Comes again the Memorial of our Lord’s Gethsemane and crucifixion, the time this year being after six p.m. March 22. This year 1986 the moon nearest the Vernal Equinox comes new at 2:52 p.m. March 10 at Jerusalem, which makes Nisan 1 begin at six p.m. March 9, according to Bible reckoning; and 14 days later brings us to the proper time for doing “this in remembrance of Me.” The general understanding of this Sacrament has been so ably treated in Volume 6 by Brother Russell (the reading of which we again recommend as preparatory for “keeping the feast”) that it leaves little to be said by those of us who remain unto this day – only incidental details being perhaps about all we can accomplish by this writing.
SUNDRY DETAILED OBSERVATIONS
It will be recalled that the original Passover that night in Egypt was being eaten by the Israelites during the very time that the Angel of Death was visiting destruction upon the firstborn of Egypt – deliverance for God’s people – destruction for their enemies. Thus, St. Paul was prompted to write: “We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.” (2 Cor. 2:15,16) While this text has a primary application to the Christ Company, it applies in secondary manner to all who “keep the feast in sincerity and in truth.”
To all such “the Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.” (Ps. 34:7) This may be accepted by the faithful Faith Class during this Age without reservation, a feature which the type brings forcefully to our attention. As the Jews were eating their lamb that awesome night “with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand” – eating it with bitter herbs – “not a dog did move his tongue against any of the Children of Israel... that ye may know that the Lord hath put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” For Gospel‑Age purposes, especially here in the Epiphany night, those Egyptian dogs type rabid sectarians (Phil. 3:2 “beware of dogs” – “quarrelsome partisans” – See Berean Comment). Dogs are known to lose their savagery, and to mourn deeply over the death of their masters; and this will yet prove pointedly true during this Epiphany night of the symbolic dogs – rabid sectarians – when they eventually learn that their leaders have grossly misled them, that many of them have “gone to their own place,” as did Judas. (Acts 1:25) As Brother Johnson has pointed out, New Creatures that die impenitent go into the Second Death, and this will be brought home in forceful fashion when the fires of Armageddon have done their work.
“TILL HE COME”
The Jews were commanded to keep the Passover each year on the 14th day of Nisan as “a memorial throughout your generations” (Ex. 12:14), and Christians have also been commanded to “do this in remembrance” of Christ our Passover each year “till He come.” (1 Cor. 11:26) From this statement by St. Paul some have raised the question: should we continue to keep the Memorial if our Lord has returned? However, when we consider that both the Little Flock and the Great Company are a part of the Church of the Firstborn, and that partaking of the bread and the wine symbolizes their participation in the merit of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, then it should require no argument about them continuing to “show forth the Lord’s death till He come” – until the last one has come to journey’s end. But we believe the command would apply also to those faithful ones here in the end of the Age who are not a part of the spirit‑begotten Church of the Firstborn, because the merit of our Lamb has been tentatively imputed to all such – to the extent that the New Covenant cannot begin to operate toward the world until that embargo against Christ’s merit has been removed.
And, as we partake of our Lamb “in newness of life,” so we also partake of His sufferings, each according to the Class in which he finds himself. If we are rightly exercised by such experiences, we then receive “the garments of the Egyptians” (their good character qualities) – which they in turn lose by reason of their unjust acts against God’s faithful people. “We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22) The word ‘tribulation’ is derived from the Latin ‘tribulum,’ the threshing instrument by means of which the Roman husbandman separated the corn from the husks. Says one commentator: “Though tribulation may crush and bruise us, it separates our chaff from the wheat, so that we are prepared for the granary of Heaven.; Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear, but the New Testament is the most joyful book in the world because its writers have been delivered from the doubt that paralyzes the soul, and they live in the sunshine of the love of Christ. They know their affliction (tribulation) is working out for them the glory that is to be.” And Brother Johnson’s comments are doubly appropriate at this point:
“Dear Brethren, if we will consider our trialsome experiences with Satan’s deluded servants as opportunities of obtaining Divine Truth and the graces from them, we will be helped ardently to desire such acquirements from such experiences and will be helped to receive them in the Lord’s spirit and thus will receive the symbolic articles of gold and silver and garments. Let us view these experiences from this standpoint and act accordingly amid them; and we will emerge from them greatly enriched spiritually. This consideration will keep us from murmuring and complaining amid such experiences and will enable us to take them joyfully. (1 Pet. 4: 12‑14)”
As the Israelites fled from the Egyptians after being told to be gone the morning after the tenth plague, the morning after the Passover had been eaten, the cloudy fiery pillar set a barrier between them and the pursuing Egyptians, casting a light ahead of it to lighten the path of Israel, but working a thick darkness to the Egyptians. And so during this Harvest period, and especially so during this Epiphany night, the Truth (the fiery pillar) has been the means of separating the faithful from the measurably faithful, and from the unfaithful. That which effects deliverance for the faithful, keeping them standing and “growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Beloved Lord Jesus”, is the very thing that entraps the unfaithful and brings them to a fall. This is much the same picture as given in Exod. 4:9, where Moses was told to “take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” The refreshing Harvest Truth would appear to be bloody repulsive error to those for whom it was not intended. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit ... for they are foolishness unto him.” (1 Cor. 2:14)
“Consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself.” (Heb. 12:3) All during the Age the “brethren” of the Fully Faithful have been among their chief persecutors – as example, John Calvin burning Miletus Servetus at the stake in most gruesome manner (illustrative of the Measurably Faithful, the Great Company, in some of their members, particularly their leaders) – “your brethren that hated you, and that cast you out for my name’s sake.” But those who have “endured hardness as good soldiers” during this Harvest period have become more and more proficient against all forms of sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, until goodly Canaan land (the sphere of Present Truth and the Spirit of the Truth) has become their laurel of victory, their unbreakable and unchangeable possession. Surely, those of us who have attained this pinnacle know of a certainty that we have attained that victory that overcometh the world.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Ps. 34:19) Many of the dear brethren have become old in this “good fight.” We know intimately of quite a few who are now over ninety years of age, who have borne the burden and heat of the day; yet they still “rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of their salvation.” This is fittingly typed by the ‘heave offering’ of Ex. 25:1‑9 – “of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my heave‑offering.” This offering was repeatedly lifted upward toward God by the offerer, the same representing the thing sacrificed to God, and the elevation to higher and higher uses of the things offered unto God’s greater honor and glory – not handling the word of God deceitfully, but “partakers of solid food ... for those possessing faculties habitually exercised for the discrimination both of good and evil.” (Heb. 5:13, 14, Dia.) And to such the words of the Apostle Paul fittingly apply: “He who sows bountifully will reap also bountifully; even as each one purposes in his heart, not from grief, or from necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:6, 7, Dia.) One translation has it, “God loves a man that is glad to give.” And, as we do “this in remembrance of Him,” it is a most propitious time to consider how freely He gave of Himself – “endured the cross, despising the shame,” and has now received “the crown of life” – immortality, the highest form (crown) of life.
“Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:8) From this it is apparent that our Lord was subject to the same emotions as are we, and He was fully apprised of the impending events of the day ahead. Yet, on that last night, when He instituted the Memorial of His approaching death, He spent some very considerable time instructing, admonishing and encouraging the eleven Apostles who were to be representatives plenipotentiary of the Gospel‑Age Household of Faith. And during this same night He offered up one of His most appealing prayers, as recorded in the 17th chapter of John, a prayer chiefly for the help and encouragement of those present, following which they sang the Hallel before leaving for Gethsemane. Hallel is the Hebrew word for praise, and it is the root of our English Hallelujah, meaning “praise to God.” The Hallel is Psalms 113 through 118, the first two of which are styled the Small Hallel, and the remaining four the Great Hallel.
