In our September 1979 paper, Part Two, we were discussing the High Calling, and we will now give
MORE ON THE HIGH CALLING
“And I saw (mentally and physically) another angel (God’s people in their capacity of ministering the Truth to their brethren not yet in the Truth—C 303; Rev. 7:3 ‘until we have sealed’—Ezek. 9:2-5, 11 – and not Jesus alone, as Vol. VII teaches) ascending from the east (Jesus and the Church – The Christ – are the Sun, Light, of the world, John 9:5; Matt. 5:14) and having the seal (the Truth as due), of the living God (given in the Scriptures), and he cried with a loud voice to (as the Salt of the earth, the Light of the world, and the City set upon a hill—Matt. 5:13-16 – the faithful have with a great message, reproved the world for sin, righteousness and judgment to come—John 16:8-11 – this work having had a wholesome effect upon the world and having inculcated such principles as, measurably imbibed, have measurably restrained the selfishness of mankind from giving way to the full will of the fallen angels and thus arrested these unholy beings, who if unchecked by) the four angels (the four groups of mankind, as above, would long ago have brought the ruin of the Time of Trouble upon the race) to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea (evidently from this clause it can be seen that these four angels do not, as Vol. VII teaches represent the Little Flock, whose work in the flesh is not to injure organized society, nor themselves, nor the earth’s great ones, the symbolic trees of v. 3. The symbolic ‘great trees’ are the Lord’s faithful people.” (E–5:148,149)
“The Bible teaches that all of the saints, the entire 144,000, would be given the honor of executing (spiritual) vengeance upon the nations, and (spiritual) punishment upon the people, of binding the kings and princes, and executing upon them the judgment written (Psa. 149:5-9). This was done from the Fall of 1914 to that of 1916, as we have already shown in Vol. III, Chapter II, to which we refer our readers for a fuller discussion of this point.” (E–5:150,151)
“‘That Servant’ was made Steward of all the Lord’s goods for the whole reaping time following his appointment, and ruler over the whole household, according to Matt. 24:4547 and Luke 12:42–44. Therefore, he must have set forth on the table all the meat for the reaping time, and controlled the entire work for the whole household during the reaping time following his appointment. Consequently, before his death every one of the Elect was working in harmony with his teachings and under his direction of the work. Hence, before his death, October 31, 1916, all of the Elect had been reaped, sealed in the forehead, and were engaged in serving others under that Servant’s general direction.” (E–5:153)
“According to the Bible (Rev. 7:1–3) the Elect of each country must all be sealed before the war would strike that country. Therefore there could be no unsealed Elect in any war–involved country after the war involved that country. This refutes the assumed, but unfactual, view that the Lord abruptly ended the war, and that in order to seal the war–involved countries’ supposedly unsealed Elect whose sealing could ostensibly not be done during the war...... To escape this conclusion the article under review, contradicting our Pastor’s known definitions of the winds and the wind of v. 1 (see Berean Comments), confuses a number of things: (a) the winds of v. 1, which are the fallen angels, with its wind, which is the World War (1 Kings 19:11; Ps. 48:7; 107:25); (b) the winds, which are the fallen angels, but which are in the article falsely defined as destructive power, with the whirlwind, which is the revolution and anarchy of the Time of Trouble (Jer. 25:30–38); and (c) the four winds of Jer. 49:32-46; Ezek. 5:10–12; 17:21; Dan. 11:4, which stand for the four points of the compass with its falsely defined symbolic winds, wind and whirlwind. (3) The Bible also teaches that the reaping would end shortly before the war would reach the reaper. See Studies, Vol. III, 387–404.” (E–6:305 to end of par. on p. 306.
MORE FROM THAT SERVANT
In Reprint 5631, col. 2, Feb. 15, 1915, there is a subheading KINGDOM WORK THIS SIDE THE VEIL: “What time, then is signified by the expression “in the days of these kings,” when the kingdom of God was to be set up in power? To our understanding the first step in the setting up of this kingdom was the raising of the sleeping saints of the Gospel Age, which we believe was in the Spring of 1878. Then began the glorification of the church. The work of setting up the kingdom has, we understand, been progressing from that date, and is now lacking the last members of the church class. When these shall have taken their places as members of the church in glory, the kingdom will be fully set up.”
Regarding the foregoing, it is our understanding that as each one of the Christ completed his earthly journey, that person then joined the Lord in glory – and which was the ‘marriage of the Lamb.’ Then was fulfilled the words of Rev. 19:7, Dia.: ‘the marriage of the Lamb came, and his wife prepared herself.’ Then was completed ‘a stone cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet.’ (Dan. 2:34) That stone could not begin its work until complete. While those still on earth could have fallen out, yet the foreknowledge of God recognized that they would not do so just as was true of the twelve Apostles after being spirit–begotten could have fallen from their position in the Body, yet none of them did.
“This does not signify, that there may not be a part of the kingdom work begun while some of the members of Christ are still in the flesh. Indeed some Scriptures seem to imply that there will be a kingdom work done this side of the veil. We read, ‘Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds.’ This seems to imply, as we have mentioned before, that there is a special work to be done while these saints still have beds, while they are in a condition of repose – not ‘tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine,’ but fully at rest in God’s great plan. The Scripture goes on to say that they have a two–edged sword in their hands – this is the Word of God ... This would not be true of them on the other side of the veil.” (Reprint 5631, par. 5, Feb. 15, 1915)
“Our thought is that we should look for still further evidences day by day that the Gentiles Times have ended, and that God’s kingdom has begun its work .... The present step is the war of the nations. The next step will be Socialism – an attempted Socialism – (after Revolution—JJH) among the people. 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...
“Now the time has come for God’s kingdom to displace them; but they will not willingly resign their crowns and scepters; they are in defiance. Therefore force is required to destroy them. Their 2520 years of rule are in the past, and they must now submit to a complete overthrow.” (Reprint 5632, col. 1 – Feb. 15, 1915)
“We believe that the Times of the Gentiles ended just on time, as shown in Vol. 2... The hand of justice is now doing the breaking – the nations shall be broken as ‘a potter’s vessel.’ The whole cataclysm of trouble may be upon the world during the next ten months or it may be longer deferred. We believe that the time for the setting up of the kingdom was on September 21, 1914. At that time, when it was due for our Lord to take up His great power and reign, the nations were already angry. They were at war over a month in advance of the tine, because so angry.
“The due time for the ‘wrath’ (the “great tribulation”—JJH) was September 21. We are expecting to see this wrath still more manifest. The nations have been in just this same unloving spirit one toward another for a number of years, but apparently they have been under some forcible restraint. We believe that God’s time has not yet come.” (Reprint 5632, col. 2, pars. 4 and 5 – Feb. 15, 1915)
Yes, the ‘wrath’ is still more manifest today, but God’s time has not yet come for the second phase of the trouble – Armageddon. The Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted Armageddon for 1975, but self–evidently, that was not God’s time. But we may be sure that it will come in God’s due time. God’s faithful people need not be disturbed as they see these things coming to pass. However, we do indeed pity the ‘groaning creation’ as we see these things coming on them, but we “lift up our heads and rejoice,” knowing our deliverance is near – not only ours but that of all mankind.
Brother Johnson saw no reason to depart from the Truth on the Time of Trouble, or the Epiphany, that Brother Russell taught us – nor do we. If we cast their teaching aside, we might as well say they were far from knowing the Plan of the Ages. The following is from E–4:55,56:
“We now will quote and expound passages that prove that the Epiphany will end with the Anarchy and Jacob’s trouble, i.e., will end with the end of the trouble. A passage that proves this with reference to Anarchy, though it also refers to the War, Revolution, Famine and Pestilence, is 2 Thes.1:7,8: ‘The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels (the agents whereby He will pour out vengeance) in flaming fire (destructive troubles – War, Revolution, Famine, Pestilence and Anarchy), taking vengeance on them (the Second Deathers in the Nominal Church) that know not God and (on them, the Second Deathers in the Truth) that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Accordingly, this passage proves that the Epiphany will be completed by the Anarchy.
“A passage that proves this with reference to Jacob’s trouble, so far as the Lord’s revelation of Himself to Israel is concerned, is Zech. 12:9,10: ‘It shall come to pass in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (in the time of Jacob’s trouble, Zech. 12:1–8; Ezek. 38; 39); and I will pour upon the House of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication, and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced (Rev. 1:7); and they shall mourn for it’ (the piercing, I.V.), etc. All Truth people recognize at once that this passage refers to the end of Jacob’s trouble, and that it proves our Lord’s revelation of Himself to Israel as their long rejected Messiah. Hence these two verses prove that the Time of Trouble and the Epiphany are identical.”
JUDGMENT FOR ALL THE ELECT
In 1 Pet. 4:17,18, Dia., there is this: “The season is coming for the judgment to begin from the house of God. (Berean Comment: “Krisma, final decision”)... And if the righteous person scarcely is safe, where will the impious and the sinner appear?” Three classes are mentioned in this text: “the righteous” – the Little Flock; “the impious” – the Second Deathers; “the sinner” – the Great Company. Note the Berean Comment on Jas. 5:20: “He that was once a member of the Royal Priesthood.” We are now in “the evil day,” the day in which we should expect to see the fulfillment of Mal. 3:3: “The sons of Levi” – typical of all believers (see Berean Comment); “gold” – the Little Flock; “silver” – the Great Company. All of this was much emphasized by That Servant as occurring in the Time of Trouble – this Epiphany day.
Mal. 3:2 raises the question, “Who may abide the day of his coming? (the Parousia day from 1874 to 1914) and who shall stand when he appeareth (when he maketh manifest – by the bright shining of the Epiphany day).” The Epiphany is called a period of time in the Bible: “This know also that in the last days (the Parousia and the Epiphany days) perilous times shall come.” (2 Tim. 3:1, 8,9) Psa. 91:6 speaks of “the pestilence (destructive error) that walketh in darkness,” The Epiphany is also described as a night; and the pestilence that is so rampant in so many quarters is visible evidence that we are in that dark time. Recently a paper came to us, which has a sub–heading “False Prophets” – then he describes Brother Russell as follows:
“He was particularly interested in the second coming of Christ, as were a few others at that time. He had aligned the prophecies pertaining to the Lord’s coming fairly accurately; but made the mistake of applying them prematurely. His error of assuming that Christ had arrived in 1874 was the basis for all his false claims relative to the Lord’s coming.”
It will be recalled that, shortly after Brother Russell’s death, the claim came forth that he had made a 19–year mistake in the Chronology – that the Gentile Times would not end until 1933. Of course time itself made clearly manifest the error of that claim; nothing at all happened in 1933 to give any semblance of Truth to that figure.
As may be expected, that contention created a great furor; and J. F. Rutherford entered into the controversy. And it is our opinion that he offered a very good defense of the true chronology – just as Pastor Russell had given it to us. However, at that very time he presented some rank error on the Jubilee cycles and the time involved there, during which he came up with the prediction that Millions Now Living Will Never Die – after 1925. Of course, he was one hundred per cent wrong on that. He also produced the error that the door to the High Calling closed at Passover 1918, which he later changed two or three times; and as of this writing it would seem that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not certain about it yet. Also, in view of other statements they have made – such as Armageddon beginning in 1975 – they don’t know where they are with the chronology; they are simply floating around in space.
In its wide sense the Time of Trouble began in 1874. After that date the radical elements of society became much more radical. And it was during the time after 1874 that the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente were formed – each glaring at the other, and was one of the principal causes for the outbreak of the great war in 1914. At this date the Time of Trouble began in its real violent stage; and the war in 1914 was up to that time the world’s greatest calamity. It put all involved nations into financial insolvency; and this has continued to grow worse each year since 1933. Just before this last great war began the national debt of the United States was about forty billion dollars; and one leading Washington publication made the statement then that no one with any real financial judgment believes this will ever be paid. At this writing it is now about twenty times that amount – with the situation growing alarmingly worse each year.
The 1914 war broke out in one day that year, with the assassination of the Austrian Archduke in Servia; and it brought sharply to mind the great prophecy of Jesus in Luke 17:26,27: “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.” It will be noted that this text refers to “days” (plural), indicating more than one day. It is our understanding that there are two days in the end of the Age – the Parousia day that commenced in 1874 and ended in 1914, at which time the great tribulation began, corresponding to the flood that burst upon the world immediately after Noah entered into the ark. However, Luke 17:30 speaks of only one day: “Thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed (uncovered, from the Greek apokalupto, having the same root as the apokalypse, or the book of Revelation).”
This “revelation” is still in process, and we do not now know how long it will continue; but its presence is apparent to those in the Lord’s Household who have been enlightened to perceive it. However, it is also apparent to some in the world in a rather foggy way, of course. One speaker at a conclave we attended a few years back made the statement that the world’s money situation has never been the same since the outbreak of the great war in 1914 – “men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things coming on the earth (the present social order).”
