My dear Brethren: – Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
In view of the sharp and extended differences respecting the Epiphany as a period of time, and the things to be accomplished during the Epiphany, that have arisen among the erstwhile staunch adherents of Brother Johnson, we consider it most opportune at this time to recapitulate some of the salient features that have been presented by the last two Star Members on this important period, with the Scriptures pertinent thereto. At the outset, we accept the same position toward Brother Johnson that he accepted toward Brother Russell; namely, even his personal observations should carry great weight with us, and should not be discarded unless time itself or clear Scripture statements nullify those opinions. So we all know that the Last Saint, in the person of Brother Johnson, was NOT GLORIFIED IN 1956, as he expected. There is nothing in the chronology that designates 1950 in any way whatever. The only thing the “cousins” have produced is a Pyramid calculation; and, when we consider the 27 fraudulent calculations they gave us in the January 1947 Present Truth, then we here want no more of their Pyramid “corroborations” on any item whatever. Be it remembered that the Pyramid is not designed to set aside the Scriptures; it is simply a “witness” for the Bible, by which “witness” they now nullify 1st Thes. 4:17; Zech. 8:10; Psa. 46; Gen. 3:15 – and the interpretations of Brother Johnson himself on these Scriptures.
In the Parousia Day it was not the “due time” for those brethren to see the details, or the period of time, or the work to be accomplished during the Epiphany. Therefore, when Brother Johnson was clearly convinced by self‑evident time features that Brother Russell's conclusions were either immature, premature, or completely wrong on future Epiphany occurrences, he did not hesitate to make the necessary corrections – although he still stoutly maintained, and properly so, that Brother Russell was the Parousia Messenger and That Wise and Faithful Servant. And that is now our position with respect to some of Brother Johnson's teachings that time itself has proven immature, or premature or completely wrong in his expectations, although we still regard him as the 49th Star Member, the Epiphany Messenger and the Eighth Principal Man. We believe the same generous spirit should be extended to both Messengers in their mistakes that Brother Johnson himself magnanimously offered for Brother Miller in his faulty conclusions on his time features: “Instead of censuring him for inexactness, we are warranted in admiring the general correctness of his time prophetic views.” (E:8‑209)
With this introduction, we now offer a resume of what Brother Johnson believed and taught with respect to the Epiphany, starting with E:4‑14 (7): “We understand that the Epiphaneia, in the first sense of the word (bright shining, manifesting principles, persons and things), has the same primary meaning as the word Apokalypsis (revelation) primarily has. This is evident, we understand, because they do the same thing: the Epiphaneia as an action, reveals persons, principles and things as they are. Thus the Lord now epiphanizes or apokalypsizes Jehovah, Himself, the Church, the Great Company, the Truth, the hidden things of darkness, the counsels of hearts ... Hence the Epiphaneia, the Apokalypsis, of our Lord means, not Jesus making Himself visible, nor simply Jesus making Himself known, but His making every other person and every principle and everything clearly known that is to be made known in the end of the Age. Apokalypsis, like Epiphaneia, also means the EPIPHANY PERIOD l Cor. 1:7; 2 Thes. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:7,13; 4:12)...... Accordingly, the words Epiphaneia and Apokalypsis, in the sense of an action, and in the sense of a period, are synonymous.... This is the reason why the Time of Trouble is emphatically the Epiphany, the Apokalypse, for it clearly with more distinctness than the preceding period (the Parousia – JJH), manifests pertinent persons, principles and things.” (R. G. Jolly and J. W. Krewson teach contrary to the Epiphany Messenger's teachings – one teaching that we entered into the Basileia concurrently with the Epiphany, the other that we are in the Apokalypse period as distinct from the Epiphany period. Each of them do this while holding on to the date of 1954‑56 as the end of the Epiphany. All of us know that Brother Johnson expected the violent features of Armageddon and Anarchy to take place by that date; but we know from the Scriptures if the 1954‑56 date had not accomplished these violent features of the Time of Trouble that the Epiphany as a period did not end there in either its restricted, “narrow” or its wider sense, because the Time of Trouble and the Epiphany are one and the same).
