Our dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
John J. Hoefle Died April 16, 1984, Mount Dora, Florida – 89 years old – survived by his wife, Emily – And two sisters: Mrs. Clara Wolff, Dayton, Ohio and Mrs. Laura Schaeffer, Dayton, Ohio.
Funeral was conducted by Brother William V. Vrooman as follows:
“Then they that reverenced the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that reverenced the Lord, and thought upon his name.” (Mal. 3:16) “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” (Mal. 3:17)
“What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people.” (Psa. 116:12‑14)
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) “For the Father himself loveth you.” (John 16:27) “The Lord knoweth them that are his.” 2 Tim. 2:19)
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25) “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55)
(Prayer by Brother Thomas Brooks)
As we come apart from the rushing world outside to these peaceful and tranquil surroundings we show our love for the dear one who has left this sin kissed world. Your presence here today is a very real way of expressing your love for him and each other. And it is a way we can help and encourage one another in this time of sorrow, as we share in the loss of our dear one.
He was a devoted husband – kind, considerate, gentle and an example of the believers. He was willing to serve regardless of personal cost, and a light in this dark world.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matt. 5:4) John’s life was filled with many loving kind deeds to others, and most of his time was taken up with direct participation in the Lord’s work.
Our dear Brother believed the Bible account of man’s creation – that God created him perfect and upright, an earthly image of Himself; but Adam sinned. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12)
All being sinners the race was unable to help itself, and none could by any means redeem his brother or give a Ransom for him. And God in compassion and love had made provision for this: That accordingly the son of God became a man, and gave man’s Ransom price, and as a reward for this sacrifice and in order to complete the great work of atonement, He was highly exalted, even to the Divine nature, and that in due time he will bring to pass restitution, a restitution of the race to the original perfection lost in Eden. In Acts 3:18‑21 we read: “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
The Ransom is the central theme of the Bible – both the Old and the New Testaments. All of Brother John’s hopes were centered in the Ransom. It was the knowledge and understanding of this fundamental doctrine that opened the Scriptures to our dear brother. It was the key that unlocked the treasures of the Bible and made his hope sure and steadfast. His love of his Lord directed every step of his life, and his desire to share the wonderful promises of God with others prompted him to spend many hours in God’s service by faithfully witnessing either directly or indirectly by helping those who were more actively engaged in the witness work.
Brother John’s appreciation of God’s exceeding great and precious promises was a source of comfort and encouragement to him. By faith he looked forward to the time when he would have a share in blessing all the families of the earth. And how exceedingly great are these promises of God!
We read in Isa. 35:8‑10: “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with song and everlasting joy upon their faces; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Again in Isa. 65:17‑24 we read: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. ... And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. ... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.”
Our dear Brother John rejoiced in these hopes. ... He sought to be faithful to all of these precepts of God’s word. Relating to his own conduct, his effort was to walk faithfully day by day. All these promises were a great stimulus to him; they encouraged him and they minimized in his life the importance of the transient things of this world and the pleasures and the beauties man has tried to use to camouflage and destroy the beauties of creation and of God’s plan. As a Bible student this dear one cherished the opportunities he had to study and fellowship with others of the Lord’s people who loved the Lord. His fellowship will be greatly missed. Some beautiful thoughts for us to think on and consider are:
Benevolence shall mark each act
And sickness be no more,
No evidence of dread decay
Shall lodge at Mortal’s door
Where health and radiant beauty march
In unsurpassed array
And inward purity shines forth,
As all seek to obey.
And such will be perfection
In a world that’s freed from sin,
With all earth’s tears and sorrows
As though they had not been.
For those we’ve loved and cherished
And laid within the grave,
Shall rise as one great army,
For Christ died all to save.
So lift your heads, take courage
There’ll come an end to sorrow
When Christ as King shall then reign o’er,
The blest world of tomorrow.
These are some of the hopes and promises that sustained and encouraged our brother as he looked forward to the answer to the Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10)
He loved the Bible – “God’s Word.” He firmly believed that it was the Word of God, inspired by His Holy Spirit, and it was his final authority. A “thus saith the Lord” was often his answer. His life was centered around the Bible, and in all his daily activities he displayed his love of God’s Word.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14‑16)
John was a wonderful example of this Scripture. He spent many long hours working with his dear wife, engaged in doing what they firmly believed was God’s will for them. He faithfully witnessed to what he believed, and was quick and willing to help those who were also engaged in the witness work in any way he could.
What a beautiful tribute to be able to say – He did what he could!!
Many lives have been greatly blessed by his many acts of thoughtfulness, by his love and his willingness to give of himself to others.
To his beloved wife, our dear sister, we would like to leave these words of comfort from our Heavenly Father: “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
In closing let us consider some encouraging words taken from the beautiful promises given in Revelation 21:4: Close your eyes for a moment to scenes of misery and woe, degradation and sorrow that yet prevail on account of sin, and picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth. Not a stain of sin mars the harmony and peace of a perfect society; not a bitter thought, not an unkind look or word; love welling up from every heart, meets a kindred response in every other heart, and benevolence marks every act. There sickness shall be no more, not an ache nor a pain, nor any evidence of decay – not even the fear of such things. Think of all the pictures of comparative health and beauty of human form and feature that you have ever seen, and know that perfect humanity will be of still surpassing loveliness. The inward purity and mental and moral perfection will stamp and glorify every radiant countenance. Such will earth’s society be: and weeping bereaved ones will have their tears all wiped away, when thus they realize the resurrection work complete.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
AT THE CEMETERY
John 13:34: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
This dear one followed this admonition and we each cherish our own special memories of his love and kindness to us. His whole life was characterized by his willingness to serve – the Lord, the Truth and the Household of Faith.
James tells us “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:17,18)
How beautifully this Scripture from the book of James sums up this dear one’s life’ He did indeed show his faith by his works. Yes, in every aspect of his life he demonstrated his faith by his works.
He frequently expressed his great love for his Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus, and he daily sought to have God’s will performed in his life. In all of life experiences it was clearly shown that his desire to serve and to please his heavenly Father was the motivating influence.
Psalm 67: “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us. That Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall reverence Him.”
And to those of us that are here today, we can take comfort in the words of the Psalmist in the 23rd Psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Shall we pray.
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 as my soul speeds onward
In its eternal quest,
I look back on my pathway
And see that God knows best.
John J. Hoefle Born in Alexandria, Ind.,
Finished his course
April 16, 1984 –
Married to Emily Horn
March 27, 1951.