My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
Activities of Pastor Russell. That Servant. His Memory still fragrant. Will His work endure? God Bless His Memory! The Epiphany proves him That Servant.
The Anniversary of our Pastor’s passing beyond the veil, October 31, will always be a date of special sacredness to God’s saints. Eight years ago (written in 1924) the whole Church was shocked by the news of his departure. Loath were we to believe it true, until the evidence became unanswerable; and then we realized our great loss, but his great gain. His memory is fragrant and blest to us. He will ever occupy in our hearts the large place that his holy character, unselfish service and faithful sufferings have won for him. That his memory may still continue fragrant and blest to us, let us together briefly review the activities, the achievements and attainments of this eminent saint of God. He certainly was a SCHOLAR in the true sense of that term. Those who require a university diploma as indispensable evidence of learning will deny him the merit of scholarship. However, there are not a few cases of scholars that were self-made, gaining their knowledge apart from the schools of the learned world. Among such our Pastor won a high place. Apart from English, he was not a linguist, though he learned how to use well for his Biblical work the gains of the best scholarship in Greek and Hebrew. He was deeply versed in history, as his writings attest. His writings show that he was at home in the perplexing questions of industry, economics, sociology, capital and labor.
The realms of philosophy were deeply explored by him, and he was an expert in theoretical and practical psychology and phrenology. Few have understood the workings of the human intellect and heart so well as he. Human knowledge of these sciences, combined with that of medicine, made him a physician; and though he had no medical diploma, he attained better results in the healing art than the average physician. However, his real eminence in learning was in the domain of theology, in which he was without peer since the days of the Apostles. His knowledge of the Bible was phenomenal; and when other theologians will have been discarded, he will be recognized as a standing authority in this the greatest of all sciences.
Naturally such a scholar would be a writer. Very few human beings have written more than he. His correspondence alone was sufficient for the life work of an industrious and talented man. When it is remembered that some years over 300,000 letters and postals were written to him, and that he supervised the answers to this huge mail, and attended to no small share of it himself, we can realize something of the amount of his correspondence and the time and labor involved. As an author he produced Six unrivaled books on the Bible whose combined circulation during his life aggregated 10,000,000 copies. As a bookleteer he published a number of booklets of great value, one of which, on Hell, has been circulated more widely than any other booklet ever written. He produced over 200 tracts, some of which attained a circulation of over 50,000,000 copies. His sermons, appearing regularly every week for thirteen years, were published part of that time simultaneously in over 2,000 newspapers, having a combined circulation of over 15,000,000 copies. He edited a semi-monthly religious magazine with a circulation of about 45,000 copies. His Scenario of the “Photo-Drama of Creation” has had a wide circulation, as is also the case with his Angelophone record lectures. His articles on the International Sunday School Lessons have reached many Sunday School teachers in a special publication, as well as in his semi-monthly magazine and in hundreds of newspapers. He was a regular contributor to several magazines, and, apart from his regular weekly sermon, was a frequent contributor of special articles to newspapers, some of which also carried reports of his frequent lectures.
Nor was his work as a lecturer on a small scale. Most well-known lecturers have only a few lectures that they use year in and year out. Not so with him. He lectured on hundreds of subjects which were of compelling interest, as well as of recognized difficulty. His lectures were direct, clear, simple, logical and convincing. His powers of exposition and proof were of the first order, and were so well in hand as to appeal to the learned and unlearned alike, an unequaled proof of genius. Wherever he was announced to speak, the largest and best auditoriums were crowded, and frequently thousands and usually hundreds were turned away, unable to gain entrance. He did not depend on the tricks of oratory to win his hearers. He appealed to their heads and hearts in that simple and direct manner which wins the hearer without oratorical fireworks. He was the most cosmopolitan lecturer that ever lived, having addressed audiences in this capacity in almost every country on earth, traveling between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 miles to meet his appointments.
As a preacher he was even more widely known than as a lecturer. Wherever he worked as a lecturer he addressed more private audiences as a preacher. This acquired for him the title, “The Ubiquitous Preacher.” It can be more correctly said of him than of any other preacher that the World was his parish. His spoken sermons were published in the newspapers, reaching millions of readers weekly. These sermons appeared in many languages; and before he died his pen products had been published in some forty languages. As a preacher he appealed to the hearts of his hearers through their heads; and his ability to strike home to the hearts and heads of his hearers through suitable Bible verse or illustration the thoughts that he was seeking to impress was marvelous. His genuine and unaffected love for God and man gave a power to his utterances that drove them home, where mere eloquence and oratory would have been effectless. His sermons, therefore, always elevated head and heart.
