“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you,” is the counsel of the Apostle Peter in 1 Pet. 4:12; and in v. 16 he appeals further, “If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” It is often most helpful to the proper understanding of any text to discern its background, the basis which prompted its expression; and such is definitely true in the present instance. It will be noted in v. 1, chapter 1, that the Apostle is addressing to “the strangers” of the Black Sea Provinces. The Diaglott expresses it much clearer: “Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the sojourners of the dispersion.” Who were these “sojourners of the dispersion”? Apparently, they were such Jews as had been exiled from or about Jerusalem, or those who had left because conditions there were more or less unbearable for them. It would seem these are the same ones mentioned in John 7:35, when the Jews who were hearing Jesus, “said among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles?”
Among such dispersed ones, those who had suffered afflictions for some cause or other, there would certainly be found some who were ready listeners to the message that Jesus was indeed the Christ, their Messiah; and it would seem St. Peter had been among them, had convinced some, and was striving to “establish them in the Present Truth.” Of a certainty, those Jews had never seen Jesus personally; therefore, their acceptance of Him had been prompted by the testimonies of St. Peter or others. (1 Pet. 1:8) The prophecy (Isa. 8:14) that “He shall be for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel” was not without purpose. Those Jews who received Him gladly did so from the heart; but those Jews who rejected Him likewise hated Him from the heart – hated also their former brethren who then accepted Him. To some He was the savor of life unto life; to some the savor of death unto death; and the latter snarled the opprobrious name “Christian” at their former fellows, as they spat upon the ground in the same breath, the worst of all insults they could express toward the new converts. Thus, St. Peter was telling such who had become His disciples that if they suffered under the offensive name “Christian” to be not ashamed, but to “Glorify God in this name.”
The expression “fiery trial” in our text is from the Greek purosis, meaning literally “a burning,” being the same word found also in Rev. 18:9 and 18:18 (the word occurs but three times in the Bible), where the “burning” of that Great City which is called spiritually, Sodom, is described. This may be regarded as a fitting sarcasm in contrast that the same word should be used to describe the “sweet-smelling savor unto the Lord” which comes from the “burning” – the sharp and faith-developing trials of the true Christians on the one hand, and the “burning” – the utter destruction of the “vine of the earth” on the other hand. And all of this is emphasized further by St. Peter in v. 17 of chapter 4: “Because the season is coming for the judgment to begin from the house of God; and if it begin first from us, what the end of those who are disobedient to the glad tidings?”
Today the name Christian is often spoken with respect, even by many Jews in the more enlightened countries; the name itself is no longer “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” Now Christians in name only must find other insulting terms for “Christians indeed” (“Israelites indeed” – John 1:47) To many who received “Present Truth” under That Servant, to be a “Russelite” was the most insulting term to apply to those “Christians indeed.” To some, who believed Brother Johnson and his ardent adherents were in the second death, the epithet “Johnson-ite” would bear similar meaning to their fellows as did the name “Christian” in Apostolic times. Thus, we might substitute the words, “If any man suffer as a Johnson-ite, let him not be ashamed” – that is, if he suffers such epithets as a faithful footstep follower of Jesus Christ. Let us keep in mind that if we “suffer as a Christian,” because of the Truth, we need never be ashamed – whether it be labeled Russellism, Hoefleism, or whatever opprobrium erstwhile brethren may use in contempt – the same as did the Jewish brethren of Jesus in contemptuous use of the name “Christian.” “As He was in this world, so are we.”
“THAT OLD SERPENT THE DEVIL”
All of the “burning” – fiery trials – of God’s people under the reign of evil have been instigated by “the God of this world,” the evil one; and this has been markedly true of the difficulties of all new creatures during this Gospel Age. This is apparent at the very outset of the Age, when “the Apostle and High Priest of our Profession, Christ Jesus” was “led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil.” (Matt. 4:1) The word here translated “Devil” is from the Greek ‘diabolos,’ and is a specific name for the individual Satan – the Devil. It is the same word as found in Rev. 20:2: “He laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan.”
We believe the words dragon, serpent, Devil and Satan portray the four unholy attributes of Azazel – the personification of evil in completeness – just as Power, Wisdom, Justice and Love describe the four character attributes of Jehovah – the personification of Goodness and true Holiness in perfection. As the “dragon,” the Evil One, has attempted to devour the Gospel-Age saints by the unholy use of power, just as he through Pagan Rome actually did “devour the child”—Rev. 12:4. Honest opponents are devoured and crushed by the unholy use of power, just as that great apostate “woman Jezebel” used unholy power to become “drunken with the blood of the saints”—Rev. 17:6. But in all of this seeming victory, God’s holy use of power has preserved the fully faithful, has “laid up for them a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge will give them in that day ... to all those who love His appearing.” As the “serpent,” the evil one has been the deceiver, the beguiling tempter, of the Age in a perverted use of wisdom – Azazel means perverter. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any living thing”—Gen. 3:1, Rotherham; and “The woman was deceived”—l Tim. 2:14. But the “pure wisdom which is from above” has kept the fully faithful during the Age from being “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
As the “devil,” the Evil One has been the false accuser, the calumniator (so the Greek) of God’s people, especially so in the Parousia-Epiphany in the persons of antitypical Jannes and Jambres, the slanderous false-accusing sifters described by St. Paul in 2 Tim. 3:1-9. And slander, lying, false statements, misrepresentations, bad conscience manifested toward the fully faithful, are they not all an abuse of justice, i.e., “in”-justice? But here again, the “Justice that is laid to the line” has spoken – or will eventually speak – in vindication of all those “whose righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.” Then, finally as “Satan,” the Evil One is the adversary, or opposer of God’s fully faithful people – often using the measurably faithful to oppose the fully faithful – the “buckwheat” class meddling in the affairs of the wheat class, attempting to usurp their office powers. They frequently use the Truth given by God through His faithful mouthpieces to their own advantage, often palming it off as their own – all motivated through a lack of love – those persons “who received not the Truth in the love of it,” and who have been given an “energy of delusion” in return. “Thou hast given them blood (error) to drink”! (Rev. 16:6) But the true love, coming from the One “altogether lovely” provokes to good works (Heb. 10:24) – just as the lack of it opposes such good works, and attempts to promote evil works. Thus, there is clearly depicted the “High and Lofty One, who inhabiteth eternity, whose Name is Holy,” as contrasted with the Evil One who will be “bound a thousand years, cast into the bottomless pit, that he should deceive the nations no more” – and eventually annihilated.
THE PATTERN OF TEMPTATIONS WELL DEFINED
If we “consider Him,” it becomes clear enough that Jesus had His most severe trials at the very outset, and then at the end of His walk on the “narrow way.” After His anointing “with the spirit without measure” at Jordan, He was possessed of a consuming zeal, which so engrossed Him He did not even stop to eat for forty days. It would seem reasonable to believe that, knowing the great import of His mission on earth, and that “the King’s business required haste,” He memorized the entire Old Testament in those forty days, as well as to “rightly divide the word of Truth” on the various Tabernacle types, etc., of which He Himself would be the central figure in the antitype. According to His own words a little later, He had instructed those who have followed Him during the Age that every Tabernacle type had to continue until its antitype appeared “Till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:18; Luke 16:17) Then, at the extreme end of His earthly ministry came the most severe trial of all – Gethsemane and the Cross; and this pattern is also clearly marked in the experiences of the Apostles – much persecution immediately after Pentecost, with greater climax toward the end of their lives. James was killed with the sword (Acts 12:2), Peter crucified head downward, John thrown into a vat of boiling oil, Paul having his head chopped off, etc. – with all of them having their most severe testings at the beginning and at the end of their narrow-way experiences.
And Satan, master of psychology makes his boldest and strongest attempts when his intended victims are weakest. This he did in the case of Jesus, when He was weakened from His fast and arduous concentration at the end of the forty days. And this he did by evidencing real concern for His physical welfare. “You are hungry and weak,” he had implied, “but You have received the Holy Spirit without measure; you have power to provide your every need; command that these stones be made bread.” This would not only try out the new power He had received, but would provide His temporal necessities at the same time. It might even decide Satan to repent and be converted, to join hands with Him in the work He was about to undertake.
