Comes once more the commemoration of our Lord’s death on the cross, the time this year being after six p.m. April 3. This year 1966 the moon nearest the Spring Equinox comes new at 6:46 a.m. March 22 at Jerusalem, which makes Nisan 1 begin at 6 p.m. March 21, according to Bible reckoning. At the outset, when fixing the proper time for observance, it is well to remember that all during the Age there has been much misunderstanding and great controversy on the proper time to “keep the feast,” as well as over the proper meaning; and we believe it is a sound conclusion that almost all of God’s fully faithful people from the days of the Apostles have been wrong on the proper time to partake of the bread and the wine. This is due in large part to the Bible’s complete silence on certain features of the time segment. The record is very definite in Ex. 12:6 that it should be on the 14th day of the month Nisan; but nowhere are we told how to determine when Nisan begins. We must go outside the Holy Writ for that information – as did the Jews all during the Jewish Age, even up to the time of our Lord’s first Advent. This forces us to conclude that we must be generous in our appraisal of those who have erred on the correct time to hold the Lord’s Supper. By this we do not wish to condone a slipshod attitude. Certainly we should do everything right if we know how to do it right, and are capable of doing it right. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
The general turmoil that prevailed on determining the right date eventually forced the Roman Church to fix an, arbitrary date, and to have the observance always on Good Friday: The first Friday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox was fixed as the time to observe our Lord’s crucifixion. In time this custom became so firmly entrenched that almost all of God’s people – fully faithful, measurably faithful and nominal – were led to accede to the edict. Of course, It should be clear enough from this arrangement that it would never be possible to have the commemoration of the antitypical Passover occur before the Spring Equinox; and we can find no record that even the nominal church ever did observe it before that time.
When That Wise and Faithful Servant appeared on the scene, and the seventh trump began to sound, the “due time” had arrived to remove the colossal rubbish heap of error that had accumulated over the centuries, and the date for the antitypical Passover also came up for consideration. He stressed the ethics of an annual observance, showing that the memorial of our Lord’s death should be an annual affair – just the same as a birth, a wedding anniversary, or our Fourth of July celebration of our independence should be but once a year. Seeing this feature clearly, he set about to determine the exact day and hour if possible; and, while he was a day or so astray at times, he impressed us all with the propriety of an annual observance on Nisan 14. And so far as we can find, he, too, never set the date before the Vernal Equinox.
But “the path of the righteous is as the light of dawn, going on and brightening, unto meridian day” (at high noon, when the sun seems motionless in high Heaven)—Prov. 4:18, Rotherham. Thus, it was only reasonable to expect that the beloved Epiphany Messenger would give this matter further scrutiny, which resulted in his conclusion that Nisan 1 should begin at six p.m. of that day in which the moon became new, even though that could mean that the moon might new almost 24 hours after the six p.m. which would start Nisan 1. Then he determined that the Passover was a Spring festival with the Jews, that it was never held before the Vernal Equinox; and this rule he followed meticulously during the later years of his life never once, so far as we can find, ever “keeping the feast” before the Equinox.
The historian Josephus was also one of the high-ranking priests in Israel, being contemporary with the Apostles, and whose Uncle was High Priest in Israel. Thus, he would be as well qualified as any one to know the method then existing for fixing Nisan 1, as it was left to the Sanhedrin to do this, and the High Priest was automatically President of that august body of men. Therefore, when he says the Passover must be kept when the sun is in Aries, we are pretty much forced to accept him, since we can find nothing better anywhere else. And at the time he wrote the sun arrived in Aries at the Vernal Equinox; thus, the Jews recognized it as a Spring festival. And there is no record that the Lord and the Apostles found any quarrel with this. The present Jewish Encyclopedia also stresses that the Passover is a Spring festival.
It may be well here to make a slight digression, with brief discussion of the Atonement Day service, which is definitely a Fall festival – coming as it does almost exactly six months after the Passover Spring festival – the Bible being positive that the Atonement Day must be kept on the tenth day of the seventh month – the month Tishri in the Jewish calendar. Perhaps the reason for this is to differentiate clearly between the Ransom, which is typified in the Passover Lamb, and the Sin Offering which is portrayed by the Bullock and the Goat in Leviticus 16. While these two fundamentals bear a close relationship, yet we must bear in mind that man’s salvation could have been effected by the Ransom alone, with the Sin Offering entirely eliminated; but the perfect Justice of God would have made it impossible to give man salvation with only a Sin Offering without a Ransom. Said John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” the “sin of the World” being distinctly the transgression of Adam in Eden, which brought death upon him and upon all his progeny. It needs no argument that Adam bequeathed his children with a cursed legacy (the sentence of death “passed upon all men”—Rom. 5:12) – a legacy which no man has desired, yet one which none could refuse to accept, and leave for others to inherit, as may be done with material goods distributed in testament by our forbears. The Sin Offering of the Church during this Age would also offer a proper balance for the occurrence in Eden, where two were involved; and a proper balanced offset would thus require the performance of two in the cancellation – Jesus and His faithful Bride giving life to the human race, in contrast to Adam and Eve passing a sentence of death upon the race.
