My dear Brethren: — Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
In our October 1959 paper we offered some observations respecting God's Faithful Israel “weeping” for antitypical Moses “in the plains of Noah,” all the while the false claims, misrepresentations and power‑grasping of uncleansed levites wax louder and louder. Now lies before us a 1959 copywright of “Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose,” the same depicting the Jehovah's Witnesses' “place in the sun.” Their unwarranted claims for themselves would not justify an analysis, but their slander of Brother Johnson, their distortion of facts, and some outright falsehoods in this book prompt us now to offer our readers some pertinent statements. Like all uncleansed Levites and second‑deathers of the entire Gospel Age, and especially like the Jehovah's Witnesses' “big brother” in Big Babylon (the Antichrist), they show themselves adept artisans in “making” history, “Behold, we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves” (Isa. 28:15), a characteristic of uncleansed Levites with which many of our readers are only too sadly conversant. We shall reproduce brief parts of pages 68 through 73 of their book, as follows:
“On the point of organization, as early as 1881 Russell recognized that the servant... was the entire body of anointed followers of Jesus Christ... In course of time this view was lost sight of and attention was focused more upon an individual man. The view generally held, that Pastor Russell himself was the 'faithful and wise servant’ of Matt. 25:45‑47 (this should read Matt. 24 instead of 25—JJH) created considerable difficulty for some years... led many to regard Russell in what amounted actually to creature worship. They believed that all the truth God had seen fit to reveal to his people had been revealed to Russell, and now nothing more could be brought forth because 'that servant’ was dead. This attitude caused Rutherford to root out any remnants of creature worship that might be left in the organization. For that reason he did not seek the favor of men, and because of the course many had taken in times past, he was suspicious of those who seemed to be working to curry favor with him. This attitude led to an unusual directness in dealing with his associates. After Rutherford was elected president, it soon began to appear that there were some in the organization who were not in favor of the arrangement. A few believed they should have been given this position and they went so far as to endeavor to wrest the administrative control from Rutherford's hands. This feeling began to develop early in 1917, within a few months after Rutherford was elected ... Pastor Russell had recognized the need for some one from the Society's headquarters to go to Britain to strengthen the brothers there after World War 1 broke out. He had intended sending P.S.L. Johnson, born a Jew, who had forsaken Judaism to became a Lutheran minister before he came to a knowledge of the Truth. Johnson had served as a speaker for the Society and was a man of recognized ability. This brilliance finally led to his downfall.
“Because of Bussell's expressed wish, the committee that served before Rutherford's election sent Johnson to England for this proposed task. When he arrived in London he began to assume an authority the Society had not given him, and began to oppose the Society's policy and the Society's branch servant in the London office. He gave talks to the brothers in England to the effect that he, Johnson, was Pastor Russell's successor, indicating that the mantle of Pastor Russell had fallen upon him just as the prophet Elijah's cloak had fallen upon Elisha.
“In the weeks that followed, he tried to take complete control of the British field and make himself the most prominent one in Britain. Without authority he even attempted to dismiss certain members of the London Bethel family. The work was so disrupted and such confusion developed that the Society's Branch servant was forced to complain to Brother Rutherford, the president of the Society. Immediately Brother Rutherford appointed a commission of several prominent brothers in London, not members of the headquarters staff, to hear the facts in this case and report to him. The commission met and after due consideration recommended that Johnson be recalled to the United States for the good of the work in Britain.
“Brother Rutherford acted upon this recommendation and instructed Johnson to return. Johnson, however, declined. He wrote letters and sent expensive cablegrams criticizing the committee, accusing them of bias in their deliberations and otherwise trying to justify the course he had taken. In order to make his position indispensable in Britain he used certain papers the Society had furnished him to facilitate entry into England and had the Society's funds in the London bank impounded...
