Who is “A Prophet Unto the Nations”? The answer is found in the book of Jeremiah. Indeed Jeremiah was a prophet to Israel and the surrounding nations. “I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jer. 1:5) Jeremiah lived in Jerusalem forty years or more prior to the Babylonian captivity. There are three definitions to the word prophet: (1) One who prophesies, (2) A spokesman for a cause or for another, and (3) One who teaches. The name Jeremiah means The Lord is Exalted or God will Elevate.
God’s dealing with Israel is a type and has a greater application to Spiritual Israel. All antitypes are greater and grander than the types, just as the lesson taught in a parable is greater than the parable illustrating it.
In Deut. 18:15 Jesus is likened unto Moses: “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” Those that do not hearken (obey) unto that Prophet “shall be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:22) The Tabernacle Sacrifices were typical of the Better Sacrifices. Solomon’s early peaceful reign prefigured the glory and peace of Christ’s Millennial reign. The prophet in the antitype of Solomon’s peaceful reign is our Lord.
Who does Jeremiah type as a “Prophet Unto the Nations”? In Jeremiah 1:2 we read of Josiah’s reign during which Jeremiah’s ministry began in 647 B. C. The antitype of this was 2520 years later in 1874 when Pastor Russell began his ministry as God’s mouthpiece to Christendom.
In verse 5 we read “Before thou comest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee.” The circumstances connected with the birth of Charles Taze Russell together with the environment of his early life no doubt had much to do with his subsequent service. His consecrated parents no doubt dedicated him to the Lord as was the case with Samuel (1 Sam. 1:11).
The first Harvest Truth the Lord revealed to Brother Russell was the invisibility of our Lord’s Second Advent in October 1874. He was sanctified and ordained to be a “Prophet Unto the Nations” just as was Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a type of Brother Russell.
As a young man, a teenager, Pastor Russell could not accept the errors of the Nominal Systems, especially Eternal Torment as the wages of sin. He studied the various heathen religions but therein found no satisfactory answers, nor did he find them in the Congregational Church. However, he continued to recognize God as a GOD OF WISDOM, JUSTICE, LOVE AND POWER. He eventually found the answers in the Bible. God illuminated his mind on the error of Eternal Torment. He also saw the Truth on Election and Free Grace, a subject which the Presbyterians and Methodists could not harmonize. The meaning of the Ransom as a corresponding price was revealed to him through God’s inspired Word. Also he saw Restitution as taught in Acts 3:19-21 which we now understand to be the Lost Coin of the parable of Luke 15:8,9. He saw the true significance of the Greek word Parousia as meaning presence.
In verse 6, we read of Jeremiah’s lack of confidence: “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold I cannot speak: for I am a child.” So, too, at first Pastor Russell lacked confidence to perform such a great work. In verse 7 we have God’s answer. Knowing his deep humility, God encouraged him, saying that he was qualified, and should go to all to whom He would send him and tell everything that God would charge him. “But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever 1 command thee thou shalt speak.” (Jer. 1:7) Brother Russell learned that he would be able to do any work the Lord gave him to do. “Be not afraid of their aces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” (Jer. 1:8,9) Thereupon God gave Pastor Russell the message that he should deliver. In verse 10 God restates that he was set over the nations, and further assured Pastor Russell that he was then and there commissioning him as to Christendom – in church, state, capital and labor groups, to declare their condition TO ROOT OUT, TO PULL DOWN, TO DESTROY AND THROW DOWN.
In simple language he was first to expose their errors. Pastor Russell was appointed to do this regarding this present “evil world” (Gal 1:4), and to declare the upbuilding and planting of a new order of affairs. Pastor Russell consecrated his all to God in fighting error and declaring the good news of the Kingdom and restitution – “The Lost Coin.” In Luke 15:8,9 we find this very short parable of the Lost Coin, which Pastor Russell spent a lifetime preaching.
