We present what we believe to be the correct interpretation of antitypical Keturah’s six sons. First of all we direct attention to the fact that there will be three distinct classes blessed by the New Covenant: No. 1, the Worthies, who will receive the “better resurrection” (Heb. 11:35). No. 2, the Jews, and No. 3, the Gentiles. These three classes each have two divisions - somewhat after the manner of the four elect classes pictured in Noah’s Ark: Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth and their wives, the same depicting the leaders and the lesser lights respectively of The Christ, the Ancient Worthies, the Youthful Worthies and the Great Company.
1 - ZIMRAN (Celebrated): The 70 outstanding Ancient and Youthful Worthies - the leaders of their class.
2 - JOKSHAN (Fowler, or bird catchers - overcomers of the fallen angels, in that Satan and his demons had no dominion over them): These will comprise all the lesser lights of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies. Inasmuch as Zimram and Jokshan were the eldest and second eldest of Keturah’s sons, it is logical enough to determine them as the Millennial-Age firstborns - just as the Seed of Promise (antitypical Isaac) have been the firstborns of this Gospel Age. Among these Gospel-Age firstborns the Great Company would be included inasmuch as they at one time were a part of the Very Elect; therefore, among the first begotten. Thus, those of them who retained their class standing as Great Company, having been begotten must evidently come to birth as spirit beings. “The church of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:23 - See comments in Gems From the Mine.) will include all the first begotten. All the Worthies will be children of The Christ.
3 - MEDAN (Judgment): The quasi-elect Jew. “Judgment” sometimes has the meaning of “true instruction,” as in Proverbs 21:3, “To do justice [righteousness] and judgment [true instruction] is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” This class would be those Jews who earnestly endeavored to teach and defend “true instructions,” as they received it from the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44). St. Paul says of such that they had “much advantage… chiefly, because unto them were committed the Oracles of God.” (Rom. 3:2) Those sincere ones among them who were entrusted with the care and preservation of the inspired writings of the Old Testament would have sacrificed their lives in defense of them. Thus, “judgment” is most fitting for their typical name, Medan. This would apply to the chief or first of the quasi-elect - “to the Jew first.”
4 - MIDIAN (Strife or contention): Midian consists of all Jews not included in the elect or quasi-elect. This class of Jews has been a bone of contention since their first appearance in human history - always warlike and assertive people who were not sufficiently persuaded by the Mosaic Law and did not have faith enough to adhere to its principles.
5 - ISHBAK (Free): The quasi-elect Gentiles. They are “free” in the sense of being free from the Mosaic Law and in the fact that most of them are to be found in Protestant countries. “Where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” (2 Cor. 3:17) And there is little question that the liberty that prevails in Protestant countries has been a dominant factor in their tremendous progress in art, literature and invention.
6 - SHUAH (Depression, or low place): An allusion to all Gentiles not included in the elect or the quasi-elect (all Gentile nations, including all the heathen pictured outside the camp) who have never heard the “only Name,” or who have given little or no heed to it (that “seed that fell by the road, or on rocky ground” - Matt. 13:4,5), and whose characters have suffered greater mental and moral degradation because of it. To use a vernacular expression, most of them are indeed “low-down,” given “over to a reprobate mind, to do improper things… not only are doing them, but are even approving those who practice them.” (Rom. 1:28-32, Dia.)
The May-June 1985 Present Truth, pp. 43 and 44, gives the following on KETURAH’S SIX SONS:
“(1) Zimram: the 70 most prominent of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies (the ancients and youthfuls of Joel 2:28), who will be given the most prominent positions in the earthly phase of the Kingdom during the making, sealing, of the New Covenant (Ex. 24:1,9).
“(2) Jokshan: the Worthies in general.
“(3) Medan: the Consecrated Epiphany Campers - those who consecrate to God and are faithful in their consecration during the Epiphany - the very end of the Gospel Age - after the four elect classes have been fully made up in their membership; the four elect classes of Abraham’s seed are pictured as serving in the Court of the Tabernacle as it was set up for Israel in the wilderness, and these consecrators are pictured as being among those in the Camp - hence the name. ‘Campers.’
“(4) Midian: those Fleshly Israelites who during the Jewish and Gospel Ages have in faith and practice come into harmony with the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants, and remained faithful, though not consecrating.
“(5) Ishbak: those Gentiles (and some Jews) who throughout the Gospel Age, including our day, while not consecrating, or dedicating, their lives to God, have repented of their sins and accepted Jesus as their Savior and remained faithful to the Ransom and to righteousness.
