My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Lord!
On pp. 11-15 of the Jan.-Feb. Present Truth there is another strenuous effort by RGJ to uphold his errors concerning Cornelius, the same being copiously marked with his usual diatribe against us. One of his complaints is that we underscore quotations from the two Messengers without saying the emphasis is ours. Yes, most of such emphasis is by us, and we emphasize such clear statements of Truth for the very purpose of calling attention to the Truth in contrast to the Errors now promulgated by RGJ. The need to emphasize such Truths in the Parousia day was not necessary, because they were not refuting present–day errors; they were simply presenting the Truth. However, in some cases they did emphasize the Truths they presented, although we don’t make mention of that in every instance. We also emphasize certain Scriptures which annihilate RGJ’s errors, to make sure our readers get the thought clearly in mind – such Truths as RGJ once accepted, at least outwardly, and taught, while under the benign influence and restraint of the Epiphany Messenger. We shall continue to underline such pertinent Truths without stating the emphasis is ours – and our readers may consider all emphasis ours, unless noted otherwise.
The paper under review makes quite some ado about the sixteen references from Brother Russell that he cited in the July–August 1974 PT; and he contends that all these references support his error that Cornelius was not “repentant and believing” before Peter visited him. But in every one of these references That Servant corroborates his teaching we presented from Reprint 1922, which RGJ contends is error. We shall subsequently prove our contention is correct when we quote these references, together with others. We contend that all Brother Russell’s articles – written before and after the article in Reprint 1922 – are in harmony with the Truth that Cornelius was “repentant and believing” before Peter’s visit – and not only was he “repentant and believing,” but also his consecration was of years’ standing before Peter arrived.
In E–10:209 is a statement that the Epiphany Messenger never set aside, or modified in any way, although RGJ now sets this teaching aside: “The Epiphany Camp in the finished picture is the condition of truly repentant and believing, but not consecrated Jews and Gentiles.” This statement is conveniently ignored by RGJ, but this one item alone is sufficient to answer all his contentions.
The real crux of this difference between us is whether or not Cornelius was “repentant and believing” before Peter visited him. While Brother Russell states quite clearly that Cornelius was also consecrated, we do not stress that point – other than to say that we do not know the degree of his consecration, even if we accept Brother Russell’s statement – nor is it necessary that we do. Our readers know from their own experience, and from observing others, that the depth of consecration increases with all the faithful – and especially is this true of the fully faithful leaders in the Church.
Also all crown–losers violate their consecration vows, even as they do violence to their justification. And this is clearly manifest by RGJ’s gross revolutionism against justification – and now becoming unclear on consecration as related to the “repentant and believing” As stated in E–15:517, Their new spiritual wills are undermined, “then it more or less blunted the keen edge of their new minds by dulling the spiritual perceptive, remembering and reasoning powers, which made them susceptible to accept error in place of formerly held Truth, and to add error to the Truth already had and kept.” This is manifestly the condition of RGJ as he continues to “accept error in place of formerly held Truth” in order to support his “strange fire” (false doctrine) of Epiphany Campers Consecrated.
“Their errors of head certainly partially undermine their faith.... Moreover, they make them more or less bitterly partisan against the faithful for their opposing their wrong course, whereas they should love and appreciate them all the more for their efforts to rescue them from the snares of Satan.” (E–15:521) And to such God sends “an energy of delusion” (2 Thes. 2:11) to their believing the falsehood; and this has been glaringly apparent with RGJ since his abandonment in 1950. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Tim. 3:12,13) The Berean Comments on v. 13 are to the point: “Seducers – Leaders astray from the Truth; Worse and worse – That rapidly increasing class that will no longer endure sound doctrine.”
Before treating of those quotations that RGJ offers, we now quote Luke 7:2-9, with some pertinent comments: “And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.... Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion (probably Cornelius – see Berean Comment) sent friends to him, Lord, trouble not thyself; for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof.... For I also am a man set under authority.... and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh.... When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”
In that crowd following Jesus there would be found some of the very best Jews in Israel, yet He said the centurion’s “faith” (belief) had not been equaled by any of them. Yet RGJ would have us think that this centurion was not “repentant and believing,” although his faith (belief), according to Jesus, surpassed that of the believing Jews at that time.
It is contended that Cornelius did not know what to do before Peter came to him, which is correct; but we would add here that Peter himself – an inspired Apostle did not know what to do until the Lord taught him what to do. Would any one contend that Peter was not “repentant and believing” because he was ignorant of the Gospel now going to the Gentiles?
REGARDING ACTS TEN
Let us consider now the visit of Peter: Acts 10:30, Dia., says this: “Four days ago I (Cornelius) was fasting till this hour; and at the ninth hour I was praying in my house.” Note that this occurred four days before Peter’s arrival. Yet RGJ would have us believe that this man, who was fasting and praying, was not “repentant and believing.” Then verse 44: “The Holy Spirit fell on all those having heard the word.” These apparently are the “others” Brother Russell describes as consecrated believers; thus, it would seem Cornelius had been doing a very good job of bringing all in his house to the Lord’s service. Also, let us note well the fact that the centurion that had “such great faith” (Luke 7:9) was in that condition before his servant had been healed by Jesus; so it may be assumed that his faith (belief) was pronouncedly increased by the healing of his servant. And that event had occurred from four to six years before Peter’s visit as related in Acts 10.
The question may be asked, If Cornelius had such “great faith,” why did he not become a proselyte Jew, as Nicolas had done? (Acts 6:5) It is recorded in Luke 7:5 that “he loves our nation, and he built our synagogue.” Thus it is apparent that he was a man of considerable wealth and fine intellect – not just an ordinary man; and he no doubt had embraced Judaism in some considerable degree. Therefore, it may be assumed that he was much disturbed by the contention among the Jews themselves about Jesus; and this probably would cause him to proceed cautiously, seeking guidance from the Lord, as recorded in Acts 10:30.
Some of our readers will recall that Brother Russell had said he could not remember the time that he was not consecrated to do God’s will. Yet he had more or less abandoned the Bible because of the erroneous creeds, all of whom claimed to secure their teaching from that book. But it should not require argument that his consecration became much deeper and more compelling after he had come to understand Leviticus Sixteen and the Two Salvations.
THOSE SIXTEEN REFERENCES
The first one of these that we now quote is from Reprints 5834, col. 2, par. 5: “In the case of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, which we have cited in this article, we have seen that he was a just man, a good man. But he did not belong to the Jewish nation, to whom God had given his law. The only way in which Cornelius could have come into God’s favor prior to His appointed time – three and a half years after the cross – was to have become a Jewish proselyte. But when it became chronologically due time for the Gospel to go to the Gentiles, this good man was notified, and gladly accepted the conditions and became a son of God, through faith in Christ. He received the begetting and anointing of the Holy Spirit, just as the Jews had previously received them. All this shows us that God has a particular course marked out by which any may become His children. Unless they come in the appropriate way and in the appropriate time, none will be accepted as sons of the highest.”
Certainly, there is nothing in the foregoing to indicate Brother Russell thought Cornelius was not “repentant and believing”; rather, it adds support to the fact that he was. For the Gospel Age, “repentant and believing” puts one in a position to enter the antitypical Court condition – which is Tentative Justification. But there has never been any justification for this Faith Age outside that Court; and Cornelius could not enter that condition until the way was opened for him to do it. Therefore, there can be no consecration acceptable to God until a person enters the Court condition. But one can be “repentant and believing” before entering the Court condition.
There are two parts to consecration: (1) The offer by the person, and (2) God’s acceptance of that offer. Such offers are never accepted until the “due time.” In the case of the Apostles and the 500 in the upper room, they could not receive the Holy Spirit until the “due time,” although they all were undoubtedly consecrated to the extent they understood the matter; but this understanding was very meager until they were fully enlightened – they understood very little of the great “Plan of the Ages.”
We now quote Par. 6 from the same Reprint 5834: “God’s dealing with Cornelius would indicate that in the case of any who now come to God, and pray to Him, not knowing the appointed way, their prayers would, like those of Cornelius, come up as a memorial before God. As the Lord took notice of the prayers of Cornelius and the desires of his heart to worship and serve God (“repentant and believing”—JJH), so we may suppose that He would take notice now of prayers and desires to come close to Him. He might not send some one like Peter to give them instruction at this time. That would depend upon His decision as to whether this would be the course of wisdom, as to whether such an one was suited to His present purposes. But any prayers offered in sincerity would not pass unnoticed, but would receive reward in due time – whether now or later.”
