by Epiphany Bible Students


No. 237

My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!

Comes once more the Passover season, at which time we commemorate the death of "Christ our Passover." (1 Cor. 5:7) The correct time for 1975 is after six p.m., March 25. The moon nearest the Vernal Equinox this year comes new at 2 A.M., March 13 at the 30th Meridian East (the   one nearest Jerusalem), thus commencing Nisan 1 at 6 p.m.  March 12. Counting from this start we come to 6 p.m. March 25 as the 14th day of Nisan, during which evening the memorial is properly in order. We here at Mount Dora will memorialize at 7:30 p.m., and we issue a cordial invitation to any who may be in this vicinity, and who are of like mind, to join with us.

Our interest in the type centers especially in the lamb, which typified the Lamb of God. At this point it may be well to stress the difference between the Passover proper and the Passover Festival, which continued for a week after the Passover, making eight days in all for the two occasions. At the actual Passover in Egypt that preceded the freedom of the Jews from their bondage there was no Passover Festival, the first celebration being observed at Sinai the following year. The word Passover comes from the Hebrew 'pesah,' which means ‘to pass over' in the sense of ‘to spare.'

The Passover Festival is first mentioned in Ex. 12:15-17; and it is elaborated somewhat in Lev. 23:6-8. At the Passover in Egypt the participants stood; but in the subsequent memorials they reclined. "There was leaning on Jesus bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved." (John 13:23) There was also several other differences between the original and the memorials. In Egypt the lamb was taken up on the tenth day of Nisan, but this was not done in later celebrations. Nor was there any blood sprinkled on the doorposts in the memorials.  Likewise, there is no mention of wine in the first, but four cups were used in the later events; and with the last of these, “the cup after supper" (Luke 22:20), Jesus instituted what is commonly known throughout Christendom as the Lord's Supper.

In the Passover proper the lamb was the thing stressed; whereas, in the seven-day Festival the unleavened bread was emphasized. In the Festival the first and the seventh days were to be "a holy convocation" (Ex. 12:16), rigidly kept - "no manner of work done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. The seven days of this Festival type the seven periods of the Gospel-Age Church; and in the first of these - the Ephesus stage, under the guidance of the twelve Apostles - there was unusually strict discipline. The same was true in the Laodicean period – under the supervision of That Servant. This would account for the large number of saints that were won during those periods - as against the five interim days, when certain laxity was permitted for the Jews to pursue their ordinary activities. This offers partial explanation for the large number of Great Company members during the Gospel-Age interim, when business, state and church fraternized more freely, thus promoting such laxity as caused many to lose their crowns during those five interim periods.

As there was only one Passover (all subsequent services being simply a memorial of the great type), so there has been only one antitype - "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." And in keeping the Lord's Supper as a memorial of that antitype we commemorate the greatest event of all history - the sacrificial death of the savior of the world. As the type was formed in the evening, so subsequent memorials were kept in the evening. Likewise the Supper was given in the evening by Jesus so also our memorial should be in the evening. Millions of Christians will partake of the bread and the wine on Easter Sunday - mostly in the morning - because they do not understand the real significance of the celebration.

Also, the real date has been lost in the confusion of the Dark Ages, mainly because the Roman Church wished to disassociate itself as fully as possible from anything Jewish. Therefore, instead of observing Nisan 14 as we do - and to be sure that "good Friday" would always be a Friday - they use the first Friday after the first full moon after the Verna1 Equinox. Although the moon is substantialiy full at Nisan 14, it may be two or three days before it actually reaches that point. However, the moon is not the controlling factor for keeping the Memorial, other than determining the first day of Nisan.

The Bible is very definite that the Memorial should be kept on the 14th day of Nisan, regardless of the condition of the moon.And by ignoring these details, the great majority fail to grasp the real significance of the event.


The Passover in general represents the deliverance of God's people from Satan's rule on the basis of the antitypical Lamb's blood, the emphasis being mainly on justification through faith in Christ's merit.  In this picture Egypt is a type of the world in sin, with Pharaoh typing Satan as "the god of this world.” Celebrated the 14-21 of Nisan, it represents mainly the salvation of the Gospel Age and its joys, etc. - particularly that of the Gospel Church. All of this was clearly understood by the Ephesus period of the Church – the first antitypical day of the Gospel-Age Church.

When the true date for keeping the Memorial was distorted so badly, it also brought a corresponding loss of understanding on the true meaning of the memorial and the darkness deepened during the Dark Ages, so that the import of the service was very nebulous with most of the participants - and not even moderately clear to any of them, so far as we know. However, in 1521 star Member Zwingli began to revive the truth on the service, c1aiming as he did that the Lord's Supper represents (1) the death of Jesus; (2) faith appropriating justification from the merit of His humanity and life laid down unto death ("He hath poured out His soul unto death"); and (3) the fellowship of the saints in suffering. In all of this, however, he did not recognize the Church's share in the sin-offering - which is actually the case - for it remained for the bright shining of the Harvest Truth to make this fact clearly understandable as we see it today.

While Zwingli's truth on the doctrine was rather limited, it was potent enough to arouse the antagonism of the Roman Catholic Church, which then was thoroughly submerged in the hallucination of transubstantiation, and of the Lutheran Church which held to the view of instrumentalization - both churches claiming that the actual body and blood were received through the mouth of the communicants. While he did produce the general truth on the bread and the wine - much as we see it today - he did not grasp the thought of the right date for partaking of the emblems. Nor did any other group have the right date then, so far as we know. That also needed the Harvest Truth for clarification.

Although the true date is a minor question, we should use it correctly if we are ab1e to do it; but, if there be those who disagree with us, that difference should not be allowed to destroy Christian fellowship. We know that many of the very best of God's people during the Age have habitually observed the Lord's Supper on the wrong date and at the wrong time of the day; but this did not debar them from receiving rich blessings from the Lord. Nevertheless, the full truth on the subject does deepen the conviction in the Church that the entire Church is but one; and this unity should be preserved to the extent of our ability and knowledge. The Jews, of course, were very meticulous in their observance of the Passover proper and in the seven-day Festival that followed. It is one of their greatest memorials as a nation; and is celebrated by Jews in all parts of the world - even by some who claim to be agnostics. The same may be said of the Day of Atonement service. We have known Jews personally who claimed to have no faith in the Mosaic covenant, yet they would assemble in the synagogue of the orthodox Jews on these days - just to please their parents, as they put it.

However, it is one of the oddities of the Age that the Jews, with so many brilliant minds among them, have not thought it worthwhile to seek the truth on the subject. Why was the Passover lamb slain and eaten? Why was the blood sprinkled upon the doorposts and lintels? The Jews did it that night in Egypt because God had commanded them to do it; but why had He told them to do it? One of the greatest of their prophets had counseled them, after they had come into Canaan land, to "seek judgment … come, let us reason together." (Isa. 1:17,18) Such a God would give only reasonable commands, which means that the Passover ritual, with its strict exactions, must also be based upon sound reason. And we may consider ourselves blessed indeed if we are able to grasp fully and clearly the date and ceremonial features of the Lord's Supper.

The Passover type is clear enough in its purpose; all of the Jews understood that it was to free all of them from Egyptian bondage. And, while only the firstborns were in danger that night, the entire nation was in danger as they entered the Red Sea with the Egyptian army in hot pursuit. But they all passed over dry shod, and were saved, while the pursuing hordes were all swallowed up in the receding waters. Not one Israelite was left behind, and not one Egyptian that pursued them was spared. There was enacted the grand drama of the Ages; and is intended to portray the salvation of the sheep, and the destruction of the goats at the end of the Little Season - at which time will be accomplished "the restitution of all things." (Acts 3:21)

Of course, the foregoing is not what we shall celebrate on the evening of March 25. At that time we shall memorialize the passing over of "the church of the firstborn" Heb. 12:23) of this Gospel Age. They are the ones who have been in danger of destruction if they should go out from under the blood of Christ our Passover. Having come "under the blood" by acceptance of Jesus, and having had His merit applied to them, it then does become a matter of life or death to them whether or not they should consider the blood of Him who gave Himself for them to be a trivial thing. This is the true lesson of the Passover type, and it applies in this Age only to those who have come "under the blood," and become a part of the Gospel-Age Church of the Firstborn - and to no others.


The Apostle Paul clearly and positively identifies the Passover Lamb with our Lord Jesus: "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore, let us keep the feast." (1 Cor. 5:7,8) With such clear and direct words, is it not strange indeed that few even of the leaders in Christendom fail to grasp their meaning?   But for those who do      understand their import they feed on the Lamb of God, just as the Jews fed on the lamb in Egypt that night. And, just as the Egyptians knew nothing of the Jews feasting that night, so "the world knoweth us not, even as it knew Him not." So also Jesus had said of Himself, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of … My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work." (John 4:32-34)

Everything the Jews did that night was laden with significance. They were to eat the lamb with bitter herbs, which were typical of the trialsome and exhausting experiences which have come to the Gospel-Age Church. And, as the eating of those bitters merely sharpened their appetites for more of the lamb - which would give them the needed strength for the journey to the Red Sea - so it has been with the bitter experiences of the Gospel-Age Church: They have been strengthened in their determination to "keep up the good fight." "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."

And the Jews were to eat the Passover in this manner: "With your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand;and ye shall eat it in haste." (Ex. 12:11) Ready for travel at a moment's notice, they typified the Gospel Age Church in the words of St. Paul: "We have here no continuing city, but we seek one to come." (Heb. 13:14) Most people are not nomadic; they desire to establish a residence and to remain settled there: But such was not to be for the true Church. Had not Jesus told them, "When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another … The disciple is not above His master." (Matt. 10:23,24) And He left them a grand example in His own life: "Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head." (Luke 9:58)

All of our readers are more or less familiar with the truth of the foregoing - either by their own experiences, or by having intimate knowledge about those of their brethren who have been forced to move on as it were. History is replete with the forced travels of many of the best of the Lord's people during this Age; and some instances come vividly to mind here in the end of the Age of brethren who were prodded to change company because they did not wish to become companion with the many errors that have appeared since 1917.

It is probably well in order here to consider the Apostle John. Shortly after Pentecost we hear nothing at all about him for more than forty years; but we are warranted in the conclusion that he was certainly not in Jerusalem at the time of its capture by the Romans in the year 70 A.D. Nor would he have returned there after the year 70. According to his own statement, he was on the Isle of Patmos at or near the end of his life - "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 1:9) Patmos is a small rocky island in the Greek Archipelago, now called Patino - off the southwest coast of Asia Minor, about ten miles long and six miles wide, and generally barren. It was there that he wrote the Revelation - about the year 95 A.D. - apparently in much the same condition as was John Bunyan in prison when he wrote his memorable Pilgrim's Progress. Patmos means 'suffering.' Clearly enough, the Disciple that Jesus loved had here "no continuing city"; and Patmos could hardly be described as a desirable place to spend the last years of his life. However, his way of life had been well established - "with his loins girded, his shoes on his feet, and his staff in his hand"; and he continued in this manner until he had received from his Lord that, "Well done, good and faithful servant" - an "example of the believers."

 At the supper in the upper room that last night Jesus intimately identified Himself with the Passover Lamb. On the same night of His betrayal, just preceding His crucifixion, He said to His Apostles, "With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." As Jews, it was a strict requirement of the Law that they should eat the Passover that night – on the exact anniversary of the occurrence in Egypt. But as soon as the requirements of the type had been met, He instituted a new Memorial upon the old foundation, saying "Do this in remembrance of Me." He blessed the bread and gave it to them; He blessed the cup and handed that to them, explaining that these items represented His broken body and shed blood, and that His followers accept this pattern in their annual commemoration of Him. No longer would the Apostles eat the Passover Lamb; rather, they would follow instructions and replace the lamb with the bread and the wine - not only as a Memorial, but as a yearly pledge that they would "follow in His steps."

When He told them, "Take, eat; this is My body" self-evidently He did not mean He was offering them His actual body, because He was not yet dead. Therefore, He had to mean that it represented His body. This truth seems plain enough, yet many of the best minds in Christendom try to take it literally, and this has brought them into great confusion. The unleavened (pure, unfermented) bread represented Jesus' sinless perfect flesh; whereas, leaven represented sin, and the commandment was very rigid that the Jews have no leaven in their houses at the Passover season. Jesus had said, "I am the bread of life - the Bread of God is He which cometh down from Heaven, and giveth life unto the world." "The bread that I  will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:33,51)

For us to keep the Memorial properly it is essential that we have a clear understanding of its meaning. To contend that the intention of the participant in this ceremony is the important thing, rather than a proper understanding, is not sound reasoning. To accept such an attitude in this instance would justify the same for any and every feature of Biblical truth. And once we come to such a conclusion, we are then forced to admit that the heathen do the same, which would give them equal standing before God with the Christians; and the Bible nowhere supports such a viewpoint.

Once we have a clear understanding of the matter – that Jesus offered His pure and spotless nature on behalf of sinners – then we see that we are privileged to appropriate to ourselves that which He gave, His perfect human life – the thing that would "save His people from their sins." Of course, this premise could not be a workable thing until He had been raised from the dead, ascended to the Father and deposited the sacrificial merit of His death with Him who had raised Him from the dead.

During this Age those who make intelligent acceptance of this fact – accept Him as Savior and submit themselves fully to His will – such are then said to be "justified by faith … and boast in hope of the Glory of God." (Rom. 5:1,2-Dia.) An intelligent participation in the bread and the wine means that by faith we receive a right to human life – with all its privileges, and which our Lord procured for us by His death.


Let us note that God's object in justifying the Church of the Gospel Age by faith in advance of the world's justification by works in the next Age – has been that they might "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (Col. 1:24) This deeper meaning is not clearly stated by Jesus, although there is some intimation of it in Luke 22:20, Dia.: "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, that in your behalf being poured out." The full meaning of the cup was probably one of the things He had in mind, when He told them that last night, "I have yet many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now… But the spirit of Truth …will lead you into all Truth … and declare to you the coming things." (John 16:12,13-Dia.) The spirit of truth had made this quite clear to St. Paul, "The cup of blessing for which we give thanks, is it not the participation of the blood of Christ? The loaf which we break, is it not the participation of the Body of Christ? … For we being many, are one loaf." (1 Cor. 10:16,17, Dia.) Thus, we would stress that the surface and the deeper meanings of the Memorial are essential to a proper participation in the celebration. Understanding the deeper part impresses each communicant with the exhortation, "We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1 John 3:16, Dia.)

The "life" in the foregoing is not the spiritual life, of course; it is rather bodily life - just as Jesus gave His "flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews had been told by Moses that "the life is in the blood"; and this is confirmed by the fact that any one opening one of his important veins or arteries will quickly die – even though his body might be in excellent health. Therefore, when the cup represents the blood, it does not refer to the life retained, but to the life poured out. This is made quite clear by St. Paul's words in 2 Tim. 4:6, "I am now ready to be offered"; although the Diaglott makes this much more emphatic - "I am already being poured out." He was referring here to the fact that the Romans would very shortly chop off his head – his life would then be speedily ended - poured out in much the same manner as would be the wine in the cup. Therefore, obedience to the Jewish Law would not suffice in this matter, nor faith in some great teacher, nor the mere acceptance of Jesus as Savior. It must be the blood poured out - "Without an effusion of blood no forgiveness takes place."  (Heb. 9:22, Dia.)

"Jesus went about preaching the gospel of the kingdom." Seldom did He fail to proclaim that "good news." Nor did He fail to do so that last night He spent with His Disciples. He would go away, He said, to receive for Himself a kingdom; and would come again to receive them to Himself to share in it. In the course of the talk He told them that the Memorial which He was instituting would find fulfilment in that kingdom – that He would no more drink of the fruit of the vine until He would drink it anew with them in the Father's Kingdom.

Just what He meant by this statement may be difficult to determine positively; but it would seem He meant that the trials and sufferings portrayed by the cup – and which His followers would experience after His departure - were symbolized in the cup. As stated previously in this paper, the Jews had four cups of wine during their Passover memorial, the purpose of which was to enable them to be jubilant in the memory of their release from Egyptian oppression. Thus the cup which Jesus blessed would be emblematic of the joys which the Apostles would experience when they joined Him in His heavenly home. "Ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." (John 16:20) “He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied." (Isa. 53:11) And the same would be true of those who were supping with Him that night. They would sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The strong conviction that these things would be so made Him complete master of the situation – gave Him that "peace of God which surpasses all conception." (Phil. 4:7, Dia.) Later in the evening, when that cantankerous screaming mob was worked into a frenzy, it is recorded that "Jesus held His peace." (Matt. 26:63) - maintained His calm – was silent. This He did in defiance of the demand of the High Priest that He give them answer to their questions.

It seems appropriate to state here that the Jews were required to answer such questions by a magistrate or superior (Lev, 5:1); the answer thus given was considered to be under oath. A false answer would be judged to be perjury; and even the silence of the person was not accepted as proof of his innocence; and the High Priest questioning Jesus made full capital of the situation, continuing to hurl unfounded accusations against Him until he finally received Pilate's order to crucify Him."As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth." (Isa. 53:7)

In all this "He left us an example." In all that reviling cursing mob He was most calm - so much so that after Peter had denied Him three times that night, after which third denial the cock crew – as Jesus had said it would - immediately He turned and looked at Peter. Hadn't He told him it would be this way. We may be sure that Peter never forgot that look; he rushed from the trial scene to the outdoors and wept bitterly. So impressed was he that it is claimed that he arose at four o'clock each morning for the rest of his life to remind him of his weakness that night.


Going back to the "upper room" - before Jesus had departed with His Disciples - it is stated in Matt. 26:30, "When they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives." The marginal reading says they sang a Psalm. The Psalm they used would be taken from the Hallel, a Hebrew word meaning 'Praise God.' The Hallel consisted of Psalms 113 through 118. The first two are known as the small Hallel; and the last four the great Hallel. This is the root of our English word hallelujah - praise to God.

The small Hallel was sung or chanted before the Passover memorial meal began; and the last four after the third or fourth cup. It is worthy of note that no more prayer was offered after drinking the fourth cup; they simply sang a Psalm and went out. Here again we have evidence of the great strength and composure of Jesus that night, knowing what He would be facing in the hours just ahead; yet joining in song with His Disciples in spite of that. It would seem almost certain that there was no singing during the original Passover; at least, there is no record of it; and the Jews were certainly under great stress that night - in no mood for singing. Yet there was singing just before the death of the antitypical Lamb, as just described. Of course, this type of singing in the Memorials could not have existed before King David wrote the Hallel, so we cannot know the exact type of service during the period of the Judges.

In their preparation for and participation in this coming Memorial we wish all our readers the Lord's rich blessing; and we would stress that what we have written is in no respect intended to replace the chapter on the Passover in Parousia Vol. 6; we urge all to read that again this year. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield: The Lord will give grace and glory: No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." (Psa. 84:10,11)

Sincerely your brother,

John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim



QUESTION: - Are we to offer Youthful Worthy hopes now as an incentive to consecrate?

ANSWER: - We are not to urge anyone to consecrate as an incentive for reward. We should invite the Tentatively Justified - those in the Court condition – to consecrate. The same motives for consecration that prevailed during the High Calling era should be practiced today: the unbegotten consecrators "between the Ages" make the same kind of consecration made by the Saints - the difference is in the way the Lord uses the consecrations. St. Paul had said we should do this as "your reasonable service." (Rom. 12:1) We are not to bargain with the Lord by agreeing to do His will in exchange for a reward. Those who have Tentative Justification should be encouraged to consecrate because of their faith in God - their conviction of His trustworthiness, their appreciation of His past favors, and a delight to do His good, and acceptable, and perfect will. If such make an acceptable consecration to do God's will, and walk faithfully in a narrow way while sin is in the ascendency, God will not be unrighteous to forget their , "work and labor of love." They will be rewarded with a place above the general restitutionists. There are some in the world who have never become tentatively justified - what we might describe as ‘noble worldlings.’ They are motivated by duty love to God and man, interested in reform movements, etc., which will prepare them to accept and receive the blessings of the New Covenant much more quickly than many of their neighbors.

The same may be said of those who have been ejected from the Court - those who received "the grace of God in vain." Failure to consecrate does not imply that such are pursuing sinful practices; they simply did not proceed to the Door of the Tabernacle. But the terms of the New Covenant will have speedy appeal to them, and they will readily accept the Highway of Holiness once it is explained to them.

There are some people who make a consecration who do not understand its meaning, as well as the requirements. Such people just think they are consecrated. This would not imply, however, that they do not have good intentions; but it does mean they have not been properly informed, or have been unable to comprehend the situation. However, some of these people do come to an understanding of their privileges and requirements in consecration, and become fully faithful. We would consider it wrong to encourage anyone to walk a "narrow way" now in the belief they will become superior restitutionists – that is, to receive the chief favor in the Kingdom. God did make an unconditional covenant with Israel - they have plenty of Scriptures upon which they may rely if they are faithful covenant-keeping Jews: "The gifts and calling of God are without repentance." (Rom. 11:29) Note the Berean Comments on this text: "Jehovah never made a covenant which He would need or wish to break.” God has a works covenant with the Jews; and a "covenant by sacrifice" with the faith class during this Gospel Age. But He has no covenant with the world now; yet the promise is sure: He will bless all the willing under the New Covenant by the Elect Classes primarily, and through the faithful Jews secondarily. However, those who become truly repentant and believing during the reign of evil will be among the first to receive those blessings. Such qualities will enable them to do this. The Law Covenant did not obligate the Jews to sacrifice; nor will sacrifice be required to receive the blessings under the New Covenant.

"This expression, New Covenant, is not used in connection with any others of mankind than the Jews, because it is not true that God will make a New Covenant with the remainder of mankind. As the Apostle suggests, the word 'New' here implies a previous covenant which was counted Old, and this Old Covenant was not made with other nations or peoples than the Jews, of whom God declared that He ‘took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, which my covenant they brake.’ (Jer. 31:32) Hence, we should understand that all references to the New Covenant are references to God's arrangement with the Jewish people to supplant the old arrangement under Moses, under the conditions of which they are still condemned and bound. By this new, substitutionary covenant, God will shortly release the Jew from the condemnation of the Old Covenant.

"It will be in an incidental way that other nations will be granted the privilege of coming under the same laws and arrangements with natural Israel in the blotting out of sin and in being restored to the Divine image, and thus to full harmony and fellow­ ship and covenant relationship with God, which relationship all may maintain, if they will, throughout eternity." (Reprint 4659, top, col. l & 2)



Dear Brethren: Greetings!

Last week I saw one of your letters. Would appreciate it if you would mail me some back ones if available.

 Yours in His Service, … (CALIFORNIA)


Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace be multiplied!

Your good letter is received, and as always, I was very glad to hear from you. I can understand the pressure you   have been under. I received the tracts this week, and thank you very much .Seemingly I enjoy very good health, and I thank God for all His blessings to me, and for your thoughtful letters from time to time, your prayers, etc. We seem to be moving rapidly to the Time of Trouble. What blessings await us after that, and also for the world of mankind.

God bless you all at Mount Dora and your loyal devotion to Our Lord’s cause. May He continue to bless and strengthen you all… Be assured of my prayers on your behalf, even as you pray for me,

 With Christian love, Your brother …(NEW JERSEY)


Our Dear Brother Hoefle: Loving greetings to you and all with you!

 Many thanks for you good articles we keep receiving…. We keep “on the go” but we find we have to rest more… Thank you for keeping in touch with the Real Truth! Your very able efforts are much appreciated, dear brother as well as those who help you. I am sending you another name for your mailing list.

With the assurance of our love and prayers, Brother & Sister.....(ENGLAND)