Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

CHAPTER V.

 

MORDECAI AND ESTHER—TYPE AND ANTITYPE.

 

TWO PUBLIC FEASTS. TWO CALLS. A WICKED PLAN. COUNTERACTIVE EFFORTS. TWO PRIVATE FEASTS. THE CONSPIRACY OVERTHROWN. THE FINAL BATTLE. THE AFTERMATH.

 

UNLIKE Nehemiah, Zerubbabel and Ezra, who have had large and small antitypes, Mordecai and Esther have only one set of antitypical fulfillments. The antitypes of the three chief actors of the book are our Lord (Ahasuerus [lion-or hero-king]), the Parousia and Epiphany Church (Esther [star]) and the Laodicean Messenger (Mordecai [humble, or warrior]). Apart from Esther 1: 1-4, and parts of vs. 5-9, chapters 1 and 2 treat of Parousia matters and the rest of the book treats of early Epiphany matters. Without any further introductory remarks we will now proceed to the interpretation of the book of Esther, type and antitype, which is unique among Biblical books, since it does not contain the words, God and Jehovah.

 

The opening verse of the book by several things suggests our Lord to be the antitype of Ahasuerus (Artaxerxes, 474-425 B.C.; see preceding chapter's comments on Ezra 4: 6-24): first, because the latter was a king of Medo-Persia, which represents God's Kingdom while part of it is in the flesh and part of it in the spirit; second, because he was the universal ruler in that kingdom (reigned from India to Ethiopia—in both parts of the latter: the part in Arabia and the part in Africa); third, because of the three symbolic numbers involved in the number 127, i.e., 7, 12 and 10: thus, 127 ÷ 12 = 10, with 7 as a remainder, 7 standing for God, 12 for the Little Flock and 10 for natures (Great Company, Youthful Worthies and faith-justified ones) lower than the Divine; and fourth, because of the statement that Ahasuerus' throne was in Shushan (lily), the nominal church, which until 1878 was our Lord's headquarters (palace) for His kingly work.

 

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Vs. 1 and 2, by their reference to the second universal empire, set the antitype in the Gospel Age. Just when in the Gospel Age its antitype occurs is gathered from the facts of the antitype (in the days … in those days, vs. 1, 2). We get our first time-hint as to when the antitype started by the statement on the book's first act in the third year of Ahasuerus' reign (third year, v. 3). Broadly speaking, from a certain standpoint, but not from others, we can view the pre-Parousiac reign of our Lord in the Church as occurring during three periods: (1) that of the Primitive Church, i.e., from Pentecost to about 230 A.D., (2) that of the Catholic (Greek and Roman) Church, from about 230 until the ministry of John Wessel, about 1480 A.D., and (3) that of the Protestant Church, from about 1480 to about 1881. It will be recalled that it was in 1871 that Bro. Russell's anointing as the Parousia executive and warrior, antitypical David, began (Vol. IX, 518-524). Regarding these three periods as being respectively the first, second and third periods of our Lord's reign in the Church (typed by the first three years of Ahasuerus' reign), this setting would put the antitypical feast (feast [literally, drinking]) during the period of the Protestant Church, i.e., some time between about 1480 and 1881 A.D., as will shortly be shown.

 

The facts now to be presented prove that this feast began in 1691, through Jacob Spener, one of the leaders in Germany of the movement antitypical of the depositing and keeping of the antitypical Ark in antitypical Kirjath-jearim, who then, in Berlin, brought out the long-forgotten doctrine of Christ's Millennial reign. This feast was not for the public, but for the new-creaturely leaders (princes) and the other New Creatures (servants); for others took no interest in these subjects. Besides Spener, brethren like Franke, Lange, Lead, Bengel, (Sir Isaac) Newton, Wesley, Stone, Miller, Storrs, Stetson, etc., feasted as symbolic princes, while the other New Creatures feasted as symbolic

 

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servants. The former were the strong ones of the embryo kingdom (power of Media and Persia). Crown-lost leaders (princes) and their special helpers (nobles) as less honored ones (of the provinces) partook of the feast as also officers of our Lord (before him). Jesus, especially through the above-named brethren, showed forth the glory of His Millennial bounties (riches of his glorious kingdom, v. 4) and the honor of His greatness' beauty (honor of his excellent majesty [literally, of the beauty of his greatness]), a thing that a true description of His Millennial reign must do. This feast continued (many days) with the New Creatures for 180 years (180 days): from 1691, from Spener's bringing forth this truth, until 1871, when Bro. Russell's anointing as antitypical David began. The facts of the case prove that it was through Spener's bringing forth truth on the Millennium in 1691 that the antitypical feasting began. Hence for New Creatures exclusively it must have ended in 1871.

 

Other considerations confirm this thought. Bro. Russell's anointing in its beginning started giving the Millennial Truth to others than New Creatures, even as it was done in the presence of his brethren of all classes of professed believers, typed by that of David occurring in the presence of his father (the whole people of God) and of his seven brothers (three of them typing the three groups of the Gospel-Age Levites, the faith-justified, three of them typing the three groups of anticipatorial Epiphany Levites, and the seventh typing the Little Flock, 1 Sam. 16: 3). Thus his anointing followed immediately on the end of the 180 years' feasting, i.e., 1871 (when these days were expired, v. 5). Beginning with it, Jesus for seven years, Spring of 1871 to that of 1878 (seven days), gave an enlarged feast (feast [literally, drinking]) on the Kingdom to all, great and small, in the nominal church as Jesus' headquarters (all the people … Shushan the palace … small). This was done, not privately, as in the 180 years' feast, but with great publicity

 

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(court of the garden … palace). This feast consisted especially of ever-increasing light on the ransom, the object, manner and time of our Lord's Second Advent, the chronology, our Lord's second presence occurring in 1874, election and free grace, etc. Its setting was amid teachings on justification (white, v. 6), everlasting life (green) and faithfulness (blue) sustained by our Lord's righteousness (cords of linen) and royal authority (purple), which are truly (silver) guaranteed by His Divine nature and powers (marble pillars). The feasters reclined on teachings Divinely true (gold and silver), as symbolic couches (beds [literally, couches]), which rested upon the foundation that, despite sin and death (black marble), the ransom (red) and fidelity (blue) and the righteousness (white) of Christ were the upholders of the teachings and the feasters. Divine (gold, v. 7) truths were those on which they feasted, presented in doctrinal, refutative, corrective and ethical forms (vessels being diverse). Truths on the Kingdom (royal wine [literally, wine of the kingdom]) were given out in very large and liberal measures (abundance), as should be expected from such a great King and liberal Giver as our Lord is (according to … king). Sharing in the feast of wine had to be done in harmony with the Lord's arrangements (according to the law, v. 8), i.e., according to each one's humility, meekness, thirst, honesty and goodness, as they were large or small, was he given to drink. None were forced to accept these truths (none did compel); for Jesus charges (king had appointed) His servants (officers) that they should offer the Truth to each in harmony with his preference and not in any degree force it upon him.

 

While Jesus was thus offering all in the nominal church a rich feast of Kingdom truths, something else (also, v. 9) was going on. The nominal church (Vashti [beautiful] the queen), which in a sense was the Lord's Bride, since all professing to be His are recipients of the invitation to consecrate (proposal of marriage), and which

 

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in its main representatives, especially its leaders, accepted the proposal, also made a feast (feast [literally, drinking]) for the various churches (women) on the subject of the Millennial Kingdom, while she was yet the Lord's mouthpiece and queen, as above described (in the royal house … king Ahasuerus). This feasting was on the pre-Millennial advent of our Lord, whose reign, they taught, would bless the then living only, and after it would be over the dead would be awakened and judged, in the nominal church's sense of the word, sentenced, some to eternal life, the rest to eternal torment. These views were championed by men like Alford, Gumming, Seiss, Craven and many evangelists, like Moody, etc. The seventh day (seventh day, v. 10) types the year from April, 1877 to April, 1878. We recall that in April, 1877, the midnight (the time of the end is Scripturally called a night, i.e., Oct., 1799 to Oct., 1954, whose exact middle was April, 1877) cry, Behold the bridegroom, started. This cry, especially announcing our Lord's presence in the Second Advent as having come, was a truth that made our Lord's heart happy (king merry with wine); and that was His charge to the nominal church (Vashti, v. 11) to take her place beside our Lord in gracing the festivities then going on, i.e., to accept and announce this doctrine with its accompanying messages. He used seven special servants (seven chamberlains [literally, eunuchs] that served … the king) to bring her this invitation and to bring her to Him in response to the invitation. These special servants were Bros. Russell (Mehuman, steadfast), Keith (Biztha, a eunuch), Barbour (Harbona, ass-driver), Paton (Bigtha, gardener), Rice (Abagtha, gardener), Storrs (Zethar, a star) and Stetson (Carcas, an eagle). The nominal church, having been developed by the crown-lost leaders, had much of their qualities, and thus was adorned with much of the beauty (beauty … fair to look on) of holiness. In her being brought forth before the Lord (before the king),

 

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it was to be as the Lord's queen (with the crown royal), and the purpose was to prove her by tests of character, to show the world and the Lord's special servants that she was adorned with the beauties of holiness (to shew the people and the princes her beauty). Humility amid humiliations was one of the special features then to be tested in her.

 

This invitation to appear as the hostess at the better of the two feasts, given and repeated during the year April, 1877 to April, 1878, was not only refused once, but was also repeatedly refused during that year (Vashti refused … commandment by his chamberlains, v. 12). This insult to our Lord so publicly and repeatedly made greatly displeased Him (king very wroth, and his anger burned). As always, when desiring to give advancing Truth to His servants, the scribes instructed unto the Kingdom (the king's manner [custom] toward all that knew law [matters of conduct] and judgment [matters of doctrine], v. 13), so here, the Lord raised pertinent questions in the minds of such scribes as understood prophetic times (king said to the wise men who knew the times), which scribes were the leaders closest to the Lord (and [even] the next unto him, v. 14). These seven brothers as wise men (the seven princes) were the same individuals as from the servant phase of their office work were the antitypes of the seven eunuchs of v. 10. But the order seems to be changed from that of their enumeration in v. 10, for the seventh one indicated in v. 14 is Bro. Russell (Memucan [established, i.e., steadfast, meaning the same as Mehuman, the first of the eunuchs]). The other six also seem to be given in different order from that of v. 10: Bros. Barbour (Carshena, black), Storrs (Shethar, star), Rice (Admatha, human), Paton (Tarshish, breaking subjection, i.e., rebellious), Keith (Meres, worthy) and Stetson (Marsena, lofty [in character]). These were the ones most favored by our Lord in the Church on earth at that time (saw the king's face) and were by Him

 

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put in the chief places in the Church on earth (sat first in the kingdom). The question that He raised in the minds of these students of the time features of God's plan was: What did God's plan (according to law, v. 15) teach in its time features should be done to the nominal church for refusing to show forth the beauties of holiness under testful conditions of humiliation, as required by the Lord; for a proper response would have required her to repudiate her errors opposed to the advancing Truth then given and to accept these instead—a test of humility especially, as well as of other graces. But she refused to give the proper response under those conditions to the Lord (not performed … king … by the chamberlains).

 

Bro. Russell (Memucan [steadfast, established, i.e., faithful], v. 16) answered the question before the Lord and the six brothers above-mentioned (before the king and the princes) as follows: The nominal church by refusing to exhibit the beauties of holiness under the test of humiliation, not only offended against the Lord, in refusing Him wifely obedience under conditions of self-abasement, but in so doing sinned against all leaders (princes) of the Church who as Truth servants had conveyed the invitation, and had given an insult to all of the members of the true Church and a bad example to every ecclesia in the real and nominal Church (all the people … provinces), all of whom should have received a proper example from her. Her course, he further added, would undoubtedly be made known (deed … shall come, v. 17) to every separate denomination, sect and ecclesia (all women), all of which, influenced by the nominal church's bad example, would despise and consider Jesus as one to be ignored and disobeyed (despise their husbands in their eyes), when they would consider the matter (when … reported) of her disregard of the Lord's charge (Ahasuerus commanded … but she came not). Even Truth ecclesias (ladies of Persia and Media, v. 18) would by her example be tempted to

 

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despise the leaders (say … king's princes) of the Lord's flock, which would result in evil (contempt and wrath). Proper measures must be set into operation to meet the evil, advised Bro. Russell, which meant that the Lord Jesus be pleased to make an unalterable law (please the king … a royal commandment … written among the laws of the Persians … not altered, v. 19), that the nominal church be cast off from the mouthpieceship and favor that made her Jesus' queen (Vashti come no more before the king) and that the position of special mouthpieceship and favor be given the true Church (king give her royal estate unto another [literally, her companion] that is better than she).

 

Our Lord's decree (king's decree, v. 20), Bro. Russell further declared, should be made to be heard (shall be published) throughout Christendom (throughout all his empire) as a judgment of the Lord Jesus as to both the nominal church and the real Church, which would have the tendency of making all denominations and true and nominal ecclesias (all wives), large and small (great and small), honor the Lord Jesus (give their husbands honor). Bro. Russell gathered from the Scriptures, particularly from the casting off of nominal Fleshly Israel in 33 A.D. for its rejection of our Lord, that the parallel required the casting off of the nominal church in 1878 A.D. for her rejection of our Lord. This answer was acceptable to our Lord and the other six princes (saying pleased the king and the princes, v. 21). Accordingly, our Lord executed the counsel of Bro. Russell in both of its parts (the king did according to … Memucan), i.e., He set aside the nominal church from mouthpieceship, and caused this fact to be announced everywhere in Christendom. He caused this proclamation to be made both orally and in writing (sent letters [literally, books], v. 22) throughout all denominations and ecclesias, true and nominal (into all the king's provinces), and caused it to be made known in the teachings of each of these (into every province according to the writing … after

 

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their language), setting forth the thought that our Lord, as the Head of the Church, and thus as the professedly acknowledged Head in each denomination and true and nominal ecclesia, should be regarded and acted toward as the ruler in His own house (every man should bear rule in his own house), i.e., that every denomination and every ecclesia should obey His rule as its Head. He further ordained that this should be taught as a part of every denominational doctrine and as a part of every local church's doctrine (published language of every people). This charge was carried into effect, as the history of the Harvest testifies.

 

Whereas Esther 1 treats of the Lord's dealing with the nominal church in its Protestant part, Esther 2 treats of the true Church beginning early in the Parousia. We will now by the Lord's help proceed to the study of Esther 2. The casting off of antitypical Vashti from special favor began April, 1878, and was completed by Oct., 1881, just as in the parallel Israel began to be cut off from special favor, April, 33 A.D., and was completely cut off from it, Oct., 36 A.D. While the Lord's wrath against her subsided (wrath … appeased, v. 1), He always remembered against her what she had done, and what He had decreed against her (what … against her). In the meantime the Lord's servants in their ministries of Him (king's servants, v. 2) taught that the truly consecrated should be sought for the Lord (said … fair young virgins sought for the king). Further, they taught and prayed that the Lord would send out friends of the Bridegroom to win a Bride for Him (king appoint officers … gather together all the fair young virgins) and to bring them into the Truth movement (Shushan the palace [now changed from the nominal to the true Church]), among the Truth people (house of the women), under Bro. Russell's care (Hege [eunuch]) as that Servant (chamberlain), who as such had charge of the household (keeper of the women) and storehouse, in which were the things for the purifying of the consecrated,

 

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ministered to them by him (things for purification be given). Finally, they taught that those who would pass their trial successfully to the Lord's approval (the maiden which pleaseth the king, v. 4) should and would be made the Lord's Bride instead of the nominal church (be queen instead of Vashti). This was acceptable to our Lord (thing please the king), who acted accordingly (he did so).

 

Here the Laodicean Messenger in his first member, Bro. Russell, is introduced (a certain Jew … Mordecai [humble, warrior], v. 5) as being among Truth people (Shushan the palace). He was a teacher of Truth (Jair [he enlightens]), a Truth student (Shimei [hearing, studying]), an expert user of the Bible as a bow (Kish [bow]) with which to shoot the arrows of Truth against error, and on earth the favorite of God, his Father (Benjamite [son of the right hand]). In his condition in antitypical Kish he had gone into Babylonian captivity by accepting nominal-church errors in his Bible-student boyhood days (carried away, v. 6), in the captivity that preceded the final, the Epiphany one, (Jeconiah [Jehovah establishes]), inveigled therein by Satan (Nebuchadnezzar [messenger of the god of fire]). Bro. Russell nourished (brought up [literally, nourished], v. 7) Youthful Worthies (Hadassah [myrtle], Neh. 8: 15) who later became New Creatures (Esther [star]) after the new-creaturely nominal-church leaders (uncle's), who had brought them to consecration, as their symbolic father, were as antitypical Saul rejected and the nominal church, as their symbolic mother, as the Lord's mouthpiece was rejected (she had neither father nor mother). After leaving the nominal church as Youthful Worthies, from 1878 onward, and coming into the Truth, these were as a class taken by Bro. Russell as a symbolic daughter. It should here be remarked that Mordecai in the book of Esther represents both members of the Laodicean Messenger, his first member acting as the antitype of Mordecai up to and including v. 18; then for a while in this

 

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book first one and then the other acts as such antitype up to and including Esther 3: 5; thereafter the second member of the Laodicean Messenger acts exclusively as such antitype. As said above, at Mordecai's first appearance (v. 5) and, in fact, in all his appearances up to and including v. 18, he types the Laodicean Messenger in Bro. Russell alone. Returning now to the antitype: After their begettal this Esther class, of course, became the Church probationarily. This begetting and becoming the probationary Church set in with its first members in 1881 and progressed as such up to 1914; and, of course, this class was beautiful in holiness (fair and beautiful [literally, of fair form and good appearance]), for we are to keep in mind that after she was crowned Esther represents the overcoming Church in the flesh after Sept. 16, 1914. The pertinent facts that will be brought out as we go on prove that after Sept. 16, 1914, the door of the high calling was closed to consecrators.

 

Accordingly, the gathering typed in v. 8 is that which occurred after the general call ceased, i.e., that which occurred under the special calls from Oct., 1881 to Oct., 1914; for it took place after the complete cutting off of the nominal church from special favor; because, as in the Jewish parallel, while the nominal house as a whole was cast off, April, 33 A.D., exclusive favor was limited to Israel in their faithful remnant until Oct., 36 A.D.; so, while the nominal church as a whole was cast off, April, 1878, favor was limited to her in her faithful remnant until Oct., 1881, when her casting off from special favor was completed, even as that of Israel was completed in Oct., 36 A.D. The special calls, therefore, began Oct., 1881 (king's commandment … was heard, v. 8) and many responded to the calls (many maidens were gathered together) and came as New Creatures into the Truth (unto Shushan the palace) under Bro. Russell's charge (custody of Hegai). Among these were those who later made their calling and election sure (Esther), entering among the

 

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Lord's people (king's house) under Bro. Russell's charge, as the one who had charge of the household (custody of Hegai, keeper of the women). The spirit of this class pleased him (maiden pleased him, v. 9); and it effected favors to be given them from him (obtained kindness of him). He zealously gave them the corrective and ethical teachings of the Word as the means of their sanctification (speedily gave her … purification), as well as the doctrinal and refutative teachings needed by them (things as belonged to her [literally, her portion]) and all needed consecrated companions (seven maidens [crown-losers and Youthful Worthies]) that were proper for them to have (meet to be given her), from among the Lord's people (out of the king's house). He assigned these and their companions (her and her maids) to the best place among the consecrated (best place … women).

 

Their humility, as well as Bro. Russell's teachings (Mordecai charged her, v. 10), prevented their claiming for themselves Little Flockship (not shewed her people), nor even Spirit-begettal (kindred), for as yet neither of these things were certain, hence could be held only as a matter of faith, not of knowledge, since from 1881 onward these things were not certain in individual cases, because all consecrators were not accepted into the high calling. All through the years (every day, v. 11) of the special calls, 1881-1914, Bro. Russell very zealously approached (walked … house) these faithful ones, to learn (know) of their prosperity (how Esther did) and of their experiences (what should become of [literally, what was done with] her). Before each consecrated one's (maid's, v. 12) time would come for each of his testings (turn was come to go in) by the Lord (king Ahasuerus), he had to undergo a sufficient preparation (after she had been twelve months), as was customary with the consecrated. In the type naturally the full preparation preceded any of the testings, but in the antitype the preparation and the testing are intermittent things,

 

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i.e., one is prepared in each point of character separately and is then tested on that point separately, then the preparation on the next point is made, to be followed by its testing, and so on, until all the preparations are each in turn made and all the testings are pertinently in each in turn made. This manner of the antitype's fulfilment occurs in all long-drawn-out progressive antitypical experiences. By experience all the consecrated know that this is true. The purification is a twofold one: (1) a cleansing from filthiness of flesh and spirit, which occurs through the refutative teachings of the Word cleansing from error and through the corrective teachings of the Word cleansing from sin, selfishness and worldliness (six months with oil of myrrh), and (2) a development in grace, knowledge and service through the doctrinal and ethical teachings of the Word (six months with sweet odors), all of these backed by suitable Divine providences and the Divine Spirit (for the purifying of the women).

 

Before undergoing trial each consecrated one may take with him anything that he desires into the trial, with the result that often he takes things of self and of the world, of sin and of error, that prove fatal to him in the trial (thus came every maiden … whatsoever she desired … to go … unto the king's house, v. 13). The testing time (evening … morrow, v. 14) was spent under the direct supervision of the Lord Jesus (she went … she returned), as one not successful when tested was remanded to the Great Company (second house of the women), and was put under Bro. Russell's (Shaashgaz [servant of the beautiful]) supervision for stricter and restrained care (kept the concubines), as crown-losers. As such, those failing under test could not appear with the Lord except by special favor (king delighted in her) and express mention (called by name). When the faithful came under test (turn of Esther, v. 15) they came in strength of character (Abihail [my father is strength]) that was akin to that of Bro. Russell (uncle of Mordecai), and

 

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that had been developed all the more under Bro. Russell's fatherly care (who had taken her for his daughter); they took nothing of wilful or mixed sin, error, selfishness and worldliness with them into the trial (required nothing); but they did take the Truth and its Spirit, as Bro. Russell, as the caretaker of all the consecrated, had taught them to have with them in their trial (what Hegai … appointed). Their graces of the Spirit made them very winsome and ingratiating (obtained favor) to all with whom they came in contact (all them that looked upon her). The final testings of these (Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus, v. 16), as to whether the Lord would see in them a character that would prove faithful, was from 1908, when the fifth harvest call and sifting set in, until 1914 (tenth month … seventh year), the gleanlings being here ignored, since the class as such came as antitypical Elijah to the mount of God by Oct., 1914. This period from 1908 to 1914 is the special antitype of Esther's testing time. Its being in the end of the Harvest is typed by the 10th month of Ahasuerus' seventh year as king. We saw above that the Protestant Church's period (about 1480 to 1881) corresponded to his third year. The seventh is reached as follows: The period, 1881-1891, from the beginning of the second to that of the third harvest call and sifting, corresponded to the fourth year; the period 1891-1901, from the beginning of the third to that of the fourth harvest call and sifting, corresponded to the fifth year; the period, 1901-1908, from the beginning of the fourth to that of the fifth harvest call and sifting, corresponded to the sixth year; and the period, 1908-1914, from the fifth harvest call and sifting to the end of the Harvest, corresponded to the seventh year.

 

This class faithfully endured the testings and thus won our Lord's special favor (the king loved Esther, v. 17) far above all nominal-church denominations (above all the women) and all other consecrated classes (more than all the virgins). Accordingly, in the late Summer of 1914

 

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Jesus accepted this class as His Bride (set the crown royal upon her head, and made her queen), and made it clear, by beginning in the World War partially to destroy, among others, the nominal church, that they were taken as such instead of the latter (instead of Vashti). A special feast of Truth—that given between Oct., 1914 and Nov., 1916— especially in the very numerous conventions and Towers of those years, was by our Lord given the leading (princes, v. 18) and other servants of the Truth (his servants). This was especially the feast of the overcomers (Esther's feast). It was especially along lines of the Little Flock (Esther's) in its relations to the Great Company. He likewise eased (made a release [literally, rest]) matters sacrificially for the Great Company and Youthful Worthies (whose Truth sections then gleaned, whereas the Little Flock then smote Jordan, etc.), both in the Truth and in the nominal church (to the provinces), and gave the public through the Photo-Drama, the newspaper, the pilgrim, the colporteur and the volunteer work many gifts of Truth, especially such as showed the signs of the times in the World War, etc. (gave gifts), and that according to His power and judgment as to each class (according to the state of the king).

 

In v. 19 for the first time J. appears as the second member of antitypical Mordecai in the scenes of this antitype. From about Oct., 1911 onward, shortly after the fifth harvest call ended and when the intensified public work set in, there was a gathering of very many crown-losers and Youthful Worthies into the Truth from the nominal church; among others, these are typed by Lot's and his elder daughter's leaving Sodom just before the destruction of the cities of the plain (virgins were gathered together the second time, v. 19). This gathering was from the Fall of 1911 to that of 1916. It was during this whole period, more particularly from 1914 to 1916 and most particularly during 1916, that J. came into ever-increasing prominence as

 

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a Truth servant before the Lord and the Church (Mordecai sat in the king's gate), for during those years, next to Bro. Russell, of all the Truth servants he did the most responsible Truth work. The language of v. 19 cannot fit Bro. Russell, for all through the Harvest he had been sitting at the antitypical King's gate, place of prominence in the Lord's affairs, and not only after the Fall of 1911 (when the virgins … the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate). As was the case with antitypical Esther in earlier periods of the Harvest (v. 10), so at the end they did not definitely claim Spirit-begettal (Esther had not yet shewed her kindred, v. 20) nor Little Flockship (nor her people), even as Bro. Russell had taught as to its uncertainty (as Mordecai had charged her); for they after the pertinent testing practiced his teaching as faithfully as before their Spirit-begettal (Esther did the commandment … as when she was brought up [literally, nourished]).

 

As a member of Bethel, where he was manager (kept the door, v. 21), E.W. Brenneisen (Bigthan [a gift]) developed an exceedingly autocratic spirit. So much so was this the case at Bethel that practically the whole Bethel family of 250 members stood in fear of, and trembling at him, and their spirit of fellowship and cooperation in the Lord's service was thereby much curtailed, with the result that both the Spirit and service of the Lord suffered, there, by way of repression. This in ultimate analysis was in effect displeasure with (wroth), and an attempt to do violence (sought to lay hand) to the Lord (Ahasuerus). For a number of years his course was such, with ever-increasing unrest resulting in the Bethel family. So marked an exhibition of such an autocratic spirit came, in June, 1914, at the Columbus, Ohio, Convention, under the observation of J., who for several years had known of the pertinent conditions at Bethel (the thing was known to Mordecai, v. 22), that he felt it to be the Lord's will to tell it to Bro. Russell as a representative of the Church (told

 

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it unto Esther … certified … in Mordecai's name). This led to an investigation (inquisition was made, v. 23) and resulted, to the great relief of many Bethelites, in E.W. Brenneisen's being set aside from his office of manager at Bethel, a thing that could not be done without publicity, at least at Bethel (hanged upon a tree). G.B. Raymond (Teresh [severe, austere], v. 21), who was also at Bethel, where he worked in charge of certain business matters of Bro. Russell connected with the Lord's work, and who was a pilgrim, developed over a number of years a very severe way of preaching to, and denouncing the brethren, somewhat in the same fierce manner as Billy Sunday denounced sinners. This was, of course, no way of speaking to the Lord's prospective Bride. His course in this respect in the pilgrim work had an effect on the Church similar to that of E.W. Brenneisen's on the Bethel family, and was in the Lord's sight a displeasure with, and in effect was an attempt to do violence to, the Lord. J. knew of this condition for years, learning of it in his pilgrim work from the brethren's pertinent complaints. A marked case of such severe preaching on G.B. Raymond's part to the brethren came in Sept., 1914, at the Santa Cruz, Calif., Convention, to the attention of J., who told it to Bro. Russell as a representative of the Church. This led to an investigation, with the result that G.B. Raymond was relieved both from his position at Bethel and in the pilgrim work. Without doing anything special for J. at that time for his part in the affair, the Lord caused it to be recorded in His memory (written in … chronicles before the king).

 

Esther 3 treats typically of the Conspiracy of H.J. Shearn (Haman [Mercury, the messenger of the heathen gods]; Hammedatha [given at the time]; Agagite [giant, Agag being the royal title of the Amalekite kings, as Pharaoh was that of the Egyptian kings], v. 1) to gain control of the British Church, a conspiracy similar to that of J.F.R. to gain

 

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control of the whole Church. In the Fall of 1914 the Lord (Ahasuerus), through certain arrangements of Bro. Russell, enlarged H.J. Shearn's managerial powers (did … promote [literally, made very great]); and, through J. Hemery's lack of aggressiveness in maintaining his place of priority among the British managers, He permissively gave the chief executive place in the British Church to H.J. Shearn as a manager (set his seat above all the princes), which in effect made him chief among the three British managers and the British pilgrims and elders who were his associates in places of power in the British Church (that were with him), in fact gave him more executive authority than any others of our Pastor's appointees anywhere else in Britain. Thus all the Lord's servants in prominent places of service as to the British Church (king's servants, that were in the king's gate, v. 2) subjected themselves (bowed) to him, and gave him obeisance (reverenced Haman); for by the Lord's permissive providence he was put into a place where this was the thing for the Truth servants to do (king had so commanded). The only exception to this course was the Laodicean Messenger, first in the person of Bro. Russell, and later in the person of J. (Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence). In many ways H.J. Shearn changed Bro. Russell's Bethel arrangements; but Bro. Russell refused to be subject to him in these changes, and did not show deference to him in his pertinent desires; and when J. appeared on the scene he followed Bro. Russell's example as to these revolutionisms. Some of these revolutionisms against Bro. Russell's arrangements, are listed in Vol. VII, 35, 36.

 

To none of these usurpations would either of the two brothers submit, nor in relation to these would give him respect on their account. Those prominent ones (the king's servants … in the king's gate, v. 3) who did support him therein faulted, first Bro. Russell, and later J., because of their pertinent course (said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou?), alleging that it was the Lord's will

 

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(the king's commandment), whereas it was not a charge given to them, for they were not included among such prominent servants of the Lord who should so do. His partisan supporters were the ones who continually faulted the pertinent stand of the Laodicean Messenger (they spake daily unto him, v. 4). But these would not submit to their advice to agree to his usurpations (he harkened not unto them). They then encouraged H.J. Shearn to enter into combat with the two non-conforming brothers (told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand). The Laodicean Messenger in both of its members by their acts gave his partisan supporters to understand that they belonged to the true people of God (told them that he was a Jew). Their refusal, observed by H.J. Shearn (Haman saw, v. 5), to be subject to him, or to stand in awe of him (bowed not, nor did him reverence) greatly displeased (Haman full of wrath) so autocratic a character as H.J. Shearn, to whom we will from here on refer by his initials.

 

H.J.S. in pride and unholy ambition despised the thought as insufficient for his ambitions that he should destroy Bro. Russell alone as to his controllership of the Bethel arrangements (thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone, v. 6). Additional to this he decided that, by the introduction of a presbyterian order of church government, clericalism, he would uproot the congregational order of church government, ecclesiaism, and thus destroy the Church as to ecclesiaism, i.e., as to its right by its vote to control its own affairs in the Lord. He would make a beginning of this in the London Tabernacle, then spread it throughout the British and Irish Church, and from there hoped it would become world-wide, and thus overthrow the Laodicean Messenger in his teachings on ecclesiaism by subjecting him to his own views (shewed him the people of Mordecai [the ecclesians] … destroy all the Jews … whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai). For about eleven months (first … to the

 

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to the twelfth month, v. 7) in elders' meetings and in the ecclesia's meetings, as well as more privately, the matter was unanswered, discussed and voted upon resultlessly (cast … lot before Haman), to bring this matter into a movement to abrogate Bro. Russell's Tabernacle arrangements, and to introduce a presbyterian order of church government. H.J.S.'s letter, whose pertinent parts appear in Vol. VII, 39-46, shows that the subject was first discussed in an elders' meeting, Oct. 22, 1915, and that it was thereafter, from time to time, discussed until the elders' meeting of Sept. 1, 1916, passed H.C. Thackway's resolution to discuss it in detail the afternoon and evening of Sept. 16, 1916, when the resolution of H.J.S. to dispossess our Pastor from his Tabernacle powers and lodge them in the hands of the elders was passed. Thus it was discussed about eleven months (Nisan … Adar).

 

We will not give details here, having done that in Vol. VII, Chapter I. H.J.S.'s presenting this resolution, Sept. 16, 1916, was in pantomime a request from him of the Lord to destroy the Laodicean Messenger as to his pastoral control of the London Tabernacle arrangements and the brethren as to ecclesiaism (Haman said unto king Ahasuerus … a certain people … not for the king's profit to suffer them, v. 8). The resolution implied that our Pastor's Tabernacle arrangements were not Scriptural (neither keep they the king's laws), as it also implied that they were different from those of other ecclesias, which was true in itself; for in headquarter ecclesias our Lord desired to use His headship through Bro. Russell, His hand, eye and mouth, as free from subjection to any ecclesia, which his subjection to an ecclesia would have prevented (laws diverse from all people). Hence our Lord arranged in the headquarter churches to have Bro. Russell as His special representative control their arrangements. H.J.S. reeled off many arguments in favor of his resolution; among others, he claimed that the Lord would obtain many advantages (pay [literally, weigh]