Continuing in E:4‑21 (14): “Remembering that the Epiphaneia and the Apokalypsis are one and the same time and that this period is for the benefit of the world and the Great Company, i.e., that the Lord Jesus in this period manifests His presence to them in their interests – we can readily see that the Scriptures teach that the Epiphany, as a period, is the Time of Trouble. Luke 17:28‑30 is a passage to the point.”
Further in E:4‑53 (51) and 55 (53): “The expression, the Time of Trouble, is used in two senses. In its wide sense it covers the period from 1874 until the end of Anarchy and of Jacob's Trouble. In its narrow sense it covers the period from the beginning of the World War in 1914 until the end of Anarchy and of Jacob's Trouble .... (R. G. Jolly teaches that its _restricted’ sense, or _narrow’ sense, ended in 1954‑56 – JJH) We will now quote and expound passages that prove the Epiphany will end with Anarchy and Jacob's trouble, i. e., will end with the end of the trouble ... 2 Thes. 1:7,8; Zech. 12:1‑10; Ezek. 38:39 – “They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced (Rev. 1:7); and they shall mourn for it” (the piercing, I.V.), etc. All Truth people recognize at once that this passage refers to the end of Jacob's trouble, and that it proves our Lord's revelation of Himself to Israel as their long rejected Messiah. Hence these two verses prove that the Time of Trouble and the Epiphany are identical.”
Then some more in E:4‑65 (63): “The Epiphany is the last special period of the Gospel Age, and therefore it will continue at least until the last member of the Little Flock leaves this earth, and probably nearly until about the establishment of the earthly phase of God's Kingdom. This probability is due to the fact that the Epiphany implies a revelation (apokalypsis, uncovering) of the Lord's Second Advent to the world as the Present King.”
The foregoing quotations can leave not the slightest doubt that Brother Johnson himself firmly believed that the Epiphany would not end in its narrow, or restricted sense, or in any other sense, until the Time of Trouble had also ended. And, before this can be properly ignored, we should have some clear Scripture to justify such an act. And, when J. W. Krewson contends that the years in the life of Moses offer such Scripture, we reply that this is just thin and transparent nonsense. And the same may be said for R. G. Jolly in his contention that the Epiphany ended in its “restricted sense” in 1954‑56. The Epiphany and the Time of Trouble are identical, so Brother Johnson teaches, according to clear Scriptural proof, although the date 1954‑56 is nowhere revealed in Scripture passage or chronology; it was merely Brother Johnson's expectations based on a parallel which did not materialize. All of us know that identical twins are alike in features, size and characteristics – so much so that the unskilled eye often mistakes one for the other. And the same may be said for the Epiphany and the Time of Trouble. However, there is no such thing as “identical” twins in persons – because there is some little difference to be found upon close scrutiny; but there is such a thing as one and the same thing in the Time of Trouble and the Epiphany, or Apokalypsis period, as that is a Scriptural teaching.
If the Epiphany ended in any sense whatever in 1954‑56, then the Time of Trouble has ended also to that same “identical” degree. Certainly, no one with a “sound mind” (and the Lord gives the Faithful the 'spirit of a sound mind’ – while he sends “strong delusions” to the measurably faithful) would take such a contention (that the Epiphany, or Apokalypsis, ended in 1954‑56 and the time of Trouble ended there, too). Brother Johnson also taught that by 1554‑56 Babylon would be destroyed and the last member of the Great Company would have come into Present Truth! See E:10‑114. No one possessing sound mentality would contend that those things had transpired by the end of 1956, and most certainly not by 1950, the date now claimed by the “cousins” for the passing of the last Little Flock member. In fact, there are fewer members of Great Company in Present Truth even now at this late date than there were in 1954 – even for those who claim the LHMM is now “Present Truth.” And R. G. Jolly's contentions about his “Attestatorial Service” are also just thin and transparent nonsense. The Little Flock's Attestorial Serviceä in 1914‑16 garnered every member of the Little Flock into Present Truth, and thus stamped that effort as a genuine and clean work; whereas, the 1954‑56 effort did just the reverse – it manifested the uncleansed condition of its leader and his prominent accomplices. Brother Johnson taught that the Great Company would have a fruitful ministry after their cleansing; therefore, any abortive effort on their part is a sure indication to all unbiased minds that they are not yet cleansed and are in an unfit condition to perform a fruitful work pleasing to God. The LHMM, as part of Little Babylon, also followed in its predecessors' footsteps (the Society and others) in the attempted conversion of Israel (before “due time”), which also has proved to be abortive. Also, one of the Dawn leaders freely admitted that their effort toward Israel's conversion was not being received, nor doing the work they had expected.
