My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
In Matt. 13:24‑30 Jesus spoke the parable of the Wheat and Tares, along with several other parables in that same chapter; but it seems “the parable of the tares” particularly intrigued the Disciples, so at first opportunity they asked “Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.” Since they were still `natural man' not yet having received the Holy Spirit – it is easily understandable why they should be more concerned about those that were to be “gathered into bundles for the burning” than for the “wheat to be gathered into my barn”, because they took it more or less for granted that they themselves were of the Wheat class. But the “burning of the tares” as a mystery to them – particularly, when and how. In His explanation Jesus said in verse 39 – “The harvest is the end of the world”; and it is specially with this statement that we now occupy ourselves.
If the Harvest would constitute the “consummation” (full end) of the Age, we are privileged to draw certain sound conclusions about it. As most of us know, both Brother Russell and Brother Johnson were established in their belief that the reaping feature of the Harvest was a period of forty years. Now, if we accept that premise, then we have in Jesus' words one of the most convincing texts that the reaping ended September 16, 1914 – at which time the High Calling would be forever closed. Once the reaping came to its consummation, the High Calling must forever pass out of existence, never again to be revived under any circumstances. It was on that day that the Little Flock section of the Gospel‑Age Church of the Firstborn was tentatively and individually “sealed in the forehead” – the 144,000 had been finally and eternally won. On that day also the Gospel‑Age Tabernacle was “fully set up”—Numbers 7:1.
And, once the Gospel‑Age Tabernacle was complete in its every part, the construction of the Epiphany Tabernacle would have its start; and only those who recognized this fact would be doing the lord's work with His full approval and blessing. Hindsight is always better than foresight; and probably none at the beginning of the Epiphany realized the full import of the transition as the work on the Gospel‑Age Tabernacle ceased and the work an the Epiphany Tabernacle began. Certainly, That Evil Servant and his partisans realized it not at all, or they would never have begun their “Millions Row Living Will Never Die" campaign, because that preaching completely ignored the Epiphany – going as it did from the small Parousia to the Basileia. Time has clearly proven the folly of that effort – so much so that even Jehovah's Witnesses themselves do not want to hear it mentioned any more. It was a bold and impudent attempt to run ahead of the Lord; and it has received the rebuke which was its due.
We believe we have in our LHMM group after Brother Johnson's death a comparison similar to what happened under JFR after Brother Russell's death. If we really believed Brother Johnson was the Epiphany Messenger, then we should have followed the arrangements he made for the Epiphany – a fact which we gently but firmly called to R. G. Jolly's attention as soon as he began to broach the first of his changes in those arrangements. He also would run ahead of the lord in his effort to “do great works, win great numbers.” Even after Brother Johnson's death, the work of the Epiphany Tabernacle should have continued – should have gone on to the time in the Epiphany when that work would be stopped by “the treader of grapes” – just as the work with the Gospel‑Age Tabernacle went right on until that work was stopped by “the plowman.” But, as is so often true with such perversions, there is never any turning back. That would be an admission of blunder; and, surely, no crown‑lost leader should be brought to such humiliation! The real work of the Epiphany was to win Youthful Worthies and to deliver Azazel's Coat into the hands of the Fit Man. The latter part of that work was accomplished to the full at October 22, 1950, when the last section in the LHMM was completely and finally abandoned to Azazel by the Lord's removal of His special eye, hand and mouth from their midst. No Group cleansing had yet started then, of course — none of the Groups as such are yet cleansed, although individuals among them may be cleansed in character.
But, even though the abandonment was completed on that date, that does not in any sense presume the second part to be completed at the same time. In fact, the most partisan supporters of the Executive Trustee – those who were willing to commit to the second death those who still considered themselves Saints – even they realized that Youthful Worthies could be won – up to October 1954, as they contend. If there is anything in the Scriptures to show that work would be concluded in 1954, none of them have yet pointed it out. Brother Johnson clearly taught some of the Youthful Worthies would be won before Babylon's fall and some after. So far as we know, there are only two Scriptures that establish 1954 – one being the type of “purification” in Leviticus 12. This we accept without dissent; but that type has only to do with the developing Truths for the Little Flock and Great Company; and those Truths were all in evidence by 1954 – had been pointed out clearly. Aside from this type, we know of no Scripture anywhere that lends support to the many predictions concerning that year altho, as we explained in our January 1 writing, it was indeed the end of the “second watch.” But nothing in these two Scriptures just cited offers even a hint that the effort toward Youthful Worthies should be abandoned – although R. G. Jolly and his partisans accept that position as though there be no doubt about it. Among criminals this byword often prevails – Follow boldness with more boldness. That was Hitler's philosophy, too; and such tactics do often overawe those they wish to persuade. It is a cheap form of psychology, a form of `third degree'; and is often employed by those who realize their own glaring limitations, but wish to divert the attention of others away from those lacks which they subconsciously realize are only too present. Therefore, when such shout often and loudly enough that the work toward Youthful Worthies is finished just as did That Evil Servant with his “Millions Now Living” – a certain segment is sure to be convinced beyond question of doubt. Thus, the Witnesses are so enmeshed with their perversion of Brother Russell's Stewardship Doctrine on Restitution that they do solemnly and dogmatically warn the unconvinced that “you've had your chance” (through their conversation with that individual Witness – who usually has hardly enough understanding of his own religion to know which is `up') – “There remaineth now no hope for you”! Indeed, “the heart of man is deceitful above all things.. And who can know it?”
However, if no more Youthful Worthies could be won after October 1954, then the gate to the Epiphany Tabernacle court is hermetically sealed shut – so far as entrance is concerned, although the exit feature of that gate would still swing out for any unworthy occupant of the court. Once the time does arrive – whether that be 1954 or same other date – exactly the same situation would prevail with respect to the Epiphany Tabernacle court as applied to the Holy of the Gospel‑Age Tabernacle at September 1914. The reaping was the end of the Age; and, once the reaping closed, the entrance into the Holy also closed – although there was still an exit from the Holy, too, just as there would be from the court. Indeed, great numbers of the “large crowd” were not only allowed to pass out of the Holy, they were actually forced out as their revolutionisms clearly manifested them to be members of Azazel's Goat. It should be noted that many of them were the rabid and unchristian adherents of That Evil Servant for a period – until they, too, woke up to him (as did Brother George Fisher, of whom we wrote in our June paper). Then, lacking the humility to admit their folly, they just drifted off somewhere to themselves – a pitiful Isolated specimen. Many of us know of such. And it is our prediction now that the same process will repeat itself with many in the LHMM. It is the old, old spectacle being enacted again) as it occurred with fleshly Israel and continued with spiritual Israel throughout the Gospel Age. Jeremiah is often styled the Weeping Prophet because of his lamentations over the “backsliding children of Israel”, an he plead with them to “return to the Lord our God, the salvation of Israel.” But they would not hear!
The foregoing brings us to a consideration of the “consecrated Epiphany Campers” a name R. G. Jolly has given to the quasi‑elect whom he would have to consecrate between October 1954 and the opening of the Highway of Holiness. He objects to calling them the quasi‑elect “consecrated” – perhaps because he can find not the least corroboration anywhere in Brother Johnson's writings for such a class. Anyway, it seems to us a question is in order: If the Epiphany court is closed to such (and R. G. Jolly says it is), are they still to be considered in relation to the Epiphany Tabernacle? He quotes Brother Johnson that “Tentative justification will continue until restitution” – and we offer no dissent from that. But what does that have to do with those who can no longer secure tentative justification? The mere fact that others may have it can mean absolutely nothing to those who cannot obtain it. Tentative justification was given to the Household of Faith to enable them to consecrate – for elective purposes. No one has ever received tentative justification in the Camp. There is indeed a `great gulf' between the two positions; and R. G. Jolly's contention about 1954, when coupled with his exposition of Rev. 22:11, needs much more explaining than he has yet given it. His quotation of Brother Johnson that “tentative justification will continue until restitution” means nothing at all to his “consecrated” Epiphany Campers. It leaves them and him in a most awkward position. Of course, as we should expect from such mis‑leaders, he fails to answer these and the many other questions we raised in our May 1 paper about this new “consecrated” class he has brought into existence. He just continues to shout “advancing truth” (in reality “Advancing error”) –Follow boldness with more boldness. To make our own position clear here, be it definitely understood that we do not question in any respect Brother Johnson's teachings on the quasi‑elect as a class who maintained their tentative justification but failed to use it for elective purposes – although they are remanded to the Epiphany Camp in the finished picture as the truly repentant and believing, but not consecrated Jews and Gentiles.
