by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 160

(Reprint of No. 22, June 1, 1957, with additions and revisions)

The caption for this treatise is taken from Rev. 16:1, the real thought of which would be better expressed by “A voice out of the Tabernacle.” To substantiate this conclusion it becomes necessary first of all to offer an analysis of Brother Russell’s Stewardship Doctrine, which we believe to be:

A correct understanding of the Atonement as portrayed in Leviticus 16, the central teaching of which is Restitution.

It should be noted that those Star Members who received special stewardship doctrines received them early in their ministry; quite often those doctrines were the cause of their leaving the religious group with whom they had been associated; and it was the teaching that provided stimulus throughout their entire ministry. For instance, Martin Luther was motivated by Romans 5:1 to break with the Catholic Church, because this text was a direct contradiction of the Catholic belief in justification by works, as opposed to St. Paul’s clear statement that it is justification by faith that brings “peace with God.” Luther’s primary objection, of course, was the sale of indulgences, the elimination of which he believed would at least start a cleansing of the Roman system; but it soon became clear to him – after his expulsion from that Church – that it was simply a surface malady, fed and encouraged by justification by works. Thus, his “justification by faith” almost automatically and very quickly be­came the antithesis of indulgences and their underlying evils.

While the doctrine of Restitution was not directly responsible for Bro. Russell’s leaving his “orthodox” surroundings, it was indeed indirectly responsible for his do­ing so. His very vitals rebelled at the teaching of eternal torment for the unsaved world; and this revulsion – much the same as Luther’s experiences with indulgences in turn drove him toward the proper explanation, which he received when the Atonement ­Day ritual was made clear to him in type and antitype. That the doctrine of Restitu­tion sparked Brother Russell’s entire ministry after receiving this Truth surely none will dispute. It is probable he never delivered a public discourse thereafter in which Restitution did not have a large and prominent place. And those who witnessed the Photo Drama will recall the oft–repeated expressions: “India needs Restitution; China needs Restitution,” etc., etc. We know, too, that his favorite Scripture was John 3:16, 17, the mainspring of which is also Restitution – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And early in his ministry he urged the Pilgrims and the Bethel speakers to stress Restitution in their public discourses, as he him­self also did.

To avoid argument, it should be here stated that Brother Russell taught all the stewardship doctrines of the past, in addition to Restitution, although he had to remove many a rough spot from those doctrines – taints, impurities and distortions that had been attached to them by the crown–lost leaders of the past. When the Harvest arrived, the time also arrived to restore “the faith once delivered to the Saints” (Jude 3), so that the “Harp of God” would once more be attuned to its pristine harmonious melody. This Brother Russell accomplished with all the skill of the master artisan! With­out Restitution, the “Plan of the Ages” was an empty and unsatisfactory expression, a fact which was recognized by many great and good men of the past. Martin Luther’s fine mind and magnanimous heart rebelled against the fate of the unsaved as it had been taught to him by the Catholic Church; but in vain did he seek the answer. He knew full well of St. Peter’s teaching in Acts 4:12, “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”; and he was ever prodded by the indisputable fact that untold millions had never heard that Name. “Somehow there must be a way after death for them to hear that name,” he said; but he had to admit he had no Scripture to substantiate him, and he could not explain how or what the process would be. John Wesley also chose to stress the love of God rather than the wrath of God; he also was too delicately formed to accept with good appetite the teaching of eternal torment – although he did admit to his belief in it, even though his sensitive and loving disposition caused him inner revulsions. Rather, he stressed “The spirit and the bride say, Come.” He could not then know he was more than two hundred years ahead of his time in using Rev. 22:17.

The struggles of these good and fully faithful men to reach a satisfying answer is well set forth by the parable of the lost coin in Luke 15:8–10; and Brother Rus­sell’s peace of mind at finding the answer is well stated in the words, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I had lost.” To make this teaching clear to all, we here itemize the “ten pieces of silver” (truth), the ten strings of the Harp of God: (1) the Creation – of Adam and Eve; (2) the Condemnation – the fall into sin; (3) the Law – given to Moses at Sinai; (4) the Ransom – the anti–lutron by Jesus; (5) the Resurrection – Jesus the first–born from the dead; (6) the High Calling – “a new and living way” (Heb. 10:20; (7) Justification; (8) Sanctification; (9) Restitution ­the sounding of the Jubilee trumpet (Lev. 25:9—See E–8, p. 659); (10) the Second Death.

But, just as preceding Star Members had their stewardship teachings perverted by the crown–lost leaders who followed them, so Azazel (the meaning of which is Perverter) immediately led the crown–lost leaders to pervert Brother Russell’s stewardship doc­trine of Restitution. This began in a mild way at first – not so much perversion in its early features, as it was failure to “Wait on the Lord.” That Evil Servant and his henchmen determined to “rush” Restitution with their “Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” When time itself proved that teaching to be an abortion, they then pro­duced a real perversion – No restitution at all for Adam, or any who refuse now to accept their teachings! Just as the “Millions” teaching came early after the Star Member was gone, and was then only a mild perversion, so we are probably now seeing a repetition on a smaller scale in the teaching of the “quasi–elect consecrated” and Epiphany Campers Consecrated.


The foregoing elaboration is presented to prepare the explanation of why the temple in Rev. 16:1 is really the tabernacle. It is the same temple as described in Rev. 11:19 – “The temple (tabernacle) of God was opened (explained) in heaven (among the brethren in the heavenly places –Phil. 3:20), and there was seen in his temple (tabernacle) the ark of his covenant” – the ark representing in its chest the Christ, head and body, and in its mercy seat and two cherubim the four attributes of God, this latter being the explanation given in Tabernacle Shadows. In conversation with Brother Johnson, he told this writer several times that when he was having trouble in understanding the sin offering, and some things in the volumes, Brother Russell kept repeating to him: “But those volumes came out of Tabernacle Shadows.” From this we can readily see why Tabernacle Shadows was basic to the understanding of Parousia Truth – just as “Elijah and Elisha” is basic to Epiphany Truth. Thus, the “voice” out of the Tabernacle” was in reality the Seven Volumes of Scripture Studies given to the “seven angels” (God’s true Church in the Harvest time), with the instruction: “Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.” (Rev. 16:1) Therefore, we conclude Brother Russell’s stewardship doctrine to be as aforementioned, as it occupied a large place – a very large place – in Tabernacle Shadows; and we venture the opinion that, aside from the inspired writings, Tabernacle Shadows is the biggest little book ever published.

It should be noted here that it was not many years after Brother Russell’s death that Tabernacle Shadows was cast aside completely by those who took over his executive offices. And not many years after Brother Johnson’s death those who took over his executive office perverted some of the fundamental teachings of Tabernacle Shadows ­mainly by putting Justification in the Camp, outside the linen curtain of Christ’s righteousness, and without the cleansing access to the Laver, so vital to Justifica­tion of any kind in this Gospel Age.

And from this great little book, bearing Brother Russell’s stewardship doctrine, came the “seven vials of wrath” – better translated by the Diaglott as “seven bowls of wrath.” We say this is a better translation because it was mainly in their controver­sial features that the seven volumes “plagued” those whose errors they exposed. Bro. Johnson has ably explained in Epiphany Volume Eight that the bowls, chargers and spoons of Numbers 7 represent refutative, correctional and ethical teachings; thus, these bowls are the same as the “refuting” of 2 Tim. 3:16. And what is it we refute? We refute error! And it is the refutation of error that always arouses the antagonism of errorists. In these seven “bowls” there was much of corrective and ethical teach­ings, too; but these did not elicit the same savage reprisals as did the refutations of error. Even the members of antitypical Balaam (those who teach error for profit) agree that professing Christians should behave themselves – outwardly, at least.

It should be borne in mind that those mainly aroused by these refutations were the members of antitypical Saul and their ledlings; and a moderate analysis of their character will disclose why this was so – and still is so. Brother Russell says Saul “manifested considerable hypocrisy” (see Berean Comments on 1 Sam. 15:13); and his antitype is also not lacking in this “dis”grace. Nor were their prototypes lack­ing in it, as witness the words of Jesus, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” It should be noted that all of them are atrocious liars and that another of the root evils of hypocrisy is an overweening approbativeness. Note the words of 1 Sam. 15:17: “When thou–wast little in thine own sight.... the Lord anointed thee king over Israel”; but, having once reached the head of the crowd, he apparently became power–drunk with his own importance, and resorted to “rebellion (Revolutionism). And with such characters, the unforgivable sin that incites their hatred (Isa. 66:5, “Your brethren that hated you.”) is to parade their errors before the gaze of the mob. Therefore, the “bowls” that came out of Tabernacle Shadows were indeed “the wrath of God” to them. To such, Present Truth has always been a “savor of death unto death” (2 Cor. 2:16); whereas, to the Faithful it has ever been a “savor of life unto life.” The observation was appropriate in the Parousia concerning the members of antitypical Saul – as it is still appropriate concerning them: They know that we know that they know that they don’t know!

“And the first went, and poured out his bowl on the earth (organized Society), and there came an evil and malignant ulcer on those men having the mark of the beast, and on those worshipping his image.” Volume 1 was published in 1886, and truly it proved to be a “malignant ulcer” to antitypical Saul and his henchmen; it was a ‘hot penny’ – they could not hold it, and they were afraid to drop it. The stewardship doctrine of Restitution, with which Volume 1 is replete, made material for a “plan of ages,” the likes of which had not been known since the days of the Apostles; and it placed Restitution and eternal torment at opposite ends of the measure. It did in­deed “spoil the vines” for many a hell–fire evangelist! Also, Chapter 14 – The King­dom of God – made a shambles of the teaching that we now have Christendom – Christ’s Kingdom; and it showed the present order to be a far, far cry from “Thy will be done on earth.” Our Lord’s Return, The Permission of Evil, The Day of Judgment, etc., etc., all combined to make this “bowl” a “malignant ulcer” – “a savor of death unto death” to many members of antitypical Saul.

The second “bowl,” “The Time Is At Hand,” made its appearance in 1889; and the third, “Thy Kingdom Come” in 1891 – “and they became blood.” These “bowls” defined clearly “The Man of Sin” and his counterfeit Millennium as a direct contradiction to Restitution. About this time many of the more “cultured” of antitypical Saul were describing the Jewish sacrifices as blood, blood, blood – barbaric and out of place in Christianity; but these bowls pointed to the “better sacrifices” as fundamental and inseparable to Christianity, that “without shedding of blood there is no remission” of sins (Heb. 9:22), that the consummation of the better sacrifices provided the hope for Restitution, and the only hope for “Thy kingdom come.”

And the time features were indeed a powerful refutation of those who were loudly proclaiming “no man knoweth the day nor the hour”; and of those who were lustily singing, “When my work on earth is ended, and time shall be no more.” The second “bowl” demonstrated the correct translation of Rev. 10:6 to be, “The time shall be no longer delayed”; that is, the “time is at hand” for God, through the Christ, to carry out His promise of Restitution – that the time had arrived for the blessing of all the families of the earth. Many of us recall the opposition that came when “The Second Coming of Christ” was preached. As instance, the tale of one brother, long in the Truth: A Pilgrim was coming to a small town in Ohio to preach on the Second Coming; and the brother was trying to rally his neighbors to the meeting. Said one, “You know the Bible teaches no man knoweth the day nor the hour, and I think we ought to rotten-egg the fraud out of town when he gets here.” The brother, using considerable tact, said, “Well, come on, and bring your eggs; if he’s a fraud, I’ll help throw a few at him myself.” The Pilgrim gave a very masterful presentation, at the conclusion of which the brother went to the rostrum and said to his neighbor, “Well, Joe, you’ve now heard the man; do you want to start throwing your eggs?” The man had been most impressed, and his only answer was, “I guess not.”

It should be noted, too, that Volume 3 contained a moderate explanation of the Great Pyramid of Giza, showing from the prophetic statement of Isa. 19:19–22 that the “altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt” was indeed “a sign and a witness” to the great Plan of the Ages as contained in the Bible. Thus the pertinence of verse 7: “I heard another (angel) out of the altar” – in “the midst of the land of Egypt.” This truth, too, has been completely rejected by some, and distorted by others since Brother Russell’s death.

The fourth bowl appeared in 1897; and it certainly affirmed its title, “The Battle of Armageddon,” in that “power was given to scorch men with fire.” It pointed out the prevalent sins among rulers, clergy, aristocracy and labor; and was a true fulfillment of Jesus’ words in John 16:8–11: “When the Holy Spirit is come, it will reprove the world of sin (the wrongs they are committing), of righteousness (point out the right way to do), and of judgment” (warn them of the coming judgment, which in this instance was in its initial phase to be the “battle of the great day of God Almighty”). But, “as it was in the days of Noah,” they neither heeded nor wanted to hear that message – “repented not to give God glory.”

In 1899 came the fifth “bowl” poured out upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness (great portions of the beast’s teachings were proven to be error, superstition and tradition – the “precepts of men”); and they gnawed their tongues for pain” (v. 10). It should not cause much argument when we declare that Volume 5 was Brother Russell’s masterpiece. His analysis of the Holy Spirit, of Life Everlasting and Immortality, of the Trinity, The Soul, of Sheol–Hades–Gehenna, left his opponents “speechless.” Of a truth, “they gnawed their tongues with pain.” So clear and convincing were the presentations of the fifth “bowl” that many segments of the secular press gave it unstinted praise; although antitypical Saul and the lesser lights “repented not” (v. 11).

Then came the sixth “bowl” early in this century, which contained much less of controversial writings than the previous five had done. In fact, its title – “The New Creation” – is well in keeping with verse 12 – “that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared”; its purpose was to instruct the true church (kings of the east) in every good word and work. It was the “law,” the better way, to every one who is “of the truth.” And any one who knows and faithfully abides by the teachings of Volume 6 can be assured of the best of present possessions – “a good and honest heart.”

The seventh vial did not appear until 1917; and, as Brother Johnson so aptly stated, it appeared in a vile condition. It had been produced by uncleansed Levites a “rush” production, at the urging of That Evil Servant in his haste to “eat and drink with the drunken” (Levites drunken with error). However, as the seventh “bowl” (its controversial features), there was not too much fault to find with it, the reason for this being that the “bowl” portions of “The Finished Mystery” were almost completely paraphrase or exact quotation from the Star Member. It was the injection of their own ideas into what should have been a priestly production that brought those uncleansed Levites eventually to Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. They had run ahead of the Lord to publish the seventh vial; had published it in a vile condition; and the Lord rewarded them “according to their works” – by reducing them to durance vile (prison). In fact, the expression in verse 6 regarding Volume 3 is also emphatically pertinent here: “Thou gavest them also blood to drink (revulsive error); they deserve it.” (Dia.)

That Fit–Man experience had a salutary effect upon at least one of the eight who went to Atlanta: George Fisher, who wrote the Ezekiel comments of the Seventh Volume (which part Brother Johnson declared to be far superior to the Revelation part by Clayton Woodworth). Brother Fisher eventually saw “the Judge” in his true colors; and before his death he personally wrote to the writer of this article: Any one who does not see JFR as That Evil Servant is just that much out of Present Truth.

It is worthy of note that it was not the “bowl” features of Volume Seven that brought its writers into trouble; it was their own foolish statements about the war then raging, and their diatribe on Patriotism, which remarks were definitely out of order at the time. Therefore, in their incarceration they did not “suffer as a Christian” (I Pet. 4:16); rather, they paid for their own folly – although it should be noted that any persecution which came to them because of the true and opportune features of the seventh “bowl” would be counted to them for righteousness’ sake.

We offer the foregoing as a help and guide to all God’s people who may be in­clined to follow blindly the errors and bad judgment of uncleansed Levites; because they do so at their own peril – “God brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help.” (Psa. 107:12)

With this writing comes the prayer of the writer that it may prove a blessing to all our brethren – a means of growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Be­loved Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – and of continuing “in the faith once delivered to the Saints.”

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he will give thee the desires of thine heart. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.” (Psa. 37:3,4,6)

Sincerely your brother.,

John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim



To Mr. John J. Hoefle:

How silly can you be to think the Jews are still God’s “Chosen Nation” when they rejected God’s dear beloved Son? The present-day Jew has just as much chance as you and I do to gain God’s favor and blessing as “individuals.”

Please remove my name from your mailing list. We are moving our office July 1, and I shall no longer receive mail at this address. Hope you wake up! ------- (FLORIDA)

Answer to above letter:

Dear Sister -------: Christian greetings! In your letter of June 20 you ask us to remove your name from our mailing list, which we are doing. However, since you ask how silly can we be to think the Jews are God’s Chosen people, I feel constrained to write you yet this once.

You offer no Scripture to prove your contention, although I assume you do profess belief in the Bible. Thus, I would ask if you think St. Paul was also silly when he wrote in Rom. 11:26–28: “All Israel shall be saved. There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.... As concerning the Gospel (the good news of the Gospel-Age elective salvation), they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.” Just as the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, so the virtues of the fathers are also handed down to future gen­erations. Thus, St. Paul is telling us that God remembers the faithfulness of Abra­ham, Isaac and Jacob, and will thus grant “salvation to the Jew first” (Rom. 1:16).

If you affiliate with any special religious group, I assume you would be ready enough to admit that not all of them are good Christians, that only those among you who “show their faith by their works” will eventually be found among the Elect of this Gospel Age. And, while “blindness in part has happened to Israel,” and the true Christian of this Age have been blessed with the Great Salvation in their stead, this does not make of none effect the promises that are still theirs “for the fathers’ sakes.”

You hope I “will wake up,” which would mean your motives toward me are good – if I were asleep (spiritually). However, our main purpose in all we are doing is to “wake–up” brethren in the various groups so they might be able to “discern between good and evil” – between truth and error; and we consider we have accomplished some­thing when we arouse any as you have been aroused. But we have also been able to “wake up” some to the errors in their various groups sufficiently enough for them to, forsake those errors.

Anyway, I have given you some Scripture to substantiate my contention, although you have not offered me a single one yourself. If you have any, I would be glad to have them; and I would assure you, too, that our services are available any time you in­vite them. We here try to stay with the Bible, and we put our trust in leaders only to the extent that they also give “sound doctrine” in proof of their statements. I am also enclosing a tract on The Three Babylons, which gives at least succinctly our belief.

With this comes my cordial good wishes for your highest welfare, and the prayer that you may be “guided into all truth” and be blessed also with the Spirit of the Truth.

Sincerely your brother, John J. Hoefle


Dear Mr. Hoefle: Some time ago you sent me a wonderful write-up on The Time of The End – dated July 1, 1966. I would like to have 25 or more. As to the time of the end, this is better than anything I have read. My wife passed on this last Tuesday night. I want to help some one and I know the write–up you have is good, and I can truthfully say I will not be ashamed to pass them out. We were Witnesses from 1944 to 1960. We believe they are wrong in judging peoples and so on.

Enclosed is $..... If more, let me know. ------- (Mississippi)


Dear Brother Hoefle: Loving greetings in our dear Redeemer’s Name!

I am glad to say that we received the tracts in good condition, and thank you..... Now we shall get busy sending them out. We thank you again for your letters which are deeply interesting and uplifting – also the monthly articles which we receive and study. We got the June issue....... I am glad to say Sister and I are quite well and we trust that you, dear Brother and Sister Hoefle, are the same. And we know that we are all rejoicing In the truth! Thank you and Sister Hoefle for the photo of you both – also of your dear sister. They are so good! And now, May the God of all good, bless and keep you all at Mount Dora in His loving care, in Jesus dear Name we ask it.

As ever your Brother & Sister by His Grace, ------- (NEW  JERSEY)


Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace be yours through our Blessed Master!

I hereby acknowledge the receipt of your letter, and also to assure you of my willingness to cooperate in anywise for the Truth and its service. Re the Convention attendance, I could not be definite, but there were approximately 70 present on the day of my visit in Kingston. In Crofts Hill it was not really a Convention – the Brother had only paid a visit to the Class of eight brethren. They had invited us and three from our Class were there..........

The monthly articles are always enjoyed by us. Our prayers are always at the Throne of Heavenly Grace on your behalf. May the dear Lord bless and keep you all in this our day of peril.

Yours by His grace ------- (JAMAICA)


Dear Brother Hoefle: In answer to your lovely letter and much appreciated one, I wish to inform you that I am a Bible Student. The book I men­tioned is the book on the Scriptures you mentioned in one of your articles – also I would like to get some hymn books, if you have them. I was handed one of your articles by Mrs. ------- That is how I became acquainted and sent you a letter. Please put me on your regular mailing list. I greatly appreciate receiving your wonderful literature.

I remain your Christian friend ------- (CANADA)



Our Special Effort in antitypical Gideon’s Second Battle this year will be from October 13 to November 10. And we now quote from The Epiphany Messenger’s last Present Truth (the year 1950) on this work:

“Are all preparing to take a zealous part in the special effort.... in volunteer, sharpshooter, lecture and conversation work in memory of our dear Pastor’s work against the erroneous doctrines of the consciousness of the dead and eternal torment? If not, let us be about the King’s business. Be sure to order the necessary literature now.”

In like manner we encourage our faithful brethren to “be about the King’s busi­ness,” and order the necessary literature now. Most of our brethren know of our Gideon literature, especially designed to continue this good work. These tracts ­Where Are the Dead, What Is the Soul, and The Resurrection of the Dead – are available free and postage paid. Also the Divine Plan of the Ages – Parousia Volume One – is good to use in connection with this special effort, which we can also furnish if ordered in time.

The first year following the Epiphany Messenger’s demise, the Executive Trustee of the LHMM concentrated on a tract he had just published – Do-You[Know, having printed a million of them. However, he made no mention at all of special effort in antitypical Gideon’s Second Battle in his Present Truth that Fall. Instead, he was more absorbed with telling the world that the last Priest had departed this earth, and he placed great stress upon this in the September, October and November 1951 PT’s. His zeal for the blessed memory of the departed Star Members seemed very much abated at that time; and this continued to such an extent that he actually described the Gideon tracts as “timeworn and threadbare” at the Chicago Convention in 1953 – at which time he had produced another of his “specials,” “The Flying Saucer.” Against this departure from established Epiphany arrangements we made personal protest to the Editor himself.

When Brother Johnson left us in 1950 that did not mean that antitypical Gideon’s Second Battle was also finished. Nor is it finished yet. This is clearly evident from the emphasis that some prominent evangelists still offer for the God–dishonoring doctrines of Eternal Torment and the Consciousness of the Dead. Thus we cordially invite those of like mind as ourselves to join with us once more in this “good fight,” as it is an arrangement made for Epiphany purposes until it ends in victory over anti­typical Zebah and Zalmunna.

This Battle is one in which the Saints are the primary participants – the Victors – having provided the literature and the arrangements; but any Battle the Youthful Worthies participate in that assists the Saints in their work, will not go unrewarded. Of course, the Battle that the faithful Youthful Worthies engage in as Victors, is the Battle against Sectarianism and Clericalism (see E–5, pp. 228–229). The Great Company Class is not given this credit – although as individuals some of them have participated therein. It is sectarianism and clericalism in the Measurably Faithful Youthful Worthies that blind their eyes to the work the Lord has for the faithful – such as antitypical Gideon’s Second Battle, and the battle against Oreb and Zeeb (Sectarianism and Clericalism), which the good Youthful Worthies should resist in their own groups and in other groups if they would continue faithful to the Lord, the Truth and the Brethren. Some of us recall the course of good Youth­ful Worthies who resisted the errors of That Evil Servant that he propounded in the Harp of God, The Golden Age, etc., which resistance was eventually rewarded by the Lord bringing them into Epiphany Truth.

To all who yet offer the prayer, “God bless their memory,” we not only suggest special effort in this work, but also appropriate testimony and discourse in honor of the departed “righteous.” “Them that honor Me, I will honor.”