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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 12

Section 7

The Period of Pregnancy



The decorum of the symbol requires that the period of the woman's pregnancy be analogous to the time during which in nature a woman compasses a child before she gives it birth. Now it is well known, that the time of gestation from conception to birth, is a period of forty weeks or 280 days. This being the "set time" - the time appointed by Deity for the development of children from the womb of humanity - it became a law of nature. If, therefore, one of "the deep things of Deity" in a revelation has to be symbolized by the natural result of a woman's pregnancy, which is the birth of a child, it is necessary that the law of nature in the case become the measure of the duration of the symbolic pregnancy before the symbolic child is manifested in the world. This is styled "the decorum of the symbol," and must be regarded in the interpretation of all symbols. To neglect it would produce sad confusion in an exposition. We must therefore find the woman in espousable existence 280 years before the manifestation of any MAN OF POWER, who in any sense could be decorously styled "her child."

The espousal of the "one body," symbolized in this prophecy by a woman, occurred on the day of that Pentecost, which first followed the crucifixion of the anointed Jesus. The apostles were instrumental in this betrothal, and promising the virgin bride of believers marriage to the Lamb when He should return to celebrate his nuptials with all who Should be found faithful to the end. "I have espoused you," says Paul, "to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ " He had begotten them to this honorable and glorious destiny by the truth he had taught them, and which they had received in its simplicity; therefore he says in another place, "to Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel" (I Cor. 4:15).

But the Christadelphian Eve had not been espoused twelve months before it became manifest that iniquity was working within her. The Cale of Ananias and Sapphira was illustrative of this. The evil manifested through them was the evil principle which generated that "Mystery of Iniquity" which at length developed the Lawless One or Man of Sin. It was the spirit of falsehood, which Paul styles "the deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish" (2 Thess. 2: 10).

This case of Ananias and Sapphira marks the commencement of the woman's symbolic pregnancy. It occurred A.D. 33. This was the epoch of her impregnation. From this year of apostolic espousal to what Mr. Whiston styles "the famous proclamation and edict for the universal liberty and advancement of christianity (more correctly, "the Apostasy") by Constantine and Licinius, A.D. 313, which put an end to the pangs of birth in the heaviest persecution that ever was then known, was exactly 280 years." A pregnancy of forty weeks of years, at the end of which there was manifest a Man of Power, who professed the faith of the majority of the woman's community; delivered her from the sanguinary oppression of the pagan "Devil and Satan," whom he cast out of the heaven into the earth together with the stars of his tail; and who set himself up as the Bishop, or Overseer, episkopos (the Eyes and Mouth) of all the bishops of the Roman world.






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