My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
On pp. 59-64 of the above paper there are a number of “Questions of General Interest,” in which a garrulous attempt is made to answer some of our refutations of the Editor’s errors. In the first question on p. 59 he makes a ludicrous attempt to squirm out of his revolutionism on “the Jew first” in the Kingdom arrangement; and this is what he says: “The Worthies will not fully become firstborn until they are born of the spirit at the end of the Little Season.” If we accept his analogy, then we are not to accept new creatures as such until “they are born of the spirit.” But the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature” – and by the same token we refer to them as being the “Gospel–Age firstborn” so long as we recognize them as new creatures. We also refer to those who receive a “better resurrection” as the Millennial–Age firstborn, and those who receive their resurrection by judgments, as the Millennial–Age afterborn. The goats will never become “fully” the afterborn – but we include all restitutionists in the afterborn at the incept of the Kingdom.
In his answer he quotes from E–11:214 to “prove” his point; but he once more simply proves he has lost “the oil in his lamp.” (Matt. 25:3) Brother Johnson is simply making a proper parallel between the Gospel–Age firstborn and the Millennial-Age firstborn in E–11:214. In Chapter 3 of Volume 11 the Epiphany Messenger treats of the four elect classes – the firstborn; and in Chapter 4 he treats of the restitutionists – the afterborn. The Worthies receive their deliverance from Satan’s empire during the Gospel Age, which becomes manifest when they receive a “better resurrection.” The restitutionists receive their deliverance from Satan’s empire in the Kingdom, which becomes manifest by their resurrection by judgments – a gradual resurrection instead of an instantaneous resurrection – physical perfection. Such a jumble as RCJ offers here simply manifests his desperate effort to substantiate his “path of error.” (James 5:20, Dia.)
Then on p. 60, par. 1, he makes verbose attempt to differentiate between the consecrated and the unconsecrated. Under the Law Covenant the Jews were a consecrated nation – “ate the same spiritual meat.... for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that rock was Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:3,4) And, as we have emphasized, the New Covenant will be made with the Jews in similar manner. (Jer. 31:31)
MORE ON TENTATIVE JUSTIFICATION
On p. 28 (23) of the March–April 1973 PT RGJ says those Jews with whom the New Covenant will be made “must first become tentatively justified ones by having faith in Jesus.” As of now, God has restored them to the land promised to Abraham without having faith in Jesus; although it needs no argument that they must eventually “look upon Him whom they pierced, and mourn because of it.” (Zech. 12:10) However, his teaching of ‘tentative’ justification all during the Kingdom reign, forces us to the conclusion that he no longer has the Truth on Tentative Justification. We now quote from E–15:261, 262, with which we are in full agreement:
“Let us see the conditions of justification that will prevail during the Millennial Age. During that Age there will be neither a tentative nor a vitalized justification, since both of these kinds of justification operate on the basis of the imputed ransom merit, as distinct from the applied ransom merit... Unlike the Gospel–Age justification, which is instantaneous in both of its kinds, the Millennial justification will require the entire Millennium to complete, because it will be an actual as distinct from the reckoned justification of the Gospel–Age. The conditions on which this will be bestowed will be faith and obedience unto perfection...
“In a word, faith is the justifying instrumentality and thus the condition of justification in this Age, while obedience will be the justifying instrumentality and thus the condition of justification in the next Age. These Ages’ purposes account for this.”
It is clear that RGJ no longer believes and teaches the above – and that his revolutionism of tentative justification as taught by both Messengers, is simply a cover-up to substantiate his “strange fire” of Epiphany Campers Consecrated. Nor should this surprise us, because the Bible forcefully forewarns us about such people: Saul, the first King in Israel, is a type of all crown–lost leaders up to Armageddon, of which leaders RGJ self–admittedly is one. And one of Saul’s most grievous offenses was that of rebellion, in condemnation of which the Prophet Samuel said this to him: “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” (1 Sam. 15:23) The word “as” being in italics in the King James Bible, is an interpolation; so this is the proper reading: “Rebellion (revolutionism) is the sin of witchcraft” – especially deceptive false teachings.”
