Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
This month’s article is titled “The Real Meaning of Biblical Words.” It deals with the topic of how do we know what we know? And it discusses the reason that reading Scripture is not as straightforward as we all would like it be. At times it seems quite cryptic and hidden. In fact the Word of God is hidden to most people, but not to you, as you will discover. God is in control of all factors regarding His children’s full discernment of His Word, and not very many have been allowed to learn the truth. However, to you the mysteries have been opened. The apostle Paul says he was sent to preach:
“Not with wisdom of words [Greek, logos, word or speech], lest the cross [Greek, stauros, stake, tree] of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching [Greek, logos, word or speech] of the cross [stauros] is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:17–18
The words of God preached by Paul proclaiming the actions of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, through His death and resurrection are “the power of God.” This is a very strong statement. Paul says that God’s power is involved in the word (singular) of the cross. This is entirely different from the “wisdom of words” of the world. God has plans for that errant wisdom. He describes its nature. God’s pleasure is in Paul’s preaching:
“For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise [plural, wise ones], and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent [plural, intelligent ones]. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
1 Corinthians 1:19–21 [citing Isaiah 29:14]
Later Paul goes on to say to the immature and new-in-the-faith Corinthians,
“But as it is written, ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.’ But God has revealed
them[God’s wisdom, v. 6, the word “them” is not in the Greek] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:9–10 [citing Isaiah 64:4]
Make no mistake about it, it is God’s intention to reveal [Greek, apokalupto] — to you, to me, to all of us — as much as we can handle of “the deep things of God.” He is willing to give them, He is wanting to give them, He is waiting to give them. Read James 1:5. It is a direct promise from God to you! Ask God to give you the will to study and understand what He reveals in His Word. Read Matthew 7:7 along with Luke 11:9.
In last months article in footnote #4 I cited the above named research study by Dr. Martin, a booklet originally published in 1992. The information was incorporated in various chapters of Dr. Martin’s last book, The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine, and in digest form in The ABC’s of the Gospel published on the ASK Website in serial form at http://www.askelm.com/abc/index.asp. Because this biblical information has a central importance in the plan of God, we will republishing this entire booklet on the Internet, probably by the time you receive this Newsletter. It is located at http://www.askelm.com/doctrine/d040202.htm. Consider the addition of this long article as a bonus for this month.
On Saturday, February 21, 2004, I am speaking at a public meeting held at the Travelodge at 728 York Road, Kings Mountain, North Carolina, (704) 739-2544. The Travelodge is at the intersection of I-85 and NC #161 (this is Exit 8). Go to north of I-85; the motel is beside the Waffle House. We begin at 9:00 a.m. and the hall is available throughout the afternoon for extended discussion. I will present in the morning.
I will present on Dr. Martin’s Temple evidence and on the Tomb of David for approximately 2 hours. This meeting is open to the public and is not an ASK-sponsored event. Everyone is welcome. If you are within convenient driving distance in the states of North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina, please join us. If you cannot attend, but know of someone who would enjoy this topic, please tell him or her about this event. Contact the Travelodge for low room rates. There will be room for 100 people.
We were pleasantly surprised at the response of so many people to our request for a copy of Dr. Martin’s 1977 article, “The Temple Symbolism in Genesis.” We want to thank you all for your searches. We will ask again if we need other articles or tapes in the future. (In fact, this month’s article was derived from an audiotape of Dr. Martin’s that was provided to us. Thanks to Ken and Rose.)
We received and scanned the article, and God willing, we will publish an expanded and improved edition in March 2004. This article by Dr. Martin was always a favorite of mine and over the years I found additional support for his unique discovery. Other authors and commentators have touched on this subject, particularly Jewish scholars, but no one (to my knowledge) developed this topic over the years to the extent done by Dr. Martin. His original article is at present the most complete treatment of this topic, until next month’s article. Bear in mind that the vast majority of our ASK audience will find this so-called “old” article to be “new” to them.
It is such gracious “pitching in” that makes us so thankful that we have all of you supporting us in so many ways. Your prayers and financial support allow us to continue to operate and put forth the Gospel to the farthest reaches of the globe. Everyone with a computer now can learn the no-nonsense, straightforward teaching of Dr. Martin as he opens up the Scriptures to be read as God intended. Although God uses plain words to communicate the most sophisticated concepts, He hides that meaning from the world.
By supporting ASK you not only provide for you to continue to receive the excellent publications we produce, but even more importantly you provide for others to receive these materials. When you go above and beyond what your own needs are to support ASK, you help others around the world, even in countries where reading the Bible and articles about true Christianity are forbidden. Many countries in the world still do not allow the Bible to be read or for people to study about the Bible. That shall soon change. The Internet is being used by God to break the barriers holding back the good information. God is indeed using ASK to help break those barriers.
Scattered like salt around the world (Luke 5:13), God is opening minds to the truths of the Gospel of Christ. And it is only the beginning of the marvelous things that God will do in the near future. You and I will not meet most of the people that are helped until the resurrection. In the meantime ASK serves the purpose of God to provide basic information so people can read the Scriptures for themselves with a mind opened by God’s Spirit.
God bless you for helping us bless others with the knowledge and wisdom of God.
David W. Sielaff
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