Comes again the Memorial of our Lord's death, the correct time this year 1985 being after 6 p. m. April 2. The nearest new moon to the Vernal Equinox comes new at the 30th Meridian East (the Meridian nearest Jerusalem) at 1:59 p.m. March 21, thus establishing March 20,6 p.m., as Nisan 1. Adding 13 days to this, we come to April 2 as Nisan 14. We here at Mount Dora will observe the service at 7:30 p.m., and extend a cordial invitation to all of like mind who are in our vicinity to join with us as we “do this in remembrance.”
“GO TO HIM WITHOUT THE CAMP”
“And Moses proceeded to take a tent and pitch it by itself outside the camp afar off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting – and so it came to pass that whosoever was seeking Yahweh went out unto the tent of meeting, which was on the outside of the camp.” (Ex. 33:7, Rotherham) Moses in this instance types our Lord as He arranged to remove the Star Members and His fully faithful people from the midst of the measurably faithful and the tare class, beginning in the Pergamos epoch of the Gospel‑Age church in 313 AD, and continuing until 1799. The second period of the Church – the Smyrna period – followed the administration of the Apostles, and ended in 313 AD. Smyrna means “bitter”; and it terminated with ten years of the most vicious persecution by Diocletian, the last of the pagan Roman emperors to persecute the Christian church.
At the Council of Nice in 325 Emperor Constantine made determined effort to woo the growing Christian church, at which time also the Pergamos “principal man” Arius was banished from the Roman Empire. Thus, he went “outside the camp” of the nominal church, into measurable obscurity, as the nominal church prospered in numbers and in favor with the Roman State. Pergamos means “earthly elevation” – a name well adapted to the happenings of the time. Pertinent to this subject, we quote from E‑11:430:
“God had our Lord do another thing indicative of His displeasure with His nominal people, i.e., remove the faithful servants of the Truth and its spirit from places of prominence and influence in the nominal church – caused the symbolic woman, the Covenant promises and the servants who apply them to the brethren, to go into the wilderness condition (Rev. 12:6) ‑ to the Tent of Meeting, not the Tabernacle, but Moses' official residence – and that not but slightly away from the erroneous doctrines, practices, organization and disciplines of the nominal church, but very far from these (Arius was forced to go to Africa – JJH), and made the Truth and the servants who applied it to the brethren, as well as these last, the place where God resided, met with His people and blessed them. Henceforth every one who in heart's loyalty sought fellowship with the Lord in spirit, truth, righteousness and holiness went forth from the nominal church to such Truth, its applying servants and others of His real people apart from the nominal church (without the camp)... When our Lord busied Himself with Truth matters, its applying servants, etc., the Truth and its Spirit as due became manifest (the cloudy pillar descended), and remained at the entrance, consecration, where God revealed truths to Jesus in the star members.”
The foregoing is very well complemented by St. Paul's invitation in Heb. 13:13, Dia.: “Let us, then, now go forth to Him outside of the camp bearing reproach for Him” Thus is given the clear‑cut and definite procedure for all who elect to “follow in His steps. “ (1 Pet. 2:21) It was during the Pergamos period that the rebellious nominal people of God flourished, as those faithful ones went to Him without the camp in relative obscurity – typed by the camp of Israel, with Moses well outside the camp. At that time St. Paul wrote his epistle to the Hebrews the typical camp had long before ‑ceased to exist; but its prototype had developed as represented in the City of Jerusalem. When Jesus was crucified outside the gate of the city, He was in effect doing the same thing as going outside the camp. Jerusalem was eventually replaced by the nominal church; and this is clearly stated in the criticisms that St. John recorded about the Pergamos church: “Thou hast them there that hold the doctrine of Balaam (type of those who teach error for profit ‑ See Berean Comment) ... also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes (the lordship of the clergy), which thing I hate.” (Rev. 2:14,15)
CHANGING THE CALENDAR
When the Passover in Egypt was kept, the instructions were correct and very rigid, even as respects the time it should be kept. Up to that time the Jewish year began with the first day of the seventh month – Tishri; but the institution of the Passover changed that. The month Abib was then to become the first month. Since that time the Jews observed two years – the religious year beginning with Abib, or Nisan, and the business year beginning with Tishri. However, this is purely of their own making; nowhere does the Bible sanction such an arrangement. Any time recordings in the Bible after Passover are reckoned as from the month Abib, or Nisan.
