My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
"It shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your old men shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions; and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit"--Joel 2:28,29.
Our text is taken from a remarkable prophecy in the book of Joel. In the first chapter of his book the Prophet describes under the figure of blights, droughts and famines the devastating work of the great Apostasy, which began to show marked evidence in the days following the Apostles, proceeding in the second and third centuries to the development of a hierarchy (the palmerworm); later, in the fourth, fifth and sixth centuries, it progressed in the development of the Papacy (the locust); and beginning about the middle of the sixth century reached its first climax in the completed Great Antichrist System (the cankerworm). After the Reformation it reached its second climax in the formation of lesser Antichrist and false prophet systems in Sectarianism (the caterpillar)--Joel 2:2-4. The thought of this chapter is that as in nature all fruitage has been destroyed by such blights, so the various stages of the apostasy from primitive Christianity destroyed the fruitage of the Apostolic sowings of Truth and Righteousness -did away with the teachings, practices and works that Jesus and His Apostles gave the Lord's people in the Harvest of the Jewish Age--just as has been done with the Harvest Truth as given us through That Servant here in the end of the Gospel Age. Thus briefly in this figurative way the first chapter of Joel describes the spiritual desolation prevailing in the figurative fields where the Apostolic sowing occurred -a desolation that has lasted until recently.
In the second chapter of Joel the prophet describes (verses 1-11) the resultant Great Tribulation of the Day of the Lord, and those who will bring it about. But the prophet shows that before the trouble will come the Lord will send forth a message to the people to repent. (Verses 12-17) The faithful receive the assurance that before the Trouble breaks out the Lord will take away the effects of the figurative blight (verse 25), and, punishing the wrong-doers (verse 20), will restore the Apostolic teachings and practises, which will result, before the Tribulation, in great fruitfulness returning to the fields of labor where His faithful will work. (Verses 19, 21-24, 26, 27) Then God through the prophet tells (verse 28) what is to happen after those days of restoration of the Apostolic teachings and practises, i.e., what will happen after the Gospel Age--viz., during the Millennium: God will pour out His Spirit upon (for) all flesh. Then, in verse 29, returning to a discussion of "those days”--the Gospel Age--God tells us what He would do during the Gospel Age - pour out His Spirit upon His servants and handmaids. We have taken these two verses as our text because they give us a brief description of the Millennial and Gospel Ages and the saved classes of these two Ages.
Analyzing these verses we find that they treat of six saved classes: (1) "your sons," (2) "your daughters," (3) "your old men," (4) "your young men," (5) "your servants" and (6) "your handmaids." It is Zion that is addressed in this passage. (Verse 23) Zion represents the Kingdom (Isa. 60:14; Rev. 14:1), and stands for the Lord Jesus and His faithful followers. It is "In those days" -during the Gospel Age -that the Spirit is poured out upon these (verse 29); and it is "afterwards" -during the Millennium-that the spirit will be poured out upon (for) all flesh. (Verse 28) We understand that by the expression "My servants" in verse 29 the faithful followers of Jesus are meant. First we will briefly describe this class, “My servants.”
THE LITTLE FLOCK
We notice that the time of their development is limited to the Gospel Age "In those days I will pour out My Spirit upon My servants." These like the rest of mankind were born under the curse (Rom. 5:12-19: 1 Cor. 15:21,221 Eph; 2:3); but unlike the rest of mankind they have hearts that trust the Lord even when they cannot trace Him. (2 Cor. 5:7) It is this faith-quality that causes them to hunger for fellowship with God; while those who do not have this faith quality do not crave fellowship with Him. Consequently the latter are not, but the former are, drawn to the Lord by the preaching of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. They turn from sin and Satan to righteousness and God. They accept Jesus as their Savior, thereby attaining to justification through faith (Rom. 3:21-26; 4:1-12), and then seek to grow In Truth and Righteousness. As they respond to His drawings, the Lord leads them onward until they are ready to take a second step-consecration. When God invites them (Rom. 12:1) to yield themselves wholly to Him, and to accept His will as their own, their faith in and love for Him, wrought in them by Christ through the Word, prompt and enable them to give themselves to Him as living sacrifices. He then gives them his Holy Spirit--begets them of His Spirit. (John 3:3; Jas. 1:18; Acts 5:33) He causes them with their own cooperation, to grow in grace and in knowledge" (Phil. 2:12, 13; 2 Pet. 3:18) He helps them to overcome self, sin, error and the world (Rev. 3:21), and to work out their own salvation by self-denial and world-denial, by watchfulness and prayer, by the study, practise and spread of His Word, and by suffering for loyalty to His Word. (Phil. 2:12, 13; 1 Pet. 5:10; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) They are His witnesses in the world for Truth and Righteousness. (Acts 1:8) The hope that He gives them is the attainment of the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ. (2 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:11, 12) These blessings they will attain in the First Resurrection, if they, faithful until death, become in character like Christ. (Rev. 2:10; 20:4, 6; Rom. 8:29) They are variously called the Branches in Christ the Vine (John 15:1-8), the Body of Christ (2 Cor. 1:22,23), a Holy and Royal Priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5,9), living stones of God's Temple (1 Pet. 2:5; Eph. 2:19-22), the Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16,29), the espoused Virgin and Bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:7,8; 21:9), Disciples of Jesus (John 8:31), Soldiers of Christ (2 Tim. 2:3,4), Brethren of Jesus (Rom. 8:29), the Little Flock (Luke 12:32), "good and faithful servants" (Matt. 25:21). All of these appellations apply primarily to the Fully Faithful of this Gospel-Age, who will be "joint-heirs" with Christ in the glorious Kingdom. (Rom. 8: 17) They are by far the most important class in God's Plan; for with and under the Lord Jesus they will be the Kings and Priests to administer the blessings of the Mi1lennium for the world. (Rev. 1:5, 6; 5:9, 10; 20:4, 6) Most earnestly should these strive to make their cal1lng and election to the Kingdom sure--2 Pet. 1:10.
