My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
In 2 Tim. 1:7 we have the inspired assurance that “God did not give us a cowardly spirit, but one of Power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (Dia.). And St. Paul tells us in v. 6 that this Holy Spirit is a “free gift of God” which we should not fail to “stir up” in ourselves and in others of like precious faith. To the fully faithful, those who have due regard for this “free gift”, there is the sure promise of the “peace of God which passeth understanding”; whereas, to the unfaithful and measurably faithful there is also the affliction of a “cowardly spirit.” Such shall “flee when none pursueth,” (Prov. 28:1) and “have sorrow of heart.” (Lev. 26:16,17) It should be kept clearly in mind that the condition of these various classes is purely a state of mind; the “spirit of power” is will power – mental power – not physical brawn. And the fully faithful who have this “spirit of power” have the same blessed assurance as did St; Paul himself “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” To the unbelieving world such a statement from Paul would almost certainly cause smiles, and even ridicule. After he had received this “spirit of power” he had changed his name from Saul to Paul. It will be recalled that Saul, the first king of Israel, was head and shoulders above his fellows; thus, parents of that time would readily accept the name as a popular one for their sons, their hope being that their offspring would also “from the shoulders and upward be taller than any of the people” (1 Sam. 9:2). But Saul of Tarsus came to manhood just the reverse of such hopes. He was a very small man, ascetic in appearance, frail of body, with a head much too large for the physique that supported it; and probably with a nose too large for his abnormally large head. Now it will be seen why he changed his name from Saul to Paul – Paul meaning “little one.” His mental brilliance and unusually forceful and logical thinking – coupled with the “spirit of power, and of love” – gave him a “sound mind” that invariably crushed all gainsayers. But it was these superb mental qualities that made him a “savor of life unto life” to many; and not in any physical, masculine appeal, so that those not “of the Truth” would find in him no attraction, but rather the reverse.
We offer the foregoing introduction in the hope it may be a firm and sound foundation for the thoughts we now present. The pronounced trend of the times throughout Christendom, and even among many Truth people, is to forsake the formula that gave to St. Paul his mental strength; and to seek rather the shady consolation of such as have “familiar spirits,” despite the clear instruction that such a course is forbidden to Truth people: “Do not turn to mediums, nor make search for oracles, to render yourselves unclean with them” (Lev. 19:31, Rotherham). Of course, such people do not in our day title themselves as mediums, oracles, necromancers, and such like. The great majority in Christendom would not pay any attention to them if they did; but experience has taught them to use the terms “hypnotist, psychiatrist,” etc. Certainly, we would not wish it considered that we believe all such to be afflicted with demonism, or that they are spiritualist mediums – although we do believe that many of them who have not this power would like to have it, and quite a few delude themselves into believing that they do have it.
But prominent and widely-read magazines today are publicizing this practice with such captions as “HYPNOSIS – An Old Science” – “Out of Ancient Magic Comes New Medical Tool: Hypnosis,” etc. So prevalent and appealing has this teaching become that it has engulfed many members of the ministerial profession; and, as one prominent Evangelist recently observed: Psychiatry is becoming so popular that psychiatrists are calling upon each other for help. A line in one magazine says this: “The ‘modern’ minister is learning to obtain psychiatric help in handling deep-seated problems.” During this past summer one minister in a very prominent Washington, DC, church hanged himself in a high tower of his own chapel; and the news comment said “he had a nervous breakdown in 1948, had been under treatment by a psychiatrist.” If the psychiatrist could not cure the preacher, just how much chance, think you, would the preacher have of curing his flock that came to him for counsel and solace?
In another instance a minister was asked: “Do you think it is wrong – against God’s will – for man to seek out hidden powers like hypnosis,” etc.? Answer: “Certainly, it is not wrong, or against God’s will to develop all powers of the mind.” In contrast, hear Isa. 8:19 – “When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God?” And in Isa. 47:13, 14 – “Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble...they shall not deliver themselves.” Here is a clear inspired answer given about 3,000 years ago; and we consider it as sound today as it was then. The “art” was a “science falsely so-called” at that time; and it is just as much so today.
