The Coming Glorious Kingdom: “’In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land; Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.’ (Isa. 19:23‑25)
“King David looking forward to this day wrote; ‘All the earth shall worship thee and shall sing unto thee, they shall sing to thy name.’ (Psa. 66:4)
“‘Arise, O God, judge the earth for thou shalt inherit all nations.’ (Psa. 82:8)
“‘All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy Name.’ (Psa. 86:9)
“The Book of The Revelation closes with the signature, ‘I, Jesus... am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.’ (Rev. 22:16) – symbolized in the Star of David’s two interlocked triangles: one reaching down to man, and one reaching up to God – the two eternally entwined in the symbol of the Redeemer‑Messiah.
“As the star gave light through the blackness of the earth’s long night, so the ‘Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings’ (Mal. 4:2) for all peoples and will turn the night into one glorious eternal day forever. Hallelujah! Amen!” (Bible Light on the News, Vol. 4, No. 7)
“How Long, Oh, Desert Storm? [Until] ‘ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain.’ (Joel 3:17)
“At press time, the news was quivering with – ‘What NOW?’ We haven’t seen the end of the first blast of Desert Storm. Our USA troops were in tiptop shape when they went off to the gulf war. Now many of them are plagued with diseases evidently caused by exposure to Iraq’s chemical or biological weapons.
“Who IS This? The Prophet Jeremiah in 46:1 announces a prophecy against Gentiles and then asks, ‘Who is this that cometh as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers?’ (V. 7)
“The battleground of – and the reason for – this confrontation is pinpointed in verse 10, ‘For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries... for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice... by the river Euphrates.’
“Babylon is still trying to build a tower higher than anyone else, but the self styled Nebuchadnezzar needs to read in THE BOOK what happened to that Babylonian king when he exalted himself above God (Daniel 4).
“Who’s in Control? In the ages of His planning, He has ordained these events that men may know it is ‘not by [military] might, nor by [political and diplomatic] power but by my Spirit saith the LORD of hosts.’ (Zech. 4:6) It is finally admitted that military force cannot destroy these weapons of ‘Babylon.’ There are only ‘bad options.’
“The Scriptures have much to say about judgment upon Babylon and all that is represented in that name. Much paganism from Babylon has been inculcated into Christendom. Saint Peter tells us ‘Judgment begins with the house of God’ – and for some time now the Lord has been shaking this paganism out of believers. As each revelation of these pagan claptraps come to us, we are responsible for walking in the light of that revelation.
“We Christians have a strong tendency to gather prophetic Scriptures all into our neat little boxes, sometimes stretching texts to make them fit into an escape hatch for ourselves! But many times the Lord requires hard things of His servants to get the people’s attention to the message being proclaimed. Some do radical things to get attention to themselves, but if we live close to The Shepherd, we can discern the voice of the ‘hireling.’
“In Jeremiah 45:5 when the Lord spoke to Baruch, He said, ‘Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD...’ When judgment is about to break, it certainly is not a time for self‑seeking, self‑aggrandizement and self‑ambition.
“The Crux: Make no mistake about it, the real issue is Israel. Ever since 1948 she has been World Center Stage! Scriptures signaling Babylon’s demise are replete. ‘For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.’ (Isaiah 34:8)
“In chapter 21 of Isaiah, the prophet sees a frightening desert storm. He eats and drinks for strength that he may be strong for the battle; and he anoints his shield. (Verse 5 – This brings to mind Ephesians 6:10‑18.) Then in verse 6, he sets a watchman to declare what he sees, ‘Babylon is fallen...’ (V. 9)
“This chapter is a very interesting study verse by verse. Notice the watchman’s message and answer in verse 12 to the question, ‘Watchman, what of the night?’ (1) Dawn of a new day is on the way. (2) But first darker night. (3) Search for truth (for in the new world only TRUTH will be allowed). (4) Repent/return – to what? God’s life producing laws; they will rule in the Kingdom. (5) ‘Come’ – about face wholeheartedly, then act! Let us: Watch! Pray! And DO His command.” (By Chris Josephson, Bible Light On The News, Vol. 4, No. 7)
“Apology And The Holocaust: ROME – More than any other Pope in history, Pope John Paul II – leader of the world’s almost one billion Roman Catholics – has asked forgiveness for the sins, crimes and errors committed in the name of his faith.
“He has apologized for the persecution of Protestants, for the crimes of the Crusaders; he has asked forgiveness for the abuses of Europe’s colonial‑era proselytizing around the world; he has voiced regret at the church’s repression of Galileo and condemned its silence regarding Italy’s own murderous Mafia.
“But with only two years to go before Christianity closes the books on its first 2,000 years, the Pope has yet to ask forgiveness of the Jews for the violence they have suffered over the centuries at the hands of the church, its followers and, in some cases, its leaders. Most particularly, he has yet to make a reckoning of what many have condemned as the silence of the Vatican during the systematic slaughter of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis during World War II.
“And it is this apology that weighs most heavily on the church. It was first promised in 1987 by the Pope himself in a meeting with American Jewish leaders in Miami. It has been anticipated in apologies to the Jews by the Catholic bishops of Germany, Poland, Hungary and, most recently, France, for the failure of their local churches to oppose the Holocaust.
“Many Jewish leaders see the long‑awaited papal statement on the church, anti Semitism and the Holocaust – being prepared by the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism – as the conclusive test of the willingness of the church to confront its share of guilt for the tragedy that befell the Jews.
“‘It is not so much an apology we are looking for, since this Pope has many times expressed remorse for anti‑Semitism,’ said Rabbi David Rosen, director of the Israel office of the Anti‑Defamation League, the league’s Vatican liaison. ‘But what could resolve the outstanding resentment which is still to be found among Jews is an honest reckoning of the actual role church leaders took during the period of the Holocaust, and to what extent this was impacted on by church teachings on Jews and Judaism.
“‘It is clear,’ he added, ‘that there are some in the Vatican who have reservations about how far it should go.’
“But for many Jews, the Vatican’s failure to make a public accounting of its actions during World War II rankles the most. Its accusers see Pope Pius XII’s general silence as evidence of the church’s indifference to the fate of the Jews. His defenders say the Pope, fearful of Nazi wrath against Catholics, deliberately kept his voice low, while encouraging and even directing efforts to save Jews.” (By Celestine Bohlen, The New York Times, November 30, 1997)
“U.S. to give $29 million to help victims of Nazis: LONDON – The United States plans to give up to $29 million to a new fund designed to help needy victims of wartime Nazi persecution, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday. Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat said Washington hoped the donation would encourage other nations to follow suit. The World War II Allies still hold 5.5 tons of gold looted by the Nazis from countries they occupied and now claimed by 15 countries. Britain and the United States want the claimants to donate all the gold to the fund.” (The Orlando Sentinel, December 2, 1997)
“U.S. Sets Deadline To Return Nazi Loot: LONDON – The United States set an end‑of-the‑century deadline Thursday for distributing cash from looted Nazi gold to Holocaust survivors, who are nearing the end of their lives.
“‘If all of this is not completed by then... we will have failed to do as much justice in an imperfect world as we are capable of doing,’ U.S. Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat said.
“The Vatican, however, remained silent – despite charges this week that it received gold taken from Gypsies in a concentration camp in Croatia during the 1939‑45 war.” (Excerpts from The Orlando Sentinel, December 5, 1997)
“How To Spell ‘Bias’: Sir, we rely on dictionaries for accurate information. It is thus disconcerting to find that in the list of countries and capitals in the 1997 edition of Collins Gem Dictionary and Thesaurus, Tel Aviv is given as the capital of Israel. Though there are political moves abroad to take Jerusalem away from the Jews, it ill behooves dictionary publishers to assume a position and take it upon themselves to produce a fait accompli.” (Leila Cumber, Jerusalem Post, November 1, 1997)
“A New Mood On Capitol Hill: The delegation from Americans For a Safe Israel that visited Capitol Hill in late September (together with the Religious Round table, the Christians’ Israel Public Affairs Committee, and the Women in Green, all member‑groups of the Alliance for Israel) found a markedly different attitude towards Israel, the PLO, and the Oslo accords. The new mood bodes well for Israel – if the Israeli government recognizes the changed situation and acts accordingly.
“Six months earlier, when we visited Washington, most Congressmen were still embracing the Oslo accords as the path to Mideast peace. But by September, the bloody reality of Palestinian Arab terrorism was staring Congress in the face – and not just Hamas bombings. Early in the summer, a group of PLO police officers were caught on their way to carry out a terrorist attack, and they confessed to having carried out a recent drive‑by shooting aimed at a car in which the rabbi of Elon Moreh was riding. Israeli investigators found that the policemen were acting on orders from a senior PLO police official, Ghazi Jabali, and asked the PLO to extradite him; as usual, the PLO ignored the request.
“Then came the Jerusalem marketplace bombing which killed 16 Israelis. Despite the slaughter, Arafat refused to arrest or disarm Hamas. A few weeks later came the Ben Yehuda street bombing. Five more Israelis dead, almost 200 injured. Arafat’s response? A few token arrests, and the shutdown of a Hamas kindergarten. The Clinton administration continued to claim that Israeli housing construction was the real obstacle to peace, but on Capitol Hill, it was becoming obvious that the real problem is Oslo itself.
“During our September mission to Washington, more than 40 of us discussed the dangerous situation that Oslo has created, in over 100 meetings with Senators, Representatives, and Congressional aides, including four members of the crucial Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the chairman of its subcommittee on the Middle East, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas. We pointed out that Israel has withdrawn from strategic territory and lost much of its counter‑terror capabilities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, since its operations in those areas are restricted and its network of informers has been eliminated. We stressed that Israel had taken these risks on the assumption that the PLO would fight the terrorists – only to find that the PLO is still the ally and protector of the terrorists. PLO policemen are even participating in the terror. The inevitable result, should Oslo go forward, will be an irredentist PLO‑Hamas state on Israel’s jugular, threatening the stability of the entire region.
“We also emphasized that the State Department’s irrational focus on Israel and the PLO was ignoring other important regional developments that threatened U.S. interests in the Middle East, such as the military buildup and development of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons by Syria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Libya. And we expressed our concerns about the Clinton administration seeking trade benefits for terror‑sponsoring regimes such as Syria, Sudan, and Iran. We said that the time has come for a reappraisal of American interests in the Mid‑east, and a reshaping of U.S. policy there to focus on fighting the terrorists, isolating and penalizing the pro‑terrorist regimes, and strengthening the U.S.‑Israel alliance.
“Our message was warmly received. Many leading Senators and Representatives are fed up with Oslo. And they reject the Clinton administration’s constant attacks on Israeli housing construction activities. Indeed, shortly after our visit, 11 prominent Congressmen, led by Rep. James Talent of Missouri, signed a letter to Secretary of State Albright affirming ‘that Jewish Israelis have the right to live anywhere in the land of Israel’ and rebuffing the administration’s implication ‘that Jewish citizens residing in a sovereign, democratic Israel are [to be] restricted to certain ‘acceptable’ zones.’
“The Israeli government needs to realize that it has strong friends in Washington. Israel need not surrender to the administration’s pressure and continue making dangerous concessions to the Arabs. Israel does not have to take orders from Madeleine Albright, Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk. The Israelis can say ‘no,’ and explain why, and they will find broad understanding both on Capitol Hill and among the American public. A September 1997 poll by Middle East Quarterly (the journal edited by Dr. Daniel Pipes) found overwhelming support for the Netanyahu government among the American public. The time has come for Israel, with the backing of its friends and supporters, to bury Oslo – before Oslo buries Israel.” (By Herbert Zweibon, Outpost, November 1997)
“Netanyahu Balks At A Pullback: PARIS – The Clinton administration’s drive to have Israel turn over a sizable chunk of the West Bank to Yasser Arafat ran into resistance Friday. ‘We’ve had our problems,’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after rebuffing Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
“Netanyahu told reporters after a meeting with French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin that he was looking for assurances over the next five months that ‘any territory handed over will not be a base for additional terrorism.’
Albright, who is to meet with Arafat today in Geneva, said she would urge the Palestinian leader to pay close attention to the Cabinet decision. ‘We take it seriously and he should take it seriously. It’s time to start swimming,’ she said.
“She [Albright] said her three‑hour meeting with Netanyahu involved ‘real substance.’ But the prime minister, at a joint news conference, made it clear Albright had not induced him to yield territory.
“‘Did we discuss percentages? Did I pull out my secret maps? The answer is No,’ he said.” (Excerpts from The Orlando Sentinel, December 6, 1997)
In David Horowitz’s column of October 24, 1997 (page 20) entitled “Autonomy Yes, Statehood No – A Traditional U.S. Policy,” due to an unfortunate mechanical error, several paragraphs were omitted that were crucial to the understanding of the last two paragraphs of the article. They read as follows, including part of the preceding paragraph, for clarity:
“And this season also brings to mind an untold number of non‑Jewish individuals in this country and in Canada – millions upon millions who, in their knowledge of the Bible, support Israel and the Jewish people as a whole.
“Among these groups are the worldwide followers of the late Pastor Charles Taze Russell who are organized in numerous communities. One of these is directed by Emily Hoefle, at Mount Dora, Florida. Another is Kenneth Rawson, Edison, NJ, and in dozens of other centers. Frank Eiklor, editor of Shalom International, Corona, California; the Bible International, edited by the late Elmer Josephson and his wife Chris who now continues to edit it and a number of pro‑Israel, pro‑Jewish pamphlets from Ottawa, Kansas and Israel. In the current issue of their excellent magazine, lovely and efficient Chris includes a timely article on the current Middle East crisis.
“She writes: ‘In loving memory of a friend and colleague in the love of Zion, Yvonne Lewerke, an Iowan Christian, who departed this life last August’ in Zion’s Heartland: ‘Most of the history of the Jewish people in the land of Israel took place in the mountain area, the so‑called West Bank, the Biblical Judea and Samaria. They entered the land at Jericho and worked their way up through the mountainous regions. The Lord gave the land to them forever by a perpetual covenant. Thus saith the Lord, Who giveth the sun for a light by day and the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who divided the sea when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of hosts is His name; if these ordinances depart from before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall cease from being a nation before Me forever. (Jeremiah 31:36)
“‘Neither the Prime Minister nor anyone else in this world has a right to give away one inch of the land of Israel. It is G‑d‑given – and the Lord was extremely generous to the other sons of Abraham.
“‘Israel is desperately hungry for peace and has always held out the hand of peace to their enemies who surround them.
“‘The infamous handshake with the murderous Yassir Arafat on the White House lawn was not the beginning of a peace process but of division. Immediately after the White House conference, Arafat spoke at a meeting in South Africa in which he boasted of the White House event as being the first phase in the destruction of Israel.
“‘The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: His words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.’ (Psalm 55:21)
“‘Thus Arafat continues to speak and act. The PLO covenant for the destruction of Israel has not been changed.’
“(The article in the issue of October 24 concluded with the following paragraphs:)
“‘The pro‑Jewish, pro‑Israel positions taken by Bible student Lewerke and the millions of other Christians around the world ought to be given serious note of by most of those delegations who usually stand with Arafat’s PLO, but more especially by a professed Bible student and church‑goer, President Clinton, and by a newcomer to Israel’s family, Madeleine Albright, both of whom have failed to recognize in Yassir Arafat’s character a satanic motivation.’
“One of Elmer Josephson’s books, read in the millions, and entitled Israel ‑ Key to World Redemption, is worthy to note. It’s one of the most powerful pro‑Israel volumes yet published.” (By David Horowitz, The Jewish Press, November 7, 1997)
“THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW”
BROTHER ROY A. EKROTH of Largo, Florida, died September 24, 1997 after a long illness. His funeral service was held at Hubbell Funeral Home Saturday, September 27, 1997, with Brother Earl Procario officiating. Brother Procario was a frequent visitor to Brother Ekroth while he was in the hospital and a great comfort and help to his wife, Sister Elvira.
Brother Ekroth consecrated in the 1940s and was faithful in his service to the Lord, the truth and the brethren. He served the brethren in many foreign countries, including Israel where he went several times. He also gave several discourses on the Great Pyramid. On one occasion, while on the plane going to Israel, he was asked to give his discourse on the Great Pyramid, which he did while the plane was high in the air. The people on the plane appreciated his efforts very much. He also gave this discourse in Israel and brought his video back and gave it to our class, as well as to others. Brother Ekroth is now “asleep in Jesus,” awaiting his resurrection in the Kingdom. We have confidence that he will be rewarded with a “better Resurrection” (Heb. 11:35), and will be one of the Princes (Psalms 45:16).
We would be remiss if we didn’t give beloved Brother Ekroth the tribute he deserves, and express our appreciation and gratitude for the many services he gave to our Ecclesia and friends. Besides his discourses, he gave several funeral services for the brethren in Mount Dora at the request of Brother Hoefle.
After Brother Hoefle’s death he was considerate of our needs. He requested that we publish a paper he wrote on “WHAT KIND OF A MAN IS SADDAM HUSSEIN?”, which we published in a special, No. 419‑A, March 1, 1992. He also wrote an article on A PROPHET UNTO THE NATIONS, which we published in No. 437, October 1, 1992. When he was complimented on the paper he said Brother Hoefle deserved the credit, as he had taken most of it from Brother Hoefle’s papers. Brother Ekroth had many talents but was humble and meek, and never boastful.
Brother Ekroth and Brother Hoefle were close friends for many years, even after Brother Hoefle was excommunicated from the LHMM. Brother Hoefle for several years continued to go to the LHMM conventions after he was excommunicated. The brethren were warned from the platform by the Executive Trustee of the LHMM not to talk to, or shake hands with, the Hoefles, as it would be like shaking hands with the Devil. However, there were some who did greet us and shake hands with us, and among these was Brother Ekroth. After the meetings were over Brother Ekroth would come to the hotel for a visit with Brother Hoefle.
Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the many beautiful Christmas cards expressing love and prayers. Be assured that our warm Christian love and prayers are ever with you. We wish all our readers a blessed and prosperous New Year. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” (Psa. 31:24)
ANNOUNCEMENT: The Memorial for 1998 is on Thursday, April 9, after six p.m.