Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
STUDY 2: THE TIME OF REAPING
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
WE will now offer further proofs that the reaping of the Little Flock, that is, the sealing in their foreheads, but not the other features of the Harvest, was completed before our Pastor’s (Bro. Russell’s) death. These proofs are:
(9.) The man with the writer’s inkhorn (Ezekiel 9: 2-5, 11) began to report the completion of his work about the time of Bro. Russell’s death. Although some think that “that servant” alone was the inkhorn man, the following reasons seem to prove that he is a class: (1) Six classes of evil-doers in the end of the Age are represented by the six men with slaughter weapons, therefore, the seventh man, the inkhorn man, would seem to represent a class of well-doers – those who during the reaping time gave the Truth to their brethren; (2) “that servant” did not reach every individual and teach him the Truth; and (3) Revelation 7: 2, 3, the parallel passage, proves that the angel with the seal of God, the ink of Ezekiel 9, is a multitudinous one – “till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads,” that is, put the ink “mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry in the city.” This angel represents the reapers; therefore the inkhorn man, corresponding to him, does the same.
(10.) Revelation 16: 17 refers to the Great Company, which cries out: “It is done.” Before they gave this message, they must have existed as a separate and distinct class from the Little Flock; consequently, they must have possessed the antitypical mantle some time before the announcement. But since this mantle was possessed by the Little Flock until its last member was sealed in the forehead, in order to have given that last member a part in the last use that antitypical Elijah made of the mantle, that is, smiting Jordan, the last member of the Church was sealed in the forehead before the mantle left the hands of the Little Flock and came into the possession of the Great Company. The Great Company made the announcement, “It is done,” at the Passover Convention at Brooklyn, March 26, 1918. Therefore, some considerable time before then, the Little Flock was sealed in the forehead.
(11.) A comparison of Revelation 19: 1, 6 and 7: 9 proves that Revelation 19: 1-9 treats of the Great Company; for the Greek words translated “much people” in Revelation 19: 1 are the same words as those that are translated “a great multitude” in Revelation 7: 9 and 19: 6. The message of Revelation 19: 1, 2 is the one by which the second smiting of Jordan was done. Elisha smote Jordan from the Fall of 1917 to the Spring of 1918. Therefore, some time before the Fall of 1917 antitypical Elijah lost his mantle. Consequently, before that event all of the Elect had not only smitten Jordan, but previous to its completion, must have been sealed in their foreheads.
(12.) In the story of Gideon and his 300 (Judges 6-8), the 300 gained their victory in two battles (Judges 7: 19-22; 8: 10-12, 18-21). The first battle corresponds to the first smiting of Jordan, from the Fall of 1914 to that of 1916, in which only the Little Flock took part. In order for the last called member of the Church to have participated in the first battle, he must have been previously sealed before the close of the first antitypical battle in the Fall of 1916.
(13.) Numbers 7: 1-9 contains another argument. Verse 1 proves that the wagons of verses 3, 7 and 8 were given the typical Levites after the typical tabernacle was completed, anointed and sanctified with all its furniture and vessels. The completion of the tabernacle, its anointing and sanctification, type the completion of the true Church, its anointing with the Truth, forehead-sealing, and its spirit, and its separation from Babylon or the world. This separation occurred before the Fall of 1916, and began thereafter to be externally manifested. The fact that the antitypical Levites started receiving their antitypical chariots, organizations, shortly thereafter, prove that the Elect were sealed in their foreheads prior to that time.
(14.) In Ezekiel 44: 1, 2, the closed gate represents vitalized justification, which was an experience of those only who were about to be begotten of the spirit. The eternal closing of this gate represents the end of spirit-begetting for the purposes of the High Calling. Shortly after Ezekiel, who represents the Church, is brought to this gate the last time by the man with the measuring rod, he is shown matters pertaining to the Levites connected with their wrongs and their separation from the Priests (Ezekiel 44: 4-14). Accordingly, after spirit-begetting ceased and the Church was given her last view of vitalized justification by “that servant” in the foreword of Volume VI, the next things expounded to her were matters pertaining to the Great Company. Since they heard the message of Ezekiel 44: 4-14, the forehead sealing of the Elect was completed before the foreword of Volume VI was written.
(15.) Matthew 24: 36 and 25: 13 contain a time proof which shows that before May 3, 1916, all of the Elect were sealed in the forehead. The Day referred to in these verses is the Millennial Day – beginning September 12, 1874, and ending in 2874. The hour of these verses is 1⁄(24 )of that Day, hence the first hour of the day of these texts is the only one of the 24 of which it could truthfully be said that its beginning could not be known beforehand. Therefore, we conclude that the hour of these texts is the first hour of the 1,000-year Day. An hour of a 1,000-year Day would be 41 years and 8 months. Forty-one years and eight months (of lunar time) from September 12, 1874, would bring us to May 3, 1916. The hour of these texts was the reaping and gleaning period of the Gospel Age (Revelation 14: 15, “the time [hour] is come for thee to reap,” and for this reason is marked out among the hours of the 1,000-year Day, the reaping ending September 16, 1914, and the gleaning before May 3, 1916. Consequently, before that date, the Little Flock were sealed in the forehead.
(16.) Genesis 15: 7-21 gives us a time proof that indicates April 18, 1916, Nisan 15, the first day of the Passover feast, as the date when the last member of the Christ was sealed in the forehead. The days of the years that the animals and birds sacrificed by Abraham lived totaled 3,960, and represent that many years. The Covenant was made with Abraham on Nisan 15, 2045 B.C. and 3,960 years later brings us to April 18, 1916. The three animals and two birds seem to represent the five classes that would be more or less separated to the Lord from the time of the Covenant – 2045 B.C. – until the last one of the Little Flock would be sealed in the forehead, which was April 18, 1916.
(to be continued)