Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
LAST RELATED ACTS OF ELIJAH
2 Kings 2: 8-14.
SMITING JORDAN. DIVISION OF THE WATERS. SOME OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED. WALKING AND TALKING BEYOND JORDAN. ELIJAH'S SUGGESTION AND ELISHA'S REPLY. THE SEPARATION. THE CHARIOT. THE HORSES AND HORSEMEN. THE DIVIDING AGENT. CHRONOLOGICAL SUCCESSION OF THE EVENTS OF 2 KINGS 2: 12-14 DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THEIR ANTITYPES. ELISHA'S SEVENFOLD ACTIVITIES: FELLOWSHIP GIVEN; ELISHA'S THREEFOLD CRY; FELLOWSHIP WITHDRAWN; RENDING HIS MANTLE; SEIZING ELIJAH'S MANTLE; JORDAN'S SECOND SMITING; CROSSING THE RIVER. FIRST UNANSWERABLE PROOF THAT THE SOCIETY'S PARTISANS ARE ANTITYPICAL ELISHA. SECOND OF SUCH PROOFS. A CAUTION AGAINST AN EASY MISUNDERSTANDING. SEPARATION NOT YET COMPLETE. "JUDGING." PARENTHESIS DEMONSTRATED BY NINE ARGUMENTS. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS. BEREAN QUESTIONS.
"Elijah … smote the waters … As they still went on and talked, … a Chariot of Fire and Horses of Fire … parted them … And Elisha … took the mantle of Elijah, … and smote the waters"—2 Kings 2: 8, 11, 12, 14.
THE LORD'S people have been hearing much the last few years regarding the closing associated experiences of the Prophets, Elijah and Elisha. "That Servant" wrote and spoke as much on this as on any other subject during his last sixteen months. Both before and since his passing away, the Lord's people have been discussing it. As one of these the writer also has taken part in this discussion. Two notable attempts have in print been made to refute our understanding of this subject, one of these by J.F. Rutherford, in the February 15th "Tower" of 1918, the other by F.H. McGee in what is entitled, "A Letter of Importance to all the Brethren," circulated by the Pastoral Bible Institute Committee with its endorsement, and enclosed in its Sept., 1918, "Committee Bulletin." His views, therefore, though given personally, are the Committee's views against the writer's interpretation.
These two public attacks from two viewpoints fully justify and call for a discussion of the subject in print; accordingly, there will follow a detailed exposition of the subject, with replies to their objections and refutations of their positions, written in the spirit of love for the blessing of all the Lord's people.
(2) Before going into details a few introductory remarks would be appropriate. Inasmuch as the subject is one of a Scriptural, typical and prophetical character, it would be profitable for us in its study, to remember certain principles.
(3) First—No Scripture can be understood until due; for no matter how learned, consecrated, or richly used by the Lord one may be, it is impossible for him to understand any Scripture until in due time the Lord has broken the seals from the passage (Rev. 5: 2-7; 6: 1, etc.).
(4) Second—Prophecies and types usually are not clearly understood before fulfillment.
(5) Third—A prophecy or type connected with a trial of character cannot be understood until the trial is met.
(6) The reason for all this is very apparent: To give in advance of fulfillment a clear understanding of such a prophecy or type would defeat the Lord's purpose in making the experience indicated by it testful. It is for this reason that the Lord did not permit "that Servant" clearly to see the antitypical details of the last related experiences of Elijah and Elisha. That he did not clearly understand these is manifest from his writings and sermons on the subject; for example, Z. 1915, beginning page 285; Z. 1916, beginning pages 3, 38, 263. In all of these articles he expresses himself diffidently, tentatively and suppositionally on a number of phases of the subject, because of his oft-expressed conviction that the details could not be understood until fulfilled; but the Lord used him to shed much light on the general subject. What he has given
us, therefore, on this subject is sufficiently clear for us to decipher the fulfilled details that were undecipherable before the trial connected with the fulfillment. It is not to our beloved Pastor's disparagement that he was unable to see all these unfulfilled details; rather we are amazed that he saw enough, before the trial connected with the fulfillment, to enable humble recipients of his thoughts, principles and definitions to see the details clearly since their fulfillment. With the assistance given us by "that Servant," we believe we have been favored by the Lord with clearness on these now fulfilled details, and therefore take pleasure in laying them before the brethren, feeling that the many requests coming to us for them, and that the attacks launched on them by J.F. Rutherford and F.H. McGee, as respective representatives of two sets of brethren, are Providential indications that these views be now spread in print before the Church.
(7) We begin with the smiting of Jordan: According to our understanding the antitypical first smiting of Jordan— that typed by Elijah's smiting—occurred between the Fall of 1914 and the Fall of 1916. This is in harmony with "that Servant's" statement in Z. 1916, page 39, col. 2, last paragraph, as follows: "'Do you think that this (the smiting of Jordan) has not yet taken place?' may be a question in your mind. We think it has not as yet fully taken place. 'Do you think that the Photo-Drama of Creation has had a part in this?' It may be. 'Will there be something more?' We do not know, we rather think there is something more; we do not state this positively." From this quotation we see that about the New Year, 1916, "that Servant" believed and wrote that the smiting of Jordan was then going on, and thought there may be more of it. That the first smiting of Jordan had been going on from the Fall of 1914 is clearly implied in Z. 1915, page 286, col. 2, par. 4, compared with par. 3: "Not disconcerted, Bible Students are going on, even
as Elijah and Elisha went on after crossing the Jordan. They are not headed for any particular date, even as Elijah was not directed to go to any other place." Let us compare carefully the picture and the events of this period and see if they do not harmoniously correspond with this thought.
(8) In harmony with "that Servant's" thought the Jordan typifies the peoples undergoing a condemnatory sentence; for Jordan means "judged down," condemned; and waters in the symbols of the Scriptures are used to represent peoples in their organized capacities (Rev. 17: 15). We say "peoples in their organized capacities" designedly because that is exactly what the word "peoples" in the plural indicates; and hence, we understand the passage to refer to the nations, viewed from the standpoint of their political, ecclesiastical, financial and industrial organizational aspects; hence, by Jordan are meant the rulers, the clergy, the aristocrats, the labor leaders and their supporters. Thus, then, the nations, as organized in these four relations, would be severely censured and given a condemnatory sentence by the antitypical Elijah, and this censure is the first and this sentence the second and last part of what is implied in the Smiting of Jordan.
(9) In corroboration of "that Servant's" thought that the mantle of Elijah was an emblem of his power as God's Prophet to Israel, we cite the fact that the word translated mantle (adareth, a different word from that which means robe), carries with it the idea of an insignia of honor, power, splendor. Accordingly, our Pastor's definition of the antitype—that the mantle represents God's power in antitypical Elijah to be the Lord's mouthpiece to nominal Spiritual Israel—is correct. In analyzing some of the ingredients of this power he has shown us that, among other things, it embraced authorization, the Truth and financial power. As we study the expression, "power to be God's Prophet," and as we see it in fulfillment, we
learn that this power consisted of the following seven things: First, the Divine authorization; i.e., the anointing of the Spirit; Second, the Church's authorization, i.e., its approval of the service and its agents; Third, the Truth itself; Fourth, the controllership of the Truth work, which the Church exercised in its representative, "that Servant"; Fifth, the controllership of the Truth literature, through which the message was sent forth; Sixth, the controllership of the channels of service, that is, the Colporteur, Pilgrim, Volunteer, Photo-Drama and Newspaper work; and, Seventh, controllership of financial sinews for the furtherance of the work. A little consideration will satisfy us that it is in these seven things that the power of the Church to act as God's mouthpiece to nominal Spiritual Israel consisted. The matter is so apparent that it needs no further discussion for those well acquainted with the Lord's Word and the Harvest movement.
(10) Just as the mantle was symbolic, so also was its wrapping. This would represent the combination and concentration of all these seven things in use for the purpose at hand; that is, it would mean that the Lord's people, as New Creatures, approving of the service and its agents, would use all of the truths, controllership of the work, pieces of Truth literature, branches of service and financial sinews necessary and applicable to the public work implied in the Smiting of Jordan; but it would exclude the use of all features of the powers in the hands of the Lord's people not necessary nor applicable to such work. On this point we quote: Z. 1916, page 5, col. 1, par. 5: "It may be a financial power that was represented by Elijah's mantle in this case, or it may be something else. We are waiting to see. Meanwhile we are endeavoring to keep all the branches in all lines of the work well in hand, so as to be ready to smite when the opportune moment shall come," and from Z. 1916, page 263, col. 2, par. 4:
"What will be the antitype of the folding up of Elijah's mantle, symbolizing his power, and how long it may require to thus ["the folding up of Elijah's mantle"] concentrate the forces for the smiting, we do not know."
(11) When we look at the service performed toward the public during the years above-mentioned, we find that it was performed by New Creatures, approved by the Church, using the truths that exposed the evils of the various nations of Christendom in their fourfold organizational condition above-mentioned. We find that all of the necessary and applicable controllership of the work in its public aspects, as directed by "that Servant," was concentrated and combined in this work, as represented in the wrapping up of Elijah's mantle. All of the literature suitable to exposing the evils of those claiming to exercise powers by Divine right, and all the branches of service circulating this literature were used: For example, Vol. IV was specialized on, in the hands of the Colporteurs; in the hands of the Volunteers, tracts like "The World on Fire," "Distress of Nations Preceding Armageddon," "Clergy Ordination Proved Fraudulent," "Why Financiers Tremble," "Social Conditions Beyond Human Remedy," etc., were distributed; in the hands of its workers, the Photo-Drama, which by the World War was given a smiting setting, was exhibited; and finally the sermons were published in thousands of newspapers. Additionally, public lectures and private conversations on subjects like "The Battle of Armageddon," "The World on Fire," "After the War, What?" "The Overthrow of Satan's Empire," "The War in Prophecy," etc., were held. Finally, all the money that could be spared for the public work was poured into that branch of the service. Thus, the combination and concentration of the Church's seven powers for the smiting seem to have occurred from the Fall of 1914 to the Fall of 1916. For the correspondence between
the wrapping of the mantle for smiting and such combination and concentration of these seven powers for the rebuke and sentence of the antitypical Jordan is complete; and, therefore, seems to show that we are right in our understanding of the antitype of the wrapping of the mantle as above given. The reader will notice from this explanation how in a number of essential respects the writer's view on the wrapping of the mantle differs from
F.H. McGee's statement of it. The writer never taught that the "organizations" were "a part" and "the means of the wrappings."
(12) The smiting of Jordan involves several things: First, a truthful and irrefutable presentation of the evils, violative of the Golden Rule, committed by the rulers claiming to govern by Divine right, by the clergy claiming to exercise office by Divine right, by the aristocrats claiming positions, titles, possessions, and special privileges by Divine right, and by the labor leaders claiming certain powers by Divine right; Second, a passing of the sentence of destruction upon all present institutions claiming Divine right; Third, the announcement of dismissal from office of, and the sentence of punishment upon, all officials who claimed to possess and exercise their authority by such right. This smiting by the saints is accurately, literally and figuratively described in Ps. 149: 5-9: "Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds; let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the nations, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all His saints." Certainly the work that the Lord's servants did during those two years was the "Glory"; i.e., the special honor accorded the faithful at the extreme end of the Age. This passage by the expression, "this honor have all His saints," shows that this honor would be shared
in, even by the last member of the Little Flock to be called. Certainly the truths that they then taught held up the high praises, attributes of God; they were indeed a double-edged sword cutting right and left the vitals of evil-doers. Their exposures of the people's evils proved to be a sore punishment to the latter; and by those stern, reproving and irrefutable exposures, the political, ecclesiastical, financial and industrial kings and princes were bound hand and foot—that is, unanswerably proven to be evil-doers and were measurably restrained. It was proven beyond gainsaying that the doctrine of the Divine right of kings, clergy, aristocrats and labor leaders was largely responsible for the wrongs that they committed, whose horrible result was the plunging of the world into the awful World War. The Kaiser's claims and deeds along these lines are examples well known to the world.
(13) That which is symbolized by the smiting of Jordan is pictured forth from another standpoint in Lev. 16: 20, 21, where we are told that the high priest while in robes of sacrifice, hence before the last members go beyond the veil, confessed over the live goat's head all of entire Israel's iniquities and transgressions "in all their sins." The peculiar expression, "all the iniquities and transgressions in all their sins," seems to imply willful sins. The antitypical Israelites are Christendom's rulers, clergy, aristocrats, labor leaders and their supporters. The wrongs here referred to are their willful violations of God's law, the Golden Rule, especially against The Christ. In the Volumes, especially Vol. IV, and in the above-mentioned tracts, sermons, lectures, conversations and Photo-Drama exhibitions, these were confessed by the High Priest through His members in the flesh during those years; and it was mainly the Great Company Class, both in and outside the Truth, who, interested in the prophetic aspects of the war, gave attention to these exposures, from the Fall of 1914 to that of 1916. Thus was fulfilled
the antitype of the high priest's confession of Israel's special sins over Azazel's goat. Hence, it is apparent that we have from another viewpoint a description and a fulfillment of what is symbolized by the smiting of Jordan.
(14) Elijah, not Elisha, smote Jordan the first time. This type, like all others, gives us the finished picture only. Elijah, therefore, would represent those only who would in harmony with the Lord's spirit do the first smiting until its completion. Thus, it would be reasonable to assume that whoever did not persevere in the smiting to the end of this period, even though he may have smitten for a little while, or that whoever did not in harmony with the Lord's spirit persevere in the smiting to its end, would not be represented in the finished picture, and, therefore, would not be a part of the antitypical Elijah. It is very marked how during the smiting period the Lord designedly allowed subtle trials to test the Truth people with respect to zeal for, and faithfullness to, the work of smiting. Shortness of finances and abridgement of the work and consequently of opportunities for service proved searching tests, and those Spirit-begotten ones who allowed these or other conditions to demonstrate them to lack zeal, or to cool their ardor to the extent of stopping them from smiting before it was finished, thereby, unconsciously to themselves, demonstrated that they were not of Elijah, but of Elisha, in the antitype, the type omitting mention of their insufficient smiting, as it does of those who perseveringly smote with a wrong spirit, since it gives the finished picture only. That many succumbed under these tests is proven by the fact that not a few, shut off from their former, did not zealously seek other avenues of smiting. Of course, those who were active in non-smiting branches of the work alone did not smite at all; and are, therefore, not of the antitypical Elijah. And those who smote but indifferently without zeal or
energy or in a wrong spirit likewise are not counted as smiters. During this period under more or less financial and other stress many Pilgrims gave up their office. Colporteurs decreased from about 900 in 1914, to about 400 in 1915, and to about 300 in 1916. Members of the Bethel family were decreased by about 100, and not a few of these Pilgrim, Colporteur, Volunteer, Photo-Drama and Tabernacle workers failed zealously to seek new avenues of smiting. Where zeal and love were sufficiently warm, the subtle test was overcome. Those who lacked zeal were unconsciously led into an inactivity or energylessness as respects smiting, which proved them to be of the antitypical Elisha. Thus we see that ultimately those only are counted smiters who in harmony with the Lord's spirit continued the smiting to the end. All others are left out of the finished picture, and if consecrated, are represented in Elisha, even though they may have done some temporary or zealless smiting. By this we are not to understand that Elisha represents enemies of the Truth; rather a class in the Truth sympathetic with the work of smiting, indicated by Elisha walking with Elijah through the river bed and beyond; but of insufficient zeal to continue faithfully and lovingly the smiting to the end.
(15) The waters, representing the "peoples" organized as rulers, clergy, aristocrats, labor leaders and their supporters, may be grouped into two classes: (1) the conservative elements of society, consisting of the rulers, clergy, aristocrats and their supporters, and (2) the radical elements of society, consisting of the labor leaders and their supporters, embracing trade unionists, socialists, anarchists, etc. The division of the waters into two parts symbolizes the separation of the peoples into these two classes. The truths used in the smiting, that is, those censuring the evils of Christendom in its present organized condition, reopened the division between these two classes, which had been healed at the opening of the war on account
of its menace. As these two classes discussed these matters they became more and more set against one another, and that by what these exposing truths brought to their attention. Thus before long worldwide movements on a small scale began, in which each class strove for its own view, gotten from these truths, as against the other's; and thus Christendom was again divided increasingly into two warring camps on these questions; and the renewal of this division, which the dangers of the war had temporarily healed, was initiated by the antitypical Elijah preaching the stern truths that disproved alike the Divine right of kings, clergy and aristocrats, on the one hand, and the Divine right of labor leaders, on the other hand. Thus the truths on these subjects announced from a religious standpoint effected a gradually increasing division of the peoples, each division accepting truths condemnatory of the other, though the radicals were the more responsive to pertinent truths. History proves that this division in its renewal began during the period between the Fall of 1914 and that of 1916, and thus demonstrates the antitype of the first division of the Jordan as then taking place.
(16) The final feature of this picture now calls for a few remarks—Elijah and Elisha crossing dry shod. The waters on both sides of them represent the two contending classes of Christendom. Elijah and Elisha walking dry shod through the bed of the river represent that their antitypes were not injured as New Creatures by and during the Little Flock's reproving, sentencing and dividing the peoples. The fact that they were separate from the waters pictures forth the thought that their antitypes did not take sides with either of the contending classes. Their walking together symbolizes agreement in, and sympathy with, the work that the antitypical Elijah did. Their reaching the other side was antityped in the antitypical Elijah's work above outlined coming to an end.
(17) A comparison of the picture and of the events that occurred from the Fall of 1914 to that of 1916 confirms us in the conviction that then the antitypical first smiting of Jordan was performed. Nor should we lose sight of the thought that the key to the fact that the smiting occurred at this time is furnished in former quotations cited here again as follows: (one from Z. 1916, p. 39, col. 2, last par.; the other from Z. 1915, p. 286, col. 2, par. 4): "'Do you think that this has not yet taken place?' may be a question in your minds. We think it has not as yet fully taken place. 'Do you not think that the Photo-Drama of Creation has had a part in this?' It may be. 'Will there be something more?' We do not know; we rather think there is something more. We do not state this positively." "Not discouraged, Bible students are going on even as Elijah and Elisha went on after crossing Jordan. They are not headed for any particular date, even as Elijah was not directed to any other place."
(18) Accordingly, we would say that, since there was a radical change in the work toward the public, following Brother Russell's death, the first smiting of Jordan ceased about that time; and how fitting it was that he, whom God selected to lead the Truth work for the Little Flock in the end of the Age, should have had the privilege of leading and sharing in this special feature of the work, the "glory" that was given to the "fullness" of the saints to enjoy this side the veil: "This honor have all His saints!" We rejoice with him in this, his part in the "honor"!
(19) But some may object that the work done toward the public between the Fall of 1914 and the Fall of 1916 was on too small a scale to be the first smiting of Jordan. Our answer to this objection is that this comparatively small-scaled work is exactly what the type indicates. A remark that "that Servant" made in the Summer of 1915 in answer to the following question from the writer, "Will the majority of the people
in the Truth be in the Great Company when it is formed?" will help us to understand why the first smiting of Jordan was to be on a small scale. His answer was: "Decidedly the majority of the Truth people will find themselves in the Great Company; because the majority are not zealous in self-sacrifice." Since, therefore, the Elisha class represents the majority, and Elijah the minority, of the Truth people, of course the work of this minority would be on a smaller scale than the work that both classes combined had done previously. All who were in the Truth from January, 1914, onward remember that our work in 1914, participated in by a large majority of the Truth people, was on a very large scale; but they will also remember that toward the end of the year the work began to decrease, and before the early months of 1915 had passed it was very greatly reduced. This was due to the withdrawal of many of the Elisha class from the work. Such withdrawal steadfastly continued until the Elisha class as a whole some considerable time before the Fall of 1916 had ceased smiting; that is, ceased announcing and spreading such truths as chastised the evils of those who claimed to exercise authority and privileges by Divine right, and as sentenced them to dismissal from office and to other punishments, and their institutions to destruction. Accordingly, instead of the objection that the smiting described above was on too small a scale being a valid one, the small scale of the work is a corroborative evidence of the truthfulness of the claim that the work above described was the first smiting of Jordan. Compared with the previous large work, it had to be small, because of being done by a minority of the laborers engaged in the larger work.
(20) Some have sought to offset our claim, based on the quotations made above, to the effect that Brother Russell about the New Year of 1916 taught that the first smiting of Jordan was then going on, and
implied that it began in the Fall of 1914, by referring to an expression, in which he states that the smiting would be future: Z. 1916, p. 263, col. 2, par. 4, "More and more we are impressed that Elijah's smiting of the River Jordan, the waters thereof being thus divided, pictures a mighty work yet to be accomplished, and apparently in the very near future." Our answer is: We hold (1) that the Lord used his mind to foretell in this language the second smiting, though "that Servant" was not aware of this; (2) that while it is true that we find him expressing himself in these two different ways, in fairness to our dear Pastor, as well as in harmony with his repeated statements that prophecies and types connected with tests of character cannot be clearly understood until fulfilled, it is to be said that no certainty could be affirmed of either view until after the tests connected with the fulfillment of this and its two following and closely associated types had been met; consequently the tests connected with the fulfillment having been met, we now see that his statement in Z. 1916, p. 39, col. 2, par. 4, is the correct one, with reference to the first smiting, and that the one on page 263 is not the correct one for the first, but is for the second smiting. Therefore, we ought not to insist on the latter as binding in proof of the first smiting.
(21) One of the objectionable things in the writings of J.F. Rutherford and F.H. McGee is that they quote from some places in Brother Russell's writings what they think favors their view, and omit quoting from other places what gives another thought, and thus fail to do justice to "that Servant." Our method in dealing with the various expressions of "that Servant" when they appear contradictory is to seek to harmonize them whenever possible, as we would apparent Scriptural contradictions; and whenever such a harmonization is impossible, we seek to follow that expression of his opinion that seems most reasonable and
most in harmony with the fulfilled facts. Let us not forget that Brother Russell repeatedly corrected his own interpretations, when fulfilled events proved that he did not clearly understand and teach them before they were fulfilled. For following Brother Russell's example and principles in this the writer repeatedly has been falsely accused of repudiating Brother Russell's teachings. Both J.F. Rutherford and F.H. McGee and their associates have been guilty of this, some of them doing so even in their discourses. We are thoroughly loyal to "that Servant."
(22) No valid argument has yet been presented against the first smiting of Jordan as given above. To the statement, that Brother Russell wrote that the first smiting of Jordan was to be after the war, the writer has the following to say: We have read everything that "that Servant" published on the smiting of Jordan, and repeatedly heard and questioned him on the subject, but never read or heard his expressing such a thought. The quotations given above prove that he thought the smiting of Jordan was going on in January, 1916, and imply that it began in the Fall of 1914. Therefore, the writer, while conceding that in some places "that Servant" spoke of it as yet future, challenges the truthfulness of the statement that Brother Russell wrote that the first smiting of Jordan was to begin after the war, though a Convention Report sets forth such a thought as his. For he held New Year, 1916, that in a little more than a year the "chariot" would come, Z. 1916, p. 39, col. 2, par. 2, "'Are you expecting the fiery chariot any minute now, or do you think it some little distance off—perhaps some months yet, or perhaps a year or more?' will be asked. At least a year, or probably more, is my thought." And true enough, a year and a half later, in June, 1917, it appeared!
(23) Repeatedly in 1915, e.g., as shown above twice by quotation from Z. 1915, p. 286, col, 2, par. 4,
"that Servant" expressed the thought that the antitypical Elijah and Elisha were then "walking and talking together" beyond Jordan. This quotation implies that Jordan's first smiting had at least begun. Such antitypical walking and talking beyond Jordan in the Summer of 1915 at first hearing seems to be contradictory to the thought that Jordan's first smiting was not yet completed until the Fall of 1916. How harmonize these things? Our answer is, that while in the type the first event had to be completed before the second could begin, such is not the case in the antitype, because the antitype expresses relations and activities toward different classes, which could operate during the same period, though not, of course, at the same instant of time. The antitypical Elijah's smiting Jordan during the two years represents his relations and activities toward the peoples, as distinct from the Great Company, while their walking and talking together represent their relations and activities toward one another. Both of these could be going on during the two years indicated above, while, of course, in the type the prophets could not be crossing the Jordan, and be on the other side at the same time. When it is clearly seen what is meant by the walking and talking, as well as by the smiting, it will be seen that the antitypical smiting began before the antitypical walking and talking, and also ended before the latter ended. Therefore, while in the antitype parts of both of these acts were synchronous, other parts were not. In other words, the harmony is this: that as sometimes during the two years we were smiting the peoples, i.e., doing a work toward the public, at other times during nearly all of these two years and for some months following we were walking and talking together, i.e., fellowshipping in sympathetic co-operation and in study, as God's people.
(24) In F.H. McGee's "Timely Letter of Importance," on page 3, col. 2, from the first paragraph to
the first paragraph on the next page, he tells the brethren, that we claim that Elijah's and Elisha's talking together means that they had a controversy together. This statement is news to us. We never so interpreted their talking together; on the contrary, our interpretation of their talking is an activity the very reverse of a controversy. The brother has here set up a man of straw and kicked it over. This misstatement of our view of Elijah's and Elisha's talking together is but one, among many others, made in this brother's paper, misstatements that will be pointed out as we go on. The Brother heard us at the Fort Pitt Convention explain that Elijah's and Elisha's walking and talking together represented the harmony between the antitypical Elijah and Elisha in certain respects. This in the meantime he seems to have forgotten.
(25) Ever since the summer of 1915 we have understood this walking and talking to represent the harmonious relation and co-operation, and the peaceful discussion of spiritual subjects, on the part of the Lord's people represented by Elijah and Elisha. Furthermore, this understanding of the matter, which the writer received from our dear Pastor, is sure proof that in the antitype there would be no breach of harmony between the two classes before the separation would occur, even as in the type there was no breach in the harmony existing between the two before their separation. From this fact, that there was no disharmony between Elijah and Elisha before their separation, we draw the conclusion, that we must, since the Summer of 1917, be living beyond the time typed by Elijah's and Elisha's walking and talking together; for in the beginning of that Summer great disharmony came into existence among God's people; and therefore we must be beyond the time of the separation of Elijah and Elisha; consequently the separation that occurred between God's people dividing them into two groups, following their harmonious walking and talking,
must be the separation typed by the separation between Elijah and Elisha. This began nearly eight months after the Jordan's first smiting ended.
