by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 460

My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!

"Visits The Holy Land: The fulfilled promises to the Jews, spoken of hundreds of times by the prophets of old, and reaffirmed in the writings of the New Testament, attracted Pastor Russell’s early attention, and consequently the time of the restora­tion of the Jews in Palestine, as a Nation, became a question of almost paramount im­portance to his mind. In order to verify or disprove certain claims or supposed facts, Pastor Russell visited the Holy Land in 1892, verifying much valuable information con­tained in his third volume of ‘Scripture Studies’ [written in 1890], wherein he inter­estingly treats the complex Jewish racial problem, past, present and future. This trip was the real beginning of a campaign to attract the attention of the world to the fu­ture inheritance of the natural ‘seed of Abraham.’ During the past twenty years, Pas­tor Russell has written much on Jewish topics and has addressed many Jewish audiences on Biblical Zionism, pointing out the significance of the many unfulfilled promises to them by Jehovah.” (Reprint 4953 – 1912)

Pastor Russell made several more trips to the Holy Land in the years after 1892. We now quote some more of his writings on the subject of the Jews from the aforemen­tioned third volume: “‘In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.’ (Amos 9:11,14,15)

“Among the relics of antiquity that have come down to our day, there is no other object of so great interest as the Jewish people. The searchers after ancient lore have untiringly questioned every inanimate object that could give a mite of historic or scientific information. Monuments, altars, tombs, relics of public and private edifices, paintings, sculptures, hieroglyphics and dead languages have all been ap­pealed to; and some have even tried patiently to discover the line of actual truth that probably inspired the many fanciful traditions, legends, songs, etc., that have come floating down the centuries, in order to learn all that it is possible to know of human origin, history and destiny. But a most interesting relic, and the one whose history can be most easily deciphered and understood, is the Jewish people. In them we have a monument of antiquity of inestimable value, upon which are recorded, in clearly legible characters, the origin, progress and final destiny of the whole human race – a living and intelligent witness of the gradual outworking of a wonderful purpose in human affairs, in exact conformity with the predictions of their Divinely inspired prophets and seers.

“As a people, they are marked as distinct and peculiar by every circumstance of their history and by their common religious faith, as well as by every element of their national character... As a people, they truly had much advantage every way, in having committed unto them the Oracles of God, developing among them poets, lawyers, statesmen and philosophers, and leading them up step by step from being a nation of slaves to be – as in the time of Solomon, the zenith of their glory – a people distinguished and honored among the nations, attracting the wonder and admiration of the world. (Rom. 3:1,2; 1 Kings 4:30‑34; 10:1‑29)

“That the re‑establishment of Israel in the land of Palestine is one of the events to be expected in this Day of the Lord, we are fully assured by the above expression of the Prophet. Notice, particularly, that the prophecy cannot be interpreted in any symbolic sense. It is not a Canaan in heaven to which they are assigned, but a Canaan on earth. They are to be planted upon ‘their land,’ the land that God says He had given them, the land that He promised to Abraham, saying, ‘Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. [An intimation of a then far distant period, giving ample time for such a multiplication of his seed.] Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.’ (Gen. 13:14‑17; 17:8)

“It is a land into which they were once favored to enter, and in which they dwelt for centuries. But during that time they were many times plucked up and carried into captivity in other lands, while strangers wasted their cities, drank the wine of their vineyards, and ate the fruit of their gardens. And finally they were completely rooted out, their cities laid waste and desolate, and they were driven as wanderers and exiles from country to country the world over. But when replanted in their land according to this promise, ‘they shall no more be pulled up out of their land,’ which God gave them; and ‘they shall build the waste cities [cities in which they had formerly lived], and inhabit them.’ A scattered, homeless, desolate and persecuted people, they are still a distinct and homogeneous people. United by the strong ties of blood relationship, by common hopes inspired by a common faith in God’s wonderful promises, though they have but dimly comprehended those promises, and still further bound together by the bond of sympathy growing out of their common sufferings and privations as exiles, they, to this day, long for the hope of Israel.” (Volume 3, pp. 243‑246, top)

“Pray For Messiah’s Kingdom: The hope of humanity is the Messianic Kingdom described in this lesson. The ‘mountain of the Lord’s house’ signifies the kingdom of God’s house, His Church. It will be established in the top of, or above the kingdoms of the world. It will be exalted amongst the nations and all peoples will flow to it. There will be an attraction in it for all peoples. It will lead them to climb upward. The attraction which will thus draw mankind will be the blessings of health and restitution, which the Kingdom will be prepared to grant to all peoples as they come into harmony with its requirements. (Acts 3:19‑23)

“The Kingdom will be closely identified with the Zionist movement and the Holy Land. The Kingdom itself will be spiritual, invisible to men, but its earthly agents will be visible and they will be Jewish – ‘Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom,’ etc. (Matt. 8:11) The Jews already impulsed toward the Land of Promise, will go thither in increasing numbers, and all of the faithful of them will go in sympathy and representatively, through financial assistance. The Israelitish hopes and promises will attract that number strongly first. And gradually all the nations, learning of the grace of God, and blessings of restitution to be bestowed, will say, ‘Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us [as well as the Jews] of his ways and we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the Law and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.’ (Isa. 2:3; Mic. 4:2)” (Reprint 4796 – 1911)

“In this prophecy of Amos (7:10‑13) the Lord points out that the wrath He was about to permit to come upon Israel as chastisements, would, nevertheless, work out for them a blessing, and that in His due time He would bring them back again into harmony with Himself, and that under more favorable conditions than in the past. We are not only to believe the calamitous portion of this prophecy, which we already see has been executed upon Israel in fullest measure, but we are also to believe the features of it which are favorable to Israel – the future blessings. For instance, we see how literally has been fulfilled the prediction: ‘Behold the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth [as a nation, a kingdom]; save that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord [the people of the nation were to be preserved as a separate people from others]; for lo, I will give the command, and I will shake about amongst all nations the house of Israel, as one shaketh things in a sieve, while not the least piece falleth down upon the earth.’ (Amos 9:8,9)

“The Lord thus shows His continued supervision of Israel, according to the covenant made with them. And how accurately this has been fulfilled: the Israelites as a people have been scattered throughout the whole earth, yet they have not lost their identity; as a nation they were utterly destroyed, yet unlike every other nation, they have preserved their national identity, and have not been mixed and blended with the world in general.

“And if this feature of the prophecy has been accurately fulfilled today before our eyes, we certainly have every reason to believe that the remainder of the prophecy will be just as accurately fulfilled – that portion which applies to the restitution times, after the true spiritual Israel has been selected, when natural Israel shall be brought back into covenant relationship with God, and become the earthly agent of the spiritual Kingdom for blessing, instructing and restoring the families of the earth, under the terms of the New Covenant. This is clearly set forth in the closing words of the prophecy: ‘In that day will I raise up the standard of David which is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof, and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom and of all the heathen which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this... And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them, and I will plant them in their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land, which I have given them, saith the Lord God.” (Reprints 2357 – 1898)

“The Fig Tree Is Withered Away: ‘And Peter, calling to remembrance, saith unto him, Master, behold the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.’ (Mark 11:21)

“Now in the instance under consideration, we read that Jesus came unto a certain place and there was a fig tree and he declared something about gathering of figs: ‘for the time of figs was not yet,’ our common version reads; more properly it would read, ‘for the time of figs was not over,’ was not past. It would be strange for Jesus to come before the proper time to look for figs.

“And He cursed the fig tree and said, ‘Let no more figs grow on thee to the age.’ Then later St. Peter called attention to the fact that the fig tree was beginning to wither, and Jesus said, ‘Have faith in God.’ What is the reason?

“When Ye See The Fig Tree Putteth Forth Leaves Ye know That Summer is Nigh: It is our understanding that the fig tree was a type or picture of the Jewish nation, to whom Jesus came when it was proper to expect fruitage. But coming to the Jews, He did not find the nation bearing fruit. The great ones of the nation were cast off; and only the publicans and sinners were ready to accept His message.

“It is remembered that the nation had a blight upon it. At the end of His ministry, Jesus, riding to the brow of the hill overlooking Jerusalem, said, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.’(Luke 13:34,35) A very short time afterwards it began to lose its power; and the Jewish nation lost its identity completely as a nation in the year 70 – 37 years after.

“While the Jewish nation has thus been in hades, in the tomb, so to speak, it is as a nation that they are referred to thus. Of course, they go into the tomb as individuals, as every one else; but as a nation also they have gone into the tomb. But according to the Scriptures there will be a resurrection of the Jewish nation, and a picture of that raising up is given where it says, ‘the bones came together, bone to his bone,’ etc.­(Ezek. 37:7) Those bones represent the whole house of Israel, which is referred to as saying, ‘Our hope is dead’ (v. 11); our ambitions are all gone or are asleep!

“So God is telling them that all the kingdom hopes of that nation are to be re­vived. As Jesus said to his disciples in one of His discourses — ‘When ye see the fig tree beginning to put forth its tender leaves, we know that summer is nigh.’ We see the fig tree putting forth its leaves today (see Matt. 24:32; Mark 13:28); we see the Jews looking back to Jerusalem, and we thus see the fig tree putting forth its leaves, or giving signs of life, looking forward to the re‑establishment of the Jewish nation. God says there will be such a Jewish nation again!” (Reprint 4788 – 1911)

“Israel An Illustration: Apparently the world will be given time to see in Israel the operation of Divine government, and its practical benefits, in contrast with the then prevalent anarchy, so that the majority of all nations will desire the Kingdom rule. This is forcefully pictured in the prophetic words, addressed to Israel at that time: ‘Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings [earth’s principal ones] to the brightness of thy rising. [This will apply to the Spiritual Israel, the Sun of Righteousness, but also to its earthly representatives – fleshly Israel restored to favor.]

“‘Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters to be nursed at thy side. [Compare Ezek. 16:61] Then shalt thou see and be filled with light, and thy heart will be awed and enlarged; because the abundance of the sea [anarchistic masses – see Rev. 21:1] shall be converted unto thee, as well as the best of the Gentiles shall come unto thee... And they shall show forth the praises of the Lord.’ (Isa. 60:1‑6,11‑20)

“Truly, that will be a glorious day of opening blinded eyes and turning many to righteousness! It will be a day of conversions and revivals along the lines of the Truth and not along lines of fear and misrepresentation [as the Jehovah’s Witnesses do]. It will be the time men­tioned by the Prophet when ‘a nation shall be born in a day.’ (Isa. 66:8) Israel will be that nation: (1) Spiritual Israel, the ‘holy nation’; (2) Fleshly Israel its earthly representative. From Israel the light shall shine out which will bring the chastened world to its knees, and usher in the promised pouring out of the Lord’s spirit of holiness, ‘upon all flesh after those days,’ as it has been poured out upon His true ser­vants and handmaids during these days. (Joel 2:28)” (Parousia Vol. 4, pp. 638,639 – 1897)

“Mediator Complete Will Inaugurate New Covenant: By that time, the great Mediator complete, our Lord and His members, will be ready to inaugurate the New Covenant which God has promised, through the prophet Jeremiah. (Jer. 31:31) This New Covenant is intended to bless all the families of the earth, as God said to Abraham. (Gen. 12:3) The promise is that this New Covenant will be made with Israel. In order to avail themselves of this Covenant, therefore, all other nations and peoples will be obliged to become a part of Israel. Thus eventually Abraham will become the father of many nations. All who will come into harmony with God will be the children of Abraham, in the sense that they will attain to that faith which Abraham had. Both the faith and the obedience will be necessary. As soon as the New Covenant shall have been sealed it will become operative. The Christ will then stand forth to be the Mediator of the New Covenant.

“This Covenant will be like unto the old Law Covenant; but it will be better, superior, the one of which the Law Covenant was a shadow. God will not then deal with Israel directly, but through the Mediator. Primarily, the Ancient Worthies will be fully received and will gladly accept the Mediator and all the terms and conditions of the New Covenant. Since they will be perfect they will be entirely able to comply with its conditions. They will have no weakness of the flesh, as they will be raised from the dead perfect human beings. [See Heb. 11:40] During the Mediatorial reign the Mediator will and ready to help and assist all who will come back into harmony with God. None will be brought immediately into communication with God, however, but they will be dealt with through the Mediator until the close of the Millennium, when they will be turned over to the Father. During the Messianic Age all will be subject to the Mediator’s arrangements and the Father’s arrangements through Him. Gradually the effect will be to take away the stony heart out of all flesh and to restore all mankind to that which was lost – perfection, mental, moral and physical. Those who refuse to participate in this blessing, we are told, will be destroyed from amongst the people. (Acts 3:22,23) Those who continue to progress will reach the condition of perfection of heart, of mind and of body which God requires.” (Reprint 4902,4903 – 1911)

“The Lord Loved Thee: Love is the keynote of the Bible, notwithstanding the fact that it contains threatenings as well as promises, and declarations and manifestations of justice as well as of mercy. If God’s character were devoid of justice – if His love should override His justice – it would be a terrible calamity for all those dependent upon Him. It would testify weakness of character instead of strength. It is the fact that God’s Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power operate in full harmony – in coordination – that gives us admiration for Him, confidence in Him, love for Him; and all these appreciations are intensified as we realize His unchangeableness.

“From the beginning God foreknew His plan as we see it gradually ripening. He foreknew that man, allowed to take his course, would fall deeply into sin and be overwhelmed in its penalty, death. He foreknew His own purpose to provide in due time the Lamb of God as a ransom‑sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. He foreknew the ultimate blessing of all the families of the earth, purposing that the glorified Redeemer should be the deliverer of mankind. He foreknew and arranged a thousand years of restitution work, when under Messiah’s glorious Kingdom all mankind should be brought to a full knowledge of God and a full opportunity for returning to all that was lost in Eden, all that was redeemed at Calvary; and when the ultimately rebellious should be destroyed. He foresaw from the beginning the glorious result when every knee would be bowing and every tongue confessing the glorious work of Messiah’s Kingdom. This entire program was to be of the Father and through the Son. (1 Cor. 8:6)

“It was incidental to this great plan that God foresaw the wisdom of having a saintly company associated with Jesus in the great work of His Millennial Kingdom, which is to govern and bless thousands of millions. God determined to have two saint­ly companies. One class was to be of the earth, earthy, samples of what mankind might all eventually attain to through the assistance of the Kingdom. The other class of saints, still more highly exalted, were to be the Bride of Messiah and His joint‑heir in the Kingdom on the spirit plane. God could have filled these honorable positions with angels, who would have been glad of the opportunity of thus serving. However, in­stead, He chose to gather these companies from amongst men – from amongst the sinners themselves.

“Calling Abraham’s Posterity: Many ways were open before the Lord for the gathering of the elect for the future service. The one which He chose and has been carrying out was undoubtedly the wisest, the best. First of all, God called Abraham – a sinner like others, but one whose heart was full of trust in God and who delighted in the right ways of the Lord to the extent of his ability. God’s promise to Abraham was that his seed should constitute the elect, and that through that seed all nations would receive a Divine blessing.

“The period of nearly four thousand years since God’s covenant with Abraham has been devoted to the development of Abraham’s seed – a natural seed and a spiritual seed. The two were mentioned to Abraham indirectly when the Lord said, ‘Thy seed shall be as the stars of the heaven and as the sand of the seashore.’ (Gen. 22:17) The stars of heaven thus are used to represent the spiritual seed of Abraham; the sand of the seashore, the natural seed.

“For more than eighteen centuries God dealt with the natural seed of Abraham. His promises to them and the Law Covenant made with them were great blessings, inspi­rations, assistances. For although the Israelites, like others, were unable to keep the Law Covenant, being imperfect, sinners, nevertheless the endeavor to obey was help­ful. The various chastisements of Israel, including their Babylonian captivity, were lessons intended for their good, and eventually made that nation, at the time when Jesus came to be the Redeemer, the most holy people in all the world – the only people recognized of God.

“He Came Unto His Own: Nevertheless, much of the holiness of Israel in Jesus’ day was merely a form of godliness, which did not stand the test. Only Israelites indeed – pure in heart, in motive – were enabled to appreciate the Gift of God and to become Jesus’ disciples – probably 25,000 in all. Then the door of opportunity to become fellow‑heirs with the Jewish Saints was thrown open to the Gentiles; and God’s Message was given them, inviting them also to joint‑heirship with Christ. The gathering of this class has proceeded for eighteen centuries, while the nation of Israel has been rejected from God’s favor. Now we are entering the great time of trouble which is to inaugurate Messiah’s Kingdom. During this trouble the Church is to be glorified in the First Resurrection. Then the thousand years of Messiah’s reign with the elect, spiritual bride, drawn from both Jews and Gentiles, will begin.

“Still God’s favor will pursue the natural seed of Abraham. Their lessons and chastisements will fit and prepare them more quickly than others of the world to re­ceive the Messianic blessings. The earthly phase of Messiah’s Kingdom will be Israelitish, in that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets and saintly ones down to John the Baptist are to be made ‘princes in all the earth’ (Psa. 45:16) – the earthly representa­tives in human perfection of the spiritual Kingdom of Messiah.

“Naturally enough, Israel will then in a natural way come first into harmony with the Divine arrangement and be the first to get the blessing. However, during the thousand years of the Kingdom, as the Scriptures declare, all nations shall bless themselves in becoming Abraham’s seed – in coming into relationship with the Kingdom, which will have an Israelitish basis. (Jer. 4:2; Isa. 65:16; Gen. 12:3) Eventually, all will be destroyed who do not thus become true Israelites. Thus Abraham’s seed will eventually include all the families of the earth – all for whom God has provided life eternal. As for Gentiles – strangers from God – none will remain.” (Reprints 5809,5810 – 1915)

“‘Die Stimme’ To The Jews: God’s Message to the Jews is being heard the world around. Not only were several of our sermons to the Jews published to the extent of 107,600 copies in Jewish papers in the English language, but in 655,000 copies of the Yiddish papers besides 325,000 copies of ‘Die Stimme.’ (The Voice) These have been republished, we learn, in Russia and elsewhere. True, there was some opposition, but this, we be­lieve, led the Jews to take more careful notice of the message.

“It is not our expectation that the Jews will become Christians now. It will be after they shall have returned to Palestine and the spirit of prayer and supplication shall have been poured on them, that they will ‘look upon him whom they pierced.’ Our Message is to comfort them and to turn their eyes toward Palestine and to their glorious promises centering there.” (Reprint 4728 – 1910)

“Jewish Hopes And Prospects: For those Jews who read Yiddish we have secured a large edition of the newspaper, Die Stimme, which contains Jerusalem news and reports of several of Brother Russell’s sermons to the Jews.

“This paper is very acceptable amongst the Jews. It does not point them to Jesus of Nazareth, but does point to the Messiah of Glory. It gives assurances that the time of the establishment of His Kingdom is near, and that then the Jews will be blessed. It points them to the land of Palestine as the place where the national blessings will begin. It does not say so, but all Watch Tower readers well know that according to prophecy it will be then and there that Israel’s blindness will be turned away and they will recognize Him whom they pierced.

“It is not our expectation that the Jews will be converted to Christianity. Theirs is the chief of earthly blessings. If some few of them have the ‘hearing ear’ for the spiritual message, they will hear it, but they will be the exceptional few.” (Reprint 4743 – 1911)

“The earthly phase of the Kingdom is seen to be Israelitish; and around this fact cluster those many prophecies which relate to the prominence of that nation in God’s plan for the future blessing of the world, when their tabernacle, fallen in the dust, shall be restored, and Jerusalem shall be a praise in the whole earth. We find statements by both prophets and apostles which clearly indicate that in the times of restitution Israel as a nation will be the first among the nations to come into harmony with the new order of things; that the earthly Jerusalem will be rebuilt upon her old heaps; and that their polity will be restored as in the beginning under princes or judges. (Isa. 1:26; Psa. 45:16; Jer. 30:18) And what could be more reasonably ex­pected than that Israel should first of all rejoice to recognize the prophets and patri­archs? and that their acquaintance with and long discipline under the law should have prepared them for tractability and obedience under the authority of the Kingdom? And while Israel will be the first of the nations to be recognized and blessed, it is writ­ten also of Israel that ‘The Lord shall save the tents of Judah first.” (Parousia Vol. 1, p. 294 – 1886)

“The operations of the Kingdom, under the light of full knowledge and along the line of works, will, for various reasons, evidently appeal most strongly at first to Israel after the flesh, who, when their blindness shall be turned away, will become exceedingly zealous for the Lord’s Anointed, saying, as represented in the prophecy, ‘This is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.’ (Isa. 25:9) But while Israel will naturally be the first to fall in line under the new order of things, the blessings and opportuni­ties of the Kingdom shall, thank God! be rapidly extended throughout the world – to the intent that all nations may become children of Abraham in the sense that they will participate in the blessings promised to him, as it is written, ‘I have made thee a father of many nations; in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’“ (Parousia Vol. 6, p. 119 – written early in the 20th century)

“How true the statement that those who have cursed, or injured, Israel have brought injury upon themselves! As we scan the whole field of the world, we find that every nation which has dealt harshly with Israel has received severe chastisement or blight. On the contrary, Great Britain and the United States, nations which have blessed the Jews, have in turn received great blessings.