“But Johnson was not able to hold out indefinitely and finally found it necessary to return to New York. There he persisted in his efforts to persuade Rutherford to send him back to England so that he might make his position more secure. When Brother Rutherford refused, he sought assistance from the Board of Directors and finally persuaded four members to side with him in this issue by making it appear that Brother Rutherford was unfit to serve as president of the Society. Since the board of directors consisted of only seven men, this meant that now the majority of the board of directors had gone in opposition to President Rutherford, Vice‑President Pierson and Secretary‑Treasurer Van Amburgh. This put the officers of the Society on one side of the issue and the directors who were trying to wrest the administrative control from the president on the other side...
“Their idea was to make the president's position secondary to the board of directors.... Throughout the entire administration of Pastor Russell, the president and the other officers of the Society had been the ones to decide on new publications; the board of directors, as a body, was not consulted. Brother Rutherford continued this same policy as he took up the new administration. In the course of time the three officers decided to publish the 'Seventh Volume,’ which had been in prospect for many years and which Russell himself had hoped to write before his death. The officers then arranged to have two brothers at headquarters, C. J. Woodworth and G. H. Fisher, compile this book... under the title, 'The Finished Mystery.’
“At noon, July 17, 1917, this book was released at the Bethel dining room table... Completely surprised by its release, the opposing members of the board of directors immediately seized upon this issue and made it the occasion of a five‑hour controversy over the administration of the Society's affairs....
“Actually they had no cause for contention at all, because Russell himself had stated: 'whenever I find the key, I will write the Seventh Volume; and if the Lord gives the key to some one else, he can write it.’ They opposed the move because they had not been consulted.... In the five‑hour debate that ensued the four contentious members of the board of directors were joined by P.S.L. Johnson. All voiced grievances in the open before the entire headquarters staff. This controversy showed a number of the Bethel family were in sympathy with this opposition to the Society's administration under Brother Rutherford. If allowed to continue, it would disrupt the entire operation of Bethel; so Brother Rutherford took steps to correct it.
“Paul the apostle had clearly stated that those who cause division were to be marked and were to be avoided. In harmony with this clear‑cut Scriptural principle it became necessary for Rutherford to reconcile these disgruntled members or ask them to leave. They thought it would be impossible for them to be replaced; but even before Russell's death, Rutherford, as an attorney, had pointed out to Russell that these members had not been properly elected...
“Rutherford knew this throughout this entire period of difficulty but had not brought the matter up, hoping that somehow these members would cease their opposition. When it became apparent that they would not, the time had come to legally dismiss them, which Rutherford did. This action infuriated these now defunct members of the board and they sought legal counsel in an effort to prevent Brother Rutherford from appointing four more new board members. Their attorney merely confirmed Brother Rutherford's position that they had never legally been members of the board of directors and, therefore, Rutherford was entirely within his rights as president of the Society in refusing to consider them as such. Immediately Brother Rutherford filled the vacancies with four others until their appointments could be confirmed at the next general corporation meeting in 1918.
“Brother Rutherford did not summarily dismiss them, however. He offered them prominent positions as pilgrims, but they refused and voluntarily chose to leave Bethel. Unfortunately, and as was to be expected, their withdrawal from service at headquarters did not reconcile them to Jehovah's organization. Instead, they began to spread their opposition outside of Bethel in an extensive speaking and letter‑writing campaign throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. As a result, after the summer of 1917, many of the congregations all over the world were composed of two parties...
“Those forming this opposition were united for just a few months. At their convention in the summer of 1918, further differences ended in another split. Johnson went one way and the other four went another way, each with his followers. Johnson organized his own separate group, making his headquarters in Philadelphia, where he continued as _earth's great high priest’ until his death.”
