Today it is a proper appraisal to say that Protestanism is almost dead – the spirit of the Reformers, John Wessel, Martin Luther, John Wesley, et al (all confirmed Protesters) has almost vanished from the earth. In this grouping we may also include Brother Russell, because the “protest” that he began in 1874 and continued to 1916 has almost vanished from the Truth movements. While the Jehovah’s Witnesses do continue the attack upon established systems of religious error, they themselves have become such errorists that it is rank travesty to include them with those genuine reformers – protesters – who manifested “the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Rev. 13:10)
But, with the passing of the spirit of the real protesters there has now come a wide surge of Combinationism. Let us forget our differences, they say, and cooperate against the common enemy now attacking the Church; let us defeat the atheistic rabble now so apparent on every hand. And such a combining is just what we should expect. In the 34th Chapter of Isaiah the Prophet says this: “Yaveh hath wrath against all the nations, and indignation against all their host. He hath devoted them to destruction... and the mountains shall melt away with their blood... the Heavens (the present-day prominent religious sects) shall roll up as a scroll.” (See Rev. 6:14) On every hand there is loud acclaim for this “rolling together” as “the unstable and the unlearned” blindly follow their blind leaders – to fall into the ditch. (See Matt. 15:14) “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion.” (Amos 6:1)
THE PRINCE OF PEACE MAKES WAR
In Rev. 19:11-21 there is a description of the action of this day in which we now live, clearly revealing God’s attitude toward the combining forces of this time. We quote parts of it:
“I saw Heaven opened (the Plan of God made very clear), and behold a white horse (clear spotless doctrine – a “pure language”¾Zeph. 3:9); and He who sat on him was called Faithful and True (just another name for the Prince of Peace, a name not used here in order not to conflict with the “war” to be waged), and in righteousness (not for greed, territory, revenge or other selfish interests, but according to the supreme Law of Justice) He judges and makes war... And He was invested with a mantle dipped in blood (indicating the bloody nature of the present conflict); and His name is called, The Word (The Logos, the spokesman) of God... And out of His mouth proceeds a sharp two-edged broadsword (to cut asunder error – secular and religious – in whichever way it is wielded), so that with it He may smite the nations... on His mantle and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords (the promise to Jesus’ faithful followers is that they shall be Kings and Priests, and the omnipotent Jesus is to be the King over those Kings, and the Lord over those Lords).” (Diaglott)
Much of this Scripture is also revealed in Mal. 4:1, “Behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven,” with the accompanying promise that “the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.” This great and dreadful day is to accomplish two things: “He maketh sore, and bindeth up: He woundeth, and His hands make whole. (Job 5:18) Clearly enough, it is only by considering both sides of the situation that we shall come to a proper appraisal of our own personal privileges and obligations, if we would be “faithful to the Lord, the Truth, and the Brethren.”
It is directly counseled by the Apostle Paul that we should “follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14; See also Rom. 14:19 and 2 Tim. 2:22); but the Apostle James limits the words of Paul by his statement in Jas. 3:17, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable.” And this principle had been emphasized by Jehu hundreds of years before in 2 Kgs. 9:22, “Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms (corrupt teachings and practices) of thy mother Jezebel (typical of the Roman Church – see Rev. 2:20) and her witchcrafts (especially deceptive false teachings) are so many?” But some – even some who have supposedly been schooled in Present Truth – ignore these outstanding and vital exceptions, stressing only peace, and quoting 1 Tim. 3:16 to justify their position, “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness.” That this text has been badly corrupted by the translators is quite clear when we read it from Dr. Rotherham’s translation: “Confessedly great is the sacred secret of godliness – who was made manifest in the flesh.” This “sacred secret” is further mentioned by St. Paul in Eph. 5:32: “This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.” It needs no argument that it has been a “great mystery” all during the Age that Christ is not one member, but many (Christ and the Church – the Head and the Body); it needs no argument that this has been indeed a “great mystery.” (See 1 Tim. 3:16 in Diaglott)
Furthermore, the contention “without controversy” is directly contradicted by such statements as “endure hardness as good soldiers” – “fight the good fight,” etc.; and these statements are also supported by certain Scriptures that apply especially here in the end of the Age – e.g., Isa. 28:17: “The hail (hard cutting Truth) shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters (great floods of Truth) shall overflow the hiding place.” Also, Isa. 41:15,16: “Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument (the Harvest sickle of Present Truth – See Rev. 14:14 Berean Comment) having teeth: and thou shalt thresh the mountains (great strong kingdoms), and beat them small, and shall make the hills (democracies and lesser governments) as chaff... and the whirlwind (the great Time of Trouble) shall scatter them.” The greatest “refuge of lies” of all time has been the Papacy, which has counterfeited almost every fundamental truth of the Bible – and especially so, and in very profuse manner, the truth concerning the glorious Kingdom reign of Christ and the Church.