There are ten basic doctrines in the Bible: (1) Creation, (2) The Fall and Condemnation, (3) The Law, (4) The Ransom, (5) Justification, (6) Consecration or Sanctification, (7) Election, The High Calling, (8) Resurrection, (9) Restitution, (10) The Second Death. It has been said that Brother Russell’s stewardship doctrine was Restitution. “For the Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10)
Next in order in a tableau form is verse 11: “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.” He set before Brother Russell a picture of the Church as God’s fruitful elect priesthood, under the symbolism of a “rod of an almond tree,” which he recognized as such; and God commended him therefor, adding that he would fulfill the symbol in reality, bringing forth fruit before the leaves of profession were seen. In verse 13, “seething pot from the north” refers to the brewing and fulfilling of the tribulation of the Time of Trouble which we are now in. He saw this many years before 1914.
As a prophet unto the nations, How did Pastor Russell fulfill this work? In two ways: First, the printed page and Second, Orally, by word of mouth. These were the only methods available at that time. The first booklet, Food for Thinking Christians, was distributed in 1881 on three consecutive Sundays at church doors in the United States, Canada and Great Britain by Messenger Boys. Tabernacle Shadows was brought out in 1881 in reply to errors on Leviticus 16 and the book of Hebrews. Prior to this in July 1879 the first issue of the Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence was published. This was a bimonthly magazine and as editor he wrote most of the copy until his death in 1916.
The six volumes of the Studies in the Scriptures were published consecutively: The Divine Plan of the Ages, 1886; The Time is at Hand, 1889; Thy Kingdom Come, 1891; The Battle of Armageddon, 1897; The Atonement Between God and Man, 1899; and The New Creation, 1900. These volumes are six of the seven vials of Revelation 16. The seventh volume – The Finished Mystery – was published after Pastor Russell’s death. This Seventh Volume contains many quotations from Pastor Russell, but it also includes many other writings, mostly by two persons, which contain much error. While it is the Seventh Volume that is the seventh vial of Revelation 16, it is in vile condition. The Society excommunicated brethren who refused to accept the errors in that book, but later commanded their devotees not to read it. The Society has written another book also named The Finished Mystery. It may be this book is forbidden to be read by their devotees now.
The Overland Monthly was authored by Bret Hart, a famous journalist and author. The first article published in this magazine by Pastor Russell – The Divine Purpose – was so well received that articles authored by Pastor Russell appeared in the Overland Monthly until his death. A book has been published, What Pastor Russell Wrote For The Overland Monthly, with a series of articles written by Charles Taze Russell.
Newspaper Work: Over 2000 newspapers carried his sermons regularly, and more than 4000 newspapers published his sermons some of the time. Indeed Pastor Russell was A Prophet Unto the Nations by the means of the printed page. Orally – by word of mouth: About 800 workers went door to door distributing Gospel literature. They were called colporteurs. Quietly with no fanfare, speaking or witnessing one by one, they served efficiently and untiringly. This was a branch of service close to Brother Russell’s heart. In the lecture bureau there were usually about 70 lecturers working full time, traveling around the country and the world giving an average of two lectures a day. Often public messages were given in the largest auditoriums available. There was also an auxiliary force of 700 part-time lecturers. Much of the success of the Harvest work was due to the efforts of this Lecture Bureau. Pastor Russell was often referred to as “The Ubiquitous Preacher.” He took frequent speaking tours around the country and the world, including Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Poland and South Africa. The world was his parish and congregation. Indeed he was “A Prophet Unto the Nations!”
At the headquarters in Bethel the staff or family was comprised of about 175 members, all under the direct supervision of Pastor Russell. At mealtime he conducted table talks, questions and answers as well as lectures at times. Punctuality and order was essential. As an executive he directed all of the work of the Harvest as “That Wise and Faithful Servant” of Matt. 24:45-47 and Luke 12:42-44. As financier he accomplished this tremendous work, never asking for donations or even hinting at such a thing. The meetings were advertised, “Seats Free, No Collections.”