As Brother Johnson has said, Tentative Justification is instantaneous, and when one receives tentative justification he immediately receives “peace with God”; and Restitutionists do not have “peace with God” during the Mediatorial Kingdom: – if they did, they would have no need of a Mediator. But RGJ extends ‘tentative’ justification to the Camp in the Epiphany, as well as to all under the New Covenant in the Kingdom. When one receives the brand of “unprofitable servant” (Matt. 25:30 – the Great Company – See Berean Comments), and is cast “into outer darkness” (error), he also receives the punishment of 2 Thes. 2:11–– “strong delusion.” This is evident by RGJ’s revolutionisms against tabernacle types – the Holy, the Court, and the Camp that he falls into that category.
If the Tabernacle picture is kept clearly in mind, there will be no problem in understanding the doctrine of justification – for the Gospel Age and for the Millennial Age. The typical Atonement–Day sacrifices all had to be “without blemish”; and they typified the “better sacrifices” of this Gospel Age. Inasmuch as every antitype is greater than its type, we must conclude that the “better sacrifices” of this Age also must be “without blemish.” But such perfection is not actually possible, so we are “justified (counted righteous) by faith.” (Rom. 5:1) “There is now therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” (Rom. 8:1) But none will be “reckoned” perfect in the next Age; no amount of faith will bring any one into a perfect standing before God during the Mediatorial reign. Each one will have to earn his righteousness – by works, coupled with a certain amount of faith. Thus, there is no necessity whatever for a ‘tentative’ justification then; nothing whatever would be accomplished by it. The time for the sin–offering sacrifices will have passed away forever; and no such sacrifice will be expected, or permitted, then. Once this matter is clear, it will be readily apparent that RGJ’s ‘tentative’ justification in the Camp and in the Kingdom is simply some more of his nonsense.
On p. 63, col. 2, par. 2, RGJ says: “Thus according to the two Messengers there will be no interval without tentative justification.” Brother Russell distinctly says, “At the close of this Age there will no longer be a tentative justification” (Question Book, p. 312); and Brother Johnson uncompromisingly taught there would be no imputed merit in the Kingdom, therefore no tentative or vitalized justification operating then. We invite RGJ to cite just one statement by the Epiphany Messenger where he taught a ‘tentative’ justification for the Kingdom. Here again he is engaging in witchcraft – especially deceptive false teachings. RGJ’s reasoning on the subject is one of those “drunken in the night.” Both Messengers have made clear and indisputable statements that tentative justification ceases when this Age ceases.
His oft–repeated quotation from E–4:346, “Tentative Justification as operating from the time of Abel Enoch and Noah until restitution begins,” simply proves that tentative justification will be available for those consecrators like Abel at the end of this Age – after the door to the High Calling is closed – “until restitution begins.” Please note carefully, the above names (Abel, et al) started with the first Worthy, and it will end with the last Worthy consecrating at the interval of the end of this Age. Brother Johnson in this chapter in E–4 is refuting JFR’s error on Youthful Worthies, and upholding That Servant’s teaching of “those who consecrating and proving faithful in the interval between the close of the General Call in 1881 and the inauguration of the earthly phase of the Kingdom... will become associated in reward and service with the Ancient Worthies in the Kingdom,” (p. 337) RGJ is now revolutionizing against the Truth on Youthful Worthies, which necessitates us to refute his errors, even as Bro. Johnson had to refute JFR.
THE PREEMINENCE OF THE JEWS
On p. 60, col. 2, RGJ again quotes Brother Russell to dispute what we have written about “the Jew first,” so we now quote from Reprint 5964, Oct. 1916, which is probably one of his last articles on the subject, under the caption Special Privileges For Natural Israel:
“At the inauguration of the new Age of blessing, natural Israel will be granted a special place and privilege; ‘for the gifts and calling of God are not things to be repented of.’ We see how in another way, also, this special privilege will come to them; namely, in that the law has been more or less of restraint upon them in their daily lives as a people. They have had more or less of loyalty to God, which has kept them separate from other nations. This special privilege of preeminence in the Messianic Kingdom, however, will not be granted to all who are Jews by blood; but only to those who prove loyal to the law and the prophets... All others are merely Gentiles—Rom. 2:28,29.
“The earthly phase of the Kingdom will be composed of the Ancient Worthies of the Ages preceding the First Advent of our Lord. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, and the Hebrew prophets and other faithful ones will be in power as ‘princes in all the earth.’ (Psa. 45:16 – and we make special note that all these names mentioned by Brother Russell are names of Worthies – Ancient Worthies––JJH) The orthodox Jews will be more ready to receive the blessing of the new dispensation promptly than will any other people. Therefore they will have the first blessing – not by reason of partiality on God’s part in showing favor to these people, but by virtue of the fact that He made a Covenant with them as the posterity of faithful Abraham.”
Brother Johnson also refutes the Campers’ preeminence: “There will be two special arrange–ments in the Kingdom that will be exceedingly helpful for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the restitution class, apart from most of the things mentioned in the preceding paragraph: the unfolding of the Truth, the Word of God, and supporting providences. We will look briefly at the Millennial aspects of each of these two things, first as the pertinent aspects of the Word of God, the Truth. The Word will first be given by the Worthies from the Christ to the Jews; and it will heal them, as it is written, ‘He sent His Word and healed them’ (Ps. 107:20); but it will not be confined to them; for it shall spread and abound to all nations, we read, ‘Many people shall go and say... let us go up to the house of God and He will teach us of His ways..; for out of Zion (Christ and the Church) shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (the Worthies, Is. 2:3).” (E–15:548) Also, from E–15:550, bottom, and top of p. 551, there is this:
“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.”
It is quite evident from the above that Brother Johnson was wholeheartedly in harmony with Brother Russell’s teaching concerning the preeminence of the Jews. However, anent the foregoing, we once more remind our readers that Brother Russell, Brother Johnson and the Apostle Paul were in ignorance of 1954 and Epiphany Campers when they taught the preeminence of the Jews! Seemingly, RGJ is telling us that if they were here now they would change their minds about much of what they thought was the Truth when they taught what they did. This is the same technique of J. W. Krewson in his defense of the lawsuit between him and RGJ, etc. If Brother Johnson were now living, said Krewson, he would see that the Epiphany and the Apokalypse were two different periods of time.
In his contentions for the preeminence of his Campers Consecrated, RGJ is aligning himself with Jehovah’s Witnesses and numerous other Babylonish sects who are now viciously downgrading the Jews – although, he has not launched a “hate campaign” against the Jews, as some of these sects are doing; he is merely spewing his venom at us for exposing his errors and reasserting the Truth as given by the two Messengers. Some of the Jews on our mailing list have the Studies in the Scriptures in their libraries, and are well acquainted with That Servant’s teaching on the return of favor, and the preeminence of the Jews in the Kingdom arrangement. Some of them have expressed their appreciation of our efforts, but they do not have a very kindly feeling toward the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement for setting aside these faithful teachings. However, quite a few of the Jews who receive the literature RGJ has especially for them, don’t know about Campers Consecrated. It seems that he is teaching them the Truth as given to us by That Servant, but is teaching his Campers Consecrated another story. We “think it not strange,” because, “A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways.– (James 1:8)
THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST
On p. 60, col. 2, bottom, there is a question on “the resurrection of the just.” RGJ now offers two meanings to that text. But if we look at it one way – the right way – it means just what we have been taught: namely, the ‘just’ are the Gospel–Age firstborn and the Millennial–Age firstborn; and the ‘unjust’ are the Millennial–Age afterborn – all restitutionists. The ‘just’ receive an instantaneous resurrection, and the ‘unjust’ receive a gradual one – a resurrection by judgments. Of course, neither Messenger ever saw it RGJ’s two ways, so don’t be dismayed, dear Brethren, if you can’t see it either! It would take one skilled in “Witchcraft” (especially deceptive false teachings) to see that. But, when one is “cast into outer darkness” (error), it is very difficult for him to ‘see’ the right way. (See Matt. 25:30 and Berean Comments)
Once more RGJ resorts to E–10:114, which statement, taken just as it stands, emphatically annihilates his contentions. So, to get around that, he now says Brother Johnson “evidently meant for Gospel–Age purposes.” We inquire, what is “evident” about it? To help our readers come to a proper conclusion here, we quote from E–4, p. 406: “The Youthful Worthies, from the standpoint of having ‘the faith of Abraham,’ are, of course, like him, of the Household of Faith. They are, however, somewhat different from the tentatively justified who do not now consecrate. The latter during the Epiphany cease altogether to be in the Household of Faith, having used the grace of God in vain.”
In the above Brother Johnson plainly states it is an Epiphany matter, therefore a perfect companion statement to the one in E–10:114. If we keep in mind that the Priests and Levites type the Gospel-Age and the Millennial–Age Household of Faith (2 Tim. 2:20), we won’t be led astray by the “pestilence that walketh in darkness” (Ps. 91:6) – namely, two places for the Household of Faith – one in the Court and one in the Camp!
