The Annual Observance of our Lord’s death occurs this year after six p.m., March 30. This date is calculated as follows: The Vernal Equinox this year arrives at 4:07 a.m. March 21 at the Meridian East, this Meridian being used as it is the nearest to Jerusalem. The new moon nearest the Vernal Equinox comes at 9:29 p.m. March 17. Thus Nisan 1 occurs at 6 p.m. March 17, Bible reckoning. The proper date for the Passover Memorial would thus be fourteen days later, or 6 p.m. March 30. We expect to observe this service at 7:30 p.m. We invite all of “like mind” to join with us.
SUNDRY DETAILED OBSERVATIONS
It will be recalled that the original Passover that night in Egypt was being eaten by the Israelites during the very time that the Angel of Death was visiting destruction upon the firstborn of Egypt – deliverance for God’s people – destruction for their enemies. Thus, St. Paul was prompted to write: “We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.” (2 Cor. 2:15,16) While this text has a primary application to the Christ Company, it applies in secondary manner to all who “keep the feast in sincerity and in truth.”
To all such “the Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.” (Ps. 34:7) This may be accepted by the faithful Faith Class during this Age without reservation, a feature which the type brings forcefully to our attention. As the Jews were eating their lamb that awesome night “with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand” (Ex. 12:11) – eating it with bitter herbs “not a dog did move his tongue against any of the Children of Israel... that ye may know that the Lord hath put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” (Ex. 11:7) For Gospel‑Age purposes, especially here in the Epiphany night, those Egyptian dogs type rabid sectarians (Phil. 3:2 “beware of dogs” – quarrelsome partisans – See Berean Comment). Dogs are known to lose their savagery, and to mourn deeply over the death of their masters; and this will yet prove pointedly true during this Epiphany night of the symbolic dogs – rabid sectarians – when they eventually learn that their leaders have grossly mis‑led them, that many of them have “gone to their own place,” as did Judas. (Acts 1:25)
“TILL HE COME”
The Jews were commanded to keep the Passover each year on the 14th day of Nisan as “a memorial throughout your generations” (Ex. 12:14), and Christians have also been commanded to “do this in remembrance” of Christ our Passover each year “till He come.” (1 Cor. 11:25) From this statement by St. Paul some have raised the question: Should we continue to keep the Memorial if our Lord has returned? However, when we consider that both the Little Flock and the Great Company are a part of the Church of the Firstborn, and that partaking of the bread and the wine symbolizes their participation in the merit of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, then it should require no argument about them continuing to “show forth the Lord’s death till He come” – until the last one has come to journey’s end. But we believe the command would apply also to those faithful ones here in the end of the Age who are not a part of the spirit‑begotten Church of the Firstborn, because the merit of our Lamb has been tentatively imputed to all such – to the extent that the New Covenant cannot begin to operate toward the world until that embargo against Christ’s merit has been removed.
And, as we partake of our Lamb “in newness of life,” so we also partake of His sufferings, each according to the Class in which he finds himself. If we are rightly exercised by such experiences, we then receive “the garments of the Egyptians” (their good character qualities) – which they in turn lose by reason of their unjust acts against God’s faithful people. “We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22) The word “tribulation” is derived from the Latin “tribulum,” the threshing instrument by means of which the Roman husbandman separated the corn from the husks. Says one commentator: “Though tribulation may crush and bruise us, it separates our chaff from the wheat, so that we are prepared for the granary of Heaven. Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear, but the New Testament is the most joyful book in the world because its writers have been delivered from the doubt that paralyzes the soul, and they live in the sunshine of the love of Christ. They know their affliction (tribulation) is working out for them the glory that is to be.”
Dear Brethren, if we will consider our trialsome experiences with Satan’s deluded servants as opportunities of obtaining Divine Truth and the graces from them, we will be helped ardently to desire such acquirements from such experiences and will be helped to receive them in the Lord’s spirit and thus will receive the symbolic articles of gold and silver and garments. Let us view these experiences from this standpoint and act accordingly amid them; and we will emerge from them greatly enriched spiritually. This consideration will keep us from murmuring and complaining amid such experiences and will enable us to take them joyfully. (1 Pet. 4: 12‑14)
As the Israelites fled from the Egyptians after being told to be gone the morning after the tenth plague, the morning after the Passover had been eaten, the cloudy fiery pillar set a barrier between them and the pursuing Egyptians, casting a light ahead of it to lighten the path of Israel, but working a thick darkness to the Egyptians. And so during this Harvest period, and especially so during this Epiphany night, the Truth (the fiery pillar) has been the means of separating the faithful from the measurably faithful, and from the unfaithful. That which effects deliverance for the faithful, keeping them standing and “growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Beloved Lord Jesus,” is the very thing that entraps the unfaithful and brings them to a fall. This is much the same picture as given in Ex. 4:9, where Moses was told to “take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” The refreshing Harvest Truth would appear to be bloody repulsive error to those for whom it was not intended. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit... for they are foolishness unto him.” (1 Cor. 2:14)
“Consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself.” (Heb. 12:3) All during the Age the “brethren” of the Fully Faithful have been among their chief persecutors – as example, John Calvin burning Miletus Servetus at the stake in most gruesome manner (illustrative of the Measurably Faithful, the Great Company, in some of their members, particularly their leaders) – “your brethren that hated you, and that cast you out for my name’s sake.” (Isa. 66:5) But those who have “endured hardness as good soldiers” (2 Tim. 2:3) during this Harvest period have become more and more proficient against all forms of sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, until goodly Canaan land (the sphere of Present Truth and the Spirit of the Truth) has become their laurel of victory, their unbreakable and unchangeable possession. Surely, those of us who have attained this pinnacle know of a certainty that we have attained that victory that overcometh the world.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Ps. 34:19) Many of the dear brethren have become old in this “good fight.” We know of some who are now over ninety years of age, who have borne the burden and heat of the day; yet they still “rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of their salvation.” This is fittingly typed by the “heave‑offering” of Ex. 29:27,28 – “it shall be a heave offering from the children of Israel.” This offering was repeatedly lifted upward toward God by the offerer, the same representing the thing sacrificed to God, and the elevation to higher and higher uses of the things offered unto God’s greater honor and glory – not handling the word of God deceitfully, but “partakers of solid food... for those possessing faculties habitually exercised for the discrimination both of good and evil.” (Heb. 5:13,14, Dia.) And to such the words of the Apostle Paul fittingly apply: “He who sows bountifully will reap also bountifully; even as each one purposes in his heart, not from grief, or from necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:6,7, Dia.) One translation has it, “God loves a man that is glad to give.” And, as we do “this in remembrance of Him,” it is a most propitious time to consider how freely He gave of Himself – “endured the cross, despising the shame,” and has now received “the crown of life” ‑immortality, the highest form (crown) of life.
“Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:8) From this it is apparent that our Lord was subject to the same emotions as are we, and He was fully apprized of the impending events of the day ahead. Yet, on that last night, when He instituted the Memorial of His approaching death, He spent some very considerable time instructing, admonishing and encouraging the eleven Apostles who were to be representatives plenipotentiary of the Gospel‑Age Household of Faith. And during this same night He offered up one of His most appealing prayers, as recorded in the 17th chapter of John, a prayer chiefly for the help and encouragement of those present, following which they sang the Hallel before leaving for Gethsemane. Hallel is the Hebrew word for praise, and it is the root of our English Hallelujah, meaning “praise to God.” The Hallel is Psalms 113 through 118, the first two of which are styled the Small Hallel, and the remaining four the Great Hallel.
As our Lord was praying in the upper room that last night He was able to declare truthfully: “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17: 4) – although the completion of that work had drained His physical resources to the breaking point. Much the same was true of Brother Russell at his death. In the Spring of 1916 he had said, “Brother Johnson, I’m tired – my very bones are tired”; yet of him it was prophetically written, “I have done as thou hast commanded me.” (Ezek. 9:11) And Brother Johnson himself had become so weary from physical exhaustion that he would no longer receive any questions on Bible texts. Yet, our Lord was “found in fashion as a man” even as all of us; and the agony on the cross distorted His facial features as the same experience would do to us. Therefore, the prophet foretold of Him: “As many were astonied at thee [amazed that He would submit to such abuse if He were the Son of God]; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men [physical exhaustion and the torture of the cross took their toll more than would be true of us, because of His sensitive physical perfection – a harrowing sight indeed to all with a normal degree of sympathy and mercy in their hearts and minds].” (Is. 52:14)
As we partake of the bread and the wine, our considering of Him should motivate us all to strong resolve to “follow in His steps” – that we may eventually hear that “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And it is our hope for one and all who keep the feast this year that victory to the full may eventually be theirs, and that it may be said of all:
O! at close of our day may each of us say
“I have fought my way thru;
I have finished the work thou didst give me to do!
01 that each from his Lord may receive the glad word,
Well and faithfully done!
Enter into my joy, and sit down on my throne.”
As belonging to the firstfruits class (and secondarily to others of the Household of Faith), let them use their consecrated all for God in sacrifice to prosper for the Lord, which will result in their abounding in the deeper, as well as surface things of the Truth and its spirit. Especially should they not think of God’s discipline as a trivial thing; nor should they tire of God’s corrections; because these are experiences that God gives to all those whom He loves, even as a father treats the child in whom he is pleased. He is favored indeed who gains the Truth and comprehends it; for as symbolic trading goods it is more valuable than the trading goods of silver; and its profits than that of the finest gold. Hence we are exhorted as his symbolic children to gain the Truth and the comprehension of it, by no means to forget it, nor to turn away from his teachings, nor to give it up for any reason, and it will keep them – to give it their best good will, and it will guard them.
That Wise and Faithful Servant had charge of the gathering “My saints together with Me, those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice” (Psa. 50:5); and with the help of faithful brethren, we believe that work was completed with his ministry. However, he taught there would be an unbegotten class gathered “between the ages.” And those teachings to the saints have a secondary application to the unbegotten class, except as to the rewards edifying and strengthening their faith. Such consecrators have the faith of Abraham, and who faithfully serve God while sin is in the ascendancy, will be rewarded in honor and service in the earthly phase of the Kingdom with the Ancient Worthies (Hebrews, Chapter 11) – made “Princes in all the earth.” (Psa. 45:16)
Do they partake of the Lord’s Supper. Most certainly they do – but with some reservations. They are not “suffering with Christ,” nor will they “reign with Christ”; therefore, they partake of the wine and bread – symbolizing our Lord’s death as the Lamb of God, as well as symbolizing their tentative justification. Although their trial is for faith and obedience, and not for life, they make the same kind of consecration as did the spirit‑begotten. “Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger [the unbegotten], as for one of your own country [the spirit‑begotten].” (Lev. 24:22)
As has been our custom, we shall keep the feast in quietness and confidence decently, orderly, quietly – without much form or ceremony, even as did Jesus and His disciples that last night.
It is our prayer that this year’s remembrance may be profitable to all who partake in sincerity and in Truth. We suggest the Passover chapter in Volume Six; and we pray a rich blessing upon all who partake. We are living in wonderful times, and we know not what a day may bring; but we have the strong assurance that faith can firmly trust Him who “left us an example, that we should follow in His steps.”
I REMEMBER WHEN I
Some years ago I wrote an article on What This World Would Be like Without Jews. In response to letters and phone calls, I have been asked if I could produce a “Part II” on the same theme. I hope the following is helpful.
Indeed, what would this world be like without Jews? History claims there is absolutely no field in which Jews have not contributed a gift to mankind. In religion, philosophy, medicine, law, theater, music, literature, art (in its many forms), invention, statesmanship, philanthropy, sports and science, Jews have made major contributions.
How many millions of Jews and non‑Jews have joined in the laughter of the Shalom Aleichem stories. A group of his delightfully warm stories were turned into a play that broke all Broadway play records and even a film. Who has not seen or heard the music and laughter of “A Fiddler On the Roof”? And how about Irving Berlin who has written thousands of songs America has sung. He even wrote a song that has been equaled in fame to the Star Spangled Banner. Who has not sung “G‑d Bless America” which was written by Irving Berlin?
And what if there was no Emil Berliner who invented the telephone transmitter that made commercial telephone possible? He was so poor he couldn’t get the necessary patents for his inventions, and others took credit for the invention of the practical telephone. Alexander Graham Bell invented a device that transmitted sound and noises over a wire. Berliner saw this device on exhibit at a World’s Fair and developed the undulating coil that made these static noises that came over Bell’s wire, turn into clear distinguishable phrases. Berliner who was almost penniless, filed for the patents and was sued by Alexander Graham Bell for infringements on his patent, and it was Berliner who won in the Supreme Court of the United States. Till this very day the patent is still in the Berliner name.
It was Berliner who invented the microphone that made radio broadcasting possible. It was also the same Berliner who invented the practical gramophone and phonograph, not Edison, as most people think. Edison invented a machine that had a wax cylinder that was able to reproduce a tiny range of sound and noise. Berliner developed the round record that we use today and was the first to produce those records commercially.
It was Berliner who invented the air‑cooled engine and revolving cylinder that was used in commercial aircraft for years. It was Berliner who made the helicopter a workable flying machine that his son actually flew in 19191 His work on microphones made the motion picture sound projector become a part of the American way of life. Berliner, a poor Jew who came to this country from Europe, was responsible for creating hundreds of inventions in the technical field that play some of the most important parts in today’s entertainment.
I wonder if the fictional character of Superman was not fashioned after another Jew named Samuel Dreben. Indeed, what would America have been like without Samuel Dreben, a man who served his country as a soldier in more wars than any other man, Jew or non‑Jew, in history. As a young man of 18 he fought in the Spanish‑American War where he alone, charged into an army of 2,000 fanatical, bloodthirsty Moros who were threatening his outfit. His daring action turned the tide of a losing battle. His impossible military maneuvering made the natives break ranks in disorder, and flee for their lives. When he was captured in the American campaign against Pancho Villa in Mexico, he was placed before a firing squad. Then when the order for execution was given, the soldiers knowing of this man’s bravery and heroics for the common people, actually turned their weapons on their own commanding officer! In World War I, he won the Distinguished Service Medal for single handedly rushing an enemy post of forty Germans who were wiping out hundred of Americans. He evened the score by killing 231 General Pershing, Commander‑in‑Chief of all American troops called him, “The Bravest and finest soldier in the American Army!”
And how would this world have been without a man like Dr. Joseph Goldberger who surmised that pellagra was not a disease of germs but a disease that struck out against the poor. He even had himself and his wife injected with the blood of a pellagra victim to prove it was not germs that took the lives of innocent children, but poor diet. He proved, at the risk of his own life, that it was lean beef, milk, eggs and green leafy vegetables that could stop pellagra. Although he died penniless at the age of 54 the “factor” that would prevent pellagra was renamed for him and today is Vitamin G.
And how about the world of sports, what would the world of sports be like without a Hank Greenberg? Greenberg was a young Orthodox Jew from the Bronx. As a matter of fact, he and his parents went to the same shul I went to and was Bar Mitzvahed in the Bronx. In one season Greenberg hit 58 home runs and in 13 years hit 331 home runs. He was considered the finest first baseman in baseball history. As a matter of fact, he was the first Jew elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame!
How about the great team of Rogers and Hammerstein? The music of Richard Rogers and the lyrics and play concepts of Oscar Hammerstein will live forever. Will anyone ever forget Showboat, South Pacific, Oklahoma and scores of other great musicals? Indeed, they made America sing!
How many old timers as well as youngsters are familiar with the man who has been called the greatest magician of all times? His name, Ehrich Weiss. He entertained under the name of Harry Houdini and was considered the greatest magician and escape artist in the world. Millions thrilled to his magic and his name has become a synonym for magic the world over. A small grave right here in Brooklyn’s Machpela Cemetery, just off Ocean Parkway, has a simple head stone bearing the name, Ehric Weiss, “Houdini’s” last resting place.
I wonder how many people realize that the poem carved into the base of our Statue of Liberty was written by a Jewess, Emma Lazarus? It reads:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest‑tossed, to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The words of a young Jewish woman has welcomed millions of immigrants to these shores. Where would the atomic age be if not for another Jewish Woman, Dr. Lise Meitner, who very modestly wrote a paper on the barium mystery which had puzzled scientists throughout the world. No scientist was able to split the atom, until she proved it could be done. Her modest research and paper led the way to the atomic age.
The first scientist to win the Nobel Prize also led the way to the space age. He was Abraham Michelson who won the prize in 1907. It was because of his discovery of how to measure the speed of light that helped Einstein develop the Relativity Theory that opened the door to today’s world of scientific discovery.
What would this world have been like without the great Elias A. Ries? During World War I, Reis invented an instrument for detecting submarines by an echo system. This device was instrumental in winning World War III It was Ries who also patented a process for electric welding and a simple invention that made the skyscraper possible in today’s world. He invented the electric elevator safety control that automatically stopped an elevator if there was a power failure or any other mechanical problem. It was he who synchronized motion and sound on a single piece of film, which opened the door to the motion picture industry as we know it today. He even invented the bottle cap that opened up a new industry of soft drinks in America. Westinghouse bought 65 of his patents for $1,000 each and then went on to become an industrial giant.
The man who discovered the wonderful healing qualities of the earth that opened the way for new cures for the medical profession was another Jew, Selman Abraham Waksman. It was his theory that there were soil microorganisms which would prove beneficial to mankind. His work lead to streptomycin and almost the entire world of antibiotics that have cured the greatest part of this earth’s population.
The list of Jews who have given gifts to mankind continues to grow. Even in this generation, the names of Sabin and Salk and their polio vaccines have saved the lives of millions of children throughout the world. The name of Sarnoff, that bought music into the homes of millions throughout the world, will live forever. Indeed, what would this world be like without Jews?
When Spain forced out their Jews during the Spanish Inquisition, the economy of the nation was destroyed. They never recovered from that economic disaster. However, in 1967 when Spain first permitted the public practice of Judaism, there was an upturn in their economy. In 1978 when the Spanish Constitution gave full religious equality to the Jewish Community, their economic picture went full speed ahead toward recovery. Since Spain recognized the Jews once more, their economy has made more progress than they made in the past 400 years. Nevertheless, Spain still has a long way to go. Hilter tried to destroy the Jews – and Germany was totally destroyed.
History tells the story better than I. Go back as far as you wish. The Jews have been persecuted and harassed but they have become like tempered steel. They were forced to be innovative and creative because no one would permit them to join their industry.
From Abraham to Moses, to Joseph and Solomon the whole family tree of Judaism has given gifts to the world. Stop for a moment and ask yourself what would this world be like without Jews?
(By Arnold Fine, The Jewish Press, September 4, 1998)
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION – Do all Bible Students believe Brother Russell was That Servant?
ANSWER ‑Many Bible Students believe Brother Russell was That Servant of Matthew 24:45 47. However, some who do believe he was That Servant do not teach certain parts of the Plan of Salvation and those parts are vital to our time. But we try to teach “all the counsel of God” as did the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:27), and as That Servant did also (Ezek. 9:11). Of course, they have the right to reject any of his teachings which they do not like. But they should quote or refer to what they do not believe and tell us why they reject them, if they want to help the “errorists.” It has been truly said that in controversy the truth will come out.
It was the mission of That Servant to gather the saints together (Psa. 50:5) and at no time previous to the Gospel Harvest had they been so gathered. To say that Brother Russell did not accomplish that mission is a dishonor to his memory.
We will repeat again what we have often quoted. That Servant said in Volume 3, Thy Kingdom Come that there are three ways that the closing of the door to the High Calling might be indicated. We will quote the second way: “By such a reversal of public sentiment with reference to the truth, that fidelity and zeal in its service would no longer meet with opposition, and when suffering with Christ for the truth’s sake (Rom. 8:17) would no longer be possible.” See pages 207 and 208. We believe that time is now. In some foreign countries “Christians” are being persecuted due to their meddling in politics. It is not because they are “contending for the faith once delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3) People do not persecute us for what we believe. They don’t care what we believe as long as we do not bother them.
Some of the Bible Students have indicated that those who are helping Israel are not doing the Lord’s work. We refer to Emek ha Shalom of Israel who preach to the Jews that their Messiah is Jesus. So far they have done a remarkable work and Israel appreciates what they are doing. That Servant says in several places, “Were it not for the work of gathering the Bride, we would be in Jerusalem to do a part in the great work of turning away the blindness from Jacob.” See Expanded Bible Comments on Isa. 40:2 and Rom. 11:25.
In Reprint 5632 That Servant says the Kingdom was set up September 21, 1914. He got that date from Bible Chronology and not from his imagination, as some believe. He also mentions the Smiting that was going on then. It is an insult to Brother Russell’s memory to be “gathering the saints” now and using his methods and tracts and Photo‑drama, also the literature he used especially for the smiting of the nations.
All the saints came out of Babylon in time to participate in the smiting. By then they were sealed in the forehead.
The Time of Trouble is not to the Church or for the Church, but to the world and for the world in order to “execute upon them the judgment written; this honor have all the saints” (Psa. 149:9), and for smiting of the nations.
Brother Russell treats on all these texts more than is given here, but we will have a future paper on The Mission Of That Servant, which will treat extensively on these subjects and texts.
LETTER OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Sister Emily,
Thank you for your letter. The weather is really nice up here – 55 degrees today. I am loosely affiliated with the United Methodist Church. I say loosely because I am not sure how Methodist I really am now... My family is not affiliated with any religion.
You also mentioned that I might give some of the papers to a professor. I am taking religion class during the next semester, so maybe I can do that then... Eastern doesn’t offer a religion major but sociology will give me opportunity to study religious movements. I have never heard of a prophetic day being 7000 years each. Interesting topics. Anyway, I will keep reading and keep in touch. Thank you for your help.
Sincerely, ------- (MICHIGAN)