(26) F.H. McGee and his associates on the Committee are now denying that the division that occurred in the Summer of 1917 among God's people was the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha, and are looking for one in the future, as they seemingly believe now that Jordan has not as yet had its first smiting. They are not only unable to harmonize their denial with the fact that there would be harmony in the antitype until the separation, but also are utterly unable to explain the division that has occurred from the Scriptural standpoint. This inability they admit! Having rejected the light that they once saw on this subject, they now walk in measurable darkness, while the explanation that we have been offering, they disparage and misstate— an explanation that, when carefully studied, will be found to harmonize with the picture, the facts of the case and "that Servant's" various expressions; and an explanation which most of the Committee at one time thought correct, as can be seen from a statement that they signed entitled, "A Letter to International Bible Students," published March 1, 1918, the first page, the last paragraph of the first column beginning in the fourth line from the bottom: "As if almost possessed of the gift of the ancient Prophets, he looked forward to the experiences of the very last members of the Church and seemed to sense an especially fiery trial and a strong delusion that would sweep through the ranks of the Truth people and work havoc with vast numbers of the partly consecrated, failing of deceiving only the 'very Elect.' Alas, that in so short a time after the departure of our dear Pastor there should be realized a complete and worldwide fulfillment of his solemn predictions! Yea, so subtle and so heart-searching has been this fiery trial, as apparently to overtake the majority unawares!
[This statement was based on that from Brother Russell which was quoted above, to the effect that the Chariot would be with us in a little over a year.] Perhaps not since the days of the apostasy, early in this Gospel Age, has there been such a severe test upon the people of God." So far the quotation. Later to evade our thought, they denied the typical character of Elijah's and Elisha's last related acts.
(27) Now let us examine the events that occurred in the experiences of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha from the Summer of 1915 to that of 1917, and see if they do not antitype the walking and talking of the two Prophets after their crossing Jordan. If we examine the "Towers" of that period we find that "that Servant" repeatedly wrote on Elijah and Elisha and the antitypes of these. The following pages in the "Tower" will show this: Z. 1915, p. 285-287; Z. 1916, pp. 4, 5; 38-40; 263, col. 2, par. 4 to par. 2 on 264. In many other articles of the "Towers" of those years he taught on those lines, particularly showing the distinction between the two classes, their privileges, offices, rewards, etc. Time and again in his sermons he referred to the same things. The brethren, of course, as we will remember, discussed these subjects during those years. These discussions were conducted with great harmony and friendship on all sides. This seems to be in part what is symbolized by Elijah's and Elisha's talking together, while their walking together represents the sympathetic cooperation existing among God's people at that time. All will testify to such co-operation.
(28) How often, when the privileges that would become the Great Company's after the separation were discussed, the statement was made antitypical of Elijah's answer to Elisha's request that if the Elisha class would remain faithful in following the Elijah class in sympathy and cooperation, as was fitting for the Great Company to do toward the Little Flock, they
would become the successor of the Little Flock in the office of being God's mouthpiece to Nominal Spiritual Israel! In the following quotations the antitypical Elisha's acknowledging, sympathizing and co-operating with the antitypical Elijah are set forth as a condition that the former must fulfill until the separation, if he would become the antitypical Elijah's successor, and are explained as the meaning of the word "see" in the sentence, "if thou see me, when I am taken from thee, it shall be so": 2 Kings 2: 10; Z. 1904, p. 254, col. 1, par. 1: "If this be the correct interpretation of the type there should be a special significance attaching to Elisha seeing the departure of Elijah. It would seem to signify close personal friendship and loyalty between them down to the very close." Z. 1915, p. 286,: col. 2, par. 5, says, "It was while the two went on, with no knowledge of how far they would go, that Elijah said to Elisha, 'What would you like as a reward for your faithfulness in journeying with me?' Elisha responded that he would most prefer a large measure of the spirit of the Lord, which so notably was manifest in Elijah. The reply was that he could get this blessing only under special conditions; namely, that he would continue faithful in cooperation until the last—until Elijah would be taken. This would be a hard matter; for, if Elisha's attention were permitted to wander, he would not get so rich a blessing." We have italicized the words that in these quotations from the "Tower" explain the meaning of the clause, "if thou see me when I am taken from thee." These explanations so italicized prove that "that Servant" thought that the word "see" in 2 Kings 2: 10 has the meaning, to recognize; for what was that kind of loyalty to Elijah which was required of Elisha other than acknowledging, sympathizing and cooperating with him? Are not these the ideas that are implied in the word recognize? And are these not the ideas that "that Servant" says are meant by the word "seeing"