PERVERSIONS ON THE TABERNACLE
On p. 63, col. 1, par. 2, RGJ quotes our statement, that “a place in the tabernacle types represents a condition in antitype.” Then he adds: “For the Gospel–Age picture this is true, as given in Tabernacle Shadows, even as the condition of consecration was typed only by the Holy.” Is he telling us that the place in the tabernacle for consecration is not a condition now? The consecration of the Priesthood was in the Court during the Gospel Age, and the place for making a consecration is in the Court now; and if faithful, during the time of the ascendancy of sin and evil, will be rewarded with the Ancient Worthies, in service and honor – and have part in the “better resurrection” in partnership with the Ancient Worthies. This is in harmony with the “faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Brother Johnson has emphasized that the only difference in the consecration of Youthful Worthies and the saints, is the use God makes of their consecration: The Youthful Worthies make the same kind of consecration that the saints made; and the Great Company, when their fleshly minds are destroyed, will also renew their consecrations in the same manner. Of course, only the spirit–begotten are permitted to enter the Holy – and their spirit–begettal implies consecration. As Brother Russell says in Tabernacle Shadows, pp. 20,21: “Entering the ‘Holy,’ therefore, implies full consecration to the Lord’s service, our begetting of the spirit and our start in the race for the prize of the Divine nature .... These, as heavenly–minded ‘new creatures,’ though still ‘in the flesh,’ have their real (inner) life and walk with God within the first vail of consecration..”
Also, from Reprint 3054, col. 1, par. 1: “We by nature are sinners, and hence must enter the Court condition of justification through faith in our Lord’s sacrifice; we must be cleansed from the defilements of the flesh, so far as possible, through the word spoken unto us, represented by the Vail at the door, if we would enter thus into the Holy, enjoy the privileges typically represented in the light of the Golden Candlestick and the Shew–bread and the incense of the Golden Altar, which signify the light, the truth, and the spiritual privileges, praises, prayers and communion which we have with the Lord as members of the body of Christ, this side of the Second Vail.”
Actually the Holy is a condition of the Fully Faithful – the Body of Christ although all new creatures enter the Holy, and remain there as long as they are crown-retainers. But they made their consecration in the Court, at the First Vail, before they were permitted to enter into the Holy (condition). We know, too, that crown–losers were not represented in the Court as a class until the Epiphany; nevertheless, when they lost their crowns they were no longer permitted to “enjoy the privileges typically represented in the light of the Golden Candlestick and the Shewbread and the incense of the Golden Altar” with the “more than conquerors.” We know they didn’t have these privileges because of their gross revolutionisms, perversions, etc., of the stewardship doctrines that the Star Members left with them. RGJ’s revolutionisms and perversions of tabernacle types clearly manifest that he no longer has access to the Holy – although he usurps that privilege when he “offers strange fire before the Lord” with his Campers Consecrated doctrine. Brother Johnson tells us that such as he are always “susceptible to accept error in place of formerly held Truth, and to add error to the Truth already had and kept.” (E–15:517)
The World’s High Priest began dealing with the Great Company as a class in the Epiphany; but a similar work has been accomplished for the crown–losers all down the Age. Brother Russell says in TS, p. 71:
“Not only will this be markedly accomplished shortly, with the last members of this ‘scape-goat’ class, but the same has been fulfilled to some extent throughout the entire Gospel Age; for there has always been a class, and a large one, which yielded self–will to death only by compulsion; and, instead of willingly sacrificing, suffered ‘destruction of the flesh.’ (I Cor. 5:5)”
We now quote other Scriptures that corroborate the fact that Azazel’s Goat was dealt with during the Gospel Age, even though there is no picture of this in the tabernacle types:
“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (I Cor. 3:15) ‘And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:15—Fear of sacrificial death) “Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Tim. 1:20—Not to distort and revolutionize against the Truth) “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (I Cor. 5:5—Saved in the Epiphany – their resurrection day)
RGJ quotes Brother Russell: “Cornelius needed to know of the Lord Jesus from the true standpoint.” Is he telling us that it was Cornelius’ lack of knowledge that prevented him from entering the Christ Company? If Cornelius had been properly instructed “from the true standpoint,” could he have entered the Christ Company before the seventy symbolic weeks of Jewish favor ended? No! The reason that Cornelius could not make an acceptable consecration, is because it was not “due time” to open the door to Gentile converts. The “Key” could not be used until the seventy symbolic weeks expired. Regardless of any knowledge the Gentiles might have had before that time, that knowledge could not have “opened the way” for them. And this is the same condition for Restitutionists: they must await their “due time” to make a consecration. Of course, any one can make a consecration, but consecration has two parts – our part and God’s acceptance. God is not dealing with the world as individuals during the Gospel Age: He is dealing with the Household of Faith – in the Court.
RGJ should have considered this also from Reprint 2989: “But now a new dispensation had come: the ‘seventy weeks’ of favor to Israel had expired; and the Lord began to extend His favor beyond the Jews – as we have already seen – to the Samaritans and the Ethiopian eunuch. We may readily suppose that those innovations, although causing surprise to the Apostles, would be much easier for them to grasp than the extension of favor to the Gentiles.”
And more from Reprint 5832, bottom, Jan. 15, 1916: “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.”
Also from Reprints 1922-23: “Impressed by the faith and goodness of this Centurion, so unexpected among Roman soldiers, we were considering that it would be ‘just like the Lord’ to send the Gospel to such a noble Gentile soon after the Jewish favor would end, when the doors of Divine love and mercy would be opened to Gentiles as well as to Israelites. Then the Lord brought to our memory Cornelius, the first Gentile to whom the Gospel message was sent. (Acts 10:1–8) We remembered that he also was a centurion, and of him also it is recorded that he was a ‘devout man, and one that feared God with all his house which gave much alms to the people; and prayed to God always. It is not probable that among the Roman soldiers of Palestine there were two centurions of such similarly exceptional character....... We note also the remark of Peter, when preaching Christ and His Gospel to Cornelius (Acts 10:37), to the effect that Cornelius already knew the word which Jesus had preached throughout all Judea. In our judgment the circumstantial evidences are strong that the Centurion of our lesson was Cornelius. This would also explain why the Holy Spirit was poured out on Cornelius and his house even while Peter yet spake, and before it is even stated that Cornelius accepted Christ; for apparently he had already done so, as narrated by Luke in today’s lesson.”
When Brother Russell thought Cornelius was the same Centurion of Luke 7:2-10, he no doubt based his opinion on Jesus’ words in Luke 7:9: “I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Certainly, if we accept that statement, then that Centurion would be in order to have the honor of being the first Gentile convert, it would seem. As to his knowledge, it is stated: “For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.” It is evident that this Centurion not only was familiar with the Jewish faith, but that he also was quite familiar with our Lord’s ministry, and His power to heal, even as he said: “For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. (Luke 7:8)
And in view of the above, what kind of “confusion worse confounded” is RGJ trying to foist on his readers and sectarian devotees! Also, he tries to bolster his error by stating that there have been two consecrated classes in the Epiphany Tabernacle – one in the Court and one in the Holy, so this justifies his present changes. Yes, there are two places in the Tabernacle which contain the consecrated – one in the Holy and one in the Court – but there is only one place to make a consecration: namely, in the Court – during the Gospel Age and during the Epiphany. Also, the identical situation prevailed from 1881 to 1914. After 1881 the Truth people could not be sure whether a new consecrator had been spirit-begotten and proceeded into the Holy or not. But, did that condition prompt Brother Russell to offer any changes in his explanation of the Gospel-Age Tabernacle? Certainly not! Self–evidently here, RGJ’s attempt to justify his present changes is simply some more of his witchcraft (especially deceptive false teachings). If his contentions regarding 1954 were true, it still would not justify his distortions of the Epiphany Tabernacle. He claims Rev. 22:11 applies to 1954 – yet he goes right on inviting people to consecrate and “arise higher” in their class standing; but, if Rev. 22:11 applies to 1954, then those in the Holy, the Court and the Camp can arise no higher above their class standing before God. There is no misunderstanding of Brother Johnson’s interpretation, as given in E–10:114: it is limited to the then condition for all purposes, and will continue so “until restitution begins” when restitutionists can consecrate for Millennial–Age purposes.
