Another year gone – with great advancement in scientific achievements in various capacities, and great retrogression in human relations and decor. This is as should be expected when we remember the prophecy, “The morning cometh, and also the night.” (Isa. 21:12) One professor of agriculture in a prominent university has recently predicted that we shall be growing 400 bushels of corn to the acre in the near future, and 200 bushels of wheat. When we were a boy on the farm in Ohio, fifty bushels of corn per acre became the talk of the whole county. And 18-20 bushels of wheat was considered an exceptionally good crop. The first hybrid corn appeared in 1930, which has already increased the yield to about four times what it was previously.
Also, a seedless cucumber is soon to appear on the market, which will not only much improve the quality, but also increase the yield by 50% or more. And a mechanical cherry picker is now in use, eliminating manual picking entirely. This Machine merely shakes the entire tree, causing it to drop its fruit into an apron underneath. It is said the tree is completely relieved of all fruit by this mechanism. In addition, an acid has been developed which causes the fruit to ripen eight to fourteen days sooner than would naturally be the case, thus easing the burden of the canneries by extending the period of harvest. Furthermore, it is requiring considerably less labor today to produce and harvest these large crops than it did ten or twenty years ago, when much less was grown. And the quality of the food was never better. In 1960 the average farmer in America fed 25 people; now he feeds 45 people.
The increase in speed of travel is likewise keeping pace. It is now predicted that the distance from San Francisco to Tokyo will be accomplished in little more than a half hour in the next ten years. Recently we flew from Detroit to Chicago, leaving Detroit at 11:20 a.m., and arriving in Chicago at 11:18 a.m. This is due to the change from eastern to central time, of course, but it shows we were traveling faster than the sun. At that rate we could travel around the world completely in the daytime. Indeed, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Dan. 12:4) It is a fair appraisal that even the unlearned are very much better informed on all social, political and world issues today than ever before. Sir Isaac Newton had predicted that man would some day travel at the rate of fifty miles per hour; and the ridicule he received for such a prediction now bounces back vigorously at his critics.
It is reported that a computer has now been invented for supermarkets, which will register the customer’s purchase by name, and give price, total amount and amount of tax, then state the remaining inventory on the shelf.
Truly, we are in the “day of preparation” – the “morning”; but the “night” proceeds emphatically along with it. Crime in the larger cities of the United States is becoming increasingly violent and abundant, causing great numbers to move to the suburbs, or to entirely new locales. Most large cities lost population in the last ten years. “They shall flee away, none shall look back.... the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and the faces of them all gather blackness.” (Nah. 2:8-10) Last Spring in Detroit a father followed his 17-year-old daughter to an apartment, found her cohabiting with a Jew, a Negro and a Gentile boy; then shot them all to death. This just after he had bought his daughter a new auto to make her happy. Another instance: Several young men entered a bar at 1:30 a.m., ordered various mixed drinks, then insisted they be allowed to taste them before making payment. The ensuing argument resulted in one of them being shot to death, which in turn brought on a riot of some 2,000 in the street before the bar. The tension was extreme for several days thereafter. All about a $2.30 bar bill. “The earth (the present social structure) is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage... it shall fall, and not rise again.” (Isa. 24:20)
The financial structure continues to deteriorate in keeping with the moral fiber. Earlier the President had hoped for a budget surplus of possibly two billion dollars; now it is estimated that there will be a deficit of anywhere from ten to twenty billions. And with it all the cost of living continues upward. Apples are now 20 to 30¢ per lb. in the big city markets – against 20 to 30¢ per bushel (60 lbs.) forty years ago. It is a sage observation in investment circles that constant vigilance is the price of safety; and only the well-informed and the vigilant are surviving the ravages of deteriorating paper money, much of which is simply a “promise to pay” nothing. One skilled writer recently took note of this, saying that the real menace to the United States is not from without, but from within. Here is a small quotation from his booklet:
“Today local and Federal taxes take one-third of all our earnings – and the Federal Government takes, and controls, and spends 70 per cent of it. Statistics show that prior to 1913 the Federal Government took and spent $7 per year per capita. In 1960 it took and spent $450 per every man, woman and child in our country. Thus the Federal Government takes and spends today about 65 times as much, per person, as it did 50 years ago.”
Of course, this is not due to the Government being in the money business; it is due to the money men being In the Government business. And to accomplish their purposes they must also control primarily the news agencies – to prevent them from informing the people of what goes on behind the scenes. Says the writer quoted above:
“The Masterminds realized that as long as the Press – or any other mass communications media – remained free to tell what they were trying to do, the enraged people would not only smash their plans, but they might well find themselves hanging from the nearest trees and telegraph poles. They decided that there must be no “free press.” And in the two decades that followed they achieved that objective. They bought outright some of the most important newspapers in the nation – they subsidized ‘stooges’ to buy other newspapers, magazines, etc. They evolved a perfect formula for controlling the ‘Wire Services,’ such as Associated Press, UPI, etc. They achieved that control by infiltrating such of their affiliates into the Chairmanships and other key posts on the governing Directorates.... Bear in mind that newspapers and magazines depend upon their advertising revenues for their existence. Hence, any individual, or organization, who has the power to place – or to withhold – the bulk advertising of both Department Stores and Advertising Agencies can walk into the office of any newspaper and ‘write his own ticket.’ He can force the newspaper to give ‘the silent treatment’ – or even to smear – any individual who has incurred his displeasure.... he can force the newspaper to back any type of legislation he desires – or to denounce legislation he opposes – he can absolutely DICTATE the editorial policies of the newspaper.”
It is said that the financiers described aforegoing contributed twenty million dollars in gold during World War I to finance the Lenin-Trotsky group to overthrow the Russian Government, and to work from there to perpetrate similar procedure in other enlightened countries that had become overburdened with debt as a result of the great conflict. And they have been continuing their plan in quiet, but intensive, zeal throughout the years following 1918; and they eventually masterminded the great depression of 1929-1932.
Some years back one of these money men made a statement something like this: If I can control the money of a nation, I care not who makes the laws. It is self-evident that a capitalistic system operates with money; and, under the evil conditions that have prevailed over the centuries of the curse, the capitalistic system seems best suited to existing conditions. There is no question but that competition among men has resulted in much injustice, brutality and deep-laid plans of evil in many respects; but things would have been even worse under any other system. In the early Church the Apostles thought to establish a communistic arrangement among the brethren (“they had all things common”—Acts 4:32), but it failed almost before it began, resulting in St. Peter executing the death penalty upon Ananias and Sapphira. (Acts 5:1-11) Shortly after America was discovered some Europeans thought to escape the demands of capitalism; they would come to America, bask in the sun, with no money worries, and no effort at producing anything. This forced Captain John Smith, founder of the Virginia colony, to issue the edict, “He who will not work shall not eat.”
Knowing that the capitalistic system operates with money, certain men – motivated by theory of Fabian Socialism – determined that the best way to destroy the capitalistic system would be with capital itself. Thus, they have adopted a set policy of corrupting the currencies of all civilized countries, which has resulted in all of them devaluing their currencies as occasion made it expedient. Some have done this more than others. For instance, the French franc that was valued at about 19 cts in 1914 is now worth about 1/4 of a cent, so that a franc today will buy little more than a match or a toothpick. In the United States devaluation has occurred only once – in 1933; but the deterioration of its money has more than kept pace with other leading countries. It is estimated that the overall debt in this country now – federal, state, local and private – is about 1½ trillion dollars – with the end nowhere in sight. The annual interest on the federal debt alone is about 20 billion dollars; whereas, the entire national debt in 1914 was about one billion dollars, and the ruling party was very diligent that it should go no higher. This tremendous erosion has tragically undermined life insurance, annuities, and the like, where people have paid in ‘hard’ dollars, but will now receive the eroded dollar in eventual payment. Already about 1945, when the national debt was about 45 billions, one prominent Washington commentator offered the appraisal that nobody with any intelligence in Washington thinks this debt will ever be paid off. And that debt is now about eight times that amount.
