THE POWER OF ZION
God's words to Abraham, "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Acts 3:25.) are promise of restitution, which will fulfill Jesus Christ in "the times of restoration of all things" under the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31; Heb. 8:8-13). The mankind is to be blessed by the seed of Abraham, therefore that seed had to be first chosen. Glorious Christ, Head and Body is this seed (Gal. 4:28; Rom. 8:17). It was not the New Covenant under which the Church have been chosen, but the Covenant of Sacrifice: "Gather my saints together unto me, Those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5). This covenant was showed in Sarah, the wife of Abraham. Sarah, according to the teaching of Paul Apostle represents the upper Jerusalem, symbolic city, or the future government of God's Kingdom. The son of the promise Isaac represents Christ, Head and Body in his glorious reign in the time of the Millennium (Gal. 4:26-18).
On the Zion, upper Jerusalem, one of the hills overlooking the town there was the royal palace. On the other hill, Moriah was built the temple. Some difference of altitude between level of literal Jerusalem (lower) and of her hills (higher) harmonizes with prophecy of Isaiah 2:3: "Out of Zion [spiritual] shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem." Exalted Church will issue instructions from heavenly palace of Zion, which from earthly Jerusalem will be announced to mankind by the resurrected Ancient Worthies. (Luke. 13:28)
Mountain Zion was for the followers of Christ throughout the Gospel Age the more and more nearing destination of their earthly journey. It was symbolic mountain of future Millennial Kingdom of Christ being seen all the time with the eyes of faith only.
Since the dawn of the second invisible presence of Jesus Christ(1874), the God's Plan of establishing of such a kingdom began to be put into practice. Since the phase of epipfaneia (1980) the Church joined our Lord in glory. Then complete Christ began to take over the power over the world in the time of the great tribulation. Since then the power of nations is being smashed to bits like earthenware. Process of taking over the control over the world has been pictured as the coming down of new Jerusalem out of heaven from God (Rev. 21:1-4).
(1) And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads.
The Lamb … and with him 144,000 ... The foreheads of the victorious members of the Church of the Gospel Age (144,000) are marked with names of God (The Love - Agape) and of his Son, Jesus Christ, of who Father sent with salvation mission. Name symbolizes character. Only by acquisition of knowledge about the character of God and the character and obedience of his Son the Church was to receive the part in the First Resurrection. (Rev. 20:5)
On the mount Zion … The mountain and fortress Zion, where the throne of David was, is the symbol on Upper Jerusalem, that is the Kingdom of heaven. The second presence of our Lord was the time of gradual establishing of the spiritual Zion power. Our Lord took his standing on this mountain, or He took his great power as King of kings, in the moment of the dawn of this presence: "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion" (Psa. 2:6). Verse 14:1 is picturing next phase of assuming power over the earth by the whole Christ, Head and Body. The Lamb and his complete, victorious Church are standing on the mount Zion. This position of the exaltation (mountain Zion) coincides with the end of the High Calling. The Church "standing on the mountain" consist of those, who had been risen at once in autumn 1977, and those, who were being as yet on the earth, which since then on were changing in the moment of their death.
"And I heard the number of them that were sealed, a hundred and forty and four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel." (Rev. 7:4)
"And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and none was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels should be finished." (Rev. 15:8)
"Little Flock" (Luke. 12:32)
"Church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven" (Heb. 12:23)
(2) And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and the voice which I heard [was] as [the voice] of harpers harping with their harps: (3) and they sing as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders: and no man could learn the song save the hundred and forty and four thousand, [even] they that had been purchased out of the earth.
Sing … a new song … Told in its fullness, brings the hate, the scorn, the persecution of nominal Christendom of today. Those who love the present life close their lips and refrain from speaking his loving kindness; but those faithful to their covenant, and appreciative of the Lord's favor as "better than life," will show forth his praise at any and every cost of an earthly kind. W.T.1901-2853
"And they sing the song of Moses a bond-servant of the God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: Great and wonderful the works of thee, O Lord the God the almighty, just and true the ways of thee, the king of the nations; who not may fear thee, O Lord, and may glorify the name of thee? Because alone bountiful; because all the nations shall come and shall worship in presence of thee; because the righteous acts of thee were manifested." (Rev. 15:3,4)
(4) These are they that were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These [are] they that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were purchased from among men, [to be] the firstfruits unto God and unto the Lamb. (5) And in their mouth was found no lie: they are without blemish.
