My dear Brethren: Grace and peace thru our Beloved Master!
The Epiphany Messenger tells us that the seventy years’ desolation of Christendom began in 1914 (typed by the seventy years’ desolation of the land of Israel during their Babylonish captivity), which seems reasonable. If the type works out, it will bring us to 1984; and if the prophesied events occur in the next five years, then we can have the strong assurance that it is a true type “for our admonition and learning, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Cor. 10:11) Surely no one instructed in Harvest Truth will deny that Christendom is now being desolated. But the Lord’s faithful people have no need for apprehension, because the Lord is mindful of His people. He has a time for all His purposes, and He will reveal them to His faithful servants in their time of need. (Amos 3:7) Indeed if this type doesn’t work out, there is no reason for us to lose faith in God, for “He is faithful that promised.” (Heb. 10:23)
“The Time of the End is a long‑drawn‑out period, because it began, as just proved, October 1799, and will end just before Daniel’s resurrection and reward as an Ancient Worthy (Dan. 12:13) – ‘he will stand in his lot at the end of the days.’ This has not yet occurred, nor will it occur for years yet. Hence this disproves ‘approximately October 1, 1914,’ as the Time of the End. When our Pastor wrote Volume III, he believed that the trouble would all be over by Oct. 1914, and that the earthly phase of the Kingdom would then be established, and therefore in that volume he taught that the Time of the End, while beginning Oct. 1799, would end Oct. 1914. But when in 1904 he came to the conclusion that the trouble would begin in 1914 and refused thereafter to set a date for its end, he implied that the end of the Time of the End would come later than 1914.
“In the Time of the End Michael stands up (Dan. 12:1). This set in at Nisan 10, 1878 (paralleling His riding into Jerusalem 1845 years before and casting off Israel and cleansing the temple) when He began to exercise executive authority in casting off Babylon, and when by the first Harvest sifting He began by the Truth to drive out from His temple class the unworthy. It continued by His awakening the sleeping saints Nisan 16, 1878, and associating them with Him in the Kingdom.
“His standing up – then proceeded in a Truth attack upon Satan’s empire (Satan, the individual, having been bound from 1874‑1878 preparatory to the spoiling of his house, Matt. 12:29), in its religious, aristocratic, political and industrial features, which attack made such a division in Satan’s empire between the conservative classes and the radical masses as to threaten it with an overthrow by a revolution of the dissatisfied masses. To avert this threatening revolution and preserve his empire, Satan mustered the nations in two rival alliances for a war in which he hoped to wipe out the division between the conservatives and radicals by making them believe, in each set of nations, that the other set sought their national destruction. Hence the World War.... Michael did not begin to stand up about October 1, 1914; though about that time an important phase of His standing up did set in. His standing up began in 1878 and will continue as against Satan’s empire until the end of anarchy and Jacob’s trouble.
“During the Time of the End the whole trouble is to occur. Dan. 12:1 does not say, just the early stage of the war part of it, but the entire Time of Trouble, occurs in the Time of the End, including all its stages: war, revolution, anarchy and Jacob’s Trouble, with famines and pestilences interspersed; for the reason of the trouble is Michael’s standing up in an attack on Satan’s empire from 1878 onward, in order utterly to destroy it thru the troubles above‑mentioned... Jesus says that the great tribulation would be greater than anything that had yet occurred up to His time or anything that would occur after His time: ‘Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world unto this time [the time of His speaking], no, nor ever shall be.’ (Matt. 24:21) Since Dan. 12:1 teaches that in the Time of the End the entire trouble will occur, evidently the Time of the End is not identical with the end of the Gentile Times, which occurred in 1914. It began before and ends later.” (E‑6-453‑2)
It should be clear enough to any studious mind that we have been in the Time of Trouble in its violent stages since 1914. However, more and worse upheavals are still ahead of us. This is not merely our opinion; it is the combined thought of both Messengers – both of whom taught that the Epiphany and the Time of Trouble in its violent stages are identical. Therefore, it should be apparent that those who teach we are in the Apocalypse or the Basileia are confused and indulging in rampant error. Of those who embrace those errors one of them contends that the Epiphany as a period of time ended completely in 1954; the other says it ended in a “restricted sense” in 1954. Even at this late date – over 24 years [over 43 years now] after 1954 – we have not witnessed even the second of the two fierce violent features that both Messengers taught we would see in the Epiphany – the Epiphany being the last special period of the Gospel Age.
In 2 Thes. 2:8 St. Paul tells us that the Man of Sin will be annihilated by the Epiphany of the Lord’s presence. Therefore, those who now tamper with the Epiphany not only cast aside the clear teachings of both Messengers, but they also dispense with the inspired Word of God. Thus they come under the condemnation of Rev. 16:6, Dia.: “Thou gavest them also blood [error] to drink; they deserve it.” We suggest to our readers that they search the Parousia or Epiphany volumes, as well as the Berean Comments for the faintest semblance of proof that these teachings are correct. We know such proof is not there, so that the leaders of both groups are not now “contending for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints,” but are openly rejecting it. We refer especially to the bottom of page 12 in the Instructor’s Guide, where the Parousia vs. Epiphania and Apokalupsis are thoroughly analyzed, which analysis definitely rejects these teachings. Thus we quote here from Rev. 22:18,19: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things that are written in this book.”
THE DESTRUCTIVE FEATURES
The question now arises – If the Time of the End began in 1799, when will it end? We do not now have any definite answer to that question; however, we know that the Time of the End includes all the destructive features of this Old Order – the World War, Armageddon and Anarchy. Also, we know that the Time of Trouble and the Epiphany are identical. In the broad sense we might say that there is only one period of time – the Time of the End – but included in that period are the Parousia from 1874 to 1914, and the Epiphany – the Time of Trouble in its violent features – from 1914 to the end of Jacob’s Trouble. Thus the Time of the End runs concurrently with all of them – and the Epiphany and the Time of Trouble in its violent features are identical. When we say one, we mean either one as a period of time. The Scriptural proof for the Time of Trouble is to be found in Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14. Of course, the two periods just mentioned are of much shorter duration than the Time of the End: the Parousia did not begin until 1874, and the Epiphany, or the Great Tribulation, did not begin until 1914 – and is ever increasing in intensity until the grand smash comes. Toward the end of the Epiphany will come Jacob’s Trouble: “That day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob’s Trouble.” (Jer. 30:7) “Jacob’s Trouble” will terminate with the final throes of Anarchy, at which time “there will be no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither any peace to him that goeth out, or cometh in, because of the affliction: for I will set all men every one against his neighbor.” (Zech. 8:10) The Epiphany and the Time of Trouble in its narrow sense are identical; both began in 1914 and both will end with the last phase of the trouble. This is clear Scriptural teaching.
Two judgments are described in the Bible: (1) the judgment of the quick, and (2) the judgment of the dead. In 2 Tim. 4:1 it is stated that our Lord Jesus “shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and kingdom.” The nominal church has concluded that the “quick” in this text are those who are walking about and alive as we see them, and the “dead” are those in the tomb. This is a wrong conclusion; and we now offer the text from the Emphatic Diaglott: “Christ Jesus is about to judge the living and the dead, by his appearing and by his kingdom.” His appearing in this text is the Epiphany; and the living at that time are certain members of the Household of Faith – members of His Church. “You hath he quickened together with him” (Col. 2:13), who were “dead in trespasses and sins.” The remainder of the human race – whether in the tomb, or out of it, are reckoned as dead. This is plainly stated by Jesus in Matt. 8:22, Dia., “Leave the dead ones to inter their own dead.” Thus, 2 Tim. 4:1 becomes much clearer if we paraphrase it: “He will judge the living during his Epiphany, and the dead ones [the world of mankind, whether in their graves or living] during his Kingdom.” “Because he hath appointed a day [a thousand‑year day – Christ’s Kingdom], in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)
IS THERE AN EPIPHANY?
Did That Servant teach an Epiphany period? Quite a few of the Lord’s good people think – and say – they are faithfully adhering to his teachings as they deny an Epiphany period, as well as a class of consecrators between the “closing of the door” and until Restitution begins. But we would say there are two meanings to the word – a condition (bright shining) and a period of time. Both of these are taught in 2 Thes. 2:8, which we quote from the Diaglott: “Then will be revealed the lawless one [the man of sin]: whom the Lord Jesus will consume with the breath of his mouth [His sharp pertinent teachings], and annihilate by the appearing [Epiphaneia] of his presence [Parousia].”
That this is the thought of That Servant we now prove from the following quotations, which we hope will persuade all our readers on this point: “At [or during] the epiphania, or bright shining, of the Lord’s manifestation, God will have completed his present work of directing the church [in bringing in the 144,000], and the world will be informed that they are under a different dispensation.” (Reprint 5359, top, col. 1, par. 2)
“The Scriptures speak of a great time of trouble in the conclusion of this Gospel Age. Our Lord in the prophecy recorded in Matthew 24 mentions this great time of trouble... In connection with it He says, ‘When ye see these things begin to come to pass, then lift up your heads and rejoice; for your redemption draweth nigh’ (Luke 21:28) – linking this great climax to the deliverance of the Church, their change from earthly nature to heavenly nature... Our Lord speaks of this same time of trouble and says that Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24). These ‘times of the Gentiles’ represent a period during which the world was to be ruled by Gentile nations... A stone was to smite the image upon the feet, which were iron and clay, and break them to pieces (Dan. 2:44,45). This crushing of the feet of the image was to come in the end of the Age, and would be the preparatory step to the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom (Dan. 2:31‑45)... The present terrible war is not the great time of trouble in the fullest sense of the word, but merely its forerunner. The great time of trouble of Scriptures will be brought on by Anarchy – the general uprising of the people.” (Reprint 5526, col. 1)
“The Scriptures indicate that the Gentile governments will receive from their own people their first notice that their lease of power has expired. The people will take note of the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens. The judgments of the Lord will begin to be manifest in the world, and run counter to many of their interests. This manifestation of His presence is Scripturally called the epiphaneia, the shining forth, the revealment, of the King of Glory. ‘He shall be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2 Thes. 1:7‑10) As a result, the nations of the earth will be broken to pieces like a potter’s vessel. (Psa. 2:8,9; Rev. 2:27)... The picture given of the end of Gentile Times is that of a stone striking the image of Gentile supremacy in its feet (Dan. 2:34,35). The impact will be so sharp and so thorough as to leave nothing of them. Having had their day, they will cease to be – ‘become like the chaff of the summer threshing floor.’ The next event [after the Epiphany] will be the Messianic Kingdom of which it is written, ‘The desire of all people shall come.’“ (Reprint 5527, col. 2, pars. 2,3, Sept. 1, 1914)
And from Reprint 5456, col. 1, par. 2: “Emphasizing the suddenness with which the calamity will overtake the world, Jesus said on the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained down fire and brimstone from heaven; and He declared that thus it will be when the Son of Man is revealed. The Greek text shows a difference between the Parousia, or presence, of Christ before the time of trouble, and the later epiphaneia, or REVEALING. [The Epiphany, or Apokalypse, and the Time of Trouble are one and the same period of time. There would be no necessity of a “bright shining” if it didn’t reveal something. In other words, there is no Epiphany without an Apokalypse].”
“We are now in the beginning of this great day [the Epiphany day, April 15, 1914] of the Lord. All the forces which are to play a part in this mighty upheaval which is to introduce the reign of Messiah are rapidly gathering. The nations of the earth and all the various elements which form society as at present organized – political institutions, financial institutions, ecclesiastical systems, etc. – are now before the bar of judgment [in 1914 at the end o£ the Gentile times and the beginning of World War One], and are being found wanting. All Christendom is trembling before the mighty forces that are coming in today. Morals are at a low ebb.” (Reprint 5442, col. l, par. 7, April 15, 1914)
“The earlier part of the judgment upon Christendom [in the Epiphany] will be upon the antitypical sons of Levi, the silver class... The fire of this great day [the Epiphany] shall ‘try every man’s work, of what sort it is.’ It will likewise discover who have built upon a foundation of sand (1 Cor. 3:11‑15).” (Reprint 5442, col. 2, pars 2 and 3)
The above quotations should certainly convince any open mind that That Servant recognized the Epiphany as a period of time; and present‑day events certainly attest mightily that we are indeed in that period of time – the time of trouble, the Epiphany.
SOME EPIPHANY OBSERVATIONS
“Doubtless the Adversary knew that a modern war would weaken his empire; but he preferred a weakened empire to none. He invented through perverted human brains the horrible weapons and munitions of the World War, whose destructiveness doubtless convinced him that the war would be short. To Satan’s ruthlessness God opposed a ‘so far, and no farther.’ Therefore God did not permit Satan to end the war with a speedy and easy victory for the Central Powers... Thus the war had two results directly opposite to those that Satan had planned: (1) the side that he favored was ultimately defeated; and (2) his empire was weakened and debt‑burdened almost to collapse. Moreover, the Lord overruled to the complete frustration of Satan’s purpose of making each nation emerge from the war with the masses and the classes thoroughly united with each other, instead of their being divided against each other as they had been before the war. This purpose of Satan was frustrated by the Lord’s making known, not only the human, but also the Satanic causes of the war, particularly as these were connected with the doctrines of the Divine Right of Kings, Aristocrats and Clerics, which doctrine and its resultant practices were the basic human causes of the war. The making of these things known has had various results: (1) the almost complete abolition of autocracy – a child of the Divine Right doctrine; (2) in some countries a large abolition, and in other countries a large limitation of aristocracy; (3) greatly decreased belief in the Divine Right of the Clergy and a correspondingly immense decrease of their influence; (4) greatly increased embitterment and opposition of the Radicals to what is Satan’s order of affairs; (5) greatly increased demands for more liberty from State, Aristocracy and Clergy; (6) most threatening imminence of world‑wide revolution. Thus in a deeper sense than most people recognize Satan emerged from his adventure in the World War as the worst defeated sovereign of all history.” (See E-2, pp. 136, 137 and 138)
“The World War was no usual war. From the above description it will be seen it was a greater conflict, with larger issues involved, than mankind in general recognizes. As a matter of fact the World War was the great war of prophecy – the war that, according to the Scriptures, would precede Armageddon, the war that would be the first part of the great Day of the Lord, the Day of Vengeance. In many places the Bible refers to it. The following are among the more important of these references: Joel 3:9‑14; Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21,22; 1 Thes. 5:1‑3. This war, and the very year – 1914 – in which it was to begin, were forecast from the Bible by Pastor Russell years before it began. According to the Bible it is after an ever increasingly stormy interval, to be followed by sudden world‑wide Revolution, which will overthrow the present form of Satan’s empire in state, aristocracy and religion. And according to the Scriptures even greater famines and pestilences than those that accompanied the World War will accompany the World Revolution. According to the Scriptural delineations, the Radicals, in the coming Revolution, will attack the present order with crushing and relentless blows, under which it will collapse with but scant resistance, due to its greatly weakened condition resulting from the wounds received in the World War and its aftermath. This is another great blunder Satan made in bringing about that war; for by greatly weakening his empire it will have prepared that empire to become an easy prey to the attacks of the Radicals in the coming World Revolution. Events on all hands indicate that we are rapidly sweeping toward this great social upheaval.” (E‑2,-138,139)
“Of the coming upheaval, the following are some of the Biblical descriptions, clothed in figurative language: ‘The Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty’ (Rev. 16:14; Zeph. 3:8; Isa. 13:4,5), ‘Armageddon’ (Rev. 16:16), ‘a great earthquake’ (Rev. 16:18; Heb. 12:26), ‘the fire of Jehovah’s Jealousy’ (Zeph. 3:8; 2 Peter 3:10,11,12; Mal. 4:1), ‘a whirlwind’ and a ‘storm’ (Nahum 1:3,6,7), ‘a tempest of hail,’ ‘a destroying storm,’ and ‘a flood of mighty waters’ (Isa. 28:2; Nahum 1:4,5,8), ‘the besom of destruction’ (Isa. 14:23), ‘a furnace of fire’ (Matt. 13:42), ‘a lake of fire’ (Rev. 19:20), and ‘the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (Rev. 19:15).”
“As one reads these many terms descriptive of one and the same event, the conclusion is irresistible that they set forth in symbolic language an appalling calamity just ahead of the race.
