Reprint Of Excerpts ‑ No. 239, May 1975 Paper
On pp. 11‑15 of the Jan.‑Feb. Present Truth there is another strenuous effort by RGJ to uphold his errors concerning Cornelius, the same being copiously marked with his usual diatribe against us. .............
The paper under review makes quite some ado about the sixteen references from Brother Russell that he cited in the July‑August 1974 PT; and he contends that all these references support his error that Cornelius was not “repentant and believing” before Peter visited him. But in every one of these references That Servant corroborates his teaching we presented from Reprint 1922, which RGJ contends is error. We shall subsequently prove our contention is correct when we quote these references, together with others. We contend that all Brother Russell’s articles – written before and after the articles in Reprint 1922 – are in harmony with the Truth that Cornelius was “repentant and believing” before Peter’s visit – and not only was he “repentant and believing,” but also his “consecration was of years’ standing before Peter arrived.”
In E‑10:209 is a statement that the Epiphany Messenger never set aside, or modified in any way, although RGJ now sets this teaching aside: “The Epiphany Camp in the finished picture is the condition of truly repentant and believing, but not consecrated Jews and Gentiles.” This statement is conveniently ignored by RGJ, but this one item alone is sufficient to answer all his contentions.
The real crux of this difference between us is whether or not Cornelius was “repentant and believing” before Peter visited him. While Brother Russell states quite clearly that Cornelius was also consecrated, we do not stress that point – other than to say that we do not know the degree of his consecration, even if we accept Brother Russell’s statement ‑ nor is it necessary that we do. Our readers know from their own experience, and from observing others, that the depth of consecration increases with all the faithful – and especially is this true of the fully faithful leaders in the Church.
Also all crown‑losers violate their consecration vows, even as they do violence to their justification. And this is clearly manifest by RGJ’s gross revolutionism against justification – and now becoming unclear on consecration as related to the “repentant and believing.” As stated in E‑15:517, Their new spiritual wills are undermined, “then it more or less blunted the keen edge of their new minds by dulling the spiritual perceptive, remembering and reasoning powers, which made them susceptible to accept error in place of formerly held Truth, and to add error to the Truth already had and kept.” ....
“Their errors of head certainly partially undermine their faith .... Moreover, they make them more or less bitterly partisan against the faithful for their opposing their wrong course, whereas they should love and appreciate them all the more for their efforts to rescue them from the snares of Satan.” E‑15:521
And to such God sends “an energy of delusion” (2 Thes. 2:11) to their believing the falsehood; and this has been glaringly apparent with RGJ since his abandonment in 1950 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Tim. 3:12, 13) The Berean Comments on v. 13 are to the point: “Seducers – Leaders astray from the Truth; Worse and worse – That rapidly increasing class that will no longer endure sound doctrine.”
The Centurion: It is contended that Cornelius did not know what to do before Peter came to him, which is correct; but we would add here that Peter himself – an inspired Apostle – did not know what to do until the Lord taught him what to do. Would any one contend that Peter was not “repentant and believing” because he was ignorant of the Gospel now going to the Gentiles? (p. 2, par. 4)
The question may be asked, If Cornelius had such “great faith,” why did he not become a proselyte Jew, as Nicolas had done? (Acts 6:5) It is recorded in Luke 7:5 that “he loves our nation, and he built our synagogue.” Thus it is apparent that he was a man of considerable wealth and fine intellect – not just an ordinary man; and he no doubt had embraced Judaism in some considerable degree. Therefore, it may be assumed that he was much disturbed by the contention among the Jews themselves about Jesus; and this probably would cause him to proceed cautiously, seeking guidance from the Lord, as recorded in Acts 10:30. (p. 2, par. 6 and top of p. 3)
Some of our readers will recall that Brother Russell had said he could not remember the time that he was not consecrated to do God’s will. Yet he had more or less abandoned the Bible because of the erroneous creeds, all of whom claimed to secure their teaching from that Book. But it should not require argument that his consecration became much deeper and more compelling after he had come to understand Leviticus Sixteen and the Two Salvations. (p. 3, par. 1)
THOSE SIXTEEN REFERENCES
The first one of these that we now quote is from Reprints 5834, col. 2, par. 5: “In the case of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, which we have cited in this article, we have seen that he was a just man, a good man. But he did not belong to the Jewish nation, to whom God had given His law. The only way in which Cornelius could have come into God’s favor prior to his appointed time – three and a half years after the cross – was to have become a Jewish proselyte. But when it became chronologically due time for the Gospel to go to the Gentiles, this good man was notified, and gladly accepted the conditions and became a son of God, through faith in Christ. He received the begetting and anointing of the Holy Spirit, just as the Jews had previously received them. All this shows us that God has a particular course marked out by which any may become His children. Unless they come in the appropriate way and in the appropriate time, none will be accepted as sons of the highest.” (p. 3, par. 2)
Certainly, there is nothing in the foregoing to indicate Brother Russell thought Cornelius was not “repentant and believing”; rather, it adds support to the fact that he was. For the Gospel Age, “repentant and believing” puts one in a position to enter the antitypical Court condition – which is Tentative Justification. But there has never been any justification for this Faith Age outside that Court; and Cornelius could not enter that condition until the way was opened for him to do it. Therefore, there can be no consecration acceptable to God until a person enters the Court condition. But one can be “repentant and believing” before entering the Court condition. (p. 3, par. 3)