But we direct attention that R. G. Jolly teaches that the Great Company and Youthful Worthies are on a narrow way, but not the narrow way – which is right enough; but he now attempts to put his “consecrated” Epiphany Campers (his newly‑conceived class) on this same narrow way, while he slams the door of the court into their faces – the door that provides the only entrance into a narrow way. Since when does the Tabernacle picture of the Gospel Age, The Epiphany or the Basileia set forth a “narrow way” of any kind IN THE CAMP? We wonder if he is about to produce a “faulty disc” on Tabernacle Shadows to sustain his contention – just as That Evil Servant discarded Tabernacle Shadows and the Pyramid (Bible in stone) to continue in his “Millions” and other Azazelian perversions. In his attempt to put his quasi‑elect “consecrated” in the same narrow way with the Great Company and Youthful Worthies, but having them in the camp, while the others are in the court) he offers a very present illustratian of St. Paul's words in Eph. 4:14 (Dia.): “Every wind of that teaching which is in the trickery of men, by cunning craftiness in systematic deception.” It would seem to be a brand of magic such as was displayed by Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian magicians who withstood Moses at the court of Pharoah.
Consider now the words of Jesus in John 10:7 – “I am the door of the sheep”; and the Berean Comments on this text – “There is but one way into the `Court'.” Then Brother Russell's statement on page 18 of Tabernacle Shadows – “There was only one gateway to enter the `Court'; the type thus testifying that there is but one way of access to God – one `gate' – Jesus ... `I am the way' (John 14:6).” Therefore, if the `gate' is the “one way of access to God”, and that the gate is now closed, as R. G. Jolly contends, what standing can his “consecrated” Epiphany Campers possibly have before God? Can this new class be other than a secondary application of the incest of antitypical Lot—Gen. 19:30‑38? Even when the Highway of Holiness is opened, Jesus will be the only `way' into that – the way of actual Justification not now being opened for the Afterborn – although the quasi‑elect (the unconsecrated as defined by Brother Johnson) will have prepared for their walk on that way once the Epiphany in its narrow sense subsides at the end of Jacob's Trouble, these same formerly faith‑justified (quasi‑elect) being the unconsecrated but repentant and believing Jews and Gentiles living in the finished picture of the Epiphany Camp (those having died prior to that time not being treated here). And we wonder how many of his adherents will be able to offer anything approaching a clear exposition of this perversion to others – a theory in which he himself has left so many questions unanswered – just as is true with the Witnesses in their “witnessing”. Of those who have perverted the teachings of the Star Members during the entire Gospel Age Jesus Himself has said, “I never approved of you.” Therefore, let all who are reckless enough to put themselves under such disapproval do so; “as for me and my house”, we shall have none of it.
In no sense can his quasi‑elect “consecrated” be a part of the Church of the Firstborn – either Gospel Age or Millennial Age; they are the Afterborns from every viewpoint. Yet R. G. Jolly has the crassness to inform them they must walk a narrow way – a way the Elect now traverse – but they must do this without the sustaining promises of that narrow way. Viewing this from any standpoint, is it just not Azazelian nonsense to submit such a proposal to any one? As Brother Johnson has so ably taught, it is not possible for mere man to rise above himself; therefore, when any human beings do rise above themselves, they do so “not by (their own) power, nor by might, but by my spirit, sayeth the Lord.” And we receive and retain that Holy Spirit only through the Mothering Promises held out to us; otherwise, none could possibly continue in any narrow way to the end of earth's journey.
As an integral part of this article, we feel it appropriate to state that we consider Brother Johnson's Stewardship Doctrine to be
The Epiphany in its Relation to the Epiphany Elect
As we have stated on other occasions, the various Star Members saw their Stewardship Doctrines very early in their ministry; and it was that teaching that gave animus to their entire earthly career. This is so clearly proven by examining the effort of Brothers Russell, John Wesley, Martin Luther, Thomas Cranmer, Robert Browne and others; and it was true of Brother Johnson, too. Not only did he see clearly the Epiphany in its “times and seasons”, as well as its acts, but he also “built the house of the Lord” upon his Epiphany understanding — he arranged the Epiphany elect classes, giving us all the developing truths for the Great Company and the basic truths for Youthful Worthies. This we explained in detail in our July 2, 1956 writing on The Epiphany Solomon – a copy of which we shall gladly furnish free upon request.
But, as in the case of Brother Russell and all the other Star Members, Brother Johnson's Stewardship Doctrine was quickly enough perverted by the crown‑lost leaders that followed; in fact, he was not yet in his grave before it began by an attempt to eliminate one class of the Epiphany Elect from our midst – Namely, the Little Flock. At Brother Johnson's death no one contended that was the end of the Epiphany viewed from any standpoint – not even R. G. Jolly; but the crown‑lost leaders did immediately proceed to eliminate one of the Epiphany Elect Classes. And, as always happens in such cases, it was necessary to produce other errors and forsake certain truths to bolster up the first error. It wasn't long until appeared an article declaring the Measurably Faithful must now be the Faithful – to replace the Faithful they had eliminated by their perversion of the Stewardship Doctrine. And hand in glove with that came the “Truths Hidden in the Years of Noah's Age” (a writing we shall sometime analyze, D.v.), showing how the Great Company must now serve themselves. Brother Johnson had made it clear enough that the Priests would provide the “razor” that would cleanse the Levites – Numbers 8; but, with the elimination of the Faithful, they would now proceed to cleanse themselves – by announcing they need no “razor”, they are already cleansed – as though Brother Johnson's removal had cleansed them, instead of abandoning them to Azazel. And they have gone about this in true keeping with all past performance. And how have they done it? Why, by just ignoring those teachings that would accomplish their cleansing (deleting those parts that pertain to the Great Campany when reproducing the Star Members, writings for the Present Truth readers) – so much so that by now those parts are eliminated that might focus attention upon their appalling condition, and resolutely denying the process by which they were abandoned to Azazel. We have already pointed out some of this – and there will be more to follow. But it now becomes crystal clear why our loving Heavenly Father will submit them to “great tribulation” for their cleansing – they just won't learn any other way.
We believe it timely to offer here another quotation from Brother Johnson (E‑6‑364, bottom): “Sacrificing the Lord's Goat is a totally different thing from leading forth Azazel's Goat to the gate and to the fit man and delivering him to Azazel. How do we lead it to the gate? By resisting its revolutionism. How do we deliver it to the fit man? By withdrawing Priestly fellowship. How do we deliver it to Azazel? By withdrawing all brotherly help and favor.” We repeat that this third process was never carried out by the Priests during Brother Johnson's life to the section of Azazel's Goat in the LHMM; but their delivery to Azazel was arbitrarily accomplished by the Lord through Brother Johnson's death. It should be noted that the situations with the Society at July 27, 1917 and with the LHMM at October 22, 1950 were identical in every detail, except that in the former That Evil Servant malevolently ejected the Lord's eye, hand and mouth; whereas, in the LHMM he was graciously removed by the Lord Himself. Nevertheless, each group was deprived of “all brotherly help and favor”, regardless of the process. And Brother Johnsen clearly and repeatedly taught that All OF THEM must experience the third step – ABANDONMENT TO AZAZEL – for their cleansing. Thus, it should require no further argument to prove they were not cleansed – as a group – at October 22, 1950, because they had not at that time had their abandonment as a group, although this would not include all individuals among them, of course.
Then, in addition to these already mentioned comes now another perversion of the Stewardship Doctrine – the quasi‑elect “consecrated,” or “consecrated Epiphany Campers” (whichever way you wish to say it).
Did Brother Johnson ever teach such a class for the Epiphany? He certainly did not! But in many parts of his writings does he confirm a quasi‑elect unconsecrated: and especially clear is his teaching about it on pages 519 (middle) and 526 (middle) of Volume 12, on page 330 of E‑17, and on pages 545‑47 of E‑15. In addition, he offers a direct contradiction to this whole mirage in Volume E‑10‑209 (middle):
“The Gospel‑Age Camp is the condition of the unjustified people of God while the Epiphany Camp in the finished picture is the condition of truly repentant and believing, but not consecrated Jews and Gentiles.”
Will this quotation from the Epiphany Messenger allow for any compromise with R. G. Jolly's “consecrated” in the Epiphany Camp? Well, once more we repeat – let those pervert the teachings of the Star Members who are reckless enough and “unstable and unlearned” enough to ignore the wiles of Azazel (Azazel means Perverter); but this writer and his house will have no part of it.
As part and parcel of this discussion) it should be emphasized that the crownlost leaders who have perverted the various Stewardship Doctrines are exactly the same characters as are found typed by King Saul. And at the time of Saul's deflection Samuel levelled this accusation at him: “Rebellion is the sin of witchcraft” (1 Sam. 15:23) – which, in the language of the Epiphany Messenger, would read like this: “Revolutionism is the sin of especially deceptive false teachings.” In R. G. Jolly's revolutionism against Brother Johnson's teaching on the quasi‑elect we have a classic example of “especially deceptive false teachings.”
While considering the Stewardship Doctrines of the last two Star‑Members, we believe it opportune to observe that at the very beginning of the Gospel Age the “comman salvation” (Jude 3) — Restitution – travelled arm in arm with the “great salvation” (Heb. 2:3) – the Elect. These doctrines became alienated in the long and trying interim of the Age; but it seems pointedly pertinent that they should again embrace each other in the end of the Dispensation – even as the last two Principal Men also walked arm in arm together in such blessed intimacy until one of them was called to “rest from his labors” (Rev. 14:13); while the other continued with us until he had clarified to the full his Stewardship Doctrine in perfect harmony with that “unity of the faith” that had so blessed God's people during the Harvest.
As a conclusion, we feel we cannot do better than quote from Brother Johnson (E‑15‑520): “As these evil qualities grow in the Great Company under Satanic manipulation they lead their followers into increasing errors and Satan‑given wrong arrangements for the Lord's work.... With all this they increasingly lose part of their ability to discern between truth and error.”
And further from E‑11‑623, Chapter 7: “Lovingly the Epiphany messenger entreats his symbolic children to hold to his truths and his precepts, exhorting them to obey his precepts as life‑givers, and to make his truth most dear to them, to write them into their acts and to inscribe them into their affections and wills, to make the Truth their closest of kin, and to make discretion a close relative.”
As companion to the above, we consider most appropriate St. Paul's advice to Timothy (2 Tim. 3:14): “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
Question of General Interest
Question: – Is it correct to say others before Brother Russell preached Restitution?
Answer: – It certainly is correct, just as it is correct to state that every Stewardship Doctrine analyzed in Volume 8 was preached by Star Members of a previous era. However, when Brother Russell appeared, the Bible states in so many words that the doctrine of Restitution had been lost (Luke 15:9). Also, in E‑9‑110 (23) Brother Johnson says – “The ten pieces of silver represent the ten main Biblical doctrines. Nine of these were never wholly lost to the Church, though there accumulated much symbolic tarnish on them. But one of them, restitution, was wholly lost for centuries to the church.”
Letter of General Interest
Dear Brother Hoefle: Christian Greetings of love and Peace!
Thanks for your letter of ...... replying to mine of the ..... I certainly find myself in hearty agreement, especially do we like the article The Last Saint in which you have pinpointed matters very well indeed. Undoubtedly the dear Lord is guiding you by His Holy Spirit in this work you have undertaken for Him and His cause, so that our dear brethren in the L.H.M.M. may be helped. Truly, the humble, honest‑hearted brethren in sincerity and Truth are so greatly blessed and this blessing we appreciate, received in Joy and with a Peace of heart and mind beyond all human understanding; and we praise the lord for these tokens of His love and favor toward us. Sure enough through “controversy these matters are becoming clarified” to the glory of God. Nor will they cease to be so until the lord has completed His purpose toward the L.H.M.M. brethren and as many others as possible.
It was not possible for me to go to the Hyde Convention this past week‑end... but Sister ‑‑‑‑ was there on the Saturday evening and heard RGJ give his talk on Psa. 68 – Notes on which she hopes to send to you in due course. Who is the Dry land? He seemed to convey the thought that Psa. 68 speaks of the L.H.M.M..... RGJ applied Psa. 68:2 to those of us who have left the L.H.M.M. who are vanished like “smoke” “driven away” – into a “dry land.” Well, well – now you know! Also, he stated the ‑‑‑‑‑ brethren are “luny – i. e. lunatics”. Well, well – and again I say. Surely proof of his being on a “Rampage”! How unkind! .. And on quite a few of these sayings of his, RGJ had the brethren “rocking with laughter.” If it were not for the seriousness of these things, the sadness of them, one would be tempted to wander if by the time he is to come this way again if he will have his hearers, i. e. the majority of then not only “rocking” but “rolling” also. His mind seems clearly to be of that type – making sport of the brethren. Please see Epiphany Vol. 6, PP 575578 re Psa. 68.
If there is anything you would like me to undertake on your behalf here in England, please let me have your mind on the matter. With much love to you, Sister Hoefle and to all the dear ones with you from us all here. I am – Yours in His service – Brother ------- England.