Therefore, it was certainly an orderly arrangement that the sacrifice which would eventually bring life to mankind, should appear in the Spring, the season when vegetational life bursts into verdant activity after the ice-bound deadness of the winter months. Thus, while the general rule is to use the moon coming new nearest the Spring Equinox to determine Nisan 1, yet there must be an exception to this rule if such acceptance would place Nisan 14 before the arrival of the Spring Equinox. Observing It before the arrival of Spring would do violence to an otherwise orderly and delightsome portrait. That is why Brother Johnson states in his February 1933 Memorial article that the service should be “NEVER BEFORE THE VERNAL EQUINOX.”
TYPE AND ANTITYPE
The expression in general use today is “The Passover,” when referring to the Jewish celebration each year, and this can prove very misleading unless we keep clearly in mind that in the primary sense there has been but one Passover – the one that was kept that night in Egypt as the Jews prepared to leave that country. Each succeeding year thereafter the celebration was merely a memorial of the ONE Passover. “Ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever” (v. 12:24) “It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations” (v. 42).
And similarly with the antitype – there is but one: “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” Therefore, the bread and the wine each year are but a memory of the one great antitype – “This do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). And, as with the Jews in their memorial year after year, so alsowithus: “As often asye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show forth the Lord’s death” (1 Cor. 11:26). Also, while there was considerable variation in the remembrance of the type from the performance that one right in Egypt, there is considerable divergence in the antitype. Each year the Jews ate their lamb, the same sort of lamb they ate that first night; but in the antitype we do not crucify afresh each year Christ our Passover – we merely partake of the “bread, which is His body, and the wine, which is His blood” as a symbolism of that one great sacrifice. It is the service which Jesus Himself instituted the night before His death; and which He commanded us to do in like manner throughout the succeeding years of this Gospel Age.
Regarding variations in memory of the type each year, we would note some of the following: The blood of the lamb slain that night in Egypt was handled in this fashion: “Ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood... strike the lintel and the two side posts .... and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.” (v. 22) None of this was done in the memorials thereafter. Also, that first night was one of solemn intense watching, knowing the Angel of Death would pass throughout the land. This also was only a memorial in the years following, with no fear that the Angel of Death was prevalent among them. Thus, much of the solemnity and tenseness of that one night was absent in the memorials – so much so that copious drafts of wine were taken with the lamb and other viands – four cups in all – the service starting with a cup of wine, and ending with a cup of wine. This was intended to imbue a sort of festive rejoicing into the memorial meal, although not to the point that the weighty solemnity of the occasion should be forgotten.
Another variation in the type itself and in the antitype is that the Jewish firstborns were in danger of death only on that one night in Egypt (another clear proof that there was but one Passover); in the subsequent memorials they were in no more danger than any other member of the family. But in the Gospel Age (which is typed in its entirety by that one night in Egypt) the spiritual firstborns are in danger throughout their entire lives of going into death – the second death – if at any time they forsake the covering protection of the “precious blood” of Christ our Passover. However, a notable feature concerning those firstborns that were spared that night in Egypt is that they also lost the covering protection the next morning, having the same standing as other Jews; in fact, every one of them over twenty years of age died in the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the only exceptions being Joshua and Caleb. But in the Gospel Age the fully faithful firstborns are never without the protection of their guardian angels. “The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth then.”
IN SINCERITY AND TRUTH
To those who have acquired a comprehensive understanding of the correct time to partake, the reason for partaking, and the fundamental meaning of the bread and the wine, St. Paul counsels: “Therefore, let us keep the festival, not with the old leaven, nor with leaven of vice and wickedness, but with the unleavened principles of sincerity and truth.” (1 Cor. 5:8, Dia.) The principle of sincerity, honesty of purpose and open countenance, is given much emphasis throughout the Scriptures. A “good and honest heart” is the primary requisite of those who would receive and retain the Truth in its purity; all others are eventually given over to “strong delusion.” “Because they admitted not the love of the Truth (in honesty).... God will send to then an energy of delusion, to their believing the falsehood” (giving them over to error because of their insincerity, dishonesty)—2 Thes. 2:10,11, Dia. It is reported that of Abraham Lincoln more has been written than of any other human being in history, with two exceptions – Jesus and Shakespeare. And this is not because he produced any great books; it was due in large part to the fact that he was just an honest man. When he saw clearly what he should do, he proceeded to do it in sincerity of purpose. Now much of heartache and turmoil would have been avoided among God’s people in this Epiphany time had the various Levitical leaders just followed this simple rule. But, “offenses needs must come” for “the trial of your faith”; so we should “think it not strange,” although it should determine us all the more not to follow in their steps. Rather, let us “look unto Jesus,” for “even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his stops.” To offer a quotation from Brother Russell:
“Only those who faithfully walk with God, partaking of His spirit, and humbly relying upon all the testimonies of His precious Word, shall be able to discern and discard the ‘stubble’ of error which has long been mixed with the truth, and boldly to stand fast in the faith of the Gospel and in loyalty of heart to God, while the masses drift off in the popular current toward infidelity in its various forms, Evolution, Higher Criticism, Theosophy, Christian Science, Spiritism, or other theories denying the necessity and merit of the great Calvary sacrifice. But those who successfully stand in this ‘evil day’ will, in so doing, prove the metal of their Christian character; for so strong will be the current against them, that only true Christian devotion to God, zeal, courage and fortitude will be able to endure to the end. It is written, ‘A thousand shall fall at thy side (into the second death—JJH) and ten thousand at thy right hand (into measurably faithful Leviteship—JJH); but it shall not come nigh thee, because thou hast said, The Lord is my protection, and the Most High hast thou made thy refuge.... He that dwelleth in the secret place (of consecration, communion and fellowship) of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
To such – and only to such – are the “precious promises” fully available; and we may rest in the strong assurance of Zech. 2:7,8, “Deliver thyself, 0 Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon (Big and Little Babylon). For thus saith the Lord of Hosts, he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” This is primarily a Little Flock text, of course, and should be accepted in that light; but this very intensive metaphor offers graphic assurance of God’s watchcare over His own. We may easily grasp the meaning of this illustration when we consider how sensitive are we when some person attempts to stick his finger into our eye. The resentment and resistance are instantaneous; and so says our God is it with Him when some one plans evil toward those who are faithfully in His fold. Brother Johnson offers fitting companion comment to this in E-13:251 – “Let us learn the lessons chiefly inculcated by Samuel and Saul, i.e., that by God’s grace we stand, as we abide faithful, taught us by antitypical Samuel’s life (the life of the faithful Star Members—JJH), and that, despite God’s grace, we fall, as we prove unfaithful, taught us by antitypical Saul’s life (the crown-lost leaders in Big and Little Babylon—JJH).”
To all of our readers do we extend cordial good wishes and the Lord’s rich blessing in their preparation for, and participation in this coming Memorial, which we shall hold this year at 1507 N. Donnelly, Mount Dora, Florida, at 7:30 p.m. April 3. Our warm welcome is extended to any who may wish to join with us in this service. As always, we suggest refreshment of the various features of the Memorial by a reading of the chapter in Parousia Volume 6, perhaps also by a pertinent article by Brother Johnson. As stated in previous years, we ourselves have followed the practice over the years of taking the Gospel accounts of our Lord’s trial and death, one each day for the five days preceding the service, with the Berean Comments; and we offer in conclusion St. Paul’s words to Titus (2:7,9): “In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
QUESTION: – What is your opinion of Bro. Jolly’s answer to the Ecclesias question on the church leaving early in anarchy – p. 12 of this Jan. P.T.?
ANSWER: – Our opinion of this answer by R. G. Jolly is the same as our usual observations of his perversions of the Star Members’ teachings. Since he was fully abandoned to Azazel in 1950 it seems very difficult for him to refrain from perverting any teaching he attempts to discuss – especially if the Star Members’ teach contrary to his “new views” or “strange fire” (false doctrines). In this he gives tragic repetition of all Gospel-Age crown-lost leaders, who thought they knew more than their Star-member teachers, and felt impelled to alter the truths they gave by injecting into them their own perverting errors. The result: Great and Little Babylon – ‘strong delusions.’
He becomes quite profuse in his comments on Psalms 46, on Revolution and Anarchy in this Time of Trouble, to bolster up his present contentions and confuse the minds of his deluded readers as to the clear and direct teaching of the Epiphany Messenger as set out in Epiphany Vol. 3; but never once does he do more than just give passing mention to the citation the Ecclesia gave; namely, p. 130, par. 81 of Epiphany Vol. 3. Says R. G. Jolly: “We have been in a general sense in more or less of anarchy ever since 1914.” Note Brother Johnson’s statement in par. 81: ‘Antitypical Elijah leaves the earth, which does NOT take place until early in anarchy, an event preceded by the revolution, which in turn, is preceded by the Great Company as such pouring out the seventh vial.” Now notice the seventh vial did not appear until 1917 – three years after 1914. Therefore, when Brother Johnson says the revolution will come after 1917, and anarchy will follow the revolution, R. G. Jolly is telling his readers to accept his nonsense that Brother Johnson was referring to a “general sense” of the Time of Trouble since 1914! And he expects (or hopes!) his deluded followers will continue to accept his nonsense in place of the sober teachings of the Star Members.
But let us go back to par. 78, p. 128 of this same Vol. 3, and note Brother Johnson’s statement:
“The Little Flock has not yet left the world in the whirlwind, which is not yet here.”
According to R. G. Jolly’s nonsense the whirlwind is here! This Vol. 3 was published in 1938 – 24 years after 1914 (R. G. Jolly’s ‘general sense’ whirlwind). So here again the Star Member is talking nonsense if we accept R. G. Jolly’s nonsense, which directly contradicts the Epiphany Messenger’s teaching in Epiphany Vol. 3.
Then let us follow on with par. 79, wherein Brother Johnson offers his explanation of Psalms 46:1-4:
“The Little Flock does not leave the world until early in anarchy.”
Clearly enough, Brother Johnson was speaking of some future event – sometime beyond 1938. Therefore, are we to conclude that Brother Johnson did not understand the “whirlwind” (anarchy) has been with us since 1914? Or that he was slipshod and shabby in his teachings? Or that R. G. Jolly is now attempting another of his perversions – “sleight-of-hand”? And why does R. G. Jolly ignore completely Brother Johnson’s analysis on pages 128 and 129 in the very book to which his questioners refer? Here is another quotation from p. 128 (79) and page 129:
“Psalm 46:1-4 demonstrates that the Little Flock will be in the world throughout the revolution (I Kings 19:11,12). While, therefore, in the flesh, it will witness the revolution, which will overthrow the symbolic dragon, beast and image of the beast; for Rev. 16:18-20 and 16:9 demonstrate that the revolution will overthrow these institutions;...... but the Little Flock does not leave the world until early in anarchy.”
However we may view the passing of the last Saint, it seems clear enough even to an ordinary sixth-grade boy, that these pages by Brother Johnson are a direct contradiction to what R. G. jolly is now offering.
In the last paragraph, col. 2, p. 12, R. G. Jolly quotes Brother Johnson: “Amid these conditions of fear, let God’s people be above fear, even as we read in the 46th Psalm.” And, since Brother Johnson properly includes all God’s people in his words of encouragement, R. G. Jolly then proceeds to write out of this the Little Flock after 1950 by his observation: “The Little Flock portion of ‘God’s people’ lived long enough in the trouble to see the mountains being ‘carried’ (overwhelmed) into the midst of the sea.” Had these same conditions described by R, G. Jolly not prevailed before 1936? Yet Brother Johnson was speaking of things beyond 1938 – the great earthquake of which Brother Russell said the French Revolution was a small advance indication of what we could expect when “the mountains are carried into the midst of the sea,” Have we – even yet up to the year 1966 – witnessed such an upheaval? There had not been a single instance of this between 1914 and 1938 – nor between 1938 and 1950 – nor even yet between 1950 and 1966! R. G, Jolly is hard pressed indeed when he must offer such sophistry to trusting brethren. The very citations he offers give transparent contradiction to his claims, so we once more offer Brother Johnson’s words respecting such Levitical mis’-leaders:
“Why do they so often quote passages to prove points positively disproven by those very passages? Is it not because they are in Azazel’s hands, and are thus blinded by him, and at his direction palm off his errors on the dear unsuspecting sheep of God’s Flock?”
R. G. Jolly says he is “so glad” for the ecclesias question. Yes, Azazel is probably glad, too – just real tickled at the perversions in his answer (and is probably delighted with R. G. Jolly’s discomfiture, as he doesn’t mind how much his dupes are humiliated either) – because Azazel means Perverter. “Because they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, thou gavest them blood (error) to drink; they deserve It.” (Rev. 16:6, Dia.)
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and Peace in Jesus’ dear Name!
I hope this finds you and Sister Hoefle well.
I want to thank you both for the beautiful Christmas greetings and the good letter telling me about Mr.–– writing for additional tracts. I do hope D.v. he reads them. I am getting low in my supply of tracts, so will appreciate some when convenient to send.
After I wrote to you before Christmas I felt so much more peaceful along the line I wrote. I will seek to remember more to neither murmur nor complain at what the Lord’s Providence may allow. We don’t know the lessons we need how many steep ways or deep ones we need to travel.
Enclosed is a check for $–- to use in the Lord’s work – or if I owe anything use toward that. Do the friends sometimes send to any of the Brethren who are poor?..... I thought perhaps in some foreign countries – though I know in this day of pensions, etc., there doesn’t seen to be so many really poor, except in certain countries. I know in this country people usually have social security, etc.
I notice there are sometimes letters from brethren in California. I was wondering who they are. I guess they must live quite a way from here. It is a big state.
Wishing you both a good New Year in the Lord. WithChristianlovetoyou and Sister Hoefle and those there with you. Your sister by faith, ------- (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Sir: Please send the following papers: (1) WhereAretheDead; (2) What Is The Soul; (3) The Resurrection of the Dead. Thank you! ------- (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Greetings through our Loving Lord!
I received both your letters – the Nov. 12 and Jan. 6 – and enjoyed both very much. I have been getting all the papers on time, and they are wonderful! I just had to stop reading twice and sent prayers up to God for the wonderful blessings contained therein. I read them over and over as I do with the Volumes and the Scriptures.
Love and prayers for you all andallwithyou. Yoursisterintheonefaith,
PS – Send What is the Soul and Where are the Dead. Thank you! ------- (PENNSYLVANIA)
Dear Brother and Sister Hoefle: Christian greetings!
We were pleased to have your card at Christmas, and thank you very such for your kind wishes. We know that you will be pleased to hear that we are endeavoring to be steadfast and we thank God for using you to point out the errors to us.
We join in sending warn Christian love to you and the friends with you.
Yours by His Grace ------- TRINIDAD ECCLESIA
ANNOUNCEMENT OF GENERAL INTEREST
Our Memorial date coming this year on April 3, we suggest for our Spring Special Effort in volunteer and sharp-shooting March 20 through April 10. Our Nos. I and 2 (Where are the Dead and What Is the Soul) are for volunteer work at Protestant church doors on the first three Sundays – and our No. 3 (The Resurrection of the Dead) may be used for the last two Sundays. Please order the necessary literature in good time to participate. All literature will be sent free and postage prepaid.
The bereaved work is another avenue of participating in this “good fight” and we suggest that our brethren continue in the Arrangements as set out by the Epiphany Messenger in the January 1945 Present Truth, p. 9, bottom and p. 10, top (which please see) – Where Are the Dead and What Is the Soul for all except the soldier bereaved. Nos. I and 3 (Where Are the Dead and The Resurrection tracts) may be used for them. Let the various other groups include letters and other literature in their bereaved work, as they may be inclined; but let us continue in the methods prescribed by Brother Johnson. We believe his arrangements are direct and certain, and will bring the best results. We want the trumpet to have a ‘certain’ sound so that others may come to the Battle. We don’t feel the need to add to or change this Epiphany Arrangement for Antitypical Gideon’s Second Battle – a Battle that will be completed in this Epiphany period.
We also encourage our faithful Youthful Worthy brethren to be zealous in their pursuit of antitypical Zebah and Zalmunna (Eternal Torment and the Consciousness of the Dead—See E-5:237), as well as to continue zealous and faithful in their pursuit of Oreb and Zeeb (Sectarianism and Clericalism) – because they are assured of Victory in this battle against these two “prince errors” (See E-5:225,229)
Antitypical Gideon’s Second Battle is not over – and we invite as many of our faithful brethren to join with us in this “good fight’ as their circumstances may permit – in His spirit and way (arrangements) until the Battle is completed.
Letter from Jamaica
Dear Brother Hoefle: – Grace and peace Divine be with you!
We here are sending hearty greetings and sincere good wishes for a prosperous New Year, D.v..... It is with great pleasure we toll you, even though we have had much experiences and testings of various sorts during the year that is just past – yet still we have proven it is God’s hand that leadeth us, and after each trial we have had our blessings.
Your monthly articles sent us during the year have brought many refreshing memories.... We got much light on many subjects we were not so clear on, and point us to the Volumes... May the Lord bless and keep you, dear Sr. Hoefle and all that help at the Bible House ...... Yours in His name,
CROFTS HILL ECCLESIA