Not defiled with women ... No reference to the female sex, but it refers to the ecclesiastical women mentioned in Revelation. Mother and her daughters. (Rev. 17:1-5)
The point where defilement begins is after the light of truth has opened the eyes of understanding to see the difference between the Church and human organizations. R3600:1
Whoever, for social, financial or other mercenary reasons, holds to that which he sees is built upon a wrong principle, and upholds wrong theories, is defiling his conscience. R3600:2
They are virgins … The Church is a virgin Church, not united to the world at all. The early Church, in leaving Christ as the prospective Bridegroom, and becoming united with the nation of Rome, constituted an illicit union. Q61:4
Firstfruits unto God … Implying that ultimately there will be others of God's family later born-after-fruits. R5870:1
The completion of the specially elect Church will therefore be but the beginning, and not the ending, of the great plan of salvation which God had purposed. R2490:2
The Church's resurrection means, indirectly, the uplifting of mankind, the opening of the grave to every member of the human family. R4645:3
The Triple-Angelic Mission
The first of those Angels was to proclaim the eternal gospel, the second, to announce the destruction of Babylon and, the third, to warn against worship the beast and the image of the beast. Explanations of these subjects and all others were printed more than hundred years ago and disseminated abundantly worldwide. Before the year 1914, which as it was believed will end present evil age, it was thought the issue of three Angels' mission was elucidated enough.
After century elapsed, it turned out however, that the foregoing truths had to be completed with an understanding of unknown so far the visions of the Book of Revelation, being connected closely with today's occurring prophetic events. The proclamation being completed in such a way is showed in the triple-angelic mission.
(6) And I saw another angel flying in mid heaven, having eternal good tidings to proclaim unto them that dwell on the earth, and unto every nation and tribe and tongue and people; (7) and he saith with a great voice, Fear God, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.
The mission of the first angel who calls on all the people to fear God is something different than preaching gospel in the whole world for testimony (Matt. 24:14). The preaching for testimony was only to choose from among all the nations the little flock for God’s name, the Church (Acts 15:14). The third Angel's call to worship God however is addressed to all the people. Therefore, the time of his mission relates mainly to the ending years of the Gospel Age preceding directly the Millennial Day. Representatives of the today's generation being overwhelmed more and more by great tribulation, all the survivors of that ordeal, they will face the conditions of the individual trial of the Millennial Age. It could not relate to the people living before year 1914, because they practically died.
(Question Q216 1915) "Please give Scripture for, the thought that some of the human family now living may not have to go down into death."
[Answer] "Of our Lord's death … will not only set free those who have gone down into the great prison-house of death, but will stop the proceedings against those waiting to go into this prison-house. This is implied in the Scriptures. For example, see Zeph. 3:8,9; Rev. 14:6,7."
(8) And another, a second angel, followed, saying, Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, that hath made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Similar vision, of Rev. 18:1, shows of a glorious Angel coming down from heaven, who proclaimed loudly: Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It presents our Lord in the dawn of his second presence, how He exposed the apostate Christianity as a dwelling for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit etc, and announced rejection of her from favour of God. Voice from heaven called on the God’s people to exit these false denominations of the mystic Babylon.
More than century after this the second angel being showed in Rev. 14:8 is also saying, Fallen, fallen is Babylon, but that proclamation is being only repetition of the God's judgment on this system just before total destruction of it. This Angel is not appealing to anybody to abandon Babylon, because it is already too late.
Is fallen … She is falling, but not fallen. When the civil power refuses any longer to carry the church, Babylon will have fallen. The fall of Babylon and the "division of that great city" [Rev. 16:19] is one and the same. HG90:3
(9) And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice, If any man worshippeth the beast and his image, and receiveth a mark on his forehead, or upon his hand, (10) he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: (11) and the smoke of their torment goeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, they that worship the beast and his image, and whoso receiveth the mark of his name. (12) Here is the patience of the saints, they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Third angel alerts God’s people to a danger of worshiping the beast and the image of the beast. At the time when pastor Russell began his activity, the papal beast was in the deep abyss. It was to come up from the abyss just before the end of the second "woe," in the time of the most severe test of the God's people.
The book "Biblical chronology" (actual the seventh volume of Study in the Scripture), being published in 1974, it prophetically pointed at the year of appearance of beast of the final times in 1977 and the beginning of the great time of trouble in 1981, which was to destroy Babylon the great. The God's people living in the end of the High Calling (1977) could, therefore:
(1) to initiate joyful proclamation which will pass to the whole world soon that the "millions of people living today will not never die,"
(2) to announce the nearing destruction of Babylon, and also
(3) to warn to a danger of worshiping the papal beast and of its image that is Federation of Protestant Churches.
If any man worshippeth … The mission of the third angel announced, that the policy of union of Church and State being initiated at the end of the High Calling creates the conditions of a trial and separation class of wheat from all other classes.
Every support of the ideas of peace and safety propagated by secular-ecclesiastic powers was the proof of a lack of seal on forehead. Only 144,000 members of the victorious Church have gained that seal.
He also shall drink … All people co-operating with babylonian false systems or somehow entangled within them, they will be subjected to a scare, distress, torment and vexation to the time of complete overthrowing of the whole Christianity during the great tribulation (anarchy).
Tormenting with fire and brimstone – literal or symbolic?
"Rev. 20:9 tells of the destruction of those individuals who join with Satan in the last rebellion; and verse 15 tells of that same destruction in other words, using the symbol 'lake of fire.' They are devoured or consumed in fire. This being the case, the torment of verse 10 cannot refer to these human beings who are consumed, destroyed. Hence the question narrows down to this, Will Satan and a false prophet and a beast be tortured forever? and does this verse so teach? We answer in God's own words, 'All the wicked will he destroy.' Concerning Satan, the arch enemy of God and man, God expressly advises us that he will be destroyed, and not preserved in any sense or condition. (Heb. 2:14)
The beast and false prophet systems, which during the Gospel age have deceived and led astray, will be cast into a great, consuming trouble in the close of this Gospel age. The torment of those systems will be aionion, i.e., lasting. It will continue as long as they last, until they are utterly consumed. So also the system of error, which will suddenly manifest itself at the end of the Millennial age and lead the 'goats' to destruction, will be consumed. (Rev. 20:7-10.) That deceiving system (not specified as to kind, but merely called Satan, after its instigator) will be cast into the same sort of trouble and destruction, in the end of the Millennial age, as the beast and false prophet systems are now being cast into, in the end of the Gospel age. Rev. 19:3, speaking of one of these systems, says, 'Her smoke rose up forever and ever.' That is to say, the remembrance ('smoke') of the destruction of these systems of deception and error will be lasting, the lesson will never be forgotten – as smoke, which continues to ascend after a destructive fire, is testimony that the fire has done its work. – See also Isa. 34:8-10.
Of Rev. 14:9-11 we remark, incidentally, that all will at once concede that if a literal worshiping of a beast and image were meant in verse 9, then few, if any, in civilized lands are liable to the penalty of verse 11; and if the beast and his image and worship and wine and cup are symbols, so also are the torments and smoke and fire and brimstone."
Here is the patience of the saints ... "And all things having worked out to stand." (Eph. 6:13)
Time of resurrection of the Church
(13) And I heard the voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them.
Voice from heaven saying, write … It is hint that John’s class was to receive from God an information about the exact time of resurrection of the Church.
Blessed are … Uniformly throughout the Bible, except in this one instance, death is represented as a dreadful disaster. R474:3
The dead … Reckoned dead, but alive as new creatures in Christ. Q760:2
Who die … Not fall "asleep," but be "changed" in the moment of death, resurrected as part of the blessed and holy first resurrection. D622
In the Lord … It will not henceforth be a blessing to all mankind, but only to those "in the Lord." For all others death will continue to be an enemy until its final destruction. R474:4
From henceforth … The application is limited by the Word "henceforth" – not always, but henceforth death may be a blessing. R303:6
The Seventh Volume, published in 1974, seven years before the end of the second "woe" (1980), has showed with the numerous biblical proofs, that year 1977 (autumn) will be the not only End of The High Calling, but it also will bring about the change of the condition of the all consecrated Saints of the Lord's from the entire Gospel Age. According to the Scripture, the dead in Christ were awoken first, whereas those, which died from henceforth, that is since the autumn 1977, they were not to fall asleep already but they were being changed to the glory in the twinkling of an eye.