This change was not without purpose. Prior to the Passover the Jews had no organized religious ritual. The religious order which they had when they entered Canaan some forty years later was the one arranged for them through Moses at Sinai in the wilderness, when the Aaronic priesthood and the Tabernacle ceremonies were first instituted. This would seem to suggest to us that the secular year revealed the character of the dispensation previous to the present one – commonly known as the Jewish Age. It would be followed by the ecclesiastical year, and would suggest the spiritual character of the present dispensation. Here then is contrasted the dealings of God during the Jewish Age along the rigid lines of the Law to His Grace dealings during the present Age. Prior to the Gospel Age God's dealings with His covenant people were along the lines of earthly and secular lines; whereas, during this Gospel Age the dealings have been along ecclesia, church spiritual lines.
In that God made the change in the beginning of the year in connection with His institution of the Paschal Lamb, its feast and the entire Passover festival suggests that the change of the year is typical of the Lord's dispensational dealings changing at the beginning of the Gospel Age; for the change in the type was made because of the Passover Lamb, its feast and its following festival, which properly type Christ our Lamb (“Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”), with the privileges and blessings of the Christian life that attach to it.
The change in the year's beginning would seem also to complement the change in the name of Jacob. “Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel (a prince of God, see marginal reading): for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men.” (Gen. 32:28) This would seem to represent the opportunity that came to the Jews at the beginning of the Christian era to elect a change of names – from Jews to Christians. And in this connection, from Genesis 32:28 throughout the Old Testament, the name Jacob used in the texts usually, but not always, refers to fleshly Israel; whereas, the name Israel usually, though not always, refers to spiritual Israel.
And concerning the date on which the Passover and its subsequent memorials were to be kept the instruction is very specific – it was to be on the 14th day of the first month. The date for Nisan 1 was determined by the condition of the moon – when it became new nearest the Vernal Equinox, provided the date for Nisan 14 would not occur before the Vernal Equinox. The Jewish religious festivals were tuned to the seasons. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the Passover was a Spring festival; therefore, it could not occur before Spring began. The same would be true of the Atonement Day service – it was for the 10th day of the seventh month (Tishri), and thus observed in the Fall. To this day the Jews attempt rigid adherence to the right date, although their failure to use the right calculation usually brings them a day or two or three off the right day. And the same may be said for the Christian world: they seldom have the right date for the Memorial of our Passover. It remained for the bright shining of the Harvest Truth to reveal the correct method of setting the date; but most Truth groups do not seem to understand it even yet. But on this point we see no occasion for much altercation. As Bible Students we should want to do everything exactly right, but human limitation often causes miscalculation. Very few people observed the right date for the Memorial during the Age; and even during the Harvest mistakes were often made. Thus, the spirit in which it is observed is vastly more important than the correct date, although it is much better to have the right spirit and the right date if that is possible.
In the Bible two names are given for the first month. The first of these is found in Ex. 13:4 – “This day came ye out in the month of Abib.” It means “sprout or ear” (of grain). The name Nisan first appears in Neh. 2:1 – after return from captivity in Babylon. It means “blossom” or 'blossoming time.” We are given no reason for this change. However, it is the name of the Babylonian god of Spring; and it may be that the Jews wished to placate the Babylonians in any way they could – not wishing to return to Babylon for more of their captive experiences. In any event, the meaning of either Abib or Nisan fits the occasion, because the blossoming time would well complement the time of the new life which Jesus received at His resurrection. “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” (1 Cor. 15:20)
The foregoing had been counterfeited by Satan centuries before in the Babylonian religion. One of their gods was Tammuz. He was god of the pasture, the patron of flocks and their keepers; thus, was himself entitled shepherd. Every Spring he was supposed to die, but was brought back to life again by the weeping of the Babylonian women. This myth had become so prominent before the capture of Jerusalem that the Jewish women had also been captivated by it. “He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.” (Ezek. 8:14) It is thus quite a coincidence that women were weeping for Jesus as He was being led to Calvary. “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.” (Luke 23:28,Dia.) Such tales form the background for the popularity of colored eggs at Easter time. The egg though a dead object, may, by proper treatment, produce a life – all of which has a certain logic, Satanic though its origin be; a chicken hatched from an egg is a fitting illustration of the resurrection from the dead.
