My dear Brethren; – Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
“And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of the firstborn among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine.... I am the Lord” – Num. 3:12,13. With this terse statement by Jehovah God was laid the foundation for the first system of an organized religious system for God's faithful people. Previously, the head of each house was mainly his own priest; he built his altars, and offered his own sacrifices for himself and for his house. (See Gen. 22:9) But, with the call of the Levites things would be decidedly different; and as time developed the religious routine did indeed become most pronouncedly different.
As all Bible Students know, the Levites were the descendants of Levi, one of the twelve sons of Jacob – the “thirteenth” tribe of Israel. This oddity developed when they were called out from among their brethren to perform the various services of the newly‑formed religious system that was to regulate them after their deliverance from bondage in Egypt. Thenceforth, the names of Joseph and Levi were no longer counted among the twelve tribes, these two having been supplanted by the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh. Here comes the logical query, Why were the Levites thus chosen and separated out from among the other tribes? The episode in Ex. 32:25-29 may give us the answer: “When Moses saw that the people were naked... then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord's side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him .... Moses said, Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord (margin).” But now that the Levites had been separated from their brethren, they in turn experienced a distinct cleavage into priests and Levites. “Thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death,” the Lord had told Moses (Num. 3:10 – see also Num. 18:1‑8). Then in turn Aaron's house was given two clear separations – Aaron the high priest, and his four sons, Eleazar, Ithamar, Nadab and Abihu, as the underpriests (Ex. 28:1‑2). Each of these had their specialized services to perform; and the rebellion of Nadab and Abihu from their proper place had brought about their death (Lev. 10:1‑8), leaving then but two underpriests, Eleazar and Ithamar, the elder of which was to advance to the office of high priest as a matter of succession, and the same with his eldest son after him – much the same as the kingship in England and other monarchies. None of the Levites – Priests or lesser Levites – were to have any inheritance in Canaan land when Israel took over there: “Unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the Lord God of Israel was their inheritance.” (Josh. 13:33)
Just how pronounced was the distinction between priests and lesser Levites is set forth in Num. 3:9: “Thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons; they are wholly given unto him.” (See also Num. 8:19) When we consider the service of the Tabernacle and all the ceremonial features related thereto, it becomes clearly apparent that it would have been impossible for Aaron and his sons to perform even a small part of it; thus, the necessity for the help of the lesser Levites – a point that will have consideration in viewing the antitype of this arrangement.
And the words of Jesus leave no doubt whatever that the priesthood, the lesser Levites, the Tabernacle and its pertinent services were typical in every feature: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18); “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:17). Therefore, St. Paul knew whereof he spokeä in 1 Cor. 10:11 – Dia.: “These thing occurred to them typically; and were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the Ages have come.” At the first Advent the Jews had come to “the ends of the Ages” – the final “end” of the Jewish Age and the first “end” (or beginning) of the Gospel Age; as we also now are in the “ends of the Ages” – the closing “end” of the Gospel Age and the opening “end” of the Millennial Age. Therefore, those who complain about so much “typing” by Brother Russell and Brother Johnson are in effect condemning the clear teaching of St. Paul; those types are for our special help in this Epiphany time, which is the last special period of the Gospel Age. That is why Brother Russell taught that every feature of the Tabernacle ceremony must continue until its antitype appears; otherwise, the law would pass away before it was fulfilled – or “filled full” –, thus putting to naught the words of Jesus and St. Paul.
Having now this firm foundation, it well behooves us to “earnestly look into” some typical aspects of the Levites. In Tabernacle Shadows Brother Russell explains that the Aaronic priesthood was typical of the Gospel and Millennial‑Age “royal priesthood”; and St. Peter (I Pet. 2:9) emphatically states, “Ye (the saints) are a royal priesthood.” And of this Gospel‑Age “royal priesthood” Jesus said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” Here again the type and antitype are clearly set out by St. Paul: “And no one takes the honor on himself (the “priestly” honor), but he being called by God, even as Aaron was.”