The unsound contentions of both the “cousins” (R. G. Jolly and J. W.Krewson) force them into all sorts of ridiculous contentions. These are partly punishments from the Lord to “make manifest their folly before all,” and partly the efforts of Azazel to humiliate them, and, if possible, to remove them completely from the Household of Faith. It is certainly not our wish to offer “profusion of words to no purpose,” soä we once more offer a Scripture that proves beyond the slightest doubt that we are still in the Epiphany period – that we are not in the Apokalypse period, as distinct from the Epiphany period, according to “cousin” Krewson, or in the Basileia period concurrently with the Epiphany period, according to “cousin” Jolly. This Scripture is 2 Thes. 2:8 (Dia.): “Then will be revealed the Lawless One (The Man of Sin) whom the Lord Jesus will ... annihilate by the appearing of His presence” – äby the epiphaneia of His Parousia. Since the destruction of the Man of Sin is so unmistakably an Epiphany work (see Berean Comment), it leavesä a clear brandmark on all those who claim we are no longer in the Epiphany. One of the “cousins” is now proclaiming that this destruction will take place in the Apokalypse, while the other says it will occur in the Basileia (although irrefutable evidence forces R. G. Jolly to cling feebly to the Epiphany also); but St. Paul, Brother Russell and Brother Johnson all correctly teach that this destruction is exclusively an EPIPHANY WORK! To all who have succumbed to this deceptive mirage we now offer the exclamation of St. Paul (Gal. 3:1 – Dia.): “O thoughtless Galatians! Who has deluded you!”
It is well in order to point out here that the foregoing Epiphany truths have been repeatedly and sharply stressed, so that the “cousins” are without excuse in their present pursuit of their perversions (Azazel means Perverter). Therefore, their course identifies them clearly enough as persistent Revolutionists, and is certain to remove the both of them completely from the Household of Faith if they do not speedily reverse their wayward course.
In this connection, be it observed it was also the Epiphany Messenger's teaching that when deflectors from the Truth throw away any vital truth, they must then embrace other errors to reconcile their position; and that is just what has happened with the “cousins” when they forsook the truth about the Epiphany and the Time of Trouble being identical: They were forced to produce the “strange fire” (false doctrine) of Campers Consecrated, with the two of them contradicting each other even on some features of that brand of spiritual hybrid. None of this would have occurred had they adhered to the Truth on the Epiphany period as presented by the Epiphany Messenger. The Epiphany being identical with the Time of Trouble is a Scriptural, fundamental foundation Epiphany truth; once that is disturbed, there is emphasized confusion in a variety of ways.
And these “strong delusions” have revealed yet another “oddity.” There were many who claimed to be in full accord with the Epiphany Truth when Brother Johnson was still with us, but who then had not the courage of a mouse to proclaim or defend that Epiphany Truth; but, now that they have repudiated it, they manifest the courage and boldness of a lion in attacking the Epiphany Messenger and Epiphany Truth they once accepted, and in defense of the error they have accepted in its place. They also show the same determined zeal (a zeal _not according to knowledge’) toward their respective sect in Little Babylon as was done by many in Big Babylon during the Parousia Day, to the point of espousing their errors at the expense of that Truth which once sanctified them. Of course, this is a clear revelation to those of us who still retain that truth that such have now become victims of the Sixth Slaughter Weapon Man, Revolutionism, that the “plague (of “leprosy” has come nigh their dwelling” (Psa. 91:10). Here is a timely observation by That Servant on this point, in Parousia Vol. 3. p. 181:
“But we have no intimation in the Scriptures, nor any reason for supposing that God ever used or recognized that church‑nation (Israel), its rulers and representatives, after it was cast off. And this same lesson should be recognized here, in connection with Babylon. She is spewed out of the Lord's mouth: and neither the voice of the Bridegroom nor of the bride shall be heard in her any more forever. – Rev, 18:23.
“It is in vain that some attempt to make a plea for their quarter of Babylon, and while admitting the general correctness of the prophetic portrait, to claim that their sect, or their particular congregation, is an exception to the general character of Babylon, and that, therefore, the Lord cannot be calling upon them to withdraw from it formally and publicly, as they once joined it.
“Let such consider that we are now in the harvest time of separation, and remember our Lord's expressed reason for calling us out of Babylon, namely, “that ye be not partakers of her sins.” Consider, again, why Babylon is so named. Evidently, because of her many errors of doctrine, which, mixed with a few elements of divine truth, make great confusion, and because of the mixed company drawn together by the mixed truths and errors. And since they will hold the errors at a sacrifice of truth, the latter is made void, and often worse than meaningless. This sin of holding and teaching error at the sacrifice of truth is one of which every sect of the Church nominal is guilty, without exception. (And we here say the same for every sect in Little Babylon – JJH) Where is the sect that will assist you in diligently searching the Scriptures, to grow thereby in grace and in the knowledge of the Truth?. Where is the sect which will not hinder your growth, both by its doctrines and its usages? Where is the sect in which you can obey Jesus' words and let your light shine? We know of none.”
During Brother Russell's Day there were many who came with him but still retained their Babylonish characteristics. Some of these prominent brethren went back into Big Babylon, as well as some of the less prominent, in the separation after Brother Russell's demise. Of course, many others went with the various “Little” Babylon groups. And so we find it since Brother Johnson's demise – there are some who have gone into “Little” Babylon now that once faithfully assisted Brother Johnson in resisting the errors of Little Babylon during his lifetime.
Another pronounced “oddity” of this Epiphany period time is the rash of so‑called teachers, who take parts of the Parousia and Epiphany Truth and garble and confuse it with admixture of their own foolish errors. Note what Brother Johnson says about them in E:14‑383:
“Therefore God Himself is against the false preachers, who plagiarize the Truth teachings from His servants, and with changes palm it off as their own; for God opposes those who preach their own knowledge as God's Word.”
An outstanding example of this is to be found in R. G. Jolly and his articles on Genesis. His article on Genesis 24, starting on page 26 of the March‑April 1961 Present Truth, is superb, with very little of criticism to be offered for it. But those of us who know him well also know very well that he has not the capacity to construct such an article without a Star Member's help. We are not contending here that the exact wording of that article is by Brother Johnson; but we do contend the basic concept is what he had left at his death, and was to be included in his proposed Vol. 16, which he had promised to us in the January 1950 Present Truth. Be it observed that R. G. Jolly, in self‑will, rushed headlong to produce Volumes 18 and 19, labelling them Nos. 16 and 17 (in his abortive attempt to 'convert’ Nominal Christians, as well as natural Israel), labelling them Nos. 16 and 17, while allowing the Genesis teachings of the Epiphany Messenger to “cool” sufficiently to palm them off as his own now. It will be very interesting to observe, if he now presents Volume 18 on Genesis, whether he corrects some of his errors he has injected into those interpretations – such as antitypical Abraham rescuing Campers Consecrated in 1950 (four years before any of them appeared on the scene, even according to R. G. Jolly's own teachings); and his error on Sarah as the step‑sister of Abraham instead of his half‑sister.
J. W. Krewson was quite emphatic at the 1956 Philadelphia Convention that Brother Johnson had left just a bare pittance of teachings at his death, because (so he informed us personally) R. G. Jolly had told him that. But Brother Johnson informed us before his death that R. G. Jolly was the most secretive person he had ever known. Secretiveness is a virtue, used by God and His faithful people, in harmony with sincerity and honesty; but “the abuse of secretiveness makes people untruthful, deceitful and hypocritical,” says Brother Johnson – it then becomes a “dis”grace. This sin and its resultant bad qualities explain in large part R. G. Jolly's “bad conscience” (see E:10‑585), and account for much of the evil he has espoused since he was abandoned to Azazel – October 1950.
