My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
In Rev. 7:9-17 there is described in some detail “a great multitude" of persons, the expression being translated in the Emphatic Diaglott as a great crowd, which no one could have numbered. The same expression is also found in Rev. 19:1 and 6 -the 7th and 19th Chapters of Revelation being the only places in the Bible where the expression is used for this class. Brother Russell explained this "great crowd” as that vast number of people who had responded to the invitation to enter the race "for the prize of the high calling in Christ" during this Gospel Age, but who had failed to be faithful to "the covenant by sacrifice” and as a result were ejected from the Elect Christ company. That there has been such a “backsliding lsrael” in this Age no one with proper information will deny. And that they have greatly outnumbered their fully-faithful brethren no one properly informed will deny.
However, there is an additional item other than great number indicated here, which should be kept in mind: They were not called to a position of “backsliding"; they were not called to be failures... -to "lose their crowns”. The admonition is, “I am coming speedily; hold fast what thou hast, so that no one may take thy Crown. (Rev. 3:11, Dia.) As Brother Russell has so aptly stated, There’s no excuse for anyone to lose his crown, because the Lord gives them every assistance to ‘make their calling and election sure' and be faithful unto death”. So the Lord did not number this class: He did not foreordain that they should, as individuals, be crown-losers. This exhortation was especially applicable during the Parousia when the spirit begotten were in danger of losing these "exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Pet. 1:4) The “great multitude" lost these "exceeding great and precious promises," and are being manifested as such (crown-losers) here in this Epiphany period.
By this numerical superiority and often by superior secular education and selfish political maneuvering-they have often outshone their faithful brethren, frequently receiving the plaudits of the masses, as was the case with disobedient King Saul in his relationship to the Prophet Samuel. (See 1 Sam. 9 and l0.... “God save the King"--Saul) And, as we might expect, this "disobedient" Class (Col. 3:6..... See Berean Comment) is treated in many Scriptural types and passages, some of which we shall now elucidate. (The leaders of this class - like Saul - wanted to do things in their own way, to gain “the praise of men”, so they have -especially in this Epiphany period either combined with Big Babylon, or used Babylonish methods, in presenting the Truth. Examples of some, their combining with Billy Graham in advertising, "Youth for Christ” etc.; and with some using fiction in TV programs to illustrate how the "Plan” is received by some outsiders....... something That Servant shunned in his presentation of the Harvest Truth. He changed the title of one of the Studies in the Scriptures so that no one would be induced to buy one because they thought it was fiction.)
First of all, we shall use our Lord's parable of the Sower (Matt, 13:1..9) where the Lord described four classes of people who would hear the Gospel message in this Age: (1) That seed which fell by the road, eaten by the birds; (2) That on the rocky ground, where they had not much soil, quickly scorched and withered by the sun (of worldly opposition and persecution); (3) That among thorns, "and the thorns choked them"; (4) That on good ground, and yielded increase.
The "great crowd” is the same class described by Jesus in No. 3 above ... the seed that fell among thorns. The thorns in Palestine grew to great height in ancient times, and it required ground with good productive substance to give them growth. Thus, they fittingly portray a class in this Age who also have some quality (good ground); but they allow the thorns (the cares of this life or its illusive bubbles) partially to choke out the benevolent effects of the “good word of God.” They become "backsliders ; their robes become “spotted" in various sinful ways, which in turn requires them to "come out of great affliction" to wash their soiled robes of the sinful spots (The Fully Faithful keep their robes "without spot, or wrinkle or any such thing" as they daily go to the Throne of Grace for the forgiveness of their trespasses). “The cares of this life” affect various segments of the "great crowd" in conglomerate fashion, some of which we set forth as follows:
ANTITYPICAL LOT: In Gen. 13: 5-11 there is related the contention between the herdmen of Lot and the herdmen of Abraham--so severe that it brought them to the parting of the ways. Given his choice by Abraham, lot chose the way of Sodom … “well watered, everywhere.” But the Sodomites were an unsavory group, among whom "Lot vexed his righteous soul (2 Pet. 2:8). However, the lure of "green pastures, well-watered," overcame Lot's aversion to the unrighteousness about him so much so that he "sat in the gate of Sodom” (Gen. 19:1), the place of prominence. Rev. 11:8 clearly states that Sodom was a type of Christendom.,. "that great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" .. and a portion of antitypical Lot was responsible for the building of antitypical Sodom (Babylon the Great), where they held the "chief seats in the synagogue "sat in the gate” ... determined not to leave until the rain of fire and brimstone forces their exit, and the loss of all their possessions. That “fire” will eventually burn and destroy the “wood, hay and stubble" of their characters; they come out of great affliction, and wash their robes. H (Rev. 7: 14.) Lot types especially that portion of the “great crowd" who "love the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12 :43) they succumb to the “deceitfulness of riches,” flattery, etc.
ANTITYPICAL ELI: Another section of the “great crowd" is portrayed in Eli, high priest in Israel when Saul became king. Eli himself was not an evil person, but his two sons were evil -"sons of Belial" (1 Sam. 2:12,23). Eli was quite aware of their iniquities, but was too weak to take positive action about it. In that picture his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, typed the Catholic and Protestant clergy of the sinning worldly sort in the Gospel Age. Antitypical Eli has seen their waywardness, but has been too weak, or too partial, to take a firm stand against them; they have been choked by the “thorns" about them, and measurably "hide their light under a bushel."
ANTITYPICAL MIRIAM: A third section of the "great crowd" is pictured in Miriam, who became leprous for speaking against Moses (Num. 12:1-10). She represents that portion of the “great crowd" who murmur against, and meddle into the affairs of God's faithful leading ministers during this Age (especially the Star Members). An outstanding example of this Miriam class is given in Epiphany Volume 10, pp. 585- 594, where the 'good' (uncleansed) levites attacked the Epiphany Messenger in his office and works (attacked the Lord' s Mouthpiece!).. Leprosy is a type of sin; and Miriam's leprosy types “great crowd" uncleanness in doctrine and conduct. Here again the necessity for "washing their robes" is very apparent.
AZAZEL’S GOAT: In the Atonement-Day sacrifice, as prescribed in Leviticus 16, two goats were presented “at the door of the Tabernacle" by Aaron --“one for the Lord, and the other for the scapegoat." The word “scapegoat” is simply a contraction of “escapegoat,” this being a term used to indicate that this goat "escaped" as it were - by being sent away into the wilderness after Aaron had confessed the "iniquities of the children of Israel" upon its head. "Foolish virgins" have expressed the belief that this “escapegoat” types Jesus, who bore the penalty for the sins of the world; but the error of this belief becomes readily apparent when we consider Paul’s words in Heb. 9: 22, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” The fact that this goat “escaped” without being slain readily contradicts the foolish-virgin viewpoint.
But an even more apparent contradiction to the error is obtained by reference to the margin of Lev. 16:8; where it is stated “scapegoat” should be translated "Azazel"… an ancient Hebrew expression to indicate the Devil. Certainly, our Lord could not have been set apart for the Devil! However, there is complete harmony when we consider that this goat is just another type of the "great crowd”-- the Gospel Age backsliders who "escape" their Covenant by Sacrifice -- overcome by the wiles of the Adversary -- in contrast to their faithful brethren who are represented in the second goat that was slain by Aaron for a "sin offering.” One goat for (serving) the Lord; one for (serving) Azazel.
PRESENT-DAY ERRORS ON THE “GREAT CROWD”
There are many other types and Scriptural passages treating of the “great crowd," which we may present in another writing; but the foregoing are among the more prominent and easily-discerned applications. For now, however, we make passing mention of some of the others: The Levites in Ezek. 44:10-13: by Elisha; Rahab in Jericho (who also lost all her possessions when Jericho fell, as did Lot in Sodom); the Foolish Virgins; Benjamin, the brother of Joseph (both having the same mother, typing the "great crowd" and the Little Flock who are "mothered" by Heavenly promises); Esau, brother of Jacob; Meshach (“guest,” in allusion to being invited -- guests -- at the marriage supper of the Lamb --Dan. 3:12-25); the ten spies with Caleb and Joshua. We have been motivated to present this treatise because of the errors now so rampant on the "great crowd," one of which errors has appeared in The Watchtower of February 16, 1966. The Jehovah's Witnesses offer more than seven pages of their magazine in “proof” that the "great crowd” is now found in their "Jonadabs," their “sheep” in the parable in Matt. 25:31-46.