Here it is well to note that each successive high priest in Israel was merely a continuation of that one grand type exemplified in Aaron – just as his great antitype Jesus was but one antitype. And, as every antitype must be greater than its type, so in this instance it is so clearly evident that Jesus, the antitype, was greater than Aaron, the type. The same would apply for the underpriests, Aaron's sons: they were far less than their Gospel‑Age antitypical “royal” priests. Aaron was a virile priest, honorably, zealously and unselfishly fully devoted to his office. Similar observation can be made of Jesus and His Fully Faithful of this entire Gospel-Age. However, sad to relate, this was not true of some of Aaron's descendants. Time, ease and temptation made wretched examples of some of them. It was a true and righteous priesthood when Aaron occupied the office. By the time of the prophet Jeremiah that priesthood had deteriorated into a priestcraft; and that priestcraft was no more than priest“graft” when Caiphas sent Jesus to the cross.
And all during the Gospel Age the same sad history has been re‑enacted. All of the grand and eloquent Star Members were a true “royal priesthood,” as instance just a few of them: Arius, Martin Luther, Thomas Cranmer, John Wessley, Brother Russell and Brother Johnson. And so often there followed them the priestcraft, then the priest “graft” in those movements they inaugurated. Our own day offers an outstanding example in the “Society.” When Brother Russell died he was possessed of about $200.00, having freely spent his own sizable fortune to enhance and ennoble his priestly movement. He was truly “That Faithful Servant!” But, hardly had he left us before That Evil Servant rushed to the priestcraft, then the priest“graft,” as he “made merchandise” of his trusting adherents through his collection of royalties on the books they sold, etc.
Now, another typical feature should draw our attention; namely, the Levites. Brother Russell says they typified the tentatively justified of the Gospel‑Age – those believers not of the “royal priesthood.” These, too, were “wholly given” unto the priests. Without their help the true Gospel‑Age priests would have been so few in numbers and so limited in resources as to make it impossible for them to do the work appointed them to do. There has also been a tremendous multitude of the “Great Company” all during the Age, who also contributed a good and a bad adjunct to the Christian army; but these are not shown in the personal performers of the Tabernacle, the reason being there was no Great Company Class during the Gospel Age until we came into the Epiphany period, when this group as a Class came into much prominence; and they will become yet much more prominent in the near future. Although they are the antitypical “sons of Levi,” this expression is not synonymous with the Gospel‑Age sons of God, a “sleight‑of‑hand” attempted by R. G. Jolly in his Nov‑Dec. 1960 Present Truth, p. 92 (of which we hope to say more in another paper; but we observe here that his jugglery in this instance offers just one more proof of his unclear mind and uncleansed condition).
But in this Epiphany time another class of Levites has appeared – the Youthful Worthies – a class treated in great detail by Brother Johnson in his Volume 4, in the Present Truth and in other publications. And with this Class – as with the New-creaturely “sons of Levi” – there is to be found the measurably faithful and the fully faithful. Inasmuch as the Great Company are the measurably faithful “sons of Levi,” we should expect Youthful Worthies to gravitate to the various groups who are inclined to the evils of that group. Of these Brother Johnson says in E:9‑232 (52)‑bottom:
“It will reach its climax in the mourning of the Great Company, reprobate Youthful Worthies, tentatively justified and campers when they recognize their real standing later in the Epiphany, .... this mourning includes every kind of sorrow, fear, restraint, discouragement, etc.”
There is much more here on pages 233‑235, which is most profitable reading at this time. Of course, as with many of the New Creatures who become fully reprobate and go into the Second Death, so with the fully reprobate Youthful Worthies – they will “die” as Youthful Worthies, though not as human beings – as is true of the Second Deathers. With such, they will mostly experience the fate of Korah and his group (Num. 16:1‑32): “the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up” – that is, they will retrograde to the social order whence they came.
However, of the fully faithful Youthful Worthies Brother Johnson says they, too, are a special class of Levites, transitional Epiphany Levites, decidedly different from that Great Multitude of transitional Levites who must “wash their sullied robes by great tribulation.” Note the following from E:4‑322 (9):
“It must be kept in mind that the Great Company Transitional Levites are different from the Youthful Worthies as persistent Gospel‑Age Levites in the transition time. Excepting the Good Youthful Worthies (who were with the priestly movement of Brother Johnson when Vol. 4 was written – JJH), the three groups of each class are associated severally with one another.”
A further confirmation of the foregoing is to be found in E:9‑230 (50): “The Parousia Congregation, with the exception of the Little Flock, was an evil congregation, the faithful Youthful Worthies here as everywhere else being ignored in this picture.”