BORROWING FROM THE EGYPTIANS
In Ex. 3:22; 11:2, the Jews were told to borrow “jewels of silver, and jewels of gold” from their Egyptian neighbors just before they were to leave Egypt; and Ex. 12: 35,36 states that they “borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment.... And they spoiled the Egyptians.” On the face of it this action would seem a rather underhanded trick – borrowing without any intention of repaying. Bible critics have taken this episode as “proof” of the unreliability of Bible teaching; but their arguments all fall to the ground when the proper translation is taken. The word “borrowed” should be translated “asked.”
This is all clarified when we consider the pertinent oriental customs of that time. Then, when a servant left his master's employ, it was customary for him to ask whatever he desired as a parting boon. (2 Kgs. 2:9,10); and the prevailing custom bound the master to give whatever is asked, if that were possible. To refuse such a request was a legal offense and subject to suit for damages, which was always decided in favor of the servant, if he could prove that he had been reasonably faithful. Such refusal was considered as a discredit and defamation of the servant. Since Israel certainly deserved some compensation for their lengthy servitude in Egypt, God properly charged them to ask in accordance with the prevailing custom; and, in keeping with their inherent cupidity, they asked for plenty ‑ so much so, in fact, that they impoverished the Egyptians, and had more than enough silver and gold to construct the Tabernacle furniture when they reached Sinai.
Another item is worthy of note here: Dr. Young's translation says, “They (the Egyptians) caused (;the Israelites) to ask (for the jewels, etc.).” After the death of all the firstborn in Egypt, they were very intent upon ridding themselves of these undesirables in their country, so they told the Jews, Take whatever you want – just get away from us! The antitype of all this is to be found in the “gold, silver and precious stones” (1 Cor. 3:12) which spiritual Israel attains in their characters during this Age as a result of the abuse that has come to them through the antitypical Egyptians.
And the Jews then left in haste – so much so that they had not time to prepare food before leaving. Thus, the unleavened cakes which they consumed in the early part of their journey fittingly typified “the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:8) with which spiritual Israel keeps the Memorial each Spring. All who have come into the “Church of the Firstborn” during this Age acted this type out – some for only a short time (thus losing their crowns), and some throughout the entire life, receiving a “crown of righteousness” which the Lord had promised to those that love Him.
SPRINKLING THE BLOOD
After the lamb was killed that night the blood was to be sprinkled on the doorposts and the lintel, which things also had typical significance. The doorposts represented Justice – Justice toward God and Justice toward man, which Justice was satisfied by that blood sprinkling. “According to the Law, almost all things are purified by blood, and without an effusion of blood no forgiveness takes place.” (Heb. 9:22, Dia.) “Now where there is a forgiveness of these, an offering for sin is no longer needed.” (Heb. 10:18, Dia.) Thus, those that remained “under the blood” that awesome night in Egypt had no need to fear the Angel of Death; only, if they went outside, would they then be vulnerable, as were all the Egyptians.
But the blood was also sprinkled on the lintel, the same being “a horizontal member spanning an opening to carry a superstructure.” Here again was intricate typical significance. The lintel over the door forms the base for the building superstructure; and this well typified the character superstructure of each one who has had the blood applied to him and for him. The “foundation,” therefore, is by the grace of God. “God commendeth His love toward Us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8) However, the superstructure on that foundation is the result of each individual's effort – the “wise man” building upon a rock, and the “foolish man” upon the sand. (Matt. 7:24‑28) Therefore, it may be emphasized that character is not a gift; it is a victory. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith.” There is nothing in the record to indicate that a single Jewish individual went out from under the blood that night; but we know from clear Scripture that many have gone out from under the blood during the antitype – during this Gospel Age, the record expressly stating that “Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place... Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein.” (Acts 1: 20,25)
And not only was the sprinkling meticulously done, but the manner in which the lamb was to be prepared and eaten was also most rigid. “Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire... And let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.” (Ex. 12:9,10) “And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's Passover.”
In Bible symbols the girdle signified service. Thus, Elijah was “girt with a girdle of leather about his loins” (2 Kgs. 1:8); and he was an outstanding type of those during the Gospel Age who would be known for their service to one another – ready to lay down life for friends. “By this we have known love, because He laid down His life on our behalf; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16) The staff in the hand would indicate the necessity for leaning upon the precious promises of God in the wilderness journey toward the Heavenly Canaan; and it is sound conclusion that none could ever complete that wearisome and hazardous journey without the sustaining strength of the precious promises. This is also shown by the High Priest eating of the shewbread on the golden table in the Tabernacle Holy, that bread representing the Sarah features of the Abrahamic covenant, which affords sustenance to those who assimilate it in proper fashion.
AN ORDINANCE FOREVER
“Ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever... And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses.” (Ex. 12:24‑27) To the present time we find religious Jews carrying out this ordinance in their preparation for and eating of the annual paschal lamb. After meticulous preparation for the service, with the food on the table, the head of the family – to be certain this service would be as commanded, tells the eldest son to ask the question, What do you mean by this service? after which the father proceeds to explain why the annual affair is performed. The present‑day Jews are usually off a little on the correct date – due mainly to the fact that they are guided by the condition of the moon, rather than the direct instructions of the Bible. The moon governs the fixing of the date only in the establishment of Nisan 1; after that date is determined, then the service is to be on Nisan 14, regardless whether the moon is full or not.
“And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon shine hand, and for a memorial between shine eyes, that the Lord's law may be in thy mouth.” (Ex. 13:9) Here is set forth the symbolic relation between the annual Passover feast, and the original performance. Also, it proves the symbolic relation of the Lord's Supper to the antitypical Lamb and our feasting upon Him, and gives added emphasis to “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” It reveals also the true meaning of the words, “This is My body .... My blood” – not as actual existence, as a large part of the Christian world believes, but a representation of those things. “And for a memorial between shine eyes” also proves the same thing, because the eyes are expressive of understanding or knowledge. At every annual service the Jews knew full well‑that they were not eating the original Passover as occurred in Egypt; thus, we also should know that we are not actually eating the antitype of the lamb in Egypt; but the bread and the wine are merely a representation of the antitype.
There is no doubt that the Lord used good intoxicating wine as He instituted the Memorial; and many today still use such wine. But plain grape juice is “fruit of the vine,” even though it be not fermented, and is sufficient for the service. However, if some are inclined to argue about this, then a teaspoonful of fermented wine could be added to the cup, which would readily lose its identity, and could not be tasted. There is just nothing in the original ceremony that says how much alcohol should be in the cup; therefore, one drop in the cup would be just as persuasive as would a full cup of potent wine. And any unleavened wafer would be proper for the bread at the service, such unleavened wafer representing for one thing the freedom from sin's condemnation in those who eat it “in sincerity and in truth.”
DIFFERENCES IN TYPE AND MEMORIAL
In the original service the lamb was set aside on the tenth day of the month – four days before it was slain and eaten. In the subsequent memorials this was not done, as is clearly revealed in Matt. 26:17: “The first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?” Nor was the lamb's blood sprinkled on the door posts and the lintel – just as there is nothing in our memorial to represent this. Nor was the lamb eaten in haste in the subsequent observances. Rather, the memorials, although solemn occasions, were also an evening of rejoicing for the liberation that had come to them from their Egyptian taskmasters. And the Jews reasoned that good wine was about the best thing they knew to lift the spirits of those at the paschal table. “Wine maketh glad the heart of man.” (Psa. 104:15) Consequently, four cups of wine were used in the service by Jesus at the last supper. Before any food was eaten at all a cup of wine was drunk, as set forth in Luke 22:17 – “He took the cup and gave thanks.” During the meal there were two more cups of wine; then a final one as a closing service, as given in v. 20 – “Likewise, also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New Testament in My blood, which is shed for you.” All of this information is not contained in the Bible, but it is obtained from secular writings.
BENEFITS FROM PROPER UNDERSTANDING
Often the remark is heard that it is not the date, or the knowledge, that is predominant in the Lord's Supper, but the spirit in which it is observed. There is a certain amount of truth in this statement, but it cannot be used as an excuse for being “willingly ignorant.” Those of us who have come to a clear and complete understanding of this service realize full well that participation with proper knowledge deepens love for God, and for Christ Who died for the world:, and for all fellow participants, because we know it symbolizes Christ's death, appropriation of His merit, and fellowship with one another. It deepens, increases and elevates faith in justifying and sanctifying aspects; it fosters hope in the glorious consummation for the entire family of God in suggesting the “new wine” in the Heavenly Canaan. It also strengthens obedience as we comply strictly with the letter as nearly as possible, as well as the spirit of the occasion; it refreshes heart and mind on the grace of God underlying the service; and stimulates zeal and self‑sacrifice by holding “Christ our Passover” upon our minds before, during and after the Memorial service.
Much of the foregoing is deeply hidden in Ex. 12:34: “The people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading/roughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.” In leaving the nominal church, and coming into the Truth, we became free from the slavery of error. “Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” If faithfully continued, it eventually frees us from every vestige of Satan's empire, not simply from its ecclesiastical part. In both of these deliverances we perform the antitype of this Scripture. The dough represents the Truth; and the kneading/roughs represent our minds. The wrapping of the dough within the troughs in the Israelites' garments very fittingly represents our graces laying hold on these and making the Truth our own ‑ through faith, love, hope and obedience: Just as the Jews were freed from Egyptian bondage by exact performance of that Passover, so we are also freed from the bondage of antitypical Egypt. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” But this comes in the fullest sense only to those who know what they are doing in the service, and why they are doing it.
Those who have come to that understanding of the Memorial in its various features may well be represented in Luke 23:26: “As they led Him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.” The word Simon in this text means “hearing one”; and all who have “followed in His steps” during the Age have been hearing ones (“Blessed are your ears, for they hear”), and have faithfully borne the cross “after Jesus.” It is presumed that Jesus bore His part of the cross at its heaviest part – at the cross beam – and this is as it should be. He had also received the Holy Spirit without measure; whereas, those who have borne the cross “after Him” have received the Holy Spirit with measure – in a limited degree. Thus, it is only reasonable to conclude they would also receive the lighter part of His cross in their journey through life; and so it has been.
What has been presented herein is in no sense intended to replace the excellent presentation of the Passover to be found in Volume Six of the Parousia Studies in the Scriptures – which we commend at this time to all our readers. But it is our fond hope and prayer that we may “stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.” And in this spirit we wish one and all the Lord's rich blessing in preparation for, and participation in this service.
“And no Creature is concealed in his sight, but all things are naked and exposed to his eyes, whose word is addressed to us. Having, therefore, a great High‑priest, who has passed through the Heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, we should firmly retain the confession. For we have not a High‑priest unable to sympathize with our weaknesses; but one having been tried in all respects like ourselves, apart from Sin. We should therefore, approach with confidence to the Throne of Favor, that we may receive Mercy and Favor for seasonable help.” (Heb. 4:13‑16, Dia.) Sincerely your brother, John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
(Reprint of No. 214, April 1, 1973, except for the date. The Memorial date for this year is April 2, and anytime after 6 p.m. is correct for our Memorial.)
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
My dear Sister Hoefle and Brethren: Grace and peace be multiplied!
This is to first express my gratitude to you and the Mount Dora Ecclesia for sending us the papers – everything going on without a hitch – proof of God working in you all! I cannot help but confess how much I bless the memory of dear Brother Hoefle daily. You do not know it, but you both were very influential in having me realize what a great disservice I did myself by mingling in the nominal church for a while.
It was during your first visit to Trinidad, and preparations were being made to go to Tunapuna, and you personally asked me if I was not in the Truth. That question conveyed to me dismay at my foIly, as well as the sincerity of brotherly love. And would you believe me? I never turned back from that day on, spurred on by the guidance of my father and both you and Brother Hoefle.
I have learned to love the Truth, and I do certainly receive countless blessings from the Truth. Physically I am improving, but I have to slow down my activity considerably. Anytime I exceed, my body is reminded. But with God's help I am making it.
Brother keeps fairly well physically with regular attendance at the Hospital Clinic. But he has become quite forgetful. We just leave it all in the hands of the Lord. My sister is coping with the arthritis, so we are doing quite fine.
Our warm Christian love to all the brethren. And for yourself, Sister Hoefle, May God comfort and watch over you always. Sincerely, ------- (TRINIDAD)
Dear Sr. Hoefle: Grace and peace be yours and the brethren with you!
The Nov.‑Dec. articles were received in welcome spirit, and appreciated by us here. Once more the good Lord has led us to the closing of another year from which we can look back and trace his Providence and grace – not though some of the experiences were met by hard hits, nevertheless not without His knowledge and protection. Like the Apostles of old, let us learn to trust Him even when we may not be able to trace Him. We know not what awaits us in the years which lie ahead, but we do know that He who led us last will lead us still. Let us be calm and sink into His will.
I am submitting a few names of persons who would like to be placed on your mailing list to receive future publications and the Nov.‑ Dec. papers of this year. These people have been visiting our meetings and have shown some interest in the Truth. We hope for them the Lord's blessings.
I know, dear Sister, that the work with you all must be great at this time, but be courageous! The Lord has promised to give strength to His people and bless them with peace. Asking for you all a wonderful Christmas season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!
I do ask your prayers on my behalf as I continue to do the same for you and those with you at the Bible House and elsewhere. Yours by His Grace, Brother ------- (JAMAICA)
Dear Sister Hoefle: Greetings in our Redeemer's Name!
I was pleased to have a Christmas card for our Ecclesia. It is good to know you are occupied and keeping in touch with the friends, both at home and abroad. Anyway, don't do too much as we would like you to be around for a long time.
Thanks much for the present you sent me. It will make the holidays a little brighter. All of us here are reasonably well – only pains now and then. As for me, I suffer with indigestion sometimes, and I am not so energetic. My granddaughter takes us to the meetings. I was 85 in September.
Kindly accept our sincere Christian love for yourself and all the Bible House brethren. Your sister by His Grace, ------- (TRINIDAD)
Dear Sister Hoefle: Grace and peace,
Many thanks for yours of the 5th with copy of letter – also for the Nov.‑Dec. papers, which are as always much appreciated. It is good to have Bro. Hoefle still speaking to us via the printed page.
Yes, indeed, Brother and Sister ‑‑‑‑‑‑ wrote to us, and we have just received a second letter from them with an enclosure toward your expenses. So it gives us much pleasure to forward this on to you, together with a similar amount from us, for you to use as you see pressing need.
We are pleased to know of some of your family who are helping you to share the load – many hands make light work; and when it is the Lord's work it becomes a privilege. That was a very nice poem of Sister Delta's.
As for as Brother and Sister ‑‑-‑‑‑‑ are concerned, it seems they still consider themselves part of the Hyde Ecclesia, even though moving away from that area. We took the opportunity to let them know that we severed our connection with the LHMM as soon as RGJ took control and issued his ultimatum, which we considered not to be in harmony with Epiphany principles as laid down for us by Brother Johnson.
Some years ago when we lived in Scotland, there were three groups of Bible Students meeting separately in the same building – and could not manage to meet together except for four Sundays in the year when a month contained five Sundays. Brother Johnson used to be asked which meeting he or she should attend, and his counsel was “Attend the meeting where you feel most at home.”
The question would be, What if one does not feel at home in any of them? No doubt this will have happened many times as the Epiphany has had its effect of bringing every one to his or her place – even to being able to stand alone.
The Lord is abundantly able to supply a ministering spirit or guardian angel as He sees the need, for which we do praise Him! He will never leave, not forsake us!
So may these sentiments be your happy portion. God bless you and those with you!
With Christian love, we are Yours by His Grace, Brother and Sister ------- (ENGLAND)
Dear Sister Hoefle: Grace and peace,
I wish to thank you for sending me the Jan.‑Feb. papers which I have read twice. Thank you for the good article on Retrospect and Prospect, which was very good. I sure am glad that the brethren have sent you items of interest which have helped in preparing the article. I feel very sorry about your nephew that you mentioned in your letter. I hope it is possible that he can have relief from his suffering. .......
We have had our trials here lately weather‑wise. On New Years Eve we had a sleet storm which covered a whole area on New Years Day from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., and then the next day was out of utilities from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – out of telephone service for two days. ......
Well, I must close for this time. Hope that you and yours will be in better health. The Lord bless you all! With much Christian love, I am Your brother in Him, ------- (MICHIGAN)
NOTE: Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our brethren for their support, love and prayers. The Lord's assisting Grace and the help of our brethren have enabled us to “keep on keeping on,” as Brother Johnson would say. So long as the papers are a blessing to the Lord's people, it will be our pleasure to continue in our efforts. “The Lord preserveth all them that love Him.” (Psa. 145:20)