Unknown Parts of the Bible - Associates for Scriptural Knowledge

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© ASK, February 2015 • All rights reserved • Number 2/15
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Unknown Parts of the Bible
by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D. (date, prior to 1987)
Transcribed and edited by David Sielaff, February 2015
Read the accompanying Newsletter for February 2015
The Bible provides the world with some of its most cherished philosophical concepts. Shakespeare referred to it; Thomas Jefferson eulogized it.
Even Joseph Stalin, who trained as a young man to be a priest, was well
acquainted with it. Indeed, one could not be considered an educated
person today, even in an atheistic environment, without possessing some
fundamental understanding of the Holy Scripture.
Christians treat the Bible with greater respect than merely giving it
admiration as a beautiful piece of literature. Devout Christians consider it divine literature, the instruction
book from God to man. Yet the Bible remains unknown to most people. Even Christians are unaware of
many essential parts of it. This article shows four parts of the Bible unknown to many people. These
unknown parts represent some of the most profound thoughts you find anywhere in the Holy Scripture.
I want to give primarily a principle, but I will give four major so-called unknown parts of the Bible.
What I will give reflects the tip of the iceberg of many other things that could be said. We need to take the
totality of the Scripture into account if we truly want to comprehend it. It is too often the case that many of
us consign whole sections of Scripture to oblivion, but one section is dependent upon another, made up of
66 books, or as properly numbered, 49 books. A complete Bible which we have in the King James Version
handed down to us today has a complete knowledge of divine things which are essential for mankind to
believe and practice today. Here are four points unknown to many.
Point Number One
The first point is this, how many are aware that an important section of the Old Testament deals with
philosophical teaching at the highest level, and it is given by a very interesting man. Few know this section
was uttered by a profound agnostic. That is right. At the beginning, the writer says he did not understand
God. His message is called in the Scripture “a prophecy,” uttered under divine influence, yet the man said
he did not know God and had no way of knowing Him. This is most interesting that such an individual
wrote a major section of the Old Testament. Do you know who he was?
Point Number Two
Can a person always know why God does what He does in this world, whether the matter be evil, or
good? All types of events occur in this world today, some we like, some we do not like. Good things and
some evil things happen to us, to our loved ones, our friends, and everyone in the world. Is it possible to
know why these things occur? The answer is no. A whole book of the Bible was written to show that no one
can answer why good things happen to people, and at other times bad things. I will discuss this book
superficially, but once its message is understood, much of the nonsense put forth today that Christians can
know the cause and effect of all things, can be put to rest. In fact, we are unable to know these matters with
perfection while in this flesh, or to answer such things to our satisfaction.
God gave us a book of the Bible to demonstrate this truth. Many abandon this book and prefer the sense
of holding hands and saying, yes, we can know why God does things this way or that way. The book shows
that none of us can know why God does things all the time, or indeed, most of the time.
Point Number Three
Paul made definite statements that he did not tell the truth all the time. Think about that for a moment. It
is profound. He made statements supported by a host of Scriptures, which he wrote under inspiration of
God’s Spirit, where he said he did not tell the truth all the time. Hardly any Christian today takes him seriously. People should know about this unknown part of Paul’s life, but they do not. All we normally want to
know about Paul are his good points. We do not read about his demerits, because we do not want to believe
he had any. Paul said he had demerits, quite a number of them. One was he did not tell the truth all the time.
Point Number Four
An important people associated with Israel in the past are prophesied to counter Israel in the future when
Christ returns to earth. They are more important than you can imagine. If you would ask someone to point
out this most important people, they would have little idea who you are talking about. More prophecies were
uttered in more places of the Bible about this one people than any other, yet most people know little about
them. This major people group is associated with Israel in and near Palestine. It is also associated with Jesus
Christ, and will fight Him when He returns. It will gather all nations of the world to fight Christ.
I focus in on four unknown parts of the Bible, selecting important ones, all interrelated, but primarily I
am giving a principle. It is important to know the Bible as much as we can — all of it. We cannot understand it completely. God has not graced us with enough of His Holy Spirit to do so. The Bible is a neglected
book. It is time we open its pages, begin to know as much as we can, and see what it really says. These four
unknown parts are examples of other unknown sections. If people knew half of what is in the Bible they
would be amazed. It is time to reexamine the Holy Book. It will have surprises for all of us.
The First Unknown Part of the Bible
How many of us are aware of an important section of the Old Testament giving profound general
philosophical teaching? This teaching comes from a professed agnostic who admitted he did not understand
God, yet he gives wonderful information that you and I have asked ourselves in the past. This message was
uttered under prophetic inspiration, yet the man was an agnostic. Was this man a heathen? As far as we
know, he was not. Was he well-known, such as Jeremiah, Isaiah, or Ezekiel? No.
His philosophic concepts are hidden in one important chapter of the Book of Proverbs. It was not
Solomon. “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy [note, it is called a prophecy], the man
spoke unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal” (Proverbs 30:1). These two men, apparently, asked Agur philosophic questions. They came to him and he discussed matters of God’s divine nature with them in Proverbs
chapter 30. There are references in the New Testament to this chapter. Most people pay little attention to
this prophecy written by an agnostic, one who understood there was a God, but did not know who God was.
At the very beginning Agur admits he is an agnostic, “Surely I am more brutish [stupid] than any man,
and have not the understanding of a man” (Proverbs 30:2). He meant by this that he did not even have the
proper understanding of what ordinary man should be able to comprehend. You could say he begins with a
very humble statement, but look at the next verse. “I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the
holy” [Hebrew, “holy ones”] (verse 3). He said I do not have the knowledge of God and I do not have proper
wisdom, yet Agur was a very wise man, by admitting he does not understand things the way he should. He
says I have not “the knowledge of the holy ones.” Talking to these two men, Agur says, “Who has ascended
up into heaven, or descended?” (verse 4). Who has done that?
This is referenced even in the Gospel of John, because there it speaks of Jesus Christ. Who has gone to
heaven? No one has. Who has come down? No one has. Agur asks the same question, who has gone to
heaven to see everything there in clear detail, and come down to explain it to us. Agur said this before the
New Testament was written and before Jesus went to heaven after His resurrection and came back until His
ascension to heaven again. No one had done so up to Agur’s day, “who has gathered the wind in his fists?
who has bound the waters in a garment? who has established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and
what is his son’s name, if you can tell?” (Proverbs 30:4). This was uttered maybe 1,000 years before Christ.
I know who accomplished what Agur wanted done. It was God the Father. I know who His Son is. It is
Jesus Christ. But even though we see through a glass darkly, according to Paul (1 Corinthians 13:12). Can
you reach out, grasp the wind and the atmosphere in your fist, and do something with it? Can you explain
how the earth was created in the very beginning? How it is sustained and which way it is going? Have you
ascended to heaven and brought down essential knowledge of what is there? Have you done all of these
things, or any of these things? We may be more like Agur than we imagine, but we have more knowledge
than he had, because God has revealed more since Agur’s time.
Agur adds two things: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Add you not unto his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5–6). Most of us, and
I include myself, have made all types of statements which I thought the Word of God had said in the past,
and I found myself being a liar, because I did not understand the complete truth of all matters. I have to say,
to this day I cannot understand God’s Word completely yet. I hope I never say falsehoods concerning the
Scriptures. I hope you don’t want to say falsehoods concerning the Word of God. We should know it very
well indeed, before we begin making statements about it. I admit I do not understand many things
concerning the Scripture as I ought to, but you must say the same thing. Many of us are as Agur.
The first thing he says is, I don’t have the understanding that man ought to have, and I certainly do not
know about the holy ones, but I know that God is God. Agur does not know who He is, and he doesn’t know
who His Son is, and he is not sure he has all the answers. But … Agur does admit there is a Word of God
and we should not deviate from it or we will get into trouble.
In verses 7–10 Agur asks, “Two things have I required of you; deny me them not before I die.” What he
wants is (1) to be taken away from vanity, (2) not to have poverty so he begins to steal and not riches so he
begins to curse God. He says these are fundamentals we ought to have, just enough to live on. These are
beautiful concepts that ought to be what you and I should want.
Verses 11 through 14 are about four types of evil generations. They are all evil. He asks, why is it there
is evil all around? He could not understand it. He knows there is a God, but he does not understand why
there is evil. You and I have asked that question also.
In verses 15, 16, and 17 Agur asks, what happens at the end? We all go to the grave. We all seek more
than we can get. We always want more than we have. He does not understand why it is in our nature and our
psyche to so often want more.
In verses 18 and 19 he says there are marvels in the world. He asks (verse 19) how can you explain the
way of an eagle in the air? Or how a serpent moves on a rock? How is it a ship can go in the midst of the
sea, or what makes the wind move the ship? What causes the wind to have motion? Then he asks about “the
way of a man with a maid” and how children are produced. They were a mystery to him. He knew there was
a God, but did not know His name, or His Son’s name, but something beautiful was in operation here.
Verses 21 to 23 list four things the earth cannot bear. He mentions the evil that comes with life. He still
did not understand why such wickedness was in the world. We have all asked similar questions.
Verses 24 to 28 present four things that are very small on the earth, but exceedingly wise. He mentions
the ants, coneys (small rodents), locusts, and the spider. These are little things on earth but there is design,
understanding, wisdom, but “I don’t know His name, and I don’t know the name of His Son.” People
wonder whether the correct animals are indicated, in the King James Version in particular, but each of these
creatures have order and design to them. As an example, look at ants. One ant can find a piece of food, and
soon a column of ants is going back and forth carrying food to their nest. How can one tiny ant cause a
whole colony to come to the food, moving with precision back and forth?
The last are verses 29 to 33 where he says, “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in
going” (Proverbs 30:29), meaning each are graceful in their movements. He mentions the lion, the greyhound, the he-goat, and an earthly king. All of these are leaders. The lion is the leader of the carnivorous
animals. The greyhound leads the pack. The he-goat leads the sheep. A king leads his army. The illustrations from nature show Agur there is a great leader in heaven, but who is He? What is His Son’s name?
Who has ascended to heaven and come down and brought us word of all this? He knows there is a Word of
God, he knows it is true, but who is it all from? He admits, “I do not know.”
How many of us have said the same, even though we have had subsequent revelation? I know one thing,
at least I have faith in Jesus Christ. But I do not know as much about Him as I would like to know. I
honestly believe in faith that the answer to Agur’s problem is the Son’s name. The Son’s name can show us
who the Father is. Without the Son we do not have the Father (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22). Many of us are
like Agur. This profound philosophic principle is found in a section of Scripture most people do not even
look at, but it is as up-to-date as it was when written.
The Second Unknown Part of the Bible
Can a person always know why God does what He does, whether the matter is evil or good? The answer
is no. A whole book of the Bible was written on this one subject. It is most important, and the reason I put
this part second is that it dovetails with the information I gave on Agur. I am referring to the Book of Job.
Job was a king who had everything going for him, all good in life. God stripped it away, step by step,
through the acts of Satan, granted, but God inspired it. He took everything away from Job, including most of
his family, his riches, and finally his health. He sat as if on a bed of nails in great pain, having gone from
heights of glory, beauty, and dignity down to depths of degradation, pain, and agony.
In this story three of the greatest philosophers of the ancient age come and tell Job the cause of his
problems. Do you know what they told him? They said, you are doing wrong. Job replied, I am not doing
wrong. Well, you are doing this wrong. Job says, I’m not doing this wrong. You are doing that wrong, or
that wrong. They had all of the wisdom answers of man. At the end, they never gave Job the answer.
A young man called Elihu finally gave Job three chapters of good information, but Job would not listen
to him because he was young. Job did not want to listen to someone (1) younger than he was (2) who had
less knowledge than he did. He was willing to listen to the old men, but they did not tell him the truth. The
young man told him the truth in essence, but Job refused to listen to him.
God saw the situation and you know what happened in chapter 38? God Himself comes and answers Job
from then on. At the very end Job finally says, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). He
finally understood. Here is the point I want to bring out. Do you know all 41 chapters of Job have one of the
finest philosophical teachings to answer your questions and mine about why things happen in this earth
relative to God? Those questions and answers are the same today! Most people completely avoid Job. They
do not understand what he is really talking about, or what the whole concept of the book truly is.
If you analyze God’s answer to Job beginning in chapter 38, it is most interesting. If you consider the
answers of the three gray-haired, dignified wise men of the ancient world, the men who were supposed to
have all the answers, every one of their answers were wrong. God told Job’s three friends to offer sacrifices
to Him, and for Job to pray on their behalf to Him (Job 42:7–9)! These were sacrifices for sin because they
had not given proper answers. When it comes to God’s answer, well, Job wanted to know, why am I sick?
Why have my riches been taken from me? Why has my prestige been diminished? Why am I in this low
condition? God never answered Job’s questions. The whole book asks why am I suffering? God never
answers Job’s questions. God starts his answer by saying, Job, lift up your loins like a man and we will talk.
• The first thing He says is, Job, where were you when I created the earth? Do you know what Job
said? He said, “I don’t know, I wasn’t around.”
• “Did I ask you how to put the seas here or the land there?” Job replied, “No, you did not ask me.”
• “Did I ask you how to put the atmosphere around this earth?” “No.”
• “Did I ask you anything about how to make the animals that are here?” “No.”
• “Did I ask you how to make the rain, the wind, the snow, and everything like that?” “No.”
• “Did I ask you about any of these details of creation?”
This dialogue between God and Job goes on and on. Several of Job’s answers are not given because they are
all in the negative. God is saying, “Job, where were you when I made all these marvelous and beautiful
things, as Agur talks about, the ants, the greyhound, the he-goat, the king, all things working in unison in
beautiful harmony. Each time Job had to answer, “I don’t know.”
Throughout the whole discourse, not once does God tell Job why he was sick! Not once does God tell
him why He reduced him from the prestige he had before. Not once does God tell Job anything. All He tells
Job is this: “I am God; do not dispute with me.”
We ourselves have asked, can a person always know WHY God does what He does? When He does it?
Whether good or evil? The answer from the book of Job is, “No, you cannot know, but you can know God
and He will, one of these days, finally tell us why He does the things He does.”
Some people quoting the New Testament believe they can tell you. It is because of this or that reason
that bad things happened to you. How many of you have been sick and wondered why you were sick? How
many times have ministers come and said, well, have you been eating wrong, or what sins have you been
doing to make you this way. Those are some of the first things they say. The answer is, it might not be sins
you committed at all because Job was righteous and had not committed any sins that caused him to be sick.
God never answered Job once on that subject. What He did say is, “I am God. I am Almighty. I know
what I am doing.” Job finally repented by admitting that was the case.
The Third Unknown Part of the Bible
The apostle Paul made an absolute statement that he did not tell the truth all the time. Some say, well,
before he was converted he would have done so. Before he was converted, Paul was the strictest of Pharisees, watching his tongue probably closer than any. On the other hand, he was not converted with God’s
Holy Spirit. After Paul was converted and received God’s Spirit, if you analyze Paul’s writings you find
what he is saying still applies. In fact, he made the definite point that he did not tell the truth all the time.
“What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way:
chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God [they had the Scriptures in
their midst]. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without
effect? God forbid [or, let it not be]: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written,
‘That you might be justified in your sayings, and might overcome when you are judged.’”
• Romans 3:1–4
Some say that does not include Paul, but Paul is part of “every man.”
I am convinced Paul did not intentionally ever tell a lie, but he was human. Can you be sure you know all
truth in every circumstance? Agur spoke to Ithiel and Ucal, when you come to the Word of God, make sure
“Let God be true, but every man a liar.”
you state it correctly, lest you be found a liar (Proverbs 30:5–6). How many of you always told the truth
when it comes to the Word of God? I am guilty of making misstatements, not intentionally I assure you, but
how many of us always told the truth? We are human and we do not have the divine nature to the extent
Jesus did, without measure. We find ourselves not telling the truth. “Let God be true, but every man a liar.”
Paul says, “But if OUR unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God
unrighteous who takes vengeance? (I speak as a man)” (Romans 3:5). “If OUR unrighteousness commend”
God. Paul included himself as not being completely righteous. He was human. He was an apostle, granted,
and he had God’s Holy Spirit, true. He had a commission from God; that is right. But he says “OUR unrighteousness,” and he is talking about lies men told in the past.
If we doubt Paul told lies, when he says every man has done so, look at verse 7: “For if the truth of God
has more abounded through MY LIE unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?” (Romans 3:7).
“My lie” means that as a man, no one can tell the truth on all occasions, though we are told in the Ten
Commandments and throughout the New Testament we should never tell falsehoods. I do not care how
much truth you try to teach, if you think everything out of your mouth will be 100% accurate and in
conformity to the Word of God in every case, we, you — all of us — are fallible human beings.
Verse 9: “What then? are WE better than they? No, in no wise.” He means “we” Christians compared
with the Jews. “We,” including himself, are no better than any other human being, though we try to tell the
truth. When relating to God, we are no better than anyone else. We are all products of unrighteousness. Paul
says in verse 23, if there is any doubt: “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
He said, I am the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
He even said concerning prophecy: “For we know IN PART, and we prophesy IN PART. But when that
which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:9–10). We prophesy in part, we have knowledge in part. Even with God’s Holy Spirit Paul said, “we see through a glass,
darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). We do not know everything. In Romans 7:14–25 Paul said, paraphrasing,
“The things I want to do, I don’t do. The things I don’t want to do, that I do.” He said that as a Christian.
It is possible for Paul, being human, not to be perfect. Possible? It is absolutely the case. “ALL have
sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All of us compared to God tell falsehoods, not
that we want to, but you see the principal. Paul was human. He needed redemption in Jesus Christ. God the
Father is perfect, Christ is perfect. They are the only infallible ones we know. Every step away from God is
a step away from truth. If you are a thousand steps from Him, you are a thousand steps from truth, 10,000
miles from Him, you are 10,000 miles from truth. How many of us walk hand-in-hand with God so far as
perfection is concerned. Not one of us. We are all human. We need Christ and His perfection.
The Fourth Unknown Part of the Bible
Who are those most important people to counter Israel at the end of the age? In the Old Testament there
are more prophecies about these people than all others put together. It is not the Babylonians, Assyrians, or
Tyrians, but I will tell who they are, the Edomites. 1 Isaac fathered twin boys, one called Jacob and the other
Esau (Genesis 25:19–28). Esau’s name was changed to Edom, meaning “red man.” He settled southeast of
the Dead Sea in the region of Petra. Part of Isaiah chapter 34 is one of the most profound prophetic sections
in Isaiah or even the Bible. Here, the last of the national prophecies by Isaiah was against Edom.
“Come near, you nations, to hear; and hearken, you people: let the earth hear, and all that is
therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of YHWH is upon all
nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he has utterly destroyed them, he has delivered
them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of
their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of
A full article on the subject of this fourth unknown part is at “The Most Significant Gentile Nation in the Bible.” DWS
heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: …”
• Isaiah 34:1–4
Have you read elsewhere about the heavens being rolled up and compared to a scroll? You have in the
Book of Revelation dealing with the end time. This Isaiah passage deals with the time the Book of Revelation
focuses on. It is prior to and during the Day of the Lord, the time when Christ intervenes in human affairs:
“And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a
scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falls off from the vine, and as a falling fig
from the fig tree.”
• Isaiah 34:4
The stars of heaven will fall. These things are found in Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13, and Luke
chapter 21 in the Olivet Prophecy. They are found in the Book of Revelation. Some Scriptures in Revelation
refer precisely to this event in Isaiah chapter 34. Most of us have not even recognized the nation being
discussed here, which will bring the world’s armies together, “For my sword shall be bathed in heaven:
behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment” (Isaiah 34:5). The
King James has “upon Idumea,” but the Hebrew is “upon Edom.” Judgment will come “upon the people of
my curse,” Edom. The context is about Edom, the brother of Jacob. The brothers struggled in the womb, and
God said they would struggle from then on. One will be hated (Esau), the other loved (Jacob) in Romans
9:10–14. Edom is called “the people of my curse.”
The Edomites were chosen to do these things, Paul said, before they were born. It comes by grace. Their
calling has come that way. Again we ask, why does God do these things? That is why I gave the illustration
of Job. Job asked questions that God did not answer. He said, I am God, I am Almighty. One day we will
know why God picked Edom (Esau) for a curse before his birth, before he did good or evil. We will know
why Jacob was picked when he was such a scoundrel, yet he was picked to receive all the blessings. God
knows what He is doing. The Edomites are “the people of my curse” and will come to judgment:
“The sword of YHWH is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of
lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for YHWH has a sacrifice in Bozrah [the
capital of Edom], and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea [Edom]. And the unicorns [goats
with a single horn? Daniel 8:5, 8] shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and
their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. For it is the day of
YHWH’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion [Jerusalem].
[All this will come upon the land and people of Edom:] And the streams thereof shall be turned into
pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It
shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever [olam, for the age]:
from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.”
• Isaiah 34:6–10
These things are also stated in the Book of Revelation about the end time, associated with the stars
falling from the heavens, with Satan and his angels fighting Israel and the ekklesia of Israel. In Isaiah 34:11,
13–14 there is language similar to prophecies of Babylon, but when you read this entire 34th chapter of
Isaiah, the people of Edom bring the Assyrians to do these things.
Such are unknown parts of the Bible. I have given here a taste of scores of Scriptures like these. It is
time we all begin to look at the Bible as a whole. We will find many of the answers we have sought for
years. Much study and understanding are needed. That is why we at ASK feel that biblical study and
research is the basis of our understanding Scripture. We can know who He is, and the Son only through
God’s Word. We cannot know everything, but get into the Bible, really study it, and try to make as much of
it known as we possibly can.
Ernest L. Martin
David Sielaff, February 2015