In Mal. 3:3 we are told the “messenger of the covenant” (the Lord Jesus – see Berean Comment) will “sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” That this text is pointedly for this Epiphany period is so very clearly explained by Brother Johnson. The “silver” is the Truth; and the word “purifier” should be translated “polisher” – furbisher or shiner. What is the meaning here? It is simply that the Lord would “polish” or brighten the Truth as one of His special Epiphany missions by sharp controversies that have extended throughout this entire Epiphany period; and will wax sharper and warmer as the Epiphany reaches its grand climax in the “appearing” of the Son of Man toward the end of “Jacob's trouble.” Thus, those who object to the Epiphany controversies are in effect telling the “Messenger of the Covenant” that they do not approve of what He is doing. And of such Brother Johnson has this to say in E:4‑42 (41):
“Those who do not appreciate the Epiphany will stumble at its teachings, exposures and work, while the others will stand amid them, declaring Righteous are Thy judgments, 0 Lord! Yea, they are entirely righteous.”
During the Parousia and the Epiphany our Lord elected two brilliant and fully faithful mouthpieces in His mission to “polish” the Truth. Their Skill in controversy is a refreshing and sacred memory to all the fully faithful; and we may rest in the assurance of the Lord's mighty declaration in Malachi that He will not be wanting for fully faithful brethren to continue “the good fight” of “polishing the silver” even brighter and brighter until the full close of this Epiphany period. “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it!!”
R. L. GOUGH AGAIN
Below we publish a further exchange of letters that are the aftermath of our December 1 paper, No. 67:
December 28, 1960
Dear Brother Hoefle: – Greetings in the name of Him who loved us first!
This is not a reply to your letter of the 10th November (I told you that I would ignore your letters until you retrace your steps, and I mean to do so), but I am constrained to write to you in protest against your unwarranted attacks on Brother Motley, in your December 1, Circular. It is un‑Christian, uncharitable, and a violation of the principles of Christian ethics. When I read it, it made me sick at heart, to think that anyone in the Truth, and professing to be a leader and teacher, could retaliate in a manner so low and mean. This is surely “hitting below the belt,” and “playing the man instead of the ball,” – a method of controversy in which you have certainly excelled!
I do not know if all that you have said is true – how much of it is truth, how much is half‑truth, and how much is a distortion of the facts. I would very much like to hear Brother Motley's side, to get his version of the story. (It would have been very easy to obtain Bro. Motley's address from R. G. Jolly and get his side of the story – JJH) But assuming that it is all true, and exactly as you have written it, you have violated the principles of decency and good behavior. Where is your brotherly love? Where is your longsuffering and forbearance? It is bad form to do a man a kindness and then tell him about it afterward; it is even more reprehensible to tell it to the world, as you have done! Even some men of the world would scorn to do that!
And what is the reason for your tirade against the Brother? Because he dares to disagree with your views, and dares to take sides against you in a religious controversy? If he had become one of your “supporters” the world would never have heard about the $400.00 and the “I promise to pay.” Did you think that your kindness would purchase his conscience? Did you expect it to act as a muzzle, or deprive him of his freedom and liberty to think and act? It would have been better if you had never been kind to him, than to be kind, and then use it to vaunt yourself. Your kindness had in it the venom of a rattle‑snake! What a tyrant your kindness is intended to be!
What has the Brother done you – not repaid your loan of $400.00? The value of the blessed Christian Brotherhood cannot be expressed in terms of dollars! One brother died owing me 100 lbs ($500.00 in those days), and nobody ever heard of it – this is the first time that even this much of it is being mentioned. So what? Has the Brother hurt you? Why have you hurt him in return? Have you forgotten that “When he (our Master) was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not”? Was the Brother ungrateful? Have you forgotten that God is kind even to the unthankful? (God certainly is kind to the unthankful, but He doesn't specially bless and guide them – nor does he hinder their proper experiences and chastisements for their recovery. As Brother Johnson teaches, God turns against those who turn against Him – Truth and Righteousness – JJH) The Brother wrote about “the hurts that we receive from false brethren.” That is something we could all say. All of us have been hurt by brethren, true and false. There was no specific reference to you. Did the cap fit you? Did your conscience tell you that you were one of the false brethren? The Brother mentioned that he was a “staunch supporter” of Bro. Jolly, and that was to you as a red rag is to a bull, so you decided to “show him up” for supporting Bro. Jolly after receiving kindness from you many years ago. What a spirit! No wonder Bro. John Krewson says that those who imbibe the spirit of your teaching develop a personal animosity toward Bro. Jolly – here we see it being extended to one of Bro. Jolly's supporters. And you claim that you and your supporters are the “cleansed Levites”! (Another “false‑accusing Epiphany Levite: We have never at any time claimed, either overtly or covertly, to be “cleansed Levites”..JJH) Would God you had never been “cleansed,” and I pray that God will deliver me from that kind of cleansing! “By their fruits ye shall know them.” I find that you are bearing very sour and bitter fruits! When you were here in 1957 I told you that your spirit was bad. What abundant proof you have given of the truth of that statement!
