Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
impliedly charging that J. had lost his special helpers because of his, as well as their sins (v. 4). They said that if by prayer and effort he had sought to win God over to his side, and had been proved to have a proper disposition, God would surely deliver him from his troubles, make him prosperous and, despite the small results of his new start, he would in the end greatly prosper (vs. 5-7). They told him to gain knowledge from the experiences of the past, e.g., the Parousia, when so much error arose through typing, alleging that the present efforts were those of small and short experience (vs. 8-10). They further hinted that as unprofitable rushes and flags required proper nourishment, though with these they are but transitory, so J. in his opposition to corporations' controlling God's priestly work was forgetting God, and as a wicked teacher would cease to be a teacher, even like those transitory rushes and flags, his hopes, confidence and trust coming to ruin like a spider's web (vs. 11-14), that he would rely upon his position, which, despite his holding fast thereto, would come to naught (v. 15), that his apparent prosperity and security appear so to him alone (vs. 16, 17), and that his loss of his place would make it disown him (v. 18). In irony and ridicule they told him that such would be the reward of his course, and that from among the Lord's people others would arise and take his place (v. 19). Still disparaging him, as though he were wicked, they declared that God would not cast off a faithful servant, as he was evidently cast off; nor would God uphold evil-doers, even as he was not, they alleged, upheld (v. 20). But they hinted that if he would reform he would yet become a preacher of the good tidings and its various doctrines (v. 21), and that his enemies would be silenced and refuted (v. 22).
J. answered, as typed in Job 9 and 10, the jeers, sarcasms, false charges, assumptions and the condemning claims of the Gershonites connected with their controversy on the arrangements for doing God's work. He admitted that
in principle some of their sayings were true, but that they did not apply to him as they charged; for he knew that none could justify himself before God (9: 2), reasoning that if God should choose to debate with man he could not answer one thing of the thousand that God could bring against him (v. 3); for God is wise and powerful; consequently none who would presume to take a stand against God would achieve anything (v. 4). His creative works in earth, sea and the heavens with their wondrous stars and constellations manifest His great, wonderful and numberless powers (vs. 5-10). He admitted that many things in God's works are not clear to him (v. 11); for God cannot be hindered or be taken into accounting for what He does (v. 12). He recognized that if God is displeased, proud servants of His are subdued under Him (v. 13). Hence there was less reason that J. should enter into a controversy with God (v. 14); for even if J. were righteous, he held that it would be wrong for him to debate against God; rather it would be seemly for him to plead for God's mercy and help as his judge (v. 15). He further asked, If God had answered his prayer, would he not believe that God had hearkened to his petition (v. 16), despite the fact that God was breaking his power by Levitical revolutions, and was increasing the blows that he endured (v. 17), despite the fact that God did not allow J. to exercise freely his powers and filled him with sorrow (v. 18)? Yea, God is strong, but men would give J. no chance in judgment to defend his course (v. 19).
All his alleged attempts to prove himself sinless would by his own teachings be refuted; and any alleged claim of his to perfection would prove him a pervert (v. 20). Yea, even if he claimed perfection he would thereby prove his ignorance; on the contrary, in humility he would count himself as of no consequence (v. 21). J. contended that God abases from one's position the pious and the wicked (v. 22). If by discipline God cuts one of His faithful off from exercising his office powers, He would count the resultant
trial of such as not a serious thing (v. 23). Truly, society now is controlled by the evil, whose judges are by God counted ignorant. If this be not so, where would God's sovereignty be in activity? And what kind of a Ruler would He be (v. 24)? J. recognized the fleeting character of his exercise of his office (vs. 25, 26). He greatly desired freedom from his suffering and comfort therefrom (v. 27). Though fearing his sufferings, which were for righteousness, he knew that he was not by God regarded as sinless (v. 28). If he were an evil-doer, would he labor without results in the world where Satan rewards evildoers with external prosperity (v. 29)? Despite his efforts to cleanse himself of evil and to do his service properly (v. 30), God brought adversity upon him that made his powers forsakers of him as abhorrent (v. 31). His reverence for God, as so much above man, made him refuse to attempt to argue with God in judgment (v. 32). Nor would he claim an umpire to decide a question, if it were in issue between God and him (v. 33). But J. greatly desired to be delivered from the Lord's disciplining and making him afraid (v. 34). If God should do this, fearless he would tell God his case; but it was not so (v. 35).
But J. was worn out in his office activities unto weariness, and would freely speak of his burdens, because of the soul's grief (10: 1). He would plead that God do not condemn his work, but would manifest to him the reason for God's seeming opposition to him (v. 2). It was good in God's eyes to lay heavy burdens upon him, that He should abase him and consider J. as a work of His hand as little, and should allow the plans of the bad Levites to seem to prosper (v. 3). He declared emphatically that God's knowledge and understanding were not those of fallible man (v. 4), nor is God's eternity like man's short span of life (v. 5), that God should investigate J.'s imperfection, despite the fact that God knew him to be not wicked, and that none could deliver out of God's power (vs. 6, 7). He recognized that while God
had fitted him for his office balancedly, yet he was cutting him off from exercising many of its features (v. 8). He pleaded with God to recall that despite his imperfections he was given his office by God, and pleaded with Him not to make it non-existent (v. 9). He said that God had emptied him of easier services and had sorely altered in quick succession his untoward experiences (v. 10). He recognized that God had lovingly given him all his qualifications for his office, as well as blessed him in his New Creature (vs. 11, 12), all the while hiding in His heart from J. His purpose that he should have such harrowing experiences in fulfilling the functions of his office (v. 13), and yet holding J. responsible for anything that he would do amiss (v. 14). If J. should sin in his office, he would have woe; yet if righteous therein, he would be ignominiously put to shame and experience trouble (v. 15). If he should feel exalted, God's power would hunt him out, showing Himself wondrously therein (v. 16). God was providentially allowing another set (the Gershonites) to witness against J., and thereby was increasing what seemed to be His displeasure against him (v. 17). His distress, not words, asked God why, He had ever developed him for his office, instead of letting him be passed by as never having had it (vs. 18, 19). He pleaded that as his days were few, God might cease from afflicting him, and might give him even a little comfort before he cease to exercise the remnants of his office functions, and thus be non-existent so far as his office was concerned (vs. 20-22).
Next, the Kohathites cast many bitter and false accusations of a personal kind against J., in connection with their attacks, and that on the truths that he was teaching. Like the Merarites' and Gershonites' accusations, theirs were not so much against his teachings, but were connected with their attacks on his teachings (11: 1). They falsely denounced him as using much speech, which must be refuted and he be condemned (v. 2). They falsely charged him with boasting that should not be allowed to silence its hearers, and with mocking for
which others should make him ashamed (v. 3). They railed on his claim that his doctrine (which they attacked) was true and that he was unconscious of unfaithfulness in his ministry (v. 4). They even prayed that God would condemn his teachings (v. 5), and reveal to him His true secrets from the greatness of His knowledge, and claimed that God was punishing J. less than he deserved (v. 6). They then expatiated on God's being so great in knowledge as to be ununderstandable by J. (vs. 7-9). They falsely accused J.'s case as having already been passed upon by God's condemnatory and unhinderable judgment (v. 10), and as coming upon him as a false servant whose iniquity was seen by God intuitively (v. 11). Falsely they accused J. of vanity, voidness of understanding and unruliness (v. 12). Then they counseled him to amend his heart, pray for forgiveness (v. 13), set aside his iniquity and put unrighteousness away from his office (v. 14), promising him that then he could present spotless knowledge, steadfastness and courage (v. 15). Then, they said, he would forget his misery as a thing of the past (v. 16); and his office powers would be transparently bright, its darkness being a thing of the past and its clarity like the Millennial morning (v. 17). They also promised that then he would be safe with hope, urging him to assist the investigations into his case that thus he might find safe rest (v. 18), that he would be in safety and rest, and that many would seek his assistance (v. 19). But they implied that, if he did not follow their advice, he would go into darkness, with no hope of escape and with the expectation of ceasing to exercise his office (v. 20).
