Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
How is prophecy fulfilled? We find an excellent example of prophetic fulfillment with this month’s article concerning “The Elijah to Come.” As you read the article for this month ask yourself, what were the expectations and partial fulfillments in the past? How will the “Elijah to come” prophecies be totally fulfilled in the years yet future to us. Take note of how the Old Testament prophecies are stated (and what is not stated), what the participants and the audience of the time (the public) understood those prophecies to say, and what the true fulfillment was to those prophecies as they related to Jesus Christ in His first coming to this earth.
As Dr. Martin shows, the Jewish people in the 1st century not only had expectations of the coming of the Messiah, but they also expected a significant person who would come before the Messiah would appear. 1 Even among the scribes and Pharisees of the time, there was a general expectation of the appearance of the Elijah to come. George F. Moore makes clear the significance of the appearance of the Messiah and the person to come before Him, the Elijah:
“The coming of the Messiah is therefore a judgment of the generation to which he comes, and the announcement of its proximity by his precursor, Elijah, a call not to universal rejoicing but to heart-searching and repentance, as John the Baptist makes it in the Gospels, and Jesus after him. It may fairly be inferred from the words, ‘Repent, for the reign of God is at hand,’ [Matthew 3:2, 4:17; Mark 1:15] that conceptions similar to those which we have found in the Midrash were current in their time.”
George F. Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries, p. 363 2
The prophets predicted that an Elijah would come. The people expected him. The scribes and Pharisees anticipated his arrival. Even Christ’s disciples expected Elijah. These general expectations by everyone conditioned their minds so that when John the Baptist came to “prepare the way” for Jesus, they desired earnestly to listen and learn. They responded to John’s call for repentance and baptism. That general expectation of the Jews has returned today, especially within the orthodox schools of Jewish communities around the world. A tension is building that will make them responsive to no-nonsense teaching of the Word of God. Perhaps God will soon “flip the switch” in their minds and they shall respond and return to the Law of Moses as taught in the Bible, avoiding traditions of men.
Information that could assist Israelites to take their own biblical calling and heritage seriously would be for them to read several of Dr. Martin’s books, particularly the information presented in his book The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot (Portland, OR: ASK, 2001) and Restoring the Original Bible (Portland, OR: ASK, 1994).
The next “Elijah to come” will be aware of the biblical and historical information in Dr. Ernest L. Martin’s works The Star of Bethlehem: The Star That Astonished the World (Portland, OR: 1996), and particularly Secrets of Golgotha: The Lost History of Jesus’ Crucifixion, 2nd edition (Portland, OR: 1996). It is highly likely he will read those books before he starts his preaching (whoever he is, whenever that might be). After all, why “rediscover” information that is already available? The restoration of all things will be an application of biblical truth before the significant prophesied events begin to happen. I strongly believe it has begun with the research and work of Dr. Ernest L. Martin who has opened up the Bible in so many ways to so many to understand the truths of God’s Word.
The more you read your Bible, assisted by the vast amount of material available from ASK, the more the Bible will make sense to you. It will not make sense in a formulaic way, but in a natural common sense, even in a practical way.
It is our privilege at ASK to provide you with strong spiritual food that you will not be served anywhere else in such a concentrated form. This marvelous buffet feast of knowledge and understanding is designed to make your reading of God’s word much easier and clearer. Also, it is accessible anytime and anywhere in the world that a computer and the internet are available. In fact, to extend the metaphor to the limit, from the internet, this feast is available for takeout! You can print this excellent information (and I encourage you to do so), save it, and then read and study your Bible at your convenience in detail, using the ASK information as a guide if you have need to do so.
Check to see if we use Scripture correctly, in context. Make sure we teach it plainly. This is the way God wishes His message of the Gospel to be available to the world, and it is so, now, today. 3 We live in marvelous times. Indulge yourself. You cannot overeat good spiritual food from this feast!
This spiritual food is given to you freely, but it is not without expense to produce. Someone pays for it so you can be supplied and fed. We are grateful to those relatively few contributors who help supply this feast to so many. Most of our contributors give as they are able, for which we are extremely grateful. Some few are able to give more. Truly, each of you is serving others, which is Christ’s definition of a leader. You help others prepare for their future by making available the truths about God, His Son, and their place (and your place) seated with Christ at the right hand of God the Father.
For those who have not been able to help us financially, please pray to our Father on our behalf. Surely you can do that! In fact, it may be the most important thing you can do to help us continue to research and publish this most important material. Request of God that He guide our understanding and so that we may produce publications of extreme and specific value to you and to the entirety of God’s ekklesia. Pray that God brings more people to the ASK website, that Dr. Martin’s books and articles receive a deservedly greater distribution, and that the world may know that a resource of powerful scriptural truth is available, when the inevitable restoration of all things comes to pass.
You cannot go anywhere else in this world and expect something for nothing. I would be surprised that anyone of you would have the most precious words of God made clear, without desiring to help others learn about ASK. Let others know about us. Invite them to join the feast!
Remember that if you do not have a computer, go to your local library. In North America, most of Europe, and in much of the world, libraries have computers that you can use to read the ASK material, or to print out ASK articles or book chapters. Go there and the staff there will instruct you in the computer’s use. Another thing you can do is to make friends with an 11-year old child and they can teach you how to use a computer to visit the ASK website. In countries where free libraries may not be readily available with internet, I encourage you to “rent” someone’s computer. Use your finances wisely to “purchase the time” to learn about the Word of God from the master teacher and scholar, Dr. Ernest L. Martin.
Please communicate with us by email, or letter, or by phone. We love receiving your comments and encouragements. God bless you all.
2 George F. Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era: The Age of the Tannaim, vol. 2 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1927, 1962). DWS
3 At present English is the only language in which ASK material is available. While English is the major language of science, history, and mass culture in the world today, hopefully we can some day provide this excellent biblical material in other languages. DWS
David W. Sielaff
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