In my December, 1958, letter, I told you that you never seem able to make allowances for the weaknesses, frailties, and shortcomings of the brethren; now I tell you that you have never learned to forgive, and unless you learn to do that, you can never sincerely pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (This self‑admitted Epiphany Levite is telling us that he knows our condition; that he knows we have never learned to forgive. Undoubtedly he must know that at some time he very seriously deflected, otherwise he would have retained his crown; yet he knows so much about the condition of others, but failed to see his own true condition when he so needed to correct his sins – JJH) Admitting that Brother Motley is all wrong – that he has failed to appreciate your kindness, and that he has neglected to repay you – why should you be so resentful? (Was Brother Johnson resentful toward R. G. Jolly when he felt it necessary to expose his treatment of the Youthful Worthy cancerous sister – even though R. G. Jolly had repented outwardly at the time of this exposure? – JJH) If you cannot bear with the failings of one brother here, how are you going to bear with the failings of the world in the Millennium? If you cannot forgive a brother once, how are you going to forgive anybody “seventy times seven”? Why didn't you try to obtain the Brother's address and write to him about the matter, asking him to repay the loan? (Why didn't you, Brother Gough, ask R.G. Jolly for the brother's address so you could get his 'story’ about the matter? – JJH) That would have been the proper thing, and would have been more Christlike! Instead, you have held it in your heart with a spirit of resentment, waiting for an opportunity to expose him. For shame! I have not so learned Christ! (“False‑accusing Epiphany Levites” – as Brother Johnson tells us. They have all the answers with most of them all wrong! – JJH)
You write about the crown‑losers being in Azazel's hand. The Adversary has you so well tied up in a bag, that only the Lord will be able to set you free – if you will allow Him. Let me tell you straight (Emphasis ours – JJH), my wayward and deluded brother: if I had ever been foolish enough to support you in the past, when I read your vicious attack on Brother Motley, it so sickened me, that I would have dissociated myself from you immediately.
The Master says that when we do alms we must not let our left hand know what our right hand doeth, that our alms may be in secret. You rendered a kindness to the Brother in secret, and presumably you kept it in secret for many years. Then because the Brother dares to disagree with you on a religious issue, you decided to make it public, so you printed it and told the world. This is not the action of a “cleansed Levite”: only an uncleansed Levite would be guilty of such a thing! 1 John 2:10‑11
I am on the mountain top breathing the pure air (spiritual oxygen) of love – the love that beareth all things, that endureth all things, that suffereth long and is kind, that does not render evil for evil unto any man, that is kind even to the unthankful, that feeds and gives drink even to an enemy, that forgives seventy times seven, that covers a multitude of sins, that is not provoked to anger, that vaunteth not itself, that worketh no ill to its neighbour, that does not avenge itself, that does not retaliate, and that never faileth. How could I come down and associate with you on a lower level, and breathe the impure air (spiritual carbonic acid gas) of resentment, revenge, retaliation, bitterness, of rendering evil for evil (assuming that the brother had done you evil), of anger, of hate, and the whole lot of the works of the flesh and the devil? It would poison me as it has poisoned you.
Have you ever heard of the “mantle of love” that is used to cover the failings of the brethren? Read the Manna comment for December 14.
(Note: Brother Gough – another self‑admitted crown‑loser – hesitates not to proclaim his own character fitness (his agape love) in the foregoing, while denouncing the “bad” spirit of his brother. We do wonder whether he was declaring his agape love and character fitness at the time he was losing his crown to another, while at the same time castigating some faithful crown‑retainer – accusing him of having a “bad” spirit! – JJH)
There is a gulf between us – the loveless gulf of resentment and retaliation. This gulf is impassable from my end, because I will not and cannot stop loving; but it can be passed from your end, because you should and can stop hating, if you will. The Great Physician has medicines which will sweeten the bitter heart, if you will take it according to directions.
Instead of wreaking your vengeance on the Brother, why didn't you leave the whole matter in the Lord's hand? The Lord says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” Isn't that good enough for you?