The Photo Drama Of Creation was the crowning feature of our Pastor’s ministry, using sight and sound – a production years ahead of its time. It combined still and moving pictures with the sound of the spoken voice. There was no charge for attendance to the Photo Drama. This stupendous undertaking was two or three years in production at a considerable expense in time, labor and money. An advance team of field Men made all of the preliminary arrangements and advertising. Five operators were required. There were 20 circuits or 80 showings each day. Ushers as well as maintenance and follow-up workers were necessary to service this production. The Photo Drama was shown to capacity and overflow audiences in the largest meeting places all over the U.S., Canada, Europe and the world.
After several successful meetings in Jerusalem, Pastor Russell was invited by a Committee of prominent Rabbis and successful Jewish men to address them at the Hippodrome of New York. This was quite an honor for a Christian to address this select Jewish audience. At the beginning of the service the audience was very quiet and apprehensive, but soon warmed up to the speaker and his timely message, and began to applaud at times. At the close of the service the audience gave the speaker a standing ovation.
This was the Harvest in which the fruitage of all previous work of the entire Gospel Age was gathered. It was a work of giving meat in “due season,” a separation of wheat and tares, which was all done under the direction of That Servant – antitypical Jeremiah, “The Prophet Unto the Nations.” It has been said that he was the greatest loved, the most hated, the most active, the most prophesied person mentioned in the Bible since the days of the Apostle Paul. He did all this without the benefit of airplanes and many other conveniences of today. He was indeed appointed of God as was Aaron.
During Brother Russell’s ministry the call was broadcast, “Come out of her, my people.” (Rev. 18:4) So many came out of the Nominal churches that the clergy were incensed. They used every means possible to stop his ministry. His books were burned in front of church doors, and the bookstores were boycotted. The books were sold privately. They would have burned him at the stake if the law had permitted. He was the most persecuted man of his day. But Brother Russell went courageously and valiantly on with his ministry, knowing the Lord was with him. His voice was heard all over the United States as well as in foreign countries. He gave lectures on the Bible in most countries of the world. It was “due time” for the message to be given, and no man could stop it. He was a very wealthy man and spent all his wealth in the ministry.
The Lord said, “Them that honor me, I will honor.” (1 Sam. 2:30) So we honor those that God honors. “The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.” (Psa. 112:6) There are many thousands of people over the world who continue to believe in the teachings of That Wise and Faithful Servant. “Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; but their works do follow them.” (Rev. 14:13) God bless his memory!
THE EPIPHANY MESSENGER
The Epiphany Messenger is also one of God’s appointed Servants. We know that God honored him for his faithful ministry. Although his ministry was not nearly so extensive or compelling as was That Servant’s ministry, he did for the Lord’s people in the Epiphany what Brother Russell did for the Lord’s people in the Parousia.
As a young man, before he joined the Harvest movement, he had gained extensive recognition as a Lutheran minister in Cleveland, Ohio, and elsewhere. By intensive study for about three months in 1903, he had been able to clearly see the truth on the Unity of God, human mortality, death as the wages for sin (Rom. 6:23), Papacy as the Beast, the identity of the Millennium, and 1914 as the end of the Age. Thereafter he made no further progress toward understanding Present Truth until he came into the Harvest Movement. He graduated from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, with the highest honors of anyone who had attended that institution up to that time. He was a true scholar of Greek and Hebrew and spoke German fluently. In his early years he was able to give an oration in Latin – a feat which few college professors of Latin could do.
Brother Johnson was faithful to the Harvest Truth; and all his writings attested to that fact. He often referred to Brother Russell as the Giant and himself a Pygmy beside of him. He taught that any advancing Truth should harmonize with the Truth taught by That Servant.
The Truths presented in Tabernacle Shadows were basic for further advancing Parousia Truths. The meat in due season as presented in the six volumes of the Studies in the Scripture were an outgrowth of the basic Truths as presented in Tabernacle Shadows.
At the time of Pastor Russell’s death one of the most discussed subjects was that of Elijah and Elisha. Because the antitype of that subject with the various experiences and trials were going on at that time it was not possible to clearly understand the antitypes fully then. It was Brother Johnson’s presentation of The Last Related Acts of Elijah and Elisha that fully explained this subject which could not have been understood before the antitype had been fulfilled and the trials met. Tabernacle Shadows was basic for advancing Parousia Truth so The Last Related Acts of Elijah and Elisha are basic for advancing Epiphany Truth.
In Zion’s Watchtower Reprints 5761 Brother Russell stated, “With the closing of the door of this Gospel Age there will be no more begetting of the Holy Spirit to the spirit nature. Any afterward coming to God through consecration, before the inauguration of the restitution work, will be accepted by Him not to the spirit plane of being, but to the earthly plane. Such would come in under the same conditions as the Ancient Worthies who were accepted of God. The Ancient Worthies came in, no calling opened to them – the High Calling not being yet open, and the restitution opportunities not open. But they freely gave themselves up to God without knowing what blessing their consecration would bring, except that they had the intimation that they would, in the future life, have a “better resurrection” than the remainder of the world.
“Our thought is that whoever under such conditions as these will make a full consecration to the Lord, to leave all to follow in His ways, and will live faithfully, loyally, to that consecration may be privileged to be counted as a similar class to those who preceded this Gospel Age. We know of no reason why the Lord would refuse to receive those who make a consecration after the close of the Gospel Age High Calling and before the full opening of the Millennium.”
Brother Russell gave us no Scriptures to show that this elect class of Youthful Worthies was mentioned in the Bible. During the Epiphany, Brother Johnson, being used of the Lord explained the details of this class of consecrated, non-spirit-begotten ones developed after the close of the High Calling using several Scriptures e.g., Joel 2:28,29; 2 Tim. 2:20; Isa. 60:13; Psa. 72:3 and others, which prove there are four elect classes in the Household of Faith.
So we honor these two men of God who spent their lives in giving the Truth to the Household of Faith. Our Lord Himself said, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.” (John 12:26) Thus, we conclude this present appraisal as we did for the PAROUSIA Messenger: God bless his memory!
Your Brother in His Service
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
I received mail from you in 1991 which was numbered 425 and 426. Also yesterday I received your articles for May and June 1992, Nos. 432 and 433. 1 would like to make a correction in my address.
In 1991 your mail went to Hamden, CT on account of the wrong zip code. I am glad to be assured there is hope for the Sodomites and that Jesus died for all mankind.
Are you a branch of the Laymen’s Home Missionary movement? Enclosed is a donation for the articles you sent me.
Sincerely yours, ------- (CONNECTICUT)
Dear Epiphany Bible Students: Greetings in the Name of our Lord!
I Want to thank you very much for sending the requested book, Pastor Charles Taze Russell, An Early American Christian Zionist. I have enclosed a money order for the book and a donation.
I have been a consecrated Bible Student since 1975. The group that I belong to would be considered Divine Plan Bible Students. However, I have much respect for all Bible Students, regardless of their views on Chronology and the High Calling. I enjoy reading your letters, and would like to continue receiving them. May the Lord’s blessings be with your work, as you strive to serve Him.
By His Grace, Brother ------- (OHIO)
Dear Sister Hoefle,
Thank you for the copy of your letter to me of June 19 and the copy of the paper on Armageddon enclosed therein: also thanks for the two papers, Part One and Part Two on the Law of Moses.
If you have anymore of Pastor Russell’s articles on the World’s Judgment Day I would appreciate receiving them. I have the Studies in the Scriptures and the Tabernacle Shadows, but no more of his writings. The brethren I have studied with are united with the Lord and with those who have His Spirit.
I also received your letter of June 30 with the enclosed paper on The Tabernacle. I have been taught that the door to the high calling is still open.
God bless you in your endeavors to serve Him.
Sincerely, ------- (CONNECTICUT)
Dear Sister Emily Hoefle:
Thank you so much for your dear and warm letter. Brother ------- was very delighted with your beautiful and nice letter. The address of Brother ------- follows. He is not a member of the Dawn organization – is only on their mailing list of West Germany.
By His Grace, Your brother, ------- (AUSTRIA)
Enclosed is a check for your work for the Lord. Could you recommend any books for me to read. I have the Millennial Dawn books.
