NO. 515 EPIPHANEIA - APOKALYPSIS

by Epiphany Bible Students


Frequently the question still comes to us: Is there an Apokalypsis as a special period of time here in the end of the Age? Those of our readers who are informed in Epiphany Truth are fully convinced that the Bible does clearly define an Epiphaneia as a special period of time in the end of this Age, which we hope to clarify later in this paper. This Epiphaneia could also be designated the Apokalypsis, because both words as an act and as a period of time are synonymous; but the Scriptures that definitely reveal this period contain the word Epiphaneia in the original. Thus, we are more meticulously adhering to Bible designation when we use the word Epiphaneia, rather than Apokalypsis, when we discuss this period.

However, before proceeding to further analysis of our subject, we would stress that there are no clear Scriptures at all that outline an Apokalypsis as a special period of time following the Epiphaneia - just none at all! As stated, we could label the Epiphaneia, the last special period of the Gospel Age, the Apokalypsis as a secondary appellation. However, whichever designation we accept, the two are concurrent, inseparably linked together; they are decidedly not two different periods of time.

As an act, and as a period of time, Epiphaneia and Apokalypsis do have the same application - although they are not synonymous in the strict sense of the word. Many translators give Epiphaneia as bright shining, forth shining, uncovering, etc.; whereas, they offer revelation as the meaning of Apokalypsis. Viewed critically, it is impossible to have one without the other, which explains why they are synonymous as an act and as a period of time. Thus, it requires the bright shining to produce the revelation. For instance, the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, has been with us since the Apostle John wrote it; but it cannot possibly be understood - revealed, uncovered - until the bright shining (Epiphaneia) makes it clear. While Martin Luther saw the explanation for some parts of Revelation, other parts of it he could not possibly understand because the bright shining had not arrived to reveal it - in the "due time." Just one instance: The 1260 days (1260 literal years) of the Beast (Rev. 13:5) could not possibly be clear to him because those years did not end until 1799 (and prophecy cannot be understood in detail until it has been fulfilled, or is in process of fulfillment) - when the Pope's power was broken by Napoleon - about 250 years after Luther's death.

Thus, it will be seen that the bright shining and the revelation have continued in limited measure throughout the Gospel Age; and there is also an Epiphaneia - or Apokalypsis - designated as a special period of time here in the end of the Age; but it cannot truthfully be stated that there is a special Apokalypsis period apart from the Epiphaneia - or the Epiphany, as we call it. For instance, 2 Timothy 4:1 says, "The Lord Jesus shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing [Epiphaneia] and kingdom [Basileia]." There is no mention of His judging in the Apokalypsis, as a period apart from the Epiphaneia. And all Bible Students will surely admit that we are yet in the judging period of the elect and of the world - the world in the sense of the "judgments of the nations [not individuals]." Regardless of how little time that judging would consume, it must be evident that it is nevertheless a special period of time. And, again, "That wicked one whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness [Epiphaneia] of His coming [Parousia]." (2 Thes. 2:8) Here is a statement concerning the time and method of Antichrist' s destruction. It also clearly sets forth a period of time for the Epiphany here in the end of the Age, the time in which we are now living.  There are no such Scriptures anywhere to designate an Apokalypsis apart from the Epiphaneia as a period of time; but, granted that there were, we must self-evidently still be in the Ep1phane1a because Antichrist is still with us.   Thus the Epiphaneia must continue until that destruction occurs; and, since it is one of the special features of the Time of Trouble, it should also be apparent that the Epiphaneia and the Time of Trouble are identical; the one cannot end until the other ends. But nowhere in the Bible are these things declared regarding an Apokalypsis apart from the Epiphaneia as a period of time.

In corroboration of the aforegoing, we offer the following from E-4-15, bottom and top of page 16: "The words epiphaneia and apokalypsis, in the sense of an action, and in the sense of a period, are synonymous... There has been a gradual epiphanizing, revealing, ever since 1874 to the Church; but, so far as the world and the Great Company are concerned, this has gradually been going on since the tribulation began in 1914; and will increase and finally come to a climax at the end of the Epiphany - the end of the Time of Trouble. This is the reason why the Time of Trouble is EMPHATICALLY the Epiphany, the Apokalypsis, for it clearly with more distinctness than the preceding period manifests pertinent persons, principles and things."

And this "manifesting" is certainly true of those "pertinent persons" who once accepted the above teaching, but have now departed from it - whether in whole or in part - because that is the Truth today the same as it was the Truth when it was written sixty years ago. The Epiphany Messenger had sound foundation for his teaching of the Epiphany and the Time of Trouble as an identical period of time. It was given him and us by the Parousia Messenger - That Servant. But the would-be teachers of today have no sound foundation for their "New Views" from either Messenger - no hint of another period from either Messenger, and no hint of an "extended" Basileia overlapping to include three major features of the Epiphany, or the Time of Trouble.

EPIPHANEIA-APOKALYPSIS IDENTICAL

The word epiphaneia occurs six times in the New Testament - translated five times as appearing, and once as brightness, the latter occurring in 2 Thes. 2:8. The other five texts are 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1; 4:8 and Titus 2:13. Aside from 2 Tim. 1:10 (which refers to the First Advent), all other five occurrences refer to the Second Advent and the Time of Trouble. In the sense of the second period of our Lord's Second Advent it is limited to the time between the Parousia and the Basileia. It is used to designate the period of the great tribulation, the Time of Trouble. Remembering that the epiphaneia and the apokalypsis are one and the same time and that this period is for the benefit of the world and the Great Company, we can readily see that the Scriptures teach that the Epiphany, as a period, is the Time of Trouble. (See E-4, page 21, par. 14)

Another Scripture relative to our subject is 2 Thes. 1:7,8: "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed [apokalypsed, uncovered by the epiphaneia, bright shining] from Heaven with His mighty angels [the agents whereby He will wreck the present order - the main agent being the "sea," the lawless elements of society] in flaming fire [fire in the Bible generally designates destructive forces - See Dan. 7:11], taking vengeance on them that know not God [the Second Deathers in the Nominal Church], and [on them] that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Second Deathers in the Truth Movements] " That this is still future, but a part of the Epiphaneia period is further revealed by 2 Pet. 3:7, Dia.: "The present Heavens and the Earth [the present social order], by the same word, are treasured up, being kept for fire to a day of judgment and destruction of impious [second-death] men." All such are to be eliminated in the approaching, but still future, holocaust of destruction - the "flaming fire" of this Epiphaneia.

Further corroboration of the same is to be found in Zech. 12:9,10, wherein is described the Lord's epiphanizing of Himself to Israel: "It shall come to pass in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem [in the end of the second phase of Jacob's Trouble - Zech. 12:1-8; Ezek. 38 and 39] and I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication, and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced [Rev. 1:7]; and they shall mourn for it [for having pierced Him at Calvary]." All Truth people recognize at once that this passage refers to the end of Jacob's trouble, and that it proves our Lord’ s revelation of Himself to Israel as their long rejected Messiah. Hence these two verses   prove that the Time of Trouble and the Epiphany are identical. By the above passages we have proved that the Epiphany began with the War in 1914, will progress through Revolution, and will end with Anarchy and Jacob's trouble. Its beginning, progressing and ending with the Time of Trouble demonstrates its identity with the Time of Trouble.

TIMELY QUOTATIONS FROM THAT SERVANT

Note now the following from That Servant on the Epiphaneia under the sub-heading of PAROUSIA FIRST - EPIPHANY AND APOKALUPSIS FOLLOW: "In its light we can now see that our Master will be present for a time, in the Harvest time of this Age - invisibly present doing a work in His Church, before any outward sign or revealing to the world takes place. His work in His Church will be the separating of the true from the merely nominal - the 'wheat' from the 'tares.' His revealing will be in the 'flaming fire' the great Time of Trouble with which this Age will close, and in which the 'tares' shall cease to be tares'… Another parable also shows that before revealing Himself in any manner to the world, He calls first His own servants and reckons with them. (Luke 19: 15-2 7) . . . Nor can any but the few hear and appreciate the evidences, or understand the Master' s words that as the world knew not in the days of Noah, even thus shall it be in the presence of the Son of Man (Matt. 2 4: 37) - they shall. know not, and the ordinary avocations of daily life shall continue, until disturbed by the commotion and trouble of the EPIPHANEIA, the APOKALUPSIS of the King in the pouring out of the seven last plagues - when the judgments of the Lord shall be abroad in the earth and the inhabitants of the world shall learn righteousness." (February 15, 1902, Reprints 2956-2957)

Haven't the "commotions of this Epiphany period disturbed the ordinary avocations of daily life"? Certainly it is self-evident that the world since 1914 - the beginning of the Epiphaneia, the Time of Trouble - now is most cognizant of a great change. Often do we hear the remark that we are in a "Time of Trouble" since 1914, even by those who have no concrete knowledge of present truth. But those who have departed from the Truth on the Epiphaneia and the Apokalupsis, the Time of Trouble as given us by That Servant, manifest that they are no longer faithful to the Truth that once sanctified them. That Servant clearly and distinctly differentiates between the reaping feature (the Parousia) and the Time of Trouble (the Epiphaneia). Thus, in casting aside these Scriptural teachings, they teach error mixed with Truth - such as teaching the High Calling still open (after the trouble has disturbed the world in general) - or inventing non-existent classes, replacing the Truth with their errors.

And here is something else from That Servant's pen: "The fact also that so many have been thus accepted since 1878 seems to imply that there has been a considerable vacancy in the list of the elect, and that it is gradually filling up. It is not for us to say how much of a vacancy remains, or just when it will be filled. We fully believe, however, that it will be filled before the close of the 'Times of the Gentiles,' which we think will end with October, 1914." (January 15, 1913, Reprint 5168, col. 2, par. 7)

Yet, despite the signs of the time, and the evidence all about us that we are in the Great Tribulation, the Epiphaneia, the Time of Trouble, since 1914, we have brethren today teaching that the High Calling is still open. If we are to accept the teaching that the High Calling is still available for newcomers, then we must accept that just about all the Very Elect prior to 1914 lost their crowns in order to make room for the "large crowd" immersed since then in the various groups that in 2000 still teach such to their candidates.

WANDERING FROM THE TRUTH

In James 5:19, Dia., the Apostle speaks of some who "wander from the Truth"; and his language is probably motivated by the various wanderings from the Truth of fleshly Israel in their journey from Egypt to Canaan. The first wandering from the Truth - the one most dominant in determining their destiny - was the Truth brought by the two spies, Joshua and Caleb, when they returned from "spying out the land of Canaan." (See Num. 13 and 14) Instead of accepting the Truth from these two, they chose rather to hearken to the false and discouraging report of the ten spies. And that rejection of the Truth, resulted in their wandering in the wilderness for forty years - a year for each day of the spying activity. (Num. 13:25; 14:34) And let us keep in mind that during that forty years of wilderness wandering every male of twenty years old and upward (Num. 14:29; 1:45; 26:64), who had left Egypt, died - all except two - Joshua and Caleb. Only those two passed over Jordan into Canaan - a very "little flock" indeed when compared with the "great company" who died in the wilderness.

In addition to the rejection of that first and all-important truth, the Jews made further secondary wanderings from the Truth, five of these being clearly defined by St. Paul in 1 Cor. 10:6-10. And the Apostle states in verse 11 that those wanderings from the truth "happened unto them for ensamples" - "types," see margin. With this direct statement before us that those things were "types," it is only logical and proper that we should make search for their antitypes.

It would seem the first of these occurred in the Jewish Harvest - when the Lord, the Apostles, the Seventy and others made diligent and truthful search of the Gospel Age Canaan land, the same being a type of the sphere of the Truth and the spirit of the Truth. But there in that first antitype again it was only a very "little flock" who accepted the Truth. In doing "among them the works which none other man did" - miracles never before seen in Israel - our Lord had influenced only about 500 (1 Cor. 15:6) to full belief - a very "little flock" when compared to the thousands of unbelievers in Israel who rejected Him. There the "great company" of Jews listened to the evil report of the Scribes and Pharisees - (just as it is today), with the resultant "wandering Jew" (almost the entire race) during the 1845-year "double" of the Gospel Age.

Concurrently with the Jewish wandering, there was also a Christian wandering - likewise prompted by "wandering from the Truth." The Lord had told them He would come again to establish His Kingdom; His followers should await His return. Instead, they, too, became weary of waiting, believed the false report that they should establish the Kingdom. The result was Great Babylon, the "great company" falling in the Gospel Age wilderness "wandering," with only the faithful "little flock" entering goodly Canaan land (the Truth and the spirit of the Truth).

PRESENT-DAY WANDERINGS

Then came the Parousia in 1874, and with it a more intensive spying of the land (the sphere of the Truth and the spirit of the Truth) than probably ever before; at least more so than at any time since the Jewish Harvest. And by the end of those forty years we believe it requires little argument that once more it was the "little flock" that abode by the Truth, with the "great company" listening to false spying reports. When That Servant died, spiritual bedlam followed immediately; and, regardless of how we view any particular group, it should be apparent to all that much confusion prevails. And, self-evidently, that confusion has brought with it intensified and multiplied sorrows. Compared in retrospect with the Parousia, the symbolic carcasses of the "great company" of Spiritual Israel are in evidence on all hands in this Epiphany "wandering."

But, while it is proper that we note the decay in the world's affairs, our main concern is with those who "wander from the Truth." Clearly enough, this could refer only to those once "in the Truth," the same being the various individuals among Truth groups who have fallen prey to false leadership, thus believing the report of the ten false spies. Most prominent among these in recent years are those once claiming to be in the Epiphany Truth, but who have "wandered" from it by casting aside completely this Epiphany period - or "perverting" it by combining it now with the Basileia. And for all of these - except for those who become completely reprobate - we may anticipate the eventual antitype of Num. 14:1: "the people wept that night." This weeping is mostly still future, of course, but we may rest in the faith of its eventual occurrence.

CHARACTER BLEMISHES NOT SUFFICIENT FOR JUDGMENT

We are cautioned not to condemn our brethren for their conduct insofar as their human frailties are concerned (unless grossly and persistently immoral - having become completely demoralized) - since it is only God who can read the heart, and can make the proper allowance and judgment for that. But when any "wander from the Truth" that once sanctified them, we can then know that the Lord knows there is something wrong with their hearts, their characters, otherwise He wouldn’t' permit them to "wander" thusly. But with some of the Lord's people, they do just the reverse of this: If a brother or sister is courteous and refined, and lovable in their human natural characteristics, they are very generous toward them - even when they "wander from the Truth"; while at the same time not having the proper love and regard they should for others who haven't "wandered from the Truth" - who often have crude manners and many human frailties that are trialsome to others (even though they seek to "continue in His Word" insofar as they are able) . These things ought not to be! Certainly many of the misleaders (of the Truth and its Arrangements) have been men of fine deportment, and good secular education, otherwise they wouldn't have been able to establish the errors they have, and lead others astray. But if we are to "abide in His Word," we are to rate our brethren by their faithfulness, or unfaithfulness, according to the "faith once delivered unto the saints." Quite a few brethren went along with JFR's errors, being unable to "discern between Truth and Error," until he became offensive in his morals. Then, they, too, forsook him!

That Servant tells us in the September 1, 1916 Watch Tower, Reprint 5949, top, col. 1: "Let us remember, too, that God has promised to keep and guide the minds of those whose hearts are loyal and true to Him. We should therefore conclude that if the Lord is thrusting any one out of the light as unworthy of it, into the outer darkness of the world, if He is permitting unfaithful ones to be seduced by the great enemy … We are to remain with the Lord and those who are walking in the light ... When the Lord has put any out of the light (Matt. 22:13), we cannot hope to bring them back." And more from his pen: "However, none are ever permitted to be overcome who have not in some way been unfaithful to the Truth and hence unworthy of it. Upon all such God has said He would send the strong delusion, so that they shall believe a lie (2Thes. 2:11). 

Let us bear in mind, however, that there are many Youthful Worthies who have never received the Truth about their class, and it could not properly be said that they have "wandered from the truth" - the truth they never possessed. But those Youthful Worthies who have had the beneficent teachings and leadership of the Epiphany Messenger and who renounce and cast Epiphany truth aside can truly be said to have "wandered from the Truth." And the same can be said of the Great Company in Big Babylon: They never had Harvest Truth, although they are held accountable for not receiving it if they had the opportunity. But with those crown-losers who did receive the Truth during the Harvest, they have certainly "wandered from the truth" when they deny that we are in the Epiphaneia - the Time of Trouble - a new dispensation since 1914, as described by That Servant. And those leaders who have thus "wandered from the Truth" have contaminated the Youthful Worthies under their leadership. These Youthful Worthies will have to cleanse themselves of this contamination and errors in their "due time," but certainly they are less culpable than those Epiphany-enlightened Youthful Worthies who have "wandered from the Truth" on such a class to be won "from 1881 until Restitution sets in"- and those Youthful Worthies who have cast aside completely the truth on Youthful Worthies. (See E-4-337, 342)

For emphasis we reiterate the fact that all the males of twenty years and upward who had left Egypt died in the forty-years' wandering in the wilderness - all except two, Caleb and Joshua. Thus, only those two of all those adult male Israelites who left Egypt, were the only ones who actually inherited goodly Canaan land; and of the Israelites who eventually did come into that good station all - except two - were an entirely new generation. This then now forces us to the conclusion that the great majority of Youthful Worthies who are now in the "wandering" process will also die from their Class standing in the antitypical wilderness, making a vacancy for a new generation to attain that Class standing and replace those "wandering" Israelites. We further emphasize, however, that those Youthful Worthies who have not received the truth on their class standing cannot be referred to as "wandering" from that truth which they have not received.

Even without the type this should be readily apparent to the critical observer from the fact that so many of them now have so little of the Truth, and the spirit of the Truth, that once sanctified them - especially the Truth on Youthful Worthy opportunity. Many have forsaken the Truth that Youthful Worthies can be won "until Restitution sets in," and are now substituting a "consecrated" (?) class in the Camp to supplant them, in this Epiphany period when the Highway of Holiness is not available - and a "way" (Christ' s merit applied for the world) to enter it; and some have forsaken the Truth altogether on Youthful Worthies, now believing they are of the Little Flock, and that the High Calling is still open - all the while claiming strict adherence to That Servant's teaching, although openly admitting to repudiating the Epiphany Messenger and Epiphany Truth . That the Parousia Messenger taught such a class, and that the Epiphany Messenger merely elaborated on that class, is indisputable and very clear to all who have received the Truth "in the love of the Truth." However, we believe there are many Youthful Worthies in the various groups who haven't been taught the Truth on their class standing.

While the Ancient Worthies are now unchangeably fixed as to class and numbers, we know of nothing in the Scriptures that declares their number fixed before the last one - John the Baptist - was established in their ranks. Eventually their number may be revealed.

Furthermore, Brother Russell was emphatic in his statement that the Epiphany period is the Time of Trouble (and surely there are very few who cannot see that we are in the "Time of Trouble"); and it was stressed that its duration would be from 1914 to the end of Jacob' s Trouble - which is the period between the Parousia and the Basileia.

"Now, thanks be to that God, who always leads us forth to triumph with the Anointed One, and who diffuses by us the fragrance of the knowledge of Him, in every place. Because we are a sweet odor of Christ to God, among those who are being saved, and among. those who are perishing [those who are "wandering' from the Truth] …and for these things who is qualified? For we are not like the many, trafficking the Word of God; but really from sincerity, and as from God, in the presence of God, we speak concerning Christ." (2 Cor. 2:14-17, Dia.)

(John J. Hoefle, No. 334, April 1983

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AMERICAN JEWS ARE SITTING ON A TIME BOMB

During my recent speaking tour of the United States, one of the key issues I discussed was the alleged "peace process." During a particularly lively and responsive exchange at a synagogue in Houston my audience proved itself to be very serious in analyzing my presentation. If the process in which we are now engaged is, as I state, a process of surrender which will not result in peace, rather in a war which we are making easier for our enemies to win, then what is the alternative? I assured my audience that I am not a proponent of war. Living in Israel with my family I have a more urgent desire for peace there than they do. What I refuse to do, however, is lie to myself and pretend that we are making peace when all we are doing is digging our own graves. We do not have a choice between war and peace. Our choice is to risk war now by not surrendering to our enemies, or to delude ourselves by engaging in pre-emptive surrender and calling it a 'peace process."

The fact is that the Arab war to destroy the Jewish State has never ended. All of the Arab states, including Egypt, and Jordan, continue to plot our destruction. All that has changed is the method.  This is no secret and anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows this fact. In spite of this leaders of the Jewish State continue to negotiate the terms of our self destruction with those of our enemies who are prepared to sit with us.  The PLO Trojan Horse has been pulled inside our borders. The only reason that illegitimate entity even agrees to continue to talk with us is the fact that such talk results in clear and measurable military advantages for it. Once these advantages come to a halt, so will the "peace" talks. There is not a shred of hope that our having given recognition to the PLO as having autonomous rights, or even recognizing a PLO state, will result in as much as mitigating its plans to destroy Israel. Yet our leadership still talks of "final- status," limiting our own rights to build homes in our country, and giving away more of our homeland to Arafat. These are all reckless and desperate gestures to convince ourselves that we are making peace with our enemies, even as they mock us. And now, the latest "news" is that Assad is prepared to continue discussing peace with Israel without demanding all of the Golan Heights as a precondition. He will permit us to give it to him after he graciously sits at the table with us. And Israel is delighted at this new expression of willingness to compromise.

One fellow in Houston, after clearly being disturbed by my assertion, asked me if my wife and I are prepared to defend ourselves. After all, he reasoned, if there will be an all out war in Israel, the army will be busy defending the borders and we will have no choice but to defend ourselves against the PLO.  Quite frankly, I found the question a cynical one and I told him so. The implication was that to stand up to our ·enemies is a reckless idea which will place us in danger. Yet by surrendering in advance of war we are not making ourselves safer, rather making the war to come that much more difficult to win.

Another problem with 'his question was the implication that I am courting danger merely by living in Kiryat Arba. I could have told this fellow that my apartment doesn't have a fancy electronic alarm system, nor do we lock or bar our doors at night as is common practice in Houston. What is more, I could easily have turned his question back to him. Are he and his wife prepared to defend their lives and property when the local anti semites go on a rampage in reaction to some unpredictable calamity which they may choose to blame on Jews, as has been done to our people throughout the ages in nearly every country in the world?

The fact is that, despite the stupidity and stupendous blunders of my foolish leadership, Israel is still, and will always be, the safest place in the world for Jews to live. The troubles we have here are of our own making. We do not have to tolerate terror. Rather than rewarding our enemies by giving them land, army bases, weapons and money, we should have vanquished them. It is we who are responsible for creating new havens for terror and for encouraging its continuation by having rewarded those evil deeds. It is also in the power of Jewish leaders in Israel to correct their mistakes and make our homeland safe for Jews to live. Perhaps if more sensible and activist Jews would come home and participate in shaping our destiny here we could affect a change in how we deal with our enemies.

But such is not the case in the United States. In that country we are a tiny minority. We are a highly visible minority which, as has always been the case, is very convenient as a scapegoat upon which to blame problems which have no obvious address. I remember reading bumper stickers years ago during the oil crisis in the United States, when gasoline was rationed for a while. The sticker read, "Burn Jews not oil." And that was nearly thirty years ago. Today there are many potential crises which can explode overnight and ignite a huge wave of anti semitic violence. A Jew who sits and worries about an unsafe Israel while being oblivious to the time bomb upon which he is sitting in his seemingly safe home in the United States is only deceiving himself and recklessly endangering himself and his loved ones.

Baruch HaShem, I live in Israel. Yes, my wife and I both have licensed handguns to protect ourselves, although we almost never feel the need to carry them. It is dangerous to live in a country where our government grants rights to terrorists. But it is a Jewish country. Even our most extreme leftists are still our brothers. We have tremendous problems to overcome among our own people. But all of us, left and right, religious and secular, are all in the same boat. The Arab terrorist doesn't care about our political affiliation or whether or not we put on tefillin in the morning.  He will murder us simply because we are Jewish, as did Hitler and Haman. When the war breaks out, as always our common threat will unite us.  And we are in our homeland.

But what of the Jew living in Exile? He too has problems among his own people. He too will discover that common threats will unite him with his brothers in Exile. But outside of Israel, where he is a tiny minority, even his unity is of little value. It is only in his homeland where it can save him. As one who was born and raised in the United States I certainly do not seek to condemn that country. It has been a place of refuge for many people and afforded incredible opportunities to my people. Its founding principles were even based upon Biblical concepts.  It is not to criticize America that I say these things. What I am addressing is the reality of Jewish history and Jewish destiny. There is only one destiny for the Jewish people and that is the Land of Israel. Redemption is a concept whose time has come. G-d has given a special gift to each and every Jew. It is the ability for us to express our faith in Him in very real terms. Right now, by making plans to come home while it is strictly our choice to do so, we can demonstrate to Him our faith and love. Soon this gift will be taken from us in that we will be taken out of the exile by force, or perish therein and lose that ability to express our faith. No one knows exactly when this will happen. But it is clear that redemption is progressing. Our rabbis ask the question, "Who is wise?' and they answer, "He who sees the future." Certainly our rabbis were not referring to fortune tellers. They were referring to people with common sense who can recognize the consequences of their actions. To pretend that our future outside of the Land of Israel is limitless is to lie to ourselves and put our families in unnecessary danger. To be wise is to realize that redemption is rapidly unfolding before our eyes, and that the future of the Jewish People is only in the Land of Israel.

(By Gary M. Cooperberg, A Voice from Hebron, December 9, 1999)

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QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST

QUESTION - A TV Evangelist said that he would be happy to see God when he dies and goes to heaven, although he was afraid to face God. Is this proper?

ANSWER - No, it is not proper for us to be afraid of God.  We should have supreme reverence for God and be fearful of displeasing Him by intentional wrongdoing.  Fear in the Bible has two meanings - one meaning reverence and one meaning fearful, being afraid. The Evangelist does not "rightly divide the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15) Had he consulted a Concordance for the meaning of "fear" in the text he quoted, he could have given the correct interpretation of "fear."

"For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ." (2 Cor. 2:17) God does not frighten people into serving Him as many have taught. All who love Him must have fear (filial reverence) for Him. He is a God of Love, Justice, Wisdom and Power, and plenteous in mercy. "But thou, 0 Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, plenteous in mercy and truth." (Psa. 86:15)

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LETTER OF GENERAL INTEREST

Dear Emily:

Joseph Elisha committed suicide October 25, 1999, and Leif Malmkvist arrived at Emek Ha Shalom October 31st the same year to take care of things. He was helped by some friends of the truth. He stayed to November 26.

January 9th, 2000, Leif Malmkvist got an E-mail from the Mayor Haim Hakim, Megiddo, with the following message: "I am sorry to inform you that on Saturday 8.1.2000 early in the morning Mr. Herman Bezner passed away. Mr. Bezner died in the house for the elderly in kibbutz Hazorea. Mr. Bezner will be buried in Haifa cemetery on Monday 10.1.2000 at 15.00 hour.  This is the same cemetery were Mr. Joseph Elisha was buried." Leif Malmkvist and I have written the enclosed notice "In memory of Hermann Bezner." [This will be published in our May paper.]

All the best and many kind regards.                              Your friend, Anders Karlen                           (SWEDEN)