Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
The article this month follows on directly from last month’s article. It is “The Life and Times of the Antichrist, Part 2” by Dr. Ernest L. Martin. In looking at the two articles together I am stunned at how packed with information they both are. There is a great deal more information about the Antichrist and his associates than you ever thought possible. The details will surprise you.
Dr. Martin shows that there are actors on the end-time stage that you never thought of before (or had forgotten). They were always available to be read about and understood in your Bible, but I have not seen this information presented anywhere else before. In these two articles you must keep track of who is doing what and when (meaning sequence of events). So, strive to keep clear in your mind who is being spoken about in what portion of Scripture, when the prophecy was given, and when it will occur in the prophetic sequence of events. Let go of preconceptions you may have from prior religious teaching about the books of Daniel or Revelation, or specifically the Antichrist. Consider this article to be an adventure, keeping in mind that the events will happen in the future exactly as God unfolds them to occur.
After you are done, you will conclude that you did not have a full grasp of the biblical information about the antichrist like you thought you did. In fact, you may even say “I learned a lot, and I still have much to learn!” Further, you may find that your ideas about the Antichrist were influenced by popular ideas from Christian authors, speakers, and movies, who presented information and conclusions that were not biblical, but that tickle itching ears.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and [the truth] shall be turned unto fables.”
2 Timothy 4:3–4
Engage yourself in reading and researching the context of the Scripture passages as Dr. Martin presents his evidence and conclusions. Ask yourself questions about the material. Question whether you (or he) understand the biblical material correctly. Engage God’s Word and discover the truths of God for yourself.
The remarkable work Dr. Martin has put forth in these articles will not be found anywhere else that I know of in the world. When he is uncertain about a matter, he says so. Treasure, examine, observe, and enjoy the details of the information within the Word of God. Dr. Martin’s role is to help you look at the biblical material that is immediately relevant to the subject hand. However, if you limit yourself to Dr. Martin’s excellent material, you are missing out on getting God’s thoughts into your mind through His written Word. I think you will read these articles on “The Life and Times of the Antichrist” Part 1 and Part 2 several times — if your interest on this topic continues to inspire you to read the Bible (Hebrews 2:1).
In our everyday lives it is sometimes difficult to think that God’s direct intervention in world events will ever take place. After all, our lives and the lives of those around us, continue as they always have. The present world condition seems to fulfill the apostle Peter’s statement that he wrote just before the horrific violence broke out that began the Jewish rebellion against Rome in 66 AD:
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
2 Peter 3:3–4
Remember — always — that you are a direct fulfillment of prophecy and biblical (1 Peter 1:6–16). Your heart continues to beat, you continue to breathe, not because of any act of will on your part, but because it is the will of God that you continue to live the next moment, the next minute, hour, day, or years. Believe what the apostle Paul wrote to the ekklesia at Thessalonica:
“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which has loved us, and has given us everlasting [aionian, age-lasting] consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
2 Thessalonians 2:13–17
This passage comes just after 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12 where Paul reminds them of the information he previously told them about “man of sin” (or better the “man of lawlessness”), the Antichrist, and events that will occur before Christ’s return. As we approach, slowly, the time when these events will occur, we need to look to God with trust, hope, grace, and comfort, speaking good words and doing good works, “… That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him” (2 Thessalonians 1:12).
In the meantime, keep your eyes open on affairs happening in the Middle East, and in particular on Jerusalem. That is where central events of prophecy will occur, even major events dealing with the Antichrist. If we know what is occurring there, we will be apprised of what to expect even in our own countries around the world. Read Philippians 4:4–7.
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (a western suburb of Milwaukee), Tuesday, September 8 at 6:00 p.m. for coffee and for questions/answers at The City Market Bakery and Café at 8725 W. North Avenue. The coffee shop phone is 414-453-0000. Call if you need directions (not to leave messages).
Appleton, Wisconsin the weekend of September 12–13. Email me (below) so we can establish a time to “have a sit down” during that weekend.
Fox Lake, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. I will speak briefly at the “Chicagoland Concordant Conference” at 9:00 am, Saturday, September 19 on “Universal Salvation and the Early Church Fathers.” See http://www.crossandthrone.com for details of that event. I shall attend the entire 3-day conference, September 18–20 in the Chicago area.
In November I will be in Nashville, Tennessee for 5 days around the weekend of November 6–8 to participate in a Christian Universalist conference. Still later in November I will attend the Near East Archaeological Society and the Society for Biblical Literature meetings in downtown New Orleans, Lousiana. These meetings take place consecutively, November 17–24, 2009. If you live in these areas I would be pleased to meet with you.
We continue to need your financial assistance to keep sharing ASK with others, while we trust God that He will bring others to support ASK financially (Philippians 4:6). Your communications make us thankful for you, make us joyful and even filled with sympathy. Thank you so much for your all your help in every way. Some day we will know fully those of you who also faithfully pray for us in our job of planting seeds so God can bring the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7–9). Until next time, thank you all and God bless you all.
David W. Sielaff
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