Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
OTHER EARLIER ERRORS OF THE SHIMITE
SOME OTHER P.B.I. TEACHINGS EXAMINED. THE DAWN'S CALLED, CHOSEN AND FAITHFUL EXAMINED. "ANCIENT ISRAEL'S JUBILEE YEAR" EXAMINED.
SOME of our readers, especially the more recent ones, have asked us what we mean by the letters P.B.I. We answer: they are the title initials of a religio-business corporation called the Pastoral Bible Institute of Brooklyn, N.Y., formed by some of those whom "the Present Management" has been pleased to call "the opposition," i.e., that part of "the opposition" that has ceased opposing the revolutionism of the Present Management. Doubtless one reason why the P.B.I. has ceased opposing the revolutionism of the Present Management is because by its making its charter differ from the Divine sample for such charters, it became more revolutionistic, so far as rebelling against the charter of the W.T.B. & T.S. is concerned, than the Present Management.
We have in six publications, i.e., "Another Harvest Siftings Reviewed" and in the first five numbers of The Present Truth (see Chap. III), given a rather thorough examination of the History, Purposes and Charter of the P.B.I., as well as reviewed some of its teachings. At first, especially through F.H. Magee, the P.B.I. gave to some of our views published answers, which we refuted. Later, when starting the Herald, they announced as their policy the keeping of the controversy out of the Herald, which they did in the following way: they avoided mentioning our name; but from time to time put into the Herald, as well as into discourses at conventions and in local ecclesias misleading remarks of their own, and misapplied quotations
from our Pastor as if they were against our views, and slurs against "fanciful interpretations and wild speculations" and against "self-appointed leaders" seeking to control the Church; and then in conversations and letters pointed us out as the main "self appointed leader" and purveyor of their misrepresentations of our views, and of "fanciful interpretations and wild speculations" whom they meant! Hence, their readers knew that they meant us by their misleading remarks, misapplied quotations and slurs. Some of these letters written by I.F. Hoskins and H.C. Rockwell are now in our possession and will be published, if needs be. So while ostensibly posing as peace lovers and keepers, and publishing in their supporters' letters praise of themselves for their meekness in not replying to our criticisms, which they cannot refute, they keep right on with the same remarks and misrepresentations, and the same slurs and underhanded methods which I.F. Hoskins and I.L. Margeson, through a "whispering campaign," used against us in 1918, while we were yet a member of the Fort Pitt Committee. Our Pastor treated religious differences otherwise. He would not only mention and refute teachings which he thought required his doing it; but also, if necessity required, he mentioned the names of the guilty ones, specifying their wrong official acts and teachings; but never mentioned the wrongs of their private lives; for to personalities he would not stoop. In this we have imitated his course; for we have not publicly criticized the private wrongs of our brethren, and that, not because we are ignorant of such acts, for we are not, but because such a course would be out of, harmony with Justice and Love, unless such wrongs would have to be told to prevent injury to others (Manna, July 14). Our criticisms have been aimed at official wrong-doings and teachings which have been injurious to the Lord's dear Flock. In this we have imitated our Faithful Chief Shepherd and His Faithful Apostles and
Prophets, including our beloved Pastor. We are satisfied that our course, whose unavoidable imperfections are under the Robe, is Divinely approved, as responding to the Epiphany purposes of our Lord. Hence we have followed, and, please God, will follow it.
Our April, 1919, issue was the last one in which we especially gave attention to P.B.I. affairs [written Mar., 1920]. Since that time we have in our magazine, apart from a few brief references, been silent on their teachings and practices; but during that time we have been an interested, though quiet, observer of these; and, of course, knew when and how they were "tactfully" attacking us. Very recently, some of their letters came into our hands, in one of which, written by H.C. Rockwell, we are mentioned by name and condemned as a false teacher, etc., our understanding of the non-apostolic General Elders, i.e., the "Secondarily Prophets," and our course of announcing as members of the Great Company those whom the Lord manifests as such, and of explaining the sets and groups of the Levites coming in for special condemnation. Furthermore, the Herald of late is making special efforts to justify the use of corporations as proper instruments for a general ministry for and toward the Church, which is Christ's body. Moreover, in its series of articles, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ," its course of giving many wrong interpretations, not a few of which it accepts from "foolish Virgins," as true explanations makes further silence on our part impossible, if we would be true to the Lord, the Truth and the Brethren. Hence we have decided to examine some of their main erroneous teachings, coming out since Mar., 1919 [up to Mar., 1920]. Like the bulk of the rest of the Levite movements, the P.B.I. attacks us on our announcing manifested Levites as such, as if we were engaged in forbidden judging. We have refuted this objection in Vol. V, Chap. II, to which we refer our readers.
The P.B.I. editors answered our objection that an external organization, corporation, managing her general work inserted into the Church is a Little Antichrist in the temple of God (2 Thes. 2: 4) as follows: For the sake of good order (1 Cor. 14: 40), and to prevent a "self-appointed individual" (especially ourself!) from lording it over the Church, it is necessary to have a corporation in the Church to manage a general service to and for the Church through a periodical, pilgrim and convention service, and to select and publish literature for the edification of, and for distribution by the Church. Similar claims are made for and by the two Great Antichrists, the Papacy and the Federation! We quote the following passage (H '20, 348, near bottom of col. 1), which in its connection sets forth the thought that all the Lord's people, or part of them collectively, may make use of a business corporation such as theirs is to conduct a general ministry in their name, just as the Lord's people may use the corporational inventions, like railroads, etc., of our day for their convenience. "The matter of a corporation is one of those which the Lord's people may make use of just the same [italics ours] as they may make use of a railroad train, although St. Paul journeyed hundreds of miles by foot" and, we may add, he also used horses and ships, when convenient, and advised others to do so; but never himself used, nor advised others to use business corporations, which as such existed in his day, to manage the general work of the Church! Do these editors actually mean to insult the intelligence of the Church by telling them that there is the same principle involved in using corporationally controlled conveniences and in a few or many brethren appointing a Board to manage a general ministry to and for the Church which is Christ's Body, involving appointments for the general teaching office in pilgrim, periodical and convention work, and in managing the literature for the edification of, and for distribution
by the Church? One must be sadly deficient in reasoning power who thinks the same principle operates in these two kinds of acts. Where is there Scriptural warrant that a collection of individuals, or of churches, or of all of them has a right to make such arrangements in "the Church which is His Body"? God and Jesus never gave them such authority. Our Pastor never formed a corporation that exercised such powers during his life, nor was it the Divine intention that he should, nor did he intend it. In Vol. VI, Chap. II, we gave over a dozen facts, as well as many Scriptures that prove that in our Pastor's day, never did a Society control such a general ministry toward and for "the Church which is Christ's body"; for God did that through that Servant alone; and the reason that He never did, nor now does it through a corporation is that the Church's work is now of such a kind as does not require such agencies to manage its general work. The Lord is now doing the general work of the Church, just as He did before the office of "that Servant" was created—through the non—apostolic General Elders of the Church, who hold the second and last office in the general Church (1 Cor. 12: 28; Eph. 4: 11-13; 2: 20, 21; 3: 5; F 244, 251, 253, 273, 274).
These Editors have had much to say for over a year about "self-constituted leaders" and "a self-appointed individual" getting control of the Church, meaning especially us. We have publicly asked them to point out one act of ours that lorded it over the Church. They failed to show this, because there was no such act committed by us, while we pointed out many such acts on the part of certain members of their Board and Editorial Committee. Their "political campaign" and "wire—pulling," whereby they disrupted the Fort Pitt Committee, and got some of themselves elected on another Committee with enlarged powers, was a work of self-appointment on their part for lording it over God's heritage. Their asking, through I.F. Hoskins
at the Asbury Park Convention, for their prospective Board powers like those of the W.T.B. & T.S. Board—powers much greater than those of the Fort Pitt Committee—was an act of self-seeking lordship over the Church. Their refusing to hold a convention at Philadelphia, and holding one at Providence, in a section of the country where they knew that they could get what they feared they could not get at Philadelphia, was an act of self-seeking lordship over the Church. The self-constituting and self-appointing are all on one side—on their side! Let them sweep the accumulated dirt from before their own doors; but not throw it in front of their neighbors' doors where it is clean.
A number of times (H '19, 101, 348, etc.) the Herald editors have referred to Z '15, 359 as a warrant from our Pastor for a corporation managing a general ministry toward and for the Church which is His Body. We want to say that in our dear Pastor's answers to the questions on that page by the Society he usually means himself, even as in Z '09, 292-294 he speaks of the Society, the Volumes and the Tower as "that Servant" and "the channel," thereby modestly hiding himself behind these names. Asked why we say that in Z '15, 359 especially, he, by the W.T.B. & T.S., modestly means himself, we reply that not only the facts of his controllership prove this, but connected with our British trip we learned certain things that go to prove that that article was written for the benefit of a number of British brethren, especially the three British managers. So greatly had these three disregarded his arrangements for the work in Britain that he was planning to sever himself from all responsibility for the British Branch; and told two prominent American brethren of his plans to this effect—a fact that we learned from their lips after our return from Britain. While we were in Britain, W.C. showed us a letter that our Pastor wrote to him, and that we feel morally sure was intended in harmony with our Pastor's tactfulness
to pave the way to that end. With some feeling that Servant told us at Dallas, Oct. 21, 1916, that the three British managers would not do what he wanted them to do; and said that at Brooklyn after Nov. 5 he would talk over details with us before our departure for Britain. While in Britain certain papers came into our possession that show some things that the managers had been doing, and that made it necessary for "that Servant" to remind them more than once that the Society, i.e., himself, controlled the I.B.S.A., which is a British corporation. Because a number of the British brethren wanted the I.B.S.A. to be British—controlled, it became necessary for him to remind them that the Society—himself—controlled the I.B.S.A. and the P.P.A. Hence the article Z '15, 358-360 was written, and was among his final efforts to change the conduct of certain British brethren. How appropriate to the circumstances the statements there: "Thus the whole management is by the W.T.B. & T.S. [himself], and these auxiliary organizations merely help in carrying on its [his] work." … "In other words the P.P.A. cannot transact business except through the W.T.B. & T.S. [himself]. The W.T.B. & T.S. [himself] has the management and the P.P.A. does the work— absolutely." While the Herald has repeatedly referred to that article as proving that the Society controlled the general work toward and for the Church as an evidence that it is in harmony with that Servant's teachings for a corporation to do such work, every person who knows the facts knows that the Society neither by its Board nor by its Shareholders, nor by both combined controlled that work; but that that Servant alone controlled it. Hence in that article through the term, The W.T.B. & T.S., when connected with the idea of management, he meant no one else than himself; and the Herald's contention on this point falls to the ground. Moreover, there are certain persons among them that know that their use of Z '15, 359
misrepresents the facts of the case, as to who controlled the work nominally carried on in the name of the W.T.B. & T.S.
Hence, as we pointed out in the above-mentioned chapter, while our Pastor arranged for the Society after his death to publish the Tower, in part to contain his reprinted and posthumous articles (the Charter and Will make no arrangements for pilgrims and conventions), and supply especially his writings for the edification of, and for distribution by the Truth people, and more especially for work toward the Virgins in Babylon and toward the world, the Divine intention therein was that such an arrangement be for the use of the Great Company. This is proved by the fact that immediately after that Servant's death, some who are now manifested as Great Company members, onesidedly took the direction of the work into their hands, and with and for their leader by craft against guileless ones gained chief authority, and shortly afterward by usurpation got the Society entirely in the control of the Great Company (in them as its representatives) where it will remain. By His arranging through that Servant for the Society first to operate, as a self-acting body after his death, the Lord furnished us a sample of what every controlling organization among the Truth people should be as a vehicle for Great Company work. And the P.B.I., having prepared and adopted—and that, against repeated expostulations to the contrary—a largely changed corporational charter, have in this respect violated the Divine will, which in print they recognized as binding on controlling corporations among the Lord's people. Therefore we know that, as a part of the washing of their robes (Rev. 7: 14; Num. 8: 7), they will have to undo this wrong, and in its undoing give up the Charter that they caused to be drawn up and adopted. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this in due time!
One may ask why is it that in matters of the Little Flock, without any organization external to itself, yea, without even an unorganized committee, but, since the Apostles fell asleep, solely by the non-apostolic General Elders, the "Secondarily Prophets," the Lord has performed the whole general ministry toward and for the Church which is Christ's body; and yet has arranged for corporations limitedly controlled by seven Directors to do certain work for those parts of the Great Company who are Transitional Merarites and Gershonites? The answer is simple: the faithful Apostles and past faithful "Secondarily Prophets," having been fully dead to self and the world and fully alive to God, ministered the meat in due season, and guided the General Flock in the paths of Truth and Righteousness; and could not by any consideration be swerved therefrom. Therefore God has trusted each to do His work independently, except during the two reaping times, when He put the work into the charge of the Apostles and that Servant. Hence, apart from brotherly counsel and co— operation with one another, they needed no external body to enable them to fulfill the general ministry for and toward the Body of Christ. So, too, He does the same thing by the present faithful "Secondarily Prophets." But with the organizational leaders of the Great Company deadness to self and the world and aliveness to God are not complete (Jas. 1: 8). Their selfish propensities, especially exercised in self—will, grasping for power, lording it over God's heritage, dividing the Flock and desiring to shine before others as able teachers and executives are so uncurbed by themselves, that not one of them alone can be trusted by the Lord with an unrestricted General Ministry. Through lodging controllership in seven Directors, the Lord, as it were, plays them off against one another to check, restrain, encourage and balance one another, so that they can as seven equally empowered brothers, at least in a manner, carry out the
organizational work of the Great Company, whenever they do not allow any one of their number—e.g., as "the Steward"—to gain control. As concerns the unorganized Levites, the Kohathites, their leaders, being also more or less rivalrously ambitious, fall out with one another, and form various unorganized groups, so far without much of a general ministry. As a proof of this note how A.I. Ritchie and M. Sturgeon, and later M. Sturgeon and Carl Olson, fell out with one another. The fourth group of the Transitional Kohathites, the antitypical Amramites, typed by the descendants of Moses, but not of Aaron (Num. 3: 16; 1 Chro. 23: 13-15), are not yet manifest, nor are their two leaders yet [Mar., 1920] manifest. We rather opine that they are among the Priests, and will fall out with them, and separate from the latter, and likely from others, too, those who with them are antitypical Amramite Kohathites. Of course, all of the Great Company leaders fall out with the Priests, otherwise there could be no separation of the Little Flock and Great Company.
Such falling out began in Britain, and has continued ever since. We notice that the Herald is assuming a very liberal tone; for after claiming to be a doctrinal clearing house, the
P.B.I. now grants the right to its readers to judge its utterances and accept or reject them as seems to them proper in the Lord. In contrast with their former Papistical claims, their general tone, at least on paper, is now quite subdued. It is quite different from that of the doctrinal clearing house that they proposed to establish for the Lord's people in the last meeting of the Fort Pitt Committee, and that later they gave as the first specific reason for the formation of the P.B.I., the later expression being in the following language: "To act as a kind of a clearing house of whatever doctrinal matters that may be in circulation, or may be proposed for circulation among the Lord's People." (Committee Bulletin—6.) Since our review of their article, "The Object of an
Organization," they have been singularly silent in advocating the main purposes of their organization as set forth in that article. They have, on the contrary, been claiming that they do not stand for certain things—things which that article undoubtedly clearly advocated. Not that they have disclaimed that article, but being thrown very badly on the defensive by our exposures of its Papistical claims, they have been trying to paint their organization with more attractive colors than with what that Papistical article daubed and smeared it. They seem to want us to think that, like the Lion whose teeth and claws were pulled out, they are a very docile and harmless body. This is well and good, so far as it goes; but until they publicly confess their errors of teaching with reference to their purposes, which are clearly set forth in "The Object of an Organization," and which they have as such not yet clearly repudiated, and until they set aside the revolutionism of their Charter, the Lord's people should withhold from them even that support which they should give to cleansed Levites. What will they do about that article and their Charter? Will they publicly confess their errors and wrongs along these lines, promising betterment? Or will they continue to "cover their iniquity"? Whether they will obtain mercy from the Lord, or keep on without His special blessing, will, among other things, depend on what their course on these matters will be (Prov. 28: 13).
In connection with their doctrinal clearing house proposition, they advocated their inaugurating pilgrim work, their appointing pilgrims, and their arranging for General Conventions; and have since arranged a pilgrim service, appointed pilgrims, additional to those who were pilgrims at the time of that Servant's passing beyond the veil, and called a number of conventions. Since the pilgrim office is that of the non-apostolic General Elders, the only servants of the Truth now living that have the right to address the
General Church on matters of faith and practice, and since God alone has the power to appoint such teachers in the General Church, which during the Harvest of the Jewish Age He did by Jesus, especially while the Latter was in the flesh, which during the Harvest of the Gospel Age He did by that Servant, and which during the intervening time He did entirely apart from human agents; unless others can show, as an authorization for their claim, a specific command from God, we will emphatically deny their right to appoint pilgrims to minister to the General Church, that Church which is His Body. They claim that they are appointing pilgrims to minister to the Little Flock as its General Elders. We ask them before God and the Church to show us their authority from the Word of God, or from the Will or Charter for such an exercise of power? Furthermore, they have exercised this, their claimed power, to exclude three Divinely-set pilgrims from serving as pilgrims in what they claim is at least a part of the Church which is His Body. We ask them for Biblical proof for such exercise of authority on their part. Such acts are emphatically lording it over the brethren. Will they pass these vital points by in silence as they have others of their unscriptural assumptions of power? Where in the Scriptures are they as a Board authorized to call General Conventions? While anyone who is a "Secondarily Prophet" in "the Church which is His Body" has, as long as there is no special eye, mouth and hand of the Lord officiating, by the powers of his office as a teacher in the General Church, the power to call a General Convention, no other servants of the Truth have such power. Those who were once "Secondarily Prophets," and who are now in the Great Company have neither part nor parcel in "the Church which is His Body"; hence cannot do anything implying membership therein, let alone do pilgrim work, and appoint pilgrims and General Conventions for "the Church which is His Body." Nor
as corporational members of the Great Company have they the right to appoint pilgrims and arrange for General Conventions for the Great Company.
But we imagine we hear some one ask: Did not that Servant arrange for the Society to appoint pilgrims and General Conventions? We answer, no; for both the Will and Charter, which are the source and rule of corporational faith and practice for controlling corporations among Truth people, are silent on such subjects, nor do they imply these rights. The Charter by Divine intention empowers the Levites to "disseminate [sow broadcast] Bible truths in various languages by means of the publication of tracts, pamphlets, papers and other religious documents, and by the use of all other lawful means (not "agents," animate beings, but "means," inanimate things, like the Photo-Drama, the Angelophone, etc.), which its Board of Directors, duly constituted, shall deem expedient for the furtherance of the purposes stated." Of course, this implies the use of "agents" to operate these means, but no others than such. Additionally, the Will authorizes a self-perpetuating Editorial Committee and a Sisters' Committee, in which vacancies were to be filled by it, the Directors and the Editors acting jointly. It authorizes no other class of mouthpieces. Therefore it is not a religious body; it is a body to publish and distribute Bible truths by inanimate means alone, through corresponding agents only. Let not the Levites act on the principle of the Papacy; and thus add to, or subtract from the source and rule of corporational faith and practice for the controlling corporations among Truth people! Such a course is dangerous and usurpatory!
We, like the rest of the brethren, took this for granted from what existed in our Pastor's day; but now recognize such arrangements to be the Lord's for the Little Flock alone; and we trust that, like ourself, all the dear ones will come to see the matter aright.
We do not want, by the remarks foregoing, to be understood as teaching that the Lord will not give the Great Company pilgrim privileges; for we believe the Word of God will yet unfold a way in which this will be done; but when it will be unfolded, we rather opine that such pilgrim service will not be authorized by nor be under the auspices of Great Company Corporations and Associations. We may here remark that some of the Kohathites are giving Pilgrim services apart from such bodies. However, we can safely wait on the Lord for the clear manifestation of His will on this point. In the meantime, let us have done with doctrinal clearing houses, especially those claiming more than proper powers. Another point on which the P.B.I. teaches error is their insistence on following the modern Jewish calendar on the Memorial date. As we have covered this point in Note IV in Studies, Vol. VI, 733-736, we will pass it by here without further comment.
The high tide of confusion on Biblical topics and of misstating the writer's Scriptural interpretations is reached in the August Bulletin and F.H. Magee's "Brief Review" and "Letter of Importance," published as supplements of the August and September "Bulletins," respectively, in what the Committee has to say on the former's views on "prophets" in the Church. A brief discussion of the matter Scripturally will, therefore, be in place here. The word prophet, from the Greek prophetes, according to its Greek etymology, signifies one who gives discourses in writing or speech before others. These prophets are of two classes: (1) inspired (2 Pet. 1: 20, 21; 2 Tim. 3: 15-17); and (2) uninspired (Tit. 1: 12; Acts 15: 22, 32). There were inspired prophets in both Old and New Testament times (Jas. 4: 10, 11; 1 Cor. 14: 30). Their messages could be on abstract principles, or on events, persons and things past, present or future. The inspired New Testament prophets passed out of existence with the passing away of the gifts of the Spirit, early in the
Gospel Age (1 Cor. 13: 9), never again to be revived during this Age. The word prophet is used for Gospel-Age purposes (1) in a general sense, including all, whether inspired or uninspired, who give discourses in the Church (Acts 13: 1), whether they be (a) Apostles, like St. Paul; or (b) "prophets," like Barnabas, orators for the general Church and not restricted to a local church, but not plenipotentiaries with the power to bind and loose and to bestow the gifts of the Spirit, as the Apostles had; or (c) pastors or teachers like Simeon, Lucius, and Manean, orators, whose office powers were limited to a local church, of whom 1 Cor. 14: 29-32 also treats, where the subjection of the uninspired "preaching" local elders, called prophets, is required to be rendered to the inspired "preaching" local elders, called prophets, and therefore were required to give way, even in the midst of an address, to the latter, when these received a Revelation from God. And the word prophet is used for Gospel-Age purposes (2) in a special sense, including only the teachers of the general Church throughout the Age, who (apart from those of them who lived when the gift of prophesy prevailed, like Mark, Luke, Timothy, etc.) without inspiration, but by extraordinary illumination are qualified and authorized by the Lord's appointment alone, to give discourses in speech or in writing before the general Church, or on request of the body before any church or collection of churches, or representatives of any number of churches, as the peculiar function of their office (1 Cor. 12: 28, 29; Eph. 4: 11-13; 2: 20; 3: 5). 1 Cor. 12: 28, 29 and Eph. 4: 11 certainly cannot use the word "prophets" in the sense of a local elder who delivers discourses, for these are included in the terms, "pastors and teachers." The run of thought in these passages is clearly the following: The first order of Church servants is the Apostles, the Lord's (not a church's nor the Church's nor the churches') representatives and plenipotentiaries, whose
essential function in the teaching office is inspirationally and infallibly to instruct the general Church, throughout the Age. The second order of Church servants is the "Prophets," the Lord's (not a church's, nor the Church's, nor the churches') representatives (but not plenipotentiaries) whose essential function in the teaching office is (not by inspiration nor by infallibility, but) by special illumination to instruct the general Church (not restricted to a ministry in a local church) in their times. The third order of Church servants is the evangelists, sometimes the Lord's representatives (not plenipotentiaries) alone, at other times His and a church's or churches' representatives, whose essential function in the teaching office is to instruct (not the general nor a local Church), but outsiders and beginners in their times. The fourth order of Church servants is pastors and teachers, both the Lord's and the churches' representatives (not plenipotentiaries), whose essential function in the teaching office is to instruct (not the general, but) a local Church.