Throughout the Scriptures this Fully Faithful "Elect" class is given the preeminence, many texts referring exclusively to them. In addition to the foregoing, there is one other pointed reference to them in Psa. 107:32--"the congregation of the people," That this expression does not include the Great Company (as set forth on p. 12 of the L.H.H.M. booklet "The Kingdom of God") is clearly stated in Psa. 1:5: "Sinners (the Great Company –see Berean Comment on Jas. 5:20) shall not stand (be included) in the congregation of the righteous" (the Fully Faithful Little Flock).
THE GREAT COMPANY
Closely related to this class is another, called in our text "the handmaids," and elsewhere in the Bible called a Great Multitude (Rev. 7:9; 19:6). The individuals of this class were originally invited through the High Calling to the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ (2 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 8:17; Eph.4: 4); but, alas, they fail to keep faithfully their consecration vows, and have had, therefore, to be remanded to a secondary class. The Ancient Worthies came in before the High Calling was open, and the Youthful Worthies are coming in after the High Calling was closed. Of the four elect classes, the Great Company is the only remanded class: They were not called to this position, the Lord having provided a secondary place for them because, even though they were unfaithful - or "measurably faithful"-they still loved the Lord, and had not become unfaithful enough, or sinful or indolent enough, to be utterly cast off into the Second Death: These have in practise rebelled or supported rebels against more or less of the teachings of God's Word. (Psa. 107: 10, 11) They have by sin marred their characters and spotted their robes. (1 Cor. 5:1-13; Jude 23; Rev. 7:14). They have failed faithfully to sacrifice their humanity for God. (Heb. 2:15; Jude 22). They have fellowshipped with the world (2 Tim. 4:10; Jas. 1:8). They have accepted and spread various false doctrines. (1 Cor. 3:12, 15; Matt.25: 3, 8) In the various Great Company groups very little mention is made of the Great Company -although many claim to adhere to That Servant's teachings. He set this class out in no uncertain terms -as has also Brother Johnson -and pointed out that they would come into prominence in the end of the Gospel Age. The Jehovah's Witnesses have perverted this Parousia teaching into their earthly Great Multitude; while the L.H.M.M. a group led by a self-admitted Great Company 1eader-now fails to "rightly divide" the two classes -the Little Flock and the Great Company.
They have developed sectarian systems (1 Cor. 3:3, 4; Matt. 7:26, 27; 1 Tim. 1:19, 20) They have usurped the office and persecuted the persons of their faithful brethren. (Isa. 66:5) They have more or less served Satan. (Heb. 2:14-15) They will receive from him the destruction of their flesh and works. (1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:20; Matt. 7:27; 1 Cor. 3:15); but they will finally escape with their lives, after losing the prize of the High Calling. (1 Cor. 3:15; Hab. 2:15; Jude 22, 23; Phil. 3:14) Accordingly, they will meet a great disappointment, when they learn that they have lost the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ (Cant. 5:6, 7; Matt. 25; 1l, 12,30)--although they will still be included in the "church of the firstborn" of this Gospel Age (Heb. 12:23). This consideration, combined with the thought that they will be lost unless they repent, will lead them to cleanse themselves. (Rev. 7:14) Thereafter they will have a successful ministry (Cant. 5:9-6:1; Rev. 19:6); and will in Heaven attain a subordinate spiritual glory. (Psa. 45; 14, 15; I Cor. 5:5; Rev. 19:9) As parts of the "Firstborns" they will be Levites in God's Temple and Noblemen in God's Kingdom (Rev. 7:15; Ezek. 44:10-14). Many members of this class are just now at the end of the Age, coming into special notice, activity and prominence. We usually speak of them as the "Great Company." This class and the preceding class, it will be noticed, are developed during the Gospel Age - "in those days" in which Jesus and the Apostles labored, in which the great Apostasy developed, and in which -at their end -the Lord restored the primitive teachings and practises of Christianity under the supervision and leadership of That Servant.
