(Reprint of No. 148, Oct. 1, 1967, with additions)
On page 56 of the July-August Present Truth RGJ attempts to answer our presentation on the above text in our paper No. 144, July 1967. And revealing once more his “bad conscience” (E-10:585), he resorts to his usual name-calling, slander and railing accusations. It may seem strange to some that he does not resort to such tactics when discussing !he errors of Jehovah’s Witnesses; but there is sound explanation for this: Against the Witnesses he has the Truth, and is refuting error, so he has no need for mud-slinging – the Truth is more than sufficient for his purposes. But, in his altercations with us the situation is reversed – so much so that vilification is about the only weapon left to him, as he attempts to defend his errors.
All of our readers will readily admit that Brother Russell and Brother Johnson were not infallible; but they both had the humility and nobility of character to admit mistakes when they made them – just as David and other outstanding Bible personages did with their failings. But do we find RGJ admitting any of his mistakes? Certainly he has made plenty of them since 1950, so that he comes well within the scope of Brother Johnson’s declaration that “Bungling is the usual and natural activity of the Great Company.” In proof of this we offer just one instance – the 1954 Attestatorial Service. This activity was begun with much fanfare, even producing Volumes 18 and 19 (mis-numbering them 16 and 17 ahead of the order in which the Epiphany Messenger had arranged them) as special material for the occasion. It would be most interesting to know if he has sold enough of these two books even to pay for the original cost of setting the type. Will he answer this? It will be a pleasant surprise if he does!
But further – and more important – relating to the same in his own record for that Attestatorial Service: According to his Annual Report for 1954 (see page 11 of the January 1955 PT), he had 1422 subscribers to the Present Truth; and for 1966 (see p. 10 of the January 1967 PT – the Annual Report) he had only 934 subscribers to his paper. So, for that “special effort” he lost ‘only’ 488 subscribers to the Present Truth, or almost 30% of his readers. It is probably in order here to say that we have gained much more than 30% in the readers of our paper that we have been issuing since that time. Is it any wonder that he has an inordinate urge to talk – to talk when he has just nothing to say? “Loquacious and repetitious” (E-10:591) – repeat, repeat, repeat! His Attestatorial Service since 1954 should cause him to hang his head in shame for “running ahead of the Lord” – if he has any shame in him.
SOME PROPER QUESTIONS
In his answer to our presentation on 1 Cor. 15:24, RGJ offers copious citations from Brother Russell and Brother Johnson, coupled with his usual name-calling of us, and his own profuse comments to prove us wrong. Did he know all this in 1949, or is this something just new to him? And, if he did know it back there – and Brother Johnson knew it, too (as he now claims) – why did the both of them make such a tragic oversight when they proofread the Herald of the Epiphany for November 15, 1949. Since Bro. Johnson is not here, RGJ will have the privilege of speaking for himself on this query. Will he do it? And why is it that he was completely silent on our analysis of Revelation 20:13, 14: “Death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire”? Can it possibly be that he just overlooked it (although we allowed a copious paragraph for it on the first page of our paper No. 144); or is it that he has no answer, leaving silence as his only retreat? Here is a clear Scripture with a direct bearing on the discussion – a Scripture necessary to the analysis if the whole truth on the item is to be obtained. Therefore, will we now hear from him on it?
“Death and Hell cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death”—Rev. 20:14. In a broad and accommodated sense it may properly be stated that the “lake of fire” has existed all during this Age, and that a certain specific few have been cast into it –beginning with Judas. The same situation will also prevail under the Kingdom reign with those “sinners a humdred years old, who shall be accursed.” (Isa. 65:20) But “the lake of fire prepared for the Devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41) is much more exclusive, having only one time setting – at the very extreme end of the Little Season. And the Scripture is very explicit that “death and Hell” are also cast therein at the same time. And, so far as we know, there is only one type, or other Old Testament reference, to this grand drama, the same being the destruction of Pharaoh and his Egyptian hosts in the Red Sea as they were pursuing Israel.
This is all very graphically and detailedly explained in E-11:245-296; and at the bottom of page 252 there is this statement: “Satan will use this doctrine deceptively, by ignoring the fact that the thousand years will end lappingly just as they began lappingly, in various stages 1874, 1878, 1881, and 1914, and by reiterating in his tempting suggestions that it ended in 2874” – just as one now in Azazel’s clutches is also contending for 2874. On page 250 it is stated that Satan, the fallen angels and apostate restitutionists will enter the Little Season with perfect faculties, but not perfect characters. Before 2874 the “sheep” will not recognize the “goats” – just as was true during the Parousia for the Great Company as such. It was then not known which were Little Flock and which were Great Company so long as they conformed outwardly at least to the Harvest Truth; and this will be the identical situation between the good and bad restitutionists up to 2874. But the testings of the Little Season will make this revelation; and will gradually educate the faithful for the antitypical Red Sea experience which will annihilate the unfaithful at the full end of the Little Season.
