My dear Brethren: - Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
The heading for this article is lifted from St. Paul’s prophecy in 2 Tim. 3:1-5, which we now treat from the Diaglott translation: “Know this that in the latter days trying seasons (perilous times) will come; for the men will be self-lovers,” etc. We have underscored “the men” because of its emphasis in the original Greek, a situation occurring also in Hebrews 9:27, “It awaits the men to die once, but after this a judgment.” Among those schooled in Present Truth it would never occur to apply “the men” in the Hebrews text to men of the world; all of us know that the reference here is to the Aaronic Priesthood in Israel in the performance of the Atonement Day sacrifices once each year, at which time the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies with the atoning typical blood; and the edict was very clear that he would have died had his preparatory service not been exactly as given to Moses in the Mount.
But, in sharp contrast to the explanation given above, so often since Brother Johnson’s death do we find L.H.M.M. Convention speakers, and others who should be better informed, applying the Timothy text to the world in general, as they refer to the “trying seasons” (“Perilous times”) now gripping the world. While it is certainly true that the world is in “the days of Tribulation” – the Time of Trouble the Day of Vengeance – it is a sad distortion to apply St. Paul’s prophecy to Timothy as a forecast of events in the world. “The men” mentioned by St. Paul are exclusively teachers in the Church, as the entire context through verse 9 proves; and “the latter days” are direct reference to the Parousia and Epiphany days the last two special periods of the Gospel Age, which had their inception at 1874, as the Seventh Trump had begun to sound. This we believe is substantiated by the names Jannes and Jambres recorded in verse 8, these both being Hebrew names of practitioners of witchcraft (typical of especially deceptive false teachings) renegades from Israel who were truckling to Pharaoh for self-indulgence – self-lovers, money-lovers, boasters, unholy.” Thus, they would be typical of apostates from among spiritual Israel in the last days – the Parousia and Epiphany. At the L.H.M.M. Chicago Convention last October St. Paul’s prophecy was stressed by one of the speakers as an application to the world (which is not true); but never a mention was made of its application to the Church, which is its true and only application.
WHAT IS A SIFTER?
Sometime back this question was asked one of the L.H.M.M. Pilgrims (by R. G. Jolly’s appointment); and he answered that it was one who perverts the Truth. This answer is not only inadequate, but is downright error. Every member of the Great Company is guilty of perverting the Truth – some more and some less. But, would any of us wish to declare that every Great Company member is a sifter? Certainly not! It would include only such Great Company members as aspire to teaching positions and leadership in the Church; and in the Manna comment for July 18 we are told that antitypical Jannes and Jambres are sifters because their first love – the life of self-denial actuated by sincere love to God has been overcome by their selfishness and worldly indulgence. These evils will gain full control in the second-death sifters, but only partial control in the Great Company sifters. Thus, it would be correct to state that every sifter Great Company or Second Death – perverts the Truth; but not every one who perverts the Truth is a sifter. The descriptions of St. Paul would apply only to “the men” – those who aspire to be teachers and leaders in the Household of Faith.
The name Jannes moans “he deceives,” and he types those second-death sifters in the Parousia who deceived God’s people in Babylon and in the Truth movement, the latter being more familiar to us, of course, because they are a little “closer to home.” The name Jambres means “he revolutionizes,” and is typical of those sifters in the Epiphany who have led the Great Company astray, manifesting them as crown-losers. Rebellion, or Revolutionism, is the sixth S1aughter-Weapon Man of Ezekiel 9:1-7, and has been especially active during this Epiphany period. And the sifters described herein are “the men” whom St. Paul is discussing in his prophecy to Timothy. However, all sifters – whether Great Company or Second Death defile the Temple of God, as stated in 1 Cor. 3:17, where St. Paul discusses the house of the Little Flock, built upon Christ as the Rock and adorned with gold, silver and precious stones, and the house of the Great Company, built upon Christ as the sand and desecrated with wood, hay and stubble. And that this is specially applicable in this Epiphany Day (the Time of Trouble), is emphasized by St. Paul in 1 Cor. 3:13 – “The fire (destructive acts) shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”
THE EPIPHANY DAY
The last special period of the Gospel Age is the Epiphany Day, having its beginning in 1914. It means ‘bright shining,’ and its brilliance is for the purpose of manifesting persons, principles and things, bringing to light the hidden things of darkness and making manifest the counsels of hearts. (1 Cor. 4:5) Thus, the question properly arises, Are we still in the Gospel Age? Our answer is, Yes, because the primary purpose of the Gospel Age has been to win new creatures; and, so long as there is one new creature left on earth, it would be self-evident that we are still in the Gospel Age. And, since the Epiphany is the last special period of the Gospel Age, we must also then still be in the Epiphany.