He was the most notable of pastors. His clearness of insight into the problems of his day, his knowledge of human nature, his intuition of the condition and needs of the individual, his single-hearted consecration to God and devotion to the interests of His people, his large sympathy, benevolence and hope as respects others, his grip on the purpose of his ministry, and his knowledge of the spiritual dangers of his times and of the safeguards needed by those in danger, made him a real pastor, a genuine shepherd of God’s sheep. As many as 1200 different churches at one time claimed him as their pastor. He had “the care of all the churches.” As a pastoral advisor he was expert; as a pastoral comforter he was inspiring; as a pastoral corrector he was tactful and fruitful; and as a pastoral leader he was unobtrusive, yet all-persuasive and effective. These qualities made him a part of the very life of those whose pastor he was, and bound him to them by ties that death itself has not severed. This is why the tens of thousands that chose him as their pastor have, up to the present, eight years (54 years in 1970—JJH) after his death, chosen no successor to him.
No review of him would be complete without treating of his activities as a reformer. He was every inch a reformer and stood in the front rank of the reformers of all Ages. Error never had an antagonist more to be dreaded than he, who with thoroughness of disproof of error’s claims combined tact, sympathy, gentleness and charity that left no personal sting after his onslaughts. If he hated error greatly, he loved the errorist more greatly, and always sought to help him, while overthrowing his wrong theories. The superstitions connected with the penalty of sin and the state of the dead were the especial objects of his attacks; and he never let an opportunity of attacking them pass by unused. The superstitious and the infidel alike felt the logic of his attacks; and the devout student of the Word found in him a champion who knew how to vindicate the truthfulness of the Bible and to refute the errors of the superstitious and the unbeliefs of the infidel. His insistence on a faith harmonious with Scripture, Reason and Fact was an inspiration to the Bible believer and a terror to the creedist and infidel. His forty-five years of continued attacks on the strongholds of error and superstitions largely undermined them for real students of the Word. But his work as a reformer was more than destructive of error and superstition. It left not his hearers victims of unbelief. On the contrary, he unfolded a harmonious reasonable and Scriptural view of the Bible that evidences the inspiration of the Scriptures. Thus he gave others a sound and reasonable basis for their faith in “The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture,” while destroying caricatures of ‘Scriptural teachings handed down by the superstition of the Dark Ages. Consequently those who looked to him as their leader in reform were not left with stately ruins as the sum total of his and their labors. Rather, beside and instead of the ruins of the Temple of Error he erected the Sanctuary of the Truth as a refuge against all the storms of doubt, superstition and unbelief. And in this fact his real worth as a reformer is recognizable.
He was great as an executive. A phrenologist once seeing his picture, but not knowing whose it was, remarked that he was either a merchant prince of the president of a Theological Seminary! Already in his teens his executive abilities made him the owner and director of a large business which was soon increased until it occupied four large stores in various cities. As a business man he acquired experiences that fitted him for his future work. His executive abilities were such as enabled him to grasp the details as well as the generalities of his many enterprises. He was profitably interested in dozens of enterprises aside from his great religious work, to which he gladly devoted the profits of his secular business. Aside from his purely secular business interests, his religious activities required high and varied executive ability. He not only produced the vast literature of his movement, but he directed its publication and distribution. Hence he saw to the publication and circulation of his books, booklets, tracts, sermons, lectures, scenarios, Sunday School lessons, magazines, lecture records and magazine articles, assisted, of course, by an able staff of co-laborers. He organized and directed seven branch offices in foreign countries. He supervised a Biblical correspondence school. At least two hours daily he gave to directing a Theological School in the Bethel home. For twenty-two years he controlled a Lecture Bureau that for several years had a staff of over 300 lecturers. He managed for thirty years a propaganda work that at times had 1000 colporteurs in its service. He directed for twenty-five years a tractarian movement in which at times nearly 10,000 individuals took part. For three years he directed the preparation and for two and a half years managed the exhibition of the “Photo-Drama of Creation:” in hundreds of cities, and in many countries, before over 15,000,000 people. He was the guiding spirit in over 1500 churches, and at the headquarters of his work daily presided as the head of the family over his co-laborers who, for many years averaged 175 members, lived together as a family. In this capacity he took cognizance of all sorts of details in storehouse, kitchen, laundry, dining room, living room, hospital, library, study, drawing room and parlor.
Had he been eminent in any one of the seven capacities in which we have viewed him (and we could profitably view him from others, so many-sided was this remarkable man), he would properly be considered a great man. But to have been eminent in all of them, and have been in some of them without a peer, prove him to have been a genius of the first order.
History will yet give him a place among the very greatest of men. While dealing with him it is necessary in doing him justice to use superlatives. If we were to reduce his qualities to two, we know of no others to use more truly and fittingly to characterize him than those used of him by Him whose steward he was: “Faithful and Wise.” His life was a great success to himself and a great blessing to others; his death was a great loss to others and a great gain to him; and his memory has been and is a benediction and an inspiration to the Church, and in due time will be to the world “God bless his memory!”
It is fitting that we who prize his ministry as especially Divinely arranged and directed should consider him as “that Servant,” according to Matt. 24:45-47 and Luke 12:42-46. There is even at this late date more or less confusion among some of the Truth people as to who or what is meant by the expression, “that Servant.” According to several views the expression “That Servant,” refers to a class. Some claim that, understood as a class, the expression, “that Servant,” means the teachers in the Church; others claim that it means the Little Flock; and more latterly still, others – the Tower editors and their disciples – claim that it means the Society, by which we must understand either the Society’s directors, organized with their agents, or the shareholders, or both combined. This latter thought we have refuted in detail in Vol. Six. In Z 196, 47, and in D 613, 614, our dear Pastor modestly gave the proofs that the expression, “that Servant,” refers to an individual, i. e., to himself. With this view all well instructed Truth people agreed, until lately the Society leaders, to make their usurped powers more secure, spread the opinion that the Society, a business corporation, is “that Servant.” Accordingly, the Tower editors and their followers must be reckoned among those who teach that “that Servant” is not an individual, but is a class.
The Scriptures (Matt. 24:45-47; Luke 12:42-46) clearly refute such claims, teaching that the expression “that Servant” means an individual. In both passages “that Servant” is clearly distinguished from the Church, because he is spoken of as being made “ruler over His (the Lord’s) household”; hence he cannot be the household, the Church. Again, the fact that he is spoken of as giving them “meat in due season” distinguishes him from the “household,” the Church. Furthermore, his being called the “steward” proves that all of the servants of the household cannot be meant, for the steward is the special representative of the householder, having in charge all the latter’s goods during his time of office, and as such has also all the other servants in his charge. (In our Lord’s day individuals, not classes, were stewards). Moreover, he is expressly distinguished in Luke 12:45 from all the other servants, in that he is forbidden “to beat the menservants and maidens,” i.e., all the other servants of the Church. Hence the expression “that Servant” cannot mean the servants of the Church as a class, because in this passage he is clearly distinguished from them. Therefore, in view of the fact that these two Scriptures distinguish him from the Church as a whole and from all of the other servants of the Truth, we should conclude that he must be an individual.
Furthermore, the facts of the harvest history prove that an individual, our sainted Pastor, is meant by that expression. For the Harvest, understood as the reaping and gleaning period, is passed. During that time not a class, i.e., neither the Church, nor all servants of the Truth, nor the Society, had the entire Storehouse in their charge, nor gave the meat in due season, nor ruled the harvest work; but “that Servant” alone did these things. Hence he alone fulfilled the prophecy. Nor could it have been reasonably done otherwise. How could the entire Church have had the entire Storehouse in its charge? or have given itself the meat in due season? or have ruled the work? How could all of the servants of the Truth have had these privileges? And have not the divisions in the Church, caused by various power-grasping leaders, proven the unreasonableness of the attempt to rule the Church by all the leaders? Moreover, how could a “dummy corporation” with dummy directors” have ruled the household, given the meat in due season and had charge of all the goods?
From these considerations we see the Absurdity of the teaching of those who claim that the expression, “that Servant,” means a class. Truly, during the reaping and gleaning time our Pastor had charge of all the goods, and gave the meat in due season. Practically every feature of the harvest message was first seen by him, and was then first taught by him to the Church. This he did in his teaching and preaching, through his books, booklets, tracts, magazines and other publications. So, too, every branch of the harvest work was in its general aspects under his charge. Thus he directed the pilgrim, colporteur, volunteer, newspaper, extension, pastoral, photo-drama, publicity, Tabernacle and Bethel work. Only those who are ignorant of the facts, or who “to draw away disciples after themselves” or for some other reprehensible reason misrepresent the fact, would deny the facts stated in this paragraph. And these facts unanswerably prove that the privileges and work outlined in Matt. 24:45-47 and Luke 12:42-44 were fulfilled in our Pastor alone. He alone was “that Servant.”
And, true to these passages, he was appointed to this office after our Lord’s Return, as a reward for his being found faithfully administering the food to the household when the Lord came, which was before the Society existed, and which proves that the Society cannot be “that Servant.” So, too, in his office work he was both faithful and wise; and therefore he was blessed by the Lord according to these Scriptures with a continuance in his office. In calling him faithful our Lord prophesied that he would be loyal to the end. So responsible and trialsome was his office that the Lord deemed it wise to give him, as a special caution, the words of Luke 12:45,46 – not to deny His Second Presence, not to mistreat the servants who were put into his charge, nor selfishly to feed himself to the neglect of the household, nor to imbibe error. If he should fail to heed these warnings, God said that he would be cut off from the Little Flock, as well as lose his stewardship as an unfaithful servant. Nor were these merely idle warnings; for so responsible was his office that, if he should have proven untrue, he could have committed untold evil, even as “that evil servant” by his unfaithfulness has wrought unutterable evil in the Church. But “that faithful and wise servant” heeded the Lord’s admonitions, and proved true in the exercise of his office to the end; and through his faithfulness he was privileged to fulfill official obligations and privileges that gave him a wider and more fruitful field of service than any other servant of God ever had on this earth, our Lord alone excepted. Therefore, well may we thank God for every remembrance of Him, and pray daily, God bless his memory!
Our beloved Pastor’s ministry in life toward us was one of the rich blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us, and in death his writings and the memory of his holy character, unselfish ministry and faithful sufferings on behalf of the Lord, the Truth and the brethren continue to bless us. Surely, if we were bereaved of what he was and still is to us, much of great value now and hereafter would be lost to us. Very few persons who have lived have left so rich a legacy to others as “that faithful and wise Servant” left to the Church; and the sweet incense of his offering abides with us as a sacred memory, a good example and a strong Inspiration. Surely we have abundant reason to praise and thank God for every memory of him, and well may we daily pray, “God bless his memory!” We are sure that all Epiphany-enlightened ecclesias will be glad to hold memorial services for him on the anniversaries of his passing beyond the veil, and that on those days isolated Epiphany-enlightened saints will spend some time in private memorial services for him.
But while he means much to the faithful, it is indeed sad to note how some who make loud professions of loyalty to his teachings and memory, and who, because the use of his name brings them advantage, employ it as a charm with which to bewitch others, vie with one another in the work of casting off various of his teachings. The P. B. I., for a while lauding him as “that Servant,” at the same time endorsed a chronology which he as “that Servant” after mature study very properly rejected; and they dignify that chronology (rejected by him, ninety-seven years ago proven false, and during the 1908-11 sifting used by the sifters against our Scriptural chronology) as advancing light on the path of the just not due in his day to be understood, but since “discovered” as “new Truth” by them! The Society, for years claiming to have been his successor as “that Servant,” has been casting aside many features of his Charter, Will, arrangements and teachings. Every Levitical movement praises him in one breath, and undergoes nausea at some of his teachings and arrangements in the next breath. The Olsonites, rejecting all of his prophetic teachings, have vitiated fundamental doctrines taught by him. One of the Swedish pilgrims in his periodical teaches that our Pastor lost his crown. Another Swedish pilgrim in still another periodical denies that he was “that Servant,” claiming that the title “that Servant” means a class – the teaching brethren in the Church from Pentecost to our Lord’s Return. This pilgrim’s arguments we will briefly review at this time, believing that we have previously refuted every other form of teaching that denies to our Pastor the exclusive privilege of being “that Servant,” and have proved above that the expression “that Servant” means an individual, and not a class.
The first argument that this brother presents is that the Diaglott translation proves that the office of “that Servant” was exercised before our Lord’s Return: Happy that servant whom his Master at His arrival shall find so employed,” i.e., giving the meat in due season (Matt. 24:46). Had the brother who makes this criticism an accurate knowledge of Greek, or, having it, had he used it in studying the Greek text of this verse, he would not have based his argument upon the italicized phrase above. The Aorist participle, elthon, which expresses non-continued past action, should not have been rendered “at his arrival”; rather it should have been translated “after coming.” The verse in question should therefore be rendered as follows: “Blessed that servant whom his Lord, after coming, shall find so doing.” As the Aorist participle elthon denotes a non-repeated past action, so the present participle, poiounta, denotes a present continued action in the time of the activity of the verb on which it is dependent. Hence the passage shows that after, not at, our Lord’s arrival He would find a certain servant continuing to give the meat as due.
The following facts will elucidate this. About Sept. 12, 1874, our Lord returned. About Sept. 21, 1874, our Pastor came to understand, and then immediately afterwards began to teach, the invisibility of the Second Advent as the first feature of the harvest Truth (C 88, par. 4; Z ‘16, 171, pars. 2,3). From then on he continued faithfully to teach the Truth as due, including the fact of the Lord’s Return (Z ‘16, 171, pars. 10-13), the awakening of the sleeping saints (Z ‘16, 172, pars. 5-8), etc., until in 1879 the Lord made him “that Servant,” at the time that He gave him the light on the Tabernacle. Thus the facts are in harmony with the literal translation of the passage: (1) our Lord came, (2) our Pastor for nearly four years continued faithfully to give the meat (the Lord found him “so doing” during those years), and then (3) the Lord promoted him to be “that Servant.” Thus, instead of this verse teaching that the office of “that Servant” would be exercised before our Lord’s Return, it teaches the reverse – that only after the Lord’s Return and after the faithful servant’s continuance in giving the meat for some time was he promoted to be “that Servant.”
The brother’s second argument is that after our Lord’s Return, “that Servant” was rewarded for his faithfulness manifested before the Lord’s Return, with being put over all the Master’s goods. Hence he argues that he represents the faithful servants from Pentecost onward. This argument is false, because it is based upon the false premise of the first argument, i.e., that “that Servant” was exercising this office before our Lord’s arrival. having above shown that its basis – his first argument – is false, this argument falls with his first argument to the ground.
The brother’s third point is that “that Servant” was warned not to say in his heart, “My Lord delays to come.” From this the brother argues that this warning could be applicable only before the Lord’s Return, and, therefore, he argues, this proves that “that Servant’s” office was exercised before our Lord’s Return. Our answer to this argument is the following: Not before, but only after our Lord’s Second Advent could one be blamed for saying, “My Lord delays to come,” i.e., be blamed for denying that the Second Advent had set in. Before our Lord’s Return it would have been proper to deny that His Second Advent had set in. But if one should once have known that the Lord’s Second Advent had set in, and then later have given up that belief, then he would have said a condemnable thing, if he asserted that the Lord was delaying His Second Advent, i.e., that it had not yet set in, but that it was a future event. The Lord knew that all sorts of arguments would be brought against the chronology to disprove the thought that the Second Advent had set in. Knowing that such a view would lead to giving up the harvest work, He cautioned “that Servant” not to give way to these arguments, and as a result give up faith in the Second Advent as having set in; for if he should deny this point of his faith, it would imply that his heart (“shall say in his heart”) had become wrong; and it would surely move him to give up the harvest work, and thus would make him unfaithful to his office. The caution not to deny the Lord’s Return as having set in not only does not prove that the office of “that Servant” was exercised before our Lord’s Return, but positively disproves such a thought, by proving that such a condemnable denial on the part of the incumbent of that Servant’s office could come only after the Lord’s Return had set in.
The brother’s fourth argument is that that Servant’s unfaithfulness could only have preceded the Lord’s Return, because the Lord threatens that if “that Servant” should prove unfaithful, his Lord would in an unexpected day and at an unknown hour come and cut him off. It will be noticed that the brother uses the expression, “will come” (Luke 12:46), as signifying the setting in of the Lord’s Second Advent. By the expression, “will come,” in this sentence our Lord did not mean His Second Advent as setting in, any more than He meant His Second Advent as setting in when He said to the Ephesus and Pergamos phases of the Church, which passed away hundreds of years before our Lord’s Return: “Repent,....or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick.” “Repent, or else I will come upon thee quickly, and will fight against thee with the sword of My mouth” (Rev. 2:5,16). In Other occurrences of such a use of the word “come” as applied to acts of our Lord other than His Second Advent setting in are found in Rev. 3:3; 16:15, etc. In such connections the word “come” implies that one in a hostile manner enters into an activity against another. It does not mean what the word “come” ordinarily means, i.e., to arrive at a place, or in the presence of a person, after a journey. Accordingly, we interpret the words of Luke 12: 46 to mean that unknown and unexpected by “that Servant” the Lord would enter into a hostile activity against him, if he should prove unfaithful, and by that hostile activity would deprive him of his office as well as of his membership in the Lord’s Body, i.e., after the Lord’s coming and subsequent to the time when He would appoint the faithful and wise servant to the office of “that Servant.”
How shallow are the four arguments that this brother offers to us for his theory whereby he seeks to deprive our dear Pastor of the honor that the Lord gave him, and that the Bible (Num. 25:6-13; Matt. 20:5; 1 Cor. 10:8; P ‘19, 142, par. 3--143, par. 3) shows would be made known as his at the exact time that it was made known as his! Why do some brethren, either by their teachings or by their acts, continually seek to take from dear Bro. Russell the honors that the Lord has given him? Is it not that they might by undermining him in the estimation of some of the brethren all the more enhance themselves in the estimation of those same brethren, and thus gain them as their followers? This the Lord assures us is the motive of errorists among the Lord’s people, which experience frequently confirms (Acts 20:30).
All of us recall how our Society brethren claimed that our Pastor was, from beyond the veil, functioning in his office as “that Servant,” using the Society as the channel of his office work. Our Pastor, himself, on the contrary, has told us that the functions of that office were to be used by its incumbent in this life only, and that if “that Servant” should prove faithful until death, the office of “that Servant” would cease to exist at the time of his death (Z ‘04, 126, par. 1). Doubtless there is method in the Adversary’s attacks on our Pastor as “that Servant.” Those who by express profession deny that he was “that Servant,” and those who by repudiation of express teachings of his by their course deny that he was “that Servant,” are alike guilty of undermining his influence in order “to draw away disciples after them.” The most Satanic of all uses made of his position as “that Servant” was that of the Society leaders, whose claim that from beyond the veil our Pastor, as “that Servant,” was directing their work, makes him responsible for all their false teachings and unbiblical practices. What an unholy use of his dearly-bought influence in the Church to further their deceptive schemes! For “all deceivableness of iniquity” it can be equaled by only one other claim made – that claim of the papacy that St. Peter from heaven directs the official acts and teachings of the popes, his pretended successors. Indeed, the papacy’s teaching on this point is in the Great Papacy the counterpart of the Society leaders’ teaching in Little Papacy on the point that is here under discussion. Seeing the Adversary’s purpose in these attacks, let us in God and Christ all the more appreciate and hold to our Pastor as “that Servant.”
The foregoing is quoted from Vol. E-9, Chapter 5; and it is our hope that all who read it may be refreshed and strengthened by this excellent treatise. We consider it especially timely now because so many who still offer lip service to “That Servant,” are busy in “revising” or totally denying many of the fundamental truths he taught. If he was “That Servant” – and we believe he was – then he could not be so wrong on so many vital truths.
Of course, such technique is an old ruse of the Adversary. The Papacy makes loud and loquacious claims of loyalty to St. Peter, even as they vitiate every important truth he taught. The Society (now Jehovah’s Witnesses) did the same with Pastor Russell and his teachings – so much so that their very errors eventually forced them to deny he was That Servant. It should be emphasized that Tabernacle Shadows was basic for producing the six volumes of Scripture Studies, and was fundamental for the entire Harvest program. It made crystal clear “the song of Moses and the Lamb;” and its rejection tends to void most of the basic truths that came to us during the years of That Servant’s life.
Similar comparison may be made with the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement. These brethren also stress their great respect for That Servant and for the Epiphany Messenger, as they also pervert much of the Truth they taught. Let us keep in mind that in the Tabernacle picture a place types a condition in the antitype. Thus, the Camp, the Court, the Holy, the Most Holy and “without the Camp,” were all given logical setting in Tabernacle Shadows; and no one place could type two different conditions in the antitype. But the LHMM brethren have now invented a way to do this, so they are now teaching Justification in the Camp and in the Court. We say they have “invented” this, because it cannot be found in any of the writings of That Servant or of the Epiphany Messenger; and all who desire to give respect to these two prominent servants of the Lord will do well to reflect seriously upon this situation, as we especially pay homage to their memory at this season of the year. And we trust that all our faithful brethren have not only honored them by Memorial services, but also by Special Effort in antitypical Gideon’s Second Battle, with the literature the Epiphany Messenger especially designated for this good work.
Of course aberrations such as mentioned above should not surprise us; we should, in fact, expect them – in keeping with St. Paul’s conclusion: “They admitted not the love of the Truth (pointedly true of sifters and crown-losers).... and on this account God will send to them an energy of delusion” – such as Justification being typed by two places in the Tabernacle, applying the Parable of the Sheep and Goats now, etc.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1) “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” (Psalms 18:30)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
See Addenda -Sept.-Oct. Present Truth and Tract No. 11 – Jehovah’s Witnesses and Cameroon Persecutions enclosed.
Addenda to Dec. 1, 1970 No. 186 Article
REVIEW OF SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER PRESENT TRUTH
In the 1970 Sept.-October Present Truth, pp. 73-79, is an article on “Christ’s Millennial Reign – Its Beginning and End,” in which the writer attempts to expose some errors of other groups in Little Babylon, which is as extreme in its illogical and shallow reasoning as anything ever to come from the pen of RGJ. At first we had determined to pass it by, but others have encouraged us to offer some comment on it.
RGJ’s heart “bleeds” for reconciliation of the differences of the brethren; he yearns for “loving consideration of what God’s Word really teaches.” So we ask, Is this now the same R. G. Jolly that was on the platform at Jamaica in 1957, or has he in fact cleansed himself to the extent that we may now accept his statement for what it says or is he acting the part of a rank hypocrite? If this is now an honest statement from him, we do indeed rejoice over the improvement, and recovery, of this member of antitypical Jambres.
To make clear to our readers: Sister Hoefle and this writer made special journey to Jamaica in 1957 for the very purpose of “loving consideration,” but which was sadly conspicuous by its very opposite in RGJ. He manipulated the Chair at the Crofts Hill meeting into the hands of one of his rabid sectarian supporters, who then unctuously permitted RGJ’s continuous use of the rostrum from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – not even allowing a brief recess during that four hours. And all during that time his “profusion of words” was in full sway, even as he stoutly refused to entertain a single question from either of us. His “loving consideration” was a spectacle to behold! At the end of the four hours all present were decidedly weary; and the Chairman would have closed the meeting without a word from us – although we had traveled the distance for the express purpose – by invitation from Sister Condell and others – of being there for “loving consideration.” However, she and others would not be silenced by such tactics – insisted upon a vote being taken, at which about 80% of those present voted a hearing from us.
Knowing the severe strain already experienced by the brethren, we promised brevity. Our remarks were over in about 15 minutes; but during that short time we again asked RGJ if we could now ask him questions on our time, which he refused. Then we graciously asked if he had any questions to present to us, at which he emphatically shouted, “I don’t want to talk to you at all!” And this same RGJ is now pleading for “loving consideration”! But his plea for “loving consideration” now is in direct keeping with the plea of the Roman Church for tolerance, even as they practice gross intolerance toward others in those localities where their power permits them to do so. And let us not forget that some of the Dawn brethren also remember his “bad conscience” from Parousia days!
But 15 minutes was sufficient time for us to devastate his four hours of harangue. To Illustrate: He contended his position and acts as Executive Trustee of the LHMM were fully justified because he had the endorsement of a Star Member. To this we replied that J. F. Rutherford had had the endorsement of two Star Members, Brother Russell and Brother Johnson; and Judas for a time had had the endorsement of Jesus Himself. This and other comments by us so infuriated him that he spent one entire discourse at the Kingston Convention, and large parts of other sessions in the days following, in a vicious diatribe against us, which persuaded some of the “unstable and the unlearned” to refuse even to speak to us. But it also persuaded some more “established in the Present Truth” – such as Sister Condell and others – to refuse to partake of the Love Feast with him, or to have anything more to do with him thereafter.
However, regardless of his present condition – and we trust it has changed since 1957 and subsequently – it is thoroughly illogical to expect RGJ to receive much of a hearing from the leaders of other groups when he himself presents so much error – error that they themselves can recognize as error. He accuses them of being “antitypical Jambres – the Great Company sifting leaders,” while he himself is a part of the “antitypical Jambres” by his own admission. If he were the cleansed Levite that he claims to be, then those of the other groups would be persuaded to come to him, rather than separating themselves – as he has admitted – into private groups of their own. We believe he would be having a much more successful ministry if he were cleansed, and the lord would bless his efforts toward the uncleansed, as the Epiphany Messenger has taught. But what do we see not many, if any, of the individuals in other groups come to him at all, and none wholeheartedly. It is simply one uncleansed Great Company leader attempting refutation of the errors of other Great Company leaders – just as it has been with the crown-lost leaders all during the Gospel Age – many of them vehemently attempted to refute errors of others with errors of their own. It is for this reason that his Attestatorial Service has been such a marked failure – not even a remote “parallel” to the Little Flock Attestatorial Service of 1914-16. Note that not even he now describes his failures as “Brother Russell’s Parallels.”
One predominant reason for RGJ’s failure toward his “kinsmen” – a reason not readily apparent on the surface – is this: When Brother Johnson was still with us, he generously conceded there were saints in most of the Truth groups. But, even with that forceful appeal, he could not persuade many of them toward the Epiphany Movement. Now comes RGJ with the flat assertion that not a single one of them is a saint; and he is “foolish” enough to consider that some of them may accept that from him. Also, quite a few of the Dawn brethren have been reading our papers, so they are in no mood at all to embrace his errors.
It is also something to contemplate when he quotes the following from Brother Russell on p. 76, col. 2 of his Sept.-Oct. Present Truth:
“Our thought is that whoever under such conditions as these will make a full consecration to the Lord, to leave all to follow in his ways, and will live up faithfully, loyally, to that consecration, may be privileged to be counted as a similar class (italics by RGJ) to those who preceded the Gospel age. We know of no reason why the Lord would refuse to receive those who make a consecration after the close of the Gospel age and before the full opening of the Millennium.” (italics ours)
The Dawns and his readers must now conclude that RGJ is presently teaching that Youthful Worthiship is still available, which is the Truth, and is commendable, if that is now his intention. Our readers will quickly recognize that we have repeatedly used this quotation to refute his false doctrine (“strange fire”) of Epiphany Campers Consecrated. If this is just another sample of his “doublemindedness” (Jas. 1:8), and he has not forsaken the “error of his way,” then his own readers will quickly recognize the confusion into which he has led himself, if he has not repudiated his false teaching. Certainly to present to the Dawns and others that there is still an elective salvation offered to those who consecrate between the Ages, while sin and evil are yet in the ascendancy, is in harmony with all Scriptural teaching of both Messengers. If he has forsaken his sins of practice and teaching, then he will surely receive encouragement and favor from all his brethren who are “of the Truth.”
CONFUSION ON THE THOUSAND-YEAR REIGN
On p. 78, col. 2, RGJ injects his confusion on the thousand-year reign, in which he says, “every member of the Church did not have to be present at Pentecost, when the Church as a class came under the anointing.” And he draws from this the conclusion that the reign began in 1874 when Jesus returned, and that He then represented not only Himself but His Body Members also in reigning. If he wants even a semblance of analogy here, he should contend that the Church received its anointing at Jordan in the person of Jesus, because Jordan is the parallel date for 1874. But he won’t find confirmation for his position here in either the Parousia or Epiphany writings; it is simply another of his own inventions.
He attempts to offer some proof from Parousia Vol. 2, pp. 217-222; but the date 1874 is not mentioned once in the prose of those pages. It is, however, found in the chart opposite page 218, but then only incidental to proving the main theme of Brother Russell’s discussion, which is the rise and fall of Israel, the main stress being on 1878. Note particularly the statement on p. 222: “the dates 33 and 1878 mark when the work of the respective new ages began.”
Rev. 20:4, Dia., states – “They lived and reigned with the Anointed One the thousand years.” It reveals a very desperate position here to contend that “they” and “the Anointed One” may be pooled as one expression. Clearly enough, for even “the unstable and the unlearned” to understand, “they” are the Body Members of “the Anointed One.” But not a single one of the “they” were living in the First Resurrection at 1874. And if RGJ wants to contend they were living representatively in the individual Christ, then let him go back and start his date with Jesus’ resurrection, as He was then “living” in the full sense of the First Resurrection.
If the Dawn leaders had modified their statements by including the word “mediatorial,” they would be in much less difficulty, because that reign has not yet begun, and will not begin until Satan is fully bound at some future date not yet known to us.
THE FALL CONVENTIONS
It was our privilege to attend the Labor Day Pottstown Convention and the one near Chicago at October’s end. As on previous occasions, our experiences were a commingling of joy in the fellowship of the few who still retain the “spirit of the Truth,” and a deep sadness at the deplorable condition of the majority. It gave us acute reminder of the experiences of all the reformers, particularly of Brother Russell and Brother Johnson, at the hands of the measurably faithful as they attempted to heal their “fleshly minds.” But this latter provides us with ample explanation as to why they have gone from error to error since Brother Johnson died twenty years ago. There was no special service for either the Parousia or Epiphany Messengers this year, which demonstrates the degree of esteem in which they are still held, and it enables us to discern more readily how the Gospel-Age Church sank into the error it did after the Apostles departed. It gives us real pleasure, however, to make mention of the warm tribute given the Messengers by the Brother at Chicago who gave the opening welcome address.
And we should expect from such people a loose and slipshod handling of various Scriptures, and interpretations that suit their present purposes. During the Interim the Papacy dwelt loud and long upon Scriptures pertaining to renegades, pointing the accusing finger at the faithful, all the while those very Scriptures pertained specifically to them. Thus did also Big Babylon toward Brother Russell; then Little Babylon, and specifically the Little Pope, did likewise with Brother Johnson, describing him and his associates as That Evil Servant class. These observations should teach us something; and it brings vividly to mind the words of the Prophet: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” (Jer. 17:5)
In this connection one speaker at Chicago used the subject, “The Defense”; based upon Phil. 1:17. He then offered quite some detail about avoiding ‘the wolves,’ in which he used the ‘avoid them’ policy of That Evil Servant, et al. “If you met a wolf in the woods, you’d get away as quickly as possible,” he said; but he completely overlooked the fact that St. Paul not only warned against ‘wolves,’ but he also said he was “set” for the defense of the Truth. Nor is there the slightest hint in any of the record that the courageous Apostle ever ran like a whipped pup or attempted to avoid confrontation with the gainsayers. But the speaker on this occasion advised just the reverse: get away from the ‘wolf’ as quickly as possible; so we have here a clear-cut picture of the ‘good soldier’ in St. Paul, and the good runner in the present instance. Of course, if we don’t have a weapon to defend ourselves against the ‘wolf,’ our best course is to run. But the fully faithful – those “who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” – are well prepared for defense and attack against the gainsayers and wolves: “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” (Luke 21:15)
THE QUESTION MEETING
At both meetings RGJ adopted the technique of his “kinsmen” in other groups – something he himself ridiculed in times past – by demanding all questions the evening before. This is a two-edged sword, of course, because it allows plenty of previous thought on some questions, and enables him to avoid entirely those questions that might prove troublesome. All of us acquainted with the past know that Brother Johnson never pursued such a “scared” course. We ourselves “walk in the trodden paths,” gathering the questions at meetings’ start. Not only so, we usually allow verbal follow-ups in case we have not made ourselves clear.
With plenty of time for research and premeditation, RGJ gave very commendable answers to some questions, as he also offered monotonous “profusion of words” on others – to be sure he would not have time to answer all questions submitted. But even with all this “sleight-of-hand,” he offered outright error in some of his answers. As instance, he emphatically declared the Memorial is presently for the entire Household of Faith; whereas, Brother Johnson clearly stated it is only for the consecrated. Considering the things implied in partaking of the bread (broken with Him) and the wine (drinking His cup), it would seem a mere novice should see the force of Brother Johnson’s teaching that it is only for the consecrated. (See E-11, pp. 206-209)
Also, RGJ was just as emphatic in another of his errors, as he declared the only embargo on Jesus’ merit at this time is on behalf of new creatures. All who “continue in” the truths taught in Tabernacle Shadows know the merit in the Court is on embargo for those in the Court – which, in the “finished picture” will contain only the consecrated. The Tentatively Justified who have failed to consecrate will be ejected from the Court into the Camp, and will no longer be a part of the “Household of Faith.” “The latter during the Epiphany cease altogether to be of the Household of Faith, having used the grace of God in vain; while the former (the consecrated – the Youthful Worthies—JJH), consecrating and proving faithful, retain their Tentative Justification, and are thus of the Gospel-Age Household of Faith who persist into and during the Epiphany.” (E-4 p. 406) Then in E-12, p. 315: “After the three elect classes of the present will have left this world, and thus will no longer need the imputation of Christ’s ransom-merit, then it will be free to be used for the actual purchase of Adam and his race of the unbelief class.”
We have often pointed out these basic Truths, and it would seem RGJ should have been so well informed on this item that he could recite it in his sleep. But, then, we shouldn’t be surprised if we see him teaching “strong delusion” (2 Thes. 2:10,11), and his character brothers accepting it. And since only the consecrated are to partake of the Lord’s Supper, and only the three elect classes are pictured as of the Household of Faith in the “finished picture,” then we know that only the firstborns, the new creatures and the Youthful Worthies (the latter being the tentative firstborns) are now privileged to partake of the Lord’s Supper. (Also see E-4, pp. 322-323)
There were other questions where he wobbled considerably, so that we could not be certain whether he did not understand his subject, or whether his customary “profusion of words” garbled his answer so that it was simply “off center.”
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Prov. 4:7)