Why don't you return to the mountain top where you once were? The atmosphere up there is so sweet and pure; so refreshing and stimulating! Can I invite you to come back? I would welcome you, my wayward brother. Your present activities have robbed you of the sweet spirit of love. The truth sanctifies; it brings forth the fruits of the spirit, the summum bonum of which is LOVE. But your “new light” or “advancing truth” has robbed you of love, and developed the opposite spirit – that of resentment, retaliation, etc., etc., etc. There is a saying that “ambition killed Caesar.” And the ambition to be “teacher” has almost killed the spirit of brotherly love in you.
Are you going to come back to the mountain top? I am waiting and looking out for you. “I write not this to shame you, but to warn you.” “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” “Knowledge puffeth up, but love buildeth up.”
Have you forgotten what the Lord says? Though you speak with the tongues of men and of angels; though you understand all mysteries and all knowledge; though you have all faith; though your monthly circulars are filled with “New light” and “advancing truth”; though you claim to be a “cleansed Levite”; though you condemn everybody else as “uncleansed”; though you scoff at the crown‑losers and claim to be superior to them, if you have not LOVE, you are just “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” – you are exactly, NOTHING.
I love you, my erring brother. Brother Russell said that love must never let go its hold on a brother man, until God's unerring judgment declares him to be irreformable. So my love will hold unto you in prayer, that God will convert you from the error of your way, and that He will show mercy unto you in that day.
With Christian love, and prayer that the Lord will sweeten your heart, and fill it with His own sweet Spirit of the love that covers a multitude of sins, and that “never faileth,” I remain, Sincerely your brother, (Signed) R. L. Gough
P.S. May I ask you to publish this letter in your February Circular? I doubt if it will be in time for the January one.
Dear Brother Gough: – Christian salutations!
In your letter of December 28 you tell me I am unchristian, uncharitable, and violate the principles of Christian ethics by what I published concerning H. H. Motley. Just what is your opinion of him, when he refers to me as a “false brother” and a “liar” – statements from him unwarranted and without any provocation from me toward him personally? You have made similar accusation about my treatment of R.G. Jolly – although, apparently, it is quite acceptable to you to have him slander me, resort to much abusive name‑calling, and multitudinous falsehoods.
You say I present a “tirade against the brother, because he dares disagree with my views.” When he makes the charge – “Brethren that we esteemed highly turn from the Truth to lies of their own invention” – are you classifying that as a mere disagreement? Or, isn't it a clear charge – publicly made – that I am a reprobate and a fraud?
When you consume three pages to express yourself in this matter, you do indeed manifest that you are a true kinsman of R. G.Jolly. He also takes three pages to state what would more effectively be given in three paragraphs by Brother Russell or Brother Johnson. To give you a clear and pointed example: On pages 12, 13 and 14 of this January Present Truth R. G. Jolly several times refers to “the aforementioned sectarianizing errorist,” thus using thirty‑nine letters to say what would more directly and clearly be stated with just nine letters, had he simply stated the name of J. W.Krewson as the one he was criticizing.
It now becomes painfully pointed why Brother Johnson felt compelled to publish to the General Church that R. G. Jolly and his soulmates are “loquacious, repetitious, false‑accusing and foolishly effusive.” In case the full forceful meaning of these words does not fully register with you, Brother Johnson was telling all of us on p.591 of his Volume 10, in genteel manner, what the man in the street would colloquially classify as a lot of gasbags, or hot‑air artists. And with this background, you implore me to “return to the mountain top” with you. No, Brother, I much prefer the same low position that Brother Johnson occupied! With him, I prefer rather the appeal of the Scripture, “Blessed is the man that standeth not in the way of sinners” (the Great Company).
Just what do you know about H. H. Motley, that you now arise to champion him? Have you ever met the man? At least five different brethren have given me unsavory news about him, some of which I know to be true of my own knowledge – some of it much worse than I published; yet I made no attack upon him until he himself attempted to Publicly vilify me. If you had wanted to know H. H. Motley's side of this situation, why didn't you write and ask him for it before bothering me? Then you could have been sure of your ground; but, then, if you had done that, you might have seen beforehand just how ridiculous you now appear.
