Increased Knowledge at the Time of the End
Commentary for December 26, 2002 — Ernest L. Martin, 1997
NOTE: The information below is extracted from the “Malachi and Modern Times,” a March 1997 lecture tape. It has relevance to world events today.
Daniel 12:4 and 12:9 say that as we approach the time of the end, the knowledge of the prophecies (which include chronology and geography as well as the major events where they fit in a consecutive way with one another), will begin to be understood as never before.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. ... And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”Indeed, the apostle Peter said in his teaching to the Jews in the 3rd chapter of Acts that “times of refreshing” will come just prior to the second Advent of Christ to this earth. That refreshing would be so wonderful and good that the full knowledge of future prophecies will begin to be comprehended. We will understand them as never before. Of course it is up to God to open the door on all of these things.
• Daniel 12:4, 9
You and I — of ourselves — cannot understand the prophecies even though they are written in the scriptures. As far as fulfillment is concerned, chronologically speaking some prophecies are separated by 2000 years, one verse from another. Therefore we have to be very careful when it comes to interpreting prophecy. I want to warn every one of you that this is the case. I also want to show you (and it is important to realize) that knowledge shall be increased and God through His Holy Spirit can give you, me and others in the world who will submit to Him, more knowledge of what He intends to do as we approach this end of the age.
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 that all of the events mentioned in the Holy Scriptures before the time of the Exodus on down through the period of David and Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and through the post-Babylonian period, these things were written under the divine influence of God to help us at the end of the age to understand what the truth of prophecy and of doctrine is suppose to be.
That is what Paul said and I have given much information in the past to show that there is often a repetition of prophecies, even in history. The book of Ecclesiastes is filled with this understanding and so is the book of Isaiah, how that God when He gives prophecies, and even those prophecies that had past fulfillment, that within a proper prophetic chronological scenario they will be repeated again in exact fulfillment.
We need to recognize that most of the prophecies found in the Holy Scriptures are really designed for us who live at this end of the age. To give an example how this can be proven easily, look at the 22 chapters of the book of Revelation. That is reputed to have been written by Jesus Christ Himself. I have no doubt about that, but the one who actually took pen in hand and wrote it down was John the apostle. He was told what to write and how to write it. What He did was to garner all types of prophecies from various ages. The Bible covers about 3,500 years of prophetic teaching, almost 4,000 if you go back to Adam. As far as the Old Testament is concerned there are about 30 different people involved in writing those works, given at various periods of time, scattered over a 1,600 year period in different geographical circumstances and different historical environments.
Yet you know what John did? He took a scripture from Isaiah, dealing with that time back then, and put it into a prophetic context dealing with the period just before the Second Advent of Christ back to earth. John did the same thing by going into the Psalms. He did it by going into the prophecies of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and various other places. John puts them down into a series of events, normally associated with a 7 year span of time, just prior to the Second Advent of Christ here in this earth, and then gives us a connected prophetic scheme so that you and I would be aware of how to interpret the prophecies of the Old Testament, the Olivet prophecies of Christ and those given by Paul, put them into a proper order so that we can understand them correctly.
As time goes on and we get closer to that period of time, God says He will open up more knowledge. In the past 40 years in the ministry of teaching, I have been amazed how much I myself have learned and you have learned. It all has not come from Ernest Martin. We all have learned, a lot of people have been able to bring out teachings, not new teachings, old teachings, but they are new to us from the Bible so that we now can see things that we never saw before. We are just on the verge of understanding the Biblical revelation as never before. You and I live in exciting times. We are living in the times when the Bible is coming alive. And the Bible was really intended for you and for me at this present time.
Take for example the events in Matthew when Jesus was introduced into the world, he talked about a star that led the wise men, the magi, to King Herod and then down to Bethlehem where they gave their gifts to the Christ child. Matthew not only spoke about that star, but that was only the tip of the iceberg of what was happening in the heavens at that time. It was like a golden nugget to give the key to what was occurring. Now that we know the time of His birth, like most the early fathers of the church said it appeared, Christ appeared in the year 3/2 B.C.E., look into the heavens to see what was happening, you find that what Matthew said about the star makes perfectly good sense.
We are able now, by the use of computers, to replicate what happened in 3/2 B.C.E. Even secular astronomers are amazed at what was happening in the heavens that introduced the Christ child into the world. The star was an indication to say to us, look further, look further, my people. If we look further and this is what we see.
You know, the ones who saw that heavenly pageantry taking place when Jesus was introduced into the world back there at the end of the 1st century B.C.E. were able to tell it to their children. The children would respond energetically no doubt. But then those children have to tell it to the grandchildren and then the great-grandchildren. As time goes on, the knowledge of it goes away and they do not see the significance of the celestial events. By the end of the 1st century the only thing left about what happened at the introduction of Jesus into the world as an infant was what we find in Matthew’s account about the star leading the wise men. That has been the case all the way through until modern times. In our time now however, with computers we can in an instant see what happened graphically in 3/2 B.C.E. without any difficulty whatsoever. So all of a sudden, you and I at the end of the age are exposed to the same thing they were at the end of the 1st century B.C.E. that everybody in the interim period were completely oblivious to.
So you see, God, at the end of the age brings out the new things for you and me to be able to see. This is where the Bible comes in as well. Not only are we able to see scientific things that are important relative to the Biblical revelation but we are also able to see doctrinal matters clearer. We are able to see prophetic matters clearer. That is why I can, with all of the things put together in a way where we can understand it, say that these prophecies are talking about modern times. I can say that with a great deal of conviction because I know that to be the case.
Ernest L. Martin, March 1997
edited by David Sielaff, December 2002
NOTE: I highly recommend a book by Professor George Wesley Buchanan who shows you the prophecies in Revelation in side-by-side columns with the original prophecies from the Old Testament. Attempt to locate The Book of Revelation: Its Introduction and Prophecy (The Mellen Biblical Commentary: New Testament, Vol 22). Unfortunately this book is very expensive, around $139. All Mellen books are expensive because they are published for scholars and libraries only, not the mass market. I suggest you go to a local seminary or major university library to locate this volume. It is well worth viewing. Because he owns the copyright, Professor Buchanan is seeking to reprint this book at a more reasonable price. DWS
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