The errors that the Great Company have produced during the Gospel Age have been legion; and this has been especially true during this Epiphany period since 1917, when they have speedily succumbed to "the pestilence that walketh in darkness." And not the least of their perversions has been the truth concerning their own Class. As instance the Jehovah's Witnesses: Since 1917 they have had nothing but crown-losers as their headquarters policy-makers in Brooklyn; so what could be more convenient than just to read a crown-losing Class right out of the Bible. That was the very easy way to eliminate all discussion about them and their "leprous" deeds. And, while R. G. Jolly has not attempted such gross perversion of the Truth respecting the Great Company, it will be noted in his booklet, "The Kingdom of God," that he ignores completely the "leprosy" (the spiritual contagions) of this Class as we have set them out above. Half truths are usually more misleading than whole errors; and we are justified in being very wary of any exposition which glosses over, or ignores completely, large sections of Truth that are vital to a proper understanding of any subject under discussion.
We now turn to the consideration of the four classes of whom verse 28 treats. This verse describes the Millennia1 blessings and works of these four classes. Two of these classes -"your old men" and "your young men" -will have been developed before the Millennium; who as saved classes the other two classes "your sons" and "your daughters" -will be developed during the Millennium.
THE ANCIENT WORTHIES
We begin the discussion of these four saved classes with those who in verse 28 are called "your old men." This same class is called "Ancients" in Isa. 24:23, where the same word is used in the Hebrew as is translated "old men" in our text. In Psa. 107:32 the same class is referred to by the Same Hebrew word, translated, however, by the English word "Elders," i.e. the Ancients." So, too, the same class is in Heb. 11:2 called the Elders, i.e., the Ancients. Because they are in Heb. 11: 38 spoken of as those of whom the world was not worthy, we call them Ancient Worthies, in distinction especially from "the young men," whom we call Youthful Worthies -and from the Little Flock and the Great Company. By the "old men" of our text we understand the faithful of the Old Testament are meant. A long list of many of the more ancient and more prominent of these in their persons and works is given in Heb. 11:4-32. Others of them are referred to, though not by name, in verses 33-40. They were the heroes of faith before Christ came. God used them as His representatives, servants and witnesses in their times, and through some of them gave us the Old Testament Scriptures. He also, unknown to them, used them in the events of their lives to enact many typical pictures of certain future persons, classes and events in His Plan. Living before Christ's death they, of course, could not receive the actual cancellation of the death sentence that they, as well as the rest of the race, inherited from Adam; yet God gave them a tentative justification through their faith in His promises. (Rom. 4:3-9, 17-23; Hob. 11:7)
Since they lived before Christ's death they could not become sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ (John 1:12, 13; Rom. 8:17; Gal. 4:3-5), though they were privileged through their faith-justification to be "servants" and "friends" of God. (Heb. 3:5; Jas. 2:23). Accordingly, God did not offer to them the privilege of becoming kings with Jesus and partakers with Him of the Divine nature; for such promises were first given at the beginning of the Gospel Age. (1 Pet. 1:10-12; Heb.2: 3, 4; Heb.11: 38, 39; 2 Tim. 1:10; Luke 16:16) Jesus being the Forerunner of these kings (Heb. 6:20; 12:1, 2), the Ancient Worthies, preceding Him, could not share in this high, holy and heavenly calling -in the race for the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ. (Heb. 3:1; Phil. 3:14) John the Baptist, dying before Jesus' death, was the last one of this class of Ancient Worthies; and Jesus assures us that John will not be of the Kingdom class; for if, as He says, the least one of the Kingdom class will be greater than John, evidently John wil1 not be of that class. (Matt. 11:11) The reward of these faithful Ancient Worthies will be inferior, therefore, to that of the Little Flock. They will, however, be privileged to share in a "Better Resurrection" than that of the world, gaining perfection 1000 years ahead of the world (Heb. 1l: 35), though it will be inferior in rank to that of the Church. (Rev. 20:6) The honor to which they will attain will be that of princeship throughout the earth during the Mil1ennium (Isa. 45:16; Isa. 32:1), and their work will be that of ru1ership as judges and teachers. (Isa. 1:26,27)
Our text shows us that they will be given new Divine revelations - "shall dream dreams" -for the service of mankind during the time of the Kingdom. Thus will God during the Millennium reward them by making them perfect human beings and princes throughout the earth for their past faithfulness; and after the Millennium He will reward them for their Millennial faithfulness with a spiritual nature in Heaven.