There are two parts to consecration: (1) The offer by the person, and (2) God’s acceptance of that offer. Such offers are never accepted until the “due time.” In the case of the Apostles and the 500 in the upper room, they could not receive the Holy Spirit until the “due time,” although they all were undoubtedly consecrated to the extent they understood the matter; but this understanding was very meager until they were fully enlightened – they understood very little of the great “Plan of the Ages.” (p. 3, par. 4)
RGJ’s reference to Reprints 5833, par. 2, follows: “The angel of the Lord said to Cornelius: ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter, who shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.’ (Acts 11:13, 14) Those words were necessary to his saving – to the bringing of him into covenant relationship with God. Cornelius, being obedient (“repentant and believing” – JJH) sent for Simon Peter, who gave him the necessary instruction for drawing nigh unto God through Jesus. And unless we come to the Father through Christ, our prayers would not be received any more than those of Cornelius had been.” We stress once more that Cornelius – no matter how much he believed in Jesus – could not come through “the door” (Christ) until that “door” was opened to the Gentiles – regardless of what a noble character he may have been. Even though he was “repentant and believing,” the “gate” (Christ – “I am the way”) to the Court had not yet opened for the Gentiles. P. 3, par. 6 and top of p. 4)
Then there is this in the next paragraph, same page: “When Cornelius heard the good message, he believed with all his heart; and likewise those who were with him. Doubtless he had heard of Jesus before, but now he understood the matter. He had been in the right condition of heart all along. (There is only one right condition of heart – that is, “repentant and believing.” – JJH) He had been praying and fasting. But even so he could not be accepted of God except through Jesus. He must have Christ as his advocate.” (p. 4, par. 1)
Another citation is from Reprints 5832, last par.: “The Gentiles were altogether without God. They had no privilege of prayer. We come down to the beginning of the Gospel Age and to the case of Cornelius. We read that he was a just man, who gave much alms to the people and prayed always. But his prayers could not be accepted, even after Jesus died. The death of Jesus did not bring Cornelius into covenant relationship with God. But when the seventy symbolic weeks of Jewish favor had been fulfilled, the due time had come for the Gospel to go to the Gentiles. God was then ready to receive him, and He sent an angel to him, who gave him this message from the Lord: ‘Cornelius, thy prayers and thine alms have come up for a memorial before God.’ The prayers and the alms of Cornelius had risen up as an incense before the Lord.”
And likewise it will be the same for those who failed to consecrate in the Court, and those who become “repentant and believing” in the “finished picture” of the Camp – their “prayers and alms” will come up for a memorial before God in their “due time.” All who fail to consecrate while in the Court condition (which is Tentative Justification) will “cease altogether to be of the Household of Faith.” (E‑4:406) However, to such the text applies: “Seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” (Zeph. 2:3) (p. 4, par. 2)
A further reference from Reprints 5200, col. 2, bottom: “Cornelius was a man who sought harmony with God (Would this not make him “repentant and believing?” – JJH). Although he prayed for years and gave much alms, yet his prayers and alms did not come up before God until an appropriate time – not until Jesus had died and ascended up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us. (Acts 10:1, 2, 4; Heb. 9:24) Three and a half years after the cross, at the end of time of special favor to the Jews, this man’s prayers and alms came up before God as a memorial.” (Would God keep any one’s prayers as a memorial, if that man wasn’t “repentant and believing”?) (p. 4, par. 4)
Here we digress just a little to quote the last paragraph on the same page of Reprint 5101, of this article entitled “TO THE JEW FIRST”: “Nevertheless the Scriptures most clearly declare that the natural seed of Abraham, the Jews, are still heirs of a certain promise of God, which in due time will come to them. To their nation will come the great privilege of being the foremost nation amongst men during Messiah’s glorious reign, when the church glorified, spiritualized, will be with Him in His throne ....... St. Paul thus explains that the full number, to complete the elect kingdom class, must be first found among the Gentiles, and then, .... natural Israel will obtain the great earthly blessings which are still theirs and which were promised to their fathers ..... ‘They shall obtain mercy through your mercy.’ – Rom. 11:25‑34.” (p. 4, par. 6, and top of P. 5)
The above is corroborated in E‑15:550, bottom and p. 551, top: “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 Palestine.” (p. 5, par. 1)
But we are persuaded by the sound logic in E‑11:664: “He who corrects a wrongdoing leader will later obtain more consideration that a deceitful flatterer.” “It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.” (Prov. 21:15)
Space will not permit reprinting the whole article of No. 239, as we want to publish
EXCERPTS FROM NO. 241, JULY 1975 PAPER
In our May paper No. 239 we offered extended analysis on Cornelius and his condition before Peter’s visit; but time and space did not allow us the detail that the subject required. Thus, we now offer further comment in refutation of what is presented in the Jan.‑Feb. PT, pp. 11‑15. For the benefit of our readers who no longer read the PT we now quote the opening paragraph on p. 11 of this paper, under the heading of “Tentative Justification & Cornelius’ Standing”.:
“It is saddening to see what length persistent errorist will go to uphold their errors – how with cleverly worded sophistry (such as we quoted from that Servant! – JJH) they will twist, misrepresent and disparage in order to evade the Truth and uphold their errors, how they will misuse and even fight against plain statements of Scriptures in order to do so.”