THAT SERVANT’S OPINION
That Wise and Faithful Servant was well alerted to the evils set out above; and, if his warnings were pertinent in 1909, how much more are they wise and sound counsel today. We set out something from him, taken from p. 4311 of the Reprints: “‘My help cometh from the Lord.’“...The text reminds us that those who need help and who realize it should look to the Lord for it – not relying upon their own strength or wisdom, nor upon the assistance of their fellows. We are not to despise assistance from any quarter, but our chief reason for receiving any assistance should be our conviction that it has come from the Lord ... We have the assurance of the Lord that there is but one place of safety at this time... under the shadow of the Almighty.” Then further on p. 4313: “Peter and John were God’s instruments in effecting an instantaneous cure... The only power exercised was the power of faith on the part of the Apostles, for the healed, so far as we know, had no knowledge of Jesus... Nor should we understand the apostolic command, ‘look upon us,’ to mean the exercise by them of any hypnotic influence....... Perhaps there never was a time in the world’s history when humanity manifested more desire for physical healing than today. Nor can we blame the poor groaning creation for desiring relief... Note the fact that some of the strong delusions are supported by their claim to relieve physical pain. This is the claim of Spiritism that disease can be relieved through mediumistic powers, under another’s control..... This is the claim of Christian Science, Mind Cure, Faith Cure people, Divine Healers, etc. Same of these names are used merely as a cover and a pretense.... The attitude of the public seems to be: Give us healing. Give us relief from our aches and pains. If it is of God, we are glad. If it is of the adversary, as you claim, we still take it.
“Such great inroads have been made in the churches of all denominations by these mind cures, hypnotic cures, that ministers of all denominations are perplexed what to do.... We do not dispute that cures are accomplished, nor that some of the theories and proceedings are legitimate enough. What we do claim is that the truth and rationality connected with these systems are the sugar-coating which covers the poison. The poison connected with all of them is the poison of the Adversary, the power of the fallen angels exercised in its most subtle form, namely, mental suggestion – hypnotism... The doctrine of ‘Peace, troubled soul!’ is certainly a good and wise one, particularly when based upon a Scriptural faith in Jesus..... The spirit of restfulness and ‘peace with God,’ if built upon false doctrines and erroneous suggestions and hypnotic influences, but hinders the soul from a proper approach to the Life-Giver.... Trouble will largely result from the intrusion of the evil spirits into human affairs, through the entanglement of human wills, weakened by Hypnotism. We warn all to be on guard against these modern miracle-workers and we call attention to the fact that their operation is entirely different from anything recorded in the Scriptures.”
And further from page 3181: “We are already passing into these very fires of this day of trial. We are already in the time when the wood, hay and stubble are being consumed, and when Higher Criticism, Evolutionary Theory, Christian Science, Hypnotism, under its own name and known as Mind Cures, etc., are devouring as a flame all that are not fully devoted to the Lord, and therefore, specially kept by His power through His Word and providence.”
If any would ignore the “wise and faithful” counsel aforegoing, they should not be surprised if anguish of soul overcomes them. That many of the Measurably Faithful do ignore it is clear when we consider the type of their leaders – King Saul. His disobedience went from a small beginning to an extremity which caused his death. In 1 Sam. 13:8-14 he offered a burnt-offering, contrary to Divine arrangement, and was reproved by the Prophet Samuel. Then in chapter 15 we have the record of his gross disobedience and lying tongue when confronted once more by Samuel; and v. 23: “Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord He hath also rejected thee from being king.” ‘‘And the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul” (1 Sam. 16:14). In due course he sought the Witch of Endor; then his ignominious and disgraced death in battle – a tragic instance and a sober warning to all that “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams,” Here is perhaps the outstanding example in all Biblical history of a man one time beloved of God – “a choice young man and of noble appearance... not a man in Israel more noble than he” – who went from nothing to the very highest pinnacle in Israel; then back to nothing again – his end much worse than if he had remained “little in his own sight” (1 Sam. 15:17), had never become king in Israel. Then there is his pathetic pleading in v. 30 – “Honour me now before the elders of my people” – the Lord’s favor gone, the kingdom to be taken from him in disgrace, he implores Samuel yet once more for that very empty and most worthless of possessions, “the praise of men.” But even this was denied him in the end, an end perpetrated by his own hand with his own sword – opportunity sublime (“the pearl of great price”) ignominiously and willfully desecrated.