THE YOUTHFUL WORTHIES
The next class of whom we will treat are those who are in our text called "your young men." It will be noticed that they are contrasted in standing and in work with the "old men." Since we call the latter the Ancient Worthies, to bring out one of these contrasts we call the "young men" the Youthful Worthies. These contrasting names are also applicable, because, as the Ancient Worthies came into activity on the stage of God's Plan before the opportunity was opened for anyone to enter the High Calling to the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ, so the Youthful Worthies come into activity on the stage of God's Plan after the opportunity to enter the High Calling for the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ is closed. According to the Bible, the opportunity of entering the High Calling was to be closed after "the fulness of the Gentiles" -the full number of the Elect from among the Gentiles -should come in. (Rom. 11:25) This synchronizes with the end of the reaping of the present Harvest. But as before the opportunity to enter the High Calling was opened, many -the Ancient Worthies -desired to and did serve God faithfully, so since the opportunity to enter the High Calling has closed many desire to and do serve God faithfully. Since they show the same spirit of devotion to God as the Ancient Worthies, and that under largely similar conditions, God purposes to associate them with the Ancient Worthies in Millennial and Post-Millennial rewards and service. Hence the similar and contrasted names of these two classes. As taught by the Epiphany Messenger, as well as by That Wise and Faithful Servant, an entrance to this class will be available in the end of this Age for all who come to the Lord in full consecration, and will continue until this Age ends--or until "Restitution sets in" and a way is opened for the world of mankind. Please See Epiphany Vol. 4, page 337 and page 342. Hence the similar and contrasted names of these two classes. We understand that as in 2 Tim. 2:20 the vessels of gold and silver refer respectively to the Little Flock and the Great Company, so the vessels of wood and of earth refer respectively to the Ancient and the Youthful Worthies.
As in Psa. 72:3 Jesus with His Church, and the Ancient Worthies, as the two chief ruling powers in God's Kingdom, are symbolized by the two mountains of Jerusalem, so the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies, as the two subordinate ruling powers of God's Kingdom, are symbolized by the two little hills of Jerusalem. Moreover, the Lord in the Tabernacle picture has shadowed forth these four classes: the Priests to the east of the Tabernacle typing Jesus and the Church; the Kohathite Levites to the south of the Tabernacle typing the Ancient Worthies; the Merarite Levites to the north of the Tabernacle typing the Great Company; and the Gershonite Levites to the west of the Tabernacle typing the Youthful Worthies (Num.3: 6-8; 1:49-54; 3:23,29,35,40-51; Heb. 12:23); while Israel, whose camp surrounded the Tabernacle at a distance, represents the world of mankind the Restitution class (whose salvation will be during the Kingdom when the Highway of Holiness is opened up for them). The Scriptures tell us less of the Youthful Worthies than they do of the other three ruling Kingdom classes. It is because they have the faith of Abraham that they will be blessed with him with the privilege of blessing all nations. (Gal. 3:6-9) These having the faith quality accept the message that preaches repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus and therefore are justified by faith. Heeding the Lord's invitation to consecrate, they give Him their hearts. (Prov. 23:26) There being no opportunity for them to win a crown with Christ, He does not beget them of His Spirit, but gives them a new human heart to love Truth and Righteousness, and to serve Him. They, too, like the Little Flock, become dead to self and the world and alive to God, practising watchfulness and prayer, studying, spreading and practising the Word and suffering because of faithfulness to that Word. (Opportunity for a privilege of "suffering because of faithfulness to His Word" during the Gospel Age, and now at the end--in this Epiphany period--is only for the elect classes. Restitutionists will not be required to "suffer for righteousness”: In the Kingdom proper the Restitutionists will be blessed "for righteousness' sake." Opportunity for Youthful Worthiship -the last elect class to be developed in the end of the Gospel Age will be available for aspirants "until Restitution sets in" if we accept the teachings of That Servant and the Epiphany Messenger. (See Epiphany Vol. 4, pp. 337, 342.) Thus the Youthful Worthies, too, must become faithful to the Lord-even unto death, if He deems it necessary. With the Ancient Worthies they will then share in a "better resurrection" (Heb. 11: 35) than that of the world, but it will be inferior to that of the Church. Thus they will in the beginning of the Millennium be raised perfect human beings, and with the Ancient Worthies will be made princes through the earth. During the Millennium they will be inspired by God to See visions of His Plan unfolding at that time, as our text assures us, and will cooperate with the Ancient Worthies in uplifting the race from the fall as a reward for their suffering because of faithfulness and obedience to His Word during the present time -while sin is in the ascendency. At the end of the Millennium, with the Ancient Worthies they will for their faithfulness be made spirit beings and have Heaven as their eternal Home.
These four elect classes (The Little Flock, Great Company, Ancient and Youthful Worthies) are the only consecrated classes of the Jewish and Gospel Ages. They are the only saved classes for elect purposes. God is not specially dealing with the world of mankind during these Ages (which includes the last special period of this Gospel Age--the Epiphany). The "due time" for the non-elect (the Restitutionists) is when the Highway of Holiness is opened up for them.
