My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
Comes now another year so we once more present a resume in retrospect and prospect.
It will be recalled that in our writing of a year ago we offered some detailed observations on the “hour of wasting” of Rev. 18:17 (In one hour such great wealth is laid waste—Dia.); and we stressed especially how the recognized monetary systems of the nations had deteriorated during this second hour which began at Passover 1916 and would end at about January 1958; that the “hour of destruction” would probably not begin before the second hour ended (and this has proven true); and that we would be certain to see more of the “wasting” process during the year 1957.
In keeping with the above, we have seen Finland forced to devaluate further its Markka (the unit of valve corresponding to our US Dollar) 39% – from FMK 231 to FMK 320 per US Dollar. France also “unofficially” devalued its Franc another 20% from 350 to 420 per US Dollar; but astute financiers thought that even this drastic slice was not enough, as the Franc immediately sold on the `black market' for as high as 460 to the US Dollar. The serious crisis that developed in the French Government last fall had money as its major cause, forcing the new government to borrow immediately over 200 billion Francs in a desperate effort to stave off financial and political ruin. England also was forced to borrow another half billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund, the last such loan it can secure from that source without special legislation and sanction of the various members. Brought down to the language of the man in the street, such moves are nothing more than the action of an individual who has been on a prolonged drunk has borrowed and borrowed from all his friends until none will lend him another dollar has his clothes in tatters, his physical strength depleted, his pockets empty, his previous good name become a byword of disdain and pity, and his only recourse now being proceedings in bankruptcy. How appropriate is the statement of Isa. 24:20 – “The earth (society as presently organized) shall reel to and fro like a drunkard”!
Nor has the United States failed to be touched with the infirmities of its allies. During 1956 so many E‑bonds were cashed that drastic action had to be taken (with as little fanfare as possible, of course). It should be noted that the only security we have for the 270 billions in bonds outstanding is about 22 billions of gold in Fort Knox which means that any time ten per cent of the bond holders demand cash for them, the security dwindles to the vanishing point. To retard the demand that developed in 1956, the US Government started to raise the interest rate on the bonds, which has served as a passing palliative. A year ago we stated that the overall debt in the United States Federal, State, Municipal and private – is about 750 billion dollars. Now, if the interest rate goes up just one per cent, it adds another 7½ billion dollars onto the backs of those who cannot afford to pay it, and gives it to those who do not need it. Such a “cure” can do nothing but aggravate the malady. It should be noted that at the beginning of this hour of “wasting” (at the time the United States entered the 1914 war) our Federal debt was about one billion dollars, as against 270 billions now – but the rate of interest is just about the same as it was in 1914, creating an imbalance of staggering proportions. When the Colonies fought the Revolutionary War in 1775‑1783 they issued Continentals (just another name for our present Dollar); and they printed so many of then that it was impossible to maintain their value. They were eventually redeemed at 2½ cents each, which then produced the expression, “Not worth a Continental” – an expression which is still used to denote anything of trifling worth.
In keeping with the foregoing, an International Financial Publication with restricted clientele recently had this to say:
“The serious disequilibria in exchange that has been seen ever since the second world war is again making itself gravely felt. It is a result of the failure to came to real grips with the money‑deterioration caused by that war... If the West does not get its monetary house in order, its business and financial life will fall into chaos. That's a prediction made frequently and consistently in these columns ever since the ending of the second world war.... We witness a deadening shortage of credit. We see inflation still proceeding, although raggedly, and soon to be engaged in a battle with overproduction of goods. This could be marked by bitter strikes, and by grave disorderliness in market places, as the hopeless effort is made to adjust high wages to low prices. We see Europe possessed by the monetary jitters and fretting over exchange rates. We find men worried about the future of their jobs and their businesses. We find governments anxious and harassed by the difficulty of living up to their promises. All these stresses and contortions stem back to the failure of the West to adjust its various currencies' worth, when weighted in gold, to the deterioration which took place in World War Two...... But the crisis in inflationary pressures of the past year, coinciding with such events as the Suez emergency, the French near collapse, the Indian deficits, and others, combined to force heavy borrowings from the International Monetary Fund. In less than a year Fiance has borrowed 262½ million, or half its quota, and now wants the other half. The United Kingdom has already borrowed 561½ million, and has a further standby credit of 738½ million. The fact that it cost 320 million to bolster Sterling against August's heavy losses suggests the option will soon be exercised, at least in part. Any hope that these borrowings can be repaid in the early future, and the Fund's finances restored, seems thin... The Fund has nine billion of assets, but much of it is in currencies that are not wanted... What makes the new French application significant is that traditionally the Fund does not lend the second 50% of a country's borrowing quota without imposing rigorous standards of conduct upon applicants. Perhaps France will not qualify; but, if it does, the door will be opened for a flood of borrowings from several hard‑up countries, all in need of succor and including Argentina, India, Japan, Egypt, Indonesia and Columbia, to mention a few..... The Fund's remaining reserves could soon be exhausted if all demands are filled; and then what becomes of it and what becomes of the last hopes for international liquidity and exchange stability in the West? Unless some means could be found to shore up the Fund's reserves, the international payment system could fall into chaos.”
Certainly the foregoing needs no elaboration from us, so we simply offer the words of Jesus, “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”
ISRAEL IN RETROSPECT
During 1957 the Nation of Israel's troubles multiplied, due mainly to the fiasco of Suez in October 1956 – the mistake of which is now clearly apparent. It was a mistake on the part of all three of the allied participants — England, France and Israel. This is shown in the forced resignation of Mr. Eden as Prime Minister of England – a resignation that was forced from within his own political party, although the labor Party was against him, too. It seems Israel learns slowly – so very, very slowly just as do Truth people. In ancient times the Lord had told them through his Prophet (Isa. 31:1) – “Woe unto them that go down to Egypt for help” – Egypt here typing the world in sin. But just as they did of old, so they still do: “They made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets” – Zech. 7:12. Note the Berean Comments on Isa‑ 31:1 – “Worldly ideas and plans for counsel as to how they should act in the crisis.”
One of the great evils of the Parousia‑Epiphany has been Combinationism – combines of Nations, politics, religions, etc. Few realize the enormous evils that have came from Combinationism since 1874; and Israel, still stricken with “blindness in part”, has succumbed to it, too, seeking the aid of two nations that are now on the executioners block. Surely, such a move could bring nothing but the Lord's disfavor; and will certainly contribute mightily to bring on Jacob's Trouble in due time. We see the Arab anger rising more and more against them in many quarters. It should be recalled that Combinationism was a large contributing cause of the 1914 war. The Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria and Italy was formed late in the last century, which then forced the formation of the Triple Entente of England, France and Russia. But in both these combinations there was present sharp conflict among themselves – of ideals, ambitions, etc. Thus, when the 1914 war came, King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy not only forsook his allies, but actually cast in his lot with the other side. But the Entente received a dose of the same medicine in 1917, when Russia affected a secret peace with Germany. An English army officer told us not too long back that this deflection by Russia almost brought about the defeat of the Entente, because it released a half million seasoned troops to be hurled at the Western Front in a surprise move, and it was only through extreme good fortune that they avoided collapse of their lines. Well may we ponder Brother Johnson's statement in E‑1‑155 (bottom): “Since 1874 Satan has been endangering God's people .... by multiplicity of false teachings and wrong practices... Some of the worst of these wrong practices – Cambinationism, etc.”
