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January 1919 IBSA Convention Report

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SUPPLEMENT

BRO. CLAYTON WOODWORTH

Delivered Several Days Before Trial, Brooklyn Tabernacle

SINCE the opportunity has been afforded me to address you once more I think you probably have been expecting to hear something in connection with the Book of Revelation. The whole of God's Word is equally precious to me; but you know I have given special study to one particular book in the last year and a half. Therefore, I thought we would have a little Revelation. Some of you know what I am going to talk about tonight. I thought if you were going to have a lesson in revelation we better have just as hard a one as we knew how; the harder the better, and so the text which I picked out is what is admitted to be one of the most difficult passages in the book: (Chapter 14.)

I will read from the 15th verse on: "And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."

I am sure we will all agree that our Heavenly Father must have had some definite reason for putting this in His Word. No one can accuse us of having it put in ourselves. It has been there about two thousand years. If anybody had any very clear idea as to what this was intended to teach, it has not been disclosed only up until recently. The various commentators are all at sea as to what the passage might mean, and if I can judge from all the information that came into my possession, the dear truth friends themselves don't seem to be in any very different frame of mind.

Before the Seventh Volume of Scripture Studies was published, I had heard two explanations of the measurement. One was many times referred to by Brother Russell in his discourse on the "Battle of Armaggedon." He said in that discourse, you remember, that "worldly editors have called attention to the fact that the battle line in Europe was approximately 1600 miles long." It was noticed that the Greek word here rendered "furlongs" refers to a Greek unit of measure. And so these editors have suggested that perhaps these 1600 units of measurement represent 1600 miles of the great battle front in Europe and Asia. That was the view that I had accepted tentatively as being the correct explanation because Brother Russell had referred to it. He did not indorse it! but he merely said, "Worldly editors have referred to this." After working upon the manuscript of this book, a very intelligent brother who had made a careful study of the book for many years, suggested that this was 1600 minutes of longitude between the East and West, within which limits the great conflict is raging."

Subsequently after the book was published there came a number of suggestions from brothers and sisters who would have been glad to find a better explanation than we offered. I gave close attention to every suggestion which came to me. One was that if 1600 furlongs were thrown into a square — 40 furlongs each way — we might see that it referred to the harvest. Another brother suggested that 1600 had been thrown into a square; and made a city in

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area about the size of ancient Nineveh, and that was, in some respects a type of mystic Babylon; thus we might see a reference to the overthrow of Babylon. Another brother suggested that the units of measure would be 1600 years from the council of Arles, which met August 1st, in the year 314, therefore 1600 years would bring us down to August 1, 1914; which statement was, that this council at Arles was the first council to suggest or bring: into effect a union of Church and State; that there the horse bridles were put on, so to speak. There were some good thoughts connected with this brother's interpretation, and he labored earnestly to get me to accept it. I am going to refer to this several times later.

Another brother suggested that l600 units of measure was merely intended as a symbolical number of 400; which is, in some respects a very significant number of "wisdom, justice, love and power"; the "four beasts," many times referred to in the Book of Revelation — 400 times a hundred. And then a sister noted that the Siniatic manuscript does not speak of this as l600 units of measure, but 1200 units, this sister has received a good deal of respect for her knowledge of the Bible as written before, and not during the Dark Ages. So they suggested that we stand by the Siniatic Manuscript which is the most valuable we have. Brother Russell used it as an authority: it is the oldest and most reliable and complete copy of the New Testament that we have. The sister suggested that this 1200 units of measure be translated in Sabbath day journeys. Now then eight goes into 1200 150 times. That would be 150 units of measure. She said this was a possible reference to five months: November and December of 1917, and January, February and March of 1918; it was within each of these months that the Lord's Church was privileged to engage in the last feature of the harvest work.