The third of the four classes brought to our attention in verse 28 of our text is called "your sons," We understand these sons to represent fleshly Israel, who are also in the Scriptures presented as a class separate and distinct from others. (Isa. 60:4, 9) They are the seed of Jacob, and as such have a special promise and call from the Lord. (Gen. 28:13, 14; Rom. 11:28, 29). The promise is that they shall forever inherit Canaan, and the call is that as a secondary earthly seed, under the Ancient and Youthful Worthies as the primary earthly seed, they "shall bless all the families of the earth." For this purpose God chose them in preference to all other nations to be His people. (Amos 3:2) He favored them with special revelations, providences and His Law Covenant to give them the opportunity as a nation to become "a kingdom of priests" (Ex. 19:5,6), and to furnish a practical demonstration of the truth that none of Adam's fallen, Imperfect race can fulfil God's Law, which is the full measure of a perfect man's ability, and gain life by obedience to the Law. (Rom. 3:9,19,20; Gal. 3:10-12) Many of them tried hard, but failed to keep the Law perfectly. This wrought in them the sense of the need of, and the desire for, a Savior from its sentence. (Gal. 3:21-24,13)
God also used fleshly Israel to furnish by their acts and institutions types of future features of His Plan (Heb. 9:9,10; 10:1; Col 2:16,17), and to preserve His oracles, which He deposited in their care. (Rom. 3:2) While some individuals among them, though not perfect, proved faithful, and thus became of the Ancient Worthies, the people as a whole were wayward (Rom. 10:21); and when Christ came, though some individuals among them proved to be "Israelites indeed," and as such inherited the promise of becoming a Kingdom of Priests, the bulk of them rejected Him. (John 1:11-13,47; Rom. 2:28,29; 1 Pet. 2:9) Therefore they were rejected from God's favor until the end of the Gospel Age (Matt. 23:34-39; Rom. 11:7-11,25); and throughout this Age instead of favoring them God has permitted them to suffer such untold miseries as perhaps no other single nation has suffered. (Jer. 16:13, 17,18) True to the prophecy, with individual exceptions, they have been blinded to the High Calling of the Gospel Age, and in darkness and error with respect to Christ and the Church-and have passed this Age far away from the favor of God. (Rom. 11:30-32; Jer. 16:11-13) However, the Bible prophesies their return to God's favor and to their land at the end of this Age (those Jews faithful to the Law Covenant, but not faithful enough to consecrate themselves to God and "suffer for righteousness" in His service). Rom. 11:25-32; Isa. 11:10-13; Jer. 16:14-16; Ezek. 36:24,28-30, 33-36; 37:15-22,25; Amos 9:14,15--Before our eyes these prophecies are fulfilling; for since the year 1878 Israel's blindness and prejudice toward Christ are passing away; and God has since 1878 opened the way fortheir return to Palestine. An ever-increasing number of them have availed themselves of the opportunity of returning thither, especially since the close of the World-War, and are receiving civil rights there that give them advantages not enjoyed by them in Palestine since the overthrow of their polity, 66-73 A.D. These events are the precursors of the Millennium. (Ezek (37: 21-25)
According to the Scriptures another wave of woe is to overflow Israel; but Christ will thereafter appear as their Deliverer; and the whole nation (those who trust in the Mosaic Law and God's promises to them) will be converted to Him by the ministry of the Great Company before the latter leave this earth. (Ezek. Chaps. 38 and 39; Zech. 12:2-14; Rev. 1:7; Cant. 5:8--6:1) Shortly thereafter the Ancient Worthies will return from the tomb, and will be accepted in Palestine by Israel, who will by the preaching of the Great Company have been prepared for the return of their ancestral patriarchs and prophets. Thenceforth Israel will be a blessing in the earth. (Isa. 19:21,) God will make with them the New Covenant, giving them Christ Jesus and His faithful followers as their Mediator, and taking away from them the Old Covenant with its curses, and Moses as its unavailing mediator. (Jer. 31:31-33; Ezek. 16:60-63; 37; 26) Their gratitude at their deliverance will cause them to be especially zealous for God and His Truth. As the missionaries of the next Age they will, under the lead of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, by preaching ("your sons shall...prophesy"--included in "your sons" are the persevering, but unconsecrated Gentile believers of the Gospel Age, those faithful in tentative justification but not faithful enough to consecrate and carry it out while the ascendency of sin is still in the world. See Epiphany Vol. 4, p. 319) convert the Gentile world to the Kingdom of God. (Psa. 107: 22; Joel 2: 28; Rom. 11:12-15) Thus they who have been so greatly despised during the Gospel Age will, because they are "beloved for the fathers' sakes," (Rom·. 11:28) become greatly favored during the Millennium as the chief nation on earth. Their Jewish Age and Gospel Age experiences, combined with their efforts to fulfill the Law of God, will all the more inure to their becoming subject to the Kingdom arrangements, through which, as they continue to obey, they will be lifted up to the perfection of human nature as father Adam enjoyed it in the beginning. As many of them as will prove true to the Lord during the trial in the "little season" at the Milllennium's end (Rev. 20:7-9) will inherit the land that God promised Abraham and his seed after him (Gen. 13:14-17; Acts 7:5); but during the Millennium this land will belong to the Ancient Worthies.
