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

571

after the manner of wicked sifters (v. 15), who had an untimely end of their ministry, and whose position was unsubstantial (v. 16), who by act bade God depart from them, questioning His ability to do ought for or with them (v. 17), despite God's blessing them; for their plans were far from the self-praising Merarites (v. 18).

 

They claimed that their supporters as righteous ones beheld this and rejoiced thereover, and that the guileless among them laughed such to scorn (v. 19), declaring that their opponents were cut off, and their remnants destroyed (v. 20). Then, falsely assuming that J. was an evil-doer who needed repentance, they preached him a sermon, exhorting him as one allegedly ignorant of God to become acquainted with Him, by submitting to the channel; and thus he would gain prosperity and good (v. 21), to receive His Word from his alleged teaching channel, and to take such teachings to heart (v. 22), promising him that if he should thus (allegedly) return to God, he would be built up in mind and heart, if he would put aside evil from his office work (by doing what the Society demanded of him, v. 23), and counseling him to put aside his treasures of advancing Truth and those Parousia truths that the channel was rejecting (v. 24). Then, they assured him, the Lord by the channel would become his treasure; and real Truth would become his (v. 25). So doing, they claimed, he would make God his joy and would be glad Godward (v. 26); then the throne of grace would (allegedly) again open to him with favorable answers and he be privileged to carry out his consecration vows in the Merarites' ministry (v. 27); his decisions would then be fulfilled; and Truth would illuminate all his ways (v. 28). When enemies would cast him down, he could be sure of being raised up again and of God's delivering the humble, which, they claimed, J. had not been (v. 29); for they said, with the implication that J. was blamable, that even he would be delivered, and that it would surely occur, if he would cleanse his services by carrying out the channel's direction (v. 30).

 

572

Such false charges, implications and assumptions J. refutatively answered (23: 1). He charged that even then his statement of his trouble was by his opponents termed rebellious, despite the fact that his blow was heavier than his description of it (v. 2). Then he expressed his great desire to find God, and that, ready to hear his cause as he would lay it before Him (v. 3). If so, he would make an orderly presentation of his cause to Him and use many proofs thereon (v. 4), and would understand God's answers to his queries for information, which he craved to get from God on his condition (v. 5). Not that they be given in the greatness of His power, but in His father-love, by which He would listen to J. (v. 6); for J. knew that with God the upright might reason; and thus he would gain lasting deliverance, coming from God's loving decision (v. 7). But God for wise reasons was delaying to give J. a favorable hearing on his case; and thus J. could not find Him as a Hearer of it, though seeking in all directions for Him to hear him (vs. 8, 9). Yet J. in faith recognized that God was aware of his course in this trial, which, faithfully endured, would result in his dross being removed from his gold (v. 10); and before and during his trial J. knew that he trod faithfully in God's ways, keeping thereto and not turning aside (v. 11), not forsaking God's precepts and treasuring His Word more than his necessary natural food (v. 12). He recognized that God kept immovably to His plans, so that none could turn Him aside therefrom, that so He might bring to pass His appointments (v. 13). He felt confident that God would bring to pass His purposes as to J., in the multitude of His works (v. 14). These thoughts had their terrifying effect on J.'s humanity; for as he thought thereon he feared God (v. 15), since God by J.'s afflictions had discouraged him at times, and then God frightened him (v. 16), because of the great uncertainties, before which he was not cut off from his office powers, and because God did not hide from his knowledge the uncertainty surrounding him (v. 17).

 

J. then raised the question, Why does God not reveal the

 

573

times and seasons that fall to the lot of those who know Him, so that they might better understand (24: 1)? He recognized that there were unclean Levites who were removing the Lord's truths and arrangements, and with violence were robbing the true shepherds of their flocks and feeding them error, (v. 2). They took away the Volumes from those who were bereaved of Bro. Russell as their symbolic father, and took away the teacher from those who were Bro. Russell's symbolic wife, now a widow, as a pledge of following the mis-teachers (v. 3). They turned the needy brethren out of the way of truth and righteousness; and the humble in Merarite society must hide themselves away from their former brethren to gain security (v. 4). Even natural men under the curse go about their business seeking, in obscure places even, the wherewithal to feed their dependents (v. 5). They prepare their provisions in the world, and even get a little from the evil ones of the race (v. 6). They endure privations and uncertainties to gain a livelihood (v. 7). They face untoward climatic conditions and seek to ameliorate the hardships of the curse (v. 8). Yet there are oppressors who rob the symbolic orphans of Bro. Russell of the milk of the Word coming out of the Covenant, and put the humble under obligations to be subject to them, making them destitute of the graces by teaching against character development and making them win others without feeding them on the Word (vs. 9, 10). The Merarite leaders exact heavy labor from their underlings, and let them thirst for the Spirit and Word, unsatisfied (v. 11). From their well populated religious government the groans of some of God's children come; and the very being of some of these wounded ones cries out, yet God suffers the folly of these leaders to go on (v. 12).

