Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
This month I am publishing an article of my own containing important information. It is titled “The House of David.” The material came out of research stimulated by discussions I had with Dr. Ernest Martin in November 2000 when I was invited to join him at the annual Society for Biblical Literature meeting, held that year in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Martin asked me to help out with the ASK booth where scholars would come by and look at the various book exhibits. 1 The purpose was to show Dr. Martin’s works to scholars and they could ask detailed and specific questions regarding his findings.
During slack times at the meeting I had discussions with Dr. Martin regarding the Tomb of David. A friend of mine (and former associate of Dr. Martin’s), Mr. Gary Arvidson, 2 had been intensively researching this subject of David’s Tomb since 1995 (about the same time Dr. Martin began his Temple research). I related some of the material Mr. Arvidson had found and presented it to Dr. Martin, who expressed great interest although he was deeply involved with promoting the recent publication of The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot. In those discussions with Dr. Martin the subject of the phrase “house of David” came up. I took note of that phrase and followed up with my own research. This article is the result of some of that research.
I learned that there was a direct relationship of the House of David to the Tombs of David researched by Mr. Arvidson. As you will see, “house of David” does not always mean the descendants of David, as one would expect. In fact, in several contexts the phrase “house of David” is a direct reference to “the Tombs of David.” The implications of this identification are important because the phrase “House of David” occurs in one important prophecy of the Old Testament and may have a relationship to future events. This finding is not just my conclusion, but also that of Jewish sages in the past who have not grasped the significance or the importance of their own knowledge.
Much work has been done, and research is continuing to enhance the quality of information on this subject, particularly the geographic relationship of the house of David to the Temple. However, like Dr. Martin, I keep this information close at hand until it is ready to be published.
While it is not my intent to put out much of my original research to the ASK audience, it is necessary on occasion to do so. It is a responsibility that comes with the job, wherever possible building on Dr. Martin’s research and going beyond. His production of work, and the quality of his work, is staggering to me. You are the beneficiaries as his work opens up the Bible to you and the world. Great changes are going on in the world for us who love the biblical revelation. We should pray that God allows us to understand the Bible and world events as never before, not just for our benefit, but also for the benefit of those we are in contact with regularly.
Dr. Martin’s 1994 and latest edition of Restoring the Original Bible is now being published in serial form on the ASK Website (http://www.askelm.com/restoring/index.asp), one chapter each week. This will give access to this excellent and informative book to those around the world who are prevented from purchasing the book. However, we have noted that when people read a few chapters of a book online, they soon learn that they “need to have it” and they purchase the entire book. That way they have the entire book at hand and do not need to wait a week to read the next chapter. As we have said before, all of Dr. Martin’s books will go online eventually over the coming years.
Putting books online is not as simple or straightforward as it seems. I endeavor to recheck all of the sources that Dr. Martin cites. I regularize the citation style of footnotes and bibliographies. I also reformat each chapter of each book for the website. I change text to footnotes (and vice versa) when I feel it editorially useful to do so. All of this takes time and requires care to continually improve the valuable resource that is ASK.
We will endeavor to put older Commentaries online in a searchable format in a timelier manner. We have had several requests for Commentaries from the past six months that should be online and indexed as regular articles. We have made the ASK Website Study Search more prominent on the ASK website front page. Please use the advanced search link to do great things in researching the material on the ASK website. And we have been able to streamline and make more reliable our office, printing, and mail procedures to minimize problems.
The ASK Bookstore has not produced the results we hoped and few of our readers make use of it. We are considering dropping the bookstore from the ASK website because of lack of interest and use. However, if purchases of non-ASK materials are made through that webpage, then we will reconsider keeping it on. Remember that ASK gets a small percentage of every sale from that Bookstore. Your participation will determine whether we continue or drop it.
Keep in mind that just like the bookstore may go away without participation on your part ASK also could — potentially — go away. Your gracious financial assistance helps ASK continue to put out excellent biblical material that is as unique and as useful as we can make it. We hear regularly from many of you who contribute who tell us the great value you derive from the publications, and having the ASK Website available for your education, and for the education of people around the world.
Note that the ASK bookstore has been discontinued... (Jan 2005, webmaster)
One time I heard a minister say, “If I teach you, you owe me.” That is not quite true. In regard to the Gospel, you owe God. However, a laborer is worthy of his reward (1 Timothy 5:18) and we trust God that you continue to supply us with your support if we continue to labor in a manner that teaches you the truth of Scripture. Any obligation you have is really between God and you to read and study the Word of God, not with us. However, we need funds to operate, and we are very thankful to you for your contributions.
ASK does not teach the doctrine of tithing. While the doctrine is biblical, it is totally misapplied. Today it is applicable only to farmers who are Jews, living in the land of Israel, and only when a Temple is present (which it is not). Therefore, we are dependent on your financial support of gifts; as God leads you to assist ASK. We pray that God the Father and Christ Jesus are pleased with our united efforts in getting out the Gospel of Christ.
It is gratifying that the work of ASK is appreciated and used around the world. You are beneficiaries of the best information about God and His word, and you help ASK present it to the world.
2 Gary Arvidson was a co-founder of the Foundation for Biblical Research in 1974. My wife and I first met and traveled with Mr. Arvidson on a tour to Israel led by Dr. Martin in 1983. See Mr. Arvidson’s comprehensive book, In Search of King David’s Lost Tomb & Treasure, 2nd edition (Kings Mountain, NC: Gary Arvidson, 2001) where the full background story of David’s Tomb is put forth. It is an exposition of the historical, biblical, and archaeological reasons for the non-discovery of King David’s lost tomb and treasure. The Tomb is hidden deep underground in the ancient City of David not far from the Gihon Spring. The bodies of David and other family members are in the Tomb. The implications are tremendous. Contact the World Care Organization, P.O. Box 442, Dallas, NC 28034, phone: 704-923-0777 directly about this book.
David W. Sielaff
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