I gave a good deal of attention to all the suggestions, as I was bound to do, and as you would wish me, or anybody, to do who is trying to deal with the Lord's Word, because we all want the Truth, if we make a mistake in anything we want to find where it is, and rectify it, if we have not made any mistakes then we want to know that. So the object of this address is try to show, if I can, from the Scriptures that there haven't been any mistakes made in the treatment of this matter in the Seventh Volume: That it could not possibly refer to anything else, but a book. In order to study this passage properly let us consider the 14th chapter:

"And I looked and lo a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads." You have no difficulty to understand who is the Lamb! That is our Lord Jesus Christ: our Passover Lamb. That is the Lamb without spot or blemish: slain from the foundation of the world on our behalf. Oh, how beautifully the Apostle speaks of him as "the Power of the Flock." It also speaks about the sheep: those who are not powers: merely "little sheep" who are with Him. We are glad to be counted in with the Lord as little sheep. Glad that the Lord recognizes us at all! I can never forget the lesson Brother Barton presented at the Toronto Convention: You want to realize just how important your sacrifice is in the sight of God; compared with one complete and perfect bullock in the complete picture. So there are 144,000 sheep; and our Lord is the central figure of the picture. This evidently was fulfilled in the Lord's plan: about April 1, 1878. At that time there were evidently enough in the anti-chamber to have made up the entire Church of Christ: but the Lord knew that many of them would not prove faithful, and so he allowed the general call to continue for three and one-half years longer, and it lasted (as we know) until October 1, 1881. Since that time it has not been proper for us to say to anybody: "If you make your consecration to the Lord, and carry out your consecration faithfully you shall be privileged to sit down with Christ on the Throne." No, we can merely say "that is our hope; that is our expectation." On this basis we have made our consecration, and it is on that basis that we still continue to serve the Lord as we have opportunity. Most of us have come into the truth since 1881.

I might mention an authority for this statement that the whole 144,000 were standing on Mount Zion in the spring of 1878. Brother Russell, in his comments in Revelation 6, referred to this in an article in the Watch Tower on the Parable of the Wedding Feast. "The king came in to see the guests," — implying that the full number was there. Since that time the Lord and His little company have been standing upon Mount Zion in the spirit of their minds — whether on that side of the vail, or on this side. And in the spirit of our minds we see the Lord as an all-powerful king working out His good will and pleasure; and in the spirit of our minds, we are associated with Him although still on this side the vail.

Now, those who are associated with the Lord on Mount Zion, have in their hands "harps." "Have you heard the new song; the song which the saints now may sing? How the old harp of Moses, and the sweet flute of John, with harmonious melody ring? It will float o'er the world in rapturous strain of glory and peace and good will." A song is something harmonious and pleasing to the ear. The Gospel is referred to as a song, for David says, "Thou hast put a new song into my mouth, even the loving kindness of our God." We continually sing this song. We could not sing it when we were in Babylon. We could not harmonize the law with the Gospel. They would have been glad to have had us bring forth the pleasing things out of God's word, if we just kept still. We could have stayed in the Churches if we were only willing to refrain from telling all the plan. There have been some who have tried that, but I don't think the Lord is pleased with that kind of a character.

"And they sang a new song." When I heard Brother Sampson the first time, I said, "I never heard anything, like that before in my life." And the more I have heard. of it since, the better it sounds. Another thing about it too: The more you tell and sing about that song, the better it sounds to yourself. The truth is something that we keep by giving it away, and the more we give away, the more precious it is to us.

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Ch. 14:6, 7.) The word "angel" is a broad word: In the Greek it means a messenger. God may use any kind of a messenger in presenting the Everlasting Gospel to every nation and kindred and tongue and people. Who? Or what is that angel? Volume I of Scripture Studies. Just think it over! It does contain the "Everlasting Gospel." That is the one that God is going to preach by and by to every land, kindred and tongue and people.

Was it circulated through the heavens? "He saw an angel flying through the midst of Heaven." Powers: Spiritual control: Did this message go into the Baptist heaven? Or the Lutheran heaven? It did! It went back and forth through the ecclesiastical firmament and accomplished a purpose in "saying with a loud voice": — Did it have a low voice? No! There were over a million copies published and circulated in something like twenty-two languages. Some of the literature is in thirty-four languages. That is a "loud voice"! It says: "Fear God, and give glory to him." Is there anything in Volume I that makes you feel like referencing God? After you were fed on the creeds that were manufactured during the Dark Ages, and then suddenly God held this volume before your eyes, did it not make you have a different idea of God?

"Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of his Judgment is come." Is there anything in Volume I about Judgment? Yes! The title of the book originally was Millennial Dawn — the dawn of the millennium; and the dawn of the thousand year judgment day of Christ is at hand.

I consider, therefore, that is a well proven point! AND AS FAST AS WE PROVE A POINT JUST TAKE A TACK AND DRIVE IT IN. You know how it is to stretch a carpet; You pull up a little piece, and try to tack it down. Of course you usually have to repeat it because the first time it gets twisted.

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And it says the SECOND angel followed the first one, and its message was "Babylon is fallen." You remember the dispensations contained in the second volume! And you know how significantly they point to the date 1878; and how that chronologically Babylon was due to begin to fall April 1st of that year (1878) ; and she has been falling ever since. She is in a pretty bad condition now. And as proof that Babylon the great is in a fallen condition there is an interesting chapter in the end of the book. The last chapter is devoted to "The Man of Sin." It shows there how the "Man of Sin" is Papacy — the Anti-Christ: That Papal System is Babylon the Great.

Concerning the THIRD angel there are a number of statements made: The third angel speaks of the harvest. The third volume of Scripture Studies speaks of the harvest. It shows that during the harvest time the kind of work the Lord would have us do was the harvest work. There is also the statement, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now, and henceforth. They rest from their labors, but their works do follow them." That appears for the first time in Volume III. Now I suggest something that will show you whether a person is dead or not. If a person is really dead, you can step on his toes and he won't say a thing; you can walk all over them, they won't object. You can scold at them, and they will not scold back. You can flatter them, but it is like water rolling off a duck's back. You can think these things over and you will be able to decide whether you belong to the dead class or not. (Laughter.)

"And another angel came out of the temple, saying to him that sat upon the clouds, thrust in thy sickle and reap the vine of the earth (harvest), and the angel thrust in his sickle on the earth." This refers to the reaping of the wheat from the tares; gathering the wheat in to the Lord's garner. How could this angel be that came out of this peculiar temple (as though it was a temple different from any other) ? It seems to me that plainly refers to the Great Pyramid of Egypt, which is a peculiar temple of its own; and there is something which came out of that temple that has taught God's people a great many lessons. All the lessons taught by this Temple are in harmony with the other lessons. And the third volume of Scripture Studies, in which this appears as the last chapter, sets this off as though it were a separate book. It has a little preface, and a title page, and some introductory remarks; but it is bound in the third volume. And still it comes out of a special place! It comes out of the "temple." You remember that message which came to us in book form regarding God's Pyramid in the Land of Egypt — the great "altar"!

"And he cried like a lion" (Isa. 21) — which looks like the devil — the clergy, I am pretty sure. "My Lord I stand upon the Watch Tower and behold here cometh a chariot of men . . . Come, Babylon is fallen, and the great image is broken on the ground." This picture here is illustrating to my mind the way the seven volumes of Scripture Studies appears to the clergy. They appeared as plagues to them: "And I saw these seven angels come forth, clothed in white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles." In preparing the manuscript or the large portion of the seventh volume I noticed that the word here rendered linen is a different word than any other rendered in the Bible; and I merely noted that it was not the kind of linen from which the robe of the Bride of Christ is woven. I wonder how many of you remember seeing that: (Three hands indicated they saw it.) Well, it is there just the same! Here is a peculiar word, and I thought God must have had some special reason for so stating this matter; and I did not know what it was then, but I do now. It has reference to the fact that these messengers who came forth are printed upon white paper —  white linen: clean and white. Linen is one of the finest kinds of paper known. "And girded with gold." How much value would a book be to you if it consisted of 600 pages but not pasted together. Where could I read page 475? You would be continually fussing about for the thing. This should be bound to be of any use to you. You have to "gird" them together. You ask: What about the golden girdle? You will see the golden girdles: Seven books would be printed on while paper; well bound and stamped in gold.