“(6) Shuah (low place, depression): the non-elect, unbelieving world of mankind, consisting of unbelieving Gentiles and those Fleshly Israelites who have forsaken the covenant promises; these are the ‘daughters’ of Joel 2:28 and Isa. 60:4, the quasi-elect believers being referred to as ‘sons’—the stronger ones.”
The above errors are a repeat of the errors inherited, as given in Present Truths ’57,22; ’58,3 ’63,29,77; ’69,46; ’72,38 and 73,27. The LHMM cannot produce anything but types to support the false doctrine (“strange fire”) of Consecrated Epiphany Campers. “A type must not be used to teach a doctrine, but to illustrate one that is taught in plain terms.” (Berean Comment, p. 25 of the Topical Index)
We are told in Jude 3 “to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints,” but in no place in God’s Word are we told to “contend for the faith once delivered unto crown-lost leaders” as the LHMM is doing. The devotees of the Jehovah’s Witnesses follow their leaders, who have set aside many basic doctrines of That Servant - the blind leading the blind.
All those who have set aside the Truth taught by That Servant are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth.” (2 Tim. 3:7) We especially refer to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement who have set aside God’s promise to the natural Jew when they concocted their false doctrines of non-existent classes.
The LHMM tell us that their Consecrated Epiphany Campers will supersede the Jews in the Kingdom, setting aside God’s Word as well as the teaching of That Servant and the Epiphany Messenger, knowing that these faithful Messengers consistently taught “to the Jew first.” They did this with Scriptures in “plain terms.”
Of course, the “repentant and believing” of the Epiphany Camp in the finished picture will share with the Jews in their great missionary work after they become Jews. The Jews will not have to become Consecrated Epiphany Campers and walk a narrow way to receive God’s promise to natural Jews. It is the earthly promise to the Jews. And none of the Restitutionists have to walk a narrow way. The Consecrated Epiphany Campers will have to become Jews in the Kingdom before they can receive the blessings of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is Israelitish and will be made with the natural Jew first. Our Lord says, “Salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22)
The Word will first be given by the Worthies from the Christ to the Jews; and it will heal them, as it is written, “He sent His Word and healed them.” (Psa. 107:20)
The Kingdom will, of course, begin to work on the Worthies, and then through them upon the Restitutionists who will survive the Time of Trouble, and that starting with the Jews in Jerusalem.
Fleshly Israel, as the secondary earthly seed of Abraham, under the lead of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, as the primary earthly seed of Abraham, will be privileged to cooperate with the Kingdom in converting the Gentile world (Gen. 22:17; 28:14; Isa. 19:24; Ezek. 16:60,61; Psa. 107:22).
“Naturally enough, Israel will then in a natural way come first into harmony with the Divine arrangement and be the first to get the blessings.” (Reprint 5810, top) All the above, and much more, will have to be thrown out if we accept the LHMM’s teaching that the Consecrated Epiphany Campers are to be first after the Worthies.
“St. Paul was an outspoken, uncompromising teacher. When he knew that he had the truth, he spoke it with confidence, and boldly declared that everything contrary to it is false doctrine. He also taught believers that it was not only their privilege, but their duty to be established in the faith, to know on the evidence of God’s Word, why they believed, and to be able to give to every man that inquires a reason for the hope that was in them.” (Reprint 5045, col. 2, par. 4)
“The Lord purposed to take away all sins - the sins of Israel, the sins of those who were to constitute the Gospel-Church, and the sins of the whole world. For this cause Christ was manifested, for this cause He died. This cancellation, of doing away with the sins of the whole world, will progress as each shall recognize the Heavenly gift of forgiveness and obey the Government.
“The orthodox Jews, those who still hold to the teachings of the Law and the Prophets, and have faith in God, will be the first to receive the blessings of the New Age. ‘As concerning the Gospel they are enemies for your [the Church’s] sakes; but as touching the election [the natural election], they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.’ (Rom. 11:28) So, then, this condition of affliction in which the Jews have been throughout the Gospel Age, in addition to the overthrow of their nation in the year A.D. 70, has really been a favor from God. All the tribulation through which this people have passed during the entire ‘Seven Times’ of chastisement will be finally found to have been to their advantage, preparing them for the blessings of Messiah’s Kingdom. The Church will be the first in the Kingdom, natural Israel with the Ancient Worthies at the head will be the second. Subsequently all nations will come into Divine favor and blessing, becoming members of Israel. All will be blessed through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Question Book, pp. 357,358)
“Each consecrated believer should ask himself, How carefully have I studied that which I clearly recognize as Divine Truth? And how fully capable am I, therefore, of handling the sword of the spirit? Few indeed are those who can say they have fully digested and assimilated all they have received… that they have a ready answer - a ‘thus saith the Lord’ - for every man that asks them a reason for the hope that is in them, concerning any point of doctrine.”