We believe most of our readers will require no help from us to discern in the foregoing the rank falsehoods, the half truths, the shady inferences and the powergrasping tendencies of the Jehovah's Witnesses in this their latest attempt at justification and self‑laudation for their evil course over the past forty years. They are seen allocating themselves as an integral part of “That Servant,” just as other uncleansed Levites are classifying themselves as an integral part of the “Light” and the “Salt” class. How appropriate is Brother Johnson's statement: “The Great Company always want more than God wants to give them!” The Jehovah's Witnesses quote a statement from Brother Russell “as early as 1881.” This was more than ten years before he saw clearly that he himself — and he himself alone — was “That Servant” of Matt. 24:45‑47.
Here is Brother Johnson's clear and correct analysis of the subject, as contained in E:9‑325:
“It is fitting that we who prize his ministry as especially Divinely arranged and directed should consider him as ‘that Servant,’ according to Matt. 24:45‑47 and Luke 12:42‑46. There is even at this late date (1938) more or less confusion among some Truth people as to who or what is meant by the expression, ‘that Servant.’ According to several views the expression, _that Servant,’ refers to a class. Some claim that, understood as a class, the expression, ‘that Servant,’ means the teachers in the Church; others claim that it means the Little Flock; and more latterly still, others – the Tower editors and their disciples – claim that it means the Society, by which we must understand either the Society's directors, organized with their agents, or the shareholders, or both combined. This latter thought we have refuted in detail in vol. 6. In Z '96, 47, and D 613, 614, our dear Pastor modestly gave the proofs that the expression, ‘that Servant,’ refers to an individual, i. e., to himself. With this view all well‑instructed Truth people agreed, until lately the Society leaders, to make their usurped powers more secure, spread the opinion that the Society, a business corporation, is ‘that Servant’.....
“The Scriptures clearly refute such claims, teaching that the expression, ‘that Servant’ means an individual. In both passages 'that Servant’ is clearly distinguished from the church, because he is spoken of as being made ‘ruler over His (the Iord's) household’: hence, he cannot be the household, the Church. Again, the fact that he is spoken of as giving them _meat in due season’ distinguishes him from the _household,’ the Church. Furthermore, his being called the 'steward’ proves that all of the servants of the household cannot be meant, for the steward is the special representative of the householder, having in charge all the latter's goods during his time of office, and as such has also all the other servants in his charge. (In our Lord's day individuals, not classes, were stewards.) Moreover, he is expressly distinguished in Luke 12:45 from all the other servants, in that he is forbidden to ‘beat the menservants and maidens,’ i.e., all the other servants of the Church. Hence, the expression, ‘that Servant’ cannot mean the servants of the Church as a class, because in this passage he is clearly distinguished from them. Therefore, in view of the fact that these two Scriptures distinguish him from the Church as a whole and from all the other servants of the Truth, we should conclude that he must be an individual.”
Then, note the contention that Rutherford “was suspicious of those who seemed to be working to curry favor with him”! The rank hypocrisy of this statement is so well known to all informed people that it needs no further elaboration here. The only ones who did remain at Bethel were those who did extend “angel worship” to him. Back in the 1920's we had some correspondence with Brother George H. Fisher, who compiled the Ezekiel section of Volume 7. At that time he wrote a personal letter to us, in which he stated that any one who does not recognize J. F. Rutherford as That Evil Servant is just that much out of Present Truth.
And we know, too, that Brother Russell's real purpose in selecting Brother Johnson to go to England in the fall of 1916 was because power‑grasping levites in that country were attempting to wrest control of the London Tabernacle and the British work from him. There is quite a difference in our statement here from the one the Jehovah's Witnesses now publish: “Pastor Russell had recognized the need for some one from the Society headquarters to go to Britain to strengthen the brothers there after World War 1 broke out.” Also, it is a matter of record that a great many of those Levites who received sharp criticism from Brother Johnson in England during his trip eventually were proven to be everything, and worse, that Brother Johnson charged them; and a large number of them later also left the Society.