There are various other Biblical expressions for this time in which we are living; namely, The Evil Day, the Day of Vengeance, the Time of Trouble, the Epiphany, etc., each of which has its own special meaning, each expressing a certain thought not found in the others. And, while there may possibly be some argument about the year each of these periods began in the narrow and wide sense – or the “restricted” sense – there is no sound argument about the time in which they end: All of them end at exactly the same time. Both the Laodicean Messengers are firm in their expression that the Evil Day ends with the end of Jacob’s Trouble; both of them assert that the Day of Vengeance ends with the end of Jacob’s Trouble; both declare the end of the Time of Trouble will be at the end of Jacob’s Trouble; and both state that the Epiphany will end with the end of Jacob’s Trouble. Thus, regardless of when they start, they will all have a common ending; and this kept clearly in mind, we shall not be led too far astray by any sophistical twists that false teachers may attempt to impose upon us.
Later in this article we shall offer some detailed explanation on the foregoing expressions, but we merely mention now some Biblical terms for the great events that are scheduled, pretty much concurrently, to occur in this EPIPHANY DAY – the last special period of the Gospel Age:
(1) The Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty – Rev. 16:14; Zeph. 3:8; Isa. 13:4,5;
(2) Armageddon – Rev. 16:16;
(3) A Great Earthquake – Rev. 16:18; Heb. 12:26;
(4) The Fire of Jehovah’s jealousy – Zeph. 3:8; 2 Pet. 3:10-12; Mal. 4:1;
(5) A Whirlwind and a storm – Nah. 1:3,6,7;
(6) A Tempest of Hail, a Destroying Storm, and a Flood of Mighty Waters – Isa. 28:2; Nah. 1:4,5,8;
(7) The Besom of Destruction – Isa. 14:23;
(8) A Furnace of Fire – Matt. 13:42;
(9) A Lake of Fire – Rev. 19:20;
(10) The Supper of the Great God – Rev. 19:17;
(11) The Winepress of the Fierceness and Wrath of Almighty God – Rev. 19:15.
We believe our readers will agree that little or none of most of the above Scriptures has even begun fulfillment – much less have any of them come to a completion. Yet every one of them is due to see complete fulfillment in this Epiphany Day, as every one of then expresses some feature of the Time of Trouble – and the Time of Trouble is identical to the Epiphany Day, in which we are now living.
In E-4, pages 7 to 73, an exhaustive analysis of the Epiphany period offers copious Scriptural proof that the Epiphany and the Time of Trouble in its narrow sense are identical, the narrow sense being from 1914 to the end of Jacob’s Trouble; and on p. 72, bottom the Epiphany Day is also used synonomously with the Apocalyptic Day. One sweeping generalization of this entire subject by Brother Russell is to be found on p. 39 of Our Lord’s Return:
“As we therefore softly whisper, ‘Behold the Bridegroom!’ it is not with any hope of arousing the world to faith in the Lord’s presence, etc. They are unworthy to know, and would only misuse the knowledge now ( in the Parousia Day—JJH). By and by, in the Lord’s due time, they shall know in the period of the Epiphaneia, or Apocalypsis of the Son of Man. They will be awakened by the great crash of the day of trouble.”
In the face of such a clear and conclusive statement from That Servant (the same being confirmed by Brother Johnson), there are those who once claimed to understand Epiphany Truth, who now, either in whole or in part, attempt to negate some or all of its features. Among these are the “cousins” – R. G. Jolly and J. W. Krewson –, the latter of whom has the Epiphany as a special period of the Gospel Age ending completely in 1954 – before the Time of Trouble in its more violent features has even begun. We have exposed this fallacy in considerable detail in previous papers, so we shall now confine ourselves more detailedly with “Cousin” Jolly’s perversion of this teaching. His claim is that the Epiphany “in its restricted sense” ended in 1954. Why does he not use the word ‘narrow,’ which means the same as ‘restricted’? Clearly enough, some of his sleepy readers might just awake to the sophism being practiced upon them. Brother Johnson clearly teaches in Volume 4 that the Epiphany in its narrow sense began in 1914, and will end with Jacob’s Trouble. Thus, his ‘narrowing’ is at the beginning of the period, and not at its end, as R. G. Jolly is now teaching. As for ourselves, we accept the clear and Scriptural teachings of the Star Members, and we allow others to choose for themselves if they wish to accept the perversions of the “cousins,” who also at one time at least gave lip-service to believing what we “continue in” – what we still believe and teach, as herein expressed. And pertinent to this very situation, we offer a quotation by Brother Russell from Tower Reprints, page 4044:
“As the Apostle intimates, we find that some of the elders in the Church of Christ, instead of feeding the flock of the Lord and pointing them to their owner, to the food which he has provided (in the Scripturally proven Parousia and Epiphany Truth—JJH), the meat in due season, are on the contrary seeking to turn the flock away – to draw disciples after themselves (by teaching contrarieties on the true length of the Epiphany period, perversions on the Camp and the Court of the Epiphany Tabernacle, such as Campers Consecrated, Quasi-elect Consecrated, etc.—JJH). Taking for granted that some of the Lord’s people are more stupid than the ass, they do their best to turn them from the Master’s crib – His provisions for the necessities of His people in this evil day .... (turn them away from the Star Members’ true teaching—JJH). We have not yet learned to what extent these dear people have the common sense of the donkey; but we presume, in harmony with the Lord’s suggestion, that some of them will show themselves lacking even in donkey sense.’;
If any are inclined to feel we are too severe on such perverters, we believe all will agree that we have never at any time manifested the severity and unvarnished acerbity of Brother Russell as quoted above. And let us keep in mind that this denunciation by Brother Russell was back in the Parousia – in 1907 – a full seven years before the Time of Trouble in the narrow sense (the Epiphany period) had even begun. And many years before that (Volume 4, p. 581), he had warned:
“That great delusions, ‘strong delusions’ by Satan, are just before us, is witnessed not only by our Lord’s words, but also by Paul (2 Thes. 2:10-12) God permits these deceptions for the purpose of separating the overcomers from all others.... It is quite possible that some of these trials, siftings and delusions, may come closest upon those having the largest degree of the light of present truth.”
Certainly, the foregoing would apply first of all to those once enlightened with the blessed Epiphany Truth as an added rich feast to the Parousia Truth. And to the foregoing we would add some from Brother Johnson:
“Being now in Azazel’s hands, their minds are filled with his suggestions, which they set forth as Truth (as R. G. Jolly now does with his Campers Consecrated, Tentative Justification outside the linen curtain of Christ’s righteousness, etc.—JJH), despite what they had previously learned. (No one will dispute that R. G. Jolly had “previously learned” these things, and then knew better than what he is teaching now—JJH) As our Pastor has repeatedly shown, there has been an epiphanizing of persons, principles and things from the beginning of our Lord’s Parousia.”
To emphasize clearly some of the foregoing, we set out below a resume of those concurrent periods that comprise this discussion:
THE EPIPHANY DAY – As an act this period of the Second Advent may be defined as concurrent with the Large Parousia Day, having its beginning at 1874. However, as the last special period of the Gospel Age it began in 1914, and will continue to the end of Jacob’s Trouble. There is not the slightest hint in type or direct Scripture that this special period ended in 1954 in a “narrow” sense, a “restricted” sense, or any other sense – except in R. G. Jolly’s “non”-sense. Here is Brother Johnson’s clear statement on the subject in E-4, p. 21 (14): “In the sense of the second period of our Lord’s Second Advent it is limited to the time ,between the Parousia and the Basileia. It is used to designate the period of the great tribulation, the Time of Trouble.”