But their destruction is not what is meant by “death and Hell” being cast into the lake of fire, the antitypical Red Sea – although these will occur simultaneously – at the full end of the Little Season. In this connection, Volume E-8, pp. 603-620 present an excellent analysis of the Gospel-Age and Millennial-Age Passovers, with their pertinent applications and meanings to the firstborns and the afterborns. The afterborns are classified as the “defiled” ones during this Gospel Age (Num. 9:9 14), who must cleanse them selves during the next Age – must have this cleansing completed before the start of the Little Season – otherwise, they will fall in the Little Season test.
On p. 608 is the following: “The defilement and its condemnation lasting seven days types the fact that one must undergo actual or reckoned cleansing of the Millennial Age, the antitypical seventh day, in order to be rid of the Adamic defilement and condemnation” – the Adamic death process (sin, error and selfishness). And further on P. 616: “If he (the defiled one) leaves any of these (Christ’s right to life and life rights) unappropriated, he enters the Little Season with an imperfect character and thus will fall in the final trial during the Little Season” – he will be cast into the lake of fire, the antitypical Red Sea, along with the Devil and his angels at the full end of the Little Season. Note, please, how clear it is from the foregoing quotation that Brother Johnson considered the “defiled” ones as entering the Little Season still contaminated with the Adamic death process (sin, error, selfishness) – which, therefore, cannot be destroyed until its possessor is also destroyed. “That final trial will be the last stand that Satan, sin and error and all in sympathy with them will ever make; for oppression (of Satan, sin and error, with their concomitants of dying and death – the Adamic death process—JJH) shall not rise again.” (E-11:268)
Lest any misunderstand us, we emphasize that 1874 is clearly marked in the Bible, as is also 2874, and would properly be designated as the Kingdom day – the time during which “all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and come forth” (John 5:28, 29). It was Brother Russell’s surmise that the awakening of all the dead race might occur within the first five hundred years of that Day. This we do not attempt to dispute, but merely to observe that it will perforce have to be fully accomplished by 2774 (100 years ahead of 2874) if “the sinner a hundred years old” is to have his hundred-year opportunity. However, at whatever time, when the last one leaves the tomb, that day will also mark the end of Adamic death state; no more will be contained in the Adamic death state, no more can ever enter it. That enemy will be destroyed that identical day – many years before 2874. That being true, and since it occurs at least a hundred years before the start of the Little Season, it should be readily apparent to all that the tomb, the death state, cannot possibly be the “last enemy” to be destroyed. Thus, there is left only one other fleshly enemy – and that is the Adamic death process – that last enemy to be destroyed.
On p. 57, col. 2 (top), of the article under discussion, RGJ quotes from an early PT by Brother Johnson:
“The Present Truth stands squarely and sincerely for the Parousia Truth, as basic for all further development of the Truth. Thus it heartily embraces the system of Truth which is presented in the writings of our beloved Pastor, as well as holds to its principles and spirit. Whenever he gives two or more harmonious views of a Scriptural passage or doctrine, we accept all; whenever, as in a few instances in the great system of Truth which he presented, these cannot be harmonized, we accept the latest expressions, unless they are manifestly not so harmonious with the Scriptures, reason and facts as earlier ones.” Then RGJ says for himself, “This is still the policy of THE PRESENT TRUTH, and we apply the same rule to Brother Johnson’s writings.”
It will be noted that on the previous page we quoted from Epiphany Vol. 8, p. 608; and we call attention to the fact that the first nine volumes of Epiphany Studies (including Vol. 8, of course) were first published in 1938. Would RGJ tell us now that this Vol. 8 is also a “later expression not harmonious with the Scriptures,” and that this is his reason for rejecting also this part of Vol. 8 – as he also now tries to do with the Herald of the Epiphany of Nov. 15, 1949?
MORE FROM THE MESSENGERS
First of all, we offer again the Nov. 15, 1949 Herald, identically as we gave it in our paper No. 144:
“He (Christ) shall have put down all rule and all authority and all power (every vestige of the governorship and of the pretended authority and of the pretended might of Satan, all of this will be put down by the almighty hand of Christ, the head, and the Church, the Body, using God’s power as that almighty power in their hand). For He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet (thus we see that not only persons are these enemies, but also things. The Adamic death in the sense of the dying process is this last great enemy; and, because of his faithfulness, Jesus became the One who will after the close of the Millennium finally destroy it.”
If we should now agree with RGJ about that ‘faulty’ disc, and change the “of” to “is” as he demands, just what difference would it make in the above statement of explanation by Brother Johnson? The only logical change to be made here – if indeed a change is required – would be to eliminate the entire statement we have just quoted, and declare that statement to be the real mistake. Clearly enough, he didn’t dare do that – even some of his sleeping readers might then have become aroused.