You speak about “ethics” of men of the world; and it seems your education here also is very limited. Had H. H. Motley had such ethics, he would have hesitated long before publicly attacking one who had shown him nothing but kindness and generosity. Even without his public attack against me, I would have been justified in what I did, since others have informed me he has tried to wheedle money from them – offering some of the same lopsided arguments you now present. Knowing that some of our readers do give him a measure of brotherly fellowship, such exposure may have protected others. In his case, the same as it was with R. G. Jolly when I exposed his evil practices, my long‑suffering could no longer be in harmony with justice and 'love for the brethren’ had I continued to remain silent after his false charges against me before the General Church.
R. G. Jolly didn't hesitate at all to inform all his readers that I had asked him for a substantial loan (not a gift), although he didn't inform them that he had just been the recipient of about $11,000 through a direct contribution from me. I assume that what he did there was quite all right with you, even though he was “eating my bread” at the time he did it – just the reverse of this Motley situation. Nor do you take exceptions to R. G. Jolly's name‑calling when it applies to this “errorist” (?) when he refers to me. He has indulged in all sorts of cheap appellations – all false (“false accusing”) – such as 'shyster lawyer,’ etc., etc.; while anything I have labelled him has been mainly taken from Brother Johnson's writings (when he found it necessary to expose R. G. Jolly).
When H. H. Motley refers to me as a “false brother,” is he there exposing my false teachings, or is he indulging in the very thing you now so loudly condemn in others (your charges being made mainly and specifically to me – even commending J. W. Krewson if he has any false accusations to make against JJH, although his falsehoods in regard to my Pilgrim appointment from Brother Johnson have been exposed and proven false, as well as many other items); namely, personalities, without corroborating evidence? What I said about him, I stand ready to prove, and the same applies to what I say about R. G. Jolly. Let him then prove what he said about me! As Brother Johnson has so aptly stated, When these crown‑losers fall into Azazel's hands they talk all sorts of nonsense, and can no longer think clearly on Scriptural matters. You say I and my supporters claim to be “cleansed Levites.” Show me one place in any of my writings where I've ever made that claim! You, like R. G. Jolly, just open your mouth and say something, whether you know whereof you speak or not.
You use this expression “cleansed Levites” in a manner that clearly reveals your mind is badly befuddled on the subject – very badly befuddled. The fully faithful Youthful Worthies occupy the same standing of consecration as do the Little Flock; but the measurably unfaithful among them are in nowise pictured with the Great Company “sinners” against their covenant of sacrifice – even though some of them may experience similar chastenings. But the faithful Youthful Worthies keep faithful by purifying themselves daily – as do the Little Flock – by rendering up a daily account to their Father. However, the measurably unfaithful Youthful Worthies are nowhere said to be abandoned to Azazel; that is exclusively a Great Company characterization, and comes to them exclusively for the destruction of their fleshly minds to make them once more acceptable residents in God's Household – to cleanse them (that their spirits might be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus!).
Along this same line, you tell me I have “never learned to forgive.” Here again, with all your “loquacious and foolishly effusive” words (quotation from Bro. Johnson), you clearly reveal you do not understand the fundamentals of forgiveness. I refer you to the Berean Comments on Luke 17:3‑4: “If he repent – but not otherwise.” Also, the Berean Comments on Luke 23:34: “There is no mention in the Scriptures of forgiveness on God's part without the requirement of repentance.” In harmony with this, Brother Johnson has written – “God never forgives the impenitent; to do so would be to encourage sin.” And in the face of your sad limitations in understanding, you are now boldly championing the cause of others who are as limited as you are!
You speak about “breathing the pure air of love.” You certainly demonstrated that "pure air of love”) when you attempted to cudgel and browbeat the aging and ailing widow of your erstwhile bosom‑friend, dear Brother Condell. Of course, it was my “unchristian” spirit then that finally silenced you. You gave an excellent demonstration there of that “love” about which you are now prating so profusely! And I'm going to let you in on a secret here, my Brother: My “unchristian spirit” that silenced you a few years back will once more silence you here in this matter.
You ask me to publish your letter. Why don't you ask R. G. Jolly to do it – as he did with that other letter from you? And have him publish this answer at the same time, if you wish. Brother Russell and Brother Johnson always said the Pilgrims were their personal representatives. If R. G. Jolly feels the same way about it, why not suggest to him that he have H. H. Motley write an answer to my public exposure – for publication in the Present Truth? That way all may know all the details, which won't be true if this is kept as a private matter between you and me. I do not approve of the “whispering campaigns” R. G. Jolly conducted under Brother Johnson, nor do I approve his “whispering campaigns” against me. If he is ever cleansed he will cease such underhanded and nefarious machinations (of Azazel), and seek earnestly to be open and aboveboard in his dealings with his brethren, with the world, as well as with his enemies. J. F. Rutherford was more of a Master at this than R. G. Jolly, but it seems that R. G. Jolly is doing his best along that line.