However, those Israelites who either during the Jewish Age or the Gospel Age apostatized by giving up faith in the Abrahamic promises and the Law Covenant will not receive the special Millennial favor of Israel just described. They will be treated as Gentiles during the Millennium; for their apostasy made them practical, if not fleshly, Gentiles -just as the Gentiles who were the "persevering, but unconsecrated believers of the Gospel Age," gave them 'the same quasi-elect standing of "converted fleshly Israel" -"your sons" of Joel 2:28 (See Epiphany Vol. 10, p. 209).
The sixth and last of the saved classes of whom Joel 2:28,29 treats is those who are there called "your daughters." (Isa. 60:4) As we contrast the daughters of Isa. 60:4 with the sons of Isa. 60:4,9 (in the latter of which verses Britain's-"the isles"--instrumentality in returning Israel to Palestine, as is now taking place, is prophesied) We recognize that the gentiles are meant by the term "daughters." (See also Ezek 16:61) Israel's superiority to the Gentiles during the Millennium is, from the standpoint of the superiority of sons to daughters in oriental lands, also in harmony with the thought that the daughters represent the Gentiles. By the Gentiles such nations as are not in covenant relation with God are meant. Hence all who are not of Natural or of Spiritual Israel (Isa. 8:14) are from the Divine standpoint Gentiles. Accordingly the human race from the Fall until the Covenant Was made with Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3) was entirely Gentile. Because they did not desire to glorify God as God, He gave them up to their own ways, which as both the Bible and history attest, have been largely evil. (Rom. 1:21-32) Satan and the fallen angels deceived them into false religious worship and beliefs and into wicked practises. (1 Cor. 10:20; Eph. 2:2) Hence the history of the nations consists in large part of degrading events, religious, institutions and pursuits. Intrigues, revolutions, wars and plunder largely characterize national histories; while violence, brutality, dishonesty, immorality and selfishness largely characterize the history of man's social relations. Mighty empires have arisen only to fall before still mightier empires. More or less of ignorance, vice and superstition, like a withering pall, has descended upon the Gentile world. These remarks apply as well to the period before as to the period since Christ. And where intelligence has been the greatest, evil has frequently attained the largest proportions, as was manifest in the palmy days of the 'Roman Empire and in the late War.
In permitting the Gentiles to take their own course in an experience with evil, Jehovah designed that the Gentile world, that refused to retain Him in its Knowledge, might by experience learn the lesson that it would not learn by precept -that sin is bad -bad in its nature and bad in its effects, and therefore should be hated and shunned as a rattlesnake .... Therefore to their better learning of this lesson He simply let them follow their own selfish hearts. Moreover, He permitted Satan and his fallen angels to secure dominion over them (Eph. 2:2; 6:12), knowing that these would give them such experiences (2 Cor. 4: 4; Heb. 2: 14) as would make all the more impressive the detestableness of sin and the desirability of avoiding and of being free from it, by the great sufferings and deceptions into which these evil angels would involve the human family under their dominion. True, this lesson is not yet by the Gentiles taken to heart; but when during the Millennium the opposite experience, with righteousness, will come to man through the blessings of the Reign of the Christ, the contrast of the misery suffered under the experience with evil with the blessings enjoyed under the experience with good, will effectually teach them to hate and avoid sin, and to love and practise righteousness. When this glorious result shall be attained, God's having permitted the fallen race to have had the bitter experience of over 6000 years of evil will become manifest to all as being the acme of Divine Wisdom, Justice and Love for the ultimate good of the race.