Says the Apostle Paul in 1 Thes. 5:1,2: “Of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night (quietly, stealthily, and after it has come many will not know they are in it).” This statement is as true now as it was when Paul wrote it. The first of these seasons was the small Parousia, which began in 1874 and continued during the Harvest to 1914; the second, the Epiphaneia; and the third the Basileia (Kingdom). All of these are a part of, and run concurrently with the large Parousia day (1874–2874); but none of them run concurrently with each other; and there is good reason for this. In each of those periods there is a main, though not exclusive, objective. The small Parousia was for the purpose of reaping; and that day and that work ended at exactly the same time – September 1914. “Thrust in thy sickle, and reap, for the time is come for thee to reap.” (Rev. 14:15) Second is the Epiphaneia (the revealment “in flaming fire”); and the Basileia (the Kingdom).
When the small Parousia ended, the Epiphany immediately began, although there was a small overlapping of around two years. There was a threefold main objective: (1) “To execute upon them (the kings, nobles and people in general) the judgment written” (Psa. 149:9); (2) to judge “the quick” (2 Tim. 4:1); and (3) “devour all the earth (the present social order) with the fire of my jealousy” (Zeph. 3:8) – in the time of violence which began in 1914, and which will continue to the end of Jacob’s Trouble, just preceding the end of Anarchy. As soon as the Epiphany arrived all three of these objectives began to operate: Jordan was smitten in 1914–16 (“bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron”—Psa. 149:8); the “manifestation” (epiphanizing) of the “quick” in their various classes began to appear; and “the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come.” (Rev. 11:18)
The Basileia (the Kingdom) will have as its main objective Restitution (Acts 3:19-23); and it will appear also as soon as “the word of the Lord goes forth from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:3). There was a 25–month overlapping of the Parousia into the Epiphany (Sept. 1914 to Oct. 1916); but that did not deter in the least the beginning of the Epiphany work exactly on time. However, it is well to note here that of all the erstwhile Truth groups only two contend that the Basileia is already with us; namely, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement. But instead of observing any of the benign influences of the Kingdom, worse things are coming upon the world –crime and misery worse than at any time in history, but the Word of the Lord tells us that the Kingdom is to “wipe away all tears.” It seems unbelievable that brethren who were once blessed with the logical and sober teachings of That Servant could swallow such errors; and it simply proves that “they received not the truth in the love of it, and on this account God will send them an energy of delusion, to their believing the falsehood.” (2 Thes. 2:10,11, Dia.)
THE WIND, FOUR WINDS, WHIRLWIND
In Rev. 7:1–3 we are told that the four angels should “hold the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth ... till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” The four winds in this text are the fallen angels (see also Dan. 7:2); the wind is the great war that started in 1914; and the forehead sealing refers to the administration of the Truth to those who came into the Truth before that war began in each country. It should be noted here that all the saints were spirit–begotten by 1914, but all of them had not been sealed in their foreheads with present Truth. They were saints (wheat) that had not come out of Babylon, just as most of the saints were in Babylon during the Parousia. But all of them were “sealed in the forehead” in time to take part in the first Smiting of Jordan” during the time of 1914-1916. (Psa. 149:8)
Some have the mistaken idea that the above is Epiphany Truth; but the Berean Comments show this view was held as far back as 1898: “The four winds” – which are to constitute the whirlwind of the time of trouble – (Anarchy—JJH); “That the wind” – the great wars between nations which are to be expected shortly; “Blow on the earth” Society; “Nor on the sea” – the restless, anarchistic masses of men; “Hurt not the earth” – the present favored time, with its liberties and advantages, divinely arranged; “Until we” – the Lord’s saints on this side of the veil; “Have sealed” – marked, separated, distinguished; “In their foreheads” – given them an intellectual appreciation of the Plan of God, with its time features, etc., as a comfort, shield, and mark, seal, or evidence of their sonship.
