The land, the terrain and the peoples of Palestine are all markedly typical this being especially true from the Exodus from Egypt to the overthrow of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus in the year 70 AD. Outstanding among these types is the River Jordan, some of which we shall treat in detail as to type and antitype.
Today this river pretty well marks the eastern boundary of Israel, When the Jews came to possess Canaan they camped east of the Jordan not far from the City of Jericho. That city was located about five miles from the north end of the Dead Sea and about seventeen miles from Jerusalem – at the foot of the ascent to the mountainous tableland of Judah. By previous agreement, the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half Tribe of Manasseh, accepted their inheritance to the east of Jordan, with the remaining 9 1/2 tribes locating west of the River to the Mediterranean Sea. Since the Jews crossed the river on that momentous occasion it has been prominent in history to the present day. This prominence is now especially marked, as the Jews and Arabs continue to glare at each other from their respective sides – actually engaging in extensive armed conflict.
Its rise is in the upper hill country from clear water springs. This is augmented considerably in time of harvest (March or April) by the melting of the snow on Mount Herman. This explains why “Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest.” (Josh. 3:15) Some of its characteristics are among the most peculiar of any stream on earth. So far as is known, it stands absolutely alone among the rivers of the world in the fact that throughout the greater part of its course it runs below the level of the ocean. At its headstream, when it issues from the cave at Banias, it is 1,000 feet above the level of the Mediterranean. By the time it enters Lake Hulah, twelve miles away, it has fallen to within seven feet of sea level. From Hulah to Galilee is 10 1/2 miles; and as it enters the Sea of Galilee it is 682 feet below sea level; and when entering the Dead Sea it is 1,292 feet below the ocean’s top.
The Dead Sea has no outlet, and its low level and warm climate have tended to make it the saltiest body of water on earth – about 27% salt. In such heavy brine an egg will float, and it is not possible for a human being to sink; in fact, when a man lies on his back he stretches straight out like a plank of lumber, and some effort is required to reach an upright standing position again. Its main supply of water comes from the Jordan River, which empties into it an average of 6,000,000 gallons of water every 24 hours. The sea is about 47 miles long. It reaches about 1,300 feet depth, so that its own surface level is almost exactly half way between its bottom and the level of the ocean. Like the Jordan River, this sea is also one of the most remarkable bodies of water on earth. No other is known to occupy so deep a hollow on the surface of the globe.
The Biblical associations with the Jordan attach mainly to the stretch from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. The river was fringed in ancient times, as it still is, with a thicket of trees and shrubs, principally tamarisks, oleanders and willows, among which lions lurked. (Jer. 49:19; Zech. 11:3) It was never bridged until Roman times, but was forded. The fords are frequent and easy in the upper stream and as far down as the mouth of the Jabbok, where Jacob crossed. (Gen. 32:10; 33:18) Below that point the river is rarely fordable, and then only at certain seasons of the year. The current is so rapid near Jericho that the numerous pilgrims who go thither to bathe are always in danger, and not infrequently are swept away.
When Joshua led the Jews across Jordan some miracle or extraordinary happening occurred which checked the waters long enough for the Jews to pass over with great ease. The river has been occasionally blocked by landslides, which sometime damned up the water for many hours; and this could have occurred in Joshua’s case, but we cannot be certain about that. Including the two lakes, and taking no note of the windings, the river from Banias to the Dead Sea is 104 miles long. Immediately north of the Dead Sea there is virtually tropical country, which produces crops of tropical luxuriance when properly irrigated. Gen. 13:10 tells us it is “even as the garden of the Lord”; and it had such appeal to Lot that he chose to settle there, disregarding the reprehensible character of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah – “wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” (Gen. 13:13) Also, it was at Jericho that Elijah smote the Jordan, and he and Elisha “went over on dry ground.” (2 Kgs. 2:8) Shortly after reaching the east bank of the river “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” (v. 11)
A GRAND TYPE
Having such a steep fall from its source to the Dead Sea, Jordan’s name is well adapted to its action, the same meaning “The Descender,” or “Judged down.” It is a tortuous attempt to travel by river from Galilee to the Dead Sea; and one United States Navy officer who made the effort in 1848 wrote as follows: “In a space of sixty miles of latitude and four miles of longitude the Jordan traverses at least 200 miles. .....We have plunged down 27 threatening rapids, besides a great many of lesser magnitude.”
With such facts as the foregoing to guide, it certainly requires no great stretch of imagination to state that the Jordan (Descender) types the course of the human race in its sinful activities. Of the first man Adam it is recorded, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him.” (Gen. 1:27) Nor does it require any argument that man is presently far from “the image of God.” “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” – inventions of evil things. (Eccl. 7:29) This is graphically set forth in Dan. 4:16: “Let his heart be change and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.” The whole history of man is largely occupied with a story of blood and tears. Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn. And this has been intensified especially during the passing of the “seven times” – the Times of the Gentiles (“Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” – Luke 21:24; or as That Servant has said regarding Rom. 11:25, “until the full number from among the Gentiles, who are to be members of the body or bride of Christ, would be fully selected.” – Vol. 2. p. 77)
Since the “times of the Gentiles” began in 607 B. C., and have continued to their end in 1914 (a period of 2520 years) the violent and the brutal have dominated the affairs of men – “The Most High hath dominion over the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Dan. 4:17)
This is well portrayed in the Metal‑Man dream as recorded in the 2nd chapter of Daniel. In that dream the King saw the image with the “head of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.” In giving the interpretation of the dream, Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, “Thou art this head of Gold.” Babylon was the first universal empire. “The God of Heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell… He hath made thee ruler over them all.” It is said that the streets of Babylon were literally paved with gold; thus, the brilliance of the empire was well portrayed by the head of Gold. Babylon in turn was succeeded by the Medo‑Persian empire – represented in the breast and arms of silver. But silver is much less valuable than gold, indicating the increase of evil in the second universal empire. “After thee shall arise another Kingdom inferior to thee.” Following the Medo‑Persian came the universal empire of Greece under Alexander the Great. “Another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.” Came then the fourth universal empire, Rome – with two legs of iron, showing the two divisions of the Roman Empire – one in Rome, and one in Constantinople. “The fourth Kingdom shall be strong as iron... As iron breaketh all these, so shall it break in pieces and bruise.” The dominion of Rome was well described as “the iron rule.”
Then follows the description of Rome’s decline. “The feet and toes, part of potter’s clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it the strength of iron... As the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.” Here we have an excellent description of the nations of Europe – some very strong, as instance Russia under the Czars, and the British Empire under Victoria; with some of the other governments of little consequence.
At the time of the 1914 war there were about 22 governments in Europe, with many more than that today; but there are only ten language groups, as shown by the ten toes of the metal‑man feet. These groups are the Scandinavian, the Anglo‑Saxon, the Teutonic, the Gaulic, the Hispanian, the Latin, the Greek, the Turkish, the Slavic, and the Magyars. These are the divisions of the old Roman Empire in Europe – the ten toes of the image, “iron‑mixed with miry clay.” “But they shall not cleave one to another (no longer one dominion, as was true of the previous Babylonian, Medo‑Persian, Grecian and Roman rules) even as iron is not mixed with clay.” “And in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom (“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, even as it is in Heaven”), which shall never be destroyed... It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms (their disintegration has been steadily proceeding since 1914), and shall stand forever.”
It is well to emphasize here that the iron toes were “mixed with miry clay.” Very dry and hard clay may be easily mistaken for stone, and this point is not without purpose in the picture, because the various governments of Europe have combined with the different religions of Christendom – in counterfeit of the real Kingdom of God and the real religion (“Then will I turn to the people a pure language – not the imitations that we see today – that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent.” (Zeph. 3:9) And this is to be accomplished by the “stone cut out of the mountain without hands” – by the Christ Company that has been gathered “without outward show” (Luke 17:20) all during this Age. The stone “cut out without hands” is slowly but surely breaking in pieces and consuming all these counterfeit combinations.
THE TIME OF THE HARVEST
“Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of Harvest.” (Josh. 3:152 In Matt. 24:3 the Disciples asked Jesus, “What shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” In addition to the answer given there by Jesus, there is this in Matt. 13:39, “The harvest is the end of the world.” With Jordan typing the race under the curse, and overflowing its banks “all the time of harvest,” we should expect to see a marked increase of sin, error and death during harvest. This was markedly true during the Jewish harvest, when the Jews were under the Roman yoke, and were eventually expelled from their homeland, with great numbers of Jews being slaughtered in the dispersion; and we are witness to its great increase since 1874 in Christendom, when the harvest began. It requires no great intelligence to note the facts as they abound all about us. Greatly increased is vice in the form of white slavery, unnatural sins (as evidence the immorality and rowdy debauchery in many of the ‘hippie’ gatherings), drunkenness, gluttony, gang lawlessness, vicious narcotics and dope addiction on the part of many – even among teen‑age school children.
Many of our elite educational institutions are markedly on the downgrade, details of which come to us from time to time from friends who are acquainted with the conditions. In statecraft the same condition prevails. One wit has stated it quite well when he commented, “Politics is running the public’s business for private interests.” With so much money being handled in all places, it is only logical to expect that the temptation to dip into the public treasury would be just too much for the politicians to withstand. One prominent man had had his portrait made by a noted artist; and he asked Will Rogers what he thought of it. Rogers answered, It’s the first time I’ve ever seen you with your hand in your own pocket.
Militarism has likewise become much more active. The war that began in 1914 was up to that time the world’s greatest calamity. Then came the 1929‑1932 depression, which may not have caused so many deaths as the war, but it caused more suffering in general over the world, which would classify it as a greater calamity than was the war. This was followed by the 1939‑1945 war, which was worse in every way than the two calamities we have just described. And, following logically on, we may expect the next holocaust to be even worse than anything that has yet transpired “in the time of harvest.” We hear much talk about treaties between nations that will bring “peace and safety,” but we know from experience that many nations today are interested only in a treaty that will be kept by the other party, but not by them.
In the financial and industrial world we see similar conditions, such as huge and fraudulent stock manipulations and outright swindles. One has recently appeared in California where it is said about a quarter of a billion dollars is involved. “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man.” (Luke 17:26) In Noah’s time “there were giants in the earth” (Gen. 6:4). ‘Giants’ is from the Hebrew ‘Nephilim,’ which means a bully or a tyrant. When the ten spies brought back their evil report about Canaan they said, “There we saw the giants (Nephilim), the sons of Anak ... and we were in our sight as grasshoppers.” (Num. 13:33) And when the Jews heard this “the people wept all night.” (Num. 14:1) Clearly enough, legend had thoroughly inoculated the Jews with the tales of the giants (Nephilim), so that they were terrorized at mere mention of the name.
Today – “in the time of harvest” – we have the antitype of the giants in the giant corporations that have developed, mainly since 1874. Some of these giants may have been in existence before that date, but they were then as grasshoppers compared to their present size and crushing power. Laws have been passed to curb their power, to prevent the destruction of competition; yet they continue to increase in size and prestige. Today they pretty well control the news agencies by the advertising they place with them, the agencies knowing they will lose this source of income if they antagonize the giants. We know of one instance personally where a newspaper writer had exposed a certain stock fraud; and he stated, I am practically a prisoner in this place now; I don’t dare to open my mouth. Such situations have tended to increase greatly class hatreds, of which we shall treat a little later. Concerning these matters, Mr. F. Simonds, the Historian, writes:
“Seventeen years (since 1914) of almost continuous conflict, interrupted only by incomplete truce, have reduced the whole European Continent to a state of economic and social disorder unparalleled since the Thirty Years’ War. Nations are bankrupt, trade is reduced to barter, money has lost its value, even the pound sterling has faltered. (This is even more true now than it was in 1931 – JJH) The unemployed millions are meagerly fed by public treasures, themselves filled by taxation which is extortionate. The miseries of the so‑called peace of today, miseries reaching to every human being within national limits, defy exaggeration. It is clear that what has been going on since 1914 cannot continue.”
Along this line family life should also receive attention. Selfishness has increased greatly; divorces have increased greatly; children are disobedient to parents in greatly increased numbers. Often children do not receive proper support and care from parents. The Law of Moses offers quite a contrast to conditions today: “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father... they shall say unto the elders of the city ... Our son is stubborn and rebellious ... he is a glutton and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die – so shalt thou put away evil from among you.” (Deut. 21:18‑21) Such a suggestion today would produce screams to high heaven; and we would stress that we are not offering such counsel to our readers now. Today capital punishment of the most vicious criminals is ruled to be inhuman.
The foregoing vices and dereliction of morals are graphically portrayed in the downward course of the River Jordan, which broadens to a width of 200 feet as it enters the Dead Sea. And the Dead Sea is most appropriately named, because it is indeed “dead.” The increasing corruption of the human race will eventually produce a “dead” condition on earth. “These days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I have set all men every one against his neighbor.” (Zech. 8:10) When such a condition arrives, commerce will be “dead”; and peace will be a scarce article – all of which is vividly portrayed by the Jordan ending in the Dead Sea.