“The One who is to have the dominion of earth is of Jacob’s posterity, according to the flesh. As the bright and morning Star, He is leading on to a glorious sunrise – the dawning of the Messianic day, which is to scatter earth’s night and bring blessings instead of the curse.” (Reprint 5323, col. 2, bottom – 1913)

Pastor Russell wrote copiously on the Jews and their promises when most Christian ministers were silent on the subject – at a time when the Jews were not so prominently mentioned as they are today. We trust that what we have written will revive interest in the Lord’s people, not only to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” but will also seek to bless, comfort and help them in their efforts to establish peace in Jerusalem. We know the Kingdom will be Israelitish. “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:3)

“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her; that ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abun­dance of her glory. For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.” (Isa. 66:10-12)

“For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psa. 100:5)

Sincerely your brother, John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim

(Reprint No. 356, April 1985)



Our very esteemed and beloved Sister Emily Hoefle, loving greetings from Israel!

Already 3 lovely letters were received from you and we thank you heartily. Your love and the care of us strengthens us and encourages us.

On the day we received your letter from July 6 in which you point out Jer. 10:11, has been read exactly this chapter on the Israeli radio in the daily Bible lecture. We think the same with you and are showing many times how the prophet Jeremiah applies to Israel’s present condition now. The Prophet reproaches sharply the Nation, but he puts the main guilt on the Leaders, “You have seduced my people saying ‘peace’ and there is no peace”. You have profaned me among my people by lying. You heal the wound of my people superficially. Therefore shall you fall and will be brought down”. (Jer. 8)

The Prophet shows the coming great destruction but also the following building and planting of the New One (1:10).

Please excuse our late answer but we have been very busy. The group leaders asked us to manage for the seminar participants which are coming from far away and cannot return for night to their home, to make them a possibility for an overnight stay. So we get an old big caravan at almost no cost. It made much work to restore him, but now he became a sweet home and can serve very well for this purpose. We had also important visitors in last time. One of them was Eli Landau, the Mayor of the town Herzlia. He came with a big group of Jews from USA. After Bro. Hermann’s lecture they did not want to depart and asked many questions about the future and the Messiah. As a sign of esteem they gave to us a Bible in Golden Cover.

Besides the Prophet Eliah crossroad between Jokneam and Kfar Joshua (Jesus last week took place a great manifestation of identification with the parts of the Land Israel (Parts of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Golan, Gaza), which the present Government will give up. Many Parliament Members have been announced for speeches (Benjamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan, Rechaveam Zeevi Gandhi and prominent notables). Crowds of people came from far away to hear them. Our Jewish friends invited us and we came to be one of the listeners. But when the parliament Members became aware of us, they asked us to give a speech and demanded from the organizers even the first place for us. Although not prepared, we could give a complete witness. We said it in the name of the thousands of Bible students and believers all over the world. We could show the accurate fulfillment of the prophecies in the present situation and the very close coming of the Messiah to these events. But also the requirements, which are demanded from us to reach the wonderful Messianic Age. After the speech many of the prominent got up to shake our hands and they expressed how our words moved them deeply. At the end of the meeting came many from the public and followed with their esteem. THE LORD gave much grace, and one more of the countless opportunities which we received in Israel to praise HIM! To HIM be Thanksgiving and HIS Kingdom it may hasten!

Bro. Anders sent us a donation more than once which we appreciate very much.

We received an offer of a second hand tractor. The half price of a new one, but a used generator in good condition is not on the market and we’ll have no other choice, but to buy a new one.

A small explanation to your questions:

The tractor and the generator are different machines and are used separately every one for his special purpose. Both of them are vital machines without which the settlement can not exist.

The generator is a stationed power plant, a diesel engine driving the generator, which produces the electricity. The main task of the generator is to supply the electricity for the water pump (which supplies the water) and also drives the other vital machines.

The tractor is a motor driven vehicle for pulling farm machinery, plowing fields and doing other agriculture works.

We stay in great thankfulness for all your daily love, prayer, blessings and the material help from the Lord’s people, and reciprocate your loving greetings.

Devotedly your Brethren from Israel, Hermann and Joseph (ISRAEL)