My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
Several requests have come to us asking that we treat on the present‑day hallucination of “familiar spirits,” such as Mediums, Seances, etc., and what our attitude toward such should be. In 1 Tim. 4:1, we have a prophecy of the condition so prevalent on all sides in these ‘latter times.’ “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (See Berean Comments) And Paul further exhorts, “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.” (v. 6) “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in so doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (v. 16)
And he gives us further warning of this “evil day” in 2 Tim. 3:1 ‑ “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” The Apostle is here referring to the Household of Faith, and not to the world in general. But the “Time of Trouble” is upon the whole world when these “perilous times” come to the Lord’s people. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (v. 13, Dia.) – and it is especially for the protection of the fully faithful that these exhortations are given. “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” (v. 14) The measurably faithful will partially succumb to the evils so prevalent in these ‘latter times’ – and the unfaithful will wholly succumb; they will lose their standing in the Household. “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim. 4:4)
FAITH HEALING – HYPNOSIS ETC.
Prominent and widely‑read magazines today are publicizing the practice of faith healing and hypnosis, with such captions as “HYPNOSIS – an Old Science” – “Out of Ancient Magic Comes New Medical Tool,” etc. So appealing has this teaching become that it has engulfed many members of the ministerial profession, with one prominent Evangelist observing: “Psychiatry is becoming so popular that psychiatrists are calling upon each other for help.” One line in a magazine says this: “The ‘modern’ minister is learning to obtain psychiatric help in handling deep‑seated problems.” One prominent minister in Washington, D. C., several years back, hanged himself in a high tower of his own chapel; and the news comment said “he had a nervous breakdown in 1948 and had been under treatment by a psychiatrist.” If the psychiatrist could not cure the preacher, just how much chance, think you, would the preacher have of curing his flock that came to him for counsel and solace?
In another instance a minister was asked: “Do you think it is wrong – or against God’s will – for man to seek out hidden powers like hypnosis,” etc.? The answer – “Certainly, it is not wrong, or against God’s will to develop all powers of the mind.” In contrast, hear Isa. 8:19 – “When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: Should not a people seek unto their God?” And in Isa. 47:13,14: “Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble... They shall not deliver themselves.” Here is a clear inspired answer given about 3,000 years ago; and we consider it as sound today as it was then. The “art” was a “science falsely so‑called” at that time; and it is just as much the same today.
It is not that we are wholly against psychiatry – because we readily recognize that in some cases some good has been accomplished; and in the profession there are some honorable and well‑intentioned men. If a person can’t get help from his family, his physician, or his minister, then he has no other source, apparently, but to see a psychiatrist. In many cases a married couple needs the counsel of an outsider – and in such cases if the couple consults a good psychiatrist, then he can help them adjust their marital difficulties. Many times the family and friends are too close to the matter to be able to advise impartially; and if their minister is unable to cope with the situation, then a psychiatrist may be the answer to their problem. In the case of the Lord’s people who have the promise of the Lord’s help in their every time of need, it seems they should be able to rest in the blessed assurance of His promises – and “wait upon the Lord” in full assurance of faith. The Lord’s people are not promised an easy way out, but they are promised “Grace (favor) sufficient” to bear whatever difficulties they may have, if the Lord doesn’t see fit to remove these difficulties. So in the case of the Lord’s fully consecrated people, when they go to a psychiatrist as a last resort, it is certain that the Lord is not answering their prayers. He does abandon those who come to Him with the lips, without full faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Nor does it mean that those who are abandoned at such times, are not God’s children – but it does mean that the Lord has temporarily abandoned them until such time as they are able to come to Him with the full assurance of faith in His promises.
The Lord’s Truth people have been forewarned of this “evil day,” when spiritism, faith healing, hypnotism, etc., would be rampant – more so than at any time in history, and that more far‑reaching. We have only to glance at the newspapers and leading magazines to recognize that fact. All sorts of weird cults are springing up like mushrooms, details of which we shall not offer here; but just recently one in particular has engaged our attention because of the distress it has brought upon the parents of youths “in their late teens and early 20’s.”
Says one of them: “We’re convinced they’re victims of some form of mind manipulation, or why else their sudden change of behavior, wanting to destroy our institutions, not knowing or wanting us.” One girl who has been recovered from the situation has this to say: “When I was a member of the Children of God, I would feel one way, but, when I opened my mouth to speak, the opposite meaning would come out. I had eaten rotten food and hadn’t bathed in two weeks, yet I told another member that I had never been happier. When I said that, I thought to myself, Why am I saying that? I’M miserable.”
From the foregoing it is apparent that not all who become contaminated with such antitypical witchcraft (especially deceptive false teachings) are irreparably damned; and it is well we keep that in mind – to lend a helping hand whenever opportunity should arise.
“MY HELP COMETH FROM THE LORD” – Psalms 121:2
David had many trials – not only in his own family, but also from many other sources – yet he looked to the Lord for his help. This is not true of King Saul. At one time King Saul had been very zealous in eliminating “familiar spirits” in Israel, but after he had forsaken the Lord, and the Lord no longer heard his prayers, he himself went to the Witch of Endor. And that has been true in our times of antitypical Saul (Great Company leaders) during this Epiphany period. We know of one such case where a Great company leader went to a psychiatrist for his mental anguish when he became a manifested crown‑loser, The Lord had abandoned him in his trial time – something the Lord never does to the fully faithful.
That Wise and Faithful Servant was well alerted to the evils set out above; and, if his warnings were pertinent in 1909, how much more are they wise and sound counsel today:
“‘My help cometh from the Lord’… The text reminds us that those who need help and who realize it, should look to the Lord for it – not relying upon their own strength or wisdom, nor upon the assistance of their fellows. We are not to despise assistance from any quarter, but our chief reason for receiving any assistance should be our conviction that it has come from the Lord... We have the assurance of the Lord that there is but one place of safety at this time… under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Reprints 4311)
Then further on p. 4313: “Peter and John were God’s instruments in effecting an instantaneous cure... The only power exercised was the power of faith on the part of the Apostles, for the healed, so far as we know, had no knowledge of Jesus... Nor should we understand the apostolic command, ‘look upon us,’ to mean the exercise of them of any hypnotic influence... Perhaps there never was a time in the world’s history when humanity manifested more desire for physical healing than today. Nor can we blame the poor groaning creation for desiring relief... Note the fact that some of the strong delusions are supported by their claim to relieve physical pain. This is the claim of Spiritism – that disease can be relieved through mediumistic powers, under another’s control... This is the claim of Christian Science, Mind Cure, Faith cure people, Divine Healers, etc. Some of these names are used merely as a cover and a pretense... The attitude of the public seems to be: Give us healing. Give us relief from our aches and pains. If it is of God, we are glad. If it is of the Adversary, as you claim, we still take it.
“Such great inroads have been made in the churches of all denominations by these mind cures, hypnotic cures, that ministers of all denominations are perplexed what to do... We do not dispute that cures are accomplished, nor that some of the theories and proceedings are legitimate enough. What we do claim is that the truth and rationality connected with all of them is the poison of the Adversary, the power of the fallen angels exercised in its most subtle form, namely, mental suggestion – hypnotism... The doctrine of ‘Peace, troubled soul!’ is certainly a good and wise one, particularly when based upon a Scriptural faith in Jesus... The spirit of restfulness and ‘peace with God,’ if built upon false doctrines and erroneous suggestions and hypnotic influences, but hinders the soul from a proper approach to the Life‑Giver... Trouble will largely result from the intrusion of the evil spirits into human affairs, through the entanglement of human wills, weakened by Hypnotism. We warn all to be on guard against these modern miracle‑workers and we call attention to the fact that their operation is entirely different from anything recorded in the Scriptures.”
And from page 3181: “We are already passing into these very fires of this day of trial. We are already in the time when the wood, hay and stubble are being consumed, and when Higher Criticism, Evolutionary Theory, Christian Science, Hypnotism, under its own name and known as Mind Cures, etc., are devouring as a flame all that are not fully devoted to the Lord, and therefore, especially kept by His power through His Word and providence.”
KING SAUL AND THE PROPHET SAMUEL
That many of the Measurably Faithful do ignore this wise counsel is clear when we consider the type of their leaders – King Saul. His disobedience went from a small beginning to an extremity which caused his death. In 1 Sam. 13:8‑14 King Saul offered a burnt‑offering, contrary to Divine arrangement, and was reproved by the Prophet Samuel. Then in Chapter 15 we have the record of his gross disobedience and lying tongue when confronted once more by Samuel; and v. 23: “Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord He hath also rejected thee from being king.” “And the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul” (1 Sam. 16:14). In due course he sought the Witch of Endor; then his ignominious and disgraced death in battle – a tragic instance and a sober warning to all that “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” Here is perhaps the outstanding example in all Biblical history of a man one time loved of God – “a choice young man and of noble appearance... not a man in Israel more noble than he” – who went from nothing to the very highest pinnacle in Israel; then back to nothing again – with his end much worse than if he had remained “little in his own sight” (1 Sam. 15:17), had never become king in Israel.
Then there is his pathetic pleading in v. 30 ‑ “Honour me now before the elders of my people” – the Lord’s favor gone, the kingdom to be taken from him in disgrace, he implores Samuel yet once more for that very empty and most fragile of possessions, “the praise of men.” But even this was denied him in the end, an end perpetrated by his own hand with his own sword – opportunity sublime (“the pearl of great price”) ignominiously and willfully desecrated. King Saul is a type of the Measurably Faithful (the Great Company) leaders from early in the third century until Armageddon. (See E‑14:5) These Measurably Faithful brethren, like King Saul, profess they are fully faithful ‑ insist they have done no wrong: “Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord” (1 Sam. 15:20). And this hypocritical profession has often deceived the brethren and others, but they have never fooled the Lord.
“OUR FRAME – WE ARE DUST” (Psa. 103:14)
Man has four physiological qualities, of which we may sometime write in a future article; but for now we shall consider briefly his four appetites, the first and most compelling being the Alimentative – the desire for food and drink; second, the Procreative – the affinity for the opposite sex; third, the Acquisitive – the urge to buy, sell and get gain, to lay house to house and field to field; fourth, the Religious the desire to worship a higher being. The extremes of the Alimentative are the glutton and the ascetic, the drunkard and the teetotaler; of the Procreative, the extremes are the pervert and the celibate; of the Acquisitive the extremes are the miser and the spendthrift; of the Religious the extremes are the spiritualist and the gross materialist. The variations between these extremes are legion, so that the truth is well given, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psa. 139:13) – a truth primarily applicable to the Christ Company, but true also of man as a physical organism. All lower mammals have the first two of these appetites; some of them have the third; but none of them have the fourth ‑ none of them have any urge to worship a Divine Being.
Companion to the foregoing is the premise that the human head has seven distinct features, five of which are to be found in the lower mammals – two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one skin, these functioning to produce the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. None of the lower animals have any chin, the possession of which by man lends a certain distinction and strength to his face – even among the very ordinary human beings. Then the seventh feature is mental ‑ the spiritual and benevolent qualities, which give man his Religious appetite. In none of the brutes do we find this quality; and in some human beings it is so lacking that it is impossible for them to exercise faith under the reign of evil (2 Thes. 3:2); but we should expect to find it predominant and increasing in strength in the Lord’s Household ‑among the fully faithful.
With such myriad of combinations, mentally and physically, we are able to understand more clearly the words of Jer. 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” But, having arrived at a certain sound foundation in the foregoing paragraphs, we should be the better enabled to understand the full meaning of the “spirit of a sound mind.” If any should have eye trouble, they seek out an oculist – a specialist; if they have other various physical ills, they should consult a Doctor of medicine if drugs are indicated; or one skilled in physical therapy and the like if drugs are not needed. This all seems simple enough to us; but why shouldn’t the formula he followed if one has mental distress? If the disturbance comes from physical failure, then have the proper physical practitioner attend it. But, if it be purely a mental deflection – distress of mind, etc. – then the child of God should just as readily seek those best qualified to help him – the same being the Mouthpieces of God, or their teachings, or those of lesser prominence who are qualified for the task. Note the advice of the Apostle in James 5:14,15: “If any one among you is sick, let him call for the elders of the congregation, and let them pray over him... and the prayer of faith shall save the sick person” – morally or spiritually weak. (See Berean Comments)
Psychology, Psychiatry, and such like, are high‑sounding words that carry a certain appeal to the “unstable and the unlearned”; but let us analyze them a bit. “Psychology” means the doctrine of understanding life or soul. Now just how well qualified is a Psychologist to treat the soul when he does not even know what the soul is? Would we think to call in a carpenter if the furnace is out of order? Or a plumber if the electric lights are out? And should the Lord’s people seek after those with “familiar spirits,” necromancers, or hawkers of hocus‑pocus, when the prescription is clearly outlined in the Scriptures? It is well stated, “You can always tell a man from Yale; but you can’t tell him much “ It is reported that one in every ten persons in the United States today is a mental case of some kind. That means about twenty million of them in this country alone. And many of those who attempt to qualify to treat such cases must themselves resort to others of their kind to receive help for themselves. Consider the tragic case of the minister related earlier in this paper: He ignored the Word he had vowed to teach others, thus coming to ruin himself. Yet he was being paid well, to supply to the members of his congregation what he could not supply for himself. How many, think you, would receive the “peace of God which passeth understanding” from such ministry? And of the crownlost leaders – especially those who claim to understand Present Truth – who are forced to seek out a psychiatrist, what should we expect of them? The answer seems simple enough – to us, at least: we should expect only “an energy of delusion for them.” (2 Thes.2:11)