BROTHER JOHNSON’S OBSERVATIONS
On page 145 of the October 1940 Present Truth there is an interpretation of 1 Sam. 28, which relates Saul’s visit to the Witch of Endor: “This moved them (the crown-lost leaders) to charge some of their supporters to find out some practicers of spiritism and occultism... from whom they could make inquiries on pertinent matters... For a long time prominent church leaders, like the Revs. Dr. I. K. Funk and Dr. Heber Newton, and Mr. W. E. Gladstone, Sir Oliver Lodge, Conan Doyle, etc., had become believers in spiritism and occultism... And certainly since 1914 large numbers of ministers and prominent laymen have accepted it as a proof of the consciousness of the dead... large numbers of the Church of England clergymen... reported favorably on it to the Archbishop of Canterbury. By him they were commissioned to continue their investigations and report again thereon to him,” etc.
And, if the fourth paragraph of the Vow was timely in the early part of this 20th century, how much more timely is it now, with sleight-of-hand performers increasing on every hand with the approval of those in high places, the same being termed a “science” by magazines with wide circulation.
“ONE MANNER OF LAW”
We can harbor some measure of sympathy for the crown-lost leaders in Big Babylon in their desperate effort for answers to questions which have never been clear to them. “The Lord answered them not, neither by dreams, nor by urim, nor by prophets” (l Sam. 28:6) They have had no “prophets” (Star Members) in their midst for almost a hundred years rather, “an evil spirit from the Lord” has troubled them (1 Sam. 16:14) since many years before 1914. But we can find little excuse for crown-lost leaders or Youthful Worthies following in their steps, who have been blessed with Present Truth and the beneficent instruction of the last two Star Members, because these have been well instructed in the Truth, “Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, that maketh flesh his arm.” If the soothing and uplifting influence of Present Truth, and the intimate association with the Star Members have had such slight influence upon them that they must resort to psychiatrists, hypnotists, etc., then sad indeed is their condition. We are reminded of St. John’s statement in 1 John 1:1, concerning Jesus – “We have seen with our eyes, we have looked upon, and our hands have handled the Word of Life.” Such proximity with Jesus was enough for the Apostle – he had seen Him, had walked arm in arm with Him, had reclined in His bosom, had handled Him with his own hands. Should he then turn to hocus-pocus as relief for his distresses? The very suggestion would insult his intelligence; and we should think the same would be true of any and all who have had the same intimacy with the Star Members during the Harvest time.
But, sad to relate, this has not been the case. We know of at least one very prominent crown-lost leader – one we had come to love and respect – who sought solace from the “science” of psychiatry in his hour of distress, rather than resort to “the angel of the Lord” for his help. Nor should we be surprised to see such an one hazy and vague on other important truths, ready enough to pervert the truths which sanctified him – those truths so clearly explained by the Star Members. And it should occasion no surprise either if such fall deeper and deeper into the quagmire of error!
“Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country.” (Lev. 24:22). The “stranger” in this text is the present-day Youthful Worthies; and a little reflection will reveal the soundness of this observation. Those of them that have been fully loyal have been blessed with the intimate association of the Star Members; have feasted upon Present Truth. Such faithful ones are under the same law – in modified respects – as have been the Saints, and they have been similarly blessed with a clear understanding of Present Truth. Several times did we hear Brother Johnson state that some of the fully faithful Youthful Worthies in our group had a clearer understanding of Present Truth than did many of the Saints in our midst; and we believe it will not arouse much argument to declare that many of the LHMM Youthful Worthies and Great Company members had a broader understanding of Present Truth – in its generalities – than any and all of the Saints outside our group, the reason being the benign, uplifting and energizing influence of the eighth Principal Man’s intimate ministry with which we were all blessed. But just as these all had the most light of Present Truth, so the perversions that have been promulgated since 1950 would place such within the scope of the Berean Comment on 2 Thes. 2:11 – “Great delusions are just before us, and some of these may come closest upon those possessing the most light of Present Truth.” It now becomes apparent that those sectarians in the LHMM now embrace some errors not found anywhere else in Christendom (campers “Consecrated” – Last Saint Gone, and many others). Thus, the measurably faithful Youthful Worthies are receiving experiences in like fashion to their crown-lost counterparts depending, of course, upon the degree of their deflection. Some of them are still in Big Babylon; some of them are still in Little Babylon, and subject to the various perversions of Parousia and Epiphany Truth that their crown-lost leaders proffer them. Such are not members of Azazel’s Goat; but we may be certain they will have the same relative experiences if they eventually win that which they profess to believe will be theirs under the Great Mediator’s beneficent reign. And by the same rule of measure the fully faithful Youthful Worthies are likely to have much the same experiences and blessings as come to the Lord’s Goat – although not members of that Goat.
“OUR FRAME – WE ARE DUST” (Psa. 103:14)
Man has four physiological qualities, of which we may sometime write in the future; but for now we shall consider briefly his four appetites, the first and most-compelling being the Alimentive – the desire for food and drink; second, the Procreative – the affinity for the opposite sex; third, the Acquisitive – the urge to buy, sell and get gain, to lay house to house and field to field; fourth, the Religious – the desire to worship a higher being. The extremes of the Alimentive are the glutton and the ascetic, the drunkard and teetotaler; of the Procreative, the extremes are the pervert and the celibate; of the Acquisitive the extremes are the miser and the spendthrift; of the Religious the extremes are the spiritualist and the gross materialist. The variations between these extremes are legion, so that the truth is well given, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psa. 139:14 – a truth primarily applicable to the Christ Company, but true also of man as a physical organism. All lower animals have the first two of these appetites; some of them have the third; but none of them have the fourth – none of them have any urge to worship a Divine Being.
Companion to the foregoing is the premise that the human head has seven distinct features, five of which are to be found in the lower mammals – two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one skin, these functioning to produce the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. The remaining two are exclusive to man, the one being physical; namely, his chin. None of the lower animals has any chin, the possession of which by man lends a certain distinction to his face – even among the very ordinary humans. Then the seventh feature is mental – the spiritual and benevolent qualities, which give man his Religious appetite. In none of the brutes do we find this quality; in some human beings it is so lacking that it is impossible for them to exercise faith under the reign of evil (2 Thes. 3:2); but we should expect to find it predominant and increasing in strength in the Lord’s Household – among the fully faithful.
With such myriad of combinations, mentally and physically, we are able to understand more clearly the words of Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” But, having arrived at a certain sound foundation in the foregoing paragraphs, we should be the better enabled to understand the full meaning of the “spirit of a sound mind.” If any should have eye trouble, they seek out an oculist – a specialist; if they have other various physical ills, they consult a Doctor of Medicine if drugs are indicated; or one skilled in physical therapy and the like if drugs are not needed. This all seems simple enough to us; but why shouldn’t the same formula be followed if one has mental distress? If the disturbance comes from physical failure, then have the proper physical practitioner attend it. But, if it be purely a mental deflection – distress of mind, etc. –then the child of God should just as readily seek those best qualified to help him – the same being the Star Members personally, or their teachings, or those of lesser prominence who are qualified for the task. Note the Advice of the Apostle – James 5:14,15: “If any one among you is sick, let him call for the elders of the congregation, and let them pray over him... and the prayer of faith shall save the sick person” – the morally or spiritually weak (see Berean Comments).
