AMOS ‑ 3:7: – “Surely the Lord will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” According to his own statement (1:1) Amos was one of the “shepherds from Tekoa” – probably one of a settlement of herdsmen who had their home at Tekoa, and who, as the used word implies, reared a special breed of sheep, of small and stunted growth, but prized on account of their wool. It appears further that he was also employed in the cultivation of sycamore trees.
Tokoa ‑ now Taku’a, was a village situated on a hill, six miles south of Bethlehem and twelve miles south of Jerusalem, in the center of a barren and desolate region, bounded on the southwest and north by limestone hills, while on the east the land slopes away over eighteen miles, first of wild moorland – the wilderness, or pasture ground, of Tekoa (see 2 Chron. 20:20) – and afterwards of bleak and rugged hills – the desolate Jeshimon (see 1 Sam. 23:19‑24) – down to the Dead Sea, some 4,000 feet below. The sycamore does not grow at so high a level as Tekoa, so it would seem that Amos carried on his occupation as a sycamore‑dresser in some sheltered nook in the lower part of the wilderness of Judah, where the milder temperature of the Jordan valley prevailed.
It is not expressly stated where Amos was born; but it seems rather reasonable that he was born and lived the greater part of his life in the atmosphere of the moorland and the desert; and the days spent by him amid these wild surroundings left, we may be rather sure, their impress upon his character, sharpened his powers of observation, inured him to austerity of life, made him the keen and unflinching censor of the vices which flourish in the lap of luxury.
Here we digress a little to show the close similarity of Amos and David. Amos was a sheep herder in the bleak and barren Tekoa. Of David we are told: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel ... and made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.” (2 Sam. 7:8, 9) He also began as a humble shepherd boy in the hills of Palestine.
When we consider the early life of both these men, with their very meager circumstances, we find no difficulty at all in applying to them the impressive statement of Luke 1:52,53: “He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.” But we rest in the sure promise for them that they shall have “a better resurrection” (Heb. 11:35) – when they shall be elevated to being ‘‘princes in all the earth,” (Psa. 45:16)
How Amos came to be a prophet he tells us himself. He was no prophet by education or profession (he had not attended the Levitical “schools of the prophets”); and can apparently be classed with the Apostles of Jesus, who “were ignorant and unlearned men.” Amos did not belong to any of those prophetic guilds, of which we read especially in the days of Elisha, and to which young Israelites, especially if warmed by religious zeal, were in the habit of attaching themselves. On the contrary, the manner in which he disclaims connection with such prophets implies that they were not always men actuated by the highest motives: they were men who earned their living by their profession often therefore not independent in the strict sense of the term, We emphasize here that Jesus and the Apostles never took up a collection or solicited money. Thus, they were entirely free to speak the Truth – as was also true of Amos,
The ‘professional prophets’ were subservient to their patrons, which was a temptation they were unable to resist – much the same as is true of many of our preachers today. Such are only too ready to echo sentiments which they know will win them popularity; and to ‘prophesy’ in accordance with the fee they expected to receive. Jeremiah makes this impressively clear: “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means: and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof.” (Jer. 5:31)
Amos was none of these. He was a simple countryman, a man no doubt of a religious frame of mind, who often in the solitude of the moorland meditated on the things of God, but one whose regular business was with his flocks on the hills, or among the sycamores in the dale; and he was actually following his shepherd’s occupation at the moment when he became conscious of the summons to be a prophet:
“And Jehovah took me from after the flock (much the same as Samuel called David to be King in Israel); and Jehovah said unto me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” In obedience to the summons, Amos left his native country of Judah, and visited the sister kingdom of Israel, then in the height of prosperity, to which it had been raised by Jeroboam II. He repaired to Bethel, which was the chief national sanctuary, under the particular patronage of the king; and there, in the presence, we may conclude, of the crowds thronging the Temple, uttered the unwelcome words which roused Israel from its self‑satisfied security, and sounded, only too clearly, the knell of its approaching doom. One after another, the discourses which he delivered closed with the same ominous outlook of disaster and exile. At last, when he named the reigning monarch personally (“And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword!’ – 7:9) His words excited the alarm and opposition of Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (much the same experience that was meted out to Jeremiah), who sought accordingly to obtain his expulsion from the country.
Apparently his endeavor was not successful: anyway, Amos repeated his previous predictions in still more pointed and emphatic terms (7:17); and uttered fresh prophecies of similar import (8:1, 9:10). Of the prophet’s personal life no further particulars are recorded in his book; but in view of the well‑planned disposition of his prophecies, we may presume that he had completed his prophetic ministrations at Bethel; and he returned to his native home, and there leisurely arranged his prophecies in book form. He introduced most of his predictions with the words: “Hear ye this word.”
At that time Israel rested under the delusion that they had the unconditional guarantee of security – much the same as did those Jews in 70 A. D., when they retreated to the temple in the belief that Titus could not take the building. In both instances they were very much wrong! However, Amos laid great stress upon Israel’s sins. (3:1, 2) Hard as this judgment is, the prophet follows through; for no event happens in nature without a proper and sufficient cause; and the appearance of a prophet with such a message is an indication that Jehovah had sent him. (3:3‑8) The heathen themselves can bear witness that the sins of Samaria are such as deserve judgment. (3:9, 10) Amos tells them that the foe is at the door; and so sudden will be the surprise that of the wealthy nobles of Samaria only a scanty remnant will escape, and altars and palaces will be in ruins together. (3:11‑15)
In Chapter 5 the prophet sings his elegy over Israel’s fall. God had demanded obedience, judgment and mercy, but Israel had run persistently counter to His demands. God knows only too well that they will decline His invitation, so Amos gives them a picture of the lamentation and mourning of which the land will soon be full, through the havoc wrought in it by the foe. (5:18‑27)
From Chapter 7 onward Amos stresses the judgment that he said would come upon Israel, that it could no longer be averted. Though the Lord had often ‘repented’ of His purpose to bring extreme chastisement upon Israel, He could do so no more; the time for mercy was now gone. However, in Chapter 9:11‑15 there is the promise of a brighter future. The dynasty of David, the now debased, will be reinstated in its former glory and power, and the blessings of peace will be shared forever by the entire nation. We see the beginnings of this now in Israel, although they presently seem to be in a very precarious position. This may yet become worse; but the promise is sure that Israel will emerge triumphantly when they recognize their Messiah – when they look upon Him whom they pierced, and mourn Because of it – as one mourneth for his only son ... the land shall mourn every family apart – all the families that remain. (Zech. 12:10‑14)
THE TIME OF AMOS’ PROPHECY – The period in which Amos prophesied is fixed by the title, which is supported by the Internal evidence of his book; and the mention of Jeroboam II in 7:10, 11 being king of Israel at the time Amos visited Bethel. While we cannot say definitely the exact year of Jeroboam’s reign when Amos made his first appearance as a prophet, it does say it was “two years before the earthquake”; but the earthquake is not mentioned in the historical books, so we cannot know definitely the year in which it happened. However, we may reasonably assume that Amos’ prophecy was in the latter part of Jeroboam’s Reign – because the prosperity and opulence of Israel had already been achieved. The material and moral condition of Israel thus gives the clue to Amos’ prophecy.
The humiliation of Israel had already begun under Jeroboam, but was still more humiliated under the reign of Jehoahaz. As some writers state it, he “made them like the dust of the threshing floor,” gaining possession of various cities. The details given in the book of Kings are meager, but the terms used by the writer make it clear how serious were the losses of Israel, with the strength of the nation impaired. But under the reign of Jehoash the tide turned. Ben‑hadad succeeded Hazael on the throne of Damascus; and from him Jehoash recovered the cities which his father had lost; and Amos tells of the repose of Israel over the victories that had been won. The old limits of its territory were thus regained, and Israel could again breathe freely, and devote itself to the arts and enjoyments of peace. But it was Jeroboam mainly who had accomplished this; thus it would seem the prophecy of Amos was uttered in the later years of his reign.
The book of Amos gives us a vivid picture of the social condition at that time. On the one hand there was the material prosperity that Israel enjoyed. Wealth abounded and those who possessed it lived in self‑indulgence and luxury. They had their winter houses and their summer houses (3:15); they had houses built solidly of hewn stone (5:11) and paneled with ivory (3:15); they had couches inlaid with the same costly material, upon which they reclined, anointed with rich perfumes, feasting upon delicacies, drinking wine in bowls, and listening to strains of varied music (6:4‑6); there was a ‘palace’ and ‘great house,’ in which, during these happy days of Israel’s prosperity, the sound of ‘revelry’ was often to be heard (6:7, 8, 11). The temples, especially the one at Bethel (which was under royal patronage – 7:13), were well appointed, and thronged with worshipers (9:1); pilgrims flocked to the principal sanctuaries, Bethel, Gilgal, and even Beer‑sheba, in the south of Judah (4:4, 5; 8:14); tithes and other dues were regularly paid; voluntary offerings were ostentatiously rendered (4:4); a splendid, and no doubt impressive ceremonial was punctiliously maintained. (5:21‑23) Thus they could say, in proud consciousness of its newly‑won powers – “Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?” (6:13)
But there was a darker side to the picture: The moral deterioration that resulted from unbroken prosperity. As one gifted writer states it: Very few people can tolerate great adversity; but fewer still can properly handle great prosperity. The affluence of the wealthy in Israel was not obtained as a result of their own honest toil, but was wrung by injustice and oppression, from the hard‑worked Fellahin,’ the poor cultivators of the soil, who lived penuriously, and had as much as they could do to keep body and soul together. Such conditions are prevalent today in the prosperous civilized ‘Christian’ nations.
The book of Amos is full of illusions to the sufferings inflicted upon the poor by the hard‑hearted aristocracy, by remorseless creditors, by avaricious and dishonest traders, by venal judges. Some of this was personally experienced by Amos himself “among the herdsmen of Tekoa.” Justice was sold to the highest bidder; for the sake of some trifling article, the value of which he could not pay, the debtor was sold into slavery; the sufferings and misfortunes of the poor were viewed with complacency. (2:6‑8) “They sold the righteous, and the poor for a pair of shoes.”
In the capital itself might ruled over right, and the palaces of the nobles were stored with the gains of violence and robbery (3:9, 10). Even the women cooperated with their husbands in unscrupulous exactions, that they might have the means of indulging in a carouse (4:1). Justice, so‑called, was simple injustice; the claims of innocence were listened to with impatience; presents and bribes were openly demanded (5:7; 10‑12; 6:12). Violence reigned supreme (6:3); the rapacious merchants longed for the time when the sabbath or the new moon would be past, in order that they might resume their dishonest practices, and make fresh profits out of the helplessness of the poor (8:4‑6). Immorality, moreover, was shamelessly practiced (2:7) – often, if we should complete the picture given in Hosea 4:13,14, in accordance with a strange usage, common in many Semitic peoples, and introduced no doubt into Israel from the Canaanites, or Phoenicians, under the cloak of religion. The ceremonial observances, so sumptuously and lavishly maintained, were no guarantee, Amos plainly tells us, of the moral or religious sincerity of the people (5:21‑24). Yet the Jews were seized with a phobia that the eternal, the Almighty God was with them; and clung closely to David’s words: “There shall no evil befall thee,” regardless of how they represented “the high and lofty one.”
The nobles of Samaria, immersed in their own pleasures, were selfishly indifferent to the welfare of the nation of which they were the responsible leaders: they were satisfied with the external semblance of strength and soundness which it presented; they had no eye for the inner flaws the prophet’s enlightened vision too truly perceived; and they were heedless of the future. (6:6) Here again the text strikingly applies: “They (the prophets) spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” The Prophet Hosea, who wrote a few years after Amos, gives us substantially the same picture.
Such were the sins and vices that were then rampant in Israel. One English writer emphasizes the analogies between the age of Amos and the fourteenth century in England the time of Langland and Wyclif. Then, as in the Israel of Amos’ day, a long and victorious reign was drawing to its close, city life was developing at the expense of country life, the rich and poor were forming two distinct classes, there was a national religion, zealously cultivated and endowed by the liberality of the people, with many pilgrimages to popular shrines, but superstitious and disfigured by grave abuses,
In eloquent and emphatic periods Amos hurls his indictment against the leaders of the nation, and sets forth the principles and conduct which the Lord God demands. And equally emphatic is he in telling them what the end will be. A nation in which there was so much moral delinquency, and whose leaders were so deficient in the first qualities of statesmanship, could not be expected to meet danger with a firm front, or to meet efficiently any political crisis. Accordingly each section of his prophecy – almost each paragraph – ends with the same prediction of invasion, defeat, or exile. Jehovah, he says in one of the passages (6:14), is raising up a nation which will afflict them in the extreme; they would be carried beyond Damascus. (5:27) The Prophet Isaiah had so clearly stated, “Of Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.” (10:5) The Assyrian in this text typifies the radical elements here in the end of this Age.
Even as Amos spoke the Assyrians were not far off; and within a generation his words were fulfilled to the letter. Upon Jeroboam’s death party spirit broke out unchecked. Zechariah, his son, after a six‑month’s reign, was murdered in a conspiracy headed by Shallum ben Jabesh. (2 Kgs. 15:8‑10) Then followed a period of anarchy, which may be illustrated from the vivid pages of Hosea. (7:3‑7; 8:4) One king followed another with the form but hardly the reality of royal power, with the aid of Assyria and Egypt being alternately invoked by rival factions. (Hosea 5:13, 7:11, 8:9 12:1) After one month Shallum was dethroned by Menshem ben Gadi, a brutal and unscrupulous usurper, who sought to strengthen his position by buying the support of the Assyrian monarch Pul (Tiglath‑pileser). (2 Kgs. 15:14, 16, 17, 20)
But the onward movement of Assyria could not be checked: Ahaz threw himself into the hands of Tiglath‑pileser, with the result that the Assyrian king invaded Israel and carried off into exile the inhabitants of the northern tribes and of Gilead (2 Kgs. 15: 29). Almost at the same time Hoshea ben Elah, with the support and connivance of Tiglath‑peleser (this information is secured from secular writers), conspired against Peka, and slew him (2 Kgs. 15:29). However, Hoshea had not been many years upon the throne before he broke with his protectors, and contracted an alliance with So (or Seve), king of Egypt. Shalmaneser, who had succeeded Tiglath‑peleser, took measures forthwith to punish his rebellious vassal, and laid sedge to Samaria, when it capitulated to Sargon. Large numbers of Israelites were deported to different parts of the Assyrian empire; and the kingdom of Israel was brought to its close in 739 BC (2 Kgs. 17:1‑6). These subsequently became known as the “ten lost tribes of Israel.”
CONCERNING THE BOOK OF AMOS
Amos is the earliest of the prophets whose writing we possess, and his book is a short one, but surprisingly full of acute observation of men and manners, and of teaching, at once profound and lofty, on the things of God. “Ignorant and unlearned,” yet with a brilliance that surpasses most of the intellectual luminaries of this world who do not have the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. It is evident that the “shepherd of Tekoa” was far more than what one would imagine when we consider his birth and surroundings. He was no rustic in the ordinary sense of that word. He was a man of natural quickness and capacity, able to observe, to reflect, and to generalize, conscious of the breadth and scope of moral and spiritual realities, and capable of expressing his thoughts in dignified and impressive language. And this quality would undoubtedly intensify the rancor of those to whom he expressed himself.
The contrast, which seems almost to be an incongruity, between his mental aptitudes and the humble circumstances of his life, is most excellently described by one gifted writer: “The humble condition of a shepherd following his flock on the bare mountains of Tekoa has tempted many commentators, from Jerome downwards, to think of Amos as an unlettered clown, and to trace his ‘rusticity’ in the language of his book. To the unprejudiced judgment, however, the prophecy of Amos appears one of the best examples of pure Hebrew style. The language, the images, the grouping are alike admirable; and the simplicity of the diction, obscured only in one or two passages by the fault of transcribers, is a token, not of rusticity, but of perfect mastery over a language, which, though unfit for the expression of abstract ideas, is unsurpassed as a vehicle for impassioned speech.
However, Amos is not more conspicuous on account of his literary power than for the breadth of human interest, embracing both acute observation, and wide historical knowledge, which his writings display. Not only does he evince minute acquaintance with the social condition of the Northern Kingdom, he possesses information respecting far more distant peoples as well. Says another writer: “The rapid survey of the nations immediately bordering on Israel – Syria, Philistia, Edom, Ammon, Moab – is full of precise detail as to localities and events, with a keen appreciation of national character. He tells us how the Philistines migrated from Caphtor, the Aramaeans from Kir. (9:7) His eye ranges southward along the caravan route from Gaza through the Arabian wilderness. (1:6) In the west he is familiar with the marvels of the swelling of the Nile (8:8; 9:5) and in the distant Babylonian east he makes special mention of the City of Calneh (6:2; Gen. 10:10).”
At closer quarters, we see and hear the bustle of the great festivals and fairs – the ‘solemn assemblies,’ the reeking holocausts, the noise of songs and vials (5:21); the brutish religious zeal kindling into drunkenness and lust on the very steps of the altar (2:7, 8); the embezzlement of pledges by the priests; the covetous restlessness of the traders, their false measures, their entanglement of the poor to debt (8:4); the careless luxury of the rich, their banquets, buckets of wine, ivory couches, pretentious preposterous music. (6:1‑4) These things are described as by an eye‑witness. Amos was not a citizen of the Northern Kingdom, to which he almost exclusively refers; but it was because he went up and down in it, using those eyes which the desert air had sharpened, that he so thoroughly learned the wickedness of its people, the corruption of Israel’s life in every rank and class of society.
Amos smites one nation after another, all the peoples of the known world, and in such passages as 9:8 – “Behold the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth.” His wrath is represented as pursuing the sinners of the people, and plucking them out of every refuge – Heaven, Sheol, the top of Carmel, the bottom of the sea. His glance penetrates equally into the spirit of men, for He declareth unto man what is his meditation. (4:13) The entire book of Amos may be described as an indictment of Israel for their persistent disregard of the moral law. He also stresses the avarice, the dishonesty, the immorality so rampant in Israel; he also points derisively to the zeal with which they keep the ceremonial Law. God hates, rejects Israel’s pilgrimages; He will ignore their offerings, even shut His ear to their praises (5:21, 23). He sets His eye upon them “for evil and not for good.” (9: 1‑4)
And so, though Amos sings his elegy over Israel’s fall (5:2), and twice intercedes on its behalf, when he becomes conscious that the failing nation is unable to cope effectually with calamity (7:2, 5), as a rule he delivers unmoved his message of doom. He and Hosea thus supplement each other; and a comparison of their writings furnishes an instructive view of the manner in which widely different temperaments may be made the organs of the same Holy Spirit, and how each, just in virtue of its difference from the other, may be thereby the better adapted to set forth a different aspect of the Truth. This same observation is outstandingly true of the various writers of the New Testament.
Amos may be described as a spiritual prophet. While he does not dispute against the material representations of the great Jehovah, the calves of Bethel, yet he clearly understands the true essence of a spiritual religion. Amos clearly represents God as disapproving, and states it explicitly: “Seek good and not evil, that ye may live; thus the Lord of Hosts will be with you, as ye say, Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate (the place of chief prominence); it may be that God will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.” (5:14,15)
In Eph. 6:12, 13 there is this: “Our conflict is not with blood and flesh, but with the spiritual things of wickedness. On account of this:, take up the complete armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day.” (Diaglott)
It is our conviction that we are now in “the evil day”; and that certain texts in this Amos prophecy are now emphatically pertinent, so we offer a few of them – with elaborated comment by us and others:
AMOS 5:13‑15 – “Therefore, the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.” (v. 13) The French Revolution offered a small picture of coming events. At that time 7,000 of the higher element of French society had their heads chopped off; and it is our information that not one of those leaders who conducted any part of that conflagration lived through to the end of it. And we may expect much of the same now in the immediate future; but “the prudent shall keep silence.” “Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live ... God shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good ... it may be that the Lord God will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.” (vs. 14, 15) We should have no affectionate love for evildoers, though we should charitably hope that much of the evil is the result of misinformation and inherited weaknesses, and accordingly should feel and act kindly, with pitying love toward such.
AMOS 5:20 – “Shall not the day of the Lord (this evil day) be darkness, and not light? Even very dark and no brightness in it.” Here again the Prophet stresses the day of vengeance, the time of trouble. We are not yet fully in that time; the darkness will become much greater in the immediate future.
AMOS 9:11,12 – “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen; ... and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old’” (v, 11) This applies to the beginning of the Millennial Day, which is already dawning faintly, The rebuilding of the tabernacle of David, which fell after Jesus left their “house desolate” (Matt. 23:38), takes place at the second Advent of Jesus. The “throne of David” was over all the tribes, and here represents the throne of the Greater David the beloved Son of God – to be established after completion of the “taking out a people for His name.” (Acts 15:14‑17)
AMOS 9:13‑15 – “The days come that the plowman (the uprooting of the time of trouble) shall overtake the reaper” (those who are endeavoring to complete the Harvest work). This plowshare of Truth shall affect every element of society ... and the mountains (strong Gentile governments) shall drop sweet wine (after their humiliation is completed) ... And I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel (as we see it already established in Palestine) ... they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof ... And I will plant them upon their land which I have given them (the land He promised to Abraham), and they shall be no more pulled up out of their land.” (vs. 14,15)
Much of this is now going on before eyes; and will become yet more pronounced as we journey on toward that Kingdom: Thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.
So we summarize briefly the permanent lessons of his Book. He teaches, with clearness, eloquence and force, truths which never become superfluous or obsolete. “The truths that justice between man and man is one of the Divine foundations of society; that privilege implies responsibility, and that failure to recognize responsibility will surely bring punishment; that nations, and by analogy individuals, are bound to live up to that measure of light and knowledge which has been granted to them; that the most elaborate worship is but an insult to God when offered to God by those who have no mind to conform their wills and conduct to His requirements – these are elementary but eternal truths.’’
Much more could be written about Amos, but we believe enough has been given herein to enhance the appraisal of this remarkable prophet. His style possesses high literary merit. His language is pure, his sentences are smoothly constructed and clear; and it should be clear to all that he was one of those “holy men of old who spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” “The time and manner of his death are unknown.” (Westminster, p. 26)
“As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even forever.” (Psa. 125:2)
Dear Brother and Sister Hoefle: Grace and peace!
I received the March‑April papers this week and read them with great interest. So glad you made a note of Brother Pierson’s passing and the tribute you gave him. Also I’m glad to hear his children requested your papers. They didn’t hear anything but the Truth when they were young. ......
I had a busy week. Myrtle’s son and wife picked me up Sunday morning and I had a nice birthday dinner there. I was 85 February 12. Then we went to see Myrtle. She was quite good that day, and knew us and was glad to see us. She was quite rational for her.........
I am getting along O.K. I have been getting Brother Horowitz’s papers okay lately. I would like to ask a favor of you. Will you renew my subscription for me? As soon as I get straightened out a little more I will repay you. I have been under heavy expense lately. Must close for now. Christian love, ....... (MICHIGAN)
Dear Brother and Sister Hoefle: Grace and peace!
Many thanks for the January‑February papers. They are much appreciated. You certainly receive some very encouraging correspondence from near and far. It is marvelous to hear of so many isolated brethren holding fast to the Parousia and Epiphany teachings in these “last days” when all are being tested as to their allegiance to the Lord.
We are wondering whether you have seen a copy of the Manna Book recently published by the LHMM in which generally speaking the sentiments expressed by the two messengers in relation to the Little Flock and their experiences have been quite deliberately “watered down” because of their attitude toward the consecrated – that is, no Little Flock left. We need not be surprised, I suppose, as this was indeed their attitude even prior to the demise of Brother Johnson. There was quite an undercurrent of sentiment expressed in an attitude of “let us make no difference” – at least that was our experience.
This is a belated acknowledgment of your note along with the resume of Brother J. Will Horn’s funeral service. Many thanks for this – also a thank‑you for the Israel Bulletin mailed direct and which surely gives marvelous coverage of our Pastor’s messages for Israel’s benefit during those (now) far‑off days before the establishment of the State of Israel, as we see it mentioned every day now. Surely we live in stirring times when the Bible prophecies continue to be fulfilled in the Middle East. Our God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform, and we rest content in His overruling providences that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord.
We trust this finds you (Brother John) continuing to recover in health sufficient for your every need – and we pray the Lord’s continued blessing on you both in your efforts to minister the words of life to the Lord’s people.
Glad to say we keep reasonably well, hoping the spring‑like weather today will continue. With Christian love, Yours by His grace ……. (ENGLAND)
Dear Brother Hoefle:
Thank you so much for your very kind letter of the 23rd of February – and also for sending all the material which I requested. They are extremely informative, and I’ve been truly blessed by reading each one.
I would very much like to have you place me on your mailing list so that I could receive the monthly articles which you publish. Could you also send me pamphlets Nos. 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 121? I’d really like you to send me the book, “The Divine Plan of the Ages.” I believe that you mentioned that you’d be very happy to send the above book to me as a gift, but I feel led at this time to send you $‑‑ as a donation, to encourage you to keep getting the TRUTH out to the world (as you are doing!!) – in order to help the people, that you are helping.
But I truly appreciate your kind intention and desire to send me the above‑mentioned book as a gift. That truly touched my heart!
I’m truly looking forward to receiving the new materials from you – and may the Lord continue to bless your ministry. Love in Him, ……. (CONNECTICUT)
Dear Mr. Hoefle,
Thank you ever so much for your spiritual and financial support of two years ago. I hope that you will find from our progress that you judged rightly.
It is a great privilege to reciprocate by inviting you to become a Friend for Life of Root and Branch Association. I hope you will accept our invitation, and look forward to hearing from you. Yours in Shalom, ........ (ISRAEL)
Dear Brother & Sister Hoefle: Christian greetings!
You will be happy to know that Marjorie is improving every day. She is gradually getting her strength back. She makes two trips downstairs every day for two of her meals. ... She spends most of her time upstairs ‑ sits up all afternoon, reading, watching TV and walking around a little. ……. Her trouble has been pneumonia. Thank you for your concern and prayers. Be assured that you are in our prayers, too.... I will write again when I know more. Most sincerely, …….(Ohio)