It is a very easy matter to reach hasty, but erroneous, conclusion from reading just one Scripture; and such is true of those who conclude that “without controversy” means we should follow peace at any price. Old Testament precedent directly contradicts it, as can be seen from the prophets who “waxed valiant in fight... were tortured...were stoned, they were sawn asunder... slain with the sword.” (Heb. 11:34–38) All of their time – particularly these outrages occurred because the prophets exposed the evils of teaching and practice – particularly, the evils of the religious leaders of their time. Note specifically 2 Chr. 24:19–21: “God sent prophets to them.. they testified against them... the spirit of God came upon Zechariah... Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord?... Because ye have forsaken the Lord, He hath also forsaken you. And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the King.” Many who were one time in the forefront of the Harvest battle now seem to feel that the laurels gained in the past will suffice to bring them to the Heavenly Canaan; but the entire record decries such an attitude. Of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zechariah, Jesus, the Apostles, and the multitude of Gospel-Age martyrs, the sublime report is that they died with their boots on – “faithful unto death.” Those people today who advocate the preaching only of winsome truths – giving no offense to any one can scarcely be classified as “enduring hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ” – nor will they eventually be in the same record book with those who have done so – the fully Faithful. We consider it a truthful observation that none can be faithful to Present Truth without contending for that Truth. “Earnestly contend for the faith (the Truth) which was once delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3)
WHO MAY ENDURE THE DAY OF HIS COMING?
“Behold Me! sending My Messenger... But who may endure the day of His coming? And who is he that can stand when He appeareth (maketh manifest)? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ alkali; Therefore He will sit as a refiner and purifier (polisher) of silver, And will purify (polish, develop) the sons of Levi (primarily the Little Flock and the Great Company), And shall smelt them as gold and as silver; So shall they belong to Yaveh, offering a gift in righteousness.” (Mal. 3:1-3, Rotherham) These texts are undoubtedly prophetic of Jesus’ Second Advent; and they itemize some of the things He would accomplish at that time. It is stated that He will be (1) like a refiner’s fire; (2) like fullers’ alkali; (3) sit as a refiner and purifier (polisher) of silver (the Truth); (4) purify (thoroughly polish, develop) the sons of Levi, so they may (5) offer a gift in righteousness.
Our concern in this writing will be mainly with No. 3 above: A refiner and polisher of silver. It needs no argument that literal silver is not here meant. Quite clearly it means the Truth. All who are familiar with the facts know only too well that the Lord did refine the Truth since 1874, by separating from it the conglomeration of error that had attached to it during the interim from His First Advent. And not only so, once the error was eliminated, a great polishing work was done with the then refined Truth, giving it a brilliance that made it a thing of real beauty to all who were “of the Truth.” This was true not only of religious Truth, but also applied with great force to secular truth. The “unclean spirits” (teachings) of the Divine Right of Kings, Clergy, Aristocracy and Labor have been mercilessly exposed, so that today in the more enlightened countries very few still cling to the doctrine that “The King can do no wrong,” or that the preachers and priests can consign to eternal torment all who do not “hear” them. “Truth shall spring out of the earth (the organized social order); and righteousness (the Holy Spirit will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment––Jn. 16:8) shall look down from Heaven.” (Psa. 85:11)
But just as human agents waged battle against secular error, so human agents were also used of the Lord as He “looked down from Heaven.” These human beings were that group that wielded the sickle of Harvest Truth, chief of whom was Brother Russell. He not only put the “ink” into the “inkhorn” (Ezek. 9:2) for all to use, but he himself was foremost of the antitypical “three hundred” who waged antitypical Gideon’s battle against the hosts of antitypical Midian (religious errorists). (Judges, Chapter 7) Of course, there was much of turmoil and great controversy in all this, with the victory surely coming to those who held to the polished brilliant Truth on the state of the dead, etc. This victory had become so pronounced that toward the end of Brother Russell’s life one secular writer offered this quatrain:
There is a man in our town
Whose name I need not tell;
I am sure you all must know him,
For he put the fires out of Hell!
As was the case with David, Brother Russell was very much a man of war – always in the forefront of some battle somewhere. One brother once said to him, Brother Russell you are the most loved man on earth. To which Brother Russell replied, Yes, and the most hated! But we believe it is a fair appraisal to conclude that those who knew him well, would certainly classify him as a genteel man – a man who would much prefer peace to war. It has indeed been a great Gospel-Age paradox that the “sons of peace” led by the Son of Peace – have been in almost continuous battle; and many of such have done so contrary to their inherited dispositions. Many of them would have followed a more peaceful path had they been allowed to do the choosing; yet they had forced themselves to be “good soldiers” as duty had appeared to them.
Theirs not to make reply;
Theirs not to question Why;
Theirs but to do and die!
And for many of them, and especially so as respects Brother Russell, we believe the words of the great Shakespeare are most apt:
His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him
That Nature might stand up and say to all the world,
THIS WAS A MAN!
To do any task well, there must first of all be the knowledge to do; then the will to do; then the tools wherewith to do; then the capacity to do; and finally the providential circumstances to do (the physical, mental and financial strength). This is very well summed up by St. Paul in 2 Tim. 3:15,16, Dia.: “From a child thou has known those Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise for Salvation, through that faith which is in Jesus Christ. All Scripture, divinely inspired, is indeed profitable for teaching (doctrine – what we should believe), for refuting (error – that which we should not believe), for correction (that which we should not do), for that discipline which is in righteousness (that which we should do); so that the Man of God may be complete, thoroughly fitted for every good work.” Usually it is by controversy that the clear untainted truth is established; and this has been especially true here in the end of the Age. Thus, the prophecy of Malachi forcefully applies: “He (Jesus) shall sit as a refiner and a polisher (developer) of the Truth.”
And those who clamor for peace without first having purity, those who have faulted Brother Russell and others for engaging in controversy, such have in effect been finding fault with our Lord Himself; because this controversy – this polishing, this developing – of the Truth is specifically one of the outstanding activities of His Second Advent. It is this “polishing” of the Truth that has directly resulted in “polishing, developing” the Sons of Levi. And the reason the Sons of Levi must be so developed is that “they may make an offering in righteousness” unto the Lord. Until all such have come into Present Truth, to appropriate the Truth from the table the Lord has provided for His people at this time, no activity on their part can be acceptable to the Lord regardless of any outward appearance of prosperity they may have. Jesus said one of His primary purposes at His first Advent was “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth.” (John 18:37) And, just as the Truth at that time “brought life and immortality to light,” so in His second Advent “the hail (hard cutting Truth) shall sweep away the refuge of lies.” Note the Berean Comment on John 18:37: “It was this ‘good confession before Pontius Pilate’ that cost our Lord His life.”
SOME CORROBORATING CITATIONS
The following is something on this subject from Brother Russell: “Having put on the whole armour of God, and boldly withstood error by a clear and fearless presentation and defense of the Truth during this evil day, when giant errors stalk about, the saints are exhorted, ‘Having done all, to stand,’ clad in the full armour, with the sword of the Spirit ever ready for defense, and with watchfulness and perseverance and prayer for all saints.” (Vol. 3, p. 212) “And suffering with Christ, we have seen, is not the ordinary suffering common to all in the fallen state, but only such sufferings as are the results, more or less directly, of the following of Christ’s example, in advocating unpopular truths and exposing popular errors.” (Vol. 3, p. 209) In the face of such clear statements by Brother Russell, it seems ridiculous in the extreme for any to decry controversy, and yet claim they are fully faithful to the Harvest Truth and That Servant’s teachings. Indeed, he was fully alerted to the fact that one of our Lord’s outstanding Second-Advent works would be the “polishing, developing” of the Truth; and those who do not understand this are just that much out of Present Truth.
And more from Brother Russell in Vol. 2, pp. 236,237: ‘As there (in the Jewish Harvest) the Truth set the father against the son, the daughter against the mother, and the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law, so again, a man’s foes are often they of his own household. This cannot be avoided. They who love peace more than the Truth will he tested, and they who love truth supremely will be accepted as the overcomers, as in the Jewish Harvest... As we should expect, we find it here: the blindest are the leaders of the blind, who, like their types, Know not the time of their visitation.” (Luke 19:14)
Now follows something from Reprints 5546, 5547: “Today, as in Jesus’ time, many are influenced by the false teachings of those to whom they have been accustomed to look as their spiritual shepherds. If then the world should come to be in sympathy with us as a people, and should speak well of us, and we should become popular, we should come under the condemnation expressed in the Master’s words, ‘Woe unto you when all men speak well of you; for so did their fathers unto the false prophets”... There are all manner of evil forces and influences surrounding us. These evil influences are of Satan and the fallen angels... As we look back, we can see that all who have walked in the narrow way have received persecution. Whoever has been in accord with God has been out of accord with the course of this world. There were the Baptists, and then the Methodists, who in the early days had persecution because they had had more light than others. The Presbyterians also for a time, because they had had greater light than others, received persecution (from their former brethren, as was the case of our Lord and others—JJH). And we must expect the same today. Persecution will come to those who have the courage of their convictions. The Lord tells us that the anointing that we have received of Him is for the very purpose that we may show forth His praises.”
In 2 Tim. 3:12 we are told, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” The only way such persecution may come is by “a good confession” of the Truth. Regardless of how much Truth we may know, if we do not sound forth the “trumpet,” nobody will bother us.
All of the foregoing is quite in harmony with St. Paul’s words in Rom. 12:2: “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed (changed in disposition, and the like) by the renewing of your mind (with Present Truth), that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Clearly enough, the great Apostle was a “non–conformist” – “beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad (Acts 26:24).” As Mark Twain has so ably stated, “If we find ourselves on the side of the majority, it’s time to reform.” But in all of this it is well that we retain “the spirit of a sound mind” and, that we consider well the Apostle’s words to his beloved Philippians, 2:3, Dia.: “Do nothing from party-spirit (sectarianism), or vainglory... not each one regarding his own interests, but each one also those of others.” This same point was impressed upon the Jews immediately after they were delivered from Egyptian bondage: “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil (in sectarian blindness, or do-nothing complacency).” (Ex. 23:2)
To be a “good soldier” one must have courage and combativeness – not a good runner, but a good fighter. And, while “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,” many of God’s people throughout the Age have willingly answered the call to battle with “the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Eph. 6:17, Dia.) The Adversary, ever seeking whom he may devour – and being a shrewd appraiser of human frailty – was quick to discern that many would face lions in the Roman arena, rather than forsake the “good fight.” Consequently, he aroused their combativeness against each other, with both sides on occasion being in error; yet contending so strenuously for their error that they destroyed each other. This mistake we should studiously and determinedly avoid, giving heed to the prophet’s words, “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” (Isa. 30:15) We should ever bear in mind it is not characteristic of the Lord’s true people to wish destruction upon the gainsayers (Luke 9:35-55); but to recover them if possible from their “path of error.” (Jas. 5:20, Dia.)
2 Tim. 2:25,26 (Dia.) offers excellent complement to the foregoing: “In meekness correcting the opposers; perhaps God may give them a change of mind in order to a knowledge of the Truth; and that they may be recovered from the snare of the enemy.” Those of us who were not ‘born in the Truth’ know by experience that at one time we had no ear for it; but God eventually gave us “a change of mind... to a knowledge of the Truth.” Thus, there may be some today who occupy our identical position before receiving this “Change of mind”; so time and instruction may eventually cause them to receive it. This thought should always be in our mind as we appraise those who do not hear us now; they may hear us next year if we give them courteous and generous treatment.
Early in the 20th Century a few prominent preachers were alerted to the peace-at-any-price disposition already then appearing in some. Said one of them: “When Christianity disposes wholly with controversy it will be like a sleeping man – harmless and helpless; it will be a sad spectacle... Controversy was the life of Paul’s works – polite controversy, brotherly controversy; but strong in exposing error and building up the Truth. The Epistles were full of controversy. Moreover, many of Christ’s sayings were strictly controversial.” It is plainly evident that many who attend services in the various sects, and claiming to be “in the Truth” do no more about it than attend meetings. They have a nice place to “go to church.”
We now offer one more quotation from Brother Russell, found in Parousia Volume 2, pp. 358,359: “In 2 Thes. 2:8–12 the Apostle Paul declares concerning Antichrist: ‘Whom the Lord Jesus will consume with the spirit of His mouth, and annihilate with the bright shining (Epiphaneia) of His presence (Parousia).’ The light of truth is to penetrate every subject. By exposing rights and wrongs it will lead into the great struggle between these principles, and between the human exponents of each, causing the time of trouble and wrath. In this struggle, wrong and evil shall fall, and right and truth shall triumph. Among other evils now to be finally and utterly destroyed is Antichrist, with which nearly every evil, or theory and practice, is more directly connected. And it will be this bright–shining (Epiphaneia), this sunlight from the Lord’s presence, which will produce the day of trouble, because of and in which Antichrist, with every other evil system, will be destroyed. ‘Whose presence is with (accompanied by or during) an energetic operation of Satan (Satanic energy and action) with all power, and signs, and lying delusions, and with every iniquitous deception for those perishing; because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be preserved. And for this reason God will send to them a deluding power, that they might believe the error (which is pronouncedly true of those who have had Parousia Truth and now contend for “peace and tranquillity” instead of contending for the Truth – a manifest Truth that they received it NOT in the love of it – JJH): so that all not believing the truth, but taking pleasure in iniquity, may be judged’ unworthy to share the Millennial Kingdom as joint-heirs with Christ.
“We understand these words to imply that in the time of the Lord’s presence (since 1874), through this Antichrist system (one of the principals of Satan’s agencies for deceiving and controlling the world), as well as through all his other agencies (including those who are in Azazel’s clutches – JJH), the devil will make a most desperate resistance to the new order of things about to be established. He will take advantage of every little circumstance, and all the inherited weaknesses and selfishness of the human family, to enlist their hearts and hands and pens in this final struggle against liberty and the full elucidation of the truth. Prejudices will be enkindled where, if the truth were clearly seen, none would exist; and passionate zeal will be evoked, and partisan unions formed, which will deceive and mislead many (beginning at the House of the Lord among the Truth groups—JJH)
“And this will be so, Not because God has not made the truth clear enough to guide all the fully consecrated, but because those who will be deceived were not sufficiently in earnest in seeking out and using the truth provided as meat in due season. And thus it will be manifested that the class misled received not the truth in the love of it, but rather through custom, formality or fear.” (The revealing is in this Epiphany. The Berean Comment on 2 Thes. 2:11 – “Great delusions are just before us, and some of these may come closest upon those possessing the most light of Present Truth.” – JJH)
To which the words of St. Paul may be added: “Praying at every season... on my behalf, that eloquence may be given me... to make known the secret of the Glad Tidings... that I may speak boldly concerning it... Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. The favor be with all who sincerely love our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 6:18-23, Dia.)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
QUESTIONS OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION: Are Consecrated Epiphany Campers represented in any way in Noah’s Ark?
ANSWER: No! And it would be essential for them to be shown in the Ark in some clear manner if they are a genuine class, because that Ark is a “Type of Christ and the power in Him which will replenish and reorganize society.” (See Gen. 6:19 – Berean Comment) In other words, the Ark portrays the embodiment of God’s Plan. (Nor does Noah’s Ark portray the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Jonadabs, or any of their earthly “Organization” that will allegedly survive Armageddon.)
In elaborating this statement Brother Johnson gives us this in E–5:62 (59): “It will be noticed that there were four human pairs who went into the Ark, as well as at least one pair of every clean and unclean kind of animals. We know that there are four elective classes who in this life obtain a good report through faith in the Abrahamic Covenant: (1) the Christ, (2) the Ancient Worthies, (3) the Great Company, and (4) the Youthful Worthies. Noah undoubtedly types out Lord, who is the Heir of righteousness which comes to us by faith (Heb. 11:7) These classes we understand to be typed in their respective order by Noah and his wife, Shem and his wife, Japheth and his wife and Ham and his wife, the males apart from Noah representing all the leaders of their respective classes, and the females the rest of these classes. We understand the animals in the Ark to represent the non-elect who will ultimately be saved. We understand the clean animals to represent the Jews, as typically clean, who will be saved, and the Tentatively Justified as tentatively clean, who will be saved. The unclean animals we understand represent those of the present unclean world who will be saved; while those who perished in the Flood we understand to represent from one viewpoint those who have perished under the Adamic curse, and from another standpoint, the movements and systems of Satan’s Empire and the Second Death Class. Just as in the type the clean and the unclean animals occupied altogether different positions in the ark from those of Noah and his family, so in the antitype, the Jews and the Tentatively Justified on the one hand, and the prospectively saved of the rest of mankind on the other hand, are quite differently related to the Abrahamic Covenant from antitypical Noah and his family. These animals were placed in the Ark to type that anticipatorily their antitypes would be included in the Abrahamic Covenant.”
From the foregoing, it is clear enough that the clean animals typed the quasi-elect – those “truly repentant and believing, but not consecrated, Jews and Gentiles.” (See E–10:209) They are those who have “adhered to righteousness” and who accept Christ as their Savior – anticipatorily in the Jewish Age, and actually so during the Gospel Age. Note we have underscored the words “adhered to righteousness,” because this feature of the quasi-elect is definitely portrayed in the clean animals by all of them having the split or divided hoof, such hoofs typifying that their conduct has been acceptable to God and to man – they have practiced righteousness – have made “straight paths for their feet” – adhered to the Mosaic law to the extent of their ability (even perhaps more so than the ‘measurably faithful’ Great Company Class, and the ‘measurably faithful’ of the Youthful Worthies – although “adherence to righteousness” does not admit the quasi-elect as one of the fully elect classes). Thus, it is apparent that the quasi-elect are clearly shown in the Ark; and it is equally apparent that the same Ark is completely silent about a consecrated segment of this class at any time during the Gospel Age in the embodiment of God’s Plan. Clearly enough, a consecrated division of the quasi-elect is an Azazelian perversion by uncleansed Levite leaders – whether they be designated Epiphany Campers Consecrated, Quasi–elect Consecrated or Jonadabs. It is an arbitrary addition to “that which is written,” and without Scriptural foundation in the Ark, which reveals the “whole counsel of God” in its generalized features – emphasizing the same six classes as are found in Joel 2:28,29, but no more.
When RGJ tells us that his Campers Consecrated are so much like the Youthful Worthies that he can hardly tell the difference, we would present the logical question respecting the type: Did Noah and family have any difficulty whatever in noting the difference between themselves and the clean animals in the Ark?
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace!
Many thanks for yours of Jan. 20, and for both circulars since then, which are very much appreciated – particularly the latter on The Pastor and Teacher. Brother ------- asked that we mention his appreciation, too, of the very fine article...
It is indeed a time of famine and pestilence, floods and droughts, but in this part of the country we do seem to miss many of the extremes that others have had to face. We often say that the concentration of industries in this region has an effect on the climatic conditions. Be that as it may, we know that this upsetting time is all part of the ending of this “present evil world.” .........
Now I Will close with our prayers for your continued good health enabling you to continue to serve the Lord and the brethren with “meat in due season.” Brother ------- joins in sending Christian love to you and all your co-laborers.
Yours by His grace ------- (ENGLAND)
I recently had someone hand me “The Herald of the Epiphany” dated May 1, 1976, and was curious to know more about who you are and your ministry. Also, do you publish similar publications each month? Who is the editor, and who does the writing? I appreciate your reply to this request. Sincerely in Christ, ------- (SOUTH CAROLINA)
Dear Brother Hoefle:
I hope things are going well and the work is progressing. I find your literature quite helpful and stimulating in contrast to some of the very boring Bible Student literature. You deal more directly with the issues instead of skirting around them as some do. I think you will find that many appreciate your openness, although sometimes we tend to avoid areas that probably should be discussed.
I noted that you knew Fred Franz when he lived in Dayton. There is a lot of rumor about him, all the way from that he is a brilliant scholar and yet a very humble man.... I would appreciate and find very helpful your perceptions. True, some people feel things like this are unimportant, but millions of people base their beliefs on Franz’s teachings, and an evaluation of those teachings should, to some degree, consider an evaluation of the man who espouses the teachings. Also, quite a number of the younger Bible Students are interested in learning as much as they can about the early history of the Bible Student movement. This, of course, would especially include something about Brothers Russell and Johnson. Again, the charges are common that both of these brothers were arrogant, haughty, uninformed, etc......... I especially find Bro. Johnson’s writings on creationism helpful. His insight in this matter shows his balance, versatility and studiousness...... As I have read all of the literature you have sent, any other issues you are able to send I would he extremely grateful for. I am anxious to hear from you.
Your brother, Dr. ------- (OHIO)
Dear Mr. Hoefle:
Many thanks for your letter of the 16th, and for the enclosed tracts. I found both of much interest. To begin with, would you please send me copies of tracts Nos. 1,2,4,5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 121, 130. And if I may, I would like to subscribe to your paper. I would like to know how your group came about. This has to do with how I heard about you. Mr. ------- of Los Angeles Baptist College was the person who told me about you. We have been in correspondence about the different movements arising out of Pastor Russell’s work. He mentioned you as one of those movements. So, any information on how you came about would be great.
As for me, I am of Orientalist-Jewish extraction, and a Jew by belief. Hope to hear from you soon.
Best wishes. ------- (CALIFORNIA)