 

These leaders are among those who revolutionize against the Lord's Truth and arrangements, not recognizing their ways, and not continuing in their practice (v. 13). Early they arise, especially their chief, murdering new creatures, to bereave even the poor and needy as to grace and knowledge; and secretly they steal from the brethren their

 

574

varied possessions (v. 14). Under cover of, and trusting in error and deceit, they, especially their chief, practice combinationism, expecting to deceive others by their shady disguises (v. 15). They practice dark tricks privately and publicly, and disown above-board conduct (v. 16), because the dawning Truth is thick error to all of them; and they know how to utilize the terrors of deep error (e.g., on the channel, and on the second death coming to their opponents and those who take no part in their drives) to enslave the Lord's people (v. 17). They are quick to make troubles for those who oppose their evils, but the curse of God is upon them; they will not go the proper ways of the Great Company groups (v. 18). As drought and heat cause the snow waters to evaporate, so oblivion from their office will overtake those who have so greatly sinned therein (v. 19). The Covenant promises that developed them will no more extend to them; and destruction will appetitively feast on their office powers; they will no more be in fond recollection, for their wrongs will be hewn down as a tree (v. 20). They devour those who will not yield them fruitage; and to the brethren that are bereaved of their supporter they do no good (v. 21). Yet God preserves J., whom He made strong, and exalts him in his almost despair of official life (v. 22). He gives the faithful security and rest; and He observes with favor and care their ways (v. 23). Despite this exaltation their stay here is transient; and often they are abased; apparently like the rest of men they die, being cut down like the best of those ripe for the Kingdom (v. 24). J. then challenged them to deny his statement of things, prove him an errorist and make his speech worthless (v. 25).

 

No sooner had J. finished refuting the Merarites the third time, and that on their replies to his attacks on their errors, than the Gershonites for a third time attacked him, and that by attempting to answer a third time, mainly by personal criticisms, his attacks on their errors (25: 1). However they did not have much to say on that phase of the controversy, alleging that they did not wish to enter controversies. They

 

575

stressed God's power, domain and the reverence due Him, as securing His peace and prosperity for those allegedly on His side (v. 2), as well as stressed His innumerable hosts and the subjects of His universal Empire (v. 3). Hence they concluded that J., a human like others, could not be regarded by God as righteous in his ministry (v. 4). His power extends to the Old Testament, which He causes to become dim; hence J.'s interpretations of it, they alleged, did not clarify it; and even the teachers in the Church, they alleged, were not pure in their teachings (v. 5); how much less so is J., the most groveling of all of them (v. 6).

 

The Gershonites' railings on J. drew forth his final refutation of Levites and his final defense of himself against their false charges (26: 1). He began this refutation and defense by extolling God for helping him, the powerless one, and saving the work of him, the strengthless one (v. 2), for enlightening him with good counsel in his lack of wisdom, and in supplying him with true knowledge (v. 3), emphatically declaring that God made known to him His teachings, and was the Source of J.'s disposition (v. 4). Troubles bring to loss of office powers those who once had these (v. 5). Even in such oblivion and destruction God sees them (v. 6). His wisdom and power put the spiritual powers in space, and made society exist upon no power of its own (v. 7). He compounds trouble out of many troubles; and they do not undo it (v. 8). He hides the acts and designs of His authority and makes it obscure (v. 9). He circumscribes trouble within the boundary of Truth and error (v. 10). The strong ones of the powers of spiritual control among God's people trembled with astonishment at God's rebuke of their errors of teaching and wrongs of practice, as these rebukes went forth, especially in The Present Truth (v. 11). By His power He divided the revolutionists into their 60 groups as Levites; and by the true understanding of His Word at J.'s hand He smote their proud leaders (v. 12). God's power had given the powers of spiritual control among God's people whatever good appearance they have; yea, His power had

 

576

even formed Lucifer before he became the deceitful Azazel (v. 13). These are but some forms of His acts; yea, how little of what He is; but none can fathom His strong fight (v.14).

