My dear Brethren: – Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
Comes once more the “remembrance” of our Lord’s death – this year 1969 the proper time being after 6 p.m. Sunday, March 30. The method for determining the date is this: The moon nearest the Spring Equinox comes new at 6:51 a.m. March 18 at the 30th Meridian East (the Meridian nearest Jerusalem). This makes Nisan 1 begin at 6 p.m., March 17 Bible time, with Nisan 14 starting at 6 p.m. March 30. There still seems to be considerable misunderstanding about the correct time – even among those who have a reasonably good knowledge of the meaning of the bread and the wine – so we would stress once more that the condition of the moon on Nisan 14 is of no consequence, because that date is unchangeably stated in the Bible as the only date upon which the Passover is to be kept. Thus, once we come correctly to Nisan 1, the remainder is simply a matter of simple addition.
Some brethren are yet apparently confused about some of this calculation; they still believe the moon should be full for the Memorial. The moon represents Israel in this Passover ritual, and it is always substantially full by Nisan 14, but not always completely so; some years it misses by two or three days. When the moon begins to wane after reaching its fullness, it well represents the national and religious decline of Jewry – just as its coming to the full about Nisan 14 pictures forth the pinnacle of Divine favor that came to them through the ministry of Jesus at His First Advent. “That people dwelling in darkness, saw a great light; and to those inhabiting a region, even a shadow of death, a Light arose.” (Matt. 4:16, Dia.) Having had the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles available to us most of our lives, it is probably impossible to evaluate fully the dazzling splendor of the Truth they proclaimed to the Jews at that time; but we believe it is a proper appraisal to state that the presence of those teachings has been a great factor in the progress of those nations who have been most influenced by them. About one-sixth of the world’s population has produced most of the great inventions, both constructive and destructive; and this in turn has enabled them to dominate the affairs of the other five-sixths throughout this Age.
Inasmuch as the bread and the wine are a Memorial, a representation, of “Christ our Passover who is sacrificed for us,” it follows without argument that this time of year is especially appropriate to hark to the words of St. Paul: “Consider Him attentively who has endured such opposition from sinners, so that you may not be wearied, being discouraged in your souls. You did not yet resist to blood, contending against sin.” (Heb. 12:3,4--Dia.) And, as we “consider Him,” it is very clear the Scriptures do not intend that we consider Him before His baptism at Jordan, because we know nothing whatever of His life from the age of twelve until He became thirty years old, the age in Israel when men were really concluded to be men. And, since all institutional types that begin on a specific date must continue until their antitype appears, and since Jesus was the antitypical bullock of the Day of Atonement sacrifice, we are forced to the conclusion that the day of His birth was on the tenth day of the seventh month, the month Tishri.
Thus, St. Paul makes the declaration, “He takes away the first that He may establish the second.” (Heb. 10:9, Dia.) And he clearly states in the verse following: “By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The Apostle in this chapter is comparing the typical Atonement Day sacrifices with the antitypical – contrasting the inefficacy of those that must be offered year after year with the one that was offered “once for all” – the One enduring sacrifice – that need never be repeated. Therefore, by the offering of Himself, He did indeed take away the first (the Atonement Day bullock) that He might establish the second, which need never be repeated. This next prompts the explanation of the way He did this:
HIS NARROW WAY – This He explained at the very outset of His ministry: “Enter in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate of destruction, and broad that way leading thither! and many are they who enter through it. How narrow (strait – tight, close, constricted) is the Gate of Life! how difficult that way leading thither! and how few are they who find it.” (Matt. 7:13,14—Dia.) And, “having left us an example that we should follow in His steps,” He could indeed state the rule of procedure to all who would accept His name: “If any one wish to come after Me (by voluntary choice), let him renounce himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matt. 16:24) It is well stated that the most difficult thing is to know thyself, and the easiest thing is to advise another; but in the foregoing statement Jesus was not only advising others, He was actually doing Himself what He had advised – and He continued to do it for 3½ years, from Jordan to Calvary.
During that 3½ years He was definitely a non-conformist. One of the main charges against Him was that “He stirreth up the people”; and there is no doubt that His faithful Disciples “followed in His steps.” Note the counsel of St. Paul in Rom. 12:2: “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” The Apostle was definitely out of step with those about him, which made him a very unpopular person. It has been well stated that the wise man adapts himself to his surroundings, but the fool tries to adapt his surroundings to him – and thus we progress. Paul told the Corinthians: “We are fools for Christ’s sake... we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things as unto this day.” (1 Cor. 4:10-13) Here the Apostle leaves nothing to the imagination: He, too, was walking a “narrow way” – a straight way – a tight, close constricted way. Of Jesus Himself, it is written, “Of the people, there was none with Him.”
HIS BAPTISM – “Comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan, to be immersed by John (the Baptiser). But John refused Him, saying, ‘I have need to be immersed by Thee, and thou comest to me?’ But Jesus answering, said to him, ‘Permit it now; for thus it behooveth us to fulfill all righteousness.” Did Jesus’ immersion actually “fulfill all righteousness”? No, it certainly did not. It did so only figuratively. His immersion there did antitype the killing of the bullock on Atonement Day, but the antitypical burning of that bullock required the whole 3½ years of what Jesus did. “He poured out His soul unto death” – just as one might take a pitcher of water and slowly pour it out until all is gone. So also Jesus was slowly pouring out His soul (His very being) unto death for 3½ years. This is shown in a slightly different way when He took the cup, and said, “All of you drink all of it, for this is my blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many” – represented by the bullock’s blood taken into the Holy and sprinkled on and before the Mercy seat, and by the slow burning of the animal’s vital parts on the brazen altar in the Court of the Tabernacle.
Thus, the human death of Jesus, and His human righteousness worked out by His obedience are the actual fulfillment of all righteousness of justice – duty love to God and man. But it went beyond that: His walk from Jordan to Calvary – His narrow, strait (difficult) way – fulfilled the law of disinterested love toward God and man; He not only laid “down His life for His friends,” He did it for His enemies as well. “If I be lifted up, I shall draw all men unto Me.” By His immersion (baptism) in Jordan, and by His continuance in His “narrow way” to Calvary He did Indeed “fulfill all righteousness” in His humanity and in His new creature. “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened (in difficulty) till it be accomplished!” (Luke 12:50) The Diaglott does indeed make this emphatic: “I have an immersion to undergo; and how am I pressed (in difficulty), till it may be consummated.” This was not looking back to His immersion at Jordan; It was a preview of His narrow way from that time until He eventually “poured out His soul” on the cross.
HIS STEADFASTNESS – His determination to continue in the narrow – strait (difficult) – way is forcefully expressed in Luke 9:51: “When the time was come that He should be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” The central thought of this Scripture is to establish the perfect patience of our Lord, which grace He had in excellency of balance with all the other graces. The Biblical patience is an active grace, one of the seven chief graces, meaning the determination and ability to continue cheerfully and without abatement against any and all obstacles that might tend to detour Him from His narrow way. And this He did in perfection and unto a completion.
Especially did He do this with respect to the Truth. “To this end was I born and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth” (Jn. 18:37); and the Berean Comment for this text says, “It was this ‘Good confession before Pontius Pilate’ that cost our Lord His life.” Thus it has been also with many of the martyrs during this Age – crucified, beheaded, thrown to the lions, strangled, burned, hanged, dismembered – as they bore witness to the Truth. And, as we “consider Him attentively,” we are forced to the conclusion that He was our “example” – to go and do likewise. And it is only to those who steadfastly do this – “faithful until death” – that the full laurels of victory will eventually come.
Jesus first studied the Truth. There is little doubt that He had memorized the entire Old Testament; and His study of the Scriptures that testified of Him so engrossed Him for the forty days after Jordan that He neither ate nor drank. St. Paul also retired into Arabia for three years (Gal. 1:17, 18) after his conversion that he might study and meditate on the best course for him to pursue as respects the “great light” that had come to him. The lesson here is clear enough for us: We should also first be properly informed before we attempt to minister “the good word of God” to others. Even in the distribution of free literature, That Servant always advised those who would distribute it should first read it themselves.
Jesus also practiced what He preached – perfectly – in thought, word and deed. St. Paul, and all others of similar inclination, also practiced what they preached imperfectly, of course, because of their faulty inheritance. Thirdly, Jesus, and all His faithful followers have spread the Truth to the best of their ability – often misunderstood, frequently misrepresented and their words twisted and often misquoted by the henchmen of Satan. But they kept steadfastly at it – “endured to the end” – through “glory and disgrace; through bad fame and good fame; as deceivers, and yet true; as grieving, but always rejoicing, as poor, but enriching many (by their ministry of the Truth); as having nothing, yet possessing all things.” (2 Cor. 6:8-10, Dia.) And the rules are still the same as they have been all during the Age: “He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Some determined that “the end” would be in 1914; others determined that “the end” would be to 1954-56; but steadfast faithfulness to the Truth knows no date: “He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved.” And, as we consider Him – as we “do this in remembrance” – it is timely and proper that we determine anew, steadfastly determine anew, to “Be faithful to the Lord, the Truth, and the brethren” – to “preach the Word, in season, out of season.” Perhaps it is timely that we consider a few lines from the Poem:
When some great sorrow, like a mighty river,
Flows through your life with peace-destroying power,
And dearest things are swept from sight forever,
Say to your heart each trying hour:
“This, too, shall pass away.”
When ceaseless toil has hushed your song of gladness,
And you have grown almost too tired to pray,
Let this truth banish from your heart its sadness,
And ease the burdens of each trying day:
“This, too, shall pass away.”
When fortune smiles, and, full of mirth and pleasure,
The days are flitting by without a care,
Lest you should rest with only earthly treasure,
Let these few words their fullest import bear:
“This, too, shall pass away.”
When earnest labor brings you fame and glory,
And all earth’s noblest ones upon you smile,
Remember that life’s longest, grandest story
Fills but a moment in earth’s little while:
“This, too, shall pass away.”
HIS FAITHFULNESS – Faithfulness means full of faith – firm in adherence to promises, contracts, treaties, etc.: true in affection or allegiance; worthy of confidence and belief. Jesus was all of this in perfection as He pursued His narrow way. This was likewise true of St. Paul: “This one thing I do.... I even esteem all things to be a loss, on account of the excellency of the knowledge of the anointed Jesus my Lord (on whose account I suffered the loss of all things, and consider them to be vile refuse, so that I may gain Christ).... to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings (the understanding of and adherence to His narrow way).”—Phil. 3:8-13—Dia. “I came not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me,” said Jesus; and He truthfully stated also, “I delight to do thy will, 0 my God, Thy law is written in My heart.” Thus, He was always dead to self, but alive toward God; He always maintained the peace of God which passeth understanding – that “perfect peace” which was always His as He kept His mind “fixed” upon God the Father. (Isa. 26:3)
When we remember in all of this that Jesus “was touched with a feeling of our infirmities,” we must conclude that many of our appetites and desires were His also. Often we hear people say, I don’t care what others think of me! This assertion is fundamentally nonsense. In so many of the things we do – our mode of dress (usually fashioned measurably by the times in which we live), often our conduct, even sometimes in the things we eat – the opinion of others influences us. Certainly, there is no evil in wanting others to think well of us – so long as we do not compromise principle or domestic ethics to secure that good opinion. Even with “the beggarly elements,” their drinking bouts, their bawdy conversations, and the like, are often much influenced by their desire to impress others of their caste – to be admired of them for their bravado, etc. Thus, Jesus also would certainly wish the good opinion of others – without which He could have done very little. The fine robe He wore to the cross was a gracious gift from some one who had a good opinion of Him. Quite often the food He ate, the house He occupied, were the result of another’s good opinion of Him. Nor was there anything to criticize in this. However, in all of this, never once did He leave the narrow (strait, difficult way) in compromise to secure what He wanted. So also it should be with us.
None of His faithful followers have followed this course to the same degree of perfection that Jesus did. But some of them have been model examples for the rest of us. St. Paul had been one of those few “noble, rich, wise” – a brilliant lawyer, wealthy, of the social elite – who denied himself, took up his cross, to follow the Lord. Prior to that fateful trip to Damascus, he had cherished an insatiable hate toward the despised Christians – a real zealot bent upon their extinction. But once he saw the better way, he was equally determined to “endure unto the end” in his service of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19); and it is to his praise that he could eventually write to his beloved ‘son’ Timothy: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept (guarded) the faith (the Truth)” – fully faithful to the end, knowing as he wrote to Timothy, that in a few days the Romans would chop off his head. And similar praise may be given to many others – all of which should renew our determination as we “do this in remembrance” that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom.8:38, 39)
As the minute and detailed religious system was given to the Jews through Moses at Sinai and in the Tabernacle construction and subsequent service, so the Levites were also unconditionally and emphatically given to that service. It is said they were “wholly given” – not partially, but with all the heart, mind, soul and strength. As such, they typified the Gospel Age priests and Levites in their service to Gospel Age matters, all of whom are owned by God. Accordingly, unfaithfulness in any of their religious activities would be unfaithfulness to God, Who always requires an accounting for neglect or willful abstinence from those who have covenanted to serve Him. Accordingly, complete faithfulness on the part of the Levites during this Age would usually lead to promotion to the priesthood; and full faithfulness on the part of the male members of the priesthood would often lead to promotion to the office of “prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers” in His Body (Eph. 4:11-13), “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ.... unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
In His faithfulness, Jesus endured the cross “for the joy that was set before Him”; and we offer the following from Parousia Vol. 5, p.118 in elaboration of this statement:
“This joy before Him, we may reasonably suppose, was: (1) A joy to render a service which would be acceptable to the Father. (2) A joy to redeem mankind, and make possible their rescue from sin and death. (3) A joy in the thought that by the accomplishment of this redemption He would be accounted worthy of the Father to be the mighty ruler and blesser, King and Priest of the world; to reveal to the world a knowledge of the Divine Plan, and to lift up from sin to Divine grace whosoever would accept of the terms of the New Covenant. (4) A joy that the Father had promised Him; not only a return to spirit glory that He had with the Father before the world was, but a more excellent glory – to be exalted far above angels, principalities, powers, and every name that is named, and to be made an associate in the Kingdom of the Universe, next to the Father – on the right hand of the Majesty on high; and partaker of the Divine nature, with its inherent or immortal life.”
In an accommodated sense, the foregoing is also “the joy” set before all those during this Age who have “followed in His steps”; and it is our hope and prayer for all our readers that their preparation for, and participation in this year’s “remembrance” will be instrumental in increasing the joy set before them. As in previous years, we suggest to all the reading of the Passover chapter in Parousia Volume 6; and we shall be grateful for the report of your experiences therein.
In St. Paul’s words, “I desire that fruit may abound to your account, and that my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.” (Phil. 4:17, 19. 23)
Sincerely your Brother, John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION: – On page 14 of the January Present Truth Brother Jolly discusses the number of saved classes from among mankind, and he says, “we are not to seek to limit the Divine wisdom in respect to the number of saved classes.” Brother Johnson tells us that there are SIX SAVED CLASSES from among mankind. What do you think of Brother Jolly’s statement?
ANSWER: – The statement taken by itself is certainly true. No one with the “spirit of a sound mind” would attempt to limit, or even tamper with that which is given in Holy Writ. However, RGJ’s statement here is open to some question: Did Brother Johnson attempt to “limit the Divine wisdom” when he taught and proved by numerous Scriptures that the number of saved human classes should properly be regarded as SIX (the number of evil or imperfection – the number of classes affected by the evil reign of 6,000 years)? We would refer our questioner to Brother Johnson’s able and clear explanation and treatise of the subject in Epiphany Volume 17, Chap. 2.
However, if the Executive Trustee of the LHMM is now right, then it seems that the Lord did not give Brother Johnson the whole Truth on the subject. Do you believe that? While we are not to seek to limit Divine wisdom, we should readily realize that Divine wisdom does limit us; and this is clearly shown in Joel 2:28, 29; in the Tabernacle picture; and in the type of the Ark. In the latter Noah and his three sons and their wives type the four elect “saved classes” (the leaders and the ledlings), the “clean” animals, the believing Jews and Gentiles, and the unclean, the heathen, etc. The clean animals include many varieties, and the unclean even more varieties; but there isn’t the slightest hint that we should differentiate between the various species to show more than the two divisions given in the Bible.
The Ark and the Tabernacle show four elect classes – and only four. These are the saved who will receive “the resurrection of the just,” as described in our February paper No. 164. If we want to go beyond that, then why stop at fourteen, as RGJ does? Of course, he says he could “go on dividing and subdividing”; and we would agree that words are always with him in super-abundance. If he wants to take St. Paul’s statement in Eph. 4:11, 12, he can find there five more divisions – Apostles, prophets, evangelists, elders and ledlings. Note, however, we say “divisions,” because these five are all five ‘divisions’ of one Class – just as the six sons of Keturah are all six divisions of one Class. When he says those restitutionists are different “classes,” he attempts a very shoddy use of the word ‘classes’ in this instance and actually sets aside the clear Scriptural teaching as taught by the Epiphany Messenger; and it is little wonder that Brother Johnson wrote into the record that RGJ is “loquacious, repetitious and false-accusing” (See E-10:591); and that he is one of the “good Levites,” one of “the crown-losers in the Epiphany Movement – who “darken the Truth by their teachings without proper knowledge.” This is an exact quotation of Brother Johnson’s description of him, and not ours – to which we need add no comment of our own. Let us also note Brother Johnson’s charge against him in Epiphany Volume 10, p. 585, bottom, and p. 586, top, with reference to the dying cancerous widow: “R. G. Jolly again was J.’s main opponent before the church on the subject.” When the Epiphany Messenger says “again” he is telling us that this was not the first time RGJ was his “main opponent.”
Yet RGJ accuses us of “having very limited spiritual vision, and inability to discern clearly,” even though there is no record of such against us made by Brother Johnson. Please note – this is RGJ’s comment about us; Brother Johnson never said that about us – nor can RGJ quote from the record any such pronouncement against us. But Brother Johnson did write that it is “one of the foibles of our fallen human nature judging others by one’s self.” And to substantiate this, we direct attention to his confusion on p. 15 regarding the “evil day” and the Epiphany. He treats them as though they mean the same thing. In previous papers we have stated that the “evil day” is from 1874 to the end of Jacob’s Trouble, but the Epiphany did not begin until 1914; thus the “evil day” includes the Epiphany, but the Epiphany does not embrace the ‘evil day’ in its entirety.
On another occasion RGJ says C. Shuttleworth is a “parallel” to E. C. Henninges in the 1908-11 sifting. In that 1908-11 conflict E. C. Henninges openly attacked Brother Russell, accusing him of being the sifter; but in 1948-50 Brother Shuttleworth was giving Brother Johnson full cooperation to the day he died; he was Brother Johnson’s British Representative. Some “parallel”; some nonsense!
In support of the foregoing we remind our readers that King Saul of Israel was a type of the crown-lost leaders up to Armageddon; and it is specifically written of him that “the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets” (Divinely-enlightened teachers)—1 Sam. 28:6. On previous occasions we have stated that RGJ cannot read the writings of the two Messengers, and understand what he has read after he reads. Here is simply some more proof of this. He strains to show 14 “classes” (actually divisions, not classes) in order to make a place for his Campers Consecrated, and to make void Brother Johnson’s teachings on the six saved classes from among mankind. All these errors he has presented have been the direct result of his “strange fire” (false doctrine) of Epiphany Campers Consecrated – just as much of the conglomeration of error the Jehovah’s Witnesses foist upon their adherents was produced to substantiate their “strange fire” (false doctrine) of Jonadabs, or “great crowd.”
The following quotation from E-15:520 is timely here: “Whenever a company of them form a group, they become partisan sectarians; and their leaders always grasp for power and lord it over God’s heritage (1 Pet. 5:2), becoming guilty of love of money, influence, honor from men and leadership. As these evil qualities grow in them under Satanic manipulation they lead their followers into increasing errors and Satan-given wrong arrangements for the Lord’s work. These revolutionisms arousing the opposition of the faithful, controversies set in, wherein, to defend themselves against the Scriptural truths that the faithful bring against their errors, to maintain a semblance of consistency in their errors, they give up one truth after another...... With all of this they increasingly lose part of their ability to discern between truth and error. This shows a deterioration in the bad part of their intellects and their intellects’ contents, while it shows that their intellects still retain some of their former ability to see and to retain some truth – double-mindedness in their intellects in varying degrees.”
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior!
So sorry I have been so slow in sending you my small donation. It was in 1913 Brother Johnson gave a talk on consecration at Aurora, Ill., and shortly after symbolized my consecration. Then the Radio Station was built on our farm. So you see we have had experience with the Jehovah’s Witnesses! But thank the Lord, for the past 22 years we have had pleasure meeting with the friends who left them also.
We live in the country, so do not have the privilege to attend meetings.... But we do have lots of helps – Reprints, etc.
Thank you again and God bless you! Sister ------- (MICHIGAN)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior!
This is Sister ------- writing on behalf of Sister ------- and myself. She gives thanks to you for the gifts – especially for the spiritual help. We had our usual New Year night meeting, which was very nice – prayer meeting and testimonies...... So we are going forward in the name of the Lord. We hope that the good Lord will bless and keep you and Sister Hoefle. Also give our warm love to the other brethren over there.
Warm Christian love from Sister --------- (TRINIDAD)
Our dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and Peace!
May your birthday be a happy one. The joy of the Lord be your strength. Thank you all for the good wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Our health is improving, and we thank the Lord for everything. We trust Sister Moynello is continuing to make steady progress – and that Sister Hoefle and Sister Dunnagan are able to cope with all the matters at hand.
It was good hearing the news from one of the astronauts that the “earth was beautiful” – and then quoting from Genesis. It may be that these adventures will mean – that is, it will prove God’s word to be right and infallible. The Lord now in His Second Presence is allowing it.
We look forward to receiving January issue. The postal system is not good and it looks as if it might get worse. Hope you get this in time for your birthday. God bless you! With our love to you, Sister Hoefle, Sisters Moynello and Dunnagan –
Brother and Sister ------- (ENGLAND)
PS – We have almost finished Parousia Volume 1. Brother Johnson encouraged all to keep in constant touch with the Parousia Truth – and if neglected, it would be difficult to keep in the Truth. If ever you can come you will be most welcome.
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace in Jesus Name!
Thank you for your good letter of the 27th, and your good council. I looked up in my bound papers and I do have the one of July 1966 with the article the Time of the End. I read the part about One Hour with the Beast. As you say, some – or many details we don’t know yet. I want to read the whole article over again – and will keep book opened to that place, also the 3rd Volume where it speaks of the “Time of the End.”
I hope all is going well with you. Things are quite good here. I received a letter from Sister -------, also from Sister ------- Please send some tracts when convenient.......
We have been having quite a lot of rain lately. I do like the rain, but some people have had their homes spoiled. There are locations where homes should not be built......
I haven’t been receiving Brother Krewson’s paper, but he sent me one for this month. There is quite a lot about the Quasi-elect.
With Christian love to you, Sister Hoefle and to the others.
Your sister by faith ------- (CALIFORNIA)