Psychology, Psychiatry, and such like, are high-sounding words that carry a certain appeal to the “unstable and the unlearned”; but let us analyze them a bit. “Psychology” means the doctrine of understanding life or the soul. Now just how well qualified is a Psychologist to treat the soul when he does not even know what the soul is? Would we think to call in a carpenter if the furnace is out of order? Or a plumber if the electric lights are out? And should the lord’s people seek after those with “familiar spirits,” necromancers, or hawkers of hocus-pocus, when the prescription is clearly outlined in the Scriptures? It is well stated, “You can always tell a man from Yale; but you can’t tell him much.” It is reported that one in every ten persons in the United States today is a mental case of some kind. That means about 17 million of them in this country alone. And many of those who attempt to qualify to treat such cases must themselves resort to others of their kind to receive help for themselves. Consider the tragic case of the minister related earlier in this paper: He ignored the Word he had vowed to teach others, thus coming to ruin himself. Yet he was being paid, and paid well, to supply to the members of his congregation what he could not supply for himself. How many, think you, would receive the “peace of Gad which passeth understanding” from such a ministry? And of the crown-lost leaders – especially those who claim to understand Present Truth – who are forced to seek out a psychiatrist, what should we expect of them? The answer seems simple enough – to us, at least: we should expect only “an energy of delusion for them” (2 Thes. 2:11).
Without reservation, we are wholeheartedly at one with the science of Christianity. Science is “classification of facts,” says Webster; and the “facts” of Christianity are indeed ‘‘meat and drink” to us. But we are equally averse to “science falsely so-called.” By the same rule, we are in complete accord with sound effort to influence the minds of others; and St. Paul gives precedent for this in his effort to influence the minds of the brethren at Philippi: “Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, any virtue, any praise, think on these things.” If any think on such things, he is certain to be blessed with the “spirit of a sound mind” – he will possess the real science of Christianity – nor is he likely to incur the ‘‘wee’’ of those who “go down to Egypt for help” (Isa. 31:1). But those who do “go down to Egypt for help” will not be admonished to seek the “sound doctrine,” the Truth the “true, honest, just,” etc.; they are more likely to receive a balm for “itching ears” – to be told what they want to hear, rather than what they should hear.
Over the centuries the pseudo pastors and teachers in Big and Little Babylon have played upon the “itching ears” – just as have the politicians – by telling them what they want to hear. And what is it that people desire above all things? That they will not die! So they are told they don’t actually die; they just appear to be dead, Even the Chaldean soothsayers employed the technique on Nebuchadnezzar: “O king, live forever.” (Dan. 2:4) And the words of Jesus are beyond dispute – “All that a man hath will he give for his life.” Nor has “Millions Now Living Will Never Die,” or survival through Armageddon been devoid of appeal; it explains in large part the great increase in adherents of the group that promises such. And a close approach is made to this in the promise that “Campers Consecrated” may live right on into the Millennial Kingdom. But the real science of Christianity has never been popular. Jesus was crucified because of it; and Paul became the enemy of erstwhile brethren “because I tell you the truth.” (Gal. 4:16) All the Star Members have had the same experience; and we are witness of it especially as respects the last two of them. Therefore, we need “think it not strange” if the same experiences come to us. About the last thing the multitude wishes to hear is the Truth. Of this fact Jesus was well aware, as he offered the observation, “When the Son of Man cometh, will He find the faith in the earth?” When controversy arises, the truth usually comes forth – and the Truth is the last thing false teachers and their partisan supporters wish to hear.
“They that seek the lord shall not want any good thing” (Psa. 34:10); “Blessed are they that... seek Him with the whole heart” (Psa. 119:2).
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
LETTER OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: – Christian greetings!
Mailing my cards early, for I don’t like to be in a last-minute rush, and it is all I can do these days to write .... I have all I can do to remember the Truth and be ready to help those I meet to tell them the Truth as they ask. This week I have had the pleasure of explaining God’s Plan and the value of Patience to my neighbor and landlady.........
With Christian prayers for your good health and wisdom in God’s Word for as long as necessary in the Service of the Wonderful Work you have done. I remain your Sister in His Word, Sr. ---------