The facts of the New Testament, and of Church History from the beginning to the present, prove that there have been servants of the Church who filled an office in the general Church inferior to that of the Apostles, who were not elected to their office by a local church, nor by a collection of churches; and whose office, if not covered by the term, "Secondarily Prophets," would not be mentioned as a particular office in the Church at all; and, consequently, since Eph. 4: 11-14 says the teaching officers of the Church were for the complete qualification of the saints, and complete the teaching organization of the Church, these brethren would not in their work have filled an office in the Church at all; nor would their work have been necessary for the complete qualification of the Church for the work of the ministry. What would this mean? It would mean, for example, that in the times just before
the Reformation, Marsiglio, Jandun, Occam, Wyclif, Huss, etc., did not as pre-Reformers sustain an official relation to the general Church at all, separate and distinct from that of evangelists and local elders, and were thus usurpatory busybodies and graspers for power, instead of being raised up, as general teachers, "Secondarily Prophets," and deliverers of Zion from Babylonian captivity. It would mean that Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, Latimer, Ridley, Cranmer, Servetus, Wesley, Stone, Miller, Russell, etc., did not as Reformers sustain an official relation to the general Church at all, separate and distinct from the office of evangelists and local elders, and were thus usurpatory busybodies and graspers for power, instead of being raised up as general teachers—"Secondarily Prophets"—and deliverers of Zion from Babylonian captivity. If the "prophets" of Eph. 3: 5 include local elders who deliver discourses, St. Paul would not have singled them out, and placed them in association with the Apostles as having special light on the "mystery," since, among other reasons, frequently those local elders who do not "preach" know more about the mystery than not a few other local elders who do "preach," and if the term "prophets" in. 1 Cor. 12: 28, 29 and Eph. 4: 11 means local elders that "preach," they would not be mentioned at all; for all local elders, whether they "preach" or not, are included in the terms "pastors and teachers.'' Moreover, it would be putting them too close, not only to the Apostles, but to the class of Church servants above—named in usefulness to include them in the term "prophets" in Eph. 2: 20, where we are told that Church is "built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being Chief Cornerstone."
Up to the time of the Eagle trial, Bro. Russell thought the terms, "Apostles and Prophets," of Eph. 2: 20, meant the Apostles and Prophets in their Biblical writings as the foundation of our faith. At that time
we asked him the question, Who are the "prophets" in Eph. 2: 20? He replied, the writers of the Old Testament. We then asked whether the foundation stones of God's temple were not a part of the temple; and as such whether they do not refer to certain of the saints; and as such whether they do not represent the non-apostolic teachers of the general Church like Timothy, Titus, Apollos, Silas, Luke, Mark, Arius, Marsiglio, Luther, Wyclif, Wesley, Miller, "that Servant," the pilgrims, etc.? He thought a while and then answered: "Yes, you are right." Both the Scriptures and the History of the Church, therefore, from the beginning prove that there has been an order of teachers in the Church, selected by the Lord—not by the churches, nor by a church, nor by the Church—and dismissible by the Lord alone, and not by the Church, nor a church, nor the churches, whose ministry is not a local, but a general one. This office is referred to in 1 Cor. 12: 28, 29, and Eph. 4: 11, under the term, "Secondarily Prophets." Expressly using the term, "Secondarily Prophets," of them, our Pastor described them, etc., under the terms General Overseers, Channels and Elders, and "Prophets" in F 244, par. 2, 245, par. 1, 2, 251, 253, 273 and 274, especially 253 on Barnabas; Tower Reprints 732, pars. 13-15. There is a distinction among the secondarily prophets. Some of them, like Arius, Claudius of Turin, Luther, Zwingli, Wesley, Miller, Russell, the Epiphany Messenger, etc., as the Lord's special eye, mouth and hand have had a special charge toward the general Church and toward those secondarily prophets who have not been the Lord's special eye, mouth and hand, i.e., the ordinary pilgrims. The former, as star-members, have been higher secondarily prophets than the latter, whom God has put in the charge of the star-membered secondarily prophets.
In their ministry, however, these prophets have no "rights" to control any church, churches or the Church. Nor have they a right to speak in any church, except
by request of that church. Their office by God's appointment authorizes and qualifies them for a ministry in any church; no church, churches nor the Church should permit them to force their ministry on them. Nor are they to force their ministry on a church; rather they are to wait until they are invited to serve, even as the Apostles had no right to minister in a local ecclesia, unless invited by it so to do. Since the death of the Apostles there is no other set of Church servants whose office authorizes and qualifies them to minister to the general Church than this set of Church servants. No church or collection of churches can, or ever did elect one of these servants to the office designated by the term "Secondarily Prophets," for the simple reason that no local Church nor collection of churches can give powers that they do not possess, the office of teachers in the general Church; and for the same reason no church nor collection of churches can dismiss him from his office, though they can vote to have or not have him serve them, just as they think best; and their decision is to rule in the matter; nor has a "Secondarily Prophet" a just ground for a grievance, if any church chooses not to have him speak in its midst. Thus the offices of Apostles and Prophets are not under the control of a local church, nor of the Church at large, so far as electing persons to, and authorizing and qualifying them for, or dismissing them from such offices, though each church has the power and right to permit or refuse their service in its midst. Thus the independence of the churches with respect to the service of the "Secondarily Prophets," and the independence of the "Secondarily Prophets" with respect to the control of their office are both vindicated. Such a prophet, while serving at the invitation of a church, is certainly subject to the decision of that church as to time, place and order of his service, as well as of his entertainment. He is not a lord over God's heritage, but a helper of their faith, hope, love and obedience; nor is the Church a lord over him.
As a representative of God, and not of them, he ministers to them unselfishly, to the Lord's glory and their profit. Nor should a local church dictate on what he is to speak, since he is God's representative to them. Of course, if such an one, in addition to his general ministry, becomes a local elder, he becomes as such, but not as one of the "Secondarily Prophets," subject to the local church with respect to the office that the ecclesia gave him; and he would be obliged to confine himself as a local elder to the ecclesia's regulations even on what he should teach or preach in the ecclesia.
During the end of the Age, as throughout the Age, God selected the "Secondarily Prophets" for the general Church. As in the Harvest of the Jewish Age God selected them by Jesus, so here He selected them (the pilgrims) by "that Servant." Between the Harvests, without a human agent, God directly put these members in the Body as "Secondarily Prophets," as it pleased Him so to do. No Committees of bishops, nor other Committees, nor Boards of Directors have ever appointed a "Secondarily Prophet" in "the Church which is His Body," though without the Divine authorization the Directors of the W. T. B. & T. Society have appointed "pilgrims" for antitypical Merarite Levites; and without the Divine authorization the P.B.I. Board has appointed "pilgrims" for antitypical Gershonite Levites. That God selected the pilgrims by "that Servant" is not to be doubted, because some did not turn out well, any more than we should doubt His selecting Judas by Jesus, though the former did not turn out well; nor should the issue of the fallibility or infallibility of the Lord's procedure through Brother Russell be raised, as F.H. Magee does, since the basis of his reasoning would necessarily lead to the conclusion that God by Jesus was fallible in selecting Judas. And just as another was chosen to fill Judas' place, so if any of the pilgrims proved unfaithful, another got his place; and thus there were full seventy by the end of the reaping, 1914, the reports, of 1913