"Lo, a mystery to you I speak: All indeed not we shall be asleep; all but which we shall be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, in the last trumpet." (1 Cor. 15:51, 52). R5566:5
"And the dead ones shall be raised incorruptible." (1 Cor. 15:52)
"If for we believe, that Jesus died and arose, so and the God those having slept through the Jesus will lead out with him … and the dead ones in Anointed will be raised first." (1 Thess. 4:16)
"He having the bride, a bridegroom is; the but friend of the bridegroom, that standing and hearing him, with joy rejoices through the voices of the bridegroom. This therefore the joy that of me has been completed. Him it behooves to increase, me but to increase." (John 3:29,30)
"Let the saints exult in glory: Let them sing for joy upon their beds. [Let] the high praises of God [be] in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the nations, And punishments upon the peoples; To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: This honor have all his saints. Praise ye Jehovah." (Psa. 149:5-9)
"After but time much comes the lord of the slaves those, and adjusts with them an account." (Matt. 25:19)
The final harvest
(14) And I saw, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud [I saw] one sitting like unto a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand sharp sickle.
And I saw … a white cloud … sharp sickle … This vision shows of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He makes the final harvest of the Church. Clouds in the Scriptures are the symbol of the troubles. Heavy and dark clouds, which are carrying usually with themselves destructive tempest, hail or deluge are picturing terrific troubles, which are coming on the people as the lashing. The white cloud on which the Main Reaper sits suggests only the friendly trouble for the Church as a way to transfer her to a glory.
The previous verse contains the thought about awakening of sleepy Saints (in year 1977) and the changing from now on of these who were left alive until this moment. This verse, however, suggests additionally that the time of change started then, when the final harvest came.
That which tried fleshly Israel in the beginning of their age was the truth then presented to them. The truth then due was the sickle. So also is the harvest of this age. A238
The sickle of Present Truth, the clear unfolding of the Word of God, which is "sharper than any two-edged sword." (Heb. 4:12) R1362:2
"When but may be ripe the fruit, immediately he sends the sickle, for is ready the harvest." (Mar. 4:29)
The End of High Calling (1977) is the beginning of the special ultimate harvest.
There was the general harvest during Christ's second advent which started from the dawn of presence (then the teaching of six volumes of the Studies in the Scripture was the sickle). There was also the ultimate harvest of the Gospel Age there, just before epiphaneia of Lord’s presence, while the seventh volume became the sickle.
Period of that special harvest: from 22 September 1977 till 18 April 1981.
The condition of separating: "If any one worships the wild-beast and the image of him..." (Rev. 14:9-11)
(15) And another angel came out from the temple, crying with a great voice to him that sat on the cloud, Send forth thy sickle, and reap: for the hour to reap is come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
And another angel came out from the temple … Various exits of Angels from the temple relate to the activity of God's people who is being in the condition of begetting, but they still are staying on the earth, still are unchanged to the glory. This transitory state was showed in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, the also called the Tabernacle of Testimony. The Church spends her earthly pilgrimage in first part of the tabernacle, named the "Holy." The "Holy" is the condition of begetting and is pictured also through the symbolic heaven (Eph. 2:6). The Revelation 15:5 relates to both picture and symbol, when it portrays Angels (Church in the body) going out with the Divine mission from the "temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven."
To him that sat on the cloud … It was Jesus Christ who has been presented in such a manner. He is implementing accurately, in accord to the times and seasons, the Plan of the Ages designed by God. The divine time of the beginning of the final harvest (1977) was of course known to our Lord long ago. At the end of the Gospel Age this time was disclosed to the Church in the aim of the public announcement. Therefore, in the vision it was showed as the instruction exiting from the church to the Angel on the cloud to begin action.
Send forth thy sickle … He is sending forth such "laborers" into this harvest as he sent forth into the harvest of the Jewish age – his consecrated and faithful disciples, bearing the harvest message. R1362:2.
"Blessed are the dead … from henceforth..."
"But gather the wheat into my barn." (Matt. 13:30)
"Gather my saints together unto me, Those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5)
"Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court that is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore, clothed in sackcloth." (Rev. 11:1-3)
(16) And he that sat on the cloud cast his sickle upon the earth; and the earth was reaped.
Cast his sickle … The first work of our Lord in the harvest of this age will be to separate the true from the false. Wheat will be separated from tares, ripe wheat from unripe, etc. A238
Our Lord has visited his people twice during his second presence. Twice He knocked to the door of the hearts of believers and twice gave to them "the food in season." The content of the six first volumes of the Studies in the Scriptures was the first food (from 1874), whereas the content of seventh volume made up second food (from 1974). The strong truths, sharp as sickle, made the division between God's people during each of those two phase of the harvest of the Gospel Age.
There is a parallel of 1845 years between first and second coming our Lord. (29 + 1845 = 1874). Our Lord came in 1874 and then He began work of harvest. In the years 132–135 A.D. there was the last Jewish uprising of false messiah, the Bar Kokhba revolt. The parallel of 1845 years to this event there is coming to the power for 42 month of papal beast (1977–1980). It was the last effort of Satan and his blinded servants to salvage Christianity. Then at the same time there there was the final harvest of the Church. (132 + 1845 = 1977).