Inasmuch as “He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin,” we may be certain His followers all during the Age would be similarly tried – tempted to use the power of the Truth to their own present advantage; yet accomplish just as readily the work given them to do. Numerous are the examples along this line: Balaam, who succumbed to the temptation (Num. 22); St. Peter “offered money” for the power he had, but emphatically responding that “the gift of God is not to be purchased with money” (Acts 8:18-20); the Gospel-Age builders of Great Babylon becoming “rich., and increased of goods, and in need of nothing,” as they foolishly determined to bring to earth the Kingdom of God before “due time” – “my Lord delayeth.” “Money is power,” says Solomon; but it does not bring the power that maketh wise unto salvation; yet it has deceived many into believing they could be the “rich man” in this world, and “Lazarus” in the next. Just a cursory look at our Lord’s course should convince then of their fallacious reasoning.
TEMPTATION TO USE UNLAWFUL METHODS
At Jesus’ prompt rejection of Satan’s first bit of sophistry, he took up a second mode of attack: “If thou be the son of God, cast thyself down” from the pinnacle of the temple. (Matt. 4:6) This task of redeeming, uplifting mankind from the mire of sin, from relieving the poverty and human frailty, so apparent on every hand, just could not be done without some sensational methods; and this has been the thinking of the minds of worldly men throughout the Age. One outstanding weakness of the “great multitude” all during the Age has been this very mistake; thus, they become “doubleminded” – a mind to serve the Lord while using Satan’s methods. They would do great works, win great numbers, gain great favor with their fellows, yet bask in the smile of Heaven at the same time – a combination never parried by the fully faithful, but readily grasped by those befuddled by Azazel, attempting to juggle the “pearl of great price” with one hand, as they juggle “the pleasures of sin for a season” with the other hand. “They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare” (1 Tim. 3:6) “The Kingdom of Heaven cometh not with outward show,” said Jesus, and He set us the example of being “meek and lowly of heart.” There can be no argument with the statement, “The entrance of thy word giveth light,” and the great “quickening” that comes upon entrance of the Truth into the human mind has caused the large majority to “think more highly of themselves than they ought to think.” But the jester spoke a great truth when he declared, “Oh, if you would only know how much you have to know that you don’t know nuthin.”
It is a common fallacy of professional men – doctors, lawyers, preachers, technicians – to consider others stupid because the general knowledge of their particular vocation is so limited in the general mind. This is a mistake, of course, because many uneducated people could have made excellent doctors, lawyers, etc., had they been given the opportunity. It is a sage observation that the big difference between the professors and the students is that the professors read the books first. Therefore, it is sound counsel to all, and especially to the leaders in the church, to consider St. Paul’s words: “Who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now, if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7)
TEMPTATION TO COMPROMISE
With Jesus’ positive rejection of Satan’s suggestion, there came immediately the third temptation – the temptation of Combinationism, which has overcome vast multitudes throughout the Age, and especially so here in the end of the Age. Satan would have Jesus to join with Him to accomplish His mission. Could not the two of them do it better than one of them alone? Would not two heads be better than one? Satan made it clear, of course, that he himself would be chief of the two heads: “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” This temptation of Combinationism to God’s people has been among the most alluring all during the Age – not stated in exactly the same words, of course, but with the same underlying principle. “Money is power,” says Solomon; and this influence is stronger today than at any time in history, because there is so much more of it in the hands of so many more people of differing ideals and desires. The person today who contributes, say, $10,000 per year to his particular church, will not be lightly considered when he states his wishes to the preacher. One great source of strength with the last two Principal Men was their decision, SEATS FREE – NO COLLECTIONS. Since they asked no one for money, they could afford to tell them the truth; there was no need to compromise. This revives the story of an Admiral from the American Navy: Deciding to go to church one Sunday morning as he returned from the sea, he walked to a pew near the front, occupied by one lone old man. As he joined the party, he was given reproachful glances, which, however, he ignored. The old man, not to be thus disregarded, took one of his personal cards from his pocket, wrote on it, “I paid $1,000 for this seat.” The Admiral turned the card to the other side, handed it back to its owner with the answer, “You paid too much.” And certainly Jesus would have “paid too much” had He succumbed to the tricky deceit of Satan.
