Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
This month’s advertised article is "The ‘Great Generation’ and Modern Prophecy." It is the last article written by Dr. Ernest Martin before his death on January 16, 2002. It represents his last thoughts on prophecy. It is likely that Dr. Martin intended to work on this article when he sat down at his computer before he died.
This article is not as "polished" as some of Dr. Martin’s work because he did not edit it as thoroughly as usual before his death. For this reason I encourage you to read this article carefully. Consider each sentence and note its context within the paragraph, the section and the entire article. This is something you should do with all writing you analyze, and especially with Scripture.
I edited this work only to clarify Dr. Martin’s thoughts, as I understood them. I did not add my thoughts to his words.
This article was of such importance that we did not "cut" it down in size to fit the usual snail-mail 16-page limitation for the best postage. While usually a larger and more complete article can be found on the ASK website, this is not the case for this month. They are identical.
Some people may find this article disappointing, but I always find new avenues of discovery to be exciting, especially if it leads to a better understanding of the Bible. However, I have confidence in the spiritual maturity of the ASK audience. Moreover, it is the truth of God that is important, not our own opinions, desires, or seeming disappointments.
The biblical evidence that Dr. Martin presents—which he himself says is strong, but speculative—indicates that the End-times will take place over a longer period of time than he thought for many years. As a result some of you may become discouraged. Perhaps each of us should examine our reactions to this article. Do we have expectations that result from our own wishes, rather than expectations based on biblical revelation (and even, perhaps, setting dates)? We all, myself included, should avoid the state of mind that God "must" perform according to a particular scenario we have, or else God is not being "fair."
What this means is that there will be a longer period of time for the Restitution of all things, something Dr. Martin always felt was just around the corner. This is still the case.
When people ask me when the Time of the End would occur, I usually tell them "probably not in my lifetime," but that significant events would likely occur that would be biblically identifiable to keen observers of Scripture. The Time of the End is longer than just a 7-year period. We should all know this. To my mind, the shorter the better. When you survey the articles on Prophecy on the ASK website, it is surprising the large number of events that are prophesied to occur before the return of Christ Jesus takes place. Those events, while some can be shortened by God answering our prayers (Isaiah 50:2, 59:1; Matthew 24:22 & Mark 13:20), will play out according to God’s timetable, and not ours.
If you make a close study of the biblical verses, in context, as explained in the following articles,
(1) "The ‘Great Generation’ and Modern Prophecy," this month’s article,
(2) "New Discoveries in Chronology and Prophecy," November’s article, and three website articles:
(3) "Chronology – The Key to Prophetic Understanding – Part I,"
(4) "Chronology – The Key to Prophetic Understanding – Part II," and
(5) "Chronological Falsehoods,"
you will have a large knowledge base regarding prophecy and a proper biblical understanding.
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A year-end reminder: If you need or wish to have a year-end receipt of your contributions to ASK, you must request that one be sent to you. We do not automatically send out year-end receipts. We do so only upon request. We are happy to provide this service.
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Next month’s article will be "How to Preach Your Own Funeral." This will be the transcript of a 1979 audiotape by Ernest L. Martin. This presentation will also be put on the ASK website as an audio to listen to over the Internet. The best way to learn is the listen to Dr. Martin’s voice over the Internet, while reading along with the text. You will be fascinated by Dr. Martin’s dynamic presentation (some 23 years ago) and his understanding of what death is, and the proper biblical approach toward death and dying. He certainly lived his beliefs. It was gratifying to know that the burial service performed for him was consistent with what he expressed decades ago, and some months before his death.
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In closing, we again want to thank you for everything you have done to help us continue this new phase of the Associates for Scriptural Knowledge. We feel that ASK is doing a work that needs to be accomplished at this time. Our main intention is not simply to have people to believe "the way Doc Martin does," but to have you and everyone to understand fully what the Bible teaches. The teachings of Jesus Christ and the Father are worth more than all the silver and gold in the world, and our desire is to present their teachings as best as we know how. True, Dr. Martin was not perfect in knowledge and understanding (as he freely admits in this month’s article), none of us are, but with God’s blessing we are steadily comprehending and making available to the world what the real messages in the Bible are all about. There are no mistakes in the Scripture! The Holy Bible represents the very Word of God and it was Dr. Martin’s intention to teach it as best he knew how. There is no doubt that you want the same thing.
We at ASK are thankful for the opportunities that God has given us. By working together, we can bless people in this world—people who desperately need the teachings of the Bible. Most people are groping in the dark, yet they would like to know the truths of God. God alone must "set the stage" for his teachings to be accepted. This world, at this time, is on the threshold of witnessing the prophetic events associated with the time of the end. Before these things happen, Christ will give this world the knowledge of His teachings as a witness of Him. We should rejoice to know that we can have a part (under Him) in getting the teachings of the Scripture to this world. The "restoration" is now starting with people all over this world (Acts 3:19–21) and we who know His central truths have our part to play. We ought to thank God for these opportunities. Thank you for your continued support of ASK.
The only year-end admonition we will give you is this—please—do not give time, effort, money or thought to non-biblical religious holiday rubbish. Help people in need, for such is your freedom in Christ, but keep in mind that God is not honored or pleased by observance of pagan rites in "Christian" gloss.
We hope that you keep ASK in mind during this time of year when funds are very much needed (and APPRECIATED). Your contributions make this work possible, and we need your full support to teach the Gospel of Christ Jesus to the world. May the blessings of God the Father and His Son Christ Jesus be with you and yours. Your prayers and support are always highly treasured and humbling to us.
David W. Sielaff
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