As our Lord was praying in the upper room that last night He was able to declare truthfully: “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17: 4) – although the completion of that work had drained His physical resources to the breaking point. Much the same was true of Brother Russell at his death. In the Spring of 1916 he had said, “Brother Johnson, I’m tired – my very bones are tired”; yet of him it was prophetically written, “I have done as thou hast commanded me.” (Ezek. 9:11) And Brother Johnson himself had become so weary from physical exhaustion that he would no longer receive any questions on Bible texts. Yet, our Lord was “found in fashion as a man” – even as all of us; and the agony on the cross distorted His facial features as the same experience would do to us. Therefore, the prophet foretold of Him: “As many were astonied at thee: (amazed that He would submit to such abuse if He were the Son of God). His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men” (physical exhaustion and the torture of the cross took their toll more than would be true of us, because of His sensitive physical perfection – a harrowing sight indeed to all with a normal degree of sympathy and mercy in their hearts and minds). (Is. 52:14)
As we partake of the bread and the wine, our considering of Him should motivate us all to strong resolve to “follow in His steps” – that we may eventually hear that “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And it is our hope for one and all who keep the feast this year that victory to the full may eventually be theirs, and that it may be said of all:
O! at close of our day may each of us say
“I have fought my way through;
I have finished the work thou didst give me to do!
O! that each from his Lord may receive the glad word,
Well and faithfully done!
Enter into my joy, and sit down on my throne.”
Some comments by Brother Johnson apply so well here:
“As belonging to the firstfruits class (and secondarily to others of the Household of Faith), let them use their consecrated all for God in sacrifice to prosper for the Lord, which will result in their abounding in the deeper and surface things of the Truth and its spirit. Especially should they not think of God’s discipline as a trivial thing; nor should they tire of God’s corrections; because these are experiences that God gives to all those whom He loves, even as a father treats the child in whom he is pleased. He is favored indeed who gains the Truth and comprehends it; for as symbolic trading goods it is more valuable than the trading goods of silver; and its profits than that of the finest gold... Hence the Epiphany Messenger exhorts his symbolic children to gain the Truth and the comprehension of it, by no means to forget it, nor to turn away from his teachings, nor to give it up for any reason, and it will keep them – to give it their best good will, and it will guard them.”
As we ponder over our present understanding of the bread and the wine, we may delight in the words of the Psalmist (119:100): “I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.” The word translated ‘ancients’ in this text is the Hebrew zaqen; and it is the same word to be found in Joel 2:28, where it is translated ‘old men,’ where the Ancient Worthies are given their Kingdom standing and blessing from God. And surely, those of us who do “keep thy precepts” can say of a surety, “I understand more than the ancients” (Ancient Worthies); and we may rejoice in the knowledge that maketh wise unto salvation.
To all our readers do we extend cordial good wishes and the Lord’s rich blessing in their preparation for, and participation in this coming Memorial, which we shall hold this year at 1901 Morningside Drive, just outside of Mount Dora, Florida at 7:30 p.m. March 22. Our warm welcome is extended to any who may wish to join with us in this service. As always, we suggest refreshment to the various features of the service by a reading of the chapter in Parousia Volume 6, perhaps also by a pertinent article by Brother Johnson, as we quote Titus 2:7‑9: “In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
Sincerely your brother, John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
Reprint of March 1967, No. 141
GOD KNOWS BEST
Sometimes in trepidation
I sail life’s stormy sea,
But God in love and wisdom
Points out the way for me.
And so my soul speeds onward
In its eternal quest,
I look back on my pathway
And see that God knows best.
BOOK “PASTOR CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL” – DAVID HOROWITZ, AUTHOR
Mr. David Horowitz, his wife, Nan, and Mrs. Rose Morse Runes, publisher of the book, were our welcome guests the weekend of January 11. It was a joyous occasion a pleasure and honor to have them in our home. They came to Florida to launch the book “About Pastor Charles Taze Russell.”
A dinner party was held at Squires’ Supper Club in Leesburg Saturday, January 11. The rabbi of Leesburg and members of his congregation attended the meeting, as well as other friends and Bill Bond, the reporter for the Sentinel. All were attentive to Mr. Horowitz’ review of the book. He spoke in a soft and genteel voice, but penetrating.
On Sunday, January 12, a luncheon was held in Orlando at the Radisson Plaza Hotel for the launching of the book. All were attentive and appreciative of Mr. Horowitz’ review of the book. At both meetings every one present was given a complimentary copy of the book. Pictures were taken of both meetings. Mr. Horowitz, editor of the United Israel Bulletin, will publish some of these pictures in his next Bulletin.
Pastor Russell never tried to convert the Jews to Christianity. He taught that God’s promises to the Jews were unconditional – especially to the Jews who are faithful to the Mosaic Law. He taught the Jews would return to their homeland, and after 1914 would become a State of Israel. Several years before 1914 he predicted a World War would occur in 1914. Many people laughed at his prediction, saying it was impossible. But when World War I came in 1914, quite a few people changed their attitude toward Pastor Russell. He taught all this from his study of God’s Word in accordance with the prophecies. He was the first Christian minister to prominently advocate Zionism. He addressed the Jews many times, the most prominent meeting was held at the New York Hippodrome in 1910. He was indeed a friend of the Jews! He said they were God’s timepiece. Many Jews fondly referred to him as their Pastor.
Pastor Russell never claimed to be inspired as were the Prophets and Apostles nor did he claim infallibility. He gave us the Plan of Salvation for all mankind as no other man has done since the days of our Lord. Eph. 3:11 tells us that God has a purpose; and the Diaglott translation says: “According to a Plan of the Ages, which he formed for the anointed Jesus our Lord.” However, nothing in God’s Word can be understood until “due time.” During Pastor Russell’s lifetime it was “due time” for the understanding of God’s Plan. God has always raised up a man for His purposes.
Pastor Russell taught the truth on the “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:19‑21), which is proof that “God is love.” Acts 24:15 tells us “there will be a resurrection of the dead, both the just and unjust.” Our Lord said: “Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and come forth: they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28, 29 – ‘judgment’ is mistranslated ‘damnation’ in the King James version, but the correct translation is ‘judgment,’ as given correctly in the Diaglott and Dr. Rotherham’s Bible.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the Lord’s Word. They teach that those who do not accept and join with them will be annihilated in Armageddon. Pastor Russell taught all would come to a knowledge of the truth before they will be judged: “Because he hath appointed a day in 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)
Many Bible Students today believe that Pastor Russell was “That Servant” of Matt. 24:45‑47: “Who is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord finds so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.” Pastor Russell spent his life teaching a God of Love, Justice, Wisdom and Power.
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Sister Emily: Christian greetings!
Thank you again for inviting me to the dinner to initiate the distribution of the book “Charles Taze Russell” by David Horowitz. I enjoyed the excellent dinner and the dynamic speech by David Horowitz. I was pleased to meet him and his charming wife Nan. His presentation on Zionism was powerful. He had the facts and personal experience to substantiate what he said. He is humble and yet forceful.
The audience including a rabbi, members of his congregation, reporters and friends were extremely attentive during his speech.
The following day I read the book from cover to cover and found it truthful, factual, forceful and intensely interesting. I am sure that this book will be effective in awakening many to the history of Charles Taze Russell and calling attention to the prophecies of the Bible.
Yours in the Master’s service, ------- (FLORIDA)
Dear Brethren: Loving greetings!
It was a great privilege to have been in Florida when David Horowitz presented his book about Pastor Russell. It was a momentous occasion! We wish it had been possible for many others around the country to have been present.
David’s speech was inspiring. He gave a brief synopsis of the book – how it brings out about Pastor Russell’s interest in the Jews – and his teaching that the Jews would be the first to receive the Kingdom blessings. He also mentioned how the Jehovah’s Witnesses have deviated from Pastor Russell’s teachings. We hope that this will be the start of many activities to brings Pastor Russell’s name and teachings to the forefront. Also, we hope that the good and honest‑hearted among the Jehovah’s Witnesses will become aware of the history of their sect – how it has strayed from the teachings of their claim that Pastor Russell is their founder. He was not the founder of their gross errors. As David said, “It is time to set the record straight.”
The Jews present at the dinner were very attentive, and afterward were so warm to us, even embracing and kissing us. It is probably due to the fact that we were not trying to proselytize them. We love all of them! We do hope they will read the book. Once again, It was good to be there. We pray a blessing upon all who continue battle for the Truth – fight the “good fight” of faith.
Warm Christian love, Bro. & Sr. ------- (NORTH CAROLINA)
We enjoyed the Saturday dinner in Leesburg, as well as the luncheon in Orlando when David Horowitz launched the book “About Pastor Charles Taze Russell.” The book is very dear to us because it is dedicated to the memory of Uncle John. I’m so glad the book includes some of John’s writings.
Of course, the main joy is the fact that the book revives what Pastor Russell taught. David’s review of the book was very inspiring. His faith in YHVH and His Word is manifest in all he says. He is a wonderful man! David and Nan were such a pleasure to all of us. We were so happy to have Rose Runes with us. She is a remarkable woman, as well as lovable. Our warm love, ------- (FLORIDA)
Received your letter and picture, and appreciate very much. I will be proud to have the picture in my album. The book written by David, and printed with your support, about Pastor Russell opened my closed eyes, since I was convinced Pastor Russell was the organizer of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I admire and love you for the work of your departed husband in supporting the Zionist movement and Israel. The Jewish people for many years were oppressed all over the world, and had no protection. Now they have a home and a nation and a lot of friends – and now you and David Horowitz are spreading a book with all the explanations of the Bible……. My grandfather was a devoted Zionist and predicted the near future when the Jewish people will have Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.
I am very sorry that I cannot type. My eyes are closing. I hope you will be able to read my scribbling. My bookkeeper cannot type. If God willing I may recover and will be able to meet you and discuss our opinion of the book written by David. As to celebrate my 96th birthday, I will be happy and honored to see you, David and his wife Nan at the party. If God willing and I will recover reasonable enough to have a party. You will excuse my scribbling with a lot of grammatical mistakes.
Wishing you the best of health and a successful life – from your friend
With love, Sammy ------- (FLORIDA)
Dear Sr. Emily,
Thank you very much for sending me the book “About Pastor Russell.” It has so many wonderful words from Pastor RusseIl and the grand prophecies of great things to come for Israel and the world – and also pointing out that Pastor Russell’s teaching and those of the JW’s are different. I hope the blessed words of Israel’s great future will comfort and inspire many.
“BIessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.” (Psa. 68:19) “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.” (Psa. 37:1) with love, ……. (CALIFORNIA)
Thank you for the contribution of Pastor Charles Taze Russell, An Early American Christian Zionist by David Horowitz.
This book contributes to our efforts to collect materials from many points of view in order that our students may prepare themselves for ministry. We appreciate your interest in adding to the collection.
Sincerely, ------- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (TEXAS)
Dear Sister Emily,
I am so sorry that you did not see my message on the reverse side of the envelope. I have just finished reading the book but haven’t yet read the appendix. I have gone over it carefully so it took a little time. I enjoyed it very much. But I wanted to write you a more lengthy letter about an experience with your book and two Jehovah’s Witnesses. As soon as I finish reading the appendix I will write you a nice long letter. Please be patient with me.
Yours in the bonds of Christian love, ------- (FLORIDA)
Dear Sister Hoefle: Love and blessing in Jesus dear Name!
I read most of the new book over again. I got more out of it this 2nd reading, as the first time I read it quickly.