You haven't been the least backward in pointing out my Christian duties to me, so I shall now reciprocate: It is your duty to impress upon R. G. Jolly his obligation to all those who rely upon your teachings, to publicize this matter in the Present Truth – to “make manifest my folly to all” (2 Tim. 3:9), if such is my condition. You certainly do talk plenty, considering your limitations. My opinion is that R. G. Jolly will be more than glad to have this Motley episode forgotten as quickly as possible; and that he himself did not dictate your letter to me. And I am persuaded you will not receive any thanks from him for proceeding as you have.
As I told you several years ago, it is certainly not my wish to hurt you if I cannot help you; nor would I now have made public mention of you had not you yourself invited it. Many accused Brother Johnson of having a “bad spirit,” as you now accuse me; but mere words do not prove anything. The Roman Church still yells “bad spirit” at Martin Luther, as his teachings still hurt them; and the real reason for such accusations against Jesus, against the Apostles, and against the Star Members is that name‑calling was the only thing left after their clear presentations of Truth left the gainsayers “speechless.”
And so I send you once more my brotherly solicitations and the prayer that you may “turn back from your path of error” (Jas. 5:20 – Dia.) to that clear and invincible Truth you once accepted from the Epiphany Messenger.
Sincerely your brother,
(Signed) John J.Hoefle
“The fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.” Psalms 111:10
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle
QUESTION: – Is it all right for us to distribute the antitypical Gideon tracts that are published by the L.H.M.M. and other groups?
ANSWER: – This question presented itself in similar substance to Brother Johnson early in the Epiphany; and it will be recalled he went to the Society and to the P.B.I., requesting such literature with the understanding that he would be willing to distribute it with their name on it. Their refusal was undoubtedly overruled by the Lord, because Brother Johnson would not have considered such a thing ten years later – after he saw from the Scriptures the true condition of those leaders. We now should profit by his experience. We all know that The Resurrection, Soul, and Where are the Dead tracts, which the two Star Members presented were, and still are, 100% the Truth; but the Truth is deprived of much of its beauty if it is sullied by a tainted background furnished by the revolutionistic uncleansed Levite leaders of these Movements.
This would certainly not justify us in attacking the Truth, even if it is in unclean hands. Our proper course would be to stand aloof. As Brother Johnson has clearly taught, when uncleansed Levites are abandoned to Azazel “God temporarily abandons them” (See E:15‑525), which is much the same as a father disinheriting a wayward son until he repents of his “wilfulness, rebellion and waywardness.” (E:15‑526) For us, then, to place our stamp of approval upon such while God abandoned them would be much the same as telling God we think He is wrong in the treatment meted out to them. However, for those in the various Movements who have these 'timely’ tracts, it is to their credit that they concentrate their efforts on these known Truths rather than on tracts and literature produced by these uncleansed Levite leaders.
It is our understanding that J. W. Krewson recommends the distribution of R. G. Jolly's tracts – which does not surprise us (he may have helped produce some of them), as he has repeatedly revealed how unclear he is on some Parousia and Epiphany teachings. Even if R. G. Jolly does eventually cleanse himself – and J. W. Krewson is not at all sure he will do so –, this would be no excuse at all to encourage him while he is revolutionizing against one truth after another. The influence he has on others while afflicted with the contagion of spiritual leprosy should be a strong deterrent in our attitude toward him. Of course, we are acutely aware of the close relationship of these two “cousins” – and especially the “tie that binds” them in their mutual, though in some points strongly divergent, contentions on Epiphany Campers Consecrated, etc.; but we need not become ensnared by that bond in our own efforts. The tracts we have prepared are receiving excellent acceptance (see Letters of General Interest); and we ourselves are therewith content, resting in the full assurance that we need never offer apology for our perverse conduct or perversion of various features of the Truth and its Arrangements. When Brother Johnson approached the Society and the P.B.I., he did not then have the wherewith to prepare that literature under his own name. Once he did have his own literature, he would under no circumstances have referred inquirers after the Truth to those organizations; nor should we do so, as they are all part and parcel of Little Babylon, and the principle would be just the same as referring such to Big Babylon.