Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
The education of every human being begins when we take the first breath. With that first breath the spirit of man (from God, 1 Corinthians 2:11) enters the body and a unique living human soul is formed (James 2:26). The five senses begin to come “online” (to use a cybernetics metaphor), and begin to register sensations, comparing each new sensation with other sensations (James 2:26).
We learn by comparing things that are similar and different. We absorb new sensations, new information, new experiences that come to us through our five senses, comparing everything that is new with what is known and experienced by us to create new patterns of thought. God’s creation of human beings is truly marvelous (Psalm 8), created as we are in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26, 5:3).
Soon we are capable of thinking symbolically — using, formulating, and communicating in symbols: aural symbols (speech), written symbols (letters and words), and numbers (mathematical formulas) to communicate our thoughts with other human beings through time and space. The ultimate communication takes place between you and God. You pray to God and God’s thoughts literally go into our minds through His spoken and written word: “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17).
This month’s article, “Development of New Doctrine” by Dr. Ernest L. Martin, shows that the fullness of the Gospel of God came after Christ’s ascension with God’s gift of His Holy Spirit to His ekklesia beginning at Pentecost in the year 30 AD in Jerusalem. That education of the fulness of the Gospel that believing individuals and the ekklesia as a whole received after Pentecost was at times painful, as some education is.
Indeed, education through experience can be extremely painful, yet very long lasting, ending with the universal experience of death. Our entire physical life (long or short) is an experience of the dying process. Jesus Christ learned, just as we also learn: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). The difference between us (the children of Adam) and Jesus Christ (the Son of God) is that He was never disobedient. He never sinned.
The process of life tending toward death provides us with some important lessons. Individually and collectively, all children of Adam are learning what life is like without God (or so it seems to most all people). We learn how transitory life can be without God’s continual intervention and sustenance that give our hearts the next beat and our lungs the next breath. We are learning through experience how dependent we are on God for every aspect of life. Our education continues until we die. Our education will continue again when we are resurrected.
For those of us who believe in Christ’s resurrection from the dead and that He is our Savior, we will be resurrected to a spiritual existence where education shall never end. 1 We will put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:52–54) and our ability to learn will no longer be limited to physicality, at present “a little lower than the angels,” but we will be “crowned with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7–10).
We will learn the secrets, the mysteries of God (Deuteronomy 29:29), of Christ, and of all God's creation — “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2). Then we shall be much more than kings and the physical limits to our learning will no longer exist.
When Jesus was on earth He was given the Spirit without measure (John 3:34–35). How much more Spirit does Christ have now that He is glorified and seated at the right hand of the Father? What does that mean for us? “We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2). For us, as He is now, we shall be.
Let me give you one example, we will be able to learn through direct observation what the heavens have to teach us: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handywork” (Psalm 19:1). In learning about God's glory in the heavens we will be guided constantly by Christ through His Holy Spirit:
“But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him [Isaiah 64:4]. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God know no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:9–12
This passage is amazing and exciting! After our resurrection we will learn “the deep things of God” throughout the eons and beyond. And we will “know the things that are freely given to us of God.” The implications are thrilling. God wants us to fully understand His glory. The heavens declare that glory! We shall learn all about the heavens and how they glorify God. The best way to do that is to visit the heavens and see God’s glory as a way for us to learn “the deep things of God.” This is not a fantasy; it is our future reality.
The education process that God accelerated at Pentecost was not without problems, as Dr. Martin recounts in this month’s article. As you read it take particular note of how patient and gentle God was with some of His hard-headed, even stiff-necked children. God was gracious as some learned quicker than others. As God reveals His secrets and mysteries to His children, His desires will be accomplished to the result “that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:17):
“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
The purpose of ASK is to educate the ekklesia of God with mature knowledge and understanding on what the Holy Scriptures have to say about God and Christ, and their salvation of all mankind. We put out this valuable information and God sees to it that those who need it, receive it. ASK presents information you will not find elsewhere. This is done primarily through Dr. Martin’s research and insights (both old and more recent) which I have the privilege of editing and occasionally expanding upon through my own work. Old information will not be reprinted without editing and updating to present Dr. Martin’s latest views on a variety of matters. This is what Dr. Martin wanted done. Dr. Martin’s growth in understanding of Holy Scripture and history is reflected and cited in the older articles that we republish, making edits as I see fit.
Pray that this undertaking can continue to benefit you and other people also, with eventually multitudes of people around the world being assisted by ASK research and material. We continue to put out this unique information because you give us the means to do so, month by month with your financial gifts, purchases, and even your emotional support by your calls, notes, emails, and your prayers. We are thankful that you see the benefit of the work that we do on a regular basis. Thank you for helping us continue to provide this most valuable information to others around the world.
David W. Sielaff
1 Those not resurrected to spiritual glory will be resurrected to physical life (to learn what you are learning now) in the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11–13). Universal salvation through universal reconciliation is God’s will (1 Timothy 2:3–4), and it shall be accomplished through Christ (1 Timothy 4:10–11). It is a certainty.
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