Had the Jews taken just the most passing notice of the past, they would have known better than to seek the Combinationism evil for their help. God had decreed to them “double for all their sins”, which resulted in their expulsion from their beloved native land and dispersed them throughout an unfriendly world. During those long and trying 1845 years they tried every trick in the Jewish curriculum to regain Palestine. They tried to take it by armed force, they tried to buy it, they tried all sorts of intrigue but they could no more circumvent the decree of Jehovah than could a fish swim up Niagara Falls. And yet, in His own appointed times, the Lord God gave them back their land without any effort at all on their part – and under most unusual circumstances. The Turks, who had possessed Palestine for centuries before 1914, made the mistake of joining the wrong side in a major war. In late 1915 England undertook the Gallipoli campaign against them, this stronghold being at the entrance to the Dardanelles. But the English‑Australian losses were so staggering (Over 100,000 men) that they were forced to give it up, not knowing that the Turks themselves under German generalship had also became so weakened in the fierce protracted fighting that they were down to one day's ammunition and supplies. Had the English persevered for another day, the Turkish collapse would have been inevitable. Even though they avoided defeat there, the Turks were in a very discouraged mood when General Edmund Allenby undertook the Palestine campaign in the fall of 1917. Having himself strong Christian leanings, and knowing the fervor and heart's yearnings of all Christendom for the “Beloved City”, General Allenby had no appetite to devastate Jerusalem with his cannon, so he collected a very imposing aerial armada and had it fly over the city to impress the Turks. This had the desired effect, and the Turks surrendered the city without a battle on December 9, 1917, bringing to the gifted General this line in history: “Making all allowances for the British superiority in strength, it must rank as one of the masterpieces of all military history – as perfect in execution as in design.”
In accomplishing this piece of strategy by air force, we believe the prophecy of Isa. 31:5 was then fulfilled: “As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.” The English airplanes “as birds flying” did indeed “preserve it”; and for this we can all offer a prayer of thanks. And, had this most remarkable accomplishment been properly impressed upon the Jews, they would not have been so ready to “go down to Egypt for help” – knowing that He whose word never “returns to Him void” would give them “in due time” what He had promised to give them; and give it to them in such fashion that the waning Gentile nations of England and France may have no cause to glory in the strength of their “chariots and horsemen” to bring it about. There is indeed a lesson here for Truth people, and we offer again the words of Jesus: “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”
TRUTH PEOPLE IN RETROSPECT
While 1957 has witnessed some faint, very faint glimmerings of attempts to eliminate “leprosy in the house”, one of the besetting sins of uncleansed Levites still prevails – “They have made lies their refuge, and behind falsehoods have they hid themselves.” On page 62 of this last July Present Truth it is stated that JJH “is sparing no means, fair or foul, true or false, in his efforts to draw away disciples after himself.” This statement is simply a slanderous falsehood by R. G. Jolly in a desperate effort to whitewash his own tragic sins of teaching and practice. He is in trouble, dire trouble; and we are inclined to believe that no one knows this better than himself. However, if he remains in the Household of Faith, we may be sure the Lord will force him to retract that unjust statement and make amends for it – just as extreme humiliation was meted out to him in 1938 for the misrepresentations he had circulated about Brother Johnson, which chastening humiliated him then, without humbling or cleansing him. And those of his partisan supporters who have encouraged him in his evil course will become partakers of his chastisement in proportion to their becoming partakers of his sins – and especially will this be true of his Pilgrims, Auxiliary Pilgrims, Evangelists and Elders. Those who have known us intimately over the years know of their own knowledge that we have coveted no man's silver or gold – that we have not failed to declare the whole counsel of God – and that we have given unstintingly of time, strength, skill and resources to promote the peace and prosperity of Zion, and have asked nothing in return save only the Grace of Him who looketh on the heart. These are not the qualities of unholy ambition; they are not the qualities found in those who wish to “draw away disciples after themselves.” Preaching the hard unrelenting Truth is not the way such perverters and sophists go about winning disciples. True Christian progress throughout the Age has been found in the train of those earnest reformers who “hewed to the line, letting the quips fall where they may,” those “good soldiers” who have been “counted as fools for Christ's sake”. And to and of such the witticism may soberly be quoted – The wise man adapts himself to his surroundings; but the fool tries to adapt his surroundings to him – and thus we progress. And it is the prayer of this “sifter, errorists, etc.”, that he may ever be found in the intimate company of such “fools”! And for the record, be it noted that it was just forty years ago in July 1917 that The Evil Servant ejected Brother Johnson from Bethel and lowered him into the miry pit of slander as the Epiphany Jeremiah (Jer. 38:6).