RGJ`s reference to Reprints 5833, par. 2, follows: “The angel of the Lord said to Cornelius: “Send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter, who shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” (Acts 11:13,14) Those words were necessary to his saving – to the bringing of him into covenant relationship with God. Cornelius, being obedient (“repentant and believing”––JJH) sent for Simon Peter, who gave him the necessary instruction for drawing nigh unto God through Jesus. And unless we come to the Father through Christ, our prayers would not be received any more than those of Cornelius had been.” We stress once more that Cornelius – no matter how much he believed in Jesus – could not come through “the door” (Christ) until that “door” was opened to the Gentiles – regardless of what a noble character he may have been. Even though he was “repentant and believing” the “gate” (Christ “I am the way”) to the Court had not yet opened for the Gentiles.
Then there is this in the next paragraph, same page: “When Cornelius heard the good message, he believed with all his heart; and likewise those who were with him. Doubtless he had heard of Jesus before, but now he understood the matter. He had been in the right condition of heart all along. (There is only one right condition of heart – that is, “repentant and believing.”––JJH) He had been praying and fasting. But even so he could not be accepted of God except through Jesus. He must have Christ as his advocate.”
Another citation is from Reprints 5832, last par.: “The Gentiles were altogether without God. They had no privilege of prayer. We come down to the beginning of the Gospel Age and to the case of Cornelius. We read that he was a just man, who gave much alms to the people and prayed always. But his prayers could not be accepted, even after Jesus died. The death of Jesus did not bring Cornelius into covenant relationship with God. But when the seventy symbolic weeks of Jewish favor had been fulfilled, the due time had come for the Gospel to go to the Gentiles. God was then ready to receive him, and He sent an angel to him, who gave him this message from the Lord: “Cornelius, thy prayers and thine alms have come up for a memorial before God” The prayers and the alms of Cornelius had risen up as an incense before the Lord.” And likewise it will be the same for those who failed to consecrate in the Court, and those who become “repentant and believing” in the “finished picture” of the Camp their “prayers and alms” will come up for a memorial before God in their “due time.” All who fail to consecrate while in the Court condition (which is Tentative Justification) will “cease altogether to be of the Household of Faith.” (E–4:406) However, to such the text applies: “Seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” (Zeph. 2:3)
Follows now another reference from Reprint 5379, par. 3: “The first Gentile whose prayers were received, according to the Bible, was Cornelius. And even his prayers were not acceptable until he had been instructed concerning Christ and His redemption work and had become a follower of Jesus. Then his prayers and his consecration were acceptable to the Father, and he was received into the family of God as a son. Then as a son he had the privilege of prayer.––Acts 10:25–48.”
A further reference from Reprints 5200, col. 2, bottom: “Cornelius was a man who sought harmony with God (Would this not make him “repentant and believing?”––JJH). Although he prayed for years and gave much alms, yet his prayers and alms did not come up before God until an appropriate time – not until Jesus had died and ascended up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us. (Acts 10:1,2,4; Heb. 9:24) Three and a half years after the cross, at the end of time of special favor to the Jews, this man’s prayers and alms came up before God as a memorial.” (Would God keep any one’s prayers as a memorial, if that man wasn’t “repentant and believing”?)
We now quote reference from Reprint 5101, par. 1: “As soon as the limit of the time expired God manifested His favor toward the Gentiles by sending the Gospel message to Cornelius, a reverential and holy and generous Gentile.” It would seem he had done all he could to keep the Jewish law, as the Jews themselves had done. Could any one be truthfully described as “holy” if not truly “repentant and believing”?
Here we digress just a little to quote the last paragraph on the same page of Reprint 5101, of this article entitled “TO THE JEW FIRST”: “Nevertheless the Scriptures most clearly declare that the natural seed of Abraham, the Jews, are still heirs of a certain promise of God, which in due time will come to them. To their nation will come the great privilege of being the foremost nation amongst men during Messiah’s glorious reign, when the church glorified, spiritualized, will be with Him in His throne....... St. Paul thus explains that the full number, to complete the elect kingdom class, must be first found among the Gentiles, and then,.... natural Israel will obtain the great earthly blessings which are still theirs and which were promised to their fathers...... ‘They shall obtain mercy through your mercy.’—Rom. 11:25-34.”
The above is corroborated in E-15:550, bottom and p. 551, top: “The Kingdom will, of course, begin to work on the Worthies, and then through them upon the restitutionists who will survive the time of trouble, and that starting with the Jews in Palestine.”
And now RGJ’s reference to Reprint 4345: “Note well the fact that, even though the special favor promised Israel had ended, there was still but one way for the good tidings to reach Cornelius. St. Paul declares that ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ It came not to him by impression. Just so today: the knowledge of the truth goes not to people, however ready for it, by mental impression, but still, as then, God honors and uses His faithful ones as His mouthpieces. Mark the expression, ‘When he is come, he shall tell thee words which shall be to the saving of thyself and house.’ Now, by reason of the art of printing, the message reaches many otherwise by printed words.
“Let us note carefully what these words of life were. They were the simple story of the cross: The story of man’s fall, his sentence to death, his hopelessness as respects extricating himself from that condition and sentence; and the remedy which God in mercy provided. The essence of the message was that ‘Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and rose again for our justification.’ The message continued, and showed how the justified ones were invited to become joint-sacrificers with and thus joint-sharers in Christ’s coming glory. The centurion’s heart had been troubled. There was something in the message that satisfied his longings as nothing else had ever done. He believed in the Redeemer and was thus justified. His consecration to the Lord, of years, standing, now became intelligent and specific. As his heart went out to the Lord in full acceptance of the Divine terms, in full consecration of his little all to the Divine service, the Lord accepted it, and manifested the acceptance; just as He had done with the consecrated Jewish believers at Pentecost. God having thus recognized Cornelius as a disciple and follower of Christ, a new creature begotten of the Holy Spirit, Peter tells us that he could not believe otherwise than that it was right for him to explain baptism to the centurion, and to give him water immersion, symbolic of the immersion into Christ’s death, which he had already experienced.”
Please note that we have underlined the words, “His consecration to the Lord, of years, standing.” We emphasize this point because we are here presented with a weird segment of truth (?) by RGJ: In E–10:209 we are told that people may be “repentant and believing” without consecration; but RGJ is now telling us that Cornelius and his house could be consecrated far many years without being “repentant and believing”! The folly of this mirage is so apparent and so elemental that it is difficult to believe it came from RGJ, who is presently shouting to high heaven that JJH is unfit to be a Truth teacher, that we are a trickster, an errorist, a ‘sifter’ of the first order. With the truth we have presented on this subject, we find no need whatever for name-calling (which is often an evidence of a losing cause), but we merely quote Heb. 5:12: “When for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God.”
It is recorded in Act 10:45 that “those believers of the circumcision, who came with Peter, were astonished, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was even poured out upon the Gentiles.” Peter had to be informed also by the Lord Himself; those with him did not understand it until they saw it with their own eyes, and heard them “speaking in tongues,” etc. Yet Cornelius had been informed about this by the angel four days before Peter and company arrived at his house. Of course, Cornelius was not saved four days before; that came only when he had been inducted into the Body of Christ. But he had been consecrated for many years – just as the Jewish believers had been before Pentecost – “a pious man, and one fearing God with all his house, doing many charities for the people, and praying to God always.” (Acts 10:2) And RGJ would have us believe that this “pious and God-fearing” man was not “repentant and believing”! Well, as we have so often stated, When these crown–losers fall into the clutches of Azazel they talk all sorts of nonsense; and this is another sample of it.
Further from Reprints 4345, col. 2: “Our Lord had declared that He would give St. Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven. A key symbolizes right or authority to open. On the Day of Pentecost the Lord used St. Peter as His special mouthpiece in opening the door of the kingdom to the Jewish people, to all who were in the right condition of heart to receive its blessings (just as was true of Cornelius and those of his house—JJH).”
Let us consider now RGJ’s use of Reprint 4344, col. 1, par. 6: “The record shows that Cornelius was a just man, a reverential man, a benevolent man, a man every way prepared to be a follower of Jesus – a Christian.” That is as much as he gave us; he does not even finish the sentence, which says – “the only obstacle being that he was not a Jew.” This last clause is certainly essential to a proper understanding of the matter. Then there follows some more in that same paragraph: “That obstacle was not Jewish prejudice, but an insurmountable one – God’s unwillingness to deal with any others than His covenanted people of the seed of Abraham. So as soon as the covenant arrangement with Israel terminated, and God’s due time for dealing with such Gentiles as were in proper condition of heart (such a condition of heart could mean such a person is “repentant and believing”—JJH) He had no difficulty in finding messengers to convey the good tidings.”
If the “ONLY OBSTACLE” in the way of Cornelius was that he was not a Jew, then he must have been “repentant and believing” even if we set aside That Servant’s teaching that he was consecrated of years’ standing. But why does RGJ omit such vital lines from his quotation? Is it not that they annihilate his position? And let us recall that this same RGJ, in his Sept.-Oct. 1974 PT, vehemently denounces the Dawn editors far using Brother Russell’s writings deceitfully! The article in Reprint 4344, entitled, “The First Gentile Convert” is excellent, and our readers will receive a blessing if they would read the whole article.
In the July-Aug., 1974 PT, RGJ offers something from Reprint 1989: “Cornelius needed to know of the Lord Jesus from the true standpoint; he must exercise faith in Him as his Redeemer, before the memorials of his piety would count for anything with God, or bring him into the desired relationship and under the Divine favor.” The last clause is omitted in the July-Aug. PT; but the part he quotes does not support his cause any at all. We now quote some more from that same article, par. 3, col. 2:
“He not only prayed, but prepared to cooperate with God in the answering of his own prayer. The three persons sent (two of them household servants, and one of them a soldier, all devout persons, who feared God) give us good evidence that this Gentile who was feeling after God, and striving to the best of his ability to please and honor him, had not been keeping his light and his faith under a bushel. It had shone out before his family and servants, and before the soldiers under his control. This is the kind of man whom God delights to acknowledge, whatever may be his nationality or color of his skin, and all such are recognized of the Lord, and favored above others with light and truth – ever since the close of typical Israel’s special favor.”
Another of those sixteen references – Reprint 2071, col. 2, top, beginning at bottom of col. 1: “Another illustration about that same time was Cornelius. As the centurion whose servant was sick, he had already manifested faith in the Lord Jesus to such an extent that our Lord said to him, ‘I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ The testimony respecting him was that he was a just man, that feared God, that he prayed and that he had been kind to God’s people. More could be said of him as a worshiper of God because, first, he was a Gentile without God and having no hope in the world; secondly, he had neither the truth nor the spirit of the truth which would have permitted him to offer any higher worship than that of fear and obedience. But we note how the Lord marked such characters not only in Israel but outside of Israel; and when the time fully came (at the end of the seventy weeks of special favor to Israel – three and a half years after the cross), when the time came that the Gospel might be preached to the whole world for a witness, and the barrier between Jews and Gentiles was broken down, this same man, Cornelius, who worshipped to the best of his knowledge, was the first one to be favored outside Israel. Although he prayed, gave much alms, feared God, and was just, yet before he could be called and accepted of the Lord or become a worshiper of the kind the Lord seeketh to worship Him, he must be instructed – he must have the truth, and he must have the spirit of the truth.”
There is just nothing in the foregoing to support RGJ’s contention about Cornelius not being “repentant and believing”; in fact, it points to the reverse. Cornelius was fully prepared to step into the antitypical Court the instant the Gate was opened for him.
Another reference from Reprint 1452, par. 1: “A simple message, truly; yet very necessary to be told to and to be believed by Cornelius and his household before they could be Christians or brethren, or ‘saved’ in God’s sense of that word.” Then from P Vol. 6, p. 680, bottom: “Cornelius was instructed to send for Peter, who would tell him ‘words’ by which he might be brought from his condition of alienation and separation into a condition of harmony and sonship.”
Let us emphasize here that none of the “repentant and believing” in the Camp are ‘saved’ in God’s sense of that word during this Faith Age. In the Millennial Age the “repentant and believing” will be among the first to consecrate under the New Covenant arrangement. Even the covenant-keeping consecrated Jews had to be properly instructed before they could receive the Good Tidings. As Brother Russell has stated, Cornelius had been consecrated for many years before he could be properly accepted, or ‘saved’ in the strict sense of that term.
It will be noted that we have not included Reprint 2990 or P Vol. 5, p. 214, because they are similar to the others we have quoted. In conclusion, we would quote from E–15:520 regarding crown-losers:
“As their heads deteriorate, so do their hearts deteriorate. The very fact that their heads deteriorate is preceded with some deterioration of their hearts, and in turn is followed by further worsening of the heart. Their errors of head certainly partially undermine their faith, sear more or less their consciences and put a cloud between them and the Lord.”
We are warned that RGJ, et al, had bad consciences (E–10:585); and such a condition not only does violation to their justification, but also impairs their consecration vows. Such persons do not have the “right condition of heart” – as did Cornelius. Be it noted that RGJ is self–evidently going into more and more error in an effort to uphold his “strange fire” (false doctrine) of Campers Consecrated; and in his desperation to answer the truth we have presented against his errors, he has written us out of the Household of Faith – something we have never done with him. And all well–informed brethren know from experience that faithful leaders are always more generous toward their opposers than their opposers are of them. This was apparent in the 1917 controversy, when many good and faithful brethren were consigned to the Second Death by the very persons that were heading in that direction themselves.
But we are persuaded by the sound logic in E–11:664: “He who corrects a wrongdoing leader will later obtain more consideration than a deceitful flatterer.” “It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.” (Prov. 21:15)
As we seek to be faithful to the Lord, the Truth and the brethren, we may rely on the promise that “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and testimonies.” (Psa. 25:10)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
These few lines are to let you know we are still standing in the Truth of our Beloved Master, dear Brother. When I think of the work that you are doing to uphold the Truth and refute the error – to think at this time you are standing up for the Parousia and Epiphany Truth, as no one else is doing – it fills my heart with joy. May the Lord stablish your heart unblamable in Holiness before God (1 Thes. 3:13). Please send some literature to me to give out. My Christian greetings to you and all at the Bible House. May God bless and keep you all! Love & peace... Bro. ------- (ST.VINCENT)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Loving Christian greetings!
We visited in Florida over the Holidays. It was a pleasant experience, as we had never been there this time of the year. It was nice visiting with the family and friends – also much pleasure in discussing some features of Truth, and refuting the arguments of Consecrated Campers. Please put the following name on your mailing list. I tried to call you by phone, but could not get through.....
Your Jan.-Feb. issues read with much appreciation. I thank God for your honest, clear, and good presentations! Please mail copies of the Jan.-Feb. issues to -------.
Our sincere Christian love and best wishes and prayers to you and all in your house.
Sincerely your Brother & Sister ------- (PENNSYLVANIA)
I have been receiving some of your papers. I have never read your paper on the Soul, or The Divine Plan of the Ages. I would like to have some of your tracts and literature. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are here in town, but I do not follow them.
Sincerely ------- (MISSOURI)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace!
I am wondering if you received my last letter, and the booklet I sent you? Also, I am enclosing a little contribution to help with the work. I received the Jan-Feb. papers First Class, but have not received the regulars. Since I have loaned these out, will you please send me some extras?
Hope all of you are fine. With much Christian love, Bro. & Sr. ------- (MICHIGAN)
Dearly beloved of the Lord: Grace & peace be your continued portion!
We passed your thanks to Sister ------- for her contribution. Brother is saddened that replacements don’t seem to be found these days to take the place of the older brethren. So few are willing to devote time and energy to reading and studying the Divine Plan that has so much comforted us – and given our Lord His rightful place in our lives, showing us what a wonderful God is ours, Who has shown us some of His wonderful arrangements for the benefit of humanity.
Brother was horrified at the letter from England in the October paper. Brothers Russell and Johnson were both faithful to the Lord and the brethren, and the Tabernacle Shadows booklet is a great help in understanding doctrine. Restitution is the time for correcting the evils, through the fall of man. None of us can claim perfection, but the Studies in the Scriptures help us to rectify our attitude – God giving us the “spirit of a sound mind.” But we leave all with the Lord – and we do know we are nearing the Kingdom as we see prophecies being fulfilled. The world is in such a turmoil! Mr.------- thanked us for sending the tracts – said he had recently read of Pastor Russell’s witness to the Jews.... He (Bro. R.) was a faithful man, who knew Israel’s destiny. We will write him again and tell him his name had been forwarded to you for your mailing list. Love to you and all with you.
Your Brother and Sister ------- (ENGLAND)