The President of Philadelphia, The Head of FDS4, The House of
The New York Hilton, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, 53-54 Street, New York
N.Y. 10019 - 6078, Tel: 212 586 7000
Milton G. Henschel, Theodore Jaracz, John E. Barr, Karl F. Klein, W. Lloyd Barry, Lyman Swingle, John C. Booth, Carey W. Barber, Albert D. Schroeder, Dan Sydlik, EZF, Don Adams, Todd Ellison.
You men have the misfortune of being the only people I know by name at present, or by desk designation, in the Bethel. I am going to send you each a revised booklet on Tuesday/Wednesday describing the fall of the old Faithful & discreet slave of the remnant, FDS3, and the appointment of the new Faithful and discreet slave of the Nethinim, FDS4. I know that you have instructions from the allegedly fallen slave not to read it, but rather to pass it on to the Vatican vaults of the writing committee, the abyss, whereupon it may never be seen again. The purpose of this letter to each one of you individually is to show you that the commandment of the master of the slave, the Christ, whom you follow, is that you should read such a booklet, and check its validity for yourself. And that this commandment is at variance with the commandment of the allegedly fallen slave of that master. You are therefore being put to the test, not with something unrighteous, but with something holy.
You will have to choose whether to obey the slave or the master of that slave. You cannot contract this choice out to any committee, it is your choice, it is the choice between true worship and false worship. Here is our master's view:
Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so (Acts 17:11).
They each did this individually, they did not contract this examination out to the elders or to a committee of some of the elders. They did not appoint a Beroean scripture examination committe to report back to them. They served God with their whole minds, their own minds, each one of them used their own power of reason. For this they are pronounced noble-minded by the holy spirit.
Keep on the watch therefore because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming (Matt 24:42).
Everybody has to be on the look-out. You cannot contract out this watching. This is a command from Jesus to all Christians.
Then they grasped that he said to watch out not for the leaven of the loaves, but for the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees (Matt 16:12).
The Pharisees were God's appointed priesthood under law at the time that this warning was given. We do not eat bread from Babylon, this warning relates to our own food. You cannot watch out for leaven from your priest, the remnant, by asking them to make your examinations for you, these examinations will be full of the leaven that you are supposed to be watching out for. This watching is a thing that you must do yourself. This too is a command from Jesus to all Christians.
Keep on seeking and you will find (Matt 7:7).
It is not sufficient to look up the results of the seeking of your priest, you must seek yourself. You break this command if you continually ask your priest to do a search for you of something, to see if it has any merit.
If you love your Master, then you will obey his commandments to keep on the watch and to keep on seeking personally, and you will read the booklet and assess it yourself, in harmony with your conscience. If you love his slave, then you will obey the slave's commandments not to watch or to seek yourself but to leave that duty to him, the self declared 'Wide awake John class', and you will give the booklet to a multi-headed committee. So which is it to be? Whom do you love more? Who do you worship? How noble is your mind? Now do you see the spiritual household meaning of the scripture:
Do not think I came to put peace upon the earth; I came to put, not peace, but a sword. For I came to cause division, with a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a young wife against her mother-in-law. Indeed, a man's enemies will be persons of his own household. He that has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me; and he that has greater affection for son or daughter than for me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not accept his torture stake and follow after me is not worthy of me (Matt 10:34-38)?
In the case of Paul and the circumcision, do you think that Paul blindly handed this issue to the governing body without using his whole mind on it first and coming to his own conclusion? Do you think that Paul had no opinion on the matter himself? The scriptures say:
When there had occurred no little dissension and disputing by Paul and Barnabus with them, they arranged for Paul and Barnabus and some others to go up to the apostles and the older men in Jerusalem regarding this dispute (Acts 15:2).
Therefore become an imitator of him, here is your precedent set by Paul. For in this he is certainly imitating the Christ (1 Cor 11:1, 1 Cor 4:16), who is known to have had a few disputes with Jews about the law of Moses. Paul did not refuse to think about the issue, or refuse to discuss the issue because it was going to have to go to the body. He served God not only with his whole mind but also with his whole mouth, nobody can dispute that. Likewise, you too, serve God with your whole mind. And serve him with your whole mouth, and dispute personally with me if you disagree with any aspect of the booklet, like Paul did. For if you pass this booklet on without reading it and without discussing it, then you are attempting to serve God not with your whole mind but with a whole committee of other people's minds, and this is idolatry.
Yours faithfully Gordon Ritchie