My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
“The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night. If ye will inquire, inquire ye.” (Isa. 21:11,12) First, notice that the question is repeated for emphasis; and for good reason, we believe, of which we shall give details later.
However, when this prophecy was written, it was the custom to erect a wall around the important cities. At that time the wall around Babylon was a feature piece of construction for that time. It was conical in shape with the narrow top wide enough for two chariots to drive around it side by side. It was considered impregnable – a good representation of our present spiritual Babylon, who also is saying, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” (Rev. 3:17)
Upon the tops of those ancient city walls there was erected turrets, or towers, in which a watchman was located at night to watch for the approach of enemies, man or beast, to watch for thieves of the crops outside the city, etc. Occasionally, a citizen – inside the fort or directly outside it, would call out, “Watchman, what of the night.” That is, do you notice any sign of enemies or thieves? And in our quoted text the watchman would answer, “The morning cometh (it will be here shortly), and a night also.”
At the time of writing, there was mirth and festivity, But Isaiah alone was overwhelmed with grief, and refused to be comforted. In the rejoicings of the populace he read the evidence of their hopeless impenitence and insensibility, and he concludes his discourse by expressing the conviction that at last they have sinned Beyond the possibility of pardon. The circumstances recall our Lord’s lamentation over Jerusalem on His triumphal entry into the city five days before His crucifixion. (Luke 19:41,42)
THE MORNING COMETH, AND ALSO THE NIGHT
From the Bible chronology, the parallel dispensations, and the signs of the times, it is our firm conviction that this text applies directly to the time in which we are living. From these different sources, it is our conclusion that the “morning” began in 1874. In Matthew 24:27 Jesus said, “As the lightning (the bright shiner the sun) cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the son of man be.”
That the word “lightning” is a poor translation in the above is evident that the lightning does not start in the east and go to the west, but the sun does. This word is from the Greek “astrape,” which has several meanings (Strong’s Concordance). The sun rises noiselessly in the East, when most people are still asleep, but gradually becomes more prominent and noticeable in the heavens until high noon. “The path of the righteous is as the light of dawn, going on and brightening, unto meridian day.” (Prov. 4:18 – Rotherham) And the foot note on this text says: “The stable part of day – when the sun seems motionless in mid‑heaven.” Thus, we should expect a very obscure beginning of the “morning” in 1874 – just as the sun also arises in the morning without much clamor. However, most of our great inventions have come since that date: The telephone, the electric light, the automobile, the airplane, the computers, and all the magnificent machinery, industrial and agricultural, have come since that time – more in a little more than a hundred years than occurred in the six thousand years before that time.
The “sun” of our text has not yet come to “meridian day”; but with this great increase of learning has come also “the night” of trouble. This also has had a very mild beginning in 1874, but it has now reached alarming proportions; even those not familiar with Bible prophecy see it with much certainty. It may appear that we are here offering a contradiction of Scripture, but we do not really do so. Those who have become alert to the Bible teaching realize that “none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Dan. 12:10) It is written in Dan. 12:1, There shall be a time of trouble (mentioned by Jesus in Matt. 24:15 – also v. 7) – “great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” And just as the bright shining proceeds to meridian height, so the trouble also increases; but by the time the sun has reached meridian height, the trouble will have reached its nadir, and will be completely over when the sun reaches height. Then will be fulfilled the prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
OUR LORD’S SECOND COMING
The word ‘coming’ in the above texts is from the Greek Parousia, which actually means “presence,” and should be understood in that manner. Often the question comes to us, Watchman, what of the night – How long is the night? We cannot give a positive answer to the question, although we can quote the words of Jesus: “This generation shall not pass away till all these things shall be fulfilled.” But we do not know the length of time of “this generation.” It has been suggested that it may be 120 years – the length of time that Moses lived. (Deu. 34:7) But, we can quote the words of Jesus, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Therefore, we can say with conviction that “the time is at hand.” (Rev. 10:6; 11:18; 22:10)
It is our understanding that our Lord’s Parousia has been with us since 1874. It will continue until all of the “wheat” has been gathered into the Lord’s barn; and the “tares” will be bundled and burned. In a broad sense our Lord will continue to be present as the world’s King to the full conclusion of the Millennial Age: but His Parousia in the sense of secrecy of presence – will terminate when, as the Scriptures state, He shall be revealed in “flaming fire” (2 Thes. 1:8 – the great time of trouble), taking vengeance on all who do not receive the Truth in a good and honest heart, but enlightening all those who will hear to the extent of their opportunity. The secret Parousia is only for those who now hear and obey His calling. The Epiphania is not to the Church, for the Church, but to the world and for the world.
Of the world, the first to “look upon Him whom they pierced” will be the natural Israelites. Brought into covenant relationship with God through the “better Mediator than Moses,” they will be trained, chastened, blessed and uplifted by Him during the Millennium; so that by the end of the Millennium they shall be ready for the everlasting covenant condition of perfection in harmony with God.
While the besom of destruction becomes more apparent each year to those who are the “Watchmen,” the great majority of the world still sleeps on, as Jesus foretold they would. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the presence of the Son of Man: “The world that then was knew it not until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Thus we should not be surprised to see the inattention of the great majority. “When the Son of Man cometh, will He find the faith (the Truth) in the earth?” However, history tells us that thus it has always been, with retribution usually overtaking those who disregard the Word of Truth.
However, the Watchman said, “Turn ye; come.” Thus, some may eventually hear. The Rabbis expound the Watchman, who speaks here, as the Messiah; and they are right on this, although they are not at all clear how the interpretation is to apply. Nevertheless, when He pours out His spirit “for all flesh” many will then awake to the tremendous operations that occur. As one writer has put it, “The difficulty in the world today is not to find God, but to escape Him.” There is great effort today to eliminate all study that may prove there is a God in heaven; especially is this true in the Communist countries; and already we see the rewards of their sowing. Russia and its pals are all in deep trouble; and we may expect this to become much worse in the holocaust just ahead.
The following is from the pen of That Servant: “At the Epiphania, or bright shining, of the Lord’s manifestation, God will have completed His present work of directing the Church; and the world will be informed that they are under a different dispensation. When the world will have come to understand the matter fully, they will know the Truth of our Lord’s words, in His last prayer with His disciples – that the Father loves the Church as He loved the Lord Jesus. This is a very astounding statement. It shows that there is nothing selfish in our Lord. He did not say, “They will always be inferior to me. They will never have the glory that I shall have.”
PAROUSIA AND EPIPHANIA
Follows something from Reprints 5522‑5523: “Bible students call our attention to the fact that the Bible distinctly differentiates between the Parousia of Christ and His Epiphania, at His second coming. The word Parousia signifies presence, without in any sense of the word indicating that the presence is visible. The word Epiphania signifies the revealing of one who is already present. These Bible students claim that in the end of this Gospel Age Christ will be present, invisible to men, during a period of forty years, doing a work especially in His Church – rewarding the faithful, as shown in the parables of the pounds and Talents, and receiving the “wise virgins,” as stated in the parable.
“With the conclusion of this work of separating the wise virgins, and after they shall have entered into the joys of their Lord by the glorious change of the First Resurrection, then will come Immanuel’s Epiphania, revealing, showing forth. ‘When He shall appear, ye also shall appear with Him in glory.’ ‘He shall be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance.’ In other words, the revelation of Christ to the world will be subsequent to His revelation of Himself to the ‘wise virgin’ class. The world will know that He has taken His great power and begun His reign of righteousness, not by seeing Jesus in the flesh, But by seeing the great time of trouble which then will break upon the world ‘a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.’ (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21)
ARMAGEDDON STILL FUTURE
Now more from the Reprint 5527: “The Scriptures indicate that the Gentile governments will receive from their own peoples their first notice that their lease of power has expired. The people will take note of the sign of the Son of man in the heavens, The judgments of the Lord will begin to be manifest in the world, and will run counter to many of their interests. This manifestation of His presence is Scripturally called Epiphania, the shining forth, the revealment of the King of Glory. ‘He shall he revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance on those that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2 Thes. 1:7‑10) As a result, the nations of earth will be broken to pieces like a potter’s vessel, (Psa. 2:8,9; Rev. 2:27)
“The prophetic forecast tells us that the trouble will begin in the ecclesiastical heavens, and later will proceed to the social element. The picture given of the end of the Gentile Times is that of a stone striking the image of Gentile supremacy on its feet. (Dan. 2:34,35) The impact will be so sharp and so thorough as to leave nothing of them. Having had their day, they will cease to be – ‘become like the chaff of the summer threshing floor.’ The next event in order will be the messianic kingdom, of which it is written, “The desire of all peoples shall come.”’ (Hag. 2:7)
From the foregoing it is clear enough that That Servant taught we are in the time of establishing God’s promised Kingdom. Although he saw this clearly more than 25 years before 1914, he erred in expecting the entire program would be consummated in a very short time. However, by 1910 he recognized that the time was much too short for the accomplishment of the things necessary, and he openly said so. But some of his dogmatic supporters did not accept his corrections then. In fact, one of them said early in 1914 that he was buying a ticket to go to some western coast area, but he did not buy a return ticket because he would have no use for it. Of course, many such lost much of the Truth and quit the movement as the days carried on. But, when the Russian government was toppled in the fall of 1917, some brethren then fairly shouted that we are no longer walking by faith; they were then walking by sight – a mistake very easy to make, since the Czarist government of Russia was then one of the strongest autocracies that had ever been on earth. But the war ended in November 1918, things began to calm down, followed by a business boom for eleven years; then the great crash of 1929, followed by the great depression of four years. Once again the predictions of doom were very prevalent, but soon disappeared. In fact, some real smart boys concluded by about 1920 that Brother Russell had made a mistake of nineteen years in the Chronology; the Gentile Times would not end until 1933. This same error had been ‘discovered’ about a hundred years before that by a deluded Babylon teacher; so it was nothing new. Came 1933, and not one thing occurred to substantiate the error, and the subject was discreetly dropped. It is our firm conviction that no mistake was made in the Chronology by That Servant. His dates are yet well established, but he made the mistake of expecting too much in too short a time, although everything he taught about what would happen is still well substantiated by the Bible and current events.
In all of the events that have occurred since 1914, we are firmly convinced that he was right in declaring that the Kingdom had been set up in 1878, that the elect Church had then been tentatively gathered – although some of them dropped out before 1914, and others were called in. But by 1914 he was convinced that the full number of the Elect had been won; and so stated. For some years now the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been declaring the full establishment of the Kingdom, with their group being the firm nucleus of that group. But current events clearly reveal their error on the matter. Just recently one of their more prominent leaders – Raymond Franz – has been cast out by them, leaving yet at least one short of the prescribed number. This leaves them in a very embarrassing position.
As late as 1915, Reprint p. 5632, we find this: “The final phase, ‘to execute the judgments written,’ would seem to imply that there would be something for the saints on this side of the vail to do in connection with the execution of the judgments upon the nations. (It was going on right then, but our dear Pastor had not then discerned it – JJH) As to just what this means, we have not yet fully learned. But we see nothing here to conflict with the thought that the Lord’s Kingdom may be properly understood to have begun operations and that the present smiting of the nations is under kingdom control. The fact that some of the members of the kingdom class are still in the flesh does not militate at all against this thought. We see the kingdoms of this world now being dashed to pieces, and we are expecting to see the process continued until they are all completely ground to powder. They shall become as the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and the wind shall carry them away. Then shall they be found no more at all. (Dan. 2:35)
“Because certain important things are to be accomplished, we see that God is permitting what to others might seem to be purely human devilishness. For a wise purpose He permits this reign of lawlessness, this condition which evokes universal odium. Our thought is that we should look for still further evidences day by day that the Gentile Times have ended, and that God’s kingdom has begun its work. We are expecting to see multiplied proofs of the kingdom power, though the world will not recognize it as such until it is manifested in the flaming fire of anarchy, which is still further along. The present step is the war of the nations. The next step will be Socialism – an attempted Socialism – among the people (after Armageddon – JJH). Then the third step, anarchy, will gradually come on. When this symbolic fire shall prevail then the world will realize what we are trying to tell them now; namely, that God’s kingdom is taking control, and that these various demonstrations are evidences that our Lord is taking His great power. But the many will not begin to see until the flaming fire is revealed. When we endeavor to tell them now they will not receive it, but they will be thoroughly convinced when they see the destructive fire of anarchy.”
