My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
On page 91 of the Nov-Dec. Present Truth is reproduced a Resolution passed by the Convention at Philadelphia on September 3, 1966, wherein it is stated, “John J. Hoefle has.... shown himself to be persistently in opposition to various teachings of the Scriptures as presented by Pastor Charles T. Russell and Pastor Paul S. L. Johnson.” The Resolution was presented to the Convention by R. G. Jolly; and we now emphasize that he himself has been repeatedly guilty of the very things he ascribes to John J. Hoefle. On numerous occasions have we given details in our various papers, but we single out just one such case here because R. G. Jolly himself has published his recommendation that this teaching be changed from the way it was originally published, claiming a mis-reading of the dictaphone disc as his excuse for the Mistake (?):
The item mentioned is to be found on page 124 of Vol. 17 (ten lines from bottom) - “Then cometh the end (the end of the Little Season).” R. G. Jolly has advised his readers to change this to – “Then cometh the end (the end is the Little Season).” It should be noted that with the change from “of” to “is” he now has the “end” occurring at 2874; whereas, if we accept the statement as published by Brother Johnson, the “end” will be forty or more years later than 2874. We cite this particular case because there can be no question here who is changing what Brother Johnson wrote: It is R. G. Jolly, and not John J. Hoefle.
It is our contention that the statement as published by Brother Johnson is the right thought; and that R. G. Jolly’s proposed change is the wrong thought. As our first proof of this we refer our readers to the November 15, 1949, Herald of The Epiphany, page 48, col. 2 – where the statement is exactly the same as contained in Vol, 17. Now, R. G. Jolly proof-read that Herald, as did also Brother Johnson; but neither of them took any exception to it then. Why? Because neither of then saw anything wrong with it then; and it is our position that Brother Johnson would even now find nothing wrong with it if he were here to speak for himself. It is our contention also that the reason R. G. Jolly now finds it wrong is that he must do so to support some of his other Perversions of the Truth (Azazel means Perverter).
It is usually an evidence of weakness if we are forced to contend that something is the Truth because Brother Russell or Brother Johnson said so. We should be able to substantiate what they said by sound Scriptural reference – “a reason (from the Bible) for the hope that is in you.” Therefore, we now offer Scriptural proof that the statement in Vol. 17 and in the 1949 Herald is correct as originally published – and that it will be wrong if “corrected’ per R. G. Jolly. In 1 Cor. 15:20-26 a number of things are recited as the accomplishments of our Lord’s Millennial work; and “then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God.... For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (vs. 24-26)
The word ‘death’ in the above is from the Greek ‘thanatos’ – the same as contained in Rev. 20:13,14: “Death (thanatos) and Hell (Hades) delivered up the dead which were in them.... And death (thanatos) and Hell were cast into the lake of fire.” Hell (Hades) in these texts means oblivion, the death state – the grave. Therefore, it should be readily apparent that ‘‘death’’ in these two texts cannot also mean the grave. If it did, it would be equivalent of saying “The grave and the grave delivered up the dead which were in them – the grave and the grave were cast into the lake of fire.” Stated thusly, it is self-evident nonsense; and the Bible never presents nonsense in its statements. Those in Azazel’s clutches often and habitually talk all sorts of nonsense; but the Bible – Never! The word ‘death’ in these two texts means the Adamic-death process; that is, it is that working of physical, mental and moral erosion that has been finally putting human beings into the tomb (into Hades) over the past six thousand years. And this death-working process will not be fully eliminated – annihilated – until the removal of the last human being that has experienced its corruption (the unreformable). Nor will such humans be eliminated in their last members until the full end of the Little Season, because it is that dying process that eventually proves them to be incurably incorrigible.
It should be kept in mind that the “enemies” to be destroyed by the reign of The Christ are persons and things. Note specifically what Brother Johnson says about it:
“He shall have put down all rule and all authority and all power (every vestige of the governorship and of the pretended authority and the pretended might of Satan, all of this will be put down by the almighty hand of Christ, the Head, and the Church, the Body, using God’s power as that almighty power in their hand). For He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet (thus we see that not only persons are these enemies, but also things. The Adamic death in the sense of the dying process is this last great enemy; and, because of His faithfulness, Jesus became the One who will after the close of the Millennium finally destroy it.”