TRUTH STRANGER THAN FICTION
It is a sound observation that truth is stranger than fiction; and this is illustrated all about us today. Who wishes to hear the Truth? Even some among former brethren – those who once claimed to love the Truth more than life itself – there is very little of the “hearing ear” any more. And this situation is very evident in Churchianity everywhere; they are willing to listen to and receive almost any kind of hokus-pokus just so long as it isn’t the Truth. Thus, to the vast majority, the Truth is indeed a “stranger,” which emphasizes the truth of Jesus’ inquiry: “When the Son of Man cometh, will He find the faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) And the Berean Comment is most fitting: “The question implies that at that time the true faith (the Truth) would be almost extinct.” (Luke 18:8 – Berean Comment) But for those who do have the faith – the Present Truth – there is the comforting assurance of Psa. 89:15: “Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound (that have an ear for the Truth); they walk, 0 Lord, in the light of thy countenance.” Such have meat to eat that others know not of; to such the Aaronic blessing is sure: “The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace” – the peace of God, which passeth understanding.
All of the three temptations of Jesus, which He met and rejected without wavering, have come in principle to all of His followers during the Age, added to which they have also been tempted to sin. It is well to bear in mind that temptation is an appealing suggestion. Without appeal, there can be no temptation. Thus, the statement, “God cannot be tempted of evil” – evil is distasteful to every pore of His Being; just the reverse of Satan, whose characterization of The Evil One is indicative of the full corruption of evil that pervades every pore of his being. Nor is it any sin to be tempted; sin enters only when we are “overcame of evil.” Therefore, “be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” In all of their temptations, the fully faithful eventuate as “more than conquerors” – they gain the “crown of righteousness” which wins for them a throne. “He that overcometh shall sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne,” is the sure promise of the fully faithful new creatures.
But the Scriptures are very clear that the new creatures who are measurably faithful – a “great multitude” – are not such overcomers; they will never gain a throne. At best, they will serve “before the throne” – the throne being the heritage of their fully faithful brethren. After they have “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” it will also be their privilege to become a kind of police force in the spiritual realm. And we believe it is sound and just observation that every one of the Great Multitude leaders today has failed in at least two, and probably in all three, of those temptations which came especially upon Jesus – selfishness, error, worldliness with the additional charge against some of them that they also fall under the fourth temptation, Sin. As the Epiphany Messenger has taught, Sectarianism is a great sin. During the Gospel Age Great Company leaders have built the sects in Big Babylon, and have perverted the Star Members’ teachings they embraced for their sects. The Great Company is one of the elect classes, but as a class they are not counted as overcomers of sectarianism and clericalism, even though they all must overcome their sins of teaching and practice as individuals if they receive the “palms” of victory. (Rev. 7:9) Thus, we offer St. Paul’s counsel: “Exhort each other every day, while it is called Today, so that no one among you may be hardened by a delusion of sin.” (Heb. 3:13, Dia.)
Another class of faithful overcomers are those who consecrate between the Ages, after the “door is shut” to the High Calling and before the full opening of the Millennium – that is, before the New Covenant is inaugurated, and opportunity to consecrate for restitution purposes is available. That Servant taught there would be such class in the end of the Age when no more crowns would be available – a class that would be similar to the Ancient Worthies, and would receive a “better resurrection” (Heb. 11:35) and be rewarded in partnership with the Ancient Worthies. He also saw in later years that they would be rewarded with spirit nature at the end of the Kingdom reign. The following respecting “Those Consecrating Between The Ages” is from That Servant’s writings in the September 1, 1915 Watch Tower, Reprint 5761:
“It is our thought that with the closing of the ‘door’ of this Gospel Age there will be no more begetting of the Holy Spirit to the spirit nature. Any afterward coming to God through consecration, before the inauguration of the restitution work, will be accepted by Him, not to the spirit plane of being, but to the earthly plane. Such would come in under the same conditions as the Ancient Worthies who were accepted of God. The Ancient Worthies came in, no call being opened to them – the High Calling not being yet open. But they freely gave themselves up to God without knowing what blessings their consecration would bring, except that they had the intimation that they would, in the future life, have a ‘better resurrection’ than would the remainder of the world.
“Our thought is that whoever under such conditions as these (during the time when sin and evil are in the ascendancy, such as in this our day—JJH), will make a full consecration to the Lord, to leave all to follow in His ways, and will live up faithfully, loyally, to that consecration, may be privileged to be counted as a similar class to those who preceded this Gospel Age. We know of no reason why the Lord would refuse to receive those who make a consecration after the close of the Gospel Age High Calling and before the full opening of the Millennial.”
And it is reasonable to expect a God of Love, Justice, Wisdom and Power to reward such consecrators above restitutionists – those who are faithful and obedient and walk a narrow way when sin and evil are in the ascendancy. The Epiphany Messenger accepted That Servant’s teaching, and was privileged to bring out additional light and much convincing Scriptural support for such a class; and we also “continue in what we have learned and been assured of,” and heartily believe that such consecrators between the Ages after the “door is shut” and before opportunity for consecration for the non-elect will, if faithful, be rewarded with the Ancient Worthies with a “better resurrection” and become “princes in all the earth.”
Like the Ancient Worthies, the Youthful Worthies are on trial for faith and obedience, and not for life, but they will be tested and proved worthy if they achieve their goal – the visible rulers of the Kingdom, under the invisible Kings and Priests of God. (Rev. 20:6) “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor. 15:24-26)
J. F. Rutherford taught in harmony with That Servant at the outset of his career, but later reversed himself. He later produced a class of his own imagination, calling them Jonadabs, which later became the “great multitude.” RGJ also continued in the Truth on Youthful Worthies in the beginning of his career, but has now replaced such consecrators with a non-existent class of his own imagination, a class he calls consecrated Epiphany Campers. Both of these groups are now enmeshed in a “quagmire of error” because they have “rebelled against the words of God” (Psa. 107:11) – revolutionized against the Truth they once received and taught.
We believe that all the Lord’s people would be greatly benefited if they would take heed to That Servant’s admonitions and warning in the Feb. 15, 1912 Watch Tower, Reprint 4970:
“The Lord’s followers are to note how these same temptations are the very ones by which the adversary assails them: (1) He would be their friend and helper and would thereby induce them to violate their covenant of sacrifice by requests for physical healing, physical blessings, which they have agreed to sacrifice. (2) He would suggest to them some wild, foolish way of capturing the world for God by some great exploits or prayer tests. (3) He would have them compromise with the world and its spirit and its methods of church federation and otherwise. We are to resist the adversary courageously that he may leave us permanently, seeing no hope of winning us.”
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” (Eph. 6:13,14,24)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION: – Who is represented by the man with the writer’s inkhorn of Ez. 9:2?
ANSWER: – Quite a few of our brethren believe that That Servant is the only one that is represented in this text; and Volume VII, the Finished Mystery, teaches that Brother Russell is the only one represented in the man with the writer’s inkhorn. We believe that he is the most important part of the man with the writer’s inkhorn; but we also believe that others are included therein – and the following states our reasons for so believing:
(1) If the “six slaughter-weapon men” represent six classes, it is only logical that the “inkhorn man” represents a class also; (2) “That Servant” alone did not put the ink on the foreheads of all that “sighed and cried in the city,” nor did he put all of it on some foreheads; e.g., some who could not read got the Truth from others, and not from him. This is also true of some of the blind. So, too, many were too prejudiced to read until orally they had been taught much of the Truth by others than “That Servant”; while others who did read his writings did not understand many things in them without help of other brethren. Thus the facts prove that he did not, by the written, printed or spoken word, put the ink on all that sighed and cried in the city. Hence he alone does not seem to be symbolized by the inkhorn man. Although he furnished us with the horn, the Truth literature, and put the ink, the Truth into it, and put it upon incomparably more foreheads than any one else, yet he did not put it on all foreheads, nor all of it on some foreheads, where it was put. In this, all the faithful brethren under Brother Russell cooperated with him; hence, the symbol includes others than himself.
Doubtless the writer referred to in the expression, “a writer’s inkhorn,” is “That Servant,” for he furnished us with the inkhorn, i.e., he wrote for us the Truth literature, and put into it the ink, the Truth. (3) The seal of God (Rev. 7:2,3) represents the same thing as the ink. The angel here is a multitudinous one – “until we have sealed the servants of God on their foreheads.” This angel represents God’s people in their capacity of ministering the Truth to their brethren who did not yet have it; therefore, for the end of the Age, this angel represents the reapers, and not Jesus alone, as Volume VII teaches; and for the end of the Age symbolizes the same thing as the man with the writer’s inkhorn, who, therefore, represents all of God’s people in the reaping time in their capacity of teaching their brethren the Truth.
The above is our understanding, but we allow others to have their own opinion of it. It is another matter when some believe that “That Servant” is not individually meant in Matt. 24:45-47, because That Servant had charge of the Household and ministered to others of the Household. Our Lord pointed him out individually. So we do oppose those who think That Servant is a class, because the Scriptures and logic tell us they are in error.
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: – Grace and Peace!
Many thanks for the circulars that we receive so regularly, and which we enjoy very much. The January and February issues are now to hand – and we would like to express our sympathy to you and all at the Bible House in your sad loss of Sister Dunnagan, one of your valued helpers. How providential for you to have Brother Vrooman officiate at the funeral, as a true friend in need.
It has been a long time since I wrote to you when I mentioned H. W. Roberts’ name. We have now received the Winter UN Bulletin and notice another quote from him, as well as your own. Also, his address in Hyde would seem to confirm this is the LHMM brother that we met so many years ago. How time does pass by so quickly! And how true we are living in wonderful times, whether 1984 fulfills something or not. Our King is marching on, and we can have no doubt as to the outcome of the present distress of nations.
We trust your health continues reasonably good, and that Sister Hoefle keeps well also your co-laborers. We have had quite a reasonable winter up to now, although Betty’s angina has been playing up rather more than usual, which has kept us more confined to the house than usual. However, we do manage to see Brother Cyril in Darlington most weeks, and he was able to spend Christmas with us here, which we all enjoyed. We have had no other news of Brother Dixon, other than your brief statement that he is now in Ireland.
Please accept the enclosed for you to use as you see the need. Brother Cyril joins with us to send you our Christian love and prayers for your health sufficient to enable you to continue to minister to all with the hearing ear and receptive heart the words of Truth. God bless you and yours!
Sincerely ------- (ENGLAND)
Some time ago I received Article No. 303 titled “The Law of Moses – Part One.” It was a most interesting article, I must say. I never did receive Part Two, and I would like to know if you could possibly send it to me? I assume it would be No. 304. Thank you very much!
Sincerely in Christ ------- (VIRGINIA)
Please send volumes 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of Epiphany Studies. Enclosed is $5.50. Do you have any materials by Brother Johnson exposing Rutherfordism other than Vol. 6?
Can’t wait for your next newsletter!
Sincerely ------- (PENNSYLVANIA)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and Peace!
I thought I would write you a few lines to let you know that I sure appreciated your calling me, and it did seem good to hear your voices.
I was quite surprised when I read the January-February PT that Brother Gohlke published in the Annual Report the same figures he did a year ago. For several years I have set down the figures of the receipts and expenditures, PT and BS subscriptions and Book Fund and comparing them more or less. I had to put the last figures on another sheet of paper, and I was surprised when I found they were the same as last year. However, he stated they were the year before, but the French, Polish and Danish were current figures. What made me mad was that he insulted you in his article on the Epiphany Campers – that you should be straightened out. I think it applies to him.. Did you notice this in his Annual Report? Some one should write him and ask him about the current figures.
I think that the trouble on the Memorial began in Epiphany circles in 1951 when Brother Jolly had Brother Krewson determine the Memorial date. Krewson then answered Brother Roy Schnee in the PT. Brother Schnee put out a circular in which he proved from Brother Russell’s Watch Towers that he never celebrated the Memorial before the Spring Equinox. I don’t have a copy now. I think I gave it to Brother ------- years ago – and he may have it yet.
We had some warm weather here last week and the snow is all gone. But it is a lot colder this week. Sure hope all is well down there. Give our love to all the brethren there.
Your brother in Him ------- (MICHIGAN)
Dearly Loved Ones: Loving greetings in our precious Savior’s Name!
You are in our thoughts often and in our prayers. What a privilege to observe the stately steppings of our God! We have been reading Brother Russell’s and Eaton’s debates. What a Wise Servant he was! How beautiful the Truth in contrast with the doctrines of Devils of the Dark Ages.
We enjoyed “Retrospect and Prospect” – also 70 Years Desolation. Hymn 171 is a joy to sing.
With warm Christian love Always ------- (MASSACHUSETTS)