I found a few more names to add to your list for some future mailing, D.v. The enclosed from US News was interesting. I thought “Awaiting the next blow.” It says, “At no time in recent memory has there been so much doubt about what the New Year holds.” I wrote David and thanked him for the book.
Christian love, ------- (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Brethren: Christian greetings!
Just a note concerning David Horowitz’ excellent book. Evidently God is using Mr. Horowitz to accomplish an important Epiphany work of calling attention to Pastor Russell’s name and, more specifically, associating that name with Zionism and disassociating with Rutherfordism – (the JW’s).
No doubt this book will create new interest in Brother Russell’s writings on Israel. Hope all are doing well. May God’s blessings be with you.
With Christian love, ------- (NORTH CAROLINA)
Your issue “Retrospect and Prospect” was interesting, especially as related to Israel. I am interested in more information regarding David Horowitz’ book “About Pastor Russell.” Where can it be obtained – and what is the price?
We are especially featuring Vol. I in this its 100th anniversary year.
In the hope of the Kingdom, ------- (ORLANDO)
Dear Sister Hoefle: With warm “Shalom” in His precious Name!
It was indeed kind of you to send me a copy of the new book, ABOUT PASTOR RUSSELL. Needless to say, I was very gratified to learn that the early Christian Zionist work of Charles Taze Russell is being given recognition in this way. I pray that its influence will be widespread, to our Heavenly Father’s glory.
What a faithful servant Pastor Russell was! His love for God’s chosen people was, as indicated in the book, tied up with his love for all mankind and his joy in both knowing and heralding the Kingdom blessings.
You may be interested in a sidelight experience that Brother Casimir and I had on our first trip to Israel in 1950. We planned to place an advertisement in all the Israeli newspapers to try to reach any and all Israeli who had known of the work of Pastor Russell and his proclaiming of the prophecies concerning Israel’s restoration. So we contacted the representative of the hotel where we were staying to ask for a run‑down on the nature of each Israel newspaper. (There were many even in those days, due to the need to provide news in so many languages.)
The gentleman did give us the list we requested and asked why we wanted it. When he learned we planned to advertise who had been influenced by Pastor Russell, he was most enthusiastic and told us that at the Hebrew University he had taken a course on Zionism which included a section on “Christian Zionism.” At the top of the list of the latter, he said, was the name of Charles Taze Russell!
Regrettably, the cost of placing the planned ads was way above our budget and we never did have the opportunity of following through on this. It is only one of the many privileges of service we had to pass up due to carrying on “on a shoestring,” as they say. As you know, many Bible Students in those days did not see God’s hand in developments in Israel and were reluctant to support a work such as we were doing, trying to call attention to both Jew and Gentile as to the extreme importance in God’s great plan of the return of the Jews to their homeland.
How greatly to Pastor Russell’s credit that he foresaw the events of our day, and yet many of his followers so many decades hence fail to appreciate the historic times in which we live! Nevertheless, I will try to publicize David Horowitz’ book to the extent of my ability. Again, many thanks for so generously sending a copy to me.
Thank you, too, for your letter of explanation that accompanies the book, clarifying Pastor Russell’s teachings. May the Lord bless you as you carry on in His service.
Yours “for Zion’s sake,” ------- (CALIFORNIA)
Thank you for sending your interesting articles to us. Please note our new address shown above.
Yours truly, ------- (CANADA)
It has been our pleasure to give our local friends a copy of the book “About Pastor Charles Russell.” They have expressed much appreciation, some of them telling us that the book has opened their eyes to the difference between the belief of Bible Students and the belief of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We have sent several complimentary copies of the book to our readers, some of them expressing hearty appreciation of the book and its contents.
If any of our readers request a copy of this book, it will be our pleasure to send one to them so long as our supply isn’t exhausted. Our purpose is to revive to public knowledge the teachings of Pastor Russell – especially the difference in his teachings to the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.