My dear Brethren: – Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
In our paper No. 102, p. 5, we offered brief comment on R. G. Jolly's interpretation of the antitype of Keturah's Six Sons, the same being found on p. 77 of the Sept-Oct. PT. In that presentation R. G. Jolly follows his custom of using part of Brother Johnson's interpretation and part of his own, in which his own comments are in part at least a direct perversion of the true interpretation – done to conform to his false doctrine (“strange fire”) of Campers Consecrated.
On pages 10 & 11 of the January 1950 Present Truth Brother Johnson repeated an anticipation he had made in the November 1949 PT, to the effect that he would publish three more Epiphany Volumes in 1950. Pursuant to that promise, he did give us Vol. 15, but his failing health, and ultimately his death in October, prevented him from producing the other two books he had promised. It will be noted in the appended pages of Vol. 15 that the two other books that were planned for 1950 were No. XVI: Genesis – Leviticus – Deuteronomy; and No. XVII: Numbers, Vol. II. In this instance – as in many other cases – R. G. Jolly concluded he knew better than Brother Johnson what should be done (the same as he concluded in 1938), so he made no effort to carry out the program that had been promised. In fact, he did nothing at all about these volumes until 1953, when he produced “The Chart of God's Plan,” as Vol. XVI; then in 1956 “The Millennium” as Vol. XVII. These two books Brother Johnson had scheduled as Volumes XVIII and XIX respectively.
R. G. Jolly apparently had two reasons for this shift in schedule: First, to inject some impetus and incentive into his “Attestatorial Service”; and secondly, by allowing the Genesis material to “cool,” it could then be palmed off as his own. Having definitely planned to publish the Volume on Genesis in 1950, it seems reasonably certain that Brother Johnson had left copious notes; and it is clear enough, too, that R. G. Jolly has since been using those notes for the articles on Genesis that he has been palming off as his own in the Present Truth. If we are correctly informed, he has even asked some of his readers privately how they like the articles on Genesis that were then appearing in the PT. This in itself we would pass by; but, when he injects his own error into Brother Johnson's analysis – as he has done in his explanation of Medan – then we once more have proof positive that he is still a part of Miriam leprous, as explained in our paper No. 102. And we may be sure the penalty for his sins in this and similar instances will be meted out to him in due course by our Lord. “His folly will be made manifest to all.” If any of our readers are inclined to question these statements by us, we suggest they ask R. G. Jolly to show them the notes on Genesis that Brother Johnson had accumulated.
We now present what we believe to be the correct interpretation of antitypical Keturah's Six Sons; and we direct attention first of all to the fact that there will be three distinct classes who will be blessed by the New Covenant. They are:
(1) – the Worthies, who will receive the “better resurrection,”
(2) – the Jews, and
(3) – the Gentiles. These three classes each have two divisions – somewhat after the manner of the four elect classes pictured forth in Noah's Ark by Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives, the same depicting the leaders and the lesser lights respectively of The Christ, the Ancient Worthies, the Youthful Worthies and the Great Company. Thus, we account for the six sons of Keturah as follows:
1 – ZIMRAN (Celebrated): The 70 outstanding Ancient and Youthful Worthies-the leaders of their Class. While we do not now have Scripture to prove it, we may eventually learn that the 35 chief Ancient Worthies will each have a companion helper in the persons of the 35 chief Youthful Worthies; but this we do not state positively. Howbeit, this would be in keeping with our Lord's practice in Luke 10 when He sent forth the seventy “two and two... into every city and place”; and with the 35 Interim Star Members of the Age, each of whom had a companion helper.
2 – JOKSHAN (Fowler, or bird catchers, overcomers of the fallen angels – in that Satan and his demons had no dominion over them): These will comprise all the lesser lights of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies. Inasmuch as Zimran and Jokshan were the eldest and second eldest of Keturah's sons, it is logical enough to determine them as the Millennial-Age firstborns – just as the Seed of Promise (antitypical Isaac) have been the firstborns of this Gospel Age. Among these Gospel-Age firstborns would also be included the Great Company, inasmuch as they at one time were a part of the Very Elect; therefore, among the first-begotten. Thus, those of them who retained this secondary Class standing, having been “begotten,” must self-evidently come to birth – first-begotten – firstborn – “the church of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:23), including all New Creatures who gain life. All the Worthies will be children of the Christ, raised in the “better resurrection” – the firstfruits of antitypical Keturah. Even in this life, such have been the tentative firstborn of the Millennial Age.
3 – MEDAN (Judgment): The Quasi-elect Jews. “Judgment” sometimes has the meaning of “true instruction, “ as in Prov. 21:3, “To do justice (righteousness) and judgment (true instruction) is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” This class would be those Jews who earnestly endeavored to teach and defend “true instruction,” as they received it from the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44). St. Paul says of such that they had ''much advantage... chiefly, because unto them were committed the Oracles of God.” (Rom. 3:2) Those sincere ones among them who were entrusted with the care and preservation of the inspired writings of the Old Testament would have sacrificed their lives in defense of them. Thus, “Judgment” is a most fitting meaning for their typical name, Medan. This would well apply to the chief (or first) of the Quasi-elect – “to the Jew first.” Note how R. G. Jolly perverts this son of Keturah to “type” his Campers Consecrated, thus distorting it out of all logical setting in this otherwise harmonious picture -because he leaves the Jews without an outstanding group from their own brethren. This forces him further to distort the interpretation of Ishbak. If our readers will keep in mind that type and antitype must correspond in every detail, it will then become much easier to discern the flaws in R. G. Jolly's flimsy flapdoodle – of which we shall have more to say in due course on some of his other “types.” He certainly states a dominant truth when he declares that few of the Lord's people are qualified to interpret types – a warning which Brother Johnson repeatedly gave to him, but which he has sadly failed to heed. From R. G. Jolly's letter published in the November 15, 1910 Watch Tower, we were led to believe he had learned his lesson then; but some crown-losers learn so very slowly, as they build on “Christ as Sand.” And in the present instance we can but conclude that his infraction here is largely willful with him – knowing as he does, that Brother Johnson did not place the interpretation upon Medan that he now attempts to do. The Lord will reward him accordingly!
4 – MIDIAN (Strife or contention): All Jews not included in the elect, or the quasi-elect. It is this class of Jews who have been a bone of contention since their first appearance in human history, always a warlike and assertive people – not sufficiently persuaded by the Mosaic Law and faith to adhere to its principles. It was because of this that the Romans – themselves equally determined and assertive – eventually determined in the year 70 AD. to subjugate them finally and thoroughly, as they “desolated their house” in fulfillment of our Lord's sentence upon them, and dispersed them among the nations for the tenure of their “double” of disfavor, during which, in this Gospel Age, they have been a Nomadic and much-troubled people, as “blindness in part is happened to Israel.” But, “after the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, then shall all Israel be saved” (Rom. 11:25,26–Dia.), from Sheol “and come to an accurate knowledge of the Truth.” (I Tim. 2:4–Dia.).
5 – ISHBAK (Free): The quasi-elect Gentiles. They are “free” in the sense of being free from the Mosaic Law; free also in the fact that most of them are to be found in Protestant countries. “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” And there is little question that the liberty that prevails in Protestant countries has been a dominant factor in their tremendous progress in art, literature and invention.
6 – SHUAH (Depression, or low place): An allusion to all Gentiles not included in the elect or the quasi-elect (all Gentile nations, including all the heathen – pictured outside the Camp) who have never heard that “only name” or who have given little or no heed to it (that “seed that fell by the road, or on rocky ground” – Matt. 13:4,5), and whose characters have suffered greater mental and moral degradation because of it. To use a vernacular expression, most of them are indeed “low-down” – given “over to a reprobate mind, to do improper things.... not only are doing them, but even are approving those who practice them.” (Rom. 1:28-32).
To summarize, the six sons of Keturah may be catalogued as follows:
1 – THE ELECT: The visible rulers of the Kingdom, pictured in Zimran (the 70 most prominent Ancient and Youthful Worthies), and Jokshan – the “old men” (literally, ''Ancients”) and ''young men'' (literally, “Youthfuls”) of Joel 2:29 (See E-4:319-325) – the remainder of the Worthies. It is these – and only these – who will comprise the Millennial-Age firstborns.
2 – THE QUASI-ELECT: Those “truly repentant and believing, but not consecrated, Jews and Gentiles” (See E-10:209), who will assist the Elect in Restitution work; and portrayed by Medan and Ishbak. But none of these will be the Millennial-Age firstborns.
3 – THE NON-ELECT: All the remainder of the human family who will gain life under the Mediatorial reign, represented in Midian and Shuah, the “sons” (Jews) and “daughters” (Gentiles) of Joel 2:29..
The foregoing leaves no room at all in this Keturah type for Campers Consecrated; but reveals clearly that it is a non-existent class – an invention of J. W. Krewson given to R. G. Jolly, who now attempts to inject this myth into the Keturah type. Thus, we submit our interpretation to our readers for its reasonableness and harmony, in contrast to R. G. Jolly's unreasonableness and disharmony – traits that are always in evidence when he – or any one else – attempts to cast away the Truth he has once learned, and been assured of – and taught – and places error in its stead. It would seem he should have learned well and deeply this lesson from the “drunken” vagaries of That Evil Servant, who, as antitypical Uzziah, “was a leper unto the day of his death.” (2 Chron. 26:21) “He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” (Prov. 29:1)
CARELESS ONES UNFIT FOR THE KINGDOM
Those who get spots upon their robes and leave them there will not be fit for the kingdom of God; for the bride of Christ will be composed of only those who will be “without spot or wrinkles or any such thing.” Jesus is to present this class blameless and unreprovable before the Father. They did not walk perfectly, without a blemish; but they were careful to keep their garments unspotted by going often to the Lord. They let nothing keep them away. This is the spirit of the bride class. We each wish to be of that class, dear friends. If any of us are not sure just now as to our standing with the Lord, let us make haste to go to him and see that the record is cleared by our dear Redeemer and Advocate. Let us not wait, but go at once.
The faithful class is pictured to us in Revelation 7:3,4 and 14:1-5. These are the 144,000 who have the Father's name in their foreheads. They sing the new song, which none can sing but these 144,000. Oh, we long to be among them! We cannot afford to be anywhere else. The outcome is all in our own hands whether we succeed or fail, after God has given us His Holy Spirit. It will be our own fault if we miss the Kingdom. There will be no blame to attach to the Lord; for He has arranged for our continual cleansing day by day. His grace is provided for us every step of the way; and his loving, protecting providences are continually about us if we are trustful and obedient to the best of our ability.
The other class who allow spots to accumulate upon their robes, is a “great multitude, whose number no man knoweth.” (Rev. 7:9); that is, they are not of an ordained or fixed number as is the bride class. (The Lord did not arrange for them to fail, but did mercifully arrange a place for them after they did fall – JJH) These must through great tribulation wash their robes, all spotted and soiled, in the blood of the Lamb. These will then stand before the throne, will serve God day and night in His temple. The bride class will be The Temple; or, in another figure, they will be seated upon the Messianic Throne with their Lord and Bridegroom. These different figures give different phases of the honored position and work of the Body of Christ in glory. These are spoken of as wearing crowns, the others as merely carrying palm branches, indicating final victory.
How glad we are that our dear heavenly Father has mercifully provided for those who through lack of sufficient zeal and faithfulness lose the “Prize of the High Calling”! We rejoice that even the “foolish virgins” do not lose all, but will through tears and travail of soul yet come wholly back to the Lord. They will finish their course in death. Theirs is an enforced destruction of the flesh. Although they covenanted to sacrifice it willingly yet they failed to do so. They love the Lord and love righteousness, but not sufficiently to be thoroughly loyal and faithful; and so they must be severely scourged, that their spirits may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (The Epiphany period – “great tribulation” – the 'judgment day' of the Great Company as A CLASS – something R. G. Jolly would be greatly concerned over for his Great Company kinsmen more than anything else, if he were the cleansed Levite he claims to be – JJH)
EARNEST EXHORTATION TO FAITHFULNESS
No one has been called of God to the Great Company Class. “We are all called in the one hope of our calling.” Let us then walk with the Lord in white every day, dear brethren and sisters. Let us keep our robes spotless. It is easier to get spots on them than to get the spots off, and each spot will be more difficult than the previous one. We understand spots to be the result of a measure of carelessness. “It is impossible for me to keep my robe from ever getting spotted,” you say, “but I am very thankful that the Lord has provided a way whereby the spots may be removed when I earnestly apply for the cleansing.”
Each experience of this kind should make us more humble, more careful, more alive to our weaknesses and more watchful to avoid getting spots on our white robes. Otherwise the Lord will chastise us by withholding for a time His peace, lest we think that we may be careless, and then nay have the spot removed without any trouble. The Lord wishes us to realize that this is no light matter. Then let us each be very faithful, that we may soon hear the Master's sweet ''Well done!''
The six paragraphs aforegoing are Brother Russell's observations as given in the July 1, 1916 Watch Tower, Reprints 5924, col. 2; and they are certainly as pertinent today as they ever were. “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) is only for those who prize it enough to maintain it under all circumstances and in all conditions – those described by Brother Johnson as “The Fully Faithful.” Those who do not do this are usually full of 'excuses' why they have not done so; but it is a sage observation that He who is expert at making excuses seldom is expert at anything else. While we should reprove excuse makers, it certainly is not our province to determine when such laxity has reached its limit sufficiently to demote any one from his Class standing. That is exclusively the prerogative of the Lord. But once the Lord has come to such determination, then also “the peace which passeth understanding” will be lost to such – at least, during the time of their deflection – as was the case with King Saul: “The spirit of the Lord departed from Saul.” (1 Sam. 16:14) And it was not long thereafter until Saul gave open manifestation of his great loss – after “the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets” (1 Sam. 28:6) – he then went to the extremity of seeking counsel from the Witch of Endor, which resulted in his complete undoing. But with the Fully Faithful the situation is just the reverse – “The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit.” Such may have imperfections, but they do not permit them to allow “the pearl of great price” to slip from their grasp.
The foregoing applies in principle to all in the end of this Age (the Epiphany Period) – the obedient ones who “hold fast the faithful word as they have been taught” (Titus 1:9) – and to the disobedient whom we see receiving “strong delusions.” (2 Thes. 2:11) The difference between the two becomes decidedly clearer as this Epiphany period progresses. ''He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”
Sincerely your bother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: May Grace and Peace be your continued portion!
Sister ------- and I were delighted with the...... tract. It is wholesome reading, as from The Lord. The monthly papers are most refreshing and the December issue in which you have lucidly displayed that the Jewish conversion is not due until after Armageddon. Brother Johnson personally spoke to us on this matter – and so once again you are defending right teaching.
The unclean spots in Miriam, crown-losing leaders in their New Creatures – and Azazel's goat – all crown-losers in their humanity – should be clearly understood with Epiphany brethren. We still pray for their cleansing. We have had a busy time trying to show the various beginnings and endings of the 1,000-year-reign of the Christ – and the binding of Satan gradually. The references from Brothers Russell and Johnson and yourself being most helpful in convincing. So we all rejoice in a better understanding. In 1923 we had to make a special study of the Covenants, Ransom and Sin Offerings through a brother upholding the McPhail views. Praying and reading all we could from Brother Russell, we were able to see the right view. This understanding has been of great benefit to us ever since.
The only way to arrive at Truth is to ask the Lord's guidance – and use the appointed channels...... His Word and His Star Members' writings.
This same brother visited us this summer and asked if we had changed our view – and didn't we think the scapegoat represented one view of our Lord's sacrifice. It was pointed out to him the meaning of the word 'scapegoat' in the Hebrew – and that it means the Devil – and that we have not changed our view. We definitely pointed out that we believed ''God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Here again is the wise man's words – ''With all thy getting, get understanding”!
In the Sept-Oct. PT we noticed a letter.... referring to you as a sifter. We know these brethren and will write to them soon in reply. We pity our deluded brethren! Press on, dear Ones – yours is a rightful cause – and the end is victory. Hallelujah! It was interesting to read that Brother Roach holds the VDM. Sister .... and Brother ...... and myself do also – and we are rejoicing in the Word and His Providential leadings.
Wishing you and Sister and all with you .... a blessed Holiday Season and a good New Year ahead. Sister...... joins me in love.
Your brother by His Grace ------- (ENGLAND)
Please forward me a copy of What is the Soul – Where are the Dead – and The Three Babylons. I found a copy of your Resurrection tract very interesting indeed! Thank you!
Sincerely yours ------- (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Brother Hoefle:
I am in full possession of something most edifying! I would be delighted to be in constant touch with you and others. I am a Methodist by religion, but I don't believe in all they teach. I believe in what our Lord said on the Mount: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Brother Hoefle, I am after righteousness, and I will seek the Truth. Many of us have been baffled concerning the meaning of the soul. I am satisfied with your interpretation and definition. I shall be glad to have you build me up in the Truth. Would you tell me what Denomination you represent? I would be glad to know the friends living in the same district with me.
I remain, Your Brother ------- (TRINIDAD)
ANNOUNCEMENT OF GENERAL INTEREST
Following Brother Johnson's practice of a Special Effort in Antitypical Gideon's Second Battle – one in the Fall, culminating shortly after the date of Brother Russell's funeral, and one in the Spring, culminating after Easter – we now announce the Spring effort this year beginning March 8 and ending April 5. In the Fall, What is the Soul and Where are the Dead are used mainly at Church doors, with the Resurrection tract used incidentally. In the Spring we reverse the order –using mainly the Resurrection tract, especially the Sundays before and following Easter – with the other two incidental. To those who wish to engage be distributed.
As we are the only group now wholeheartedly “heralding the Epiphany,” so we are also the only ones using “The Herald of the Epiphany” in these special efforts. This battle is a “good fight,” in which we can be certain of victory if we but “firmly hold the confessing of the (glorious) hope, without declining.... bearing each other in mind, for an incitement of love and good works.” (Heb. 10:23,24–Dia.) We have the Epiphany Messenger's encouraging words that the faithful will persevere in this “good fight” unto a completion (See E-5:159; also see E-4:40, par. 37, where Brother Johnson tells us that Antitypical Gideon's Second Battle is another proof that we are in the Epiphany; therefore, we know so long as this Battle is not completed the Epiphany has not ended).