Science – Christianity: – Without reservation, we are wholeheartedly at one with the science of Christianity. Science is “classification of facts,” says Webster; and the “facts” of Christianity are indeed “meat and drink” to us. But we are equally averse to “science falsely so‑called.” (1 Tim. 6:20) By the same rule, we are in complete accord with sound effort to influence the minds of others; and St. Paul gives precedent for this in his effort to influence the minds of the brethren at Philippi: “Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, any virtue, any praise, think on these things.” If any think on such things, he is certain to be blessed with the “spirit of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7) – he will possess the real science of Christianity – nor is he likely to incur the “woe” of those who “go down to Egypt (type of this “present evil world”) for help” (Isa. 31:1). But those who do “go down to Egypt for help” will not be admonished to seek the “sound doctrine,” the Truth – the “true, honest, just,” etc.; they are‑more likely to receive a balm for “itching ears” – to be told what they want to hear, rather than what they should hear.
The following is a quotation from That Servant, as given on page 2629 of the Reprints:
QUESTION: – The world is full of aches and pains, diseases, and naturally we look about us for relief. You have already expressed your judgment that the cures effected by Christian Scientists and Spiritualists are probably produced by improper spiritual influences, although exercised to some extent at least in harmony with natural laws. I desire now to inquire respecting cures by hypnotism, and still other cures by so‑called magnetic healers. What shall we think of these, and will it be proper for the Lord’s consecrated people to avail themselves of such means for attaining health?
ANSWER: – We feel suspicious of magnetic and mental healing. In our judgment they in many instances are allied with or related to hypnotism; yet it is particularly difficult to draw the line here, because we all know that there is such a thing as a legitimate mental influence which we all exercise upon one another, favorably or unfavorably. We know, for instance, that hope and faith, love and joy, are healing and helpful influences whether exercised by our own minds upon our own bodies, or upon others. In this proper sense of the word every child of God possessing the spirit of love, the spirit of a sound mind, is a mental healer, and a heart healer, a wound healer; wherever he or she may be, the influence will be uplifting, comforting, strengthening to good impulses. If therefore the Lord’s consecrated ones visit the sick, their presence should be a refreshment, comforting, cheering and helpful, and so much the more if they carry in their hearts and communicate with their lips the exceeding great and precious promises of our Father’s Word. With this much of mental healing we are most thoroughly in accord.
“But Christian Science, Mind Healing and Magnetic Healing, running upon this same line, seem to carry it to an extreme ‑ in the case of Christian Science to the extreme of lying to oneself and believing the lie, and thus gradually becoming a liar, self‑deceived and deceiving others in respect to all of life’s affairs. We cannot believe that any course so opposed to that which the Scriptures mark out can be of God, nor can we believe that the cures it at time effects are either natural or of God; we can only suppose, therefore, that the Adversary favors this lying and deceiving process to the intent that he may beguile the mind through further lies and deceptions far from God and the truth.
“Magnetic Healing is more on the order of hypnotic healing; that is to say, the magnetic healer gains a control over the mind of his subject which is somewhat akin to the control gained by mesmerists and hypnotists, and akin to the spirit control of spiritualism over its mediums. We can have no sympathy with anything of this kind, for even if we were satisfied that the power of control was merely a human power and not a Satanic one (and we are not satisfied of this), we cannot feel that it is right for one human being to subject his mind, his will, to another, when the evidences prove that every such subjection decreases his will power and places the subject more and more in the position of a slave or machine, subject to the influence or control of others – breaking down his personality.
“The Lord’s people are admonished to make such a submission of their minds to the Lord, and no one else; and we are confident that the Lord will take no advantage of us under such conditions, to rob us of any good quality. On the whole, then, we urge the Lord’s people to be on guard against mind healers, etc., especially where, as in the case of Christian Science, the mind is to be given up to believe a lie (pain is merely a mental delusion), or in the case of hypnotism, it is to be given up or subjected entirely to another. Our minds are our greatest possession, and are to be given only to the Lord and to each other as directed by the Word of the Lord; and if we cannot have health without violating these principles, we can afford to be without the health for the few more days that remain under the present conditions, knowing that by and by, if faithful to the Lord, we shall have the perfect resurrection bodies promised.”
Thus, it is clear enough that the good that can and does come from a good cultivation of the mind has been badly sullied by the many perversions that have appeared during this Epiphany period; and we may reasonably expect much more of the same yet before the New Day fully dawns. All of this has a definite purpose, we may be sure; the Epiphany is the time for “making manifest the counsels of hearts” – revealing persons, principles and things, separating the true from the false. We are in “the evil day.” In the great harvest parable of Matt. 13:30, Jesus said, “Gather ye first together the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; then bring together the wheat into my granary.” (See Diaglott)
The binding of the tares was well accomplished by 1914, and we were all impressed with the truth that “Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest.” (Josh. 3:15) The River Jordan being a type of the curse, we should logically expect all manner of evil to be rampant, as the released erstwhile “spirits in prison” carried on their deadly work. These are the same “four winds of heaven that strove upon the great sea” (Dan. 7:2) – just as they are the “four winds of the earth” in Rev. 7:1 that are “restrained by the four angels” (the messengers of wrath) until the due time to bring about the great war of 1914. Some have mistakenly thought that the “four angels” of this text are the demons; but it should be kept in mind that the fallen angels are nowhere in the Scriptures ever called angels after their antediluvian transgression. They are the “four winds,” “demons,” – “spirits in prison,” etc., but never referred to as angels after the great flood.
“TRYING THE SPIRITS”
The ‘seducers’ of this our day are telling us to visit these seances, spirit mediums, etc., as we are heeding God’s word to “try the spirits” by so doing. In John 4:1, the text they refer to says – “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” There is no intimation that the Apostle is advising us to “try spiritism” – no record of any of the Apostles seeking out “familiar spirits” to try them to see whether they were of God. They knew they were not of God; they knew such a course was a forbidden path for the Lord’s people. And the Lord’s people today who “continue in His Word” know they are not to tamper with such seducing spirits. The “spirits” in this text refer to teachings, and the clear thought of the Apostle John is that we are to try the teachings that are presented to us – whether they be truth or error.
Over the centuries the pseudo pastors and teachers in Babylon have played upon the "itching ears” – just as have the politicians – by telling them what they want to hear. And what is it that people desire above all things? That they will not die’ So they are told they don’t actually die; they just appear to be dead. Even the Chaldean soothsayers employed the technique on Nebuchadnezzar: “Of king, live forever.” (Dan. 2:4) On rare occasions even “the father of lies” tells the truth; and he came pretty close to telling the truth in Job 2:4: “All that a man hath will he give for his life.” Nor has “Millions Now Living Will Never Die” (thee teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses), or survival through Armageddon, been devoid of appeal; it explains in large part the great increase in adherents of the group that promises such. And a close approach is made to this in the promise that “Campers Consecrated” may live right on into the Millennial Kingdom.
But the real science of Christianity has never been popular. Jesus was crucified because of it; and Paul became the enemy of erstwhile brethren “because I tell you the truth.” (Gal. 4:16) All the Star Members have had the same experience; and we are witness of it especially as respects the last two of them. Therefore, we need “think it not strange” if the same experiences come to us. About the last thing the multitude wishes to hear is the Truth. Of this fact Jesus was well aware, as he offered the observation, “When the Son of Man cometh, will He find the faith (the Truth) in the earth?” When controversy arises, the truth usually comes forth ‑ and the Truth is the last thing false teachers and their partisan supporters wish to hear. The words of Mal. 3:15 are especially applicable in this “evil day”: “Now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.”
“THE SPIRIT OF POWER AND A SOUND MIND”
In 2 Tim. 1:7 we have the inspired assurance that “God did not give us a cowardly spirit, but one of Power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (Dia.) And St. Paul tells us in v. 6 that this Holy Spirit is a “gift of God” which we should not fail to “stir up” in ourselves and in others of like precious faith. To the fully faithful, there is the sure promise of the “peace of God which passeth understanding”; whereas, to the unfaithful and measurably faithful there is also the affliction of a “cowardly spirit.” Such shall “flee when none pursueth,” and “have sorrow of heart” (Lev. 26:16,17).
It should be kept clearly in mind that the condition of these various classes is purely a state of mind; the “spirit of power” is will power – mental power, and not physical brawn. And the fully faithful who have this “spirit of power” have the same blessed assurance as did St. Paul himself: “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” To the unbelieving world such a statement from Paul would almost certainly cause smiles, and even ridicule. After he had received this “spirit of power” he had changed his name from Saul to Paul. It will be recalled that Saul, the first king of Israel, was head and shoulders above his fellows; thus, parents of that time would readily accept the name as a popular one for their sons, their hope being that their offspring would also “from the shoulders and upward be taller than any of the people.” (1 Sam. 9:2) But Saul of Tarsus came to manhood just the reverse of such hopes. He was a very small man, ascetic in appearance, frail of body, with a head much too large for the physique that supported it; and probably with a nose too large for his abnormally large head. Now it will be seen why he changed his name from Saul to Paul ‑ Paul meaning “little one.” His mental brilliance and unusually forceful and logical thinking ‑ coupled with the “spirit of power, and of love” – gave him a “sound mind” that invariably crushed all gainsayers. But it was these superb mental qualities that made him a “savor of life unto life” to many; and not in any physical, masculine appeal, so that those not “of the Truth” would find in him no attraction, but rather the reverse.
We have offered the foregoing in the hope it may be a firm and sound foundation for all who are seeking to “follow in His steps” and desire the “spirit of a sound mind.” The pronounced trend of our times throughout Christendom, and even among many Truth people, is to forsake the formula that gave to St. Paul his mental strength; and seek rather the shady consolation of such as have “familiar spirits,” despite the clear instruction that such a course is forbidden. “Do not turn to mediums, nor make search for oracles, to render yourselves unclean with them.” (Lev. 19:31, Rotherham) It is our fond hope that what has been written will bless and strengthen all those who are “of the truth.”
“All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies” (Psa. 25:10); and “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” (Eph. 6:24)
Reprint of No. 203, May 1, 1972
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings in the love and fellowship of the Harvest Message!
I am writing a letter to ask you to give me a short history of yourself, as a Bible Student. Somehow I got you connected with P.S.L Johnson and Brother Jolly, but I may be mistaken on this, and I would like to become better acquainted with you.
My mother made her full consecration in 1914 after seeing the Photo Drama of Creation in Sedro‑Woolley, Washington at the Dream Theatre. I was 11 years old at the time and enjoyed the Drama. A few years later I made a full consecration and have recognized the Pastor as “That Servant” and he has been my Pastor all these years. I will be 79 the 19th of May, I am not identified with any organization and try to serve the Truth and the brethren as outlined in the Scriptures in our Pastor’s writings. Just now (1982 is the 13th year) I am quite busy with Discourse Service and have about 250 on the mailing list. I am enclosing a self‑addressed envelope for your reply to this letter.
Sincerely in Christ, ------- (WASHINGTON)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Christian greetings!
Once more we have been spared to see the opening of another year ... in the many blessings received from our just, loving and wise Creator – notwithstanding the many obstacles, or failures, we learn by them as our Lord did. We still look forward for many more chastenings if necessary by our loving Father. He knows to fit the burdens to the back and the back to the burdens, making it all work together for good to our eternal glory.....
Your last letter is at hand and its contents noticed though with some regret, but the Father’s will is best, and that should be accepted. I daily pray for your renewed strength, spiritually and otherwise – also for the Bible House Family. With fond love for you and the Bible House family. Yours by His Grace, ------- (JAMAICA)
Dear Hoefle Family:
Just finished binding the March‑April papers after reading them several times. Every sentence is full of information – no wasted words! No wonder our mother was anxious for every copy to arrive. I can see her sitting in the porch swing with her Bible and papers absorbing every word. They are all just wonderful’ and you make everything so clear – although we know much of it you bring it into focus more clearly, as some of the Truth may have been somewhat dimmed. But your comments make us remember we have heard it before. It is comforting to read every copy and when I open these big binders to add copies, I find I want to read them all over again.
Was shocked to read the letter from the Jamaica sister and her experience with a would‑be burglar – and the precautions she had to take with her windows. It brings the coming trouble closer to home.
The wind has caused many trees to be blown down, and David has to go around all the fields to pick up the branches before he can do any farm work. But it has been so wet he has not been able to get to it.....
Trusting you all are fairly well and able to do the necessary daily chores in spite of the infirmities. May the Lord’s blessing be with you all.
Christian love, ------- (OHIO)