by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 486

By Clarence H. Wagner, Jr., International Director, Bridges For Peace

One of my favorite biblical holidays is Purim, because the story behind the celebration is so exciting, with rich details that grip your attention – a real “page turner.” They could certainly make an epic film of it and keep audiences spellbound, right until the end.

For those who may not be familiar with the details of Purim, I want to begin by summarizing the story of Esther, then draw some practical and spiritual applications for us to consider. (For the full effect, read the Book of Esther for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.)

Two thousand five hundred years ago, King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) ruled his vast Persian kingdom of 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia. In the third year of his reign, he had a great 180-day banquet, in the capital city of Susa, for his princes, nobles, officials, and military leaders. King Ahasuerus summoned his queen, Vashti, to appear in her crown and royal robes. She refused and was banished. King Ahasuerus desired another queen, so his aides proposed a search throughout his entire kingdom for the most beautiful woman to replace Vashti.

Working at the palace was a Jewish man named Mordecai who had come there when the Jews were carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. He had raised his cousin, Hadassah, an orphan, who was a great beauty. So, when Mordecai heard of this search for a new queen, he suggested Hadassah, called Esther, as a candidate. She was accepted. Along with other candidates, she went through 12 months of beauty treatments before being brought before the king. Everyone liked her the best, and when she came before the king, she immediately won his favor, too, and became his queen in Vashti’s place.

About this time, two of the king’s guards plotted his assassination. This was overheard by Mordecai, who passed word via Esther to the king. The plot was exposed, the guards executed, and Mordecai’s good deed was recorded in the royal annals.

Soon, a man named Haman, an Agagite (Amalekite), became the chief of all nobles. He demanded that everyone bow down to him. Mordecai refused to do this. Day after day, only Mordecai refused to pay homage to Haman, which enraged him to the point he wanted to get rid of Mordecai. However, Haman decided not only to destroy Mordecai, but all his people – the Jews of the world.

Haman convinced the king that there was an obstinate and unlawful people who lived in his kingdom that needed to be destroyed. Without telling the king who these people were, Haman offered ten thousand talents of silver to the royal treasury for permission to extermi­nate this unnamed people! The king gave his permission. Lots, or purim, were cast to decide on the day of the execution of all the Jews, and Haman issued a decree throughout the king­dom to annihilate them on Adar 13.

When Mordecai heard of this plot, he put on sackcloth to mourn the fate of his people, the Jewish people. Esther heard of Mordecai’s condition and went to see Mordecai, who challenged her to go before the king to ask for a reprieve for the Jewish people. Well, it wasn’t that easy. One had to be summoned before the king, and if you went to him without that summons and he did not raise his scepter, you would be put to death. It was a risk for Esther to go to the king, even if she were the queen. Mordecai told her that God put her into this position “for such a time as this.” She pondered this calling, and fasted.

Then, Esther took the risk and went to the king. He raised his scepter and with pleasure he accepted her invitation to a special dinner for him and Haman. Haman was more than flattered and hurried to join the king and queen. The king was so happy with the evening that he offered Esther anything she wanted, up to half his kingdom. She asked that the king and Haman return the next day for another banquet, when she would give him her answer.

Meanwhile, on his way out of the palace, Haman saw the hated Mordecai. Seeing him all the time enraged him and so he built a 75-foot gallows in order to hang Mordecai the next day. Then he would never have to look at him again.

That night, the king could not sleep, so he read the royal annals. He realized that Mordecai had never been rewarded for his discovery of the assassination plot, so many years before.

On the following day, Haman was called by the king. Without telling Haman who he wanted to honor, the king asked Haman how he would honor a man who had delighted the king. Haman thought he was that man, so said, “For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden... Let them robe the man and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor.” So the king told Haman to go at once and do this for Mordecai!! Haman choked back his anger, but did what the king asked. The humiliation caused him great frustration.

Haman was then summoned to the second banquet with the king and queen. There, Esther revealed what she wanted from the king. She told the king of the plan to annihilate all her kinsmen, the Jews of his kingdom, including the favored Mordecai. The king was outraged and wanted to know who was behind this plan. Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this vile Haman.” The king went to the palace garden to decide the fate of Haman. When he returned, he saw Haman fall upon the queen to beg for mercy, and the king thought he was attacking her. Just then, an aide to the king reported that Haman had built a gallows near his house to hang Mordecai, so the king ordered Haman hung on this gallows.

The king gave the Jews a reprieve, gave Esther Haman’s estate, and gave Mordecai Haman’s former position in the king’s court. On the 14th of Adar, “In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews with feasting and celebrating.”


So it is today in Israel and in Jewish communities throughout the world. Purim is still celebrated just as Mordecai wished. In Jerusalem and other walled cities, Shushan Purim is celebrated on the 15th of Adar, while in Tel Aviv and other unwalled cities, the holiday is celebrated the day before, on the 14th of Adar (this is usually in March). Throughout the centuries of their oppression, this holiday has served as a release for Jewish tensions and anxieties. It is a time when the Jewish people “let their hair down” and celebrate their deliverance with all their might. However, before the celebration begins, in accordance with the tradition of not leaving any joy or sorrow unadulterated, the day before Purim is a day of fasting. It is reminiscent of the fast mentioned in Esther 4:16 and is called the Fast of Esther. Different from other fasts and holidays in Jewish tradition, this fast begins at sunrise rather than at sundown on the previous evening.

On Purim day, the main feature of the Purim celebration is the reading of the megillah or Scroll (book) of Esther. Because Esther is the only book in the Bible where the name of God is not mentioned, great liberties are taken with the reading, and with the whole celebration for that matter. In contrast to other synagogue services which are often solemn, the Purim service is conducted in an almost frivolous manner.

Because evil Haman was of Amalekite origin, and it is a command of God, in Exodus 17:8‑16 and Deuteronomy 25:17-19, to blot out the memory of the Amalekites, great care is given by everyone, especially the children, to drown out the name of Haman as the story is read. The hearers yell, shout, boo, hiss, stamp their feet and make noises with special hand-held noise-makers, called graggers. Since great attention is paid to the reading of the scroll, the reader may not proceed until the noise has subsided. Needless to say, it takes quite a bit of time to get through the Book of Esther with all the interruptions.

The Purim celebration is known for its plays and parodies. In Israel today, there are also parties and parades. The streets are filled with merrymakers and virtually all the children, and some adults, are in a costume of some sort. You see little Queen Esthers and Mordecais on almost every street in downtown Jerusalem, in a real carnival atmosphere. There are even a few evil Hamans running around, usually being booed and mocked by the crowds. Of course, the costume ideas are by no means limited to the characters from the book of Esther. There are also clowns, spacemen, cowboys, and many other outlandish creations of young Israeli minds – the teenagers going for Madonna or other popular rock stars or even politicians.

As with all Jewish holidays, there are special foods eaten. One special food eaten during this celebration is hamantashen or Haman’s ears. These are tri-cornered dough cookies filled with a sweetened poppy seed or date mixture.

Traditionally, in the afternoon of Purim day, there are Purim feasts, where friends and relatives come together and celebrate. Food is sent to the poor on this day, in accordance with the admonition of Mordecai in Esther 9:22, “...observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.”

Purim is not just a dusty, 2,500-year-old story. It has relevance for us as Bible-believers today. Let’s look at three important lessons:


The first lesson we can learn from Purim is that there is an inherent tendency in humans to hate and plot against the Jewish people. This is one of the most amazing and persistent maladies of the human race that is as old as the Bible covenants themselves. This anti-Jewishness, or anti-Semitism, has raised its ugly head in virtually every civilization both ancient and modern, appearing in countless Pharaohs, Hamans, Herods, and Hitlers who have marched across the stage of human history. Today it can even be found in parts of the world where no Jews live!

It seems the sin of anti-Semitism, in the spirit of Amalek, is a spiritual condition created in the pits of hell, which creeps into every society. The spiritual basis for this unnatural hatred for the Jews is the covenant relationship between the Jewish people and God. Because they, as a people, represent something precious to the Lord (Zech. 2:8), they are subject to extraordinary attack...just as Christians have been in many parts of the world. The destruction of the things of God are always a target of satanic forces. Also, in this case, the extermination of all the Jews at this point in history would have cut off the future birth of Yeshua, and thus the salvation of the world.

Nevertheless, God’s arm is not so short that He does not bring retribution upon those who persecute His people. When God made His covenant with Abraham, which included the land of Israel, He said, “I will bless those who bless you, and curse him that curses you...” (Gen. 12:3)

Many nations have found themselves on God’s rubbish heap because they persecuted Israel. One of the first of these protagonists was the ancient nation of Amalek, who oppressed Israel mercilessly on their journey through the wilderness. The Lord instructed Moses that once the people were settled in the land of Israel, they were to blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven:

“Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land He is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!” (Deut. 25:17-19)

In other words, the Israelites were to totally destroy that evil nation... but they didn’t. And sadly, the seed of Amalek (physically and spiritually) seems to have survived even to this day, seething in its hatred toward God’s covenant people and constantly stirring world opinion against Israel.

In later years, King Saul was given this task, but because of his disobedience, Amalek survived. In I Samuel 15:17-19, Samuel says to Saul:

“The Lord anointed you king over Israel. And He sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and com­pletely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.’ Why did you not obey the Lord?”

In fact, it happened to be an Amalekite who later took Saul’s life. In II Samuel 1, a prisoner from Saul’s camp came to David and reported the death of Saul. When David asked him how he knew this, he told this story:

“I happened to be on Mt. Gilboa...and there was Saul leaning on his spear with the chariots and riders almost upon him. When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said ‘What can I do?’ He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ ‘An Amalekite,’ I answered. Then he said to me ‘Stand over me and kill me! I am in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’ So I stood over him and killed him.” (II Sam. 1:6-10)

Later, in I Samuel 30:18, we read that David “recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives.” The Amalekites had apparently raided David’s household as well!

By now, you may be asking yourselves, “What does this have to do with the story of Purim?”

Hundreds of years after King Saul’s disobedience, there was yet another Amalekite who arose to oppress the Jews of Persia whose name was Haman (Esther 3:1). We just heard the story and find that Haman perhaps was the second person to come up with the idea of a “final solution” for the Jewish people (Pharaoh was first). Haman’s rage was not only directed against Mordecai, who had refused to bow to him, but against all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews throughout Ahasuerus’ kingdom (Esther 3:6). This, of course, included all the Jews living in Israel at that time.

Evil Haman’s rage knew no bounds. Haman cast lots (purim) to determine the exact date of this proposed extermination of the Jews throughout the whole empire.

Haman’s plan might have been successful had it not been for Esther risking her own life, approaching the king and skillfully putting an end to Haman’s plot. This madman was then hung on his own gallows, and the awful edict was withdrawn.

The celebrations in Jewish communities around the world commemorate their deliverance from this evil plot of destruction. And above the merrymaking of celebration and the laughter of the crowd, one can almost hear the laughter of God Himself, as if God were laughing Haman to scorn, along with the host of other men and nations who have dared stand against His own beloved people. Psalm 2:1-4 says:

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?... ‘Let us break their chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off the fetters’... The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.”


Throughout the ages, we have seen evil plots devised over and over again against the Jews. First there was Pharaoh, then the Amalekites, Haman and his plot, the Syrians under Antiochus Epiphanes, the Romans, the Crusaders, the Inquisition, the pogroms of Russia, a 20th century “final solution” organized by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, and the incessant jihad (holy war) called by the Moslems of the Middle East to “push the Jews into the sea.”

Yet, the Jewish people have been spared time and again and still exist today, while the perpetrators have eventually vanished.

A remarkable phenomenon, experienced in the history of the Jewish people, is that God has delivered them from other oppressors in history on Purim! In the early 1950s, Joseph Stalin, leader of the USSR, planned a final solution to his “Jewish problem.” He set up barracks in Siberia and Kazakhstan, ready to receive millions of Jews from all over the Soviet Union, who were to be sent there to oblivion and probably death. For many months, Pravda and Izvestia, leading a well-orchestrated campaign, accused the Jews of all sorts of crimes against the Soviet people. The last stroke was to be the March, 1953 publication of a letter, supposedly signed by the leaders of the Jewish community, begging for protection from the legitimate anger of the Soviet people and asking to be sent to the “refuge” in Siberia. The government was poised to fulfill the “humanitarian request.” But, the letter was never published and the Jewish people were saved from deportation. That year, good fortune prevailed. Echoing the events of thousands of years earlier, on Purim, March 5, 1953, Stalin died. Later that spring, Pravda announced its new truth, that the earlier anti‑Jewish campaign had been misguided.

In 1991, the latest such deliverance to come on Purim day was the end of the Gulf War. Saddam Hussein was defeated and the Scud missiles stopped raining down upon Israel. I remember sitting in a sidewalk cafe, on the Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, watching thousands of Israelis celebrating Purim, 1991, in obvious relief. Gas masks were put away, sealed rooms were opened, and everyone thanked God for His deliverance, once again.

Historically, the Church has Jewish blood on its hands, as many of the attacks against the Jewish people in the last 2,000 years have come from so‑called Christians. These perpetrators of Christian anti-Semitism obviously did not heed Paul’s clear teaching in Romans 9-11. On the relationship between the Church and Israel and the Jewish people, Paul says of the Jews, they are “beloved for the sakes of the fathers” (Rom. 11:28), and to the Church, “ your mercy they shall receive mercy.” (Rom. 11:31)

The Jewish people are still persecuted today and you will find anti-Semitism even in your own hometown. As a Christian, are you willing, like Queen Esther, to stick your neck out and take the risk of showing mercy to the Jewish people and Israel? As part of expressing our faith in love, and as part of our spiritual connection to Israel, we may be called upon to do this.

Sadly, many Christians are not willing to accept this role enjoined by Paul, and Christian anti-Semitism has permeated Christianity throughout the ages.

Fortunately, in these last days, as Christians read the Word of God themselves and the Holy Spirit reveals God’s will, many true believers understand the spiritual connection between the Church and the Jewish people, which is drawing us together. Ephesians 2:11‑14 tells us:

“Therefore, remember that formerly, you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’(that done in the body by the hands of men as a sign of the covenant) remember that at that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Messiah. For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility...”

As adopted sons of Abraham, grafted into the tree of Israel, partakers of the covenants, promises, hopes and even the citizenship of Israel, it is our duty to stand up against evil that might befall the Jewish people, and counteract anti-Semitism wherever it may be found, especially if found in Christian circles. We should affirm as Ruth, the Moabitess, did to her mother-in-law, Naomi:

“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go l will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Through the blood of Messiah, this statement is true for all Christians as well, even if taking this stand is not always easy! Whenever we see our spiritual relatives, the Jewish people, and our spiritual homeland, Israel, in trouble, let us be God’s instrument to seek their protection and deliverance. Let us be willing to take the risk, as Esther did, and watch God work out His prophetic miracles.


This leads us to the third lesson we can learn from the Purim story: we must take risks for God. In Esther 4:13-14, cousin Mordecai told Esther to risk her life to save the Jews:

“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows, but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

It was not God’s intention that Esther tryout for queen simply to “complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfume and cosmetics.” (Esther 2:12) God raised her to this royal position to risk her life to help Him fulfill His will on earth. What Mordecai was telling her is this: God is sovereign and if you don’t act, He will provide relief and deliverance for the Jews from another place. You will not escape, but will perish. He has called you to a special role in His Kingdom plan, “for such a time as this.” Esther had a purpose to fulfill in God’s plan for that important day. The Hebrew concept of meiserat nefesh, to lay one’s life on the line for another, would prevail.

God put Esther there to save her people! God wanted her to be part of the blessing... However, like Esther, we should not imagine that we are to sit in God’s kingdom on earth and be pampered and feel no pain. We may be spared, but there are battles to go through, even though the Lord promises victory and even helps us to win that victory.

God has put us on this earth for the purpose of furthering His kingdom and the redemption of the world. This involves battles, many not of our own doing or choosing. This is why Ephesians 6:10‑18 describes the armor of God, which we must put on for our protection (do read this passage). As the end of days draws closer and Messiah’s return comes near, the things of God and the people of God will come under more and more attack.

This is especially true when we take a public stand for the Lord and the things He loves, including Israel and the Jewish people. Like Esther, we may also be called upon to lay our life on the line, as did many Bible‑believing Christians during World War II who protected Jews from the Nazis. Yeshua said, “Greater love has no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command” (John 15:13‑14), and “...whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt. 10:39).

Are we available to the Lord for Him to use us?


While Israel is of great concern to the Lord, both in the past and now, there are also many other challenges we face as we walk out our calling for God. Are you ready for the battle that will come when we stand for the Lord? David, a man after God’s own heart, was promised victory in his battles with the enemies of Israel, but he still had to go out on the battlefield and fight. We should, and can, expect no less. Yeshua said, “No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:20) Our duty in this world is to do God’s will. This may cause us to encounter difficult situations. I can promise you, however, if we remain close to the Lord and in His will, we will ultimately have the victory. As with Queen Esther, God will deliver us. But we have to be willing to seek the Lord with all our might, search the Scriptures and know God’s will for the world and for our own lives. Then, as we walk in the light and encounter the battles, we will be victorious.

We must have a sense of God’s purpose that the world sorely lacks today. The world is seek­ing empty goals of power, wealth, luxury and ease, which can lead to greed, lusts of the flesh, and the egocentric life of “what is in it for me?” It is easy for God’s people also to get caught up in the world’s patterns. The media and advertising world sell the attractiveness of a “go for the gusto” in our “I”-oriented society. Pursuing a life without God and living for the world’s “here and now” lifestyle, will eventually lead to emptiness. Even the Scriptures say, “Without a vision, My people perish.” (Prov. 29:18)

So let me ask again: Are you ready? Do you know and have God’s calling and purpose in your heart? Is it your heart’s desire to take a stand for the Kingdom of God, even if it is risky?

Mordecai told Esther that God would find someone else to fulfil His will, but she would miss the blessing. Will you miss the blessing simply because the task of kingdom living looks too tough and too risky? If we say, “NO” to the challenges God gives to us to show His power and glory, He will still perform it... without us. Then, we are the loser. I really don’t want to miss the blessing. Do you? Remember, Paul teaches, “I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

Answering God’s call for our lives requires risk and commitment on our part. Yet when we answer God’s call, He then rushes in to provide the ways and means to perform it, even as He did for Esther.

When I moved to Israel, it was a very hard move to make. It was hard to consider raising a family here and living by faith. In the world’s logic, it seems foolish and risky, not only financially, but physically in this unstable part of the world. Yet this choice was made by the entire overseas staff of Bridges for Peace in Israel, and God has rushed in to meet our needs in every way. It is not always easy, but it is certainly rewarding. The fulfillment we receive in knowing we are exactly where God has chosen for us to be in His eternal plan, brings with it the peace that passes all understanding. We would not have it any other way.

God may have another type of calling for you. Whatever it is, though, let me encourage you to accept it and trust Him to perform it through you. You will never regret your decision.

Remember, there will be the occasional battles to fight. So prepare yourself by putting on the whole armor of God and learn to stand in the face of adversity (notice there is no back protection in the armor of God). I invite you be bold and commit yourselves to seeking the Lord with all your might. Like Jacob, wrestle with the Lord, until you get your answers.

If you are currently facing a battle, seek God for the help you need to get the victory. If you need to reassess your life priorities to find your purpose in the Kingdom of God, ask God and He will be faithful to answer you.

Whatever your need may be today, come before God’s throne of grace to receive His touch. We may be “The Kings Kids,” but as Mordecai said to Esther and I repeat again to you, “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all [God’s people] will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows, but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:13‑14)

Shalom from Jerusalem, Clarence H. Wagner, Jr., International Director, Bridges For Peace



QUESTION – What are your thoughts on the mass suicide of cult members in Rancho Santa Fe, California?

ANSWER – We understand that many people are mystified by this great tragedy. But a little reflection causes us to realize that this is a result of the Serpent’s big lie in Genesis 3:4: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” As the “serpent,” the evil one has been the deceiver, the beguiling tempter. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any living thing.” (Gen. 3:1, Rotherham) Our Lord, in speaking of Satan, the Serpent, said, “He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh of a lie he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and father of it.” (John 8:44)

It seems these people believed that they would be taken to a higher station than human in a space ship. This is Satan’s lie altered to suit the technological, space-age-oriented, UFO generation of today.

The Adversary has kept up this false teaching for 6,000 years varying his method to fit the times or people involved. The nominal churches bear a great responsibility in this because for centuries they have taught the errors of inherent immortality of the soul and the consciousness of the dead, which errors lead to such extreme behavior exemplified in this tragic event.

Indeed it has come to be general belief among Christian people that death is a delusion, and not a reality; that people merely seem to die, but do not die; that they merely experience a change to a higher form of being; that so-called “Christian Scientists” are quite correct in saying, “There is no death.”

But they all reject the testimony of God’s Word that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23); that “the soul that sinneth shall die” (Ezek. 18:4); that “death has passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12); and that the hope of the Church, as well as the hope for the world, lies in the fact that Christ died for our sins and redeemed us from the death sentence, and in the Father’s due time is to effect a resurrection of the dead. (Acts 24:15) Which shall we believe, the serpent’s lie or God’s Word?



Dear Emily!

Quick greetings from me at the Ben Gurion Airport. I am going home to Sweden after my visit to Herman and Joseph in Emek ha Shalom.

The visitors are still coming, mostly on the Saturday-Sabbath. During my visit a couple from Holland came and they will stay in Emek ha Shalom for at least six months. I will write more when I get home.

Regards, ---------  (SWEDEN)


Dear Sister Emily: Warm greetings always in the Lord.

Your newsletter was well received. It is so obvious how Israel is fulfilling so many Bible prophecies, all part of God’s Divine Plan. This makes our hearts rejoice – whether we be Christians or Jewish. We are all brethren!

In this state the numerous active Bible Student groups continue to gather here and there those newly consecrated to our dear Lord.

May God bless the ministry you share in for the future glory of the Kingdom.

Warmly, by God’s grace, ------- (MICHIGAN)


CORRECTION: In our May 1997, No. 484 paper, please correct in the letter from Brother ------ in the third paragraph to read, “We came into the Truth in 1940 and joined the class in Detroit known as the Dawn Brethren, but we are no longer with them only.”