Another falsehood that still besmirches R. G. Jolly is that of his “faulty disc” for E‑17‑124. We have often pointed out that this “faulty disc” is a direct contradiction to other statements by Brother Johnson; and we again urge that this perverted statement be eradicated from Brother Johnson's writings. The sooner R. G. Jolly reconciles this perversion, the sooner will he rid himself of this taint of leprosy.
“Leave no black plume as a token
Of that lie thy soul hath spoken.”
“Until such repent and make amends they are to be held unclean”—E‑4‑271 (27). And for our honest reproof of such sins, we have received the identical opprobrium that was hurled at Brother Johnson – “a snake that poisons those who will read” what we write—E‑6‑734 (middle).
In keeping with the foregoing, we offer same comment an Rev. 20:2 – “the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan.” As all Bible Students have came to know, the Bible does not contain unnecessary words – placed there merely for flummery or decoration to fill up the Book, as is the wont of fiction writers who are paid so much a word for their writings. We believe the words, dragon, serpent, devil and Satan, portray the four unholy attributes of Azazel – just as justice, wisdom, power and love describe the four holy attributes of Jehovah. As the “dragon” he has attempted to devour the Gospel‑Age Saints by the unholy use of power, just as he through Pagan Rome actually did “devour the child” — Rev. 12:4. Honest opponents are devoured and crushed by unholy use of power, just as that great apostate `woman' used unholy power to become “drunken with the blood of the saints” – Rev. 17:6. As the “serpent”, the Evil One has been the deceiver, the beguiling tempter of the Saints in a perverted use of wisdom. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any living thing”—Gen. 3:1, Rotherham; “the woman was deceived” – l Tim. 2:14. As the “devil”, the Evil One has been the false accuser of the Saints, especially so in the Parousia‑Epiphany in the persons of Jannes and Jambres as “false accusers” (2 Tim. 3:3). And slander, lying, false statements about others' characters and motives, all these – are they not an abuse of justice, i. e., “in”‑justice? Then, finally as “Satan”, The Evil One is the Adversary, or opposer of the Saints; and this displays lack of love. “Get thee behind me, Adversary”—Matt. 16:23. Just as true love “provokes to good works” (Heb. 10:24), so the lack of it opposes such “good works” and attempts to promote evil works.
We have presented this analysis of the unholy attributes of the Evil One to demonstrate that any one who wrongfully accuses God's faithful people is displaying the “devil” quality of the Evil One – gross injustice; and we may accept it as proof positive that such must be in the hands of Azazel and in a very uncleansed condition, regardless of their loud claims to the contrary. Samuel directly accused King Saul (type of the crown-lost leaders up to Armageddon) of “iniquity” (1 Sam. 15:23) – “iniquity” here meaning “disharmonious with justice” – E‑13‑247 (bottom). And once more we repeat the words of Jesus, “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”
On page 94 of this November‑December Present Truth, col. 1 (near bottom) is found another untruthful statement when R. G. Jolly says he has “thoroughly refuted the sophistry” re the reign of the Saints. Those who have read carefully our writings on this subject know of their own knowledge just how “thoroughly refuted” our position now appears. Later on, D.v., we shall demonstrate how “thoroughly refuted” R. G. Jolly's position has became — how he has been driven to a remote corner, just as was That Evil Servant, who failed to stoop (?) to mention Brother Johnson's name in his reference to the Present Truth presentations; although Brother Johnson never lacked the honesty to designate him and others by name when he refuted their errors. In all instances Brother Johnson silenced the errorists – just as did Jesus; and in no instance did they ever silence him, the same as “no man durst ask Jesus any question” (Mark 12:34). To instance how “thoroughly refuted” is this “errorist”, R. G. Jolly said from the platform at the Chicago Convention that the reign of the Christ is the Mediatorial reign and coincides with Satan's binding – and this we shall analyze in due course. In this we have a cogent and sad illustration of his confusion when he offers the irresponsible comment that the Mediatorial reign started at 1874, when all faithful Bible Students know that the Mediatorial reign has as yet had no beginning in any way whatever.
And for 1958 we wish for one and all the fullness of God's Grace; and “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health” (3 John 2); and this will surely be the portion of all who continue to serve Him in a “good and honest heart”.
Sincerely Your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim