Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
In this spring of 2005 the Passover occurs in late April. It is a time to consider this festival and the important teaching attached to it, even though we Christians have no responsibility or command to practice the Passover ritual. This is because Christ has fulfilled — in every possible way — each aspect, symbol and reality of the Passover event. Christ was the lamb slain at the Passover. What Christ has accomplished, we no longer need to perform. It is important to consider the following verses. Read them in the correct book order: Isaiah 53:6–7; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:18–19; 1 Corinthians 5:7–8; and Revelation 6–9, 12. All of these verses have reference to Jesus as the Lamb of God, either in prophetic symbol or directly. (The use of “lamb” itself is a symbol, of course.)
The basic history and legislation of the Passover for Israel can be found in Exodus 12:1–32, 43–51; Leviticus 23:5; Numbers 9:1–14, 28:16–25; and Deuteronomy 16:1–8. The first article this month is “The Passover Contradiction” deals with the symbolism of Passover in the Gospel of John. The second article “The Passover/Easter Controversy” explains the problem of figuring the correct time of Passover in the early church period, historically called the Quartodeciman Controversy.
Neither article addresses whether Christians today should celebrate the Passover. That discussion is dealt with in other ASK material. Simply type the word Passover into the “Study Search” box on the ASK front page to access articles relevant to Passover. See also Dr. Martin’s small but important book The ABCs of the Gospel available on the ASK website at http://www.askelm.com/abc/index.asp, and the very important first eight chapters of Dr. Martin’s book Essentials of New Testament Doctrine.
For both articles the general topic of the crucifixion is vitally important. Dr. Martin has done significant chronological work regarding the date and day of the crucifixion. His conclusions are contained in his article “The Case for a Thursday Crucifixion” at http://www.askelm.com/news/n010501.htm.
My philosophy of article selection is to edit and publish (or republish) material that will be useful and educating to the ASK audience. I purposely mix topics between Doctrine, Prophecy, and Temple Update information. In general the selected material provides biblical information additional to that found in Dr. Martin’s comprehensive major books on theology and history. This is why I so frequently make reference links and cite them. Eventually all Dr. Martin’s books will be available on the ASK website. This takes time and effort. It will be done to make the books available to everyone on the Internet, even if they cannot afford to purchase a book, and even though the most convenient way to access this valuable material is to read them as printed books. In this way a small but growing ekklesia or assembly of people can learn accurately what the Bible has to say by knowledge derived from Dr. Martin’s study, experience, and teaching. ASK exists for the purpose of teaching the Bible and making clear what the Bible says to promote the Gospel of Christ.
(1) I continue to put up additional links, so check back on the ASK Links page. I strive to link only useful websites that help to illustrate ASK material or provide resources for your own personal study beyond the Bible and ASK articles and books.
(2) There are still several chapters and parts of chapters (longer chapters are split into readable sections) to go up on the ASK website from Dr. Martin’s book Restoring the Original Bible. In less than 2 months the book will begin again from Chapter 1. You will learn more about the Bible — and you will want to read your Bible — from this one book than from a host of other Bible helps. Also, Dr. Martin clearly explains the process, from internal biblical evidence, of how the Book of Books was compiled, sourced and “canonized” by those who had proper authority to do so. And, I repeat, most of this information about the canonization process is contained within the Bible itself.
(3) In case you have not noticed, on the webpage containing Restoring the Original Bible online edition, there is a diagram that can be downloaded and printed. I highly recommend that you look at and study that diagram while you read the book. It will enhance your understanding of the Bible immeasurably, and will implant in your mind the design, structure, and symmetry of the books of the Bible so that you will understand how each book fits in the overall scheme, and so you will clearly know the context of every passage in relation to other passages.
(4) As I mentioned in a prior newsletter, the short books ABCs of the Gospel and The Tithing Dilemma are updated in that all chapters are now available to be read immediately. The Tithing Dilemma alone will educate you to the biblical truth about tithes to God, who owes them, who can receive them, where they must be paid, and in what currency. This small book alone may save you thousands of dollars, prevent family strife, and at the same time make it clear as to how to please God in the matter of tithing. All this comes from simply reading and understanding what the Bible truly says about this important subject. The answer may not be what you think!
(5) If you are new to ASK, pay attention to three items of interest on the ASK homepage. First, read and listen to Dr. Martin’s personal “Welcome” to ASK readers, recorded before his death. Second, note the article “Are You a Misfit” which discusses your feelings of being “different” that many Christians sense when relating to other people. Third, note the article “Forgiving God” that addresses an important aspect of your relationship to God the Father and Jesus Christ.
(6) Changes are in the works that I think you will appreciate, changes to increase the efficiency of the ASK website and how information is displayed and handled there. You will like the changes.
I want to thank the Internet readers of the ASK website who contribute to our efforts. In truth though, only a small portion of those who receive ASK materials over the website ever contribute toward the maintenance of ASK. While the ASK website is the most efficient method for us to transmit the excellent work of Dr. Ernest Martin, most of the contributions supporting ASK actually come from those who receive ASK materials by snailmail.
In the last few years most new readers of ASK have found us through the Internet. Before that time, most people found us through a friend, relative, or acquaintance who gave them a book, tape, or article by Dr. Martin. Now people find the rich resource of ASK through links from other sites or through search engines when they explore various topics Dr. Martin has written about. I want to encourage all of you who appreciate ASK to “talk us up” to your friends so that more people will benefit from the best in biblical teaching. Also encourage people to use the useful ASK search engine, particularly the “Advanced Site Search” which has excellent capabilities for finding articles on biblical topics you need to know about.
Let me put it to you directly: Please contribute to ASK both so we can continue to provide excellent teaching and so we can carefully expand our efforts to others around the world. Your giving to us freely is our major source of funds.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers in helping us present the Good News of our elder brother, Christ Jesus, to the world. Without you we could do nothing. But with your help and assistance we can reach out to those whose minds God has opened to receive the Gospel with good information that will open their Bible and fill their minds with God’s thoughts from the Word of God.
David W. Sielaff
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