There is much more that could be presented along these lines, which we hope to continue in due course, but for now we close with a statement from Brother Johnson respecting his own vexing experiences with uncleansed Levites and would‑be teachers in God's House (E:10‑559):
“As in all other cases in this book, not the Levites' attempts to refute these are typed, but their criticizing him (the Epiphany Messenger) on personal matters in connection with their pertinent controversy is set forth. They denied him to be wise, claiming that he was answering with error and was filled with endless strife.... They accused him of expelling from his heart reverence and from his mouth proper speech in matters pertaining to God, and of having utterances coming from iniquity and of choosing to use a crafty speech. They claimed that his teaching, not they, proved him an errorist, his doctrines witnessing against him, reminding him to remember that his elders were abler than he was who was but young ... They accused him of ambition that covetously sought others' positions, even making him turn against God and speak evil words ... They falsely accused him of being corrupt and imbibing iniquity.”
Many older Great Company members now accuse us of being a “Youthful,” and thus unqualified to teach them; but, just as Brother Russell gave Brother Johnson a pilgrim appointment with instruction to teach his elders and fault‑finders, so Brother Johnson also gave us a similar appointment for similar purposes. And just as the early Epiphany errorists accused Brother Johnson of being “corrupt” and wanting “to be a somebody,” so J. W. Krewson now also accuses us – although we are now merely offering instruction to the General Church as we did when Brother Johnson was still with us. We have clear authority from God through the Epiphany Messenger to address the General Church; whereas, the best rating Brother Johnson could see for J. W. Krewson was that of Evangelist. Brother Johnson was also vexed with the Toms, Dicks and Harries, who arrogated to themselves the office of General Elder – after Brother Russell's demise – in addition to many duly‑appointed Pilgrims who had revolutionized against Parousia Truth – in much the same vein as we now find ourselves. Be it observed that during Brother Johnson's life, no one, so far as we know, ever offered the protests and complaints about us that now emanate from uncleansed Levites and power‑graspers since his death.
Brother Johnson said of the “false‑accusing Epiphany crown‑losers” (and the same would be true of their Youthful Worthy soulmates) that they are “loquacious, repetitious, presumptuous, full of false criticism and foolish effusions” (E:10‑591); and it seems that the many humiliations and harrowing experiences that have come to them are yet sadly inadequate to reform them. “Can the leopard change his spots?” Nor should we think it “strange” if these same people still reveal that the years have not changed them! Clearly enough, it will require “great tribulation” to cleanse them, that they may “offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness” – a consummation devoutly to be wished. And to all who read comes our prayer for sufficient “eye salve” that you may “know the Truth, and that the Truth may make you free indeed.”
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Our dear Bro. Hoefle: – Jude 2!
We thank you very much for the picture of yourself and look forward to receiving (as you say) a better one of yourself and also of Sr. Hoefle. Words are inadequate to express our gratitude to you for the monthly letters we receive. We thank the Lord for your faithful devotion to duty in refuting error. To assist our wayward brethren it is necessary to continually reprove for wrong teachings and practices.
When the perfect day is here, error will no longer raise its head to deceive.
We notice you say that Bro. Johnson in the fall of 1946 was desperately ill, emaciated and bed‑ridden. When he was taken ill in Glasgow June 1946 Sister.... diagnosed nervous prostration. Bro, Johnson did not like the sound of that, so she then said – “well, nervous exhaustion,” to which he better appreciated......
Our dear Brother wore himself out for us. We have faith to believe he is with our Lord and all the risen elect of God – therefore, we can rejoice that his trials are over. We pray you will be kept faithful. Psa. 91; Ruth 2:12 –
Brother..... has received the 2 lbs. Will send again when we can. Our dear Jamaica brethren must have many trials. We pray for them. 1 Peter 1:7 –
Our united love to you both and all those with you.
Your Bro. & Sr ------- ENGLAND
Dear Bro. Hoefle: – Greetings in our dear Master's Name!
It is happifying to know that we have Servants in both the periods who endeavor to keep the “Truth stream pure.” God's blessing be yours!
Kindly forward a quantity of Where are the Dead .... So then may I join you in pursuit of Zeba and Zalmunna and in mind in the coming Memorial.
By His kind favor, Brother ------- New Jersey