by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 166

In Lev. 16:21 it is stated that the “live goat” (the scapegoat) is sent away into the wilderness by the hand of a fit man; and in Rev. 12:6 we are told that “the woman fled into the wilderness.” The inquiry has come to us that these two references seem to use much the same expression; therefore, do they refer to the same thing?

There is a fine distinction here which must be clearly seen to avoid confusion. First of all, we stress again that a place in the Tabernacle of the wilderness journey to Canaan types a condition in the antitype. Thus, the Most Holy types the Divine spirit-born condition for this Gospel Age, the Holy types the spirit-begotten condition, the Camp the Christian-world condition, and the wilderness the isolation condition. Clearly enough, then, the “woman” and the “scapegoat” are in isolation, but for decid­edly different reasons. On page 70 of Tabernacle Shadows, par. 1, it is properly stated that the “wilderness is the separated, or dead condition” for the fully faith­ful; thus, it represents for them complete separation from the unfaithful and unbe­lievers in spiritual matters. And this is a state that they pursue voluntarily, be­cause “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth” (Rev. 14:4) ­they “go (voluntarily) to Him without the Camp, bearing His reproach” (Heb. 13:13) ­they go to “a place prepared of God.” (Rev. 12:6)

But the scapegoat (the goat “for Azazel” – see margin Lev. 16:8) is said to be in the wilderness – the condition of separation – for just the reverse reason. First, the goat did not go voluntarily into the wilderness, it was sent there by the fit man to separate it from the assembled Israelites on the Day of Atonement, to bear away the sins confessed upon its head, and to undergo fit-man experiences (unfavorable cir­cumstances and persecuting persons). This is clearly stated in E-4:203 (65):

“Isolation from the faithful.... a condition in which they are not even given brotherly fellowship.”

Thus, this class is sent into the wilderness – forced to go there by the man of oppor­tunity – in direct contrast to “the woman,” representing the class that goes there voluntarily as “more than conquerors.” Miriam, in her leprous condition (Numbers 12), types this class – detailedly described by Brother Russell as the Great Company, the Great Multitude of Rev. 7:9. “And the Lord said unto Moses.... let her be shut out from the Camp seven days” – in the wilderness condition of complete isolation from the typical faithful priesthood (Num. 12:14) – as “sinners” separated from “the con­gregation of the righteous.” (Psa. 1:5)

It must be emphasized here, however, that in Miriam’s case it was an actual physical separation from the general assembly of Israel; whereas, in the antitype it is always spiritual, though often also physical – but this should not be construed to mean their expulsion entirely from Christendom. When they are disfellowshiped by the faithful (I Cor. 5:5), they then do experience a physical and a spiritual separa­tion, although they still have plenty of company among the Christian worldlings – and to all outward appearances they seem much the same as always. In the case of the faithful it is clearly stated that in their wilderness condition “she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there” – whereas, Azazel’s Goat is delib­erately exposed to the vicious insects and preying carnivore – “for the destruction of the flesh” – fit-man experiences.

The word Azazel occurs only four times in the Bible, all in Leviticus 16. Its meaning is not clearly defined in the various references, but it seems reasonably certain that the Israelites considered it as a name for the Evil One – “that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan.” (Rev. 20:2) It was He, they said, who in­structed lewd women in the art of painting their faces, to use seductive perfume, etc., to entice men into their ‘parlors.’ And of the two goats presented before Aaron it is stated “one for the Lord.... one for Azazel.” Also, there is reason for stating it thus, because the antitypical goat “for the Lord” built up the true temple during the Age, while the “one for Azazel” built up Great Babylon, the counterfeit temple. Therefore, it is this latter class who will say, when the books are opened and the judgments set, “Have we not prophesied in they name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:21-23) Then will come back the answer, “I never approved of you.” (See Diaglott) The following from E-1:136 is most fitting here:

“Certainly Jehovah’s past, present and future activities with the Great Company, before recent years individually, and since recent years as a class, exhibits remark­ably His power in the forms of self-control and patience. It is in these measurably unfaithful new creatures that Satan found more or less fit instruments for developing the errors of doctrine, practice and organization in Greek and Roman Catholicism and in Protestant Sectarianism. These were by their waywardness, stubbornness and revo­lutionism continually trying God’s self-control and patience; for, children of His, they were using, doubtless ignorantly, their greatest endeavors to advance what actu­ally were the plans of God’s chief enemy—Satan. Only a good father who has constantly sought the best interests of his children, who despite this turned against his interests and sided with his mortal enemy and unscrupulous competitor, can to a large degree enter into Jehovah’s feelings as to the course of the Great Company now and in the past. Surely, great self-control and patience have been His in dealing with them. How great care in these qualities must He take in opposing their revolutionism! How much of these will have to be in evidence until their fleshly mind is destroyed! How highly will they have to act to bring them to a complete cleansing and to a proper service of Himself! The same remarks with slight modifications apply to His dealing with those of the Youthful Worthies who in character act much like, as they are also cooperators with, the Great Company; as also the same remarks as were made on Jehovah’s self-control and patience in dealing with the Ancient Worthies apply to the activities of these two elements of God’s power as an attribute of character in His dealings with the good Youthful Worthies.”

Not too long back a prominent preacher, who conducted a regular Sunday-morning radio “Bible Class,” went into quite some detail to explain how the “scapegoat” was a type of our Lord Jesus, because upon him was confessed the sins of the people, in like manner as Jesus bore our sins. Had this man looked at the margin of his Bible, where it is stated that goat was “for Azazel” (The Devil), it is hardly likely he would have made such a transparent error. Certainly, Jesus was never set aside “for the Devil”; and, since the other goat was sacrificed in the Court, and its blood taken into the Most Holy, it is hardly likely that both goats could represent the same thing. And added to this, the blood of the goat for Azazel was not sacrificially shed; and, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.”


That the goat “for Azazel” is indeed the one permitted to fall into the hands of Satan is well confirmed in the New Testament, as instance 1 Cor. 5:1-5, where it is definitely stated that the brother there involved was “delivered unto Satin for the destruction of the flesh.” This is further confirmed in 1 Tim. 1:20: “Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blas­pheme.” Clearly enough, these are the antitype of the goat “for Azazel” (Satan); but here again a fine line of distinction is to be noticed. Almost certainly, the typical goat would be speedily destroyed after entering the wilderness – a total physical destruction; but of the two New Testament cases just cited the destruction of their flesh would be only partial – by unfavorable circumstances and persecuting persons, to rescue them from their wayward course. But this experience would destroy completely their fleshly minds from the malice, hatred, envy, pride, inclinations to falsehood, etc., from which they must be freed if “the spirit is to be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Thus, if we see any of this class claiming to be cleansed, but still practicing the works of the flesh, we may definitely conclude that their claim is just so much talk – and nothing more! Indeed, here the words of Jesus would properly apply: “By their fruits you will discover (understand, recognize) them.” (Matt. 7:16, Dia.) And, since the members of this class are not all equally guilty of the “works of the flesh,” we should not expect them to be shown as a unit in any one of the Old Testament types that reveal them. Therefore, we now consider some of these:

ELI – Before giving details here, it should be remembered that the Azazel-goat class did not come into prominence as a Class until here in the end of the Age, although they have existed as individuals all during the Age from shortly after Pentecost, as proven by the two instances given aforegoing. And that such have always greatly out­numbered the truly faithful should be apparent when we consider the “Little Flock” of the fully faithful as against the many who have professed to be true “followers of the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.” This also is confirmed by the words of Jesus that “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

For the end of the Age especially, we offer Eli as a variant type of the Great Multitude in Big Babylon who see the evils existent there – “all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Eze. 9:4) – but who are too weak, spineless or indolent to make positive protest against them. These are they who “make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel My people” (1 Sam. 2:29). But the Priest Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas – “sons of Belial (worthless, reck­less, lawless ones); they knew not the Lord.” (1 Sam. 2:12, 22) The same are typi­cal of the Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy, the majority of whom today show clearly by their acts and teachings that they are indeed the antitypes of Eli’s sons. Both of them were killed in battle in one day; Eli also died that same day; and the ark of God fell into the hands of the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:17) – the same being typ­ical of events that will occur in the Armageddon day just ahead of us. In that destruc­tive day all the clergy will also die – the majority of them physically, with those that survive ceasing longer to be “gentlemen of the cloth.” In substance, antitypi­cal Saul and his three sons (1 Sam. 31:2) come to a similar end in the Armageddon day just ahead.

SAUL – While King Saul of Israel types a number of characters, he is perhaps out­standing in his representation of the crown-lost leaders of the various denominations in Christendom, who always seized the place of leadership from the faithful Star Mem­bers. And like their type, these have failed to put obedience above service, for which the faithful Little Flock leaders have repeatedly rebuked them throughout the Age, but to no avail. One of their outstanding weaknesses has been failure to “Wait on the Lord”; they would set up the Kingdom themselves, since the Lord seemed to “delay.” They also have failed to make a complete job of subduing their love of sin – just as Saul failed to extirpate all the Amalekites and their livestock, as the Lord had com­manded. (I Sam. 15:8) They have also smitten their fellow servants, as Saul sought to slay David. Too, they have become teachers of error – just as Saul took to witch­craft (typical of especially deceptive false teachings); they have offered much “strange fire” (false doctrine) before the Lord.

It should also be noted that one of the outstanding evils of King Saul’s char­acter was hypocrisy. (1 Sam. 15:13: “Manifesting considerable hypocrisy” – Berean Comment) Therefore, we should expect to find this same evil trait in his antitype. This is clearly revealed in his prototype, the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, of whom He said, “within ye are full of hypocrisy” (Matt. 23:28); and He emphatically warned the Disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1) The principal reason they have been forced to be hypocrites is their lack of “the wisdom from above.... which is without hypocrisy.” (Jas. 3:17) Jesus Himself, being filled with the “wisdom which is from above” needed not to present a false front on any occasion; whereas, His accusers were forced to that very evil because they lacked that wisdom. The identical situation has existed all during the Age, with the hypocrites (antitypical Saul) usually gaining the preeminence over the fully faithful who would not stoop to such conduct.

And the same has continued unto this day. The imitation wheat has repeatedly “cast out” the faithful brethren (Isa. 66:5) – even as hypocritical King Saul shunted the fully faithful Samuel into the background that he might grasp power and the pre­eminence before Israel. And this has caused the multitudes to consider the hypocrites as “examples of the believers” – just as the Jewish mob shouted, “Crucify Him,” as they supported the evil course of the Pharisees. “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” It is worthy of note that the vast majority of “saints” that have been canonized by the Roman Church have been at best crown-losers – outstanding examples being “Saint” Augustine and “Saint” Francis of Assisi (“the poor little rich man, “the first of the “begging” friars).

LOT – Lot types this same class of people from a slightly different aspect. So long as he remained with Abraham (type of the fully faithful), there was much prosper­ity – “their substance was great.... the land was not able to bear them” (Gen. 13:6). Their prosperity soon produced strife, so that Abraham magnanimously offered Lot and his herdsmen his choice of the land they possessed. “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.... and Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan.” (Gen. 13: 10,11) At this Abraham graciously retired to the Plain of Mamre – separated from the evils chosen by Lot. The evils of the Cities of the Plain did not deter Lot, for he “sat in the gate of Sodom” (place of prominence) and continued there until the Lord “rained brimstone and fire.... and overthrew those cities,” as Lot lost all he had gained by his greedy choice. This type has already been partially fulfilled, but it will yet produce a much greater fulfillment in the near future. Rahab followed much the same course as Lot, remaining in Jericho until the walls fell down, and her possessions were destroyed.

These are just a few of the outstanding types of the Great Multitude. All of them in their antitypes may be grouped under the title of Azazel’s Goat. They all have some very good qualities – just as all of them also have some outstanding bad qualities, evils which they failed to subdue sufficiently to retain their standing in the Little Flock. Some of them have been highly respected by the world in gen­eral – moreso in many instances than their fully faithful brethren. This is because some of them have stressed morality and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, etc. They have been the crusaders who would reform the world, who have raised large sums for foreign missions, social uplift, etc. – “many wonderful works.”

To which we would add the words of Moses: “Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; let them that hate thee flee before thee.” —Numbers 10:35.

Sincerely your brother,

John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim



QUESTION: – What about the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses recently – especially in Africa? Are they “suffering for righteousness”? (1 Pet. 3:14)

ANSWER: – The question opens the floodgates, as it were, because two people might experience almost identical abuse at the hand of persecutors, with the one receiving it as “suffering for righteousness,” and the other not so. As an outstanding example, we instance the terrible Jewish persecutions by the Gentiles all during the Age, and especially here at its end; yet the Psalmist defines such as foolish: “Fools because of their transgression (their great transgression in crucifying the Lord of Glory), and because of their iniquities (violations of the Law Covenant), are afflicted.” True Christians have seldom, if ever, suffered greater persecution for their belief than have the Jews, yet we are told the Jews received theirs as “fools”; whereas, the true Christians have been “blessed” in their afflictions and persecutions brought upon them by their faithfulness to the Truth and its spirit.

While the Witnesses and the Jews do not allow of the same analysis, we believe that among the Witnesses themselves their persecutions may be regarded in different manner, depending upon the degree of true Christian character that may actuate them. Some of the Witnesses may actually be progressing toward “a knowledge of the Truth,” with which they will be blessed in “due time.” Thus, St. Paul counsels us, “In meekness correcting the opposers; perhaps God may give them a change of mind in order to a knowledge of the Truth; and that they may be recovered from the snare of the enemy, who have been entrapped by him for his pleasure.” (2 Tim. 2:25,26, Dia.)

Certainly, all of us will concede that there are many well-intentioned people with the Witnesses, just as is true also of many in the Roman Church. In Africa, be it noted, many of the priests and nuns were unmercifully tortured by the savages before they were killed - the very same treatment some of the Witnesses have also been receiving. Shall we say these also “suffer for righteousness’ sake”? In all these systems it is usually the ‘little fry’ who take the beatings. Do we hear of the Pope or the Cardinals receiving any of it? Or, do we have any record that the “successor” to Pastor Russell, or the present “successor” to the former successor, having received any intensive tribulation?

It would seem in order here to stress that the founder of every real Truth movement was viciously persecuted by those who claimed to be the teachers of truth. First and outstanding among these is Jesus Himself, with honorable mention also given to many others such as Arius, Martin Luther, Thomas Cranmer, John Wesly, William Miller, Pastor Russell, etc. – our Lord crucified, Thomas Cranmer burned at the stake, many of the real truth leaders manhandled more or less violently. Satan is wily enough to recognize that if the head is cut off of anything the body will die without other help. “I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”

As the various systems of error have developed from the Truth movements, the situation has been much the reverse of the foregoing. “Caiaphas (High Priest in Israel and head of the Sanhedrin) gave counsel that it was expedient that one man should die for the people” (John 18:14); and Jesus specifically said of him that “he hath the greater sin” than Pilate who eventually have the order for the crucifixion. (Jn. 19:11) The religious leaders of that time had built up an imposing system of error and half truths from the service established by faithful Moses; and, as so often occurs in such situations some of those half truths were more misleading than whole errors.

Came then the Papal system which did identically the same thing in much greater degree to the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, as they also “age the fat,” as the Sanhedrin had been doing at the end of the Jewish Age. Here now in the end of the Age comes the Witnesses, with an imposing system of error and half truths, their half truths also being more misleading than whole errors. As instance, they still stress the doctrine of Restitution, but they have perverted it out of all recognition to the way Pastor Russell explained it. And those of us who know the truth know very well the vilification and slander and threats of physical violence that were hurled at him, as he continued patiently to “preach the Word.” But the errorists, the perverters of those truths he taught, those who now control the Witnesses’ system, experience little or none of the abuse that came to Pastor Russell.

It is not within our province to pass judgment upon the individuals in these various sects; but it is reasonable to conclude that the large majority of them believe what their leaders tell them to believe – beliefs which carry many self-evident contradictions. The Roman Catholics contend they are following the teach­ings of St. Peter; the Witnesses claim their adherence to the teachings of Pastor Russell. The vagaries of the Witnesses are glaringly apparent to the Catholics ­and the vagaries of the Catholics are glaringly apparent to the Witnesses. It is much the same situation as existed among the nations in the thirties. At that time Hitler was telling the truth about the rulers of other nations, even as those same rulers were telling their people the truth about Hitler. The citizens on each side were receiving about half the truth, by which they were stampeded into taking up arms against each other – each partly in the right, each partly in the wrong.

If we would properly evaluate the Roman claims about St. Peter, we should con­sider what St. Peter taught, place it beside the present Catholic teachings, after which it will not be difficult for the unbiased mind to see clearly the fallacy of the Catholic claims. The same may be said of the Witnesses’ claim to be teaching what Pastor Russell taught. Just take their present teachings, place them beside the Six Volumes of Studies in the Scriptures written by Pastor Russell, and the falsity of their claim will be as readily apparent as is the Roman claim about their adherence to the teachings of St. Peter. Both of these systems of error claim to be the One True Church (the channel of the Truth) – no salvation apart from them.

There is one outstanding fact regarding the various true Christian movements during the Age: The founders of those movements were themselves the special target of the Adversary. All are intimately familiar with the treatment Jesus received, with the treatment St. Peter received; and many of us know of the treatment Pastor Russell received. In each instance the leader was the special target of abuse, with the same reaching out and “touching” their adherents. With the false systems the sit­uation is much reversed – Usually the leaders enjoy “peace and safety” even as their supporters accept the abuse. Thus, it is difficult to discern much genuine “suffer­ing for righteousness” in the Witnesses’ experiences in Africa at this time. Many of them, however, are suffering for their blind adherence and devotion to their sect.


QUESTION: – How can Bro. Jolly’s ‘seventh’ saved class from among mankind relate to 1 Kgs. 6:14: “Solomon built the house of the Lord, and finished it”?

ANSWER: – There is no harmony between the two teachings. The antitype of building the House of the Lord in this Epiphany period means the Epiphany Messen­ger “Arranging God’s people in their separate classes and in their Epiphany work.” And the Scripture is very clear and emphatic that “Solomon built the house, and finished it.” (1 Kgs. 6:14,38) When RGJ was attempting to establish the Epiphany Messenger as the last saint, he made great play upon these very Scriptures to “prove” that the “house was finished.” But now it suits his convenience to set that aside so he can add to the “house” – make a place for his Campers Consecrated. If the Epi­phany Messenger “built the house, and finished it” and he certainly did unless we now want to deny that he was the Epiphany Solomon then RGJ’s attempt to put an addition to that “house” is simply one more of his revolutionisms against the Epi­phany Truth.

As the good Epiphany Solomon explained, one error usually begets other errors; and here is additional proof of that truth. RGJ’s Campers Consecrated doctrine has forced him to establish tentative justification in the Camp (outside the linen cur­tain of Christ’s righteousness); it has forced him to replace both That Servant’s and the Epiphany Messenger’s teachings that the Jews will be the leading restitution­ists under the Kingdom reign; and now to construct an addition to the “house of the Lord.” He should never have attempted to produce a new doctrine at all, because the Epiphany Solomon said such a thing was definitely prohibited to any Levite, the same being the offering of “strange fire” before the Lord. His latest attempt to produce a seventh class from among mankind in the “house of the Lord” should impress all with the awesome warning given us against such performance.



Epiphany Bible Students Ass’n

Dear Sirs: Will you please send me the following editions: Nos. – 1. Where are the Dead, 2 – What is the Soul, 3 – The Resurrection of the Dead, 4 – The Three Babylons, 5 – Two Distinct Salvations, 6 – God’s Great Sabbath Day, 7 – The Great Reformer.

I enclose $.... for mailing and handling, and in recognition of your supreme efforts and probably correct interpretation of Scriptures.

Sincerely, ------- (CALIFORNIA)


Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings in our Redeemer’s name!

Let me take the opportunity of wishing you and yours God’s richest blessing at this Memorial season. Your articles sent to us from time to time are so helpful and much appreciated. God is certainly manifesting the counsels of hearts, and this is seen readily enough about us from those once schooled in the Truth given by the last two Star Members. But despite the errors prevalent in the various groups, the Truth as due is always with the faithful people of God.

Despite the great blessings the friends of the LHMM proclaimed they receive from their Conventions, the true characteristics of the hearts of many are made manifest. If the light in one become darkness, how great is that darkness! (And revealing their true characters, they also explain to us why the Lord is allowing them to go deeper and deeper into error with each passing year. This will continue to a completion—JJH)

Let us not be discouraged over the unpleasant situation amongst those we once fellowshiped, but by the God of all Grace be determined to be faithful. My prayers are for you and the dear ones with you and elsewhere. May God bless you!

Yours by His Grace, ------- (JAMAICA)


Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace!

This is just a note to tell you I moved from my former address and am now living at the above address. I received the last paper, so everything is okay. Thank you for all the wonderful literature you have been sending me. Sister ------- has not been feeling very well lately.........

When I look at the world today, I think — God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform. How blind the people and this new generation of today have become. Give my love to all in Mount Dora.

Much Christian love, ------- (OHIO)


Dear Brother Hoefle: Christian greetings!

We trust you and Sister Hoefle are enjoying good health. Lately the Class has not been in correspondence with you, but you may be assured we are endeavoring to press on, continuing our studies. Brother...... gives us a talk now and then. On the whole, the friends are in good spirits.

We look forward to receiving your papers, which keep us up-to-date with the due truth.

Kindly let us have an assorted quantity of tracts, as our supply is nearly exhausted. You may mail them to Sister ------- as that will be more convenient to all.

We join in sending warm Christian love to you, dear Sister Hoefle and the friends there.

Your sister by His Grace ------- (TRINIDAD)


Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings in the name of our precious Lord!

We are glad to carefully read your papers and they have been a help and comfort over the years. Keep up the good work as long as the Lord may direct.

This little bit of devalued so-called money is to be used in any way you see fit. Use it quickly or it may be worth nothing.

Our dear old Sr. ------- passed on several months ago. She was eighty-eight or eighty-nine. She came here for Memorial 16 or 17 times until she got too feeble to make the trip.

Of course this mite is not expected to pay for work in getting the paper to us, but we hope it will help pay postage. Let Sister ------- off from work soon enough so she can come by to see us. I am running a race with her in age. She is still ahead but I may catch up some day.

Christian love and our earnest prayers.

Brother & Sister ------- (LOUISIANA)


Dear Brother Hoefle: Christian greetings!

I am so far behind in my letter answering. I will try this day to get this gift of $.... for the work you are so worthy of doing – your labor of love for the dear Brothers and Sisters. I feel very slack. I have so very much to be thankful to our dear Heavenly Father and His dear Son for so many blessings, but with body and mental failures, more writing this past 8 months due to many long illnesses and deaths among my relatives and friends, I am losing out on keeping up.

This is a request I have been anxious to ask. Could you send me 5 copies of No. 163 – January 1969? I have read and re-read this most valuable Truth, proof of Bible statements and today’s events of results......... I do hope you have some extras on hand. The enclosed will apply on postage and cost of printing, I hope.

I am praying that all is going well in your move – that each one with you in the Household of Faith, will keep looking up to our Heavenly Father, for I know there is no other help. I have certainly had proof of past 40 years, the teachings of Pastor Russell, etc.

May God continue leading and keeping you in Truth and all your dear family of helpers – is my daily prayer. Thanks for your prayers for us, as we need them.

Christian love from Sister ------- (CALIFORNIA)