(Reprint 3199, col. 1, bottom, and col. 2, top)
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) So long as we “contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints” we need not be ashamed.
(Excerpts from our paper No. 361, September 1985, pages 5,6 and 7)
We had hoped there would be no need for further refutation of the LHMM on their non-existent class of Consecrated Epiphany Campers after our refutation of Keturah’s Six Sons in our September 1992 paper. We are pleased to note that their magazines have been generally good with very little mention of Consecrated Epiphany Campers; and so far as we know, they have not published anything about their Consecrated Epiphany Campers superseding the Jews, until now. It has been reported that the LHMM is still teaching this error to their devotees, but we do not refute hearsay.
It is no pleasure to refute errors of the LHMM, as we have fond memories of this movement when Brother Johnson was with us. We do so because we believe there are good brethren who have been caught by the “snare of the fowler.” “The watchmen of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of God.” (Hosea 9:8) “Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.” (Psa. 124:7) But the Lord will surely deliver His people from the “snare of the fowler.” (Psa. 91:3)
We quote from the Bible Standard of March 1992, p. 22, col. 1, under TWO EARTHLY CLASSES: “The fifth order of Abraham’s seed is the quasi-elect, who for the most part are the faith-justified Gentiles and the Covenant-believing and justice-practicing Jews. The highest class among them is the Consecrated Epiphany Campers, as pictured by Keturah’s third son, Medan (many of them being pictured also in the Queen of Sheba).”
Since their May-June 1985 Present Truth they have added to Medan “the faith-justified Gentiles and the Covenant-believing and justice-practicing Jews.” But this addition doesn’t change their teaching that their Consecrated Epiphany Campers are first in the Kingdom after the Worthies and before the Jews, contrary to God’s promise “to the Jew first.”
In the LHMM’s efforts to prove that the Consecrated Epiphany Campers will supersede the Jews in the Kingdom, they are attempting to refute the teachings of That Servant, the Epiphany Messenger and the Apostle Paul. The Truth cannot be refuted. God’s Word is infallible. God’s Word tells us that we should “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3) We have no Scripture that tells us to “contend for the faith [what they teach] once delivered unto crown-losers.” That is what the LHMM is doing - contending for the teachings of a crown-loser; and this teaching disputes the “faith once delivered unto the saints” - the teaching of the Apostle Paul, That Servant, and the Epiphany Messenger who taught, “To the Jew first.”
It is our understanding that in their Special Effort toward the Jew, especially in Israel, they use Brother Russell’s teaching, “To the Jew first.” The Scriptures tell us to “comfort the Jew.” Brother Russell always gave a comforting message to the Jews, and reminded them of God’s promises to them that they would be first in the Kingdom; that when the New Covenant is inaugurated that all would have to become Israelites to get the blessings of the New Covenant. The Kingdom will be Israelitish, he said. We can find nothing in the Messengers’ writings that conflict with the Apostle Paul’s statement, “To the Jew first” - or even hints at such a preposterous thing. Of course, we know that faithful Gentiles, such as the quasi-elect, will join with the Jews in their missionary work after they become Israelites in the Kingdom under the New Covenant.
In the Kingdom The Christ will give the Law: “Out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:3) The Worthies will receive the Law from Zion and will give the “word of the Lord” to the Jew first. Does it comfort the Jews to tell them that God’s promises will go “to the Consecrated Epiphany Campers first?” We know the Jehovah’s Witnesses have cast out all God’s promises to the Jews and relegated them to themselves. Certainly, the LHMM hasn’t gone that far! Their message to the world about the coming Kingdom is to be commended, as it will be a solace to those who have an “ear to hear.” However, the LHMM’s Consecrated Epiphany Campers is a non-existent class the same as the Witnesses’ Great Crowd. Brother Johnson called the Great Crowd a non-existent class, and if he were here today he would call any consecrated class in the Camp non-existent. The only place one can consecrate is in the Court - the only place Christ’s merit can be obtained, just as both Messengers taught. But we should mention that a place in the tabernacle is a condition in antitype. Some who have made a consecration, supposedly in the Camp, and that consecration is accepted by our Lord, may already be in the Court condition if their hearts are pure.
