One day he asked Brother B. if he had ever been bothered by the fallen angels. Brother B. said no; he never gave them an occasion, and asked Brother J. if he had ever been troubled. [R5354 : page 350] He said no; but thought he had seen something at his window, remarking that he had not been to the Lord with the matter.
That evening the friends were to have a testimony meeting at Brother B.'s house. Brother B. invited Brother J. to have supper with him. He did so. In the meantime they went out to do some chores, and while they were out Brother J.'s father came in and told those in the house that his son was going crazy. Brother J. went in and soon after was told what his father had said. He went back to Brother B. and told him about it. Then he stepped away out of sight to pray. When he came back he said it was all right.
The two then returned to the house, and Brother J. asked them if they thought they had ever had a trial. They said, Yes. He told them they had had no trial. He stepped away and lifted his hand as if to pray and said, "Listen!" Then he came back to them and said that they should not worry, everything was all right.
They then went to supper and Brother J. was asked to invoke the blessing. He had no more than finished when he jumped from the table and began to bounce over the room and scatter the furniture and to talk in an unknown tongue. This lasted about two minutes and then it left him. He said, "Isn't this awful? they are trying to break down the Truth." All suggested that they pray, and did so, Brother J. joining in. But he broke right out again.
When he is rational he says that it is the fallen angels; but his people think him crazy. He warned his wife against the evil spirits and said that they were very cunning, and he could not resist doing the things they told him to do. He remembers all he has done, but is in a stupor much of the time.
The whole country is worked up, and people have suddenly become very bitter against the Truth. Do you think this might be permitted more extensively, thus bringing reproach upon the Truth and the Lord's people?
Your letter is before me. The case you relate is a sad one. I fully agree with you that Satan and all the fallen angels would be specially desirous of gaining an influence over those who espouse the cause of Present Truth. In proportion as we have the Truth and present it, we are their enemies, even as they are the enemies of the Lord and of the Truth. The only safe course for anybody, and especially anybody accepting Present Truth, is to follow the suggestions of the Vow. Whoever recognizes that there are only two masters—Christ and Satan—should resolve to have nothing whatever to do with anything that is of Satan.
Such should be as speedily as possible informed respecting the fallen angels and their constant endeavor to misrepresent the Truth and to injure humanity—especially the "children of [R5355 : page 350] the light." They should be shown that all occult, spiritual influences are evil; that the holy angels indeed have a charge concerning the saints, but not to give them instruction of any kind. The Bible most explicitly declares that the Word of God is sufficient that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished. (2 Tim. 3:16,17.) We are not therefore to expect visions or revelations or any kind of communications from the Lord or the holy angels. We are to conclude that all such attempts to communicate with us are of the Adversary and to shun them accordingly.
In the instance you mention, Brother J. evidently yielded his will to some extent; else he would not have been entrapped. While obedient to the Lord, we are entirely safe—then the evil spirits cannot do us injury. "The wicked one toucheth him not." But the slightest yielding of the will, as through curiosity, is dangerous, as those in insane asylums demonstrate. It is estimated that fully one-half of all those in insane asylums have no functional brain disorder, but are merely possessed of evil spirits.
In a case like that of Brother J. no time should be lost in doing everything possible for him. A brother who is in close fellowship with the Lord should be for a time his constant companion, continually stimulating him to courage in the exercise of his will in resisting the evil angels and in joining with him in prayer. If in spite of all these assistances the evil spirits still get him under their control, we advise that said companion exorcise the evil spirit in the name of the Lord—saying, "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I command the evil spirit to depart from him and to enter him no more."
The July 15th issue of THE WATCH TOWER has come to hand, and as usual it is full of helpfulness. I am unceasingly and increasingly thankful to the dear Father in heaven for the wonderful manner in which He has put His blessing upon you as you have sought to serve His flock through the pages of that precious journal. I count it a privilege to confess both privately and publicly that if I am one of those so favored as to be a sharer in the glory of the Kingdom, as I hope to be, the grace of God will have brought me there in large measure through the edifying influence of the articles in THE TOWER.
THE TOWER grows grander and its messages deeper and sweeter. As the Lord makes me to grow in grace in spite of all those infirmities in my flesh which would hold me back, the uplift each succeeding number of THE TOWER gives me becomes more and more apparent, and my prayers are multiplied for you in your labor of love. We appreciate it, dear Brother, and better still the Lord appreciates it, too.
In the current number of THE WATCH TOWER you quote some views which Prof. Flinders Petrie has given expression to, and I feared that some might infer that you wished to give emphatic endorsement to the Professor's ideas. My first impression was that this was a wonderful truth, but when I went to compare it with the Bible the erroneousness of it was readily apparent. However, I know that you are too busily engaged to find time to look thoroughly into the many matters of secondary importance brought to your attention, and in addition it would be natural that in a thing of this kind we would suppose that Prof. Petrie would have gone carefully over it before putting forth such a theory. But I fear that he gave his views without sufficient study.
"Prof. Flinders Petrie calls attention to the fact that the Hebrew word alaf is used in the Scriptures sometimes to mean a thousand, and at other times to signify a group, families, or tents, very much in the same way that we use the word regiment, as signifying a group of a thousand men, yet often far less in number, especially after a battle. Thus understood, the record, 'Judah 74,600,' would read, 'Judah, seventy-four families, or tents, with six hundred men in all'; 'so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers.'—Num. 2:34."
Now it is true that the Hebrew word for a thousand is also sometimes used to signify a family or tribe, but it would be impossible to give it that application in the Pentateuch for the following reasons:
In the second chapter of Numbers we have the number of each of the twelve tribes given, but there is also given the sum of the numbers of the three tribes on each side of the tabernacle. If you figure up these statements it will be found that they are figured on the basis of thousands. The following table will illustrate it:
Numbers 2:18,19. Ephraim.................. 40 500
Numbers 2:20,21. Manasseh................. 32 200
Numbers 2:22,23. Benjamin................. 35 400
Numbers 2:24. Total........................108,100
Another passage will serve to further illustrate it, viz., Num. 3:42-51. Here we are told that the number of the first-born are twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-three. Now it seems incredible that all the first-born were gathered together into twenty-two families; they must have been scattered all through the host of Israel. Then verses 46-50 indicate that there were 273 more first-born than Levites, but according to the interpretation of Prof. Flinders Petrie, 273 would be the whole number of the Israelites.
The Lord continues very good to me in assisting me each day to glorify Him in the Pilgrim service. I realize that my efforts are very imperfect, but they are nothing like what they would be if I attempted this work in my own strength. Every day He is proving to me the faithfulness with which He keeps the promise that all things will be supervised by Him to our good, and that His grace will be sufficient.
The writer is very much interested in this matter: (1) Because we are sure that we are right at the end of that period; and (2) because so many of the friends are now, more than ever, discussing that wonderful event—the termination of the "Times of the Gentiles."
It is only natural and reasonable that the brethren should now be particularly interested in this question; for we are very close to the fulfilment of the prophecies which relate to the ending of that period and to the winding up of the present order of things.
Dear Brother, I wish to state here that your advice to WATCH TOWER readers in WATCH TOWER articles during the past two or three years, not to lay too much stress on any particular date, but to give special attention to character building, has had an excellent effect. Evidently the friends are coming to realize more and more that to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit is the principal thing; and that we need all the time remaining for that purpose—whether it shall prove to be one year, or two years, or less, or more.
And in the event of the Lord's having permitted a slight mistake to be made, relative to the ending of the Gentile Times, or even the time when the last member of the Church shall be glorified, I do not think it would prove a stumbling-block to very many, if any, of the dear friends who are in Present Truth; for like you and myself, they are laying stress on their consecration to God for all Eternity—not to 1914 or to 1915.
We have a bug which destroys the potato bug, which has been such a pest of late years. This bug is called the soldier bug, and is really a kind of beetle. I am sending you in this same mail a specimen in a small box.
This "soldier bug" has red markings about the head, and a red shield-shaped mark on its back. It has a sword-like proboscis which it runs out, spears the potato bugs with, and sucks the juice out of them. It comes to the house to winter. There were several of these bugs on our potatoes this year. We had only a small patch, and we did not have to put a bit of Paris-green on them.
We overheard, when traveling one day, a conversation between two commercial travelers concerning this bug. The one said that the other day he was in a store and a farmer came in. The store-keeper asked him how many pounds of Paris-green he should need this year. "Oh, not a pound," replied the farmer, "I have the soldier bugs at my place." This same farmer, so the store-keeper said, had other years taken several pounds of Paris-green. Surely, this is Restitution!
Last spring a brother in the West sent me a supply of pea-beans, assuring me "they are very good." I planted them in rows similar to pea-planting and find they bloom and bear continuously from early summer until cut by frost in the fall. We are still picking them for table use at this date, October 14.
We have more seed than we need. Am sending you a supply for such of THE TOWER readers as have garden space and may desire some to plant next spring. Should they wish to pay the postage on as many as you could apportion, that would, of course, be their privilege; I donate them.
I might state, the stalk resembles a bean stalk, but within the long pods are peas, and suitable for cooking in the pods green, or, after ripening, shelled. They are tender and taste unlike beans or peas. We all like them. Until nearly ripe the pods are stringless or nearly so.