My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
Both Brother Russell and Brother Johnson offered voluminous comment on the two classes presented in our heading, in much of which they included also the other two elective classes – the Ancient and Youthful Worthies; but we shall confine ourselves in this treatise on the Fully Faithful and the Measurably Faithful of the New Creation, with the reservation that our comments would also apply in principle to the fully faithful and measurably faithful Worthies. With the New Creation there is set forth in the Scriptures a very clearly defined dividing line between the Saints and the crown-losers, which is not treated at all in considering the Worthies; thus, we cannot with certainty declare that there is a measurably faithful class among them that will gain an elective salvation. But there is no such doubt respecting the measurably faithful of the New Creation, as they are shown in numerous types and designated by such names as “sinners” (Jas. 5:20), as “subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:15), as “prisoners in the dungeon” (Ex. 12:29), “such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Psa. 107:10), etc.; but those of them who eventually gain spiritual life are properly now included in “the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven.” (Heb. 12:23)
The fully faithful of this New Creation are also described in the Scriptures as “obedient children” ( 1 Pet. 1:14), with the measurably unfaithful characterized as children who walk in forbidden paths – while in the typology of Lev. 16:8 they are designated respectively as “one goat for the Lord, and the other for Azazel.” (See margin) This secondary class is thus styled because they have expended much energy as the principal human performers for Azazel (the Devil) in building up the great systems of error that have arisen during the Gospel Age; but it is well that we keep in mind that they have also accomplished much good, the same being eloquently typed in the offerings of the princes of Israel as outlined In Numbers 7. Those princes type the leaders of this secondary class in their good works; whereas, King Saul of Israel types those same leaders from about 200 AD. up to Armageddon in many of their Azazelian deeds. In this latter type Saul portrays the measurably faithful leaders in contrast to the Prophet Samuel, who typed the fully faithful of this Gospel Age, especially their leaders. Those two classes are also pictured in a more limited way by the herdmen of Abraham (type of the fully faithful) and the herdmen of Lot (type of the measurably faithful. (Gen. 13:5-13)
THE WISDOM OF GOD – THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD
In the type last mentioned above, “Lot beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere.... like the land of Egypt.... Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east.... and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.... And Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.” (Gen. 13:10-13; 19:1) In this choice Lot gives clear portrayal of those measurably faithful leaders who have built up Great Babylon during this Gospel Age. The “well-watered” plains of Jordan offered ease and plenty, and these inducements caused him to ignore completely the kind of people who would be his companions. “And Lot journeyed east.” In this he pictured the builders of Babylon accepting the wisdom of this world in preference to the wisdom of the Lord-“ Come and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.” In 1 Kgs. 4:30 it is stated that “Solomon’s wisdom exceeded the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt” – thus, telling us that the Epiphany Solomon would be wiser than the children of this world. And those of us who knew him well give ready witness that Brother Johnson had a clearer understanding of present world affairs than any other human being.
‘‘And Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.” The gate entrance into the city would be the place of chief prominence; and who will not agree that those who built Great Babylon have “loved the praise of men more than the praise of God”? Lot’s choice of Sodom eventually caused him to lose all he had and all he acquired in that locality – just as those here in the end of this Age will also lose all “the fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and gold and precious stones, and pearls” (Rev. 13:16) they have accumulated by the use of worldly wisdom. Thus, all during this Gospel Age (after the Apostles died) antitypical Lot (the crown-losers, and especially their leaders, such as Augustine, John Calvin, etc.) has occupied the place of chief prominence – in the eyes of the world, that is – and sat in the gate “of the great city, which is called, spiritually, Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” (Rev. 11:3)
SAMUEL AND SAUL
In 1 Sam. 10:1 we are told that “Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon Saul’s head.... because the Lord hath appointed thee to be captain over His inheritances” Here was strange procedure indeed – Samuel, the greater, anointing Saul, the lesser, to be leader over God’s faithful Israel, even while Samuel, the Judge and Prophet dwelt among them. This can only be explained by understanding that God there made a type of the Gospel Age, which would reveal the course of events after the Apostles passed away, ‘Saul was a choice young man, and goodly.... not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than all the people.” (1 Sam. 9:2) In this he portrayed the gifted men of this Age, many of whom were much more accomplished than the Star Members who had “laid hands upon them.” The writings that some of these crown-losers have left are still more highly esteemed than are the writings of the Star Members themselves. As example, Elder White of the Adventists, who is much more prominently mentioned among them than is their founder William Miller. And in our own time J. F. Rutherford is regarded much more highly by the Jehovah’s Witnesses than Brother Russell, the latter’s books not even being read any more in that sect; although JFR’s errors are still prevalent there, clearly manifesting to the enlightened fully faithful that their adherents are more willing to “walk in the counsel of the ungodly” in blind sectarian devotion rather than look into their background and “search the Scriptures.” Antitypical Lot has indeed “sat in the gate of Sodom.”
In all of this there is strong confirmation of the Truth that “Man looketh on the outward appearance.” Even of our Lord Himself it is written, “When we beheld Him, there was no beauty that we should desire Him”; thus, the High Priest, the Scribes and the Pharisees were embraced by the large majority of Israel. And in thus doing, “Israel hath lost that which he seeketh.” Nor will there be any cessation of this procedure until this Age has fully ended; the measurably faithful will continue to barter future reward for present advantage (until Armageddon has freed them from their bonds). And, with such forceful types to guide us, we should “think it not strange,” as we see this enactment continuing before us. Let us remember that at the outset King Saul was a very meek and humble man; but his is an outstanding proof that few people can stand great prosperity. It was not long until he was ignoring Samuel, whom all Israel knew to be the prophet and Lord’s mouthpiece in Israel at the time, which subsequently led to his complete undoing. He is one of the outstanding examples in all history of a man who came from nothing (“he hath hid himself among the stuff” – l Sam. 10:22) – rose to the place of chief prominence among his people, then retrograded to nothing; his end being much more humiliating than his humble beginning.
“THOU HAST DONE FOOLISHLY”
From the very outset almost all Israel gave Saul full embrace – “All the people shouted, and said God save the king.” (1 Sam. 10:24) In this our pity and sympathetic understanding surely go out to King Saul. He had been just a humble herdman from the smallest Tribe in Israel, and one of the least prominent families in that Tribe of Benjamin, and a young man of no experience at all in such a matter. Such great exaltation could hardly be expected to do other than magnify his own importance in his own mind (if he didn’t have a complete pure and honest heart and kept it). Thus, the admonition is given in 1 Tim. 5:22, “Lay hands hastily on no one” – don’t be in a hurry to place novices in the eldership, or give prominence to those unable to bear such promotion.
Therefore, it was not long before Saul decided to run ahead of the Lord, the record of which is given in 1 Sam. 13:8-16. When Samuel was not immediately available, Saul decided he himself would “offer the burnt offering,” which he knew full well was not his office to perform; and, true to such characters, he immediately made lame excuse when confronted by Samuel. To this he received the swift rebuke from Samuel, “Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God.” There is in this statement a very familiar ring: The parable in Matt. 25:1-13 discusses the virgins, some of whom were “foolish,” the same being the crown-losers, the leaders of whom Saul typed as he also did “foolishly.” The record reveals how Saul went from folly to worse folly, until Samuel informed him he should expect no more help or consolation from him. But, even then, in desperation Saul pleaded with Samuel that he should “honor me now before the elders of my people, and before Israel” (I Sam. 15:30) – that he might still have “the praise of men” – that he might to the very last continue to “sit in the gate of Sodom.”
Few indeed during this Gospel Age have fully learned that “To obey is better than sacrifice”; thus, “straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life; and few there be that find it” – the “crown of life” coming only to those few who realized that obedience with sacrifice is the ideal during the faith Age. But the Measurably Faithful all during the Age have learned this lesson only after they had their experience at the hands of Azazel – by fit-man experiences, the same being unfavorable circumstances and persecuting persons. They have been not only “foolish” in their headiness, but also “foolish” in their various endeavors. Therefore, Brother Johnson could truthfully say of them, “Bungling is the usual and natural activity of the Great Company.” Perhaps all in the LHMM accepted this conclusion wholeheartedly during Brother Johnson’s life – so long as they were able to apply it to other groups – much the same as the average person is ready enough to quote Scripture at the man across the street, all the while the same applies pointedly to him.
But for those in the LHMM now to apply the same rule to the Great Company in their own midst becomes quite taboo – such critics are chronic fault-finders, “sifters,” and the like. When Brother Johnson made sharp criticism of J. F. Rutherford the first half of 1917, the latter once said to him, ‘‘About all you’ve been able to do since you returned from England is to say, I object.” And R. G. Jolly made much the same criticism of us about 1954 – ‘Of late you seem to find fault with about everything I do.” However, we repeat once more that our faulting him gives us not one whit of pleasure; it is rather “of necessity that it is laid upon me” that we write much of that we do write. All well-disposed people find much more pleasure in honest compliment for others than they do in complaint against them. During Brother Russell’s life Brother Johnson was known throughout the Harvest movement as that “loving Pilgrim” (Medad means ‘loving’); and we believe he was fully honest when he stated it gave him only sadness and heaviness of heart to offer such sharp criticism of brethren with whom he formerly “took sweet counsel together.... walked into the house of God in Company” (Psa. 55:14). This is presently our own position; we were immeasurably more lighthearted before Brother Johnson’s death than we have been since that time.
However, we shall continue to protest at every violation of those ‘landmarks’ set for us by the last two Principal Men, because the Scriptures pointedly state of both of them that they were “wise”; and we are admonished to “count them worthy of double honor.... who labor in word and doctrine” (I Tim. 5:17) – we should be much alert not to be overcome by those who “rebel against the words of God and contemn the counsel of the Most High” (Psa; 107:11). In 1950 Brother Johnson made this observation: “The worldly are so soundly asleep that it will require the terrific crashing of present institutions and the earthquake shakings of social revolution of the Epiphany period thoroughly to awaken them to a realization of the presence of the great Judge, Immanuel.” And on pages 129-130 of Volume 4 he also tells us, “During the Gospel Age very many Biblical things – the things of the spirit – were concealed from all but new creatures.” And we believe most of our readers will heartily agree that all intricate Biblical subjects even yet – fourteen years after his death – are concealed from all but the truly awakened and informed. Therefore, we feel fully justified in saying of R. G. Jolly, “THOU hast done foolishly” when he immediately determined to print and distribute a million “Do-You-Know” tracts. The very large majority of people here in the United States know nothing whatever about the contrast between the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb (nor of our Lord’s Second Presence); therefore, how could they possibly comprehend that the last Saint had left the earth, even if it were true – when they do not even know the difference between the High Calling and Restitution? And much the same may be said for some of his other efforts, so that the query is pointedly applicable to him, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge ?” (Job. 38:2)
THE GREAT COMPANY’S JUDGMENT DAY
It is clearly stated in 2 Tim. 4:1 that “the Lord is about to judge the quick by his appearing” – His Epiphaneia (the Epiphany period) – just as the Man of Sin is also to be annihilated by the Epiphaneia of His Parousia (2 Thes. 2:48); and that during this period the Lord ‘‘will send them an energy of delusion to their believing the falsehood.” (v. 11) – Therefore, it could also truthfully be said about us, “Thou hast done foolishly,” if we should not very much concern ourselves with the teachings and efforts of the “foolish” Class in this their special JUDGMENT DAY, lest we also fall into “their path of error.” (Jas. 5:20, Dia.) These Great Company members are the “quick” of 2 Tim. 4:1, that Class now that “sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron” (Psa. 107:10); and every teacher of Truth should realize a twofold heavy duty upon himself: First, to warn others “not to come into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united” (Gen. 49:6); Second, to warn those now “in the shadow of death” of their precarious position, lest we be found remiss in our obligations toward them.
THAT SERVANT’S CORROBORATION
Brother Russell offers “wise” comment about this same class: – “The difficulty was Saul’s failure to respect the Divine arrangement (R. G. Jolly’s first revolutionism was against the Divine arrangement in 1938 – JJH), his presumption in undertaking to do what had not been committed to his care, but was under the charge of another. (In 1938 RGJ also busied himself in matters under the charge of another – JJH). The Lord’s cause was not hindered (in 1938 Bro. Johnson had a very firm grip on the situation – JJH); but King Saul’s own prosperity was interfered with by his neglect of the Divine Arrangement. (RGJ’s spiritual prosperity was temporarily devastated in 1938 by loss of his eldership in the Philadelphia Church, by his suspension from the Pilgrim service, by his humiliation before the General Church – many of whom held him up to ridicule – although this was not the charitable thing to do – JJH).
“If for the moment we think of Saul as representing those who have been favored of God, and called to joint-heirship with Jesus, we may see in his early victories a picture of our good beginning, when we trusted God implicitly, waited patiently and trustfully for Him to guide in all of our affairs. As Saul should have made progress and become stronger in his faith and patience and obedience, so should our earliest experiences bring to us implicit obedience. But as this was not the case with Saul, so it is not the case with many of those who have been anointed for joint-heirship with the Lord in His kingdom. Instead of their growing more dependent upon the Lord, they become less particular to know and to do His will. They still reverence the Lord; but they are not sufficiently careful to note just what He would have them to do. Sometimes they undertake to do the work of others (such as RGJ has done in bringing forth his new doctrine of Campers Consecrated, new doctrines being the exclusive privilege of the Star Members – JJH), thus becoming ‘busybodies in other merits matters: as King Saul busybodied and sinned in attempting to do the work that belonged to the prophet. Here then is our lesson, ‘obedience is better than sacrifice’ in God’s sight. He will neither approve or reward carelessness on our part in this matter. On the contrary, inattention to His direct will (such as offering “strange fire” – JJH) would mark us as proportionately unfit for His direct service. So the Apostle exhorts, ‘Let us walk circumspectly,” carefully, scrutinizingly – Eph. 5:15.
“Saul’s difficulties were (1) A selfish spirit... the fleshly viewpoint (as displayed in the ‘fleshly minds’ of the Great Company – JJH); (2) A man-fearing spirit... Saul feared the people... the fear that bringeth a snare; (3) Too slack an appreciation of the Lord’s word; and this is the difficulty which specially besets nearly every one of the Lord’s followers who stray away into error of doctrine (such as Campers Consecrated, Faith justification in a faith Age for Restitutionists... who will reach perfection under a works dispensation, etc.JJH).... The Scriptures clearly indicate a great trial and testing for the Church. It will determine with very many what Saul’s testing determined for him. To the faithful the Lord says, “Fear not, Little Flock; it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. ‘The others will be answered, as was Saul, “Obedience is better than sacrifice; .thou art rejected.’”
Then Brother Russell continues in Reprints 5427, col. 2: “Undoubtedly, the principle remains always true that there are but two great captains in the warfare between sin and righteousness; namely, Christ and Satan. It remains true also that whoever is fighting for the one is fighting against the other. It is for us to make sure, first of all, that we are on the Lord’s side. (During the great conflict of 1861-65, one General remarked to President Lincoln: Let’s hope the Lord is on our side. Answered the President: Let’s hope rather we are on the Lord’s side – JJH). There is still a further step – to make sure that we are fighting as our Captain would wish us to fight... ‘This is the will of God (concerning you), even your sanctification.’ Thus our personal salvation comes first, in God’s order. What is the next step? The answer comes, ‘Feed my sheep; feed my lambs.’ (This is the answer we gave RGJ in 1951 when he was deciding to reverse the Lord’s arrangement established by the Epiphany Messenger, to have six Present Truths each year and twelve Bible Standards, instead of twelve Present Truths and six Heralds, as Brother Johnson had done – JJH) At first we might be disposed to demur, to say, Lord, should we not rather go after the straying, after the lost sheep? The answer is given by the Lord, Do good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially unto the Household of Faith. If, therefore, the Household of Faith demands all of our time when we have the opportunity, we may be doing nothing for the lost sheep, but only helping to perfect those whom the Lord has already found. (This is almost verbatim as we counseled RGJ in 1951 – JJH) The circumstances of the Lord’s providence alone can direct our course. When we can see His purpose, His object, in this (His) arrangement, all is clear. He is taking out of the world a peculiar people.... and they all need education along spiritual lines.”
During Brother Russell’s day even the weakest were able to give to every man a reason for the hope they cherished. Today, it is much the reverse with R. G. Jolly and his adherents. In Trinidad – if we are correctly informed – quite a few in his Class there do not even believe his “strange fire” of Campers Consecrated –much less offer a defense for it. If this teaching be sound, R. G. Jolly should have his adherents well enough schooled that they would be glad to “refute the gainsayers,” instead of being told to “avoid them” – instead of being told they should bend every effort to securing more like themselves, who also will know not whereof they speak. Thus, instead of having an army of “good soldiers” willing to face every foe for the cause, he is developing an army of runners – an exact duplicate of the army of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who also spread the word quickly to “avoid” the address of those they know still retain the Truth as given us through That Servant and the Epiphany Messenger.
Brother Russell and Brother Johnson both had much, much more to say about King Saul; and it is our purpose to treat further of this type that points so clearly to the crown-lost leaders who have led God’s people astray in doctrine and arrangements; but for now we submit this present writing with the suggestion that each one consider for himself which class he shall follow – the Fully Faithful (the Samuel Class), or the Measurably Faithful (the Saul Class). “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15) And, “Through God we shall do valiantly; for it is He that shall tread down our enemies.” (Psa. 108:13)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
“IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW”
During the period of June 13-17 there came to us the news of four deaths, and it is with much heaviness of heart that we now make report to our readers:
WILLIAM S. WILSON, husband of Sister Wilson, Suches, Ga., came to tragic death in a truck accident; thus a double shock to all of us.
GERTRUDE S. OLDHAM, of Springville, Cal., came to the end of her course at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Evelyn Wolfe, Fresno, Cal., after a lingering illness through most of the winter. Although she had been quite frail for a number of years, she continued as the “good soldier” that she was until a broken hip forced her into the seclusion of her daughter’s home.
EDWARD W. ALGER, of Royal Oak, suburb of Detroit, Mich. He would have been 93 years old this November; had heard a discourse in England by one of Brother Russell’s speakers at the age of 11 years – before even Volume One had been published. Thus, he was probably familiar with Harvest Truth for more years than any other human being up to the time of his departure on June 15. He had been a Pilgrim under Brother Johnson, but speedily withdrew from the LHMM when Levitical errors began to appear – just as he had also done with the Society for the same reason. He had visited with us for three weeks in Mount Dora during March of this year, observing his last Memorial with us there, at which time he was still quite active and lucid, taking an active part in the service. His demise was quite sudden, as he had been driving his own car and calling upon his patients (he was a drugless physician of some note in Michigan) just a few weeks before he was stricken with a coronary. He had been our good friend and years-long associate in the “good fight.”
LEWIS FREDERICK ROACH, of Trinidad, was born in Barbados March 27, 1873; came to Trinidad in 1890, where he became associated with the Government Police Force, having attained the rank of Superintending Sergeant at time of retirement some forty years ago. He was a legendary figure about Port of Spain, strong in his convictions, loved and respected. He associated himself with Harvest Truth in 1912; but quickly severed his relations with the Society in 1919, when the Levitical errors became repulsive to him. Thus, he was more or less alone until 1931, when he first met Brother Johnson on a trip to Trinidad. He was quick to embrace Epiphany Truth, immediately persuaded other isolated brethren to do likewise, and formed a thriving Class there as Brother Johnson’s representative, a position which he held to the time of Brother Johnson’s death in 1950.
When the errors of R. G. Jolly and associates forced the division in Jamaica in 1957, R. G. Jolly quickly sent his ablest speakers to the Crofts Hill area; and each one of those speakers was quickly defeated by the staunch brethren there, influenced in large measure by Sister Condell, widow of Brother J. L. Condell, the same brother who had been Brother Johnson’s representative for Jamaica for many years. Stinging under the defeat received by the Jamaica speakers, R. G. Jolly determined an astute move would be to “import” some one for the purpose, and he called in Brother Roach. Being fundamentally honest, Brother Roach did not attempt to resist what he could not meet with “sound doctrine.” In fact, at R. G. Jolly’s first visit to Trinidad after Brother Johnson’s death Brother Roach informed us he had told R. G. Jolly he would be fully In sympathy with him so long as he would direct them to the Star Members’ teachings – much as we ourselves had assured him in Philadelphia when we conducted Brother Johnson’s funeral there in October 1950. After the Jamaica episode Sister Condell gave us the address of Brother Roach, and we placed him on our mailing list. Having had his senses exercised to discern between Truth and error, the beloved Brother quickly saw the perversions coming out of Philadelphia; but his aging shoulders (then approaching 90 years of age) seemed to him incapable of another battle such as he had waged after separation from the Society, and he tried to follow a generous and sympathetic course. But at Passover 1962 R. G. Jolly himself precipitated a separation in Trinidad by the letter he wrote to them before his arrival for the Memorial. Up to that time Brother Roach had mentioned our name to no one in that area, as it was not his wish to divide the Class. Subsequent events have been detailed in our various papers; but Brother Roach was wholeheartedly with the Epiphany Bible Students at the time of his passing on June 16.
He and others had exacted the promise from us more than a year ago to conduct the funeral, which seemed imminent with each passing month; and we, accompanied by Sister Hoefle, responded to the cablegram at once, arriving on Thursday, and performing the service on Friday June 19. And we believe the service is one long to be remembered by all present. The Government had provided a special group of uniformed pall bearers, all of the rank held by Brother Roach at time of retirement; and, after they had placed the casket into the hearse, a slow march began to the cemetery a few blocks away by most of those who had attended the service. The cortege – three, four, five abreast – was about a city block long, and contained some hundreds of people. They then gathered about the open grave, sang hymns and witnessed our closing service, as four cemetery attendants filled the grave, then covered the mound with floral wreaths. The whole service consumed better than two hours – concluding about six p.m. – the final part reminding us strongly of the poet’s words respecting the death of Moses:
But, when the warrior dieth,
His comrades in the war,
With arms reversed and muffled drums,
Follow his funeral car,
Amid the noblest of the land
We lay the sage to rest,
And give the bard an honored place,
With costly marble dressed,
In the great ministering transept
Where lights like glories fall,
The seated choir sings, and the organ rings
Along the emblazoned wall.
God hath His mysteries to grace,
Ways that we cannot tell,
He hides them deep, like the hidden sleep
Of him He loved so well.
With the passing of such “good soldiers” we may reconcile ourselves with the assurance that our loss is their gain. “The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance” (Psa. 112:6) – both here and hereafter; and we cherish the hope for all of them that the promise is fully theirs, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.”
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brethren: Greetings in Jesus Name!
We would request that you do not send anymore of your pamphlets to us.... We are not particularly interested in your quarrels with R. G. Jolly, etc. Your papers seem so full of contention.
We have been fully consecrated since 1912 – have met Bro. Russell several times. However, I was interested in your analysis on pp. 4 and 5 of your June 1 issue. I do also agree that “the vision is yet for an appointed time,” with no dates available at this time. Sincerely Your brethren in His Service, Mr. & Mrs. -------
PS – We left the IBSA in Spring 1918 on the occasion of the great compromise.
Our Answer to the above:
Dear Brother and Sister – Grace and peace through our Beloved Lord!
We are complying with your request of June 5 to remove your name from our mailing list, although I feel I should explain to you that my controversy with R. G. Jolly is not a matter of personalities; the real and only controversy is over the Truth that is being corrupted by him. You say you have been with Brother Russell, so you must know that he also constantly engaged in sharp controversy with Great Babylon and others in his day. Our Lord also was in much controversy, as revealed in Matt. 23; and we are now living in the time when the “recompenses for the controversy of Zion” are due to be executed. Thus, it is sad to see so many, claiming to be God’s people, saying they will have no part of the controversy He is waging at present.
According to Mal. 3:3, one of the Lord’s specific purposes for this time is to “sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” A better translation says He is a refiner and polisher of silver – the Truth. And, certainly, nothing can be polished without considerable friction; and those who avoid such polishing are in fact closing their minds to Him who stands at the door and knocks. (Rev. 3:20) Also, we are specifically commanded to “earnestly contend for the faith” (the Truth) – Jude 3; and I would be interested to know what you yourselves are doing to “contend for the Truth.”
It seems to me that whatever we believe – if we have been reaped by the Harvest sickle of Truth – we should believe it clearly and earnestly enough to be willing and happy to contend for it; and we should be persuaded that the Lord is with us in this “good fight.” Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses, with all the corruption they have injected into that Truth so clearly given us by the Lord through Brother Russell, are quite zealous in contending for their errors; that is, until they come in contact with some who really have the Truth that Brother Russell taught – in which event they run away in a hurry.
With this comes our Christian good will and cordial good wishes that you may become fully awake to your duties and privileges as respects the due Truth in this Harvest time; and I assure you we here are at your service any time you should have a change of heart and mind.
Sincerely your brother,
PS - “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” says St. Paul in 2 Tim. 3:12, which can be said in another way, “All the godly will surely ‘contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints’” (Jude 3). I assume you believe you are “living godly,” so I am much puzzled to know how you “suffer persecution” if you do not believe in ‘contending’ for the Truth. Where there is no “contending for the Faith (the Truth)” there could not possibly be persecution for the Truth’s sake.