In all of our writings we have continually emphasized God’s “due time.” Even when some of the fully faithful failed to heed this, they made mistakes, by attempting to interpret Scriptures before they were due to be understood. But the Measurably Faithful have always been guilty of rushing ahead of the Lord – in their own “due time,” but not the Lord’s. We might mention Papacy’s “reign” of the Kingdom also the Jehovah’s Witnesses; and now, in some degree, the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement. Now is RGJ’s “due time” for Restitutionists to consecrate and walk a “narrow way” in the Epiphany Camp. For this they will supersede the Jews in the Kingdom arrangement, because the Jews do not walk a “narrow way.” But this is not the time – God’s “due time” to exalt Gentile converts in the Camp above natural Israel, above the covenant-keeping Jews in Kingdom blessing. God has a Covenant to make with Israel to replace the old Law Covenant: a New Covenant will He make with natural Israel.
At no time have we warned the brethren not to read RGJ’s papers; in fact, we have suggested that they read what he present, and then compare with our papers, if they have the time and inclination. This was RGJ’s attitude toward the Society under the Epiphany Messenger; but now he joins with the Jehovah’s Witnesses in their attitude toward our papers – and is loud and boisterous in his efforts to keep the brethren from reading our papers. At one of his Conventions, he yelled: If you received a letter from the Devil, would you read it? This was the attitude of JFR and the Papacy toward the faithful. However, in this paper under review, he finally identifies us by our right name. He does this in order to “protect” the brethren! We also desire to protect the brethren, so we quote what he says on p. 64:
“It is saddening to us to have to mention names in connection with our earnestly contending for the faith... (Jude 3), but to make sure that all our readers, especially new ones, can identify him, and to protect them from ‘the snare of the fowler’ (Psa. 91:3), we believe that in faithfulness... to our brethren we should here indicate that the errorist... is John J. Hoefle, who publishes his sifting circulars under the name of ‘Epiphany Bible Students Association.’
“This issue should be clear to all, including any who may have been considering him... a suitable Truth teacher. It is evident that he has lost the spirit of understanding... He is in many respects a proven errorist, a contradictor of God’s Word and many of its teachings as set forth by the two Messengers, a misrepresenter, a reviler, a trickster and a wrester and twister of the Scriptures and the Truth writings, not sparing the flock, but deceiving and being deceived (Acts 20:29,30; 2 Tim. 3:13,14). Will we listen to and follow him, or the teachings of the Word of God? It should not require much consideration to determine the matter – to decide that he is indeed an utterly unfit and unsafe teacher, and to reject him. ‘Mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them’ (Romans 16:17).”
Romans 16:17 was a real favorite text of the Papacy in its heyday, as they hurled it against the faithful “Saints and Prophets, thou gavest them also Blood (error) to drink; they deserve it.” (Rev. 16:6, Dia.) This text was also JFR’s favorite text, as he hurled it against Brother Johnson. He, too, forbade his truckling followers to read Brother Johnson’s papers. However, RGJ did not warn the brethren not to read the Towers, even though he well knew they reeked with error! So, we “think it not strange” for RGJ to follow in JFR’s footsteps when he has similar errors to cover up. He was one of the “false–accusing Epiphany crown–losers” who declared that “Jehovah was on their side against” Brother Johnson. (E–10:591) We are the next best target for RGJ’s venom now since the Epiphany Messenger is no longer with us.
As Brother Russell has so aptly said: “Not many of the Lord’s people are cast into dens of literal lions, and yet at times quite a good many of them have had experiences which strongly resemble this ... As God’s providence was over Daniel, permitting him to come under the power of natural wild beasts... so the Lord’s providence sometimes permits His faithful ones to be exposed to the venom and malice and hate and misrepresentation and slander of human tongues, far more vicious and far more terrible in every way than the wild beasts of the jungle, which can harm but for a moment... In some instances it may please the Lord to grant a wonderful deliverance, as in the case of Daniel, while in other instances the providential dealings may result otherwise, as for instance in Stephen’s case....
“This reminds us of how Haman was hanged upon the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. The Psalmist seems to speak of it as a principle associated with the Divine Government, that those who dig pits for others are likely to fall therein themselves. (Psa. 7:15,16; 9:15,16) And who has not observed that those who gnash upon others with the tongue of scandal and falsehood, envy and malice, are likely in the end to be injured by the very falsehood and bitter words wherewith they seek to injure others? There is a law of retribution at work, in accordance with which a recompense of evil is dealt out to all evil-doers.” (Reprints 2502, bottom, and 2503, top)
But with the Psalmist, we say: “In thee, 0 Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion... I will also praise thee with the psalter, even thy truth, 0 my God; unto thee will I sing with the harp, 0 thou Holy One of Israel.” (Psa. 71:1,22)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim