: “Jehovah has found and commissioned his modern-day "Ezekiel." It is a composite Ezekiel. It is composed of those dedicated, baptized proclaimers of God's kingdom, who have been anointed with His spirit for their work. It is manifest that in the year 1919 the invisible heavenly organization of Jehovah, like the celestial chariot seen in Ezekiel's vision, rolled up and stopped… before the anointed proclaimers of the heavenly kingdom of God in the hands of Jesus Christ. From atop this celestial chariotlike organization Jehovah commissioned this dedicated, baptized, anointed class of servants to speak to all the nations in His name .”
Or this, from page 53:
QUOTE: “As regards our twentieth century, the prophet Ezekiel well pictures the anointed remnant of Jehovah's Christian witnesses since the year 1919 C.E., the critical year in which there was a revival of their public activities as foretold in Revelation 11:3-12. It is true that in 1919 this spiritual remnant did not appreciate Jehovah's organization as they do today. It is also true that they did not then discern that Jehovah's organization was prophetically pictured by the symbolic chariot in Ezekiel's vision, not till the year 1929. Nevertheless, Jehovah's heavenly organization was, of course, in existence in the year 1919 and it got in spiritual touch with the anointed remnant in that year to revive them as Jehovah's public witnesses to all the world…
And so on and so forth. Actually this latter book has 2 entire chapters devoted to the organizations proclaiming its own AUTHORITY as prophet of God. Surely, the only thing the organization TRULY cares about .