Then it says: "They came forth out of the Tabernacle." You have all studied Tabernacle Shadows. (Laughter.) The entire seven volumes of Scripture Studies came forth from Tabernacle Shadows. Here it was that Brother Russell saw clearly the philosophy of God's plan.

After introducing the third plague it says: "And I heard the Altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty." This "altar" is the altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt.

Concerning the FOURTH angel: "He poured out his vial upon the sun." The fourth volume was sent to the clergy. Brother Russell sent this volume to all the clergy whose addresses could be procured. And it says: "The men cursed God" because of these things. It" was about that time that they began to accuse Brother Russell as being untruthful and evil; and so they continued down to the time of his death.

In connection with the FIFTH angel it says, "He poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast." (Siniatic MMS.) The beast is papacy; and the seat of the beast is the place where it rests; presumably the doctrines. And the fundamental doctrines of papacy are the Trinity; the immortality of man; and the doctrine of eternal torment. Those questions are thoroughly discussed in the fifth volume of Scripture Studies.

And after introducing the sixth volume it also introduces a verse or two that would be just as well for me if it had not been in the Bible. It says: "I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet . . . which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." I am not going to explain that now — for reasons that I expect to explain it to a selected audience later in the week, (This matter was thoroughly commented on at the trial of our brethren — as drawn out through cross-examination of Brother Woodworth.)

However, all this is aside from the point which I want to bring out, i.e., the meaning of the last four verses of the 14th chapter. You see, dear friends, that throughout these chapters it has been discussing books — the harvest literature. What would be the most reasonable thing to find after noting that all the rest of the chapters were talking about books? I think you would say with me that the most reasonable thing to anticipate would be that it refers to a book.

"And another angel came out of heaven, he also having a sharp sickle." Who is that "other angel"? I know of one who has great power on the other side of the vail. That is Brother Russell! "Blessed is that servant whom you find so doing. Verily I say he will make him ruler over all the truth." I don't find any place where the Lord limited that to Brother Russell's period on this side the vail; and we note that it says in this very same chapter that rest in their labors, but their works follow after them. Brother Russell has more power there than he had on this side. What do you think about that?

"And another angel came out of the temple; he had a sharp sickle; and another came out of the altar, which had power over fire." Who is this angel? This angel is mentioned four times in the Book of Revelation. It is mentioned in the seventh chapter (3rd to the 5th verses) ; and there it seems to me very clearly refers to the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. You have the explanation in the seventh volume. The angel had power over the fire and gathered these coals of fire and scattered them through the earth literally. After the seventh volume of Scripture Studies was issued it was suddenly sent out, or hurled deliberately broadcast amongst the readers of the Tower. And it is referred to again in the 18th chapter as an "angel standing in the sun." In the second verse it speaks about one mighty voice saying, "mighty Babylon is fallen and has become the habitation of demons, and unclean and hateful birds. And another voice said 'come out of her, my people.' " Now the truth people have backed up the message by distributing the literature which is to invite the people to come out. That is another voice which is here referred to: Here, I was prepared to see that the other angel which came out of the altar was the society — 

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after Brother Russell's death. Then we get the thought too that this other angel, coming out of the altar, represents the fact that the society is supported by the sacrifices of the Lord's little ones. It is kept up by contributions from you, and you, and you. Here a little; and there a little.

Did the truth friends fulfill the latter part of this verse? "Another angel came out of the altar which had power over the fire!" "And they cried with a loud voice: thrust in a sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth!" Was there anything like that happened? I will ask you a question. When you heard Brother Russell was dead (after you thought of your own personal loss) did you not think of what an unspeakable loss it was to the church; just at this time when the world was passing through new, strange and terrible experiences? Did it not seem to be a great pity that he was taken away without furnishing the seventh volume ? Did you not feel disappointed? I did! I thought: "Oh, dear Brother Russell, why did you go away without doing what you expected you would do throughout the entire harvest time! We looked to you! You promised! And we understood your intention! Why did you go away?" That is the way I felt! There you see was that cry. Don't you see? It was not an outward cry. It was an inward cry. They cried with a loud cry to him saying, "thrust in thy sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth." The statement is that the "angel thrust in his sickle and gathered the vine of the earth. It into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress EVEN UNTO THE HORSE BRIDLES, BY THE SPACE OF A THOUSAND and SIX HUNDRED FURLONGS."