EPIPHANEIA – APOKALYPSIS
That Servant defined these terms as synonymous (as an act and as a period of time). However, they are not synonymous in the strict sense of the word. Many translators give Epiphaneia as “bright shining,” “forthshining,” “uncovering,” etc.; whereas they offer “revelation” as the meaning of Apokalypsis. The Diaglott labels the last book in the Bible THE APOKALYPSIS. Viewed critically, it is impossible to have one without the other, which explains why they are synonymous as an act and as a period of time. Thus, it requires the bright shining to produce the revelation. The Book of Revelation, for instance, has been with us since the Apostle John wrote it; but it cannot possibly be understood – revealed, uncovered – until the bright shining (Epiphaneia) makes it clear. While Martin Luther saw the explanation for some parts of Revelation, other parts of it he could not possibly understand because the “bright shining” had not arrived to reveal it – in the “due time.” Just one instance: The 1260 days (1260 literal years) in Rev. 13:5 could not possibly be clear to him because those years did not end until 1799, and prophecy cannot be clearly understood in detail until it has been fulfilled, or is in the process of fulfillment. And those years did not end until 1799 – about 250 years after Luther’s death.
Thus, it will be seen that the “bright shining” and the “revelation” have continued in limited measure throughout the Gospel Age; but there is also an Epiphaneia – Apokalypsis – designated as a special period of time here in the end of the Age; but it cannot be truthfully stated that there is a special Apokalypsis period apart from the Epiphaneia – or the Epiphany, as we call it.
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT
In 2 Tim. 4:1 it is stated that the Lord Jesus Christ shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing (Epiphaneia) and at his kingdom (Basileia). There is no mention of His judging in the Apokalypsis, as a period apart from the Epiphaneia. And we believe all Bible Students will surely admit that we are yet in the judging period of the Elect and of the world – the world in the sense of the “judgments of the nations” (not individuals).
Regardless of how little time that judging would consume, it must be evident that it is nevertheless a special period of time. When we paraphrase 2 Tim. 4:1, the text becomes much clearer: “He shall judge the quick at His Epiphaneia, and the dead at His Basileia.” The judging of the Basileia has not yet started at all; but we think the judging of the Epiphaneia began when the Time of Trouble began in 1914.
Not only did the judging begin then, but it brought special trials on all the true Household of Faith. It stirred up a rabid patriotism in each country involved; and a great rage was unloosed against those who were not in harmony with such an attitude. In the third Chapter of Daniel we have the story of Nebuchadnezzar and his golden image, which the three Hebrews (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) refused to recognize. This made the King furious, and he ordered that they be cast into a fiery furnace – “that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.” (v. 19) That furnace typified the extreme fury that was unleashed then through militarism and the church federations. Those of us who were involved at that time know only too well of the truth of this conclusion, and it is still vividly recalled by some of us. Some of the Objectors were actually killed, and many were brutally tortured.
Here are some of the details: We were closely and intimately acquainted with three brethren who were inducted into the army early in 1917 – right after the United States entered the great war. In January of 1918, with the temperature at zero, those three were taken into the shower room, alternately showered with hot and cold water, then scrubbed with a rough floor brush until they bled; and this was continued until they fell over in a faint. One brother died as a result of that treatment; and another lost his mind, was sent to a mental institution and recovered after two years of treatment. But, when he eventually came out, he could not remember ever having seen us, although we were closely associated with him in the army. He has been dead for some years now. Yes, the furnace was heated “seven times hotter than it was wont to be heated.” All of this is now ancient history, completely unknown to most of our readers; and not known at all to those too young to remember World War One. But we know personally what happened then, and we can give an accurate account of it. The Epiphany has indeed been a time for judging “the quick.”
ELIJAH AND ELISHA
In the second chapter of 2 Kings there is related the last association of Elijah and Elisha – how they left Gilgal, went from there to Bethel, then to Jericho, then to Jordan (at which place Elijah wrapped his mantle, smote the River, which divided it into two parts and the “two went over on dry ground”). “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire... and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.” In Bible symbolisms chariots often typify organizations; and that is its meaning in verse 12.
Many of our readers know that Pastor Russell said the time would come when there would be a clear separation of Elijah and Elisha here in the end of the Age; and that separation became an established fact in the summer of 1917. One of the very big issues then was the contention over “the channel, The Society” (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society) – the antitypical “chariot” over which Elisha lamented, “my father, my father, the chariot of Israel (God’s Household at that time – the organization founded by That Servant), and the horsemen (the leaders, the guides of that chariot) thereof.” The Berean Comment on v. 11: “of fire” (probably signifying severe persecutions on the last members of the Elijah class).
The following is taken from E–3:45: “The fulfilled facts antitypical of 1 Kings 19:19-21 and 2 Kings 2:1-25, prove that antitypical Elijah, after functioning for many centuries, called antitypical Elisha in 1846, afterwards journeyed with him to antitypical Gilgal, 1874, to antitypical Bethel, 1878, to antitypical Jericho, 1881, to antitypical Jordan, 1914, and separated from him in 1917, since which time antitypical Elisha functions without antitypical Elijah.”
Follows now something from Tower Reprint 5772, col. 2, bottom, and 5773, top: “It was while the two went on, with no knowledge of how far they would go, that Elijah said to Elisha, ‘What would you like as a reward for your faithfulness in journeying with me?’ Elisha responded that he would most prefer a large measure of the spirit of the Lord, which so notably was manifested in Elijah. The reply was that he could get this great blessing only under special conditions; namely, that he would continue faithful in cooperation until the last – until Elijah would be taken. This would be a hard matter; for, if Elisha’s attention was permitted to wander, he would not get so rich a blessing.
“As they went on, behold, a chariot of fire parted them asunder.” In symbolic language, this seems to signify that the Elijah class would be involved in very fiery trouble, persecutions, and will thus be separated from their fellows. The next symbol of a whirlwind taking Elijah to heaven also implies further trouble. Prophecies are generally understood after their fulfillment – and only vaguely before. It was thus at our Lord’s first advent in respect to the prophecies then being fulfilled.
“We may not hope to clearly understand in advance the full import of the fiery chariot nor of the whirlwind. To some the thought of being taken away from the present life suddenly, violently in fiery troubles, etc., would be a terrible prospect; not so will it be with the members of the Elijah class. Waiting for their change, and living in daily readiness of heart, therefore, they go on without trepidation. On the contrary, in whatever way they shall be taken, it will be the culmination of their hopes for which they so long have waited and prayed – their deliverance.”
Then this from Reprint 5846, col. 1, pars. 1 and 2; col. 2, pars. 1 and 3: “But here is the way the Lord pictures the matter: First, there will be the chariot of fire. We do not know what this will be; but we understand that some fiery experience will cause a separation between the two classes of the Lord’s people. Then will develop the whirlwind of anarchy. Perhaps this will be mobs that will destroy the lives of the faithful ones. We do not know .....
“This picture is not given for nothing. ‘What does it mean?’ you ask. Ah, we know that most prophecies are understood only after they are fulfilled.
“‘Do you think that this has not yet taken place?’ may be a question in your minds. We think it has not yet fully taken place. ‘Do you think that the PhotoDrama of Creation has had a part in it?’ It may be.......
“So, then, you see what we are looking for. Whether this will take place in a few months or in a few years more we may not be sure. But we think that we shall see something that will bring a division in the sentiments of the people before we get into the fiery chariot.”
That 1917 separation has continued to pyramid over the years, with more and more of antitypical Elijah leaving the Society, and associating themselves with various Truth movements. But whether these superior brethren left the Society, or whether they stayed, it is our conviction that all of them had their fiery chariot trials. We have known quite a few of them since 1917, so we speak from personal experience.
Many brethren attempted to interpret the account in the second chapter of 2 Kgs.; but, so far as we know, none of them were harmonious if they departed from That Servant’s general interpretation. While the brethren were in prison in 1918, vice–president Wise supervised the work of the Society. On one occasion he came to Dayton, Ohio, where we then lived; and during one of his discourses he said he had been bombarded with about 400 Bible articles in a few months’ time – most of them on Elijah and Elisha; but quiet reflection now convinces us that That Servant gave the correct generalities, and any correct interpretation would have to harmonize with his thoughts. During 1917-1920 many of the brethren – those that stayed, and those that left – were truly in the furnace of affliction.
It is our fond hope that these papers will convince all our readers that we are now in the “Time of the End,” and have been so since 1799. But one writer has expressed himself very well: “Carry a cross patiently, and with perfect submission; and in the end it shall carry you.”
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
LETTER OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle:
My prayer is this will find you pleasing in His sight in helping spread the Truth, which is not easy to come by anymore.
All is well with us at the present time, for which I am thankful. I think your July 1979 issue is a masterpiece. There is more meat in it than you could find in the Chicago stock yards. You were a little conservative with the number of newspapers that carried Brother Russell’s sermons. The publisher says it was approximately 3,000, and the number to receive the message was approximately 10,000,000.
May the Lord bless you and yours real good.
Your brother ------- (FLORIDA)