When the final accounting arrives for this financial mess, it will be a fearful day of reckoning. “Behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up... that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” (Mal. 4:1) Companion to this is Heb. 1:10-12: “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth (the present social order); and the heavens (the present religious order) are the works of thine hands: They shall perish (in the turmoil of this evil day)... they shall all wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up.” This is all typically foretold in Gen. 15:8-17. After God had made certain promises to Abraham, the latter then asked: “Lord, whereby shall I know that I shall Inherit it (the land)?... And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.” The “smoking furnace” undoubtedly foretold the “burning oven” of this our day; and the “lamp” that passed between is a “more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a Light (the ‘lamp’) that shineth in a dark place.” (2 Pet. 1:19) From such ‘prophecy’ the Lord’s people shall receive their clear understanding of present conditions; and it is well that we all set our houses in order that that “day shall not overtake us as a thief.”
Another political campaign has just ended in the United States – with the usual promises and recriminations sharply in evidence. Anent the glowing promises, a teacher gave the question, When is Jesus coming back to earth? To which a little girl promptly answered, Election day! One pundit offered the definition, A politician is one who shakes your hand on election day, and your confidence afterward. We, however, would not make this allegation all-inclusive. Some leaders in government are undoubtedly trying honestly and laboriously to improve the general environment; but they are hampered by at least three things: Colossal debt, poor material with which to work, and impatience on the part of the citizens. With the confusion and faulty organization everywhere apparent, any substantial panacea requires much time to make it work; and the peoples of earth have had their tolerance worn thin; they are in no mood for reform that requires much time, but the complications of the times mist self-evidently need lots of time if they are to be cured. Of course, we have “the sure word of prophecy” that they will not be cured by puny men. Only will they be cured when “the Sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in His wings ... tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Mal. 4:2,3)
The governmental upheavals of the day have become accepted as regular ‘diet’; but a little reflection will quickly remind us that such was not the case before 1914, when revolution and extreme political reverse were definitely uncommon. In this respect, let us consider Italy. From 1870 on the House of Savoy ruled that country with a minimum of uproar; but we offer now some comments from one magazine, the article being entitled “ITALY BENT FOR CHAOS.” Here are same of the statements:
“For the 27th time since World War 11 Italy is without a government (Aug. 10, 1970). The center-left coalition of Premier Mariano Rumor collapsed abruptly on July 6, and nearly three weeks later, Rumor’s fellow Christian Democrat, Giulio Andreotti, gave up his attempts to revive it. Last week, another Christian Democrat, Treasury Minister Emilio Colombo, was trying – without much luck – to patch together a new center-left Cabinet. But despite the gravity of the crisis, it hardly seemed to matter to most Italians whether Colombo succeeded or failed. For democratic government in Italy has worked so poorly during the postwar years that in one recent poll, two-thirds of those questioned said they would prefer to temporarily surrender authority to a good strong man. What ails Italy: From Rome last week, Senior Editor Arnaud de Borchgrave cabled this report: ‘As a tourist, I came to Rome not only to see the mountains,’ an angry American visitor recently wrote to Rome’s daily American, ‘but to swim and get a little sunshine without going too far from the city. On Sunday, my wife and I took a train to one of the nearer beaches. I have never witnessed such squalor anywhere in the world. The water, the facilities, the air were all filthy. To cap it all, we had to pay $3 to get into a beach whose sleaziness is indescribable – and swim in a sewer.... Almost every feature of life in the big city has been a cruel disappointment to the migrants, many of whom wind up living in abandoned cars or shantytowns. In Rome, whose population has doubled since World War II, some 60,000 squatters live in wooden shacks. The cities themselves are fast becoming unlivable.
“Successive Italian Governments have been almost powerless to deal with this social decay. Some 4,000 bills are pending in the clogged Parliament; university reform has been stalled for five years, urban planning for seven. Public transportation is breaking down, and the schools, short one million desks, have been forced to adopt a two shift system. The country’s hospitals have 40,000 fewer beds than they need. Appellate courts are struggling with a ten-year backlog of cases, and frequent amnesties for minor criminals are all that stand between the prison system and complete chaos.
“In the face of these problems, Italy’s bureaucracy has grown bigger – but no better. The ranks of the civil service swell by ten per cent every four years, the payroll by 40 per cent. Bureaucrats (politicians) cost the country seven billion a year, nearly half the national budget. In Sicily, which has 600 different Government offices, some $860 million has been spent on local administration in the last five years; by contrast, only $530 million has been spent during the same period on public works and other social investment. In an effort to decentralize the bureaucracy, Italy recently created fifteen new regional administrations. This set off-bloody riots in the southern seaport of Reggio de Calabria when the rival city of Catanzaro was chosen as capital of the region. More important, the new system will add $3 billion to the cost of the civil service – and yet another layer to the bureaucracy. The elected branch of government has been no more effective than the civil service. Designed chiefly as an antidote to Fascism, Italy’s multiparty political system has disintegrated into a proliferation of factions and personal rivalries. The Christian Democrats (the Roman Catholics), the country’s largest party with about 38% of the vote, are split into nine identifiable sub-species. The once-powerful Socialists are now three parties (Socialists, Proletarians and Social Democrats), while the Communists are also badly divided. Some, while perhaps critical of Soviet policy, remain loyal to Moscow as the mecca of International Communism. Others want to make a clean break with Russia and cooperate with democratic parties in reforming Italy.”
There is much more to this article, but the foregoing will suffice to inform our readers of the political situation in Italy. It is much the same in other countries, with some perhaps being even worse. The politician’s first objective is to take care of himself. Once he is on the payroll, it is almost impossible to dislodge him; and the most of them have unlimited gall in their operations. England’s labor Government was badly beaten in the last year’s elections; whereas, they considered themselves surely entrenched. But it should be recalled that almost the first thing they did when they came into power several years back was to double their salaries – and at the same time telling the working people, who had elected them, that they should tighten their belts for an austerity program. The average politician has had little or no business experience; consequently any enterprise conducted by the Government makes miserable comparison with private enterprise. One wag recently made the quip, Crime wouldn’t pay if the Government ran it. In the United States, where two parties predominate, the question was asked, Just what’s the difference between the Republicans and Democrats anyway? To which came the answer, All the difference in the world; they’re in, we’re out!
In religion much the same deterioration appears as is going on in the financial and political realms. In almost every Christian system the spirit of the real reformers is almost if not completely dead. Having come to the end of the Age, this should not surprise us, because the same condition prevailed at the end of the Jewish Age, when Jesus was on earth. And of them He said, “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.” (Matt. 23:25) We gave more than ordinary detail aforegoing about Italy because the Roman Catholic Church is located there; and the sharpest contrast is shown there between the general populace and the Church. It is variously estimated that the Vatican Empire is worth about five billion dollars, and is thus the wealthiest institution on earth, excepting a few Industrial empires in the United States and elsewhere. Surely, the prophecy is fulfilled in them, “Thou sayest, I am rich and Increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Rev. 3:17)
Companion to the foregoing is the comment of one radio broadcaster that there are now 10,000 letters before the Pope by priests from various countries, asking that they be relieved of the vows of celibacy. Perhaps this is the prelude to fulfillment of the prophecy in 2 Kgs. 9:30-33: “When Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel (type of the Roman Church in her union with the various Gentile Governments) heard of it.... and looked out at a window... And Jehu lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? Who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down... and he trod her under foot.”
At the Episcopal Convention this Fall in Texas, that Church also was faced with considerable crisis – both in money and antipathy and discord among both the lay and the clerics. Just one small quotation will give the general idea:
“The program and budget committee regards anticipated diocesan (quota) income as $2 million less than the budget proposed by those swashbuckling spenders who comprise a majority of the denomination’s executive council..... The financial desperation at Episcopal headquarters is evidenced by Bishop John E. Hines having embarked quietly on a series of special fund-raising dinners in various dioceses. But only a few days before the general convention, in Massachusetts, this effort bombed. For among the 140,000 church members who comprise this, one of the denomination’s largest and most liberal dioceses, Bishop John Burgess was able to muster a total attendance of 23 people.”
Among the various Truth groups in Little Babylon the general trend is in much the same direction as in Big Babylon – though not nearly so extreme, of course. All during the Philadelphia period the more zealous and representative Christians were usually found in that group nearest the last reformer – in the sect that developed from his efforts. Thus, we should logically look for more advanced and devoted assemblies among those who arose from the last reformer. Inasmuch as there are those still living who were intimately acquainted with That Servant, and who diligently worked with him, we should expect to find the better Christian characters among those brethren, even though their particular group may not in general maintain the same high standards he advocated. And the same would be true of those associated more intimately with Brother Johnson. He also was an excellent “example of the believers”; and those honestly close to him would certainly have some of that ‘rub off’ onto them. However, crown-losers all during the Age were remiss in what they absorbed from their star-member leaders; and it should not surprise us to see the same situation still in vogue.
The leader of the laymen’s Home Missionary Movement, as example, has made various attempts to change the technique and to alter the teachings left in his trust, with such efforts always resulting in a downgrading of what was done during Brother Johnson’s life. Perhaps the latest departure from established practice before 1950 (when he became Trustee) is his practice now of collecting questions the day before the Question Meeting, to be sure no questions are presented that might prove embarrassing to him. thus, he is now running “scared”; and let us not forget that this is the same person who repeatedly vaunts his ‘courage’ from the platform at Conventions – where he is sure he is safe.
And, of course, the brethren he has accepted as his cohorts are those whose minds operate the same as does his, so that many of his speakers are of the weaker variety of “the unstable and the unlearned.” In our December paper we mentioned rather briefly the discourse of one of them at Chicago, his subject being “For Defense.” Then he proceeded to go into quite some detail about any one meeting a wolf in the wilderness, and being unarmed, would beat a hasty retreat. And he gave that as a pattern of our treatment of wolves among the Lord’s people. As Brother Russell once commented, Some of the pilgrims do paint some awful pictures; and this summation we would now repeat in the present instance. St. Paul emphatically instructed the elders at Ephesus (Acts 20:28) to “Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over whom the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers.” Even the veriest novice should recognize from this that St. Paul was in nowise hinting that the elders should “take heed to the flock” by running away if a wolf appeared. Nor did the Parousia or Epiphany Messengers themselves ever shrink from battle at any time with errorists – either in Babylon, or among our own selves. Nor did Jesus, or the Apostles. Note the Berean Comment on John 18:37: “It was this ‘Good confession (of the Truth—JJH) before Pilate’ that cost our Lord His life.” And when Jesus said, “The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep,” He certainly did not mean he would ‘give his life’ by running away if a wolf appeared. Certainly, the example we have just detailed is a far, far step from the performance and teaching of the last reformers. May God bless their memory!
During the past year the Roman Catholic Church has added another fraud to its long list of “great swelling words.” We offer now a magazine comment on this item:
“Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church. So said Jesus to a Galilean fisherman named Simon who became ‘Prince of Apostles’ and the first Pope. Roman Catholic historians record that Peter traveled to Rome and was crucified – head down – by the Emperor Nero in A. D. 64 or 67. He is then said to have been buried in a common cemetery on the site where Emperor Constantine built the first Basilica of Saint Peter in the fourth century. Constantine’s structure was razed during the sixteenth century, and the present basilica erected in its place.
“Last week, Pope Paul VI announced that bones uncovered beneath the basilica were indeed those of Saint Peter. Speaking to several thousand pilgrims at his weekly audience, the Pontiff emphasized that intensive investigation of the bones would continue. But he added: ‘For our part, we believe it our duty – in the present state of archeological and scientific conclusions – to give you and the church this happy announcement, bound as we are to honor sacred relics, backed by reliable proof of their authenticity.’”
On the foregoing we would say there is not the slightest evidence to prove that the Apostle Peter ever visited Rome at any time during his life. And, had he done so, the Apostle Paul would certainly have made some slight comment about it in his writings from that city. Furthermore, it is definitely unscientific and illogical to believe that bones would still be intact and identifiable after 1900 years in the tomb. Some of us may recall that, when the Communists took over the Russian Government in 1917, they immediately went into the Catholic cathedrals there, took from the glass enclosures those supposed bodies of the saints that had never decayed, took them onto the front steps of those churches, picked them apart before the public, and revealed that they were nothing but cotton mummies – rank fraud in every respect.
This recalls the incident of a young priest who was being commissioned to a remote church as his first assignment. Just before his departure, his bishop called him aside and confidentially gave him a jawbone of the ass on which Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem the week of His death. It would be an inspiration and encouragement to him in the trials ahead, the bishop told him. But, after he had become settled in his charge, and had become acquainted with other priests in neighboring localities, he found seven other priests who also had been given a jawbone of that same ass.
In closing, we would offer parts of an editorial in the Los Angeles Times, entitled “In Its Own Quiet Way, The ‘70 Summer Was Terrible”:
“In truth, the absence of any Watts style mass riot has masked the fact that this has been the terrible summer of ‘7O. Instead of headline-producing rioting, the pattern of black militancy has changed to ever-better-organized urban guerrilla warfare deeply influenced by Black Panther philosophy. Law enforcement experts believe that this year has moved the United States far down the road toward white counter-guerrilla action and virtual civil war. Black Panther propaganda glorifying the killing of police abounds in Negro ghettos... Earlier this year Detroit police uncovered plans for recurrent ambush assassinations of police intended to trigger race riots... Law enforcement officers in Miami, about the same time, found similarly elaborate planning by the Black Afro Militant Movement... The epidemic is worsening. Unlike the centrally-directed Communist Party underground, black guerrillas are decentralized and difficult to infiltrate... The terrible summer of 1970 may be followed by escalated black guerrilla war year-round with frightful consequences that nobody today can dare guess.”
All this is in keeping with our Lord’s prophecy in Luke 21:25-28: “Upon the earth distress of nations... Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth (the present social order)... When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Thus, our counsel to our readers is that they in nowise become involved in the present turmoil, but remain as far removed from it as possible. Understanding the prophecies as we do, this is but the elementary workings of “the spirit of a sound mind.” Let us consider the axiom: He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled; he who does an evil deed is instantly degraded!
To all our readers we extend cordial good wishes for the year 1971; and we gratefully reciprocate also the many expressions of good will that have come to us over the Holidays. “Thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savior of His knowledge by us in every place.... For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”—2 Cor. 2:14-17
Sincerely Your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION: – Should we salute the flag?
ANSWER: – The above question was answered by the Epiphany Messenger at one time, and we don’t believe we can now give a better answer than he gave us in the November l, 1940 Present Truth: “J.F.R. has raised this question, altogether erroneously, we believe. He claims that the flag is a graven image; therefore people are by the Second Commandment forbidden to salute it, which he claims is worshipping it. This position we deny; because it is not a graven image. It is not an image of a god, nor even of the United States, which, of course, is not a god. It is the standard of the United States. The Israelites had, by Divine order, standards and ensigns about their camp, as we read in Num. 2:2,3, 10,l7, 18, 25, 34. If they were given graven images, God would never have had or sanctioned Israel’s having standards and ensigns-flags; for He forbade graven images and their worship.
“Our country deserves respect and honor, both as a Divine ordinance and as doing us good; and we should regard the saluting of the flag, when required by law or custom, as a thing that the Lord’s people may properly do as a mark of respect for a Divine ordinance and for the good conferred by the United States upon us. We would not consider it a religious service at all, anymore than if we were to tip our hats to a lady would we consider that a religious service; or, if we were privates in the army, if we would salute our officers, or if we were officers and would salute our fellow officers or privates. If the flag were a religious symbol, and if that symbol would represent a false religion, it would be wrong to salute it. But neither of these things are true; hence the second commandment does not forbid saluting the flag. J.F.R. in this matter, as in many others, has brought much evil and discredit upon the Lord’s Truth and people. We should pity his poor dupes for the suffering that they bring upon themselves through his pertinent fanaticism. Thereby they are not suffering for righteousness, but for an error that is deservedly unpopular. We rather think that the rioting spirit that their fanaticism has aroused will overflow from them to the priests for their work of rebuking the evil of state and church cooperation in this country.”
And we might add for the further benefit of the questioner, that when we stand in respect when our anthem is played or sung, we are not worshipping a graven image. We have heard of no specific case where the Jehovah’s Witnesses have made themselves conspicuous by such disregard, and received the disapproval of their fellows – nor do we know they refuse to do this. But we don’t see any difference in this gesture of respect and saluting the flag. Their shibboleth is this: We are not interested in supporting any of the religious systems, social systems, or Governments, since they are all parts of the Devil’s Organization; we are interested in liberating the individuals of those systems, and have them join with us now before Armageddon, so they will be saved, even as all other Individuals together with the systems, will be completely annihilated then.
If any of our readers have not read our No. 11 on this subject, it will be our pleasure to send it free upon request.