Furthermore, their statement that Brother Johnson “continued as ‘earth's great high priest’ until his death” is just about as slippery and untruthful as anything ever published by the Papacy in their “history‑making” records. Note they do not say Brother Johnson made such a claim – which he never did do; but the uninformed reader would easily enough conclude that such was his contention.
The present writers of the Jehovah's Witnesses literature seem to have been excellent pupils of J F. Rutherford's technique. He, too, was always ready to plant the poisonous seed whenever it served his purpose – seeds which could be interpreted very loosely, with always the opportunity to deny any interpretation that might eventually prove unwieldly. When the trouble developed between Brother Johnson and J. F. Rutherford we decided to give each one fair and impartial brotherly justice. Therefore, when Brother Johnson said J. F. Rutherford had sent a cablegram to England, telling those brethren there that Johnson is an insane usurper and to incarcerate him, we wrote J. F. Rutherford asking if he had sent such a cable. His answer: “I don't remember”! That statement was sufficient for us to conclude with whom we should place our alliance; and the reward of the blessed Epiphany Truth has compensated us multiplied times during the past forty years for that decision.
For the record, it should be stated here, too, that J F. Rutherford was making bombastic claims forty years ago, claims that were perfect companions for the Papal claims all during the Dark Ages. Among others, he proclaimed that he would break the Devil's back in a year's time if he could just have a million dollars. He also predicted a subscription list of four million in one year for The Golden Age. Instead, in less than one year news vendors were refusing the paper space because so very few sales were effected for it.
Perhaps the most despicable aspect of this foray into falsehood lies in waiting until Brother Johnson was dead before producing it; he is no longer here to answer the hypocritical charges and deceptive jugglery that these uncleansed Levites now audaciously circulate. Of course, these are the same people who for many years now have ridiculed the idea of character development by Christians, so we need be surprised at nothing to which they may stoop; their characters don't concern them very much. It is a matter of public record that Brother Johnson was manhandled and ejected by physical force from Bethel that day in July 1917, and his personal effects were shoved into the street after him. And his defense of Harvest Truth and his vast product of advancing Truth since then are the clear evidence of God's approval upon him, as his betrayers have sunk deeper and deeper into the cesspool of Satanic error. And we offer a prayer of profound thanks that we can offer this defense in Brother Johnson's absence, as we praise God for his blessed memory.
It should be noted, too, that Jesse Hemery, H J. Shearn and W. Crawford are not even mentioned in connection with Brother Johnson's English activities in 1917 – or anywhere else in the book under discussion —, although these three were the main instigators in the opposition which Brother Johnson attempted to correct; and we are informed all three of them later left the Society, taking with them a number of their partisan supporters. Thus, time itself has clearly demonstrated that Brother Johnson's evaluation of them was correct. Yet these three ringleaders of the 1917 English rebellion are not even mentioned, the attack being centered exclusively upon the dead man. WHY?
As all of us know, power‑grasping Levites have abode in abundance “in the plains of Moab” all during the Epiphany; God's faithful people have been surrounded by them on all sides – and now especially so as we “weep” for antitypical Moses. But, as we recognize that the last members of antitypical Moses “watched over our souls as they that must give an account,” we exclaim once more – God bless their memory!
In conclusion, we believe it fitting to offer some comment on Micah 5:5 – “When the Assyrian (the errorists) shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise up against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.” When we first pondered publication of “The Three Babylons” tract, we did so with considerable misgivings; but it would now seem to have had the Lord's overruling and blessing – the truth about the Jehovah's Witnesses was already here waiting for them when their latest production in error arrived. Please understand we do not claim membership among the “seven shepherds”; but we do utter a prayer of thanks at every memory of the two “principal men” whose sound teachings have equipped us to put to flight all Assyrians (errorists).
And may the “spirit of understanding” abide richly with all to whom this writing may come!
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
NOTE: — Extra copies may be obtained free upon request.
“John's Baptism” During Jewish Harvest
In this Sept‑Oct. 1959 P.T. the subject of John's Baptism is again elaborated, and R. G. Jolly once more refers to “the sifting errorist” without mentioning our name (his name‑calling being just one more evidence of his weakness). As we have repeatedly stated, the exact number of years that John's Baptism prevailed is not at all essential to our present belief and practise of baptism; and entirely too much space has already been expended upon it. R. G. Jolly himself freely admitted that the point “is not fundamental.” Why, then does he continue his harangue – and especially in this particular issue of the P.T.? (The initials “P.T.” should very well indicate “Present Perverter,” considering what R. G. Jolly has put into it since Brother Johnson's death)... There can be only one answer: It tends to act as a sort of salve, a smokescreen for the devastating refutations we have been giving his Campers Consecrated FALSE DOCTRINE, his gross revolutionism on the Epiphany period, and other FUNDAMENTAL teachings in our various papers. His attempt to seek refuge now in a trivial point NOT FUNDAMENTAL (as he himself admitted as far back as 1954) is simply a move of desperation on his part.
He makes quite some play on the olive tree and the wild branches; but, if he were clear on this matter, he would have made it clear in this paper under review. Once the natural branches were broken off, they then became identical in every way (except in the Divine knowledge that may have been theirs through heredity) to the wild branches; and John's Baptism today would avail them no more than it would the Gentiles. This being true, why the “profusion of words” about it? Can it be as a cover‑up for his omission of the most pertinent of all Scriptures on this subject – namely, 1 Pet. 3:21? Please note his complete silence on this most pointed and direct Scripture! As we previously explained, this epistle by St. Peter is directed specifically “to the sojourners of the dispersion” (Diaglott) – those Jews who had been dispersed to the extreme northeast part of Asia Minor, in those locales known as the Black Sea provinces. R. G. Jolly repeatedly accuses us of being “out of harmony” with the last Star Members, yet he himself displayed a sneering contempt over Brother Russell's Berean Comment that these people were “Jews, Israelites.” We realize full well that they were Christian converts, although Jews by birth. And to these very people St. Peter says that baptism is “not a putting away of the filth of the flesh,” which was certainly true of those who properly received John's Baptism. And why is R. G. Jolly silent on this text? Why, because he can't answer it —because it is a direct contradiction to his entire position! Of course, he's just doing the same here as he's been doing with fundamental texts that pertain to the Saints – just keeping silent.
It doesn't require extreme astuteness to understand that Paul's epistle to the Ephesians was principally directed to erstvhile Greeks who had accepted Christianity; but the 18th chapter of Acts – which offers the foundation for Acts 19:1‑6 – stresses the Jewish background of those in Ephesus at that time. Notice also Acts 19:8, where Paul worked in the “synagogue boldly for three months” after the incident related in the previous verses.
R. G. Jolly hurls contempt at our contention that at no time (except in the case of Jesus Himself) did two baptisms ever operate at the same time. We make such a statement because the Scriptures nowhere declare such a situation. Let R. G. Jolly present a “thus saith the Lord” if he has any to offer. We have repeatedly invited him to offer one single instance where John's Baptism was approved after the conversion of Cornelius in Acts 10:48. This he hasn't answered because he can't answer it. It is clear enough from the 18th chapter of Acts that Apollos was not clear on baptism, “being acquainted only with the immersion of John” – vs. 25. R. G. Jolly has consistently ignored the situation in this entire chapter. Why? Note also his quotation on P. 78, col. 2, par. 3 of Brother Russell's observation: “It is possible that some sort of special favor continued with this class (Jews) until the full end of the Jewish harvest, A.D. 69.” We invite our readers to take note of Brother Russell's moderation in this matter – “it is possible” – in contrast to the bombast of R. G. Jolly. And Brother Russell adopted this attitude because he realized the Scriptures were silent on the subject, and his moderation in his statement gives us just one more evidence that he was “wise.” And what a refreshing contrast this is when it is paired with Levitical bombast. Also, the event of Acts 19:1‑6 was within a very few years of the time St. Peter wrote his epistle to the “Jews,” telling them baptism was not efficacious to “putting away the filth of the flesh.” Thus, R. G. Jolly now has the two leading Apostles of the Jewish Harvest contradicting each other on the subject of Baptism; but that doesn't seem to bother him at all – although he still has the colossal effrontery to yell “sifting errorist” at JJH – just as his “cousin” J W. Krewson is also doing, without attempting any answer to 1 Pet. 3:21! So we now invite them both once more to explain this text in harmony with their contentions, or forever hold their peace!
At this point we should take a close appraisal of Eph. 4:5 (Dia.), “there is one immersion,” and its related text in Gal. 3:24‑29. An analysis of the background for these two Epistles should prove very helpful. The Ephesian letter was written by St. Paul after his experience in Ephesus as given in Acts 19:1‑6. Also, there is some opinion (which lacks conclusive proof) that Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians while he was in Ephesus after the Acts 19 episode. Nor need it surprise us that the first converts in both these places would be Jews. If any of us were going to Hong Kong, China, to circulate the Truth, would it not be the most reasonable and expedient course that we should go first to the American settlement there? And that's the exact course taken by Apollos in Acts 18: “He began to speak boldly in the synagogue” (v. 26‑Dia.), as St. Paul himself also did, as evidence Acts 19:8. Therefore, it should be reasonable enough to conclude that the Ephesian congregation was mixed with Jews and Gentiles – just as was true in Galatia.
Let us consider now the history of Galatia: In 280 B.C. it was settled by the Gauls, whose original habitat was the central part of modern France. They came to Galatia as nomadic conquerors; hence, the origin of the name – Galatia, Keltae or Galli. Just prior to the advent of Jesus, Rome's Emperor Augustus designated it a Roman province, Galatia (one of the Black Sea provinces) – which name may be evolved "Gaul of Asia" (Julius Caesar had conquered Gallic France just a few years before Augustus became emperor), "Gaul‑Asia," or "Galatia." At A.D. 1 there were four distinct nationalities there – Phrygian, Greek, Gallic and Roman, with Jews undoubtedly interspersed among them – the “sojourners of the dispersion.” Thus, St. Paul faced a situation here very similar to the one at Ephesus – a mixed congregation; and he offers some instruction to the Jewish segment how to regard their erstwhile heathen brethren. Previous to their acceptance of Christ, those heathen brethren had been worshipers of Bacchus and Cybele, the worship of whom was accompanied by wild music, dancing, sexual and alcoholic excesses, and hideous mutilations. And to this element would St. Paul's words in Gal. 5:19‑21 be most pertinent: “Now the works of the flesh are manifestly these – fornication, debauchery... inebrities, revellings ... those who practise such things shall not inherit God's Kingdam” – (Dia.).
Then we note Paul's teaching to the Jewish element in Galatia: “The law has became our pedagogue to lead to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But the faith having come, we are no longer under a pedagogue... as many of you as were immersed into Christ, were clothed with Christ. In him there is not Jew nor Greek... you are all one in Christ Jesus” – Gal. 3:24‑28, Dia. Here is a clear exposition of the fusion that occurred after the 70th week. Previous to that, “salvation was to the Jew first”; and Jesus instructed the disciples to “go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” This instruction they followed meticulously until the 70th week expired; and they would have continued in the same groove even after that had not the Lord given Peter a special vision to refrain from it. Thus, to the end of the 70th week there were Jews only; but after that there was “neither Jew nor Greek.” In the face of this, R. G. Jolly's contention that John's Baptism continued in effect until the end of the Jewish Harvest is just some more of his nonsense.
To such conglomerate congregations St. Paul writes, “there is one immersion” (Eph. 4:5, Dia.), and that there is neither “Jew nor Greek.” Had there been two immersions in vogue then, certainly such a capable and inspired teacher as St. Paul would have offered the explanation. We understand, of course, that the “one immersion” is fundamentally that immersion into Christ which operates through the Holy Spirit. However, the word “immersion” in Eph. 4:5 is from “Baptisma,” and is the same word as contained in Luke 3:3 – “He (John) preached the immersion (Baptisma) of reformation.” The same is found in Rom. 6:4 — “We have been entombed with him by the immersion (baptisma) unto that death.” And St. Peter uses the same word in 1 Pet. 3:21: “Immersion (baptisma), a representation of this (Noah's experience in the ark completely surrounded by water) now saves us; not a putting away of the filth of the flesh.” St. Peter qualifies his use of “baptisma” to fit the picture he is portraying; but, in the absence of such qualification, then we can only conclude that the “one baptisma” must be all‑inclusive of all its features. This is confirmed (perhaps inadvertently) by Brother Russell himself in the Berean Comment on Eph. 4:5 – “one baptism‑consecration, and only one proper symbol of it.” Thus, we once again invite the “cousins” (R. G. Jolly and J. W. Krewson) to present a counter‑explanation of Eph. 4:5, Gal. 3:24‑28 and 1 Pet. 3:21 – if they have one – or now forever hold their peace!
Letter of General Interest
Dear Brother Hoefle:
The following letter has been sent to R. G. Jolly to correct the falsehood told about the Winston‑Salem, N. C., brethren from the platform at this Chicago Convention. You may use this in any way you see fit for the best interests of the Truth:
To R. G. Jolly: —
You made the statement from the Convention platform at Chicago that some of the Winston‑Salem brethren had approached you to shake hands with you there – even though they had disfellowshiped you. None of the Winston‑Salem brethren approached you to shake hands with you – either in the meeting hall or outside. However, you did approach the two of us outside the meeting hall and offered your hand to us. If you made a mistake and did not recognize us, that was no excuse for the unmitigated falsehood you told the brethren assembled at that Convention.
It seems to bother you not at all to resort to falsehood whenever it seems convenient – “But be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” We understand it is our privilege and duty to greet publicans and sinners as kindly as the occasion requires – and this we did with you when you offered us your hand. But we did not greet you as “brother.”
Your continued erroneous course and many falsehoods manifested at this Chicago Convention further convince us that our course was the right one when we disfellowshiped you. We wish it were otherwise – we heartily wish and earnestly desire that you “turn from your path of error,” so that we could once again fellowship with you in the best of bonds, the Truth and its Spirit.
You also insinuated that about all the brethren gathered at that Convention to uphold Brother Hoefle's courageous stand for Truth and righteousness were relatives of Sister Hoefle. There were very few (only three) related by blood to Sister Hoefle; and you yourself know that the majority of the brethren assembled there for the purpose of upholding Brother Hoefle's hand as he seeks to serve the lord, were not physically related to him or to Sister Hoefle at all – that they were related only in the best of bonds – spiritual unity.
Your “very important” business meeting could only be matched by the Jehovah's Witnesses' “Service” sessions (a substitute for Testimony meetings held in Brother Russell's day). “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of gehenna than yourselves.” (Matt. 23:15) Without a “business session” the brethren were there to serve the Truth – those who are upholding Truth and Righteousness.
You also confessed that your group is no more in the Truth than the sects in Big Babylon – “maybe they had one degree more Truth than they have.” “Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee,” saith the Lord. Brothers Russell and Johnson clearly distinguished between the sects in Big Babylon and “Truth People” – and they invited the brethren in Big Babylon to come out from among them. We readily admit that there are many good people in Big Babylon who have not yet received the Truth – but so long as they believe in the God‑dishonoring doctrines of Eternal Torment and the Consciousness of the Dead we cannot now designate them as “Truth People” – although some of them will yet come into the Truth and be faithful to it in their “due time” (and may have more of its spirit than you do even now).