But we offer some more from E-11, Chap. IV, wherein is described the deliverance of the afterborn, the full accomplishment of which occurs at the full end of the Little Season. On p. 274 Brother Johnson treats of Rev. 20:10, 14 and 15. We gave a detailed analysis of some of this in our paper No. 144, declaring that “death” in Rev. 20:13, 14 refers not to the Adamic death state, but the ADAMIC DEATH PROCESS; and on p. 274 Bro. Johnson offers exactly the same interpretation that we do. And let us keep in mind that this Revelation Scripture is probably the outstanding companion text of 1 Cor. 15:24, because the “death” in both texts is from the Greek ‘thanatos’; and means the same in both texts. Therefore, we now ask – Is RGJ also now casting aside Rev. 20: 13, 14, and branding Brother Johnson’s interpretation on that text wrong, too? Vol. 11 was published in 1948 – at least a year before the Nov. 15, 1949 Herald; and we all know the material had to be prepared for publication sometime before 1948.
Next we offer another quotation from Brother Russell (Reprints 5293, col. 1, par. 2):
“While the sprinkling of the blood upon the Mercy Seat on behalf of all the people takes place before restitution begins, or before the right to live can be given to any of the Ancient Worthies, nevertheless, those who would get God’s blessing, His uplifting influence, must become Israelites that is become believers in God, by believing in the Mediator, who will be God’s representative. This law will be applicable to the whole world. If mankind would get everlasting life, they must accept Christ and join themselves to this earthly Kingdom class. Christ’s Kingdom must rule until all the wicked are destroyed.—1 Cor. 15:24-26”
Here is some more that RGJ is now ready to toss into the waste basket. Certainly, it needs no large amount of Present Truth to know that the “wicked” of the foregoing are the “goats” that will be destroyed at the end of the Little Season, along with their defilements of the Adamic death process (sin, error and selfishness). And, since RGJ has branded our presentation in No. 144 as “sifting literature.... from Satan,” it would seem he must now also do the same thing with large parts of Brother Russell’s and Brother Johnson’s writings. He should certainly make himself clear here.
Inasmuch as the Adamic death state will be eliminated by 2774 at the very latest, it should be clear to all that it cannot possibly be the “last enemy” of 1 Cor. 15:24. Israel’s escape across the Red Sea makes this all crystal clear: With Pharaoh typing Satan, the Egyptians type the “wicked” mentioned above by Brother Russell; they are the typical “goats” of the parable, even as the fleeing Israelites are the typical “sheep” of the parable; and the Red Sea saving the “sheep,” and at the same time destroying the “goats” is the typical Lake of Fire of Rev. 20:14. Speaking of those “goats,” Brother Johnson says on p. 125 of Vol. 17:
“By the trial during the Little Season at the Millennium’s close, their (the ‘goats’—JJH) unholy heart’s condition (the Adamic death process—JJH) will become manifest, and they will perish in the Second Death – everlasting destruction (Rev. 20:7-9, 15).”
Inasmuch as those entering the Little Season do so with perfect faculties, it should require no great argument that the “unholy heart’s condition” of the “goats” is the Adamic death process still present with them. That is why the Adamic death process is “the last enemy”: Those persons “defiled” with it must first be destroyed before the thing can be annihilated. Thus, Brother Johnson’s statement in the Nov. 15, 1949 Herald that “not only persons are these enemies, but also things” is correct, and must stand as he gave it. The “persons” in his statement are the same as “the wicked” in Brother Russell’s statement, the same as the “goats” in the parable – to be destroyed when “cometh the end” – the “end of the Little Season.
It should also be evident from the foregoing that the “goats,” with their perfect faculties, could have rid themselves of their “unholy heart’s condition” – which they were physically able to do, but simply willfully refused to do it. This is in strict keeping with the Harvest of the Jewish Age: the “wheat” accepted Christ, and were physically able to make their “calling and election sure,” even as the “chaff” of that nation were consumed in the fire of destruction by the Roman Army in the year 70 AD. The “wheat” were physically able to gain salvation; thus, the “chaff” also could have gained it had they willed to do so. And in the Harvest of this Age the “tares” are to be burned, as the “wheat” is gathered into the Heavenly barn. The “wheat” were physically able to do what was required of them to gain their objective; and, while the Great Company were also physically able to do the same thing (to do all that the Lord required of them), they refused through measurable “unholy heart’s condition,” and must also pass through the ‘fire’ of this Age – though not to their destruction, but to their cleansing. This they will also be physically able to do; and those who do not do it act from choice – just as will the “goats” who choose to go into the Lake of Fire at the full end of the Little Season.
In view of the foregoing, it should be evident to any ‘babe’ in the Truth that the pursuing Egyptians were the Jews’ enemies, and that those enemies are antityped by the wicked, the “goats” that go into the antitypical Red Sea – the Lake of Fire – the Second Death at the full end of the Little Season. This then makes the Lake of Fire, the Second Death, the friend of the “sheep,” because it forever separates them from their enemies. It is well to remember, however, that, while Satan and his angels also go into the Lake of Fire, it may not be strictly correct to speak of them going in a second death, because they never came under the Adamic condemnation. However, if we view the Second Death as a sentence, it would mean the same thing – utter destruction from among the people. The consummate result is the same – they go into eternal annihilation, just as do the “goats,” who may properly be described as going into the second death. Once more this analysis sets out the “last enemy” as the Adamic death process operating in the “goats” because of their unruly heart’s condition – impregnated with sin, error and selfishness, which would actually do violence to the “sheep,” and probably will really do so with the Worthies by perhaps murdering them. It would appear that the “goats” will perish in exact manner as did Nadab and Abihu, when “there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them.” (Lev. 10:1-2)
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES, TOO
In the August 15, 1967 Watch Tower the Witnesses also treat 1 Cor. 15:24, giving it the exact interpretation offered by RGJ in his August 1967 Present Truth – although in this instance the Witnesses simply present their views without calling others “sifting errorists,” etc., who may differ with them. However, the Witnesses are emphatic that they are “The Channel” for the Truth – the same claim that is made also by “cousin” Krewson. Therefore, RGJ has two “Channels” in full agreement with him, and he should be able to answer our views with greater ease, now having the assistance of these two great “Mouthpieces.”
A SOBER APPRAISAL
In closing, we would say to our readers that we do not consider an incorrect understanding of 1 Cor. 15:24 to be a sifting error. Such a mistake will not cause any one to lose his Class standing – anymore than would the improper date for the Memorial cause any one to lose his Class standing. A few years back, when we were diligently endeavoring to present the correct method to determine the Memorial date – to keep it as a Spring festival, as the Jews have always done with their Passover the “cousins” (Jolly-Krewson) offered much ridicule in their attacks against us. However, at no time did we suggest dire consequences for them – or for any one else – who did not agree with us; nor did we recommend disfellowshiping any one because of it. That is also our attitude on 1 Cor. 15:24. Not so, however, with RGJ! He, true to his past record “loquacious, repetitious and false accusing” (E-10:591) – is profuse in his name-calling: “sifting errorist – sifting literature – from Satan.” Brother Russell and Brother Johnson were never forced to stoop to such tactics. Almost invariably, during this Epiphany period, when intricate texts have come under examination, the real sifters never have the Truth on them – the Lord does not show them such favor. (See 2 Thes. 2:11 Berean Comment)
Although we feel none of us are warranted in disfellowshiping others because of a differing opinion on either of the above subjects, nevertheless we, as Truth people, should seek to know the Truth on every Bible passage, and particularly on such teachings as prominent as are “the last enemy” and the correct Memorial date. It is for this reason we go into quite some detail to offer the Truth on these teachings, believing that by so doing it will enable our readers to grow in Grace and in the knowledge of our Beloved Lord Jesus. Our fond wish to all on these, and on all Truth matters, is that “thou mayest prosper, and be in health” – Spiritually and physically – “even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 2)
Sincerely your Brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
THE THOUSAND-YEAR REIGN
The Sept-Oct. 1969 PT has prompted us to reproduce our paper No. 148 as above set out. Further comment, however, is apropos: On p. 78, col. 1, second-last paragraph, RGJ says, “we have from Scriptures, reason and facts thoroughly refuted the ‘sophistry’ of the teaching respecting the saints’ reign,” etc. The citations he offers in support of his contention are found in P 156, 30-32 and P ‘57, 9-11 – his own writings. Especially on p. 10, col. 2, of the latter does he lay great stress upon “the end” of 1 Cor. 15:24 in his attempt to refute our own writings on this subject, saying that this “end” is 2874 – “and immediately thereafter comes the Little Season.”
In E-17:124 Brother Johnson says, “Then cometh the end (the end of the Little Season),” which statement, if accepted as it stands completely annihilates RGJ’s position. To get around this, he claims a ‘faulty disc’ was misread – that the statement should read, “The end is the Little Season.” However, this same statement is to be found elsewhere, so there must have been more than one ‘faulty disc’ if RGJ’s conclusion is the truth. We quote: “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (thus we see that not only persons are these enemies, but also things. The Adamic death in the sense of the dying process is this last great enemy; and, because of His faithfulness, Jesus became the One who will after the close of the Millennium finally destroy it).” Note well, “after the Millennium” that is, during the Little Season.” Thus, RGJ’s ‘faulty’ disc is clearly revealed as nothing more than a flimsy fabrication – walking in the footsteps of typical King Saul in his endeavor to falsify his way out of an embarrassing situation.
However, in the above reprint, issued over two years ago, we gave his contention such a crushing refutation that he has not dared even mention 1 Cor. 15:24 in his writings since that time – although in answer to a question on 1 Cor. 15:24 at one of his Convention Question Meetings, he agreed with us. Yet he is now brazen enough again to falsify that he “thoroughly refuted” us. This is a claim that both “cousins” often make, with just nothing to support their claims. Perhaps they think by “much speaking” they will sway “the unstable and the unlearned.” But viewed from God’s standpoint, and His Word, they are “words to no profit.”
Therefore, we once more direct the attention of our readers to Brother Johnson’s record of RGJ in E-10:585, to the effect that he has “a bad conscience”; and all of us know that one of the chief things that makes for a “bad conscience” in people is that they are chronic falsifiers; they readily resort to falsehood whenever it suits their convenience. And this has been RGJ’s course on numerous occasions. Nor should we be surprised at this, because Lev. 16:8 (margin) says the one goat was to be “for Azazel.” Azazel is just another name for the Devil, and Jesus tells us that the Devil is “the father of lies” (John 8:44). Thus, it is “only logical” here to conclude that those in his clutches – as all crown-losers are at one time or another – would resort to his lying tactics, as is now being done in this Sept.-Oct. PT. Please see Isa. 59:13 and Prov. 6:18. No one will be able to falsify himself into the Kingdom Class, even if they do gain temporary advantage now in this “present evil world.”
This malevolence of character is so strikingly shown in King Saul (type of the crown-lost leaders up to Armageddon). He readily resorted to falsehood when Samuel confronted him with his “rebellion” and “stubbornness.” Said Saul: “I have performed the commandment of the Lord,” which statement was just a raw falsehood. (1 Sam. 15:13) He later stressed the falsehood: “Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord” (v. 20); but under the stern and unyielding pressure of Samuel, he was forced to admit, “I have sinned.” (v. 24) If this type is carried out in minute detail, we may take some present consolation in the anticipation that these falsifying crown-lost leaders will eventually come to admit their guilt in their sins of teachings and practice – although it will take force and pressure. For now, our counsel to RGJ and all his kinsmen would be to take heed to the Scripture: “Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” (Psalms 32:9)
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Epiphany Bible Students Association
Mount Dora, Florida
July 14 I led the worship for the memorial service of Mr. and Mrs. ------- of ------- They were killed in an auto accident. Shortly after the funeral the family received two copies of “The Herald of the Epiphany.” The titles were “What is the Soul?” and “Where Are the Dead?”
I deeply wish to believe your intentions were to be helpful to this family in this deep loss. Please be assured, however, this was not the result. During such a time persons do not need the kind of material you send. To “take advantage” of such a situation is both sadistic and foreign to the God who loves and cares. The result of your literature has been to anger and harden an already difficult situation.
If your type of ministry is needed at all it is not in this area. There are many areas of vital need – it is most unfortunate you have not chosen more carefully. I seriously hope your efforts will be directed into a more understanding and effective ministry.
Pastor of First Baptist Church (Florida)
Dear Pastor ------- : Christian greetings!
This is in response to your letter of August 22, in which you characterize our efforts to preach “the good word of God” as “sadistic.” In those papers the Hebrew word “sheol” and the Greek word “hades” are analyzed to reveal the state of the dead; but it seems you are not only ignorant of the meaning of those words (which are synonymous with each other), but you are even now unable to grasp their meaning after they are clearly explained to you. I admit it disturbs me that a supposedly educated man – such as you appear to be – cannot comprehend my presentation. But you are the first one to present that problem.
Jesus said, “Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” But for preaching the Truth the Scribes and Pharisees (the preachers of that time) placed Him on the cross. Later, however, St. Peter explained: “I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.” (Acts 3:17) This same generous consideration I now extend you.
It may interest you to know we have some Baptist ministers on our mailing list, a gratuitous courtesy they receive at their own request. Apparently these men did not attend the same school you did. It would rather seem that you still cling to the Dark-Age belief that the unsaved persons of this and past Ages must endure eternal torment in the “Lake of Fire”; and you are presumably disturbed that we here see something much better in store for them – “Good Tidings of Great Joy, which shall be to all people,” as taught In the Scriptures.
If you are in this vicinity any time (1901 Morningside Drive), I would welcome a visit with you. You may be assured of a Christian reception – “without partiality and without hypocrisy.” I am persuaded you will not find anything “sadistic” about me or any of my assistants, all of whom give their services without consideration of “filthy lucre.” Thus, none of us are actuated by selfish motives.
Yours in the Master’s service,
John J. Hoefle
PS – Enclosed is my paper – “Two Distinct Salvations” – which is in keeping with Acts 24:15: “There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.” This paper complements the two you already have, and I am interested to know if you consider this “sadistic,” too.
Dear Bro. Hoefle: Grace and peace in the Lord!
I was at Manchester for the Hyde Convention. I wrote Bro. Jolly and told him the Tabernacle shows that consecration in the Gospel Age is to death. Any in Camp must come into the court, which the Bible shows. I told him Camp consecration is to life and in the next Age. The Kingdom is to the Jew first. The Ancient and Youthful Worthies will be back for the purpose of the New Covenant. I think it did some good, for I said you worked with Brothers Russell and Johnson, and you want to pray to see things right for the Truth. God does not make Truth to fit our plans, but His.
At the Convention no one said anything about Camp consecration. The first day I had a talk with Brother ....... about Camp consecration. This was at tea time. After they all saw this they kept away from me. I had to sit by myself most of the time...
Christian love to you both. Yours by His Grace ------- (ENGLAND)
Dear Brother & Sister Hoefle:
Christian love and greetings in the name of our Redeemer!
Received your letter and appreciated it very much. Don’t know whether I mentioned it to you, but I had a light stroke in my left sight ....... But we are trusting in the dear Lord. Hymn 94.
There are several groups of Bible Students here, including Dawnites. They have a Bible Study, claiming that the Authorities do not allow them to have one in the “Volumes.” How wonderful would it be for all to abandon their partisan ideas and instead unite their efforts to uphold the Lord’s Truth as given to us through our dear Lord’s own choice – our dear Brother Russell. If Brother Paul were here today he would use the same rebuke (and even stronger to the various divisions (carnal) of Bible Students as he did to the Corinthian brethren (1 Cor. 1:10-13). Don’t you think so?
We are thankful to the Lord that we have been kept by His Grace (Manna Jan. 1), and striving to defend it to the best of our ability (without mixing any one else’ ideas).
Trusting this finds you both, dear Brother and Sister, rejoicing in our blessed Hope. Please convey our warm Christian love to all the dear brethren in the dear Class holding a good measure for yourselves.
In the One Hope by His Grace, Bro. & Sr. ------- (GREECE)
Epiphany Bible Students Ass’n
Please send me free copies of “Where Are the Dead” and “The Resurrection of the Dead.” Thank you!
ADDENDA TO NO. 174
MORE ON THE-SEPT-OCT. 1969 PRESENT TRUTH
On pp. 66-76 the above paper carries an article on Habakkuk, which is mostly an excellent presentation, because it is mainly by Brother Johnson; but it seems almost impossible for RGJ to handle the writings of either Brother Russell or Brother Johnson without injecting some of his errors into them. That is his responsibility, of course, and he can expect to reap the rewards of his sowing – as will also all those who encourage him in his evil ways.
As a case in point, we mention p. 72, col. 2, par. 1: “It is only logical to expect that he (Brother Johnson), a prominent member of the Little Flock, would have the honor of being the last Little Flock member to leave the earth.” We offer the observation here that what is “only logical” to a mind such as RGJ has may be errant nonsense to other minds. It should be noted that Brother Johnson told us that when these crown-losers fall into the hands of Azazel they talk all sorts of nonsense. Therefore, it behooves us to be wary of any “logical” statements that may come from them. People who talk nonsense are apt to be very illogical; thus, the words of Solomon, “in all thy getting, get understanding.”
As all of our readers know, Moses led Israel from Egypt (type of the world in sin) to Canaan (typing for Gospel-Age purposes the sphere of the Truth and the Spirit of the Truth, and in the larger sense a type of the Heavenly Canaan). In that journey Israel typed the Gospel-Age spiritual Israel as they have journeyed from antitypical Egypt to antitypical Canaan; and Moses as their leader typed the Star Members (the leaders) who have led spiritual Israel in their Gospel-Age journey. Who of us would question that Brother Russell was not such a leader! He was as much in command of the Harvest work and the Lord’s “good soldier” as was any general who ever lived at the head of his army. But Moses did not lead Israel over Jordan into Canaan; it was Joshua who did this; and Joshua was not of the Tribe of Levi, he was of the Tribe of Ephraim. Thus, for the first time since leaving Egypt Israel was under the command of one not of the Tribe of Levi; and be it noted that it was Joshua who commanded the priests and all the people in every minute detail of that crossing. “Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.? (Joshua 3:6) Therefore, when a Levite in Azazel’s clutches tells us it is “only logical” that a Star Member would be “the last Little Flock member to leave the earth,” we would reply that here in Joshua is a very clear Scripture that shows us how illogical is such a conclusion.
DUE TRUTH FOR ALL GOD’S CONSECRATED PEOPLE
On p. 78, col. 2, bottom par., there is this statement: “The Scriptures teach that for all times the due Truth is for all God’s consecrated people to discern, by the aid of His Holy Spirit.” This is another “logical” conclusion that is shallow in the very extreme; and is directly contradicted by Volume E-4, p. 129: “Whatever the Lord may give during the Epiphany for the priests alone will be for them alone.” But, lest we lean too much on Brother Johnson, let us ask: During the Parousia did “all God’s consecrated people” discern the due Truth? It may be argued that the Six Volumes of Scripture Studies were for them; but those volumes were also available to all Christendom. Yet we know that the vast majority of the people never read them at all; and, of those who did, many violently opposed them. The great bulk of crown-losers in Big Babylon did not “discern the due Truth by the aid of His Holy Spirit.”
And we inquire further, Did “all God’s consecrated people” discern the due Truth in the Epiphany? We know they did not, for many of the Little Flock in the various groups would have no part of the Epiphany writings, believing as they did that their writer was In the second death.
But harking back to the Philadelphia epoch, did any one of the saints there discern all the due Truth? We all know they did not, as they were scattered throughout the sects of Christendom, and often in extreme opposition to each other. We may carry this point even further, and say that the Star Members themselves did not discern nearly all the due Truth of their time. Martin Luther, hero of the Reformation, gave very determined opposition to the Truth on the Lord’s Supper as presented by Zwingli, although the latter made a special visit to him to discuss that and other truths. and what about Calvin and Servetus? Calvin was so much in opposition to the due Truth that there is but one God that he actually had Servetus burned at the stake, as he proceeded on his way nursing his error on the Trinity and absolute predestination. For one capable of perpetrating the horrible crime that Calvin committed it is “only logical” that the Lord would not favor him with the due Truth.