THE GRAND OUTCOME
According to the Scriptures the climax of evil is reached in the Great Tribulation (otherwise called the last Special Period of the Gospel Age-the Epiphany Period in which we are now living), consisting of world-wide Wars, revolutions, anarchies, famines and pestilences. We understand that we have with the World War entered this Great Tribulation. It will entirely sweep away Satan's Empire over the race, and pave the way for the establishment of God's Kingdom. This, as we have already seen, will first be set into operation by the Christ at the hands of the Ancient Worthies in Palestine, where it will speedily greatly benefit the Israelites. Then the news of its establishment will spread among the Gentiles, who at that time will be utterly exhausted, broken and humbled by the horrors of the Great Tribulation (World-War, Armageddon or Revolution, Anarchy and Jacob's Trouble). It will be to them like a rope thrown to a drowning man--the Gentile world will grasp for it as their only hope of deliverance from their unspeakable and indescribable miseries. (Hag. 2:6,7; Rom. 8:19-22; Isa. 2:3,4) And, bless God, it will be the effectual cure of the curse, and will teach the world righteousness! (Rev. 22:3; Isa. 26':9) Then they will rejoice, when after the storm of the Tribulation they will come into their desired haven (Psa. 107: 22-32) They will indeed "exalt God in the congregation of the people, (the Little Flock) and praise Him in the assembly of the Elders" (the Ancient Worthies). The glorious work of that Kingdom in destroying every element of the curse, and in introducing restitution to human perfection will more than satisfy their hearts (Rev. 21:3-5; 22:1-3; Acts. 3:19-24), and prompt them to praise, God by spreading His Word. (Isa. 25:6-9; Joel 2:28) Yea, "Your daughters shall prophesy" -teach others the Truths of God's Kingdom. Obedience to the Kingdom's laws will raise them to human perfection; and faithfulness In the final trial at the Millennlum's end (Rev. 20:7-9) will result In their gaining everlasting life on earth; while the incorrigible will be eternally cut off in the Second Death-Matt. 25:34, 41, 46; Rom. 6:23; Psa. 145:20; Isa: 1:28; Psa. 37:10,35,36. (Nor do we need any "new views" by the various Levitical groups of Little Babylon: God's Plan is all-sufficient for the Truth-hungry!)
Certainly Joel 2:28,29 is a remarkable summary of the six saved classes of human beings. It does not give us all the details on them. Rather, In. harmony with a general principle of the Bible, it gives us only a little about them; for the Bible expressly teaches that it gives its information "here a little, and there a little." (Isa. 28:9, 10, 1.3) It is for this reason that in giving the details on any Biblical subject it is necessary to quote what it says on the subject from "here a little" and from "there a little" throughout the Bible. Hence we have in this article, for example, quoted from many different Biblical books. It is for this reason that the Bible is the most difficult book in the world to understand. God has designedly made it so in order that its treasures may be found by those only who so appreciate them as to be willing to search diligently for them as men search for gold and hidden treasures. (Prov. 2:1-5; Isa. 28:9,10; Matt. 7:7; John 5:39; Acts 17:10-12)It is even hidden from those who once enjoyed its treasures, but failed to appreciate them sufficiently to remain "dead to self and the world" (2 Thes. 2:10-12). It is indeed true, as the poet has assured us: "Great truths are dearly bought." May the Lord bless to us this study of the six saved classes of human beings, and help us thereby better to appreciate the subject that it properly introduces.
THE REPENTANT FALLEN ANGELS
The fact that only six saved classes are mentioned in Joel 2:28,29 may strike some as being incomplete, since many things In the Divine arrangement come in sevens, and six is the number of evil or imperfection. But as we consider the matter further, we realize that while there are only six saved classes from the human family, as mentioned in Joel 2:28,29, there is another, a seventh saved class, mentioned in other Scriptures, viz., the repentant fallen angels. God will also grant the opportunity of life eternal to them. The fact that they are mentioned in the Scriptures as being bound in chains of darkness (2 Pet. 2:4) is in a measure due to the depravity of the Adamic sin in the antediluvians that occasioned their fall. Since Satan originated sin among all fallen beings, he originated sin also in the fallen angels, who were induced by him to marry the daughters of men, while seeking to reform the race (Gen. 6:2-4). Their ardently seeking, as its powers of spiritual control, the reformation of the race, gave Satan the opportunity to tempt them to marry the daughters of men. Their ill success at such reformation had a discouraging effect on them. (See Epiphany Vol. 17, pp. 45-50)
The Scriptures assure us that during the time of our Lord's appearing, i.e., His Epiphany (or the Great Tribulation) the crisis of their trial goes on (2 Tim. 4:1); for fallen angels and new creatures, never sentenced to death, are "the living" who at His appearing, i.e., in the Epiphany (or the Great Tribulation), are separated as a result of their judgment crises.
By the end of the Epiphany (the Great Tribulation) the fallen angels will be divided into two classes: (1) the repentant, and (2) the unrepentant. The latter will thereupon be sentenced to destruction with Satan, imprisoned with him and finally executed at the end of the "little season" (Rev. 20:3,9). The former will at the end of the Epiphany be placed under Christ and the Church for their Millennlal opportunities of overcoming everything sinful in them and of developing perfect love, fitting them for the heavenly society and for fellowship with God.
Thus seen, their Gospel-Age opportunities are for their rescue from co-operation with Satan in evil; and their Millennial-Age opportunities are for their fitting unto eternal life. The details of the reformatory methods that Christ and the Church will apply for their full reinstatement into God's fellowship are not revealed to us. All we know of them is that Christ and the Church will reign over them for the purpose of effecting their complete reunion with God. When they are reinstated, they also, together with all other creatures in heaven and earth, will join in saying "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever" (Rev. 5:13)--See E-17, p. 52.
THESE SIX SAVED CLASSES cover all the human classes saved through the Ransom -and are Scripturally supported and set out by the Epiphany Messenger in minute detail. There is no hint of a seventh class in the Bible or by either Messenger (other than the fallen angels mentioned in the preceding paragraphs)-although some of the crown-lost leaders of this Epiphany have attempted to foist another class upon the Lord's people--such as the Jonadabs of the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Epiphany Campers Consecrated of the L.H.M.M, and the Quasi-elect consecrated by another apostate from Epiphany Truth. They boldly set out such "strange fire" (false doctrine) despite the fact the Scriptures teach no such class -or classes -they invent.
The basic concept of this treatise is largely by Brother Johnson; and we consider it a timely presentation to offset the perversions now being published by erstwhile believers of Epiphany Truth. All the sects in Big and Little Babylon retain some features of the Truths they received from their Star-member teachers, although they have also perverted those teachings miserably with additions of their own errors. The Truths they do retain offer sufficient appeal to many to lead them to overlook or ignore, the errors their crown-lost leaders have given them--just as we now see being done by the portion of adherents of the "cousins" (Jolly-Krewson); and it is this evil that now motivates us to publish the Truth on the Six Saved Classes exactly as Brother Johnson gave it to us--together with the fallen angels, making the seven saved classes effected by our Lord's Ransom Price and the ministry of The Christ (Jesus and the Little Flock). So far as we know, we are now the only group adhering fully to this Truth; and with this comes our prayer that it may be a distinguishing "landmark” and faithful guide to all our readers.
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work." (2 Thes. 2:15-17)
Sincerely your brother
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
Free copies of this article to any name and address sent to us.
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings of love in our dear Redeemer's Name!
Your birthday is quite near and our thoughts and prayers go out to you. It gives us real JOY to know you have able and staunch brethren assisting you- Defenders of the Faith." Since November we have had stormy weather and it has meant a time for more opportunity and study of Parousia and Epiphany teaching opprortunities. We thank the Lord for so much verification of Truth that has come our way-through the Star Members and your faithfulness so ably performed in substantiation of Parousia and Epiphany teachings.
We trust our dear Sister-----feels the comforting message of Truth in her sad bereavement. Our loved ones are sadly missed, but; the knowledge the Lord has given us is a real balm. We send to you and all with you our love in the Lord with Hymn 300 and 71 to you all. Your brethren by His Grace,-- (ENGLAND)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings in our dear Redeemer's Name!
Your good letter received, and we were very glad to hear from you and thank you very much for your Christmas greeting -the lovely letter. Your letters are so refreshing and also your articles we receive monthly-strengthening to our faith and a stimulus to Holiness, of which we are sure our dear Heavenly Father is well pleased. We were glad to hear that you, dear Brother and Sister Hoefle, had been on a Pilgrim trip -and that the Brethren you ministered unto received a rich blessing. Truly it is good to talk to those who love the Lord! Sister and I have been down with a virus -a heavy cold -and Sister had to have the doctor. It happened over the Holidays and we were unable to be with our daughter ... Thank you Sister Hoefle, for the holes punched in the articles. May our dear Heavenly Father continue to bless you both! Be sure of an interest in our prayers, as we ask you to pray for us.
Your brother and sister by His Grace, ...NEW JERSEY)
My dear Brother Hoefle: Christian greetings in the Master's Name!
Much appreciation and thank you for the kind words, for it is true that the Lord has blessed me with generous opportunities for serving Him and His dear ones-for which I am very thankful. And so, by the Grace of our Lord, I am determined this New Year to do with my might what my hands find to do. I have received the January paper -also the two books. Thanks much. Well, I think we have had very rich blessings this Holiday Season. I was hastening to our first meeting this year to hear the testimonies of the brethren as they make fresh resolutions to continue faithful in the Master's service for this year. They are in good spirit. I have read the February paper with interest on The Last Days (2 Tim. 3:-9) It is really a sad distortion to apply such prophesies as a forecast of events in the world. I think it amounts to what is called “darkening counsel by words without knowledge.” (Job 38:2) Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
I notice in Present Truth -Nov-Dec, 1965, the question on p. 92 regarding Church Elections, R. G. Jolly has again attacked Brother Roach (this is not an attack against Brother Roach, but an attack against J. J. Hoefle--JJH), showing that he caused a schism in the Trinidad Ecclesia, but I know such charge must be laid at the feet of R. G. Jolly. Plenty Can be said, but suffice to quote Jude 9 - Yet Michael, the Archangel, When contending with the Devil disputed about the Body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation -but said, "The Lord rebuke thee." As usual, please remember us in your prayers, as we always make mention of you and Sister Hoefle when we go to the Throne of Grace.
Your brother in the One Hope by God's Grace,---------(TRINIDAD)