We have quoted this statement by RGJ because we shall now offer further proof that he was there describing himself. The Truth is that the standing of Cornelius would be no issue with RGJ if it did not impinge against his Campers Consecrated. He is now so enmeshed in this quagmire of error that he is forced to set aside one fundamental doctrine after another – doctrines that dispute his contentions concerning his Campers Consecrated.
On p. 15, col. 2, par. 4, there is this: “Bro. Russell’s many and oft‑repeated statements to the effect that Cornelius was not yet a believer in Christ as his Savior when Peter came and told him the saving words.” We ask him now to cite just one of those “oft‑repeated statements” by Brother Russell that would set aside the fact that Cornelius was “repentant and believing” before Peter’s visit. We have quoted from Brother Russell that Cornelius was consecrated of years’ standing, and that he was a just and devout man. However, while we are waiting for RGJ to find the one statement from Brother Russell that supports his error, we now offer a quotation from Reprint 2988, col. 2, 1ast paragraph onward, that clearly contradicts what RGJ is trying to have his readers believe:
“Cornelius, the centurion, whose acceptance with God is the subject of this lesson, was evidently converted to God and to righteousness years prior to this incident (Peter’s visit as described in Acts 10:34‑44 – JJH). This is the testimony; he was a worshiper of God, a benevolent alms‑giver, and his love of righteousness and his consistent Life were recognized amongst those with whom he had to do; yet, nevertheless, something was necessary before he could be accepted by God in the proper sense of that word. (He must await his “due time” – JJH.) There is a lesson here for those who imagine reverence of God and morality are all that is necessary to Divine acceptance. As Cornelius had these qualities in large measure before his acceptance, the Lord’s dealing with him may well be a guide for all others who desire to approach Him in covenant relationship.
“Although devout, etc., as we have seen, Cornelius was not a Jew; and realized himself to be outside the pale of special Divine favor. (Like Peter, he had to be instructed by the Lord how he, a Gentile, could receive this favor – JJH.) Still he prayed to God .. for enlightenment respecting the Divine character and plan ... Cornelius needed to know of the Lord Jesus from the true standpoint; he must exercise faith in Him as his redeemer, before the memorials of his piety would count for anything with God ..... (Self‑evidently, he was a worshiper of the God of Israel, and no doubt had a great respect for the followers of Jesus, who had accepted Him as their Messiah – JJH)
“Evidently Cornelius was full of faith in the Lord ... He did not wait to see if Peter would come; he knew that he would come; he had faith (belief – JJH) in the Lord’s promise through the angel: Accordingly he gathered together his friends and relatives and household – those upon whom he had been exercising an influence, and who, like himself were pious (“repentant and believing” – JJH) and earnestly desirous of knowing all that they might learn concerning the way of life ... (It seems they were in the proper condition of heart for a full commitment to the Lord sometime before their “due time” for God’s acceptance – but the “way” was not opened for them until the 3 1/2 years of special favor to individual Jews had expired – JJH)
“Meantime, Peter, with all the prejudices belonging to the Jews for centuries, needed to be prepared to receive this first out‑and‑out Gentile brought into the Church. (It would seem that Peter was at least as ignorant of what was to be done as was Cornelius – JJH)
“Peter’s message, ‘words,’ explaining matters, enabled Cornelius and his household to grasp by faith (emphasis by Brother Russell) the great redemption which is in Christ Jesus ... Saved at once from alienation from God and from condemnation, as sinners....
“Having called for an expression from those present – especially from the brethren who accompanied him from Joppa – to know if any objection could be thought of why these dear brethren, who had believed in the Lord, who had given evidence of their consecration and good works, even before they knew of the Lord and His glorious plan, and who had now been accepted of God, and his acceptance manifested – why these should not be admitted to every blessing and arrangement which God had provided for His faithful ones – irrespective of their being Gentiles by birth.”
Cornelius was a worshiper of Israel’s God, so the question might arise, Why didn’t he become a proselyte Jew if he desired to be in covenant relationship with God? Cornelius was well acquainted with the Jewish religion, otherwise he wouldn’t have been worshiping Israel’s God. But there was a dissension among the Jews – a few Israelites indeed accepted Jesus as their Messiah, but the majority didn’t accept Him. Some who didn’t become His followers referred to Him as the Messiah (even Josephus referred to Jesus in his history as the Messiah); but the “due time” had not come for Cornelius to understand this fully. Thus, he was overjoyed when the angel visited him; and, as That Servant has aptly stated, Cornelius had sufficient faith to know that Peter would come – just as the angel had told him. And so it was with Peter – he, too, when properly instructed, had sufficient faith to do what he was told, even tho, hitherto, he was prejudiced the same as other Jews.
Be it noted that the quotation from Reprint 2988 is four years later than Reprint 1922 – the latter being the one that RGJ contends is the only place where That Servant made a mistake about Cornelius. He tells us that anytime before and after the article in Reprint 1922, Brother Russell supports his contention, that Cornelius was not “repentant and believing” before Peter’s visit. but note in the above quotation That Servant tells us that Cornelius had been converted to God and to righteousness years prior to Peter’s visit to him.
It is quite clear from That Servant’s teaching and from the Scriptures, that Cornelius was a righteous and God‑fearing man years prior to Peter’s visit. He had done all that he could – had witnessed a good confession of his faith in the God of Israel to his household and friends, and had influenced them to do likewise. Conversion is a much more comprehensive and potent word than repentance. One cannot be converted until he is repentant. Self‑evidently, therefore, Cornelius had to be repentant if he had been converted; and this illustrates just one more Truth that RGJ has Lost, or never clearly understood. In support of this conclusion we now quote from E‑6:232:
“The word repentance means much more than a change from wrong to right knowledge as to one’s moral state. It means not only a change from a wrong to a correct knowledge as to sin and righteousness, but also a change of disposition from a love of, and pleasure in sin to a sorrow for, and a hatred and abandonment of sin, and also from hatred and avoidance of righteousness to a love and practice of righteousness. Anything short of this is not a Biblical repentance.”
It is indisputable that Cornelius had Biblical repentance as described above by the Epiphany Messenger. And we now quote further from E‑6:233: “Revivalists make conversion consist of ‘repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.’ Conversion, as the Bible teaches, is the entire process of turning from depravity into the image of God, and is a lifelong work. JFR has not only forsaken the Truth definition of conversion (Berean Comments Acts 3:19), but has fallen into deeper error on the subject than has the nominal Church.”
St. Peter’s statement in Acts 3:19 – “repent and be converted” – is definitely to the point that repentance must first come before any real conversion is accomplished; and, when RGJ sets this clear teaching aside, it is ample evidence that he now has the same teacher as did JFR, and that he is still in the clutches of Azazel – “deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Tim. 3:13)
Let us here stress the reason that RGJ has “turned his ears away from the Truth, and has turned to fables” (2 Tim. 4:4): It is his persistent effort to substantiate his delusion about Campers Consecrated by attempting to see types that support his error. In his letter published in the Nov. 15, 1910 Watch Tower he admits his “besetting sin” in this respect, in which he says: “My faculty for seeing pictures and types became so developed that my eye would skim over a chapter, jumping at a chance picture here and there, and missing nearly all the original meaning and proper application of the text. The Bible I loved was thus becoming quite barren to me in respect to its intended use. ... I was enjoying it more as one would enjoy a picture book of ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales’ ... Finally I came to the point where it became quite difficult for me to distinguish between truth and error; and I was in danger of losing my appreciation of the truth and devoting myself to the fanciful.”
And it is tragic to note that after all these years he is yet in the same condition: it is quite difficult for him to “distinguish between truth and error”; otherwise he would not have referred to statements of That Servant regarding Cornelius to support his error, when those statements annihilate his position instead of supporting him. He must have been too busy in 1910 with his own imagination to take sober note of the following statement in Parousia Vol. 2, pp. 173, 174:
“But in considering types, we should carefully avoid the error of many well‑meaning people, who, when they begin to see there are significant types in the Scriptures, run to the extreme of treating every Bible character and incident as typical (as does RGJ when he thinks he finds support for his Campers Consecrated – such as the Hill Ophel, his Nethinim, etc. – JJH), and are thus led into error by curiosity and ingenuity.”
In our previous statements we quoted from That Servant that Cornelius’ consecration and conversion were of years’ standing. So in his opinion Cornelius was more than “repentant and believing,” even though God would not deal with him until the “due time.” It is elementary that repentance must precede consecration and conversion – and we observe that Jesus was also consecrated from boyhood, as is shown by his statement at the age of twelve: “Wrist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business,” (Luke 2:49) However, the Father’s business for Him actually began when Jesus had become thirty years of age, and presented Himself at Jordan. Much the same can be said about the Prophet Samuel, who became “judge” in Israel only after he had reached maturity, but he was consecrated from birth; and the same can be said of Brother Russell. RGJ’s teachings clearly reveal him as a “foolish” virgin and “the unprofitable servant” of Matt. 25:30 (see Berean Comment), who has “Built his house upon the sand.” (Matt. 7:26) And the “house built upon the sand” will fall in due time – “and great will be the fall of it.”
The question properly arises: Why all this uproar about Cornelius? The answer is that it is due to RGJ’s errant nonsense concerning his Campers consecrated. After the door to the Court is closed those in the Camp are in the same relevant position as was Cornelius before the 3 1/2 years of special Jewish favor had expired after Jesus’ death. God could not accept the consecration of Cornelius until the “due time”; and it is not now the “due time” for God to accept Restitutionists’ consecration – nor will it be due time for God to accept such consecrations until the end of the Millennium when the Restitutionists wills have become perfect.
Just as in the case of Cornelius, God was mindful of his piety, and kept his prayers in remembrance, the Mediator is also mindful of the piety of the “repentant and believing” in the Camp after the door to the Court is closed, and their prayers will be held in remembrance until their “due time” for acceptance when the New Covenant is inaugurated. And, if Cod will have nothing to do with Restitutionists during the Mediatorial reign, certainly He will have nothing to do with them now! God and Jesus both deal with the elect during the Faith Age; but The Mediator only will deal with the Restitutionists during the Mediatorial reign – although in full accord with God’s will and arrangement. This is elementary – something all the babes learned who came into Present Truth; and is in full harmony with the teaching of both Messengers – the “faith once delivered unto the saints.”
