On pages 66-69 is to be found an article “False Claims on Rev. 19:8 Examined” – four pages of castigation against those brethren who disagree with RGJ’s view that the last saint left the earth in 1950. Before we analyze his statements in detail, we would ask once more why he refuses to give to the brethren other parts of Revelation that Brother Johnson left us. In the January 1950 Present Truth Brother Johnson stated that Revelation was then clear to him, and he was intending to put it into book form for us. He was prevented from doing this, however, because of increasing physical difficulties and his death that Fall.
The notes left on Revelation are not RGJ’s private property; they belong to all of us. Why, then, does he continue to keep them concealed? Our opinion is that if he did publish those notes they would completely annihilate his present position on a number of things. When we arrived in Philadelphia on the evening of Wednesday, October 25, 1950, preparatory to conducting Brother Johnson’s funeral two days later, one of the first questions we asked RGJ was what about so much of the Bible still left unexplained – especially so, as respects Revelation. RGJ’s answer was quick and positive: Every one in the Bible House was well-informed on the book, and all of them understood the four keys necessary to a correct understanding of it.
But nothing has ever been said in the Present Truth about publishing the notes that Brother Johnson left; and we were well-informed a few years after the funeral that the Bible House family had been emphatically forbidden to discuss those notes. And we know of our own knowledge that certain members of the Bible House staff openly and grossly falsified concerning some of the explanations Brother Johnson had given them. Why? And again we ask, WHY?
In the article now under discussion RGJ offers detailed quotations from Brother Johnson on Rev. 19:8, etc., to “prove” there can be no more saints on earth. Why does he ignore here, why is he completely silent on Brother Johnson’s teaching of a 25-month overlapping of the Epiphany into the Basileia (1954-1956) as a parallel to the 1914-1916 overlapping of the Parousia into the Epiphany? And we should keep in mind, too, that all the Little Flock participated in the “attestorial service” of that period. It is already 18 years since Brother Johnson’s death, and no one honestly willing to face the truth would contend that any one of the things he had predicted for those 25 months has even yet came to pass here in 1968. Brother Russell himself saw his mistaken predictions for 1914, and openly measurably corrected them; but Brother Johnson died before he had time to see his mistakes for 1954-1956. This, however, does not mean the rest of us have to be too derelict to correct what time itself clearly demonstrates to be mistaken expectations. Just think of it! RGJ’s “overlapping” is already more than fourteen years gone – and no end in sight. His “attestatorial service” is now fourteen years going – with but a mere handful of the “great crowd” even admitting its existence, much less having anything whatever to do with it. The fallacy of this position is so glaringly apparent that it is little wonder RGJ makes desperate effort to detract attention from it by resorting to such articles as the one we now review.
All of us know – who wish to face the matter honestly – that Brother Johnson’s explanation of Rev. 19:6-8 goes hand in glove with what he gave on Rev. 22:10,11 in E-10:114, where he stated:
“1954 is the date that the last member of the Great Company will get his first enlightenment that will bring him into the truth by Passover 1956.” When the time arrives that all the Great Company come into Present Truth there will then be a “great crowd” indeed; and their message will then be “as the sound of many waters” (peoples). As of now, RGJ’s proclaiming his message, with the infinitesimal number with him (even if he includes the Youthful Worthies, as he is trying to do), is simply as the whispering of a mouse – and a very small mouse at that.
He places great stress upon the past tense of verse 7: “the marriage of the Lamb came.” In verse 6 we also find the past tense: “Our Lord God, the Omnipotent reigned.” Just how does he explain that past tense with respect to his other contentions here? Once again, an honest appraisal of both these texts show they have reference to the beginning, and not the full realization of their content. Our Lord began to take to Himself His great power to reign in 1874; still more of it He took in 1878; more in 1881; much more in 1914 when “the stone cut out of the mountain without hands” (Dan. 2:45) smote the image on the feet. All of this is in the past, properly described in the past tense; our Lord God has been reigning as respects the things done. Yet no one with the “spirit of a sound mind” would claim that He is fully reigning in Kingdom Glory. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are attempting to believe this as of and through themselves, but even RGJ scoffs at such claims.
But if this line of reasoning applies to the reign, it must also apply to the marriage. All of us know Brother Johnson’s teaching that the marriage had been going on – had “come” – as each member of the Bride partook of the First Resurrection. Thus, the marriage “came” in its first grand initial portion in 1878; it “came” to Brother Russell in 1916; and it “came” to Brother Johnson in 1950. Only one sadly befuddled by Azazel would attempt to distort this Scripture as RGJ now tries to do.
PROCLAIMING DIRE CONSEQUENCES
On P. 68, col. 1, par. (5) RGJ says those now “in their uncleansed and rebellious condition are in danger of the second death.” Yes, those actually in that condition are indeed in danger of the second death! They “sit in darkness (error), and the shadow of death” – the second death—Psa. 107:10. When the renegade Church of Rome pronounced similar dire sentence upon heretics, they were also partly right; but one of their big mistakes was in failing to see that they themselves were the worst offenders of all. We would not take this extreme accusation against RGJ; but we would certainly say he is leaning in that direction. He himself is flagrantly disputing the statement in E-10:114: “after 1954 it would be useless to exhort the tentatively justified to consecrate and sinners to repent.” He is still telling sinners they may “repent” and receive tentative justification – but they can now get it in his Camp, instead of in the Court – the place where both Parousia and Epiphany Messengers said it must be found.
But we might ask here, Which is more important: To know the date the last one came into the Bride Class, or the correct date the last one died – or will die? And, while Brother Johnson was very emphatic about the date the High Calling closed, he never to our knowledge threatened any with the second death if they did not accept his teaching. In fact, he freely admitted there were saints in the other groups who openly contradicted him – who did not accept the Epiphany Truth, with some believing him to be in the Second Death himself. (See E-10:671) And concerning his teaching that gross and persistent revolutionism would reveal one as a crown-loser, yet he never consigned to the second death even those “sitting in the Shadow” because they still considered themselves saints, but were not so. And we believe all will agree that some of the Saints in other groups died during Brother Johnson’s ministry, still believing the High Calling open, as did also some of the Great Company: they didn’t go into the second death because of that belief. It takes a “cleansed” (?) Levite (crown-lost leader) to offer such flummery.
On p. 69, col. 1, bottom, he quotes Brother Russell: “It is after the Little Flock is changed and the Great Company is still in a measure of tribulation,” etc. Just what tribulation was RGJ, or the “Great Company in general,” in when Brother Johnson died in 1950? As Brother Johnson so ably stated, When crown-losers fall into the hands of Azazel they talk all sorts of nonsense. And here is simply some more of it! The “great tribulation” that is to cleanse the Great Company to wash their robes – is still in the future. Thus, Brother Russell’s statement taken at exactly what he says – is a direct contradiction to RGJ’s statement. As so often occurs with would-be Pastors and Teachers (crown-lost leaders more especially), the very texts, the very quotations they offer, reveal the errancy of their claims instead of supporting them.
SOME NOTES ON REV. 19:6; 11:15-17
In further confirmation of the foregoing, note now especially the Berean Comment on Rev. 19:6: “A great multitude.... All mankind after Babylon’s fall; but especially the Great Company.” Here is a clear statement by Brother Russell that the message of Rev. 19:6-8 is due after Babylon falls. And certainly Brother Johnson taught that such would be the case, in harmony with That Servant’s teaching – although he (the Epiphany Messenger) mistakenly believed that Babylon’s fall would be before 1956 – just as Brother Russell thought it would be shortly after 1914 – and that Anarchy would probably be here in its initial stage by 1956. RGJ is very verbose in offering other parts of what Brother Russell taught, so why is he now ignoring this essential section? And why is he ignoring the “events” predicted for 1954-1956 that Brother Johnson clearly taught? Just how much reliance is to be placed in any one who resorts to such Azazelian trickery? (E-10:646, top) Please note he accuses the brethren of presenting “False Claims” who accept what Brother Russell teaches here. Thus, he is indirectly accusing Bro. Russell of offering “False Claims.”
And certainly all who have “received the Truth in the love of it” (2 Thes. 2:10) must conclude that such language in the present circumstances is unkind and unfair. But, then, we should not forget that RGJ offered “unfair and unkind criticisms” of Brother Johnson, too – which he admits (See E-10:585 bottom); so we should probably not be surprised to find him doing the same thing against others of lesser stature than Brother Johnson. To be “unkind and unfair” is evidently a deep-rooted evil in RGJ’s character – one to cause distrust and abhorrence in all who conduct themselves “in sincerity and in truth.” And it should also be a warning to all that we are being extremely foolish if we are gullible enough to believe the Lord would ever favor an “unkind and unfair” person with any advancing truth. He himself is now revolutionizing against the clear and direct teachings of That Servant, and against the teachings of Brother Johnson, all the while he is accusing those who have not thus revolutionized of making “False Claims.”
Let us now notice Rev. 11:15-17, some of which we offer with the Berean Comments: “Great voices.... The widespread message of Present Truth.... particularly distributed in 1902.” “And hast reigned.... In a sense from 1878; actually from 1914.”
Be it noted that this language “hast reigned” is in the past tense – just as it is past tense in the Diaglott of Rev. 19:6. Let RGJ fit this into his “past tense” comments on Rev. 19:8 – if he can!
THE ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
And as respects the “robe of righteousness,” he again quotes Brother Russell on p. 68, col. 2, par. 1: “It became a permanent gift from the Bridegroom to as many as accepted the invitation to union with Him.” Why then so much uproar about Rev. 19:8? “The fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.” Would he tell us the saints have not performed “righteous acts” during the time of their earthly sojourn – during the time the “fine linen” was theirs only through imputation? The only difference between the “fine linen” in the flesh and the “fine linen” in Glory is that the present fine linen is imputed to them; whereas, in Glory they have it as their Own. But in either case, there is no difference in the “fine linen,” because the fine linen imputed to them is the actual fine linen of their glorified Lord.
At the bottom of col. 2, p. 69, RGJ says: “Evidently they (those who do not accept his teaching re the last saint—JJH) are cutting themselves off from among all (italics RGJ’s) God’s servants, and are no longer among those who reverence Him above all else.” That is a very strong charge: “cutting themselves off...... and no longer among those who reverence Him above all else.” Is he telling us here there are none of “God’s servants” in the other Truth groups? None of those groups – not even any individuals, so far as we can learn – accept his edict. In this he is in exact alignment with Dark-Age Papacy, and with That Evil Servant, who said the same about those who did not agree with him. The Jehovah’s Witnesses – in harmony with RGJ – say the same about us, too. And in all this he once more displays the impudence and the hypocrisy of King Saul of Israel, who furnished us with the type of such crown-lost leaders as RGJ, when he describes those dissenters not in agreement with him as guilty of “self-will, self-exaltation, usurpation, pride, position and power grasping.” (Couldn’t he think of a few more high-sounding adjectives here? It sounds like a Papal Bull!) And once more we answer, “Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee”!
2 TIM. 2:17-19, DIA.
Here we offer the words of St. Paul regarding a similar situation at the beginning of the Age: “The word of those men will eat like a mortifying sore; of whom are Hymenius and Philetus (crown-losers who had been abandoned to Azazel by St. Paul – See 1 Tim. 1:20); who missed the mark with respect to the Truth, saying that the RESURRECTION has already happened (the First Resurrection as regards the Saints who had died previously); and they are perverting the faith of some. However, the firm foundation of God stands, having this inscription, The Lord knoweth those that are His; Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
Much the same condition prevails now at the end of the Age, the only difference being that Levites abandoned to Azazel were insisting the First Resurrection had already begun, whereas, here now in the end of the Age these Levites are declaring it is fully completed. Both, however, “missed the mark with respect to the Truth” on the subject, having also “missed the mark” with respect to their own standing in the High Calling. It seems that “missing the mark” is a common malady with the crown-losers.
And we would now offer the same counsel as did St. Paul: “Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity” – let them cease accusing brethren of resorting to “false claims,” brethren whose only failing (according to their charges), so far as they know, is their conviction that they have not “missed the mark with respect to the Truth” on the First Resurrection. We would say to all such: Determine for yourselves whether you wish to accept the teaching of That Servant, who has told us this message is due AFTER BABYLON FALLS, or whether you now wish to accept the word of one abandoned to Azazel (as were those two in St. Paul’s day), who is now saying this teaching by Brother Russell is a “false claim.” And bear in mind, too, that all are as guilty as RGJ who support him in this – even though they may not openly join with him his evils.
Let us stress once more that the only Scriptural rule, or standard, for recognizing crown-losers is by their gross and persistent revolutionism. It would not be in harmony with God’s character to permit any one to denounce others as crown-losers because of their human frailties, etc.; nor does the Bible give the slightest hint that there would be a blanket manifestation in one 24-hour day of all crown-losers here in the end of the Age. There will come a time when the remaining crown-losers will recognize themselves as such. They will discern that the “harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Jer. 8:20) That time is yet future! But there is no hint or indication in the Scriptures that they will recognize themselves as such the very day it became “past.” The “signs of the times” will manifest it so unmistakably that all new creatures will then recognize themselves as such. And the Epiphany Messenger so taught – he thought those signs (Armageddon and Anarchy) would be here by 1956, at which time all crown-losers would be in “present truth.” Bro. Johnson was very pronounced in emphasizing this Scriptural rule for recognizing crown-losers – by their manifesting themselves as such by Gross and Persistent Revolutionism of the Truth or its Arrangements, or both. Any who have received this Epiphany Truth and now grossly and persistently revolutionize against it, and pronounce “dire consequences” upon those who do not likewise revolutionize, are guilty of God-forbidden “judging”; and, as is so often the case with such errorists, they themselves face the “dire consequences” they mistakenly direct toward their erstwhile brethren.
Again we quote Isa. 66:5: “Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” (See E-4:87 and 155; E-6:280 – “the mouthpiece priests are crucified ‘without the gate,’ both in great and in little Babylon.” Also, E-6:527)
“He that is able to receive it, let him receive it”!
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
THE CHICAGO CONVENTION
The usual turmoil again – confusion, Babylon extreme. One speaker stressed there is no discord, no disharmony among them. All are in perfect harmony on the Epiphany Truth, with Brother Jolly as the Lord’s appointed leader. Even RGJ himself saw the weakness of this statement, and attempted to “make amends” in his subsequent remarks – although the attempt on his part made only more glaring the folly of his predecessor on the platform. In fact, it was suggested to us that we offer a question for Sunday morning requesting RGJ to take a hand vote of those present to learn if they are all a “unity” in their belief of his Campers Consecrated. Rather, we decided simply to record the incident with the suggestion that RGJ himself take such an accounting at his next Labor Day Convention – and also at the next Chicago Convention.
RGJ also complained about the “chronic faultfinders,” who even fault him when he quotes Brother Russell. The only times we have ever found such fault with him was when he used an earlier opinion that Brother Russell later corrected himself or when he quotes Brother Russell to support his error, even injects some of his own errors into it – when the citations do not support him; they often directly contradict him. And we now stress again that this is simply proof that he has lost the “oil in his lamp” – the spirit of understanding on Present Truth. If RGJ should now quote Brother Russell that the Church has been under the New Covenant, we would certainly “find fault” with that. And, if he should quote Brother Russell that the Gentile nations would be removed and the Kingdom fully established by 1915, we would certainly “find fault” with that!
All of this, of course, is a desperate effort on his part to minimize the crushing refutations we have given his many errors; and we now state that the Bible itself is a chronic “faultfinder” against the crown-losers – the “children of disobedience.” Brother Russell was a “chronic faultfinder” against the same class; Brother Johnson was a “chronic faultfinder” against the same class. Let us not forget that St. Paul in Heb. 12:16,17 describes this class as “profane persons”; yet, if we but repeat St. Paul’s words, the cry immediately emerges – “chronic faultfinder”! (Please see Heb. 12:16,17, Dia., and E-6, bottom and top of p. 447; also 1 Tim. 1:9; 2 John 8)
Along this same line, there was quite some-profuse testimony about a Sister recently departed who had been in the Truth since about 1908, and “fully faithful” all her life. That would mean, of course, that she was of the Little Flock. Yet these same people give us the double-talk that Brother Johnson was the last of the “fully faithful” – and now gone some eighteen years. Of course, it is seldom that the disciple rises above his lord. And, as Brother Johnson so well put it – Those who fall into Azazel’s clutches talk all sorts of nonsense. Thus, it should not surprise us at all that those who are persuaded by RGJ’s nonsense would also talk the same sort of nonsense.
We realize that these dear brethren (we regard them as “brethren,” even though they do not so regard us!) mean well – that they may have unwittingly spoken the truth about the departed Sister. Most of us know it was Brother Johnson’s opinion that many of those who embraced the Truth during the 1908-1911 sifting continued steadfast unto the end. But to those of our brethren who now read this, it is our fond hope they will be better persuaded, and will recognize the confusion worse confounded into which their leader has inveigled them, when he revolutionized against the clear Epiphany teaching that it is only by gross and persistent revolutionism that the Great Company manifest themselves as such – none of us ‘manifest’ them as crown-losers; and it is also our hope and prayer that RGJ’s partisan supporters will cease and desist from this God-forbidden judging. If we allow ourselves to be inveigled into such revolutionism – a position that God gives to no man – then the Lord Himself will manifest His displeasure of such people by sending them “strong delusion” (2 Thes. 2:11), as He has indeed been doing since Brother Johnson’s demise.
In the Question Meeting RGJ again emphasized his errors on Campers Consecrated, etc., and stressed Leviticus 12 as “proof” that the Youthful Worthy call ended in 1954. However, there is not the slightest hint in this type that it includes the Youthful Worthies; it is exclusively a recitation of New Creatures – the Little Flock and Great Company developing Truths from 1874 to 1954. And for him now to attempt such an interpolation is exactly the same technique employed by Trinitarians, who “added” Scripture to “prove” their error.. It should be noted that Brother Johnson does not even mention the Youthful Worthies in his interpretation of Leviticus 12 in Volume 4.
He offered a similar contortion on Heb. 2:15: “Deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Some one asked who these people are. RGJ said primarily the Great Company; but it could also include the Little Flock, Youthful Worthies and his Campers Consecrated. A look at the Berean Comment will readily persuade any one that Brother Russell could not possibly have included any of the Fully Faithful (those who kept their sacrifice upon the altar) in his interpretation. The “fear” St. Paul mentions in the text is fear of the sacrificial death (the result of which produces their fleshly minds), which “fear” is the direct cause for losing one’s crown. Thus, it is a gross insult to the faithful Little Flock to include them with the crown-losers in this text; and RGJ’s attempt to do so is just one more revolutionism against Parousia and Epiphany Truth – that Truth he brazenly contends that only he and his kind have “not revolutionized against, but, on the contrary, have defended and still defend both in their fullness.” (See 1968 PT, p. 62, col. 2, par. (2). Just as with Leviticus 12, he now reads something into the text that isn’t there at all. Of course, Azazel means Perverter; so it should not surprise us to see one abandoned to Azazel repeatedly perverting Parousia and Epiphany Truth, even as he contends he is upholding it. Much the same has been done by those who have tampered with the Bible, even while loudly and emphatically contending that they “believe the Bible from cover to cover.” Is it any wonder St. Paul labels such crown-losers as “profane” persons!
Inasmuch as there is no laver in the Camp, some one wanted to know how RGJ’s Campers Consecrated receive their cleansing. His answer: By looking at the linen curtain! This is the same linen curtain, of course, that the faithful all during the Age – including the Epiphany – have been holding up, concerning which Brother Russell explained it is a “,wall of faith” to those within, and a “wall of unbelief” to those without. Thus, he now has his Campers receiving their cleansing by merely gazing at the linen curtain. So we would ask, do the residents of the Court secure their cleansing merely by gazing at the laver there? RGJ also said that the laver is not now being removed from the Court to the Camp, nor will it be all during the Kingdom. We fully agree with this, and would also state that a “narrow way” is not being opened up in the Camp, nor will a “narrow way” be opened up for Restitutionists all during the Kingdom. The laver types the Old and New Testament – the Bible. The Bible is primarily for the elect, although describes the non-elect. The promises in the Old and New Testaments are to enable the elect to walk a “narrow way.” When the Kingdom is fully established, and the New Covenant inaugurated, another Book will be opened – a book that will enable the Restitutionists to walk up the Highway of Holiness.
In answer to another question – the Resurrection of the Just and the Unjust, RGJ said that his Campers Consecrated would have the Resurrection of the Just! When we differentiate between the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the resurrection of the just is instantaneous, and the resurrection of the unjust, gradually, by Judgments. The Just is rewarded in their resurrection; the unjust includes all the Restitutionists as they gradually become actually justified – perfect in mind and body. The Ancient and Youthful Worthies receive the “better resurrection” (made perfect in body), which is specifically stated in Hebrews 11. He offers the same kind of confusion regarding the Book of Life when he says his Campers Consecrated are now inscribing their names in the Book of Life. Their Book of Life is not even opened! We will have more to say about the Resurrection of the Just and Unjust in a future writing.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me; seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me; therefore will I change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. And they shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.” (Hosea 4:6-9)
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
The October paper is received, and it is so wonderful! Sister ------- and I discussed it for a long while...... the tabernacle and His Temple..... See Manna texts for Feb. 7 and 9; the Plan of the Ages, pp. 79-8 and 141; the New Creation, pp. 461 and 464.
We here are praying for you. May God bless you more and more! Please let me hear from you. God bless you and Sister Hoefle and all the others. May God bless you all! “Sweet is the work, my God, my King – to praise thy Name and give thanks and sing.” Hymns 275, 23, 309 and 315.
Your brother ------- (TRINIDAD)
Dear Brother: Greetings in His dear Name!
It was nice hearing from you and we look forward to seeing you another time, if it be God’s will. I am enclosing a check for the Lord’s work and ask God’s special blessing upon you, as you seek to serve Him day by day.
Will you please send me about 200 copies of What Is the Soul, and Where Are the Dead?
We saw the ......... the first Sunday of the month and enjoyed studying together. ........ Let us pray we will be faithful, come what may.
With Christian love, sister -------. (CONNECTICUT)
PS – Dear Brother & Sister, Amen to all of the above and God bless you! – Sr. -------
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace!
I received your very welcome letter with the Convention program, which I greatly appreciate – also your comments. You may be sure that I am anxiously awaiting your comments of the Convention, which I know will be thorough. We are very fortunate that we have such a good reporter who gives the facts, and very critical as to errors and perversions of the Truth – and to find one who is still loyal to the Epiphany Truth as we originally received it.
We have been quite busy this summer and are quite well. We had a hot and wet summer.....
Hoping this finds all of you in the best of health and that you will be able to attend the Chicago Convention also.
With much Christian love, Brother ------- (MICHIGAN)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace be multiplied!
I trust that these few lines meet you and yours basking in the sunshine of the Master’s bounteous Providence. Let me now hasten to solicit your pardon for not sending until now the dues for books received. The plan upon which we agreed has up to now proven to be inconvenient for use.......
We over here are trying to forge ahead as best we can, and do thank the Lord for His wonderful and timely supply of “meat in due season” through you, our dear Brother. We, I am sure, would be at an entire loss for words with which we could express our appreciation of the numerous manifestations of your unstinted kindness and love for and toward us. My sincerest wishes – also those of Sister ------- go out for the continued growth in spiritual and temporal good health of yourself, Sister Hoefle, and the friends your way. I remain,
Your brother in the faith ------- (TRINIDAD)