“The present European powers are symbolized in their entirety in the seven‑headed Beast of Rev. 17:7‑12... We look for the coming of another (symbolic) Beast, which seems to represent the form of European government to be set up after the Revolution [Armageddon], and which, we opine, will probably be socialistic in form. This being a part of the ‘present evil world,’ Satan, of course, will be its invisible ruler.” (E‑2-139)
“The Scriptures teach that after this government shall but briefly pilot the ship of State amid the storms of the social sea, Anarchy will set in, and like a devouring fire will completely destroy every vestige of Satan’s empire. More severe famines and pestilences than those accompanying the Revolution will accompany Anarchy. Fire is the most frequent Biblical term describing the Anarchistic phase of the Great Tribulation. The prophet Elijah was given a vision of the three great phases of this Trouble – war, revolution, and anarchy – by the wind, earthquake and fire of 1 Kings 19:11,12. Using Jerusalem as a figure of Christendom, the prophet Ezekiel by the term ‘sword’ describes the War and Revolution, and by the figure of the noisome beast (a beast is opposed to law and order) fittingly describes the Anarchy of the Time of Trouble (Ezek. 14:21). Additionally, in the same passage, he shows that famines and pestilences will play their part in these troubles, as we by observation know they played their part in the war.” (E‑2-140)
“Satan will, after the Anarchy, attempt but one final effort against God’s people, and that not against His spiritual, but against His fleshly Israel. One of the signs of our times as a fulfillment of prophecy has been Israel’s returning to Palestine. This has had several stages... Arab opposition has given a temporary setback, but in due time this obstacle will be removed. Present world‑wide conditions have influenced many wealthy Israelites to divert vast millions of treasure to their Home Land, and the land is being richly built up... All this is in fulfillment of prophecy relating to our times (Ezek. 36:8,12). Satan, beholding these prosperous Israelites, and realizing that his days of mischief are about over, will, after anarchy has destroyed the future socialistic governments, in hatred against Israel stir up the anarchistic remnants of all nations to plunder the Israelites in Palestine. These plunderers, as described in Ezek. 38 and 39 and in Zech. 12:1‑9 and 14:1‑3, will be gathered by Satan from among all nations and will sorely afflict Israel in what the Bible calls Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:1‑9). This will be a very severe trouble, according to the prophetic description given in the above citations, and will be Israel’s final chastisement. It will effectually turn them to the Lord Jesus in thorough conversion, when they in the complete overthrow of their plunderers by the Lord Jesus, will remember that their trouble and their troublers’ were forecast to them by the Truth people. And their affliction and the overthrow of their anarchistic plunderers will be the last act of Satanic oppression as the god of this evil world. With that wicked effort his days as man’s supreme oppressor will be over, for which we thank God.” (E‑2-142)
Yes, in the last effort of Satan the Jews will call upon the Lord and He will answer their prayers: “Fools because of their transgression [crucifying the Lord of Glory], and because of their iniquities [their violations of the Mosaic Law], are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psa. 107:17‑21) “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” (Zech. 14:3)
MORE ON THE HIGH CALLING
“This night [the great Time of Trouble] began in each country as it was involved in the World War, the first part of the great tribulation, which began when the first countries entered the war in August 1914. Accordingly, we recognize that the night began in 1914. But this symbolic night, just like the natural night, did not set in everywhere at the same instant of time, rather it reached each country only as it became involved in the war. While every government did not declare war, every one of the nations was involved therein; because every one of them was afflicted by the war. Now every nation is in the night, and has been since the war afflicted, and thus involved all nations, even those that did not declare war. Therefore the reaping is complete the world over; the Elects’ forehead sealing is finished.
“Closely connected with our text in thought is Rev. 7:1‑3, which we offer as a second proof that the forehead sealing of the Elect is complete. As these verses have, we think, been greatly misinterpreted in Vol. VII, we will introduce and expound them briefly: ‘And after [seeing] these things [in Chap. 6] I [the Little Flock] saw [with both physical and mental eyes] four angels [the messengers of wrath, C-165, i.e., (1) rulers, (2) aristocrats, (3) proprietary business men and proprietary farmers and (4) laborers, who bring about the trouble, and thus pour out the sufferings, the wrath of the Time of Trouble; the Harvest workers are not the messengers of wrath, as Vol. VII claims, but are messengers of peace, announcing and working for real peace (Isa. 52:7; Eph. 6:15)] standing [each group stationed in the section of society to which it belongs] on the four corners of the earth [the symbolic earth, society (the symbolic heavens are not here included), is divided into four sections, each one corresponding to one of the four messengers of wrath: (1) government, (2) aristocracy, (3) bourgeoisie, (4) labor] holding [these groups, prompted more or less by their selfishness, which worked in different forms in the various groups, followed a course that restrained the fallen angels from bringing the great tribulation sooner than the due time] the four winds of the [fallen angels, who seem to be divided into four classes (Rom. 8:38; Eph. 6:12), and who are ruling over the symbolic] earth [society] [so] that the wind [the World War, 1 Kings 19:11; see Berean comments, also on Rev. 7:2. This ‘wind’ is not the ‘whirlwind,’ which will only then come when the fallen angels are more fully loosed than they were when causing the war, and as such meet in great conflicts among themselves and produce among mankind the symbolic whirlwind, revolution and anarchy (Jer. 25:29-33, especially v. 32; 2 Kings 2:1,11, etc.). The wind, as this text implies, must precede the whirlwind, which occurs as a result of the hostile meeting of the fallen angels, after ‘the wind,’ 1 Kings 19:11,12] should not blow [bring tribulation] on the earth [society], nor on the sea [the restless, rebellious, lawless masses] nor on any tree [great one: the Lord’s people are counted great ones by Him; and the leaders among the four sections of society are also by their partisans].’“ (E‑5-147,148)
There will be more on the High Calling in Part 3. We trust that the first two parts of this series have blessed and strengthened the Lord’s people to a better understanding of the “Times and Seasons” in which we are now living.
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them” (2 Tim. 3:14); and “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psa. 27:14)
(Reprint No. 291, September 1979)
The following is an answer to the letter in the June 1997 paper:
Dear Brother ….: Grace and peace thru our Beloved Lord!
Delay in answering your letter of February 23 is due to my illness... My wife has been unable to take care of some of the correspondence. However, I am now regaining my strength.
Your frank expressions on the subject of the Jews are appreciated. I especially appreciate the compliment you give me regarding my knowledge of God’s Word and His “plan of the ages.” I have endeavored to “continue in” the Truth I have learned and been assured of; and our Lord promises, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31,32) Also, the Apostle Paul admonishes Timothy to “continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” (2 Tim. 3:14)
First of all, I wish to emphasize the fact that I am not a Jew – although I am not unmindful of the wonderful heritage the Jews have, even as I am acutely aware of the objectionable qualities that the renegade Jews have. As the Apostle Paul tells us, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly.” (Rom. 2:28) God does not recognize these renegades as Jews: His promises are only to the faithful orthodox Jews who will eventually accept Christ as their Savior. Also, there are many renegade Christians, who outwardly profess Christ but do not so do from the heart.
At our Lord’s First Advent He opened up the way for natural Jews to become Spiritual Israelites, but only a few availed themselves of that opportunity. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together... and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matt. 23:37,38)
After our Lord’s crucifixion, in “due time,” the Lord opened up the way for Gentiles to become Spiritual Israelites. But only a small minority of the human race have availed themselves of this opportunity – and quite a few of those who did... have made shipwreck of their profession. I am sure, my Brother, that you recognize this condition.
In the genealogy of Jesus we are clearly told that David was his ancestor. And certainly David was a Jew. And the inspired Scripture gives us what our Lord said: “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22) However, the faults of those renegade Jews, who are only Jews according to the flesh, may easily blind us to the overall picture. Ezekiel and Jeremiah are positive in disputing your opinion. I shall quote just one citation from Jer. 16:15: “I will bring them again into the land that I gave unto their fathers.”
As you undoubtedly know, Israel is just another name for Jacob, as he was originally called; and Jacob’s twelve sons are the progenitors of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel; and Jesus is referred to as “the lion of the tribe of Judah.” He was in a class by Himself when conducting His ministry at His First Advent; and at that time He certainly demonstrated that He was the lion (the King) of the tribe of Judah.
Note, too, Zech. 14:1-3: “I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to battle... then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” I assume I need not cite those ancient outstanding times when the Lord did fight for Israel; and the record tells us of Jesus: “He came unto his own [the Jews], and his own received him not.” Also Zech. 12:10: “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and shall mourn because of it.” St. Paul corroborates this in Rom. 1:16: “To the Jew first.”
As footstep followers of Jesus, we should not hate any race because of the evils of some – perhaps many – individuals. Although the Lord beholds the good and the evil (Ec. 12:14), He is not dealing with any individual now but only with those who are in covenant-relationship with Him. “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness.” (Acts 17:31) “For when thy judgments [instructions] are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” (Isa. 26:9) “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” (2 Cor. 4:4) But their eyes will be opened in that Blessed Kingdom: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” (Isa. 35:5) “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” (Rom. 11:32)
If at any time I can be of assistance to you, do not hesitate to call upon me – as I consider you my brother. We here try to write “in sincerity and in truth,” as we rely upon His inspired Word.
With this comes my Christian love and the assurance of my prayers for your highest welfare. The Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.
Sincerely your brother and servant, John J. Hoefle
PS — I am enclosing a tract on The Two Distinct Salvations and our May 1979 paper, which I hope you will find interesting and helpful.
Also, I have a few Jewish-Christians on my mailing list, and have exchanged personal correspondence with them. I find them most generous with those who have departed from the Truth – especially so with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, et al, who no longer teach the Truth on the promises to the Jews: “To the Jew First,” which is clearly taught in the Scriptures, for both the elective salvation as well as the salvation of the world in general in Christ’s Kingdom.