Our position here is further corroborated by the parable of the “unprofitable servant” (the Great Company class – see Berean comment on Matt. 25:30). We are told that his punishment was to be “cast into outer darkness” – error. It is impossible to be cast into error, and be blessed with the due Truth at the same time – although such transparent nonsense seems “only logical” to RGJ. Here is something more from E-13:41 that is exactly to the point:
“So far as the old truths were concerned, they (the Great Company) became increasingly unclear thereon, and so far as the advancing Truth in its blessing the part of the cleansed Sanctuary that was separate from Babylon was concerned, they were entirely blind.”
The foregoing had an exact duplication during the Epiphany with most of the Parousia crown-losers; and it is now becoming quite apparent with RGJ himself. In this connection, we quote further from E-7:277:
“With the organizational leaders of the Great Company deadness to self and the world and aliveness to God are not complete (Jas. 1:8). Their selfish propensities, especially exercised in self-will, grasping for power, lording it over God’s heritage, dividing the flock (as did RGJ immediately after Brother Johnson’s demise—JJH) and desiring to shine before others as able teachers and executives are so uncurbed by themselves, that not one of them alone can be trusted by the Lord with an unrestricted General Ministry.”
Does RGJ still accept that Epiphany Truth, or is this just one more instance for him where an old Truth is becoming increasingly unclear? During Brother Johnson’s life – especially before RGJ was a manifested crown-loser – we heard RGJ stress this important truth. Will he now give us his present understanding of it? Of course, in all of this he is treading the identical footsteps of That Evil Servant, of whom Brother Johnson wrote the following in E-6:377:
“Almost never does he allude to or quote a passage in an article on his pet views but he corrupts its sense. Yet he says he has not changed our Pastor’s teachings, has only clarified them.”
Almost the exact words RGJ uses when he injects errors into Parousia or Epiphany writings!
“UNPROFITABLE SERVANT...... OUTER DARKNESS”
On Oct. 31–Nov. 2 we attended the Chicago Convention of the LHMM – with much the same experience as in times past. RGJ had his usual “profusion of words” in the Question Meeting. Some one – apparently charitably inclined – asked if the “sifters” might be wrong in the head, but still have a good heart – believe they were serving God. He proceeded to explain that we cannot read the heart, and that one sifter – apparently influenced by his wife, somewhat after the manner that Jezebel stirred up Ahab – had made the statement that he wondered if he was doing right in his oppositional activities. As usual, he did not have the courage to mention any name, so no one can be certain of whom he spoke. Of course, he and others there knew that many there would believe he referred to us; but we wish to make it very clear to all that we never offered such a statement. He is ever ready to present a new “Grimm’s Fairy Tale,” as was his habit durthe Parousia (See his letter in the Nov. 15, 1910 Watch Tower); and anything he says must be tempered with that knowledge. He also compared us to Judas.
Another question: Bro. Johnson teaches all Great Company members must be fully abandoned to Azazel before they can be cleansed – and that all brotherly fellowship must be withdrawn before they can be fully abandoned. At what time were you and other Great Company members in the Epiphany Movement fully abandoned to Azazel? He gave no answer at all as to when they were abandoned, although he attempted to explain that the abandonment was only the abandonment of the humanity. He never attempted to cite the teachings of the Epiphany Messenger on the abandonment process as given in E-4:210, E-15:525, and many other places – nor did he cite any references to Brother Russell’s teaching. Be it noted, that none of the Great Company members in the LHMM were fully abandoned to Azazel during Brother Johnson’s life, because all those who remained with him continued to receive brotherly fellowship and help from him, even after they were manifested crown-losers and all priestly fellowship had been withdrawn from them. Also note, that when they are fully abandoned all brotherly fellowship and favor of the priesthood are withdrawn from them – they are left to their own devices – much the same as J. F. Rutherford was some time after Brother Russell’s death when he got full control of the Society, and true of RGJ after the Epiphany Messenger’s death and he got full control of the LHMM. He had no restraining hand upon him then, although his fleshly mind had not been destroyed. He offered the inane remark that we don’t need to care about our humanity, because it is to be destroyed; so we now offer the question: With what would he or any of his kinsmen have to make an “offering in righteousness” after they are cleansed if all their humanity is destroyed?
He stated also that the questioner was confused, having failed to differentiate between the humanity and the new creature of such crown-losers. We have always understood that the difference between the Little Flock and the Great Company is the Great Company’s double mind (fleshly) and the single mind of the Little Flock. Clearly enough, from the expression on his face, and the jumbled manner of his answer, he was the one confused, as he resorted again to his usual “profusion of words” to no profit – some of which no doubt caused even some of his most partisan supporters embarrassment – that is, if they have retained even a smattering of the faithful teachings given us by the Epiphany Messenger. One simple question here should suffice: When the Corinthians “delivered such an one unto Satan” (1 Cor. 5:1-5), did they cast his humanity from their midst, or his new creature, or both? While it is true that “the destruction of the flesh” (fleshly mind) must partially include the destruction of the humanity while they are being “buffeted by Azazel,” yet this is only partial. If the destruction of their humanity were complete before their fleshly mind is completely destroyed, there would no longer be a way for them to make an “offering in righteousness” to the Lord. The very purpose of the abandonment is to destroy their fleshly minds – their double minds (James 1:8); and we hope to make it indisputably clear in our subsequent remarks that this cleansing has not yet occurred with RGJ – in fact, if he spoke what he really believes, then he does not yet know what the abandonment process is – which is in harmony with Brother Johnson’s teachings of that Class, that none of them fully know the methods which the Lord uses on them while in their uncleansed condition.