(17) Another angel came out from the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
Another angel came out from the temple … This vision concerns to other very important information, given by God and announced by the Church, regarding the time of the beginning of second part of the harvest, the burning of the tares during the great time of trouble (1980/81).
Before "we who are alive and remain" are taken, the "vine of the earth" is gathered, to be cast into the winepress of wrath – "Gather ye first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn." (1 Thess. 4:15; Matt. 13:30) HG71:3
He also having … There would be two harvests – a gathering of the fruit of the true Vine, and subsequently a gathering of the clusters of the "vine of the earth." R2464:6
First of all, it is a harvest of the saints. Secondly, it is a time for the world to reap its whirlwind harvest. B171.
(18) And another angel came out from the altar, he that hath power over fire; and he called with a great voice to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Send forth thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
And another angel came out from the altar … The announcing of the day of wrath by the Church was inspired and supported by authority of God. The factors or mighty men for his anger, which He has chosen, they will revenge upon Christendom a blood of the Saints and all her iniquity. They will collect together all the systems of nominal Christianity to destroy them in the fire of the great trouble.
Send forth thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters … "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 13:41,42)
"And the seventh angel sounded." (Rev. 11:15)
Voice in third "woe": "We give thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast; because thou hast taken thy great power, and didst reign. And the nations were wroth, and thy wrath came, and the time of the dead to be judged, and [the time] to give their reward to thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, the small and the great; and to destroy them that destroy the earth." (Rev. 11:17,18)
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matt. 24:21,22)
"Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe: come, tread ye; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great." (Joel 3:13)
The "ten thousand" (Psa. 91:7), the Great Company, will be partakers with Babylon in her sins and have part in her great fall. R4926:4
And gather … Love is not the controlling motive amongst men. Selfishness is the controlling principle, and is bearing its own bitter fruit and ripening rapidly for this great vintage. D311
The clusters … The fruitage of the True Vine is Love, and is precious to the Father; but the fruitage of the vine of the earth is selfishness in various forms. F207
The vine of the earth … Nominal Christendom. NS59:1.
(19) And the angel cast his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and cast it into the winepress, the great [winepress], of the wrath of God.
Gathered the vintage … Though branches of the true Vine may be in the different denominations, the earthly institutions themselves the Scriptures designate "the vine of the earth." R4873:1.
And cast it … The fruitage. R4873:1
Great [winepress] … We are now fast nearing the latter end of the harvest period, when the burning of the tares and the gathering and treading of the fully ripe clusters of the "vine of the earth" are due. D51.
(20) And the winepress are trodden without the city, and there came out blood from the winepress, even unto the bridles of the horses, as far as a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
Came out blood … unto the bridles of the horses … A horse, the combat animal (Proverbs 21:31), is the biblical symbol of human doctrines. In this verse the horses are picturing doctrines of nominal Christianity. They are used by people for defense of the old order of the things and, therefore, they are in opposition to the victorious Lamb, which is establishing his kingdom of the justice. These devilish doctrines lead the world to the general harvest of the death (shedding of blood), when the clusters of human hearts subjected to a press of the great time of trouble disclose the accumulated in them an all anger and hatred. It is tantamount with the reign of anarchy and complete destruction, when all human doctrines are disappointing, when these doctrines will lose every human support and when they will be "drowned" (the blood reaching bridles).
A thousand and six hundred furlongs … The circle of the press of anger, after geometrical transformation of it into a square, shows with dimensions of this square the date of the End of High Calling (1977) and the date of taking the Church to the glory and the beginning of the great time of trouble (1980). "Chronologia Biblijna" pages 132, 133
The length of the square's side expresses the quantity of years from the edict of Cyrus concerning of reconstruction of the temple (536,25 B.C.) till to the end of High Calling pictured by the death of Sarah (1977 A.D.).
2513,27 – 536,25 = 1977,02 practically – 1977
(See Volume III, page 211)
The length of the diagonal of the square expresses the quantity of years from the entry of the Jewish nation to Promised Land in the spring of the year 1575 B.C. (1574,75) till to the entry of the last members of Christ's body (antitypical Israel) into the heaven (antitypical Canaan) in the year 1980.
3554,31 – 1574,75 = 1979,56 practically – 1980
Added by: Andrzej