My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
In the December 1, 1961 Watch Tower of the Jehovah's Witnesses there is a presentation on the Valley of Decision (pages 712-726), which is such a wretched jumble that it seems unbelievable that adults who can read and write could ever be influenced to believe it, because it violates just about every rule of logic by which Scripture may be properly interpreted The article we now examine is a sorry attempt to fuse the prophecies of Joel, chapters one and two, with Revelation, Chapter nine, making symbolisms of words that appear to them convenient, and indiscriminately accepting other words literally when that seems to suit their purpose. Thus, when we determine them as the Little Catholic Church in "Little Babylon," we do so with no wish to be frivolous or acerbic; we believe our remarks following will clearly prove to all unbiased minds that the large Roman Catholic Church in Big Babylon is in fact the elder brother of the "Little" Catholic Church (the Jehovah's Witnesses) in "Little Babylon."
It is soberly contended that the Roman Catholic Church has counterfeited and perverted almost every important feature of the Great Plan of Salvation as set forth by the Scriptures; and the "Little Brother" (the Jehovah’s Witnesses) has done the same with the plan of Salvation as taught by That Wise and Faithful Servant. Almost the only thing left with the Jehovah's Witnesses that Pastor Russell willed to them is the Watch Tower name (and we can say about the same for the L.H.M.M. in regard to Pastor Johnson's teachings in many, many respects); the teachings which they inherited from him have been twisted, distorted and perverted out of all resemblance to what they once were before October 1916.
In attempting to pair the "locust" of Joel 1:4 with the "locust" of Rev. 9:3 they pass by in complete silence the other three pests of Joel 1:4 --the palmerworm, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar. This in itself should arouse the suspicion of every careful reader. However, in both Joel and Revelation the locust is set forth as a devastating pest; and, when the Jehovah's Witnesses read themselves (as Christians and individuals) into that pestiferous portrait as being God's faithful people, they use a rule of interpretation nowhere substantiated by the Bible --although in many respects this portrait fits them perfectly, in their efforts to eject their many false doctrines upon the people. Note in contrast the sublime and inspiring description in Isa. 52:1,7, "O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments ....How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace ....salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth." Could any but a grossly perverted imagination possibly say the two classes in Isa. 52, and Joel 1 and Rev. 9 represent the same elements? As Pastor Russell faithfully instructed his followers, they may call us all sorts of things ("pests," troublemakers, etc.), but we are not to be such! They called our Lord Beelzebub, but He wasn't Beelzebub, nor did he accept" the name as applicable to Him! But these Jehovah's Witnesses accept the name of 'pests' and boast about it!
However, the application of "locusts" to themselves we believe to be appropriate enough; they represent the same class of devastating 'pests' set forth in Joel and in Revelation. It will be noted that in the first chapter of Joel the prophet describes under the figure of blights, droughts and famines the devastating work of the great Apostasy, which began to show marked evidence already in St. Paul's day, which proceeded in the second and third centuries to the development of a hierarchy (the palmerworm--and just as the Jehovah's Witnesses have done in this Epiphany period). This evil grew very gradually from the simplicity of the Apostolic Church, over the centuries in a fashion something as follows: As churches were established in various localities, with elders as teachers, preachers, etc., there arose in such gatherings a 'chief elder,' or bishop; then came the archbishops --a super-elder over a number of churches; then came the patriarchs, who were superior to the archbishops, and told them what they must do; after which came the cardinals, who supervised the patriarchs; and over the cardinals eventually came the Pope (or Papa)--father and overlord of all the churches. The latter part of this development came in the fourth, fifth and sixth centuries--described in the prophecy of the "locust." Superimposed upon that came the Great Antichrist System (2 Thes. 2:7-10), portrayed by the cankerworm--which continued in full force and power until the Reformation begun by Martin Luther laid the groundwork for the various systems in Sectarianism --depicted by the caterpillar, the fourth of the devastating pests. All four of these evils continued until 1874 when our Lord's Parousia set in, at which time the promise of Joel 2:25 began to be fulfilled: "I will restore to you the years that the Locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm.
Just as in nature all fruitage, verdant vegetation, etc., are destroyed by such literal pests, so the various stages of the apostasy from primitive efforts of the Lord and the Apostles gradually grew and obliterated the wholesome simplicity and virility of the early Church; and there came the spiritual spoliation described by the four pests mentioned by Joel, the same being in effect viciously false and destructive teachings --the second development of which grew from the false teachings of the growing Papacy and portrayed by the antitypical "locust." And likewise, here in the end of this Age, there has now appeared the "Little Brother" in the form of Jehovah's Witnesses--and admitted by them to be a secondary application of the antitypical locust --which has indeed been a 'spoliation' of the faithful and true teachings of That Servant, just as Big Papacy was a 'spoliation' of the Apostolic teachings! "Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee," saith the Lord;
In addition to the eisegesis just outlined, there is more of the same when we consider the time setting when the antitypical locusts of Rev. 9:3 made their appearance. It occurred when "the fifth angel sounded" (Rev. 9: 1). The "trumpet" of the fifth angel had already completed its work by the year l479--over 400 years before the Jehovah's Witnesses appeared on the scene. And this shameless proclamation comes from them now with the full knowledge that J. F. Rutherford claimed he and his cohorts began to sound the "seventh trumpet" a few years after Brother Russell's death in 1916. None could be misled by such a jumble who have even a smattering of that clear and logical "present Truth" expounded by That Servant.
During the time prior to 1914 when Bible Students contended that they were not of any sect, the wiseacres from Big Babylon offered the retort, "All right, we'll accept you at your word: You're not of any sect; therefore, you must be ''Insect!'' And now comes the Jehovah's Witnesses (who claim to be "Bible Students") freely admitting that they are indeed and in fact "insect"! ("Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee.") Then on-page 718, bottom, they interpret the "five months' torment." of Rev. 9:5 as "the period of their life before God's war of Armageddon, as symbolized by the five months assigned to the locusts." Where is the precedent for such an interpretation? It is such an indeterminate time that just nothing can be deduced from it-· it's from 1919 until When? Why, until Armageddon! And, when is Armageddon? They don't tell us!
Let us ever keep in mind that when Pastor Russell interpreted Revelation he followed a well-defined rule of concluding that the numerals of Revelation are literal, but the nouns (excepting such as John, God, Christ, etc.) are symbolic. This latter is directly stated in Chap. 1, v. 1: "Jesus Christ....sent and signified it"; that is, it was to be written in "signs," or symbols. In 1917 the very same organization that now is designated Jehovah's Witnesses copyrighted and published The Finished Mystery under the auspices of the Peoples Pulpit Association; and on page 12 of that book they correctly offer the interpretation which we have here set forth.
And on page 157 of that same book they correctly interpret the "five months" as symbolic months of 30 symbolic days each--150 days--or 150 literal years. Be it remembered that when that book appeared back there, it was made a test of fellowship--was used as an "instrument of cruelty" (Gen. 49: 5). Elders were asked to resign who would not teach it; those who would not distribute it to the general public were driven from the colporteur work; and divisions were caused in innumerable classes throughout the world.
The one who supervised the writing of the Revelation section of that book was Clayton J. Hoodworth, one of the "drunken" of Matt. 24:49, with whom That Evil Servant did "eat and drink" --a crown-loser drunken with error .At that time we ourselves were in the colporteur work under direction of The Watch Tower Bible &Tract Society; but, seeing many of the atrocious perversions contained in The Finished Mystery, we ignored it, offering only the six Volumes of Studies in the Scriptures written by Brother Russell (although we were not attacking the book--just not recommending it). When J. F. Rutherford was informed of that, he advised the Dayton, Ohio Class, of which we were then a member, to refuse to give us any more territory, thus forcing us out of the colporteur work. We now recognize that incident as "of the Lord," for it caused us to inquire of Brother Johnson for the Epiphany Truth --who had already declared The Finished Mystery was the "seventh vial" of Rev. 16:17, even though it was in a vile condition. How little did we realize that that blessed Truth which refreshed, strengthened and sustained us then, would be the very same Truth which we are now caused to defend and sustain. Truly, "Ye know not what shall be on the morrow." (Jas. 4:l4) But it is little wonder that the same Finished Mystery which was adamantly commanded in 1917 is now "Index Prohibitorum" to the present-day members of Jehovah's Witnesses, since it directly contradicts so many of their present-day teachings--just as many of their previous teachings have had to be discarded to make room for their "new light.”
Just note in this connection page 3 of the Publisher's preface (of The Finished Mystery), where is set forth the correct teaching of Pastor Russell regarding the consummation, of this Age. There is properly described the three spasms --or phases of the Great Tribulation with which this Age will end --War, Revolution and Anarchy. They have now dropped the third phase, informing their devotees that the approaching Armageddon (Revolution) is all we are to expect --and that their "locusts" (pestiferous insects) will emerge from this next phase never more to die! This is akin to what they were promising for 1925 when, early in the Epiphany, they were vehemently preaching ''Millions Now Living Will. Never Die."
Then they say on page 719 (29) that their symbolic locusts (their adherents!) "make a noise that sounds like a squadron of war chariots rattling along to the beat of many horses' hoofs," we are reminded of the Great Shakespeare's description of such persons: "Hollow men, like horses hot: at hand, make gallant show and promise of their metal; but, when they would endure the bloody spur, they fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades, sink in the trial." This is surely an exact characterization of these symbolic locusts (the Jehovah's Witnesses), because they, too, beat a hasty retreat whenever they meet a true follower of the Lord who has faithfully continued in the Truths expounded by That Servant, Pastor Russell, who confuses and staggers them with "PRESENT TRUTH" in contrast to their colossal jumble of error and perversion. Having all this in mind, we were prompted to prepare our Three Babylons tract --detailing the correct interpretation of Joel. 2:28, 29 --a tract which the leaders of Jehovah's Witnesses now forbid their 'locusts' to read (even as do some of the leaders of other "Little Babylon" groups). In this also they are a true 'little brother' to the Roman Catholic Church, which has issued the DarkAges interdict to its members: "Reading is doubt; doubt is heresy; and heresy is Hell!" We ourselves never refuse to read any of their literature, even though it be only contrasting their error with the Truth; nor do we prevail upon our readers to refrain from reading their papers, if they have the time and are inclined to do so--just as we do not exert pressure upon our readers to taboo R. G, Jolly's "Present Truth" (a misnomer now, the same as The Watch Tower is a misnomer) and the papers of J. H. Krewson. If any of our brethren refuse their literature in an insulting manner, it is not at our behest or example (although we have been present at conventions where R. G. Jolly not only told his sectarian adherents to 'avoid us,' but also NOT TO READ OUR LITERATURE because it was poison! R, G. Jolly's 'kinship' to Jehovah's Witnesses is most glaringly apparent--"made manifest" in this Epiphany period).
Also, in The Finished Mystery, page 159 is offered this correct interpretation for Rev. 9: 11: "And they have their king" --The same king as exercises general rulership over all the ecclesiastical affairs of this present evil world…"Whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon" – and he is a bad one sure enough! "But in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon” – That is destroyer – but in plain English his name is Satan, the Devil.
We direct our readers to take definite note that these present-day Jehovah's Witnesses select for themselves the designation of 'locusts' of the four pests mentioned in Joel; and this insect is said in Epiphany Vol, 17, page 32 to type the rising Roman hierarchy in the fourth, fifth and sixth, centuries A.D. And in true 'little-brother' fashion, they also admit having over them as their king Abaddon (the bad one) --just as the Papacy is the outstanding visible representative also of that Old Serpent, the Devil and Satan. "For the Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim….. that; he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act." (lsa. 28:21--See Berean Comments) "Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee," saith the Lord! Indeed, we do wonder if our Three Babylons tract was the motivating force that prompted them now to admit the real truth about themselves (in an effort to destroy the effect of the true interpretation of Joel 2:28,29 set out therein)--ignorant though they may be of the thing "hereof they speak! Of course, we ourselves do not consider the individuals of that group as the antitypical 'locusts' (even though their leaders plague them with that appellation); it is rather their false teachings that: are fully illustrated by that devastating insect--just as was true of the false teachings of the rising Papacy early in the Gospel Age, which are typed by these locusts. We believe that many individuals of the Jehovah's Witnesses group are deceived by the outward show of that system (the biggest sect in "Little Babylon"), the same as many were deceived by the splendor and outward show of Big Papacy (the largest sect in Big Babylon), As we know, many Catholics have had their eyes opened by the light of present Truth, and we believe many of the 'Witnesses will be liberated from their sectarian bondage when present Truth reaches them ("And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," – John 8:32).
So those of us who have continued in that Truth (that made us free) are not impressed by their "much speaking" and their outward show and numbers (any more than the faithful brethren in the Parousia were overawed by the Big Catholic Church nor are the faithful Parousia and Epiphany brethren overawed by the efforts toward pomp and show displayed by the leaders in the L.H.M.M., in seeking to imitate both Big and Little Babylon by "much speaking", etc.), as we rest fully in the promise, "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist." Verily we have been strengthened and encouraged by that "mouth and wisdom" as we have witnessed the errorist’s ‘flight' from the presence of such faithful and informed Bible Students, as they refuted their errors with the Truth.
We offer the true interpretation of the "locusts" of Rev, 9:3 as describing the diabolic teaching of indulgences (a devastating 'pest' in every respect) which flourished during the symbolic five months --150 symbolic days, actually 150 years -of Rev. 9:5. The practice of indulgences appeared during the Crusades--innocently enough promising 'indulgence' to all who offered their service in the crusading armies attempting to wrest the Holy Land from the "Terrible Turks." In time the teaching was developed as an aid to fill the empty coffers of the greedy money loving popes of that time.
When the practice succumbed to the lure of 'filthy lucre,' there appeared also God's fully faithful mouthpieces in protest. “When the Assyrian” (the errorists) shall tread in our palaces" (the Truth teachings which are the abode of the fully faithful), then shall we raise up against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men--'princes of men'--Micah 5:5, margin. The "seven shepherds" of this text are the "seven angels to the seven churches," each of which had a 'principal man' (a 'prince')--with two 'principal men' (or 'princes') in the Laodicean, or seventh epoch. The 'principal man' during the sounding of the fifth trumpet was Marsiglio, whose specific ministry was from 1309 to 1328 A.D, His ministry was climaxed in 1324 by the appearance of his book "The Defender of the Peace"--a work which aimed at the papal evils of that time.
If we add 150 years to 1328, we come to l478, when we find John Wessel just beginning his ministry as the 'principal man' sounding the sixth trumpet. This trumpet continued to sound for 391 years (See Rev. 9:15), until 1870 when That Servant began to sound the seventh trumpet.
It will be noted in Rev. 9:4 that the locusts ‘injured' only "the men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads." The assets of the locusts are described by the words, "as it were" golden crowns, etc.; that is, they did not actually possess such valuables-·-the whole arrangement was just a parade of counterfeits. The same may be said for "breastplates as it were iron breastplates." In Eph. 6:14 St. Paul entreats God's people to have "on the breastplate of righteousness," the same being their strong assurance that this would certainly effect their salvation. Then again, in Micah 4:13 the promise is held forth to this same class that Jehovah "will make thine horn iron." The horn in Bible symbols represents power, and an iron horn would represent unbreakable power, as evidenced in Dan. 2:33 by the "legs of iron" of the metal-man image, which portrayed the Roman Empire and its unbreakable power in its heyday. But the "as it were iron breastplates" of Rev. 9:9 indicate a counterfeit, and depict the very strong delusions of those who rested secure in their "righteousness" and its attendant salvation, which had been assured by the Pope as they purchased for filthy lucre his indulgences for their evil deeds--the transaction in fact actually depriving them of that security which they sought. Thus, their "breastplate of righteousness" as it were of iron actually was simply "wood, hay and stubble"--"like the chaff which the wind driveth away" (Psa. 1:4)--a devastating pestiferous deception well portrayed by the all-devouring locusts.
John Wessel saw this clearly enough (although we doubt he understood the correct interpretation of Rev. 9). That faithful mouthpiece of the Lord is rated by history as "the most renowned scholar of his time--a man of rare erudition--a reformer before the Reformation." He aligned himself with the anti-papal party and protested the growing paganizing of the Papacy, contending that "Sin can be forgiven by none but God." That battle cry of the sixth angel was hurled forth by Martin Luther as a mighty thunder; and, supplemented by others of his day, forced the Great Reform Council of Trent to declare an end to the abuse of indulgences in the year 1562. Thus, the sting of the locusts began to subside in 1478 through the exposures of Wessel and others just 'five months' (l50 literal years) after the death of Marsiglio--and was completely nullified by 1562.
"The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things." (Prov. 15:28) "Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase," (Psa. 85:12)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION: -Are Consecrated Epiphany Campers represented in any way in Noah's Ark?
ANSWER: -No! And it would be essential for them to be shown in the Ark in some clear manner if they are a genuine class, because that Ark is a "Type of Christ and the power in Him which will replenish and reorganize society." (See Gen. 6:19 -Berean Comment) In other words, the Ark portrays the embodiment of God's Plan. (Nor does Noah's Ark portray the Jehovah's Witnesses' Jonadabs, or any of their earthly "organization" that will allegedly survive Armageddon.) In elaborating this statement, Brother Johnson gives us this in E:5-62 (59):
''It will be noticed that there were four human pairs who went into the Ark, as well as at least one pair of every clean and unclean kind of animals. We know that there are four elective classes who in this life obtain a good report through faith in the Abrahamic Covenant: (1) The Christ, (2) the Ancient Worthies, (3) the Great Company, and (4) the Youthful Worthies, Noah undoubtedly types our Lord, who is the Heir of the righteousness which comes to us by faith (Heb. 11:7), These classes we understand to be typed in their respective order by Noah and his wife, Shem and his wife, Japheth and his wife and Ham and his wife, the males apart from Noah representing all the leaders of their respective classes, and the females the rest of these classes. We understand the animals in the Ark to represent the non-elect who will ultimately be saved. We-understand the clean animals to represent the Jews, as typically clean, who will be saved, and the Tentatively Justified as tentatively clean, who will be saved. The unclean animals we understand represent those of the present unclean world who will be saved; while those who perished in the Flood we understand to represent from one viewpoint those who have perished under the Adamic curse, and from another standpoint, the movements and systems of Satan's Empire and the Second Death Class. Just as in the type the clean and the unclean animals occupied altogether different positions in the ark from those of Noah and his family, so in the antitype the Jews and the Tentatively Justified on the one hand, and the prospectively saved of the rest of mankind on the other hand, are quite differently related to the Abrahamic Covenant from antitypical Noah and his family. These animals were placed in the Ark to type that anticipatorily their antitypes would be included in the Abrahamic Covenant."