That means the book was prepared outside of headquarters — in Scranton, at a certain distance from Bethel, and the Lord had his own reasons to thus have it prepared outside Bethel. And Babylon began to fall.

You know what happened on the 16th of March! If you don't I do! (Laughter.) I believe the book has accomplished God's purpose; and if it has then surely we are glad.

This brings us down to the last clause: And it says: "At a distance 1600 furlongs." It is "1200 furlongs" in the Siniatic Manuscript. You know what the seventh volume has to say about that. Perhaps you would like to know how that came to be there. In the first place it was because I could not think of anything else. Had I been able to think of another explanation I would have put it there. And I did not think of that one directly. Here is the way I came to think of it. I was specially interested in the explanation Brother Russell referred to. But I did not know how to identify it with the great European war, for I noticed the European battle line was 2100 miles long instead of 1600. That was my first disappointment. Then when I found out the measurement had shrunken to 1200 I could not see how any one could conscientiously stretch it. The truth friends are pretty sharp you know! One hundred forty-seven miles was the distance from the city. What city? It could hardly mean Babylon, because that is down through the middle of Europe. That don't mean Rome. I could not think of anything that was 147 miles away from Rome. This is what went through my mind: The word city means Ecclesiastical Government. I thought of Bethel. Here is the Lord's Truth Movement. I wondered if that could be the city. I went out through New England on a tour — having a map in mind — I thought that would be somewhere around Hartford. Then I came down the coast and figured that would fall a little bit short of Baltimore at Lancaster. I could not try going down that way. I started north; and then west. I could not see how Albany would come in, in that it was about 150 miles away from the city. Then I came to Scranton. But this was a weird thought. I thought that to be absurd for I knew the time table did not indicate this distance. I was about to lay the matter aside, and go to the Lord. I did not know what to do. But I happened to think about the great cut-off by the Lackawanna R. R. where they run right through the mountains; and there you go along about twelve or fifteen miles on the most wonderful road bed in the world. Sometimes you find yourself as high as twenty-four feet in the air; down below you see the farms, etc. I called up the railroad office to find out about the distance. They said it was 111 miles. I then made a mental deduction. I wrote down here to someone you know very well (a good, faithful brother, who is an old farmer and accustomed to passing upon land) and requesting him to carefully measure the distance between Bethel and Hoboken. I measured it twice and the measurements were put in the original manuscript exactly as given. It came out within one-tenth of a mile. A few days later, I told Brother Fisher, He was surprised. On the first of April Brother Fisher moved, and in the stress of moving forgot all about the distance matter and thought of nothing but tacking down carpets, etc. He moved a number of blocks further away from the railway station. I went down and asked him, "Why did you move?" He said, "Because I found rents were cheaper." I asked him, "Do you think that was the reason you moved ? You are getting four blocks farther away from the Lackawanna. There is one fourth of the book that is yet to be written and that makes the difference of one-tenth of a mile." Thus it came out according to God's Word.

The Lord put that in the book. First, to make the book appear foolish in the eyes of those that do not believe as we believe. The Lord is carrying us in the palm of His hand. We are His people. God wished us to know that. He would select His own tools to do the work. The Lord purposed to show the Church that the book would be written in such a place and in such a way, that none of the truth friends need to stumble. Those who have since gone out from us and made all these statements about the seventh volume never tell you about the fact that the book was written before they started this. The manuscript, so far as I was concerned, was all finished and in the book before I heard of even a suspicion, or difficulty of any kind. We were too busy to know what was going on. We were working for our worldly employers during the day. And we were working earnestly on the book early in the morning, and late at night.

You can evidently see that passage could not refer to anything else but this book. And the Lord wanted us to know that he is managing this whole affair; and we are right in His hand. We don't care what happens. We belong to the Lord, and if He is through with us — alright, if not, we are ready. If He wants to put us in cold storage and save us for something He has yet to do, then let us be willing!

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