My dear Brethren: – Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
Once more we offer limited comment on some of the ‘oddities’ and ‘perversions’ at this last Labor-Day Convention, which vagaries continue to appear in never-ending stream since Brother Johnson’s demise. Viewing conditions as they continue to develop, we are presented with a clear picture of the happenings of the Gospel Age past, with the fall into error after each Star Member finished his courses. Also, we can the more easily comprehend the full meaning of St. Paul’s words in 2 Thes. 2:10: “They received not the love of the Truth” – of which more later.
A SACRILEGE – At the Question meeting on Monday morning some one unknown to us presented the question: Who were the chief enemies of Jesus at His first Advent? R. G. Jolly’s answer: “The world, the flesh and the Adversary.” In 1 John 2:16 (Dia.) there is the statement, “Everything in the world (the Kosmos, this present evil order of affairs) – the desire of the flesh, and the desire of the eyes, and the pomp of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” It is certainly true that the evils described by St. John are the pronounced enemies of all the fallen followers of Jesus – some more some less; but to declare these as in anyway influencing the path of Jesus is pronounced sacrilege. “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) He said, in His appeal that we do likewise. This would apply more pointedly to what we commonly describe as “worldliness.”
If we limit the world (Kosmos) to the present social order, then it should be modified in its enmity to Jesus according to His own words in John 8:44, “You are of your father, the devil.” Those mentioned in this text were those Pharisees who eventually crucified Him. They were the “good people” of that time (the same kind of “good people” the Lord’s faithful followers have to face today) – those loudly proclaiming their “cleansed” condition – those “seeking to kill Me (Jesus)” – John 8:37. Even Pilate (one of the rulers of this Kosmos), who made no “cleansed” claims for himself, said, “I find no fault in this man!” So this could not apply to the general world, but only to those religious perverts – false-accusing Scribes and Pharisees (Azazel means Perverter). A comment by Bro. Russell in May 1, 1911 Watch Tower is directly to the point:
“In consequence of this conflict between light and darkness, our Lord suffered at the hands of those who professed to be children of the light, children of God; and who had, at least a little light. Our Lord was not maltreated by either the Roman Governor or the Roman soldiers, of their own volition; for they were so totally blind as not to appreciate the light which he displayed. His persecutors were those who had some light, but who-hated the brilliancy of the great Light shining upon them.” (Reprints 4813)
However, the gross outstanding sacrilege in R. G. Jolly’s answer is his designation that Jesus’ “flesh” was one of His “chief enemies.” This certainly could be said of the Great Company, who all their lifetime were “in fear” of the sacrificial death and failed to subdue their fleshly minds; but certainly was not true of Jesus in any sense of the word. Jesus in His humanity knew no sin; His human body was ever the perfect servant of His new creature, and did His every bidding; it was the perfect sacrifice which He through His new creature offered up for us. Thus, it seems unbelievable that such an irresponsible and erroneous answer could emanate from one who had heard the sober teachings of the Parousia and Epiphany Messengers for more than forty years. Nor can this be given the perversive twist that it was the flesh of others to which R. G. Jolly was referring, because that is properly included in the “Devil” and certain elements of “the world,” since it was the Devil’s obedient and servile children who did our Lord to death. The Adversary and his deceived ledlings were thechief enemies of Jesus, the ledlings being the good “cleansed” Levites of that time. It is proper to consider, of course, that the Fully Faithful of the Gospel-Age (aside from Jesus) did have “the flesh” as one of their chief enemies; but in this battle the Fully Faithful were “more than conquerors.” With them, as with St. Paul, it may be truly said of them, “I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection” (make a servant of their humanity, although not perfectly so, as was the case with Jesus).
PETER, THE GREAT ROCK – Then, on another occasion, Chairman Gavin stated that Peter was the “Great Rock” of Apostolic times. in no place does the Bible give such a description of him! The expression is a mimic of the Roman Church’s claims for him; and is their perversion of Jesus’ words in Matt. 16:18, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.” The word Peter is from the Greek “petros,” which means a stone (a small rock); whereas, “this rock” is from the Greek “petra,” meaning a huge rock. This statement by Jesus had followed Peter’s statement, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God”; and it was this great foundation rock – that “Jesus is the Christ” – that would form the base for construction of the Gospel-Age Church. This overwhelming truth does indeed put Peter (petros, little stone) in proper perspective here. “Thou art Peter (a little stone), and upon this rock (this huge rock – that I am the Christ) will I build my church.” Peter is truly small in comparison to the great Truth respecting Jesus as the Christ. Here again, we would little expect such a remark from one presumably schooled in Parousia and Epiphany Truth.
The chairman also made the puerile observation that the large number in attendance at the Convention was certainly an evidence of the Lord’s blessing upon the Movement. If that reasoning be sound, then the Roman Catholic Church must stand first in the Lord’s choice, with Jehovah’s Witnesses standing foremost in Little Babylon for blessings from On High. And Jesus, with His “Little Flock” at the first Advent, and the Epiphany Messenger, with his small group early in the Epiphany, must have rated very low indeed in God’s favor. This statement by the Chairman was just one of the “oddities” of the Convention. He, too, claims to be in “Present Truth!”
ODD AND PERVERTED INTERPRETATIONS RESPECTING MOUNTAINS – Another speaker presented a full discourse regarding various mountains mentioned in the Bible, and their significance. One of these had to do with Abraham presenting Isaac for sacrifice on Mount Moriah (Gen. 22:1-14); and he concluded that it was a type of God offering up Christ in His new creature. As Brother Johnson so often stressed, the correct interpretation of types is among the most difficult of all Bible exegesis; yet it seems the tendency of the “unstable and the unlearned” to “rush in where angels fear to tread” – to present their explanations of Bible types. It would seem only elemental that before attempting such they would at least read what the last two Principal Men had offered; but even that is just too much for them! Their own ideas might be definitely contradicted and made to look ridiculous when placed beside what the Star Members have written. And that wouldn’t be right, now, would it?
Rom. 12:1 appeals to the Gospel-Age tentatively justified to “present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God.” And this is precisely what all the faithful consecrated have done, including Jesus Himself (although a Great “Multitude” failed to carry out their “covenant by sacrifice”). “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepared me.” (Heb. 10:5) That body was the antitypical Atonement-Day bullock offered upon the brazen altar in the tabernacle Court; whereas, the new creature is located in the Holy. Every Gospel-Age consecrator presented his body a living sacrifice, which, if accepted, was then offered up by the High Priest Jesus, with each Fully Faithful consecrator cooperating with the High Priest to carry out unto a completion the sacrifice of his human body. At no time did Jesus or any of His members offer their new creature as a sacrifice; rather, it was the New Creature of each that sacrificed his humanity (except, of course, those new creatures who fell into the Great Company, those of them who gain the “palm branch” experiencing a “constrained” death in contrast to the sacrificial death of the Little Flock). Had the New Creature been sacrificed, there would then have been just nothing left. Thus, the statement of the speaker-probably made through ignorance, we assume – is a gross perversion of Parousia and Epiphany Truth.
The same speaker also offered comment on Moses on Mount Pisgah just before his death (See. Deu. 34:1-6) – his interpretation of this being that Moses there typed the second-death class of the Gospel Age. In the Berean Comment for verse 5 Brother Russell says Moses typed “in this case the Law Covenant which must end before the people could enter into their rest” – that is, the Law Covenant and its mediator must be completely obliterated, “buried,” before the world of mankind can receive the blessings of the Millennial Canaan that will accrue through the New Covenant and its “greater than Moses” Mediator, the Christ Company.
Then there is a second interpretation of this subject: Inasmuch as Moses is a type of the Gospel-Age Star Members who have been leading spiritual Israel from antitypical Egypt to the Heavenly Canaan, his death before completing the crossing of Jordan types the fact here in the end of this Age that one not a Star Member would be the final leader of God’s faithful people into Millennial Canaan.
The interpretation that Moses on Pisgah was a type of the second-deathers is also. akin to sacrilege. There is no reference whatever made on Pisgah with the incident of Moses’ loss of temper in Num. 20:7-13 (where he did type Gospel-Age second deathers) in the account of his death and burial. Rather, the Lord on Pisgah is talking intimately to Moses, and the zenith of praise is accorded to him in v. 10: “There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” it would seem quite appropriate here to offer some brief parts of Brother Russell’s comments re Moses in Reprints 5333 and 4053, of the October 15, 1913 and Sept. 1907 Watch Towers:
“Pisgah is one of the peaks of Mount Nebo. From it Moses got a considerable glimpse of the promised land, toward which his eye of faith had looked for eighty years and toward which he had laboriously guided the nation of Israel for forty years. This grand old servant of God, fully resigned to the divine will and arrangement, was put to sleep by the Lord whom, he served. The Jews have a saying that the Lord kissed him there.
‘‘Moses had faithfully fulfilled the work of the Lord committed to his care down to and including his orations, mentioned in our last lesson, in which he urged upon Israel faithfulness to God similar to that which he had illustrated in himself. The Lord’s time had come for a change in Israel’s leadership, and Moses was instructed to go up into the mountain called Nebo, whose culminating-peak is Pisgah – about nine miles east of the northern end of the Dead Sea. There God gave him a vision, a view of the glorious land where the people he had loved – and in whose interests he had sacrificed the honors and dignities and luxuries of the Egyptian Court – were to have their home as the people of the Lord, under the terms of the covenant which he had mediated at Mount Sinai. In the clear atmosphere of that country any eye may see much of the land of promise, but under divine blessing and assistance, as in Moses’ case, we can readily realize that the vision, the view, could be a very comprehensive one. It was a part of this great leader’s reward, which doubtless greatly comforted his heart, enabling him to see that his labor for the Lord had not been in vain, but was destined finally to bring forth great fruitage.”
Even the unenlightened world has offered words sublime about the Pisgah episode:
By Nebo’s lonely mountain,
On this side Jordan’s wave,
In a vale in the land of Moab
There lies a lonely grave;
And no man knows that sepulcher,
And no man saw it e’er;
For the angels of God upturned the sod
And laid the dead man there.
And so without sound of music,
Or voice of them that wept,
Silently down from the mountain’s crown
The great procession swept.
This was the truest warrior
That ever buckled sword;
This the most gifted poet
That ever breathed a word;
And never earth’s philosopher traced
With his golden pen,
On the deathless page, truths half so sage
As he wrote down for men.
And had he not high Honor? –
The hillside for a pall!
To lie in state, while angels wait,
With stars for tapers tall,
And dark rough pines like tossing plumes,
Over his bier to wave
And God’s own hand, in that lonely land
To lay him in the grave.
Yes, a strange eulogy for second-deathers; very strange indeed – and without precedent in Bible interpretation! May we ever keep in mind the experience of Moses, the beloved “Man of God,” when he committed his one great evil deed (Num. 20:7-13), as “he smote the rock twice.” It was the same sort of “cleansed” people discussed herein that drove the good men to complete exasperation and loss of his self-control. Let us strive earnestly not to be overcome in like manner!
GENERALITIES: – Another Question placed in the Question Meeting was along this line: If a Youthful Worthy should lose his standing, could he then become a Consecrated Epiphany Camper? With this question, as with so many others to which R. G. Jolly either doesn’t know the answer, or where a truthful answer would be very disturbing and unwelcome, he just talked a lot without saying anything, so that the questioner knew no more at the end than if he had not asked at all. Self-evidently, if a Youthful Worthy should lose his Class standing and lose his justification he would be forced out of the Court, and into the Camp. But R. G. Jolly now has his Consecrated Campers in the Camp – and tentatively justified! Therefore, one losing his Youthful Worthy standing and his Tentative Justification in the Court, and forced into the Camp because of unfaithfulness, could hardly take his place in the Camp, if those in the Camp are also justified! Thus, R. G. Jolly just talked, and talked, and talked.
Returning now to consider 2 Thes. 2:10 – “they received not the love of the Truth”. All during the Gospel Age there has been a Great Company who “received not the love of the Truth. At one time these people had a crown reserved for them; they were members of the Little Flock, the “salt of the earth,” the “light of the world” – all of which they lost because they failed to receive “the love of the Truth”; and “for this cause God shall send them strong delusion.” Thus, the Great Company lost their Class standing; and great numbers of them in turn experienced total loss – the Second Death. Now, is there any reason to assume that God’s Justice should work along a clearly prescribed line all during the Gospel Age, then suddenly be set aside when the Age is coming to a close? There is just no Scripture or logic for such a conclusion!
Yet, with the sort of spiritual food on this last Convention table that we have analyzed aforegoing, there were quite a few – led by R. G. Jolly, Daniel Gavin and others – who were loud in their declarations that “this is the best Convention we have ever attended!” So, what shall we say for such? The Epiphany is a time for “making manifest the counsels of hearts”; and we may be sure this work will continue to a completion. And those revolutionizing now against Parousia or Epiphany Truth will experience also a loss of their Class standing – just as has occurred all during the Age. Some of these will eventually be of the quasi-elect – in analogy to the Measurably Faithful among Gospel-Age new creatures; and some will eventuate with nothing more than ordinary Restitution (perhaps with less favorable opportunity than some who didn’t have opportunity to receive the Truth during this Age). For some years now it has been our conviction that the large majority of the L.H.M.M. will be no higher than the quasi-elect; and their Revolutionisms as above described confirm this conviction – just as Revolutionism all during the Epiphany has also manifested the crown-loser new creatures. Therefore, “he that thinketh that he standeth, let him take heed lest he fall!” (1 Cor. 10:12) And may the good work continue to a completion! Nor should we in the least fear the criticisms, the rebuffs, the insults, the abuse of such Class losers. It is the same treatment that the crown-losers accorded our beloved Brother Johnson and all the Fully Faithful Elect all during the Epiphany. And we may rest in the firm conviction that all of the Measurably Faithful – of whatever Class – will persistently revolutionize against Parousia or Epiphany Truth before the Epiphany is over – thus manifesting the loss of their Class standing.
Companion to the foregoing, we refer our readers to E:5-201/207, a few excerpts of which we quote here (beginning top of p. 203):
“Jesus decided the test.... should be the attitude of each individual (toward the Truth..... (top of p. 204). The Very Elect refuse to bow down in human servility to the earthly dispensers of the Truth.... Their appreciation of the Truth was so great that they were willing to work diligently to obtain it. The Truth is not for the easy-going Christian, but for those who labor for it... (top of p. 206). Neglecting That Servant’s repeated exhortation to accept nothing that he wrote or taught, unless they proved it true, they simply swallowed what he said, just because he said it.... (top of p. 207) To them the Truth was not “sweeter than honey and the honey comb.”
Clearly enough, if we are to accept Brother Johnson as above, it was the Truth that made the distinct and effectual cleavage between the Parousia Faithful and Measurably Faithful; and we believe the process is just as much in order now in accomplishing Epiphany testings and separations, and will continue thus to work to the full Epiphany’s close.
In closing this treatise, we believe it proper to state that not all the spiritual food at this Convention was of the type we have analyzed. The remarks of some of the speakers were in full harmony with the “things we have learned, and been assured of” – for which we rejoice – and extend our commendation. our fond wish would be that we could find no occasion at all for the criticisms we have expressed, although our victories over the errors of all Class losers is sufficient to all our needs. “By this I know that thou favorest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. As for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest before me thy face forever.” (Psa. 41:11,12)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: – Grace and peace in Jesus’ Name!
For some time now I have intended to write you re a few things I have noted in the back issues of the Present Truth since 1950 (when comparing what you have presented with what Bro. Jolly teaches). You will recall how Bro. Jolly came out so quickly and dogmatically re the Last Saint gone, even to the extent of overpowering and breaking the heart of a dying brother (Bro. Haviland – see his letter in the Feb. 1951 P.T.). The real impudence and hypocrisy demonstrated here is R. G. Jolly’s answer to Bro. Haviland (also in the Feb. 1951 P.T., p. 31, col. 2, bottom). Bro. Jolly says in that letter, “I can truly say that I recognized no willfulness in anything that I did, for I verily thought I was doing only the Lord’s will, but the Lord gave me to see through our dear Bro. Johnson’s assistance that a motion that I made in the Philadelphia Church was really contrary to the Epiphany arrangements.” This statement is made in the face of the fact that Bro. Jolly knows, or should know, that it is only through willful, gross and persistent revolutionism of the Truth or its Arrangements that any new creature is manifested a crown-loser! It is just possible that Brother Johnson’s ‘assistance’ did cause him to submit to his proper exposures, because if he didn’t, at least outwardly, submit to them he couldn’t have remained with the Movement under Brother Johnson. Certainly, none of us can have any reason to doubt dear Bro. Haviland’s statement, that he knew of no time that he had willfully and willingly displeased the Lord, because we have no record of revolutionisms by him (gross or otherwise); quite, a contrast from the statement by R. G. Jolly, when he knew he was opposing the Lord’s Mouthpiece – and he also knew he was in strong opposition to Brother Johnson when he, by “whispering campaign,” managed to withhold and deny needed succor to a dying widow!
It seems that Brother Jolly’s statement there (in 1951) re himself and his revolutionisms answers much for us now – and is a yardstick for his subsequent conduct. He still doesn’t seem to know that ‘gazing’ and ‘strange fire’ offered before the Lord, and to the brethren, are gross violations of the Truth and its Arrangements for any one – much less a crown-lost leader who endangers his life by so doing. (We have repeatedly pointed out these failings – even more emphatically than did Bro. Johnson in his Vol. 10 exposures, for his correction and for the protection of the brethren–JJH.)
Then there is an Announcement in the July 1951 Present Truth that the brethren shouldn’t write Pilgrims and ask them questions; that in harmony with Brothers Russell and Johnson he directs them to send their questions direct to him (to R. G. Jolly)! Here is another gross impudence! He admits he is a crown-loser (even if he were cleansed, as he claims) – yet he was (and thinks he still is!) in position to answer all the questions. If the brethren followed his advice and accepted his answers, then they would be sure to see no wrong in him (even as he can see no ‘willfulness’ in himself)! This advice is on par with the kind of advice J. F. Rutherford gave to his sectarian adherents; and those ‘heeding’ his advice became error-bound: They didn’t receive the Epiphany Truth. J. F. Rutherford also claimed to be ‘head’ of the “Lord’s Arrangements” for dispensing the Truth – just as R. G. Jolly now claims to be such ‘head.’