From the foregoing, it is clear enough that the clean animals typed the quasi-elect --those "truly repentant and believing, but not consecrated, Jews and Gentiles." (See E: 10-209) They are those who have "adhered to righteousness" and who accept Christ as their Savior –anticipatorily in the Jewish Age, and actually so during the Gospel Age. Note we have underscored the words "adhered to righteousness," because this feature of the quasi-elect is definitely portrayed in the clean animals by all of them having the split or divided hoof, such hoofs typifying that their conduct has been acceptable to God and to man --they have practiced righteousness--have made "straight paths for their feet" --adhered to the Mosaic law to the extent of their ability (even perhaps more so than the 'measurably faithful' Great Company Class, and the 'measurably faithful' of the Youthful Worthies have done during the time they were measurably unfaithful before their cleansing--although adherence to righteousness does not admit the quasi-elect as one of the fully elect classes). Thus, it is apparent that the quasi-elect are clearly shown in the Ark; and it is equally apparent that the same Ark is completely silent about a consecrated segment of this class at any time during the Gospel Age in the embodiment of God's Plan. Clearly enough a consecrated division of the quasi-elect is an Azazelian perversion by uncleansed Levite leaders (Azazel means Perverter)--whether they be designated Epiphany Campers Consecrated, Quasi-elect Consecrated or Jonadabs, It is an arbitrary addition to "that which is written," and without Scriptural foundation in the Ark, which reveals the "whole counsel of God" in its generalized features--emphasizing the same six classes as are found in Joel 2:28,29, but no more.
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: -Greetings in the Master's Name!
Bro. Jolly wants his readers to believe that it was Bro. Roach who caused the division of the Trinidad Ecclesia, by keeping a separate Memorial service. He is the one, and is now playing up minor considerations in order to hide the real cause of the division he himself has created in this Island, by the offering of his "strange fire" (Epiphany Campers Consecrated). He charges Brother Roach with ignoring Brothers Russel and Johnson's instructions from the Scripture on the subject of Church Government--that a local Ecclesia is mistress in her own affairs to arrange for its meetings and their leaders; and that it is not for anyone or more of its leaders, contrary to the Ecclesia's previous arrangement, to arrange for counter-meetings with self-appointment as their leader or leaders. Now this is exactly what R. G. Jolly did, for it was R. G. Jolly (a guest) and elder Brother Robertson, who arranged for the Chairman, and that he (R. G. Jolly) would be guest speaker--and that I would do the Bible reading for the Memorial service. Bro. Khan was to serve the wine and Bro. Robertson the bread. I can tell you, Brother, the Ecclesia knew nothing of such arrangements. Only when in the course of the meeting, when I was called upon by the Chairman to read the Bible lesson, was I aware that I was to do the reading. I was sitting near the Chairman; I had no notice. Just after the meeting started Bro. Jolly handed something to Bro. Pilgrim, for he was the Chairman for that meeting, and that something was the program. Indeed such action is the disposition to ignore the Church and to make himself (R. G. Jolly) and his judgment superior to the whole. (Such a course by any leader was totally discountanced by Brother, Johnson, as he well knew such conduct is a step toward overlording, and control of elders and bishops--yet R. G. Jolly accuses others of that of which he himself is most guilty!--JJH)
What a good and clean Levite leader--to lead the "good and clean" Levites! I think it is 'good and clean' clericalism! --Rev. 2:6,l5
May our dear Heavenly Father bless you all! By His Grace, (Signed) Brother George Martin
Epiphany Bible Students Ass'n
I have enjoyed reading the two articles you sent me, The Resurrection of the Dead and What is The Soul. Now will you please send me Where Are The Dead?
Thanks very much! Mrs ……MARYLAND
ANNOUNCEMENTS OF GENERAL INTEREST,
As was the custom of Brother Johnson, we designate a period for this season as a Special Effort in antitypical Gideon's Second Battle, which is from October 14 through November 11 this year. The Epiphany Messenger did this to honor the memory 'of That Wise and Faithful Servant, who valiantly fought these two King Errors (Zebah and Zalmunna--warfare against the doctrines of Eternal Torment and the Consciousness of the Dead) all during his ministry; and we now invite the brethren of 'like mind' to join with us in this "good fight" in memory of both these Special Servants of the Lord. (1 Tim. 5:17) We shall be pleased to supply the pertinent literature free of all charge (Where are the Dead, What is the Soul and The Resurrection tracts) to all who wish to participate in this good work; also to join with us in the petition, "God bless their memory!"
If any of the brethren would like to receive extra copies of this Jehovah's Witness article, they will be available free upon request. If any have names of members of the Jehovah's Witnesses, or of members of other groups, and would like for us to send them the article direct, please send them in.