MESSIAH’S KINGDOM TO BE INVISIBLE
“Our understanding of the Master’s words (Luke 17:20‑37) depends considerably upon the setting in which we see them. John the Baptist preceded Jesus and preached the Kingdom of God is at hand. In due time he pointed out Jesus as the Messiah that should come, the Lamb of God. After waiting for months to establish himself, and finding instead that his own work was closing, he was put into prison by Herod. John then sent to Jesus to inquire whether or not He was the one that should come or whether they should look for another. He was disappointed in not seeing evidences of the Kingdom, as he had expected.
“The scribes and the Pharisees heard of the claim that Jesus was the long‑promised King who would set up His Messianic Kingdom, and they derided Him. They looked at His motley company of followers – publicans and sinners, as well as honorable people, but none of special rank, influence or wealth. They considered Jesus a deceiver and His followers as dupes. Our lesson tells how they attempted to expose what they supposed was a deception of Jesus, thus to turn away the delusion of His followers. Therefore, they asked Him in public the question, When will God’s Kingdom come? How long will it be before you set it up?
“Doubtless they purposed to entrap Jesus; for if He should say, A long time, they would proceed to query, Where will you get your army? How will you pay your soldiers? How will you supply them with food? Will you go to Rome to battle with the powers that be, that our whole nation has been unable to cope with, etc.?
“But those Pharisees got only as far as the first question, because the answer to it confused them, and no doubt perplexed them. Jesus answered that God’s Kingdom would not come with observation – “with outward show”; that is to say, when the Kingdom should come people would not see it. Proceeding, Jesus elaborated, saying that when the Kingdom of God should be established, people would not see whether it was here or there; for the Kingdom of God would be the power of God exerted everywhere in the midst of the people.
“Our translation is faulty, though evidently not intentionally so, when it reads ‘For, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.’ (Luke 17:21) The translators, had they noted carefully, would have been on guard against saying that the Kingdom of God was within those Pharisees that Jesus had designated hypocrites, whited sepulchers, etc. A closer examination of the original would have shown that the text would better be translated, ‘The Kingdom of God is in your midst.’
“A kingdom is always represented by its king. Jesus, as the King, was present in their midst, but they did not recognize Him. ‘There standeth one among you whom ye know not.’ Similarly, all through the Gospel Age, the Church of Christ, His ‘body,’ had been undiscerned by the world. ‘The world knoweth us not, even as it knew Him not.’ For eighteen hundred years this has been true in this sense; but Christ and the Church in the flesh are not the kingdom of God in the full, proper sense that the Bible promises: a Kingdom of power and great glory. Christ and the Church have been only the incipient Kingdom, an embryo Kingdom – the Kingdom class, preparing for investiture of authority in God’s due time, which we believe is now near.
“The Kingdom is to be a spiritual one, and hence its rulers will be as invisible as are the angels and the Heavenly Father. Jesus declared, ‘Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more.’ What was true of the Head will be true of every member of the elect body of Christ, the Church. ‘Changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,’ the world will see them no more; ‘for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,’ and flesh and blood cannot see that which is spiritual.
“During the Millennium, the kingdom authority and power of God through Christ and the Church will be exercised amongst men; and yet they will not see it with the natural eye, but merely with the eyes of their understanding. All the blind eyes will be opened. Thus every eye will see that the kingdom is established; and every one will understand that He who suffered has entered into His glory, that the Church, His bride, is with Him in glory, and that the blessings of the Millennium proceed from them. (Rev. 20:6)
DAYS OF THE SON OF MAN
“Turning from the silenced Pharisees to His disciples, Jesus said, ‘The days will come when ye shall desire one of the days of the Son of Man, and ye shall not see it.’ This was astonishing news to the faithful. Yet they were accustomed to hearing from the Master things which they could not understand; such as that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, that He must be crucified, etc. They took all these things figuratively and wondered what might be the real interpretation. How could Jesus be the great King, as they had expected, and yet they not see Him and His days?
“Jesus continued the enigma, saying, ‘They shall say to you, See here; or, See there; go not after them, nor follow.’ In a word, do not believe anybody who will thus tell you about My second coming; do not be deceived into believing that I will come in any such manner. This is how I shall come: ‘As the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, and shineth unto the other part under heaven; so also shall the Son of Man be in His day.’
“This astounding statement is better understood when we translate the Greek noun astrape as ‘shining’ instead of lightning; for evidently it refers to the sun, which rises in the east and sets in the west, shining out of the one part of the heaven even unto the other. But how will this represent the Son of Man in His day? How will He be like the sun? (Another Scripture fits very well here: “Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.” – Mal. 4:2 – JJH) We answer that the day of Christ is a thousand‑year day, the Millennium; and our Lord’s statement was one of the ‘dark sayings’ of which Jesus said, ‘I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now,’ and promised in due time the Holy Spirit would grant them an enlightenment, that all of His words might be clearly understood. This portion, now due to be understood, is therefore becoming clear to those of spiritual discernment.
“Then, that they might gradually learn that these things belonged to a distant time, Jesus explained that first He must suffer many things and be rejected of that nation. Coming back to an explanation of what would be the signs of His presence as recorded in Matt. 24, He declared, ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man.’
“Here we have something definite, concrete. We know what to look for at the time when the kingdom will be due for establishment – the time when the Sun of Righteousness will begin to shine forth from one end of heaven to the other. The signs of the time will not be in the outward condition of the world; for on the contrary everything will be going along in as quiet and orderly a manner as ever, just as in the days of Noah, just as before the deluge came, and just as in the days of Lot, before the destruction of Sodom – they ate, drank, married, built, bought, sowed, planted, as usual. These things are not signs of wickedness, but are mentioned to show us that there will be no outward sign to indicate to the world the time of the second presence of Christ, when He will begin to deal with the world and to set up His kingdom. (This is the condition of the world just before World War One – the greatest calamity that had ever happened. However, today “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” – JJH)
THE DELUGE AND SODOM’S DESTRUCTION
“Why introduce these two pictures – the Deluge and the destruction of Sodom – in conjunction, while talking of the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom, which is to bless the world? The answer is that the Bible everywhere foretells that although Messiah’s kingdom is the greatest provision of God, which will lift the curse and bring in blessings world‑wide, nevertheless it is to be established upon the wreck of our present institutions. And it is this wreck of social, financial, political and religious institutions of the present time that Jesus illustrated by the Deluge and the destruction of Sodom. And His own presence preceding this time of trouble is to be unseen to the world, unknown to the world, unsuspected, unbelieved, until the cataclysm of trouble precipitates with suddenness (as it did in World War One – JJH).
“This is not a charming picture. We are glad that we may turn from it, and note the silver lining of the cloud, and the glorious blessings which will speedily follow the establishment of the kingdom on the ruins of our human failures.
“Emphasizing the suddenness with which the calamity will overtake the world, Jesus said that on the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained down fire and brimstone from heaven; and He declared that thus it will be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. The Greek text shows a difference between the Parousia, or presence, of Christ before the later Epiphania, or revealing – the Time of Trouble. (The Epiphania is the time in which we are living. Men are perplexed – “Men’s hearts failing them for fear.”¾ JJH
“The description of the revealing of Christ is given in the words, He shall be revealed in flaming fire. (2 Thes. 1:7,8) Indeed, that time of trouble is frequently described in the Bible as a burning of the world – so much so that many creeds of Christendom express the thought that the earth is to be ‘burned.’ They overlook the fact that the heavens are to be ‘burned’ also. In the symbolical usage of the Bible, the earth represents the social order of human affairs (this is stated in so many words in Gen. 9:11 Neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” The planet earth is still here, so the text cannot possibly mean the literal earth – JJH); the sea, the restless, discontented masses; the heavens, the ecclesiastical powers. St. Peter tells us that all these will pass away with a great confusion (a great hissing noise – JJH), and that instead will come the new heavens and the new earth which God has promised. (2 Pet. 3:10,13) The new heavens will be the new ecclesiastical society – the Church in glory, joint‑heirs with Christ in His Kingdom (also with the Worthies as the visible ruling powers – JJH) The new earth will be the new social order which Messiah’s Kingdom will establish.” (Reprints 5455‑5456, May 1, 1914)
“Watchman (the present enlightened Lord’s people), What of the night?” (Isa. 21:11) It is our hope that we have clearly defined “the night,” as well as its purposes; but we would also more forcefully define “the morning.” “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psa. 30:5) A proper understanding of the morning in Messiah’s Kingdom will minimize greatly the gloomy picture of the night.
So the faithful believers will recognize the trouble as the preparation, according to God’s Plan, for blessing the whole world – and they will be cheered and comforted through it all. “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness (of sin and error). Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thes. 5:5,6)
“So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto, I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11)
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brethren: Greetings in the name of Jesus our Saviour!
Our dear Brother Ted Smith finished his earthly course on Feb. 21. He had been in hospital only one week, surgery for removal of an abscess on his lung took place Feb. 14, and he suffered considerable pain after the operation. He was healing satisfactorily but the strain on his heart was too great and he passed away at 2 a.m. We will miss him very much, but will attempt to carry on as he would have wanted us to even though it be to a limited extent. We ask for your prayers and suggestions regarding Bro. Ted’s items which he sent out every month. We seek the Lord’s direction for future service and want to be ready and willing to follow His leadings.
Please read the Manna for Feb. 21, again, as it was so fitting for that day (Bro. Smith’s passing). With our sincere Christian love, ------- (Washington)
Greetings Brethren through our mutual love for Christ our Lord!
Your periodical dated Feb. 1, 1983 – No. 332 – which we received today has on its last page a letter signed by someone from Argentina that asks several questions about your group. Your answers to them I would like very much to have a copy of it if at all possible. Also I would like to get a general idea of your following....
Is there anyone of your associates in our general area of San Diego, Ca?
Thank you, ------- (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings to you and co‑workers in the Name of Jesus!
Thank you for the March‑April papers which surely will be studied time and again. Several thoughts expressed by you have come to my mind also, such as the pairing of the Ancient Worthies with the ‘Younger ones.’ There will be plenty of work to be done under the guidance of The Christ – and it surely will be an honor to be so used. Of course, we leave these matters to the Lord, but it seems reasonable.
I have not finished Bro. Johnson’s book – “Elijah and Elisha” – but I surely realize that he had an excellent knowledge of European history – Antichrist; and his clear insight into the doings of Rome to gain more and more influence in America, as predicted by Bro. Russell, is remarkable. It is rather painful to read about the corruption of the Society – but it is true! I could add some personal experiences to this record, for I did spend some five years at Brooklyn Heights Headquarters after coming to the States. It took time to learn enough English to understand what was really going on there (especially the kind of English spoken there!), and it was certainly different from what I had left in Germany. I am glad that I had the courage – all five feet of me to stand up to this Big judge when my husband and I were fired for getting married without his consent – and telling him: “I came here to serve the Lord, but the way you talk and act I think I’ve been wasting my time.” He tried to reassure me, that I had indeed served the Lord. But I knew better… By the way, I had been head-housekeeper during the last year there, and had been given a bunch of private keys by the judge, including one to a room known to have been Bro. Johnson’s. I had to stand guard whenever any cleaning was to be done in that room. Nobody was to get a chance to take a look into that trunk, to which there also was a special key. The day we got fired the judge was very much agitated about those keys, seemingly afraid that I was going to take them with me! Now I almost wish I had taken a look into that trunk while the judge was in California.
Well, I thank the Lord for having patiently helped me to regain my footing upon the solid rock, away from those ‘slippery stones of offense.’
Did you know that the judge even tried to make a deal with the Nazis in 1933 for the bank accounts, etc., by sending a brother over there? – no matter what it did to the Bible students there. This had been another eye‑opener to me: that he was far more concerned about the loss of material things and the money than about the fate of the friends’
Please use the enclosed for the work. May the Lord keep us in His Grace through these evil days is my prayer for all of us. Yours in the Lord, ------- (DELAWARE)
Dear Brother and Sister Hoefle:
Now this is not a letter you need to answer – rather use your time for the work before you. I have Been re‑reading the first two papers of the year and had just finished the sixth volume again; and the words of Pastor Russell were still fresh in my mind when I read your reference to them. Surely little Babylon is getting bigger and bigger! I hope I am home next time they come to our door. Usually I show them my row of the six “Studies,” and that is enough to send them on their way. But I have a little more ammunition to use next time (in a friendly manner, I hope’)
We three feel like the brother who wrote you regarding the present state of the world affairs, that he looks forward to their development knowing that conditions will change. There is so much news these days that bring out the Truths that were taught us from infancy. Each day I turn on the news looking for evidence that the time is drawing near, and that “I come quickly” is indeed needed to straighten out the affairs of man. It is so wonderful to know these things, and we wonder how folks live without it. The knowledge certainly does foster peace – and we are so grateful! ........
Do hope you both are reasonably well and able to put out the welcome papers. Just received the last two.
Christian love, ------- (OHIO)