As we have often pointed out: “A type must not be used to teach a doctrine, but merely to illustrate one that is already taught in plain terms.” (p. 25 of Berean Topical Index) There are no plain terms in the Bible for Consecrated Epiphany Campers, because it is a fractured type. No type can dispute the Apostle’s plain language, “To the Jew first.”
The LHMM is double-minded when they teach one thing to their devotees and another thing to the Jews. They teach their devotees that the Consecrated Epiphany Campers will be first in the Kingdom; and when speaking to the Jews they use Brother Russell’s teachings that they will be first in the Kingdom just as God promised, “To the Jew first.” “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8) Berean Comments on this text: “The Great Company class.” However, it applies to all who are unfaithful to their covenant. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands ye, sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” (James 4:8)
Another error that the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement teach is that there is no longer - since 1954 - an opportunity to be of the Youthful Worthy class. Both Messengers taught there would be opportunity for this unbegotten class to be rewarded in honor and service with the Ancient Worthies “until restitution sets in.” This is another teaching whereby the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement denies the “faith once delivered unto the saints.” The LHMM also teach we are in the “finished picture” of the Epiphany Age, and are now in the overlapping of the Epiphany into the Basileia since 1954. This is supposed to be a parallel of the Parousia over-lapping into the Epiphany for two and a half years. If they still teach that we are in the over-lapping, it is now in 2005, a period of 51 years, a longer period than the Epiphany proper of 40 years from 1914 to 1954. The Epiphany and the Time of Trouble are one and the same. When the Time of Trouble ends the Epiphany ends. But we are not yet in the severest events of the Time of Trouble.
If we would be faithful to the Lord, the Truth and the brethren, necessity is laid upon us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16) That Servant’s comments on Rom. 1:16, “To the Jew first” are: “God’s blessings of every kind begin with the Jew. He gave the Jew the first opportunity under the Abrahamic Covenant. And when it comes to the blessings of the New Covenant, the opportunity will come to the Jew first.” (Question Book, p. 165:2)
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) We earnestly hope and pray the LHMM will seek to be “approved unto God” by being faithful to “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
“NEW LIGHT” SINCE 1914
After That Servant’s demise in 1916 there was an epidemic of “New Light” emanating from the brethren of the Parousia Truth - primarily from the Society, who now call themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses.
At first J. F. Rutherford taught there would be a class of unbegotten consecrators to be won between the Ages - after the door to the High Calling closed, and “until restitution sets in.” He did this in harmony with Brother Russell’s teaching. He called this class Modern Worthies and we have no objection to that, but we call this class Youthful Worthies. We still believe and teach that this unbegotten class will be won “until restitution sets in.”
However, shortly thereafter JFR rejected this class and substituted a class of his own making - Jonadabs. But now we hear no more of the Jonadabs for it is replaced with a class known as the “Great Multitude,” their claim being that it is the call mentioned in Rev. 7:9 and 19:16. Prior to 1914 That Servant taught that this class is a spiritual class consecrated under the High Calling but not faithful enough to retain their standing with this Select Group. As they were not completely unfaithful, they did not merit the Second Death, so God provided a place for them to serve “before the throne” rather than on the throne as do the 144,000. The JWs have now discarded Brother Russell’s teaching on this as well as much more of his basic teaching, all the time still boasting that Brother Russell was the founder of their movement.
MORE “NEW LIGHT” SINCE 1954
It seems the LHMM is following the example of the JWs instead of “contending for the faith once delivered to the Saints. Shortly after the demise of the Epiphany Messenger in October 1950, the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement which was founded by Brother Johnson began to teach a “new” class who were to be won from 1954 “until restitution sets in.” This manufactured class would be in place of the Youthful Worthies who are to be won between the Ages from 1881 “until restitution sets in” as taught by That Servant and the Epiphany Messenger. The LHMM still present a non-existent class, called Consecrated Epiphany Campers, teaching that this class will supersede the Jews in the Kingdom arrangement. On page 37, col. 1 of their Summer 2004 Present Truth they cite E-12, page 185 as applying to their “new class.” However, if one reads it carefully it will be seen that Brother Johnson is here talking about the Jews as the “fifth order of the seed of Abraham.” The Epiphany Messenger often said, “The advancing Truth does not set aside the Truth formerly received as some deceivers teach.
Brother Johnson did not “see” a new class not already taught by That Servant. He just elaborated on the classes already set out in the Parousia teaching. None of the teaching of the two Messengers teach a consecrated class in the Epiphany Camp.
In their Summer 2004 issue of The Present Truth, page 37, col. 2, the LHMM repeats their assessment of the antitypes of Keturah’s sons, which is the same as what they had said in the May-June 1985 Present Truth, pp. 43,44. They set out Medan as the Consecrated Epiphany Campers - those who consecrate to God and are faithful in their consecration during the Epiphany and have the name “Campers.” But there cannot be any consecration in the Camp until the Basileia Camp is set up. They cite many quotations from The Epiphany Messenger, but in all of them, he says that the quasi-elect are the non-consecrated but faithful tentatively justified in the Epiphany camp. It would seem that they deliberately misuse or misinterpret their citations, but we prefer to think that they just do not understand what they read.
If we are faithful to the Truth, it is some times a lonely way but it is indeed a good way! All those who do so have the sure promise of God: “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” (Luke 21:15) So with the Apostle Paul, “I am set for the defence of the gospel” (Phil: 1:17) as we seek to deliver our brethren from the “snare of the fowler” (Psa. 91:3, 124:7; Hosea 9:8). “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.” (Isa. 62:10) Berean Comments: “‘Cast out the stones’ - the stumbling blocks, errors, etc.; ‘Lift up a standard’ - The standard of absolute holiness of heart, and as far as possible of conduct.”
(Brother John J. Hoefle, Reprint 436, September 1992, with additions)
GOD’S ECONOMICAL PLAN
Man has for six thousand years borne the penalty, “Dying thou shalt die” - the penalty which the Bible declares to be the wages of sin - death and all the weaknesses and depravities of mind and of body which are its accompaniments. But God purposes that all shall have a full opportunity of recovery from this condition of sin and death; and the provision for man’s recovery has been made in Christ. This provision is the most economical one that could have been arranged. If a thousand perfect men had sinned, it would have required a thousand perfect men to redeem them - one redeemer for each sinner. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” a man’s life for a man’s life, is the requirement of God’s law (Ex. 21:23-25; Deut. 19:21).
Before the creation of our first parents God had arranged that only one man should have the opportunity to fall and to be sentenced to death, that thus only one man would be required as a Redeemer. This Divine arrangement was most economical because it will bring all the masses of humanity back to life at the cost of but one human life as the redemption-price. No fallen man could be a ransom, a corresponding price, for the perfect man Adam. Therefore God purposed from the very beginning that His only begotten Son, the firstborn of all creation, should become man’s Redeemer and that in order to become the Redeemer He should become a man.
The death of an angel could not have redeemed man. Divine justice required that a perfect human life must be given for a perfect human life. And God, knowing all this, sent His Son to carry out His great plan of human redemption and restitution. Neither was there anything unkind or unjust to His Son in this, although for the Almighty to have forced the matter upon His Son would have been an injustice; and God could not be guilty of injustice.
Thus the Scriptures inform us that the coming of the Logos into the world was a voluntary matter. He did this “for the joy that was set before him,” by the Almighty. The Father set before the Son that if He would suffer the ignominy of the transference of His being from the higher plane to a lower, a human plane, in order that He might redeem the lost race of Adam, He should be highly exalted, next to Jehovah; He should be made a partaker of Jehovah’s nature - the Divine nature. All this was the inspiration of our Lord’s course - the joy of doing the Father’s will and of having His approval; the joy of restoring mankind and of being exalted to His Father’s glorious nature. He who thus humbled himself to become a man and die the ignominious death of the cross, has indeed been highly exalted as promised, and has sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb. 1:3).
(Pastor Russell, Reprint 5429, 5430, April 1, 1914)
We’ve been watching, we’ve been waiting,
For the star that brings the day;
For the night of sin to vanish,
And the mists to roll away.
We’ve been watching, we’ve been waiting,
For the beauteous King of day,
For the chiefest of ten thousand,
For the Light, the Truth, the Way.
We begin to see the dawning
Of the bright Millennial day;
Soon the shadows, weary shadows,
Shall forever pass away.
The beam that shines from Zion’s hill
Shall lighten every land;
The King who reigns in Salem’s tow’rs
Shall all the world command.