Then this question: If tentative justification is available in the Camp, does it mean consecration is available for all mankind in the Camp now before the Kingdom is established and the New Covenant inaugurated? To this he replied, It doesn’t mean that. at all! The questioner has lost sight of the fact that only the tentatively justified can consecrate. The Heathen and Mohammedans can’t consecrate. To this we would add a simple question of our own: Since when are the Heathen and the Mohammedans in the Camp? Even the merest babe in the Truth knows that the Camp types Christendom – the nominal rebellious people of God – and in the finished picture of the Epiphany, the repentant and believing, but unconsecrated, Jews and Gentiles. These people have not been sufficiently strong enough to come into the Court – the only place either Messenger ever taught for any kind of justification in this faith Age – and to do “that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” (Rom. 12:1-3) Also see RGJ’s letter in E-6:166/168, which is the correct teaching on Tentative Justification. This was while he was under the benign influence and restraining hand of the Epiphany Messenger.
Also this: Is there enough material on hand for the 21 volumes promised by Brother Johnson? Here again he said the questioner was confused – that Bro. Johnson never said there would be 21 volumes. He expected 21 or the equivalent; he has done this. Here is what Brother Johnson said in the 1950 PT, P. 10-11: “As we stated in the Nov. 1949 Truth, p. 175, we trust, D.v., to publish perhaps three more of the last seven Epiphany Studies in the Scriptures in 1950, if the necessary funds come to hand... However, we have full assurance of faith that the Lord will enable us to complete the writing of the rest of the 21 volumes. The last two of these 21 volumes, D.v., will be on the book of Revelation (practically every part of which is now clear to us).”
Is RGJ’s mind so befuddled by Azazel that he would unwittingly make such a false statement, or is he willfully making this false statement as a cover-up for his errors? If our readers will refer to the last page of Vol. 15, they will find that all six of these unpublished volumes are listed: Vol. 16 – Genesis – Leviticus – Deuteronomy; Vol. 17 Numbers, Vol. 2; Vol. 18 – The Chart of God’s Plan; Vol. 19 – The Millennium; Vol. 20 Revelation, Vol. 1; Vol. 21 – Revelation, Vol. 2. When RGJ produced Vols. 16 & 17, they were The Chart of God’s Plan and the Millennium – although he did not list other unpublished volumes as did the Epiphany Messenger in Volume 15. It is clear enough, however, to all who are familiar with Brother Johnson’s writings, that RGJ has been using much of the material left on Genesis, Numbers and Deuteronomy for articles in his Present Truth –although with his errors injected in places to support his “new light.” This “sleight-of-hand” may fool the “unstable and the unlearned”; but we may be quite sure that “God is not mocked” by this chicanery.
One other question: “Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness.” (Matt. 25:30). Who is the unprofitable servant and what is the outer darkness? RGJ was quick to respond that the unprofitable servant were those who denied the Ransom or the sin-offering; and that the ‘outer darkness’ was the second death for them. Note now the clear logic of Brother Russell in the Berean Comment: “Unprofitable servant...The Great Company class. The Lord does not deny that he is a servant, nor does he charge him with being an enemy.” And note also how clearly Brother Russell defines the outer darkness (error) in the comments on 2 Thes. 2:11: “Giving them over to error, which they prefer to the Truth.... Great delusions are just before us, and some of these may come closest upon those possessing the most light of Present Truth.” Certainly, RGJ was indeed favored with the Parousia and Epiphany Truth (the most light of Present Truth); and his answers to these and other questions at that Chicago meeting clearly reveal that he is now floundering around in “outer darkness,” as the Lord had predicted of the “unprofitable servant” the crown-losers. We enumerate just a few of these where he has either perverted, or gone completely into outer darkness:
(1) He is now in “outer darkness” on the Abandonment process as given in E Vols. 4 and 15; rejects almost completely the Truth as given by the Epiphany Messenger; (2) “outer darkness” on the Camp when he attempts to put the heathen into it; (3) “outer darkness” on the Epiphany Camp in the finished picture as given in E-10:209, where Bro. Johnson says it will contain the “repentant and believing, but not consecrated”; he is now putting his consecrated into the Epiphany Camp; (4) “outer darkness” on the resurrection of the Just; (5) “outer darkness” on the Tabernacle Court as the only place for justification in this Faith Age; (6) “outer darkness” on OUTER DARKNESS being error, as manifested by his comments at Chicago.