The nominal church teaches only one salvation – a salvation which can be gained only during this “present evil world.” However, the Bible teaches Two Distinct Salvations – one for the elect during the Faith Age (this “present evil world”), and one for the non‑elect during the Works Age (the “world to come”). Apparently RGJ is not clear on this teaching – otherwise he would not be so confused in his statements. He became confused when he produced his non‑existent class of Campers Consecrated, just as JFR became confused when he produced his non‑existent class of Jonadabs (now called the Great Crowd of Rev. 7:9). Of course, such monstrosity has caused both of them to pervert or reject other important Truths in their desperate effort to uphold their errors. That is why he is now presenting such “foolishness” about Cornelius and a “narrow way” in the Camp, which is simply a weird innovation – the invention of RGJ.
Neither Messenger ever hinted at such a situation; none of us ever heard of it until RGJ “discovered” it. The Berean Comment on 2 Tim. 3:13 well applies to him: “Being deceived ... Becoming more firmly entrenched in the snares of their own weaving, so as to make it impossible to extricate them.” God will send to such “an energy of delusion” (2 Thes. 2:11, Dia.); and the Berean Comment on that text: “Great delusions are just before us, and some of these may come closest upon those possessing the most light of Present Truth.” Certainly RGJ had more opportunity than any of the crown‑losers for “possessing the most light of Present Truth”; and when he was under the benevolent influence of the Epiphany Messenger he was very vigorous and effective in combating the very errors he himself is now presenting. He was quite courageous and unafraid of the errorists at that time – because he had the Truth’ “How are the mighty fallen”’ (2 Sam. 1:19) In his present course he is manifesting an excellent antitype of King Saul; but we hope he may yet extricate himself, and not have an ending similar to that of King Saul
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31‑32)
NOTE: The above articles, Nos. 234 and 241, are reproduced to prove that Brother Hoefle’s only contention with RGJ was that Cornelius was “repentant and believing” before the Apostle Peter’s visit to his home. Brother Hoefle quotes That Servant who taught that Cornelius was converted and consecrated.
RGJ could not dispute that Brother Russell taught that Cornelius was converted and consecrated of years’ standing, so he came out with the following statement: “It is obvious, however, that what Brother Russell calls ‘his (Cornelius’) consecration of years’ standing’ was not a full consecration, but instead a consecration in a rather accommodated sense, a kind of consecration in which he was devout, reverenced God, prayed to Him and gave alms to the people (Acts 10:1,2).”
In RGJ’s watered‑down opinion of consecration as Brother Russell stated, he says that Cornelius was devout, reverenced God, prayed to Him. What more could any one do to be “repentant‑and believing”? God would not have held Cornelius’ prayers in remembrance had he not been “repentant and believing.” (See Brother Hoefle’s teaching on consecration – p. 1, par. 2; and p. 2, pars. 3 and 6 of this paper,)
However, Brother Johnson said that when he had a different opinion to Brother Russell’s opinion, he always accepted Brother Russell’s opinion if neither was substantiated by a Scripture. This is a wise course for all the Lord’s people.
It should be noted that God dealt with Cornelius in vision (Acts 10:3,4) before Cornelius saw Peter. It was on the morrow (Acts 10:9) that Peter “saw the heaven opened.” (Acts 10:11) Also, since Cornelius and those with him received the Holy Spirit while Peter was yet speaking (Acts 10:44), this May have caused That Servant to believe that Cornelius was consecrated before that time. Acts 10:2 describes Cornelius as a “devout man, one that feared God with all his house, ... and prayed to God always” no doubt persuaded Brother Russell to believe that he was consecrated of years’ standing. Too, That Servant stated that he believed that the same centurion who came to Jesus beseeching Him to heal his servant (Matt. 8:5‑9) was Cornelius. He couldn’t believe there were two centurions of such faith. Self‑evidently, the centurion had faith in Jesus! Jesus said of him, “Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” (Matt. 8:10) It seems reasonable that our Lord would have chosen the centurion whose servant He healed to be the first Gentile to receive the Holy Spirit when the door was opened for the Gentiles.
August Gohlke stated in the May‑June 1984 PT, p. 43, col. 1, par. 4: “He (meaning JJH) contended that Cornelius was fully consecrated before the Apostle Peter came to his home (Acts 10).” Brother Hoefle did not contend that Cornelius was fully consecrated, or that he was consecrated in any degree. Brother Hoefle had no reason for contending Cornelius was fully consecrated. His only contention with RGJ was that Cornelius was “repentant and believing,” the same as the condition of the Epiphany Campers – including RGJ’s Campers Consecrated. However, he quoted Brother Russell’s teaching about Cornelius. If Cornelius was consecrated in any degree, he had to be “repentant and believing.
God hates a lying tongue! “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him.” (Prov. 6:16) And v. 17, the second of the seven things that God hates is “a LYING TONGUE.”
It is only reasonable to conclude that Gohlke wrote this article after he was notified that Brother Hoefle had finished his course. So he must have felt free to misrepresent Brother Hoefle, as well as Brothers Russell and Johnson. However, “their works do follow them.” Brother Hoefle being dead yet speaketh.
Even though some of the Campers may be consecrated, God does not accept the consecration of Restitutionists – not now or in the Kingdom. God will no doubt hold such faithful consecrations in remembrance, as He did for Cornelius. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Prov. 15:3) God will not accept consecrations of Campers until they have become perfect – at the end of the Kingdom. Jesus and the Church will have complete charge of all Restitutionists in the Kingdom, and will accept the consecrations of Restitutionists when the New Covenant is inaugurated.
The Kingdom will be Israelitish, just as That Servant taught, and all who receive the blessings of the New Covenant will have to become Israelites – not Epiphany Camperites! It was the same under the Mosaic Law – any Gentile that wanted to receive the blessings of the Law Covenant had to become proselyte Jews, There are TWO DISTINCT SALVATIONS, which cannot be mixed – the elect salvation for the Gospel Age and the salvation of the Millennial Age for all Restitutionists. There is no way open during the Gospel Age for Restitutionists to consecrate. Their “way” is the Highway of Holiness (Isa. 35:8), which will not be opened until the New Covenant is inaugurated. The Jehovah’s Witnesses “Great Crowd” and RGJ’s Campers Consecrated are non‑existent classes.
Another misleading statement by AG, p. 41, col. 1, pars. 4 and 5, is his heading in big letters, “ERRORIST DENY TENTATIVE JUSTIFICATION,” while in small letters underneath this heading he says, “a bold denial of tentative justification as operative in the Epiphany Camp.”
All God’s faithful people who continue in the Truth as taught by the two Messengers on tentative justification “boldly deny tentative justification as operative in the Epiphany Camp, RGJ taught the Truth on Tentative Justification when under the benevolent influence of the Epiphany Messenger. August Gohlke is teaching error he inherited from a self‑confessed crown‑loser – who was ejected from the Holy and befuddled by Azazel – rather than the Truth “once delivered unto the saints” taught by the two Messengers.
On p. 43, last paragraph and top of p. 44, August Gohlke cites from the Epiphany Messenger in P. 47, p. 52, col. 2, the heading being “SOME OBJECTIONS TO THERE BEING A YOUTHFUL WORTHY CLASS EXAMINED.” This article was solely written to refute a brother in England who refused to accept a Youthful Worthy class. He cites from this article to prove the Epiphany Messenger supports his Consecrated Epiphany Camper’s error: “All the Gospel‑Age consecrated (‘this would include the Consecrated Epiphany Campers,’ August Gohlke inserts) as real law‑fulfillers through Christ’s righteousness (Rom. 10:4) are By God counted Israelites, regardless of whether their flesh is Jewish or Gentile (emphasis by AG), while the unconsecrated are the Gospel‑Age Gentiles (Rev. 2:9; 3:9; 11:2).”
All the Gospel‑Age Gentiles who consecrate are in the Court. Now a quotation from that same article, p. 54, col. 2, par. 2 will prove that Brother Johnson refers to the Saints and Levites as the “Gospel‑Age consecrated”:
“2 Tim. 2:20: ‘In a great house (the house of Jesus as Aaron’s antitype, the latter being the head, first of the tribe of Levi (Num. 17:3), and secondly of all Israel as their high priest) there are not only vessels of gold (Little Flock) and of silver (Great Company), but also of wood (Ancient Worthies) and of earth (Youthful Worthies).’ Thus here Jesus is spoken of not only as the head of the under priests, but also of the three groups of eventual Gospel‑Age and Millennial‑Age Levites. Please note how the word and is used to connect the last part of the verse with the preceding part – and, additionally, to the under priests and the three sets of eventual Levites there will also be in Jesus’ great house two other classes; and some to honor (the faithful Restitutionists), and some to dishonor (the Millennial unfaithful, second‑deathers). By implication Gal. 3:7 teaches that the Youthful Worthies as Abraham’s children are a class; for they are a faith class. Likewise v. 9 implies the Youthful Worthies as Being Abraham’s associates in blessing received and given; for being of (a) faith (class), they are blessed with faithful Abraham. Rom. 2:26‑29 implies them as a class; for they are consecrated. Finally, of New Testament passages Rev. 20:9 refers to the Youthful Worthies as the camp of the saints, and to the Ancient Worthies as the beloved city.”
August Gohlke again misrepresents Brother Johnson’s teaching. It is clear to any one of a “sound mind” that Brother Johnson in this article referred to Priests and Levites when he said “All the Gospel‑Age consecrated.” He makes this very clear in his explanation of the and. The Epiphany Campers are included in the Millennial Age picture of “some to honor.” This would include the JW’s “Great Crowd” as well as the Campers Consecrated – all those who are “repentant and believing,” and seek meekness and righteousness.” (Zeph. 2:3) They will be privileged to share with the Jews in their missionary work as they become Jews. All will have to become Jews if they get the blessings of the New Covenant. However, God’s promises to natural Jews is sure – they will be “first and chief.” Those who teach differently are “deceiving and being deceived.”
Brother Johnson gives a Fourfold Tabernacle picture; (1) the Gospel‑Age picture, including the Epiphany up to the finished picture; (2) the finished picture of the Epiphany; (3) the Millennial‑Age picture; (4) the Post‑Millennial‑Age picture. The Gospel‑Age Camp picture contains the nominal people of God, while the Epiphany Camp finished picture contains the “repentant and believing” Jews and Gentiles, but not consecrated. Does the LHMM teach there are five Tabernacle pictures, If not, which picture do they use for their Consecrated Epiphany Campers – the Gospel‑Age picture or the finished picture of the Epiphany? Either one has no place for Consecrated Epiphany Campers.