 

J. continued his replies, and now to all three groups of Levites (27: 1). He recognized that in ultimate analysis it was God who had stripped him of his office rights, and had engulfed him in trouble, since God orders the steps of His servants (v. 2). He was determined that as long as he had life and breath his teachings would not be unrighteous nor erroneous (vs. 3, 4). He refused to justify the Levites in their revolutionism; nor would he even until death give up his loyalty to his Divinely-given office (v. 5). He was determined to maintain his right course as a servant of God, on which he was determined to have a good conscience throughout his tenure of his Divinely-given office (v. 6). He was content that his enemies, who were such because of his official acts, have the lot of the wicked, and that his pertinent opponents have that of the unrighteous (v. 7). What real gain have the Levitical power-graspers, though they secure the power for which they grasped, when God deprives them of their official life (v. 8)? God will pay no attention to their cries in their trouble (v. 9). Certainly they will not delight in and call upon God continually, since He will give them no heed (v. 10). Then J. declared that without concealment he would teach them concerning the agent of Almighty God (v. 11). They once saw the Truth. Why did they then turn to error (v. 12)? The following is the portion and the heritage that God allots to that wicked servant, J.F.R. (v. 13): Though his converts be much increased, controversy will cut them off from him; nor will they find satisfying spiritual food with him (v. 14). Those who remain with him will be either Second Deathers or reprobate Youthful Worthies, reprobate justified ones or those never justified and as such not rightly disposed; and those bereaved of him will not mourn him (v. 15). Though he should have riches in great abundance, and prepare

 

577

almost unlimited authority (v. 16), despite his works a just one will possess this authority and guileless ones shall get his riches (v. 17). Substantially he constructs his organization (v. 18); he will cease to function while rich, but he will not dwell among God's people; and in full knowledge he will come to the end of his office powers (v. 19). Terrors like flood waters will overtake him; and stormy troubles will glide upon him in secret (v. 20). A controversy coming from the sun-rising of Truth will undo him; and he will give up, it driving him out of his position (v. 21); for God hurls the Truth at him unsparingly, unto his utter refutation, despite his efforts to escape its power (v. 22). People will triumph in his defeat, and express their utmost abhorrence of him (v. 23).

 

J. expressed his confidence in the Bible as the God-given source of the Truth (28: 1), and that power comes from a true society, and justified ones from the Lord Jesus (v. 2). God puts an end to error, and investigates unto perfection by the Truth and its Spirit the teachings of error and threats of death (v. 3). Troubles break out in courses long forgotten; but they cease and leave God's people (v. 4). While the society of God's people brings forth the bread of life, underneath it quakes by destructive siftings (v. 5). Its teachings are eternal and of Divine origin (v. 6). The way of Truth no ravening false teacher knows; neither has Azazel's eye been able to discover it (v. 7). Mighty civil powers have not gone its way; nor has the papacy passed over it (v. 8). God seizes, through J., His hand, the hard Levitical teachings and overturns the Levitical kingdoms of error from their foundations (v, 9). He makes a channel, in which the Truth flows, pass through strong Levite erroneous teachings, and causes J. to see every precious truth as due (v. 10). He limits the streams of Levitical error so that, dried up, they do not even trickle among their former accepters, while He brings in the Epiphany to light the hidden things of darkness and makes manifest the counsels of hearts (v. 11).

 

J. then asks, In whose possession will the Truth properly

 

578

understood be found (v. 12)? Mere humans do not know its value, nor can it be found among them (v. 13). The abyss of error as Azazel's workshop by its nature declares that it does not have it; the rebellious Levites by their acts and words declare that they do not have it (v. 14). Earthly treasure more valuable and less valuable cannot purchase it (v. 15). Even the Parousia Truth is not its full value, neither are its virtues nor its praises (v. 16). No symbolic metals, nor their costly jewels or fabrications equal it in value, nor can be exchanged for it (v. 17). Nor should any human graces, as varied and precious as they may be, be mentioned in the same breath (v. 18). The best that the unjustified have is unequal to it; nor even the most refined human effort as to the Divine can be valued with it (v. 19). In view of these things, J. again asks whence the wisdom of understanding comes (v. 20), seeing that neither the ordinary man nor his natural teachers have it; death and destruction know only of rumors of it (vs. 21, 22). Then he replies that God only is its Source and Originator (v. 23), whose omniscient eye takes in everything in earth and heaven (v. 24), who balances the wind and measures the waters (v. 25), and who arranges for rain, lightning and thunder (v. 26). At creation He made and declared the wisdom of understanding, prepared for it and analyzed it (v. 27), and told man that to revere God is wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding, a message especially appropriate for His priests and Levites (v. 28).

 

As chapter 27, so chapter 29 informs us that Job's speeches were parables, i.e., pictorial of future speeches, hence were with the rest of his book typical (29: 1). J. longed for the blessed condition of his Parousia experiences, when God closely shielded him (v. 2), when the Bible in that Truth clarified his views, and enabled him to pass unscathed amid error (v. 3), when he was in much fruitfulness; and God's favor smiled upon his position (v. 4), when clear evidences prevailed that God was forwarding him; and the leading brethren as his symbolic children were in sweet

 

579

communion with him (v. 5), when holy love attended his course; and when the Truth anointed him richly (v. 6), when he went publicly among the Truth people, and took his official place in the way of Truth; when the less developed brethren showed him respect, and the leading brethren deference (v. 8); when the very leaders preserved silence; and the most illustrious refrained from expressing their thoughts (vs. 9, 10); for when they listened to J. they praised and approved him (v. 11), because he helped the humbler brethren out of their spiritual distresses, as well as the orphaned and helpless among them (v. 12). Those in great danger of losing out blessed him for his encouragements; and those ecclesias that lost beloved elders were comforted by him with the joys of the Truth (v. 13). He developed a just and holy character while preaching to others (v. 14). He became an enlightener of spiritually blind ones and a sustainer of those who limped in the narrow way (v. 15). He was a life support to the needy brethren and diligently investigated the needs of uninformed brethren and supplied them (v. 16). He overthrew the utterances of sifters, and delivered captured brethren from their maw (v. 17). He verily thought that he would end his official days in his pilgrim position after a very long-drawn-out ministry (v. 18); for he had every indication of fruitfulness in the Spirit, Word and providence for this ministry (v. 19). His character was ripe and his power of propelling controversial Truth was renewed in strength after his break-down in brain fag in 1910 (v. 20). Respectful heed was given to his utterances; and in deferential silence his counsel was received (v. 21). After he gave his thought on a subject, they disputed not his word; and like the refreshing dew his speech fell upon them (v. 22). They waited for him in thirst for Truth, as the thirsty land for rain, and longed much for his words, like the parched land for the latter rain (v. 23). With friendliest look he encouraged the discouraged; and they did not reject his favor (v. 24). He directed the choice of their way

 

580

as their leader; and in controversy was as their king, even as a comforter of the comfortless (v. 25).

 

But in the Epiphany a great contrast set in; for now his juniors mock him, even those whose present support he would not even place with the sectarians among the Lord's flock (30: 1), whose best abilities yielded J. no profit, and whose good sense was lost (v. 2). They were lean through lack of spiritual food, and sought spiritual nourishment from non-nutritious elements in the errors of waste and desolation (v. 3). They fed upon waste food and on spiritually unnourishing first principles (v. 4). They were cast out of teaching places, and were cried out against like a thief (v. 5); they dwelt in error-arousing conditions and trusted in lodges and financial strongholds of society (v. 6). Like the ass, they browsed on unsubstantial teachings and tormenting tenets (v. 7). They had the spirit of the foolish and degraded, and were by the sharp truths scourged out of the society of the brethren (v. 8). But during the Epiphany J. became the theme of their taunting talks, a by-word among them (v. 9). They abhorred him, and avoided him, and refrained not from defiling his truths with their errors (v. 10); for since God loosed His scourge and afflicted J. by severe trials, they cast off his influence over them in his very presence (v. 11). The rabble of the Truth people rose against his chief power and rejected his conduct and maneuvered to overthrow him (v. 12). Even the helpless distorted his course, and advanced his trouble (v. 13). They attacked him as an army making its way through a wide breach; and amid a great ruin they hurled themselves upon him (v. 14). As a result great fear came upon him; they pursued his reputation as in symbolic war; and as a result his prosperity passed away like a cloud (v. 15).

 

During the Epiphany his very being seemed to have turned upon him; for days of affliction seized him (v. 16). In times of uncertainty his various powers pierced him with grief, gnawing him restlessly (v. 17). God's testing power has disfigured his graces and authority, and limited him like a close-fitting garment (v. 18). He has made J. appear

 

581

as covered with sin, error and ruin (v. 19). His cries to God seem unheeded; and in his prayers God seems to avert His eyes (v. 20). God seems to have become cruel to, and a Persecutor of him (v. 21). His providence brings him into controversies wherein God makes him continue, and dissolves his strength therein (v. 22). He recognized that these things would bring his office to an end, even to what all ultimately must come (v. 23). Yet when one falls, does he not stretch out his hand to ease the fall, or does he not in trouble call for help (v. 24)? Did not J. sympathize with the afflicted and grieve with the needy of God's people (v. 25)? Expecting good, he experienced evil; and expecting clarity, uncertainty came (v. 26). His heart was troubled without rest; and times of distress came to him (v. 27). He mourned without the Lord, his Sun, and among the whole brotherhood called for help (v. 28). He was considered bitter as the demons and blind like the owls (v. 29). His exterior was forbidding; and his powers were singed (v. 30). The Bible and his preaching gave by him a sad sound to Levites (v. 31).

 

He had solemnly bound himself never to defile a consecrated person. How then should he desire to defile one (31: 1)? He earnestly longed to know what portion and inheritance on high God had meted out to him (v. 2). In the Epiphany God apportions to the unrighteous and errorists calamity and disaster (v. 3); but He sees and describes J.'s life and conduct (v. 4). If J. had lived erroneously and acted hypocritically (v. 5), (but let God try him justly in Christ's merit and recognize his devotion to Him, v. 6), if his conduct had deviated from the narrow way, and his character had followed selfish motives, and accumulated sins had cleaved to his ministry (v. 7), then he was willing that others should reap what he had sown, and that the product of his work be uprooted (v. 8). If he had been enticed by any of the nominal churches in either great or small Babylon, and had sought to seduce a great or small Babylonian church from its leader (v. 9), then he was willing that as a punishment his

 

582

office help another, and that others might take it for their own uses (v. 10); for so to have treated another's symbolic wife were an abominable wickedness, a sin to be punished by the leaders (v. 11). It would be a destruction upon, and rooting up of J.'s fruits (v. 12).

 

He further avowed that if he had wronged the rights of his stronger or weaker helpers, when they disagreed with him (v. 13), how could he answer God when He would arise to reckon with him thereover (v. 14), since the same God is the Maker of him, as well as of his strong and weak helpers, and, therefore, would deal justly in their dispute (v. 15). He further said that if he had refused to satisfy the spiritual needs of the poor and caused the bereaved to weep unto their blinding to the Truth (v. 16), if he had for himself alone satisfied hunger for the bread of life, and not allowed spiritual orphans to feed at his table (v. 17), rather, he was a father to these symbolic orphans from his early ministry, and was a guide in the way of life to symbolic widows from his outstart in the Truth (v. 18), if he had seen any lose out from lack of the graces or the needy as needing them, if such had not been covered by him unto their praising him for help in their service, and if such had not found comfort from the graces that he helped them to put on (v. 20), if he had used his power against symbolic orphans, because he saw that his help was used publicly (v. 21), then J. was willing to lose his office power, and be cut off from its exercise (v. 22), which, if it occurred, would be one of the greatest calamities that God could send him; for then God's greatness would make him powerless (v. 23).

 

He further declared that if he had fixed his hope on earthly wealth, and had put his confidence in the choicest riches (v. 24), that if he had rejoiced in his spiritual riches as having been gained by his own power (v. 25), that if his prosperity by day or night had secretly enticed his heart from the way of truth, righteousness and holiness and he had shown love for power (vs. 26, 27), then he would be guilty of a sin to be punished by the leaders, since thereby he

 

583

would have denied the Supreme Being (v. 28). Moreover, he declared that if he had rejoiced in seeing those that hated him come to ruin and exalted himself when they came to evil (v. 29), (he declared that he had not allowed his mouth to transgress by praying that their life be taken by a curse, v. 30), if his co-laborers had not said, Who can find one whom he has not satisfied with food? (v. 31), that the sojourner was not given by him hospitality, and that he did not give lodging to the traveler (v. 32), if like Adam he had concealed his sin by keeping it in his secret heart (v. 33), because of the fear of the many or of the contempt of relatives, and hence kept silent thereover, and did not come into the open thereover (v. 34), (breaking out with a cry, he hoped to have some one hear him), then he was ready to sign a condemnatory sentence, to let God give him a condemnatory answer, and plead guilty to his adversary's indictment (v. 35). He pledged to bear the punishment and to accept it as a mark of authorization (v. 36). He would describe accurately his conduct and would approach him as though he were a prince (v. 37).  Finally, J. declared that if his field of service would charge him with neglect, and its branches be in sadness, because he failed to work therein (v. 38), if he had appropriated to himself anything without yielding a just return, or caused others to come to loss through unfaithfulness in his service (v. 39), then he was willing that great evils, instead of Little Flock fruitfulness, and damaging growths, instead of Great Company fruitfulness, should spring up in his field of labor. And with this J. concluded his refutation of the false charges of the three Levite groups and his defense of himself (v. 40).

 

His replies completely refuted and silenced them, because he defended victoriously his propositions that his ministry was by him righteously administered (32: 1). Thereat and thereafter the Good Levites, the crown-losers who were in and remained in the Epiphany movement, who were confessors of God (Elihu), blessed by God (Barachel), despised (Buzite) by the Levites in other groups because of

 

584

their support of J., and high (Ram) in knowledge and character attainments, became angry at J. for defending himself (v. 2), as they were also angry at the unclean Merarites, Gershonites and Kohathites, because they could not answer J.'s defenses and refutations, and yet condemned him (v. 3). They had deferred to these because of the latters' larger experience and thus did not say anything against them and J. while the debate went on between them and him (v. 4). And when the Epiphany crown-losers saw that the three bad Levite groups could not answer J., they became angry at them and him (v. 5). Hence they began their speeches against J. by apologizing for their inferiority to the three groups as their superiors, as the reason for withholding their opinion in the matters at dispute (v. 6), believing that age and experience entitled them by superior wisdom first to express their opinion (v. 7). But humans are endowed with mentality, and the power of God gives them understanding (v. 8), since not always are the great wise, nor do all the aged understand justice (v. 9); hence they requested attention to their opinion, which they would now show (v. 10).

 

Let them recognize that they had waited for their words and listened to their reasoning, while they studied over what they should say (v. 11). They repeated that they had listened and found none of them able to overcome J. in the debate or to answer him (v. 12). They cautioned them not to say that they had learned the wisdom of concluding that God and not man could overcome J. (v. 13). They recognized that J. had not been debating against them, nor would they answer him with the speeches of the three Levite groups (v. 14.) Turning to J. they say of the three Levite groups that they are dumbfounded and speechless (v. 15). But they think that they should not refrain from answering J., because the Levite groups speak no more and stand still in silence (v. 16). They would answer and show their opinion (v. 17), for they claim to be full of teachings and their disposition forces them to speak (v. 18). They are ready to explode unless they find a vent, like wine and new

 

585

wineskins ready to burst (v. 19). The sense of finding relief from pent-up feelings makes them speak, opening their lips and answering (v. 20). They ask that they be not permitted to show partiality, nor give encomiums and titles to anyone (v. 21), for they claimed not to know how to indulge in such, since otherwise God would set them aside (v. 22). They began, continued and completed their speech with multiplied apologies, and not a few misrepresentations and objections, which betray approbativeness and a bad conscience for speaking against J.

 

To shed some light on the good Levites' disputations against J., which, among other places, occurred in the Philadelphia Ecclesia, the following will suffice: Quite frequently they charged J. with being impractical; frequently motions of his were not seconded or were opposed as too strict, e.g., a certain brother flaunted the ecclesia with a threat to resign his office, if his conduct of it was not acceptable. J., seeing the wrong spirit, proposed that his resignation be accepted; and before a second could be made R.G. Jolly arose and made speech to the contrary, which resulted in the motion not even being seconded; but the Lord in this simple episode, which occurred Nov. 11, 1923, in the tenth year after Oct., 1914, thus started the work in antityping the presentation of the two antitypical wave loaves in the finished picture, J., the leader of the priests, being the first one of the Little Flock wave-loaf and R.G. Jolly, the leader of the good Levites, being the first one of the Great Company wave-loaf in the finished picture, then starting to be enacted. Another incident illustrative of antitypical Elihu's unfair and unkind criticisms of J. occurred in connection with J.'s advocating the ecclesia's giving financial help to an aged Youthful Worthy widow who was both sick and penniless. Certain ones not pleased with her carried on a whispering campaign against her and against J. for advocating her being helped by the ecclesia, resulting in such feeling being aroused as almost made a division in the ecclesia; and R.G. Jolly again was J.'s main

 

586

opponent before the church on the subject. Actually the sister by a combination of starving and cancer died; and the hospital blamed the ecclesia to J.'s face therefore. The final matter that made J. withdraw priestly fellowship from R.G. Jolly and the two auxiliary pilgrims who supported him occurred after an hour and a half debate between the three and J. in an elders' meeting, they favoring a revolutionary method of conducting elections. The three later under R.G. Jolly's motion strove to have passed his pertinent resolution in a business meeting of the ecclesia. These are a few among a number of incidents at Philadelphia (others were enacted elsewhere) in which the good Levites severely criticized J. Many of this class individually gave J. more or less digs and cuts. This sheds some light on antitypical Elihu.

 

To return to our exposition, the good Levites now turn on J., criticize and pick him to pieces, demanding his attention (33: 1). Repetitiously they tell of their taking part in the discussion, claiming that they were speaking in righteousness and sincerity (vs. 2, 3). They repeat from 32: 8 that they were God's workmanship (v. 4). Then they challenge J. to stand forth and answer them, if he can (v. 5). Believing that they who were crown-losers were crown-retainers, they boast that they have the same relation to God as he, as New Creatures (v. 6). They profess that they did not seek to intimidate nor oppress him with too heavy opposition (v. 7). They charge that he had spoken in their hearing, and that they had listened to his claim of cleanness, freedom from transgressing, innocence and freedom from error, but failed to note that he claimed merely to be free from the official evils of which the Levite groups accused him (vs. 8, 9). They charged that he blamed God as picking fault with him, counting him as His enemy (v. 10), hemming in his conduct and too critically noting his goings, but suppressed the fact that J. had said that all this seemed to be so (v. 11). Therefore they asked his attention to their answer in proof that his ministry was not righteous, since God is

 

587

greater than man, a reason not applicable to the charge just made (v. 12). They demanded an answer to their (false) charge that he had been contending against God, who is not bound to account to anyone as to His affairs (v. 13). They aver that God spoke in the Old Testament, yea, again in the New Testament, man disregarding His words (v. 14). He did it by deeper revelations through the prophets, who understood not, as men resting on the Truth that they had (v. 15). Thereafter in the New Testament He gave the Church the opening of their ears of faith to understand the sealed instructions (v. 16), in order to draw them away from selfish plans and deliver them from pride (v. 17), and thus deliver the New Creatures from the Second Death and from the refutations of error (v. 18). He punished His nominal church with afflictions, while it reclined on its creed beds, letting it have long-drawn-out controversies as to its powers (v. 19), until it loathed His Truth, yea, even its simpler kind (v. 20). As a result, its prerogatives and privileges since 1878 were consumed into invisibility; and its powers were seen to be unprotected (v. 21), yea, its being is drawing on to destruction and its vitality to annihilation (v. 22).

 

If the nominal church had had and accepted a true messenger, even Bro. Russell, who was one incomparably better as an interpreter of God's Word than any of its messengers, to teach it the Truth (v. 23), then God would have been gracious to it and delivered it from destruction, on the basis of the ransom (v. 24). Its prerogatives and privileges would have been refreshed, even as in its primitive condition (v. 25). It would have found God favorable to its prayers and would have rejoiced to behold His favor toward it; and thus God would have restored to it its works of righteousness in still using it as His mouthpiece (v. 26). It would then proclaim publicly that it had done wrong in teaching and arrangement, from which it had obtained no advantage (v. 27), and would proclaim that God had delivered it from losing its office as mouthpiece, and had given it to see the Truth (v. 28). God did these things to

 

588

the nominal church in pre-Reformation times and in Reformation times, yea, also early in the Parousia (v. 29), to draw it back from extinction as His mouthpiece, and thus to give it the Truth (v. 30). Then thrice the Epiphany crown-losers told J. to give heed to their speech (v. 31), asking twice for an answer, if he had any, since they desired to defend him against the three Levite groups (v. 32). It might here be remarked that the Epiphany crown-losers also made such statements as make vs. 18-30 applicable to the three Levite groups, as well as to the nominal church, and that because they constitute little Babylon. Then, twice commanding him to be silent, they presumed to ask God's mouthpiece to be silent, and to let them become his teacher (v. 33).

 

Then these crown-losers proceeded to read more lectures to J., who in silence let them go on, knowing all the while what they did not know—that they were crown-losers and that he was the Divine mouthpiece, though many of them believed the second thing (34: 1). Again they demand attention from those whom they call wise and knowing men, i.e., the three Levite groups and J. (v. 2), since attention is necessary for spiritual food, even as the palate is for natural food (v. 3). They exhort that the right be chosen and the good be known (v. 4). This they say because J. alleged that he was righteous (in his office work) but that God had taken away his privileges (v. 5), and that notwithstanding his proper work he was reckoned a falsifier, and the wounds given his office powers were fatal, notwithstanding his faithfulness (v. 6). These claims of J., whose import they perverted, aroused them to revile J. as being worse than others in appropriating scoffing as one would drink water (v. 7), as going by such claims in company with errorists and wicked teachers like the Levite leaders (v. 8). They give as a reason for these misrepresentations the misrepresentation that J. had claimed that it is of no advantage for one to delight himself in God (v. 9). Again they demand attention of the three Levite groups and J., declaring that it is far from God to do wrong and commit iniquity (v. 10). They alleged

 

589

that God rewards each according to his works and ways (v. 11); for God would not do wrong nor pervert justice (v. 12), since no one has arranged His course and superintended Him as to ordering the universe (v. 13); for if He should shut up His affection unto Himself, and retreat within Himself from supervising His creatures (v. 14), all would die and return to the earth (v. 15). Again in arrogance they demand J.'s attention to their saying, if he has knowledge (v. 16). They denied that one who hated justice should rule; and should he, therefore, condemn God, the righteous and mighty One (v. 17)? Him that condemns J.F.R. as vile and Levite leaders as wicked (v. 18)? Him that shows no partiality to leaders, nor favors those rich in gifts more than those poor therein, since they all are alike His creatures (v. 19); for all are short-lived, and suddenly people pass away; and the mighty are shaken to ruin (v. 20)?

 

They declared that God knows all man's ways and doings (v. 21), resulting in nothing, even the deepest darkness and gloom, hiding evil-doers and false teachers (v. 22), seeing that He did not need to make a fresh study of man in order to bring him before Him in judgment (v. 23); but by inscrutable ways He brings the mighty to ruin and puts others into their positions (v. 24); therefore He takes note of their doings and secretly overthrows them and undoes them (v. 25). He smites the Levite leaders as wicked men publicly (v. 26), because they apostatized from Him and disregarded His teachings and arrangements (v. 27), whereby they distressed the humble unto crying to Him, and He responded to the afflicteds' cries (v. 28); for when He gives peace, who then can cause fear; but when He shows disfavor, who can discern His ways, regardless of whether a nation or an individual is concerned (v. 29)? This results, they falsely alleged, in no impious one ruling among God's people, and in their not being ensnared (v. 30). They then inquired whether any had confessed to God that they had borne punishment unto lasting reformation (v. 31), and requested Him to teach them what they did not

 

590

know, promising that if they sinned, they would do so no more (v. 32). In such cases should God's recompenses be as J. wished, he who, they alleged, had refused to submit thereto, since J. must choose his way and not they; hence he should speak only what he knew (v. 33). They alleged that all intelligent and wise men listening (v. 34) to them would agree that J. spoke in ignorance and unwisely (v. 35). Then they wished that J. had been tried unto a full conclusion, because they alleged that he had spoken like the wicked Levites (v. 36), alleging that he had added rebellion to his alleged evil official acts, acting triumphantly over the Levites and the Epiphany crown-losers (not yet manifested as such), and allegedly increasingly spoke against God (v. 37).

 

They went on in denouncing J. as they spoke to one another and before him and the three groups of Levites (35: 1). They falsely accused him, asking him if he thought it was right that he claimed to be more just than God (v. 2), again falsely alleging that he claimed that doing right would not be more profitable or advantageous to him than if he did wrong (v. 3). Assuming that this false charge was true, they promised to answer J. and the three Levite groups (v. 4). His contemplation of the powers of Levitical spiritual control, then allegedly higher than he (v. 5), should teach him that by sin he could effect nothing against God, not even if he had greatly increased his transgressions (v. 6). Conceding that he had faithfully fulfilled his office work, what, they ask, could he benefit God or what thereby had God ever received from him (v. 7), though they conceded that his sin could injure man, and that his righteousness could benefit a human (v. 8). Mankind because of the curse cry out, even because the mighty Satan oppresses them they cry for help (v. 9); but none of them inquire for God, who gives the song of Moses and the Lamb during the night of the curse (v. 10), and teaches His people more than He does the civil and ecclesiastical powers of great and small Babylon (v. 11). Amid these powers the people cry out for help, which none