R. G. Jolly’s answer to the question, ‘What is the highest work that the Lord has given for the Epiphany” (in May 1952 P.T.) is also very misleading to fit in with his claims on Last Saint Gone. His answer: “The declaration of the Church’s glorification after its sufferings sacrificially are completed” (E Vol. 14, p. 269). What Bro. Johnson actually says in this reference in Vol. 14 is this: He cites the highest work of the antitypical Gershonites, et al, then says that “J’s position in that series between the Gershonite and Merarite leaders implies that his main Epiphany work is with the antitypical Gershonites and Merarites, but not exclusively so...... while his subject, The Glorification of the Church, represents the highest work that the Lord has given him (the Epiphany Messenger–JJH) for the Epiphany: the declaration of the Church’s glorification after its sufferings sacrificially are completed, which he will do when writing on Revelation, his last general work on earth.” This was his (Brother Johnson’s) work as the Epiphany Messenger! Whatever Brother Johnson has written on Revelation has been withheld from the brethren, so we are not informed about this “highest work” due to R. G. Jolly not being a faithful steward of that which was left in his hands for the brethren. Brother Johnson promised the Lord that he would give all the knowledge that the Lord gave him for the brethren, to the brethren, and would not hold it selfishly for himself. This he faithfully did when he had the knowledge in completeness. But now after Brother Johnson’s demise it certainly is R. G. Jolly’s obligation to give the brethren what Brother Johnson left for them. He would have looked much more like a ‘cleansed’ Levite to the faithful brethren had he faithfully given the ‘meat in due season’ (all the teachings for the Household that Brother Johnson left for them) to the Lord’s people in the L.H.M.M. Had he faithfully done what he should have, then he would have been “suffering for righteousness’ sake” when brethren accused him of doing an unclean work; and such a privilege would have been a great blessing to him (“suffering for righteousness” instead of suffering for wrong-doing).
And coupled with the above, R. G. Jolly also foists J. W. Krewson’s ‘gazing’ alongside his own perversions and errors – namely, “Brother Russell’s parallels” (R. G. Jolly being the parallel of Bro. Russell!), “John’s Beheading,” and numerous other errors – which at the time was pleasing to R, G. Jolly. It probably was J. W. Krewson’s energetic mind that figured out a quasi-elect consecrated class after 1954 (which R. G. Jolly had to change to Epiphany Campers Consecrated in order to ‘save face’). It would not be surprising if R. G. Jolly wouldn’t be happy to get out of that dilemma, but can’t do that without upsetting his whole ‘arrangements’ at the Bible House.
I realize that R. G. Jolly has some opposition from some of the brethren in the L.H.M.M., when they resisted his trying to use Big Babylon methods for his Conventions (in solos and violin entertaining), but his main and most hurtful (to him) oppositions have come from your refutations of his errors and your faithful resistance of his sins of teaching and practice. Being the crown-lost leader that he is, he seems to be unable to resist any attractive and sensational (and entertaining) methods available for him at his Conventions, etc. The Truth in its simplicity is just not enough for him!
May the Lord bless and guide you as you continue to resist and refute such errors and errorists!
By His Grace, -------
Note: We are always glad for the brethren to carefully study R. G. Jolly’s Present Truths and compare them with what we present. In this way the faithful will be able to “discern between good and evil,” and thereby be better equipped to resist the ‘gainsayers’ and help enlighten the helpable brethren–JJR
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings in our Redeemer’s Name!
As we are approaching the time when we commemorate the deaths of Brothers Russell and Johnson, we shall be thankful if you will send us some tracts for distribution, which are appropriate to the occasion.
The friends join in sending much Christian love to you, Sister Hoefle and the dear friends.
Yours by His Grace, ------- Secretary-Treas. TRINIDAD
Dear Brother Hoefle: – I will now answer your letters... They are all so wonderful and encouraging! I am very sorry to hear about Sister ------- and her daughter. I hope it will turn out all right with the both of them. You mention R. G. Jolly’s defeats at your hands; and I am wondering if he might not receive some more if he does not change his course.
I sent those papers to Bro. S. and Bro. W. I hope they will read them, and enjoy them as I do. Well, I hope by this time everybody is well and very happy in the Lord. May the good Lord bless you all is my prayers
Your sister in the Truth ------- PENNSYLVANIA
P.S. Please send some more Resurrection and What is the Soul tract. Thank you!
Dear Brother Hoefle: – Christian Greetings!
I am sending you a small contribution for the work. I look forward to the November issue. The Samuel and Saul study showed more clearly what I had already seen; May the Lord continue to strengthen you as you seek to uphold His’ Truth and arrangements.
Hearty Christian love from ------- TEXAS