My dear Brethren: – Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
Comes once again the Memorial of our Lord's crucifixion, wherein He provided the Great Antitype of Israel's lamb for the Passover in Egypt; and it is with deep reverence that we once more direct attention to observations concerning it. So much has been written about this subject by Brother Russell and Brother Johnson in their volumes and magazines that we would not presume to offer anything new about it. As Brother Johnson always advised the Lord's people to read and meditate upon The Passover in Parousia Volume 6, so we now also make similar recommendation.
Since so much confusion and variety of opinions exist on the time and occasion for partaking of the "Lord's Supper," we now consider it opportune to make further examination of this important feature. In doing so we shall offer two other observations, which digress somewhat from the Passover proper, yet have an underlying relation to it. The Papal system is directly responsible for the present confusion, motivated as they were to go as far away as possible from anything that might lend the slightest prestige to Jewry. This has been permitted by God, of course, for two reasons: First, and probably foremost, to add to their strafings under their Gospel-Age "double" of disfavor; and, Second, to permit the unfaithful and the Measurably Faithful of this Age to join with them somewhat in their cup of woe.
At the start of the Age the first move made away from Jewry was innocent enough, as the Disciples congregated on the first day of the week to "break bread" together in fraternal good will. Thus, the Sabbath of the Christian world was changed from Saturday to Sunday, as we now see it. By this step the first great separation from the Jews took place. We assume all of our readers know we are not advocating Saturday as our Sabbath, because Christians are not under the Law of Moses in letter; but we believe all will readily realize that the difference in the Jewish and Christian Sabbaths makes a distinct cleavage between Jew and Gentile.
Second, with this same thought in mind is the birthday of Jesus. As all of us know, there is no foundation whatever in Scripture or secular history for observing December 25 as the birthday of Jesus. As Brother Johnson has clearly pointed out to us, His birthday had to be on the Atonement, the tenth day of the month Tizri (or Tishri) – the seventh month of the Jewish year, or about October 10 of our present calendar. This is because all types of the Old Testament that had a set date for their observance had to have the antitype begin on that same date. "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled." (Matt. 5:18) Therefore, since Jesus was the Great Antitype of the Atonement‑Day sacrifice of the bullock offered for sin, that type could not pass away until He presented Himself as the antitype. And this He could not do until He had reached the age of thirty years (when the Jews reckoned one to be a man), at which time He was the exact duplicate of the man Adam, for whom He would offer Himself on the cross.
How, then, came the aberration on this matter? We answer again, the Papal System produced a cunningly devised fable for December 25 by a reasoning devious and cunning. They brought forth the suggestion that the Vernal Equinox is the time for all vegetable life to spring forth from the sleeping earth after the winter's rest. Therefore, that time – about March 25 – must be the time the life in Mary's womb must also have had its animation. And, counting nine months from March 25 would bring us to December 25; and here again a blow was given to Jewish prestige. Just consider the respect that would necessarily be theirs if the Christian world observed the birth of the Messiah on the identical day that Jews sit in sackcloth and ashes, fasting and repentant for sins of the year past on their Day of Atonement. Such occurrence could not but cause endless comment and investigation to determine this phenomenal co‑incidence, even as it now goes by unnoticed under the present arrangement. On this point also there is no command in the Bible to make special celebration of Jesus' birthday, so we have no particular quarrel with those who choose to do so on December 25.
Thirdly, the date for the Memorial itself: By an arbitrary ruling, based upon nothing at all, The Papal system decreed the first full moon after the Spring Equinox would determine. And, to have it always on Friday, they designated the first Friday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, with the Sunday following that as Easter, or Resurrection morning. The account of the Passover in Egypt says – "without variableness, nor shadow of turning" – that the lamb was to be killed and eaten on Nisan 14; and that the "memorial throughout your generations" should be kept on the same date, and that Nisan would begin when the moon came new. There is no difficulty whatever in understanding this matter if the simple commands of Exodus 12 are read without prejudice, although the Christian observance of Good Friday and the Jewish observance of their Passover memorial are often almost a full month apart; and the Christian world in general now recognizes no connection whatever between the two. Here again, Jewish prestige was depleted during the "double" of Gospel‑Age disfavor.