Their entire article is an outstanding example of eisegesis--a tragic mutilation of the Truth they once possessed on the “great crowd," as left to them by Brother Russell. The very Scripture they attempt to analyze directly contradicts their interpretation, because Rev. 7:9 says the "great crowd" stood "before the throne.” That his “throne” is in Heaven is clearly stated in verse 11, where we are told that “all the angels stood round about the throne.” Certainly, these angels are spirit beings; whereas the so-called Jonadabs are to be human beings here on earth, according to the Witnesses' teaching. Also, the “great crowd" standing “before the throne" is a clear indication that they are a class of servants, courtiers--in contrast to the Gospel Age Fully Faithful elect who are in the throne as Rulers. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” (Rev. 3:21) Here again the "Father's throne" is in Heaven -- not on earth; and we are told the "great crowd” is before that throne -- attendants upon the Royalty, those possessing the Divine nature, that reign in the Throne.
But a more potent and direct contradiction of their position is obtained from Rev. 19:1 and 6. In verse 1 “much people in heaven” is the exact Greek expression translated “great crowd” in Rev. 7; and in verse 6, “a great multitude" is exactly the same as Rev. 19:1 and 7. And Rev. 19:9 declares that this “great crowd" were “invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." Just a little reflection will reveal how impossible it would be for their Jonadabs to be the same group as the "great crowd," because their Jonadabs are admittedly children of the New Covenant - children, then, of the Lamb and His Bride. Thus, they would have the children of the Divine union attending a wedding supper of their Parents - a self-evident impossibility - attending the wedding supper of their parents before they even receive life from that marriage - celebrating a union before they are born! Isn't it strange - so very strange - that the Witnesses could not spare space in seven pages to make mention of the only other place in the Bible which discusses the “great crowd"? Of course, had they done so, it's just possible that some of their deluded “dedicated” (to the service of that organization) devotees might ask some questions along the lines we here mention. And that might prove real embarrassing!
It took a number of years, and a succession of events, for the Witnesses to realize that the real truth on the "great crowd” which had been left to them by Pastor Russell must be rejected to make way for their present error. And, since one error usually calls for other errors to support it, the Witnesses were hardpressed for a logical (?) solution to some important questions - one of which was how to handle this “great crowd" at the present time. They are telling them that the opportunity to be of the “Remnant" (the Elect Bride of Christ) is closed to them; yet they teach that this dedicated "great crowd" must "show the same degree of faithfulness to Jehovah God as the spiritual remnant” (the same sort of rubbish that the L.H.M.M. section of the Great Company teaches for their Epiphany Campers Consecrated -an admitted quasi-elect class: Their "consecrated" quasi-elect must now also walk a “narrow way" in order to gain precedence over the Jews and the other quasi-elect).
This would logically prompt the question by such: Why should we sacrifice ourselves on the streets selling literature, etc., if there is no reward for it? (When God accepts a sacrifice, there is always a rich reward. We can be sure of that from One who is the embodiment of WISDOM JUSTICE, LOVE AND POWER.) So the Witnesses figured out their reward: The “crowd" will be "first" (the leaders, "princes in all the earth”) in the Mediatorial Kingdom, thus replacing the Jews, whom Brothel Russell taught would be “first” in the earthly Kingdom. Of course, Brother Russell did not just imagine something here; he drew his conclusion from St. Paul's statement in Rom. 2:10, “to the Jew first." Consequently, the Witnesses' present error not only rejects Brother Russell, it also rejects St. Paul. St. Paul further declares in Rom. 11:25-28 that "blindness in part is happened to Israel (during the Gospel Age), yet they are beloved for the fathers' sakes”. Thus, regardless of their waywardness in rejecting the Gospel (good news) during this Age, they still have an inheritance promised to them --“first” in the Millennial Kingdom -- because of the promise given to the “fathers” (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) long before the Gospel Age had arrived. That is why Pastor Russell declared:
"In the Millennial Age God will grant the chief favors to the Jews, who have not been favored during the Gospel Age."
This truth we continue to uphold and teach without alteration or modification.
The Witnesses also have another 'reward’ for their Jonadabs: They will live through Armageddon (Revolution) and forever thereafter. However, this false promise will be quickly seen for the rubbish it is when – after Armageddon – their Jonadabs will die along with others of that time -also they will wake up when they realize the Kingdom has not been turned over to them (the Witnesses). They have also eliminated the other two phases of the Time of Trouble, as taught by Pastor Russell -Anarchy and Jacob's Trouble - to further encourage their Jonadabs and enlarge their "great crowd.” (This false hope -"strange fire" -is one of the principal reasons for their great increase in membership - just as “Millions-Now- Living-Will-Never-Die" in 1925 attracted large numbers.)
And their present error also leaves unanswered a very vital question: What place in Bible and Kingdom do they now assign to that "large crowd" all during the Age who were choked by the "thorns," and failed to gain the prize of the High Calling? They should have a place for these if "reason" (Isa. 1:18) is to appear in their Millennial house. St. Paul clearly says of such, "delivered unto Satan (Azazel) for the destruction of the flesh (their fleshly minds) that the spirit may be saved in the day (the Kingdom day) of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Cor. 5:5) We believe Isa. 28:20 is apropos to their present condition and contentions: "For the bed is shorter than a man can stretch himself on it; and the covering (perverted teaching) narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.” A quotation from Parousia Volume 2 (by Brother Russell) would also be in order here:
“God has made special covenants or promises to both these houses of Israel. Thee promises to the fleshly house were all earthly, while those to the spiritual house are all heavenly. Though the promises to the fleshly house were (and still are) grand and precious, the promises to the spiritual house are characterized as better promises,' and ‘exceeding great and precious promises.' (Heb. 8:6; 2 Pet. 1:4) …And though all Israel answered and said, 'All that the Lord hath spoken we will do' (Exod. 19:5.8), and then failed to keep their covenant, yet the faithful among them, who earnestly endeavored in their weakness to keep it, will in the Mil1ennia1 Age be 'princes in all the earth’, members of the earthly phase of the Kingdom of God.” (page 207)
COMPANIONS IN ERROR
Not to be outdone by the Witnesses and their Jonadabs, the L.H.M.M. section of Little Babylon has created from pure effervescence a Class they designate as Consecrated Epiphany Campers - almost identical twins to their Jonadab fellows. The contention is likewise that their "Campers" are to be “first” (after the Ancient and Youthful Worthies - which is some improvement on the Witnesses, who have, it would seem, eliminated the Ancient Worthies altogether to make place for their Jonadabs) in the Kingdom order on earth--also a direct affront to Brother Russell and St. Paul that salvation "is to the Jew first" (after the elective salvation, of course). Is it any wonder that the Witnesses and the L.H.M.M. have had just no success at all in their efforts toward the Jews, when their primary contention is in direct contradiction to the “good word of God”! (at a time the faithful Jews are paying close attention to that “good word of God"). Of course, both these groups have sinned against great light, the L.H.M.M. being even more guilty of the two because of the GREATER light they have received since 1916 (having had both Parousia and Epiphany Truth).
All Great Company groups in Little Babylon have measurably ignored, perverted or repudiated the Truth on the "Great Multitude” since That Servant’s demise--whether they have openly substituted another class or not. Those who have not directly done so now place great accent on the High Calling (claiming the door is open for newcomers), with very little mention - if any -of the "great crowd." One group in particular that now teaches the High Calling is still open, has already gained so many new adherents who believe themselves in the Little Flock that their 'Little (?) Flock' is even now a “great crowd" -- almost as many as the Witnesses claim to have in their "great crowd." Given a few more years, and their Little Flock will be such a large crowd that the assembly is bound to burst apart 'at the seams.'
The Witnesses, of course, no longer use Tabernacle Shadows - having repudiated the book entirely. While some of the other groups haven't gone that far, they still don't emphasize the "scapegoat class" clearly taught therein. Even the L.H.M.M. group, whose leader is a self-admitted crown-loser, ignores in large part the sins of this class - now teaching that this remanded class is the highest class in the Household of Faith on earth today, as they eliminate the Little Flock from the scene entirely. Their tendency is to elevate this “great crowd” to a superior position in their attempt to submerge the Little Flock. Be it noted that the crown-losers in this group claim they have already had their robes washed -they claim now to be "cleansed”. But just when the Lord wiped away the tears from their eyes through “great tribulation” has never been explained by them--and we have seen no evidence of tears, as they claim now to be the first-ranking Christians after their elimination of the Little Flock since the demise of the Epiphany Messenger on October 22, 1950. We believe the following from Brother Russell now applies to Little Babylon just as forcefully as it did to Big Babylon during the Parousia:
"In the type, the golden vessels of the Temple were carried away and profaned by literal Babylon: in the antitype, the divine (golden) truths, pertaining to the service of the true Temple, the Church (1 Cor. 3:16,17; Rev. 3:12), were far removed from their place, perverted and misapplied by mystic Babylon" (Parousia Vol. 2, p. 209) (This was true of Big Babylon in its heyday, and now of Little Babylon in its heydey-- having ‘misapplied and perverted’ the Harvest Truth as taught by Pastor Russell.)
And we quote from That Wise and Faithful Servant another faithful teaching that has been ‘misapplied’ by some of these Little Babylon (Great Company) groups: "We, might multiply quotations from the prophets and apostles on the final return of God's favor to Jacob, or Israel after the flesh, after the selection of the full number for the ‘body of Christ' from the Gentiles, but the student can do so by the use of a Condordance or Reference Bible. Among the very pointed references to this favor to be restored to Israel, in the New Testament, is that by James, Acts 15:14..16, and by Paul, Rom. 11:26" (Scriptures that directly contradict the present teaching of the Witnesses). See Parousia Volume 2, p. 217.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. (Eph. 6:10,23,24)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
QUESTION: - What is the difference between a nominal and a real Christian?
ANSWER: -As the word implies, a nominal Christian is one in name only, whereas a real Christian is one following in mind and heart, the footsteps of Jesus. From this it will be readily apparent that membership in any group is not the deciding factor – nor is the opinion of any group of men the deciding factor, for "man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart” – character – (from the heart) is what we really are; whereas, reputation is what other people think we are. This distinction once prompted Brother Russell to write an article on Noble Worldlings and Ignoble Saints. Many who occupy the chief seats in religious groups are often examples of morality and in their dealings with their fellow men, and are classified as fine Christian examples; whereas, in the Judgment they will receive the classification of Matt. 7:21-23: "Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father… Many will say unto Me, Have we not prophesied (preached) in thy name, etc… then I will profess unto them, I never approved of you.” Thus, the final determination will find many nominal Christians in the various Truth groups “good" churchgoers in Little Babylon--just as in Brother Russell’s day there were many such in Big Babylon (and we still find it so here in this Epiphany). Thus, all professing Christians are not real Christians, but all real Christians are professing and working Christians.
To sum it up -the nominal Christian makes loud profession and often looks better than the ‘real' Christian in his “good works"; but the real Christian follows in the footsteps of Jesus in bearing ‘witness to the Truth' at the cost of all earthly desires and aims. He is fully consecrated to the Lord and fulfils his obligations.
QUESTION: Do you think Consecrated Epiphany Campers should now keep the Memorial?
ANSWER: We answer, No! As most of our readers know, we label this class as non-existent, the same as Bro. Johnson did with the Witness’ Jonadabs - which class is a close 'first cousin' of R. G. Jolly's newly invented class. However, even though the Witnesses are the worst offenders of all groups against the Harvest Truth, even they have a more realistic view toward the Memorial for their Jonadabs; they don't permit them to celebrate the Memorial - although they suggest that they attend the service for observance.
Just a little reflection will show the fallacy of the Mar-Apr. PT, in which it sets out that the Epiphany Campers Consecrated (a non-existant Class-although claimed to be a Restitution Class) should partake of the Memorial. Both Messengers taught that such partaking is only for the Elect - the Household of Faith in contrast to the Restitution Class of works. Bro. Johnson teaches, with Scriptural support, that only the Elect can now inscribe their names in the Book of Life (although crown-lost leader R. G. Jolly disputes him: he says they can!), as the Book of Life is not now open for Restitutionists. (See our Dec. 1965, No. 126, re Book of Life) So it would now be impossible for anyone, other than the Elect, properly to partake of the Memorial, because the very symbolic meaning of that Memorial is that the participants have the reckoned merit of the Right to Life and the Life Rights applied to them as anticipated after the “restitution of all things." The merit of Christ is not now available for Restitutionists (is now on embargo for the Elect) … nor is the Book of Life now open for them.
As mentioned, even the Witnesses now have a more plausible rating for their non-existant class than does the L.H.M.M., as they deny them the privilege of now partaking of the Memorial, which is a very sad commentary indeed on the pathetic spiritual decline of R. G. Jolly since he was abandoned to Azazel in 1950. Despite the general knowledge that he was a crown-loser as far back as 1938, he never displayed such confusion before the Epiphany Messenger's demise; and his present condition only emphasizes the Truth of the Abandonment Process: "As long as the priesthood does not abandon crown-losers, Azazel cannot possess himself of them.” So long as R. G. Jolly was under the benign influence of the Priesthood (up to Oct. 1950), his “foolishness was not plain to all.” (2 Tim. 3: 9, Dia.)
Be it remembered also that this Campers Consecrated is a new doctrine; and Bro. Johnson stated very pointedly in several different articles that no crown-loser is ever permitted by the Lord to bring forth a new doctrine. This in itself should be sufficient cause to be very wary of Campers Consecrated (or Jonadabs), and to regard with a suspicious eye any attempts to support its origin from the “bottomless pit” (error).
It would seem to be a proper observation, however, that some who are deluded into believing that they are Campers Consecrated may actually become of the Elect - if their characters and works comply with the relevant standards. We would also make this same comment respecting some who have been deluded into thinking themselves to be crown-losers by the pressure of errorists: "Those who have missed the mark with respect to the Truth, saying that the (first) resurrection has already happened (is a thing of the past); and they are perverting (Azazel means Perverter) the faith of some." (2 Tim. 2:18, Dia.) Some of these may eventually find themselves in the Little Flock just as some Campers may eventually find themselves among the Youthful Worthies (since all fully-faithful consecrated from 1881 “until restitution sets in” - when no crowns are available for them - will be rewarded with the Ancient Worthies (See E..4:337,342) Let our readers understand, however, that we do not criticize the Memorial article in the Mar-Apr. PT that contains the basic teachings of the Star Members: we only criticize the Levitical errors inserted therein. The same conclusion applies also to the article on “The Cleansing From Leprosy" (of crown-losers), as its basic concept is by Bro. Johnson -a very sound interpretation, as we might expect from him, and with which we are in full agreement. We expect to say more about this, D.v.
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle:
Your letter of Jan. 19 received together with your February paper ... and have also received one Dated April 1, a reprint of one for October 1962. Thank you for all of them. I agree that the teachings and practices or the Jehovah's Witnesses are in some respects like the image of the Catholic hierarchy. Certainly, they have gotten far away from the clear Scriptural Truths which Brother Russell was used to bring forth as “meat in due season” for the Household of faith. Their responsibility is much greater than the other religious denominations they condemn so freely. You may have read the Watchtower of June 1, 1952. The main article headed, “Get Out of Her My People." It tried to prove that Sodom, Nineveh, etc., will have no Resurrection, along with those dying in the flood - and yet to die at Armageddon. The article was generally attributed to Fred Franz, Vice President of the Watchtower Society - formerly of Cincinnati, Ohio. He testified before a court in Scotland at a hearing for a Jehovab’s Witness conscientious objector. He was asked by the Court how the Watchtower Society knew that what they published is the Truth. His reply was that the information came from God through the Holy Spirit to those at the head of the Society in Brooklyn. Practically a claim of Divine inspiration! This they called “flashes of light from the Temple." (Actually mud splashes of error--JJH) How then can they explain the articles in the December 1 and 15th 1965 Watchtowers? In those they repudiated what was written in June 1952, and said that not only would Sodom be raised from death but if obedient might get life eternal! There was apparently no apology or explanation given for this reversal of the "new light”of 1952. (There never is -actually they boast of their past errors, but instruct their sectarian followers to accept their latest errors – JJH)
The majority of the Jehovah's Witnesses seemed to swallow this manifest exposure of their claims to be directed by the Holy Spirit in bringing forth "new light"! (Self-evidently, their devotees accept the fact that the organization’s Holy (?) Spirit is subject to mistakes -and will continue to make such mistakes, with the privilege of correcting them as circumstances require – JJH)
Brother Russell as long ago as 1886 in the Divine Plan of the Ages made very clear from the Scriptures the future hope both of Sodom and all mankind. Brother--told me that Fred Franz visited Dayton during World War One and spoke to the Class there critically of some of Brother Russell’s teachings--even criticizing his grammar. He said this didn't go down very well with the Dayton Class--and some lost confidence in Brother Franz. Did you know about that?
I met Fred in 1914 at a Convention at Columbus, Ohio, about one month before World War One began. A tract was distributed headed “End of the World in 1914.” I put out some on the train on my way home. Of course, it explained what the “End of the World” really meant. While Brother Russell expected the consummation to be very short - to be over in 1915 - he lived to see that his expectations were wrong on that point. But the remarkable thing was the accuracy regarding the end of the times of the Gentiles as shown by Bible chronology. He went over it again at the Convention and said he could find no flaw in it. It was verified August 1- three or four weeks later. The clergymen critics were taken aback for awhile.
I think Fred Franz was quite ambitious and prided himself on a college education. He did a lot of research for Judge Rutherford for his book writing, and is still looked up to as the final authority on questions discussed at meal time at Brooklyn Bethel, I understand. Even N. H. Knorr, the President, seems to defer to him as being older in years and the Truth. I wonder how some of the old timers there can go along with the un-Scriptural changes made!
Regarding the Fort Leavenworth sentence, I was there only a part of four months. President Wilson appointed a Committee to interview the objectors and release those they considered sincere. One of the Committee was Harlan Stone, later Chief Justice, and Julian Mack, a Federal Justice of the U.S. Circuit in Chicago. He was Jewish.
I well remember Brother Walker’s testimony at the hearing. He had been born and raised a Catholic and was asked how he had come to hold such radically different views and course of action from the Catholic Church. His reply, and the way he said it made quite an impression on all who heard him - - including a group of Mennonites ministers in attendance. He simply said, "When I began to read the Bible.” About 113 were released about January 31, 1919.
Had better bring this epistle to a close. Thank you for your literature and enjoy hearing from you. We may not perhaps see “eye to eye” on some points, but I do believe the Scripture Studies by Brother Russell are the source of Truth and understanding of the Bible that needs no “new 1ight” from the present-day Watchtower. The "man with the writer’s inkhorn” did as commanded completed his assgnment. Ezek. 9:11 Christian love to you both in the glorious Kingdom hope! ....(lNDIANA)
Sirs: -Please send free upon special request the following: (1) The Resurrection of the Dead, (2) The Three Babylons, (3) Where are the Dead. We enjoy reading your pamphlets. Yours very truly, Rev.----- ( NEW JERSEY)
Dear Brother Hoefle:
I must confess I have received a different understanding of the Scriptures when I got to understand many things that were puzzling me. I have received my monthly papers, but did not write because I have been working more in the country and only come in on weekends. I wish you and all the brethren a prosperous year. Your brother by his grace-------(TRINIDAD)
Dear Brother Hoefle:
----- wrote me your address. He was in Camp Taylor at the same time as I. …. I see you must be still in Bible work. What do you think of the world outlook now? The establishment of the Kingdom must be near at hand. Your brother in the Most Holy Faith,---(KANSAS)
Dear Brother Hoefle:
Will you please send me some more tracts -- Where are the Dead and Resurrection of the Dead I am taking over Sister’s........territory so you will have to send some extras. Love to all the friends. Yours in the Master's service, ...........(CONNECTICUT)
My dear Brother Hoefle: Loving Christian greetings and Grace & Peace be multiplied!
Received your good and encouraging letter and noted all you have said. Enclosed is declaration card from the parcel Brother...........sent. It came in a time most helpful. Please give my appreciation to Brother... for sending the parcel. I will give to those of the brethren In need of help.
Please remember me to all the dear ones. I am hoping that Sister….. has overcome her grief by now. Your sister by his Grace.......... (JAMAICA)
Dear Brother and Sister Hoefle :
Greetings from California! Hope to spend four months here. Have met some very nice people. Enjoyed my stay. Hope to see you again soon. Yours in the Lord, ……………… (CALIFORNIA)