Comes again the commemoration of our Lord's death, the correct time this year 1974 being after 6 p.m. Friday April 5. The date is determined by this method: The moon nearest the Vernal Equinox comes new at 11 p.m. March 23 at the 30th Meridian East, Jerusalem time, thus establishing 6 p.m. March 23 as Nisan 1, Bible reckoning. Counting to Nisan 14, we come to 6 p.m. April 5; and any time that evening after 6 p.m. would be proper for the celebration. Here at Mount Dora we shall commence the service at 7:30 p.m.; and we issue a cordial invitation to any one in this vicinity to join with us if they be of one mind on the matter.
THE MEMORIAL ESTABLISHED
To memorialize our Lord's death, means to observe the memory of it, as the word indicates. The ritual for this memorial was established by Jesus Himself as recorded by the various Gospel writers; and we offer the record from Luke 22:19,20 in this instance: “And Jesus took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, saying, This is My Body which is given for you – this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you.” According to the Matthew account, when Jesus gave them the cup He said, “Drink all of you out of it.” (Matt. 26:27, Dia.) Thus, the drinking out of the one cup emphasized the oneness of those that night, as well as all those throughout the Gospel Age who would partake of it “till He come.”
The institution of this service was given after the Passover supper, which the Jews observed each year on Nisan 14 – just as Jesus and the Apostles were doing that night. Even to our time the Jews still observe the Passover once each year, although they are often a day or two off in determining the time; but the orthodox Jews still keep the feast with a solemnity befitting the memory of that awesome night in Egypt, when the Angel of Death passed throughout the land and smote the firstborn in every Egyptian house – from the least to the greatest of them; but at the time “passing over” every Jewish house where the blood had been sprinkled an the doorposts and lintel, and none of them were slain that night so long as they remained “under the blood.” There is nothing in the record to indicate that any of them disobeyed that edict that night.
TYPE AND ANTITYPE
That the entire ritual that night was typical is clearly emphasized by St. Paul in 1 Cor. 5:7,8, Dia.: “Even our paschal lamb, Christ, was sacrificed. Therefore, let us keep the festival, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of vice and wickedness, but with the unleavened principles of sincerity and truth.” Reference is not made here to the eating of the actual lamb, but to participation in the bread and wine as commanded by Jesus. Thus we now set out some of the salient features of type and antitype.
The house (Ex. 12:7) in which each Israelite family ate the lamb (as well as those within the house) types God's Gospel–Age family from the standpoint of the container being put forth for the thing contained, somewhat after the example of the temple and the priests ministering therein. It is also from this standpoint that the word “house” in this picture is used interchangeably for the family and for the dwelling where the family lived. The blood of the lamb types our Lord's life laid down – “He hath poured out His soul unto death” (Isa. 53:12) – hence His human merit which consists of a perfect humanity, with its right to life and its life rights His perfect righteousness. (1 Pet. 1:18,19) The sprinkling of the lamb's blood represents the imputation of our Lord's merit (Rev. 1:5). Let us keep in mind that there is a twofold imputation of that merit – an imputation for us on the mercy seat by our Lord (typified by Aaron sprinkling the blood of the bullock on the mercy seat—Lev. 16:14), and an imputation to us by God after our Lord imputed it for us, thus offering a robe of righteousness to all during this Age who became members of His Body.
The difference between the two imputations is this: The first satisfies God's justice for the Adamic sin and sentence and its resultant imperfections in all the members; and the second reckons a righteousness to such, the same being demanded by God's law of perfection in any offering brought to Him. But God's law is not fully satisfied with mere sinlessness; it demands a positive righteousness, which God graciously provides because none of the fallen race can provide such righteousness of themselves. However, Jesus makes the first imputation; God makes the second. The first works forgiveness of sins; the second satisfies the Law in its demands for perfect obedience. Further, the first frees from the Adamic sentence; the second reckons righteousness in deed and character, such as Adam had before the transgression.
The charge to eat the lamb's flesh the night of Nisan 14 (Ex. 12:8 –”that night”) types the charge throughout the Gospel Age to partake by faith of Christ's perfect humanity. This symbolic eating is paralleled with believing, the figures differing only in the things eaten – the lamb that night in Egypt, and the bread and wine during this Gospel Age – our Lamb by representation. As the lamb in Egypt could be eaten only on Nisan 14, 1615 B.C., so the imputed merit of “our Passover” can be obtained only during this Gospel Age by faith alone. In the next Age it will be secured by faith and works. Eating the lamb fire–roasted carries the thought that the Gospel–Age Lamb must pass through fiery trials in the extreme, which the record clearly reveals that He did do. The Jews were specifically commanded not to eat the lamb raw or boiled; it must be roasted.
Two other things were eaten with the lamb that night – unleavened bread and bitter herbs, also typical. Leaven is typical of mental, moral and religious corruption – sin, error, selfishness and worldliness (Matt. 13:33); and such corruption would be evidence of paucity of Truth, justice, love and heavenly–mindedness. Unleavened bread, therefore, would represent a condition not tainted with sin, error, etc. The implication here is that we should study the Truth to make it our own, spread the Truth and practice it, which is done by each one as he appropriates the merit of “Christ our Passover.”
The bitter herbs (literally, bitters or bitter things), which modern Jews understand to be horseradish (an exceedingly bitter thing) were also typical – something connected with the Christian life. Since eating the lamb types appropriation of faith justification, and eating unleavened bread types about everything else of the Christian life. In fact, apart from the things represented by the lamb and the unleavened bread, there is only one other thing connected with the Christian life, the same being its passive features – trials, sufferings, persecutions, etc., incidental to the other two things. And it is these experiences that are typed by the bitters in the picture. Thus viewed, the lamb, the unleavened bread and the bitters type everything connected with the Christian life.
The charge to roast – not to eat, as some misunderstand the last part of verse 9 the lamb entire – his head, legs and pertinence thereof, types that our Lord had to be tested at every point and proven faithful and sinless therein (Heb. 2:10,17,18; 4:15). Thus He could completely nourish unto eternal life all who would accept Him. The charge in verse 10 to leave none of the eating of the lamb over until the morning types the teaching that we should not leave our justification and sanctified feasting over into the Millennium; for there will be no more faith justification working during the Millennium – no more Gospel-Age study, spread and practice of the Truth then in the sense of suffering for righteousness in the next Age. Thus, our appropriation of our Lamb must be a thing fully completed during the Gospel Age. Those who begin, but do not finish it (the antitypical feasting) in this Age must go into the Second Death (Heb. 3:13; 10:25,26–29). Therefore, all who begin the feasting in this Age must also finish it if they would gain life – i.e., all who are spirit-begotten.
The charge of verse 10 – “that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire” – might seem to contradict the foregoing, but it does not really do so. The real thing forbidden was the prolonging of the eating until morning – not that they should eat all of it. It could easily occur that some houses would have fewer feasters than others, in which case the command to eat all of the lamb could be well nigh impossible; and the Lord never orders any one to do the impossible. Thus, in every house the entire lamb would be consumed by the morning – either eaten or burned. Each one was to eat only to his full capacity – to strengthen sufficiently for the exodus from Egypt. But the eating of the lamb with bitters would sharpen the appetite for more of the lamb than would otherwise be the case. This conclusion is well illustrated in Rev. 10:10, Dia.: “I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel, and did eat it; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and when I ate it my belly was embittered.” Here is the Berean Comment on this text: “The after effects are always more or less a blending of the bitterness of persecution with the sweetness.” It is well to remember here, too, that all of Christ's merit is not imputed to any one individual during this Age, because that would mean the recipient is totally depraved; and such persons are not called “to follow in His steps.”
And what is typed by burning those parts of the lamb that remained uneaten? The answer is making it cease to exist as an imputable thing; there will be no imputation of the merit in the next Age, because it will then be actually applied. And the actual application of it then will consume entirely all of the merit, so that by the end of the Millennium none of the merit will remain – i.e., at the beginning of the Little Season. Then will be applied to the full, “I am the living bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51) And all of this will be needed to “ransom from the power of the grave” (Hos. 13:14) the entire dead world in Adam. Therefore, the full bringing to a close at the end of this Gospel Age the imputation of Christ's merit is what is typed by burning the remaining parts in the morning.
THE MANNER OF EATING
Not only were instructions given in minute detail for the preparation, but similar regulation was given for the manner in which it should be eaten. “With your loins girded, with your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's passover.” (Ex. 12:11) When the time arrived for them to depart from Egypt, they were to be fully prepared for the immediate journey. And this same condition applies in the Gospel Age to those who would make the journey from antitypical Egypt (type of the world in sin) to the heavenly Canaan. “The king's business requires haste” (1 Sam. 21:8); and those inclined to tarry awhile – to “bury the dead,” or whatnot – usually fail to join the Elect of this Age. “Seest thou a man prompt in his business? Before kings shall he stand, he shall not stand before men who are obscure.” (Prov. 22:29, Rotherham)
“With your loins girded” – indicating a willing and ready mind to serve in whatever capacity our talents and worldly resources may allow. “With your staff in your hand” – typifying especially the “precious promises” being made our own. It would be impossible for any one to complete the journey from antitypical Egypt to the heavenly Canaan without the strength that comes from those promises. This is also set forth by the High Priest eating the shewbread contained on the golden table of the Tabernacle Holy. “Your shoes on your feet” – typifying conduct in keeping with all the requirements of the journey, assimilating the Truth and the spirit of the Truth.
“It is the Lord's Passover” is given for emphasis – not a thing to be regarded shabbily. “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” (Rom. 12:11) Thus were the Jews impressed with the dangers and difficulties of the journey ahead of them – just as the meticulous instructions for the preparation were also vividly lodged in their minds. This same logic is to be seen in the fact that they were to select their lamb on Nisan 10, which would allow them four days of meditation and sober examination, all of which was very strictly followed in the Memorials in the years that followed, even to the time when Jesus arrived.
All of this has applied in antitype during the entire Gospel Age, the antitypical night of that Passover in Egypt; but we may place special emphasis upon it here in the end of the Age. Although some of the Lord's people during the Age have had a fairly good understanding of the meaning of the bread and the wine, many more of them did not have it. But even of those who saw the “representation” in the emblems, none of them saw it with the clarity that it received during the Harvest time. As the Jews observed the typical Passover with girded loins, sandaled feet, staff in hand, and with energy (“in haste”), just so the Lord's people since 1874 “kept the feast” in antitype of all these stipulations.
“Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment.” (Ex. 12:12) The “gods of Egypt” typify the great ones of Satan's empire – visible and invisible, the fallen angels and the civil, ecclesiastical, capitalistic, educational and social great ones of the present Kosmos. All of these will be cast out of their positions of power and influence and will be otherwise punished through the instrumentality of the antitypical “tenth plague” – in antitype of Jehovah's judgments executed upon Egypt's rulers here in the end of the Age. The tenth plague is brought about by the violent features of the Time of Trouble; and we are told in the type, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you” (Ex. 12:13). So also in antitype, those who are “under the blood” need have no fear of the antitypical tenth plague. “When He giveth quietness, who then can make trouble.” Abiding in God's Household “under the blood” – provides full safety to all who continue in that station; the destroyer can have no power over them.
After giving the charge to Israel to keep the Passover, He then gave command for an annual commemoration: “This day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.” (Ex. 12:14) “Forever” meaning 'age–lasting,’ the ceremony was to continue each year until the end of the Jewish Age – when the antitype would appear. Here we should emphasize that there was only one Passover – the one in Egypt; in subsequent years its observation was simply a memory – much the same as we observe birthdays, wedding anniversaries and the like. In the memorials the Jews did not sprinkle the lamb's blood on the doorposts because none of them were in danger of dying then. Also, the Jews drank wine in the Memorial, but there is nothing said whether or not wine was consumed in the Passover in Egypt.
So also, there was but one antitype – “Christ our Passover”; the bread and the wine once each year being merely a Memorial of Him who perished on the cross. And, as the annual Passover was to be celebrated once each year throughout the Jewish Age, so the annual Lord's Supper should be kept throughout the Gospel Age – even “till He come” (1 Cor. 11:26) in the sense of being the Deliverer of all His own, even of the last member of the “Church of the firstborn.” And upon such would rest the obligation so long as they remain on earth, regardless of the overlapping of the Ages since 1874. Some contend that after our Lord's Second Advent had arrived, then the obligation to keep the Memorial would no longer apply. As in the annual Passover the feast was one to the Lord, so is the annual supper a feast to the Lord.
As to the keeping of the Memorial, there are many divergent views – perhaps as many as 200 different understandings of the meaning and the proper time for keeping it. If we follow the simple program of a Memorial, then it could be but once each year if we wish consistency in our act. With the institution of the Mass, and the idea of transubstantiation, which is performed by the Roman Catholic Church at any one of its seven sacraments, it would readily follow that even one Catholic priest might keep the memorial several times in any one day – in as many services involving the sacraments as might come before him.
Others conclude that once each week is proper, based upon the early Church meeting on Sundays to break bread together. Such a conclusion is clearly shallow and unsound, because there is just nothing in the record that the Lord's death was involved in those meetings; nor is the wine ever mentioned – which certainly would have been done had those meetings been intended as a “Memorial.” Then there are others who consider once a month as appropriate, with still others establishing the time as every three or four months. For such conclusions there is just nothing in the Bible to support it.
There is also some argument that Jesus and the Disciples kept the Jewish memorial in general one day before the Jews kept it – based upon John 18:28, Dia.: “It was now morning; and they went not into the Praetorian so that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.” We believe this seeming difference may be reconciled when we consider that there was the Passover Memorial and also the feast of unleavened bread, the latter being seven days long, but with special convocation on the first and the seventh days of that feast. Including the time for the Memorial, the entire Passover was eight days, not just one day, or seven days. Furthermore, on that particular year the crucifixion was on Friday, with the regular weekly sabbath beginning at 6 p.m. that night. Thus, from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday had a double significance that year – it was the regular Sabbath day, as well as the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, the latter being “an holy convocation.”
When Jesus introduced the bread and the wine as a Memorial of His Body broken and His life poured out, there was no mention that His followers should also include the seven-day feast that immediately followed. This is easily understood when we consider the significance of the seven-day feast. Seven being a Divine number, it would represent the complete feasting throughout this life of those who conscientiously and intelligently partake of the bread and the wine. Thus, their feasting an the Manna which came down from Heaven continues throughout their entire Christian life – so long as they faithfully adhere to its requirements. This involves the joy and “peace of God which passeth understanding” which come from the conscious freedom from the slavery of sin, error, etc., with which they had been burdened in the bondage of antitypical Egypt. Thus do we exult in the deliverance from Satan's empire during our entire life.
Let us emphasize that the feasting on the lamb was the principal thing in the type on Nisan 14, and the eating of the unleavened bread and bitters were the incidentals; yet throughout the seven days' feasting after Nisan 14 it was unleavened bread that was given the chief emphasis. It was not commanded that they eat any lamb at all during those seven days. Ex. 12:15 emphasizes this: “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day (a special festival day, the one for which the Jews did not wish to defile themselves) shall ye put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.” Their week's feasting of unleavened bread types in the individual the putting away of the antitypical leaven at the very beginning of the Christian life; and for the Church as a whole means from the beginning of the Ephesus period.
THE JEWISH PREPARATION
For years before Jesus had come, the Jews have had a regular ceremony whereby the leaven is searched for, gathered and destroyed, and thus the houses made free of leaven. A piece of cloth, usually of linen, or a napkin, is in the late afternoon of the day before placed on the table and the leaven is collected and placed on it. The gathering is of this manner: The head of the family lights a candle, which throughout the search he holds in his left hand, using it to lighten every nook and corner of the house, especially so where leaven would likely to be found. In his other hand he carries a brush, usually a goose wing full of its feathers, with which he sweeps together all the leaven that the candle brings to sight. He carefully takes it to the cloth and places it thereon. After he has completed a very thorough and careful search of the entire house, even under beds, etc., and deposited the last crumb of leaven on the cloth, he then gathers its four corners, ties them securely so that none of the leaven may fall out. He then proceeds to throw the container into the fire, where it is entirely burned. Try as the householder would, however, he could not possibly locate every vestige of leaven in his domain, as, for instance, such minute particles as rats or mice might have carried into their holes; and this would typify that the Christian may try with all diligence to eliminate all sin from his make-up, but cannot succeed in doing a complete job of it under present conditions.
It is not certain when the foregoing ritual originated, whether it is of Divine origin or not, the Bible being silent on the matter, though commanding the thing itself that is accomplished by the performance. However, considering its fitness, it is quite probable that God originated the use of this ceremony, since its every detail pictures forth a set of things that antitypical Israelites are commanded to do – especially so, as they prepare for and partake of the Lord's Supper. In the picture the Israelite's house types the human house of the Gospel-Age Israelite – in keeping with St. Paul's exhortation, “Let a man examine himself.” Thus, the symbolism of this ceremony is entirely Biblical.
As with most Scriptural doctrines and teachings, we find all sorts of notions in between the two extremes. Some religious sects place a sign before their meeting place inviting the man in the street to join in the service. At the other extreme, the Roman Catholic Church will not allow even its members in good standing to partake without extreme scrutiny beforehand. In days gone by, it was necessary for the member to appear before the priest for confession the day before the service. Then, on the morning of the service, he should neither drink water nor taste food – although this stringency has been lessened somewhat in recent years in various parts of the world. In other sects the participant must at least be a member in good standing of that particular body with which he wishes to commune.
“Whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.” (Ex. 12:15) Thus were the Jews impressed with the sobriety of the occasion; and, while it meant just what it said to them, it was not nearly so serious for them, had they violated the command, as it would be for the Gospel-Age Israelite to indulge in willful sin, because such disobedience in this Age would have meant more than just the temporary extinction that would have come upon any Jew who violated the ordinance; it would mean permanent death, the Second Death, to new creatures who willfully sin during this Age (Heb. 6:4–8; 10:26–29). And to those merely justified but not spirit-begotten it would mean the loss of their justification and consequent disadvantage in “the judgment to come” in the next Age.
“In the first day (the day after eating the Passover lamb, etc.) there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you” (Ex. 12:16). This ordinance seems to carry a double antitype: one referring to Gospel–Age Israel as a whole throughout the Age; and the other to each individuals Christian life. In the larger picture the seven days would correspond to the seven epochs of the Church, with the first day representing the Ephesian period, (the Jewish Harvest), and the seventh the Laodicean period (the Gospel Harvest), in both of which there have been holy gatherings and special solemnities, such as were never found in the interim five stages of the Church. In both Harvests “the plowman (a severe time of trouble) overtook the reaper” (Amos 9:13); the work also changed from sowing seed to reaping the results of previous sowings. The abstention from work is not specifically mentioned in the intervening five days; and the same fervent effort was not in evidence in the Gospel-Age during the interim that was in the Jewish and Gospel Harvests – the effort in both Harvests being not a sowing work, but a reaping of which had already been sown.
This same relative condition is to be found in the individual life of those in this Age who make “the covenant by sacrifice.” Usually, there is very zealous activity at the outset on the part of those who embrace this covenant, which tends to ease off somewhat as time drags on; but the initial zeal is usually manifested anew in each one toward the close of his life. It may be said also that the trials of the narrow way are most severe in the beginning and at the ending of the course. This is clearly apparent in the case of Jesus Himself, Who was immediately tempted by the Devil as soon as He emerged from His forty days in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1–10); and it was even more apparent as He ate the last Passover, the trial that night, and the cross the next day.
The sober contemplation of these various items should stimulate each one to “keep the festival, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of vice and wickedness; but with the unleavened principles of sincerity and truth.” (1 Cor. 5:8, Dia.) And with this thought we pray the Lord's special blessing upon all our readers in their preparation for and participation in “the festival.” What has been presented herein is not intended in any way to displace the reading of the Passover chapter in Parousia Volume 6; it is rather our hope that this may stimulate a more avid reading of that particular chapter.
And “the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ... And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation.” (Heb. 13:20–22)
Sincerely your brother
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Our dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings of love in our dear Redeemer's Name!
Just sent $––– to Brother for your funds.... I am enclosing Sr. Davies' letter. We are glad she still believes in the Second Presence of our Lord, and has never deviated from the teachings of Bro. Russell, and appreciates coming in contact with Bro. Johnson – and now your sound articles, refuting the errors of RGJ. We believe that you are one of the special leaders of God's people in this ending of the Epiphany time..... We pray the Lord to give you His promised grace and strength to continue refuting the errors from whatever source they come.
Sr.------- came in contact with two of RGJ's adherents – and she couldn't answer about RGJ getting the cup, so she asked us. We gave her references to look up in E. Vol. 10 and said, Yes RGJ was the recipient of the cup, but what has he done with it! The contents he hasn't kept clean, therefore the Epiphany revealings are manifest and very serious for leaders who persist in wrong doing.
We trust you and all with you at the Bible House keep as well as possible. Brother joins me with love to you and all the dear ones with you.
Sincerely, ------- (ENGLAND)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings in our dear Redeemer's name!
As soon as I received your letter I got a message to ------- and saw him today... He has promised to write you again.....
We here are reasonably well, and are still quite blest. Indeed the Lord has been wonderful to us! My sister's health is not of the best, but she manages to work every day. She has a lot to thank God for.
You all are always in our prayers for the wonderful work that you are doing in defending the Lord's cause. As we survey the world scene we can see the breaking up of Satan's kingdom, and the setting up of Christ's Kingdom. Even here in our little island we are experiencing turbulent times, but we are not afraid, nor do we wonder at it as the world does. I am trying to be as diligent as I can be, and with the prayers of the Household of Faith I know I shall grow from strength to strength.
Warm Christian greetings to all of you. Your sister ------- (TRINIDAD)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Christian greetings!
I trust you and all there are enjoying good health. We here are all fairly well. We would like you to send us some Parousia volumes as follows..... We will give Sister ------- cash in payment at our next general meeting.
We all join in sending Christian love to you and all the friends there.
By His Grace ------- (TRINIDAD)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings through our Beloved Lord!
Your good letter is to hand, and contents carefully noted. I have replied to Brother -------, but he no doubt did not receive it. I have since re–acknowledged his letter, and I hope he will receive the same. May the good Lord continue to bless us in the years ahead as we strive to be faithful to the end.
With best Christian wishes to you and the Bible House family...
Yours by His Grace, ------- (JAMAICA)
Epiphany Bible Student Association
Please send me the following pamphlets: No. 3 – The Resurrection of the Dead; No. 4 – The Three Babylons; No. 5 – Two Distinct Salvations; No. 6 – God's Great Sabbath Day; No. 7 – The Great Reformer; No. 8 – The Permission of Evil; No. 9 – The Day of Judgment; No. 10 – God's Standard; and No. 121 – The Roman Church and Its Little “Twin.” Thank you!
Sincerely ------- (NORTH CAROLINA)
Dear Mr. Hoefle:
I appreciate your letter, answering my many questions, very much. I also am deeply appreciative of your sending me “The Divine Plan of the Ages.” I am slowly but surely working my way through it.
I am enclosing a small check to help you in your most important work. Please accept it as a small token of my gratitude for the comfort God has seen fit to give me through your letters, pamphlets, and book.
May God always bless you and your Association! Sincerely ------- (N. CAROLINA)