ASK Monthly Newsletters
June 2006 

Dear Associates, Students and Friends:

Belief in Jesus Christ as the resurrected Messiah is the very essence of what it means to be a Christian. That belief can only come from God. In other words God chose for you to believe the truth that Jesus was the Messiah. It is for this reason that the apostle Paul gave thanks always:

“… because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through [1] sanctification of the Spirit and [2] belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining [attaining] of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ [Messiah].”

The “sanctification of the Spirit” (verse 13) comes first from God. That Spirit leads you to believe the truth — quietly, irresistibly, inevitably — so that you are called by the Gospel, to the effect that you will be saved at the consummation of all things (see 1 Corinthians 15:28). A few verses later Paul further instructs:

“The Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from [the] evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that you both do and will do [in the future] the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for [the] Christ [the Messiah].”

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:3–5

This month’s article by Dr. Ernest L. Martin is titled “Types of Messiah in the Old Testament.” This article discusses the fact that there were actually three types of Messiah expected by the people of the 1st century. Dr. Martin explains what those three Messianic expectations were, how they were fulfilled and are being fulfilled today by Jesus the Messiah of God.

Since the resurrection critics of Christianity have shown that the Jews of the 1st century expected two Messiahs, a Davidic and a Levitical Messiah. Few, if any, of these works believe that Jesus was any kind of a Messiah, although some may admit that Jesus (or His disciples) thought He was the Messiah, but their conclusion and sentiment is most always that Jesus and His disciples were all mistaken. Accompanying that is the belief, contrary to eyewitness evidence, that Jesus in fact survived the crucifixion or that His body was stolen (Matthew 27:62, 28:13).

However, the three types of Messiah expected by the Jews of the 1st century, as shown by Dr. Martin, were fulfilled not only by the things Jesus did, but they were also fulfilled by His very presence on earth and by WHO Jesus Christ was. As Emmanuel (“God with us,” Matthew 1:23), as the expected Prophet, as the Messiah, and by virtue of the name “Jesus” that his parents were instructed to give Him (Matthew 1:21, 25; Luke 1:31: 2:21), He fulfilled every prophecy far beyond any imagination of the prophets of God.

Believing Truths

To not believe these truths of the Gospel one must reject the explicit statements of the writers of the New Testament who — as eyewitnesses — demonstrate the scope and power of Jesus’ actions and events in His life and ministry. In brief, eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life, actions, death, and resurrection are the evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. They cannot be dismissed simply because their evidence makes doubters (or perhaps you) uncomfortable. Discomfort occurs when people understand that they are accountable for their knowledge and realization of that evidence:

“For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

  • Romans 14:10–12

In his discussion about the Jewish prophets predictions about the Messiah, note what the apostle Peter says about the salvation of Christ, the Messiah, that the angels longed to understand:

“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you [Peter’s audience, and you too]: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ [Messiah] which was in them did signify [made evident], when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ [Messiah], and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us [the eyewitnesses] they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them [the eyewitnesses] that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”

  • 1 Peter 1:10–12

Note what the apostle John writes about the precise purpose and reason that he wrote his Gospel. Unpack these verses carefully to fully understand the implications of what John is saying:

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are NOT written in this book: But these ARE written, [WHY?] that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ [the Messiah], the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.”

  • John 20:30–31

The “signs” John is considering are the 7 signs in the Gospel of John. As Dr. Martin explained in his article “The Seven Miracles of John” 1:

“This Gospel [of John] is in the New Testament to give a mature commentary on the meaning and significance of Christ’s life. It shows a theological and symbolic significance of what Christ was and is doing for us and for the whole world.”

Every action Jesus did in His life was significant and important, but not everything Jesus did was written down in the Gospels or other New Testament writings. In the last verses concluding his Gospel John reemphasizes the scope and quantity of the significant actions in the life of Jesus:

“This is the disciple which testifies [as an eyewitness] of these things, and wrote these things: and we [the disciple’s associates] know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

  • John 21:24–25

Thank you

We are grateful for your financial support to us every month. Your free will contributions sustain ASK so we can continue to produce excellent material to benefit the ekklesia of Christ and the world. By your gifts we persist in our labors. Further, your continued contact with us by email, letter, and by phone give us tremendous encouragement, and give us a sense of “how we are doing.” Even your criticisms are welcome. Most of all we are zealous for your prayers. If you can do nothing else, then pray for us and our efforts. By doing so you help us — and yourself — to be “patient waiting for [the] Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

David W. Sielaff
David@askelm.com


1 At http://www.askelm.com/doctrine/d020901.htm, where the 7 signs are explained and how they give evidence that Jesus is the Christ.  DWS 

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