The false accusations and implications of the Kohathites connected with their attacks on J.'s Epiphany teachings received an answer from him (12: 1) that began with sarcasm, to the effect that the Levites were the depositaries of the Truth, which would cease with them (v. 2); but, dropping the sarcasm, he assured them that he understood the Truth, at least not one whit less than they, remarking that
all Truth people knew the principles lying at the foundations of their exhortations, insofar as they were true (v. 3). Then J. said that he, who had faithfully served God as a just and pious man, had become for it a laughing-stock (v. 4), assuring them that they who were at ease despised him in his misfortunes, and were upon the lookout for him to make some mistake (v. 5), and that now evil-doers prosper, that tempters of God are now safe, and that now God seemed to prosper them (v. 6). This lesson as to the prosperity of the wicked animate and inanimate nature teaches (vs. 7, 8); for it is common knowledge that God's power is connected with this condition for mankind (vs. 9, 10). Each bodily organ performs its function (v. 11). Their claim that with age and experience is wisdom, is in most cases untrue; for God, who has wisdom, power, counsel and understanding, frequently brings their wisdom and understanding to naught, and shuts up some in their folly, without escape (vs. 12-14), even as He controls waters into dryness and makes them become devastating floods (v. 15); for He has wisdom and power that prevail over the deceived and the deceiver, making wise counselors ashamed and judges foolish (vs. 16, 17). He frees from bonds that kings use on their prisoners, and makes these kings serve His purposes (v. 18). He puts priests to shame and conquers great warriors (v. 19). He dries up the eloquence of trusted orators, and turns into folly the knowledge of leaders (v. 20). He makes great leaders contemptible, and loosens the armor of the strong (v. 21). He exposes to light deep errors, and reveals what is the death state (v. 22). By Him nations rise and fall; He makes them great, and then delivers them into subjection to greater ones (v. 23). The great human leaders He bereaves of knowledge, and leads them into the tracklessness of error (v. 24), where they grope in darkness, staggering like the others drunk with error (v. 25).
J. declared that he perceived and understood all this (13: 1); for he knew what they did and not less (v. 2). His hope was to speak and reason over matters with God (v. 3),
and he accused them of inventing errors and of being pseudo-diagnosticians in his case (v. 4). He wished that they would preserve silence, as the wise thing for them (v. 5), and give proper attention to his arguments and the pleas of his teachings (v. 6). He charged them with being unrighteous and deceitful speakers for God (v. 7), with partiality in things of God and with so contending for things of God (v. 8). He demanded whether good would result from God's investigating them, whether they would attempt to deceive Him as one deceives his fellows (v. 9). Certainly He will rebuke them for their secretly practicing partiality (v. 10). Rather, His greatness should frighten them into awe of Him (v. 11); for their best teachings are untrue sayings; and their defenses of their teachings are unsubstantial (v. 12). Again J. asked them to be silent, and to leave him undisturbed to speak, regardless of consequences (v. 13). In suffering and danger he would proceed (v. 14); yea, even if devotion to the Truth bring death to him, he would still trust in God and remain, despite all suffering, true to His ways (v. 15). That the evil Levite leaders should undertake matters pertaining to God would inure to his salvation (v. 16).
Again he asked diligent attention to his misrepresented teachings (v. 17). He claimed that he set forth his teachings in a proper way, and would be justified by them (v. 18), despite any of his opponents, whose teachings, if refutative of his, would make him be silent and yield up his office (v. 19). If God would refrain from two things, he would not seek to hide himself from matters pertaining to God (v. 20), i.e., refrain from keeping His hand heavy upon him and refrain from frightening him (v. 21). These two things refrained from, God might call for anything from him, and he would respond favorably; or if he might ask something of God, God might then answer him (v. 22). He recognized that his sins were many, and desired to recognize his wrongs (v. 23). It seemed to him that God was by withholding His
favor from him treating him as an enemy (v. 24). Surely God would not harass or pursue with hostile intent him who was as weak and worthless as a dried leaf and stubble (v. 25). He said this because God seemed to arrange bitter experiences for him and to remember his past sins (v. 26), seemed to make it hard for him to walk in the ways of the Truth and its Spirit (v. 27), and seemed to have cast him off as a rotten, corrupt thing, even as a moth-eaten garment (v. 28).
In Job 14 J.'s teachings in antitypical Gideon's Second Battle on the death state and the punishment of sin are set forth. They showed the shortness of human life and the evils of the dying process (v. 1); despite the beauties of early life the race under the curse is cut down and passes away as a transient shadow (v. 2). Was not God viewing and treating man as under the curse (v. 3)? J. recognized that, coming from fallen parents, no one could be perfect (v. 4), which results in all being under the condemnation of death. This confines them to the period of the dying process, which in none of Adam's fallen race can reach a full 1,000 years (v. 5). This made J. long for God's ameliorating the condition of the curse from man's relief, even as a laborer may rest from the day's toil (v. 6). If given favorable conditions a felled tree, despite its devastated condition, if supplied with proper moisture, may have hope of its own inherent powers to spring up again (vs. 7-9); but no such inherent powers of a re-kindling of life is in a dead human (v. 10). Even as waters of some lakes fail and of some rivers waste and dry up, so man lies down in death and arises not nor awakes from the sleep of death, by his own inherent power, as long as the universe lasts (vs. 11, 12). But fallen men have been given a hope for another life, apart from any so-called inherent powers, even through the ransom, for they longed to be freed from their miseries and they longed for rest, death, and a part in the resuscitation when God would remember them (v. 13). J. denied that man was alive when dead (the word "again"
is an interpolation, v. 14). The race would wait in the death state until the resuscitation time would come, when it would answer God's mighty call, "Come forth"; and then God's favor would return to the race (v. 15). But now the race is being described as to its conduct; and its sins are recorded in its character. God's justice securely keeps the record of man's sins and iniquities (vs. 16, 17). As destructions are wrought by natural forces, so the race under the curse is destroyed by it (vs. 18, 19). God's just sentence through imperfect conditions on earth works out the death sentence of man, and sends him into the changes wrought by the dying and death processes v. 20). Regardless of prosperity or adversity in his children a dead parent is unconscious of their state (v. 21). Alive, he suffers the dying process (v. 22).
The next class to criticize J.'s Truth teachings was the Merarites, who began to fault him first for his presenting his views on the last related acts of Elijah and Elisha; but, as in all other cases in this book, not their attempts to refute these are typed, but their criticizing him on personal matters in connection with their pertinent controversy is set forth (15: 1). They denied him to be wise, claiming that he was answering with error and was filled with endless strife (v. 2). They declared a wise man should not argue with useless words or unedifying speeches (v. 3). They accused him of expelling from his heart reverence and from his mouth proper speech in matters pertaining to God (v. 4), and of having utterances coming from iniquity, and of choosing to use a crafty speech (v. 5). They claimed that his teaching, not they, proved him an errorist, his doctrines witnessing against him (v. 6), reminding him to remember that his elders were abler than he, who was but young (v. 7). They sneered at him as one who was alleged to claim to have learned God's secrets and to arrogate to himself exclusive knowledge (v. 8). They challenged him to state what he knew and understood that they did not know and understand (v. 9), claiming by act in setting that Servant
aside that with them were such as were wiser than even his symbolic father, Bro. Russell (v. 10). They sneeringly demanded of him to tell whether the regular comforts of God's people were not enough for him, or whether God had imparted special secrets to him (v. 11). They accused him of ambition that covetously sought others' positions (v. 12), even making him turn against God and speak evil words (v. 13). They charged him with acting as though he did not have the Adamic uncleanness and unrighteousness of all born of woman (v. 14). To condemn him as unworthy, they falsely charged God with distrusting His saints and as regarding the heavens as unclean (v. 15); how much more so was he, whom they falsely accused of being corrupt and imbibing iniquity (v. 16).
Usurping the place of being his teachers, they demanded to be heard, claiming to tell him what they knew (v. 17). They falsely alleged that the wisdom of wise and prosperous generations was on their side against J. in the argument (vs. 18, 19), that only to the wicked does God by decree let continual sufferings and oppressions come (v. 20), that fright is brought to him and in prosperity he comes to ruin (v. 21), that despair of deliverance and expectation of a violent death of his office powers are his portion (v. 22), that he fruitlessly and aimlessly seeks here and there for spiritual food, knowing that dark days are ahead of him (v. 23), and that suffering and keen sorrows affright him and overcome him, as a victorious king prepared for war (v. 24). All of this is in retribution for his (alleged) opposition to God; for he allegedly acted in pride against the Omnipotent (v. 25). His course is one of stubbornness backed by his fighting equipment (v. 26). Though his knowledge and his work give him a kind of prosperity (v. 27), though he uses his acquisition of ecclesias and offices that his wickedness has gained and in turn ruined for him (v. 28), yet real riches he does not have, nor will his kind of riches continue, nor be widely distributed as a useful part of Truth society (v. 29). No deliverance from his
mistakes will be his; destruction will overtake the objects of his love; and by the sentence of God he will depart his official life (v. 30). Therefore he should not trust in his vain errors, whereby he merely deceives himself, since empty error will be his reward (v. 31). Thus his ruin will be fulfilled before it seems due, and his works will not prosper (v. 32). He will even lose before due time the fruits of his labor, even as the vine loses its unripe grapes, and as the olive tree loses its flowers (v. 33); for the associates of the impious shall be unproductive, and destruction shall overtake the products of their corruption (v. 34); for they produce harm and wickedness; and they in love of error prepare it to entrap others (v. 35). These Merarites falsely applied all these general ways of God's dealing with the wicked against J., as though he were guilty of the conduct that brings such experiences from God upon the wicked. When one looks back at the way the Merarites reacted to, and spoke against J. for his Truth presentations, he will recognize that Job 15 gives a very accurate description of their pertinent reactions and sayings; for of the three groups of Levites the Merarites were the cruelest in denouncing J. for his Truth teachings.
Their false and cruel acts and sayings against J. for his Truth teachings drew forth from him those replies that are typed in Job 16 and 17, which we will now consider (16: 1). He stated that he had heard such false accusations before, i.e., from the 1908-1911 sifters; and they proved that all the three groups of Levites were unhappy consolers (v. 2). He asked whether their empty words would end, and what was provoking the Merarites to answer him (v. 3). J. said that, if he were so minded, he could return reviling for their reviling, and that if they were in his condition, he could add accusation to accusation against them and treat them with disapproval (v. 4); but instead of so doing he would encourage them by his words; and the comfort of his teachings would lighten their grief (v. 5). But he found no
lightening of his grief by his teaching them, though that was the thing to expect from them as a result of his labor for them; nor did his silence bring him any relief from them
(v. 6). J.'s attitude declared that zeal for God's cause had exhausted him, and had caused him to lose the great company of his supporters (v. 7), that it had shriveled him up, which was accepted by his enemies as a witness against him, and his apparent unproductivity as proof of God's forsaking him (v. 8).
His whole attitude said that apparently as from God's wrath his enemies had torn him in his work to pieces, hated him, expressed extreme wrath against, and looked sharply to injure him (v. 9), had spoken against him with reproaches, condemned his teaching and assembled against him (v. 10). It said that God had delivered him into the power of the impious and wicked (v. 11), and that while he was in peace, by these enemies God had wrecked him, yea, had violently seized upon him and hurled him into ruin, and had made him His mark to be shot at by his enemies (v. 12), who with sharp sayings surrounded him, dividing his powers without leniency and rejecting his grief (v. 13). Break after break came to him; by his enemies as mighty ones God attacked him (v. 14). As a result, mourning fell to J.'s lot; and his strength was lost (v. 15). His teachings mingled with sorrow and his insight into things was of one about to die (v. 16), despite his faithful work and unselfish prayers (v. 17). In Truth Society circles he desired that the wrongs done him be exposed by his protests (v. 18), because God on high witnessed and vouched in his favor (v. 19). Amid the mockings of those whom he considered friends he poured out mourning prayers to God (v. 20), entreating Him to stand for His faithfulness to Him and his fellows (v. 21), since his course soon would lead him to the end of his office powers, to which he would not return (v. 22).
Job 17 continues to type J.'s answers to the Merarites' false charges. He felt that his power and life as God's mouthpiece were about ended (17: 1), since mockers at his
side ridiculed him, and caused him to think of their provoking course (v. 2). He asked that God guarantee his faithfulness, wondering who else would do it (v. 3), even though God closed the Merarites' minds from understanding, for which reason God would not honor them in office (v. 4). J. then warned that the Merarite leaders, having for the booty of controllership of the Society denounced J. and others of their friends, would witness their adherents going blind in the eyes of understanding (v. 5). Yet J.'s work for the Lord made him a byword to most Truth people, who insultingly cast their errors on his truths (v. 6). His sorrows dimmed his studying of the Truth; and his faculties of mind and heart were weakened (v. 7). His experiences will yet arouse the astonished righteous and the innocent to oppose J.'s impious opponents (v. 8). Despite J.'s experiences, the righteous will continue in the narrow way; and upright Truth servants will continually develop strength (v. 9). But as for his opponents, he by his attitude invited them to attack him further; and he assured them that he would find none among them wise enough to refute him (v. 10). He lamented that his times of full powers' exercise were past, his purposes were wrecked and his office possessions so much loved by him were ended (v. 11). He charged his Merarite enemies with putting light for darkness and darkness for light (v. 12). He denied that his office had ceased, that his teachings as to faith's rest had become error (v. 13), that he had given himself up to Adamic sinful depravity as to a father and its erroneousness as to a mother or sister (v. 14); yet he declared that his hope of being a blessing through his office was lost to him and from the sight of others, who considered it forever lost, with him resting in the dust of defeat (v. 16). So he finished his answer to the Merarite personal attacks on him in fighting his Truth teachings.
Thereupon followed personal attacks on J. by the Gershonites; in connection with their controverting his Truth teachings (18: 1). They appealed to the Merarites and
Kohathites, asking how much more time they would take in studying answers to J., at the same time asking them to join them in studying carefully the pertinent matters before speaking, since it was unwise for them to be accounted by one another as unreasonable beasts and as defiled in one anothers' esteem (v. 3). Then turning fiercely on J., the Gershonites demanded why their social circles should be rent by, and their alleged Truth teachings be cast aside for, him, whom they accused as doing violence to his graces in his anger (v. 4). Speaking of him, they charged that as an ungodly one the Truth that he once had had turned into error, that his teachings no more enlightened (v. 5), that the teaching of his office would always be error, that the Bible would cease to give him Truth (v. 6), that the steps of hitherto strong Christian life would become too difficult for him to take, and that his plan would be overturned (v. 7); for they said that his own conduct led him into a labyrinthine net, gin, snare, noose and trap (vs. 8-10). They charged that terror would seize him on all sides and closely pursue him (v. 11), that his strength of mind and heart would be famished, that misfortune would leap upon him from all quarters (v. 12), that all his powers would be consumed, that a most public end would put them out of official existence (v. 13), that he would be totally thrust out of his position, in which he trusted, that he would be forced to face its extinction as the chief terror of his heart (v. 14), that a stranger (the Gershonites) would take over his position, that destruction would end it as his (v. 15), that like a tree he would wither, root and branch, the foundation and superstructure of his position alike coming to naught (v. 16), that his memory and reputation would be forgotten in public Truth circles (v. 17), that he would be driven from one truth after another into one error after another and be disfellowshipped from among (what was actually) the Levite order of affairs (v. 18), that he would lose his supporters, who in turn would lose theirs from among God's people,
nor would any remain even in his temporary position as a Parousia pilgrim (v. 19), and that he would be an example to astonish all coming after him, as those of his kind were to those who preceded him (v. 20). So Gershonites said he would be as unjust and ignorant of God (v. 21).
These unjust and false charges made against J. by the Gershonites J. answered (19: 1). He expressed his weariness at having been so long vexed and torn to pieces by the false personal criticisms of the three Levite groups (v. 2). With the full ability of natures lower than the Divine they reproached him, and that without shame at their hard dealings with him (v. 3). Granted that J. erred, yet it was his, not their error (v. 4). He told them that though they exalted themselves against him and charged against him reproaches, they should recognize that it was for God's cause that he had been abased, and that God was pleased to bring him into circumscribing trials (vs. 5, 6). Wronged, he cried out without obtaining deliverance; appealing for assistance, no righting of his cause was wrought (v. 7); for devotion to God's cause brought him into impassable conditions; and he had no knowledge as to a way of escape (v. 8). His faithfulness to his office for God resulted in his loss of the previous honor in which he was held by Truth people; and his exercise of the full office powers of the Divinely-authorized mouthpiece was taken away from him (v. 9). Such faithfulness had wrecked and ruined him in his office on all sides; and his office hopes were like an uprooted tree (v. 10). His experiences were like those of them against whom God had expressed wrath, and as those of one whom God had counted as among His enemies (v. 11). Like an army those who in a sense were His warriors have gathered against and surrounded his position (v. 12).
His devotion to God had severed his brethren far from him; and less knowing ones became estranged from him (v. 13). Youthful Worthies forsook him; and close friends forgot him (v. 14). Foreign helpers, strong and weak, regarded him as a stranger and alien (v. 15); and close
helpers responded not to his call for service, despite his entreaties (v. 16). To closest associates his voice was that of a stranger, and those whom his and their covenant developed heeded not his plea (v. 17). Even new ones in the Truth despised him, and spoke against him whenever he entered into any activity (v. 18). All his most intimate friends abhorred him; and those whom he deeply loved turned against him (v. 19). He was greatly reduced in his office powers and barely escaped the loss of all of them (v. 20). He cried out for the sympathy of his friends, because God's power lay heavy upon him (v. 21). He desired to know the reason of their persecuting him, as though they were God, and for their not being satisfied at their having consumed his privileges and prerogatives (v. 22). He longed to have his thoughts committed to writing in some strong, enduring and inerasible form (vs. 23, 24). Despite all this, he knew that his Vindicator lived and would in the latter part of the Epiphany arise among Truth circles and, despite the exteriors and interiors of his prerogatives and privileges being destroyed, then apart from such prerogatives and privileges he would discern God in the purposes that He had in afflicting him (vs. 25, 26), and recognize Him as on his side, and discern it, and not get this from an outsider, despite his present misfortunes that were so disheartening (v. 27). As to their decision sharply to persecute him as entirely to fault for his afflictions, he cautioned them to stand in fear of the Word, which as a symbolic sword would punish them in wrath, teaching them that there was a Divine judgment coming (vs. 28, 29).
A second and final time the Kohathites attacked J., and that in connection with his Truth refutation of their errors; for be it remembered that they did not rebel against the Lord's arrangements, as the corporational Levites did; yet their replies consisted of personal criticisms only (20: 1). They stated that it was by reason of their being in a hurry that their thoughts gave answer for them (v. 2). They heard
J.'s answers (that refuted their errors), and their disposition moved them to answer (v. 3). Accusing him of wickedness, they asked him whether he did not know, as a matter of ancient standing, yea, from the beginning, that his wicked triumph in the controversy was of short life, and that his joy was of brief duration (vs. 4, 5). Even if his abilities were heaven-high and his intellect reached the clouds (v. 6), he would perish forever, like the errors that he excreted, so that they who recognized his intellectual powers would ask for his whereabouts (v. 7). They prophesied of him that he would be as unsubstantial and lost as a forgotten dream, even as a night vision (v. 8). His beholders would see neither him nor his position any more (v. 9). His supporters would become the lowliest of beggars; and he would be made to yield up his alleged usurped riches of powers (v. 10). Though his various powers had the vigor of youth, they would moulder away as a body in the grave (v. 11).
Though he delight with appreciation in wickedness (v. 12), tenderly nursing and preserving it, keeping it as a sweet morsel in his mouth (v. 13), it would yet become nauseating and an aspen poison within him (v. 14). They claimed that though he appropriated to himself rich powers as God's mouthpiece, he would repudiate them; for God would cause him to disgorge them (v. 15). They charged that he would accept the worst of errors; and even the less evil of them would ruin him (v. 16); he would not view the streams of Truth, flowing with joyous hopes and love (v. 17). What he toiled for he would have to restore, and not take for himself, nor would he rejoice in his acquisitions (v. 18). They charged him with grinding down and leaving the humbler brethren unhelped, and of robbing others of their office, but claimed that he would not exercise it (v. 19). Not being a man of peace, he would retain nothing to his delight (v. 20). His devouring others' patrimony would ruin his prosperity (v. 21); though having full sufficiency, he would suffer want; and all whom he made miserable
would pounce upon him (v. 22). While he would be appropriating his ill-gotten gains, God would cover him with wrath as by a heavy rain (v. 23). In controversy a strong argument would put him to flight; a strong intellect would pierce him through (v. 24); and he would be compelled to extract it and its sharp point from himself with much sorrow and fear (v. 25). Complete error would become the storehouse of his treasured teachings and a destruction not man-directed would overwhelm him and consume all his office powers (v. 26). The Divinely-appointed teachers would expose his evils, and Truth circles would oppose him (v. 27). All his acquisitions would pass away; and his attainments would perish in the time when Divine wrath would overtake him (v. 28). These evils the Kohathites claimed would fall to J.'s lot from God as his Divinely-appointed heritage (v. 29).
To these false charges and predictions made by the Kohathites as their answers to J.'s refutation of their errors J. gave answer (21: 1). He asked their diligent attention, and let them get whatever of comforts they could therefrom (v. 2), saying that after they would permit him to speak they could continue mocking him (v. 3). He disclaimed his complaint as being a merely human one, and asked why he should not be impatient under the circumstances (v. 4). He asked them to give heed to him, be surprised and then keep silence (v. 5). His remembrance of his past troubled and horrified him, as he considered the past's contrast with the present (v. 6). He wondered why the wicked Levites lived on so long and increased into great power (v. 7). Their disciples and their disciples' disciples were made secure in their sight (v. 8). Their fields of service were made secure from fear; and God did not punish them (v. 9). Their organizations and arrangements brought them increase and prosperity in great abundance, and that to the joy of their supporters (vs. 10, 11). They issued their message by tracts, Bibles and preaching (v. 12). They prospered to the end of their course, when they ceased from their office works (v. 13). By their
evil acts they told God to leave them, that they did not desire His Truth (v. 14). By act they disclaimed God and His real service, seeing no profit in prayer (v. 15). Then J. declared of them that their prosperity was not by their, but by Azazel's, power, and that their view of things, which he was refuting, was far from being in harmony with his (v. 16). Very often, he declared, the Bible becomes dark to the unfaithful Kohathites; and their punishments overtake them; for God in displeasure pours out on them their sorrows (v. 17). They would be blown away in controversy as stubble before the wind and as chaff by the storm (v. 18).
Then he took up their argument that God prepares sin for His children, lets the wicked recompense it unto himself for his information (v. 19), lets his own eyes experience his destruction, and lets him receive the Almighty's wrath (v. 20), since he cares not what shall come to his own organization after his giving it up (v. 21). To this line of thought J. answered, Will these Kohathites undertake to foist their erroneous views as proffered knowledge on God, who judges the exalted (v. 22)? Some of the wicked Kohathites end their office work in full enjoyment of their powers, being at ease and comfort (v. 23), prospering in their undertakings and in good health (v. 24), others, in much sorrow, never having enjoyed themselves in their office work (v. 25); but after yielding these up they are alike in their symbolic death state covered with corruption (v. 26). Then J. plainly told them that he knew their theories and devices whereby they planned to wrong him (v. 27); for he charged that they held that his leadership supporters were non-existent, and that his position as a wicked one was likewise non-existent (v. 28). He demanded of them whether they had not asked and learned the witness of the narrow-way travelers (v. 29), to the effect that wrong-doers were kept for the time of trouble, that they might be brought into the trouble (v. 30). He asked to be told as to who would declare to the wicked Kohathite to his face his course, and who is the
Recompenser of his evils (v. 31). Yet he must give up his office works; and men must guard the memory of his deeds (v. 32). His symbolic grave would be acceptable to him; all others would come to the same fate as his, as innumerable predecessors did before him (v. 33). J. then told them that their so-called comforting speeches were fruitless and erroneous (v. 34).
Then the Merarites undertook to answer J. with erroneous personalities as replies to his attacks on their errors (22: 1). To minimize J.'s services of God, they asked whether he could benefit God, alleging that at best he could merely profit himself (v. 2). They demanded whether God got any pleasure out of J.'s righteousness or profit out of J.'s vindicating his ways as pious (v. 3). They demanded to know whether it was for his reverence for God that God allegedly reproved and entered into judgment with him (v. 4). Then they emphatically charged him with great wickedness and endless iniquity (v. 5), accusing him of exactions against his brethren and of despoiling unto nakedness their graces (v. 6), that he had not given the Truth to the weary brethren to imbibe, and had withheld the bread of life from the Truth-hungry (v. 7). On the other hand, they declared that their leader was the controller of society among the Merarites and in honor functioned there (v. 8). They charged him with not giving to the needy who had no supporter and with destroying the executives of those who had no providers (v. 9). For this reason, they declared, J. was entangled with many snares and was troubled with fear that he expected (v. 10), with error that blinded him and with many sorrows that covered him (v. 11). Then they demanded of him whether God was not yet Sovereign, even presiding above the high stars (v. 12). Falsely they charged him with questioning God's knowledge and His ability to judge deeply hidden things (v. 13), that he held that there were things that God did not know, since he was so far away (v. 14). Then they demanded of him if he would still continue in the old Adamic ways, as if he had been doing so,