As there was but one Passover in type, so there is but one "lamb of God" in antitype; and by taking notice of that antitype each year, we merely do so "in remembrance" – just as the Jews to this day keep their Passover in remembrance. And the service for the occasion is unique; there is no other service like it in Christian ritual throughout the earth. When our Lord gave command that we observe it, He did so in simplicity of speech and with few words. "He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, 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." (Luke 22:19,20) Yet, upon these two forthright and uncomplicated sentences great rituals have been erected by the various sects of Christendom – some more, some less. Fundamentally, no more would be required of us in our observance than our Lord's statement; although it is certainly in keeping with decorum and orderly procedure that a preparatory foundation be laid for partaking of the bread and the wine by reading and explaining the various elements involved where more than one person "keeps the feast." However, it is equally good decorum and orderly procedure that we avoid the pompous play upon words and "stage" performance, which is to be found in some quarters.
The solemnity of the occasion should be stressed, however, that all be done "decently and in order" – not shabbily, nonchalantly, as of some "common thing." It is commendable that the Christian world overemphasize the "feast" with impressive service and sedate and select speech, rather than by the other extreme of no propriety at all. The Roman system requires each participant to attend 'confession' – usually the previous afternoon or evening – before acceptance of the emblems; and, until recently, nothing was to be eaten or drunk the morning of the service. While this in itself stresses the great regard that the system attempts to display for the service, it also overawes those present in a manner never intended by Jesus when He instituted it. Here we need not discuss the errors that have been superimposed over the centuries by such nicety of display and demand, as that feature has been well set forth in the writings of both Brother Russell and Brother Johnson. Blessed are we if we may arrive at that balance of mind and heart that does not overdo or underdo the service – greatness in simplicity, inspiration in solemnity, uplift and virtue in a "good and honest" participation!
They who approach the service as aforementioned are they of whom St. Paul writes, who judge themselves, and who thus need less chastening of the Lord (1 Cor. 11:31) – the Fully Faithful in whatever Elect Class they may abide. Such are "more than conquerors" "buried with Him" – "dead unto sin, but alive toward God." To such, obedient, watchful, as "little children," the promise is sure, "I will guide thee with mine eye" – "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." And to these the promise is sure, "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly" (Psa. 84:11) Strengthened by such assurances, each worthy participant may confidently review the year past and engage the year future "in newness of life."
Quite often, immediately before or after doing this "in remembrance," the Fully Faithful are made specially mindful, through having to drink of His cup, that the bread and the wine carry weighty implications for them. As our Lord "poured out His soul unto death," so have His faithful followers done during the Age. "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand," said St. Paul in his second epistle to his 'son' Timothy; and the Diaglott makes this even more emphatic, "I am already being poured out, and the time of my dissolution has come near." Thus, this "good soldier" realized with full clarity and calm anticipation that his own life would soon be "poured out" by the Roman executioner just as one might pour water from a pitcher. And in this there was no whining, no reviling of his persecutors, no scheming to escape. "Theirs not to make reply; theirs not to question why; theirs but to do and die!" And, having reached that pinnacle of victory, he could say with all confidence, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day!"
In all of this – particularly at this Memorial season – the words of St. Paul (Heb. 12:3) are most timely: "Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." In that eloquent and touching discourse which He gave His disciples on the same night in which He instituted the Memorial of His death, He had said among other things, "They hated me without a cause." And let us never forget that "they" who thus hated Him were the so‑called 'good people' of that day – those who claimed to be longing for the appearance of their Messiah, Him whom they 'hated without a cause' when "He came to His own," His own received Him not. And be it remembered that He whose speech was "full of grace and Truth," so that "Never man spake like this man," said exactly the right thing, in the right place and at the right time; so that there was in truth no cause for any to hate Him. Yet, hate Him they did, as He wept over their undone condition.
And in all of this also "He left us an example that we should follow in His steps," bearing ever in mind that it is often the Measurably Faithful who add to the afflictions of the righteous – "your brethren that hated you, and that cast you out for my name's sake." Of such the Scriptures exhort us (Prov. 23:17), "Let not thine heart envy sinners but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long." Brother Johnson's comments on this text are found in E:11‑655: "He (the Epiphany Messenger) charges them (the Fully Faithful) not to be envious of Great Company members, who are violating their covenant of sacrifice, however much they may seem to prosper." And to this we would add the words of Prov. 17:1, "Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife." Therefore, "Let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth." (1 Cor. 5:8)
As is our usual custom, we shall "keep the feast" at 1507 N. Donnelly, Mount Dora, Florida, at 7:30 p.m. the evening of March 18 [SEE SUPPLEMENT BELOW]; and we extend cordial welcome to all of like mind who may be in the vicinity to join with us. And to all our readers near and far do we present the consoling solicitation, "The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace!"
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION: – What about the Present Truth and J. W. Krewson in their January‑February papers offering their quasi‑elect and Campers Consecrated the possible hope of "living through into the Kingdom"? Is this just another evidence that they are "cousins"?
ANSWER: – This "hybrid" teaching is manifesting more things than just one; especially is it revealing the source of their "advancing Truth" (?). "God is not the author of confusion" (I Cor. 14:33), yet here is confusion worse confounded. On p. 14, col. 2, of this January P.T., R. G. Jolly correctly states "consecration is now unto death"; yet he offers his Consecrated Campers nothing more than Restitution. As Bro. Johnson has so clearly taught, Justice never requires sacrifice; yet we now have the "cousins" appealing for sacrifice to gain what will come to all the "sheep" of the Mediatorial reign without sacrifice.
Be it remembered that the two of them worked this "hybrid" class out together, although they now dispute even each other on certain features of it – R. G. Jolly now teaching Tentative Justification in the Camp, and J. W. Krewson denying this, although his own contention is merely a "cousin" to it. It is a solid, fundamental, and indisputable teaching of both Brother Russell and Brother Johnson that there can be no righteousness (justification) outside the “linen curtain"; and it would seem the merest beginners in Present Truth should recognize that truth. And, when the "cousins" – long‑time residents in the house of Epiphany Truth – attempt to set aside such a fundamental, yet elemental, teaching which they once believed and taught, it should require no prolonged elucidation from us to depict their true condition. There now comes to us the clear blast of the trumpet of Truth, "Unclean, unclean"! (Lev. 13:45)
Of course, this "bait" is nothing new. The Chaldean necromancers used it on King Nebuchadnezzar, "O King, live forever." (Dan. 2:4) This wish is as ancient as the human race; man does not want to die. It formed the root of That Evil Servant's drive, "Millions Now Living Will never Die"; and the Jehovah's Witnesses are still preaching it with much Satanic success, although they have been forced to change the label – now their obedient devotees will go right through Armageddon and into the Kingdom without dying.
As Brother Johnson said of it as early as 1920, It may be true, but it is not the message of Present Truth to preach it to the world. We believe his observation is just as pertinent now as it was then. "Justification by works" is not yet Present Truth; it is still "Justification by faith", as we are yet in the Age of Faith – faith in the righteousness of Christ to all within the linen curtain (the Court), just as it is a wall of unbelief to those without. Let those follow the "way of Baalam" who wish to set aside this truth; "as for me and my house," we shall have none of such pernicious perversion.
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: – Grace and Peace!
I received your letter and read it with much pleasure and profit. You hit the nail squarely on the head in all particulars. I talked with Bro. --------- and he told me that his study group was going to study the Epiphany Campers in their study and go through the entire subject, as they can't see it. You may be sure I encouraged them to do so and gave them a few pointers I could recall from Bro. Johnson's writings. He told me that when Bro. Fred E. Blaine was out here ... that he told him privately that he could not see it either – or even prove it. So you can see that a whole lot of the brethren are waking up. I opine that the question on the Epiphany Campers and Jonadabs should cooperate may have been put to Bro. Jolly by Bro. --------- just to plague him (R. G. Jolly).
I was glad to read your comments on Bro. Eschrich's talk. It was just like him. He had similar views in the late 40's. With much Christian love, Your Bro. --------- MICHIGAN
Our dear Brother and Sister Hoefle: – 2 Peter 1:2
It is with pleasure we write to you, appreciating all your labours of love for God, our Lord Jesus and the Truth, coming from that source. Your able defence of Truth against the devastating errors promoted through the L.H.M.M. reminds us of Brother Johnson's able defence against errorists.
How thankful we are that Bro. Johnson gave us to understand the type of character R. G. J. was! And since he (RGJ) has given us ample proof of lack of reformation on his part, one wonders if some brethren continue to read the Epiphany Volumes. If so, why are they not amazed at the outworking of all the affairs of present‑day society. Evidently more shaking is needed. – Heb. 12:25‑19; Heb. 2:1
E Vol. 4, pp. 126‑118 gives a good description of the condition of the Priests and Levites. As Levites the Great Company are now in the Court condition, having no longer access to the Holy condition. How can any Great Company leader teach increasing light? R.G.J. was never given that function. Bro. Johnson gave him (through the brethren's request) the Executive Trusteeship, to conduct the business affairs of the L.H.M.M. In the Lord's due time He raises up a faithful leader. To appoint a successor in a teaching capacity would mean "Apostolic" succession – a thing Brothers Russell and Johnson agreed was unscriptural (E Vol. 8, pp. 346‑347; S.S. Vol. 4, p. 33).
It would seem that you have somewhat silenced RGJ on the error of the Epiphany Campers consecrated. The speakers of the L.H.M.M. also appear to be avoiding that error. Bro. Johnson taught some Youthful Worthies would come into the Truth before Armageddon and some during, and some after Armageddon. We are glad to note this partial cleansing and would rejoice to see our misled brethren applying the God‑given Truths of doctrine and practice, through the Laodicean Messenger in its two Star Members.
Thank you very much for the papers we receive. We look forward to them coming and would like, if you can, to send the Sept. 1961, which did not come our way, except through our dear Bro. and Sr. ---------, when we enjoyed their fellowship with us here .....
Last week we sent –- to Bro. --------- to be sent on to you. Our prayers continue that you be kept faithful as Joshua, and that you have much consolation through the dear ones supporting you. Our love and deep sympathy for the bereaved ones, whom you will miss and yet rejoice in their resting, or glorification, as the case may be. 1 Thes. 4:13,14; Rev. 20:6. Fervent love to Sister Hoefle and yourself and all who meet with you in fellowship. Your brethren by His Grace ... Bro. & Sr --------- ENGLAND
Dear Brother Hoefle: – Greetings in our dear Redeemer's Name!
May you be continually enlightened to give us clean, clear teachings from the Star Members through whom we have been able to get "meat" to strengthen us in our daily journey on the "narrow way" which our dear Redeemer has marked out for us, if we continue to be faithful.
I just cannot see what use errors are. How can the writings of the faithful Star Members be so plain – and yet perverted by others! Let us hope that R. G. Jolly sees the error of his way and will turn ere long – because looking at him as he is is fearful..... I am so positive that we ought to obey God and not man; also that the Word of God makes it very clear that we are fighting (not against flesh and blood, but against "principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places." God has not left us in any doubt, but sent us His Personal Representative and Saviour – and also His Star Members. One thing I believe we fail to understand – (l) He is able to raise up workers to carry on his work; and (2) that we harm no one but ourselves first, and mislead others (when we fail to "obey His Word").
I do hope that the Lord continues to guide you (which I know He will), to give us more clean Truth – and that you remain faithful to the end. I earnestly look forward to receiving your 'cleansings' (articles). I repeat, as some of the brethren in England of June 1961 p. 6 – "We thank (God) the Lord for your faithful devotion to duty in refuting error, and endeavoring to keep the "Truth stream pure."
Please give my sincere love to the brethren and Sister Hoefle, and send us your pictures. Please keep faithful.
Your Sister --------- TRINIDAD
Our dear Brother and Sister Hoefle: – Loving Greetings in our dear Redeemer's Name!
We wish for one and for all the Lord's blessings and privileges during the coming year. We here in England have so far had perhaps one of the worst winters experienced......
That was a hard experience Sister Wells received at the hands of R.G.J. We pray the Lord's grace and strength will be hers daily – that the Lord's blessings and peace of mind in all such experiences will be with her, helping her to "endure hardness as a good and faithful soldier of Jesus Christ." We cannot come to any other conclusion re R. G. J. than that he has manifested a very wrong spirit in so many ways. We often think of his spiritual condition when here in Manchester in 1959, when he previously appointed us to be the Guest at that Convention. We saw clearly the manifestation of a really crafty and wicked spirit; and we saw also that he was on the losing side in his battle with the "evil spirits." Then later on during that Convention it came to light that R.G.J. was going to Rome. He saw the Pope (whatever that meant), but he did not want any of us to know anything about this. When he found out that some one or more had let this fact be known, he was troubled. One just wonders whether that was why R.G.J. sent the brethren here those almost worthless coins – to pacify them.... A magic master stroke of Satan.
Our Christian love to you both and all the dear ones with you — Bro. & Sr. --------- ENGLAND
Dear Brother Hoefle: – Grace and peace through our Beloved Lord!
We here continue to rejoice in the Lord and in His Truth. All the brethren in our Class, as well as those who came from long distances, wish to express appreciation for your Pilgrim ministry and for the discourse. There were 21 present.
When my beloved husband (Bro –) and I attended the Chicago Convention in 1959 he was shocked and hurt at the treatment he received from the brethren, especially the 'leaders.' He knew R. G. Jolly, Pilgrim Eschrich, et al, very well, as we have entertained them in our home many times. He was very fond of them. R. G. Jolly didn't speak to him at all, and Pilgrim Eschrich only spoke after Bro. --------- followed him up and he was practically forced to speak. Since Pilgrim Eschrich brushed right past him, Bro. --------- asked him: "Don't you know me?" He answered that he did. When we came back Brother --------- said to me: "If that is what they call Christianity, I don't want any of it. Nor will I ever give them any support, financial or otherwise." He asked that I tell them that. But I was glad he was able to see for himself so there would be no doubt in his mind and heart about the evils you were exposing of those in 'high places.' Afterward he came to see it was a privilege to have some of the same experiences of our Blessed Lord – from brethren that "cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed" (Isa. 66:5). I have thought about what he said many times since his demise. They should indeed be ashamed now, because Bro –‑ always treated them well. All here join in sending you hearty Christian love, Your Sister --------- N. C.
Supplement to No. 80
My dear Brethren: - Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
A CORRECTION OF 1962 MEMORIAL DATE
Since writing our March paper No. 80 a beloved brother has suggested to us that the Memorial date this year should be after 6 P.M., April 17, instead of after 6 P.M., March 18. After sufficient research; we are persuaded he is right, based upon the following quotation from Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, Book III, Chapter 10, Sec. 5:
"In the month of Xanthicus, which is by us called Nisan, and in the beginning of our year, on the 14th day … when the sun is in Aries (for in this month we were delivered from bondage under the Egyptians), the law ordained that we should every year slay that sacrifice …. called the 'Passover'; and so we do celebrate."
While it is generally conceded that Josephus is decidedly unreliable as a historian (many of his dates are open to dispute), yet Brother Johnson says of him that he 'was a well-informed Jewish priest and a contemporary of Jesus and the Apostles" who said the Passover must be kept while the sun was in Aries, which in this year 1962 is from March 21 to April 20. Therefore, March 18 would be several days too early, which now prompts us to present the change to April 17 after 6 P.M., because the next moon after the Vernal Equinox news at 10:06 P.M. April 4, thus making Nisan I from 6 P.M. April 4 to 6 P.M. April 5; and, adding 13 days, we now have April 17 after 6 P.M. as Nisan 14. Incidentally, the Jewish Passover this year is April 18, after six p.m., the difference arising from the erratic Jewish calendar, although they are still within the Aries cycle. Whatever may be derogatory of Josephus as a historian, it would seem he was very well informed on the religious ritual of that nation; and that is all that concerns us now.
As Brother Johnson has explained, the Jewish calendar is constructed in accordance with the Metonic cycle, which allows for seven intercolated months in every nineteen years. The first month of the year is Nisan, and the last is Adar. In those seven years that have thirteen months there is added a Ve-Adar, the same occurring in this year 1962, thus making possible the beginning of Nisan at the late date of April 4. Were this not the case, then Nisan I would occur March 5, thus forcing their Passover date about March 18--several days before Aries appears, and contrary to their custom of thousands of years. We hope this explanation will prove clear and acceptable to our readers.
Since our special Spring Effort announced in our February paper was based on March 18 for our Memorial, we suggest that we begin our Special Effort March 25 through April 22 instead of the previous date. This period will cover our Memorial of April 17, after 6 p.m., for which it is intended. May the Lord richly bless one and all who participate in this good work.
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim