ONE THOUSAND JEWS CONVERTED
A church had been organized in Jerusalem for sometime over a year, and we knew the names of several members and workers; but had only the late address of one, Sister M- with whom we had corresponded while in London, a few weeks before, and who was acting secretary. After we had arrived at Lud, near Joppa, and had changed cars for Jerusalem. I began looking for the addresses of our people in Jerusalem, but for some reason, could not find any addresses, neither the letter I had last received from Sister M-. I searched through the baggage, looking thoroughly through my typewriter case and satchel where I kept my papers. It was of no use, for none could be found. There we were approaching Jerusalem, a city of 120,000 people, with not an address of anyone we knew. Where were we to go, and how could we find our friends, were the questions troubling us. The last letter from Sister M-, while in London, told us of some Jews waiting to be baptized, as soon as we arrived and urging us to hurry on our way, as we were needed in Jerusalem.
We arrived at the depot at Jerusalem about 9A.M. I told my wife we would check in all our baggage at the check stand which we did, and I secured an Arab with his carriage and team to take us over to the American Express office, about a mile away, where I knew that sometime before, one of the brethren worked, by the name of Rosen. With my wife and three children, we soon arrived there, got out, paid the Arab a few peasters, and went inside to make inquiry. We were informed that Mr. Rosen had not worked there for over a year, and they did not know where he was. After getting drinks of water for the children, we went out on the street, and I said to my wife, “we will just walk around awhile in the sun (as the air was a little cool in the shade) and surely. We can find some of the people we know.
We walked northward about two blocks, then turned east about a half block, where we saw the post office. I said, “We will go in here for we may have some mail” Walking up to the general delivery window, I called for the mail. While the clerk was looking for it, a man stepped up and said, “I believe You are from America.” I said, “Yes, we are from America.” He said “I thought so, by the way you speak.” Then he said, “Do you have friends here” I said, “Yes, we have friends here, but in some way we have lost their address.” He said, “You better come over to my mission, just a short distance, and rest up. Your family looks tired and perhaps I can help you locate your friends.” We introduced ourselves. His name was Shelton.
We decided to go with him, and after walking about two blocks and a half, entered the yard where the mission was located, and a woman came walking out of the house. As she approached, our newly found friend said, “Mr, Dugger, I will make you acquainted with Sister M- a missionary here from America.” You can imagine our surprise. This was the very person whose letter had been lost, and for whom we had been so diligently searching a short time before. Then a man walked up and our friend said, “Mr. Dugger, meet Mr. Cohen, a Jewish convert.” Again we were surprised, as this was the man.
Our secretary, Sister M-, had written was waiting for our arrival for us to baptize him. They inquired how we happened to come down there, and we told them the story of how the Lord had led us to meet Brother Shelton at the Post Office. We asked them if they lived near, and how they happened to be there. They had come over while Brother Shelton was away, and both being desirous to see him about some matters, waited until he returned. How this experience made us all rejoice, and how it confirmed in our hearts the reality of the leading hand of God. We had arrived there in a city of over a hundred thousand people and in less than a half hour were, in this miraculous manner, taken right to our friends,. We could then see how it happened that we had lost the addresses. It had given us an experience confirming further that God approved of our going to Jerusalem and gave us faith which afterwards, we well understood, was needed to make us know that God was with us, and that all would be well.
Preparing for Jerusalem for several years I had been so deeply impressed to go to Jerusalem to carry the gospel message
to the Jews gathering there that I could not resist It was on. My mind when I would retire at night, and the first thing in the morning. In vain I tried to throw it off. My children were small, and to undertake a long trip of that kind with them seemed both foolish and expensive, especially when we did not have the means. To go alone, leave my family behind, and be away from them a year or two, was unpleasant to even think about. For these reasons I tried to throw off the thoughts of Jerusalem, but it was useless.
The more I would try, it seemed the more the thoughts would come to trouble me. Finally, we began praying and asking the Lord to provide the means, and if it was His will for my family to make the trip, to let us know in some definite manner.
We spent about ten days in New York City getting acquainted with a company of believers there, and afterwards went to Washington, D. C., where we spent over two months. Before leaving Washington, I suggested to a minister there that he accompany me to New York City to meet some of the people there, and perhaps be of spiritual help to them in our absence, as we were soon leaving for the West. He consented.
We left Washington one afternoon about Christmas time. I purchased his ticket to New York City, which was almost $5.00, only lacking two or three cents. Upon our arrival in New York City, he went from the Grand Central station to see some of his friends and perhaps bring them to meeting that night. I went up on the second floor where tickets are purchased, to get a ticket and be all ready to leave, returning to Washington that night after meeting. Stepping up to the ticket window, while waiting to purchase the ticket, a stranger came walking directly toward me, and as he arrived at the window, put a $5.00 bill right at my fingers, as my hand lay on the shelf projecting from the ticket window. He said, “Here take that,” and turning around he went away so quickly I did not have time to say a word. When I came to my senses, after the pleasant and strange surprise, I had the five dollars, which of course I kept. It was evident that this was the Lord’s way of returning to me what I had only a short time before paid out for the minister’s ticket from Washington, D. C., to New York City.
It was a most unusual event, and knowing that strangers were not in the habit of passing out five dollar bills to strangers like that, I told the experience to the company there and also to others, after returning to Washington. We also resolved that surely this was God’s way of showing us that He was able to provide. Our daily urgings to go to Jerusalem then seemed more real, and from that very moment faith came that it would be accomplished. We began to pray that the Lord would have His way, and if my family was to go, for Him to provide the necessary means.
I had not been to Washington very long until a dear old Brother, A. A. Cramer, who had been put in as one of the local elders of the church recently organized there, asked us to go to north New York sometime, and hold a meeting near Canton, where he had lived a good many years, and consequently knew most everyone. I had many calls for meetings in different places, but that one seemed the most impressive and important. Finally, I told my wife that I had decided to go there. It was six hundred miles from Washington, and in the middle of winter. My family did not accompany me, but I took dear Brother Cramer, paying his way, as he was a poor man, and had no money ahead. Being acquainted with the people up there we felt that his presence would be of great value.
We left Washington at midnight, arriving at Canton the following evening, and the Lord opened the way before us. A meeting was commenced the next night with a good crowd. We continued there a week, and a number had been converted. Brother Cramer had only gotten off from work a week, he had to return to Washington and begin work on Monday. He came to me and said he must get home, and how was he was going to pay his fare. I said, “Brother Cramer, the Lord has provided, last night Mr. Gognon gave me $10.00, and this morning Mr. Carman also gave me $10.00, and that is just your carfare back.” This was all the money anyone had given either of us to that time, and it was exactly his carfare back to Washington. I handed it to him. He thanked me gratefully, praising God for His goodness, and left us, reaching home safely
The next week Brother W. T. Carman invited me to go to Canton with him, and while I was standing in the post office, writing a card to my wife, someone nudged me on the arm. I turned and he was standing there. He reached out his hand and said, “Here.” I reached out my hand and he gave me a big roll of bill, which I could hardly hold in one hand. I looked at them, and they were very large denomination currency. There was just $500.00 in the roll. I knew this was the workings of God. How marvelous it was There was a man who a little over a week before had never been converted neither he nor his wife. They had lived good moral lives, but worldly as everyone in their condition. He was not a rich man, but was running a cheese factory, and had laid up some money. The Holy Spirit had taken hold of his heart, and that of others in the community, and the Lord, used this man to carry out His work through us in the Holy Land, We well knew that this was the direct leading of the Lord, just the same as the circumstance in the Grand Central Station in New York City when the stranger handed us $5.00. How marvelously the Lord is able to work upon the hearts of men and women, causing them to do His bidding now, just as in any other age.
When the first invitation was given in this meeting, John Gognon, Mr. and Mrs. Carmon, and their daughter, and Fulton Caswell came forward, seeking God for mercy, who pardoned their sins, and gave them His blessed Holy Spirit, that comforting power from heaven, that transforms hearts, and imparts those precious gifts to everyone according to His will. After two weeks there were twenty-two conversions and baptisms, and the little company of believers have not only continued faithful to this time, but others have been added
Sailing for Europe
It was a little over a year after the meeting at Canton, New York, before we arrived in New York City, purchasing excursion tickets good for two years for myself and family, from New York to London, and return. Arriving in London, and not knowing the city, or the location of certain ones whom we intended to look up as soon as possible, we were surprised in finding ourselves. within walking distance of these people, and their place of worship. Our dear Brother Newham had written in care of the ship company, inviting us to come to where he lived, and locate nearby, but we never did receive his letter, yet according to the good hand of providence, Who has promised to direct the ways of those who put their trust in Him we secured rooms within walking distance of the home of this good old saint of God.
We spent a little over four months in London, speaking most every night somewhere. One evening while dining at the table of dear Brother C. H. Merryweather where we were so hospitably treated, we were speaking about printing several thousand hand bills for advertising our meetings there in London. Another Dear brother, Samuel Brown, was sitting right to our side. He said, “Pastor Dugger, if you will come over to my place next Monday morning, I will give you a printing press.” I said, “Brother Brown, if you give me a printing press, do you know what I will do with it?” He said, “If I give you a press, you can do whatever you wish, with it.” I said, “I will ship it to Jerusalem to use there in the work next summer.”
The following Monday morning found me out at his place of business and he showed me two presses, and said I could take my pick. Having been manager of a publishing house for eighteen years in America, I understood printing machinery, and chose the best press. It weighed 1800 pounds and was crated and shipped immediately to Jerusalem, arriving there soon after our arrival.
Printing work at Jerusalem
Henry Cohen, the converted Jew, who was waiting for us to baptize him, and whom we met so unusually the morning of our arrival at Jerusa1em, proved to be a good printer. We installed the printing press in a good place on Jaffa Street, Brother Cohen and his wife occupying the two back rooms, with the printing press in the room next to the street. Tables and shelves were made out of rough lumber from the lumber yard, type was purchased, and such other equipment as was needed in the work. While Brother Cohen was fixing the printing office, arranging the equipments and helping in stall the press, we were
preparing a four page gospel leaflet in as condensed a form as possible, showing that Jesus came into the world fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy, and was therefore the promised Messiah to the Jews. We used the following scripture: Micah 5 :2, which shows that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem of Judah. Then we presented its fulfillment in the event of His birth in the days of Herod the King (Matt. 2:1 to 4). In order to convert the Jews, you must use the Old Testament, for this is the only scripture they believe.
We then brought out the scripture showing that Jesus was to be taken into Egypt in order to fulfill Hosea 11 :1, where it said He would be called out of Egypt. Then the prophecy of Isaiah 53rd chapter, where the prophet beheld a vision of the coming and death of Jesus, how He was wounded for our transgressions and taken as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He opened not His mouth. Isaiah further said that He would be numbered with the transgressors in the day of his death (Isa. 53 :12 ) This was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified between two thieves (Luke 22 :37, and 23 :32), Isaiah said he would make his grave with the rich in the day of His death (Isa. 53 :9). This was fulfilled (Matt. 27 :57-60). David prophesied that they would part His garments and cast lots upon His vesture (Psalm 22 :18). This was fulfilled at the crucifixion of Jesus (Matt. 27 :35). Many other scriptures were used in this gospel tract showing that Jesus was the promised Messiah to the Jews.
A Curse Pronounced
While in London we learned that the Jews in Palestine (the Holy Land), had pronounced curse upon anyone who would figure out the prophecy of Daniel 9:24 to 27, the 70 week, or 490 year, Even if anyone should read this prophecy to the Jews of Palestine they were to have a curse placed upon them. Knowing as we did that this prophecy was unanswerable: that the most learned rabbis were silenced by it, and powerless to make any reasonable explanation, we felt determined to give them the very strongest evidence found in the scriptures of the Old Testament, proving Jesus to be the, Messiah. Consequently, we calculated this prophecy in minute detail, showing that a day stood for a year (Ezekiel 4 :5,6), and that 70 weeks therefore, made 490 days or 490 years: that Gabriel had told Daniel from the time the commandment went forth to build Jerusalem until the MESSIAH the prince, there would be 490 years.
It was shown that the prophecy was wonderful1y fulfilled: That Jerusalem was built Again after the days of Daniel, and that the commandment went forth to build it 457 years before Christ (Ezra 7 :12-16), also that the Messiah (Christ), was cut off or crucified 33 A. D. These dates are obtained from the margin, at the top of the pages of the Bible. The period of 490 years was thus fulfilled, proving beyond question that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God.
The material for the tract being carefully prepared, it was then translated into the Hebrew language, paper was purchased, and Brother Cohen began the printing. Being short of means we could not equip the press with an electric motor, consequently the printing was done by means of a foot power tread. The production of each day was carefully wrapped in paper and stored away, not allowing the nature of the printing to be known.
Baptizing in The Jordan And Near Mount Carmel
Soon after we arrived at Jerusalem, and according to previous plans, we arranged for a baptizing service in the Jordan river, as Henry Cohen had been waiting for our coming to be baptized. The previous evening, after all arrangements had been made to start for the Jordan early the next morning, and after a hard day’s work getting seats made and preparing for the tent meeting, soon to begin, I started home, out on the west side of Jerusalem about a mile and a half. Reaching King George Street where it leaves Jaffa street to the west, the direction home, a deep impression came over me to go on north to the printing office. Being tired, and this being quite a distance further, I hesitated, but the feeling that I should go seemed the more definite, so I decided to go, not having any object in doing so. Reaching the office, I found a German brother there, whom I had only met on one previous occasion, but was deeply impressed by his kind, loving ways, and deep interest in the Lord. I told him we were going to hold a baptizing in the Jordan the next day and invited him to accompany us. He said, “I thank you very much but this would not be possible.” After visiting awhile, I started to leave, but told him again, we would be very glad if he could go with us. He said, “I do not have the money to pay my part of the trip, and do not want to be a burden on you.” I said, “We are going anyway and there will be plenty of room in our car for you.” He said, he would be very glad to go and thanked me very kindly. I told him to be at the post office the next morning at seven o’clock.
We met at the post office the following morning, and drove to the Jordan over thirty miles east of Jerusalem, the road winding about considerably, and making the distance longer than otherwise. Arriving there, and after the other folks had left the car, he came around on the side where I was, and said he had a special request to make of me. I asked him what it was. He said “I never have been baptized except by sprinkling, and have always wanted to be immersed, and would you baptize me also today?” After questioning him about the sacred ordinance of baptism, what it was for, and what the Lord required of the one after being baptized, and knowing that he believed in Jesus Christ as ‘the Son of God, I. told him I would be very glad to baptize him.
It was a beautiful service, and these two men were baptized at the same place where John had baptized. Jesus many years before. It seemed indeed good to he there, and the very air seemed holy. We praised the dear Lord for so marvelously arranging for Brother Leibler’s baptism that day with Brother Cohen. He also proved to be a valuable helper in the work, coming to the tent meeting and furnishing music with his violin night after night, and being of much help otherwise. By giving lessons on the violin and teaching English, German, and Arabic he supports himself while preaching the gospel in the Holy Land, and also in Syria.
Making Card Flowers
Not having any support from America, or anywhere, only as our friends sent a little now and then, and having great need for finances to carry on the printing work there as well as a gospel tent effort, we were led of the Lord to gather the beautiful flowers of Palestine which the Lord had made in such abundance, and mount them on cards, to send to our friends. We gathered the flowers with the help of my wife and three small children, and mounted over seven thousand cards with a variety of colors. These were mailed to our friends with a letter asking them to kindly solicit offerings from their friends for the work there. The Lord blessed this method and sufficient means came with which to purchase paper and ink, rent a large gospel tent and supply both my family and Brother Cohen’s with the basic necessities of life, for we lived very economically and plainly. Brother Cohen was printing day after day find and getting the tracts ready to distribute, while the tent meeting near Mount Calvary was being conducted night after night.
Another Valuable Worker
Several years before Sister M- had made the acquaintance or a young Jewish boy, seventeen years of age, who had previously accepted Jesus, and whom. the Jews had marked, so he could secure no work. Through her influence, an association of Christian Jews sent him from Palestine to one of the large cities of the United States, where they paid his way three years through a Bible school. According to the good hand of God who mysteriously: directs the affairs of men, this young Jew, only a little past twenty, returned to Palestine while our tent was pitched in Jerusalem, and through the influence of dear Sister M-, carne to the tent meeting.
Distributing One Hundred And Fifty Thousand Tracts.
Sufficient tracts being printed to supply one to every Jew in the Holy Land, we purchased a second hand Essex car for the work of distribution, and five of us met before daybreak one morning the last of July, at the North edge of Jerusalem, with our car loaded with cooking utensils, bedding, and 75,000 tracts. We gathered about. the car when the last one of the company had arrived, and devoutly asked God’s blessing Upon the work, praying for Him to go before us and prepare the way, and make the hearts ready for the Gospel message.
Space and means forbid my going into detail telling of all our experiences. It would take too large a book. Therefore I must only narrate a few, in this work. We started for Galilee, the most northern division of Palestine, to begin the work, for we well knew it would cause a great stir among the Jews of the country, and also it would require some time for the news to get back to Jerusalem, and the Jews to take steps against us.
In each town where we went, it was divided off into as many sections as there were workers, Henry Cohen and Jacob Futerman taking two divisions, David Golden and Jacob Kort two more, and we took the other. The Lord had arranged some one in every town to receive us, make inquiry for literature, and give us their name. How wonderful it was we all marveled, while we gave God the praise and glory. The first day out, we traveled a little over a hundred miles, and thoroughly canvassed nine Jewish towns in Galilee, arriving at Tiberius in the evening.
At one nice little town near the Jordan river, a large portly Jew, about 65 years of age, invited us to his home, after reading the tract. He told us that his father, when he was a boy, had figured out the very same time periods we had in that tract, and taught him and his brothers that Jerusalem would be taken away from the Turks the year 1917, and that the country would be given to the Jews in 1922. We had figured out these time periods from the prophecies of the Bible and showed how they applied.
Out of Gas
We drove away en route to Haifa, and the gas was almost down. For some reason we had not obtained sufficient gas, and al1 of a sudden our car refused to go. Getting out and finding from indications the gas was exhausted, I removed the top from the vacuum tank under the hood, and put a stick down into it, the float could be rattled, and it was empty. With the assistance of the brethren, we pushed the car to one side of the road until the tank sloped to the end where the opening was in the bottom. I took my wrench and turned this burr out, and caught a cup of gas which was poured into the vacuum tank. In this manner we drained the supply tank and it only made two cups about a pint of gas.
We would have been in difficult straits, for there was no gas to be had short of Haifi, and very few cars on the highway. A Bedouin camp near by, with many roaming Arabs, made life for a Jew or a Christian, extremely unsafe along this highway after night. But we again gave God all the glory, and thanked Him graciously for thus taking care of us.
In The Sharon Valley.
After spending one day in the beautiful Valley of Sharon distributing the gospel tracts in the Jewish towns, we spent the night near Caesarea, securing rooms in a hotel. The next day after finishing that town with the tracts, we drove across eastward to the highway. and started for Petiticwa, a city of ten thousand Jews. We were driving along about 35 miles an hour on a double slab concrete highway, when all of a sudden it flashed over me to stop the car. I turned off on the right side of the highway, put on the brakes, and began to stop. As the car was barely moving the front axle toward the highway dropped down. The wheel rolled on out in front of the car, and made a few circles and fell over on the concrete.
The brethren wanted to know how I knew that wheel was going to come off. I told them I did not know it, but the thought come over me so strong to turn out and stop the car that I did so not knowing what was wrong. Upon investigation we found there were no threads on the spindle, and the burr had just been slipped on with a nail put in as a cotter pin. It had held all of this time that way, although we had been over many dangerous places. Having a jack and tools, we soon put the wheel back on, and were ready to proceed, but before doing so, we all knelt down on the ground by the running board and earnestly thanked the Lord for so delivering His servants who were trusting in Him.
Back to Jerusalem
After using all of our tracts, we returned to Jerusalem for another supply, and spent a night or so there, finding our loved ones all well. We had been out in the work just several days, driving over six hundred miles, and distributing 75,000 tracts in fifty-four Jewish cities and towns.
On the next trip we took 40,000 tracts going into Samaria and Judea, most of the former work having been done in Galilee.
Our First Night in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv was a city of fifty thousand Jews.
We had not been there long before the Jewish Police stopped us and took us up to the police station. They were rather excited and angry. We appealed to the higher authorities, insisting that we were not violating any of the laws of Palestine. They decided we must stop our work, but appealing to the still higher authorities, and asking them to show us the law we were violating, we were taken to another court. There we found two English officers in charge. After they read the tract they decided we were not violating any law, and gave us legal authority to proceed. This made the Jews angry, and they were determined to stop us, but did riot make any attempt until after dark, when they caught Brother Cohen, surrounding him with a mob, threatening violence. The Lord gave him great boldness, and he stood, preaching to them about Jesus, amidst
their threats, until the police on horseback scattered the mob.
The next thing they attacked us, and being entirely surrounded, they rushed in and picked me up off the ground, some saying they would kill me, while others breathed similar threats. I had a small leather satchel on my arm with a few hundred tracts in it. One man grabbed the satchel and jerked on it very hard, but having a firm grip, he only interfered with those carrying me. Then another Jew grabbed hold with him and they jerked the satchel from my hand. The very instant they did, and as the one with the satchel started away, they dropped me suddenly, and the crowd spread, making an opening through. The Jew with the satchel ran through this opening and I took after him. It was all done in an instant, and when the others found they had let me go, they started after me. As we gained on the man with the satchel, he dodged into a dark alley, but not wishing to follow him, and after running into the street around some autos, the mob soon lost sight of us. Then going back to the hotel, I found Brother Cohen. After telling each other of our experiences, and having a season of prayer, we retired for the night. The next day we finished the city without further difficulty of any serious nature. ”
We had left Jerusalem for the last work with the surrounding suburbs, and had reserved 35, 000 tracts for this territory. When the suburbs were finished we began in Jerusalem. The Jews of Palestine were aroused, and had published me in the papers, warning their people against me, and a general meeting of the Rabbis of Palestine had been called. We did not know where, or when the meeting was to convene, but He Who ruleth in the heavens knows all things, and is able to direct according to His righteous purpose and will. On a certain afternoon we had arranged to finish up Jerusalem by driving up and down the principal streets, and throw the tracts out of the car windows, supplying the people along the streets just as they would gather them up. I drove the car and two brethren fiat in the back seat with the windows down throwing the tracts out toward the streets. The Jews being a very curious people would quickly gather up every tract, Just as a flock of chickens scramble after the grains of scattered corn. After going backward, and forward across the city until all of the principal streets had been covered, we went to the wholesale district completing it. Then driving up by way of the post office, I drove north for the Street of the Prophets, and to our surprise, suddenly we saw both streets on each side crowded with Rabbis, coming toward us, with their : long black robes, black caps, and beards. I said to the brethren, “Here are a lot of Rabbis, give them a good supply.” As we drove a little further, we saw the big synagogue, with Rabbis pouring out by the hundreds, and each side of the street black in front and on for a block or two the other side. we drove past, and I told the brethren to put out the tracts liberally, and they did so. We passed the synagogue and drove on, down the line of Rabbis, giving them a bounteous supply, which they gathered up greedily. After going on almost to the end of the Street of Prophets, we turned around and came back past the synagogue again to see if all the tracts had been gathered up. We could only see a very few left, and some Rabbis were standing here and there reading the tracts, or talking. Others would be seen walking slowly along the street and reading.
This completed our work in Jerusalem as we had been over certain parts of the city in the outlying portions. Consequently we started down Jaffa street enroute home, but the brethren were putting out just a few tracts as they would see a few Jews along the street. As we were within a block of where we turned off to go to where we lived, several police on horseback rode up and stopped us. They examined the tracts and said there was nothing wrong with the material we were circulating, but it was against the law to put it out from car windows in this manner, and we would have to stop.
On The Mount of Olives
During the tent meeting we moved up on Mount Olives to live in the house with Sister M- for a couple of weeks, and she would ride back and forth in the car to the meeting at night. The typhoid fever broke out in the Arabian village where we lived, at the south end of Mount Olives. A number were sick and several children had died. Our little girl, OraBeIle, age 4, became suddenly ill with a high fever. She had every symptom of the Typhoid. We prayed for her, hut the prayer was not answered, Again we prayed but with no avail, the day passed, and she was burning with fever. All night long she was very sick. The next morning we decided to move back to our rooms out on the west side of Jerusalem, and packed up what we had there, loading it into the car, and placing it on the outside. The little girl was laid on bedding in the back part of the car, while my wife held the younger girl. Before leaving we had special prayer, and then drove away. We arrived at the rooms unloaded part of the bedding, and fixed a place for the sick girl. She was carried in and put to bed. By the time all of the articles were unloaded from the car and put to their places in the rooms, to our great joy, the little girl had gotten out of bed, and began to dress so she could have something to eat, and play. My wife fixed her some soup, and she ate a good breakfast, and spent the day playing just as usual. She was instantly healed by the power of God. Later we learned that the Arabs in the village had warned a lady missionary living on Mount Olives to leave before a certain time or they would kill her, and she had left only a few days before we went up there to live, and we found out by good authority they were plotting against us because of false reports being circulated concerning our object in being there and our work.
Poison Put Into Our Tea.
During the summer, the father of Brother Henry Cohen having passed away and leaving a large fortune of many thousand dollars, we were again put in danger. Brother Cohen had been baptized. His father’s will read, “If Henry Cohen is still a Jew and loyal to the Jewish religion, then he is my son, but if he has left the Jewish religion, then he is not my son, and in this event my property shall go to the building of a Jewish synagogue. Several times lawyers came to see him, trying in vain to get him to sign papers that he was still a Jew, and had not left the Jewish faith, but he refused. Certain of his relatives, believing I was the principal hindrance, resolved to get rid of me. His wife’s people were much the worst. A certain man came to Jerusalem from another city and tried for several days to persuade Brother Cohen to leave the Christian religion and sign the papers. This party, after being unsuccessful, came to me. be meaning me in a bad way, and last of all, saying I would be shot if I did not quit preaching Jesus around there.
An all day’s meeting had been arranged to be held on Mount Olives. In the afternoon before leaving, after the meeting was over, refreshments were served with tea, as is the custom there. After just finishing a discourse a few minutes before, and feeling rather tired, I sat down at a small table. The man in question came and sat down by my side, and one of the Sisters poured us each a cup of tea. Not seeing any sugar on the table, and knowing my wife had brought a bowl of sugar cubes, which had been put away in the cupboard at the far end of the hall, I went after the sugar, giving this man the opportunity he sought for poisoning the tea. Returning with the sugar, and putting some in my tea, it was passed to him, and after stirring my tea I began to sip it, using my teaspoon. At this time my little boy, Andy, age 5, came walking past, and reaching out my arm and pulling him over near, I asked if he wanted some of my tea. He said, “Yes, daddy.” He pulled a chair up close by me. Reaching over and getting another cup, I poured out about, half of my tea. We sat there slowly sipping the tea together, and eating a few cookies such as they had prepared to serve. By that time others had sat down around the table, and tea being poured into their cups, ours were refilled, only a portion of which had yet been used. It so happened however, as we distinctly remembered, that neither of us drank the full contents of our cups.
Baptizing In The Mediterranean Sea Near Joppa
One beautiful afternoon about 3 o’clock, I had started to walk hurriedly from the post office to our printing establishment on Jaffa Street, about a mile and a half distant. About a block north of the post office, as I was just across General Allenby Park from the British and Foreign Bible House, I was deeply impressed to go across to the Bible House. Stopping suddenly, I went over in my mind what I would need from the House, as I had been purchasing many New Testaments, and different supplies from there from time to time. I ,could net think of anything needed at that time; therefore, I started on up the street but being stopped again by the deep impression to go over there, I thought over in my mind once more my recent purchases, and could not think of any unfilled orders. Consequently, I started again on my way, but being once more so deeply impressed to go, I decided it must be the work of the Spirit. I said to myself, “Well I am going over there anyway, but there is nothing in the world to go for, as I can see.”
Walking across by way of the park, and crossing the next street and on to the Bible House, I opened the door and walked in. Suddenly a Jew, a stranger to me, sitting at one of the reading tables, sprang to his feet, and grabbed me by the hand saying, “This is Mr. Dugger. I am so glad to see you.” I said “Yes, but you have the advantage of me. I don’t remember you.” He said, “You gave me opportunity to testify about Jesus to over two hundred Jews I spoke to them for quite a while, and they all listened I said; “I still don’t remember you. When was this ?” He said, “You remember you .spoke at the theater” the night of the riot there.” I said, “I surely remember that, and you were there, were you ?” He said, “I was there, and while the police were quieting the rioters, and getting them out of the
theater, I got up on my feet in the seat, and over two hundred Jews being in that corner of the theater, in front of me, I gave them the testimony of Jesus being their Messiah.”
I could well understand why it was that I was so impressed to go over to the Bible House. Had I not gone, this brother, a converted Jew from Joppa, would not have met me. Being burdened for the Jewish people, and daily praying for God to lead the work there, He mysteriously brought us in contact with this brother and many others.
I took him with me to the printing house, made him acquainted with Elder Cohen, and gave him a good supply of our literature. He was happy to form our acquaintance, and we met him just once after that, calling at his home, when in Joppa. That the Lord is leading this Hebrew brother, and using him for His work is also evident from the following narration.
The Lord, knowing Brother Cohen’s heart, had already prepared him a helper. As they went out toward the sea shore, and as the water had receded, leaving a long sandy beach, they saw a man walking alone near the water edge. They were curious to know who this stranger was, but approaching him, Brother Cohen discovered that he was the man we had previously taken to him from the Bible House at Jerusalem, the brother we had so mysteriously met upon going across the street, spoken of previously, Brother Isaac Izaleicth
He was happy to assist in the service, and Brother Cohen asked him if he was in a habit of walking out along the sea shore. He said he was not, and this was the first time in weeks he had done so, but he had just happened out there that day. The Lord has promised, “Before they call He would answer, and while they are yet speaking He would hear.”
Ten Jews, Baptized
After this brother was baptized, and returning from the baptismal service. they passed through Tel Aviv. A young Jew recognized Brother Cohen, and asked if he was not there sometime before distributing small tracts. He told him he was, and the young man invited him to come to his house, saying there were some others there wanting to see him, who had read the tract and wanted to be baptized. Brother Cohen went, and met two of the young men and one of their wives. There were six in all wishing baptism who had been converted through the Spirit of God after reading the tract. Brother Cohen went to Tel Aviv, renting a hall, and began a meeting a few days after we left Palestine. He was persecuted severely, but by the leadings of the Lord, ten Jews were baptized there after a few weeks.
Expense, Sacrifice and Result
The Lord had blessed us during our sojourn in Palestine, and we were indeed thankful to Him. We were all healthy and well. From the money we received for our car, tickets were purchased to London, according to previous plans. We had arrived in Jerusalem in February, and it was now September, during which time we had lived very economically, dividing with Brother Cohen regularly. At times it looked rather dark, but the Lord had been so very near to us, revealing His presence in such miraculous ways, that our faith was strong and unwavering. Not the least shadow of doubt had ever crossed our pathway from the day we arrived in Jerusalem. We knew assuredly that God was going to stand by us until the work was finished that He had called us there to do, if we were true to Him.
When leaving America, we had expected some funds to be supplied from Stanberry, Missouri, when we reached the Holy Land, but nothing came until just as we were leaving. We were therefore dependent on friends of the Lord who loved Jerusalem, to supply the needed funds, as the Lord would lead. My wife was just as willing also to deprive herself. and make a sacrifice for the cause. We ate a good many meals with only bread and watermelon, and she did the family washing using only a one burner camp stove, which we placed on the table. We made an oven by cutting a round hole in the side of a square six gallon, gasoline can. This hole fit over the one burner camp stove. The end was fixed so a piece of tin would slip up and down for closing the oven, and some tin, placed inside to keep the bread from burning. Thus my wife did the bread baking, and such other baking.
Brother Cohen had worked faithfully during the summer on a meager allowance, but we had prompted him ten pounds a month (about $40.00), after I left Palestine. He owed a certain Jew, a merchant in Jerusalem, ten pounds, who had been threatening him trouble, if he did not pay it. I went to the man and explained matters, promising that Brother Cohen would meet this in the fall after his allowance commenced. This was satisfactory. We had also promised Brother Negby ten pounds a month after we had returned to America, as he had helped us without any allowance, and was a valuable man in the work there. He had returned from France soon after we arrived there in answer to our prayers, and was a faithful worker.
The week before we had arranged to leave Palestine for London, we received a check for $96.00 from Stanberry. This being money certain ones had sent there for the Jerusalem work, to be forwarded to us and which after considerable delay was forwarded. It came just at the right time, and ten pounds were given Brother Cohen, and enough kept out for renting a hall in Tel Aviv for a meeting, which Brother Cohen commenced and the balance was given to Brother Negby at Tel Aviv while our ship was anchored in the harbor enroute homeward.
As the time for our departure drew near, the brothers and sisters and friends in Jerusalem came to our rooms the night before, and we spent a happy evening together. The next morning we bade others good-bye as we left by bus for Haifa.
Again Assisted in Time of Trouble
We arrived a little past noon in Haifa, and soon after eating our lunch it was discovered that our tickets were gone. They constituted two full fare tickets from Haifa to London, and three half fare tickets for our children. We had put them away carefully, but before the people had gathered at our apartment the night before the tickets had been taken from this place and put in the inside pocket of a certain coat.
As it had been generally known we were to leave early the following morning, it was evident of course that we had some money with which to purchase our tickets. A certain man who was known as a suspicious character came without invitation with the others that night, .but little did we think of his evil motive. We feel sure that he stole the long brown envelope containing the tickets thinking it was money.
You can imagine our predicament. There we were and the ship soon to sail, but our tickets gone. We felt that it was the work of the enemy, in causing this embarrassment and trouble, but were assured that the one who ruleth both heaven and earth was still able to help us out. On one occasion in the travels or the apostle Paul, he said, “But Satan hindered us.” It is the same way to-day.
had given this man copies of the Bible Advocate, and also tracts on several important subjects of the faith, and had also stepped into his office a few times talking with him on the scriptures. He therefore took a special interest in the matter after I had called him by phone informing him of the situation. It was only a very short time until our ship was to leave port. He said his time was limited to do anything but he would try. Leaving the telephone office, I went immediately to the hotel room where my wife and children were. We gathered our baggage together and went on board the ship without tickets.
As our ship sailed away from port, we sat on deck together, and sadly watched the lowlands and beautiful green orange groves, and cities along the coast fade from view, while the long range of mountains reaching from north to south was yet plainly seen. We could see Mount Olives, and the surrounding mountains which we watched until only a faint outline was visible. which soon by the haze of miles was lost to view.
There are many -precious Brothers and Sisters in London who love the Lord and His work. We acquainted them with the Work started in Jerusalem, as well as some of our friends in America by letter, and contributions were received for the work there to the amount of $350.00 which we deposited in a London bank, with instructions, that ten pounds a month be sent to each of the brethren mentioned above, leaving their address with the banker. We were indeed made happy at such an ample provision for their sustenance in the work.
We had our return tickets from London to New York, having purchased them before we left America, as mentioned previously, but after we arrived in New York, we must in some way get to Missouri about fifteen hundred miles. As the money left in the bank at London was contributed to the work in Jerusalem, we could not use any of it conscientiously to pay our carfare from New York to Missouri. We also needed a little expense money on the way, and this was supplied when Brother Merryweather handed us a few pounds at the railway station in London when we bade him good-by. The dear Lord had impressed this good man to thus help us, and he had followed His leading. How wonderful it was to us.
A few days before we departed from London, dear Brother Spence, who had been so wonderfully kind, and whom the little children loved dearly, and called “Grandpa Spence,” asked if he could accompany us to Southampton when we departed We were very glad indeed to have him do so, and the little children were so happy when we told them Brother Spence was going along. It was near a hundred miles to Southampton, and upon our arrival there he took us to a nice hotel, paid our night’s lodging, and also for our morning meal, as we could not board the ship until the following forenoon.
After everything was arranged, we were in the room together at the, hotel at Southampton. The time was drawing near for him to leave us and return to London. Reaching in his pocket and drawing out his pocketbook, he said, “Pastor Dugger, I am led of the Holy Spirit to give you some money.” He counted out just twelve pounds, nearly fifty dollars, and handed it over. I thanked him most kindly. He said, “Don’t thank me, but thank the Lord; for it is the Lord’s work.” We did thank the Lord for making our needs known to this dear old brother, and moving his gracious heart to supply just what we needed to complete our journey home after arriving in New York City. We knew it was the Holy Spirit that led him, for it was just the amount we needed.
We landed in New York, and I told my wife we would try to purchase a second hand car that would take us through to Missouri where my mother lived, and where we had also spent a number of years. We went to the apartment of the Tripp Sisters, Elinor and Anna, who had been so kind to us, and from whose home we departed enroute to Europe. They treated us with all Christian courtesy and hospitality possible, and their brother-in-law, Mr. Carl Holden, helped in the purchase of a car by taking us to a second hand dealer who had just driven a 1926 Chevrolet from the down town garage to his places of business. It was a good one, and the price was $65.00. I told him we had $50.00 to put into a car, and if he could afford to take that for it, I would purchase the car. After calling up the other office, and some argument, they decided to let me have it. The fare would have been considerably over one hundred dollars, with two full fares, and one half fare by train, but we got through safely, with this car, without any trouble whatever and had the car besides, which we used in the work more than two years.
Experiences In West Virginia
Enroute home from New York City, we stopper over and spent a few days with the church at Salem, West Virginia. It was late in the fall and my car had no heater. Fearing that it might be uncomfortable for the children, after leaving Salem, I stopped at Parkersburg and tried several places to purchase a second hand heater that would fit the car. We were finally directed to a large hardware store, where it was said they had some second hand heaters they would likely sell at a reduced price. We went to this place and the man in charge said he had some up on the third floor. He took us to an old freight elevator and we went up to what I thought was the top story. We looked the heaters over, but they were for other models and would not fit. We came to the elevator to go back down to the lower floor, but it was gone. Believing we were on the top floor, and after waiting some time for the elevator to come back for us, I leaned over the elevator shaft looking down to see if it was coming up. At that instant something struck me right in the face, which stung just like being snapped by a rubber band drawn back and let loose. I jerked my head back, and just as I did so, the elevator coming down from above passed my head. One more second and I would have been struck on the head and knocked down the elevator shaft four stories to the bottom of the basement, and in all probability instantly killed. How I praised the Lord for that miraculous deliverance, and it took me more than an hour to get over the shock of the narrow escape from death, and that rap in the face continued to smart for some time. It was nothing but the angel of the Lord that smote me in the face, causing me to jerk my head in, escaping the dropping elevator by only a second of time. Otherwise I would have been taken out to my family dead. Another experience had thus been added, and one which we shall never forget.
This brings us to the end of our journey in the service of a great God who rules both heaven and earth, and Who had proven over and over, that He “would not leave nor forsake us”, and that He is the same God, “yesterday, today and forever.” Truly, He “Shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all of thy ways”,(Psalm 91:11). “Draw night to God, and He will draw nigh to thee”, (James 4:8). It had been most wonderfully revealed to us that “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps”(.Jer. 10:23); but the steps of His people, “Are ordered by the Lord.”-Psalm 37 :23.
Since the beginning of the Church of God work at Jerusalem shortly after the close of the world war, which began in 1914, there have been over thirteen hundred Jews who have accepted Jesus for their Messiah, the most of them having been baptized. Their names have been kept in roll, but many have been compelled to leave Palestine owing to the severe boycott of the Jews against their people who accept the Christian religion. As soon as it is found out they have been baptized, they lose their jobs, and must seek elsewhere for employment. Some have gone to Egypt, others to Russia, and to many parts of the earth. Quite a good number of these went as missionaries to their people. Consequently the extent of the work among the Jews, having commenced at Jerusalem in recent years, will never he known in this age. The Lord only has this record.
The church of God which the Lord is using to carry the gospel to the Jews stands for the true apostolic faith “which was once delivered to the saints,” according to Revelation 12:17, and 14:12.
We believe in and teach that the Holy Spirit in the life gives the overcoming power by which we can observe all of the precious commandment and walk in the steps of our Saviour Jesus Christ, according to Luke 11:11 to 13.
The Church of God is the same church purchased by the blood of Jesus (Acts. 20:28, and Cor. 10 :32,) also spoken of twelve times in the New Testament. We have our history from the days of the apostles, down to the present time, holding to the same doctrine taught by the early church in every precept. The oldest local church still functioning, and organized upon these tenants of faith, is now over three hundred years old. Those wishing a history of the Church of God from the days of Christ down to the present time, may obtain one by writing to Religious Liberty Publishing Association of Salem, West Virginia. It contains 318 pages beautifully bound, with dark blue or brown cover. Price $2.50 each, postpaid. The history of the true church is brought down through each century, from 33 A. D. to the present, both by doctrine and name.
St. Joseph, Mo., Station, D.