From the foregoing, it should be crystal clear that the Adamic-death process is the very last enemy to be destroyed. Therefore, Satan and the impenitent angels and incurably incorrigible men (persons) must enter eternal annihilation before the Adamic-death process (the last thing) will disappear. It would be impossible for it to be otherwise. Therefore if R. G. Jolly’s “end” is at the beginning of the Little Season, he is also then telling us by inference at least that Satan and wicked men must also be destroyed at the beginning of the Little Season. Is that his contention? And if Brother Johnson would be in harmony with R. G. Jolly’s change from “of” to “is” (which he certainly was not), it would make all the other statements quoted above as meaningless. The Adamic-death process (thing) cannot disappear until the last human (person) corrupted by it has also disappeared; that is why the Adamic-death process must remain to the very last – the last enemy to be destroyed.
Another point to be remembered here is also that all those surviving the Little Season must enter it with perfect characters and with perfection of physical organism; whereas, the “goat” class that go into “everlasting destruction” with the Devil and his angels enter the Little Season with perfect physique only. Their imperfection of character (the mark of the Adamic-death process) is the real cause of their annihilation at the fulfilment of the antitypical Red Sea – when they are cast into the Lake of Fire with the Devil and his angels.
This explanation is confirmed when we consider that the Red Sea annihilating Pharaoh and his Egyptian hosts is the type of the Lake of Fire in Revelation – into “death (the Adaamic-death process) and Hell” are to be cast. That Red Sea episode has Pharaoh typing Satan, the chariots Satan’s evil organizations (things), the horses the evil teachings (also things), and the horsemen the evil angels and evil men (persons) who embrace and teach those evil teachings. And the final complete elimination of all such is pictured by the Red Sea overcoming Pharaoh and his hosts in one grand display of force by the Lord at the full and complete end of the Little Season. Therefore, those who follow out R. G. Jolly’s instructions to change page 124 of Vol. 17 will be guilty of just one more tampering with the Truth as given through the Star Members; and such are certain to reap “the reward of unrighteousness” which their,act deserves.
In connection with R. G. Jolly’s Resolution and other similar Levitical injustices, we quote from E-13:753 (Also see Isa, 66:5):
“God does not approve of oppressing any earthly captive (34), of taking away a man’s rights in matters pertinent to the lord (35) and of undoing a man in his cause (36).... They have been made as reprobates and outcasts (faithful teachers—JJH) from among the people (45). False religionists have caused their mouthpieces to speak against God’s people, especially against the star-members.”
CONCERNING ISA. 41:19
In the March-April 1967 Present Truth, p. 24, col. 1, par. 3, R. G. Jolly says, “Isa. 41:19 has also a Millennial application, as the context shows (e.g., vs. l7,18).” Why does he not go back just a little further to vs. 15 and 16: “I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth (The sickle of Harvest Truth); thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them (the Time of Trouble – see Berean Comment).” Clearly enough, there is no “Millennial application” in these texts; and, if we consider closely the Rotherham translation of v. 17 there won’t be any “Millennial application” there either:
“As for the oppressed and the needy seeking water when there is none (the poor of this world, rich in faith – here in the end of the Age, when there would be “A famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord”—Amos 8:11).”
Considering the entire context of verses 15 through 19, it is easily understood why neither Brother Russell nor Brother Johnson could see any Millennial application there. It takes a Levite to find that out – a levite trying to substantiate his “strange fire” (false doctrine) of Campers Consecrated – even if he has to invent something to do it. Note also Jer. 49:20: “Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out” (the same as the “oppressed and needy” of Isa. 41:17 – here in the end of this Age). Certainly the words of St. Paul are most timely here: “We have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully (the crown-lost leaders – typed by King Saul – have handled the Word of God deceitfully all during the Age); but by manifestation of The Truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Cor. 4:2)
Furthermore, note especially that R. G. Jolly’s perversion forces him to group the Little Flock (the No. 1 “very” Elect) in with his “saved non-elect,” his “quasi-elect,” and his “Consecrated Epiphany Campers” – one glorified class of spirit beings with three second, third, and fourth-class human beings. Is there any Scriptural precedent anywhere for such a conglomeration? Then he proceeds to place the Worthies and the Great Company in the “desert” in the Millennium! A desert is uninhabited, unproductive, without water (without the Truth). Is he now telling us that will be the condition of the Worthies and the Great Company during the glorious Kingdom reign? Certainly, all of us know Brother Johnson had good reason for ascribing such a condition to certain crown-losers here in the end of the Age; and that same good reason also restrained him from applying the same conditon to the faithful and cooperating Levites In the Kingdom reign. When crown-losers fall into Azazel’s hands (Azazel means Perverter) they talk all sorts of nonsense; and here is just one more Illustration of it.
His presentation on this, and similar subjects, is fit company for “fool’s gold,” the same being an iron or copper pyrite – bright yellow and shining like gold, but a worthless imitation. But it is a sufficiently good Imitation of gold that it often “fools” the unskilled and inexperienced prospector – to the merriment of others who know better. So the Millennial (?) interpretation of Isa. 41:19 will also probably mislead “the unstable and the unlearned,” although it is not likely to deceive those well-schooled in Present Truth.
It is with much regret that we find it necessary to criticize this Present Truth, because the great bulk of it contains the superb writings of the Star Members. The first article on page 18, “With Strong Cryings and Tears,” is by Brother Russell (See Reprints p. 3885), and a very uplifting and superior presentation. The article on page 25, “The Feast of Tabernacles,” is also by Brother Russell (See Reprints, p. 3508). And the large portion of the article on page 22, “Jehovah’s Set Feasts – Type and Antitype” is by Brother Johnson; and it is to R. G. Jolly’s shame that he would contaminate such writings by Injecting some of his errors into them. After reading more than six pages of this Present Truth we had begun to feel considerable relief that it would not need any correction, as we have other articles waiting to be published; but such a perversion of Isa. 41:19 cannot go unnoticed if we would be faithful to the Lord, the Truth, and the brethren.
Since King Saul is a type of the crown-lost leaders up to Armageddon, we believe the following excerpts from That Servant on the disobedience of King Saul would be most timely in connection with the foregoing:
LESSONS FROM SAUL’S FAILURES
The Philistines increased their army of occupation; and the Israelites – unarmed, except with agricultural implements, etc. – were terrorized by the warlike Philistines. Saul’s army of three thousand dwindled to six hundred – yet the word which reached him from the Prophet Samuel was, to wait seven days for his arrival, apparently with the intention that the people should thoroughly feel their impotence, and cry unto the Lord for succor. King Saul did as directed to the extent of waiting seven days; and with the expiration of the time, seeing how his army was dwindling and that Samuel had not returned, he on the seventh day undertook to be his own priest. He offered up sacrifices to God without authority.....
While passing, we do well to note why King Saul’s sacrifice of burnt offerings to the lord was condemned as a sin. This was because God had made a specific law to the effect that only the priests might offer sacrifices. Then comes the question, Why should God limit the offering of sacrifices to the priestly tribe? The answer is that that tribe typically represented the church – fully consecrated to God, and accepted by Him. These the Apostle styled the antitypes, not only of Israel’s kings, but also of Israel’s priests. St. Peter says of the church in general, and not of the clergy in particular, “Ye are a royal priesthood.” (Reprint p. 5638)
SAUL REJECTED BY THE LORD
“Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice”—l Sam. 15:22. The words of the Golden Text of this Study are the Lord’s rebuke to King Saul by the Prophet Samuel, in connection with the announcement that Saul, by disobedience to the Heavenly King, had forfeited his privilege of representing God on the throne of Israel. The rending of the kingdom from the hands of Saul meant more than his own displacement; it meant that his son and his successive heirs should not continue as the Lord’s representatives in the kingdom.
Apparently King Saul was not evilly intentioned, but lacked proper respect and reverence for the lord and His arrangements (as is specifically recorded of R. G. Jolly in E-10:646—JJH). This incident may be said to have been the beginning of Saul’s rejection by the Lord..... “Thou hast not kept the commandment of the lord;.... now thy kingdom shall not continue... (In the incident recorded in E-10 above cited, R. G. Jolly did not continue to occupy his place in the priesthood, but was from then on recognized as a crown-loser, which exposure he accepted and admitted—JJH)...... Let us hearken to the Word of God and keep close to it, not fearing the results, but having faith that He who keeps us never slumbers nor sleeps and is too wise to err, as well as competent to meet every emergency that could possibly come upon us as a result of our obedience.
THE SLAYING OF THE AMALEKITES - KING SAUL’S WILFUL DISOBEDIENCE
Saul’s error in this trial was his failure to carry out the command of the Lord explicitly. He slew all the Amalekites, old and young, except the king, whom he kept alive, possibly thinking to exhibit him in some kind of triumphal display. But as for the flocks and herds, he consented with his people to spare all that were desirable. (“But they made the great mistake of cutting off the branches of the tree of sin and leaving its trunk unfelled and its roots unuprooted – Saul and the people spared Agag—See E-13, p. 243, bottom, and p. 244, top—JJH) (Reprint p. 5647)
It was at this juncture that the Prophet Samuel came to him and the colloquy of our lesson ensued. The general narrative – Samuel’s indignation and the Lord’s positive statement – clearly Indicates that King Saul had not misunderstood his instructions, but had with considerable deliberation violated them. Consequently we must understand his words addressed to the Prophet Samuel to have been to a great extent hypocritical. He first salutes the Prophet with blessings and assurances that he had performed the commandment of the lord successfully (Don’t we have examples of this Saul class – the crown-lost leaders – proclaiming they have “performed the commandment of the Lord successfully” – telling us they have always lived very close to the Lord and His Word?—JJH)
Immediately the Prophet replied, What meaneth, then, this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of thy oxen which I hear?” The Prophet understood at once that the work of destruction had not been complete — that King Saul and the Israelites were anxious to take a spoil. This was wholly contrary to Divine direction.....
Seeing that the Prophet was not likely to sympathize with his violation of the command, King Saul began hypocritically to represent that all the sheep and oxen captured from the enemy were to be sacrificed to the Lord; and incidentally this would have meant a great feast for the Israelites; for the flesh of the animals so sacrificed was eaten by them. The Prophet stopped the king in his explanation and told him of the lord’s words of the night preceding....
King Saul sought to defend his course, to put as good a face upon the matter as possible and to lay the responsibility for the saving of the spoil upon the hosts of Israel, who with himself were very desirous of offering sacrifices to the Lord. The Prophet’s answer is the pith of the Study and contains the Golden Text.... No one could offer an acceptable sacrifice to God unless he was obedient in his heart and unless the sacrifice represented that obedience....
It is also necessary to have the spirit of obedience. Whoever has that spirit will not only obey the Divine will, but will seek to know the Divine will more and more that he may obey it. It is of this class that the Scriptures declare, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them”; and again, in the words of our Redeemer, “I delight to do thy will, 0 my God; thy law is written in my heart.” (It is selfevident that these texts apply only to the Fully Faithful who are “examples of the believers” – and not to the Measurably Faithful – the crown-losers – who failed to be faithful examples—JJH) (Reprints 5647, bottom, and p. 5648, top)
RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE LONG IN THE WAY
There are certain principles laid down in the Bible. We need to get a grasp on these principles and apply them in our daily lives. There is the principle of justice – a foundation principle. This principle must be recognized and practiced....
Those who have been for some time drinking from the fountain of truth, and feeding at the table of the Lord, where the food is pure, unadulterated, nourishing, should be fully established in the first principles of the doctrine of Christ...... We should be firmly rooted and grounded in Christ, so that nothing can move us. We should be able to discern clearly between truth and error on every important point. We should be so loyal to the Lord and His Word that we shall rejoice in the glorious privilege of proclaiming it at every suitable opportunity. We should know what we believe and why we believe it, and be courageous and uncompromising in declaring the truth which has so blessed our own hearts and lives. (Reprint, p. 5689, col. 2)
“Sanctity the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:13,20)
Sincerely your brother
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
ANNOUNCEMENT OF GENERAL INTEREST
It is with much appreciation that we acknowledge the reports from Classes and individuals of the Memorial service on March 23. We note with much satisfaction the zeal and sincerity for this annual event of those whose letters have come to us thus far.
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle:
Your letter received, also your monthly letter on the Memorial.... Regarding the wording of the cablegram sent by Judge Rutherford concerning Brother Johnson’s visit to England in 1917, I looked it up in Harvest Siftings No. 1, published August 1, 1917. It read, “Johnson demented. Has no powers. Credentials issued to procure passport. Return him America. Sympathy.” You have read the issue, so know about the contents which contained a series of cablegrams from Brooklyn to England, and vice versa. It also gives the detailed accounts of Brother Johnson’s activities while in England and after returning to Brooklyn.
The account of Bro. Johnson’s calling himself the “steward” of the Penny, and likening himself and other brothers in England to characters in the Book of Nehemiah and Esther as type and antitype, was strange indeed; and it seemed to me that the contents of the cablegrams must have been authentic. Bro. Hemery of England mentions in one of the letters that Bro. Johnson had a nervous illness in 1910. I also have the answer to Harvest Siftings called “Light After Darkness,” which mainly seems to be Brothers A. N. Pierson, I. F. Hoskins, R. G. Hirsh, J. D. Wright and A. I. Ritchie vs. J. F. Rutherford and W. E. Van Amburgh, and does not deal with Bro. Johnson’s case. Very little, at least. I suppose nearly all those referred to above are now gone to their reward, and their cases are in the hands of the Judge of all the earth, who will assuredly do right. The judgment of the House of God is in progress, and nearing its end, surely. All divisions, confusion and strife – for whatever reason will then be over. Certainly a wonderful prospect.
Regarding the Memorial date, I notice there is no unity even on that. The Society announces the date as the evening of March 25.... The Dawn Bible Students observe it an Sunday eve., April 23... Of course, faith in and loyalty to the ransom sacrifice as our Passover Lamb is of paramount importance as we memorialize His sacrifice for our sins and also for all mankind.
Yours in that glorious Kingdom hope .----- (INDIANA)
OUR ANSWER TO THE ABOVE LETTER
Dear Brother ------- Grace and peace!
You offer some comment about Brother Johnson that causes me to conclude that you may not have all the information about that 1917 trouble. It is true that he did think for a time that he would be the “steward” of the Penny Parable; but he had the humility to correct his own misunderstanding when the truth eventually came to him.
As for Harvest Siftings, Brother Johnson contended there were almost a hundred falsehoods in it; and one of the then Society Directors characterized it as “A work of Satan.” While the cablegrams quoted therein may have been ‘authentic,’ as you suggest, certainly the omission of “Johnson insane usurper – incarcerate him” left out an essential part of one of them, don’t you think? Half truths are often more misleading than whole errors.
And when Jesse Hemery referred to the 1910 Illness in a disparaging way, that was just simply an adroit move to avoid the real truth about what had been done. As you probably know, Jesse Hemery left the Society around 1926; then began to publish his own interpretations which set aside large parts of the Truth given us through That Servant. But during the time he was doing that Brother Johnson was faithfully defending the Parousia Truth – and which he continued to do to the time of his death. Had it not been for him, and the fine instruction I received from him, I would not today have nearly the clear understanding of the Harvest Truth that I do have.
And you yourself apparently eventually withdrew from the Society because you could no longer approve of the stream of error that emanated from J. F. Rutherford. As you well know, It is a favorite trick of the Adversary to cast aspersions on the mentality of those who are presenting the clear truth. Of John the Baptist they said, “He hath a Devil,” (Matt. 11:18) And of Jesus they said, “He casteth out devils through Beelzebub.” (Luke 11:15) Since Brother Russell’s death, I think It is a fair appraisal that Brother Johnson received more abuse from his “brethren” than any other one person in the Truth Movement; yet he is the ONLY ONE of the leaders in the various groups who retained and defended the Harvest Parousia Truth. All of the others cast aside large parts of the Truth they had once accepted; and produced error in its place. Yet Brother Johnson was the only ‘crazy’ one among them! Now, my dear Brother, I ask you – Do you swallow that? As you say, ‘Judgment must begin at the House of God’; and you could also have added very appropriately, ‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’ And you might have added also that blessed are we if we can discern God’s judgment, and separate the Truth from the error. As you know, there are still plenty of preachers in Big Babylon who continue to slander Brother Russell because they could not withstand the Truth he taught.
It is my conviction, too, that Brother Johnson gave us the correct method for determining the right time at which to observe the Memorial, but I shall not go into detail on that. For now, my Christian love to the both of you, and my cordial good wishes that you any “know the Truth” which maketh free indeed.
Sincerely your brother, John J. Hoefle
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings in our dear Redeemer’s name! I have been intending to write to you for some time – first to tell you how much I enjoyed your January paper and then again the same for your February paper. I feel every day that we have the privilege of witnessing a general deterioration in Society – on all fronts. You stated it well in mentioning that a tree dies from the top down. Working with various religious denominations I can certainly see large cracks in the walls of Babylon.
With Christian love and the assurance of prayers, Your brother in His service,