ANOTHER DISTINCTIVE TYPE
The Prophet Elijah was much occupied in his criticism and attempts to reform the wicked rulers of Israel – especially so with King Ahab and his heathen Queen Jezebel. In this he typed the true church of the Gospel Age in its attempt to reform this “Present evil world.” (Gal. 1:4) And just as Elijah failed completely, so also the Christian Church has failed completely. As related in the foregoing pages, practically all the evils known to man have been accentuated here in the end of the Age.
Since Elijah was such a prominent type of the Gospel‑Age church, anything he had to do with the River Jordan would also be typical. The most outstanding example of this is found in 2 Kings 2:1‑12, wherein Elijah was taken by “a chariot of fire, and horses of fire... by a whirlwind into heaven.” Just before this occurred, however, Elijah, accompanied by Elisha, had taken his mantle and had smitten Jordan, which parted the waters “so that the two went over on dry ground.” In this picture the Jordan types the peoples of Christendom undergoing a condemnatory sentence in their organized capacities. Water in the Bible symbols represents people: “The waters which thou sawest are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” (Rev. 17:15); and this same thought is inferred in Rev. 16:12, where it is stated that “the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great River Euphrates, and the water (popular support of the people) thereof was dried up. The waters of Jordan, then, would represent the nations – especially the nations of Christendom – viewed from the standpoint of their political, ecclesiastical, financial and industrial organizational aspects; hence, the rulers, the clergy, the aristocrats, the labor leaders and their supporters. Therefore, the nations as organized in these four relations are represented as being severely censured and given a condemnatory sentence by antitypical Elijah (the true church – as it existed in all parts of Christendom), which is what is meant by Elijah taking his mantle and smiting Jordan. Elijah’s mantle was emblematic of his power as God’s Prophet to Israel; and it typified the power of antitypical Elijah in the Truth messages that were given right after the outbreak of the war in 1914, because that war was the direct result of the many evils enumerated aforegoing. The word mantle in this text is from the Hebrew ‘adareth,’ and carries with it the idea of an insignia of honor, power, splendor.
Just as the mantle was symbolic, so also was its wrapping, which would represent the combination and concentration of all the truths pertinent to the case, coupled with the financial and intellectual ability to accomplish the purpose. Thus, the “Divine right” of kings and clergy to occupy their offices was given devastating exposure by those members of the church who clearly understood the situation. This was carried on by lectures and the printed page, with such subjects as “The World On Fire,” “Distress Of Nations Preceding Armageddon,” “Why Financiers Tremble,” etc. Anent this last, the New York Stock Exchange was closed for three months after August 1, 1914, so that no one could buy or sell their stocks.
The smiting of Jordan that followed outbreak of the war involved several things: First, a truthful and irrefutable presentation of the evils, violative of the Golden Rule by those claiming to rule by Divine right; Second, a passing of the sentence of destruction upon all those institutions claiming Divine right; Third, the announcement of dismissal from office, and pronouncement of future punishment of all who made claim to Divine right. This work is accurately, literally and figuratively set out in Psa. 149:5‑9: “Let the men of lovingkindness (the true church) exult as they glory ... a two‑edged sword in their hand (the sword of the spirit – the Word of God): to execute an avenging among the nations; rebukes among the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their honored ones with iron bands; to execute upon them the sentence written.” (Rotherham translation) This work was done so thoroughly and clearly that very few indeed, especially in America, continue to believe in the Divine right of rulers or clergy. The Kaiser himself was much obsessed with that idea; but very few in Germany harbor such belief today.
As stated, the “waters” of Jordan represent peoples; and the dividing of those waters would represent the division of the peoples involved into two classes – the Conservatives and the Radicals. It certainly places no strain upon the imagination to recognize that this condition is sharply present with us now; and has become increasingly so since 1914. It is now pretty well admitted by responsible men that the 1914 war was nothing more than a commercial war; but no one dared make mention of such a thing while the war was on. At that time both sides in the conflict had their subjects aroused into a frenzy of patriotism perhaps never before equaled in the history of man. Certainly not with so many involved on each side. But, as 1918 passed, the cooling‑off began to appear, at which time large numbers arrived at the humiliating realization that they had been merely dupes and pawns in the conflict.
In the purely secular conflict that developed between the Conservatives and the Radicals the church stood aloof, not joining with either side, realizing, as they did, that both sides held sadly distorted views of the cause they championed. This is typified in the picture of Elijah and Elisha walking “over on dry ground.” However, that dividing of the waters of Christendom produced great changes. The Czar of Russia and his family just disappeared in late 1917. Up to that time Russia had been one of the most autocratic and powerful governments in all history. Also, the German Kaiser was forced to abdicate; and in both instances new governments were formed that were far removed from those they replaced. And this continues to proceed in the various countries of earth; and it is well portrayed in the division of Jordan into two bodies of water as shown by the smiting by Elijah with his mantle.
GENTILES NOT GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE
We stress here that the Gentiles are not now – and never have been – God’s Chosen people. However, the Gentile governments have been in power since the Fall of 607 B. C. – at which time the Jewish polity was taken from them; and they no longer had a government of their own. But, during the years before Jesus came, the faithful Jews were expecting a strong man to arise among them who would restore the glory of Solomon. Thus, the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)
Prior to Jesus’ arrival the Jewish nation alone was God’s chosen people: “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” (Deut. 14:2) But it is recorded that He came to His own, and His own received Him not – although the very few did accept Him; and they formed the nucleus of the Christian Church. “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore, I will punish you for all you iniquities.” (Amos 3:2) However, all the writers of both Testaments of the Bible were Jews; and the only way a Gentile could come into the chosen nation was to become circumcised, and accept the Law Covenant; and it is recorded that a few Gentiles did this, for instance, “Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch.” (Acts 6:5)
The first Christians were all Jews, although it is recorded that only about 500 of them had responded to the teachings of Jesus during His life – but thousands came in during the 3 1/2 later (Acts 2:41 and 4:4). Then, 3 1/2 after the death of Jesus, the unresponsive Jews were considerably ignored – and it is stated, “Lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” The first of these Gentiles was Cornelius with his entire house (Acts, Chapter 10). Before Jerusalem was taken by the Romans in 70 A. D., the general Jewish population so despised Jesus that even the mention of his name would cause the prejudiced Jew to turn around and spit on the ground; and since 70 A. D. scarcely a Jew was won into the Christian Church. But the Jews were offered the first opportunity to become Christians – just as they were first and exclusively the only ones of whom God called His chosen nation.
Since the conversion of Cornelius the call to Christianity has been mainly to the Gentiles – although this did not bar any Jew from becoming a Christian if he chose to do so; but as stated, very, very few of them have done so. This chief favor has extended to the Gentiles to the full end of the Gentile Times, as Jesus has said it would be: “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) This select group is designated by several different names: Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, the Little Flock, Saints, etc. It is our understanding that all of this Class had been completed in time for them to participate in the first smiting of Jordan, which occurred from 1914 through 1916: “This honor have all the saints.” Since that time they have had the privilege of “executing the judgment written” – in the ejection of “the powers that be.” Note the Berean Comment on ‘this honor’: “Of a share in the establishment of the Kingdom, and the overthrow of Gentile power.”
The “overthrow of Gentile Power” has been proceeding since it began in 1914, and will increase in severity until they are all ground to dust. But during this same time a call has proceeded to others than the Saints – a class that will be rewarded in honor and service with the Ancient Worthies (See Hebrews, Chapter 11); and they will be among the earthly visible rulers of the Kingdom.
In summation, we would state there have actually been but two classes of God’s chosen people: the “House of Servants” (Heb. 3:5) under Moses, and continuing to the present time; and the “House of Sons” and servants – (Heb. 3:6) extending from Cornelius to the present time. The Jews were the first during the Gospel Age to become spiritual Israelites; and they will be the first under the Kingdom reign to receive the earthly blessings.
But so long as we “continue in the things we have learned and been assured of, knowing of whom we have learned them” (2 Tim. 3:14 – God’s special Messengers – particularly the last two Messengers), we may repose “in quietness and confidence” in the blessed promise of Psalms 91:7‑11.
“My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure: ... yea I have spoken it, I will bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isa. 46:1O,11)
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother and Sister Hoefle: Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
It is hoped that you both will accept our apology for waiting so long to write. But we can assure you that although we have not written for a long time, we often think of you. We hope that you are getting along fine, and above all continuing to fight the good fight of faith that you may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Tim. 6:12) The reason we haven’t written is because we have been so involved in moving. Hopefully we are now settled down for awhile.
We read with great interest the articles in both your paper and in the LHMM Present Truth magazine regarding the tyranny of the JW’s against those associated with them. It then occurred to me that the JW’s are not the only so‑called Truth organization involved in wielding the heavy hand of tyranny over the Lord’s people. In my opinion, based upon personal experience and observation of both the JW’s and the LHMM, that the only difference between the two is that the JW’s are more open and direct, while the LHMM indulges in covert actions and dirty tricks. In this manner they attempt to force absolute obedience in words, thoughts and deeds, to the little hierarchy, which they have established since the death of our dear Brother Johnson. It is not altogether by words, but by their acts they have shown that the head of this little hierarchy is to be considered as the absolute and exclusive MOUTHPIECE OF GOD, in which all the Lord’s people must render obedience as unto God. If the Lord’s people do not, they will suffer the consequence of the organization’s unholy covert actions, while they sanctimoniously deny any involvement but, nevertheless, their unholy covert actions support and approve all such actions against those who steadfastly remain faithful to the Lord.
In this manner they subvert the worship due God and Christ our Lord, to the organization or hierarchy. But those who love the Lord, and are earnestly seeking to make their calling and election sure, will turn away from such, for they cannot walk in the counsel of the ungodly, for the spirit of the Lord is not among them. For truly it is as the Apostle Paul assured us, “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Cor. 3:17)
Your brother in the service of our Lord Jesus, ------- (FLORIDA)
Dear Brother Hoefle:
Thank you for your dear letter with three of your articles – Nos. 246, 335 and 336. My address is correct – you have written it correctly. I found your Association through a book, Encyclopedia of American Religions from US Information Service. I have read in this book many passages about Jehovah’s Witnesses and its history and its sects. The teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong (false), as well as Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. There are also errors in their teachings. I get regularly The Bible Standard, and it is better than “Awake”’ and the Watchtower.
In my childhood I have met Jehovah’s Witnesses here in Austria in my village, St. Nokolai in Sausal. This village is not far distant from Deutschlandsberg. I was enthusiastic about some Truths in Teaching, so I overlooked the errors. Many years later I have contacted the small group in Graz – “Dawn Bible Students Association.” I held the Last Supper of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with them; They had no brother, just only some sisters. The Association in Graz has come to an end, so I’m alone. I am happy to have found your group. I believe it is the Truth. Please send me further papers – from No. 1 and on. I will read all articles from your Association. If possible, I shall translate some of them into German, so I can spread the Truth here in Austria.
If you have booklets or books, please send me some of them. I am a young man – 31 years old, and sincerely interested in the Truth.
God’s blessings and all good wishes, ------- (AUSTRIA)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings’
Thank you for your prompt reply to my inquiry. I saw your name listed (incorrectly as “Mr. & Mrs. R. E. Hoefle” on page 142 of the book Magog, 1982, by David Allen Lewis and published by New Leaf Press. Your name is under the heading, “American and Canadian Organization active in Support of Israel.” I had heard of the Association only sparsely, as somehow associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. So I wrote you to learn exactly what the Epiphany Bible Students Ass’n is.
I appreciate the newsletter and would be pleased to be on your mailing list. I’ll never be able to tell you briefly of my background.
However, I was raised a Roman Catholic, but early became involved with drug abuse and “fast living.” At 21 years of age I was wonderfully converted to faith in the Lord Jesus; and for the past seven years have sought to walk in His way. I count myself a stranger and pilgrim, only temporarily sojourning on the earth, looking for “that city.” I have never joined a man‑made denomination, believing in a world‑wide Church of God maintained by the Holy Spirit. I do, however, regularly fellowship, work and fellowship, with a local expression of the Messiah’s Body in the Rockville, Md. area. It is a small gospel outreach founded by my in‑laws, called the Church of the Vineyard. I have come to the realization that much Truth is outside the Camp of so called mainstream orthodoxy and have sought to form relationship with brethren that others may call “controversial.” Outside of God’s Word one of the greatest sources of inspiration to my Christian experience has been the writings of Leonard Rovenhill..... I also really enjoy reading of the lives of great men of God – John Wesley and others.
I look forward to receiving your newsletters. Sincerely ------- (MARYLAND)
PS – Enclosed see an ad in a Christian magazine. You might be interested