I enjoyed the book you sent me. Please send me whatever you think will help me in my search for the truth. Do you offer a Bible course? Thank you, ------- (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Sister Hoefle: Col. 1:31
Here are a few names. I am sure they would like to read about The Law of Moses, and be on your mailing list.
Sincerely by His Grace, Brother ------- (TEXAS)
Dear Sr. Hoefle:
I am remembering that I have never written you to thank you for the many articles you have been sending me for quite a while.
Also, I haven’t expressed my appreciation with a contribution for your kind efforts on my behalf. Both my friend in the Truth and I are enjoying your papers very much. She lives in Anderson, and is receiving them too. They nearly always cover some particular question or problem that we are wondering about at the moment – so timely, it seems.
I wish we had known about you when Brother Hoefle was still living, because I treasure the memories I have of some of the Pilgrim brothers I knew 35 or 40 years ago when the Truth was very new to me.
Please accept the small donation enclosed for the work of witnessing that you are engaged in. Thank you for making yourself known to me in this way. I also appreciate, the book on Pastor Russell by David Horowitz which you sent me. I want to remain on your mailing list.
With sincere Christian love, ------- INDIANA)
Thank you for sending me your newsletter. I am in declining years, “waiting for that Blessed Hope”; and I don’t get around very well.
I am a third generation Bible Student. I love the Truth and miss the meetings, although my mother and I meet with a few others on Sundays at my sister’s house.
My nephew is in Atlanta and Judy in Riverside. You may know them. I’m enclosing a donation. Please remember me.
Yours in Christ, ------- (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Sister Hoefle: Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Head!
Your inspiring letter has been received with much appreciation. I do hope by now you are quite physically OK. Thanks to our Heavenly Father I am at present fine physically and otherwise. Also, the rest of our brethren here are doing well except Brother Wesley who has had a minor operation. But he is recovering nicely.
Yes, the tracts were received in good condition. Thanks for same. They are enough for the time being. Also, the monthly articles are received by us with much appreciation.
Our Lord’s Memorial service was attended by all and we are grateful to the Lord for this occasion. Can you imagine we are now at the sixth month of the year! Time moves along so fast one can hardly recall the happenings of the day. One thing for sure, there’s no slip in the Divine Plan!
In 2 Pet. 1:12-15 it is pointed out. How important it is that we are reminded of these things we have learned; and seeing that the “evil day” (Eph. 6:13) is upon us the more we need to be watchful – be steadfast always abounding in the works of the Lord.
With this comes my sincere desire that you keep up the good work until you receive His “well done.” Also, please extend our good wishes and prayers to the brethren with you.
Your brother by His Grace, ------- (JAMAICA)
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I would appreciate if you would kindly add my name to your mailing list to receive your newsletter. Many thanks. Sincerely, ------- (NEW YORK)
All these weeks I have your extraordinarily warm letter which arrived together with the Bulletin. And I want to assure you right away that your letter, and your keen thoughts made a lot of sense; and I enjoyed reading every word. Not only that, I also learned much from what you wrote. For this, too, I am obliged to you!
Yes, I, too, want to thank you most warmly for going out of your way to write, with such patience and in such detail.
May I hope that your eyes are serving you well, and that generally you enjoy good health and are always in good spirits. I think, people like you, who are so deeply steeped in Scripture, and possess such abiding faith, cannot but always be in good spirits.
As you know, of course, things here are difficult. After a very harsh winter we do now enjoy a gorgeous spring, underlined by myriads of blossoms from up in the mountains of Galilee to the deep – and usually arid and yellow – Negev in the south. A joy to behold A real blessing from above!
As you know, too, that the present American Administration is withholding loan guarantees for helping the absorption of some 350,000 new ‘Oleem’ (i.e., immigrants). Why? Because building goes on in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza strip – all part and parcel of the Land of Israel. B U T not just anywhere there – exclusively on land that is State domain – or, in some cases, land that was sold by their owners – usually exorbitant – for money.
And what was asked for was NOT for loans, or grants, but only for guarantees; and as is well known, Israel has never defaulted on payments for loans, etc., contrary to Egypt, for example, which only recently got its million-$ debt to the U.S. paid off. Meanwhile, the peace process goes on; the Administration says that those new buildings by Israel are an ‘obstacle to peace.’
But what about the ongoing Arab terror, the economic and diplomatic boycott by the Arab world (Egypt being a feeble exception to this rule), the frantic arming of our Arab neighbors, the nightmarish accumulation of missiles and mass destruction arsenals all around here? All this and more – is it not any obstacle to peace? Also, how many people know that Arabs keep setting up their own new ‘settlements’ throughout the land – not because they need them but to spite the Israeli efforts to find space for our people? And all this in an intensifying atmosphere of hostility, threats and hate. But all this, according to the Administration, is not an obstacle to peace. It is all so weird and even revolting. The injustice, unfairness, one-sidedness and total lack of sensing what it’s all about, are very, very painful, particularly for people like myself who knows America and who maintain a ‘soft spot in their hearts’ for it.
Be well! We send you from Jerusalem the Blessings of Zion. There will be Hope and there will be New and Good Tidings! All the very best, Michael Pragai (ISRAEL)
Dear Emily Hoefle:
I received your kind letter today, and I will respond. I have no problem with the points raised in the newsletter relative to the creation days. This is an area which most creationists who are active in writing, publishing and teaching disagree enormously about... I do not know how strong the case is for specifically 7,000 years, especially since some of the chronology, at least taught by the Witnesses, has proved to be incorrect...
You are correct that I have tenure at the college here. I teach biology, chemistry, and physics and find these subjects fascinating. I also teach some psychology courses. Although I am able to meet my bills now, the many thousands of dollars my case cost me is still an albatross around my neck. I stopped receiving the paper about the time that your husband died and had just assumed that it had ceased publishing then.
Again, I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely, Jerry Bergman, Ph. D. (OHIO)
BIBLE STUDENT TOUR OF ISRAEL
On March 15-31, 1993, Sister Elva Lanowick and Brother Dannis Thorfeldt will be leading a group of friends on a tour of the Holy Land. Many of you may be familiar with the tours that Elva and her husband Casmir led for many years before his passing in 1980. In addition to being among the State of Israel’s staunchest Christian friends, they also lived there for 15 months. Casmir was the director of the Christian-Israel Friendship League.
Elva has many Jewish and Christian friends (including several Bible Students) living in Israel and we will have the opportunity to meet with them on our tour. Dennis has been a Bible Student Elder for over 25 years and will be leading his 3rd tour group to Israel.
The tour group will spend 6 nights in Jerusalem, 3 nights at a Kibbutz Guest House on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, 3 nights in Tel Aviv, and 2 nights in Eilat by the Red Sea. Among the many Biblical sites that will be visited are the old city of Jerusalem, the Garden Tomb, the Western wall, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the site of Jesus, baptism on the Jordan River, the Mount of Transfiguration, the Mount of the Beatitudes, and many many more. They will also be taking a cable car ride up to Massada.
The tour will be an in-depth visit to the Holy Land guided by Mike Rogoff, an Israeli tour guide and personal friend of Elva and Dennis’, whose tremendous Old and New Testament knowledge, and dynamic way of speaking will make the Bible come alive before your very eyes!
Included in the price of the tour is round trip transportation to Tel Aviv on El Al, the airline of Israel, first class hotels throughout, Israeli breakfast and complete dinners throughout, a St. Peter’s fish luncheon on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, sightseeing via deluxe air-conditioned bus, all entrance fees, taxes and service charges, airport transfers, and baggage handling.
The tour rates are as follows:
From New York $2,195
From Chicago $2,295
From Los Angeles $2,395
A fully refundable deposit of $200 per person is required to secure a reservation.
If you would like to receive a brochure or more information regarding this trip, call 708-969-5489 or write to:
c/o Ship In Shore Travel
612 Crescent Drive
Downers Grove, IL 60516