My dear Brethren: – Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
“There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” (Acts 24:15) During the Parousia the subject of the resurrection had been purified from all error; but it is one of those subjects that has once more been accumulating a considerable amount of rust and rubble since 1917. Thus, it seems timely that we should endeavor to treat the matter “in spirit and in truth.”
The word ‘resurrection’ is from the Greek anastasis, which means a raising up to life again; and this definition must be clearly understood or we may conclude that the Bible contradicts itself. In Acts 26:23 we are told that “Christ should be the first that should rise from the dead”; but this appears to be disputed by the raising of previous persons, such as Lazarus who had been in the death state for four full days, and of others who had been dead for a shorter period, such as Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:22-43), Eutychus (Acts 20:9,10), etc.
Once we clearly understand that the above instances were not resurrections – not a real anastasis, but merely resuscitations, the difficulty disappears. Some forty years ago – when the belief was quite general that man is a dual being – that man has a soul, instead of being a soul – one prominent columnist often raised the question regarding persons who had been drowned for an hour or more, then restored to life, “During the time he was dead, where was his soul?” The preponderant mass of the human race that has entered the tomb is in much the same condition as the instances given above. Even though many of them have returned to the dust, their status is substantially the same as those who have been dead only a short time – as no man can resuscitate them once they are fully dead. Once they are fully dead, only the Lord of life can bring them to life again.
The question then properly arises, Who are the just, and who are the unjust? And do both experience the same resurrection? In his great exposition chapter on the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15), St. Paul says in verse 20: “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.” Continuing in verse 23, “Every man in his own order.” Clearly enough, then, the resurrection has a different meaning for different classes of men. In John 5:28,29 Jesus said, “All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection (anastasis) of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (judgment, from the Greek krisis, meaning a trial time).” This is simply another way of saying there would be a resurrection (anastasis) of the just and the unjust – the “good” in this Scripture being the “just” of Acts 24:15, and the “evil” being the “unjust” of that text. The good and evil, the just and the unjust, the elect and the non-elect are simply different expressions of the same thing. Thus, the good, the just, the elect, are all one class; and the evil, the unjust, the non-elect, are all another class.
However, these two classes have different divisions, the first having four divisions, and the second having two divisions. The just are comprised of No. 1, The Very Elect (The Little Flock, the Body of Christ – the chief section of the Church of the Firstborn); No. 2, the Great Multitude of Rev. 7:9-17 (the secondary portion of the Church of the Firstborn—Heb. 12:23); No. 3, the Ancient Worthies (Heb. 11); and No. 4, the Youthful Worthies (Joel 2:28). The second class – those that have done evil – have two divisions: No. 1, being all the heathen and the unrepentant and evilly inclined throughout Christendom; and No. 2, those Jews and Gentiles that have experienced a measure of conversion, and are inclined toward the moral features of the Law.
In 1 Cor. 1:26 St. Paul states that “not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble” have embraced the true Christian way. This leaves the inescapable conclusion that most of the wise, strong, noble of this world have not fully responded to the Gospel-Age calling, although most people are often mis-led to consider such persons as outstanding “examples of the believers” because they have been good examples of morality, of charity, champions of social uplift, etc. Nevertheless, if we apply the true Scriptural standards, we must conclude that all these people –regardless of their inclination toward righteousness, regardless of their religious and social affiliations - come within the classification of the non-elect. Therefore, they cannot possibly experience the “resurrection to life,” instantaneous physical perfection. They would properly be designated as the quasi-elect – having a certain leaning toward God, and a certain respect for Scriptural standards, but not sufficiently impelling enough to cause them to come wholeheartedly into the good, the just, the elect – to renounce the world and its ambitions, and forsake all to “follow in His footsteps,” and walk a “narrow way.” Thus, they will receive the anastasis by krisis (resurrection by judgment – trial time), although the exactions of that trial time will be ameliorated by whatever of righteous conduct they have developed during this “present evil world.” Too, instead of walking a “narrow way” as the elect must do during this Age, they will walk up the Highway of Holiness (Isa. 35:8) then opened for the non-elect; and instead of being ridiculed for so doing, they will be rewarded for their efforts – and, as they come into full heart-harmony with the Kingdom arrangements, they will gradually receive their resurrection – perfection of physical being as they develop perfect characters.
However, when Jesus said some would experience the “resurrection to life,” this would prompt the inescapable conclusion that all who receive that reward would be raised with full physical perfection. If it were otherwise, the difference between the good and the evil would be only one of degree – hardly a sufficient reward for the hardships that have accompanied the “good fight of faith” during this and previous Ages.
Comes now the question, Do the “just” all receive the same kind of resurrection? Before answering, we would explain that the “just” are simply the justified elect classes – those in this Age, and in times past, who have been justified by faith. It is written of Abraham that “he might be the father of all them that believe”; ‘he believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (justification)”—Rom. 4:3,11. “Every man in his own order,” says St. Paul; and it is written in 1 Pet. 1:3,4, that The Elect would receive a “resurrection to an inheritance incorruptible,” which is further explained in 2 Pet. 1:4 as being “partakers of the divine nature” – a condition indestructible and grounded in perfection.
The Great Multitude will also have a spiritual resurrection (See Rev. 7:9-17), but not to the “divine nature,” as they are pictured as “before the throne,” and not “in the throne,” as is the case with The Elect. Their bodies will also be incorruptible, but not indestructible, as will be the case with The Elect. As respects the third and fourth classes of “the just,” it is stated they will “obtain a better resurrection” (Heb. 11:35) – a resurrection “to life,” better than the remainder of mankind – thus a perfect physical raising, but not to a spirit nature. But the “resurrection to life,” which will be theirs, would in the very nature of the contrast given by Jesus in John 5:28,29, assure them of a resurrection to perfection of physical being – full life, perfect life, “more abundant life.”
There are three “ways” clearly defined in the Bible. Two of these are set forth in Matt. 7:13,14 (Dia.): “Wide is the gate of destruction, and broad that way leading thither; and many are they who enter through it. How narrow is the gate of life! How difficult that way leading thither! And how few are they who find it.” Both of these “ways” have been with us during this “present evil world”; but there is a third way a “highway of holiness” (Isa. 35:8) – that will be available in the Age ahead, the Millennial Age. Those that are now walking the “broad way that leadeth to destruction” those who have not “elected” to tread the “strait” (narrow, difficult) way now – will have available to them in the Age ahead that “highway” in which the “wayfaring men though fools, shall not err therein” (will be fully instructed and not be deceived). Again we stress that the narrow way, the way now trodden by “the just,” in this present Age, the way that leads to life, will result in a “better resurrection” – an instantaneous resurrection to perfect life; whereas, the Highway of Holiness will provide a gradual access to perfection, a process in some instances requiring many years to accomplish. This is treated briefly in Reprints 5108, col. 1, as follows:
“There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. (Acts 24:15) The Ancient Worthies had this testimony, that they pleased God; and we know that they had the promise of a better resurrection than would have been theirs if they had not pleased God. (Heb. 11:35).”
The following quotations are also pertinent to our subject: “The thought is not that those who remain in an unjust condition will be granted a full resurrection. The text does not state that all the unjust will be resurrected, brought to perfection of life. There are some now justified who will have a share in the resurrection, even as there are others who are not now justified who will also have a share in the resurrection. The just will have a special resurrection, which will be a reward for their special obedience. But the opportunity will, during the incoming Age, be thrown open for all to gain everlasting life through Christ. The justified ones of the Church class are ‘changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,’ from the earthly to the Heavenly condition – made perfect spirit beings. Those of the past dispensations justified to God’s favor through faith, are to be brought forth perfect men, instead of in the condition in which they died. This will be after the merit of Christ will have been applied for the world.
“So we have the resurrection of the highest class of the just – the Little Flock on the Divine plane; that of the Great Company, on a lower spirit plane; that of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, on the earthly plane – four classes who pass their trial, their testing, in the present life. But it has been provided in the Divine Plan that the remainder of men may gradually be raised fully up, out of every frailty, back to the original perfection that Adam had in the beginning.
“The Bible teaching of two ways of salvation – a private one for the Elect, called the narrow way (Matt. 7:13,14) and a public one for the non-elect, called the highway (Isa. 35:8), proves the same doctrine. The connection (Isa. 35:9,10) shows that this highway will be for certain of the unsaved dead; and the whole chapter proves that it describes the Millennial Age.... The Bible further demonstrates it by the teaching that the free grace salvation will operate after the elective salvation is completed (Acts 15:14-16; 3:19-21; John 17:21-23; Rom. 8:19-23), even as the Millennium, the time for its operation, follows the Gospel Age, with its elective salvation now operating.” (See Epiphany Vol. 17, pp. 164 and top of 165-171 and top of 172)
When that highway of holiness becomes available to the class described above, then will apply the words of Rev. 22:17 (Dia.): “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come! and let him who hears say Come! And let him who is thirsty come – let him who wishes take freely of the water of life” – as he progresses up the highway of holiness during his anastasis by krisis (the resurrection by trial time). It is well to emphasize here that the evil, the unjust, the non-elect – those who have followed the broad way that leadeth to destruction in this “present evil world” – all these people will reverse their present trend as they go up the highway of holiness in the next Age – the way that will produce their raising up to life again. Thus, these two ways will be traversed by the very same people, but in reverse order. Whereas, they now go down to destruction, they will then go up to “life more abundantly.”
PERVERSIONS OF THE RESURRECTION
Hardly had our Pastor departed from our midst in 1916 than Levites began to pervert the truth on the Resurrection – just as they did on so many other truths. On this score Vol. E-6:651,653 has this to say concerning J. F. Rutherford (a crown-lost leader “manifested” in this Epiphany) be–clouding the truth on the subject:
“He sets aside our Pastor’s teachings on Psa. 17:15, as referring to the resurrection of the Christ, claiming that it is falsely explained in our hymn No. 105. He sets forth the thought that the Old Testament does not say of its faithful that they hoped for a resurrection. Against this please see Job. 14:13, 39:25,26; Psa. 49:14: Hos. 13:14, etc.... In an attempt to take out the resurrection hope from Psa. 17:15 and to construe the passage as applying to his remnant’s allegedly being with our Lord in the temple since 1918 for judgment, he offers the following false translation of the Septuagint on Psa. 17:15: ‘Let me appear righteous before thee; let me be satisfied with the display of thy glory.’ The following is the proper translation of the Septuagint on this verse, though its translation is not correct, while that of the A.V. is: ‘I will be seen in righteousness in thy presence; I will be satisfied when I shall be seen with Thy glory.’ But, as said before, the A.V. is here correct: ‘As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness.’ ....
“Then he tells us that our meeting the Lord in the air (1 Thes. 4:17) does not refer to the resurrection, but to his remnant’s being, while in the flesh, in JFR’s temple since 1918.... A theory is hard pressed for proof that to find it tries to tear out of Ps. 17:15 and 1 Thes. 4:17 the saints’ resurrection.”
A further perversion of the resurrection doctrine is to be found in JFR’s interpretation of Zech. 13:8,9: “In all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third part shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is My God.” Our Pastor properly interpreted this text in the “two parts” being the Little Flock and the Great Company (classes One and Two on page 1 aforegoing), and the “third part” as the world of mankind, the same being the evil, the unjust, the non-elect, who will be raised up to life again by the refining processes of the Highway of Holiness. But JFR cast away that interpretation, placing in its stead his perversion that the “two parts” mean two-thirds of the now living human race who would be destroyed in Armageddon because they do not accept his erroneous teachings, with the “third part” being those people who do accept his errors and become “dedicated” to his program. These errors on the resurrection are still being circulated by the Jehovah’s Witnesses unto this day; whereas, we ourselves still “continue in my word...in the truth.... that shall make you free” – by adhering to the interpretations of both Messengers on the texts aforegoing. JFR, however, grossly and persistently revolutionized against the Parousia Truth on this and other subjects.
A KINSMAN IN PERVERSION
More recently comes the Executive Trustee of the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement (another crown-lost leader “manifested” in this Epiphany) also perverting the doctrine of the resurrection. At the Chicago Convention in October he declared from the platform, in answer to a question, that his Campers Consecrated would experience the resurrection of the “just” – although he admits they cannot be of any of the four classes of the Elect as we have set them forth herein – and that they cannot have a “better resurrection” that will come to those that are the true “just” (those Ancient Worthies and those now “who consecrating and proving faithful in the interval between the close of the General Call in 1881 and the inauguration of the earthly phase of the Kingdom” – See E-4, p. 337). JFR perverted the doctrine of the resurrection; RGJ is now also perverting the doctrine of the resurrection. It seems he just cannot refrain from following in the steps of JFR, as he has been repeatedly doing since 1950 – although this may be done unwittingly at the incept, as his teacher is the same as JFR’S. Thus, he casts aside completely, or offers some perversions on truths clearly and emphatically defined by both Messengers – truths he once accepted and taught himself. As for ourselves, we repeat our conclusion regarding JFR’s perversions: We still “continue in my word.... in the truth.... that shall make you free” by adhering to the interpretations of both Messengers and the clear Bible teachings on the doctrine of the resurrection, and other fundamental truths. Crown-loser RGJ, however, grossly and persistently revolutionizes against both Parousia and Epiphany Truth on this and other important subjects, while JFR revolutionized only against Parousia Truth, never having accepted Epiphany Truth.
It is indeed a sound conclusion that one error usually begets other errors; and this is clearly evident in the present instance with RGJ. He well knows he cannot possibly promise his Campers Consecrated the “better resurrection”; yet he must ‘promise’ them something for their present privations in serving the Lord. God never requires sacrifice from any one; and those who do sacrifice in His cause are certain of abundant reward for their efforts. Thus, RGJ tells his Campers they will receive the resurrection of the Just, even though he knows, or should have known, that the resurrection of the just is the better resurrection – “the resurrection to life” promised by Jesus to those “that have done good,” to those that are of the “just” class – to the called according to His purpose. Thus, RGJ says Yes out of one side of his mouth, and No out of the other side, as he offers a spiritual bedlam akin to that of the foolish and unprofitable shepherd of Zech. 11:17 on his Jonadabs, or presently called the Large Multitude.
Here is another quotation from E-4:334 that should sober – partially anyway those who render RGJ partisan support in his revolutionisms:
“Inasmuch as the Youthful Worthies, as well as the other Levites, will be receiving tithes forever from the saved world of mankind, and inasmuch as all on earth as kings (Matt. 25:34; Rev. 21:24) will be equals of one another, it follows that the Youthful Worthies will have a higher than human inheritance on this earth,”
Many of our readers are well acquainted with his teaching that his Campers Consecrated will forever have a higher honor and reward than other Restitutionists; thus, he is revolutionizing against both Parousia and Epiphany Truth on the quotation above, as That Servant also substantially taught the same about it. Certainly That Servant taught that all Restitutionists would be equals. He does all this to bolster up his false doctrine (“strange fire”) of Campers Consecrated.
Such jugglery must eventually reap the inevitable reward that is reserved for such – “If any one add to the words of this prophecy, God will add to him these plagues written in this book (the pestilence that walketh in darkness – in this Epiphany night – the “plagues” of Psa. 91:6 and 10). And if any one take away from the words of the book of this prophecy (by injecting error into the teachings of God’s fully faithful mouthpieces), God will take away his part from the word of life, and out of the Holy City (by demoting from The Elect to the Great Company, from the Great Company to the second death – from the just to the unjust, etc.)”—Rev. 22:18,19.
It is our heart’s desire and prayer that all of our readers may be motivated by the Apostle Paul’s inspiring statement regarding all the “Sound doctrine” of Parousia and Epiphany Truth: “I have maintained the good contest. I have finished the race, I have guarded the faith (the Truth)”—2 Tim. 4:7, Dia. And to this would we add the words of Joshua in his final oration to Israel: “Choose you this day whom you will serve; .... As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”—(Josh. 24:15)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and Peace! I know it is way past time I should send a contribution for your kindness. I’m always on the lookout for your most wonderful articles, keeping us informed of what goes on among the Lord’s Epiphany people – a time when all should be proving all things and holding fast to that which is True and good. The Wisdom from above is first pure then peaceable. RGJ surely goes further and further away from the right course given him through the Parousia and Epiphany Messengers.
Here is a quotation from Bible Comment on Prov. 12:15: “Whoever succeeds in justifying himself in a wrong course finds the downward path easy.” I do enjoy very much this past year in going over Epiphany Vol. 15 – Christ – Spirit – Covenants.....
We know the Lord watches over His own, so we can trust Him implicitly. My love to you and Sister Hoefle and the dear ones with you in Mount Dora.
Lovingly by His Grace, Sister ------- (OHIO)
My dear Brother and Sisters in God’s Truth:
The letter with the surprise notice of your moving was related to Sister----, and she tells me Sister...... will be over this week....... I never seem to benefit myself by my moves, but only Jesus and our Heavenly Father knows what good it has done, or will be......
With this note I’m praying each night – Thanks to God and His beloved Son for you dear souls in the work of the Truth. I’ll close here with my donation – and may God’s blessing be with each brother and sister across sea and land in His Truth.
Keep well – no need to write a letter, just a postcard to tell me this is received O.K. Christian love to each dear soul, and may the New Year be rich day by day in living. I’m keeping up – very richly blest!
Sister ------- (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings of love in our Lord’s Name!
We are enclosing a check to be used in the Lord’s work in any manner it may be needed. We do enjoy the monthly articles and get a great deal of help from them. We are continuing our First Volume study here for the benefit of the young folks. They seem to be enjoying it, and ask many questions – so we are all benefiting.
We ask your prayers that we may be able to give them a good foundation truth. Our love to you and all there.
Brother & Sister ------- (NORTH CAROLINA)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace be multiplied! Your letter came a few days ago. I am also in receipt of five additional pounds from Brother.... for which I am very grateful. I have enjoyed reading the September article. A question: In 1 Sam. 16:14 – Should the quotation be an “evil spirit” from the Lord, or should it be an evil spirit apart from the Lord? Thanks.
The attitude of these crown-lost leaders is surely painful – seeing they have taken their lives in their own hands. But as in the type of Aaron’s sons who were destroyed for their willful acts, God told Aaron not to weep for them. God cannot be mocked, and so the unfaithful shall surely feel the weight of His displeasure.
May the dear Lord bless all your efforts and labour of love, dear Brother. With much Christian love to you and the dear ones with you.
Yours by His Grace, Brother --------- (JAMAICA)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace through our Beloved Lord!
Your letters received – also the No. 162 with your newsy nice note, which we deeply appreciate. We are sorry to learn of Sister Moynelo’s illness, but glad to hear she is coming along nicely. Give her our very best love. We shall especially remember her in our prayers as we approach the throne of Heavenly Grace, that it may be His good pleasure to restore her to good health again. While writing these thoughts, they remind me of that beautiful hymn we sing sometimes – What a Friend we have in Jesus! How wonderful to those who have tasted of the Lord’s Goodness and the Blessings we receive daily – and His Providential good from day to day. Yes, dear Brother and Sister Hoefle, we know whereof we stand, and we thank God daily for the Truth, and for His revealing it to us, refreshing our hearts and minds by the way of remembrance through your writings, dear Brother Hoefle. We do appreciate your monthly articles!
We would like to report to you the lovely meeting we had commemorating our dear Brother Russell’s and dear Brother Johnson’s passing from our midst. We sang Hymn 99, one of Brother Russell’s favorite – thanking our dear Heavenly Father for the blessings we have received, and are still receiving, from those two great Servants of His, to whom it was His good pleasure to raise up. And we read the thoughts in Reprints, and Brother Johnson on Pastor Russell’s relation to the Pilgrims. We also read the January 1951 Herald of the Epiphany, your delivery, officiating October 27, 1950. In closing we sang No. 299 – My Blessed Portion, Brother Johnson’s favorite hymn and closed with prayer. Truly, dear Brother, we felt so refreshed and strengthened because of the honor and privilege of knowing these two great men of God. We met them personally and talked with them, and have been blessed by them through their ministry. Praise His Holy Name!....
We trust that you, dear Brother and Sister Hoefle, are keeping quite well, physically. We know you are rejoicing in the Lord’s service, for which we are grateful. God bless and protect you both and give you strength to carry on this good work for all the dear brethren. We thank you for the Philadelphia and Chicago report of the Conventions. I am glad to say that Sister and I are quite well. She joins me in sending you both and all at Mount Dora, God’s richest blessing.
Your Brother and Sister by His Grace, ------- (NEW JERSEY)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings in our Lord’s Name!
I was glad to hear from you. The books and tracts were received in good shape. The tracts came first, then the books came in later. Thank you for sending them. I have some Life-Death-Hereafter books yet,
I cannot find words to describe the blessings, the joy, and peace that I get from your ministry. Those who have been teaching error will soon be ashamed (Isa. 66:5), while the fire of this day will only manifest the truth to all. No power, no tongue, no pen, can successfully contradict the truth – the great Divine Plan of the Ages. It is strong before its enemies and before all who make assaults upon it; and ere long the folly of its foes shall be made known to the whole world. “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” – Reprints 5916. I did not get any tracts out this week, as it is getting cold up here....
I hope this will find you all and all with you happy and rejoicing in the good Lord, is my prayer.
Sister -------- (PENNSYLVANIA)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace be multiplied through our dear Redeemer!
We are glad to report that we kept a memorial service for Brothers Russell and Johnson on the 31st of October. Our memories went back to Big Babylon and how God’s people were enslaved in sin and error, and how Brother Russell was used by God to release them, enlighten them by his ministry – and the experiences after his death when his Movement was perverted into a sect that took them back in Babylon. And God again raised up a Mouthpiece – Brother Johnson and delivered many of them. Still we can see that even with two such experiences some of God’s people gather together to be carried right back into Babylon – something we experienced since Brother Johnson’s death. But we who have been spared have much to give praise to God, for His mercies toward us. We were not taken captives back to Babylon. We also thank God for you, dear Brother, and exhort you to be of good courage, seeing God is with you, even as all honest-hearted can see: God is using you to perform a good victory in your refutations over sin and error, as you are confronted by your opponents. We receive your monthly articles and carefully read them with references – and we marvel at our brethren! Are they so very blind or, are they in deep sleep? We wonder!
Please send us some tract – 200 each of Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5. Thank you! Warm Christian love to you, Sister Hoefle and the dear ones with you.
Your brethren by His Grace, .--------- (JAMAICA)
SPECIAL EFFORT – ANTITYPICAL GIDEON’S SECOND BATTLE
Our Memorial date for this year is March 30, and we suggest for our Special Effort in Antitypical Gideon’s Second Battle Sunday, March 16 through Sunday, April 13 for our volunteer and sharpshooting in the slaying of the two King Errors – Zebah (Eternal Torment), and Zalmunna (Consciousness of the Dead). Our tracts No. 1, Where are the Dead, No. 2, What is the Soul, and No. 3, The Resurrection of the Dead are available free and postage paid, and are especially appropriate for serving individuals and at Church services wherever opportunity permits. Also L-D-H and The Divine Plan of the Ages can be used to good advantage in this Battle, and will also be available if ordered in time. So place your orders early enough if you desire to participate in this good work.
Be assured of our prayers for all those who participate in this Special Effort, which is an Arrangement made by the Epiphany Messenger, that they may have blessed experiences as they seek to serve Him in Truth and Spirit.