Fort Collins Convention--1971
Br. Rodney Hugelman
I want to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Colorado Bible Students to welcome all of you to their second annual meeting and convention here at Fort Collins, Colorado. All of our Ecclesia is here today and I bring you their love also. We are here for many reasons and I thought it might be important for us to consider some of them.
Have you ever thought very much as to who you are and why you are here today? We have to realize that our beliefs are very, very unusual. They are so unusual that we are members of the world's only public secret society. We can tell our story as we will, but when it comes to the spiritual phase of God's Kingdom we find only deaf ears, and yet there is no other way that they can join us. Now and again one does respond, and since it occurs as rarely as it does it is certainly a great blessing and a great encouragement to us all. No tin ears will do. They have to be golden ones and our Heavenly Father is handing them out. Truly, as the scriptures have reminded us: "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, be-cause they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:14.
Not "maybe,” but, “neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” We should be especially thankful, therefore to have hearing ears and to have been taught of God. Think of that, taught of God. Yes, we are Bible Students--Students, of God's Word, and we require a "Thus saith the Lord" for all that we have come to call truth--and rightly so, for as followers of the Master, our elder brother, we walk a narrow and dangerous way. (Have you ever thought of that? Image the Son of God, and we can call Him our elder brother!) A way so narrow and dangerous that there are few who pass that way successfully, and one upon which our very lives depend. So it is not a thing to be taken lightly. Our job, our responsibility, has become our joy and is a very serious matter for us all. The truthfulness of our walk is thus doubly important, very important, for we have found that way by harmonizing all the scriptures together into one grand melodious theme.
Rev. 14:1 : "And I looked., and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, (the Kingdom) with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his father’s name written in their foreheads.” V.2 “And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: (controversies) and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps." We all have to be harping with our harps if we are to be of that class. What are those harps? Isn't it plain--the refrain of truth. No harp will be of any value unless it is totally strung. A missing string and it won't be harmonious. Each must be carefully taut, well tuned, and even if completely well-tuned, it will profit us naught unless played. We must practice and practice if we would play that melodious theme. So when others tell us, "You just keep harping on those things!"-- remember, it's the truth--we're expected to keep harping on it aren't we?
Rev. 14:3,4 : ''And they sung as it were a new song (A song of Moses and the Lamb as we shall read shortly--this is the song of restitution) before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song (think about what that means!) but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. (We don't go our way and ask the Lord to endorse it. No, we follow the Lord whithersoever He goeth.) These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." Firstfruits? Well, we will have to look into that. You know it talks about this song that they learned, and we notice we have other mention of it.
Rev. 15:2, “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Not a restless troubled sea pounding against the buttresses of society--no, to them, it is a frozen sea of glass. They are not in it, they are above it, standing over it looking down, and what do they see? They see all the trouble, too--the trouble of our day, and fire, but it is frozen down inside that glass. They are the ones who are going to gain that victory, and what are they doing standing on the sea of glass having the harps of God? The harps--truth--is how they got there. They sing the song of Moses, the Servant of God, and we understand that to be once again the song of restitution for all mankind. It's a song of Moses, the servant of God, because it is seen first in shadow, shadowy pictures of better things to come. The song of the Lamb--yes, Jesus fully explained it in greater and fuller detail saying: "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and Marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints."
Now we notice that the reference was to the song of Moses and the Lamb--this new "song of restitution." We notice, also, the firstfruits unto and of course that suggests that if there are firstfruits there must be after-fruits. As a result, we see the two resurrections, the earthly and heavenly phase of the Kingdom. We want to turn now to Acts 3:19-21. After all, no Bible Student convention would ever be complete without reference to this special scripture, which keynoted Bible Students from the very beginning. It pertains to these scriptures in Revelation for it says: "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, (turned about that is, and we know that here the Apostle Peter is speaking to his Jewish brethren asking them to repent. That would have put them back into good favor with the law and then to be converted, turned around to become Christians. Why?- that your sins may be blotted out.
Isn't that interesting? Do we realize that our sins are not now blotted out but only covered, covered with the bright robe of Christ's righteousness? But there will come a time when even that won't be necessary. If it be possible for us, and we trust that it is and we make our calling and election sure, we will be one of those firstfruits in the first resurrection. Therefore, that robe will no longer be necessary. Then that robe, which covers the flesh, will have been set aside and we will receive a new body. We could only then truly say, that our sins were blotted out totally. How will that come about? Acts 3:19: ". . when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (out from the face of Jehovah. How is He going to do it?) V. 20, And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: V. 21, Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, (how important?) which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."
Little wonder then that in the Revelation account they were singing that new song. That was their keynote song, wasn't it--the song of restitution? Now when would that be? Well, we understand it to be 1874 A.D. with the Lord's return. The first thing restored being the truth to his people. The second, the resurrection of the sleeping saints in 1878 A.D. Yes, it was then that sins would have been blotted out for the first time. Now some have suggested that "No, this applies to natural Israel so we wouldn't want to use this parallel referring to the resurrection of the sleeping saints." Thereby, they reject this understanding which we have. Nevertheless, even if it is natural Israel, which was cast off from favor for 1845 years, when that disfavor ended their favor would again be returned--and so their national sins were blotted out, too, weren't they? When? The time, 1878 A. D. No way out of it is there? There is no way in which the Divine Plan--as received from That Servant--may be faulted.
How important is it for us to recognize that restitution must be coincident with the Lord’s return? Suppose for a moment it's still future. Then His return is future, is it not? Wouldn't you say the Lord's return is important?! If He has not returned, and since He is Lord of the Harvest, could the harvest have begun? Couldn't be could it? Wouldn't be time for the harvest yet. Therefore, do you realize that we would have no authority to “come out of her my people, "--and this assembly today would be unauthorized and we would have to go back and join the churches of Christendom! I would say that is very, very important indeed. We find that Acts 3:19-21 does refer to these things, and we see the vital importance of these matters to us.
As Bible Students, have we not found the scriptures harmonious and reasonable? Those who were privileged to have been raised in one of the institutions of Christendom and to have come out I am sure are doubly appreciative of what they have received. Harmonious and reasonable as nothing else has ever been! We have come to understand the scriptures as no other people on earth ever before. Isn't that amazing?! Do we appreciate that? Prophecy has become crystal clear to us. Crystal clear! Clear as glass so that the troubles of the world are perceived and understood and like the fire frozen in that glass, we are privileged to stand above the transparent scene. Have you stopped to think of what that means to us? We have put forth our hand and touched the mind of God, and He has revealed His very thoughts to us, even so much as to call us sons, sons through His Son, Jesus Christ. Think of that! Do we realize what that means? The Creator of the universe has privileged us to reveal His innermost secrets and to call us Sons!
Let us go on and see how clearly we do comprehend the Scriptures. Let us examine ourselves. Yes, ourselves, through Matthew and you remember the incident. This is our Lord's great prophecy: Matt. 24:3, "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, (or indication of thy presence) and of the end of the world? (i.e., the end of the age, the end of the old social system.) V.4 -- And Jesus answered and said unto them, take heed that no man deceive you. (Very important) V. 5--For many shall come in my name, saving, I am Christ; (that is, the anointed, the head; they would claim to be the authorized head) and shall deceive many. V. 6--And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. V. 7--For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. (Sounds terrible doesn't it, but he says,) V. 8--All these are the beginning of sorrows." Only the beginning. "Then” he continues, that is in the time just referred to, in that past period when these things would rise up, nation against nation. V. 9--"Then (at that time) shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. (And we recall the bitter persecution of the Church in those early years.) V. 10 -- And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, (at that time) V. 11--And many false prophets (teachers) shall rise, and deceive many. V. 12--And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. V. 13--But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. V. 14 -- And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (We understand that this would be about the year 1861 A.D. when the Bible Societies had published the Bible in virtually every tongue.) V. l5--"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, (we know that to be the doctrine of trans-substantiation and other doctrines of self-atonement) spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (claim to be in the place of the church) (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" and consider this.
Dan 12:11--"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, (this would be 539 A.D. as we understand it) there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." A day for a year, the 1290 days, which would bring us to 1829 A.D. and the beginning of the Millerite movement. It was under this movement that the chronology and the truth began to be restored so that the sanctuary class was finally available in 1846 A.D., fully cleansed.
What does it lead to? After that--Dan. 12:12, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." Now that would be 1874 A.D. So we see that this abomination that maketh desolate shall be set up and then it would be recognized as such and following it recognition there would be a waiting period until the end of the 1,335 days. We turn back to Matt. 24 and see how that fits in. Our Lord is telling us: (V. 15 and 16) "When ye therefore shall see the abomination, spoken of by Daniel (when you recognize it, discern that it is standing in the holy place). . Then (1874 A. D. and on) let them which be in Judea (that is, Christendom) flee into the mountains: (kingdom)" The kingdom would be here and the harvest would begin--"Come out of her my people." At that time the Lord says He will no longer be able to deal with her because she is lukewarm; she's spewed out, so you must come out of her my people that you be not partakers of her plagues. So those in Christendom must flee, and where do they flee but into the kingdom? What does that tell you? If the kingdom is future, then there is no harvest now for they cannot come out of Christendom and into something that does not yet exist.
Matt. 24:17, "Let him which is on the housetop (those of higher faith, those a little above the normal in Christendom) not come down to take anything out of his house:” No, he must not come down and try to take anything with him out of Christendom. There isn't anything worth having. Societies' commendations for adherence to dark age traditions will be of little comfort in this new age. Matt. 24:18, "Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes." We understand the field is the world, do we not? He shouldn't go into the nominal systems for anything. No, they've been cast down and to seek their "help" would incur their fate. V. 19--oh, that is a hard one isn't it?--"And woe unto them that are with child, (that is, those who are with spiritual children in the nominal system) and to them that give suck (that is, hand out ‘milk’ ) in those days!" That would be very serious for them, wouldn't it?
V. 20 – “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, (the winter of Babylon's trouble) neither on the sabbath day:” Why? Because the further we go into that day, the more difficult it will be to leave. No, they must come out, and quickly. V. 21—“For then shall be great tribulation, (not just the tribulation spoken of earlier but now tribulation) such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." V. 22--"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." V. 23--"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo here is Christ, or there; believe it not. " V. 24 --For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets (teachers) and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." That is the test, isn't it? If we are not deceived then we shall be of that elect class. We must not construe from this that because we have decided that we are the elect, that, therefore, we will not be deceived. No, the test will be, Who shall stand?!
V. 25--"Behold, I have told you before.” V. 26—“Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." V. 27--"For as the lightning cometh out of the east, (that is the Greek word which means the sun, for as the sun cometh out of the east) and shineth even unto the west; so shall the coming (presence) of the Son of man be." It would steal upon them before they knew what had happened. V. 28--"For wheresoever the carcass is (that is, the strong meat) there will the eagles (the farseeing ones) be gathered together. That is why we are here today, isn't it?
And now an important scriptural understanding. The Lord, even as so often happens in the scriptures, stops, goes back, takes another time position and tells the story anew. For notice, up to this point we have been carried all the way through the Lord's presence and the harvest and unto its completion. Now we go back and read: V. 29--"Immediately after the tribulation of those days (of course, we understand 'those days’ to be the 1260 years of Daniel's 1260 days) shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, (yes, the truth will not give forth its light during that period--period of the French Revolution from 1799 A.D. and onward, the moon shall not give forth her light, and the 'law' will be ill understood) and the stars (ecclesiastical stars) shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." So utterly shaken that by 1870 A.D. the last vestige of papal temporal power had been taken away. All the papal states were taken by Victor Emmanuel in that year you may remember. Notice that this is just before the 1335 days of Daniel. That tells us what time period we were talking about and so the next verse makes a great deal of sense to us, doesn't it? V. 30—“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: (his return in the spiritual heaven) and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven (the trouble) with power and great glory." They see the power and they see the trouble, don't they? While they at present don't see who is responsible--in time they will.
V. 31--"And he shall send his angels (or messengers) with a great trumpet, (the Jubilee trumpet!) and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Come out of her my people--the harvest--gather them out--the harvest begins! About this same time, what happens? V. 32--"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; (we understand that to be Jewish nation). When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, (leaves of profession, national profession for the first time in centuries) ye know that summer is nigh:" 1878 A.D. --what shall we say today when the flag of Zion flies over Jerusalem this very hour? Not just leaves of profession anymore, are they?
V. 33--"So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things (see them – imagine, we are seeing them) know that it is near, even at the door." V. 34--"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled!” V. 35--"Heaven and earth shall pass away, (yes, the ecclesiastical heavens and old social order shall pass away) but my words shall not pass away." V. 36--"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Does that mean we can't know? It is already here and accomplished isn't it! So there is no problem there. Further, our Lord will shortly complete this task and he was raised from the dead to sit at the right hand of power and glory next to His Father. You can be sure that one of the things told him was that "day and hour.”
V. 37--"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming (or presence) of the Son of man be." We know the point here is that they were ignorant. They were not aware of what was happening and so the flood overtook them. V. 38--"For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark." V. 39—“And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming (presence) of the Son of man be." V. 40--"Then shall two be in the field; (that is, in the world) the one shall be taken, and the other left." (showing that the Lord has no preference in the matter.) V41--"Two grinding at the mill; (the seminaries grinding out food for the institutions) the one shall be taken, and the other left." V. 42--"Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." V. 43--"But know this, that if the good-man (or householder--Satan) of the house had known in what watch the thief (that is, our Lord) would come, he would not have suffered his house to be broken up (into)." V. 44--"Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."
Isn't that a remarkable summary of the entire Divine Plan from start to finish--from the days of the Apostles to the present? It's right up to date, and isn't it marvelous to be able to harmonize these scriptures with history, to see these scriptural expectations come to fruition--actually see it happen. What encouragement it lends to us as His Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are the Sons of God. What would you give for such understanding? You know--you've given your very life! It is the only way you can get it. Can you give more? Yes, you can. You can spend that given-up life faithfully!
Scriptural harmony--beauty indeed and an end to all controversy, at least to our satisfaction. But now a question burns to be answered. This foregoing exposition was very impressive wasn't it? Did I gain this understanding and harmony of the scriptures through m~ wisdom? Certainly not. From whence then and in such remarkable clarity Seemingly to our time alone. We're not more consecrated or no more intelligent than those who preceded us, and the scriptures have been complete for centuries. Looks like we had better go back and continue the Matt. 24 account.
V. 45--"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?" V. 46--"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." V. 47--"Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods." We understand that to be the seventh messenger, our dear Pastor, the seventh and last messenger. Note carefully that it says that he would make him ruler over all his goods.
Now you may notice that in the case of Israel in the wilderness, the heavenly manna was not to be gathered on the seventh day. No, you see, it had already been gathered and that well pictures our day, the seventh one thousand year-day. There will be no new light, only a brighter and yet brighter vision of that one completed plan. The table was set in 1874 A.D.--all the meat, the Lord’s goods, was already on that table, and of course that reminds us of the parallel Luke account. Luke 12:37, "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” From his table. He set the table, He is serving it, but because he returns as an invisible divine being he cannot serve us personally and appear in our midst with fiery fingers writing on the wall. No, he must serve us through a human agent, and he selects a wise and faithful servant as we read, V. 42—“And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?” V. 43--"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." If you have a red letter version, this is in red so it must be the Lord’s very words V. 44 – “Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath."
We see then that it is meat from our Lord's table that we are concerned with; and rejecting his servant will deny us access to that table. He-member, too, that these are scriptural references that we have just read and they bear the full weight of scriptures. These are references as to how we shall be taught following the Lord's return. They are, also, a “thus saith the Lord" aren't, they? Yes, the volumes of Scripture Studies present to our minds God’s plan. Nor do we receive it as such just because Bro. Russell said it. No, we check, we compare, and we harmonize it with the scriptures. Thereby, we make it ours, it becomes ours and then we discover why Bro. Russell said it--because it was true! You know, the Pastor's own suggestion was that those who would set aside the Scripture Studies would--not might, but would--be out of the Truth inside of two years. Isn't that strong! I needn't remind you of the many examples. You can think of them yourself which personally corroborates that fact. What's more, I don’t know of one person who lost the truth by continuing in the Scripture Studies; Not one! We must be ever careful not to take our feet out from under the Lord's table.
You know, the Divine Plan is like a beautiful flower; it's complete. It's complete in every detail and pruning its petals can only decrease its beauty. It can even make it unrecognizable. Don't prune the volumes! Our own characters will prove quite challenge enough if we have any pruning in mind. Prov. 14:12, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Times have changed. We have been told that often, even as an excuse for setting aside the words of That Servant; yet it is certainly true that times have changed. However, we've learned not to fear the collapse of our understanding because of that change; but rather to expect time to vindicate our every hope and expectation. 1914 not withstanding, if we are wise enough to examine the forewords to the Scripture Studies, and thereby complete That Servant's work, and so complete our understanding as well. Yes, things have changed. They've changed enormously. But you've heard enough from me for a time. Let us hear from some others.
How about Israel for example? Now you may have heard that the United Israel Bulletin recently printed excerpts from the 1910 Hippodrome address by Bro. Russell which was given to the noted Jewish leaders of his day. The Editor, David Horowitz, after printing Bro. Russell's address had this to say--this would be the March issue: "Their Founder, (Charles Taze Russell) however, saw Biblical prophecy in a realistic light." Image that--Bro. Russell was a realist!--as history has proven. If it wasn't real, would you bet your very life on it? That is what you are doing, so it better be real to you!
"'Thirty years ago (1880) 'he told the Hippodrome audience, “I attempted to tell Israel the 'good tidings' that God's set time to remember Zion had come. But that seemingly was too early. . . About twenty years ago (1890) Providence raised up a great leader, Dr. Herzl, whose name is now a household word with your race. While your people were unready for any message that I could give them,' he continued, ‘they were ready for what God sent them through Herzl--a message of hope, a message of national aspiration which quickened the pulse of your people into new hope respecting the future of the Jews."
"Before an enthralled audience." Imagine, Mr. Horowitz is saying the audience was enthralled!
"Pastor Russell went on to say that ‘Dr. Herzl's endeavor was to have all loyal sons of Israel rise from the dust and aspire to be a nation amongst nations and to provide a home for the persecuted of their race in Russia and Eastern Europe. Dr. Herzl,' he stressed, 'struck the popular chord in the hearts of the people,' He then predicted that 'Zionism is about to take on fresh vigor; that its most prosperous days are yet to come. . " But, 'according to my understanding of the Hebrew prophets, the time of 'Jacob's trouble' is not yet ended. Further pogroms of Russia may be expected, and further atrocities elsewhere. . The noted Bible Scholar." Imagine, he says Pastor Russell is a noted Bible Scholar! How many of our ministerial friends would say that!
"'It is sad indeed to be obliged to admit that these tribulations will probably come to you from professed Christians. How ashamed I feel of those who thus dishonor the Name and teachings of my Master, I cannot find words to express. . . They are deluded! having set the keynote for the Watchtower in an enthusiastic speech delivered to Jews, little did Pastor Russell then realize that his successors in the next generation and to this date would violate his teachings and thus dishonor his name and be among those 'deluded!"
Now you can imagine how the brethren responded to that article. To see these things printed again after all these years, some 60 years. Printed again and yet not by us, more is the shame, but printed by the Jews themselves. Now in a succeeding issue, the July issue, Mr. David Horowitz goes on to say this: "Scores of letters from outstanding bible scholars and leaders of student groups from many sections of the country were received at the Bulletin offices- and letters still flow in--all paying high tribute to this publication and the World-Union Press for having brought into the focus of world attention that outstanding beloved and righteous soul Charles Taze Russell and his prophecies respecting the people of Israel."
Did I read that right? How long has it been since you've seen in print by an one these words--". . into the focus of world attention that outstanding beloved and righteous soul (could we have said it any better?) Charles Taze Russell and his prophecies respecting the people of Israel."
He wrote a letter, also, to Bro. Larry Davis which I'll read as follows: "I am most grateful for your kind letter of 7 June, 1971, . . in which you referred so graciously to our article on the late great prophetic soul of Pastor Russell. The reactions to this article have been national and we plan to follow-up on this in the next Bulletin to be issued in July! (The part about which I just read.) "I was glad you noted the schedule of your next convention to be held at Ft. Collins." Which was announced in this very paper. This convention appeared in the July issue of this paper. I know it will be conducted to the glory of Yah in the true spirit of Pastor Russell." ". . We are living through vital times and the miracle of Israel should serve as a sign for all mankind. But nations are blind and see not that the Hand of YAH, YEHOVAH is completing what the Eternal One set down for his blueprint -- and Ezekiel 38-39 as linked to Zechariah 14 will all soon be upon us and then Ezekiel 40 till the conclusion. Yehovah hath sworn that He will fulfill His word and we see it all today. Pastor Russell saw it years ago and he stands vindicated today. I was glad to remind the world of this fact. My best greetings to all the brethren at the convention and now you and your colleagues can truly say--Those who sow in tears shall reap with Joy; for Yehovah knows those who truly trust in Him and His Elect stand ready to do His will. . . Faithfully, David Horowitz.”
Oh, the sadness of it! There are brethren who do not see that Brother Russell stands vindicated today by history and are even ashamed of his name. In another letter Mr. Horowitz writes: "The news about Pastor Russell's works thrilled me and I will do everything in my power to resurrect his spirit and his works." (Imagine that!) "I am most happy to know that there are many, like yourself, who have remained faithful to him and continue to espouse his great cause for truth."
Imagine a Jewish brother having to say to us, "who have remained faithful to him (while others seem unable to do so) and continue to espouse his great cause for truth." Can you see it! The Earthly phase of the Kingdom--growing, growing. It's growing toward us, isn't it? Almost to where we can reach out, touch and link our hands in mutual anticipation. There are other remarkable changes which are taking place. You realize, for example, that among the young adults of this world you are more favored, more likely to be heard and received than those from the approved quarters of Christendom! Times are changing!
Now it's only fitting that we hear next from the Lord's great army. The world, of course, hears from him in the headlines of the newspapers. They communicate more often through their music. I would like to read you some of the words from one of their presentations, from a Mr. Dillon, listen carefully to what they are saying:
1. "Come gather 'round, people, wherever you roam,
and admit that the waters around you have grown.
And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone—
if your time to you is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone,
for the times they are a-changin’!
2. Come writers and critics who prophecy with your pens
and keen your eyes wide, the chance won't come again.
And don't speak too soon, for the wheel is still in spin
and there is no tell'n who that it is name'n
For the loser, now, will be later to win,
for the times they are a-changin'
3. Come senators and congressmen please heed the call,
don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall,
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
there's a battle outside and its rag'in,
It will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls,
for the times they are a-changin’
4. Come mothers and fathers, throughout the land,
and don't criticize what you can't understand.
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin' Please get out of the new
one if you can't lend your hand. For the times they are a-changin’!
5. The line it is drawn. The curse is cast.
The slow one now, will later be fast!
And, as the present now will later be past—
the order is rapidly fading!
And the first one now, will later be last,
for the times they are a-changin'!
May I suggest a careful rereading of Volume Four of Studies in the Scriptures, and as you go through and read it, remember that 60 years ago (60 years of what Bro. Russell looked to as future) is our past. The marshalling of an invincible army has long been under way sweeping aside the old world for the new. A new world of peace and happiness. A world they long for and yet still cannot see. We do not know how much longer the Lord will privilege us with these opportunities of convention and fellowship. Let us not waste a moment! Build each other up during these few days together--so few--boldly discuss the doctrines with one another. Open the mind and heart to the enlargement of both in the image of His Son.
I would like to close with the words of 2 Peter 3:10, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." V. 11, "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversations and godliness " V 12, “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.”
You may have noticed that this is the same chapter where Peter reminds us "that one Day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day." He tells us it is called the Day of the Lord, the Day of God, the Day of Jehovah, the Day of the perdition of ungodly men --all are the same day--what about this Day of God?
2 Peter 3:12-14, ". . day of God, wherein the heavens (the ecclesiastical heavens) being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. .Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."
May the Lord bless you all in the coming days.