Before R. G. Jolly was abandoned to Azazel in 1950 he believed the above statement. “Cousin” Krewson also believed it before 1950; but neither of them believe it now. We ourselves believed it in 1950, and we still believe it – because it is substantiated by clear Scriptural proof. The Epiphany as a period of time is clearly defined by the EPIPHANY Messenger as the GREAT TRIBULATION beginning in 1914, and continuing to the end of Jacob’s Trouble – with no limitations of any kind – no “narrow” sense, or “restricted” sense involved anywhere in its description. While Brother Johnson expected a 25-month overlapping of the Epiphany into the Basileia – as also occurred with the Parousia overlapping into the Epiphany in 1914-1916 – he also concluded that the severe features of the Time of Trouble would be in full sway by 1954 – just as was true of the World War in 1914. In confirmation of this, we quote from E-12, p. 460:
“This symbolizes that it represents a reaching of the pit 40 years later than 1914, from which we infer that Anarchy will begin in 1954, as marking the end of the Epiphany.”
The reason Brother Johnson “inferred” the above was to occur was because of his expectations that the parallel would produce Anarchy in 1954 just as 1914 produced the World War. Volume 12 was copyrighted in 1949 – just a year before his death; and time has clearly revealed that his “inference” regarding Anarchy in 1954 – “as marking the end of the Epiphany” – did not materialize. But R. G. Jolly can’t see any of this! Surely, “their foolishness shall be very plain to all.” (2 Tim. 3:9. Dia.)
It should be noted here that Brother Johnson certainly revealed “the spirit of a sound mind” to “infer” the happenings of 1954, instead of offering positive statement. In this he was probably guided by the prophecy,
“The vision is yet for an appointed time .... it will not tarry.... but the just (justified) shall live by his faith.” (Hab. 2:3,4)
And we are still in that time when “the just shall live by faith.” The generalities of “the vision” were made very plain by Brother Russell and Brother Johnson; but the exacting details are yet a matter of faith. Thus, no amount of Levitical perversion (and nonsense) can successfully write one word into 1954 that is not there, or change by one day God’s “appointed time,” the detailed consummation of which is not yet revealed to us.
THE TIME OF TROUBLE – In its broad sense it began in 1874, and will continue to the end of Jacob’s Trouble. In its “narrow” sense it began in 1914, and will continue to the end of Jacob’s Trouble; and in this “narrow” sense it is identical to the Epiphany.
THE EVIL DAY – In its broad sense the Evil Day is much the same as “this present evil world,” having its beginning after the Great Deluge, and continuing to the end of Jacob’s Trouble and the institution of the Mediatorial reign. But in a very special sense “This Evil Day,” began at 1874 and will end with the end of Jacob’s Trouble.
THE DAY OF VENGEANCE – Being substantially the same as the Time of Trouble, it had its beginning in the broad sense in 1874 as the Harvest message began to declare its imminence – and herald its beginning – and will continue to the end of Jacob’s Trouble. Actually, it did not begin in a special sense until 1914, with the World War, and will reach a conclusion with the end of Jacob’s Trouble.
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT – We are adding here an expression not used aforegoing, because it is pertinent to our subject. The “Day” that God “appointed to judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained” (Acts 17:31) began in its broad sense in 1874, and will continue for 1,000 years. In its narrow sense it began in 1874, and continues throughout the small Parousia and Epiphany days. During the Parousia Day – from 1874 to 1914 – the special judgment of the Little Flock was concluded, since by its end that select group had been individually and collectively determined for all eternity. But, during the Epiphany Day – from 1914 to the end of Jacob’s Trouble – we have the special judgment day of the Great Company as a class, of the fallen Angels, and of the nations as such. Before this Epiphany Judgment Day is concluded the nations in their present state will be no more; and the Great Company – as a Class, and as individuals – will have had their eternal destiny fully determined. They are the only class of human beings now standing their judgment-day trial for life. While it may be argued that the Youthful Worthies are also having their judgment, this can be true only respecting their future Kingdom Elect standing. Whether they now succeed or fail in their race to be princes in all the earth, their trial for life is not now being determined – their trial for life will occur during the Kingdom reign, and more specifically during the Little Season. As respects the Great Company and our present appraisal of them, we know of no type or direct Scripture that allows us to determine conclusively their present standing. There is, however, one definite rule for our guidance: New Creatures that die impenitent go into the Second Death – there will be no opportunity for reformation in Heaven. Also, the Judgment Day of the world as individuals is in no sense even begun, nor is God now accepting such consecrations, and dealing with Restitutionists as individuals (although they are privileged to be in a consecratable condition as was Cornelius, awaiting the date for God’s “due time” for acceptance) – although the Jehovah’s Witnesses would have us believe they are now accomplishing this as individuals accept or reject them (the Jehovah’s Witnesses!). That, of course, is another of “the strong delusions” of this Epiphany Judgment Day (this Evil Day) – a part of the “pestilence that walketh in darkness.” (Psa. 91:6)
It is pertinent to add here also that The Man of Sin will have his judgment manifested, and his execution carried to a completion, in this Epiphany Day – in the last special period of the Gospel Age – “whom the Lord will annihilate by the appearing (Epiphany) of His presence (Parousia)”—2 Thes. 2:8. On numerous occasions have we offered this text as a clear proof that we are still in the Epiphany period, with “Cousin” Krewson keeping complete silence on this clear Scriptural contradiction to his Apokalypsis theory; and “Cousin” Jolly making feeble attempt to reconcile this clear fact with his Basileia-Epiphany “parallel” perversion. His “overlapping” parallel (already more than eleven years going, and no end in sight) becomes painfully strained when he is forced to crowd Armageddon, Anarchy and Jacob’s Trouble into it, as well as the annihilation of the Man of Sin; and only those who are in the grip of “strong delusion” will succumb to such conglomerate Levitical nonsense. His “overlapping” is really an over-flapping – a nonsensical attempt to fit his eleven years-plus into a 25-month parallel.
As all of us know, time itself forced Brother Johnson to revise some of Brother Russell’s expectations; E.g., the length of the Time of Trouble, which Brother Russell himself began to revise somewhat toward the end of his life – although his revisions fell far short of actuality. Time also forces us to revise some of Brother Johnson’s expectations on the length of the Time of Trouble, because his expectations for 1954 have failed completely of fulfillment. Not to change such premature expectations would cause us to appear quite ridiculous. However, the basic, fundamental doctrinal teachings of both Messengers still stand firm under the most exacting scrutiny of the touchstone of the Good Word of God; and we ourselves have made no attempt to change any of them. Rather, we have been zealous in upholding and defending those features of the Truth. Thus, it has not been necessary for us to introduce to our readers any “strange fire” (false doctrine) in a futile effort to substantiate erroneous changes in the Star Members’ writings – “strange fire, such as justification outside the linen curtain of the Tabernacle (Christ’s righteousness) – “strange fire” such as claiming we are now in the Basileia, with the contradictory view that the Epiphany Tabernacle is still operative, etc. – “strange fire” that the Epiphany ended in 1954, before the more vicious features of the Time of Trouble had actually begun.
J. F. Rutherford was forced by his “new views” to abandon completely Tabernacle Shadows, just as J. W. Krewson is now forced to abandon the first chapter of the Epiphany Elect completely as respects the Epiphany period because of his “new views” – as he “continues in his errors” on the Epiphany-Apokalypsis period since the Epiphany Messenger’s demise. R. G. Jolly also is forced to repudiate large parts of the first chapter of the Epiphany Elect as he “continues in his perversions” of the Epiphany Messenger’s teaching on the Epiphany period – as we ourselves “continue” in what we have learned and been assured of, knowing of whom (the Epiphany Messenger) we have learned these Truths,
These observations apply also to large parts of Volume Four on Azazel’s Goat and the Youthful Worthies as respects both “cousins.” Note specifically p. 342, top:
“If our readers will keep in mind that The Tower’s denial of Tentative Justification during this Age is the foundation of its rejecting the Scriptural doctrine that those faithful consecrators from 1881 until Restitution sets in..... will be the Millennial Associates of the Ancient Worthies” .... etc.
And just as J. F. Rutherford’s rejection of Tentative Justification forced him to abandon entirely Tabernacle Shadows, so the perversions of Tentative Justification, and their “new views,” now force the “cousins” to abandon the faithful teachings of both Messengers on Youthful Worthies. Can any honestly say they believe Brother Johnson was the Epiphany Messenger when they reject the very foundation and basic Truths the Epiphany Messenger gave us?
JUDGMENT AT THE HOUSE OF COD
St. Peter informs us that “judgment must begin at the house of God.” (I Pet. 4:17) Then he asks the question, “If it begin first at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the Gospel of God?” It is stated in 2 Thes. 1:7,8, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed (by the uncovering—Apokalypsis) from Heaven.... in flaming fire (the Time of Trouble of this Epiphany Day, this “last day” of the Gospel Age) taking vengeance on them.... that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.” That is, the retributive justice of this Day of Fire, this Epiphany Day, will overtake the second-death class in the Truth who have done full despite to the spirit of Grace. Therefore, St. Peter poses the further query (v. 18), “If the righteous scarcely be saved (those fully faithful of God’s Elect people), where shall the ungodly (them that obey not the Gospel) and the sinner (the Great Company, those eventually “turned back from their path of error”—Jas. 5:20 – see Berean Comment) appear?” Here then are set forth the three classes of new creatures – Little Flock, Great Company and Second Deathers – whose judgment is “manifested” during this Apokalyptic Day of “flaming fire” (the Epiphany period). The Youthful Worthies must also stand judgment for princeship in this Day, although they are omitted from St. Peter’s letter because there was no such class at the time of writing his epistle – and even now theirs is not a judgment for everlasting life.
The Scriptures clearly reveal that “this present evil world” will dissolve through a process of War, Revolution and Anarchy; and, if judgment is to begin at the House of God, we should expect these evils to appear first in the Household of Faith. And this is clearly the way it has been; During the Parousia Day the five Harvest siftings certainly precipitated war (for the defense of the Truth) in the Truth Movement, which was eventually followed by the war among the nations in 1914. Then, since 1914 Rebellion (Revolutionist) has been rampant during this Epiphany Day among the various groups of Truth people – this also preceding the Great Revolution of Armageddon into which the world will shortly enter.
But, even before Revolutionism has run its full course, there are many evidences of Anarchy in the House of God. Anarchy is a polity without a head – every man a law unto himself. An analogy to this is to be found in Judges 17:6; 18:1, etc.: “In those days there was no king (Judge, typical of the Gospel Age Star Members) in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” During 1965 we received a lengthy manuscript from a brother (previously unknown to us), in which he advocates the abolition of all teachers in the Church, and inviting us to join with him in a campaign to “teach” his view. Said he, “The wise and sensible thing to do as a minister of the Word is to let God speak for Himself”; and he desires “to share this spiritual information” with us. In our answer to him we asked for his understanding of Eph. 4:11-13, “The Lord gave some Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.... for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ”; and if ‘they shall all be taught of God’ – without human help, as you intimate – are you not wasting your time, effort and money to attempt to “teach” others your present view, thus going against your own philosophy?” Up to now we have had no answer from him.
Certainly, all of us must agree that it has been through human teachers that we received the necessary instruction to bring us into Present Truth, and that there must be others now in relatively the same position as were we at the inception of our understanding of the good Word of God, and who still need teachers. “How shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? ... faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:14-17) Thus, if we would do all things decently and in order, we cannot escape the conclusion that some in the Church are more qualified than others in their capacity to teach the Truth; and any attempt to negate this arrangement is simply Epiphany Revolutionism producing Anarchy in the Church – some of the “pestilence that walketh in darkness” (Psa. 91:6), the darkness that appears in the night, at the dawn of the Millennial morning. All such departures from orderly arrangement in God’s Household are simply “strong delusion” (2 Thes. 2:9-12) – some more symbolic witchcraft (especially deceptive false teachings) in this Evil (Epiphany) Day. We believe the following from Brother Russell is in complete accord with the foregoing:
“To be perfectly balanced physically is to be almost immune to disease. In other words, those who digest well what they eat, and who eat sufficiently and who work proportionately are so healthy that colds and other ailments pass them by. Those attacked by every passing ailment are usually either under-nourished or the slothful. (See Vol. 6, pp. 559-562)
“This is also true of the new creation. Some ‘babes’ in Christ are always ‘catching’ something in the way of false doctrine (“strange fire” such as Campers Consecrated, or the ending of the Epiphany period before its real features have even arrived—JJH) – usually because under-nourished in the Truth, but sometimes because their labors for the Truth have been insufficient properly to utilize the nourishment they have taken.
“Whoever has studied the Word to good effect has learned that its standard is the correct one; namely, that we must grow in knowledge and the graces of the Spirit by our daily walk in life. We must put forth first the faith foot and then the works foot, and thus proceed to more faith and more works. These ‘rightly exercised’ make us strong in the Lord and the power of His might. It is to such obedient children of God that the promise applies, ‘The wicked one toucheth them not.’.... (they are never in Azazel’s clutches).
“The Lord has promised for His Household the long-promised ‘meat in due season,’ ‘things new and old.’ Some have repudiated and violently opposed these Harvest blessings; others of us have embraced them and feasted upon them and hungered and thirsted for more and more of the same kind... Since tasting of the Heavenly Manna (as given to us through the Star Members—JJH) we have no appetite for other things (Levitical perversions and “strange fire”—JJH)... But there are others who are sure to fall away in this evil day..... These, without proper loving zeal, are indolent as respects labors-of love and self-denial on behalf of the Lord, the Truth and the Brethren.... they are sure to ‘catch’ some error.... It is noticeable that the ‘slothful servants’ (The Great Company and, in a secondary sense, their like-minded Youthful Worthy supporters—See Matt. 25:26,30 and Berean Comment—JJH), when entrapped by the Adversary, seem to become very energetic for the error.... But we must expect that such as refuse and neglect the various provisions and exhortations of the Master for their development .... will be permitted to stumble and fall (into such errors as Campers Consecrated, the length of the Epiphany, etc.—JJH).” Reprints 4129
The question may arise with some: Is the understanding of this Epiphany Day generally accepted by various Truth groups? Our answer is, No! So far as we know, we ourselves are the only group now presenting – and “continuing in” – this Truth as explained aforegoing. Those formerly associated with the Epiphany Messenger did at one time receive it as he taught it – and we have repeated herein – although they have now wandered far astray from their former correct faith on the subject, having rallied around their favorite leaders rather than “continuing in His Word.” However, there are others – such as the Dawns and the Jehovah’s Witnesses – who never accepted Epiphany Truth – denying, as they do, that the Epiphany as a special period of time, is taught in the Bible. To reach this conclusion, they must ignore completely certain Scriptures, such as 2 Tim. 4:1, “The Lord Jesus shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing (Epiphaneia) and Kingdom (Basileia).” To state this text more clearly: “The Lord Jesus shall judge the quick (new creatures and fallen angels) at His Epiphaneia, and the dead (all human beings under the death sentence, whether in the tomb or out of it) at His Basileia.” Clearly enough, if the “quick” are to be judged at His Epiphaneia, this must be a special period of time. It is little wonder, then, that such as the Dawns and the Witnesses are confused as respects Epiphany teachings, arrangements and work, failing, as they do, “rightly to divide the Word of Truth” – which in turn causes then to “fight as one that beateth the air” – a text referring to crown-losers (See Berean Comment for 1 Cor. 9:27). With these groups in this Gospel Age Harvest, as was true in the Jewish Harvest, “They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” (Rom. 10:2)
As we view the panorama all about us, surely we can give thanks unto the Lord for His strong assurance that – “I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth (the Epiphany Truth in this Epiphany Day fulfills this promise in grand fashion): thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shall make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shall glory in the Holy One of Israel.”—Isa. 45:15,16.
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Sir: Please send me What is the Soul, Where are the Dead, and the Three Babylons tracts to the following address: (check enclosed)
Yours truly, -------- (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Brother and Sister Hoefle: Grace and Peace!
This is just a small Christmas gift from me to you for all the wonderful gifts you have given to me. May God bless you in your ministry! Much Christian Love, ---------- (OHIO)
Dear Brother and Sister Hoefle: Grace and peace be multiplied!
Enclosed is a M.O..... for the Truth Fund...... Sister ------- and I want to again express our deep appreciation, and thanks, for the articles we receive monthly. We do read and study them and receive rich blessing by so doing. Be assured as we approach the throne of Heavenly Grace we ask our dear Heavenly Father to bless us only as He can bless – and give you the needed strength to carry on this great work. And may He – our dear Heavenly Father – which maketh rich and addeth thereto no sorrow, be your portion. Our very best Christian love to you, Brother, and Sister Hoefle and all the dear ones at Mount Dora. Your Brother and Sister in the one Hope –
By His Grace, ------- (NEW JERSEY)