August Gohlke’s article is polluted with errors that his predecessor taught him – errors: on the Tabernacle, Tentative Justification, Those Consecrating Between the Ages, To The Jew First, etc. We have articles that will refute all his errors, which will be reproduced, D.v., as occasion demands. For now, however, Brother Hoefle’s paper, No. 212, Feb. 1, 1973, p. 8, pars. 6, 7 and 8, is pertinent to the subjects herein discussed, which we reproduce as follows:
We now quote what the two Messengers taught us about the Jews: “The New Covenant is not to be made with any other than the Jews, for no others were in Covenant relationship with God. The words ‘New Covenant’ seem, therefore, to indicate the repetition of God’s favor to Israel under the better Mediator.” (Question Book, p. 205 – No. 212, p. 8, par. 6)
“Having seen so many features of God’s plan successfully carried out by God’s zeal, he has the full assurance of faith that the unfulfilled parts as due will be zealously carried out by God ... He confidently looks for the zeal of God to establish God’s Kingdom at the hand of His Elect under Christ, on the ruins of Satan’s Empire, to offer the Kingdom blessings, first to the living Jews, then to the Gentiles. (E‑1:302 – No. 212, p. 8, par. 5)
“So the Millennial favors will be to the Jews first, even as by reason of the Covenants, etc., the Gospel favors were offered to them first. And so it shall be finally as Simeon prophesied: ‘This child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel.’ And the time for raising up that nation, so long fallen from favor, is at hand.” (Parousia Vol. 3, p. 256 – No. 212, p. 8, par. 8)
We will now reproduce a Question and Answer from Brother Hoefle’s paper No. 311, May 1981, pp. 7 and 8:
QUESTION: – Would you please give your comments on “A Reply to Attacks on Tabernacle Truth” in the January‑February 1981 PT, pp. 11‑14?
ANSWER: – At first we thought to ignore August Gohlke’s attempt to substantiate his errors on Tentative Justification, Campers Consecrated, etc., since we have ably refuted these errors in our past papers. AG is simply repeating the errors he learned from RGJ. However, since some of our readers would like to have our comments, we will give them as briefly as possible.
On p. 12, col. 1, par. 6, AG says we (JJH) “follow a course similar to JFR.” JFR made a total denial of Tentative Justification, saying it was not taught in the Bible, AG knows that we have defended Tentative Justification and upheld it as taught by That Servant and the Epiphany Messenger, so he makes this statement knowing it to be a false and slanderous accusation. We have repeatedly cited Rom. 4:9‑11 in proof of Tentative Justification, just as did the Epiphany Messenger in refuting JFR’s error. To refresh AG’s memory we are sending him our September 1976 article, No. 255, “Justification in This Age and in the Next Age.” Copy of this issue will be gladly sent free to any who request it.
AG cites E‑10:209 in proof of his contention, just as other errorists have done – cite Scriptures and quotations that refute their errors. And this very citation by AG should be one Epiphany Truth that he should shun, in view of the perversion of Tentative Justification and consecration the LHMM upholds. In E‑10:209 it is stated that “in the finished picture the Epiphany Camp will consist of the repentant and believing unconsecrated Jews and Gentiles.” We accept this Epiphany Truth, “knowing of whom we have learned it.” (2 Tim. 3:14) AG should make it clear whether he teaches we are in the “Finished picture” of the Epiphany or whether we are not Either way he chooses, according to the teaching of the Epiphany Messenger, the LHMM has been teaching gross error since 1954. If we are in the “finished picture,” then the Camp now contains only the “repentant and believing” UNCONSECRATED Jews and Gentiles; and if we are not, then the gate to the‑Court is still open, and Youthful Worthiship is available.
Brother Johnson often stressed that only thee Star Members (God’s special Mouthpieces) could bring forth a new doctrine – that others attempting to do this would bring out error; but that didn’t bother RGJ as he saw new Light (?) and produced a new doctrine – Epiphany Campers Consecrated, which has set aside opportunity for Youthful Worthiship before restitution sets in, as taught by That Servant and the Epiphany Messenger. His Campers Consecrated will be first and chief in the Kingdom, he says, setting aside the teaching of the Apostle Paul, That Servant and the Epiphany Messenger. No Levite, whether cleansed or uncleansed, is permitted to bring forth a new doctrine. However, according to the Epiphany teaching all Great Company members must be fully abandoned to Azazel before they can be cleansed; and to be fully abandoned they must have brotherly fellowship withdrawn from them. (See E‑15, pp. 525, 526) Brother Johnson only withdrew priestly fellowship from RGJ, but never brotherly fellowship. So RGJ was an uncleansed Levite at the death of the Epiphany Messenger.
That Servant and the Epiphany Messenger both taught that restitution would be “to the Jew first” – at the beginning of the Kingdom and its end – that all restitutionists will have to become Jews if they get eternal life. As Brother Russell has repeatedly taught, the Kingdom will be Israelitish. (See Parousia Vol. 1, p. 294, par. 1) Even if we had no clear teaching from the last two Star Members, we have the inspired Scriptures which are crystal clear. The Apostle Paul’s words would be sufficient to refute the JW’s on their “Great Crowd;” and the LHMM on their Campers Consecrated – “to the Jew first.” (Rom. 1:16) The fully faithful Little Flock of this Gospel Age are recorded as Jews (Rev. 7:4‑8) – although the majority of them have been Gentiles. And to this we would add the words of Jesus Himself: “Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22)
Let our readers note carefully that AG makes copious reference to the teaching of RGJ, just as RGJ referred to his past errors to support his present errors. It gives us no pleasure to refute the errors of our erstwhile brethren, with whom we have had sweet fellowship, but “necessity is laid upon me” (1 Cor. 9:16) if we would faithfully “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) – not the “faith that was delivered to the Levites, the Great Company.”
It would encourage AG’s adherents if he would tell them how many Jews have joined up with him, and have become Epiphany Campers Consecrated in order to become “first” in restitution blessings. We have tried to be brief, but we trust not too brief to make our position clear. However, it will be our pleasure to send some of our back papers on the subjects to those who request them.
“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:31)
“Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment.” (Ex. 23:1,2)
The Berean Comments on Ex. 23:1, 2: “To do evil – Seek one’s own interests regardless of justice and honesty.”
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Thanks for your sweet letter and lovable picture sent July 16th. I feel as though I missed meeting a great man in John Hoefle. However, I am delighted that, the Lord willing, I’ll be able to meet you personally and give you the hug I would have given John as well as the one Norma and I have reserved for you. And one day we’ll be together – around the throne in glory sharing victories won by our Lord. Isn’t it amazing how He really does all the work through us yet rewards us as if we did it ourselves? What a wonderful Lord!
Thanks for that special picture of you and John. I’m sure you adored each other and were a loving and lovable couple. By the way, Norma and I are heading for the big one – our silver 25th next June 10th. You’ll love her, Emily. I think John and I would probably both have agreed that we married two of the best. ......
Thanks for loving us as your own kids. Your prayers will mean much. May you be bound up in the bundle of Hebrews 12:24 & 25 and tenderly held in the hollow of His hand.
All my love and prayers, Frank ……. (NEW HAMPSHIRE)
We have just finished reading John’s Biography and we are deeply moved. What a dear brother he was among us! His example of faithfulness had no break in it ever, at any time, or under any circumstances. I thought to call you immediately but quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to talk and neither would you. The Biography is beautifully done and will take quite a few of us years back in memory. Maude and I went with you and John to that Convention where John gave such an outstanding testimony. It came back very clearly to my mind as I read it. It has to be the best testimony I ever did hear – and it took courage for John to give it under all the pressure and unfriendliness which had built up. Am so glad you included it in the Biography.
Thank you for sending this to us. Thomas specially requested that I tell you how deeply he appreciates this and how thankful he is that he had the privilege to know John. May the dear Lord bless you and give you the strength to go on – though I know it isn’t easy without John. Surely the time is short now!
We both send love to you, and hope we can come up before too long. I am not staying very well, but can’t seem to swing out of it so far. Have to go to the dentist today. Love and prayers, ……. (FLORIDA)
Dear Sr. Hoefle: May the grace and peace of our Beloved Lord remain with us all!
Only those who have lost loved ones could imagine how it was to Mary and the disciples when Jesus died. The agony of our beloved Brother’s death is a heavy blow unto us all. It came as a shock to me when I opened your letter to read of the tragedy and sorrow now yearning in the Epiphany movement. I was unable to do anything for two days. I dispatched a circular letter to all the Epiphany Ecclesias, followed by a program for the funeral ceremony, which took place on the 27th of May. According to our law and custom a sorrowful vigil night was carried out in the premises of the Headquarters the night of the 26th of May. On Sunday the 27th by 9:30 a.m., all choristers took the lead with the photograph of our dearly beloved Brother John J. Hoefle, followed by the brethren with Song 188, in my language, marching round the meeting hall before entering into the hall, which Bro. Hoefle had used his hand to build – all in honour of him, whose light now shines, and will shine forever. After the service, the congregation was dismissed in silence as though we were conducting a Memorial Supper.
My dear Sister, here the Epiphany brethren in Nigeria have handed over to me messages of condolence to send to you, and with you in the Bible House Ministry, knowing quite well that His grace is sufficient unto him, with the hope of eternal life which God has promised. Dear Sister, you must remember that no one has ever run faster than his/her shadow, that we presently, can never prevent those who are asleep (1 Thes. 4:15), thereby, you take courage, and not you alone, but we here, too. It seems it would have been better for us could he have lived longer so that we could see the candle light better that he lighted for us. I know that God cannot lie, and that as we have missed him I know “God will surely bring forth a rod, out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” (Isa. 11:1‑3)
Sister Emah really sympathizes with you. She bears the same sorrow you are facing, judging from the viewpoint of things as if I myself were to finish my course, leaving her alone. She asked me in tears to console you to bear the loss, believing in eternal life. If it were nearer we would visit you.
And with this comes my brotherly love and heartfelt condolence to you and all with you, in which the Nigerian brethren, Sr. Emah and the family now join. In behalf of the EBSA Congregation – Sincerely your brother, ----------.…… (AFRICA)
The Mount Dora Ecclesia and co‑workers wish to convey their heartfelt appreciation for the many beautiful cards and letters expressing sympathy, love and prayers. We would not have been able to “carry on” without the loving support of those of “like precious faith.” Blest be the tie that binds! We would like to publish all the letters if space would permit. Our warm Christian love and prayers are ever with you. Thank you’ God Bless you all!